Amoeblog

California Fool's Gold -- Exploring Granada Hills

Posted by Eric Brightwell, October 30, 2007 06:05pm | Post a Comment
Today's Los Angeles neighborhood blog is about Granada Hills. To vote for another Los Angeles neighborhood, vote here. To vote for a Los Angeles County Community, vote here. To vote for Orange County neighborhoods, vote here.

I drove to Granada Hills today to buy a rug for Lush Floral Design head-honcho, Ngoc Nguyen. To get there I used the Ronald Reagan Freeway, named after an actor from Illinois who made some films which are widely regarded as being universally unmemorable. The ex-actor, after retiring from Hollywood, went on to sell weapons to the Iranian dictatorship using the profits to arm death squads in Central America. He also used funds designated for cleaning up toxic waste to fund instead the campaigns of sympathetic politicians and he closed institutions for the mentally ill, which flooded the street with hundreds of thousands of crazy new homeless people that now fill our jails, sidewalks and parks.

     

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The Tormentors

Posted by phil blankenship, October 29, 2007 06:56pm | Post a Comment
 





Trans World Entertainment 46001

Control

Posted by Eric Brightwell, October 29, 2007 11:21am | Post a Comment
    

I saw Control with Morten. It's the movie about Joy Division and more specifically Ian Curtis. It's funny because the first I heard of it was critics tripping over themselves to point out that they liked it though they'd never heard of the band. The point is always pretty much, "I'm a square. I'd never heard of these guys but I liked the movie, although for a rock band, they sure weren't that much fun." I wonder what those critics were listening to back then. To me, Joy Division is one of those bands that, if you have taste, you should've at least heard during their existence if you were teenage or older. I mean, how separate are the worlds of music and movies that you'd have us believe you've got great taste and an ear to the underground if you still haven't heard of Joy Division? What bigger independent bands were there in the late '70s? And didn't you review 24 Hour Party People not five years ago?

Back to the 24 Hour Party People then. When that came out I saw a lot of dour Raincoats leaving the theater expressing their wish that whole film had been about Ian Curtis and not those awful acid house Blue Tuesdays or whatever was going on after Ian Curtis' death, at which point their lot zoned out 'til the credits. Pity them. And I thought of how awful that would be -- a film about Joy Division. Biopics are so suspect. Made For Cable movies that sit in the wings like vultures to be released in theaters only in the event of the subject's death because what is an awful film will likely reap the awful rewards at the Oscars.

Control is directed by Anton Corbijn, which I didn't know till the end. Whatever you think of the guy, and I love his videos, you've got to admit that his images always have to easy to appreciate visuals. I mean, Bryan Adams got him to direct "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman," after all. He's f---ing Dutch, for Christ's sake.

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Newhart - the rumor mill

Posted by Eric Brightwell, October 29, 2007 10:22am | Post a Comment


My spies have told me that season 1 of Newhart is going to be released in the winter of 2008. Of all the shows based around Bob Newhart (the others being The Bob Newhart Show (1961-1972),
The Bob Newhart Show (1972-1978),



Bob
(1992-1993)


and the bizarrely-named George & Leo (1997)...

...Newhart (1982-1980) remains my favorite. Dick Loudon (Newhart) is a writer from New York City who buys an inn in a rural Vermont town populated by colorful locals who exist to exasperate Dick. I like Bob Newhart in all of his roles, which are essentially the same -- a mild-mannered, stammering straight man. A bit like Droopy Dog (minus Droopy's explosions of anger and muscle). As David Hyde Pierce observed, "The only difference between Bob Newhart on stage and Bob Newhart offstage – is that there is no stage."

Trivia -- the last two times that I flew, actress Julia Duffy and celebrated beauty Ngoc Nguyen were on the plane! Imagine my joy!

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COUNTRY MUSIC GREAT PORTER WAGONER DIES AT AGE 80

Posted by Billyjam, October 29, 2007 08:13am | Post a Comment
porter wagoner wagonmaster
Country music legend and longtime Grand Ole Opry host Porter Wagoner died last night (Oct 28th) of lung cancer at age 80, according to a news report posted on the Grand Ole Opry website.  Always a fighting spirit, Wagoner was active for most of his years, despite the fact that just a little over a year ago he had been seriously ill after suffering an intestinal aneurysm. He somehow overcame this serious medical prognosis to make a miraculous recovery followed by a career comeback with a series of memorable performances, including a wonderful appearance on The Late Show With David Letterman (see the video clip of it below). Wagoner also played Madison Square Garden as opening act for the White Stripes at the insistence of the Stripes, who are huge fans of Wagoner's music. Unfortunately since he went on so early, not a lot of folks had already arrived at the cavernous midtown Manhattan arena. Throughout his career Porter Wagoner boasted over eighty songs on the country music chart, nineteen of them duets with Dolly Parton, whose career he helped launch and whose careers are often connected. They were named "country duporter wagonero of the year" in 1970.

Truly a country music vet, Wagoner had recently celebrated his fiftieth year in the Opry (he joined the Opry in 1957) and a little earlier this year released the critically acclaimed album Wagonmaster on ANTI Records. Look for it along with other recordings from the Missouri-born artist in the country sections at Amoeba Music. Today's LA Times summed up Wagoner's legacy accurately by writing, "His showmanship, rhinestone suits and pompadoured hair made him famous, with his own syndicated TV show, The Porter Wagoner Show, for 21 years beginning in 1960. It was one of the first syndicated shows to come out of Nashville, and it set a pattern for many others." For more information on the late, great Porter Wagoner visit his official website.

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