Amoeblog

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.

Continue reading...

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.”

Continue reading...

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.

Continue reading...

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!
 

morrissey! morrissey! morrissey!

Posted by Brad Schelden, September 27, 2007 11:51pm | Post a Comment
I don't even really know how to describe the feeling one gets after seeing a Morrissey show. You really have to be there to really understand it. It is a weird mix of feelings. After liking and listening to someone for 20 years or so you start to feel like you almost know them better than you know yourself. Morrissey is one of those artists that gets deep into his fans hearts and minds and stays there forever. He is like your best friend that never lets you down and is always there to get you through the rougher bits of life. All you needed was a Morrissey or Smiths album and you would be OK. I have seen him play many times over the years. But never in anywhere as small as the Fillmore. The Fillmore is a rather large venue. But for the Morrissey sized crowd, it is sort of small. It was perfect.

We actually got to the show early hoping we could get some of those seats up in the balcony. There is really only room for about 16 people up in the side balcony. So we were counting on the 100 or so people in front of us rushing to the stage downstairs. I ran up the stairs only to find the 2 people in front of me grabbing the last 2 seats. But then I noticed 2 large security types sitting in one of the sections. I asked them if they were going to stay there and they told me they were just checking out the crowd and would be leaving in a couple minutes. There are some crazy fanatical Morrissey fans and I think they were just trying to figure out the crowd for the night. They were probably counting the flowers and gifts in the audience and trying to figure out who would be the ones to try and jump on stage. So we got our seats and were actually going to eat at the show. I usually hate those people that eat at shows but in order to get there so early we sort of had to. But the amazing thing was that the whole menu was all vegetarian! Amazing! We vegetarians often have to search menus for the one garden burger or salad. Or maybe we can get the nachos with no meat. But there were like 10 things on the menu and they were all vegetarian. I was trying to figure out if Morrissey had requested some of the items or not. I got some potato latkes and they were delicious. I was just so excited I had to take the menu home with me. We hurried to finish our food before the show started though. I really didn't want to be one of those people that eats during a show. Even if it was just the opener who we had already seen two times before this.

BACK  <<  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  >>  NEXT