Amoeblog

nothing out today 7/3...but there is this movie called transformers...

Posted by Brad Schelden, July 2, 2007 10:03pm | Post a Comment
In honor of the fourth of july the record labels are not putting much out today. Nothing worth me talking about at least. Besides Velvet Revolver, Collie Buddz, T.I. and Kelly Rowland. I don't really like to do bad reviews about things I know that I am not going to like. So I will not waste your time. But there is something I can't stop thinking about and that would be the new Transformers movie. I am allowing myself to talk about it only because the official soundtrack to the movie does come out tomorrow. So it kind of all ties in to today's street date.

It is really hard for this soundtrack to compete with the awesomeness that was the original soundtrack to the original 1986 Transformers movie. We have songs by Smashing Pumpkins, Linkin Park, the Used, HIM, and a new theme song by Mute Math. Nothing too exciting. It just gets me a bit more excited for the film. I did pick up the 20th anniversary special edition DVD of the original 1986 "Transformers The Movie." And it really is awesome. Just in case you forgot, this movie "starred" the voices of Judd Nelson, Leonard Nemoy, Casey Kasem, Scatman Crothers, Orson Welles, Robert Stack, and Eric Idle. This was the last film for both Orson Welles and Scatman Crothers.  This movie was obviously a big deal. The original TV series was on from 1984 to 1987. I was ten when the show first started and became obsessed with the show and got a lot of the toys. The show was basically one big commercial to go out and buy the toys. But one can really say the same thing about Star Wars or any movie aimed at kids. I didn't know about any of this as a kid. I just knew that I loved myself some transformers. This movie was rated PG which allowed it to be a sort of more adult movie. This was the movie that killed off its hero Optimus Prime. The themes were a bit more mature and the 80s soundtrack was aimed at an older audience. The soundtrack is by Vince Dicola. Vince not only did most of the music for Staying Alive, directed by Sylvester Stallone, but also was featured on the Rocky IV soundtrack. Sylvester Stallone obviously knew a thing or two about music.  This DVD features some amazing extra features. Commentaries by the director and also fans. Tons of trivia and trailers and some documentaries. The movie really is a classic of its time but it really is the music that holds it all together. But don't worry the original soundtrack is still in print if you want to pick that up as well.

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AMOEBA MUSIC STORES' MURALS

Posted by Billyjam, July 2, 2007 04:00pm | Post a Comment

If you've ever checked out the murals on the outside walls of the three Amoeba Music stores (Hollywood, Berkeley, San Francisco), you may have noticed a similarity in styles between all three. That's because the same two artists, Larry Smulian as designer and Brian Blesser as art executor, contributed their art to the outside of all three music stores.  "Larry does all our ad art, and Brian did our murals on the front of Berkeley way back when, and the side of Haight street, and the top of the front of Haight," said Amoeba Music's Marc Weinstein.

Note that these artists contributed to the Ivar side of the Hollywood Amoeba (not the Cahuenga side of building -- more on that art and the artist who created it in a later Amoeblog) and that they are not responsible for the graffiti art side of the Haight Street store.

Most of the pics displayed here in this BLOG are from the Haste Street side of the Berkeley Amoeba Music store and are chosen because they are among this blogger's favorites for many reasons, including the historical content's significance -- mainly the fact that they represent the period during the 1960's history of Berkeley's Peoples Park, which is steeped in radical political activism, not to mention that People's Park is directly behind Amoeba Berkeley in the same block bordered by Telegraph & Bowditch and Haste & Dwight.

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WHAT IF IAN CURTIS HADN'T HUNG HIMSELF?

Posted by Billyjam, July 1, 2007 08:56pm | Post a Comment
joy division
One recent afternoon, while ambling through the rock vinyl aisles of Amoeba Berkeley, my eye caught that great Joy Division album cover Unknown Pleasures. Wow, I thought, just how perfect is that cover artwork that was actually taken from an edition of the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Astronomy? And how even more perfect is that whole album -- originally released on June 15th, 1979? I could listen to it and everything by Joy Division a million times over and never get tired of hearing it. Even the over-played and over-covered "Love Will Tear Us Apart" (released a month after Curtis' suicide) never ages in my head. Perhaps part of the greatness of all this music is that it is frozen in time, never having to be matched by later releases from a band that came to an abrupt early end after the tragically troubled lead-singer Ian Curtis had literally kicked the bucket -- instantly making him and Joy Division stuff of music legend, to be forever admired and romanticized in pop culture from afar.
ian curtis
But what (let's just imagine) if Ian Kevin Curtis hadn't hung himself back on May 18th, 1980, at the young age of 23? What if instead, he had kept on living and making music with Joy Division (meaning, of course, that there would have been no New Order), cranking out (increasingly weaker and weaker) albums throughout the eighties and up until an ugly break-up in 1997, followed by Ian Curtis completely disappearing for many years up until, let's again pretend, in 2004 when the producers of VH1's Band Reunited track him down. What if they find him old, fat, bald, bitter and living in a bedsit in Birmingham? Then, encouraged by VH1's intervention, he officially pulls himself together, temporarily kicks his age old habit, and tours small clubs with a new Joy Division lineup doing at best average covers of his old songs. Not pretty, eh? Not compared to the perfectly preserved, romantically tragic Ian Curtis that is the pop culture icon today.

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piano magic is magic!

Posted by Brad Schelden, July 1, 2007 02:05pm | Post a Comment

I love Piano Magic. I know that I may throw that word "love" around a lot. But I would take back all the times I have used it, if I could use it just this one time. This band has been around for a bit over 10 years, but I only just discovered them maybe about 4 or 5 years ago. One of my friends, June, was obsessed with them. Since I like all the same music as him (Cocteau Twins/Lisa Germano/Red House Painters/This Mortal Coil/His Name Is Alive/etc.) I figured I would also love this band like he had. So my first introduction was "The Troubled Sleep of Piano Magic" back in 2003. I quickly discovered they were one of the bands that were made for people like me. I was excited for their next excellent album "Disaffected" in 2005. It is always exciting to discover a new band that has already been around for a while. It is like they somehow kept themselves hidden and their fans kept them a secret. Once you find about them, you want to keep them to yourself for a little bit. Until you just can't take it anymore and you to share them with everyone. When I always think I have already heard everything, it is nice to know there are still some great bands out there for me to discover. It's exciting.

They have just released their new album "Part Monster" on Important Records. They have  been on about 7 different labels and have had many different members. They are currently Glen Johnson, Jerome Tcherneyan, Alasdair Steer, Franck Alba and Cedric Pin. They are of course from England. They sort of fit into that ambient rock category. Dreamy and ethereal but still a rock band. Sad and emotional and all tragic. The vocalist sometimes reminds me of a mix of Jesus & Mary Chain and The Tindersticks. Sort of like what Slowdive sounded like as they were transitioning into Mojave 3. They also remind me a bit of bands like Field Mice but just with a little Black Heart Procession. That is enough band comparisons. They are just awesome and do sort of have their unique little sound.

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Jaguar Lives

Posted by phil blankenship, July 1, 2007 01:14am | Post a Comment
 






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