Amoeblog

Notes From The Amoeba Hollywood Latin Pop & Rock Section - Three New Releases You Must Have

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, June 19, 2007 01:36am | Post a Comment
mala rodriguez     
Out June 26th -

Hip-hop en Español via Spain.

A Spaniard's lisp
never sounded so cool!






Out July 26th -

Electronic cumbia, rock and mambo via Mexico.

¡Que chido!







Out now  -

Greatest hits + three bonus tracks from Cuba's best hip-hop group.

A must have if you missed the boat on their previous releases!

Luis Rodriguez Part One: The Discovery Of Luis Rodriguez (and Nik Turner)

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, June 18, 2007 11:31pm | Post a Comment
always running lius rodriguez
I remember the first time I heard about Luis Rodriguez; it was 1993 and I was reading Lowrider Magazine. In between the pages of vintage bombs, girls and ads for rims, there was a feature on Luis and his book, Always Running. In the article he spoke about his past as a gang member and how writing had changed his life. He also mentioned that his teenage son, who was starting to get into trouble himself, was the reason for writing the book. It made me want to read Always Running, so I went around to a few bookstores in my neighborhood but no one carried it. Soon I lost the drive to find the elusive book and forgot all about it. I guess it wasn’t my time to read it.

Fast forward to 1995. I wanted to get the hell out of Los Angeles. I felt isolated. I had no sense of community or belonging so I got a job selling t-shirts for the band Nik Turner’s Space Ritual. Nik was a founding member of Hawkwind, the influential space-rock group. The band had several other ex-Hawkwind members but due to legal reasons they could not use the name Hawkwind. There were fifteen of us touring in an old school bus with no air conditioning. It was the middle of summer during a horrendous heat wave. At every stop the thick heat and humidity followed. After a while I didn’t know what it felt like to be dry. I've never sweated so much in my life! Most of the shows on the tour were complete caves. The shows were booked in thousand capacity venues with only thirty people in attendance. The former members of Hawkwind, who once played in front of festival size audiences, never once complained about the ill-attended shows or the extreme heat. Every night the over fifty-year old space rockers gave it their all. It was inspiring to say the least, to see these older men bring it every night.

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what is coming out today...6/19...maps...art brut...

Posted by Brad Schelden, June 18, 2007 10:00pm | Post a Comment
Today is the big exciting day of the new White Stripes album "Icky Thump." I am going to let my fellow blogger Miss Ess review that one. I like what I have heard so far. But that girl is like their number one fan. Not in a creepy Kathy Bates Misery kind of way. But almost. I will spend some time today talking about two smaller albums coming out. First up is the new album by Maps called "We Can Create."

Maps is basically James Chapman. He is from Northampton, England. He has been releasing singles for a while now, slowly gathering his fans. This is one of those albums that I was immediately drawn to and liked right away. But I also knew that it would become one of those albums that my love would continue to grow for. Now listening to it for the 4th or 5th time I am quickly falling in love. It is kind of amazing that he used no computer or fancy programs to make this album. I can already hear people complaining that the album is too electronic and computer generated sounding. But like I said, no computers. He did it mostly himself with tape loops.

The album feels very warm and fuzzy. He is obviously influenced by some of the shoe gaze of the 90's like My Bloody Valentine and Lush. But also by the early electronic groups of the same period. And on some of the songs I even hear a bit of Beach Boys. Which is weird for me to even notice, since I happen to hate the Beach Boys. But I do hear it. However, it does not ruin the album for me. You can also hear a bit of Sigur Ros or Album Leaf or maybe some Postal Service. The album is consistently good. There is not just a couple good songs. It consistently works. James is bound to find his fans in the U.S. just as he has abroad. He has sort of a nice soothing pop voice. Kind of like Ben Gibbard from Death Cab for Cutie and Postal Service. It mixes nice with the electronics. It is less cold and distant than you would expect with this sort of electronic instrumentation. He will quickly make his way into your heart. I think.

