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First Fridays at the Natural History Museum with Mary Roach and Adventuretime!

Posted by Amoebite, January 10, 2013 01:28pm | Post a Comment

It's time for February's edition of First Fridays! Once a month, Los Angeles's Natural History Museum stays open late and features live music, excitingFirst Fridays, NHM, Natural History Museum, Los Angeles, LA scientific discussion, and behind-the-scenes curatorial tours as part of the First Fridays program. Amoeba is excited to sponsor this fabulous series of live music, discussion, concessions, tours, DJs, and more.

Join us on February 1st from 5-10pm for live performances from Adventuretime featuring Daedelus and Mark Frosty McNeil from dublab and The Gaslamp Killer, special DJs, and a guest lecture from Mary Roach ("Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex").

PLUS: Check out the Amoeba Music booth to purchase a $20 Amoeba Gift Certificates for just $10! Limit 2 per person. Valid only at First Fridays on 2/1.

Find out more HERE!




Gaslamp Killer - What's In My Bag?


Mike Doughty's Memoir About Drugs, Sex & Soul Coughing

Posted by Rachael McGovern, January 25, 2012 11:44am | Post a Comment
The Book of Drugs - Mike DoughtyFor most of my life I have been an avid reader, but for the last six months - or even a year if I'm being honest with myself - I've struggled to finish books, forcing myself to make the time to read. Happily, that streak has been broken with the new memoir by Mike Doughty, The Book of Drugs (Da Capo Press, 2012). I read it the first time in about two days, inhaling it as fast as I could between work and sleep. As soon as I finished it, I began reading it again. 

Mike Doughty is a solo artist today, but I came to know him as the frontman for Soul Coughing. The book's primary plotline is about his relationship with drugs, the trajectory of his addictions, and his recovery. But the secondary plot is about his relationship with, and to, his former band. Admittedly, that is why I picked up the book. Addiction in and of itself isn't as interesting to me as the person who is telling the story of addiction, and I was very interested in what Mike Doughty, the former lead singer, guitarist and lyricists for one of my favorite bands, had to say.

One of the things that I most appreciated about Soul Coughing was the mixture of intelligence and quirkiness, the wordplay and the soundplay (we'll pretend that's an actual word). Doughty uses those strengths in The Book of Drugs, telling his story with humor, wit, honesty, self-reflection, anger, passion, and sorrow. (For someone who says he was out of touch with his feelings for so long due to his addictions, he has come a long way in accessing those emotions and laying them on the page.) 

For me, the most salient scene from the book that illustrates how much his addiction affected him involved his daily trip to the ATM four blocks away. He would call his dealer and then descend his apartment building's stairs (a thirty minute process one way), walk down the block, and across a larger intersection. The whole trip - four blocks - took him ninety minutes, sometimes two hours. The fact that the ordeal of walking a few blocks seemed to him like a natural side effect of aging (he was thirty-something at the time), and not a by-product of his drug habit, was heartbreaking.

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Masochistic Baby: Amer (2010)

Posted by Charles Reece, October 31, 2010 07:07pm | Post a Comment
amer preadolescence
amer adolescence
amer adulthood

Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani's homage to the giallo genre was filmed on Super 16, but what I saw was from a really crummy digital source. It  looked like a theatrically sized YouTube video. There were so many of those digital Lincoln logs that Inland Empire now compares favorably to Casablanca. At times, there was little more than some blur of color being eaten by a surrounding black blob. (For the record, the digital Carlos looked a lot better than this.) So see a 35 mm print if possible. 

