Amoeblog

DOING IT IN THE PARK: NEW YORK CITY

Posted by Billyjam, September 10, 2007 06:48am | Post a Comment

You've gotta love New York City in the summer months (it's still summer, even if kids are back at school) when there is just so much great live music always happening outdoors in the city's many parks and open public spaces. And the best part is that it's usually free and always fun-- like last weekend when Battles put on an incredible show at South Street Seaport in lower Manhattan, or this weekend on Sunday (Sept. 9th) when legendary New York club DJ Danny Krivit spun dance music for skaters and regular dancers alike in Central Park near 72nd in front of the bandshell, just as he did last year.

Also on Sunday afternoon, at the exact same time, across the river in Brookyn's Prospect Park at the expansive park's Music Pagoda was the ever popular and hella fun 14th Annual Clubhouse Jamboree -- the big, free house music (and food) party thrown by generous New York house music lover and all around cool guy Lil Ray. Lil Ray not only goes to the trouble and expense of getting permits, hauling in a large sound system, and lining up all the DJs for the long afternoon, but he also feeds near all of the thousand or so revelers that converge in the middle of the Brooklyn Park to dance their asses off to throbbing club house music every year on the second weekend of each September for the past fourteen years.

At about 6:45PM, right after DJ Spinna (pictured top left) -- the last DJ of the day -- had just finished his energetic set, and immediately after Lil Ray (pictured left) had thanked the vocally grateful gathering for supporting house music and for showing up to his annual party, I talked with the man for a moment. First I asked him why he has been throwing this big free party, at his expense, since 1994. "To show love for house music," he answered with a wide smile. "When I started the Clubhouse Jamboree it was a different time. There was no Internet to hear the music. [Back] then there really was little or no house music to be heard outside the clubs. And I wanted to take the music outside...into the park, and here in Brooklyn," he said. He added that his goal from that first party was to represent a variety of sounds within house music. "I always wanted to give different DJs from different clubs a chance to do their thing." So just how many people did he think he fed (the event was fully catered with full dinner plates of fish, rice, and vegetables, etc) of the approximate thousand strong that showed up on Sunday? "Well I brought 700 forks," he laughed. "And all the food is gone." So were the drinks, which included water and Cokes (which were care of Coca Cola, but everything else was at the expense of this generous New Yorker). Besides Spinna, the DJs for the afternoon included Ian Rock, DJ Wil Milton (Gravity), Brian Coxx (Soulgasm), and the young DJ sibling duo The Martinez Brothers.

MTV VMA'S...

Posted by Brad Schelden, September 9, 2007 11:45pm | Post a Comment

Tonight was the broadcast of the MTV video music awards. I grew up loving MTV and I loved watching the music videos of my favorite new bands. I was introduced to a lot of new music by seeing their videos for the first time on MTV. I didn't even have cable for years, but I would watch MTV whenever I got a chance at a friends house or my grandparent's house. I even watched that first little reality show called "The Real World" when if first aired. Back when it was one of the only non music video related shows. The times they have changed on MTV. This is the schedule for MTV tomorrow.

6am -9:30am (videos...for real...some videos on in the early morning when nobody is watching)
9:30-1:00pm (my super sweet 16...reality show)
1:00-3:30pm (2 1/2 hours of bad rich kid o.c. style reality shows such as the hills, etc.)
3:30-4:30pm (total request live...partial videos with lame commentary and crowd shots)
4:30-6:00pm (another 1 1/2 hours of bad reality shows about rich o.c. kids and some stupid game show)
6:00-8:00pm (the real world...this show is now beyond ridiculous)
8:00-1:00am (5 more hours of reality shows about rich spoiled white kids with relationship problems and a show about a 17 year old pro skater with some issues)
1:00-2:00am (celebrity rap superstar....reality show)
2:00-4:00am (parental control...reality show in which the parents choose who their kids go on dates with)
4:00-9:00am (music videos and total request live...so the only place to watch videos is in the early morning)

