Amoeblog

Spirit of Armenia

Posted by Eric Brightwell, August 2, 2007 06:22pm | Post a Comment
I checked out the "Spirit of Armenia!" Sunday night up at the Hollywood Bowl with my beloved Ngoc em. I've lived in Los Angeles. for more than a few years now and, shamefully, it was my first time up there. I'd definitely like to go back soon.

Anyway, I didn't know what to expect at all. My exposure to Armenian music is mostly limited to KSCI where I've seen seen more than enough Tupac-indebted gangsta rap. Still, I would possibly prefer that to my even stronger dislike of five thousand-year-old tunes played on a fretless bass.

The Bowl was pretty full. Even though we were outside and there was no smoking except outside, the air hung heavy with cigarette/cigar smoke and perfume. We brought 2 Buck Chuck and cheese with sesame pita chips. We found our seats. Saw a couple of friends near us but sat where we were assigned.

I don't think I've ever been to one of those concerts with the big screens projecting what's going on the stage before. No lie, I think the biggest concert I'd ever been to (before last night) was Big Audio Dynamite in a park in 1992.

I found myself alternating between squinting at the stage and craning at the big screens. I wished I'd brought binoculars or opera glasses or something. It's like being at a sports bar. Even if you want to focus on something, the televisions all around hypnotize with their pretty colors! It's even more difficult to look away when you're periodically blinded by the gleam of gargantuan images of Adiss Harmandian cracking smirks and busting out in his Tom Jones-like gestures.

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We Already Knew This, But Miss Dolly Parton Is One Smart Broad!

Posted by Miss Ess, August 2, 2007 01:54pm | Post a Comment
One of my all time favorites, Miss Dolly Parton, is also one shrewd business lady!
dolly parton guitar
After shopping around for a new record label, she has decided to instead start her own record label:
Dolly Records!  Her first album for the label will be released in February!
dolly parton 1960s

AND the most exciting part is that she will be touring in March!!!!  PLEASE Dolly, stop somewhere in the Bay Area.  We are tragically ignored by Miss Parton for reasons I do not understand.  Clearly, there are soooooooo many fans here.......

...as she hopefully noticed when she played the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival a few years back. Thousands came out and packed the field just to catch a glimpse of and a tune from Dolly.


dolly parton
I had the honor of attending and, as I have mentioned before in this blog, I was brought to tears, and no, it had nothing to do with her blinding turquoise ice skating type dress.

Although the spectacle of it certainly did add to the experience.
I am ready for a full set in an indoor venue. BRING IT DOLLY!

By creating her own record label, Miss Parton stands to make much, much more dough and have much, much more freedom to create whatever she pleases than if dolly partonsomeone else had control of her record(s).

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TOM SNYDER vs. JOHN LYDON

Posted by Billyjam, August 2, 2007 01:00pm | Post a Comment
In all of the tributes written about skilled American television host Tom Snyder,  who passed  this week  at age 71 - a victim of leukemia,  one common accolade was how the TV host with the personal yet tough interview style, really knew how to listen to his subjects - something very rare in most television talk show hosts, especially today.  Additionally, unlike most commercial television interviews which never seem to ow to delve deep, his interviews were conducted with enough time for the able host to really allow him, and us, to get to know his guests.

But of all of the interviews he conducted on his NBC program The Tomorrow Show the clip below (in my opinion) is one of the most compelling to watch.  It is Snyder's 1980 interview with both John Lydon (formerly Johnny Rotten) and his Public Image Limited  (PIL) band-mate Keith Levene. Bear in mind that by this stage that Rotten as main spokesman of the Sex Pistols had earned a justified reputation as one of the most difficult and unpredictable interviewees for any  radio or  television host.  But watch it and witness how brilliantly Snyder handles his tough subject and how Lydon, used to knocking over - especially older generation - interviewers seems to have finally met his match and has to struggle a bit to keep in character and try to maintain an upper hand. 

The end result is a perfect sparring match, with both Snyder and Lydon puffing away on cigarettes, that makes for the most engaging type of TV.  Do me a favor: watch it and in the COMMENTS box below rate (on a scale of 1 to 5)  both Snyder's and Lydon's performances. EG:   Tom = 3,  John = 3.

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Tuba's, Urban Spacemen and the Bonzos

Posted by Whitmore, August 2, 2007 10:35am | Post a Comment

I've never met a man I didn't mutilate. I only wish I had said that first.
I might be happier today.

A funny thing happened on the way to listening to some Bonzo Dog Band vinyl. I think I’ve finally found an answer to the ol’ question “When did the attitudes of the free wheelin’ 60’s shift in the 70’s, and is there an exact date when it was nailed into the proverbial American forehead?” I think the answer lies in the sound of a tuba.

Side Note: not only am I something of a record geek, I’m also a closeted history geek, and I kind of believe in what philosopher George Santayana once said: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to have it shoved up their friggin’ asses!” (Okay, maybe it didn’t go quite like that)

Of course there was a difference between the late 60’s and the early 70’s. Perhaps not a great defining difference (at least not until disco hit big), but let’s say as different as “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” compared to “Blue Bonnet” margarine, or olive oil to canola oil. Actually ignore that part. But there was a slight imperceptible change in attitude somewhere early on in the 70’s and I believe I‘ve uncovered, for my thesis, the linchpin date.

Of course it just dawned on me not everyone knows The Bonzo Dog Band. Created in the early 1960’s by British art-school students (art school, where all great bands begin!) the Bonzos started out playing mostly traditional jazz, early century novelty and British music hall songs.

Later they combined those elements with rock, adding touches of psychedelia and dadaism to confound the public at large. They released about 4 or 5 albums, and toured the US with The Who and The Kinks. Eventually they were aligned with Monty Python's Flying Circus, having met several future members on the set of the children's television show, Do Not Adjust Your Set, where the Bonzo’s were the resident house band. They disbanded in 1970 but had one reunion album released in 1972. There you have it … in a nutshell.

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IF YOU TAKE A PHOTO YOU ARE SUPPORTING TERRORISM

Posted by Billyjam, August 2, 2007 12:01am | Post a Comment

I understand that many of the readers of this AMOEBLOG may not dwell in New York City or be anywhere even close to the East Coast, but the issue that is planned to be protested today (Thursday, August 2nd) in NYC -- fighting the possible ban on our freedom to take photographs in public places in New York City -- is something that seriously affects all of our civil liberties.

Here's the deal with this latest possible ban (bear in mind it may not even happen or may not be enforced even if it is made law) as reported recently by the New York Times and by a New York City politically charged group called NYC 911 Truth.
They say that the proposed banning would essentially mean that any non-insured still photographer or filmer, solo and more specifically a team of camera operators, would be targeted by this proposed ban that calls for a requirement of a one million dollar liability insurance policy in addition to a permit for various photography and filming actions that occurs for more then 10 minutes.

Reportedly the city claims it is only enforcing and "adjusting" old permit laws, to justify these actions. The police department has stated it will begin enforcing the laws, as of today August 2nd. Hence the planned protests for today, which are scheduled for protesters to begin gathering at 4:30PM today (Thursday August 2nd) at City Hall, downtown New York City to challenge the Mayor Bloomberg-enduced ban on filming and photography. 

If indeed this ban were to fully go into effect (and even in these crazy post 9/11 paranoid times seems unlikely, but possible), the implications would be very great and far-reaching. For example, at one NYC Critical Mass gathering I attended some time back (like in SF, also held on last Friday of the month) there were countless cyclists (unfairly in my opinion) arrested by the ever-vigilant NYPD, who packed them into the backs of Paddy Wagons and hauled their asses off to jail.

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