Amoeblog

Local Stuff: Best Coast/Iggy Pop, Poolside, IO Echo

Posted by Billy Gil, July 6, 2012 11:12am | Post a Comment
true bloodBest Coast & Iggy Pop - "Let's Boot and Rally"
 
Insane amount of Best Coast happenings. First there was her not one, but two Fleetwood Mac covers, “Storms” and “Rhiannon,” the latter on an upcoming F-Mac tribute album, Just Tell Me That You Want Me, and now she’s teaming with Iggy Pop on a cool song for “True Blood.” It premieres on this Sunday’s episode of “True Blood,” and you can hear it now via KCRW, whose Gary Calamar co-wrote the song, as music supervisor for the show. Hopefully it makes it onto a “True Blood” soundtrack, I love the song, it sounds like X at their most rockabilly.
 







 
Poolside
Poolside Album preview

 
L.A. duo Poolside continue to drum up buzz for their upcoming full-length album, Pacific Standard Time. Right now it’s streaming from our friends at KCRW ‘till July 16. After that you’ll have to wait a bit to pick up a physical copy of the disc. For now, enjoy the sweet sounds of this proggy, sunny electro duo’s music with a cocktail. Something blue, maybe with a tiny umbrella.
 

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My Best of 2010

Posted by Miss Ess, December 22, 2010 12:13pm | Post a Comment
Time for outside-work fun and general pop culture absorption was extra low this year, but what I loved in 2010, I loved hard. These are the things that made my heart sing over the past twelve months.

Joanna Newsom - Have One On Me

joanna newsom have one on me

Is there any point in writing about any other album than Joanna's? This triple album is clearly the work of the bright star of young music makers today. The difference between her and everyone else on the playing field? Nothing about her work is derivative: not her sound, not her writing and certainly not her voice. Album of the year, for sure...probably would even call it album of the past few years! It's that good.

"Soft As Chalk"



Mountain Man - Made the Harbor

mountain man made the harbor

Old timey yet thoroughly modern.



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True Blood - Southern Gothic on a Whole New Level

Posted by Miss Ess, May 5, 2010 05:06pm | Post a Comment
true blood poster

These days, my latest crush is on True Blood. At the urging of friends, I began with Season One a few weeks ago and am almost the whole way through it now. Seeing as I am starting at the very beginning here and the show's third seasontrue blood sookie bill begins in a few weeks on HBO, I know I am kind of late to the game on this, but this whole vampire obsession thing that's been going on these days has had me pretty baffled and disinterested up till now, I must admit. Is it that since it feels like our world is going to hell and a handbasket, more and more people are turning to fantasy worlds, however they can get em, something they can really sink their teeth into? I'm not sure.

I do feel quite sure that the vampire trend in particular is not going anywhere anytime soon, and I do know that in particular I love watching True Blood for the same reason I love watching a show like Mad Men: its world is so incredibly detailed and mesmerizing that I find myself lost in it. Total escapism. So for me in this case, that fantasy theory holds, I guess. I just never was into the whole vampiretrue blood lafayette scene really before. I still don't really think I am, actually, I just like this show.

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No Atheists in the Afterlife? Thirst (2009)

Posted by Charles Reece, August 16, 2009 11:30pm | Post a Comment
thirst poster

A fantastic adaptation of Émile Zola's Thérèse Raquin. Not that I've ever read any Zola, mind you, but I've read about him. Maybe after I've finished working my way through the entire output of the 19th century Russian realists, I'll be ready. If only Zola had featured more vampires in his stories .... Well, Chan-Wook Park knows how to get me interested in realism, at least -- same as the Russians -- with ideological discussions of atheism.

Sang-hyeon is a Catholic priest with a martyr complex or strong death drive (amounts to the same thing, I suppose), who plays guinea pig in a macabre experiment to help doctors find a cure for a virus that's particularly dangerous to Korean men. He's the only one to survive the voluntary infection, due to a  transfusion using vampire blood. The catch is that he now needs to feed on normal human blood to keep from sweating his own and breaking out in disfiguring boils. Initially, he's racked by guilt over his bodily urges, which leads to his sucking on a comatose patient's IV and a fellow priest, Noh, who has a more sanguine attitude about the vampire virus. Sang-hyeon sees vampirism as a loss of humanity, whereas Noh sees it as a gift, and a potential cure for his blindness. Due to his miracle cure, the vampire picks up a religious following of Catholics who see him as another messiah, parallel to that other popular tale of transfiguration. Is he a vampire who walks like a man, or man who acts like a vampire?

buffy angel kiss  twilight isabella edward

Despite the similarities, Thirst doesn't belong to the "vegetarian" vampirism that Buffy made popular and can now be seen in Twilight. It was easy to sympathize with Buffy's beau, because when Angel did evil deeds, it was as the soulless Angelus, who constituted a separate identity (even if the two entities shared the same body and memories, they certainly had no control over what the other did). There's no identity switcheroo in Twilight, but the good vampire Edward is able to survive on animal blood (see 'carouche'). Angel was capable of that, too, having lived on rats for many years after regaining his soul. Furthermore, the two diegeses share a supernaturally enforced Victorian restraint, since the vampires get real thirsty for their lovers when sex is involved. Taking blood and sex out of the equation pretty much makes hash out of vampires, since they're reduced to a more pathetic version of us, but with superpowers. Instead, Park's film is closer in its themes to another vampire show that sometimes gets lumped into the vegetarian subgenre, True Blood.

