The Employee Interview I: Zack

Posted by Miss Ess, March 31, 2007 06:32pm | Post a Comment
In following with both the fact that Amoeba hires only the most insatiable and voracious music enthusiasts, and the fact that we of course all learn from one another, periodically I will be posting interviews with staff members. In this edition, I discuss with San Fran's own Zack his musical past and present, among other things.

The Employee Interview:
4+ years employed at Amoeba
Floor dude

Q:  What was the first music you remember hearing as a kid, before you had a say?

Z:  "Back in the USSR," "Good Vibrations," and the "Monster Mash." My dad would play these while he got me dressed on the couch in the living room before preschool.

Q:  How have these songs influenced your musical likes and dislikes?

Z:  With the Beatles, it gave me a great pop foundation for discerning melodies I like and dislike, but as I got older I really couldn't take the Beatles anymore and had a long stretch of being completely over them while I explored other musical avenues. Since the birth of MY son I have embraced the Beatles once again, having had enough time off and being able to hear them again for the first time along with him.

Q:  What was your first concert?  Last?

Z:  First concert was the Kinks at the Palladium in LA, '87 and my last was the Melvins at Great American.

Q: What was the first band you heard that really inspired you to get into music?

Z: Nirvana; Dave Grohl played the drums exactly how i was trying to play them at the time.

Q: But then you must have already been into music, if you were already playing drums...

Z:  I would like to revise my answer: Animal on the Muppet Show.

Q: Favorite local band?

Z: The Finches.

Q: Favorite local venue?

Z: Great American Music Hall.

Q:  Favorite musician right this very minute?  First person that comes to mind.

Z: Rob Dickinson of Catherine Wheel, brother of Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden. I just saw him solo and acoustic at Cafe Du Nord and it was by far my favorite one-man acoustical jam I have ever heard.

Q: Favorite celeb?

Z: Elisabeth Hasselbeck. She's terrific, everything out of her mouth is like gold. [Editor's note: yes, that's sarcasm you hear, dear readers.]

Q:  Best show of the past year?

Z: Boris at Slim's. Mindbogglingly heavy. It was my first time seeing them and I couldn't believe there were only 3 people onstage. It sounded more like 20 and I could feel it in my tummy.

Q:  Favorite San Francisco Hangout? (aside from Amoeba.)

Z: Free Locals Only Night at Cafe Du Nord. $5 22oz. Newcastles-- it's a beautiful spot, and all my friends are there.

Q: Best record you ever heard, as of right now this very minute?

Z:  Serena Maneesh, s/t - shoegazer psych out, better than Dungen. Or Harvey Milk, Special Wishes -- perfect blend of Skynyrd and the Melvins, for some heavy melodic doom sludge.

Q: Favorite section of the store?

Z:  New Arrivals Vinyl.

Q:  Vinyl or CD?

Z: Vinyl.

Q:  Anything else you would like to add about your musical development and what music and working at Amoeba means to you?

Z:  The thing I like best about my job is actually putting the thing they [the customers] are looking for in their hand and seeing their smile and relief that they could actually find it in this heavenly mecca of music. I like to soothe people's intimidation factor when they walk into this store and make them feel at home because after all, it is my home.

Q: Thank you for your time.

Avenging Force

Posted by phil blankenship, March 31, 2007 01:00am | Post a Comment

I agree:

The super secret Pentangle organization:

In 1986, action star Michael Dudikoff reteamed with his American Ninja director Sam Firstenberg (Ninja III: The Domination, Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo) & costar Steve James (The Exterminator) for another Cannon Pictures quickie. Steve James is a leading black political candidate. Pentangle is a mysterious, rich & racist organization with its own agenda. Somehow a vengeful Michael Dudikoff is caught between them in a Most Dangerous Game man-hunt scenario. Thankfully, Dudikoff "employs an awesome array of martial arts skills in his desperate fight for survival... and revenge!"

Media Home Entertainment M891

Yes, Indeedy: In the Beginning.....

Posted by Miss Ess, March 30, 2007 04:32pm | Post a Comment
Oh.  Hi there. 

Am I ready for this? Are YOU ready for this? This here is my Amoeba blog....

What will I be posting here? Well, any number of things. You will no doubt learn quickly not only what I am into but probably what I am about, since pop culture- related everything is near and dear to me. I will post reviews of recordings and live shows and even books (cause I am a big music lit junkie), insightful employee interviews, (hopefully) witty commentary about any number of things, and of course, in keeping with any blog worth its salt, I aim to include some celebrity sightings within the store.

Vague enough for you? Well, hopefully you will stay tuned due to my overwhelming charm.....

I guess I also forgot to mention that I am an uber-nerd and esp awkward with computers and now that I put this Mariee Sioux performance on here as a practice thingy and I don't know how to take it off I guess you now have the opportunity to take a moment to check out Miss Mariee performing "Buried in Teeth," should you choose to watch her wonderful self. (And you should. Really.) Oh and should you really like her song, her cd Faces in the Rocks is available up here at Amoeba San Fran.

welcome to my blog!!!

