Amoeblog

OCTOBER: SF HALLOWEEN-HATER MONTH

Posted by Billyjam, August 10, 2007 12:38pm | Post a Comment
gavin newsomTrick or Treat?
Apparently San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom, seen here trying on his new Halloween costume, didn't get the memo from his own office that the City of San Francisco had canceled all public Halloween celebrations in the city, including the traditional Halloween in the Castro party. As announced Wednesday by San Francisco City officials, there will be "no official Halloween celebration anywhere in San Francisco in October" (including at the downtown AT&T parking lot, which was rumored as a possible alternative party spot to the Castro). This decision is no doubt due to violence at previous Halloweens in the Castro -- notably last year when a shooting incident left nine people injured. Therefore, the normally celebratory Mayor Newsom, who just over the past few days named August "Barry Bonds Month" and named Wednesday "Virgin America Day" (as in the Richard Branson airline), could easily have named October "SF Halloween-Hater Month."

While I do not wish to see anyone hurt anywhere at any time, I think that this move by the city of SF is BULLSHIT and it reminds me of when you are a kid in school and some clown in the class would do something wrong and instead of punishing the perpetrator the teacher would, unfairly, punish the entire class. And just like in those school days, when the teacher's actions merely frustrated and aggravated the law-abiding majority, so too will this action by the city officials of SF merely frustrate the average Bay Area resident who wants to enjoy a San Francisco tradition -- Halloween in the Castro. It is also not unlike the move several years ago by the leaders of the city across the Bay, who voted to shut down Oakland's famed traditional Festival at the Lake (Lake Merritt) due to many young black males "cruising" in their cars and incidents of violence in the surrounding neighborhoods (not even at the Lake).  And did the Oakland police action curb violence in the East Bay city? Not at allbarry bonds

Continue reading...

KEALA TAKES NERVOUS BREAKDOWNS TO NEW YORK

Posted by Billyjam, June 28, 2007 08:41pm | Post a Comment
Keala C Ramos used to work at the San Francisco Amoeba Music, until he moved out East in the last couple of years. He lives in Queens and likes living in New York City but notices certain cultural differences from San Francisco -- like how coffee is served and the difference between the MTA and the MUNI. Keala continues to make music in New York under his own name and also his band name, the Nervous Breakdowns.

The Breakdowns, who were named by Esquire magazine in 2004 as "the rock band to go and see if you are ever in San Francisco" made a rep for themselves also by getting into constant conflicts with the SFPD -- usually while playing out on the street in places like the Castro.

The Nervous Breakdowns' discography includes The Begining of the End EP (featuring the song  "Undependent," which also appeared on Amoeba Music Compilation Vol. V) and the full-length Panic. As a solo artist Keala appeared on Amoeba Music Compilation Vol. IV with the song “E Kaha'oe.” The Nervous Breakdowns' lineup in SF was Keala Ramos (lead guitar), Matt Kajiwara (rhythm, vocals), Donelle Malnik (bass), and Charlyn Villegas (drums). Check out their MySpace where, among other things, you can hear the songs "Garage Sale" and "Nervous Theme."

*This is the second interview with a former Amoebite who has moved coasts to become a New Yorker.  The last one was with Nick Lesley.

AMOEBLOG: What exactly went down with the SFPD and the Nervous Breakdowns?

Continue reading...

GRAFFITI ART OUTSIDE AMOEBA MUSIC SF, PART II

Posted by Billyjam, June 10, 2007 08:35am | Post a Comment

After yesterday's AMOEBLOG (the first part of this three part showcase of the graffiiti art outside Amoeba Music on Haight St.) two good comments were posted -- both positive/pro graffiti art. Melissa in SF wrote that she is also in favor of graffiti as art but how she'd "wish they'd clean up them big heads in the back...it's all messed up with cheap tags and dirt, and that has been my fave piece forever!" -- this in reference to one of the heads captured in the pic to the left here and also below in four pics. I agree with Melissa. And to me these particular images are just so striking that I literally could stand (or sit) in front of them for hours on end gazing upon their blinding beauty. And truth-be-told, I have spent a lot of time doing just that -- sitting down for long periods and slowly taking in the street art in front of me. It's no different than going to a gallery/museum and allowing ample time to fully absorb an art exhibit. Which reminds me of one time a few years ago downtown San Francisco on opening night for the MoMa for some hot, hot show. I wish I could remember exactly what the new about-to-be-unveiled exhibit was. It was one of those really well-publicized and hyped exhibits that everyone was talking about at the time...kinda like the buzz surrounding the ongoing Vivienne Westwood show in SF. But anyway, the point was that it was opening night and there was a huge mob of people (many there to be seen or to simply chug down the complimentary wine and cheese) all queuing up outside. In fact, the line was so long it snaked all the way down Third Street towards Mission and around the corner down this little alley/side street. But on that side street on that chilly San Francisco evening, as everyone was chatting and looking ahead wishing for the line to move faster, right to their left (behind a wire fence) were all these stunningly beautiful fresh graffiti pieces. But the people in line, anxious to get inside, all seemed to ignore the street art that (in my opinion at the time) was way better than the exhibit inside. The point being that street art, like the graffiti that adorns the outside walls of Amoeba SF and across the street from the store too and all around the immediate Haight Street 'hood, is in reality a wonderful public art gallery there to be enjoyed, and better still, it never has a cover charge.

Continue reading...