Style is substance in Amer, just as it was for Seijin Suzuki, who would elide generic contrivances in his yakuza action films with radical cuts and by omitting psychological development, assuming the audience would fill in the details. Cattet and Forzani take a similar approach, but because they're working within a psychosexual genre, they omit sociological filler (friends, jobs, etc.) and drive the film inwards. Freeing the narrative from external, objective constraints and a rational narrative structure, the giallo is reduced to pure primal desire, which has always been its most appealing feature, anyway. However, they more or less replace the genre clichés with ones from psychoanalytic film theory. Ana, the protagonist, likes to watch, but really wants to be watched (she, of course, sees her parents in coitus -- the second primal scene of late, the other being in Enter the Void). She wants to be captured, bound and punished, as fetishized by the recurring presence of a black glove and shaving razor. And behind every masochist is the death drive, which begins to show up early on in Ana's fascination with her grandfather's corpse. (If it weren't for artists, would we still need Freud?)  All of which is sexualized and stylized in a surrealistic montage of saturated hues, body parts and objects, conjoined by the sounds of metal scraping, leather squeaking, heavy breathing and the directors' favorites tunes from Italian cinema (Morricone, Nicolai, Cipriani, etc.). Some scenes are indeed perversely beautiful (particularly where a face gets symmetrically sliced up), but there are far too many close-ups to create any real horror or suspense. It feels like a perfume commercial borrowing from Argento instead of Resnais, with the hypnagogia of Chanel or Gucci.

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Cruise to Mexico: Part 2

Posted by Job O Brother, September 27, 2010 03:52pm | Post a Comment
ship
Bon voyage, bitches.

For the boyfriend and myself, going on a second cruise was like a couple of World War II veterans returning to Truk Lagoon – we knew in our hearts we were headed for a piece of paradise, but past experience kept us on edge, worried for the worst. (It’s hard to come back from a cruise where you order 1 bowl of chicken soup and, instead, are brought 14 bowls of rice and 26 hard boiled eggs.) At least this time, we had company: his mother, Chris, and his father, Fred – two people with lots of cruise experience.

Chris and Fred flew in from Texas, where they reside. Early in the morning, the four us took a shuttle to Los Angeles Pier. The driver of the shuttle was the slowest I think I’ve ever witnessed. I mean, kudos on being safe, but when your passengers start thinking they’d make better time on foot, you’ve got a problem. Seriously – he made the Peoplemover seem like the Starship Enterprise.

Once at the Pier, we were guided through a bewildering array of checkpoints, gates, lines, forms and again, more checkpoints. To add to the confusion, there were both mandatory forms and photos to be taken, and optional, “fun” photos and forms. The whole ordeal was kind of like being led to the concentration camp at Auschwitz, if, y’know, instead of wanting to exterminate people, the Nazis were obsessed with tricking them into buying family portraits superimposed on commuter mugs.

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The Good, the Bad and the Great One

Posted by Whitmore, July 14, 2009 01:11pm | Post a Comment
Dear 45 Records room,
 
How’s it going? Up until a couple of days ago the weather had been pretty damn nice; mid 70’s, sunny, slight sea breeze ... but a cold front came in, shelving plenty of weekend barbeques. From the edge of this five acre property you can see the whitecaps out on the waves getting ornery. Damned cantankerous Northwest climate!
 
At the local thrift store I found a goldmine -- and I use that term loosely -- of used Jackie Gleason records in mint condition. Jackie Gleason, AKA the Great One, back in the mid 1950’s when his The Honeymooners television show was at the top of its game, was contracted by Capitol Records to arrange and conduct or compose a series of records with a relaxing-romantic-late night vibe. I suspect he simply just sold his name to Capitol and hung out at the studio sessions tippling with the musicians. The best part of this “Music For” series was the packaging. The art work always stood out. One cover in particular, Lonesome Echo, was created by Salvador Dali. But this thrift store’s stash of LP’s are the more “desirable” covers, pun intended. Anyway, I found about eight Gleason albums, minty jackets all, but minus the vinyl! These album jackets are perfect, lust filled portraits of silky and laced up vixens -- femme fatales draped over sofas and beds and floors with their come hither mouths and eyes whispering “another martini, lover boy?” What I found includes Music Martinis and Memories, Music for Lovers Only, Aphrodesia, Love Embers and Flame and of course Music to Make you Misty; all the albums ready for framing and decking out your mad bachelor pad dad!
 
Well, 45’s Record Room, I’ll talk to you later. Tuck in all the Northern Soul records for me, give the R&B section a kiss goodnight and tell the Ska records that I haven’t forgotten about them, I have a little gift to give them when I get back.

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