Posted by Brad Schelden, March 30, 2007 03:41pm | Post a Comment
Hello everybody and welcome to my new blog for Amoeba! I am sure your number will multiply and there will be thousands of you reading this in a couple of weeks. I will mostly be discussing music and new releases on this blog, but I will also be talking a lot about all my favorite tv shows being released on DVD. All of the seasons of Golden Girls are now on dvd -- I will find some way to talk about them. You know there has got to be an amazing box set including all the seasons in some amazing palm tree packaging! I will be talking about the new albums that are getting me excited and the old albums that I discover. Every Tuesday I will talk about everything relevant to me that is coming out that week in both music and dvd. And most weeks I will be talking about Morrissey or one of my other obsessions.

 I just got my tix yesterday to see him in Denver, and I am of course very excited! I might get some more tix for a few other shows. I just might have to. He is finally making his way to visit his fans in the states and doing a real tour after releasing two albums with no u.s. tour. I already made the trip down to Pasadena last month to go see him and the show was awesome! You can't really understand how great he is live until you actually see him with thousands of other crazy Morrissey fans. It really is life altering. Ok, thanks for's gonna be a lot of fun...I promise...Brad

August 17, 2003

Posted by phil blankenship, March 30, 2007 03:19pm | Post a Comment

An Introduction

Posted by Mike Battaglia, March 30, 2007 03:00pm | Post a Comment
Hi there!

My name is Mike Battaglia (aka mikebee) and I'm the Electronica Buyer at Amoeba Music SF. This is my own little section of the new Amoeblog, called Technophilia -- because (to quote an old Adamski tune from the early 90's), I Love Technology. Here I'll be talking about electronic & dance music, its past, present and future -- and the myriad sub-genres and strange connections that populate its world. I'll also be gabbing about technology and how it applies to creating and consuming music; how it shapes what we listen to and how we listen to it. I hope you like it!

below, A Piece of an Infinite Whole by Jen Stark, photo by Harlan Erskine (via Boingboing)


Criminally Insane !!

Posted by phil blankenship, March 30, 2007 12:39am | Post a Comment

 It's exactly what you think it is:

And it's exactly what you want it to be (61 minutes!!!):

Criminally Insane is also available on a Retro Shock-O-Rama Cinema triple feature dvd showcases famed softcore director Nick Philips' other horror ventures, Satan's Black Wedding & Crazy Fat Ethel 2 (aka Criminally Insane 2, made in 1987!).

World Video Pictures WV1059

The Outing

Posted by phil blankenship, March 28, 2007 11:41pm | Post a Comment

Quite possibly the ultimate EVIL GENIE movie (let's forget Wishmaster, Wishmaster 2, Wishmaster 3, and Wishmaster 4.... at least until I post a complete evil genie filmography) ! '80s teens in peril (pastel wardrobe & all), poor choices & parties, plus "magical" optical effects combine for a good time (aka running length = < 90 minutes).

The highlight is the genie design (that's him on the back) which looks as if it was so cumbersome they must have resorted to pushing him around in a shopping cart to get any movement. The gruesome results are definitely no picnic here.

The only real disappointment is a surprising lack of nudity...

IVE # 65382


Posted by Job O Brother, March 28, 2007 09:58am | Post a Comment

               INT. GREG'S OFFICE - DAY

               GREG, late 20's, sits in half-lotus position on his cluttered
               desk. He is wearing a button-up shirt and tie. His shoes are

               His eyes are closed. His thumbs and middle fingers, touching.
               He is meditating.

               We can hear the sounds of a bustling corporate world outside
               his office.

               Door opens. Enter LOUIS, pre-teen, overweight, nerdy. He is
               holding a cardboard drink carrier in which are four tall
               mochas. Balanced on top of this is a small paper bag.

               Louis closes the door behind him.

               Greg does not respond to Louis' entry; continues meditating.

               Louis stands still and watches Greg.

               Some time passes.

Karate Warrior

Posted by phil blankenship, March 28, 2007 01:47am | Post a Comment

In 1987, Italian Fabrizio De Angelis struck gold with what would be his longest running film series - KARATE WARRIOR!

Karate Warrior II followed in 1988...
Karate Warrior III in 1991....
Karate Warrior IV in 1992....
Karate Warrior V in 1992 (2 in '92!)...
Karate Warrior VI in 1993....

De Angelis was a true hero during the golden age of Italian exploitation, producing many of Lucio Fulci's greatest works (Zombi 2, The Beyond, House By The Cemetery, New York Ripper, etc) and directing the Native American / Rambo knockoff classic Thunder (plus its two sequels). It seems he's had his fingers in just about everything - he was the special effects expert on Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals (1977) and the CHEF for Cold Mountain !

Karate Warrior followed hot on the heels of Karate Kid 2 (1986), presenting a very similar plotline but shifting the action from Japan to the Philippines. Young American Anthony Scott travels to Manila to visit his estranged father and quickly crosses paths with local thug/ martial arts master Quino. Kicking Quino in the balls (!!!) does Anthony little good to ingratiate himself to his new friend and is soon beaten & left for dead in the forest.... where a kindly monk / former ninja master nurses him back to health & teaches him how to kill a cow with the sacred & powerful Dragon Punch (a feat of magical skill - a blue halo of light engulfs the fist!) At some point, Anthony finds the time to fall in love, save the girl's brother from a house fire AND win her admiration by beating Quino in the town's karate tournament by using the aforementioned Dragon Punch (oops... spoiler alert). All in less than 90 minutes !

