Amoeblog

Tricked Out and Fully Treated: Rocktober is over but the Halloween high remains...

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, November 6, 2009 01:31am | Post a Comment
dennis miller dana carvey saturday night live snl weekend update late night tv

When I was in fifth grade staying up late enough to catch Dave Letterman's Top Ten was a personal goal of mine every weeknight (on Saturday nights it was staying up late enough to make it through Saturday Night Live in its entirety, but I always conked out right about the time Dennis Miller wrapped up his Weekend Update). I like to think that I became a lover of lists and listing things because of that after-hours fixation of mine, but who cares? The fact is that I do love a list and this year's Halloween happenings were so fabulously choice that I've got to work it out herein, Late Night Top Ten style:
graveyard gravestones san francisco state university education budget cut protest dios de los muertos
10: Students of San Francisco State University protesting budget cuts on Monday by turning the quad into a graveyard for courses felled by a lack of state education funds. The many headstones featured names of "dead" classes and mourners honored them dutifully in Dios de los Muertos style with candles, flowers and gorgeous little treats. A very clever and seasonally satisfying display of discontent!

9: Rammstein's timely release of their new album Liebe Ist Für Alle Da. Now, I count myself as an accidental Rammstein fan (and there's a good lengthy yarn I could spin about the who, what and why-fors about it), but a fan I am nonetheless ---especially as their machismo-soaked yet obviously Depeche Mode influenced electro-opera-industrial rock always seems to find a place on my annual Halloween mixtape! Not to mention that these German rockers consistently crank out quality music videos that remind us that there once was a time when the medium was viewed as an elevated art-form. Their video for the 1995 single Du Riechst So Gut is perhaps their most romantic (despite the fact that the imagery delves into bestiality, transvestitism and baroque dance routines) and very Halloween appropriate (despite the fact that nearly all their videos could be specified as "Halloween appropriate"). Oh Rammstein, why must thy art be so misunderstood? Maybe it's a European thing...

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(Wherein we chance upon something Slick.)

Posted by Job O Brother, March 23, 2009 06:16pm | Post a Comment
russian
Furvin Kryakutnoy, Russian inventor and possibly the inventor of the hot air balloon,
has nothing to do with this blog entry.

Here I am, again on my own. I can feel your pretty eyes on me, reading this, waiting to see what I have to say for myself. I am in the past – your past. By the time you read this, I will be gone. I will have scribbled my way through another witty and unnecessary blog.

But here in the past, dear reader, things do not seem so certain. I do not know, as yet (for example), what this entry will be about. Oh sure, it’s easy for you to scroll down the page and glean its general themes, but for someone like me who lives back in the time before this blog was written and done, all is mystery. All is uncertain. I do not even know who or what music or movies will first be mentioned.

Shall I leave it to chance? Shall I see what the Oracle that is YouTube has decided is an appropriate recommendation for me? (For those of you who don’t know, after you’ve used YouTube a bit, it begins to analyze what you tend to look for, then it offers suggestions of stuff you may enjoy, based on your history.) Here, then, is what YouTube thinks I will fancy:


…Huh.

…Well…

I’m not sure what to say. I can’t think of anything I’ve tried to find on YouTube that would justify this selection. Do they know something about me that I don’t? Some deeper insight unavailable to my conscious mind that only they, in their ability to collect and refine data, can provide?

The Replacements

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, January 19, 2009 12:11am | Post a Comment

Today at Amoeba we heard The Replacements' Let It Be over the store’s stereo. To most alt rock types, this album is considered a timeless classic. Released back in 1984, it is a mix of adolescent angst and Paul Westerberg's foray into mature songwriting. And…much like most 80’s albums, it also painfully dated. As the album played I thought to myself, “Would any kid born in the nineties understand why people liked Let It Be so much?” Perhaps if they listened to the lyrics to “Sixteen Blue,” “You’re My Favorite Thing,” “I Will Dare,” and “Unsatisfied,” they would. Those songs speak to that inner adolescent that is still in us or yet to be.

Still, I had to laugh at some of the other songs. Not because they are terrible songs, but because they all dealt with subjects that post-nineties children wouldn’t understand. For instance, in the song “Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out,” teenage drummer Tommy Stinton gets a tonsillectomy by an impatient doctor. According to Wikipedia, the number of tonsillectomies in the United States has “dropped significantly from several million in the 1970s to approximately 600,000 in the late 1990s.” The chances of anyone born in the United States after 1990 getting a tonsillectomy in their lifetime are minimal. Maybe the title “Tommy Has Tonsillitis And Gets a Prescription For Antibiotics” would work better in 2009.