true blood bill sookie thirst sang hyeon

Maybe because it's on HBO or because it's not written by a Mormon, but True Blood manages to defang the mythology without violating it (although the hamfisted erotic dialog comes close). Here vampires keep their sanguinary sexual desires, are responsible for previous slaughters, and have to choose to live off of synthetic human blood (like only shopping the frozen food aisle). Making a somewhat analogous case to Peter Singer's animal rights argument, Southern gentleman/-vampire Bill Compton has come to view humans as deserving of the same rights as his own kind, since we're capable of the same feelings as he, if not moreso. Whereas True Blood's moral questioning is basically utilitarian, Thirst's is faith-based. The divine image has been transmogrified into a distorted mirror, so is Sang-hyeon still obligated to God's favored creature? If the vampire is nothing more than pure carnality, then its moral status is that of all the other animals not given the lead in the story of Eden. Scorpions aren't being immoral when they strike.

thirst tae-joo kang-woo

Thirst's vampiric version of the 19th century nihilist is Tae-joo, an orphaned girl who came under the care of the domineering Lady Ra and her spoiled, sickly boy, Kang-woo. Rather than being raised as the boy's adopted sister, Tae-joo became his caretaker and wife. Sang-hyeon was a childhood friend to the family and, post-transformation, meets up with them again when Ra comes begging for a miracle to cure her son. Between games of mah-jongg with the family and friends, the priest and the wife begin to slip away for bouts of hedonism that's erotic in a way the metalhead couple making out in a mall could appreciate. Based on how she grew up, Tae-joo doesn't see much that's special in humanity, so wants nothing more than to leave it all behind by being turned. After a series of sinful events, including the plan to kill Kang-woo, Sang-hyeon grants her the salvation she desires. That's when he discovers that some vampires are more Darwinian than others. She's pure survival-of-the-fittest with nothing filling up the hole of faith. Humans are reduced to the status of actors -- that is, cattle -- and she's the only director that matters. Feeling himself drawn to the abyss, with his monstrous status of being nothing but an animal, only with the ungodly power to upset the divine heirarchy, Sang-hyeon can see no other moral choice than self-immolation -- and, thus, the movie's central conflict. Obviously, the couple hasn't read much utilitarianism or other atheistic moral philosophies. They might've discovered with Bill that there's more of a connection to humanity than the forced choice between nihilism and theistic middle-management allows.

out this week 5/12 & 5/19...tori amos...iron & wine...true blood...jarvis cocker...bricolage...

Posted by Brad Schelden, May 21, 2009 12:40pm | Post a Comment
six feet under cast
When I first moved to Los Angeles 7 or 8 years ago I became obsessed with Six Feet Under. I remember going to work one day and one of my coworkers talked about the show for hours. She couldn't believe that I was not watching it. However, I didn't have HBO and I don't think the show was out on DVD yet. I didn't even have a DVD player yet. VHS releases of TV shows were starting to disappear so I didn't really have any way to watch it-- so it might have been Six Feet Under that made me finally give in and get a DVD player. My first DVD purchase was The Muppet Movie, but I think my second or third purchase was the first season of Six Feet Under. It had been a while since I had been obsessed with a really good TV show. I still managed to watch the entire Twin Peaks series about once a year, but there wasn't much else out there. It was just that I didn't have HBO. I had heard about all these new shows, but still had never watched Oz or the Sopranos. These shows would later become some of my favorites as I started to collect the DVDs and eventually was forced to get HBO again. I don't want to sound like an advertisement for HBO, but it really did change the way I looked at TV and really gave me many enjoyable viewing hours. Six Feet Under came at a perfect time in my life. The show took place in the Los Angeles area and was filmed just down the street from Amoeba at the Gower studios. I somehow felt the show was speaking directly to me. And I somehow felt more involved with it since it was filmed so close to me and took place in a city so close to my heart. It was also nice to see a gay character as one of the lead roles in a drama series. I have always had a love/hate sort of relationship with Los Angeles, but this show made me love it just a little bit more. The five seasons of the show took me on a long and intense journey. I fell in love with all the characters and started to think of them as my family. The show followed me back to San Francisco, where it eventually ended in 2005. This was one of those shows that I really did love but it also just sort of tortured me when I watched it. Not only was every episode dealing with somebody's death, but it was also dealing with all the characters' messed up lives at the same time. It was an intense journey. The thing that made this show so fantastic was the cast. The mix of the brilliant writing with the perfect cast was a magical combination -- and it doesn't really happen that often. The leads were all perfect. Peter Krause, Michael C. Hall, and Lauren Ambrose were perfect as the siblings of the house. Frances Conroy was brilliant as their mother. The show just had a list of some of my favorite or soon to be favorite actors -- Rachel Griffiths, Freddy Rodriguez, Jeremy Sisto, Lili Taylor, Kathy Bates, Richard Jenkins, Rainn Wilson, Justin Theroux, Mena Suvari, Veronica Cartwright, Illeana Douglas, and Catherine O'Hara. And Patricia Clarkson and Joanna Cassidy were nothing short of brilliant as the aunt and mother in law. I wish they could have been in every episode, I don't think any TV show will ever get a better cast...although Mad Men comes very close.

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