Posted by Billyjam, May 31, 2007 12:13pm | Post a Comment
r kelly
Amoeblogger Brad Schelden was absolutely right Memorial Day when he predicted that R. Kelly's new album would likely be a hot seller at Amoeba Music upon its release the following day. Go back and check it if you missed this informative AMOEBLOG, which gave a really good history of the ever-popular & controversial R&B star plus a link to his video "Careful" with Sparkle. Equally, if not much more so to some, entertaining is the Dave Chappelle video "R.Kelly: I'm Gonna P*** On You" included on the about to be released DVD The Best of Chappelle's Show (Uncensored): Top 25 Sketches (Comedy Central/Paramount). Available in stores on Tuesday, June 5th, the other 24 sketches include (among others) the sidesplittingly funny 'A Night With Wayne Brady' and 'The Ni**ar Family' sketches, plus the played-to-death so that it's well-past-expiration-date funny  'Charlie Murphy's True Hollywood Stories: Rick James." While I want to own this new DVD, truth is that I have already seen all of these skits a zillion times so right now I prefer to go back and re-watch that surprsingly engaging, revealing James Lipton interview with Chappelle on Bravo's Inside the Actor's Studio.

One of the best videos to surface in the past week or so online is the fun, fast-paced video mashup "Shatner Woo Remix" -- posted by YouTube user "smudgeorama," who took a recent Conan O'Brian interview segment with William Shatner and chopped up and mixed interview portions with clips from a video of renaissance man Shatner driving a car at 160 MPH and remixed it with a cool electronic track into a mind-dazzling 2 and quarter minute video.

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Earth Girls Are Easy

Posted by phil blankenship, May 31, 2007 02:07am | Post a Comment

Vestron 5303

Delta House

Posted by phil blankenship, May 30, 2007 11:53pm | Post a Comment


If Prince Paul & Rod Serling had a tryst w/ Bomb Squad

Posted by Billyjam, May 30, 2007 10:19pm | Post a Comment

Since moving to the Bay Area from Fresno several years ago, Jason Chavez, who works in the hip-hop and soul sections at Amoeba Music in San Francisco, has been extremely active outside of work, busily recording and performing whenever possible. Under the name 4AM, Chavez performs and records a rich variety of music. He also DJs regularly around SF at spots including Sip Bar in North Beach, the Beauty Bar in the Mission, and Milk, directly across the street from Amoeba Music on Haight. As a musician (producer, percussionist, vocalist, etc), he is most prolific and has an impressive catalog to prove this with both his solo releases and as a key collaborator with others including with the likes of art-hop group Octavius, Dopesytle 1231, DJs of Mass Destruction, and most recently as a member of Black Fiction, which also features some other Amoeba Music employees. One of those members is fellow Amoebite Big Ant with whom he has collaborated with on a cool DJ project. 4AM has appeared twice on the Amoeba Music Compilation series: on Volume IV as a solo artist on the track "Sorry Wrong #" and on Volume V under the artist name The Dead Have Highways on the song "The Alone" along with the Count of Monte Frisco. His DJ mix CDs, including the Hug Life series are available at Amoeba SF -- ask for them. Meanwhile, I asked the smart and always witty artist some questions about his life as a musician, an Amoeba employee, creator of the "Hug Life" movement, and a former Fresno resident.

jamoeblog: When did you move to San Francisco from Fresno?
4AM: Aaah, the proper term is 'escaped,' around six years ago in order to promote my first album and basically not die of respiratory problems.

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Self Defense

Posted by phil blankenship, May 30, 2007 06:55pm | Post a Comment

       AWESOME synopsis from the Psychotronic Video Guide:

Media Home Entertainment M012405

Joe Bataan - Live In L.A., June 15-16

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, May 30, 2007 11:47am | Post a Comment

The legendary Joe Bataan is making a rare appearance in the Los Angeles area. You don't want to miss this! Joe, who had retired from live performances for over twenty years at one point, has been doing sporadic shows in the homey hot spots for the last couple of years. He has done shows in San Francisco, L.A., The Bronx and Japan, where the slow and low lifestyle is still going strong.

Many of Joe Bataan albums are still available. Most of what was released on the Salsoul label that Joe Bataan started in the 70’s is still in print. Fania Records has recently reissued Joe Bataan’s classics Mr. New York and the East Side Kids, Riot, and Saint Latin's Day Massacre. Vampisoul, the retro label out of Madrid, has also reissued several of Joe’s classics as well as 2005’s brilliant Call My Name, a collaboration with ESL’s Daniel Collás that kept Joe’s funky Latin soul intact.

Both shows are in the hood, so if you really want to see the old school with their elbows up going side to side, you'll won't want to miss these shows!

Friday, June 15 @ The Montebello Inn, Montebello, Ca.

Saturday, June 16th @ La Conga Mexican Bar & Grill, San Pedro, Ca.


Posted by Billyjam, May 29, 2007 07:49pm | Post a Comment

"It is guitar but a lot of the method is like turntablism" says The Genie, born Luis Monterrosa, the innovator of DJ influenced "scratch guitar"  music, who was brought to the attention of many Amoeba Music fans after he appeared two and a half years ago on the two-CD set Amoeba Music Compilation Vol. V with his wonderful composition "Before The World Goes," which was culled from his own album Rebel Music.
                                                                   As I was just starting to assemble the elements of what would become the fifth volume in the Amoeba Music compilaiton  series, which showcases underground/indie artists -- mainly from California and many of them Amoeba Music employees -- Naomi (the marketing person at the San Francisco Amoeba store) told me about a few "must check out" artists for that upcoming collection. Knowing what impeccable taste Naomi has (much earlier she turned me onto Deerhoof long before it seemed anyone knew about them), I immediately dropped everything to check out the artists she recommended, including the Genie. And again she was right. The Genie is definitely a must check out artist!

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Killer Party

Posted by phil blankenship, May 29, 2007 02:53pm | Post a Comment

Key Video 4512

Notes On A Scandal - Scandalicious!

Posted by Miss Ess, May 29, 2007 11:56am | Post a Comment
Four gold stars for Notes On A Scandal!

I watched the film last night and was blown away by Judi Dench's performance.  It's unusual that a jaded ex film theory student like myself is blown away like that, and although I do truly always love Dame Judi, this was the penultimate character for her I thought. 

Breathtakingly vicious and manipulative, her Barbara is as layered as any real live human being, unusual for a film script these days.  In fact, the layers of each main character in the film, Barbara, Sheba and Steven, are peeled away like the skin of an onion-- as the film progresses we get deeper and deeper into their psyches and man, are they all twisted!

The are also all twisted up in the affair that art teacher Sheba (Cate Blanchett) is carrying on with her seemingly abused 15 year old student, Steven.  Lonely and intense fellow teacher Barbara befriends Sheba, who she alternatively loves and hates for her beauty and bourgeois sensibilities, and she uses their closeness to pull Sheba further and further into her web of neediness when she discovers the affair.

I hate to say this since the film shows the more pathetic sides of humanity, but this movie and its characters reminded me more of real life than most films.  The secretiveness, the two-faced-ness, the desperation, the complication, the was all so dense and realistic!  I loved that Barbara narrates the film and that we get to  hear her innermost thoughts, which she carefully journals every night-- it's the ultimate gournol.  She convinces herself that she knows all about Sheba's life and marriage and thoughts and feelings because she is so absorbed with wanting things her own way, seeing things her own way.

Each character completely justifies his or her actions to themselves, and it is incredible to watch.  Judi already has an Oscar, but still, someone should have given her an honorary award this year for her insanely believable ferociousness and vulnerability in this film.  She scares me now. 

Oh well, I liked Helen Mirren in The Queen too.  And yes, I am still talking about the Oscars in May.&n


Posted by phil blankenship, May 28, 2007 11:46pm | Post a Comment

Embassy Home Entertainment 2087

out today...the day after memorial day 5/29

Posted by Brad Schelden, May 28, 2007 10:12pm | Post a Comment
The day after a big holiday Monday is usually a very sad day for music new releases. All the music distributors and shippers shut down on Monday holidays. Because of this, the labels traditionally keep the Tuesday releases pretty slim the day after the holiday. So R. Kelly and Perry Farrell are both pretty lucky with two new albums out today. Without much competition, the albums might do a little better than they probably should. Most Janes Addiction fans would probably appreciate it if Perry Farrell just stopped making music. He managed to make some brilliant albums in the late 80s and early 90s. He even did pretty good with his post Jane's Addiction band Porno for Pyros. "We'll make great pets" is still repeating in my head after all these years. It was a super catchy song.

Perry Farrell started playing music in the brilliant but short lived band Psi Com. The band released one self titled album in 1985. He went on to create two excellent album with Jane's Addiction. "Nothing's Shocking" and "Ritual de lo Habitual" had a major influence on many of us who grew up in the late 80s and early 90s. Especially those of us growing up in southern California. These albums and their singles were heard everywhere. Everyone had the tapes blasting in their cars and I swear that I probably heard Jane's Addiction at least once a day, somewhere. The band became known as the symbol for alternative music. Back when alternative actually still meant something. Perry Farrell also went on to create the alternative music festival known as Lollapalooza. This was  a pretty exciting festival for kids who had never experienced anything like this before. Perry Farrell also released the movie "The Gift" in 1993. While this may be one of the worst films ever released, it remained one of my favorites for many years.

After a couple failed Jane's Addiction reunions, Perry has now moved on with a new project. Titled Perry Farrell's Satelite Party. The band release their debut album "Ultra Payloaded" today. I'm still regretting that I even listened to it. But the curiosity was killing me. I would not even be talking about it. But there is not much else out today to talk about. Perry Farrell does seem to be having some sort of party on this album. But it seems he doesn't really care if anyone else gets it. Or maybe he really does think this album is some amazing party album that everyone is gonna put on during their next party. The album includes great song titles like "Wish Upon a Dogstar" and "Mr. Sunshine" and "Insanity Rains." It really makes me a little sad. I would really love for him to make another brilliant and relevant album. But I just don't think it is going to happen. Within his songs you can almost hear the old Perry Farrell that you loved not so long ago. But it is buried deep within these horrible party songs. Try to imagine Jim Morrison singing with the Black Crowes  at some bad hippie trance rave that you don't want to be at. That is kind of what this albums is like. The worst of the bunch is for sure "Awesome." The song literally repeats the phrase "Awesome" over and over and over again. I actually made it through the entire album. And I think I deserve some sort of prize for making it that far. I dare anyone else to do the same. I only hope that he at least had a good time making the album. I am gonna try and forget this album so I can get back my memories of the guy that I did love. He made some brilliant albums that still have a hold on me.

Also out today is the new album by the genius that is R. Kelly. I really do hold him up as some sort of genius. He has managed to create some brilliant catchy R & B songs over the years. Robert Slyvester Kelly got his start in the group Public Announcement. But he quickly rose to super stardom with his solo songs "Bump N' Grind" and the brilliant "I Believe I Can Fly." R. Kelly has gonna through a lot the last couple years. He has gone through a trial, been spoofed on South Park and released the amazing 12 part video movie "Trapped in the Closet." He now releases his eighth album "Double Up." The new album features "Pull Ya Hair" and "Freaky in the Club." It also features Snoop Dogg, T.I., Nelly, and T-Pain.

What I love about R. Kelly is that he truly believes that he is a brilliant song writer. He imagines himself as God's gift to the musical world. You really can't blame him. He still remains one of the most popular stars of R & B after all these years. His brilliance was really made evident with the release of "Trapped in the Closet." I really recommend checking it out if you have not had the chance yet. The commentary on the DVD is amazing. I can't really even explain it. But it involves R. Kelly cheating with a woman whose man is cheating on her with another man. Its like a soap opera and R. Kelly is for sure the star. It was even spoofed by the guys of South Park. It was the episode that Tom Cruise tried to ban from TV. They brilliantly combined R. Kelly's song with Tom actually being trapped in the closet. I am sure R. Kelly never planned on his song being used like this. But maybe he did. That is just how brilliant he is.  My favorite songs so far on the album are "Hook it Up" and "Freaky in the Club." Although the more I listen to it, the more favorite songs I get. I could listen to his lyrics all day long. There are some great lyrics in the world of R & B. But he is really at the top. R. Kelly is great at creating stories with his albums. He knows he is writing future hits. But he is also very careful to create a lasting story for his fans.  He has made another brilliant album of smooth R & B. There is no one quite like R. Kelly.
One of my favorite R. Kelly moments still remains his duet with Sparkle, "Careful." 
also out today...

"Sweet Warrior" by Richard Thompson

"In Glorious Times" by Sleepytime Gorilla Museum

"Se Dice Bisonte No Bufalo" by Omar A. Rodriguez-Lopez

(In which Job goes to the hospital instead of blogging.)

Posted by Job O Brother, May 28, 2007 09:24pm | Post a Comment

As I waited with my boyfriend, Corey, in the Emergency Room loading dock, nurses, aides, cleaning people and, I think, some illegal immigrants would rush through. The energy was frenetic. It was like someone spliced together all the link and filler scenes from a TV medical drama, and edited out the entertaining parts where you find out the doctor’s sleeping with the wife of the man who runs the hospital who is an alcoholic/pill addict and, even more tragic, votes Republican.

We learned that Corey had appendicitis. They wanted to perform surgery that night. Our plans to play poker and go dancing would, in all likelihood, have to be cancelled.

A cute picture of my boyfriend, Corey

Corey is a self-professed control-freak, and this would reveal itself in many ways. He would grill anyone who entered our room with the same battery of questions, to which he would receive, more or less, the same answers. I didn’t ask why, but I secretly theorized that he was waiting for one of them to “slip up” and say something like, “Well, you may be feeling discomfort because your uterus is over-extended,” to which Corey could then raise his pointed finger and exclaim, “Ah, ha! Got you! I’m a boy and I don’t have a uterus! Because of my hysterectomy last year.”

My boyfriend won’t find that joke funny, but he’s all cripple from surgery, so I’m safe.

Anyway, my favorite part of that phase of our hospital experience was when Corey called a nurse in and complained of the placement of his IV injection.

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Posted by Billyjam, May 28, 2007 07:54pm | Post a Comment

After posting last week's AMOEBLOG about increasing US postal costs, which included an interview with Dischord Records' Ian MacKaye -- the legendary DC punk icon -- I received a couple of emails off-blog from fans of MacKaye's groups Fugazi and Minor Threat,. One (from Dave in Orange County) linked me to a killer website that takes visitors on a walking tour of the Washington DC punk scene that started in late seventies. The online destination offers "10 txt-walks, 10 videos. Places and stories of hardcore in DC," where you can either view the ten documentary videos on the site or as a podcast. You can also download a PDF map of DC punk from the site.
What I like about the DC punk history site is that it sheds light on a scene that was overshadowed by such well-documented punk scenes in the UK, NYC, and California. And that got me thinking about all the other great USA punk scene histories like Boston, who years ago in reaction to SoCal's well-publicized scene, released the great compilation This Is Boston, Not LA. Another overlooked early US punk scene was that of Chicago, which is captured in the new film You Weren't There: The History of the Chicago Punk 1977-1984 from Regressive Films (movie trailer above). The documentary looks back on the impact that punk had on the Windy City and features such well known bands as Articles of Faith, Effigies and Naked Raygun and such lesser known punk acts as Silver Abuse, Savage Beliefs, and Negative Element.

But of course, if one had to name just one place as the mecca of US punk, it would inevitably be the legendary/no longer there Bowery, NYC club CBGBs. Amid much publicity, it bit the dust last year. And besides the famed punk-palace's stage, it was the club's bathroom that was equally famous. Captured on video about six week's before CBGBs closed in the latter half of 2006, this video captured the famous graffiti'ed/stickered bathroom's vibe. To properly view/appreciate, tilt your head on your left shoulder and imagine the stench of urine:

Memorial Day 2007

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, May 27, 2007 10:47pm | Post a Comment
I will only say that this day seems to make me sad - more and more sad every year.

This, to me, isn't about anything as petty as a red or a blue state, shallow things created by the media to increase the distances between us. My brain chases my heart around, and ultimately they end up over in the corner somewhere, in the dark. Sad. Crushing sadness for everyone involved.

It's a sadness, indeed, to know the state of the world - and to feel the tears upon your face, feeling helpless and alone - wishing for nothing more than this:

Nanci Griffith. Twenty years of helping me stay human in a world that tears apart every human heart. Thank you, Ma'am. I can't thank you enough.

lisa gerrard at the palace of fine arts

Posted by Brad Schelden, May 27, 2007 08:50pm | Post a Comment
So I saw Lisa Gerrard last night at the Palace of Fine Arts. I can't really imagine a better place to see the magical Lisa Gerrard than the Palace of Fine Arts. Besides maybe the Paramount theater in Oakland, where I last saw Dead Can Dance perform a couple of years ago. I usually like to get to the Palace of Fine Arts early so I can walk around and enjoy it, but we didn't have enough time and it was really cold last night. My friend Rosemarie joined me for the show last night. I couldn't think of a greater person to join me for the show. I have not seen her enough lately so it was great to be able to hang out on such a magical evening. We both love the Dead Can Dance and Lisa Gerrard, so we were very excited for the show.

