Amoeblog

Ahhhh, Thelma!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, October 24, 2007 01:19am | Post a Comment

"This Amoeba thing is getting to be very catchy," said Houston from the stage of her SF in-store appearance. (She was referring to her other appearance earlier in the year at the Hollywood store.)



The 61-year-old daughter of a Southern cotton farmer turned disco diva is touring in support of her new CD, A Woman's Touch, which is a mix of covers from people like Luther Vandross, Marvin Gaye, and Sting. Houston explained to the crowd why all of the songs that she sang were originally done by men, and not women, considering the name of her record: "Once Gladys, Chaka, or Aretha record a song," she said, "you don't need to go there!"




The audience was loaded with old queens (this being SF, after all), all there to pay homage to the woman who sang one of the top ten disco songs of all time, "Don't Leave Me This Way."


But besides being a disco icon, Houston is also an accomplished stage actress, and it showed in her delivery. She came out to the platform dressed like Tina Turner, in a tight tunic and leggings, with a shock of neatly dredded hair in a ponytail cascading around her. She placed a top hat upon her head, which had gigantic feathers dripping off of it. "This is my good luck thing," she joked, "my good voodoo spirit."


Accompanied only by a backing track and a microphone, she lit into her first song, "Wake Up," and then into an Al Green cover, "Love and Happiness." Before she sang it, she told the crowd a story about Al Green, and how she and a certain male friend of hers both had a crush on him in the '70s. "[This was] before the grits," she joked, referring to Green's run in with the law, a hot pot of porridge, and his woman's back.

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the signs are everywhere - deux ...

Posted by Whitmore, October 23, 2007 08:28pm | Post a Comment

As a ridiculously naive adolescent I thought of getting a tattoo of my favorite line by French surrealist writer and poet Arthur Rimbaud: “my wisdom is as scorned as chaos”… well in most ways we grow old, but in some ways we never mature… so here I am decades later, still tattoo free, (I will be the last musician on the planet not tattooed or pierced… it is my destiny!) and I find it now the time for the obligatory  “plagiarize or simply steal if necessary” blogging moment. My 14 year old brain was right and will always be right. Steal from Rimbaud because you can’t go wrong … besides, the signs are everywhere.

O! The vast highways of this god forsaken country, dotted endlessly with primary colored gas stations. Our shrines to shiny new SUV’s sucking fuel; build another on-ramp to another Arco, another Union 76, another Texaco with a KFC attached. For Christ’s sake, there can never be too many! Just remember, one day, I want my turn at greed and ingenuity! But first, where is the cheapest gas station? I must save three cents to every gallon! That’s 36 cents a tank full. If you add it up, that’s $1.44 from Seattle to Los Angeles. Or a 20 ounce cup of coffee at a 7-11! But then again, these are just numbers, simple math.

From that time to here, I can still see the old me in my rear view mirror! I remember the those beautifully crafted black and white Ford Crown Victoria highway patrol cars trying to lure me into a felony, they can’t stop me, I’m invisible, I have the entire 5 Freeway on my shoulder, at my hip, caressing me, pushing me, telling me to fly home like a homing pigeon over the battle of Verdun in 1916. Everyone is too busy killing each other to notice me overhead. 362,000 French and 337,000 Germans, nearly 700,000 men will die at Verdun with perhaps a million wounded, and I’ll fly over them like it’s a sunny Sunday afternoon in Central Park … but hey, please ignore the blathering of my brain, these are just numbers, and since there are no dollar signs in front of them … not enough people cared back then, so why care now.

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POPULAR TORRENT-SHARING NETWORK OiNK SHUT DOWN

Posted by Billyjam, October 23, 2007 07:19pm | Post a Comment

As reported by the BBC, the popular torrent-sharing network OiNK has been shut down in a joint operation by the British and Dutch police. The home of a 24-year-old IT worker from Middlesbrough, England plus his father's home were raided, as was his place of employment. Meanwhile, OiNK's Amsterdam based servers were also seized by the Dutch authorities. The BBC report speculated that OiNK was responsible for leaking 60 major pre-release albums this year to date and many stateside fans, who flooded message boards today, speculated that it was because of the more mainstream artists available on the network that the popular and high-fidelity network was busted.

According to the BBC report, the IT worker, allegedly the mastermind of the operation, "is being questioned on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and infringement of copyright law." As explained in a report on the bust by PitchForkMedia, OiNK was an invitation-only service in which "membership was maintained by
the consistent sharing of new music torrents. The more tunes you uploaded, the better your standing. Monetary donations were also encouraged."

Sea Monsters -- A Prehistoric Adventure -- 3-D at the California Science Center

Posted by Eric Brightwell, October 23, 2007 01:08pm | Post a Comment
The lovely and amazing Ngoc em accompanied me for a viewing of Sea Monsters at the California Science Center, a fact which you probably already gathered from the title and not from hours of watching Forensic Files. The film is structured like a lot of the (superior) BBC Walking With series that focuses on all those crazy monsters that didn't fit on Noah's Ark. Like the Allosaurus episode, Sea Monsters focuses on an slightly anthropomorphic female Dolichorhynchops and her search for a man amidst danger on all sides.


If you're a fan of magic lantern shows, or view masters, then you probably love 3-D. Well, really 4-D, because don't all movies have duration/time, width and height already? Why didn't William Castle think of that?


                     View Master!                                         Magic Lantern!                                 William Castle!

REST IN PEACE TO RICE-A-RONI CREATOR

Posted by Billyjam, October 23, 2007 12:11pm | Post a Comment

Rest in peace to Italian-American Napa Valley resident Vincent DeDomenico, who was the inventor of the "San Francisco treat," RIce-A-Roni, and who died in his sleep last Thursday at age 92. DeDomenico's legacy will live on forever and Rice-A-Roni is something that will always be synonymous with cable cars and San Francisco, California. Vincent was born in San Francisco in 1915 to Sicilian immigrants who had moved to California and set up the family business in San Francisco's Mission District -- the very rice a ronisuccessful Gragnano Products, Inc, which supplied pasta to Italian stores and restaurants all around San Francisco and which by the mid 1930's had changed its name to the Golden Grain Macaroni Company. A couple of decades later the invention of Rice-A-Roni would come about when in 1958, apparently inspired by the pilaf recipe of mixing rice and macaroni with some chicken broth, Vincent mixed all the ingrediants together dry: rice and macaroni plus a dry chicken soup mix and voila, "The San Francisco Treat" (its registered trademark) was born. Within four years Rice-A-Roni went national and just took off from there. By the 1960's it had become a cooking staple of US households and is still extremely popular to this day. In 1986 the Quaker Oats Company purchased the family business from the Golden Grain Company and has continued to expand its product line.

The catchy Rice-A-Roni advertising jingle is one that everyone seems to know and has become synonymous with the City by the Bay -- especially to outsiders/tourists -- because it repeatedly identifies with San Francisco imagery (including the sound of cable car bells). Additionally, the jingle has been sampled in many hip-hop releases and also the words "Rice-A-Roni" have been included in rap lyrics by both Bay Area and non Bay rap artists. Some rap songs over the years that have included the words "rice-a-roni" in their lyrics include Timbaland And Magoo's  "Up Jumps Da Boogie" from Welcome To Our World  featuring Missy when Magoo raps, "Eating Rice-A-Roni with Toni Toni Tone/Keep Cindy Crawford, to me she's to boney" and by the 2Live Crew in their take on Roy Orbison's "Pretty Woman" (the one that got Luther Campbell in a high profile lawsuit) with the lyrics, "Ya know what I'm saying you look better than rice a roni." 

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