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TALES FROM THE CRYPT

Posted by Brad Schelden, July 26, 2007 08:53pm | Post a Comment
Tales From the Crypt. Do you remember that show? I sure do. This was before HBO became the best place to watch television shows. But they still had some good programming. Long before we were all addicted to Six Feet Under and The Sopranos. Tales From the Crypt ran on HBO from 1989-1996. The show would have probably not survived and for sure not been as good if it were just on regular network television. Shows like the Twilight Zone were able to still be amazing on network TV without showing any nudity or graphic violence. But these were different times. We were all accustomed to seeing a lot of blood and violence with our horror at this point. And HBO could get away with that. The great thing about this show was its guest stars. Each episode had a new batch of guest stars. So it sort of was like "The Twilight Zone" or "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" of the early 90's. I tried to watch the show whenever I got a chance. But I have started collecting the DVD's since they started coming out in 2005. Season 6 was just released this week. And the final season comes out October 23rd.

I am not sure where my fascination with horror came from. It probably started before 1989. But this show definitely helped to cement it into my consciousness. I remember the excitement I would feel whenever I could catch an episode. The opening sequence really set up the show every evening. The Cryptkeeper was sort of the Rod Serling of the show. Maybe Rod Serling mixed with Sophia from the Golden Girls. He used a lot of those horrible jokes and puns we have all heard a million times. He was basically a sickly little skeleton voiced by  Josh Kassir. Josh has done a ton of voiceover work. But this was his shining moment. He also did the voice for the cartoon "Tales from the Cryptkeeper" which was on from 1993-1997.

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Apocalypse Now: The I-POD

Posted by Miss Ess, July 26, 2007 07:28pm | Post a Comment
i-pod apple

It was my birthday this weekend and I got one of these new-fangled devices: The I POD.  I know I am super late on this, but hey I grew up in a household that only got rid of its wood-paneled answering machine within the last 5 years, so I have always been more than a little slow on these things, ask anyone.  Despite the existence of this blog, I am not a huge fan of technology. 

So, the I Pod. 

I drive a car that's from 1993.  It has its original stereo, a tape deck.  At the suggestion ofhonda civic other more technologically inclined folks in my life, I've tried getting CDs to play in there with the whole tape-to-CD Walkman contraption, to no avail.  I resigned myself to listening to tapes and the radio, and had given up hope on anything else.  When it was suggested to me to try an I Pod, I scoffed in said suggestor's face.  I didn't even want to give it a go.  But I was eventually convinced and to my amazement, the suggestor's  I Pod WORKED....I realized I could listen to ANYTHING I WANTED IN MY CAR!  But I STILL didn't want to cave and get an I Pod.  Technology, you see.  It scares me.  Like I said, I just am not a fan.  Too complicated.

record player vinylAlso, I am kind of old skool in general.  I like to play records.  I consider records a superior way to "take" my  music.  It sounds the best.  I know that sounds maybe snobby, but I truly believe it.  I like to see artwork.  I like to see liner notes.  I like to feel and smell and see all of it together....I guess what I am saying is that at its best music is a sensual experience for me.  The idea of this little computer holding all of that seems kind of cold and most definitely uninviting.

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SHOWTIME AT THE APOLLO TRYOUTS IN OAKLAND THIS WEEKEND

Posted by Billyjam, July 26, 2007 04:49pm | Post a Comment
This weekend, on Saturday (July 28th), from 10AM til 1PM, is your chance to be a star when the world-famous Apollo Theater of Harlem, NY will make its once a year visit to California in search of "amateur" talent for upcoming Showtime At The Apollo shows back in New York City at the historic 125th Street venue. This year the producers of the show will only visit five American cities outside of New York in search of talent, so this is a great opportunity to try out if you are an aspiring entertainer, whether you are a singer, rapper, spoken-word artist, comedian, dancer, musician, etc. And on Saturday their only West Coast tryouts will be held at the Oakland Convention Center located at 1001 Broadway in downtown Oakland.  

If you plan on attending the tryouts (for which there is no charge and which are based on a first come, first served basis) I suggest you get in line earlier than the scheduled 10AM door opening time. The first 300 in line will be admitted to audition. But even though the cut off time is 1PM, the actual tryouts inside the auditorium will last long past that -- until 6PM or possibly even later, so pack a sandwich and bring lots of water and sunscreen (you might be in line outside for hours). And another tip is to get lots of rest the night before so you are at your best.