So in one 24 hour period on MTV there are only 6 1/2 hours devoted to anything that is remotely related to music videos. Of the remaining 17 1/2 hours, only one show has anything remotely to do with music or music videos. The other shows really have no place on a show calling itself "Music Television." This is seriously a typical day for MTV. The only difference this year is that in order to try and get better ratings for the live airing of the awards show, they decided to not repeat the show over and over again the next day. I can think of countless shows they could have on MTV that would actually fit into a station supposedly devoted to music videos. They should obviously play more videos. Even Justin Timberlake realized this. He made a little shout out against MTV when he won his awards tonight, begging them to play more videos and less reality shows. There are so many interesting people in the music business. They could have hours and hours of interesting documentaries on so many different musicians. There are also so many amazing videos that they could still show. They could have hour long shows devoted to old 80s and 90s videos or have shows that showed artists earlier videos. They could have great themed video hours. Indie (alternative) videos, metal videos, hip hop videos, r & b videos, electronica vidoes. They did have shows like this before. Alternative Nation, Yo! MTV raps, and Headbangers Ball were on every single day. 120 minutes was on every Sunday and always showed some amazing videos that did not usually get shown on MTV. They did have a game show called remote control, and a couple cartoons like beavis & buthead, daria and aeon flux. But even Beavis & Buthead showed music videos. And these shows never took over the programming. There was always more than just a couple hours of videos. I know that MTV now has MTV2 and some other shows on the higher up cable packages. But the original MTV should still have music as their focus. If they really feel that people need reality shows or fake reality shows, they could at least try and make them about music.

For some reason I always watch this awards show. It is fun to see what all the music stars are wearing and there are usually at least a couple performances worth watching. The show tried to be different again this year by moving to Las Vegas with the show happening in different fancy hotel rooms all at the same time. There was a Kanye West room and a Fall Out Boy room. What everybody could not stop talking about was the opening number by Britney Spears. This should have been her big comeback. Her new album, whenever it comes out, may still do OK. But this performance was boring and sort of uninspired. Britney seemed bored herself and didn't seem to really even try and pretend that she was really singing.  Chris Brown and Rhianna had an amazing performance. That little Chris Brown is a great little performer. Alicia Keys was awesome like she always is. And the closing number with Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, Nelly Furtado, and Keri Hilson was fantastic. The sets and the dancers and the lasers were all awesome. It was also great to see Dr. Dre have a surprise appearance.  One of the most depressing things about the show was the commercials for all the horrible new MTV reality shows that are premiering soon. A fake show about a britney spears type and a reality dating show about some model famous for being on the cover of Maxim magazine. This is what we have to look forward to. 

Hollywood Cop

Posted by phil blankenship, September 9, 2007 11:32pm | Post a Comment
 







Celebrity Video 4001

Alex the Parrot

Posted by Whitmore, September 9, 2007 09:51pm | Post a Comment

  The Alex Foundation has announced that the
  world famous African Grey Parrot, Alex, died 
  on September 7, 2007. The cause of death is
  unknown but an announcement is expected
  later this week, though it has been suggested
  that Alex might have died from Aspergillosis, a
  fungal infection of the lungs he has battled in
  the past.


  Alex was purchased by Dr. Irene Pepperberg
  at a Chicago pet store in 1977. He has been
  the featured parrot for more than 30 years of
  research into the intelligence of African Grey
  Parrots, most recently at the Department of
  Psychology at Brandeis University in
  Waltham, MA. The name Alex is actually an
  acronym, A.L.EX., standing for Avian Learning
  EXperiment.

Alex’s intelligence was said to be quite amazing. He had a vocabulary of more than a 100 words, but what was exceptional about him was that he appeared to understand what he actually said. For example, when Alex was shown an object and was asked about its shape, color, or material, he could label it correctly. According to a New York Times article in 1999 he could “identify 50 different objects and cognize quantities up to 6; that he could distinguish 7 colors and 5 shapes, and understand the concepts of ‘bigger’, ‘smaller’, ‘same’, and ‘different’,’ and that he was learning ‘over’ and ‘under’.” Pretty amazing if you ask me, I know some people who can’t “cognize” that well themselves…

I use to have a cockatiel, Mordecai, named after the turn of the century ballplayer Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown … and let me tell you that bird was also pretty damn smart … at least I thought so until he flew out the door into the big bad city oblivion of east Hollywood … oh Mordecai, I hope your still out there buzzing around, livin’ large or at least as large as a little yellow cockatiel can live!

September 8, 2007

Posted by phil blankenship, September 9, 2007 12:55am | Post a Comment
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