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out today 2/12...morrissey...michael jackson...

Posted by Brad Schelden, February 11, 2008 10:38pm | Post a Comment
My love for Morrissey is as strong as ever. Morrissey fans are a very interesting and devoted bunch. Our devotion to Morrissey is strong and never ending. Ask any Morrissey fan and they will try and explain it. But it really is hard to understand unless you are yourself a devoted Morrissey fan. From the first moment I heard him for the first time I was a huge fan. One of my friends in high school made me a tape of Morrissey's first album. From that moment on I fell in love with the man and his music. Some of us may have lost a little interest in his music over the last decade. But we never lost interest in Morrissey. The love and excitement surrounding just the mention of his name was as strong as ever. However, the insterest in his albums was not the same. But Morrissey put out an amazing album a couple of years ago. "You Are the Quarry" came out in 2004. I think he probably surprised some people with this album. He had finally made an album as exciting as those early albums. I think that a lot of fans still loved him because of their memories of his early solo albums and those of The Smiths. Those albums created a lasting bond between album and fan. They sort of became our best friend and were always there for us. Morrissey was great to listen to by yourself in your room. But also to sing along to with your best friend driving around in your car. It was exciting to also have a new album to be excited about. The first single was "Irish Blood, English Heart." I think I listened to it just as much as "Everyday Is Like Sunday" and "Sing Your Life" from the first two albums. Instead of buying every British magazine with articles about Morrissey, I was searching the fansites and blogs and reading interviews online. Instead of staying up late to try and catch videos on MTV, I was watching his videos on YouTube. I was a bit older and the media had changed a bit. But Morrissey was in my life just as he was in 1988.

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Victor Gastelum Weighs In On Morrissey

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, February 4, 2008 02:10am | Post a Comment

I wrote about Victor Gastelum several months back when I first starting writing for Amoeba.com. Victor’s iconic art has been used by Calexico, Culture Clash, Greg Ginn, just to name a few. Victor is currently showing in a group show called ALEX STEINWEISS: CREATOR OF THE ALBUM COVER at the Robert Berman Gallery in Santa Monica. Victor is one to show his appreciation for any artist that inspires him. I got him to share his thoughts on Morrissey, his Mexican following and Morrissey's supposed anti-immigrant remakes he made last November.


What makes you a fan of  Morrissey? How did you become one?

I started liking the Smith's right when they were breaking up.  I was starting to make my own art and I found Morrissey’s lyrics inspiring. Not that I wanted to draw what he was describing but that he was telling his own stories.  You got the feeling that he was talking about what he knew.  He along with other artists that I admire made me look at myself, and draw from what I knew about, what I had to offer.  The music was the first attraction to the band though.  I like pop music, especially with clever lyrics and hooks.  The band was tight and at the time there didn’t seem to be anything like them.


Why do you feel that Mexicanos identify with him?


For me I think it might have to do with his outsider, nerdy loser
image.  He made being square and dorky really cool.  He is into all these obscure English pop artists, television shows, and movies that he would make references to. I think it made you place a little more value to the things you liked that most people didn’t know about or thought were lame.  Also the Manchester bands seem to have this thing where they are all homeboys.  Not so much pride or shame, but just an acknowledgement of where they are from.  He put a lot reference to where he was from, places and buildings.  I like seeing that, (for instance) like when an artist is from San Pedro or Long Beach and they throw that influence into their work.

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Viva Hate?

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, February 3, 2008 02:33am | Post a Comment
Many of my fellow Mexicano/Chicano peers that have much respect and hold Morrissey in high regard. One of them is L.A. Weekly’s Ask A Mexican writer Gustavo Arrellano. In his excellent article written back in 2002 by about Morrissey and his Mexican following, Arrellano asked then doctorate candidate Colin Snowsel why he thought why Morrissey and Mexicanos were so closely connected.

“Morrissey was, in short, providing to lower- and middle-class Mexican-Americans the same dual utopian message that he had once provided a decade earlier to predominately Anglo fans in the United Kingdom," he writes. And what did he offer Anglos? "Escape from the injustices of a social order that confines them to the margin, but escape also from the limited identity options entrenched in peripheral, working- and middle-class culture."