Seeing Lisa Gerrard is sort of like going to church. Her fans are all very devoted and would do anything for their Lisa. And it seems she would do anything for her fans. She really does give back all the love to her audience. You can just feel the love in the crowd. I really do love seeing Dead Can Dance perform with all their magical different instruments. Its also great to see the vocals of both Lisa and Brenda Perry go back and forth. But it was nice to see Lisa all by herself last night. She was joined by one of the members of Dead Can Dance, John Bonnar on keyboards. She was also joined by the guy who plays on the new album on keyboards and piano.

Her shows really are very magical. The feeling you get from the show stays with you years later. Her voice is amazing and really takes over the whole theater. I was literally staring at her trying to imagine how she makes her voice do the things it does. Her voice quickly changes tones and styles in mid song. Its like a whole chorus is coming out her mouth. She played a mix of her new album and her previous solo albums. The best of which is her first solo album, "The Mirror Pool."

Lisa Gerrard and Dead Can Dance are really just a small step away from New Age music. If not for their attachment to the label 4AD and their early goth following they would probably be filed in the new age section. But they are really much more than this. They cross so many musical boundaries that they become unclassifiable. From the moment that Lisa entered the stage she commanded the crowd. I don't think I even heard a single person cough during the entire performance. She seems to entirely enter her songs. She takes a couple extra seconds before each song to sort of let herself into the song. She seems to be not just getting her voice ready for the song but her entire body. And the crowd is right there with her. The song really takes over the whole crowd. I think I even forgot where I was at times until people started clapping.

When Lisa finally took a break and talked to the audience, she thanked the members of her band. However, she didn't just thank the guys on the stage. But she also thanked the sound guys and the person that does the lights. She was also joined on stage by one of her oldest friends. He sang back up on a couple songs but also seems to be her magical assistant. He does all of her costumes and set designs. But also seems to be the one that kept the band together for so long and helped them to put out so many great albums. She was also really gracious and thankful for all her fans. She actually seemed to be really happy we were all there with her. But it really is us that should be thanking her. She helped to create some of the greatest albums of the last 25 years. But she also changed and enriched the lives of anyone who has ever seen her live. I am seriously still trembling from the memories of the last time I saw her. I really do love that Lisa Gerrard. It was a magical night.

Kill And Kill Again

Posted by phil blankenship, May 27, 2007 08:46pm | Post a Comment

Media Home Entertainment M174

(In which Job has a normal day, except for the hospital part.)

Posted by Job O Brother, May 27, 2007 03:44pm | Post a Comment

I’m sorry.

I haven’t written to you in ages, I know. It’s awful of me, but don’t take it personally – I have a really good excuse, and it has the added bonus of being true.

Saturday began normally enough. I woke up about and hour before my alarm went off, percolated some java, weaned my cat off my calf muscles and onto a bowl of kibble, shaved, brushed, exercised and watched the abortion episodes of “Maude”. Nothing remarkable.

Looking natural never looked so unnatural: Bea Arthur greeting you as Maude.

I left home to walk to Amoeba Music Hollywood fifteen minutes earlier than necessary; again, totally normal – I am chronically early to everything.

I was greeted at the door by a big hug from Karen and carefully made my way back to the jazz / classical / soundtracks / New Orleans / gospel / comedy / new age / blues room amidst a maze of potential accidents as created by our early morning cleaning staff.

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Posted by phil blankenship, May 26, 2007 10:51pm | Post a Comment

Embassy Home Entertainment 7669

The Employee Interview Part V: Brent James

Posted by Miss Ess, May 26, 2007 04:28pm | Post a Comment
Brent James
7.5 years employment
Information Control

Q: What was playing in your house when you were a kid?

BJ: Janis Joplin, "Mercedes Benz" and lots of  Willie Nelson, lots of The Doors, Fleetwood Mac.  Basic 70's things that are very important to my formative years.

What was your first show?

The Shirelles at a classic car show in Turlock, California.  No lies, my dad was the president of the Cam Twisters USA! He still is.  That was it!

That's crazy. ...yet fabulous. What was the first band that you were really into?

Ratt.  They made me want to be a musician.  It's true!  Why lie, you know?

What is your favorite venue here in the city?

Cafe du Nord.

Yes, I love it.  That's one of my favorites too.  What is your favorite band right now?

I just gotta say I listen to a lot of old things right now.  Ruth Etting and vocalists of the 30s and 40s is what I am listening to a lot at home, besides the usual.

Wow, I didn't even know that you listened to that kind of thing.  What do you think is the best local band?

I've got to say barbarasteele, but they are not a functioning band anymore, so my next choice would be Black Fiction.  They are amazing live, and there's lots of fur!

Well! So I know you're not really the guilty type, but do you have any musical guilty pleasures?

Amy Winehouse
-- and Charlie and His Orchestra which was a Nazi propaganda swing band.

Geez, I can see why you would feel guilty about that.  Favorite instore of all time here at Amoeba?

Let's see...The Bell Rays and Hedwig and the Angry Inch.  However Queens of the Stone Age in the Hollywood store was just amazing. [ed. note, Brent worked at the Hollywood store for a while a few years ago.]

What was the Hedwig instore like?

It was the touring program that played at the Victoria Theater here, it was just scaled down version of the film performances, and John Cameron Mitchell was there too.

What's a great record you think more people should listen to?

Good question.  I think anything you think you wouldn't like right out of the gates is something you should make yourself listen to later.  You tend to miss a lot of things with the pre-programed "I don't like it" mindset.

So what is your favorite Madonna video?

"Bad Girl".

I don't know that one!

She gets murdered in it!

What is that available on?

The Greatest Video Hits Volume Two.

Then what is your favorite Janet Jackson video?


Oh I love that one!  Favorite hair band video?

Poison, "Talk Dirty To Me."


Because of they have lots of slides and silly string and it was the introduction to Poison.  Glam, glam, glam!

Favorite moment in the Star Wars Trilogy?

Um, Luke realizing that he has to leave home to help his friends.  It takes the death of his aunt and uncle to figure that out, but he realizes, "I'm done with this".

So touching!  Ok, now what is your favorite horror film of all time?

Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  The original.

That was an easy one for you!  What is your favorite part of working here at Amoeba?

The interaction with random strangers, figuring out what everybody is into ,which is always just Amy Winehouse or Lilly Allen. Friends all over the world!

Thank you for your time!  That was so fun!

You're welcome, girl!

Forgotten Warrior

Posted by phil blankenship, May 26, 2007 02:08am | Post a Comment

Monarch Home Video 7401

The Power

Posted by phil blankenship, May 26, 2007 01:07am | Post a Comment

(In which Job mourns the loss of a loved one.)

Posted by Job O Brother, May 25, 2007 11:52pm | Post a Comment
“I miss mayonnaise.”

I thought this to myself as I was walking home from work tonight. It was the sad, unfunny punch-line to a joke that began, “What should I eat for dinner?”

I love cooking for other people. Last minute, eight-course meals deftly prepared using nothing but a half-empty, bachelor’s refrigerator’s groceries? That’s a challenge I am suited for. I am MacGyver in the kitchen. And yes, smart-ass, I in fact could turn a ball of twine and a pinecone into a sumptuous dessert.

Left to my own devices, however, I am more inclined to eat simply. I like very rich foods with few ingredients. I suppose you could say I am the opposite of vegan. In fact, all my favorite foods can be traced back in origin to an udder. (And you Freudians can just back-down, because I have no patience for your antiquated psycho-babble; y’all are the Spanish Inquisition of the Modern Age!)

Cheese, yogurt, eggs – these are the main building blocks of my diet. Up until recently, though, the base of that food pyramid has been – steady yourself – mayonnaise.

Like most of you, I spent the first quarter of my life grossed out by that famous blend of stabilized emulsion of oil and yolks. I was made into a fan by a fellow punk rocker; a girl with long, curly, black tresses who’s name changed as frequently as her sexual partners, and who will remain nameless in this blog because I just said that. It was she who introduced me to the practice of smoking clove cigarettes and dipping French fries into mayo. A temptress indeed.

Tradition informs us that both of these practices are harmful, unattractive, and a good way to end a first date without making it to second base, but when you consider it was this same girl that I wanted to get to second base with, you’ll see why I had no option but to become addicted to both.

The cigarettes I quit long ago. The condiment, only recently.

I’ve never really trusted soy. Oh, I like miso soup, very much, and soy sauce too, if there’s no Bragg’s Liquid Aminos present. It’s these new-fangled incarnations of soy that trouble me.

Soybeans are cooked and ground and whipped and injected and shaped to resemble everything from a scoop of ice cream to a cube of butter to an entire Thanksgiving turkey to my grandmother. The things they do to the soy – the heavy processing – freaks me out a li'l. I am not a scientist; I have done no educated testing to support my theory; I have nothing but intuition.

I feel the same way about waltzes by Johann Strauss, Jr.; I don’t know they’re harmful, I simply don’t trust them.

So when, out of sudden and ill-advised curiosity, I turned a jar of my favorite mayo* around to read the ingredients, I was shocked, appalled, and, as though I had been transported back in time, grossed out to learn that my beloved glop was mostly made out of soybean oil.

I was torn. I wanted to forget I had ever read it. Maybe I had judged soy too harshly? No. No, I couldn’t feel right about soy. But maybe, since I had already enjoyed it for so many years, I could make an exception, just for mayonnaise?

I tried that for a jar, but it was too late. It weirded me out now. I was Adam and Eve, once happy in oblivion and free to enjoy myself; then I succumbed to the Condiment of the Hot Dog Stand of Knowledge, and now I saw that I was naked. And I was sore ashamed.

I discovered Trader Joe’s Canola Oil mayo, but I was living a lie. It wasn’t the mayo I loved. It was smooth as silk and tarter. Not clumpy and subtly nasty like Best Foods. Besides, even without the soy, I had also taken a quick glance at the fat content of mayo. When I did the math and learned that one of my serving sizes equaled about a week’s supply for the Food and Drug Administration, my heart almost stopped then and there.

So, with a great sadness reserved for British soldiers who discover in court that the Chinese woman they’ve been married to for years is actually a man and that they’re going to write many awful plays and films about you, I said “zài jiàn” to mayo.

Love means never having to say 'I'm sorry I have a womb and a Y chromosome.'

It was only then that I realized how much I had come to depend upon it to make simple meals a pleasure. A bland burrito could be made festive with mayo and Chinese spicy sauce. Uninspired linguine with marinara because decadent when mayo made it a sweet-tomato cream sauce. A can of tuna, carrot sticks, peanut butter and crackers – all these things worked fine as an entire meal when paired with mayo. What now?

Well, it’s been some months since I axed mayo from my diet (though I still enjoy it with fries when I go out to eat – it’s like the difference between a glass of wine with friends and a box of wine alone). I can say that I’ve adapted well. I’ve even lost weight.

But on these evenings when I'm particularly tired and I don’t feel like steaming “this” or layering slices of “that”, I am reminded of how convenient, inexpensive and fulfilling mayo was for me. Oh sure, I’m still MacGyver – but these days I feel like I don’t even have a pinecone option, to say nothing of twine.

I determined to take myself out to eat. I rarely do that alone. There’s a sushi restaurant near my home that I wanted to try out, so I headed there, giddy for my impulsive adventure, only to see that it was graded a ‘C’ by the health inspectors. Raw fish and filth? Um, no thanks.

Of course, raw fish, filth, and mayonnaise – now that’s got some possibilities…

My sweetheart in happier times...

[Incidentally, I realize this blog entry has little to do with music, films, or anything else that Amoeba sells. So allow me to say that I really like all albums by Moondog and that you should listen to them. Thank you.]

*I have been a loyal supporter of Best Foods Mayonnaise. Those of you east of the Rockies will know it as Hellmann’s Blue Ribbon, although I’ve seen Hellmann's for sale on the West Coast, too, at Target. Also, Sysco brand is acceptable, which is good, because it seems to be the default of many West Coast restaurants.


Posted by Billyjam, May 25, 2007 08:08pm | Post a Comment
'I'm like the Rainman of the F train now because I now know every speck of that train,' laughed New York public space guerilla artist & recent subway prankster Ellen Moynihan. "Sixty seats, eight doors, and seven poles. And the overhead ads are exactly seventy inches by ten inches," said the ring leader of the spirited and highly creative four-woman House Of Malcontents crew, made up of Ellen and three other New York artists with a shared desire to reshape public spaces such as a subway car to make it more homey. This they accomplished last month when all four boarded an early morning F train in Brooklyn headed into Manhattan, and briskly and artistically made it over to look and feel more like ... home.

'No Train Like Home,' they dubbed the installation that took the four guerilla artists 40 minutes to carry out during early morning New York City commute hour. Carol Tessitore was one of the collaborators. The other two wish to remain anonymous because of the illegality of the maneuver. The idea for the 'No Train Like Home' came to Moynihan, who is also a writer (currently working on a book about Patti Smith), after checking out Mark Ecko's controversial graffiti on subway event in Chelsea a couple of years ago. Later, as she was riding the bland, drab, New York subway, she fantasized about how great it would be to make over the institutionalized-looking subway car into something warmer, to make it feel and look like your living room -- especially since so many New Yorkers spend so much time commuting by subway daily.


At first she thought, "How cool would it be to get a grant and get a lot of money and a subway car of my own to redecorate?" But soon after she gave up on the difficult task of trying to get a grant, and also on the idea of asking for permission. So she studied the subway to learn "every speck" -- taking photos and measuring in preparation for the perfectly plotted makeover morning (April 6th) when Ellen and her three fellow Malcontents went to work on the train. They put a runner rug down the center of the subway car and taped down 'welcome' mats near the sliding train doors, covered the windows with curtains, tied flowers to the poles, put pillows on the usually uncomfortable hard seats, scattered magazines around to read, and nice art to look at instead of the ads already there. "We made copies of family portraits or paintings you'd see at home," said photoshop expert Carol, who also 'stitched together' on computer photo images of books on a shelf and later printed them out on the long reams of paper they had purchased.

Continue reading...

The Weirdo

Posted by phil blankenship, May 24, 2007 09:05pm | Post a Comment

Raedon Home Video RD-011

Old Joy Is the New, Softer, Gentler Joy....

Posted by Miss Ess, May 24, 2007 08:03pm | Post a Comment
So I went to see Old Joy back when it was at the Red Vic.  It's out on DVD now and it's really different from any movie I can think of at the (tired) moment.  In a good way.

I'd like to stress again here on my blog (strongly) that I am not a Yoga Mat Person, but I will say this movie has a meditational feeling to it.  By that, I mean while you watch it there is so much silence and there are so many moments of a quiet kind of reflection that when you finish watching it you really do feel like you went somewhere else on a journey.

The journey of the film takes place in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon.  Old friends from way back Mark and Kurt meet up and go camping.  They haven't seen each other in a long time and it's obvious that their lives have branched far away from one another in those years apart.  What's great about this film is that the issues that  this growing apart have caused are never directly addressed.  Instead, the filmmaker Kelly Reichardt allows the viewer to use those gorgeous silent moments to absorb thoughts and scenery and to reflect, bring about one's own ideas, and draw one's own conclusions.  I love it when movies don't preach their message to you,slam you over the head with whatever it is they are trying to get you to feel,  and this one is brilliant in that regard.

The film definitely sparked my own memories about similar experiences.  It got the awkward silences right for sure. Mark is the Reformed And Now Responsible Guy and Kurt is the Wild Dude That Never Grew Up Totally.  Kurt is still flying by the seat of his pants and Mark is uncomfortably wearing his like Urkel.  I read a review a few weeks ago that said how the viewer sees both Mark and Kurt by the end of the film will say a lot about how that viewer sees life in general and I think that is a fair and interesting comment. 

Kurt is played by Will Oldham,  a musician who occasionally acts.  Mark is played by Daniel London.  The two are so believable it sometimes feels as though you are watching a documentary of sorts, esp with all the nature shots in the film.  It really sucked me in.  If you can't handle films that are meandering and low on plot, this ain't the flick for you.  If you are in a yoga mat kind of mood though, you might get into it.  Actually, despite my stance, I truly did.  Geez.

In A Tired Week, There Is Jolene

Posted by Miss Ess, May 24, 2007 07:04pm | Post a Comment
Oh, what a week.

The View is self destructing right there on live tv for everyone to see.

America's Next Top Model is over.

                                                                            Even b-b-b-boring American Idol is over.

What else is there?

Well, there's a new video for the White Stripes first single from their forthcoming album, Icky Thump.  You can watch it here: Icky Thump Video Hottness

Please note that Jack White got a long-needed haircut and looks amazing.  Oh yeah, the song's killer too.  I like Meg's fake eye.  I like the Mexican whorehouse setting.  I like that Jack gets vaguely political in the song for the first time ever.  He's always been outspoken about avoiding that sort of thing so it's curious he put that line about America and immigrants in there.  Good stuff.  It's going to be so interesting to hear if the album sounds like the first single.  Last time with Get Behind Me Satan "Blue Orchid", its first single, ended up sounding totally different from anything else on the record.  We shall see what they have in store for us.

I know I have written about The White Stripes maybe too much but hey I am exhausted today and they are one of my favorite bands, what I am attuned to right now, so there you go.

