Amoeblog

(In which Job flirts with science-fiction with, as yet, unknown results.)

Posted by Job O Brother, May 9, 2007 12:08am | Post a Comment
I’m doing something I’ve always wanted to.

No, not renting out a room in Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion (you would not believe what they’re asking for a studio, which doesn’t even include holograms of ghosts eating cake!)

I’ve begun watching “Doctor Who”, starting with the original series, which ran from 1963 to1966 and stared William Hartnell as a particularly unsexy lead.

Some of you know I am a sucker for British television, though the love is not unconditional. I would no sooner sit through an episode of “Are You Being Served?” than a lecture on safe-sex from a 19th century French poet.

Still, many of my favorites (“League of Gentlemen”, “Absolutely Fabulous”, “Black Adder” to name a few) hail from the Isles, and I do expect a certain sophistication from its programming. It’s not that I need obscure historical references in order to evoke a giggle, I just appreciate that, as opposed to many US shows, not every actor looks like they live at Hefner’s mansion, and not every joke is accentuated by obvious pauses, eye-rolling, and orchestrated laughter from a studio audience.

So far the show is good fun. Because of its spookiness and languid pace, I can only convince myself to watch it at bedtime, which is a minus.

It’s not uniformly entertaining. The scenes which focus on the core characters (the Doctor, his granddaughter Susan, and her school teachers, Barbara and Ian) are enjoyable and emotionally complex enough to be intriguing, though the actress playing the granddaughter seems to sometimes forget she’s on a TV show and not a West End production of Electra.

Inevitably there must be scenes which focus on the antagonists. In the first storyline, these happen to be a bunch of primitive cavemen, who may not know how to make fire, but manage to speak modern English better than most US high school students. These scenes tend to run long, so far.

(In which Job needs coffee, please.)

Posted by Job O Brother, May 8, 2007 11:31am | Post a Comment
I am not alone.

I wrote the above sentence then leaned to my right, peering into what once was my kitchen and is now something resembling Dresden after the bombing.

And so it goes.

How this guy has managed to cram a huge ladder into a kitchen so small I barely have room for the second Pop Tart included in the packet, is proof that he is no amateur. (This is what I tell myself, hoping for the best.)

Sonically, I am hidden deep inside my iPod, which just made a seamless transition from Marvin Gaye & Diana Ross’ duet album (titled, mysteriously enough, “Diana & Marvin”) to that inescapable Amy Winehouse record. Every once in a while, on average twice a decade, I find myself enjoying the same album as the rest of the country. Such is the case with “Back to Black”. It makes for boring copy though; I mean, do we really need to hear anymore talk about it?

The answer is “no”, and thankfully there’s a workman in my kitchen providing us with stories.

Last week, amidst my well-documented Vicodin haze (I’m feeling much better these days, thank you), I walked home from Amoeba, as I always do (unless Patti Smith is performing), for lunch.

Whereas normally I am greeted by the meows of my “cat”* I instead walked into a scene from “Brazil”.


Ruling out the possibility of a suicide bomber (I realize they go through a lot of training, but I live on the fourth floor of my building) I found, amongst the sea of bric-a-brac, cleaning supplies and dishware - normally so organized in my kitchen - a lone man doing to my sink and walls what I imagine Jeffery Dahmer would do to a dinner guest.

And I’ll say this about myself: I really am polite. Even when faced with an un-announced stranger tearing my home apart, I start with a simple hand-wave and “Hi,” – waiting for the appropriate social cues from the other person to indicate we can proceed to a conversation. Perhaps about the weather, last night’s game, or maybe why he’s mistaken my kitchen for a newly discovered Egyptian tomb.

A Man For All Seasons

Posted by Job O Brother, April 22, 2007 10:39pm | Post a Comment

               EXT. TOWER OF LONDON - DAY

               We hear the sounds of drumbeat.

               JOB, (early 30's) is led to the scaffolding by the heavy-set
               EXECUTIONER, who wears a black hood.

               The courtyard is crowded by on-looking MEMBERS OF THE COURT.

               Job is positioned behind the chopping block.

               Drum comes to a dramatic stop.

                                   EXECUTIONER
                         Any last words?

                                   JOB
                         Yes.
                             (clears throat)
                         Sorry.
                             (coughs)
                         Sorry. Does anyone have a lozenge?
                         I'm just... my throat is dry from
                         being all nervous about dying and
                         everything.
                             (beat; silence)
                         No? Okay, well... I think I have
                         some gum in my pantaloons up in
                         Bell Tower...

Planet Earth...

Posted by Brad Schelden, April 22, 2007 02:54pm | Post a Comment
The Discovery channel has recently been showing the nature documentary Planet Earth. I have become a bit obsessed with this show and have watched most of the episodes. For those of you who have missed it, or those without cable...the series will be released on DVD this tuesday 4/24.  This series was first broadcast on the BBC in the UK in March of last year. It was narrated by the great David Attenborough. This DVD release includes the original David Attenborough narration. For the Discovery channel U.S. broadcast the narration was replaced by Sigourney Weaver. Some nature "Attenborough" purists are very upset about this change. I think Sigourney's voice is perfect and she does a great job. This series is absolutely amazing. The shots captured will seriously take your breath away. The show is also broadcast for High Definition. In addition, the DVD will be issued as a Blu-Ray and HD DVD. It is seriously making me consider get a High Definition TV and DVD player. But even for those of us that still have the basic set up, the show is worth investing in.

These shows were the kind of shows broadcast on PBS in the 80s. My dad watched these shows quite frequently and I was often forced to watch them as well. Although, I quickly became interested in the shows as I realized how awesome they were. This was a world you could not quite see at your local zoo. It was amazing to see these environments that I would never see up close and personal. The earth we live on is so vast and interesting. The animals on it so intricately connected. But most of all, what made me obsessed with these shows, was the narration by the great David Attenborough. There is something about his voice that draws you in to the world he is describing. He often was actually there in the shots interacting with the environment and animals. In this recent series, there is no interaction. It is simply beautiful shots on land and in water with perfect narration.

World Wide!

Posted by Mike Battaglia, April 7, 2007 07:45pm | Post a Comment
I co-produce a radio show on local community station KUSF called the Friday Night Session. Along with my fellow producers Andrew Jervis and Tomas Palermo, we visit brand new music for two hours every Friday night from 10pm to Midnight. While there's no set music policy, we tend to play jazz, soul, funk, latin, reggae and electronic dance music that is influenced by all those things, including Broken Beat, so-called "Nu-Soul" and Disco.

Last week we were lucky to have Gilles Peterson, BBC Radio One DJ and selector extraordinaire as our special guest. Gilles was in town working on the second volume of his Gilles Peterson Digs America compilation series for Ubiquity Records, as well as to DJ at local superclub Ruby Skye, but still found the time to kick it with us at the KUSF studio in SF's Western Addition.





Over a killer falafel plate from Haight Street's Blue Front Cafe and a wonderful bottle of wine, Gilles took us on a tour of his record box for two hours, while regaling us with tales of being a globetrotting DJ. Inbetween sips of cabernet, Gilles managed to play us a diverse selection of tunes ranging from latin jazz from artists like Tito Puente and Ray Camacho to more contemporary jams from Louie Vega and Simbad.

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