A couple of months ago I attended one of the twice-a-year tryout sessions held in New York and wrote about it for the New York Press. What amazed me most was the level of quality talent that showed up to audition. I enjoyed the tryouts even more than the actual Amateur Night at the Apollo (held every Wednesday for the past 73 years) and am looking forward to attending the Oakland session -- I am scheduled to write a report about it for the San Francisco Bay Guardian.

If you go on Saturday be prepared, and know that you will have only up to ninety seconds to display your skills -- so, if for example you are a singer with a backing track burnt on CDR or cassette, have it ready in your hand to pass over to the sound tech person. The contest is open to all ages but children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Below are the exact rules of the audition. For even further information visit the Apollo Theater website.

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scattered to the winds

Posted by Whitmore, July 26, 2007 01:50pm | Post a Comment

Scattered … That’s where I am these days, early July. Completely to the wind all up and down the west coast.

If I’m not in the middle of packing up some 350 boxes of household items, toys, records, and books, and moving from an island in the Puget Sound back to my native Los Angeles, I ‘m sitting in a van doing a small tour back up the coast to the northwest with the band Listing Ship, this schedule is hell.

(We've been waiting on the uber-semi-truck filled with 11,000 pounds of personal possessions, finally it arrived, I bid a big hello to the movers and all my newly-arrived-to-LA crap … found a change of clothes, found some musical gear, kissed goodbye my wife and son and hit the 5 Freeway North in a cargo van with six other band members, first gig tomorrow night. It’s hardly a coincidence my life is so scattered. “Can I self-medicate now, please, Doctor, sir, please?”)

Truthfully ...  (yet not exactly), the biggest excuse for not getting around to this post until now -- ostensibly about my favorite subject, 7 inch 45’s, (I had promised something blog-like for the good people at Amoeba almost two weeks ago) -- touring was the first dent in responsibility, but the installation of the magic window that is cable TV in our new rental and just in time for the Tour de France was actually the culprit.

For me, July is inevitably about my birthday, BBQ’ed sausages on the 4th (just meat--none of this mango/pesto/tofu crap, save those ingredients for a smoothie) and bicycle racing in France. My money for the 2007 Tour was on Alexandre Vinokourov. He would have been my choice to win the Tour last year but his old team, Astana-Würth, was ripped to shreds after five of its riders were implicated in the “Operación Puerto” doping case and scandal, leaving Vinokourov with only three teammates and not even a pot to piss in (pun intended). Last year in 2006 Vinokourov wasn't implicated in the doping scandal, however as of this morning all that has changed. On Tuesday Alexandre Vinokourov tested positive for a banned blood transfusion after winning last Saturday’s time trial, prompting him and his team Astana to pull out of the 2007 Tour de France. I’m broken hearted once again. “So it ain’t so Vino.”

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marking the beginning of a new venture -- or, my first post

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 26, 2007 11:49am | Post a Comment
I finally got around to watching the most recent 北野 武 Takeshi Kitano dvd the other night-- 2005's  Takeshis' ...

It concerns an established actor, Beat Takeshi, and his crossing paths with a struggling actor, Takeshi Kitano. A significant number of the cast play dual roles, which I was embarrassingly slow to comprehend, given the fairly confusing abstractions within film. As Beat Takeshi, Kitano plays himself as boorish and self-important and satirizes his own artistic conventions to comic effect. In his film-within-a-film, he plays a bandaged yakuza character. Annoyed by cicadas at his Okinawan hideaway, his character "unexpectedly" shoots his girlfriend before turning the gun on himself.

The second half of the film grows even less conventional. Sometimes it just seemed strange for the sake of being strange. It moved toward abstraction like David Lynch's last few films have, as if to bait the deluded fans into comparing their own narrative reconstructions. I started to lose a bit of interest at that point since that kind of "artistic innovation" became pretty cliché long before my parents even met.
One ingredient I quickly realized was possibly detracting from my enjoyment was the absence of longtime musical collaborator Joe Hishaishi (or, Hisaishi Joe, Mamoru Fujisawa's Nipponized version of "Quincy Jones"), whose moody, jazz and Japanese-influenced scores have always contributed to the tone of Kitano's previous films so complimentarily. I guess Takeshi Kitano and Joe Hisaishi got into it on the set of the amazing Dolls a few years back and lamentably ended their artistic arrangement. Apparently, Kitano saw Hisaishi walking in the rain with Hayao Miyazaki.

 


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