These new Dolly Parton reissues are pretty great.  I have Just Because I'm A Woman and (speaking of The White Stripes) Jolene.  Isn't "Jolene" one of the best songs ever?  Dolly played the Hardly Strictly  Bluegrass Festival a couple of years ago I was there and she was so amazing she brought tears to this jaded record store employee's eye.  Even afterward when people who were closer to the stage told me she might've been lipsyncing I still didn't particularly choose to believe them or care either way.  Her presence alone is phenomenal.  She sang "Jolene" for us that day, among many other of her songs, newer and older.  In her turquoise dress she looked like she was ready to play some music and then go ice skating, show us some of her tricks.  She played dulcimer, guitar, banjo-- and her flying V electric guitar matched the shade of her dress exactly!  Oh that Dolly, she's the consummate performer! 

Watch this!:

I just love Dolly's description of her girlfight -- I believe she could kick some little green eyed redheaded woman's ass anytime!  Any gal from the backwoods of Tennessee with 11 brothers and sisters can certainly hold her own. I bet she takes her earrings off before she fights and digs her nails and heels in!  But the best is that she wrote the song about it and it rules so much and she made megabucks off of it!  Sweet revenge.

Just for comparison, and if you are not totally sick of hearing about them, here's The White Stripes' version of  "Jolene". 

I think it is so super hot that Jack White doesn't change the genders of the characters in the song.  That YouTube version is not the greatest vocal performance ever, but you get the idea.  The White Stripes released that song as the B side to "Hello Operator" back in 2000 and I love how often their B sides are better than their A sides.  Well, "Hello Operator" is a strong song too.  They are just full of singles and tight tracks.  And tight pants.....

OK, no more.....I gotta stop.


Posted by Billyjam, May 24, 2007 05:29pm | Post a Comment
When at the beginning of last week the United States Post Office quietly but significantly raised its rates (yet again), small struggling music companies that depend on mail-orders to generate important cash-flow particularly felt the pinch. Among them was Washington DC's Dischord Records, the longtime, legendary, anti-capitalist label founded by Jeff Nelson and Ian MacKaye. As a result of the USPS rates hike, the label was forced to abandon its long-running, customer-friendly, postpaid policy whereby, until just last week, when someone bought, say, a mail-ordered copy of a Fugazi album or CD for $10, the price included all shipping and handling costs. But not anymore! 
"For the first time in our 27 years we decided that we can no longer cover for the Post Office because we've always had a postpaid price. We always operated like 'this is the price including postage' but they keep raising the price at a maddening pace," said Dischord's Ian MacKaye who is equally known for his membership of such bands asTeen Idles, Minor Threat, Embrace, Fugazi, Pailhead, and most recently, The Evens.
"We were before just barely breaking even," said MacKaye in an interview with me on WFMU last week (listen to archive), in which he suggested that something even criminal is afoot with the latest USPS price hikes. "This most recent increase, I think, is completely insane and it is a crime. Someone from Time Warner and similar kinds of corporations has gotten involved and they've managed to create a situation in which their rates have not gone up or they have gone up insignificantly and yet the smaller publishing companies, and that includes Dischord and other labels, our prices for shipping went up 30%, so if we were selling a CD for ten bucks and charging a $1.60 to ship it, it's now gone up to something like $2.20. It's quite an increase."

Margaritas At El Conquistador

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, May 23, 2007 02:42pm | Post a Comment
The first thing you’ll notice about the Mexican restaurant El Conquistador is that it is gay, but in an old school Mexican way some of us grew up on, like that mustachio tio who liked to wear tight Mariachi pants yet never played Mariachi music. The tio your mom said was married but we never met our Aunt. It was that same tio that always brought a male “friend” to family functions. When I go to El Conquistador, this is where I imagine my gay tio hanging out, having Margaritas.

El Conquistador is in Silver Lake, a throwback to when Silver Lake was all Latinos and gays with a few bohemians scattered about. The main attraction is not the food. In fact, skip it all together; your stomach will thank you later. The star of the show is their Margaritas. When you absolutely, positively, want to forget everything on your mind, this is the place.

El Conquistador does not have the best Margarita. El Compadre's infamous “Flaming Margarita” is the best that I have had so far. But if you try to light a flame in one of El Conquistador’s Margaritas, you’d make a Molotov cocktail instead. Yeah, it’s that strong. After a hard day of work or a bad break-up, El Conquistador's Margaritas works better than the Lacuna procedure in the movie, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Whatever your flavor, order your Margarita “Rocas con sal.” That’s the way to have it. Blended just doesn’t cut it, ever. I like the cross section of people that go to El Conquistador -- Leather Daddies in chaps sitting next to the Alterna-moms with their babies in carriages, sucking down margaritas, trying to forget motherhood for a few. Then there's Retro-rockers looking like they stepped out of a Uriah Heep album next to newly in-love couples sharing eyes and a margarita with two straws like a milk shake. Of course, don’t forget, along with our gay tios is our gays tias hanging in strong. I didn’t have a gay tia in my family, so when I have children, I’ll have to adopt one.      

Toni Smith, you down?


El Conquistador
3701 W. Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(323) 666-5136

Jury Duty - Excuses Are Like _______, And Everyone Has Them

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, May 23, 2007 01:10pm | Post a Comment
It’s been three years since I had to report to jury duty. The last time I had to go I sat in a jury waiting room reading Walter Mosley books until they dismissed us at the end of the day. I love Walter Mosley’s Easy Rawlins series because it all takes place in Los Angeles, mainly South L.A., not too far from where I grew up. Much like reading other Los Angeles writers such as Raymond Chandler, John Fante and Charles Bukowski, I try to imagine what Los Angeles looked like years before I was born. Some of the areas that they wrote about that were once suburbs are now ghettos. Other areas, mainly downtown L.A., once inhabited by immigrants, cutthroats and hustlers of all kind, have now been replaced by unimaginative people with money displacing anyone with flavor.

I took the Gold Line from my place in Cypress Park and transferred to the Red Line that dropped me off right at Civic Center, where the courthouse is located. Once in the courthouse, the woman in charge giving the instructions for the day lost it after 10 minutes of repeating herself several times. People just don’t listen. She told people to fill out the green portion of the summons and soon several people were filling out the purple section. She told people not to ask questions until after the end of the instructions and soon several more people were coming up to her to ask her the same questions she just gave the answers to. People who work in this field must cut their life expectancy by ten years with all the yelling they have to do.

Immediately, we were called into a courtroom for jury selection. No Walter Mosley for me today. The judge explained that this particular civil case was expected to last from 30-60 days. A collective groan came out of all us potential jurors. The first thing we had to go through during the section process is going through the hardship cases. Out of a room of ninety people, seventy-five of us had excuses why we could not be on a jury for that long of a duration. The judge was reasonable. He dismissed people that were going to school, caregivers for the elderly or parents with a single earner income. Others tried to stretch the truth by adapting other people’s hardships to their own in hopes that will get them out of jury duty. At this point you've got to wonder about the intelligence of some people. You are going before a judge, a person that has to differentiate truth from fiction EVERY DAY! Do you really think he's never met a liar before? This just made the judge upset. He dismissed the liars and made them come back the next day, thus continuing jury duty for at least one more day. Those idiots left grinning, thinking they pulled one over the judge, not knowing that 90 % of us will complete our jury service in a matter of hours.

patrick wolf live at cafe du nord...

Posted by Brad Schelden, May 23, 2007 10:23am | Post a Comment
So last night we went down to the beautiful Cafe Du Nord to see the brilliant Patrick Wolf. Curt had never been there! So I was excited for him to see it. The bastard has only been to San Francisco once about five years ago. I missed that show and have been waiting ever since to see him live. I have loved all 3 of his albums and have been waiting patiently to hear how they sounded live. I was a little worried that he would disappoint.  It was hard to imagine him pulling off the brilliance of the albums in a live setting. But he literally blew me and everyone there away. I was expecting some over the top outfit and of course he met my expectations in this regard at least. I thought maybe some suspenders and a jaunty cap with a feather. He came out with a blue wig, shiny gold suspenders and little school boy shorts. He reminded me of a young Liza Minnelli mixed with McCauley Culkin's version of Michael Alig. Maybe with a little Marc Almond and high school musical thrown in there. He even made a costume change half way through the show. He was joined by three young men on stage. Stand up bass, drums, and of course electronics. His violin player had gone back to England because of the "weather." The songs sounded great live and he was quite the little show man. He interacted with the crowd and told some great little stories.
He played a lot of my favorites from the first two albums. The live version of "To the Lighthouse" brought some little tears to my eyes. The highlight of the night was right before he came on stage. Five bears walked right in front of us to find their spot for the show. While a couple of them were obviously dragged to the show. The fact that they were there made me happy. It was overall a very stylish indie crowd. But its nice to know he has crossed the boundaries into bear territory. And I swear I saw George Lucas and Catherine Zeta Jones in front of me as well. The best thing about the show was how positive he was. He could have easily been a little mopey depressed emo goth on stage complaining about how horrible and tragic his life was. But he instead remained positive and optimistic. He shared not only his music with the audience but also a little bit of love. I left the show with a big smile on my face.

A nice pleasant surprise was the opening band for Patrick. A perfect match and complete opposite at the same time. No Bra is really hard to explain unless you were there seeing it as it happened. No Bra is basically one very unique lady and some pre recorded synths and drum machines. She reminded me of really early synth bands like The Normal and Cabaret Voltaire. She really had the crowd wondering if they should think she was the worst thing ever or brilliant. I quickly decided I was going with brilliant. Her dead pan delivery mixed with the minimal electronics somehow worked. And of course, she was wearing no bra.  She was also wearing no shirt. The song "Munchausen" stole the show. It is basically just a conversation between two hipsters showing off who they know and what they know. It reminded me of the recent Saturday Night Live skit where the woman tries to out do everyone by claiming to have done something even better that what they have done. It just might turn out to be the most unlikely song of the year. At least for me.

the albums coming out today 5/22

Posted by Brad Schelden, May 21, 2007 07:29pm | Post a Comment
Out today is the new album by Erasure. Yes, they are still putting out albums. It seems like they are putting out a new album every year or so now. Almost as often as their best period in the late 80s and early 90s. Vince Clark, one half of Erasure, is for sure one of my heroes. After helping to form Depeche Mode and create one of the first brilliant synth albums "Speak and Spell,"  he went on to create two brilliant Yaz albums. Then  came Erasure with such brilliant albums as "Wonderland, "The Innocents," "Wild," and "Chorus." Erasure has actually surprised me a couple times over the past couple years by creating some still brilliant songs. They basically invented synth pop back in the 80s. I can't really imagine where I would be without them. They have wrote some of the catchiest songs of the period that still remain great songs.

 This new album is about their 13th full length album. Maybe their 15th if you count "Crackers International" and the brilliant ABBA cover album "ABBAesque." They have continued to make accessible dance albums over the years. However, with 13 or 15 albums there are bound to be some ups and downs. "I Say I Say I Say" really marked the end of the great Erasure albums, for me at least. Some might say it ended with 1991's excellent album "Chorus." In 2005 they ended up making a great comeback album, "Nightbird." I have to admit that I am still impressed with Erasure and their new album "Light at the End of the World." It may not have as many great songs as their albums of the past. But Andy Bell and Vince Clark still have the magic to make a catchy pop album. It is easy to find yourself singing along to most of the songs on the album. It might just be my memories of albums past that has kept me an Erasure fan after all these years. But they still have me under their spell. They created a lasting genre that has affected millions and influenced many.

Also out today is the first full length from Voxtrot. This band got me hooked the first time I heard their EP, "Raised by Wolves." I swore the band was some new twee band form London or maybe Scotland. I was a little surprised to find out they were actually just from Austin, Texas. They were obviously influenced by bands like the Smiths and Belle & Sebastian. They  created beautiful little catchy indie songs. Songs that you could sing along with the first time you heard them. Its nice that they actually are putting out an album of 11 brand new songs. None of these songs were on any of the EPs that have already been out.

 This album easily stands up to any of the other more popular album of the genre such as the Shins or Belle & Sebastian. It is one of those albums that quickly becomes your favorite new album. It makes me a little proud that some kids from my own country can create an album that I thought could only come from across the Atlantic. It just has the feeling of a British indie album. It has those catchy brilliant and intelligent lyrics that the British are known for. I have to admit my excitement about this band has calmed down a bit since I first heard them. Maybe I just listened to those EPs too much. But I am giving the album a couple more listens cause I know it will soon become one of my favorites of the year.

also out today...

"Black Rain" by Ozzy Osbourne


"Mirrored" by Battles

"Boxer" by The National

"So Real" by Jeff Buckley

Sissy Spacek @ No Fun Fest 2007

Posted by phil blankenship, May 21, 2007 04:52pm | Post a Comment
my roommate's band performed this weekend at the No Fun Fest in NYC.

here was their set:


Posted by Billyjam, May 21, 2007 10:39am | Post a Comment
Juan (AKA Wonway Posibul), who joined Amoeba Berkeley two and a half years ago, lives and breathes hip-hop. At the East Bay music store his title is hip-hop buyer. Outside, he is emcee Wonway Posibul with Berkeley hip-hop crew the Secluded Journalists. Additionally, the always busy artist has, over time, collaborated with many other artists on projects including the acclaimed A Tribe Called Quest tribute he recorded with Oakland Faders DJ and fellow Amoeba Berkeley employee DJ Platurn. He is also an in-demand DJ and currently spins at East Bay spots, including Kitty's and Easy Lounge. But it is the unique class that this qualified educator teaches once a week at Cell Space in San Francisco that he finds most rewarding. "Def Ed" is the exact title of the progressive course he teaches on the art of emceeing. As well as schooling his young students on how to effectively write rhymes, Juan also carefully mentors them on how to present their rhymes properly -- how to flow.

AMOEBLOG: How does teaching kids to emcee benefit you as an artist and as a person?
JUAN: I was raised by a community that consisted of family, friends, artists, activists, and teachers. I wouldn't have progressed as an emcee without them. So it's only natural I give back to the community that raised me -- especially with Hip Hop nowadays and the consolidation of images and ideas that's being presented to the youth. I feel like teaching is one little way of fighting the bullshit, and trying to establish a balance. This is my first year teaching, so just making these lesson plans, and breaking down what I feel is important to be an emcee, and for the first time critically looking at what I'm doing, I'm learning a lot and becoming a stronger writer and emcee because of it. The kids also bring an energy along with some new styles that I think are very exciting and inspirational.

(In which Job becomes a star!)

Posted by Job O Brother, May 21, 2007 08:35am | Post a Comment
So, a couple days ago, I clocked in at work and noticed a flyer attached to the time-clock, informing my fellow Amoebites and I that, early Monday morning, there was going to be a film crew outside the store, shooting crowd scenes for the new film featuring Alvin and the Chipmunks.

(Insert tire screeching sounds here… or, in Great Britain, tyre screeching sounds.)

Whereas I’m sure this notice was met with emotions ranging from ambivalence to eye-rolling annoyance by many, as you know from reading my previous blogs (which you have subsequently committed to memory in preparation for the quiz at the end of this term – you do realize it counts as a third of your grade, right?) I (insert the “f word” here, adding the suffix “ing” as a gerund) love the Chipmunks (insert exclamation point here, so as to emphasize the radness of it all)

I immediately e-mailed the lovely and efficient Kara, the puppet-master of such events and told her that I was the biggest Chipmunk fan and that I simply had to attend, even if it was only to hide in the corner and watch. She responded and said she’s ask the filmmakers if I could hang.

I waited with the patience of Job, which in my case always applies even if I’m not very patient at all. It’s one of the perks of having said name. Like people who’s names are, like, Yourhairlookgreatoday – they will always be told nice things about their coiffure, even if it looks bad. Or bald. Even if they have dead rats and popped eyeballs crusting in their curls and the mucus of twenty diseased boars dripping from beneath their berets, they still get told their hair looks great.

I suppose, if someone who had a name like Justkiddingyouaresouglyandewgrosstheresdeadrodentsandboogersatopthyscalp was actually embebbed in Yourhairlooksgreatoday’s bouffant, then the compliment could be discounted, but really, how realistic is it that someone’s going to cuddle in the cowlicks of animal-rennet rinsed roots?


Okay… I don’t know where that tangent came from, but I’m going to pretend it didn’t happen and move on. Hopefully you will, too.

Fast-forward to six o’clock Monday morning. I had been up the bulk of the night working on climate-change disaster-film concepts to pitch (just the kind of homework one incurs living in Hollywood), when my phone rings. It’s Kara. The film people finally responded about my request, and it was a “go”.

I had 20 minutes to go from grizzled and sleepy old man to fresh and capable young whip, and arrive at Amoeba Music Hollywood at 6.30 am. Which I did.

Kara was already on the scene, all smiles and caution as she watched teamsters turn the face of our beloved store into a façade for a huge and glamorous event that would never actually happen. “UPCOMING INSTORE: ALVIN & THE CHIPMUNKS” the marquee read, and colorful signs were framed by every portion of wall. Hired extras were assembling in place, made to look as though they had been camped out all night, waiting to be first inside to see the show.