It was disheartening in reading that at the end of last year. Morrissey was in the news for his comments made about immigration to NME magazine. In the article it suggests that one of the reasons that he no longer lives in England is due to immigration.

“ With the issue of immigration, it’s very difficult because, although I don’t have anything against people from other countries, the higher the influx into England the more the British identity disappears.”

Seems quite odd for someone who resides in Los Angeles, one of the most diverse cities in the world and with a large following of Non-Anglos to say something like that.  Morrissey supporters are quick to mention that he is a life long liberal and defender and lover of people all over the world. In his rebuttal to the NME, Morrissey states that, “Racism is beyond common sense and I believe it has no place in our society.”

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The Employee Interview Part XV: Brad Schelden

Posted by Miss Ess, January 11, 2008 12:40pm | Post a Comment
Brad
7ish years of Employment
Rock Buyer


This is a special farewell installment of The Employee Interview.  Don't worry-- you are not going to lose Brad's insightful blogs, it's just that we, the SF store, are losing him to the LA store this week.  Just like in baseball, he's been recruited for their team and will be moving next week. It will be quite a loss for those of us up here in SF to suffer.  Brad, we salute you!  It won't be the same without you.  But at least we will probably still get to watch the Oscars together. (If they happen-- agh what an awards show season!)

ME: What was the first concert you remember going to?depeche mode

BS: Depeche Mode...Even though my seats were so far away I could barely see them it was one of the highlights of my life. It was just exciting to see that all these other people actually liked the same band as me.

I loved that feeling when I first started going to shows.  I was thinking, "Who ARE all these people?"  I've actually met so many people who work here who were at shows I was also at in the late 90s/early 2000s!  I love it.  That's how I knew Amoeba was my home.  So who was the first artist that really got you into music and why?

I am sure it was probably Morrissey and The Smiths. He was for sure the first person I was obsessed with, other than maybe Michael Jackson or Cyndi Lauper. Morrissey was the first artist where I was morrisseyactually reading all the liner notes and buying all the magazines with him in it. It was fantastic as a young kid to listen to music and lyrics that you could completely relate to even though they were coming out of a man from a totally different world and reality.

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Late to the Game As Usual, This Time With Morrissey

Posted by Miss Ess, November 23, 2007 11:31am | Post a Comment
Although I recently posted about seeing Morrissey shopping in our own store, mumorrisseysic-wise I have to admit I am completely late to the Morrissey game.  It's a bit scary to admit this amongst the musically literate crowd I hang within, but what the hell. 

It seems like I am just a little too young to have caught on to The Smiths, his earlier band, or to have heard any more of him than the single "The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get" on the radio in 1994.  In high school, when kids a few years older than me were clinging to their Morrissey CDs with dour faces, I was still bopping to The Beatles.  I guess I wasn't ready for it yet.  Fast forward to just a couple of years ago, and Morrissey suddenly had a new surge in popularity among the hipster crowd. At that point, I had well heard of The Moz, as he is known in certain circles, but this new over- the- top hipster cred popularity he had gained turned me off and I still never got around to listening to his music.

Finally, this last week I have picked up a Morrissey morrissey your arsenalCD-- Your Arsenal (1992)-- and listened.  One very strong sign of a great CD is when it's still very new to you but you can't get the songs out of your head and they seem to be following you around constantly -- when you lay your head on the pillow at night, when you are out grocery shopping, or waiting on the train.  This happened to me with Your Arsenal almost immediately.  One other thing that is exciting about Morrissey is how funny his music is!  I love that about him! What took me so long to embrace his music? One of the songs on Your Arsenal that is a favorite is entitled
"We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful"
.  Another fave is "You're the One For Me, Fatty".  His sense of humor is so dry I'm never quite sure if he's serious or not, but the fact that he's British cues me in to the fact that he's probably just being silly -- I believe we call that "tongue in cheek".  And how refreshing is that? -- silly, sad songs of yearning and intelligence.  I do see why all those dour high school kids saw Morrissey as the second coming.  I know everyone else figured this out over a decade ago, maybe even longer, but I am just a little bit slow here!  It's all kind of new to me.  Still, I am glad I have waited until it felt right to me to listen.  I think I'm going to end up listening a bunch more.  Maybe I will finally catch up to the rest of you!
 
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