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UNDERDOGS, COMMON THEME IN DOUG PRAY'S FILMS

Posted by Billyjam, June 18, 2007 08:31am | Post a Comment

Los Angeles based documentary film-maker Doug Pray (Hype!, Scratch, Infamy)'s latest release is Big Rig, a documentary about the subculture of contemporary truck-drivers. The film premiered at Austin's SXSW fest in March. Pray's latest production, Surfwise, is a documentary about the dynamics of a unique surfing family. The filmmaker says that the distinct common thread between each of his documentaries is that each tells the story of misunderstood individuals. "They're all subcultures... groups (that) have been misperceived. I see their characters as underdogs," he said. His first film was the 1996 documentary Hype!, which was literally about the hype behind the North West's underground "grunge scene" and how exactly that music was transformed, neatly packaged, and sold to the gullible masses. His next and even better known film (which won numerous awards) was Scratch, about the the rise and history of the hip-hop DJ/turntablist. It was followed by Infamy, a documentary about six graffiti artists plus one anti-graffiti activist.


To director Pray there is an obvious common thread between each of the films' subjects. Speaking of Hype!, Scratch, and Infamy, he said, "They're all subcultures which I never set out to do but it is interesting how things turn out. All three groups were misperceived in general and I think that's what's in common with all three. Like the way people in Seattle felt that their movement had been packaged and kind of sold to the masses as something that it wasn't -- that was a reason to make a movie because I was there and I thought 'You know what?' What the world thinks about this music community is not what they're saying it really is!' Same thing with the deejays in Scratch. It was sort of like everybody, as in mainstream America, thought they knew what hip-hop was and what the hip-hop DJs were saying was really different from this perception...It's all the same thing -- same thing with Infamy about the graffiti artists."
 

Before he began shooting the director mistakenly thought that Infamy would turn out to be an upbeat celebration of bright, beautiful graffiti art. Instead, it turned out be an engrossing, dark portrayal of obsessed artists who commit felonies, constantly risking jail time just to create their art. "Graffiti artists are manic depressive," confesses graffiti artist Saber in one engaging scene. Infamy is unlike other graffiti films. "Most graf films are made in such earnest from a graffiti art fan's perspective that they often overlook the human element," said Pray, who deliberately limited the number of subjects profiled in his film. "I didn't want to have 30 artists in there and just get to know a little about (each of) them. I wanted to really focus on just six artists. I wanted to make a movie where you really got to know the person, their family, their peers, their crew...One of the differences with graffiti and others is that it is really demented...It is an obsession and it is both very stimulating and it leads to trouble...it is unlike any other art because it is a felony."  

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the best movies of the 80's...the first of many lists

Posted by Brad Schelden, June 17, 2007 12:58pm | Post a Comment
I am a bit obsessed with making lists of things. As a small child I remember making lists of everything. It might have something to do with my need to organize my life. I just like to remember things and to organize them into nice little lists. So this will be the first of my lists that I offer to you. There was recently a list of movies going around on myspace. It was a random list of mostly blockbuster movies that you were to check off the ones you had seen. This got me thinking about what would go on my list of movies. So I decided to go through that list inside my brain and write down my favorite movies of the 80's. A very formative period for me and many others. It was a decade of many great movies. Movies that simply can't be made now. Most of them are great simply because of the memories attached to them. Many of them seen in theaters and then many more times on TV. Many of them rented from one of my favorite video stores. Most of them watched late at night with my friends. Some of them watched again in the theater at midnight screenings. Many of them watched with directors commentaries on DVD years later. Many of my favorites were made in the late 70's and 1979 specifically. Alot of the great horror movies like The Omen and The Exorcist came out in the 70s. David Cronenberg and John Waters made some of their best films in the 70s. 1979 was not only a great year for music but for film as well. 1978 was the year of Halloween, Dawn of the Dead, and Piranha. In 1979 came Aliens, The Warriors, Over the Edge, Amityville Horror, and The Brood. But it was really all about the 80's. I don't know where I would be without these movies. It was really hard to put them in order. But they are roughly organized starting with my favorite.

top 100 movies of the 80s


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