It was surreal, to say the least. I ended up meeting one of the fellows in charge of the whole thing (I don’t know what his official title was, but people seemed to listen to him when he bossed them around) and he told Kara and I about some of the people who were going to be starring in the film. I never asked, nor got clearance to reveal who these actors were, (how was he to know he was in the presence of an Amoeblogger, the cutting-edge of news media) so I’m not certain if I’m even allowed to say what I learned. Instead, allow me to entertain you with random pictures of some people who I’M NOT SAYING ARE GOING TO BE INVOLVED IN THIS MOVIE.

Anyway, boss-man and I bonded over our mutual pasts in Holland (it all started with a shared awareness and love of koffie verkeerd). Before I knew it, I was cast as an “Amoeba employee” in charge of manning the doors of our store and making sure no one got in before it was time.

This became increasingly disorienting as opening time neared, and real customers and employees began arriving, mixing with paid actors pretending to be waiting to get it. Because I was stationed at the front door, I ended up doing what I had been instructed to pretend to be doing.

Our time-clock is always littered with announcements; everything from plaintive requests for sofas to crash on, advertisements for music shows and art openings, or calls for volunteers to help distribute homes to the foodless – things like that. You can’t expect an employee to soak in all that information, so it was no surprise that many of my as-yet-uncaffeinated co-workers greeted the spectacle with confusion, astonishment and yes, a little fear.

It really did look like we were about to host a packed, high-profile in-store featuring a band consisting of fictional, animated singers. In a world of rockers rendered cynical and unshockable after the suicide of Kurt Cobain and emergence of 90’s retro (huh?) it was a rare moment of genuine shock. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that it became the most gratifying aspect of my morning – seeing their befuddled faces as they neared the building.

It was a few hours of rushed and energetic standing around and doing nothing; a description that reads like an oxymoron but absolutely applies in the world of the movie extra, a job I soon realized I could never commit myself to. I’m too anxious to stand around “acting” like I’m standing around. And my existentialist self got kind of grossed out by the irony of it all.

It came time for the store to open and Kara and Jim (one of the people who claim to be my “boss” at Amoeba, though I’ve never seen any papers to prove it) made certain that the film industry was vanished in time to be replaced by real people, really waiting to get into the real in-store.

I was asked to sign a waiver and informed that I would get paid for the work I did (Really? Paid to stand around and do nothing? So this is what it’s like to be a security guard!*) I stumbled home and crawled back in bed, glad to be a part of Chipmunk history and relieved that I had something new to blog about.

That's me in the Amoeba T-shirt. Eat your heart out, Monty Clift.

*I kid. Our security guards are the hardest working people I know, and I’m not just saying so because they could blend me up in a protein shake and drink me.

Lights! Cameras! Murder!

Posted by phil blankenship, May 20, 2007 12:45pm | Post a Comment

Where is this film in the IMDb ???

Atlas Entertainment Corporation 5011

bjork live!

Posted by Brad Schelden, May 20, 2007 12:36pm | Post a Comment
So yesterday started off really good. My old friend from Long Beach Poly High School dropped by Amoeba. I had not seen Melissa in like 14 years. But of course we recognized each other and it seemed like it had only been a couple months. I didn't really realize that I miss her until we hung out a little.  The rest of the day I had little memories of all the important events I experienced with her. We had to talk about Cameron Diaz a bit. I still can't believe she has not talked about her formative years in high school drama. So I dedicate this blog to my friend Melissa. It's crazy its been so long.

Last night we had the pleasure of seeing Bjork live. For some reason I have never made it out to see her before. I kind of find it hard to believe myself. But it just has never worked out. Or maybe I've been to so many shows at this point that I am starting to forget who I have  seen.  Although it is kind of a hassle to get all the way out to Shoreline, it is kind of a fun adventure.  It's like a little vacation. Parking is just a bit of a nightmare. Even though they have hundreds of employees directing traffic, it still manages to take way longer than it should. There is also nothing really to do in Mountain  View other than work at Google or go to a show at Shoreline.  But we did manage to find In-N-Out. So did everyone else it seemed. So we ate our meatless hamburger with hundreds of other Bjork fans. I don't ever eat fast food, but In-N-Out is my one exception. Even though the employees seem to be all part of some weird religious cult, they do make good food. And it is nice that nothing is frozen. They also don't look at you weird when you order an animal style grilled cheese!

I always feel like I am at a Lollapalooza show when I go to Shoreline. Its huge and they have tons of bad food and overpriced alcohol. Its also like an outdoor mall with all the stuff they try to market and sell to you. As we were rushing back to our seats with our 8 dollar pabst blue ribbon some lady yelled at us "You already won." I seriously wish I had time to see what great promotional item I had already won, but we were in a hurry. Bjork fans are  almost as cute as the woman herself. I saw many gold and silver shoes and tons of expertly dressed hip kids. I was hoping for more yarn knitted multicolor hippy raver sweater outfits. But nobody wanted to upstage Bjork I guess. Before the show started I was really hoping for some pyrotechnics. My wish came true during the first song.

Opening for Bjork was Ghostigital and  Joanna Newsom.  By the time we parked and found our seats, Joanna was almost done. I have to admit I am not much of a fan. But after watching her and the crowds enthusiastic reaction to her, I kind of get her more now. I still don't like her, but I have now come to an understanding of the relationship she has with her fans. It's hard to explain. But she is a little magical when she is on stage. A perfect opener for the magic that is Bjork live. She was joined by 4 dudes on drums and keyboards and electronics. She also had her 10 Icelandic back up singers/horn section. They were all dressed like colorful puffy teletubbies with flags coming out of their heads. And they were as enthusiastic as the crowd when dancing and jumping around to all the songs.

Bjork is really something else from some other world. She was wearing some crazy gold  shiny quinceanera outfit that only she could pull off. She really commanded the crowd. I kept noticing that I had a big smile on my face the whole show. It is like she put this spell over the whole crowd and made everyone love each other. Is this what happened at Grateful Dead shows. Is Bjork the new Jerry Garcia? It really was a great show. The songs were all reinvigorated live and sounded awesome. She also had these amazing lasers that shot out in the crowds during some of the songs. I really do love lasers. The monitors on the stage and up above the stage did not just feature shots of Bjork jumping around the stage. They focused a lot on the band and the instruments they were playing. It was just a really fun enjoyable show. Everyone was so happy to be there and so was Bjork. My only problem was that the show was a little short. I really expected more than 2 encore songs. It really messed up my plan of leaving early during the last song. I wanted to get out before the crazy traffic jam that I knew we could be expecting. But out of all those thousands of people we ran into my friend Elise outside. Even though it was just a brief hello and goodbye it was the perfect end to the night. I just happened to run into someone I knew out of all those people. Bjork really is a little magical.

The highlights of the night were for sure "Aeroplane" "Unravel" "Hyperballad" and "Pagan Poetry" but here is the whole list of what she played for us...

Earth Intruders                            
02. Aeroplane
03. Unravel
04. Dull Flame Of Desire
05. All Is Full Of Love
06. The Pleasure Is All Mine
07. Pagan Poetry
08. I See Who You Are
09. I Miss You
10. Army Of Me
11. Innocence
12. Wanderlust
13. Mother Heroic
14. Five Years
15. Hyperballad
16. Pluto


17. Oceania
18. Declare Independence

New Moon: Elliott Smith Rises Again

Posted by Miss Ess, May 19, 2007 12:24pm | Post a Comment
I listened to Elliott Smith almost constantly for a number of years, in particular during my collegiate hermit era.  His music has meant a lot to me, so this week's release of New Moon was sad and happy at the same time for me.  I think that's how his music always is too, rolling opposites into one, simultaneously delicate and strong.  It's one of the best things about his songs and no small part of what makes them classics.

New Moon is a double cd length collection of songs that for various reasons never made it to full length albums. Elliott always wanted to put out a double album a la The White Album, and it's hard that this posthumous collection is as close as he got. The tracks are all from the years 1994-1997, arguably his best period.  Some of them are from singles and some are never before released.  Being a big ol' fan, I had heard pretty much all of  them before (Thanks Charlie!), but that doesn't lessen the impact of hearing them again for the first time in years and having them all together collected.  I have to say since Elliott's death in 2003 I had virtually stopped listening to his records.  I feel strange hearing his voice again on New Moon and I keep listening to it over and over and over.

The great thing about the release, aside from the amazing songs, is that it was put together by people who were really close to Elliott and who knew his aesthetic and how important it is to maintain his vision.  None of the tracks are overdubbed or messed with; they are presented in the form they were recorded, and they are as spare as any of his early releases. 

His songs are so unbelievably rich and evocative.  I think the detail in every aspect of every song is nearly unparalleled.  His songs are fantastic top to bottom, from the lyrics to the chords to the melody.  Even the covers he chose over the years are flawless.  One of my favorites, "Thirteen" by Alex Chilton, is included here at last.  I feel like my meager writing can't do the tracks any justice, so i don't have too much to say except that I am sad that he's not around any more and I am hopeful that more and more people will find his music.  And that you should listen to "Angel in the Snow" cause it's one of the best songs he ever wrote.  It is so funny and also telling that Elliott's throwaways are usually better than what 90% of people putting out music ever write.  He must have been very hard on himself.

One of my favorite things Elliott did is actually a film shot during the period when he was writing the songs that appear on New Moon.  Its called Lucky Three and it features Elliott wandering around Portland and playing a few songs (including "Thirteen").  It's kinda a peek into his life at that time, walking through the Rose Garden and to get coffee, playing songs in the bathroom and his tiny studio.  The images and sounds together create such a beautiful feeling.  It's one of my favorite things ever.  I used to watch it late at night to get my anxious self in the mood to fall asleep.   Jem Cohen, who shot the Fugazi documentary Instrument, made it.  Here it is if you wanna take a peek (it's only about 10 min long):

The part where he is playing "Angeles" and nails it without even looking at the guitar at all honestly crippled me from playing my guitar for years.  It seemed pointless to try when someone could play like that. 

If you for some reason haven't heard any of his records before, you should get Either/Or and go from there.  He was one of the greats.

Invasion Force

Posted by phil blankenship, May 18, 2007 11:52pm | Post a Comment

A.I.P. Home Video 7043

White Stripes Style Alert! In This Edition: Jack Attempts the Duck Tail & A History In Photos

Posted by Miss Ess, May 18, 2007 11:50pm | Post a Comment
That feeling's in the air:  it's almost time for a new White Stripes record!  This one's gonna be called Icky Thump and it comes out June 19.  Part of the excitement of a new White Stripes record is always seeing what their new style will be.  I would even go so far as to say they are Beatles-esque-- between each record they disappear for a bit and come back with a totally different look.  So here's what we have this time:


Woo hoo!  I gotta get me a pi....I mean, a copy of that magazine!

Despite not really being all that concerned with fashion, per se, myself, I have to give Jack White (we all know he is the mastermind of the group) credit for being such a fashion forward kind of guy.  He is always off on his own trip, whether its music or style or anything and I respect that....even if I dont always love the look!  Let's take a moment to ponder the many looks of the White Stripes, shall we?  For a band that only limits itself to dressing in three colors (red, black & white, in case you hadn't heard), they sure go crazy! 

Exhibit A, The Early Years:

This is when they were going for that childlike thing, circa 1998.

Exhibit B, The Uber Arty Years:

This is when they were going for that "We are Serious Artists" thing.  And it's my favorite of their records too.  Guess that one worked for me.

Exhibit C, The Euro Year:

Yes, that IS a white belt.  Guess no one told him.  Circa 2000ish

Exhibit D, Fame Is Scary:

This is their "Oh God, What Have We Done?!" phase, circa 2001.

Exhibit E, Are You Ready For the Country Era:

A personal fave of mine, circa 2003.

Exhibit F, Bolero...:.

The Stripes rock Brazil and Jack brings back souvenier bad facial hair. Circa 2005.

Exhibit G, Goth Time-- Everyone Else Is Doing It...:

Circa 2006

Exhibit H, And Then There's the Phil Spector Misstep:

Sure, Phil Spector is a genius producer and gun wielder, but did ya hafta copy his hair?  Circa 2007.

And here, apparently is the Icky Thump album cover, Exhibit I:

Are they Mariachis?  Maybe they will be playing at Puerto Allegre one of these nights.

I'm sure the only person that is at all interested in this is me....and maybe Corrie...but many other bands are working it this hard?  I mean, bands that make quality music and work it....


Posted by Billyjam, May 18, 2007 11:49am | Post a Comment

The cassette revival seems to be well under way, albeit underground, judging by two cassette-themed events this week: "Leaderless: Underground Cassette Culture Now" -- the ongoing Thurston Moore curated exhibition overviewing contemporary American cassette culture that opened a week ago and runs until May 28th at Printed Matter at 195 Tenth Ave. in New York City, and the "2007 Cassette Jockey Championship" -- scheduled for this weekend (May 19/20) in the Bay Area at the fun DIY-themed Maker Faire at the San Mateo Fairgrounds, in which CJs (as distinct from DJs) will battle it out on their own personally rigged cassette set-ups. 

But don't call this the cassette comeback. As those deep into the beloved analog format (mainly noise, experimental, and psych music purveyors) will point out, the popular tape format of the 70's and 80's never really went away. It just got pushed further under the radar to become more of a speciality and collectable item, just like vinyl and (more recently) even CDs. But interestingly, it is not so much hip-hop, whose whole foundation was built on the "mix-tape," that is keeping the flame burning for the cassette with a flow of new releases. (Note, these days it costs a lot more to dub cassettes than to burn CDRs.) Non hip-hop labels that rigorously issue cassettes these days include Hanson, Drone Disco, Tone Filth, and Hospital Productions, while those who specialize exclusively in cassette-only releases include  Heavy Tapes, Fag Tapes, and FuckItTapes.

(In which Job is sooo condescending.)

Posted by Job O Brother, May 18, 2007 12:50am | Post a Comment

I’m looking around my room for gems of pop culture (or, as is more often in my case, unpopular culture) that I can gab about.

A good starting point is whatever’s playing on my iPod. Right now, that’s “La Transfiguration de Notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ”, a piece by the composer, Olivier Messiaen.


Um… That’s Olivier Messiaen.

Hee! You did it again! The way you’re pronouncing it in your brain is – you must forgive me – hilarious. It’s that cluster-f**k of vowels at the end.

Now, before you get all huffy and pronounce a few crueler things in your brain at me, you should know that I too once pronounced Olivier Messiaen the same way you… titter!… you just did.

But now I know better, and I’m going to pass this knowledge on to you. For free!

The first name is easy. It’s the Freedom version… I mean, the French version, of the name Oliver. Oh-LIVE-ee-ay. Like that one actor who won a lot of awards and inspired everyone with his performances and drank to numb the pain of his crushing depression and repressed homosexual desires.

No, silly – not Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise doesn’t inspire anyone. Pay attention!

Beloved actor and all-around doomed soul, Lawrence Olivier

The surname is the challenge, and requires making a couple sounds that don’t appear in the English language. I’ll break it down, syllable by syllable:

Messiaen: Mee-seh-YA-choo.

I know, I know. It doesn’t look like it’s pronounced that way, but it is French after all. We’re talking about a people who can’t be bothered to pronounce half their words most of the time.

Now you can walk into any music hall, concert at the park, conservatory, or the classical music section at Amoeba Music, and, with confidence, use the name Olivier Messiaen.

Here’s some examples of sentences you can now use, just to get you going:

1.) “Wow, this Amoeba is huge! I’m totally overwhelmed! Excuse me, but where might I find records by OLIVIER MESSIAEN? …Yes? Why, thank you! Also, what do the different colors of price stickers mean?”

2.) “Oh darling! Life is so much better now that I have found you! Come, let me cover you with kisses! Oh, look! There on the horizon! The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, thus signaling the end of the world! I guess there’s no point in bidding on that OLIVIER MESSIAEN c.d. I saw on eBay.”

3.) “I don’t see a much reason in being able to pronounce OLIVIER MESSIAEN when I have no f**king clue as to who he is.”

Or, my personal favorite:

4.) “That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud puddles, or gives me any best place, and ain't I a woman? ... I have plowed, and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me -- and ain't I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man (when I could get it), and bear the lash as well -- and ain't I a woman? I have borne thirteen children and seen most all sold off to slavery and when I cried out ‘OLIVIER MESSIAEN!’ with my mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me -- and ain't I woman?"

Well… that about wraps up this blog. It’s been pretty educational, don’t you think? Except for the part where I teach you the wrong way to pronounce Olivier Messiaen. And also how I never really explain who he is, which is the real shame, because he was a genius composer. If you’re into that sort of thing.

Oh well. Not every blog can re-invent the wheel, right? Even so, as a token, I’ll leave you with a picture of one. Good night!

Beloved actor and all-around doomed soul, Tom Cruise

the angel collection...high school honor student by day...hollywood hooker by night...

Posted by Brad Schelden, May 17, 2007 05:56pm | Post a Comment
I finally picked up a copy of the Angel Collection on DVD. Not the Buffy spin-off but the classic 80s teen prostitute saga, "Angel." The original Angel starred Donna Wilkes as Molly Stewart (Angel). She also starred in another one of my favorites "Grotesque" with Linda Blair.  She was Molly during the day, a perfect honor student in high school and then turned into Angel at night, the teenage Hollywood Boulevard prostitute. This movie was released in 1984 and directed by Robert Vincent O'Neill. He had directed some great cult films of the 70s such as "Wonder Women" about kung fu girls on the rampage and "Blood Mania" about a sex crazed nympho who kills her father for the inheritance.

I'm not sure why, but this was one of my favorites as a teenager. I watched it one day on cable and was sort of obsessed with it after that. I couldn't actually remember what it was even called until I found it a couple years ago. You can imagine my joy when i found out it was released as a widescreen DVD box set. The film went on to spawn 2 more movies, "Avenging Angel" and "Angel III: The Final Chapter." All 3 are included in the box set. There is actually a fourth movie made in 1994 "Angel: Undercover." I have never seen this one but I can only imagine how horrible it is. Although, I would not pass it up if it ever shows up on cable. Angel is played by a different actress in each movie. The best of the bunch is for sure the first. Unfortunately you will not find any much needed commentaries or documentaries. But they do at least give you some deleted scenes and the original theatrical trailers.

The film follows the story of Molly Stewart. Her mom has some crippling illness so she is forced to make a living for her family as a teenage prostitute. We later learn that Angel has actually lived alone since she was 12 after both her parents left her to fend for herself. However, this movie is really much more than your normal exploitation film. Angel actually takes control of her life and fights for justice for her slain friends. There is a crazy serial killer stalking Angel and her friends. And when I say crazy, I mean crazy. During one scene he scrubs his body until he bleeds after killing one of the prostitutes. So Angel gets the help of alocal police officer to find the killer. Besides the obvious feminist theme of this movie it is also a great representation of Hollywood Boulevard of the 80s. The glamorous days of hollywood boulevard were long over. The street had been taken over by punks, freaks and prostitutes. They become Angel's family. She is basically adopted by an aging drag queen and a tough lesbian artist. They become the heart and soul of the movie. Rory Calhoun was excellent as the fading  cowboy Kit Carson. He had been in movies since the 40s and starred in over 1000 television episodes. He had two stars on the Hollywood walk of fame featured in the movie. Dick Shawn played the Drag Queen and later went on to play Commander Bog in Michael Jackson's Captain EO. The great Susan Tyrell, who plays the lesbian artist, was actually an oscar nominated actress. But is probably best know for her cult film work like roles as Midge Montana in Big Top Pee-Wee and Ramona Rickettes in Cry Baby.

The Hollywood Boulevard pictured in this movie is barely there anymore. It has not become the glamorous boulevard of the past but a sort of disney version of hollywood. It is now strictly for tourists. This movie really captures the feeling of the street in the 80s. It is all shot in locations that will be familiar to anyone familiar with Hollywood. The Roosevelt Hotel and Chinese theater are both featured in the film. The relationships that Angel develops with the street performers of Hollywood Boulevard are reallysomething special and touching. While this movie might have the feel of a really good after school special on late night Cinemax, it still remains a classic in my mind. There are so many great scenes. In one scene Dick Shawn pretends to be Molly's mom when one of her teachers drops by. When the teacher says "I don't know who's mother you are, but you are definitely not Molly's mother. She replies "Well, I love her more than her real mom." Seriously, it's touching. The score is of course top notch and the sets and costumes are perfect. The ending of the movie is climatic and tear jerking. Of course it sets you up for wanting more. And with this box set you get two more Angel movies to get you through the night. I recommend an Angel Trilogy themed party.

Jungle Heat

Posted by phil blankenship, May 17, 2007 02:24pm | Post a Comment

AKA   Dance Of The Dwarfs !!

Interglobal Home Video 1376

Bo Diddley Hospitalized

Posted by Miss Ess, May 17, 2007 02:10pm | Post a Comment
I guess Bo Diddley had a stroke Sunday.

The guy has to be pretty old.  I read that the stroke happened after a concert.  It's incredible and awesome that he is still out there on the road! 

The article also said that, sadly, the stroke had affected his speech. 

We keep Bo in our Oldies section here at Amoeba.  My favorite record of his is Bo Diddley is a Gunslinger

The man clearly kicks ass.  Hopefully he will recov

The Boss Is Still the Boss

Posted by Miss Ess, May 17, 2007 01:18pm | Post a Comment

Much to my boyfriend's dismay, I am once again obsessed with that little slice of Americana that is Born in the USA.

I have a car, and my car has a tape deck.  For most music fanatics, this would seem like a nightmare, but I quite enjoy it.  I see the tape deck as a challenge and a chance to listen to things I normally would have forgotten all about.  I actually really love having the deck.  There's nothing like going through your parents' old tapes to find Every Great Motown Hit of Marvin Gaye, or my early childhood Holy Grail: Born In the USA.

Bruce Springsteen, my mother always taught me as a child of the early 80s, was the hardest working man in show business. (Tina Turner was her hardest working woman selection.)  She would explain to me in all seriousness how he gave his all at his live shows and how hard he worked the crowd each and every night.  This woman has never actually gone to a Boss concert, mind you, but hey, she's never been short on opinions! (I had to get it from somewhere, right?) Guess Mom musta watched that Dancing in the Dark video a few too many times!  Anyway, Born in the USA was something we could all listen to together, my energy loving mom, my construction working dad, my annoying brother, and ME.

Much like other supremely enjoyable records, there isn't really a crappy track on the album.  Sure, the production is insanely overdone, but Springsteen manages (unbelievably) to rise above even synths and all the 80s trappings to come out of it all seeming like someone we can all relate to:  He misses those "Glory Days", he's had his "Downbound Train" bad times, he's a man "on fire."  Even as a young child I hafta say the energy and earnestness of the music resonated with me.  It sounds so triumphant sometimes and so resigned others. There was a nostalgia there but also, the record is FUN; I guess the record kinda takes you on a journey through a man's past musings and present confusion.  I love it.  Every time I put it on I am channeled back to my parents' green Mercury Zephyr station wagon, writhing from summer heat on plastic coated seats burning my legs and singing and badly harmonizing along with words I didn't yet quite understand:
Little girl sitting in the window
Ain’t seen my buddy in seven days
County man tells me the same thing
He don’t work and he don’t get paid
Little girl you’re so young and pretty
Walk with me and you can have your way
And we’ll leave this Darlington City
For a ride down that Dixie highway

Driving out of Darlington county
My eyes seen the glory of the coming of the lord
Driving out of Darlington county
Seen Wayne handcuffed to the bumper of a state trooper’s ford

Sha la la...
It's so seemingly simple and yet so grand, Born in the USA.  I love having the chance to revisit it every few years thanks to that sweet little analog tape and my retro ride.  The older I get, the better it sounds.  I'm such a nostalgia whore.

Here's Mom's inspirado:

Dude, I can't remember the last time I saw this:

Day Of The Animals

Posted by phil blankenship, May 16, 2007 01:35pm | Post a Comment

Media Home Entertainment M172


Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, May 16, 2007 10:35am | Post a Comment
So I was up late one night watching television and I saw this:

At first, I admit, the segment made me want to drive to Silver Lake Park (The playground that is shown in the feature), pull out a bullhorn and yell out "MAS P_TO!" ala George Lopez. Nothing like seeing a bunch of Silver Lake alterna-yuppies making the television viewing audience feel inferior. Most people don't have the disposable income that some of this hipsters have to take their children to The Sippy Cups shows, buy organic food or have the luxury to have a stay at home parent. Then again, it's your child! Wouldn't you rather spend the money that you would spend on, let's say, cable T.V. and fast food on buying your child food that won't give them cancer or diabetes in the future? Wouldn't you want your child to enjoy art and physical activities rather than sitting indoors spending endless hours playing video games and watching T.V.?
If you don't have a disposable income, there are many free programs for children in the Los Angeles area that focus on art and music. Some programs have basic after school programs and others have such activities as rock band (ala School of Rock), DJ classes, Folkloric dance, even yoga classes for youth. Let's say you don't have the time or transportation to do any of these things; just spending time with your child, listening to them, creating with them and involving them in your life will do so much for their growth. It's hard to believe with so many choices that some parents make the conscious decision every day to prioritize what they want over their children's needs. That is just sad.
There is nothing "alternative" about good parenting. The activities may differ but the basic goal is that once you're a parent that your life is all about your children. It is your responsibility to them and the rest of the world to raise them right.


Posted by phil blankenship, May 16, 2007 01:26am | Post a Comment

Prism Entertainment 2201

(In which Job gets into a screening and a fight.)

Posted by Job O Brother, May 15, 2007 10:51am | Post a Comment
I have some good news!

My and I sweetheart had our first fight.

(That’s not the good news. Note the paragraph break, indicating a different point; though their coupling is relevant. Therefore, don’t mistake the above sentences as a non-sequitur, per se; except in instances where they may be removed from this paragraph and, as a result, rendered sans context, in which case, y’all can get freaky freaky with your bad self.)

My sweetheart and I went to a media screening of “The Ten”, the new comic, moving picture (or “movie” for short) directed by David Wain and written by David Wain and Ken Marino (both known and loved for their participation of that miracle of radness known as “The State”.)

“The State” was a sketch show that ran for three seasons and launched the careers of many familiar faces that went on to create other hella sweet things: STELLA, Wet Hot American Summer, Reno 911, to name some of the better known.

The film was almost completely entertaining, and even when it wasn’t making me laugh outright, I was never bored. The film, unlike the first two paragraphs in this blog entry (when taken with this, the following elucidation, as before explained) is chock full of non-sequiturs and basic silliness, which I like a lot.

I like that kind of humor a lot.

Like, more than just friends.

Anyway, sometimes there’s a lull in the pace or mood as a means of creating a sudden tension or bring everything to a heightened sense of surreal anxiety, which I appreciate, but will strike most people as just… not funny, which I also love. It’s interesting to note, too, that the cast is large and has many hotties in it. It is a very sexy cast, and you will have more than one face to crush on.

My only actual complaint is one of the actors. I won’t say who, because I’m about to have brunch with them before we go to our Kabalaties Class (that’s combination Kabala study and Pilates work-out for those who aren’t insane), and I don’t want to spend the whole time we’re enjoying our #4 Special (wheat-grass colonics with lychee-scented oxygen tanks, served with a Thetan-cleansing aura douche and sweet potato fries) with me defending my blog. The actor in question is very famous, loved by many and, in my opinion, a terrible actor. Another good reason not to say who it is: because you may not share my disfavor and therefore have no problem with them, and you don’t need me making you feel all self-conscious because you have no taste.

And don’t think for a second that it’s Paul Rudd, because he’s pretty and we like him.

If you love the various comic titles cited above, you’re sure to at least be entertained by “The Ten”. It’s not in theatres yet, and probably won’t stay in them for long because that space is needed for your Spiderman 334 and X-Men 635 and all your other stinky sequels.

As for my fight with my sweetie, it happened directly after seeing “The Ten”, but it was resolved quickly and we were holding hands and shopping at Target within the hour, just like every other gay couple in Hollywood.

Ken Marino, Michael Showalter, David Wain - looking gayer than my boyfriend

Shameless Self-Promotion - ¡de volada! @ 2nd Street Jazz 5/17

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, May 14, 2007 11:05pm | Post a Comment
For those of you who enjoying kickin' it in a club, listening to DJ's spin good music while you get your DRANK on, have we got a club for you!

May 17th is the first ¡de volada! night at 2nd Street Jazz in beautiful Little Tokyo with three impulsive DJ's playing whatever they feel.

DJ La Luz (Lucas Brause) spins some great jazz, all types of Brazilian music, Boogaloo and Funk. He has a great show on 88.7 KSPC called Bright Moments. La Luz is starting to add Salsa and Cumbia to his repertoire, so as they say, Watchale!
                                                                        DJ Pan Dulce is Pati Garcia, who also has a show on 88.7 KSPC called Panaderia. Pan Dulce plays a mixture of Hip-Hop and Reggae En Español, Sonidero and Funk Carioca. Then she hits you with some of the old school Debbie Deb and Joe Bataan jams. You can take the girl out of Baldwin Park, but you can't take the Baldwin Park out of the girl.

As for Gomez Comes Alive??? hmmm... I like my Salsa and Cumbia, but I never mix them together. I keep them separated like two rabid pit bulls waiting to attack each other. I also like my Reggae and I love me some Old School Chicano jams, especially if it involves a Hammond Organ.

Yep, it's got to have a Hammond Organ...and some congas.

Thursday, May 17th @
LAND @ 2nd Street Jazz
366 E. 2nd Street
Los Angeles, Ca. 90012
Phone # 213-680-0047

For more info go to the ¡de volada! myspace page

coming out today...5/15...rufus wainwright...

Posted by Brad Schelden, May 14, 2007 09:29pm | Post a Comment
Today is the release day of the new album "Release the Stars" by Rufus Wainwright. This is his fifth album. Rufus comes from one of those crazy music families just full of crazy talent. It kind of makes me a little jealous. His dad is the great Loudon Wainwright III and his mom is Kate McGarrical. His sister, Martha, is also a musician. His first self titled album came out in 1998. I have to admit that I first got into Rufus when I found out that he was gay. Even today, very few musicians actually admit to being gay. Especially when starting out in the music business. It took Elton John like 50 years to come out. I felt it was my duty to support him and I was intrigued. But I actually ended up liking his debut album "Rufus Wainwright" quite a bit. Some might find him a bit dramatic but he really does have  a stunning voice.

Although you will have a hard time noticing it, Neil Tennant from the Pet Shop Boys is the  executive producer. When I first heard about Neil being involved, I was expecting a very different album. I was sort of expecting a mix of Erasure and Liberace. However, nothing could be farther away from what the album actually turned out to be. It is still a very Rufus album. The album also features Richard Thompson. The Thompson and Wainwright families are often intertwined.  Teddy Thompson, the son of Richard and Linda Thompson, is a good friend and often plays live with Rufus. His new album is brilliant. He really is a great songwriter. He manages to capture a tragic feeling in all his songs even if they seem to be at first happy little ballads. His signature voice carries you through the album and brings you into his little Rufus world. Its hard not to notice his love of the showtunes and the opera. He for sure likes the drama. However, its not done in a mocking way or even a kitschy way. Rufus plays his own piano on most of the songs. Sometimes you might even feel you are at a piano bar listening to your favorite song. But a really good piano bar that you would keep coming back to. He has his own unique style but also manages to create an album that even your grandma might like. Just as long as she doesn't look to deep into the lyrics.

 This first single of the album is "Going to Town." One of the lyrics of the song  is "I'm so tired of you America." A line that many of us can at times relate to. One of the things I like most about him is what first intrigued me about him. In a business where so many people hide and pretend to be a certain kind of person, Rufus is proudly Rufus. He bares his soul on his songs and his albums. He does not pretend to be some kind of person he is not just to sell more records. I only wish more artists could be as brave as him. You can really feel that honesty come through on all his albums. And that honesty mixed with that magical voice make for a great album, once again.

also out today...

"Sky Blue Sky" by Wilco

"Hey Eugene!" by Pink Martini

"Minutes to Midnight" by Linkin Park

"Strange House" by the Horrors

and the brilliant movie "Pan's Labyrinth" comes out on DVD today!

Thou Shalt Always Kill

Posted by Mike Battaglia, May 14, 2007 10:03am | Post a Comment

While it's quite obviously inspired by LCD Soundsystem, this gem of a single from Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip has wormed its way into my brain and continues to make me chuckle upon repeated listenings/viewings. "Thou Shalt Always Kill" is the best kind of rant: one that is intended ultimately to be beneficial for the listener. Sac and Pip are (presumably) both English, and there are a few references in the tune that non-Britishes might not get, like Stephen Fry, but the rest of this list of commandments applies everywhere - and definitely in San Francisco. Check out the video:

Love that video, especially how it gets more visually clever as the song progresses. While it starts with a couple of cute and slightly cheesy puns like the pedestal, the bit about using music to get into girls' heads then appearing in the woman's thought bubble to tell her "thou shalt not watch Holyoaks", it gets better with the animated map of global inequity and the photocopier running off  "repetitive generic music".

These two seem to be part of the loosely-grouped scene of message-board mashup DJ's, IDM-influenced laptop glitch producers and booty-music afficionados that's been rumbling about since the early days of the century. The single has been quite hard to find but is blowing up iPods virally via the 'net, which is a good place to keep up with these two.  Also of note is that this single is put out by the venerable Lex Records, a Warp-affiliated label that puts out lots of other great music from the likes of Boom Bip and Amoeba's Own Subtle. Lex has been around for a few years now and is worth your time and money, so check them out.

Here's another video, this time a live performance of "Thou Shalt Always Kill":

The single is on sale now but hard to find. You're better off checking out the Amazon or iTunes download links on the Lex website. Enjoy!

War Bus Commando

Posted by phil blankenship, May 14, 2007 01:40am | Post a Comment

Trylon Video TRB 006

roller derby! denver!...

Posted by Brad Schelden, May 13, 2007 10:14pm | Post a Comment
So I am a big fan of the roller derby. And I am so excited there are roller derby leagues popping up all over the country. I have been to the B.ay A.rea. D.erby Girls events out here in the bay area a couple of times. They have had some bad news lately. They lost their old place where they had the events and are on a search for a new venue. I have heard that they will be having it at the Cow Palace soon! They are having a fundraiser soon so check our their website.

We were looking for something else fun to do in Denver and happened to find a flyer for the derby girls at  Wax Trax. The Rocky Mountain Rollergirls were playing against the Salt Lake City team. It was the 5280 Fight Club vs. Salt City Derby Girls. We were staying with my boyfriend's sister in Denver. And we knew her and her husband were gonna love some roller derby. I only wish we would have brought their daughter who is almost two. She is for sure a roller girl in the making. So of course, we had to go to the roller derby. I wanted to know if the kids in Denver were as crazy for roller derby as they are out here in the bay area. They had a really nice venue for their derby in Denver in the Stapleton area. It made me a little jealous for the ladies back here. It was very similar to the bay area derby. It was a rowdy crowded event. Just a little less rowdy and a little less crowded. Possibly the only improvement over the bay area was that you could hear the announcers. But I don't know if this was because they had a better sound system or if there was less people yelling.

The Denver girls were really awesome and beat the Salt Lake City girls pretty badly. These girls are seriously awesome. They take the sport really seriously but also have a lot of fun with it. It is hard to explain if you have never seen a roller derby before. So you just have to go. I am not really a big fan of organized sports. You will never find me at a football or baseball game. But this is different. It is so much more than just a sport. I also do love the referees for the roller derby. In Denver there is actually a party bus that will take you to and from the event. Its only like 20 dollars and you get a ticket to the show and free beer on the bus!

moz in denver

Posted by Brad Schelden, May 13, 2007 07:59pm | Post a Comment
I just got back from my trip to Denver! We went and saw Morrissey on Wednesday night and stayed through the weekend. For some reason I thought it was going to be cold. I always think that places that snow during the winter remain cold through the rest of the year. But I was wrong. I know it was only like 85 degrees, but it was totally hot. I kind of like to complain about the weather. But Denver was nicer than I thought it would be. The show was in the hipper part of downtown. One of those neighborhoods where hipster meets homeless. Just as I'm sure the people of Dallas don't really live like the cast of the TV show "Dallas," the town of Denver was not much like "Dynasty." However, it was a very comfortable city. Even though I kind of freak out when I am not near the ocean, I did feel surprisingly calm. We had a chance to spend some time in Denver and even made it over to Wax Trax Records to do some shopping.

The show was at the Fillmore. I was expecting it to be like the Fillmore in San Francisco. It was not. It was a good size venue. A big stage with the feel of a high school basketball stadium. There was seating along the sides and a VIP balcony. My friend Erika hooked us up with some tickets so we actually got to be in the VIP section! So when we got there we went upstairs and the usher ladies told us we actually had our names printed out marking seats for us. The Fillmore was actually really comfortable and casual. I often get stressed out in big venues. But the staff was really nice and even though it was crowded, I didn't feel crowded. It kind of felt like home. He has taken Kristeen Young with him on tour. I was not really into her at the Pasadena show. But I actually started to like her at this show. It is just her on keyboards and a drummer. She is for sure a unique lady and kind of intense.

This is seriously an awesome Morrissey tour. We had just seen him a couple of months ago in Pasadena. The show was pretty much the same. Awesome! His band sounds really good right now and he looks great. And he actually seems to still be having fun after all these years. Morrissey fans are known for their obsessiveness and it doesn't really matter what city you are in. It made me very happy looking across the audience. I felt like I knew all those people. I knew they had similar high school experiences as me. I knew Morrissey had been there for them as he had for me. Its like we all had a common experience because of him. In a weird way it made me feel connected to the rest of the world. He played a bunch of Smiths songs. Since we will never probably see a Smiths reunion, I'll take what I can get.

Here is what he played at the Denver show...


It was a little surprising that nobody jumped on stage. I don't know if the security was just really good or the crowd was just not as adventurous. But he did engage the crowd and touch a few lucky fans. He only took off his shirt twice this time. I think he took it off like 4 times at the Pasadena show. Seeing Morrissey live is really a special thing, I still remember the feeling I had when I first saw him like 17 years ago. The feeling was very similar at this show. He seriously has a power over his fans. I was really getting mad at him for not coming and doing tours in the US. I am so excited that he is doing a full tour of the United States. While a lot of people will be seeing him for the 5th or 35th time, I know there will be a lot of people out there seeing him for the first time. And it is an experience that everyone should get to have. I really do love Morrissey. Seeing him in Denver was awesome. And the Denver Airport was really impressive. Its like the biggest airport in the world and it even has its own subway that takes you to the gates after you go through security. And there is like an entire mall with a food court inside the airport. But like the Fillmore where I saw Morrissey, it was very comfortable and easy going. I just got to get back to Denver and see a show at Red Rocks. Cause that place looks amazing.

The Patriot

Posted by phil blankenship, May 12, 2007 01:34am | Post a Comment

Vestron Video 5193

The Employee Interview Part IV: Obsolete

Posted by Miss Ess, May 11, 2007 05:35pm | Post a Comment
9 years of employment
Visual Merchandiser

Q:  What's the first music you remember hearing as a kid?

O: The Moody Blues, In Search of the Lost Chord.

What is the first album that made you super into music?

It was probably that Moody Blues album.  When disco rolled around I was hooked.  I was 7 years old and hooked on disco.  I loved Donna Summer and The Village People.  I was so into The Village People.  I thought they were a real representative of people in society getting together, getting along and making disco music, that The Village represented America and in this "land of the free", a cop, a sailor, a construction worker, an indian, and a leather daddy could get together and rock!

Pretty deep thoughts for a 7 year old.  Impressive.  What was your first live show?

Unfortunately General Public.  My mom dropped me off with my friend at the Universal Ampitheater at Universal Studios, California!  It was the only place I was allowed to see my first concert, being 15.

When did you start creating music and why?

I think I started creating music on my tape recorder as a kid.  It wasn't till I moved to San Francisco in my early 20s that I met more like minded people to create music with.

What was your first band?

I would say The Agent for Allied and The Subtonix at the same time.

So you were not faithful?

No I wasn't, I was seeing two different bands at the same time.

So what did you play in each band?  What did they sound like?

I played keyboards in The Subtonix and we were compared to everything from Christian Death to X-Ray Spex.  The Agent for Allied featured Brad Schelden on keyboards and me on vocals.  We were influenced by Echo and the Bunnyman, The Chameleons, and Tuxedo Moon

What were your vocals like?  That musta been awesome.  What were Brad's outfits like?

People told me I reminded them of Rozz Williams of Christian Death and Yoko Ono, mostly.  Brad pretty much dressed the same as now, but with more black and he was clean shaven with jet black hair.

Yoko Ono!  And Brad with black hair!  This sounds phenomenal.

We were pretty phenomenal. 

Sorry I missed all that. 

I think you were in Santa Cruz or under age.

Don't remind me.  What is your current project called anyway?


What is your favorite venue to see a show at in town?

The G3 Lounge on Geary and 3rd Ave.

What goes on there?  I've heard people around here talk about it but I've still never been.

These people EXP FOLX put on fantastic Noise events.  You should check out their myspace page at

What's your favorite venue to play a show at?

I recently played at the above venue and it was great!  Very glamourous and classy.

Just like you!

Thank you, as are you.

Best local band?


Favorite Scottish band of all time?

Wow!  That's a tough one.  Off the top of my head I'd have to say Strawberry Switchblade or early Simple Minds, pre Breakfast Club soundtrack.

Of course, understood.  What's your favorite record today, right now?

Favorite record that I keep playing right now?  Let me think, what am I playing the hell out of?

Right now today I keep listening to Antony for some weird reason.  I haven't listened to his record since it came out but because I heard the new Bjork record in the store with his voice I thought of it and threw it on [Antony's I Am A Bird Now].  I love his voice so much and all the drama in his records.

I think Antony's simply divine!  As of right now I keep playing Simple Minds, Celebration.

Do you have a musical guilty pleasure you'd care to comment on?

Samwell, "What What In the Butt".  It's been flagged on YouTube for explicit content.  It's rather tame though.

What about all those times we've watched R. Kelly videos?

That was for art!  He is a modern day Orson Welles, keeping people riveted to the radio.

Something about him is definitely riviting.  Speaking of R. Kelly, do you think it is at all easier for women trying to create music these days than it has been?

Yes and no.  I think women still have to deal with people thinking they can't play their instruments or write songs. 

Very true.  Do you listen to cds, vinyl?  Why?

Both.  All forms are fine by me.

Name a great record you think most people have not heard of before and tell them why they should like it!

Lansing-Dreiden's The Incomplete Triangle.  It's really beautiful and varied, sometimes it sounds like some Phil Spector "Wall of Sound" type thing, other times like New Order and other times like some old tyme punk.

What is your favorite:  creating music or playing or recording?

Creating and playing.

What's been your best find here at Amoeba?

The Naked Civil Servant, the film about Quentin Crisp's life starring John Hurt.

I love Quentin Crisp, I haven't heard that name in ages!  Now, what is your favorite part about working here at Amoeba?

I love seeing the younger generation getting excited about music.  Their innocence and enthusiasm is refreshing.

So your record is dropping in the fall, right? 

Indeed it is.  Check for all one needs to know!

Thank you for your time.

Thank you for your time.


Posted by phil blankenship, May 11, 2007 01:45am | Post a Comment

Video Treasures SV9833

Paying Respects - Black Sheep Live @ The Temple Bar 5/9/07

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, May 10, 2007 12:09pm | Post a Comment

So I rushed over to the Temple Bar in Santa Monica on a late Wednesday night thinking, “I hope I get in.” The reason I wasn't sure was because Black Sheep was making a rare L.A. appearance in a place that doesn’t hold that many people. Maybe it’s because I live under a rock, but I was thinking the place was going to be packed. My first inclination that it wasn’t was when I found parking right in front of the club. As I walked in Tre Hardson from The Pharcyde was setting up. He’s been doing his solo thing for a minute now. I saw him perform a few years back when he had members of The Rebirth in his group, but they are no longer with him. Trey’s music is not bad; it reminded me of something that I would have heard in a club on Telegraph Ave in Berkeley in the 1990’s, adequate at best. The half-filled room seem to feel the same way, as the only reaction he got from them was when he launched into two Pharcyde classics, “Runnin’” and “Passing Me By” at the end of his set. That seemed to wake people up.

Black Sheep is just Dres now, with Mr. Lawnge long gone from the group. After his DJ did a brief set, Dres came out with a few classics before launching into some of his newer material. I like Dres's new material. His new style is sharper and more aggressive, but he still has his signature flow. Unlike many of the older MC’s who stick to their style for years, Dres sounds like someone who has evolved as Rap music has evolved. Everyone at the show seemed hyped for the new stuff as much as the classics. Black Sheep closed with “The Choice Is Yours” and the place lit up. Where were you when you first heard that song? Can it be 15 years old already?

Dres is your next MF Doom, Kool Keith & Del The Funky Homosapien waiting to happen -- rappers temporarily forgotten until a whole new audience rediscovers them. Until then, Black Sheep will be touring in your city soon, playing to half empty clubs and waiting for people to catch on.

(Dans quelle Job feint pour savoir le français.)

Posted by Job O Brother, May 10, 2007 11:17am | Post a Comment
My cat is driving me crazy.

So anyway, about French pop music. A lot of you hipsters know and love Edith Piaf and Serge Gainsbourg and, though technically not French - we’ll not poils fendus – Josephine Baker. But the newness of discovery is spoilt when you realize that all your hipster friends have the same “obscure” French records you do and are just as prepared to profess their love of them over Jack & Cokes at whatever red-wallpapered hole-in-the-wall bar y’all frequent.

You want an upper hand. You want to show your dear, dear friends you’re a little better than them. And you want to sleep with one of them, but they don’t know it and you can’t tell them because, for one, it would wreak havoc with a couple of your friendships, and two, in your heart of hearts you know that they would never really love you back. Not really.

My cat seems to think that everything in this house is a scratching post except his scratching post.

So anyway, about French pop music. I’m no expert, but I’ve been around, and can offer a few new voices to enjoy that, though well-known in France, aren’t quite as obvious a choice stateside.

A particularly glamorous option, and one that lends itself well to barroom conversation (i.e.: showing off) is that blonde bombshell, Suzy Solidor.

She opened a Parisian nightclub in the early 1930’s, Boite de Nuit, which became all the rage. She held the [questionably factual] title of “most painted woman in the world”, with portraits being realized by some dude named Picasso, and the most famous by Tamara de Lempicka...

See? You knew the painting, but you assumed the woman in it was just another cabaret-cruising, syphillus-spreading harlot that took a break from swilling back absinthe to get her portrait painted, when in reality she was a successful businesswoman and popular chanteuse.

Recordings by her can be found in the world music section of Amoeba Music. And while you’re there, check out Lucienne Boyer.

Of the two singers, Boyer’s is the voice I more adore. You may recognize her most famous recording, “Parlez-moi d’amour” as the first track on the “Henry & June” soundtrack, located in the heavy metal section of Amoeba Music.

I mean, soundtrack section. Sorry, but my cat keeps jumping into the kitchen sink, which is distracting. He apparently thinks he’s going to do some dishes or something, which is improbable since he’s got no thumbs. You’d think he’d learn from his “I’m going to knit a scarf” fiasco, but no.

So anyway, about French pop music. I realize both these singers hail from an earlier time period than Piaf or Gainsbourg, but it’s what I’ve got for you today. I already mentioned contemporary artist Jorane in a previous blog, and you still haven’t even gotten one of her albums, so don’t get all snippy with me. I swear, between you and my cat…

Is that it? Are we done for today? Okay. Well, as they say in France, “Un fromage est un aliment moulé, obtenu à partir de la coagulation du lait suivie ou non de fermentation. C’est un aliment riche en calcium. On fabrique du fromage à partir de lait de vache principalement, mais aussi de brebis, de chèvre, de bufflonne.”

Gotta love them, no?

This weekend? You bored?

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, May 10, 2007 01:46am | Post a Comment
see. you. there.

unless i see you fierce.

Just When You Thought You've Seen Everything, There's Guy Maddin

Posted by Miss Ess, May 9, 2007 03:01pm | Post a Comment
A couple nights ago I had the great pleasure of attending a screening of Guy Maddin's new film Brand Upon the Brain! at the palatial Castro Theater as part of the 50th Annual San Francisco International Film Festival.  (The festival actually ends today....)

I can only bow to Guy Maddin's genius.  His films are totally idiosyncratic, totally dynamic, totally gorgeous.  This newest film was no exception.  Guy himself was there to introduce the film, and the screening included live Foley Sound Artists, a full orchestra, a castrato, and a narrator, Joan Chen.  Did i mention Brand Upon the Brain! is a silent film?  All the sounds for the movie were created live onstage in front of the audience. 

The film's plot involves a boy named Guy Maddin (natch) who lives on a bleak island off of Canada in a lighthouse which serves as an orphanage.  The orphanage is policed by Guy's overprotective, youth obsessed mother.  When she is looking for Guy, she turns the lighthouses' rickety huge lantern out and around the entire island while yelling for him to get home.  Guy's father works tirelessly and wordlessly in the basement inventing things and mysteriously producing some kind of strange nectar....

There's also this whole part of the plot involving Guy and Guy's sister ("Sis") both falling in love with the same woman, who leaves and then returns to the island masquerading as a man to try to win Sis' affection and also get to the bottom of the mysterious nectar.  Sis and "Chance" begin a hot and heavy relationship, all the while trying to keep hidden from the watchful and disapproving eyes of Guy and Sis' mother.  Guy tags along jealously, somehow drawn to and growing a "boy crush" on this new "male" figure on the island.

Joan Chen narrated the entire film from the stage.  She has many many credits to her name, including The Last Emporer and Heaven and Earth.  She also directed Autumn in New York with Richard Gere and Winona Ryder!  I have to say she has got definate guts cause her live narration of the film was done with precision and she had to basically make it sound like she was having an orgasm right there on stage at one point.  It takes quite a lady to pull that off flawlessly.

The Foley Sound Artists had their work cut out for them.  They stood surrounded completely by props, from a bin of water to a wind machine to plain old celery stalks which they broke and even bit into at one point when they needed sounds of bodies breaking and bending.  It was exciting to watch, almost to the point of distraction.  My favorite sound, apart from the celery of course, was the foghorn sound they used a long oboe-type instrument to make.

The castrato had a short song he reprised twice and he sang (as expected) like a little boy!  It was so strange to see a grown man stand, take the mic, and then out came this high, controlled sound.  While he wasn't singing he was sitting onstage in a rocking chair.

The whole experience was just that, an EXPERIENCE.  I really was blown away by the whole thing, and having seen most of Guy Maddin's films before I didnt expect anything less.  If you haven't seen any of his stuff, check out this short he made called The Heart of the World:

Please note that this film was made in the year 2000....!  If you liked it, you should check out his films Careful and The Saddest Music in the World.  They are both available on DVD, along with several of his other films.  At the risk of sounding like a total nerd (as usual), his films always include at least two shots that actually take my breath away.  The dude rules.  Brand Upon the Brain! is playing in its full extravagant spectacular fashion in several other cities on several other dates.  If you have the chance, go check it out for yourself.

The Wild Pair

Posted by phil blankenship, May 9, 2007 02:40pm | Post a Comment

Media Home Entertainment M936

The Newlydeads

Posted by phil blankenship, May 9, 2007 01:03am | Post a Comment

City Lights Home Video 25109

(In which Job flirts with science-fiction with, as yet, unknown results.)

