Prism Entertainment 2255
Prism Entertainment 2255
Los Angeles is beautiful right now. The sky is almost completely blanketed with a thin layer of cloud, each cloud undercoated with gray as if it could start raining any moment. It won't, though. Not yet. We have a few weeks, maybe even a month before there's any significant rain, but still, this weather holds a promise that L.A. is moving out of its summer monotony of heat and dust. The wind is moving everything around, warm and round and humid, unlike the Santa Anas and their hot, lip-chapping blast. I'm ready. I want to have a good excuse to sit on the couch and watch a movie as the rain pours off the roof and through the huge oak in my front yard. I'm ready for a day that will welcome a centrepiece like James Yorkston's Year of the Leopard.
Yorkston plays a beautiful acoustic guitar and he writes a beautiful song. He kicked around Scotland and England for years in punk bands and the like, settling down to write the type of gorgeous tomes that Pete Paphides of The Times (London) called, “...songs that sound not so much written as carefully retrieved from your own subconscious, played with an intuition bordering on telepathy. " He's got a great, simultaneously warm and brittle voice that sometimes reminds of fellow Scot, David Gray. His songs are not too far afield from Gray's work, either, often underpinned by burbling electronics and synth washes that, surprisingly, never pull them out of the Brit-Folk context from which they emerge. Yorkston has toured with Beth Orton, David Gray, the Tindersticks, Turin Brakes, Lambchop after having come to many fans' attention through his opening slot on all 27 dates of John Martyn's 2001 tour.
Private Screenings / Media Home Entertainment PS551
Last year, for a few nights before Halloween, my roommate and I enjoyed a brief, Dracula themed movie marathon. Nested on the saggy couch in our 100 year old Chinatown flat, the two of us watched Dracula after bloody Dracula, eventually lighting on a few nuggets of pure entertainment delight. By the end of our brief waltz through several cinematic portrayals of Transylvania we discovered that we'd yet to hear a satisfactory soundtrack to F.W. Murnau's silent and beautiful Nosferatu (we alternated between two musical interpretations that were ultimately disappointing), that we loved the excellent extras that accompany the recent, two disc reissue of Francis Ford Coppola's heady and deeply symbolic Bram Stoker's Dracula (the mini-doc about the in-camera, naive effects employed in the film making is absolutely amazing), and that we sat awestruck in front of the TV while a brilliant collaboration between Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Canadian cult director Guy Maddin tantalized our eyes with their film Dracula: Pages From A Virgin's Diary (a marriage of said ballet's interpretation of Dracula and Maddin's singular, super-charged visual style). I have seen and loved many dance movies, but this has to be one of my very all time favorites because the dancing is more than just a part of the film, it is the film! Add to this the touch of Maddin's hand and I swoon like Lucy ready to receive her eternal kiss. It's that entrancing.
"This year Halloween fell on the weekend. Me and Geto Boys went trick or treatin,'" famously rapped Bushwick Bill in his verse on the Geto Boys classic 1991 rap hit "Mind Playing Tricks On Me." Whenever Halloween falls on a weekend night, especially a Friday -- providing the whole weekend to recover (and don't forget to change your clocks Saturday night/Sunday morning) -- there tend to be tons of parties jumping off and fun Halloween themed things to do including, of course, lots of costume contests.
And remember: there is no law against entering and winning as many different Halloween costume contests as you can physically get yourself and your costume to in one Halloween. So I suggest (especially in these hard economic times) that you try and win as many cash prizes as possible and further suggest if you hope to win that prize(s) that you avoid donning Sarah Palin, Joe The Plumber, Joe-Six-Pack, McCain, or Obama costumes (you will be up against too much competition) unless you can come up with some very original twist on such a topical (IE: obvious) choice.
Following below is a guide to some of the hip-hop flavored Halloween happenings around the Bay Area (most with costume contests), including of course the two Bay Area Amoeba Music Halloween events which note are both early (2PM) events since each store will close early tonight at 6PM. All others, unless specified, are nightclub events that start at 9PM and go til closing (2AM or later).
2:00PM - 6:00PM Amoeba Halloween Madness at both the Berkeley and San Francisco Amoeba stores this afternoon with the Horrific Halloween Costume Contests and DJ Sets at each location. At the Berkeley store there will be the spooktacular sounds of DJs Ralphus Fuad & I am Bloody Baby Tooth and a costume contest hosted by Jo-Nasty for a chance to win "an Amoeba Gift Certificate to DIE for!" Free, all ages. SF Amoeba's costume contest will be hosted by Mike Bee with the ghoulish sounds being thrown down by DJ Nero Nava. (Note that the Hollywood Amoeba is also hosting a special Halloween Shock-Hop with a host of in-house DJs starting early, at 5PM, since that store will close at 9PM tonight.