How about the song, “Seen Your Video?" It was the Anti-MTV anthem of the eighties at a time when your main chance of having a career in music depended on whether MTV playing your video. Now, most bands don’t even make a video and MTV rarely plays them. Now there is YouTube. Your music video viewing is no longer dictated by MTV when you can put your favorite artist name YouTube's search engine and magically their videos pop up…that is, if they chose to even make one.
 
Finally, there is the angst ridden “Answering Machine.” From the first line, “Try to breathe some life into a letter,” it sounds dated. Really, when was the last time you wrote a letter? I’m not talking about an e-mail, I’m talking about an actual letter. On top of that, how many people still have an answering machine? I have voice mail on my cell that cuts you off after a certain time if you babble on and besides that, no one ever leaves a message. If I miss a call, I get a text message a minute later that reads “call me.” We are even too lazy to leave a voice mail. Then there's text messages -- how many regrettable texts of love have been sent? Far more than songs written about, “How do I say I love you to an answering machine?”

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Privilege

Posted by Whitmore, July 28, 2008 11:06pm | Post a Comment


I’ve often said coincidence does not exist, but I'll save that diatribe for another time. However, a couple of days ago, and for the first time, not one but two Paul Jones 45’s -- he’s the former lead singer for the 1960’s British invasion band Manfred Mann -- wandered into Amoeba from separate collections. Both of these singles are from the same soundtrack, Privilege, a film released in 1967 starring Paul Jones, who was making his big screen acting debut. Now, two days later, I find out that for the first time ever, Privilege will be released on DVD today. Coincidence or plot? I just don't know. Well, anyway...

The film was directed by Peter Watkins, whose highly controversial anti-nuclear drama The War Game won the 1966 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature (and was soon to be banned in Great Britain). Watkins once again doesn’t stray far from controversy in Privilege. Taking place in a totalitarian English State of the near future, specifically 1970, the dark comic vision of Privilege criticizes the media and its media manipulation, corporate culture and its corporate manipulation. It portrays a time where most everything seems to bounce off the absurd and neurotic teen pop-dom dominating the age and the happily tranquilized population is content with fluffy distractions. The main character, Steven Shorter, played by Paul Jones, is a rock god. His popularity and career have been meticulously engineered by a vast music corporation, reaching dizzying Beatlesque heights. But all this begins to crack when an artist, played by the original supermodel Jean Shrimpton, is hired to paint Steven Shorter’s portrait, and finds an unstable, empty shell of a man, lost in a lonely world, a puppet trapped by the demands of a music business out of control, and a simple singer victimized by all the excess, process, and success. Of course, the artist tries to rescue and prop up Steven Shorter before he becomes yet another statistic in the eternally doomed scenario of recyclable pop stars. But as can only happen in real life and/or rock melodramas, fortunes take a Machiavellian twist when rebellion is only a pop song away. Now that’s entertainment!

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LETTERMAN SHOW POSTING YOUTUBER MANGOFACE247

Posted by Billyjam, January 24, 2008 01:20pm | Post a Comment
letterman
If you go on YouTube and do a search under the Late Show with David Letterman, odds are that within the first few results netted in your seach will be a clip of the Letterman show posted by active YouTube member MangoFace247. One of several YouTube members who religiously post Letterman clips, MangoFace247 has been a member since last July when he began posting clips with the Letterman show as his specialty. Since then he has posted over 220 clips, an average of one a day, selectively choosing Letterman monologue, interview, and live performance clips to post on YouTube, which he will usually do within hours or by the following day of the actual TV broadcast. 

But it was one particular Letterman posting that catapulted MangoFace247 to fame (in YouTube land)  when on September 28th, 2007 he uploaded the Paris HIlton interview where Letterman grilled the pouting heiress on her jail stint (which she clearly did not wish to discuss). This clip (below), which he had posted on YouTube even before CBS, created a buzz and ended up getting well over four million hits-- even more than the original broadcast itself. (Note that on average Letterman TV broadcasts get 3.6 million viewparis hilton on lettermaners nightly.)

It also made MangoFace247 an instant YouTube celebrity. His name was linked to Paris Hilton's and he was mentioned in gossip columns in papers like the New York Post. I recently caught up with the anonymous "Mango" (who likes to remain incognito but did say that he lives in LA and works in the music business, and also that he sells T-shirts online) via YouTube messages and email to interview him for the Amoeblog.

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