Posted by Job O Brother, May 9, 2007 12:08am | Post a Comment
I’m doing something I’ve always wanted to.

No, not renting out a room in Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion (you would not believe what they’re asking for a studio, which doesn’t even include holograms of ghosts eating cake!)

I’ve begun watching “Doctor Who”, starting with the original series, which ran from 1963 to1966 and stared William Hartnell as a particularly unsexy lead.

Some of you know I am a sucker for British television, though the love is not unconditional. I would no sooner sit through an episode of “Are You Being Served?” than a lecture on safe-sex from a 19th century French poet.

Still, many of my favorites (“League of Gentlemen”, “Absolutely Fabulous”, “Black Adder” to name a few) hail from the Isles, and I do expect a certain sophistication from its programming. It’s not that I need obscure historical references in order to evoke a giggle, I just appreciate that, as opposed to many US shows, not every actor looks like they live at Hefner’s mansion, and not every joke is accentuated by obvious pauses, eye-rolling, and orchestrated laughter from a studio audience.

So far the show is good fun. Because of its spookiness and languid pace, I can only convince myself to watch it at bedtime, which is a minus.

It’s not uniformly entertaining. The scenes which focus on the core characters (the Doctor, his granddaughter Susan, and her school teachers, Barbara and Ian) are enjoyable and emotionally complex enough to be intriguing, though the actress playing the granddaughter seems to sometimes forget she’s on a TV show and not a West End production of Electra.

Inevitably there must be scenes which focus on the antagonists. In the first storyline, these happen to be a bunch of primitive cavemen, who may not know how to make fire, but manage to speak modern English better than most US high school students. These scenes tend to run long, so far.

(In which Job needs coffee, please.)

Posted by Job O Brother, May 8, 2007 11:31am | Post a Comment
I am not alone.

I wrote the above sentence then leaned to my right, peering into what once was my kitchen and is now something resembling Dresden after the bombing.

And so it goes.

How this guy has managed to cram a huge ladder into a kitchen so small I barely have room for the second Pop Tart included in the packet, is proof that he is no amateur. (This is what I tell myself, hoping for the best.)

Sonically, I am hidden deep inside my iPod, which just made a seamless transition from Marvin Gaye & Diana Ross’ duet album (titled, mysteriously enough, “Diana & Marvin”) to that inescapable Amy Winehouse record. Every once in a while, on average twice a decade, I find myself enjoying the same album as the rest of the country. Such is the case with “Back to Black”. It makes for boring copy though; I mean, do we really need to hear anymore talk about it?

The answer is “no”, and thankfully there’s a workman in my kitchen providing us with stories.

Last week, amidst my well-documented Vicodin haze (I’m feeling much better these days, thank you), I walked home from Amoeba, as I always do (unless Patti Smith is performing), for lunch.

Whereas normally I am greeted by the meows of my “cat”* I instead walked into a scene from “Brazil”.

Ruling out the possibility of a suicide bomber (I realize they go through a lot of training, but I live on the fourth floor of my building) I found, amongst the sea of bric-a-brac, cleaning supplies and dishware - normally so organized in my kitchen - a lone man doing to my sink and walls what I imagine Jeffery Dahmer would do to a dinner guest.

And I’ll say this about myself: I really am polite. Even when faced with an un-announced stranger tearing my home apart, I start with a simple hand-wave and “Hi,” – waiting for the appropriate social cues from the other person to indicate we can proceed to a conversation. Perhaps about the weather, last night’s game, or maybe why he’s mistaken my kitchen for a newly discovered Egyptian tomb.

And because he grunted hello back, then ignored me, I did what Miss Manners would suggest. I called my landlord and politely asked what the f*** was going on.

The good news is that I now have actual hot water in my kitchen sink, where before only tepid torrents ran. The bad news was that I’ve been MISSING PART OF A WALL this weekend. Naturally, I had out of town guests during that time. That goes without saying, right? Luckily they were staying in the Best Western Hollywood Hills, in town for the Silverlake Film Festival, and…

Wait – this isn’t interesting at all, is it? Have I really been blogging about my home repairs? Especially when I could’ve been telling you about last night’s game of Truth-or-Dare with Janeane Garofalo and Jake Gyllenhaal? (Who I begged never to get married because the hyphenation of their name would send my tongue into hours of seizures.)

Jesus. I really need coffee, I guess. But I can’t make coffee because of the man in my kitchen! Which brings us back to square one.

Tori Amos fans: (How’s that for a graceful segue?) I’m not going to give my two cents on the new album because I haven’t heard it, but because my iPod’s shuffle chose just now, a track by a French artist named Jorane, I thought I’d let you know about her. She’s a cello player, but writes similarly to some of Amos’ earlier works, like “Boys For Pele”. Serious, beautiful, confessional (sometimes embarrassingly so), and certainly a deft musician. She recorded an album in English in 2004; I prefer her earlier, French-language effort “Vent Fou”. If you’re a Tori fan, or just like feminine angst coupled with a instinct for an instrument, see if you can’t hunt down one of her albums.

Can I get fired from the Amoeblog for referencing Tori Amos? Probably not, though I’m certain to be greeted with some amount of derision from co-workers. Those that can read, anyway.

Whatever. I’m too coffee-less to care. And besides, these same co-workers, too “cool” to even discuss Tori Amos, will howl with approval when Boston or Journey gets airplay. Time and distance and irony makes all things shine.

In twenty years, twenty-somethings who work at the Amoeba Music Moonbase will be ecstatically pogoing when Avril Lavigne is blasted in-store.

And so it goes.

*I put quotes around cat only because I’m not completely convinced the little monster isn’t just a wolverine with some stunted growth hormone.

out today 5/8...bjork...elliott smith...sea & cake...

Posted by Brad Schelden, May 7, 2007 07:30pm | Post a Comment
So if you thought the Patrick Wolf album cover from last week was ridiculous, you are gonna love the cover of the new Bjork album "Volta." It has already grown on me and I have now decided that I love it. However, I can't think of anyone else who could pull off an album cover like this. There is nobody quite like Bjork. Love her or hate her, she is one unique lady. "Volta" is her sixth full length album. She launched her verysuccessful solo career after leaving her Icelandic group "The Sugarcubes." Those Sugarcubes albums sure are great fun. I have some great memories attached to those old albums. But I have to say, the dude singer in the band always kind of annoyed me, and I was not sad when she started her solo career.

I was not a huge fan of Bjork's last album "Medulla." But she has for sure won me back with this new one. I had been a big fan for years but had maybe overdosed a bit on Bjork. But I am ready again. She won me over with her performance on Saturday Night Live a couple of weeks ago. And Scarlet Johansson was actually funny! I have now also had a chance to listen to the album. Its actually really good. While I am not in love with the single "Earth Intruders" as much as maybe she would like me to be. The album as a whole is great. The album not only features a ten piece Icelandic female brass section, but also Antony (Antony & the Johnsons), Timbaland, Chris Corsano, and Brian Chippendale (Lightning Bolt). Did you hear that what I said. Antony is on the album! This is reason enough to pick it up. Bjork and Antony are a really good match. It just makes sense that they would work together. Seriously, fans of Bjork will not be disappointed. And even old fans who have not necessarily loved her the last couple years, might find themselves liking Bjork again. Bjork has the amazing ability to experiment with all these different instruments and sound manipulations and somehow make it accessible. She makes brilliant pop albums but there is always something weird there. Something to make it more interesting than your normal pop album.  I am going to see her live in a couple weeks. I can't wait to hear the album live and see those amazing sets and costumes and all those 50 or so people on stage. It's gonna be awesome!

Making L.A. Believe in Life - DJ Life @ Groove, Thursday Nights

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, May 7, 2007 12:00am | Post a Comment

When DJ Life used to work at Amoeba, he was everyone’s favorite. He’s always full of positive energy and never has anything bad to say about anyone. He is a glass half full in a world full of half empty glasses. Besides his positive demeanor, he is a damn good DJ.
DJ Life always has the right cuts at the right time. His mixes are seamless and he's making Los Angeles into believers in his blend of soulful Deep House.

Having had residencies at various L.A. hot spots such as the Standard and The Room, Life wanted to break away and do his own thing. Groove is where you will hear him at his best and doing exactly what he wants. Along with DJ’s Vika & Kaleem, a night at Groove will keep you on the dance floor the whole evening with their blend of Soul, House, Hip-Hop, Disco classics and World Rhythms. Then again, you never know what DJ Life will bring out of the crates. All you need to know is that you won’t want the night to end.

Groove happens every Thursday @The Blu Monkey Bar & Lounge
5521 Hollywood Blvd. @ Western Ave.

Doors @ 9 p.m.
21 and Over
DJ Life’s deep house mix CD’s are available in the house section of Amoeba Records Hollywood.

(In which Job abides a leisurely Sunday.)

Posted by Job O Brother, May 6, 2007 12:00am | Post a Comment
It is Sunday. There’s a warm breeze that skims our skin outside, keeping us from breaking a sweat, though the sun shines brightly. Even now, as I sit in the living room of my lover’s house, listening to a suite written by my favorite classical composer for a spring day, Delius, the light shines through windows and hits the blonde wood floor and white walls, casting a buttery glow; keeping it balmy, as though this room is an extension of some lazy park.

Upstairs, my lover snoozes; his body sprawled out and touching every corner of the bed. Napping on a Sunday afternoon – he is in Heaven.

I f***king hate it. I HATE SUNDAY! I hate the warm breezes and clement temperature that elicits such ridiculous adjectives as read above! Blonde wood and buttery glow? What the hell is this anyway – a porn story for an Ikea catalogue?!

All my life and especially as a child I have regarded Sundays as the day that fun “takes the day off”. When you’re a kid and still in prison… did I say “prison”? I meant school. Sorry.

When you’re a kid and still in Guantanamo Bay, Sunday is the day before you have to return to class. As if being a kid in the 1980’s wasn’t bad enough. Double whammy!

I am grumpy. The good news is that I took my last dosage of antibiotics this morning. For those of you who haven’t read my previous entries, I have been battling a nasty case of breast cancer.

(Regular readers will know it’s actually just an ear infection, but first timers need to be drawn in with something a little more dramatic and compelling.)

Anyway, I am listening to the British composer, Frederick Delius. You Kate Bush fans will recall a track on her enigmatic effort, “Never For Ever” a song that bears his name, which is her love song for this composer. Or maybe it’s just a metaphor for her angst over her bunny slippers. Or maybe it’s about a ‘shroom trip she had while churning her own butter. It’s Kate Bush, so how are we to know?

explosions in the sky...

Posted by Brad Schelden, May 6, 2007 12:00am | Post a Comment
Explosions in the Sky have seriously got to be one of the best bands ever. If you like that instrumental indie rock kind of thing. I can't get enough of these guys. They have just put out their most recent album a couple months ago, and like the rest of their albums it has the possibility of changing your life. Or maybe it will just make the act of getting through your life a little better. Explosions in the Sky are great at creating a soundtrack for what goes on in your head. They seem to be able to somehow capture that feeling. Explosions also have that amazing ability to make you feel intensely sad and happy at the same time.

The Explosions in the Sky have four real albums. The first being "How Strange, Innocence" originally released in 2000. This album was reissued by Temporary Residence recently. This was followed by "Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forverver" in 2001. Next was "The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place" in 2003. This year they gave us "All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone." They also did a mail order album ep thing "The Rescue" which you can buy from them at their shows. Also, in 2004, they did the soundtrack to the movie "Friday Night Lights." Friday Night Lights is now a TV show that I don't watch. I've heard good things about it, but it just doesn't fit into my schedule. I have heard that soundtrack, and it is of course, amazing. All of these albums are put out by the amazing label "Temporary Residence Limited." In addition to the Explosions albums, they also put out albums by Eluvium, Tarentel, By the End of Tonight, The Grails, and Rob Crow.

<==How Strange, Innocence                                             

Those Who Tell the Truth=>>

<==Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place


                                               All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone==>


The Explosions in the Sky were created in 1999 in Austin Texas. The band is Munaf Rayani, Mark Smith, Michael James, and Chris Hrasky They all play guitar. Expect for Chris, who plays the drums. Aside from an occasional bass, the albums are mostly drums and guitar only. Absolutely no vocals. But you seriously never even notice the vocals are not there. They consistently create these brilliant little albums that just get inside your head and linger there. Its powerful stuff. Similar to bands like Mogwai and Sigur Ros. They create beautiful songs that slowly develop into big instrumental anthems. I listen to these guys a lot. And you should as well. They could seriously help you through some hard times. Its great thinking music. Like when you are stuck and don't know what to do with yourself. Just put on some Explosions and they will solve all your problems. Seriously, bands like this are like therapy. Some people need their String Cheese Incident to get through the day. But I need my Explosions in the Sky.

Getting Over

Posted by phil blankenship, May 6, 2007 12:00am | Post a Comment

Unicorn Video 5225

Growing Up Is Hard To Do: Little Children

Posted by Miss Ess, May 6, 2007 12:00am | Post a Comment
I watched Little Children last night. 

It's a strange but thought provoking movie, with just a shred of cheese throughout.  It's directed by Todd Field, the dude that directed In the Bedroom a while back.  Remember how In the Bedroom was every f-ing where that year at the Oscars? I mean I love Sissy Spacek and all that, but I was so over it being everywhere all the time that i never even saw that movie-- too much, too much!  I'm glad I didn't know he directed Little Children until I watched the credits.  I guess I am still not over that oversaturation so many years back...I hold my Oscar grudges a long time, it's true, anyone that knows me can tell you.  But I digress....

In Little Children, as you've probably heard, Kate Winslet plays a suburban housewife who begins having an affair with the hot stay at home dad who takes his son to the same playground where she takes her daughter.  While on one hand I can't really blame her for being unable to resist somone as hot as Patrick Wilson (did anyone else spend half the movie wondering why her "full of rebellion" character would ever have been interested in her neanderthal husband Mike?), I was disgusted by how easy it seemed for her character Sarah to jump into cheating on her husband when there is a child involved in their relationship.  Same goes for Patrick Wilson's character Brad, but it is clear why he was interested in his wife in the first place, as she is played by sexy lady Jennifer Connolly

I liked the blandness of the character's names and the film's portrayal of suburbia as just that-- bland as all hell and too tough to navigate on a daily basis for anyone who still remembers what it feels like to be "inspired" and "alive".  The whole Book Club that's reading Madame Bovary was a little trite for my taste, but hey I guess the film made its point there-- women who cheat on deadened husbands can be seen as whores or they can be seen as having an undying hunger and a bold "refusal to accept a life of unhappiness".  yeah, i got it, thanks.  (It always seems like everyone uses that book as a Go-To to make a point like that.  Maybe it's cause I was a Literature Major that I feel that way though.)

Anyway, one of the plot points in the film involves a pedophile who has moved into the neighborhood and its inhabitants' uproar over this.  I liked how the movie asked questions like "who really IS the pervert/criminal"? and "what REALLY presents danger to our children: a neighborhood pedophile or the child's parents cheating?  It also asks, of course, "who are the Little Children?"-- the gossiping, game playing, emotionally stunted and selfish "adults" don't seems so adult by the end of the flick, all of them.

I thought the film dealt interestingly with parenthood and all the different issues it can bring up.  Brad feels emasculated by his pants-wearing wife.  Sarah seems uninterested in her child, more interested in reconnecting to who she felt she was before she was "saddled" with a child.  I don't want to ruin the ending for anyone who hasn't seen the movie yet, but didn't it all feel so tidy? 

Overall, I like films that deal with the complexities of life.  And where you get to see a bunch of hot, sweaty T&A.... so this film really delivered for me personally.

L.A. May 1st Immigrant March - Rubber Bullets Won't Stop Us

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, May 6, 2007 12:00am | Post a Comment

we will march on.

Thanks to Marisa Ronstadt for the words and Joanna Hernandez for the photo.

The House That Dripped Blood

Posted by phil blankenship, May 6, 2007 12:00am | Post a Comment

Prism Entertainment 9524

A Perfect Day - Patti Smith at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, May 4, 2007 07:25pm | Post a Comment
patti smith
I can't believe this happened. I
still have goosebumps. Patti Smith, live at Amoeba.

I also can't believe she chose to do some of the very songs that have held me close in safety these past few years: "Gimme Shelter." "Perfect Day." "Hel
pless." That's weird and beautiful, scary too ... thank you, Patti Smith.

I thought after meeting Tina Turner, I could just die. Hey, life doesn't get any better
than th
at! Climax! Then Joan Baez did an instore at Leopold Records in Berkeley, and I got to meet her as well. Of course I thought: now I can die. Zenith! (I am aware that this is not healthy thinking, okay?)

Those were the records that I listened to as a child -- these were the wo
men who saved my life. How many chances do you get to look someone in the eye who stormed the world and demanded change, and damn well GOT THE CHANGE? How many chances does a person get to thank them -- in person?

But if you're digging back in the crates of time, you can't ignore that one Saturday night on NBC, I was maybe about 8 years old ... The Patti Smith Group performed. All of a sudden, I knew this was a world that I could live in, I could thrive.

(In which Job answers fan-mail.)

Posted by Job O Brother, May 4, 2007 12:00am | Post a Comment
I've been getting a lot of fan-mail from you readers lately, for which I am both humbled, grateful, and confused.

Confused because many, if not most, of your mail asks me which character from "Hill Street Blues" I most identify with.

First of all, this seems to me an absurdly obtuse line of questioning. As a reference for psychological profiling, the cast of some cop show from the 1980's, now lost in a sea of copycats and time, is hardly an adequate tool. It's as equally preposterous to me as say, concluding that I must be "really romantic, a good match for people born under the sign of Aquarius, and inclined to keep trophy-cuttings from those I kill," simply because I was born in the month of October.

While I appreciate that said TV show (the first two seasons of which are available on DVD at your local* Amoeba Music store) is chock full of humanity, likeable and endearing characters, realistic police procedure and deft dialogue, I balk at your insistence that I be summed by any one of its cast. I am unique! I am an individual!

It reminds me of the episode wherein Officer Joe Coffey tries to convince fellow officer, Lucy Bates, of his true feelings for her. She doesn’t believe him and by the end of the episode he gets shot. You see? It doesn’t pay to pigeon-hole.

Is this a veiled promotional spot for “Hill Street Blues”? Could I be so square? So out-of-touch or quaint?

Well, you can have all your so-called "reality TV". None of them glitter and sparkle with the luminousness of a young Veronica Hamel's glossy kisser...

...Come to think of it, she does kind of look like me...

Still Crazy After All These Years: Gary Higgins & Mark Fosson

Posted by Miss Ess, May 3, 2007 09:15pm | Post a Comment

Speaking of radical upcoming shows, did you know that underground heroes Gary Higgins and Mark Fosson are coming to town for their first San Francisco appearances, despite the fact that their records were made oh, about 30+ years ago?  Yes, they have been revived, thanks in part to the vigilant Zach Cowie in the case of Gary Higgins, and thanks to Mark Fosson's cousin Tiffany Anders in his case, each of whom rediscovered the records that never got their due: Mark Fosson's Lost Takoma Sessions and Gary Higgins' Red Hash, and managed to get them released on the illustrious Drag City Records

Mark Fosson's songs were recorded for John Fahey's label in 1977 but were actually never released cause the label dissolved soon after.  It's super fitting that Fosson's record was gonna come out on Fahey's label cause he's a definite influence.  He plays the 12 string guitar and his songs are all instrumentals and beautiful! 

Gary Higgins' story is a little more complicated.  In 1973 he recorded his album Red Hash, put it out on his own label, promptly got arrested for pot possession and spent a couple of years in the pen; Thus he was unable to tour or promote the record, and thus the record made pretty much no mark on the world at large.  True to its title, Red Hash is definately a stoner folk record.  There's much hypnotic repetition, lots of hippie-isms and a lotta acoustic guitar hooks. 

So all this said, its pretty effin' great that the two of them are out on the road again performing to new audiences that have recently discovered songs the artists probably conceived before they were even born.  We here in Cali, the young and the old(er), will have several chances to check them out live at last, and they are even playing together in Santa Cruz:

Gary Higgins

An American Prayer

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, May 3, 2007 12:43pm | Post a Comment
The other day I saw the legendary keyboardist from The Doors, Ray Manzarek, shopping at Amoeba. Seeing him brought back a flood of memories of hanging out with my stoner friends during my high school years that absolutely worshiped The Doors. They bought into the whole "Jim Morrison’s mystique" and his “Lizard King” persona. Personally, other than a few songs, I was never really into them. The record we would listen to over and over again was the posthumous An American Prayer.

American Prayer was released in 1978, a record that combined spoken word that Jim Morrison recorded in 1970 with music that the remaining members of The Doors created in 1977. It was a possible glimpse of what The Doors would have sounded like if they stuck around that long. I remember hating it. For one, it didn’t have any of songs I liked and two, I never liked Jim Morrison’s poetry. There were even a few Discoesque tracks on the album. It seemed like all the rock artists at the time were trying to play disco back then: David Bowie, The Doobie Brothers, The Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart, all had Disco hits on the radio. For most Blacks and Latinos in the 70's/early 80's, it was our first tastes of those classic rockers because they were playing music we familiar with.
A few years back I heard L.A. DJ Garth Trinidad spin “Ghost Song” at a club. It fit perfect with other R&B tinged house tracks he was playing that night. I few days later I was at a record shop in St. Paul, Minnesota, and found a copy of American Prayer for 99 cents. After a few listens it occurred to me that American Prayer was way ahead of its time. It was an updated version of the Beat poetry records that came out in the 50’s at a time when no one was doing anything like this. Most of Jim Morrison’s poetry on this album is dated but set with the semi-funky beats the poems come off as modern club tracks.
There are a few cuts from this album I love to spin at clubs. “Ghost Song” and “The Hitchhiker” always get reactions from people. “Who does this song?” they ask me. When I tell them it’s The Doors, they then ask me, “Who did the re-mix?” My favorite track to spin is “Latino Chrome.” I always pull it out when I’m spinning the Chicano old school jams. It a perfect fit with classic El Chicano or Timmy Thomas style jams.
I feel like many musicians must have had the same experience as myself of being stuck in a room with idol-worshipping stoners listening to that album. Yet something about American Prayer left a lasting impression on the music that we would all create later. On the track “Dawn’s Highway” Jim Morrison talks about seeing...
“Indians scattered on dawn's highway bleeding,” and how the souls of the dead Native Americans penetrated his...“Young child's fragile eggshell mind.”
Whether I like to admit it or not, I guess American Prayer left a little Doors influence on my own “young fragile eggshell mind.”

(In which Job kills the radio star.)

Posted by Job O Brother, May 2, 2007 06:44pm | Post a Comment
I spent the best and most embarrassing years of my life in the Pacific Northwest, specifically, a tiny Gold Rush town called Nevada City (located in the state of California – don’t make a fool of yourself at the next cocktail party, acting like you’re all hip to the Nevada City scene, then make the common mistake of assuming it’s in Nevada).

The population is less than 3,000 people. About 2,500 of those people are young folks, and 2,000 of them are musicians, but only about 1,580 of those musicians are geniuses.

Sure, I’m bragging. But I’m not exaggerating. I promise on my eight inch rod.

…of yarn. I knit. Why, what did you think I meant?

Anyway, dirty bird, it behooves me to introduce one particular singer/songwriter that is, how you say, rad. His name is Adam Kline, and his band is Golden Shoulders. And here is the video for one of his songs, off his album “Let My Burden Be”. But don’t stop here, enjoy his other recordings, too.

You rabid Joanna Newsom fans will get particular joy in the backing vocals. Aw, yeah.


Free Elvis Costello Show! Tomorrow @ Village Music in Mill Valley

Posted by Miss Ess, May 2, 2007 06:17pm | Post a Comment
Just wanted to let all y'all know that the one and only Elvis Costello is playing a FREE show tomorrow at Village Music in Mill Valley.  He's actually going to be playing songs from his favorite records he has found at Village over the years.  It should be a really special event and the perfect excuse to ditch work, right?


and then there's MAUDE...

Posted by Brad Schelden, May 2, 2007 01:51pm | Post a Comment
Finally, the Bea Arthur fans can rejoice. Maude season one is now on DVD! After the release of all seven seasons of the Golden Girls, Bea Arthur's previous show "Maude" has finally been released. Maude originally aired from 1972-1978. Bea Arthur's character "Maude Findlay" was originally seen on "All in the Family" as Edith Bunker's cousin. Maude became a very successful spinoff for its creator Norman Lear. The show is set in Tuckahoe, New York. The show is about the liberal minded Maude and her fourth husband, Bill Macy, and grown up daughter, Adrienne Barbeau. The show also starred Esther Role as the housekeeper who would spin off onto her own show, "Good Times." Conrad Bain, the rich dad from Diff'rent Strokes, played the neighbor. And Bea's future costar of "The Golden Girls," Rue McClanahan, was also on the show!  The fantastic Adrienne Barbeau would go on to star in John Carpenter's "The Fog" and "Escape From New York," and Wes Craven's "Swamp Thing." Adrienne actually got her start in musicals and was the original "Rizzo" in Grease. She actually has recorded an album as well!

I was actually first introduced to Bea Arthur on the Golden Girls. It was only years later that I learned she had a previous hit show. I had only seen a couple of the episodes before I bought this DVD. The DVD includes all the original 22 episodes from the first season. All with the brilliant theme song by Donny Hathaway "And Then There's Maude." Unfortunately there is no bonus material on this DVD. It is a shame. No commentaries, no bloopers, no documentaries or behind the scenes footage. There is not even music playing in the menu screen. I could for sure watch some episodes in spanish or french, but not on this DVD. But it is still worth it.

The show was revolutionary and Bea Arthur is hilarious. The show tackled some crazy issues for the times. Not only was it critically acclaimed and won emmys and golden globes but the viewing audience also loved it. It was often in the top ten spot. Bea Arthur has a powerful presence on screen. She has an amazing ability for delivering those great lines with sarcastic wit. This season includes the great two part episode when Maude must consider getting an abortion. It also include the episode where Maude's daughter, Carol, dates a man that Maude once dated! Seriously, this is a great show. It is for sure worth revisiting even with a very bare DVD set.

A London Sumting

Posted by Mike Battaglia, May 2, 2007 12:49am | Post a Comment

London's stalwart pirate radio underground has been an essential tool for the growth of electronic dance music since the mid-80's, specifically Acid House, Breakbeat Hardcore, Jungle/Drum'n'Bass, Ragga and now Grime/Dubstep. It provides, free of charge to the listening public, a wealth of brand new music, often produced right in their own neighborhoods, that mainstream radio either can't or won't play (although that's changed greatly in recent years), as well as offering a community rallying point culturally. There are a few perspectives of pirate radio, one from The Powers That Be concerning "theft" of the airwaves and another that's more about the music. Here's a local news item from the early 90's with the "official" message:

Another London news clip, this one from 1994, the early days of Jungle, with squareness in full effect:

There's a sense of mystery surrounding pirate radio that lies in its clandestine nature - both musically as well as physically. Jungle and Ragga both got very little attention from the mainstream during their inception periods but flourished through the pirates via dedicated DJ's and promoters, some of whom turned their popularity into lasting careers in radio, with a few stations actually going legit. Throughout the "Second Summer of Love", as the heady Acid House-drenched summer of 1988 is often called, pirate radio was the beacon in the night, guiding clubland refugees to the nonstop party. This UK documentary from '94 shows a bit more of a balanced viewpoint, particularly showing the establishment's skewered views in stark light. Check the intro for a track that tweaks a sample from the news clip above!

Part One:

Part Two:

Here's another documentary from 1996 that heavily features Kool FM, one of Jungle's most popular pirates, still on the air to this day! Lots of killer shots with leading figures from the scene like DJ Brockie and DJ Ron:

Part One:

Part Two:

Part Three:

There's well over an hour's worth of video up there, so kick back and take it in at your leisure. If you're still interested in the pirates, you can check out this regularly updated list of all the pirates in London, and then use this scanner to actually listen to them!

New Music Tech:

Posted by Mike Battaglia, May 1, 2007 09:16pm | Post a Comment

Reactable is a new music-making interface coming out of Barcelona that I've been wanting to feature in this blog before I knew I'd be writing it - it was part of my pitch, actually. Now that It's been Boing-Boing-ed I feel I should probably get this post out about it considering it's quite of-the-minute, about which I'll get to later.


While it's been around for a couple of years now, folks are only starting to catch on. Thanks to this past weekend, I'm guessing A LOT more people will be exposed in the near future. This video above is the first exposure I had to the technology, and I was pretty mesmerized. WTF was going on here? One initial observation is that it's like a modular synth that you literally build as you use it, which turned out to be partially correct. The Reactable was developed by Sergi Jordà, Martin Kaltenbrunner, Günter Geiger, and Marcos Alonso of the Music Technology Group at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona. These demo videos are fairly self-explanatory, especially after multiple viewings, so I don't think that not having a base knowledge of synthesis or electonic music-making is necessarily a hindrance to appreciating or enjoying Reactable.

It's also a sequencer, any number of effects and a sampler, all integrated seamlessly into a work environment extremely conducive to spontaneity. There's bound to be widespread application directly because of that, hopefully changing the performance landscape as a result (because laptop shows are boring). Here is Reactable in action live:

I'm extremely anxious to see this onstage, it's a step in the right direction for electronic music performance. Apparently Bjork feels the same way - her current tour setup includes a Reactable, unveiled at her performance this past weekend at the Coachella festival:

There's a bunch more videos on YouTube regarding the Reactable, go check them out. I wonder what one costs...

It's a Definite Slice: Heartworn Highways

Posted by Miss Ess, May 1, 2007 07:17pm | Post a Comment
This weekend I re-watched a favorite of mine, Heartworn Highways. It's a documentary about the Austin Music Scene in the 1970s. It came out on DVD only a couple of years ago and the DVD comes with over an hour of extras, all of which are well worthwhile. 

My favorite parts of the movie all involve Mr. Townes Van Zandt.  Van Zandt was a folk singer from Texas who wrote some of (as far as I am concerned) the finest songs around. He was also a total character, a total alcoholic/addict and a total genius. I am sure I will devote some other blog to the life and times of TVZ, but for now, you should check out his song, "Waitin' Around to Die" as performed in Heartworn Highways:

It's pretty heartbreaking for me, with Townes' blacksmith neighbor Uncle Seymour Washington crumpling and crying just listening to Townes' song. The film is mainly made up of moments that feel close at least to something authentic and real, and this performance is really the pinnacle moment of the film for me.

Townes is also shown in the film hanging out near his trailer with the essentials: his gun, his dogs, his whiskey and his girl Cindy. Good times.

Some of the other musicians in the film include Guy Clark, Steve Young, Steve Earle, Rodney Crowell, and, hilariously, David Allan Coe, who rocks a prison in his complete Rhinestone Cowboy garb. (Speaking of moments that are real and true and all that...) There he is, playing in the penitentiary in front of all these inmates dressed in nothing but their prison jumpsuits, and he's decked in rhinestone bedazzled EVERTHING, complete with huge earrings and a gigantor belt that says his name in sparkling diamonds. He spends a good amount of time trying to relate to the inmates, telling them about his brief prison stay when he was 18 and trying to rally their ire toward the guards by telling them how the guards all drive Cadillacs. It's pretty over the top, to say the least. He's like Marky Mark, I mean, serious actor Mark Wahlberg, trying to convince the homies he's hard cause he stayed in the pen for a couple of days.....geez. Oh and speaking of being hard, David Allan Coe has that hipster star tattoo right on his neck.  he predated all y'all!

Anyway other great moments include an epically long jam session between Steve Young, Steve Earle, Guy Clark, Susanna Clark and others that winds on and on but (at least for me) never loses speed. The musicians are all sitting around a table decked with the entrails of debaucherous evening: cigarettes strewn everywhere, bottles emptied and half full, beer cans and several kerosene lanterns, and they are singing their drunken hearts out, trading leads and singing older songs they all know. It all culminates in a wasted but enjoyable version of "Silent Night," since it is apparently Christmas time.

The movie to me in a way is really about the death of the cowboy, or the image of the cowboy way of life, in America. Sure it is still possible to live parts of that lifestyle, but the frontier no longer exists in the manner it once did. Lawlessness is no longer an option. The farmer/rancher is being run off of his land. Things just ain't like they used to be. These folks are among the last to live like outlaws, maybe even if it was just through their music. And this film is a true slice o

(In which Job is a commercial.)

Posted by Job O Brother, May 1, 2007 11:08am | Post a Comment
I’m always on the lookout for two things: hilarious TV and a man with an African-shaped birthmark on his right shoulder. Hilarious TV because it lowers my stress level and inspires me; the man with the birthmark because he orphaned me at age eight and burned my farm down.

Both are equally difficult to find.

Thanks to today’s plethora of cable TV stations (Hot Glue & Margarine Channel, anyone?) there has been an outcropping of novel shows. I tend to enjoy comedy that pushes the boundaries of acceptable (South Park, Strangers With Candy) or are chock full of non-sequiturs (Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Aqua Teen Hunger Force). You get me, right? We’re all on the same page here.

One show that many of you don’t seem to have seen/noticed is “Upright Citizens Brigade”. It’s not brand new. It ran for three seasons on Comedy Central (1998-2000). One star of the show many of you will know is Amy Poehler, who my friends tell me is on something called Saturday Night Live? I dunno, I’ve never heard of it.

Anyway, the premise is that a team of four people, the Upright Citizens Brigade, are waging a secret battle against all-things-average and mundane in the world. They bring chaos to conformity. (In this respect, they mirror the customers who shop the DVD section of Amoeba Music Hollywood.)

It’s sketch comedy. The material is garnered from the troupe’s live shows, originally based in Chicago, now in NYC. In this respect, the show is similar to The Kids in the Hall, though the style of it – the way it ebbs and flows – feels more like Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

If you like any of the titles I’ve dropped above, I would expect you to also adore this too-overlooked gem. Unfortunately, only season one is available on DVD.

Do yourself a favor and snag a copy. Then do me a favor and, if you see the man with the birthmark, shoot a tranquilizer dart in his neck, restrain him, and give me a ring-a-ding. Thanks!