The setting for local independent hip-hop recording artist J.Morgan's latest video, "Human," is, you guessed it, Amoeba San Francisco. Proving that zombies need to shop too, filmmaker Bryce Graven captured Amoeba SF and Haight Street during the zombie apocalypse. You mean 4/20? NO! These are real zombies and they want to eat brains and browse CDs. But J.Morgan keeps it human.
"Human" is the title track for J.Morgan's debut album Human, available online at his website.
Legendary English rock group TheZombies formed in 1962 and were first signed by renowned label, Decca Records. The band's debut single, "She's Not There," peaked at #12 on the UK charts and hit #2 on the U.S. Billboard Chart. Due to the success of their single, The Zombies were subsequently sent overseas for a U.S. tour, where they were greeted by screaming teenage girls at their first television appearance on NBC's Hullabaloo.
In 1968, The Zombies recorded the cult favorite, Odessey and Oracle,and the single "Time of the Season" became a surprise hit despite the album's indifferent reception. To this day, the album remains a fan favorite and continues to top "best of" lists every year. Rolling Stone gave it a ranking of 100 on the magazine's list of 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Despite their initial break up right before Odessey And Oracle was released, The Zombies have reunited several times throughout their career. In 2014, the lineup features original members Rod Argent and Colin Blunstone, plus Tom Toomey, Jim Rodford, and Steve Rodford. After a busy year performing at the Austin Psych Festival and the San Francisco Stern Grove Festival, The Zombies are back in the studio recording a new album.
Some have been welcomed changes and others are hard to get used to. I’m constantly reminded this when I deejay in spots in Echo Park, Hollywood or Highland Park. Those parts of town were once considered the scourges of the city. It was riddled with gangs, drugs, homelessness, crime, earthquake damage and rows of buildings for lease. Ten years later, it’s now it’s a playground for the dull and ordinary. The argument of hipsters no longer applies here, because there is nothing hip about the people that play here. At best, they are in college; at worst they are former frat boys who have come to roost now that the area is safe.
When I used to tour for a living, the best thing about coming home to Los Angeles was getting away from the countless generic college towns that most of the venues were located. Much like the Wilson Pickett song “Funky Broadway” , where every town has a "Broadway and a Broadway women", the college town had the same restaurants, coffee houses, record stores, frat bar, alternative bar and everyone looks the same. Ethnicity as a whole was slim to none, as people of color were always relegated to the “other” parts of town. Being Chicano, I always felt I was in the wrong part of town when as well.. Places with diversity, such as Chicago and New York, were always welcomed stops on the road because I felt I could take a breather from the generic college town. I was never one to wonder why Los Angeles couldn’t be like Austin, Olympia or Chapel Hill. I liked Los Angeles the way it was. It was spread out, not connected by trains so you can play tourist in someone’s barrio. It was damaged and a place for the strong to thrive and the weak to avoid. It short, it was great.
To me, about the only interesting aspect of the latest zombie film, World War Z, is how it dealt with a certain notion that it shares with all post-apocalyptic narratives, namely that the politics we (many liberals and leftists, at least) find iniquitous in the real world might find a moral purchase in the dystopian fantasy. (The film itself is arranged like a video game, where Brad Pitt goes from scenario to scenario, completing each mission, only to be told by the Side Character Who Knows that the possible solution lies at the end of another mission set in another context with its own set of possible actions.) That actions can produce different moral outcomes depending on context shouldn't be all that surprising, though, since most everyone is surely familiar with the adage about how even the most heinous of political systems might at least keep the trains running on time. That is, if you simplify the public good enough, like the purpose a junkie finds in addiction, one can find an advantage to any system. In the context of a zombie apocalypse, the desideratum is, of course, surviving one more day from the undead plague.
So, one thing a totalitarian regime like North Korea is ably suited for is to marshall all of its forces into closing off its borders and making sure none of its citizens is able to spread the disease should he or she become infected. Ideally, the advantage to martial law is to circumvent time-consuming debate during an emergency. This automatically gives an advantage to a totalitarian regime over a democracy, since only the latter has to bother calling for martial law, the former having already been operating under a military state preceding the emergency. Likewise, because North Korea recognizes no inalienable rights to selfhood, current Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un can put his state apparatus to efficient use by removing all the teeth from his entire citizenry. Not that infection was all that probable, since the country was living in a bubble at the time of the outbreak.
I have been obsessed with zombies for as long as I can remember and I am not really sure why, but I just can't get enough of them! Not the band -- we're talking actual zombies here! Not that zombies actually exist...but you know what I mean. When I found out there was a band named Zombi, I figured I had to at least check them out and I soon became obsessed with Zombi as well. Zombi are a sort of prog space instrumental rock sort of band from Pittsburgh. You could compare them to Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, Goblin, Giorgio Moroder, Yes, Rush, and the soundtracks of John Carpenter. I actually first got into Zombi by listening to Majeure, the project of Zombi drummer A.E. Paterra, which has one album from 2010, Timespan. I was hooked and immediately got all of the Zombi albums that I could find, starting with their last album, Spirit Animal, from 2009, and now I couldn't be happier to have a brand new Zombi album in my life, Escape Velocity, on Relapse. And it is just as good as their last -- dark and spacey. Everyone needs some Zombi in their life.
Listen to "Escape Velocity" by Zombi from their new album Escape Velocity...
I didn't really become an Okkervil River fan until Black Sheep Boy in 2005. Not sure what took me so long but there are a lot of bands out there! It just took me a while to devote some time to them. I already talked about them a bunch in two blogs so I won't waste too much more time on them here. Here I talk about The Stand Ins in 2009. And here I talk about The Stage Names in 2007. I don't want to end up repeating myself but I do still love Okkervil River. And yes, they are still putting out great albums! The new album is called I Am Very Far. I just can't get enough of Will Sheff's voice!