The Cultural Overspray of Victor Gastelum

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, March 27, 2007 10:19pm | Post a Comment

A few months ago I had the pleasure of interviewing artist Victor Gastelum for d/ You may recognize his work from the numerous album covers he has done for the band Calexico. Check out the full feature here. Thanks goes to d/visible editor Joanna Hernandez for the great work she did on the layout and editing the feature.

Mastorakis Once More....

Posted by phil blankenship, March 27, 2007 01:55am | Post a Comment
WTF ??

Glitch! (1988) directed by Nico Mastorakis

From the IMDB user comments:
"get this movie if you are frowning and need a wonderful smile on your face!"

Mastorakis Mania !

Posted by phil blankenship, March 26, 2007 02:26am | Post a Comment
Following my recent Nico Mastorakis fascination, I've done a great service & compiled a list of Mastorakis titles available on dvd in the US. There are multiple editions/pressings of most. In general, the '2003' editions on Omega Entertainment are the preferable releases.

Mastorakis Collection on DVD:

Blind Date
Bloodstone (writer/producer)
.Com For Murder
Grandma's House (producer)
In The Cold Of The Night
Hired To Kill
Island Of Death
The Naked Truth
Nightmare At Noon
Ninja Academy
Skyhigh - A Summer On Fire
The Time Traveller
The Wind
The Zero Boys

I also stumbled across a short Mastorakis interview about The Zero Boys!

BONUS Mastorakis film trailer for Nightmare At Noon, another one starring Wings (Vice Squad, Deadly Force) Hauser!

The Zero Boys - A Nico Mastorakis Film

Posted by phil blankenship, March 25, 2007 12:38am | Post a Comment
It's starting to feel like a Mastorakis weekend:



Following yesterday's report on The Wind, I'm back with another Mastorakis hit (and one of my personal favorites), THE ZERO BOYS !

What starts off as a simple military reject / paintball caper, the mood quickly downgrades to a slick & sadistic Deliverance flavored slasher... complete with a SNUFF FILM TORTURE BARN.

Most importantly, however, is that it stars Kelli Maroney (Chopping Mall, Night of the Comet)!!


Adalberto Santiago - Fania Records That I Slept On V.1

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, March 24, 2007 02:45am | Post a Comment
This will be a first in an ongoing series revolving around the Fania Records reissues. Since Fania released over 1500 titles, it was impossible to catch every one, especially since some have been out of print for quite some time until recently. Having the opportunity to listen to some of these great recordings, I'd like to give props to the lesser known releases in their extensive catalog.

Adalberto Santiago is not a household name outside the Salsa music circle, where his name is legendary. He doesn’t have a tragic story like Hector Lavoe, nor does he have the classic underdog story like Cheo Feliciano, but in the New York Salsa scene he was known as the singer who you wanted on your album, even if it was to sing some “coros”(choruses). He recorded and performed with such legendary artists such as The Fania All-Stars, Bobby Valentin, Willie Rosario, and the late great Ray Barretto, who he recorded several albums with. After the stint with Barretto, he formed his own group called Tipica 73 and recorded five albums with them before forming another influential group, Los Kimbos. In 1977, with the help of Ray Barretto serving as the producer, Aldalberto recorded his first solo album on Fania entitled Aldalberto. The CD is worth getting just for the first two tracks, “Imposible Ha De Ser” (Impossible To Know) and the great double meaning “CaÑa” (Sugar Cane). Fortunately, the rest of the album cooks as well. Adalberto's voice is flawless and the arrangements by Barretto are classic, with an excellent percussion section you would expect from an album produced by Ray Barretto.

The Wind - There's Something Deadly In the Air

Posted by phil blankenship, March 24, 2007 12:12am | Post a Comment

Since it is a bit hard to see clearly on the scans, I've blown up the two most important parts of the box (you're welcome!).


Film Tagline:

Closing line on the back:

The fact that the D in Wind is made from the killer's hand scythe certainly makes this one stand out, too.

About the quality of the film, I don't yet have much to say. I've been too obsessed with staring at the box to actually watch the flick. I do know, however, that it HAS to be a killer:

1. Wings (VICE SQUAD!) Hauser plays the mysterious caretaker Phil!
2. This was shot immediately before Meg Foster played Evil-Lyn in the Masters of the Universe live-action motion picture.
3. It was directed by Nico Mastorakis, ALWAYS a sign of '80s quality (be sure to check out Zero Boys if you haven't already).
4. It was released on Lightning Video !

Lightning Video #9964

NP: Various - Broken Flag: A Retrospective 1982 - 1985 5LP Box

Allen Pyle Live at Pehrspace LA 3/21

Posted by phil blankenship, March 23, 2007 01:49am | Post a Comment

The Host
The Outing
Half Nelson
Avenging Force
House on the Edge of the Park
Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon