Alfred Peet 1920--2007

Posted by Whitmore, August 31, 2007 02:04pm | Post a Comment
Alfred Peet, entrepreneur and the founder of  Peet's Coffee & Tea, who opened his first store in Berkeley over 40 years ago and is credited with spawning our insatiable appetite for gourmet coffee has died at his home in Ashland, Ore. He was 87.

He was born in Alkmaar, Holland in 1920 where
his father ran a coffee roastery business.  After the Second World War, Peet left Europe and in 1955 immigrated to San Francisco working for E.A. Johnson & Co, importing coffee.

Peet set up his first shop in 1966, opening a small store in Berkeley at 2124 Vine Street, near the UC campus. To set himself and his coffee apart, he personally hand roasted high-quality beans, soon he opened new stores in Oakland and Menlo Park.

The founders of Starbucks, such as Jerry  Baldwin,  were among his early customers and
found their inspiration in Peet's business plan.
Early on, before Starbucks became the
gargantuan enterprise it is today, they purchased their roasted coffee from Peet’s, until Peet could no longer keep up with the supply demands of the chain.

After Alfred Peet retired in 1983, Baldwin and his partners purchased Peet's Coffee for $4 million.

I can’t emphasis how important a great cup of java is to me. Back in the old days, before internet time itself, whenever a friend of mine traveled up to the Bay Area, I would beg them to bring back a couple bags of Peet’s coffee.

I salute you Alfred Peet! You've made my life richer!


Posted by Billyjam, August 31, 2007 12:00pm | Post a Comment
brandi shearer
Amoeba Music recording artist Brandi Shearer, whose anticipated album Close To Dark on Amoeba's newly launched record label just dropped this week (8/28) and who just wound up a month of dates on the East Coast, will be doing a very special free instore performance at Amoeba Music Hollywood on Saturday afternoon (Sept. 1st) at 2PM sharp. Note that this return to the Amoeba Hollywood stage for Shearer will be streamed live online via audio and video feeds -- so just return here to this site on Saturday starting at 2PM PST. Other artists performing for free at Amoeba over the next upcoming days include Norwegian Prins Thomas, who will be bringing his "cosmic disco" sounds to the Amoeba Music Hollywood stage tonight (Friday August 31st) at 8PM. For more info on this talented artist and his Amoeba show click here. And on Tuesday at the San Francisco Amoeba Music there is a recommended free instore when the New Orleans group Galactic perform with special guests (the Quannum emcees who also make cameos on their new album-- From the Corner to the Block) Gift of Gab and Lateef the Truth Speaker. For more info on this Tuesday evening show at the Haight Street store, which starts at 7PM, click here. Update: the previously scheduled Amoeba Berkeley instore with Patton Oswalt for this coming week has been canceled.


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Day After Day After Day After Labor Day - Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White

Posted by Eric Brightwell, August 31, 2007 01:18am | Post a Comment
3 September is Labor Day. Everyone else in the world celebrates on 1 May. In April of 1856, stonemasons in Melbourne protested in favor of the work day being reduced to 8 hours as suggested by the 8 Hour Movement (8 for rest, 8 for work, 8 for leisure). Previously, working 16 hours per day, 6 days per week was perfectly normal.

On 1 May, 1886 over 400,000 workers protested in favor of the adoption of the eight-hour-workday in the US. Government troops responded by opening fire, killing seven in Milwaukee, followed by the Haymarket Riots in Chicago three days later. There, a cop was killed and at least 4 workers as well when violence flared up between cops, scabs and protestors. Eight activists associated with the rally were sentenced to death. One commited suicide in his cell and four others were hanged. In 1893 the eight were pardoned. Of course, most had been dead for six years, so...


So, taking a page from the Christian Church, which successfully co-opted countless heathen holidays by re-branding them feast days and religious observations (e.g. Easter... in which a breeding rabbit carries eggs that symbolize... Jesus, and his, uh, hatching from the tomb-metaphorically speaking); Labor Day in the US was moved to September and became an end-of-summer holiday where observers have their last grill-outs of the year.

Grover Cleveland didn't really like the idea of Americans feeling solidarity with the rest of the world's Reds and bomb-throwing anarchists. Besides, it's the last day when you can wear white! And if we want to express solidarity with other people, can't it be with Australians on their Flag Day? Or Qataris and Tunisians on their independence days? No harm there, right? You want to be a rebel, wear white after Labor Day and leave the molotov cocktails at home, ok? For the rest of you, grill and maybe take advantage of that furniture sale.

It's interesting that late 19th century workers' newfound free-time resulted in growth in popularity of sports and motion pictures shown here:


And, since it's a three day weekend, here're are a couple of high-spirited, modern-ish Labor Day rebels keeping their clothes white year-round.


The Rubettes "Sugar Baby Love" 1974
These Animal Men "This Is the Sound of Youth" 1994
Miranda! "Bailarina" 2002


Eric's Blog

Deadly Game

Posted by phil blankenship, August 30, 2007 10:50pm | Post a Comment

Paramount Home Video 83421

the genius of parker posey

Posted by Brad Schelden, August 30, 2007 08:29pm | Post a Comment
Parker Posey has been doing movies now for almost 15 years. I have been a devoted fan of hers since the very beginning. I sort of feel like I have grown up with her over the years.I still remember seeing Dazed and Confused for the first time and falling in love with her. I had just moved away from home and started college. I am not really sure what it was about her. But she just seemed genuine and real. Like someone I would want to hang out with. She also continued to pop up in brilliant little indie films over the years. And she was always good. Her first real film was Dazed and Confused in 1993. But she also had a part in the Tales of the City miniseries. Check out my pal's blog about Tales of the City right here. For anybody dealing with coming out of the closet in 1993, this was a super important little piece of television. This was definitely the first time I saw a positive gay character on television. There had not really even been that many on film up until this point. I knew I had to move to San Francisco after I saw this. Maybe this is why Parker has been so embraced by the Gays. She had a role in an important part of gay film history.

I just watched "Broken English" last night. I wanted to see it in the theater really badly but didn't get the chance. It just came out on DVD last week. I had heard that this was a new sort of dramatic role for her. I have loved seeing her in all these brilliant little roles over the years. But I was also ready to see her do something sort of different. The film is a tragic little romance film that seemed to really get the critics talking about her. The movie totally broke me heart and made me laugh at the same time. A brilliant little movie by Zoe Cassavetes, the daughter of John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands. Her mother, Gena, also has a role in the movie. The film reminded me a bit of "Come Early Morning" starring Ashley Judd. Maybe just a bit less depressing. It doesn't hurt that she has a great supporting cast. Both her love interests Justin Theroux and Melvil Poupaud are not to hard to fall in love with. Justin also is fantastic as Jesus in "The Ten."

The great thing about Parker is how she really becomes the role. It is hard to tell if the movies are just all written with her in mind or if she just pours herself into the characters once they are written. But after watching her films, it is hard to imagine anybody else playing her parts. Broken English follows the life of a single thirty something fancy hotel manager type. She hangs out with her best friend, the also brilliant Drea de Matteo and her bestfriends husband. I am still mourning the day Drea left the Sopranos. She has trouble meeting anybody significant but sort of doesn't seem to care that much. She eventually meets a visiting French dude at a coworkers party and quickly falls in love. He of course has to move back to France and she must decide if she eventually wants to follow him there or not. The film makes it seem that the french dude has just broken up with a woman who is now possibly dating someone she had a one night stand with. That other someone is Justin Theroux. The film is filled with those brilliant little coincidences that can only happen in movies. But it works. Even if my description makes it sound like just another indie romance film. It really is so  much more. It also ends with a great cover version of Marianne Faithfull's "Broken English." I just don't want to give too much away. Just go rent it or buy it and love it like I do.

After Dazed and Confused, Parker went on to star in Party Girl, The House of Yes, and Clockwatchers. But where she really shined was in the Christoper Guest films. She starred in Waiting For Guffman in 1996, and later in Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, and For Your Consideration. I can't really understand how anybody does not love these films. But I know there is someone out there who doesn't. The entire casts of these films are all wonderful. But Parker Posey has always been one of my favorites in these films. She has also appeared in a couple more gay films over the years along with the three Tales of the City Miniseries. Frisk and Doom Generation in 1995 and Adam & Steve in 2005. She also had a small recurring role in Will & Grace. She was also probably the best thing about "Superman Returns," in the role of Kitty Kowalski, Lex Luther's girlfriend. Here is a little list of some of her better films over the years. Just in case you have not yet discovered the genius of Parker Posey.

Tales of the City (93) Dazed and Confused (93) Flirt (93) Sleep with Me (94) Party Girl (95) Frisk (95) Flirt(95) Kicking & Screaming (95) The Doom Generation (95) The Daytrippers (96) Basquiat (96) Waiting For Guffman (96) Suburbia (96) House of Yes (97) Clockwatchers (97) Henry Fool (97) More Tales of the City (98) Scream 3 (2000) Best in Show (2000) Further Tales of the City (2001) Anniversary Party (2001) Personal Velocity (2001) Hell on Heels: The Battle of Mary Kay (2002) A Mighty Wind (2003) Adam & Steve (2005) The Oh in Ohio (2006) Superman Returns (2006) For Your Consideration (2006) Fay Grim (2006) Broken English (2007).

She also starred in a couple "Boston Legal" episodes. Although not the same episodes that my Dad had extra work on. How great would it be to be able to say my dad has starred in the same show as Parker Posey. Parker Posey actually makes her starring television debut this next season with "The Return of Jezebel James." The show is brought to you by the Fox Network from the creator of the Gilmour Girls. The Fox Network is also unleashing a show about the life of Sarah Connor from the Terminator Movies. It might be horrible, but I will sure be watching it.

I am sad that Parker may not have time to do as many films with a soon to be hit television show. But knowing her, I am sure she will continue to act her little heart out in indie features as well.  She stars in the show opposite Lauren Ambrose from Six Feet Under. Justin Theroux also had a role in Six Feet Under playing one of Brenda's boyfriends. I have high hopes for the show. Some of my other favorite film actresses have been showing up lately in great television shows. Mary Louis Parker and Elizabeth Perkins are both absolutely amazing in Weeds and the show keeps getting better. Chloe Sevigny is brilliant in Big Love. She completely plays a different character than anything you have ever seen her do and totally impresses me every time I watch a new episode. So I am really hoping Parker can pull off her brilliance on the small screen. Even if the show does not work out, I know Parker will bounce right back from it. I have faith in her genius.


Posted by Billyjam, August 30, 2007 01:25pm | Post a Comment
mia x
New Orleans emcee Mia X is from the old school and has been making hip-hop for twenty plus years. She is probably best known by most rap fans for the period she was signed to and associated with Master P's No Limit label, but her rich rap history goes back long before that. However, searching under the artist's early rap years online will inevitably yield inaccurate results -- whether searching on the, All Music Guide, Yahoo, VH1 websites, or on "her" Wikipedia bio which erroneously states: "Although born in New Orleans, Mia began her rapping career in Queens, New York as part of New York Incorporated, which disbanded after only four years. She then returned to New Orleans and met with Master P, an aspiring rapper and producer who signed her to his record label, No Limit."

"That's not correct and I am tired of people telling me that I used to live in New York and started my career there," Mia X said by phone recently, noting that she never lived in New York -- always in New Orleans. So how did this misinformation get out there in the first place? "I think it was someone at VH1 who first got it wrong in a story about me," Mia X said. It turns out it was John Bush -- a writer for All Music Guide -- who got it wrong, but then all the other websites listed above (Yahoo, AOL, VH1), plus many others, incmia xluding whoever entered the artist's Wikipedia information, copied the erroneous bio. The original mistake came about apparently based on the fact that one of the members (Denny D) of New York Inc. was from New York, but he lived in New Orleans before returning to New York, according to Mia X. So, for the record, here is the updated, accurate bio on Mia X c/o the AMOEBLOG:  

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Manu Chao Listening Party @ Nativo 8/29 - La Radiolina out September 4th

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, August 30, 2007 12:40pm | Post a Comment
I have never liked the idea of listening parties, just because most of the listening parties I’ve been involved with have come off as being insincere marketing ploys by record labels. So, when it was suggested that Nativo, the club that I spin at, was to host the Manu Chao listening party, I was optomistic about the turn out. First off, this is Manu Chao’s first album in six years and fans have been waiting for this for a while. Manu Chao’s fans are generally open-minded and like a diverse variety of music. So, I hoped that we wouldn't have one of those listening parties where you play the album and everyone sits around and gets some cheap label promotional item.

Myself, Mexican Dubweiser and Mando Fever took turns deejaying that night, playing Cumbia mash-ups, Latin Alternative remixes and some Brazilian House. After the crowd had a few drinks in them the dance floor started to come alive. Around 11:30 we decided to play Manu’s new album, La Radiolina. I watched  the Manu fans hearing the CD for the first time with a shared excitement. It’s been a while since I have been so into an artist I was excited about hearing a new album for the first time. The Manu fans were dancing as if they were at one of his concerts.

Nacional Records & Amoeba, who were sponsering the listening party, gave us some dope giveaways, including a $50 gift certificate for Amoeba Records that we raffled off during a slight intermission while playing the album. That gift certificate was a big hit! After the album was done playing, I expected most people to leave but people stayed until the end. Mexican Dubweiser played a straight-up Cumbia set and I finished the night with some Baile Funk. I enjoyed playing that stuff at the end of the night because people were so wasted by then that they started to dance pretty crazily!

My hope was that the night didn’t come off as stale and that everyone enjoyed themselves. BTW, Manu Chao’s La Radiolina comes out on September 4th and you can get it, of course, at Amoeba.


Posted by Billyjam, August 29, 2007 04:35pm | Post a Comment
AMOEBLOG: How long have you worked at Amoeba Music Berkeley and what exactly is your job there?
DEAN SANTOMIERI: I started working in the record business in 1971 when I dropped out of SUNY Buffalo. I moved to the Bay Area in 1975, and although I thought I was through with the record business, unemployment was high and my friend Ivy got me a job at Tower Records in Berkeley. In November 1990, I visited Marc (one of the Amoeba owners) the first weekend Amoeba opened and he offered me a job. I thought about it over the weekend, then gave my two employers, Tower and Revolver Records, notice and started two weeks later. This would be late November or early December 1990. A year later I took a job running the Media Center at the California College of Arts, but continued to work Saturdays at Amoeba. In 1996, I left CCA and went back to Amoeba full time. I am a buyer and I work in the classical department. Most of my time is spent helping customers and pricing used CDs.

AMOEBLOG: What makes working at Amoeba unique compared to other jobs you've had?                

DEAN SANTOMIERI: I could say many things, but Amoeba’s generosity in accommodating its employees stands out; for example, many of us are touring musicians and are graciously given time off. But the lengths to which the owners, managers and Amoeba employees have gone to help each other in time of need is what I find most unique about Amoeba. It is also what makes me most proud about working here. We live in a time when the escalating cost of health care, salaries and pensions have caused companies to drastically reduce or eliminate benefits, but what the Amoeba family has done for Dax Pierson (Amoebite pictured above, who was in a serious auto accident while on tour with his band) and others is unlike anything I have ever seen.
AMOEBLOG: What are the Top Three Items at Amoeba this week that people are seeking out?

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Hilly Kristal, Founder of CBGB's, Dead at 75

Posted by Miss Ess, August 29, 2007 12:47pm | Post a Comment

Hilly Kristal
has died.

Apparently he had lung cancer. 

It's sad to me that after fighting for years to save the seminal punk club he founded, CBGB's, and losing that battle, he then lost his life less than a year later. 

He was 75 years old.

R.I.P Hilly.

Here's a performance by the Ramones at CBGB in 1977.

And here's Blondie performing there the same year:

It's lame and depressing how almost all the cool parts of New York City are being swallowed up by rents and landlords and all that gentrifying junk.

The first time I ever went to NYC I was 19 years old and super wide eyed and I dragged my friends to CBGB.  I coulda sworn I could still smell Lou Reed and Dee Dee Ramone in the dirt coating the street there in the Bowery.  We didn't have fake IDs and we were obviously too young to get in to the club but I went into the shop next door and got a shirt and wore it proudly for about 5 years....until Hot Topic started hawking them and every mall rat across America suddenly had one...Everything rock n roll started to feel even more hollow at that point.

Yikes, I'm a downer today!
At least there are still bands like the White Stripes and at least Neil Young still puts out records.  Phew!  Rock n roll will never die.

Li'l Bit #4

Posted by Job O Brother, August 28, 2007 11:46pm | Post a Comment
This is my week for spotting obscure female comedians, it seems, because today I was delighted to find myself face-to-face with the charming and razor-witted Cathy Ladman.

Cathy was often seen on TV stand-up shows; I remember, Mtv showcased her frequently. I also had the LP she shared with Paula Poundstone. She was one of my favorites and I was always excited when she showed up on billing.

Working in Hollywood, one is always running into celebrities. It's a relief when those you like end up being cool in person, as Ms. Ladman was.

I tried to find some of her stand-up on YouTube to share with y'all (I'm always looking out for you, sugar), but the few things that featured her also included many others, so I leave it to you to discover her yourself. But only, y'know, if you like laughing and stuff.

The immensely satisfying Kathy Ladman.

More Tales of the City: In This Edition, Amnesiacs Spell Trouble for Midgets

Posted by Miss Ess, August 28, 2007 06:34pm | Post a Comment
So I am continuing watching the Tales of the City complete series.  Now I'm on to More Tales of the City

I have to say, it's not as good as the first series, just like everyone told me, but it is still highly enjoyable.

From Left, look-now-she's-white D'orothea, preggers DeDe, jerk face Beauchamp, new icky face Mouse, amnesiac Burke, cheese bucket Mary Ann

More Tales of the City is the second part of a 3 part mini series based on Armistead Maupin's novels about San Francisco and the lives and loves of some of its inhabitants in the 70s.

One of the most unfortunate aspects of the More Tales is that several of the characters from the original series Tales of the City have been recast, most unfortunately Michael "Mouse", one of my favorites from the first series. His replacement has a dimpled chin and a sleazy moustache.  Not exactly the sweet Brian Boitano look alike I so adored from the first series.  But whatever.  Brian, a sort of side character in the first installment, has been recast for More Tales by this aqua netted hair older looking dude. The character of Mona has been recast also.  I never thought I would miss scary tiger face lady Chloe Webb but now that she's gone I must say she added a certain gravitas to the flighty character of Mona that her much younger, less interesting replacement lacks. 

Oh, since I couldn't find pics of the cat faced plastic surgery lady for my other post about Chloe Webb, here's photographic evidence that they look alike:

That's Chloe on the left, Jocelyn Wildenstein on the right , for clarification.  Dead ringer, right?

In this series of episodes, Mouse and Mary Ann go on an exciting cruise to Acapulco!  It's fiesta time for all as Mary Ann falls for an amnesiac named Burke who (stay with me) vomits on a midget that tries to give them a rose on the beach and Mouse has an unexpected encounter with someone special.  No, really, there's a midget that gets puked on.  Really.

Mona's storyline veers off in a rather unsavory direction when, high on PCP, she is persuaded by an old lady she meets in a bus station to become a "receptionist" at her whorehouse in Nevada. Long story.  The good news is, it all turns out to make sense.  You just have to make it through 3 episodes of thinking "What the hell is hippie freak Mona doing working as a prostitute, didn't she ever hear of women's lib?" and then it gets better and you forget all about women's lib.

Beauchamp (Thomas Gibson) and DeDe's love lives are heating up as their marriage cools off even further.  Everyone is starting to find out that DeDe slept with the Chinese delivery guy and is carrying his twin babies!  Their upscale community is aghast.  Not one to be outdone by the delivery guy, Beauchamp resorts to desperate measures.

Back on Barbary Lane, Brian has moved into the child molester's top view  "pent shack" apartment and he enjoys spending his time spying out his window at other apartments.  At midnight every night, he strips for a woman he spots through his binoculars in her apartment who's also naked.  Unbeknownst to him, one night a bunch of rich bitchy queens are enjoying a cocktail party on the roof of a building and are also enjoying the view.

And of course, Olympia Dukakis is back as Anna, the lonely landlord.  Her saga unfolds much further too, but I can't say too much without wrecking it all, so I won't say anything. 

This show is scandelicious!   I can't wait for Further Tales of the City, the final installment.&


Posted by Billyjam, August 28, 2007 05:00pm | Post a Comment
Mad brotgang starrhers know his name....It's a daily operation

These infamous hip-hop words are among some of the numerous memorable lyrics uttered by GURU (Gifts Unlimited Rhymes Universal) over DJ Premier's track on the February 1991 Gang Starr single "Just To Get A Rep" (Chrysalis/EMI) which, with "Who's Gonna Take The Weight" on the single's flip side, is a true hip-hop classic! Same for the January 1991 Gang Starr album Step In The Arena that "Rep" was culled from. Both are key parts of hip-hop's legacy, with each phrase and rhyme known by heart to any true hip-hop fan. "Just to Get a Rep" harks from a time (late 80's/early 90's) that many agree was the "golden age of hip-hop" and a time that is very close to my heart as a longtime hip-hop fan.

And listening to "Just to Get A Rep" again (see the video below and read the lyircs under video screen) brings back memories of that time when the single and the album had just dropped, a time that was brimming with amazing new hip-hop joints that (as a DJ) I was dying to play. Back then I was doing Bay Area hip-hop radio and TV shows and interviewed Gang Starr many times. It was no big deal back then.   At the time, rap had still not gone 100% fulltime mainstream -- it was pre Dre's Chronic, which ushered a new, more mainstream era in rap's consumption. This meant that if you were a Bay Area DJ on such independent small stations as KUSF, KALX, KZSU, KPOO, KPFA, or KFJC, you could get artists like Gang Starr to make a live appearance on your show with little effort (today you are competing with David Letterman and People magazine). Back at that time Guru and Premo made numerous trips to the Bay regularly to perform (shows for example were at one of Dave Paul's BOMB Hip-Hop Showcases at the DNA) and do the rounds of local radio stations and retail outlets (big up to Leopolds in Berkeley and T's Wauzi at Eastmont Mall in East Oakland). If you have any memories of this hip-hop classic or wish to nominate one of your personal fave hip-hop classics, please do so below in the COMMENTS. Thanks!

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mixology #1

Posted by Whitmore, August 28, 2007 03:20pm | Post a Comment

Well right now my wife is making homemade preserves, and then canning them … I’m not sure who this person is, but I do recognize her in that pair of Levi’s …

Mixology: well I am an old timer, so whenever I here that word, I think of cocktails. Then again, I often think of cocktails. Do you know that one of the oldest known cocktails was first concocted in New Orleans in the 1850’s? Called a Sazerac, it mixes Cognac with bitters. Just useless information I  picked up along the way, back when I ran a
speakeasy in the old country.

So I was thinking that many adult beverages would benefit by a soundtrack, the right
soundtrack. Humankind’s millenniums-long fascination with booze and music (they go hand in hand) is in many respects the zenith of civilization. I bet early humans invented some kind of alcohol long before they discovered fire or invented the wheel or prostitution or god. Perhaps music existed before the advent of booze. I’m not sure. But then came club owners, and it’s been down hill ever since.

It is a widely acknowledged thought that I am a man who enjoys his Irish and Scotch Whiskey. As sinful as it sounds, I often like my whiskey with a couple cubes of ice, and sometimes I even enjoy a whiskey with a splash of seltzer, like my man Sinatra.

Here we go, today’s taste:  Jameson Irish Whiskey. The back of the bottle reads, “John Jameson founded his whiskey distillery in Dublin in the year 1780.  All the craft of the centuries-old tradition of making Irish whiskey is used to produce ‘Jameson.’ From the rich countryside of Ireland comes nature’s finest barley and crystal clear water. These natural ingredients are carefully distilled 3 times, and slowly matured for long years in oak casks to create the natural smooth whiskey that is Jameson.”

I know what you’re thinking: “Well Whitmore, what do you like to
listen to while you’re sipping an18-year-old Jameson?” (I had a
significant birthday this summer, so I deserve top shelf and I  think you do too). Of course my answer is:

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Being Different

Posted by phil blankenship, August 28, 2007 12:03pm | Post a Comment

Vestron Video VA3104

8/28 new releases...the liars...jamie t....

Posted by Brad Schelden, August 27, 2007 10:30pm | Post a Comment
The Liars have a new album for us this week. With their fourth album they decided to go for that basic s/t title of "Liars." This band has sort of been all over the place with the four albums in their history. They started on the label Gern Blandsten with "They Threw Us All In a Trench and Stuck a Monument On Top. This was way back in 2001. And although they were not originally from New York, they were stuck into that whole new New York Indie post-rock dance-punk kind of sound. Along with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Liars were sort of an exciting change to how boring indie rock had become. They combined experimental techniques with a sort of more traditional indie rock style. It was exciting. Over the past 6 or so years they have put out another 2 albums on Mute and now another one. And they have managed to stay interesting and exciting. It was probably better for them to not become as quickly popular as Franz Ferdinand or the Arctic Monkeys. But I guess they have always been a bit too weird to get that popular. They have sort of slowly managed to get critical acclaim and hold on to their more loyal fans while getting a few more with each album.

This new album can easily be mistaken for some early Jesus & Mary Chain or Spiritualized. The band is made up of Angus Andrew on guitar and vocals, Aaron Hemphill on percussion, guitar and synth, and Julian Gross on drums. Angus is from Australia. The other two are from the U.S. They really do sort of capture that amazing Jesus & Mary Chain sound. But they don't come off as an imitation. It sounds like something new and exciting while reminding you why you fell in love with bands like the Jesus & Mary Chain.

Nothing could make me happier than to see the name Gareth Jones on the liner notes (the album is mixed by Gareth). He has produced many of my favorites for Mute and I can't really imagine my musical history without him. He helped create Construction Time Again, Some Great Reward, and Black Celebration by Depeche Mode. I have been watching all those amazing DVD documentaries that come with the deluxe Depeche Mode reissues. They actually created a little mini hour long documentary for each album. Gareth is interviewed for most of the discs. It is really awesome to hear what Gareth, and the others involved with the Depeche Mode albums, have to say about the productions of those albums. He also produced albums for Erasure, Wire, Fad Gadget, Diamanda Galas, Nick Cave, John Foxx, Tuxedo Moon, Einsturzende Neubauten, Clinic, and Interpol. Not to say that this Liars album sounds like any of th0se albums. It stands on its own and could easily be one of the best of the year.

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Mark Of The Devil Part II

Posted by phil blankenship, August 27, 2007 09:56pm | Post a Comment

See More Video SMV 101

August 26, 2007

Posted by phil blankenship, August 27, 2007 06:54pm | Post a Comment

Postcards of My Vacation Back Home: "The weather's fine. The women even finer."

Posted by Job O Brother, August 27, 2007 10:01am | Post a Comment

My boyfriend meets my Mom... oh wait - no... It's a still from "Quincy & Althea"

Two short films that I was especially fond of were “Quincy & Althea”, directed by Douglas Lenox – a dark comedy set in the ravaged landscape of post-Katrina New Orleans, and “The Lonely Lights. The Color of Lemons,” an artsy, sentimental, but polished look at a young man’s rites of passage as instigated/recalled through viewing a series of Rorschach ink blots tests.

Um... I see a train going back and forth into a tunnel while my mother looks on disapprovingly.

Another highlight was the documentary “Girls Rock”, which followed the experiences of a handful of kids and counselors as they spend a week at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls.

Eat your heart out, Ann & Nancy Wilson.

This Camp was founded in 2001 in Portland, Oregon, and has steadily grown larger and more popular. The first year it had 7 attendees; last year it hosted nearly 250. (That’s almost enough rock ‘n’ rollers to staff Amoeba Music Hollywood!)

What happens: girls between the ages of 8-18 come together for a crash course in rock ‘n’ roll. In one week, girls form bands, learn their instruments, compose songs and then perform them for a huge audience at the end of the week. Alongside the music, girls are also offered courses in basic self-defense, and self-esteem and fun are always prioritized.

The documentary is often hilarious, heart-warming, and just feels right as those of us who wore black to high school because Kurt Cobain shot himself are now having little Frances Beans of our own.

The Festival ended Sunday night. My friends were exhausted. The core group of us retired into the comfy living room of Lindsey and Jake, two sexy volunteers, where we utilized their video projector television to watch the most hilarious of the films which didn’t make it into the Festival.

Now, I don’t want you thinking that we sit around and mock people who’s films didn’t make the cut. The films I’m talking about were made by people who probably haven’t mastered the use of their thumbs. Movies in which the writer/director/star (inevitably the same person) didn’t realize films require consistency, wit, editing or, well, plot. It’s an irony that these films always make for a greater volume of laughter than the comedies that do get accepted.

By the end of the evening I realized that I had accidentally drained an entire bottle of champagne by myself. Jeffrey drove Corey and I back to my family estate, where he and I fell asleep in each other’s arms, still chuckling over the train-wrecks of cinema we’d just witnessed.

I'd marry her if I could get the proper paperwork.

Our last day in Nevada City came all too soon. One thing had to be accomplished before we left, and that was a visit to the South Yuba River. For those of you who have never been, be sure to get there before you die. Or at least get reincarnated as someone who does get to go. It’s what a water-park will look like in Heaven.

On the flight back, Corey mused that he’d had trips to New York City that were more relaxed than our jam-packed weekend in my sleepy hometown.

49 square inches of something something part 2

Posted by Whitmore, August 27, 2007 08:20am | Post a Comment

Felix the Cat isn’t just a silent film star and  animation's first superstar, or a 1950’s TV phenomenon, or the logo for a Los Angeles Chevrolet dealership, (opened by Winslow B. Felix in 1921), with its benevolent, three-sided neon sign looming over the Harbor Freeway, or the doll aviator Charles Lindbergh took with him on his historic flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927, or the mascot for the U.S. Navy's Bombing Squadron Two during WW2, or the image on tabs of LSD in the mid seventies, he's:

Felix the Cat,
The wonderful, wonderful cat!
Whenever he gets in a fix,
He reaches into his bag of tricks!

Felix the Cat,
The wonderful, wonderful cat!
You'll laugh so much
Your sides will ache

Your heart will go pitter pat
Watching Felix,
The wonderful cat.

RIGHT- E - O!!


Posted by Billyjam, August 27, 2007 06:40am | Post a Comment

Drummer and Texas transplant Simon has been working at the Hollywood Amoeba Music store for a little over a year now. Recently I caught up with the SoCal Amoebite, whose "best of" lists include AC/DC and Iron Maiden, to ask him about his all time favorite albums and films and the first album he bought (and if he still likes it? -- he doesn't). I also talked with him about living in LA as an artist, about his experience working at Amoeba, and what he sees as the future of the music business. Simon also offered his recommendation for a good spot to grab a bite to eat near Amoeba Hollywood.

How'd you end up working at Amoeba and what exactly is your job there?
Well, I was working in the service industry for about a year fixing security systems when I found Amoeba Music. I didn't like my job at all and always liked working in record stores. I decided to give Amoeba my resume and in three months I was hired. I was hired April 10th 2006 and I work in the video department, new rock, and on the registers as a clerk.

AMOEBLOG: When not working at Amoeba, what music or other creative type things do you do?

SIMON: When not working at Amoeba I play drums in two metal bands:  Lethal Acts Properly Demonstrated and Mercenary Angel.

What makes working at Amoeba unique compared to other jobs you've had?

Amoeba is unique due to the fact that everybody is great to work with and there is no stress at all. I've nevemonster squadr worked in a job where i can relax around the owners and managers. They are awesome!

Continue reading...

the best movies of the 70's

Posted by Brad Schelden, August 26, 2007 09:36pm | Post a Comment
In continuing my best of lists, here is my list of the best films of the 70s. In case you missed my list of 80s films, you can go back here and check it out. Since I was born half way through the 70s, I did not see most of these films in the theater. But through the magic of cable TV and the VCR, I watched and fell in love with these movies. The 70s still remains my favorite time for film. The style and sound of these films is something that could only be captured in the 70s. Many of these movies have been remade or are in the process of being remade. But they never live up to the 70s originals. Dawn of the Dead, Stepford Wives, The Omen, Superman, Assault on Precinct 13, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, King Kong, Poseidon Adventure, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Black Christmas, The Amityville Horror and The Hills Have Eyes have all been remade. There is obviously something magical about this period in cinema that Hollywood tries to recreate. I am really hoping that Rob Zombie creates a brilliant reinterpretation of Halloween. I know that versions of Logan's Run and The Warriors are already being worked on as well. Nothing can really come close to what these films are and the memories that they have created in all of us.

top 100 movies of the 70s

The Exorcist (73)
William Friedkin

                                                                                             Alien (79)
                               Ridley Scott

Halloween (78)
John Carpenter

                         Carrie (76)
                         Brian De Palma

Taxi Driver (76)
Martin Scorsese

              The Godfather (72)
               Francis Ford Coppola

Over the Edge (79)
Jonathan Kaplan

                       Jaws (75)
                       Steven Spielberg

Dawn of the Dead (78)
George A. Romero

                    Martin (77)
                    George A. Romero

Stepford Wives (75)
Bryan Forbes                      

                         Nashville (75)
                          Robert Altman

Amityville Horror (79)
Stuart Rosenberg

                    The Warriors (79)
                      Walter Hill

Desperate Living (77)
John Waters

                  Pink Flamingos (72)
                   John Waters

Last Picture Show (71)
Peter Bogdanovich

                       Star Wars (77)                        George Lucas

Woman Under the
Influence (74)
John Cassavetes

                Alice Doesn't Live
                 Here Anymore (74)
                 Martin Scorsese

Shivers (75)
David Cronenberg

                           The Omen (76)
                           Richard Donner

Play Misty for Me (71)
Clint Eastwood

                        Dirty Harry (71)
                         Don Siegel


The Muppet Movie (79)
James Frawley

A Clockwork Orange (71)
Female Trouble (74)
Mean Streets (73)
Superman (78)
Network (76)
Klute (71)
Chinatown (74)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (75)
All the President's Men (76)
Deer Hunter (78)
Escape from the Planet of the Apes (71)
Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (72)
Five Easy Pieces (70)
Deliverance (72)
French Connection (71)
Dog Day Afternoon (75)
Assault on Precinct 13 (76)
Suspiria (77)
The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (70)
Rabid (77)
Looking for Mr. Goodbar (77)
Diamonds are Forever (71)
The Man with the Golden Gun (74)
The Spy Who Loved Me (77)
Moonraker (79)

China Syndrome (79)
Coma (78)
The Conversation (74)
3 Women (77)
Sunday Bloody Sunday (71)
Death Wish (74)
Coming Home (78)
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (77)
Three Days of the Condor (75)
Texas Chain Saw Massacre (74)
Rocky (76)
Herbie Rides Again (74)
Airport (70)
Cabaret (72)
The Brood (79)
Deep Red (75)
Four Flies on Grey Velvet (71)
Norma Rae (79)
Rock N' Roll High School (79)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (78)
Piranha (78)
The Eyes of Laura Mars (78)
The Godfather Part II (74)
Annie Hall (77)
Interiors (78)

Abominable Dr. Phibes (71)
King Kong (76)
Mad Max (79)
Lenny (74)
Opening Night (77)
The Enforcer (76)
Foxy Brown (74)
Coffy (73)
The Wiz (78)
The Hills Have Eyes (77)
Monthy Python & the Holy Grail (75)
Life of Brian (79)
Phantom of the Paradise (74)
Logan's Run (76)
Kramer vs. Kramer (79)
Poseidon Adventure (72)
Towering Inferno (74)
Earthquake (74)
Avalanche (78)
Apocalypse Now (79)
Hardcore (79)
Bugsy Malone (76)
Attack of the Killer Tomatoes(78)
Sisters (73)
Black Christmas (75)

Bigfoot The Unforgettable Encounter

Posted by phil blankenship, August 26, 2007 08:19pm | Post a Comment

CFP Video 11801

Postcards of My Vacation Back Home: "The natives are friendly. I'm pregnant."

Posted by Job O Brother, August 26, 2007 04:09pm | Post a Comment

The bar at The National Hotel. That's me in the denim shirt.

Originally, I thought this trip to NevadaCity would consist mainly of me giving my sweetheart the royal tour – showing him details, hidden mysteries and beauty that only a local knows, but the new and improved Film Festival proved to monopolize our schedule. Conveniently, the entire staff were the same people I would have tried to hang out with anyhow, so that was okay, but the only hidden mystery I got to expose Corey to was the dazzling amount of booze that an average NC townie can down in a day.

It’s historical.

Job & Orion

He did get to meet my family.

I can’t even begin to tell y’all about my family. Sufficed to say, it is eccentric. Like, I’m one of the normal ones, and I bark at UPS trucks and punch people for offering me a “slice of melon”. But, odd as they are, they’re also loving. Corey did just fine.

Continue reading...

Postcards of My Vacation Back Home:

Posted by Job O Brother, August 26, 2007 02:43pm | Post a Comment

Well, well – Look who’s come sauntering in like everything’s normal. If it isn’t little ol’ me. I think I can just waltz back in here after having been missing for days and expect you to just read my blog as though nothing’s happened? Is that it?

Well, I have another thing coming. You’re not some screensaver I can leave on, perpetually cycling a kaleidoscope of flying toasters while I go out and have a life! This is unacceptable! I mean, am I a blogger or not?


You want the truth? Is that it? YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH.

Actually, you can, but I love that line. YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH. It’s so over-the-top. I’m totally going to say it to my future kids whenever possible.

“Dad? How do erasers work?”

Tales of the City - San Francisco, That Is

Posted by Miss Ess, August 26, 2007 02:21pm | Post a Comment

Armistead Maupin
's Tales of the City has been capturing the vast majority of my attention this past week.  Even though it was on KQED in the early 90s I have never seen it before.

I recently was eating with some friends at Zazie and the they immediately noticed Armistead himself enjoying his brunch on the scenic patio with none other than Judd from the Real World San Francisco.  You gotta love this city, right?  Jesus.

Armistead apparently does, cause he's written a bunch of books all about it and its various inhabitants.  They made this miniseries based on the books.  I love it!  It is just chock full of one scandal after another.  It's kinda like a 70s SF and with both gay and straight main characters version of  Melrose Place....or maybe I just think that cause everyone is pretty good looking and they mostly live in the same building complex on Barbary Lane.  Oh yeah -- there's tons of drug use in every episode.  This must have been "cutting edge" when it was on, with all the drugs and the bare butts and boobs and gay lifestyles....No wonder it was on PBS.  Whatever, I love the interconnectedness of all the characters and how parts of each person's story unfold slowly and tantalizingly.

There's tons of references to the Bay Area in general, and it's also fun to watch and try to identify where they are in each episode.  Once they were at the Castro Theater, once at Mt. Tam, then to Alamo Square Park and then off to party at the Endup!  I'm a nerd like that.  It's entertaining for me.

Anyway, the characters are your semi-typical assortment of the haves and the have nots....There's the uber rich but unhappy Halcyons, who own a successful panty hose business, and there's Mary Ann (played by Laura Linney) and Mona who work for the company and both live on Barbary Lane.  Mary Ann has recently arrived to SF and she's a real square.  Mona is her opposite, the kind of free spirit hippie like "wild haired" gal you'd expect someone to write in an SF series.  Does anyone else think Chloe Webb, who plays Mona, looks like that lady who had all the plastic surgery to look like a tiger or whatever?  Maybe its just me.
Oh yeah, and Olympia Dukakis plays the mysterious pothead landlady Anna Madrigal.  Then there's the Halcyon's daughter De De who sleeps with the delivery guy --she's acting out cause she is unhappily married to male slut Beauchamp.   Oh, the drama!  And there's Mona's best friend Michael "Mouse" who looks just like Brian Boitano to me so of course I love him.  Mouse loves dancing in his tighty whities.  There's a strange freak balding guy with glasses named Norman who lives up at the top of the complex.  I can't describe too much about the plots without potentially wrecking the show for the uninitiated.  Every last character in this series has something to hide, some kind of delicious secret.

There's a bunch of fun-to-spot guest appearances by actors like Robert Downey Sr, Ian MacKellen, Parker Posey, Jeaneane Garafolo, Rod Steiger and....Country Joe....

Despite the fact that the show was shot in the 90s, it's supposed to take place in the 70s and it makes me wish I had lived in SF in the days of rotary phones and bath houses and CHEAP HOUSING!!  The kind of people portrayed on the show would never be living on Barbary Lane now, let's just say that.

I will be watching More Tales From the City next!  Can't wait!

49 square inches of something something

Posted by Whitmore, August 26, 2007 08:33am | Post a Comment

Are you an amateur or a professional?

“The amateur is the kind of a guy who draws a 9 to 5 line around his job … makes his own little box that he never gets out of … the professional doesn’t put on his cloak of excellence only at certain times … he wears it all the time”  -  Dr. G. Herbert True

“Over 2500 power-packed visual-verbal extravaganzas with slides, magic, music and wit.”

“Champ or chump … pro or schmo … how do you know?”

A self help seven inch record! On Idea Records (1966), and if this doesn’t help enough, you can always look for his full length album, “Are You A Prisoner?”


Posted by Billyjam, August 26, 2007 12:47am | Post a Comment
Check out this really funny (but sadly true) Mad TV skit about the US foreign policy and the ongoing war. in it, Michael McDonald plays Apple founder Steve Jobs and introduces Apple's latest program -- the iRack! Take a few minutes and watch this brilliant satire that simultaneously pokes fun at Jobs and the Bush administration -- but mainly the latter.

Finally, A Real How-To Book for Bands: Tour Smart

Posted by Billyjam, August 25, 2007 10:31am | Post a Comment
tour smart and break the band
In his recommended new book Tour Smart and Break the Band, about the real deal of touring as a band or artist, longtime drummer Martin Atkins (PiL, Killing Joke, Ministry, Pigface, etc.) tells it like it is to be on the road in a rock band, or in any band for that matter.  These days the busy author runs a record label, invents new types of drums, books bands, and teaches a univeristy course in Chicago at Columbia College about the business of the arts! The 592-page book (which is in stores Sept. 1st but available online now) exhaustively explores every aspect of touring. The highly informative and entertaining how-to book is written and edited by Atkins, who invited about a hundred music biz experts (from bus drivers to bass players) to voice their tales and experiences of life on the road for touring artists. Topics include making contracts, sketching itineries, pros and cons of drug use on the road, the importance of merchandise, sound checks, and dealing with everything from club sound checks to handling radio interviews and driving a tour bus 330 miles in unfamiliar conditions at 4AM after just leaving a gig. Atkins' guest contributors include Henry Rollins, Steve Albini, and Kevin Lyman of the Vans Warped Tour. Lee Frasers of Sheep on Drugs describes the difficulty of being on stage tripping on acid and playing his guitar, which felt to him like it was made of sponge rubber, and trying to somehow keep in the (onstage) moment.

I recently caught up with author Martin Atkins via email, to ask him about the book and also the exhibit  entitled The Religion of Marketing that he just wound up in New York City at Fuse Gallery on 2nd Avenue. It featured items that are included in the illustration-heavy Tour Smart.
martin atkins
AMOEBLOG: What exactly was at your recent exhibit in New York that tied in with the new book?

muppets...season 2

Posted by Brad Schelden, August 24, 2007 09:23am | Post a Comment
I don't know if I have really explained how much I love the great late Mr. Jim Henson. I know I just talked about him and his great films Labyrinth and Dark Crystal. But there was also this amazing little show called "The Muppet Show." I don't really know where I would be without this show. I did watch a lot of Sesame Street. But it was the night time show "The Muppet Show" that really made me who I am today. It was one of those great shows that appealed to kids as well as their parents. So it wasn't like my parents had to make me watch the show. And they also never minded watching it along with me and my brother. It was hilarious and brilliant. Nothing really like it. And although some of the jokes may not be as relevant today, they are still hilarious. Season 1 of the Muppet show came out in August about 2 years ago. But this month, we get Season 2 of this great show.

The Muppet show was on the air from 1976 to 1981. It lasted 5 seasons. But it didn't get canceled or fade into obscurity. Jim Henson simply needed more time to devote to his feature films like Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. And his amazing trilogy of Muppet movies. The Muppet Movie (1979), The Great Muppet Caper (1981), and The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984). These were followed by more similar Muppet movies. But these early movies were the best. These movies only made me more obsessed with the muppets.

Each episode of the Muppet Show featured a guest star. And there was never the same guest on all 5 seasons. Season 1 featured Phyllis Diller, Paul Williams, Rita Moreno, Sandy Duncan, Ben Vereen, Jim Nabors, Florence Henderson, Joel Grey, Twiggy, and in one of my favorite episodes, Vincent Price. The list of season 2 guests is just as great. And the first episode features the amazing Don Knotts! Also featured in season 2 is Milton Berle, Judy Collins, Steve Martin, George Burns, Dom Deluise, Bernadette Peters, Elton John, Lou Rawls, Peter Sellers, Petula Clark, Bob Hope, John Cleese, and Cloris Leachman.

Just in case you don't remember. The Muppet Show was about a variety sort of show run by Muppets. The show was about the back stage antics of the show as well as the performances. So sort of more like Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip than Saturday Night Live. There was a live band "Dr. Teeth & the Electric Mayhem" featuring one of my favorite characters Janice on guitar. Kermit was the host of the show and Missy Pig was the star. There was a comic "Fozzie Bear," a performance artist "Gonzo," "The Swedish Chef," and "Rowlf" on piano. Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and his brilliant assistant "Beaker" had a muppet lab sort of segment. But what really held the show all together was Statler & Waldorf. They were the wisecracking old dudes who sat in the balcony. They had some of the best lines. And although I think their characters were more for the adults, they were my absolute favorites. They helped me develop my great love of sarcasm. Imagine Paul Lynde and Charles Nelson Reilley as Muppets.

The DVD box sets don't really feature much more than the original episodes. Both season 1 and 2 have 24 episodes each. Like many other shows put out on DVD, they had to get rid of some of the music because of licensing issues. But the episodes are still amazing and as hilarious as ever. This show was sort of like Saturday Night Live. They were able to get some amazing guest stars. Each episode sort of revolved around the guest or at least the guest was featured in most of the skits. Season 1 includes the original pilot as well as the original pitch for the show. It also features a "Muppets Morsels" viewing mode with trivia and a promo gag reel. Season 2 features the Muppet Valentine Special as well as interviews with the Muppets and the Weezer & the Muppets music video. These sets also have great packaging. Season 1 has a fuzzy Kermit on the front while season 2 features Miss Piggy. I only hope Janice and the Electric Mayhem or Statler & Waldorf make it on to the next 3 season covers. Although Fozzie, Scooter & Gonzo will be more likely cover stars. And the seasons keep getting better. Season 3 features Alice Cooper, Loretta Lynn, Liberace, & Sylvester Stallone. Season 4 features Crystal Gale, Kenny Rogers, Carol Channing, Diana Ross, Liza, and the cast of Star Wars. Season 5 features Debbie Harry, Johnny Cash, Brooke Shields, Linda Ronstadt, Tony Randall, and Roger Moore!

Vanishing Point at the New Beverly Saturday Midnight !

Posted by phil blankenship, August 24, 2007 12:20am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music & Phil Blankenship are proud to present the QUINTESSENTIAL counterculture car film:

Saturday August 25

Vanishing Point (1971)

From this week's issue of The Onion:
The barriers between exploitation and art began to erode in the late '60s and early '70s in the wake of the European New Wave's skillful appropriation of B-movie elements. In the U.S., that influence was reflected in films like Richard Sarafian's bizarre 1971 chase picture Vanishing Point, which stars Barry Newman as "the last free man on Earth" and "one of the last great drivers." When Newman offers to drive a new white Dodge Challenger from Denver to San Francisco in less than 15 hours, blind local DJ Cleavon Little makes him a counterculture hero as he reports on how Newman dodges the cops and hooks up with "the gentle people" along the way.

New Beverly Cinema
7165 W Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 938-4038
Midnight, $7

Please come on down, tell your friends & repost!

Bert Jansch, Coming Soon To Your Town!

Posted by Miss Ess, August 23, 2007 07:53pm | Post a Comment
As if you needed an excuse to visit that loveliest of all the lovely San Francisco venues, the Swedish American Hall, this coming Sunday it will be filled with the music of Bert Jansch.

Yes, that's right, Bert Jansch, oh -he- of- that- difficult- to- pronounce -last- name (last time I checked it was Yan-sh) will be making a rare-ish appearance here in our fair city.

Bert's one of those lucky people who came up in the U.K. in the late 50s/early 60s, so by the time he was a young man, he was in Swinging London's folk clubs impressing many a drunken lout.

My favorite records of his came out in the mid-to-late 60s:

Jack Orion


If you like your folk music straight up with just a slight twist of mournfulness, Bert's a guy for you.  His voice is so rich and warm.  It doesn't sound like anyone else's ever.  He's had somewhat of a comeback lately, with a great record released last year called Black Swan, produced by Noah Georgeson and with requisite omnipresent guest Devendra Banhart, among others.  From what I hear about his live shows, he's still got chops for miles.  Unfortunately, I can't make the show Sunday, so some of you will have to go for me and re

Brandi Shearer treats NYC audience to cupcakes

Posted by Billyjam, August 23, 2007 07:30pm | Post a Comment
brandi shearerNew York City: Aug 23rd 2007

You gotta love Amoeba Music recording artist Brandi Shearer, who earlier tonight (Thursday 23rd) treated everyone to cupcakes at her final New York City gig in a series at downtown Lower East Side club the Living Room. As a thoughtful display of gratitude for her New York supporters, the generous Shearer celebrated her last night of a month-long East Coast tour by buying a few dozen cupcakes (from Sugar Sweet Sunshine bakery on nearby Rivington Street) for all who packed into the Ludlow St. venue. "I bought cupcakes for you all for after the show," she told the delighted Living Room crowd before she and her band, led by legendary guitarist Jim Campilongo and including Richard Hammond on bass, launched into their last offering of the night -- another song in the 45-minute set that drew exclusively from the singer/songwriter's brand new album Close To Dark, to be released on the newly launched Amoeba Music label next Tuesday (August 28th). Fittingly, Shearer's next gig (post album release date) will be back in California at Amoeba Music Hollywood on Saturday, September 1st at 2PM, PST. (Note that this gig will be streamed online so you can catch it if you are not in LA.)

But for the past few weeks Shearer has been hella busy out here on the East Coast doing an assortment of concerts, radio and TV interviews and performances in Boston, Philly, and New York City. Here in NYC, in addition to her Living Room series, she also had several other performances including one for ASCAP and another on New York City's WPIX TV Channel 11. "I'd never been to New York before recently," she informed me shortly before taking the Living Room stage. "But I like it here." She said that the New York audiences have been incredibly attentive and well-behaved, especially compared to some of the more rowdy types of crowds that she has witnessed over her rich and varied career. She recalled the semi-shock she encountered the first night, three weeks ago, at the Living Room when "In between songs there was not a word, not a word. And I am just not used to that. I have strategies for people yelling and fist-fights. But for a completely attentive crowd I have no strategies," she laughed. But still, she had absolutley no problem adjusting to the well behaved audience, as proven by tonight's winning performance in which she shone (as did Jim Campilongo who plays the Living Room every Monday) during such songs as the roadhouse blues styled "Oh, Singer" and the sultry, hauntingly beautiful and sad country-soul of "Congratulations," a song that sounds like it's made to be featured in some movie soundtrack if ever there was one. (You can just imagine it as the perfect backdrop to some sad and moving love story.) Between songs Brandi got a warm response when she told the New York crowd that she herself had become a New Yorker of sorts during her past few weeks in the Big Apple -- proof being that she had mastered how to ride the New York City subway while transporting an instrument.  

Cordell Jackson and Moon Records

Posted by Whitmore, August 23, 2007 09:29am | Post a Comment

Cordell Jackson was probably best known as the "rock-and-roll granny" whose git-pickin’ ran circles around Brian Setzer in the 1991 Budweiser commercial. But she is also an early rockabilly pioneer and is thought to be the first woman to write, arrange, engineer, produce, promote and manufacture her own rock and roll record label: Moon Records founded in Memphis in 1956.

Born into a musical household in Mississippi in 1923, her father played fiddle and lead a popular local string band called the Pontotoc Ridge Runners, she had  recorded several demos at Sam Phillips' Memphis studios for Sun Records. But without any success, or the likelihood of getting signed to Sun, she took the advice of Chet Atkins and formed her own label.

Her first release was "Beboppers  Christmas" b/w "Rock and Roll Christmas.” Soon she was releasing other singles from other rockabilly artists such as Allen Page and the Big Four, best known for their single "Dateless Night," written by Jackson.

Jackson continued Moon Records through the 1970’s and 80’s, remaining active in the rockabilly music scene. She recorded a novelty song called "Football Widow," which became probably her best known recording.  After the Budweiser ad, she enjoyed her quirky, new-found fame: she had a small role as the "Bathroom Lady" in “The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag,” appeared on the David Letterman show and had her original Moon singles displayed at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

She died in Memphis, on October 14, 2004.

Side note:  about her marriage in 1943, she said, “It was either marry a country dude or a city dude, and I chose a city dude.”



Posted by Billyjam, August 23, 2007 07:00am | Post a Comment
norbitReleased in theaters a little earlier this year, Eddie Murphy's movie eddie murphy rawNorbit -- in which, once again, he plays way too many different characters, somehow mistakenly thinking that this feat will make up for another not-so-funny comedy -- is already out on DVD and I watched it last night. At least, I watched as much of it as I could bear to sit through before hitting the eject button. Like other comedians and/or actors who have similarly gotten increasingly lamer onscreen over the years (think Ice Cube or Rob Schneider), Eddie Murphy has lost that certain edge that he once possessed long, long ago in his immediate post SNL years. In faic ecube are we done yetct, so lame was Norbit that it forced me to go back twenty years to seek out a clip from Murhpy's 1987 Robert Townsend directed live concert film Raw -- included below.

And speaking of Ice Cube, who has morphed from homeboy in Boyz In The Hood to cuddly family-man in Are We Done Yet? over his 17 onscreen years, the former NWA member has just announced that he will be starring in the forthcoming movie Comeback, to be directed by Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst for Dimension Films.   Scheduled for a mid 2008 release, Comeback will begin shooting sometime in November.

Caged Terror

Posted by phil blankenship, August 22, 2007 09:31pm | Post a Comment

New World Video 9556

To Live's To Fly: A Biography of Townes Van Zandt Is Published At Last

Posted by Miss Ess, August 22, 2007 02:16pm | Post a Comment
I feel like I am turning into a PG version of Elvis....

Coffee in the morning to wake up, Tylenol PM in the evening to fall's the cycle of life at the moment.  And since it's rated PG, I don't think I will end up dying on the toilet or anything anytime soon at least.

But I digress.....

Speaking of R-Rated drug/alcohol habits, after about 6 months of picking it up and putting it down again, I finally finished the biography of Townes Van Zandt I've been reading.  It's called To Live's To Fly, and it just came out this March after almost a year's delay.

As far as interesting lives go, Townes is right up there with Roland Kirk and Brian Wilson.  He went through it all.

Born into a family so well off in the oil business it had an entire county in Texas named after it, Townes shunned his family's wealth and took to a life of alcoholism, rambling and flawless song writing.  I love that in the summers he would take off for Colorado with just a horse and a pack.  I've written about him on this blog before, so I won't go through his whole life history and bore all y'all, but if you have ever heard one of his records, like really listened to it, chances are it stuck with you.  So you probably don't need an explanation from me.

I've been waiting for years for someone out there to research and write a great bio of Townes cause his life was so crazy and lived to the fullest.  Last year's well made documentary Be Here To Love Me  contains beautiful shots and interviews but ultimately scratches the surface of Townes' life and leaves rabid fans like myself with even more unanswered questions than before. 

To Live's To Fly is well written, but sufferes from one of most typical and irritating biography pitfalls:  The author felt compelled to give us readers his own life's biographical details to an unnecessary degree-- like, wow, John Kruth is a songwriter too?  Whoopee.  What does that have to do with TVZ now?  It also, like the film, repeats many stories about Townes that are indeed seminal, but that we've by now heard many times in liner notes and the documentary.  There are some great new stories in the book, but I often felt I had to wade through the author's own life tales to reach them.  Overall though, I did enjoy reading more about Townes.

The book holds back on the controversial topic of Van Zandt's third wife Janeane Van Zandt until about the last 20 pages.  It was interesting!  I kept wondering if the author was just gonna kiss her ass through the whole 300 or so pages.  She cooperated with the book, as she does with pretty much anything regarding Townes it seems, and the author seems to have played along with her as well throughout the book until the final chapter when he clumps a bunch of quotes from Townes' friends about how Janeane was just after Townes' money at the very end!  Scandalous.  I tend to agree with the scandle based on my own observations, but who knows really. Janeane is loved by some of Townes' friends and known by others as a mooch, among other things.   The book reveals that Townes and Janeane had already been divorced for a year and a half before his death New Year's Day 1997.  Janeane is now the person who carries the torch of his legacy and Tupac Shakur-like continual product output.

This is where ages of alcohol abuse and general livin' on the edge'll get you.

Another controversial figure in Townes' life who gets reamed in the book is Kevin Eggers, who ran the Poppy/Tomato labels, and who either continually screwed Townes over and kept him from potential fame and fortune or allowed a difficult and unpredictable artist to continue putting out music, depending on who you talk to.  This book adds more fuel to the fires that Kevin held Townes back, but there were also a few friends who spoke of Kevin favorably.

This pair of figures, Janeane and Kevin, criss crossing through Townes' life, make two of the more compelling aspects of the book.  Although any book is biased, I enjoyed that the author presented the reader with even more information about their roles and the controversy.  The author seemed to be somewhat balanced in what he presented.

Truly the most compelling aspect of the book is of course Townes himself and his steady, earnest decline.  The songs that he wrote along that downward spiral are among my favorites ever and the life that he lived is pretty incredible.  Many of the friends and family in the book mention that Townes truly lived for his songs and music and it shows.  It's actually amazing he lived to be in his 50s!

TVZ with good pals Mickey White and Larry Monroe

Anyway, if you are a fan of Townes Van Zandt, you already well know there isn't so much information out there about him in general.  In fact, it's crazy that suddenly he is getting so much attention that there is now a book about him and even a movie too!  This is why if you love TVZ, you will of course have to seek out the film and the book, if y


Posted by Billyjam, August 22, 2007 07:45am | Post a Comment

One of the most damaging drugs of our age has to be crystal meth (aka Tina, Crank, Speed, Ice, etc.), which doesn't discriminate when it comes to those who get caught up and spun into its dangerously addictive web. It seems to attract and in turn hook members of every age, gender, race, economic background, and sexual orientation it can, if given half the chance. However, of all the groups that fall prey to the drug, it seems that the urban gay communities are the most resourceful in their fight against meth, or at least in disseminating useful  information about the drug's dangers. But others are active too, including the infamous, sobering Multnomah County Oregon State campaign that shows the before-and-after pictures of meth abusers. The visually powerful project began when a deputy in the Corrections Division Classification Unit put together mug shots of persons booked into Oregon's Multnomah County Detention Center -- not pretty. Although not one of these meth offenders booked into the North West detention center, Mark E. Smiththe fall of the Fall (right), who is an admitted longtime speed freak (inspiration for the Fall's classic "Totally Wired" came from somewhere), could easily qualify as a part of this shocking-but-effective anti-drug campaign. One of meth's side effects is the awful damage it does to teeth.

The Los Angeles bus-stop poster (above) photographed directly outside Amoeba Music Hollywood about a month ago was sponsored by West Hollywood's, which is funded by the City of West Hollywood. According to this organization and other US health groups, longterm and widespread methamphetamine abuse can lead to devastating medical, psychological, and social consequences. Its abuse can include such adverse health effects as memory loss, aggression, psychotic behavior, heart damage, malnutrition and severe dental problems. Additionally, according to one health care organization, it can "contribute to increased transmission of infectious diseases, such as hepatitis and HIV/AIDS, and can infuse whole communities with new waves of crime, unemployment, child neglect or abuse, and other social ills."  hurrican tina

New to DVD - The Lookout - spoiler warning - in which the glaringly obvious glares... obviously

Posted by Eric Brightwell, August 21, 2007 04:15pm | Post a Comment
The Lookout was written and directed by Scott Frank. It took ten years to get made and is a labor of love... and a big piece of crap. Two thumbs down from Ngoc and me.

It's set in Kansas City. Why? According to Frank, "I spent time there, but mostly what I loved was that there was an urban environment right next to a rural environment and they're very close together. He can live downtown but work two hours away in the middle of nowhere and I really liked that." That is true, if you drive two hours outside Kansas City you're in the sticks, or another city. So, the setting is very important obviously. Kansas City is like a character in the film, you might say. Of course, his observation applies to nearly every city in the country between the east and west coasts. Obviously Frank had a window seat on a cross country flight or maybe a just layover at Kansas City International. And the in-flight entertainment, I'm guessing, was Memento.
"I really didn't know why, but I just loved where it was. I loved that the mob was no longer there, that it was sort of a dying mob city and more of a "sons and sons of" place now. I just thought it was kind of interesting. I ended up doing a lot of research." Apparently meaning he watched lots of old movies with Kansas City in the title because Kansas City has a very high crime rate and most gangs there don't look much like the Lookout's.


Note to Frank: If you'd Googled "Kansas City" and "mafia," you'd have learned this:

Despite being in prison in 1995, Anthony “Tony Ripes” Civella was seen as the new crime boss. In 1992 he had been convicted of a scheme to divert pharmaceutical drugs from traditional sellers on to the gray market. He was convicted and sentenced to 4 years. Since 1996 he has been free and very active. The remaining Las Vegas interests fall under power of Kansas City LCN Family member Peter Ribaste. His underboss is William Cammisano, Jr. In 1997 all three were placed in Las Vegas’s Black Book and are barred from casinos in that area. Today the Kansas City LCN [la Cosa Nostra] Family is reported to have 20-30 “made” members and is a very tight knit group controlling many street-level rackets.

Winnipeg (left) and Kansas City (right)

The movie is filmed in Winnipeg because somehow there are not one but at least two cities on the continent surrounded by rural areas. And it looks just like Kansas City except it's winter all the time and everyone's white or Native American and it's a lot smaller.  Scott Frank said, "I watched Capote [filmed in Manitoba] and I thought, 'Man, that looks like Kansas,' and I followed in their footsteps." Sounds like more research to me. Or maybe watching Capote is what he meant by "spending time in Kansas City."

Now, I'm not a stickler for authenticity, honestly. I didn't protest Memoirs of a Geisha for casting Chinese women to play Japanese characters who spoke in English. Nor do I mind terribly when Ancient Romans or Greeks are played by Australians or Scots with phony English accents and staunchly heterosexual tastes. My motto, in fact, is "Keep it fake." I just think if you're going to stand all self-important-like, smugly feeling superior because of how real your movie is on account of your painstaking research, then you're asking for it.

Chris is a popular high school hockey player. The movie begins with him driving through the country with his buddies. He turns off the headlights and the car is surrounded by really hokey CGI fireflies, which Chris explains to his friends, which made me laugh out loud. Having Missourians explain to other Missourians what fireflies are is like having a Salvadoran explain pupusas to his homies or Texans explaining armadillos to each other. On the other hand, having seen real fireflies, I couldn't tell what they were supposed to be myself. I thought they were will o' wisps or something.

will-o-the-wisp... or firefly?

A brain injury prevents him from figuring out or remembering key things, a gimmick which is used to explain why he can't figure out all the obvious "twists" that we're spoon-fed and see coming for miles because I guess w
e're supposed to feel like we have a brain injury ourselves. Chris doesn't live at home. His family is rich and have all these guns that they talk about and play with but they're just for show. They're loaded too, so don't shoot them, OK?

But Chris doesn't live at home because he's on bad terms with his family. His family with all the guns. Instead, he lives with his blind friend Lewis. Chris gets a job at a bank in a one-cop-town.  You'll never guess where this is going because, I know from the DVD, that this is a thriller.

Chris falls in with this guy who's speaking with a phony accent. That's not what's supposed to make you suspicious though. He's just an English actor unsure of how to sound Missourian. He does a better job than his co-stars though. This guy is in a gang. One of the guys in the gang just sits around expressionless wearing sunglasses... even indoors and at night. He also wears all black so you just know he's a badass and probably, when he finally does do something besides sitting around scowling in silence, it's going to be badass and in slow motion.

Here's the thing that really made me think lots and lots. The blind guy is the only character in the film who can figure out why these gangstas want to be friends with Chris even t
hough he works so far away in a small town bank with only one cop around and his on such bad terms with his gun-crazy family. OK, in case you missed that. [Zoolander voice] The blind guy is the only one who sees. Deep, huh? I'll give you time to scoop up the pieces of your just-exploded mind now...

You still don't see where this is going, do you? That's because this movie is smarter than you.

Anyway, that one cop befriends Chris and keeps talking about how his wife is expecting and how he sure is looking forward to that and he hopes nothing bad happens to him because his wife is expecting a baby and if anything happens that would be really sad. Like if he got hurt on the job but how could that happen because it's a small town. But, on the other hand, it's real near Kansas City, which is full of unscrupulous city types. But what business would unscrupulous city types have at a bank in the country?

these are gang members

The cop has to remind Chris, and the viewer, this fact because Chris's brain doesn't work. Then, when Chris's unscrupulous city friends concoct a plan involving the bank (that I won't give away) the cop shows up and starts in again. "It's my last day on the job, Chris. I sure hope nothing happens to me on my last day. The reason why it's my last day is on account of my wife is having that baby tomorrow and I'm going to spend time with my new baby just as long as nothing happens to me on my last day."

And then the guy who's silent all the time walks in slow motion and something bad happens to the cop. Then there's a really tedious and prolonged ending involving double crosses and pleas for mercy and guns and a bunch of other crap that's pretty much mandatory.


Follow me at


Posted by Billyjam, August 21, 2007 03:03pm | Post a Comment

While the Bay Guardian, The Examiner, the Onion, and SF Weekly may be the widely known and widely available free papers around San Francisco, they are by no means the only free newspapers to pick up and read in the City by the Bay. Other free papers, which are usually weekly or monthly and in the tabloid size format, include the Noe Valley Voice, Bay Times San Francisco, Marina Times, San Francisco Bay View, The Potrero View, and the Bay Area Reporter (aka BAR). There are numerous other free papers found around San Francisco but I just want to take a quick overview of these ones and the aforementioned Bay Guardian, Onion, Examiner, and SF Weekly. Please add in COMMENTS below any omissions that you see.

The daily San Francisco Examiner (which has gone through a lot of changes over the years) is currently in a tabloid size format and is free. While it gets critiqued for running stories from other papers and wire-services, overall it's not such a bad read on the bus or train, as it offers a decent blend of local and national news (usually accompanied by clever, eye-catching headlines) with a pretty decent San Francisco entertainment guide, often doing stories on SF events not covered by the Guardian or the Weekly. Meanwhile the always fun to-read Onion, the parody newspaper that publishes in ten US cities, including SF, offers a really good local entertainment listing in its (straight-faced & serious) A.V. Club section.

The SF Weekly, while owned by New Times (the Clear Channel of the 'alternative weeklies'), is not all bad and offers some strong investigative pieces on local politics in addition to some excellent music reviews/interviews (especially local San Francisco/Bay Area artists). But like many of the New Times imprints, the Weekly is often given to smart-ass editorializing that seems more geared to getting a reaction than making a concrete point. That aside, it is a good read overall with good entertainment listings. Additionally, their website is really good with up to the minute reports on news items that eclipse the paper's Wednesday street date. For example after MF Doom's pathetic 12 minutes (possibly lip-synced) show at San Francisco's Independent club last Wednesday night that had concert goers demanding refunds, the SF Weekly online version the next day around noon, based on an email from a reader, opened a discussion group about MF Doom's SF-diss. Good stuff!

what is coming out on August 21st?...

Posted by Brad Schelden, August 21, 2007 03:00pm | Post a Comment

Out today is the new album from your favorite San Francisco band "Imperial Teen." They may not all live in San Francisco anymore, but they will always be a San Francisco Band. They became a band in San Francisco in the mid 90s and released their first album "Seasick" in 1996. This was also the year I moved to San Francisco. So this band is sort of special for me. I think this band is super special for anybody who discovered them in the 90s.  I was listening to a lot of super depressing and dreary bands in the 90s. I still love all those bands but I think I really needed some Imperial Teen in my life. I was always a bit afraid of pop music. I thought it would make me too happy. Around this time I started listening to bands like Heavenly, Henry's Dress, the Aisler's Set, and the Softies. But Imperial Teen combined great fun pop music with that sort of San Francisco indie rock that is hard to explain. I don't know if it just sounds like that cause I heard all these bands play live in San Francisco so much. Or if it really is a certain type of sound. I just can't separate the bands from the city.

Seasick was a great album and everybody who heard it loved it. But it was really in 1999 that Imperial Teen started getting more popular. They released the  amazing second album, "What is Not To Love."  They also had their hit song "Yoo Hoo" on the Jawbreaker soundtrack. It was sort of hard to to get away from that song that year. But I really loved that record. Just like Imperial Teen will always be tied to my memories of San Francisco, "What is Not To Love" will always be tied up with the year 1999. It is part of my own little soundtrack to that year and the end of the 90s. In 2002 I had moved to Hollywood. A couple members of the band also ended up down there and they released the album "On." They left their major label for the indie Merge. Both those first albums are now out of print. So it is up to Merge to do some little reissues for some essential ablums that nobody should really be without.

I am now thankfully  back in San Francisco and Imperial Teen finally have a new album to give to us. "The Hair the TV the Baby and the Band" comes out today. It is nearing the end of the summer and the beginning of the new school year. Good albums are starting to pop up again and compete for the end of the year best of lists. This is sort of the perfect little pop album to finish up your summer with.
Imperial Teen is made up of Lynn Perko Truell on drums, Will Schwartz on guitar and vocals, Roddy Bottum on guitar and vocals, and Jone Stebbins on bass. But of course, they all sing on the album. Which is really one of the great things that makes them such a good band. The album title refers to what they have all been up to the last 5 years. There has been babies, hair salons, tv scores and that other little band called Hey Willpower. It really does not seem like it has been that long. But I guess a lot has changed in music in the last 5 years. But it is nice to know Imperial Teen still sound as good and tight as ever. They are still the Imperial Teen we all grew to love. I don't think I would really want them to change very much.

The album opens up with "Everything." Every time I listen to it, it keeps making me think of some Phil Spector produced girl group. But in that Imperial Teen sort of way. Some of these songs could have easily ended up on "What is Not To Love." "Shim Sham" is obviously the "Yoo Hoo" song on the new album. Very catchy and hard to get out of your head, once you have  heard it a couple of times. "Sweet Potato" and "21st Century" would be my other favorite songs on the album. Imperial Teen albums are always like a little party put onto an album. You can really tell that these guys still all like each other and have a lot of fun recording albums together. Or maybe they just do a really good job making us think they are having fun. Whatever it is, it works. The vocals rotate back and forth between all the members on Imperial Teen albums. It really helps to create what they have created as that Imperial Teen sound. I am really glad that Imperial Teen is back. It is also nice that I can once again see them live at the places I have seen them so many times before. They are playing at Bottom of the Hill on 9/29 and at the Folsom Street Fair on 9/30.

also out today...

"Paris-Berlin" by Stereo Total

"Andorra" by Caribou

"Down Below It's Chaos" by Kinski

"Kala" by M.I.A.

"Planet of Ice" by Minus the Bear

"Eardrum" by Talib Kweli

"Challengers" by The New Pornographers

"Under the Black Light" by Rilo Kiley

"Places Like This" by Architecture in Helsinki

The Undertaker And His Pals

Posted by phil blankenship, August 21, 2007 01:08am | Post a Comment

MTI Home Video 1021

Grindhouse Film Fest Tuesday 8/21

Posted by phil blankenship, August 20, 2007 04:18pm | Post a Comment
Posting for our good friends at the monthly Grindhouse Film Fest: 

Don't miss our next mind-boggling installment of the monthly Grindhouse Film Festival at the New Beverly Cinema, LA's greatest independent theater and the perfect home for our cinematic sleaze flashbacks. We've got a great reel of vintage exploitation trailers before the show, and our world famous free raffle (with loads more porn to give out this month, along with other trash).

Show up alone, bring a date or bring your momma...guaranteed fun for all.

Tuesday, August 21st

7165 West Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(One block West of La Brea)
(323) 938-4038
Admission: All seats $8.00

Cannibals and Zombies Take Over!

Directed by Charles McCrann

Directed by Umberto Lenzi


Posted by Billyjam, August 20, 2007 08:23am | Post a Comment
talib kweli
In contrast to so many rappers today who pride themselves on 'going dumb' and acting 'ignant,' Brooklyn emcee Talib Kweli prides himself on staying smart, both in his life (along with Mos Def he owns an independent, non-profit black bookstore in Brooklyn) and through his refreshingly conscious music that harks back to the golden age of hip-hop, when saying something positive was as important as a laying down a catchy hook for the radio and dancefloor. It is no coincidence that "Kweli" in Swahili means "true," since the artist is 100% true to hip-hop as a positive black art form meant to uplift rather than dumb-down the masses.

Like his longtime collaborators and old Rawkus pals Mos Def and Hi-Tek, Talib Kweli has always stayed true to hip-hop's roots and yet has managed to stay talib kwelicurrent and vital. Personally, I think he is one of the few contemporary artists making hip-hop that is worth a damn and when I first got his 2006 single "Listen" (off his new album Ear Drum), it just got stuck both in my head and on my turntable for weeks on end. It is the way hip-hop should be: good track and hook with lyrics that actually say something. Check out the video for "Listen" below. But later today (Monday August 20th) if you are in the Los Angeles area you can probably see/hear him perform it live if you check out his Hollywood Amoeba Music instore. It starts at 6PM, but get there early to jockey a good position. And if, like me, you will not be in SoCal, take advantage of the live streaming of his instore via our website, also scheduled to start at 6PM Pacific Standard Time.  


Posted by phil blankenship, August 19, 2007 11:01pm | Post a Comment

Embassy Home Entertainment 7606


Posted by Billyjam, August 19, 2007 10:05pm | Post a Comment

The new BBC Television series Jekyll -- an updated version/reinterpration of Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde -- is one highly recommended TV show that offers a strong plot, an excellent script, great acting, and a perfect balance of horror, sci-fi, suspense, and humor. There are only six episodes in this short but addictive series that is still ongoing on BBC America (also On Demand) and just finished up on BBC One over in England. But it is also available to view in good quality on YouTube -- painstakingly posted by "BBCJekyll" with each of the six episodes broken into eight parts.

James Nesbitt plays the series' main character(s)-- the good-natured and nice Dr. Tom Jackman (as Dr. Jekyll, the good half of his split personality) and also his alter-ego Mr. Hyde, the deranged psychopath side of himself. As both, Nesbitt turns in an amazing performance, especially when he morphs into the demonic and deranged Mr Hyde. What I love about this role is that when he becomes the crazed monster side he does so with great flair and with a winning sense of humor,  at times reminiscent of Michael Keaton as Beetlejuice. He rattles off some wonderful one-liners that just beg to be quoted or sampled.

Jekyll's strong cast also includes Denis Lawson, Gina Bellman, Michelle Ryan and Meera Syal. The series is up to Episode 4 on BBC America, where it plays weekends as part of its "Supernatural Saturdays." To see all episodes right now, click on that YouTube link above. Meantime, below is a video clip of the ad for the TV show.

Labyrinth Anniversary Edition

Posted by Brad Schelden, August 19, 2007 07:08pm | Post a Comment
It is hard to believe that it has been 20 years since the original release of "Labyrinth." This movie was one of my favorites at the time. It came out a couple of years after Time Bandits, The Neverending Story, and Dark Crystal. The same year as Legend. A year after Goonies, Back to the Future, and Teen Wolf. The year before Willow and The Princess Bride.  Like many of us, I was a big fan of the fantasy film as a child and teenager. To be honest, I guess I still am.  Many of these films, like Labyrinth, had a story within a story. It allowed the story to be believable as a dream or "fantasy" world. But also never really that scary since we knew it was just a story. It wasn't until I was a bit older when my love of fantasy films turned into my love of horror films.  I was also obsessed with Jim Henson and the Muppets. Jim Henson directed both The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. Labyrinth also starred David Bowie. This movie really had everything going for it. It was sort of impossible for it not to be as successful as it was. The movie made its way deep into our hearts and still remains there to this day. This week we get the release of the Anniversary editions of both Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal. Muppets Season 2 also comes out. It is a big week for Jim Henson fans.

I have been in the process of replacing all my VHS with new DVDs. But I always have to wait until the deluxe versions of the movies come out. I want all the special stuff that they add on to the DVDs. And while there is always something missing, these versions often convince me to buy them. The Anniversary Edition of Labyrinth is 2 discs. I guess they meant to put this out last year as the 20th anniversary. But 21 years is close enough. Last year was also the 70th anniversary of Jim Henson's birth.  The movie starred Jennifer Connelly as a young girl bored with babysitting. She imagines herself into the world of goblins and creatures and the evil leader "David Bowie." The film is brilliant. And with the work of Jim Henson the film was ahead of its time. The creature effects still hold up and end up looking better than any modern film such as The Lord of the Rings. And with David Bowie we get an amazing original soundtrack. The soundtrack included 5 original David Bowie songs. The songs were sort of cheesy at the time, so I don;t really think they have gotten any worse.  And they are an integral part of the movie. I still know all the words to "Magic Dance" and "Underground." I always try to imagine this movie with Michael Jackson in the Bowie role. I don't know if it could have been better, but it for sure would have been amazing.

 This deluxe version includes the original movie with a commentary by conceptual designer Brian Froud. Disc 2 includes the old documentary that you may have already seen on earlier versions. It is even on the end of the VHS copy that I have. But it also has some new documentaries with new interviews and never before seen footage. The film still looks beautiful. The great thing about this movie was how fun and imaginative it was. Jim Henson was simply a genius. The 80's were really a good time for kids films. The PG films of the 80's were so much more exciting and intriguing than the film of today. I am sure some kids of today would not agree. But it is really hard to compare High School Musical to Labyrinth.  I really do feel sad for the kids of today. Although I am sure many adults who grew up with films like Labyrinth are also making their kids watch these movies on DVD today.

As a kid or young teen in 1986 we had Labyrinth, Legend, Stand By Me, Ferris Bueller's Day  Off, Karate Kid II, Short Circuit, Lucas, Flight of the Navigator, Space Camp, and Pretty in Pink. In 2007 we get High School Musical 2, Harry Potter, Super Bad, Nancy Drew, The Last Mimzy, Bridge to Terabithia, Ratatouoille and Surf's Up. There are still a bunch of movies aimed at the tween market. But the quality has gone down and the stories have become so predictable. High School Musical became the most popular kids film and soundtrack of all time. While I am all for kids choosing drama over sports, the storyline is so simple and predictable. No imagination went into its creation and it doesn't help kids improve their imagination. I really can't imagine that when the fans of High School Musical grow up they will still look back fondly on these movies. Will they flock to midnight screenings of High School Musical or buy the deluxe versions that come out on DVD in 2027? I really don't think so. There will never be another Labyrinth again. Although I am sure that they will remake it some day. They are making a new version of The Dark Crystal and Goonies...

This Week At The New Beverly Cinema 8/19 - 8/31

Posted by phil blankenship, August 19, 2007 02:27am | Post a Comment
This Sunday and Monday, Aug. 19 & 20, we'll have a Paul Schrader double bill,

a brand NEW 35mm print of ROLLING THUNDER (1977)
Sun: 3:25 & 7:30; Mon: 7:30

Sun: 5:20 & 9:25; Mon: 9:25


This Tuesday, Aug. 21, Eric Caidin and Brian Quinn present the monthly Grindhouse Film Festival at the New Beverly

Cannibals and Zombies Take Over!

Directed by Charles McCrann

Directed by Umberto Lenzi

(all seats $8)

This Thursday through Saturday, Aug. 22 through Aug. 25, we present the Los Angeles premiere of Zeitgeist Films' re-release of two early Peter Greenaway classics

THE DRAUGHTMAN'S CONTRACT (1982) (New 35mm print!!)
Wed/Thu/Fri: 7:30; Sat: 3:10 & 7:30

A ZED AND TWO NOUGHTS (1985) (rare 35mm print)
Wed/Thu/Fri: 9:35; Sat: 5:15 & 9:35


Saturday, Aug. 25 at midnight
Amoeba Music and Phil Blankenship present Midnights at the New Beverly!


(all seats $7)

Aug. 26, 27 & 28
John Carpenter's remake of THE THING (1982)
Sun: 3:25 & 7:30; Mon/Tue: 7:30

Philip Kaufman's remake of INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1978)
Sun: 5:15 & 9:40; Mon/Tue: 9:40


Aug. 29, 30, 31 & Sept. 1

The new prints of Alejandro Jodorowsky's
EL TOPO (1970)
Wed/Thu/Fri: 7:30; Sat: 2:50 & 7:30

Wed/Thu/Fri: 9:50; Sat: 5:15 & 9:50


Anna King

Posted by Whitmore, August 18, 2007 11:29pm | Post a Comment

My son just named his new guinea pig “Sally,” and though I’m not a fan of rodent type critters, I think Sally is pretty cool. Also, guinea pigs make this really odd electronic kind of sound when their excited.

Some time ago I wrote about a Jean Dushon single on Atco Records “I’m Tired,” produced by Phil Specter. And with absolute over the top aplomb I ranted, raved and foamed like peroxide on a road rash about that track. “How,” I thought  “can it get any better than this?”  A discovery like this, out of the blue, only happens once in a lifetime to a lowly record store employee.

I went so far as to write that my aching back was miraculously healed by the Bo Diddlyesque drumbeat; it had to be the vibrations!

Well … I may have been wrong; I know this revelation may surprise you. I’m generally not one to exaggerate. Really. Anyway, my backache returned and eventually worsened, but did I lose hope? Almost … but no! I felt that somewhere down the line something greater, something deeper was going to breathe life back into me, an empty shell of a man. Carpe Diem! Corpus, Mens, Spiritus! E pluribus unum! Eureka! Ars longa vita brevis!

A few months back I discovered a 7 inch record from a somewhat obscure singer, Anna King … and this time I think I actually had a religious experience. My back wasn’t healed, but I swear to god I didn’t have an asthma attack for weeks. It’s as if my ears and lungs and bronchial tubes were touched by healing hands.

“Was that you Katherine Kuhlman?”

Long ago I discovered that the flip side is often the hot side, and "Sally" is the B-side to "Mama’s Got a Bag of Her Own", a kind of a dig at Anna King’s old boss. "Sally" is an impossibly soulful, medium tempo ballad with just a hint of a musical arrangement. To start with, there’s a little piano, a touch of a bass line, a kick drum and all the room in the world for the vocals. King first starts off a little breathy, a little hesitant, telling her dear friend Sally about her no good boyfriend.  But by the end the full band kicks in and the vocals just lay it on the line: Sally should just forget about that son of a bitch, because as Anna King plainly states, “I’m gonna steal him from you.”  And I thought they were pals! I just don’t have the words to explain the greatness of this cut. Find it, if it takes you a decade, it would still be worth your time. Think of it as a religious pilgrimage. I’m serious!

Patti Smith: The Santa Monica Pier

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, August 18, 2007 07:32pm | Post a Comment
One day it's the 1970's, I'm trapped in the kind of hell a youngster homo freak usually is trapped in, and hey, Patti Smith is the musical guest on Saturday Night Live. (Who in the '70's didn't watch Belushi when you were 9?) Suddenly, you realize you can stop jumping off the roof of any building you can scale the side of, you stop trying to figure out how to knot a noose, and you ... embrace life.

Because you realize if this woman is on TV in America ... that there is hope. And when Gilda Radner did her Patti Smith impression--you loved Gilda even more. Crazy.

Next thing you know, a some 3 decades later, you are standing on the Santa Monica Pier watching Patti Smith from about 3 feet away. Life is so weird and magical.
30 years later, you can barely stand up, you're half deaf, blind in one eye and ... none of that matters a god damned bit. Yeah, you feel all the pain, and you clutch the stage so you don't fall over ... it's just that being there makes it all bearable for a little while, and that is all any of us can ask for. I'm not a unicorn: tons of people are broken into pieces: but these beautiful and generous artists give to us that magic, that roar of love ... that medicine that the HMO and free clinic can't conceive of ... the kind that really does heal you.
And for the first time since Patti played her show at Amoeba Hollywood, I can feel my soul, I can feel your heart and I keep turning around to witness the joy in the people around me.

Yeah, she's a genius. Yeah, Patti Smith is an inspiration ...  She is a force of nature. I think if there are any Gods at all ... they roar truth and power through her voice. But face it, she doesn't save your soul. You gotta do that. She shows up to do a non-profit, save The Santa Monica Pier, and if you want to know without any question at all that the people do have the damn power--you show up, and you feel pretty damn grateful and powerful.

Prisoner In The Middle

Posted by phil blankenship, August 17, 2007 08:34pm | Post a Comment

Academy Home Entertainment 1062

The Employee Interview Part IX: Sabrina

Posted by Miss Ess, August 17, 2007 04:36pm | Post a Comment
Almost One Year of Employment

ME:  Hi.  So Sabrina, you are a newish arrival to San Francisco.  What do you love about living here?  Why did you move here?

S:  I didn't really tell anyone I was moving out here, I just did it.  I was on a self journey and I was so done with Boston.  I've been called a hippie my whole life so I figured I might fit in here.  My parents would call me "Greenpeace" when I was a kid.  I liberated a petting zoo when I was in high school cause I was a vegan straight edge kid.  I used to be a brawler, big time.

What was the first show you went to see upon arriving  here and where was it?

It was at the Elbo Room and it was the first week I was here.  It was a metal band from Japan and I don't remember the name of them.  I had really long hair and little Lennon glasses on.

So you were really going for the hippie thing!

Dude, I was so surprised-- people were just smoking weed indoors and it was kind of ok.  It's not as acceptable there [Back East].  It's just not as open.

What's your favorite place to see a show?

Great American.  The Lipo Lounge is pretty rad.  Edinburgh [Castle] is rad because they have the fish and chips you can order from next door!

So you're not vegan anymore?  

I'm a lactose intolerant pescaterian.

I'm not a big dancer and in order for the dancing to happen for me there must be a careful balance of the right tune and the right amount of inebriation.  What music has to be playing in order to get you to dance?

I kinda can't just dance to just anything either!  It's gotta be like 90s hip hop R&B stuff or like really bad music I wouldn't listen to if I wasn't drunk but that's so fun to dance to.

What record have you listened to a billion times that you think more people should be aware of?

Ooooh.  The Owls, any of their stuff.  The self titled album is still one of my favorite records to this day.

When you are making art, what do you like to listen to?

I was listening to Alice Coltrane, Universal Consciousness when I made these earrings. [Miss Sabrina is rocking beautiful soft brown feathers from her ears.]

When you were a kid what was playing in your house?

Neil Young, straight up.  Just classic rock all day long.  My step dad and I were both really stubborn and I would always pretend that I didn't like it but he'd always catch me singing it.

When I was a kid and my parents would play Neil, my brother and I would always complain about his voice but ever since I got a bit older he's the greatest thing in the world to me.  What was the first music you heard that made you really into music?

I guess the stuff my dad listened too but there were some pretty bad bands...I was so emo, like Sunny Day Real Estate and old Modest Mouse

Yeah they got really bad when they signed to Epic.

But that stuff like Sad Sappy Sucker is so awesome.

I like Lonesome Crowded West.  What was the first concert you ever went to?

Blink 182 with their original drummer.  That's embarrassing!  It was either that or the Misfits and GWAR and my parents got so pissed cause they [GWAR] were like spitting blood on people and they read about it in the paper the next day.  I wore vinyl pants.  It's not like I wore them on a normal basis, but its like, we were going to see the Misfits and GWAR and we were in 6th grade.  Both shows were at the Palladium in Worcester.

Were you involved in the music scene when you lived in Boston?  What was it like there?

Oh yeah.  Oh my god when I was younger Boston was rad.  It was like ska punk. I had the checkerboard mini skirts and stuff and I was hella straight edge.  The Goonies were awesome.  They were straight edge and they had a song called "Kill 420" and I remember being there when they played that and I was like "Yeah! Drugs are bad!"  I would see them like twice a weekend.

Do you have a favorite local band here in the Bay Area?


What's your favorite Joanna Newsom song?

"Peach Plum Pear" makes me cry every time.

What did you think of the show in December?  I remember that you were there.

I was so there and I was heaving the entire time.  It was amazing to be so close up.  I have this hand thing and I think it's important to be able watch people's hands when they are playing an instrument like that.

Yeah I think watching her play makes it an entirely different experience.

Everyone there was crying. It was one of the most emotional shows.

Do you have any musical guilty pleasures?

James Taylor, Greatest Hits, the first one, cause he lives on the Vineyard now [Martha's Vineyard]. I grew up with that.

What have you been listening to the last week?

Count BasieModern Lovers.  Dinosaur Jr.  The Mamas and the Papas.

What has been your best find here at Amoeba?

I found this record -- it's Southwestern Native American chants and it's really intense.

Aren't they not allowed to record that stuff?

That's why it was so cool to find a record [like that]....It was like some Museum of Natural History kind of thing.

You should listen to Mariee Sioux!  What is your favorite part of working at Amoeba?

I think it's just the people that come in and out and the people I work with and the free education I've gotten.  I've been schooled and I love it!  Everyone here is really talented and are comfortable with themselves and have introduced me to new music which has helped me figure myself out.

Thank you for your time.


Posted by Billyjam, August 17, 2007 08:04am | Post a Comment
This second part photo-series (following yesterday's AMOEBLOG) shows the almost-finished art project done by the H.O.M.E.Y. Project (SPIE, Trigger etc.) on 24th Street near Capp in the Mission District of San Francisco. These pictures were taken two days ago, as the painting was being finished up. The mural caused some controversy with the SF Planning Commission, who are funding the art project, over some of its Palestine content. At first glance the art might look the same, but there are a lot of new details filled in on the large and wide mural since the first batch of photos (posted here yesterday) were taken ten days earlier. 

The five pictures below are taken left to right (top to bottom) and almost capture the beauty of the piece, but really, if at all possible, the best thing is to go see it in person on 24th Street just down a bit from  Mission Street.

hysteron proteron: part four

Posted by Whitmore, August 17, 2007 12:58am | Post a Comment

This was supposed to be a quiet, peaceful morning -- a relaxing respite from the 21st century’s annoying concoction of curs, vipers, vermin, polecats, mongrels and insects that whore off the will of the people. Maybe its just my brain demonstrating its independence. Maybe I’ve finally reached curmudgeon enlightenment years ahead of schedule. Maybe it’s just the goddamn news, but I attempt to start today with a renewed sense of calm. I don’t read the paper. I don’t turn on the radio. I don’t turn on the TV. I don’t read my emails. It’s a blather free morning.

But while I sit at my desk wondering what I should write about next, the sound of jack hammers suddenly emanates from the house directly behind us. My neighbor is actually tearing up his entire cemented backyard and plans on putting in a garden! There you have it: gentrification!

Anyway, here is one last look, for now, at some of the art work on our boxes of used 7 inch records. I wish I had done some of this artwork myself but, just like the jackhammers, my only true talents are more in the nature of noise: my ability to make those kind of sounds 5 year olds forge and the aptitude to blather like the venerable old asshole chain smoking at a bus stop in Hollywood, nursing a cup of coffee from McDonalds, jawing about the flotsam and jetsam that has decimated some of the finer gutters in Los Angeles. “Strength through blather! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Strength through blather!

But back to the subject at hand - art. Enjoy.


Cellar Dweller

Posted by phil blankenship, August 16, 2007 11:19pm | Post a Comment

New World Video A88036

patti smith @ the fillmore

Posted by Brad Schelden, August 16, 2007 04:20pm | Post a Comment
 I went to go see Patti Smith at the Fillmore last night. If you have ever seen her before then you know how amazing she is to see perform live. She did an instore at Amoeba in Hollywood. You can watch the great interview with her and Logan by going here. I know I throw around the word amazing a lot. But nobody deserves it more than her. She really has some power that I can not even explain. This power sort of takes over everyone in the crowd and it is something that will stay with you the rest of your life.

I never got the chance to see Patti in the 70's or 80's. It was not until about 6 or so years ago that I saw her for the first time. It was right after the release of "Gung Ho" and was also at the Fillmore in S.F. A sort of perfect place to see her. These days, I am often one of the oldest in the crowd. So it is always weird to be at a show like this where I am one of the youngest. It does not really matter who you are though. She will put out her power over the whole crowd. I swear, she should just run for president or something. But I think she has already found her calling. She has created some amazing music over the years. Her debut, "Horses," came out the year after I was born. It remains my favorite of hers and I am sure the favorite of many.  They actually just gave it a nice little reissue deluxe treatment a couple of years ago. Three years later came "Easter," which includes her awesome version of "Because the Night."

 Patti likes to talk with the audience and tell little stories. She told a great little story about watching X-Files the night before and then having a great little dream afterward. She also played some 60's songs in honor of the anniversary of the summer of love.  These songs are also on her new album. So maybe it is just a coincidence that it happens to be the anniversary of the summer of love. She performed cover versions of "Are You Experienced?," "White Rabbit" and "Gimme Shelter."

Her voice sounds exactly like it did back when she created those amazing early records. She has one of those amazing unique voices that has no equal. I guess this is what creates her power. It is that amazing voice. After seeing her the first time, she just seemed like one of those people you could just hang out with. And after watching her interview with Logan after the Hollywood instore, I feel that way even more. She is for sure a mythical amazing star. But at the same time, she is just one of us. Patti Smith also just put out a new album called "Twelve." The album is all covers and includes a cover of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana.

Max Roach Passes Away

Posted by Miss Ess, August 16, 2007 03:28pm | Post a Comment
Max Roach has died.

He was 83.

He was the last  of the Be Bop greats and one of the most inventive and experimental drummers in the history of jazz.

Much has already been written about Roach.

On a personal note, I hadn't been an avid jazz listener, but then I happened to have that oh so common experience which brought with it respect and appreciation for the form:  The College Intro To Jazz Class.

This class exceeded the typical music course though:  My professor, Smith Dobson, was one of the best I had.  He introduced me to Max Roach and many others like Sidney Bechet and Mingus.  I could tell jazz truly was his life and he was continually inspired by what he heard and performed.  He would grab other jazz students and play for us on stage regularly in class.  He made us laugh and taught us about the jazz aesthetic by effortlessly embodying it.  He encouraged all of us to get involved, get out to jazz gigs and recognize how revolutionary the form is.

Sadly, a few months after my class ended, Prof Dobson died in a car accident while returning home from a performance.  It was a huge and shocking blow to the many students who loved him and were not sure how they would continue their musical education without him.  I credit him fully with my appreciation for jazz and its history-- if it were not for him I still might not have heard Max Roach.

Sun Kil Moon Saves: Or, What To Do When Having a Car in San Francisco Has Gotten You Down

Posted by Miss Ess, August 16, 2007 02:00pm | Post a Comment
Inevitably, sometimes life kicks us in the ass.

When it does, we all have things we turn to in order to cope.

This week, while spending most of my time at home either in bed with the covers over my head or on the couch, blankly staring at the wall, twiddling my thumbs, I felt an utter loss of inspirado.

I mean, after spending most of last week happily indulging in Bridezillas, where does one go from there? Where CAN one go from there when life shifts irritatingly and becomes a pathetic time of need?

Well, welcome to my schizo mind. As much as something as ridiculous as my aforementioned obsession with The View can cheer me up, I also turn to things that are much more nostalgic and "serious" and I do like to allow myself a good wallow every now and again when circumstances call for it.

The supreme wallowing record, at least for the last year or so, for me has been Sun Kil Moon's Ghosts of the Great Highway. Have you heard it?

It's by Mark Kozelek, who formed Red House Painters, made a lot of records I never really got into, got sick of the business and that name and released this record as something completely different.

It's fantastic for a good wallow. In fact, I find it's actually fantastic any time. It's one of those fabulous and few records that morph somehow with my mood and mean different things whether I am ecstatic or down in the dumps or somewhere in between.

In other words, it's one of the few records where I have no idea what he's talking about lyrically, so the music takes on whatever I happen to project. The sounds are what bring the meaning, and I find the record so sonically moving I have never really bothered much to try to figure out what the heck Mr. Kozelek is actually talking about. That's really rare for me when it comes to music. I realize many people never listen closely to lyrics, but me, I'm a big lyrics person 90% of the time.

Something about Mark's voice on this record is just so aching and sad and maybe even regretful. It's gorgeous. To me, it sounds like someone who left his hometown, lived his life, has gone through the school of hard knocks, and who has returned to this hometown, maybe even to his parents' house after a very long absence.  Now everything is in perspective. Now those things that once seemed silly and confusing are lit with clarity. Things have changed but they've stayed the same. Heartbreaking, isn't it?

That's right, it's the singer songwriter version of "This Used To Be My Playground." There, I said it--  believe it.

It's even Madonna's Birthday today!


Posted by Billyjam, August 16, 2007 09:06am | Post a Comment

As mentioned in the AMOEBLOG posted yesterday about the late, great Bay Area graffiti artist DREAM, here are pics from a brand new large scale mural painted by DREAM ol skool partner SPIE and others from the SF based H.O.M.E.Y. Project. Still being finished up, it is in San Francisco's Mission District.   These pics were taken at the beginning of last week, which was exactly mid-way through the five week painting project that began July 14th. Next I will post pics taken yesterday, as the piece is almost completely done. Meantime if you want to go check out this socially and politically charged mural you can find it on 24th Street in the Mission in a parking lot off 24th St in between Capp Street and Lilac Alley. I took all these pics last week on a sunny afternoon as SPIE and several others were out en force. A part of the ten year San Francisco community/art based H.O.M.E.Y. Project, the new mural's artists also included Mike TRIGGER (pictured above), Nancy Pili, and Marina Prez-Wong (pictured painting below three pics down) among others. 

The large, colorful mural is sponsored by the San Francisco's Planning Commission, who bulit a new raised wall for the art. The space, in a parking lot off 24th, is completely fenced in with a big metal prison-like fence. This provided the artists with inspiration for the piece that was partially planned/sketched out and partially improvised. "The fence all around here kind of gave us the basis for the theme here," said SPIE. "We're commenting on a lot of stuff as far as content here. The theme is loosely about fences, walls and prisons in a sense being utilized to solve problems because this (the metal fence) is supposed to be put up to curb gang violence, which is not a healthy solution to a problem -- it's the gating and jailing of a community in a lot of ways. So we are making a comment about that and a comment about relating it not just local issues but worldwide from the Mexican/American border immigration issue that is going on right now. And you've got the Palestine wall right here which is a big issue...Overall it is about solidarity of communities of color and oppressed people -- black and brown unity..."  

Death Shot

Posted by phil blankenship, August 15, 2007 08:09pm | Post a Comment

Sony K0565


Posted by Billyjam, August 15, 2007 06:55pm | Post a Comment
dream graffiti artist
Legendary Bay Area graffiti artist Mike DREAM Francisco, who was shot and killed in cold blooded murder in 2000, would have celebrated his 38th birthday today (August 15th, 2007) had he been spared his senseless death on the streets of Oakland seven years ago. Dream was not only an amazingly talented artist and integrated part of the Bay Area hip-hop scene (collaborating with countless hip-hoppers over the years), but he was also one of those really cool-and-always down to earth, caring people who took time out for others. All of which made his passing so much more painful for all who knew him. One of those most affected was his longtime partner from TDK crew, SPIE (who is one of the authors of a forthcoming book on DREAM), who I ran into today in the Mission District as he was finishing up a mural project on 24th Street (b/w Capp and Lilac) and about to head over to a meeting at the SF Planning Commission over funding of the H.O.M.E.Y. Project (more on this with pictures over the next two days here on this AMOEBLOG).

Born in Alameda, CA, DREAM was one of the pioneers of the beginnings of the Bay Area graffiti scene from the early eighties up until the time of his death, both as a solo artist and with his crew TDK. But despite his tragic passing his legacy grows and grows each year. A few months ago the RX Gallery in San Francisco had a tribute exhibit to DREAM organized by fellow TDK graf artist WIllie Maze. Meanwhile, outdoors around the Bay Area there are countless pieces dedicated to the late, great artist, including out under the junction of the 280 and 101 freeways in SF -- coincidentally the place where DREAM, along with SPIE, did one of his very last pieces (see below).

Lo Mato @ Amoebapalooza 2007 - Punk Rock Salsa?

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, August 15, 2007 02:53pm | Post a Comment

I never suspected Matt Polley to be a Hector Lavoe fan. He’s a kid from Indiana and well…he looks the part. So when he asked me to perform with him at this year’s Amoebapalooza covering Hector Lavoe and Willie Colon songs, I was a bit surprised. Amoebapalooza is fun as far as seeing your co-workers live out their rock and roll fantasies, but it’s usually just that -- rock band after rock band with a smattering of folk, experimental music and Electronica. Salsa at Amoebapalooza? I’ve always been a punk at heart, so playing Salsa at Amoebapalooza would be more punk rock than actually playing punk rock.

Matt and I talked about it for weeks before Amoebapalooza. We signed up as "Lo Mato" and then went combing the store for people who would want to perform with us. We found two people. Cashier Ricky Ray Rivera was down, as was Erick, who works in the Reggae and Hip-Hop section. Erick and Ray were to play percussion as well as sing the that meant me on bass, Ray and Erick on percussion and Matt Polley as Hector Lavoe.

Paul Vasquez, who works in the World Music section, wanted to get in on the action. He told Polley he had a trombone and although he hadn’t played in a while he would start practicing. He had not picked up a trombone since elementary school. For Paul to pull off the Willie Colon parts would be nothing short of a miracle! Most professional trombone players would find the task difficult. So it meant a rusty trombone player as Willie Colon.

Weeks went by and we hadn’t practiced once. Amoebapalooza was a week away and Matt was in a slight panic. He had found a piano player and a drummer and by then Paul had backed out, so we had no horns. I called my friend Pat Hoed to take over for me on bass. He is a huge Willie Colon/Hector Lavoe fan so he knew all the songs already. I switched to the keyboards and got my friend Jeremy Keller on guitar to help me play the horn lines. We learned the horn lines an hour before our first and only rehearsal.

Our rehearsal was rough. Only Pat and the piano player knew the songs. I only knew the parts on the bass but not the horn lines. When Matt sang for the first time a little voice came out of the P.A. system, not Hector Lavoe-like at all. Our music lumbered along with no swing and a tiny voice coming out of the P.A.We all started laughing and shaking our heads after the first song. Maybe we should have practiced more. However, the drummer didn’t show up, so most of our problems were not having someone holding down the beat. By the end of practice we had gone through the two songs at least twice and it didn’t sound half bad.

For the actual Amoebapalooza, Matt dyed his hair black with a spray can and put on the trademark Lavoe sunglasses. He even had some of the Lavoe moves down. Some of his co-workers didn’t know that it was him singing! The drummer showed up and we had some backbeat to guide us through. We played “Dia De Me Suerte” and “Eso Se Baile Asi!” I actually liked it more than I thought I would. I was really surprised to see some of the Amoebites dancing. It sounded like what we were -- Non-Salseros playing Salsa, Punk Rock Salsa. The next day Matt was the buzz around Amoeba, everyone talking about how well he did. People asked me if Matt was fluent in Spanish. Other than those songs he doesn’t know very much, so he did well to fool some people. Some staff that went to the show asked about Willie Colon/Hector Lavoe’s music, which made me happy. I’m always glad to share everything I know about their music. To me, Lavoe and Colon were one of the great songwriting team of all time and it was a honor to play homage to them.

Here are more pictures, taken by Joanna Hernandez & myself.


Posted by Billyjam, August 15, 2007 08:00am | Post a Comment

Afrika Bambaataa, Donald Glaude, The Chemical Brothers, DJ Icey, Sasha, DJ Dan, Lee Coombs, The Crystal Method, Ladytron
, and D:Fuse are all among the many, many acts slated for both this year's SF LoveFest (9/29) and the LoveWeek (Wednesday to Sunday) events leading up to it, all happening next month in San Francisco. The actual SF LoveFest 2007 parade (formerly Love Parade), the annual city party that celebrates dance music and culture, will again travel along Market Street, culminating in a big party at the Civic Center with Spundae and Skills hosting the official after party on the festival door step at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. Meanwhile, for those with VIP and press passes, the party will move indoors inside the San Francisco City Hall building.

The actual celebrations of LoveWeek kick off on the Wednesday of that week, while the "Official Pre-Event" party, with The Chemical Brothers scheduled to perform, is set for the Friday of that week. For exact details it is best to visit the event's website, especially since it appears all the details are still being ironed out, with "daily updates" promised.
The event "is a testament to the fundamental community desire to come together and break down barriers, in peace and love through dance music," said SF LoveFest board president Joshua Smith, who noted that what makes the festival, which is now in its fourth year and last year attracted 65,000 revelers, extra unique is that it is attended by all ages of house and electronic music fans. It also caters to damn near all strains/sub-genres of electronic music -- of which, as you know, there are many.
The  DJs and artists that are booked to perform include Sasha, Ferry Corsten, DJ Dan, Gabriel & Dresden, the Crystal Method, Lee Burridge, Ladytron, D:Fuse, Baby Anne, Meat Katie, Afrika Bambaataa, Donald Glaude, Eddie Halliwell, DJ Rap, 16 Bit Lolitas, Three, Richard "Humpty" Vission, Sandra Collins, Vello Virkhaus, DJ Icey, Lee Coombs, Chris Fortier, Rogue Element, and many, many more. As I mentioned earlier, for full up-to-the-minute details (dates/times/places), best to check in with the SF LoveFest website.


Posted by phil blankenship, August 15, 2007 01:05am | Post a Comment

Charter Entertainment 90085

Family Guy vs a-ha

Posted by Billyjam, August 14, 2007 05:05pm | Post a Comment
In a short reworking of 80's group a-ha's unique and famous video for "Take On Me," the Family Guy producers do a clever remake of the Norwegian duo's 1985 synth-pop worldwide hit single. Check it out below and for the lyrics to the song scroll below the video screen.

"TAKE ON ME" lyrics

 Talking away I don't know what I'm to say
 I'll say it anyway today's another day to find you
 Shying away
 I'll be coming for you love O.K.
Take on me
Take me on
I'll be gone in a day or two
So needless to say I'm odds and ends
But that's me, stumbling away
Slowly learning that life is O.K.
Say after me It's no better to be safe than sorry.
Take on me
Take me on
I'll be gone in a day or two.
The things that you say
Is it live or just to play
My worries away
You're all the things I've got to remember
You shying away
I'll be coming for you anyway
Take on me
Take me on I'll be gone in a day or two.

Happy Creamsicles Day -- You got your margarine in my soap!

Posted by Eric Brightwell, August 14, 2007 03:36pm | Post a Comment
Creamsicles are made by Unilever, a company formed when British soap-makers Lever Brothers merged with Dutch margarine giant Margarine Unie in 1930.


At 5 cents a pop, it harldy seemed to matter that creamsicles tasted like Bayer chewable children's aspirin dipped in Triaminic.


Legend has it that if you you truly believe creamsicles taste good and you leave out creamsicle fudge, drinks or cakes on 13 August (The Eve of Creamsicles Day), Creamor the Snake will swing by your house in his creamsicle-colored Ford Mustang and leave you gifts in your creamsicle gloves which you've left by the driveway.

Follow me at


Posted by Billyjam, August 14, 2007 10:47am | Post a Comment

The Simpsons' intro, with real life humans filling in as the animated family members Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie, made in the UK as a promo for the TV show's 17th season in March of this year, continues to grow in popularity online. As of today on YouTube it has gotten well over sixteen million views. And that is just on that site. The video clip is also posted on numerous other popular sites, such as ebaums world, where it is also getting repeated hits -- all of which reportedly have increased in recent weeks following the release of the Simpsons Movie.

The short clip, which accurately re-enacts the title sequence of the animated show with real actors such as at the very beginning of each episode, when the camera zooms into a schoolroom to Bart (above) writing in chalk on the blackboard, got the full approval of Simpsons maker Matt Groening. If you haven't already, see the one-minute video clip that uses the original Simpsons intro theme below and witness the actors' and film-makers' accurate portrayals of each character. Like the TV show, the clip ends with the whole family squeezed on the sofa ready to watch TV- - only in this version they are about to watch the cartoon version of the Simpsons.

coming out today 8/14...µ-Ziq...

Posted by Brad Schelden, August 13, 2007 11:30pm | Post a Comment
µ-Ziq has a new album out today. It is called "Duntisbourne Abbots Soulmate Devastation Technique." This is about the seventh album Mike Paradinas has released as µ-Ziq. Mike has been a busy little man over the last 15 years or so. He has been around through the shifts and changes in the world that is electronica music. I have been listening to him for a while now and am always intrigued and excited to hear what new thing he has worked on. Most of his µ-Ziq albums tend to be on the more minimal side of electronica. He often fits into what has become known as IDM. But maybe on the  harder and more interesting side of IDM. But for sure this is some intelligent dance music.

His songs are often multi layered compositions that create brilliant little albums. His first two albums were put out on Rephlex, the label of Richard D. James (Aphex Twin). Later albums came out on Astralwerks and now his own label Planet Mu. He has also recorded under the names Tusken Raiders, Kid Spatula, Rude Ass Tinker, Jake Slazenger, Gary Moscheles, and Diesel M. And he released an album with Richard D. James as Mike & Rich. I first heard of µ-Ziq when he did the remix project "The Auteurs Vs µ-Ziq." Being a big fan of the britpop, I tended to try to listen and buy anything related to it. I was also starting to get into techno music at this point, so this album was the perfect bridge for me to get into it.

One of my favorite albums remains his 1999 masterpiece "Royal Astronomy." The album sort of has a fun circus feel to it. A weird electronic sort of circus. He doesn't seem to take himself as serious as some other electronica artists. Or maybe he just likes to have more fun with his albums. His songs always have a playful feel about them. He also likes to play with the genre. His albums are sort of a mix of drum and bass and IDM. But the songs are also real developed songs. He likes to experiment but he also likes to create music that is pleasing to the ear. This new album does not stray too much from the last couple µ-Ziq albums. Some of the songs could have easily appeared on some of his older albums. The album is a bit daker than Royal Astronomy. The playfulness of that album is a bit muted. But it is still there. The album is more similar to his earlier albums. I am liking the album and I am looking forward to listening to it more. Perceptions always change as you listen to his albums more and more. But it is also making me want to pull out some of his older albums.

Also out today...

"Cexcells" by Blaqk Audio

"Hey Hey My My Yo Yo" by Junior Senior

"Retox" by Turbonegro

Summer of Sequels Presents -- Jason Bourne

Posted by Eric Brightwell, August 13, 2007 10:05pm | Post a Comment

Jason Bourne
is a guy who's trying to remember his past and figure out who he is because he suffers from amnesia. In the course of his quest he was informed that his real name is David Webb and he was born in Nixa, Missouri but he seems to totally ignore that, or at least they don't depict him trying to glean anything from this. 

So I'm here to help fill in the blanks, like it or not. No spoiler warning.

"Webb" is an occupational family name meaning (in Old English) "weaver." OK, so at least the paternal branch of Jason/David's family is from the British Isles. He looks pretty Irish. Nixa, Missouri is in the Ozark Mountains. In 1717, the Ulster-Scots, aka Scots-Irish, began to move to the area which was by then mostly abandoned or otherwise depopulated by the indigenous population after a 13th century famine.

The Ozarks, a mix of the Shire and Rivendell

Rich, slave-owning planters on the South Coast called the new inhabitants "hillbillies" because (according 
to one theory) as Protestants back in the British Isles, they had supported William III "Billy" of Orange and lived in the hills/highlands.

During the Civil War, Missouri was split between pro-Union sympathizers and those who were pro-Confederate. The state was represented by stars on both
nations' flags. Confederate sympathizers called Border Ruffians waged war the impoverished hillbillies who were often pro-Union. 

The Chicago Tribune wrote of them as “a queer-looking set, slightly resembling human beings, but more closely allied … to wild beasts…They never shave or comb their hair, and their chief occupation is loafing around whiskey shops, squirting tobacco juice, and whittling with a dull jack-knife.” The next few years, in addition to the Civil War, the state became mired in what was known as the Bushwacker War.

The Ozarks continue to have a distinct culture. They call heavy downpours "gully washers" or "frog stranglers." They say "yins" instead of "y'all." Ozarkians frequently complain about characterizations of them as poor, crazy, sleazy, gun-toting, moonshine-making, backwards folk and then they go and sell stuff like a corncob as "Hillbilly toilet paper" in every gas station. And then there is a mountain in the Ozarks called "Knob Lick mountain." And every truck has a gun-rack in the window.

And they have both Branson...


...and the Precious Moments Chapel, founded by born-again Christian and family man Sam Butler, who was famously always accompanied by adolescent Filipino boys.

Ozarkians held the interest of film-goers and tv watchers, radio-listeners and comic-readers throughout the 20th century but particularly in the second,  which gave us:

Lum & Abner (1932)

Lil' Abner (1934)

Beverly Hillbillies (1962)

                                                         Snuffy Smith (1934)                                                                 Ma & Pa Kettle (1947)


Real Ozark Hillbillies

The slogan of Nixa, Missouri is "The Progressive Choice of the Ozarks." It has a Motel 8, a McDonald's, a Taco Bell, a Kentucky Fried Chicken, a Sonic Drive In, Otts Pasta, Smitty's Supermarket and Restaurant and five strip malls.

So, despite Nixa's wealth of riches, Jason/David gave it up and left. He must've learned to code-switch and eliminate aspects of his idiolect that would betray his hillbilly origins. He got involved with the government and the rest is detailed in the films.

The lastest Bourne film, the Bourne Ultimatum is a lot like the previous installments. It met my expectations. Jason goes to France, New York City, London, Russia, Spain and Tangier. He runs and chases and frequently metes out Krav Maga, a cool-looking fighting style developed by Jews first to protect themselves from Nazis in the 1930s, and perfected in Israel in the 1940s. 

After the Bourne Supremacy, Bourne fans' most common complaint was director Paul "shakycam" Greengrass' heavy reliance on that early 90s fad which is used, I guess, to make us feel like we're really there... like we're invisible and shaking whilst we watch the action from behind potted plants, writhing and convulsing completely unseen by the film's characters. Or maybe it's supposed to be the distracting Brechtian technique that it is, calling attention to itself, reminding us that this is a film, not real life, so remain detached and reflective. Whatever the reason, he uses it less, which still annoyed me because it doesn't need to be there at all. When my friend Hien saw it, he had to excuse himself to throw-up.

One other thing that totally confused me, and I am admittedly a bit slow, was Albert Finney as Albert Hirsh.

In the previous Bourne movies Ward Abbot was played by Brian Cox.

I spent the duration of the latest film thinking they were one in the same, whilst scratching my head trying to remember events of the previous two films. Blackbriar. Treadstone. Names and details don't seem that important but all of the sudden, Albert Finney comes in doing what seems like a Brian Cox impression with slobbery mumbles and looking over his glasses. Maybe I'm the only person that confuses them (although Brian Cox has a bit of Marlon Brando in him too).

Anyway, despite what I felt were relatively minor but annoying flaws, I came out of the theatre really wanting to get into a fight that involves whatever's in reach and to drive recklessly through the streets and alleys, and I think that's the real point.

August 13th in music history

Posted by Whitmore, August 13, 2007 05:20pm | Post a Comment

In a senseless act, legendary saxophonist King Curtis, born Curtis Ousley, is stabbed to death in front of his New York City brownstone on Friday August 13, 1971, during one of New York City’s nastiest heat waves.  King Curtis was carrying an air conditioner into his apartment at 50 West 86th St. when he got into a scuffle with a group of men standing on the stoop doing drugs. He asked them to move, but during the subsequent argument one of them, Juan Montanez, pulled out a six-inch dagger and stabbed Curtis in the heart.

The attack was witnessed by Aretha Franklin and Sam Moore who were meeting Curtis to discuss a recording session he was to produce. Curtis was rushed to Roosevelt Hospital, but was dead on arrival. Four days later the funeral was held, Jesse Jackson performed the service. Curtis' band, The Kingpins, played an hour long version of 'Soul Serenade' and Aretha sang the spiritual 'Never Grow Old.' Here are some of the hits he played sax on:

Hang up My Rock and Roll Shoes - CHUCK WILLIS - (highest charting) #24
The Stroll - DIAMONDS - #4-
What Am I Living For - CHUCK WILLIS - #9
Yakety Yak - COASTERS - #1
Along Came Jones - COASTERS - #9
Charlie Brown - COASTERS - #2
I Cried a Tear - LAVERN BAKER - #6
Little Egypt - COASTERS - #23
Tossin’ and Turnin’ - BOBBY LEWIS - #1
Peppermint twist - JOEY DEE  - #1
Respect - ARETHA FRANKLIN - #1
I Heard It Through The Grapevine - GLADYS KNIGHT & THE PIPS - #2

Some of King Curtis’s solo singles:

Soul Twist - #17
Memphis Soul Stew - #33
Ode to Billy Joe - #28
In 1990 Curtis Mayfield, best known as the lead singer for The Impressions and for composing the soundtrack to the blaxploitation film “Superfly,” is paralyzed from the neck down in an onstage accident after high winds cause a 600 pound lighting rig to fall on him at a concert in Brooklyn, New York at the Martin Luther King Music Festival. Eyewitnesses described the moment as “A small twister of some sort tornado-like, just came out of nowhere.” He was 48 years of age at the time of the accident.

But one great earth shaking event did happen on this day, though it would go unnoticed for years and years, Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton records the original version of  "Hound Dog" in 1952.

Intellectual Property Violations Case Raises Many Issues

Posted by Billyjam, August 13, 2007 11:30am | Post a Comment
harry potter NON-FICTION TALE

Have you heard the true tale of the 16 year old French lad who painstakingly translated (from English into French) all 759 pages of the new Harry Potter book (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) in record-breaking time and within days of its July 21st release date, and then posted it online? If so, you know that this time-consuming task landed him in jail and also facing serious charges of intellectual property violation. 

Now what he did, of course, was illegal, but the smart, swift French high-schooler is hardly a hardened criminal. And it is important to note that he was not trying to make any money off the book or receive any kind of payment for his intense, time-consuming job of translating an entire book. One reason why it is seems crazy to me to go after this young individual is because anyone who is going to read an entire book online (which is a pain in the ass -- most people only read one page online before tiring of staring at their computer screens) is obviously too cheap to buy it in the first place and secondly because if you were to print out all 759 pages you would end up spending more on ink cartridges and paper than if you were to go buy the book itself at the store.

And if you read it online so as to know the story ending before it was published and available in stores, then you are such a diehard Harry Potter fan that you will -- undoubtedly -- have to later buy a copy of the book to own. It is just like the music file downloaders who, while downloading like crazy, also purchase the most music online.

10 Suggestions For A Summer Mix - Gomez Comes Alive! Favorite tracks of 2007 (So Far)

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, August 12, 2007 02:45am | Post a Comment
track                                         artists                                                    album title

Cumbia De Los Aburridos     Calle 13                                                 Residente o Vistante
Oración Acere                          Spam All-Stars                                     Eletrodomésticos
Para No Vivir Desesperado  Mexican Institute Of Sound                Pinata
Mundo Insólito                         Toy Selectah & Up Bustle & Out       Mexican Sessions
Tifit Hayed                                 Wganda Kenya                                   Colombia!
Tambo Iya                                 Ricardo Eddy Martinez                      Si Para Usted
Grande de Cadera                  Sonidero Nacional                             Tributo A Los Mas Grandes
Crazy In Kingston                    Beatconductor                                     The Greastest Hits of GAMM
Café Con Sangre                    Jose Conde Y Ola Fresca                 Revolucion
Nuestras Demandas               B-Side Players                                    Fire In The Youth


Posted by phil blankenship, August 11, 2007 08:58pm | Post a Comment

New Star Video 1008

hysteron proteron: part three

Posted by Whitmore, August 11, 2007 12:30pm | Post a Comment

Charles Saatchi, with his brother, founded the international advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi, but Charles' greater fame is as an art collector who has dominated the contemporary art market in Britain since the early 1980s. In fact, the the 1999 retrospective, “Young British Artists: The Saatchi Decade,” uses his name to define an entire contemporary art scene. Yeah, it would be cool to convince him to “invest” in our arty little 7 inch record boxes and help out us poor old ‘45 Room’ employees with our kid’s college funds, but word on the boulevard is he’s a recluse. In my book that’s just a fancy word for record geek. And that Mr. Saatchi is a compliment. I'll be waiting on your call!

Anyway, here is some more 45 Room artiness: Enjoy.

Will It Soon Be No-Tube?

Posted by Billyjam, August 11, 2007 08:43am | Post a Comment
If you want to watch the fun-looking Flavor Flav Roast on Comedy Central tomorrow (Sunday 8/12 @ 10PM), best to plan on catching it live on TV and not on YouTube in clips at a later time since the media giant that owns the cable station, Viacom, is doing everything in its power to stop clips from being broadcast on YouTube. And Viacom is not alone in their war on the Google owned YouTube. Earlier this week they were joined by several other TV broadcasters and publishing companies in a major copyright infringement lawsuit against the popular video file sharing website. These proceedings ultimately mean that we should most likely now begin the countdown to the final days of YouTube. One of those involved in the legal proceedings, The National Music Publishers' Association, said it is joining the lawsuit "out of concern that many songwriters aren't receiving proper compensation when their music appears on YouTube videos." Additionally, Viacom Inc. (which, besides Comedy Central, also owns MTV and other stations) and the Football Association Premier League are also part of the lawsuit against YouTube/Google. And while this lawsuit seems crazy for many reasons, including that most artists make no money off of past videos played on TV anyway -- never mind crummy quality dubs on YouTube, which most people only view and don't download (unlike with Napster in its famous lawsuit some years back) -- it certainly looks like it signals the final days of YouTube, at least as it exists today. So my advice: enjoy YouTube while you can.

Revenge Of The Nerds

Posted by phil blankenship, August 10, 2007 08:59pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba Music & Phil Blankenship are proud to present:

Saturday August 11

Revenge Of The Nerds (1984)

They've been laughed at, picked on and put down. But now it's time for the odd to get even! Their time has come!

And now it's your time to catch this rare revival screening! With a special print straight from the 20th Century Fox VAULT !

New Beverly Cinema
7165 W Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 938-4038
Midnight, $7

Please come on down, tell your friends & repost!

Edited so I could include THIS:


Posted by Billyjam, August 10, 2007 03:22pm | Post a Comment

Manchester music maven Anthony Wilson, whose life was depicted in the movie 24 Hour Party People, died in hospital in England earlier today of a heart attack (Friday, August 10th), according to news reports from the BBC, Sky News, and NMEReportedly the former radio and TV broadcaster, record label boss and owner of the legendary Hacienda nightclub, who had been suffering from cancer, died at the Christie Hospital in Manchester. He was 57 and last year was diagnosed with kidney cancer and had been in hospital receiving treatment since with the life-prolonging drug Sutent.

Wilson founded the famous Hacienda and was one of five co-founders of Factory Records, which produced bands such as New Order and the Happy Mondays during a period in the 80s dubbed "Madchester." See the clip below in which Steve Coogan plays Wilson in the great 2002 movie 24 Hour Party People and is teased in this funny closing by the God character for not signing the Smiths. And below the 24 Hour Party People clip is an interview with the real Tony Wilson from British TV, in a show about the Factory and Joy Division. For a full tribute to Wilson, read the recommended obit in the UK paper theGuardian from 8/13.



Posted by Billyjam, August 10, 2007 12:38pm | Post a Comment
gavin newsomTrick or Treat?
Apparently San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom, seen here trying on his new Halloween costume, didn't get the memo from his own office that the City of San Francisco had canceled all public Halloween celebrations in the city, including the traditional Halloween in the Castro party. As announced Wednesday by San Francisco City officials, there will be "no official Halloween celebration anywhere in San Francisco in October" (including at the downtown AT&T parking lot, which was rumored as a possible alternative party spot to the Castro). This decision is no doubt due to violence at previous Halloweens in the Castro -- notably last year when a shooting incident left nine people injured. Therefore, the normally celebratory Mayor Newsom, who just over the past few days named August "Barry Bonds Month" and named Wednesday "Virgin America Day" (as in the Richard Branson airline), could easily have named October "SF Halloween-Hater Month."

While I do not wish to see anyone hurt anywhere at any time, I think that this move by the city of SF is BULLSHIT and it reminds me of when you are a kid in school and some clown in the class would do something wrong and instead of punishing the perpetrator the teacher would, unfairly, punish the entire class. And just like in those school days, when the teacher's actions merely frustrated and aggravated the law-abiding majority, so too will this action by the city officials of SF merely frustrate the average Bay Area resident who wants to enjoy a San Francisco tradition -- Halloween in the Castro. It is also not unlike the move several years ago by the leaders of the city across the Bay, who voted to shut down Oakland's famed traditional Festival at the Lake (Lake Merritt) due to many young black males "cruising" in their cars and incidents of violence in the surrounding neighborhoods (not even at the Lake).  And did the Oakland police action curb violence in the East Bay city? Not at allbarry bonds


Posted by Billyjam, August 10, 2007 09:45am | Post a Comment

When San Francisco's legendary movie palace the Castro Theatre -- which this weekend is celebrating its 85th year anniversary -- first opened back in June of 1922, the price for a loaf of bread was 5 cents, a newspaper cost 2 cents, and a man's haircut or, alternately, the cost of admission to the Castro movie theater was 25 cents. And tomorrow morning at 11AM (Saturday 8/11), the price of admission will be rolled back to 1922 prices when the historic theater charges only a quarter for admission to a screening of Laurel and Hardy's Way Out West (see clip below) plus some classic cartoons. This is great opportunity to see the classic comedy duo in their 1937 film on the big screen. But it is also a great opportunity to absorb the beauty of the historic San Francisco landmark, famous for its Wurlitzer pipe organ, with the amazing interior and the Spanish Colonial Baroque facade that was designed by Timothy L Pflueger, who also designed Oakland's Paramount Theater.

All weekend great events/movies are planned for the Castro Theatre's 85th year anniversary celebration - although not for 25 cents, but still, at $6 to $9 for most weekend screenings, it is a lot less than going to your local multiplex. These screenings include Clark Gable in San Francisco followed by live music by the Barbary Coast Jazz Ensemble, plus the Maltese Falcon (Saturday night starting at 7PM). And on Sunday night at 7PM, Warren Lubich will play the famous Wurlitzer as accompaniement to a screenig of Phantom of the Opera, plus a screening of Laurel and Hardy's Big Business.

hysteron proteron: part two

Posted by Whitmore, August 9, 2007 11:30pm | Post a Comment

Here we are, once again with more examples of the fine artwork rendered on our used 7 inch record boxes. Some of these formerly plain/primitive, white cardboard boxes are on the Amoeba Hollywood floor available for your perusal; others are, for now, hidden away in what we call The 45 Room, a paradise for geeky record romantics everywhere who might whisper in hushed tones: “Ahh! Vinyl Shangri-la!” But to those not familiar with supernatural powers of the little record with the big hole, The 45 Room might as well be simply called "that used 7 inch pricing room." O' to be so misunderstood! That is the life record collectors must endure, or if you must: record geeks.

The question I’m often asked: “Hey, Whitmore, if the 45 room is actually a Shangri-la, a heaven on earth so to speak, is there an afterlife, like a 7 inch heaven? And if there is a 7 inch heaven, is there a 7 inch god?”

I always answer with a glint in my eye and a friendly, bemused smirk, “You know, I’m not sure, but I’d like to think there is one somewhere out there in the dark surrounded by platters and acetates.”

Hopefully you’ll enjoy this further examination of Amoeba’s own home grown outsider art. And just like there is always another used gem of a record coming on down the pike, there’s always some new artwork gunning its engine, ready to lay some rubber down in Amoeba Hollywood.

Rapid Fire

Posted by phil blankenship, August 9, 2007 10:44pm | Post a Comment

AIP Home Video 7017

siskel & ebert on the web

Posted by Brad Schelden, August 9, 2007 07:23pm | Post a Comment
 I don't know about you, but I have been a big Siskel & Ebert fan since I can remember liking movies. I would try to watch their show every Sunday when I got a chance. Half the time they would review movies that I was not even allowed to go see. But it still caught my interest and I think helped to develop my obsession for the movies. I had not really been watching it that much over the last 10 years. But now with the great amazing invention of the DVR, I can watch it every week. Somebody has to really change the way that shows get ratings, now that so many people watch their shows on DVRs. I feel bad that nobody really knows the shows that I support by watching every week. But I guess most advertisers don't care if you are watching their shows on you DVR since you are most likely fast forwarding through their commercials that they pay so much money for you to watch.

I really always wanted to be a Nielsen Family. Unfortunately you can't volunteer to be one.  They must pick you. It is a little weird that I have never met a Nielsen family. Has anybody you've know even know one. I kind of think the whole thing is a big scam. There is probably only like 2 Nielsen families with horrible taste that are deciding the fate of our favorite TV shows. I mean, how else would shows like "Everybody Loves Raymond" last 9 years. I have never met anyone who watched that show. Home Improvement lasted 8 seasons, yet My So-Called Life was canceled. Major Dad lasted 4 years and Twin Peaks only 2? Who are these Nielsen families?
This is what they have to say on the official website...

Q. "Why Have I never met a Nielsen Family"

A. "Actually, you may have. There are hundreds of thousands of "Nielsen families", including diary and metered households. We ask our households not to reveal they are in the Nielsen Media Research panel. This protects their privacy and helps ensure the integrity of the panel. In the few cases where homes have revealed their NielsenTV status, we removed them from the metered panels or disregarded their diaries."

Gross. Jack White Has Another Kid.

Posted by Miss Ess, August 9, 2007 05:01pm | Post a Comment
Ok, it's not really gross. I kid, I kid.

It's actually very sweet, of course.

Jack White has this wife named Karen Elson; Here's what she looks like, no joke:

...and she had another baby on Tuesday, for all you Stripes fans playing along at home.

It's a boy and his name is Henry Lee.
How appropriate. Good for them, and all that.

They already have a baby girl named Scarlett Teresa. Awwwwww.....
You gotta love a guy who names his daughter after his ow

Here Comes the Bridezilla! Instead of Wedding Bells, I Hear The Imperial March....

Posted by Miss Ess, August 9, 2007 03:05pm | Post a Comment
The word alone evokes so much these days.  I am sure you all know exactly what I am writing about.  They are really so common.  I have  myself recently experienced the morphing of a friend into a complete and utter Bridezilla.  It was not unexpected, but still, it was not pretty, that's all I can say.  Whomever came up with the term is a genius-- it's just so simple, so to-the-point...

I don't have cable but, perhaps (desperately trying to come up with any rational explanation for my behavior here) to have some form of commiseration about my off-the-charts coo coo friend/Bridezilla, I have been able to wrestle up DVDs of Season 1 of the We (network) reality show Bridezillas. 

I know, I know.  It's a sickness.  This is probably a new low for this blog.  But there is something about weddings and the emotional havoc they wreak that makes me love to watch the show! It's definitely good to be at a distance from the madness instead of having it in real life. I guess I should add though (deep breath, full disclosure), I am a closet  fan of TLC's A Wedding Story too.  There, now you know everything about me.  These shows are my true guilty pleasure.  No, I am not ashamed of the pleasure I derive from my Entertainment Tonight addiction-- I would shout about it from the rooftops; Something about enjoying wedding shows is much more uncomfortable to admit to myself.

It's kind of weird that I like them at all: I swear I am not one of those gals whose parents dressed her in a tiara and told her she was a princess. I have no idea if I will ever get married and, if I do, what my dress will look like or anything like that.  I suppose I should be plumbing the depths of my soul to figure out why the hell I care about wedding shows, but honestly, I just don't have the energy for that. 

I do, however, seem to have plenty of energy to sit back and watch wedding drama unfold from the comfort of my own couch.  The Bridezillas on the show are not as bad as the title would make you think.  Sure, they are whiny, they are bitchy, they spend sick amounts of money to have it their way and their fiances' eyes inevitably are caught rolling, but I am a bit disappointed with the lack of out and out lunacy that I admit I was hoping for.  The women on the show have a more covert method to their madness.  They demand without screaming, for the most part, and maybe the real lunacy is in how they just expect that their every whim will automatically be catered to.  And it happens. 

Note the husband to be's pleased expression and total involvement.

I should mention, the women followed documentary-style on the show are all living in New York City, and as NYC residents they expect only the best of the best and really do have a larger sense of entitlement than perhaps many women throughout the rest of the country.  It's just a simple fact.  Everything seems to have to be on an even grander scale there.  I love you, New York...from afar, that is.

The brides are completely caught up in the fantasy aspect of it all.  Most seem to have known exactly what their wedding would look like from childhood!  I suppose because they have held this dream for so long they are that much more ardently dedicated to seeing their dream come to complete, flawless fruition.......They will do ANYTHING  to make it all happen, and all the while their fiances sit like lumps and nod along or hide completely from the raging intensity of their brides-to-be.  Makes you wonder what they are thinking, but something tells me the answer to that is NOT MUCH.

This seems to be what most brides want. 
Anyone else stay tuned to see how this one turned out??

I love how the recurring soundtrack to the show is the Sugar Plum Fairy bit from The Nutcracker.  The brides are frantically and anxiously awaiting their sparkling all-eyes-on-me moment. The women are so unerringly focused on their own "specialness," on how this day among all others must be the Most Perfect.  Nothing less.  It really is somewhat mesmerizing.

After making it through about 7 episodes of the show, the recurring theme seems to be that by the last few days before the wedding NO ONE is having fun anymore and most couples/everyone else involved just end up worked to the bone and wanting to get it over with.  It's crazy and pointless to me how on the show the couples spend so much money, time and energy that by the wedding date their momentum has broken and they are so exhausted they just push through, get married and get it the hell over with.  There doesn't seem to be much real joy in it, it's more robotic by that point.  So what is the point then?

As with so many things in my life, I am equally fascinated and disgusted by these Bridezillas' behavior, their focus, and what they get away with, and it makes me continue watching the show ...

Brandi Shearer Kicks off NYC series @ Living Room tonight

Posted by Billyjam, August 9, 2007 02:33pm | Post a Comment

Brandi Shearer
, the premiere artist on the Amoeba Music record label, returns to the Living Room at 154 Ludlow Street in New York City tonight (Thursday August 9th) to kick off her Thursday nights at the Living Room in August series at the Lower East Side (LES) location. Brandi Shearer's anticipated new album Close To Dark -- the first release on the new Amoeba Music record label -- is slated for release in a few weeks, on August 28th, and tonight Shearer will be including many songs off it in her set, which begins early, at 7PM. Also performing at the Living Room tonight will be Lipbone Redding (8PM) and Cresent and Frost (9PM). There is no cover but a suggested $5 tip jar at the Living Room. Tonight is week one of a series of shows that Brandi will be doing for the next couple of Thursdays at the Living Room, including August 16th and 23rd. Also note that the singer/songwriter will be performing in Philadelphia, PA this weekend on Saturday night at the World Cafe, upstairs on a bill with the Anthony Lattanze Band-- 9PM is showtime.

When Brandi last performed at the Living Room a couple of months ago, she played the more intimate upstairs room (Googie's Lounge), but this time round she will perform in the larger downstairs performance space. If you happen to be reading this while you are in New York City on any of the Thursdays that Brandi Shearer is playing (Aug 9, 16. 23), head for this recommended show and hang out afterwards in this cool part of town.  And if you cannot make it to any of these nights this month but have future plans of being in NYC sometime soon, make a mental note of the club and the immediate LES neighborhood it is situated in, as it is well worth a visit.


Posted by Billyjam, August 9, 2007 08:15am | Post a Comment

When I ran into aspiring young Bay Area rap star Yung Nittlz at the recent Showtime @ the Apollo Amateur NIght tryouts at the Oakland Convention Center, he was handing out his self-designed promo item -- an oversized five dollar bill with his image and contact info. What really impressed me is that Yung Nittlz, as his name implies, is young. Very young -- 13 years of age, and already the freshman at Berkeley High School has taught himself to make beats, and has written and recorded two albums worth of music, set up his MySpace, and found time to perfect his computer design skills by designing things such as his Five Dolla Promo item to promote his song "Money In The Air" that he printed out (two-sided) and cut to size at his local Copy Central. (Note: for my full report on the Showtime at the Apollo Oakland tryouts -- previewed in earlier AMOEBLOG -- check out this week's San Francisco Bay Guardian).

When I saw his cool promo item I remembered that the Luniz -- or rather their label Noo Trybe, a division of Virgin -- created a similar promo item upon the release of the Oakland duo's debut album Operation Stackola (which reached stores on July 4, 1995) and its huge hit single "I Got Five On It." But that was a long time ago, when 13 year old Yung Nittlz was a baby -- only age one. It was a time when labels were still making money (as in profits, not promo funny-money), especially rap labels or divisions, and were often extremely creative and experimental in their promo items. Many others (especially Yay Area rappers) have used paper money as promotional material, including the Conscious Daughters for their comeback album (pictured right).

Moving Targets

Posted by phil blankenship, August 8, 2007 05:38pm | Post a Comment

Academy Home Entertainment 1079

Whiskers on roses & raindrops on kittens: V. Rondo

Posted by Job O Brother, August 8, 2007 10:22am | Post a Comment

5.) The Haunted Mansion

Last I checked, Amoeba Music is not selling any of these, no matter how much I pester management that there is a ready market for it.

I don’t know what it says about me, but as a child growing up on the sunny island of Oahu, I dreamed incessantly of once again returning to the Haunted Mansion, located on the edge of New Orleans Square in the Magic Kingdom of Disneyland in Anaheim in California on the Mainland…


Something about the temperature, the hues of dark greens, blues and violet, set a-glow by thousands of volts of black light; a soundtrack of pipe organ and church bells… It made a young Job feel at home. I can’t account for it, but that’s how it felt and, infantile as it may seem (maybe even perverse) it still does.

Once inside, I would never want to leave. At age five, I stood at the base of the escalator that took people from the end of the ride to the outside world, and cried. I’m sure people who passed me assumed I was crying because the ride had scared me, when in actuality, I wanted to move in.

I was a deeply unpopular child.

Every once in a while, a copy of the Haunted Mansion soundtrack will pop up in my section of Amoeba. It was only sold at the Park, and even then in limited edition batches (though they re-release them). Most anything Disney on c.d. goes out of print and instantly becomes a collector’s item; there’s always a market for the stuff. There’s people out there right now, who have left their babies alone in cribs, as they hunt for anything with that recognizable Disney logo stamped on it.
(Confession time: When a c.d. simply will not sell in my section, I just hand-draw this emblem on it, then stand back and wait for the bidding war between customers who suddenly must own this “rare release by Disney of the ‘Inside Deep Throat’ soundtrack”.)*

It should go without saying that this entry on my list of "guaranteed bliss" has nothing to do with the Eddie Murphy film based on the ride. I have never seen this movie, for the same reason that I never want to see the photos of Marilyn Monroe's corpse: Eddie Murphy stresses me out.

This is what my Santa looks like - a portrait from the gallery of the Mansion

If you're like me... well, first of all, my condolences... and thoughts of the Haunted Mansion elicit more euphoria than phobia, it may interest you to know there's others like us. You can find them here.

It’s been years since I’ve been to Disneyland. In fact, moving to Los Angeles three years ago is about the time I stopped going. This is not by choice! So if any of you readers out there have plans to go, drop me a line and invite me, please. I promise I will not cry inside the Haunted Mansion…


6.) Sonic Youth

They're a band. They have albums. Y'know.

*This is not true, I have never done this; don't go scribbling the Disney emblem on some record you scratched and try to return it to Amoeba for a refund.

hysteron proteron: part one

Posted by Whitmore, August 7, 2007 10:22pm | Post a Comment

The great Amoeba Hollywood enigma that is  “The 45 Room.”  Some simply refer to this veiled   room as the “used 7 inch pricing room,” but for others, sweaty with desire: “Vinyl Shangri-la.”

Does it really exist, and if so, where? What goes on in there? Who are they? Why is it invisible to non-believers?

Questions abound yet few answers come into the light under ampoule fluorescente compacte.

Inquirers try to penetrate this mysterious place of secret societies revolving/evolving from a dim tiny room, but to no avail.

There are so many myths. Startling tales and conspiracy theories abound, sounding not unlike the outlandish yarns associated with Area 51, Skull and Bones, the Bohemian Club or the Maury/Vashon Island incident of 1947 (look that puppy up!!) ….

One extraordinary 45 room rumor involves a holy modal ceremony around a stack of power-pop 45’s sacrificed at the feet of a giant forty-foot statue of Murry Wilson (aka Daddy Beach Boys). Can this be true? In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king ...

What about the reported appearance of “men in black” or "suits" canvassing, i.e. shopping, in the death metal area and the complex chain of events dating from last July 2, on what would have been Murry Wilson’s 90th birthday -- and my birthday no less -- once again, there are no coincidences…. Management promised those fellows were just from Accounting. Really? Since when do accountants afford such nice threads? There is more, trust me ... but reprisals loom ... but many answers are encrypted in the art work below, just use your Amoeba decoder rings.

Well, let’s look inside this long misunderstood milieu (a den of vinyl antiquity, if you please) and analyze The 45 Room culture. Western anthropologists argue culture is “human nature” and that all people, even record store employees, have a capacity to classify experiences and encode classifications symbolically. Let’s start with an appreciation of their art and how The 45 Room decorates primitive white cardboard boxes, used to display 7 inch records, in an attempt to define a multitude of music genres’ hysteron proteron.

Whiskers on roses & raindrops on kittens: IV. Pax de deus

Posted by Job O Brother, August 7, 2007 05:54pm | Post a Comment

4.) “The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie”

This is a film by the great, Surrealist, film director, Luis Buñuel. It came out in 1972 and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film (“The Garden of the Finzi-Continis” won).

While most any of Buñuel’s films qualify for this list, I singled out this one because it makes me laugh the most, and that’s something I need right now.

It’s mostly in French, so those of you who get sudden attacks of spinal meningitis at the mere thought of reading subtitles would do well to overlook this one. (Le grand art n'est pas pour des lâches!) However, if you can appreciate a film that is an adventure, that challenges you, and doesn’t necessarily answer the questions it itself poses, check it out. Also, if you like many foxy ladies, that helps, too.

 Girls with curls and big long locks, and beatnik chicks just wearing their smocks

While decidedly a comedy, and absurd to the point of astonishing, it is also a biting critique of social classes, with the wealthy being a primary target.

What is it about? Well, pretty much, it’s about a group of friends who keep trying to have a dinner party and failing again and again and again. And again. I know, you can’t wait to see it now, right? But really, it’s a gas. (Just be grateful I didn’t recommend another favorite, Goddard’s “Weekend”, which I find equally gay, but wouldn’t dream of recommending unless you were really serious about these pretentious French films.)

Another meal spoilt

As an added bonus, “Discreet Charm” has been released by Criterion Collection, so you know you can count on it having a cool, artsy menu page and bonus features in which really old people talk about how great it was to make a movie everyone thought was probably evil.

This Week At The New Beverly Cinema

Posted by phil blankenship, August 7, 2007 12:26pm | Post a Comment
From our good friends at the New Bev:

Get yerself down to the New Bev tonight!

Its your last chance to catch


Tonight at 7:30.

Wednesday the 8th and Thursday the 9th we have Soderbergh's


Friday the 10th and Saturday the 11th, its Wong Kar Wai's

IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE & DAYS OF BEING WILD AT 7:30 with an additional double feature
on Saturday at 3:40

Saturday the 11th at midnight we have Amoeba Music's midnight screening of


This coming Sunday, the 12th we have another special event at the New beverly!!!

We are showing HOT FUZZ & SHAUN OF THE DEAD and director Edgar Wright will be there
to introduce all screenings on Sunday!!! Both at 3:!5 and 7:30!!!

We are also showing Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead on Monday the 13th and Tuesday
the 14th at 7:30.

The new Bev is the place to be!! See ya there!!

New Beverly Cinema
7165 W Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 938-4038


Posted by phil blankenship, August 7, 2007 11:12am | Post a Comment

Embassy Home Entertainment 1613


Posted by Billyjam, August 7, 2007 08:00am | Post a Comment

Located on Telegraph Avenue near 66th Street in North Oakland, close to the Berkeley border, is the unique hair salon and vintage boutique Down At Lulu's -- which is owned and run by the fun, music-minded duo of Tina Lucchesi and Seth Bogart, two good friends who both happen to love music, fashion, hairdressing, and retro rock culture. They also clearly love what they do at Down At Lulu's which, while only a little over a year old, has won a Best of the Bay award and gained a strong clientele. The store, which is located roughly midway between the White Horse pub and the Smokehouse burger joint, has a festive storefront window with the large glittery words GABBA GABBA HEY -- a nod to one of their mutual favorite bands, the Ramones. Inside are records (not a whole lot, but carefully selected ones), cool clothing, and of course, the hair styling stations. I recently stopped by the store and caught up with Tina (Seth was away on tour with his band), who talked about Down At Lulu's, and about her and Seth's interests and passions -- especially music.

AMOEBLOG: How would you describe Down At Lulu's to someone who has never seen it?

TINA: Hmmm !!! A John Waters, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, Rock N Roll High School, the Madonna Inn, Rock N Roll Burrito!

AMOEBLOG: How exactly did Down At Lulu's come into being?

out today 8/7...okkervil river...flight of the conchords...

Posted by Brad Schelden, August 6, 2007 10:34pm | Post a Comment
This little band called Okkervil River have been a band for almost 10 years. They come from the wonderful little town called Austin, Texas.  Austin is actually not really that little. Not only is it the capital of Texas but it is also the 16th largest city in the United States. It is also home to that little festival called South by Southwest and that brilliant little band called Explosions in the Sky. Although Okkervil River have been around for a while, I really think that this is the album that is going to make them big stars. Or maybe just a little bit bigger stars. They really are brilliant. Any fan of the Shins should for sure also be an Okkervil fan. Imagine the Shins mixed up with some Will Oldham and Willie Nelson along with some darker bands like Black Heart Procession or Arab Strap. "Stage Names" is basically their fourth real album and it comes out this week.

I have been hearing friends talk about this band for years. Numerous people told me of their great devotion for Okkervil. But I didn't really give them the time they deserved until the last album, "Black Sheep Boy." The album was great and a bit magical. It got a lot of praise as I am sure  this new one will get as well. I say magical mostly because of singer Will Sheff. He has one of those voices that is really easy to fall in love with. He is also in the band Shearwater with Jonathan Meiburg.
As I have been talking about this band more lately, I have also found out that many of my friends also like Okkervil River. It is always a nice little surprise to find out some of your friends like a band that you had hoped they would like.

SnakeEater II The Drug Buster

Posted by phil blankenship, August 6, 2007 08:55pm | Post a Comment

Paramount Home Video 12908

Frankenstein Cumbia - Last Of The Broke Back Blogs

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, August 6, 2007 08:47pm | Post a Comment
So my back is almost healed. It’s probably at 70%, a passing grade to most, but I feel 100 times better than I felt just a few weeks ago. One of the things I could not do, besides sit or stand for long periods of time, was go dancing. During that time I went to see Calle 13 in concert and I had to stay perfectly in place or experience more pain than I already had. It was a hard task. Calle 13’s band is amazing! They had three percussionists and a horn section. Residente and Vistante of Calle 13 are step-brothers and they had their kid sister (P-13) as a their back-up singer. She looks like a b-girl but sounds like Toto La Momposina, the Afro-Colombian singer. The Calle 13 album, Residente o Visitante, is still one of my favorites of this year. I wanted to dance, even with the pain in my back, but when I tried to dance it looked odd. Imagine Frankenstein dancing to Cumbia and that is what I looked like. (My girl probably still thinks I dance like that, even when I don’t have a bad back.) I appreciated that no one laughed at me. The people at the show had class. Not what I’d expect from a Reggaeton show, but then again, this is Calle 13, one of the more intelligent groups out there.

Class is something that some people severely lack. I hate to generalize but some of the most awful displays of low class that I’ve seen have come from affluent people. People with money and success can act the most “ghetto,” as they like to call it. The funny thing is that you can’t get away with that kind of an attitude in most barrios, otherwise someone would put you in check. Last week after I finished my DJ set at Zanzibar (insert shameless self-promotion here) in Santa Monica, I sat with my lady to have a drink. There was an older gentleman that was way into the music we were playing that night. He looked like he could have been someone’s Anthropology professor. He had a little bit of an Australian outback look to him. Anyhow, he was dancing by himself, a little strangely, but harmless. A group of drunken West Side peeps came into the club during Mexican Dubweiser’s set. One Paris Hilton knock-off noticed the guy and immediately started taunting him by dancing just like him. The guy stopped dancing, perhaps conscious of the fact that she was making fun of him. I quietly fumed as I continued to watch the bitchy Paris Hilton knock-off prance around the club.

Why would anyone feel the need to do that? She was, as Fat Albert said, “Like school on a Saturday, no class!” I guess some people never get out of high school. Before I could feel sorry for the guy, he was back up, dancing his ass off. What looked like defeat was just a breather for the Anthropology teacher. Paris Hilton knock-off or no Paris Hilton knock-off, the man was there to dance and no one was going to ruin his fun. Soon the Paris Hilton clone was gone, perhaps to terrorize another club. I really admired the guy. He didn’t give two cents about what anyone thought of him. He was going to have fun, period.

I wanted to go on the dance floor and bust out my Frankenstein Cumbia moves next to him in solidarity against those who continue to oppress fun for the sake of their fragile egos. Perhaps now that my back feels better, I will.

Whiskers on roses & raindrops on kittens: III. Interlude

Posted by Job O Brother, August 6, 2007 01:53pm | Post a Comment

3.) Edvard Munch.

Edvard Munch was a Norwegian, “Symbolist” painter who lived from 1863 to 1944 and has nothing for sale at Amoeba Music.

Whiskers on roses & raindrops on kittens: II. Adagio

Posted by Job O Brother, August 6, 2007 01:16pm | Post a Comment

2.) “The Ugly One With the Jewels”

The above is a title to an album by Laurie Anderson. It was released in 1995.

Anyone who knows me knows how much I revere this artist. Many of you are at least aware of her “hit”, the eerie and off-putting “O Superman (For Massenet)”, which unexpectedly made #2 on the UK Charts in 1981, thanks largely to its championing by the late, great John Peel.

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha: Laurie Anderson

While most of her albums will inevitably split a room of people in two camps, with either side feeling passionate of how her songs make them feel, “The Ugly One With the Jewels” is one of her most accessible and entertaining albums, and many people who would not otherwise appreciate her more “difficult music” will still enjoy this album.

It is not my favorite – for me, nothing trumps her epic work “United States” (which is available as a live performance album consisting of four compact discs). Still, “Ugly One” is magical to me; it’s like walking through a dream, awake.

The album consists almost entirely of spoken word; stories that are autobiographical. It was recorded live in London for what sounds like a perfect audience.

Anderson’s life is one worth hearing about. Few people have a taste for adventure like her, and her droll, dry style of story-telling on this record shows-off her comedic skill, something she values in herself that others rarely remark on, mostly due, I’m sure, to her being of the avant-garde.

*Sigh...* - Andy Kaufman

She tells stories about her close friendship to one of my other “favorites”, the comedian/performance artist, Andy Kauffman; a story about how, one very hot day, she decided to hitchhike to the North Pole, and did; a story about meeting a Balinese prince and his entertaining her by showing her racecars and hours of footage of his father’s funeral.

"Did I tell you the one about the fun Iraqi arms dealer?" - Laurie performs

Her low voice, accompanied by atmospheric synthesizer and samplings of small animals makes for a hypnotic experience. It is sometimes poignant, sometimes hilarious, and always intriguing. It’s the perfect soundtrack to an afternoon nap, with all the curtains drawn, or as a lullaby before bedtime. It is the opposite of what you want to be blasting from your iPod while you bench-press free-weights.

At some point, I assume I will write a more thorough blog about Laurie Anderson, but I wanted to isolate this one album as something that, regardless of my mood, causes me to melt.


Posted by Billyjam, August 6, 2007 08:00am | Post a Comment

#    TITLE                                  VIEWS:            Date Posted:

1) The Mountain Goats (Pt 1)                   388,617                      Sept 5, 2006
2) Rodrigo Y Gabriela plays...                     14,381                     Jan 27, 2007
3) Feist at Amoeba Mushaboom               14,127                      Jan 22, 2006
4) Jamie Lidell "A little bit more"                13,281                      Feb 23, 2007
5) Against Me! acoustic                             12,321                      Aug 2, 2006
6) The Blood Brothers                                   9,579                       Oct 10, 2006
7) DJ Cheb I Sabbah @ Berkeley               7,882                       Nov 4, 2006
8) And You Will Know Us...Dead               6,343                       Sept 2, 2006            
9) The Mountain Goats (Part 3)                    5,993                       Sept 19, 2006
10) The Mountain Goats (Part 2)                  5,691                      Sept 12, 2006          

High School USA

Posted by phil blankenship, August 6, 2007 12:50am | Post a Comment

Karl-Lorimar Home Video 338

Whiskers on roses & raindrops on kittens: I. Overture

Posted by Job O Brother, August 5, 2007 11:29pm | Post a Comment

It was on this day in 1962 that Marilyn Monroe took her own life. Or, if conspiracy theories are to be believed, it marks the day that the Kennedy Family hired Reticulians to invade the actress’ home, kill her, make it look like a suicide, and then use snippets of her DNA to… I dunno… revive Adolf Hitler’s dehydrating brain. (I’m not as well-read when it comes to American history as I should be.)

It’s also the day that the Manson Family first killed, fulfilling the only thing possible that Charles Manson could do that would actually be worse than his music.

Ladies of the Canyon: "Gypsy", Ruth Anne & "Squeaky"

It’s also the anniversary of the day that Paul Tibbets flew his airplane, named after his mom, Enola Gay, over to Hiroshima, where he performed an act that would later be re-enacted by every Thai food delivery service that gets inside my apartment building.

"Look Ma, no mercy!" Paul Tibbets in the cockpit

I could go on. In short, it’s a particularly dark day in history. So I’m sitting with my beloved in his favorite café, Stir Crazy (at La Brea & Melrose), asking myself to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative; I’m calling upon myself to remember things – music, movies, flavors of Method cleaning products – that remind me that it is a beautiful world after all, and that Norma Jean didn't have the right idea, forty-five years ago.

The café’s stereo is playing Steely Dan, which I really like, but I can’t blog about how great Steely Dan is because my dear, sweet, wonderful boss, Karen, will fire my ass*.

And anyhow, at this point, it’s switched to Johnny Cash.

Okay… So, what makes me happy?

Lots of things make me happy, but what I want to pinpoint are those things that make me happy entirely – not distractions from modern anxiety and classical angst, rather, persons or art that overrides any temporal concern or self-consciousness and overwhelms my id with hella phat radness.

Let’s make a list. (By “let’s” I of course mean me, not you and I, as is implied by my choice of verbs, which wasn’t meant to be taken literally, but used to create a sense that you and I are of one purpose, which, because one of the fundamental needs of humans is intimacy, would ideally cause you to feel safe in the presence of my blog… you sweet thing, you.)

What follows then, is an incomplete list of proper nouns that rock my world:

1.) The Boswell Sisters.

You... shook me all night long - The Boswell Sisters

I once thought the Andrews Sisters were the bee’s knees, until I discovered the Boswell Sisters, the cat’s meow. The Andrews Sisters modeled themselves after the Boswells, and while I still enjoy a tune as warbled by LaVerne, Maxene and Patty, they do not come close to slaying me like their predecessors, Martha, Vet and Connee.

Their close harmonies are lulling yet spooky; intriguing like a walk in the woods at night, knowing that ghosts don’t really exist, but feeling as though they do. The sisters were raised in New Orleans, and you can hear the influence of early, Black American music in their vocal styling. Listening to such tunes as “Trav’lin” and “An Evening in Caroline”, it’s easy to imagine an alternate reality where Vivian Girls were used as slaves, singing work songs sounding like dirges sprinkled with fairy dust.

Connee, the middle sister, was mastermind of the group and arranged their distinctive tunes, often alternating traditionally major keys with minor ones, and vice versa.

Connee Boswell

Due to childhood health issues (which vary depending on sources) she performed and recorded either sitting, or in a wheelchair. This fact was never secret, but wasn’t an image that was promoted (kind of like that gap in Madonna’s teeth – we know it’s there but it’s not really a part of our collective focus).

Because of her “condition”, Connee wasn’t allowed to perform for the troops overseas. It was thought her being wheel-chair bound would demoralize the soldiers. (Funny, I would think it would be far more demoralizing to hand the soldiers weapons and tell them to kill people, but that’s why I’m not a commanding officer, I guess.)

After the sisters retired the act, Connee went on to enjoy a successful solo career, and while I own and enjoy the results of it, it is the work with her sisters that is the “Object of My Affection” (the title of the group’s biggest hit).

Ella Fitzgerald cited Connee as a major influence. I wish sesame bagels weren’t so fattening. Especially when slathered with an inch-thick layer of cream cheese. And Connee performed with Eddie Cantor! He’s another act that makes me happy. And she performed with Bing Crosby, whom I loathe – not only because his idea of teaching his kids not to sneak a cookie from the jar was to knock the bee-jesus out of them, but because that drunken jerk produced the daughter who would one day grow up to shoot JR Ewing.

"My Dad beat me which led me to shoot fictional Texans and wear obscene amounts of lip gloss."
Mary Crosby as Kristin Shepard on "Dallas"

Please accept my apologies for the above paragraph.

Of all the music that the Boswell Sisters recorded, no other record kills me so quick as their rendition of the Duke Ellington standard “Mood Indigo”. Upon hearing it, I literally go weak in the knees. The pace, the subtle swelling of the voices, and the labored but impetuous crooning of a lone clarinet conspire to make me woozy with delight. I recommend its use for trying to take advantage of me.

*This is a ridiculous exaggeration, written for humor, and should not be taken as a reflection of my employer’s personality, temperament, or work ethic, all of which are impeccable. But see, saying that isn’t very funny, is it?


Posted by Billyjam, August 5, 2007 03:15pm | Post a Comment
Although it is almost forty years old now, the Steve McQueen cops-and-bad-guys thriller Bullitt, featuring its famous San Francisco car-chase scene, is still a true classic, one that I could re-watch a hundred times. The 1968 film, directed by Peter Yates and available on DVD, in which McQueen plays tough SF police lieutenant Frank Bullitt, has not only great car-chase cinematography that makes you really feel like you are riding in the car, but if you are familiar with San Francisco, it is just so much fun to watch and try to figure out exactly which part of the city the cars are racing through (and they cover a lot of territory) or to note the changes in some parts of SF since they shot the film in '68. Check out the nine and a half minute car chase below, but if you want to see the whole movie on the big screen, there is an opportunity to do so tonight at 8PM (Sunday August 5th) at The Cannery in San Francisco at Del Monte Square, 2801 Leavenworth Street -- and the best part -- the tickets are FREE for the showing in the outdoor courtyard by the Fisherman's Wharf. To get further details either call first (415-771-3112) or go online ( The screening of Bullitt will mark the kickoff of the month long Movie Nights At the Cannery series.

Lee Hazlewood 1929 - 2007

Posted by Whitmore, August 5, 2007 10:30am | Post a Comment

Yesterday, August 4, Lee Hazlewood passed away from renal cancer at the age of 78 in his home in Las Vegas. Born Barton Lee Hazlewood in Mannford, Oklahoma in 1929, he was a music legend and viewed as one of the more iconoclastic figures of 20th-century pop. Just his baritone voice alone made him sound like a cantankerous, hard living son of a bitch. I suspect he was.

Hazlewood was mostly known for his work from the 1950s through the 1970s, he composed such masterpieces as “These Boots Are Made For Walking,”  “Some Velvet Morning,”  “Sand,”  “The Fool,”  “Summer Wine,”  “Houston” and “Trouble Is A Lonesome Town.” He built a reputation as a solo artist, producer, and label owner. In the 1950s he produced Duane Eddy developing the whole ‘twangy’ guitar sound. The single “Rebel Rouser,” co-written by both Eddy and Hazlewood, became a huge international hit in 1958.  As far as being in the public eye, 1965 was his breakthrough year when he teamed up with Nancy Sinatra for a string of hit singles and an album Nancy and Lee.  A few years later his own LHI label, released what is widely considered the first country-rock record, the International Submarine Band featuring Gram Parsons. Over the next couple of decades he produced a series of beautifully odd solo albums that were mostly unheard of in America until Sonic Youth reissued them in the 1990s. His final release, Cake Or Death (Ever), was released earlier this year. 

Side note: I once recorded one of Hazlewood’s songs about 6 or 7 years ago in a duet with Lisa Papineau. The song, “Leather and Lace” from The Cowboy in Sweden album, was the only cut from my CD that got any airplay. But hey! It charted in North Dakota, or was that South Dakota … Minnesota? And Mr. Hazlewood never sued me!

Platurn, Homeless, Best of Bay, Bootie, Patton Oswalt

Posted by Billyjam, August 4, 2007 07:01pm | Post a Comment

Yesterday evening (Friday August 3rd) I attended both the Amoeba Music, San Francisco instore with super skilled turntablists DJs Platurn and Golden Chyld (pictured left) and also the San Francisco Bay Guardian's Best of the Bay soiree at the de Young Museum in nearby Golden Gate Park.

I hadn't been at the de Young Museum since it moved locations to its impressive new state-of-the-art facility in October 2005. Come think of it, I hadn't been in Golden Gate Park for about as long. And after seeing reports about the "homeless problem" in the park on local TV news and reading all the recent newspaper reports, which made it sound like there were homeless people camped out under every bush in the park's confines with dirty syringes poking out of everywhere, I was anticipating stumbling upon a sort of New Jack (tent) City, which didn't happen. Instead I only witnessed a small gathering of poor, unfortunate homeless down by the Stanyan end of the park (not far from Amoeba).   

But anyway, regarding the homeless situation in SF -- I really see both sides. I feel bad for residents (especially those with little kids) who have to endure such things as street people pissing in their doorsteps or leaving dirty needles in their front yards or near playgrounds in the park. But I also feel bad for individuals who have substance abuse problems or who are mentally ill and who have no option but to live on the streets (dating back to Reagan as Governor of Cali). And never do I forget the fact that most of us are just one paycheck away from joining them.

Cast Q&A for Last American Virgin & Fast Times!!!

Posted by phil blankenship, August 4, 2007 12:01pm | Post a Comment

You gotta come down to the New Bev on Sunday, August 5th at 7:30!!

Not only are they showing two 80's classics,


But they're also having a Q&A with cast members from both films!!!

Slated to appear, schedule permitting, is Lawrence Monoson, Kimmy Robertson, David Peck, Louisa Moritz and Tessa Richarde from Last American Virgin, and, a New Bev favorite, Kelli Maroney from Fast Times at Ridgemont High!!

It's gonna be rad!!!!!

That's tomorrow night, August 5th at 7:30pm. The double feature also shows Sunday at 3:50, Monday and Tuesday at 7:30.

The New Beverly Cinema
7165 Beverly Blvd
Between La Brea and Fairfax

$7 for both films
$6 for students
$4 for seniors

Today, August 4th you can still catch out Coen Brothers double


Desperate Moves

Posted by phil blankenship, August 4, 2007 12:59am | Post a Comment


Trans World Entertainment 38011

Lenny Bruce

Posted by Whitmore, August 3, 2007 04:30pm | Post a Comment

Last night I bought a first edition hard bound copy of Lenny Bruce’s How to Talk Dirty and Influence People, and this morning I realized it was the anniversary of his death… as they say (whoever they are) “there are no coincidences ..."

Anyway, on August 3, 1966, Lenny Bruce -- legendary stand-up comedian, author, social critic and satirist of the 1950’s and 60’s (born Leonard Alfred Schneider, October 13, 1925 ) was found dead at the age of 40 in the bathroom of his home at 8825 Hollywood Boulevard. The LAPD immediately announced that Bruce died from an overdose of narcotics, probably heroin, and that has been a universally reported fact ever since. However, the official report admits that the cause of death was unknown and the analysis inconclusive. Take that Wikipedia!

Dick Schaap eulogized Bruce in Playboy, with the memorable last line "One last four-letter word for Lenny: Dead. At forty. That's obscene."

Phil Spector, who once described Bruce as “my Socrates,” said Lenny Bruce died from "an overdose of police."

Side Note: I was going to include the entire script of  “Thank You, Mask Man,” but I’ll save that for his birthday in October. Those who might be offended will have to wait a few months. Sorry.

Here are some of Lenny Bruce’s jokes, comments and philosophies. Enjoy.

“If Jesus had been killed 20 years ago, Catholic school children would be wearing little Electric Chairs around their necks instead of crosses"

“Take away the right to say ‘fuck’ and you take away the right to say ‘fuck the government!’”

“My mother-in-law broke up my marriage. My wife came home and found us in bed together.”

“The only truly anonymous donor is the guy who knocks up your daughter.”

John Lydon vs Judge Judy

Posted by Billyjam, August 3, 2007 01:45pm | Post a Comment
After posting the Tom Snyder vs John Lydon 1980 television appearance on yesterday's AMOEBLOG I got off list emails from three people about it. One AMOEBLOG reader linked me to a video clip that I never knew about. It was from 1997, when tour/session drummer Robert Williams took John Lydon to court TV -- specifically the Judge Judy Show -- to sue the former Sex Pistol. And all I can say is, God I love YouTube, since thanks to it we get to see all these classic TV moments that we missed first time around or saw but want to watch again, including this one from ten years ago when John Lydon (in classic form) appeared on Judge Judy. Surreal TV for sure! In case you don't have the time or patience to check out the seven minute clip below, the result was that Judge Judy sided with Lydon and not the bozo (or so he appeared to be on national tv) who filed suit against Johnny Rotten.

hot fuzz is the new point break

Posted by Brad Schelden, August 2, 2007 10:18pm | Post a Comment
If you missed Hot Fuzz in the theater, I feel really bad for you. It was hilarious to see up on the big screen where it was meant to be seen. But don't worry too much, it still holds up on DVD. The movie is nothing short of brilliant. Just plain brilliant. The DVD just came out this week and I think you should just go out and buy it, even if you have not seen it yet. It was written and directed by Edgar Wright, the genius who created "Shaun of the Dead." The star of both films, Simon Pegg, also co-wrote both films. Simon Pegg's sidekick, Nick Frost, also stars in both films. These British lads work brilliantly together in both films. They are like the Reeves & Busey, Gibson & Glover, or Murphy & Reinhold of England.

"Hot Fuzz" is sort of a spoof of the action buddy films of America like "Lethal Weapon," "Point Break," and "Bad Boys." Simon Pegg plays a London cop who is basically making the other cops look bad because he actually does a good job. He is sent to a small tranquil British town. Nick Frost plays the local cop who he is paired up with. Of course, the small town ends up having some crazy big city type crimes. Luckily both cops have seen enough of those American action movies to know  how to handle the situation. It becomes a hilarious and ridiculous over the top action film. While "Shaun of the Dead" was spoofing the zombie horror movie, it actually ended up becoming an excellent zombie movie. The same thing happens here. It is much more than a Saturday Night Live type spoof made into a movie. It actually works.

This widescreen DVD includes the following extra features: deleted scenes with  commentary, outtakes, US tour piece, audio commentary w/ Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright, Storyboards, Trailers, Fuzz-O-Meter, The Man Who Would Be Fuzz, Hot Funk, & Danny's notebook. I have not listened to the commentary yet, but I am looking forward to it. It will be interesting to hear what these boys have to say about the making of the film. I remember anticipating this flim before it came out. I love Shaun of the Dead so much, that I could not imagine anything coming close to its brilliance. But Hot Fuzz managed to do it. I will not go so far as to say that it is better. But it does do for the action buddy movie what Shaun did for the horror buddy movie. It is seriously hilarious. All I have to do is just think about the movie and I will start laughing. I think laughed continuously during the entire movie in the theater.

 I also highly recommend going back and watching Point Break on DVD. Maybe right before you watch Hot Fuzz. The jokes might be funnier. Point Break was not meant to be funny or any sort of spoof. But 15 years later, it is sort of hilarious. Movies like this really did take themselves seriously at the time. If you watch it now as a sort of parody of itself it is actually a really entertaining comedy action film. The deluxe "Pure Adrenaline" version was released last year on DVD for its 15 year anniversary. This edition includes 8 deleted scenes and 4 production featurettes. The movie may not stand up to what it once was when it came out. But I seriously remember loving this movie when it came out. I was in High School after all. I was a bit obsessed with Silence of the Lambs and Terminator 2 in the year 1991. But this is definitely one of those movies that I associate with the early 90's. It may be funny now. But back then, it was some serious stuff.  Hot Fuzz might be spoofing films like Point Break. But without Point Break there would be no Hot Fuzz.


Posted by Billyjam, August 2, 2007 09:35pm | Post a Comment
david bowie
So the other morning as I am sipping a latte, watching TV, reading Emails, listening to Bowie's Hunky Dory at the wrong speed and pitch -- - 8 on 45RPM -- and typing up an AMOEBLOG... multi-tasking, I guess you could say... who should stop by my mountainside cottage but my dear friend Zsa Zsa? She (as usual) makes herself way too comfortable at my place -- pouring herself a large glass of my fresh squeezed orange juice and munching on my very last fresh croissant as she reminded me that David Bowie was one of pop music's early cutNpaste, deconstruction, post-modern type, lyric sampling artists. "Huh.  Say what?" I asked confused - stopping typing for a second.  As she explained (and a little bit patronizingly in her know-it-all-music-fact way) how Bowie back in da day (the day being the early seventies)  would reportedly just flip through books and magazines and literally cut out sentences randomly here and there, and literally paste them all together in any which order - and viola -he had "Panic In Detrot"  "Queen Bitch" or "Life on Mars" etc

 "Wow" I said - not about Bowie's lazy songwriting techniques but the bright shiny blue pageboym.i.a. wig I just now noticed she was wearing. I quickly pointed out that M.I.A., who was just at Amoeba Music Berkeley last Saturday to a packed house, also wears a blue wig...just like that but that MIA has been wearing hers for longer - at least for as long ago as she took that single publicity shot that shows up in every story on her these days.  .And, somewhat smugly I admit, I noted that so does that Aussie woman chef/baker in the East Bay (Bettie I think her name is) who does a great baked chicken, I hear, and who was featured in the front page of the Food Section of this past Wednesday's San Francisco Chronicle.  But that the stylish baker woman's blue hair was not a wig at all but her own real hair - dyed blue of course. All of this I rattled out as I continued to type that day's AMOEBLOG with my back turned to Zsa Zsa.  And when I finally swung around in my suede swivel chair expecting to see a look of some kind on her face I realized that I had been talking to myself (again) because she had already split...gone for who knows how long . But I noticed that she had left a magazine on the purple sofa in the hallway. It was one of mine that she had borrowed and on its cover had a picture of a former friend of Madonna's.

Now before you start second guessing that you clicked on the right blog, I’ll explain myself. While I’m known to ogle a pretty gal now and again, the reason for my purchase is for one woman in particular: Sandra Bernhard. There’s a small chance that you and I don’t have the exact same tastes in everything, right? Maybe you don’t think that “Love & Rockets” is one of the finest works of literature in the history of mankind; perhaps you’d disagree that beholding a Rothko in person can be an emotional experience.  If you are under 25 and you are reading this, remember this; I think I’ve finally found an answer to the ol’ question “When did the attitudes of the freewheelin’ 60’s shift in the 70’s, and is there an exact date when it was nailed into the proverbial American forehead?” As it happens, you may not always realize what an important moment it is. It may be months or years later when you look back and reflect on that pivotal moment when you first heard some song that you are now obsessed with. I am a big fan of the hand claps. But only if they really work with the songs.

The Employee Interview Part VIII: Jon Ginoli

Posted by Miss Ess, August 2, 2007 06:28pm | Post a Comment
Jon Ginoli
Nearly 8 Years Employment

ME: Hi Jon. So what music was playing in your house when you were a kid?

JG: My parents didn't really have records but they always had the radio on. 

To pop stations?

Yeah, and when I turned 6 my parents moved to a new house out in the suburbs in a new development where there weren't any other kids around, so I made friends with the radio. So from the time I was 5 until I was 10, which is roughly 1965-1970, I absorbed Top 40 radio like a sponge. Pretty good timing, huh?

Totally, you lucked out. What was the first song/record that really got you into music? 

Um I remember being really blown away by "Reflections" by the Supremes and "Monday Monday" by the Mamas and the Papas. Oh and "Windy" by the Association.

What's the first show you went to?

The first real concert I went to was one of the worst concerts I have ever been to because when I was 14 I went to see Jimmy Buffett in Peoria.


Peoria got very few concerts back then.

Who took you?

I went by myself. He had a song on the radio that I liked. When I heard other songs I thought, "Oh, this isn't very good."

Smart kid.

But the second concert was Bob Seger and that was a big step up.

When did you start playing music yourself? Who/what inspired you?

I started about half way through college, playing guitar. There was no one influence but I was really into punk and new wave stuff and that helped give me confidence that maybe I could do it too.

Once you had formed Pansy Division, what was your experience with the music industry like?

Well when I was in college I was heavily involved in my college radio station and actually had a band back then as well and those experiences were very helpful when I was ready to form Pansy Division. 

I started Pansy Division when I was 31 so I already had a lot of experience having a band and knowing how the indie world worked. I was working for several indie record distributors at the time so I had a lot of contacts.

Any good road stories from touring in Pansy Division?

I've written a book and I'm looking for a publisher soon.


It's taken me 7 years to write it, off and on.

You guys were such pioneers! It's important to get that out there. So, when you are on stage singing what's going through your mind? 

I never had stage fright: my problem is that I get distracted and it's interesting, being on stage, to look at the audience and all the things that are happening and I sometimes want to enjoy the moment instead of really concentrating on what I am doing!

How would Pansy Division decide on the cover art for each album? They are so interesting and so early 90s!

I did in the beginning and later we would all work on it together.

Since I'm a huge K Records fan, I really want to know what it was like duetting with Calvin Johnson on "Jackson." How did that come about?

I was a big Beat Happening fan and I had met him a few times and somebody had contacted me about doing a track for a Nancy Sinatra tribute album. "Jackson" has always been my favorite song of hers, since i was a little kid. Since Calvin sounds like Lee Hazlewood I thought to ask him but when we went to actually sing the duet he didn't want to do Lee's parts. "Why?" I said. "Well, Nancy has all the good lines." So I sang the lead parts.

That's hot. Do you typically like creating and recording music or playing live better?

I love playing live, it's really fun, but I really like both.

What is your favorite venue in San Francisco to play? What's your favorite one to see a show at?

Either Cafe du Nord or Bottom of the Hill for both.

What's your favorite local band?

Kelley Stoltz. He needs more guitar and less piano on his next record, though.

Any Pansy Division news?  Are you guys playing out any time soon?

Surprisingly we are doing a tour in October--  a short coast to coast tour opening for The Avengers! That's real convenient because half of our band is in The Avengers (Joel and Luis). I live in San Francisco, Chris the bass player lives in L.A., Luis lives in Brooklyn and Joel just moved to Boston, so we play rather seldom.

Clearly! That must get complicated, rehearsing.

Yeah, it's tough, but every once in a while we find ourselves in the same city so we manage to get work done occasionally.  We're actually working on a new album. We have 4 songs done.

And you guys are on Alternative Tentacles now, right?


What have you been listening to lately?

I've really never listened to classical music much but a friend of mine loaned me the Steve Reich box set.

What about it do you like?

It's very hypnotic. I've been buying a lot of reissues--  I think my age is showing! I just bought John Cale: The Island Years, some of which I had on vinyl, and the reissues of the first three Ultravox albums.

Which John Cale record is your fave?

Paris 1919.

Me too. Randy [ex coworker] always would sing songs from it to me. Can you think of a record that you love and feel more people should know about?

It's a cult item, but the Go Betweens 16 Lovers Lane is a perfect pop record. 

What's your favorite part about working here at Amoeba? You're kind of hidden away so this is a bit tough probably.

Actually, having flexibility to do tours when possible was one of the reasons I started working here in the first place. Few other places are so pro-musician.

Thank you for your time.

For tour dates go to

Spirit of Armenia

Posted by Eric Brightwell, August 2, 2007 06:22pm | Post a Comment
I checked out the "Spirit of Armenia!" Sunday night up at the Hollywood Bowl with my beloved Ngoc em. I've lived in Los Angeles. for more than a few years now and, shamefully, it was my first time up there. I'd definitely like to go back soon.

Anyway, I didn't know what to expect at all. My exposure to Armenian music is mostly limited to KSCI where I've seen seen more than enough Tupac-indebted gangsta rap. Still, I would possibly prefer that to my even stronger dislike of five thousand-year-old tunes played on a fretless bass.

The Bowl was pretty full. Even though we were outside and there was no smoking except outside, the air hung heavy with cigarette/cigar smoke and perfume. We brought 2 Buck Chuck and cheese with sesame pita chips. We found our seats. Saw a couple of friends near us but sat where we were assigned.

I don't think I've ever been to one of those concerts with the big screens projecting what's going on the stage before. No lie, I think the biggest concert I'd ever been to (before last night) was Big Audio Dynamite in a park in 1992.

I found myself alternating between squinting at the stage and craning at the big screens. I wished I'd brought binoculars or opera glasses or something. It's like being at a sports bar. Even if you want to focus on something, the televisions all around hypnotize with their pretty colors! It's even more difficult to look away when you're periodically blinded by the gleam of gargantuan images of Adiss Harmandian cracking smirks and busting out in his Tom Jones-like gestures.

Although the Armenian diaspora is pretty wide spread, I'm guessing that 95% of the world have no more than a rather vague notion of the country it is. I don't put the blame entirely on us, though. It seems like Armenians, whilst assuredly proud of their history, frequently downplay their ancestral origins -- at least in the case of celebrities. 

Consider this list of famous Armenians:

We Already Knew This, But Miss Dolly Parton Is One Smart Broad!

Posted by Miss Ess, August 2, 2007 01:54pm | Post a Comment
One of my all time favorites, Miss Dolly Parton, is also one shrewd business lady!

After shopping around for a new record label, she has decided to instead start her own record label:
Dolly Records!  Her first album for the label will be released in February!

AND the most exciting part is that she will be touring in March!!!!  PLEASE Dolly, stop somewhere in the Bay Area.  We are tragically ignored by Miss Parton for reasons I do not understand.  Clearly, there are soooooooo many fans here....... she hopefully noticed when she played the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival a few years back. Thousands came out and packed the field just to catch a glimpse of and a tune from Dolly.

I had the honor of attending and, as I have mentioned before in this blog, I was brought to tears, and no, it had nothing to do with her blinding turquoise ice skating type dress.

Although the spectacle of it certainly did add to the experience.
I am ready for a full set in an indoor venue. BRING IT DOLLY!

By creating her own record label, Miss Parton stands to make much, much more dough and have much, much more freedom to create whatever she pleases than if someone else had control of her record(s).

It's really exciting to me that someone as big time as Dolly Parton is making a move as sort of revolutionary as this. It's not so often that someone this huge breaks away like this.

I mean, what she can do for herself will be so much greater than what any label could do for her. It's an exciting move.

Apparently her new album will be "mainstream country" style.  Slick production, whatever-- I, for one, cannot wait!

Now all I need to fully prepare myself for this onslaught of Dolly goodness is a winter jaunt to DollywoodPigeon Forge


Posted by Billyjam, August 2, 2007 01:00pm | Post a Comment
In all of the tributes written about skilled American television host Tom Snyder,  who passed  this week  at age 71 - a victim of leukemia,  one common accolade was how the TV host with the personal yet tough interview style, really knew how to listen to his subjects - something very rare in most television talk show hosts, especially today.  Additionally, unlike most commercial television interviews which never seem to ow to delve deep, his interviews were conducted with enough time for the able host to really allow him, and us, to get to know his guests.

But of all of the interviews he conducted on his NBC program The Tomorrow Show the clip below (in my opinion) is one of the most compelling to watch.  It is Snyder's 1980 interview with both John Lydon (formerly Johnny Rotten) and his Public Image Limited  (PIL) band-mate Keith Levene. Bear in mind that by this stage that Rotten as main spokesman of the Sex Pistols had earned a justified reputation as one of the most difficult and unpredictable interviewees for any  radio or  television host.  But watch it and witness how brilliantly Snyder handles his tough subject and how Lydon, used to knocking over - especially older generation - interviewers seems to have finally met his match and has to struggle a bit to keep in character and try to maintain an upper hand. 

The end result is a perfect sparring match, with both Snyder and Lydon puffing away on cigarettes, that makes for the most engaging type of TV.  Do me a favor: watch it and in the COMMENTS box below rate (on a scale of 1 to 5)  both Snyder's and Lydon's performances. EG:   Tom = 3,  John = 3.

Tuba's, Urban Spacemen and the Bonzos

Posted by Whitmore, August 2, 2007 10:35am | Post a Comment

I've never met a man I didn't mutilate. I only wish I had said that first.
I might be happier today.

A funny thing happened on the way to listening to some Bonzo Dog Band vinyl. I think I’ve finally found an answer to the ol’ question “When did the attitudes of the free wheelin’ 60’s shift in the 70’s, and is there an exact date when it was nailed into the proverbial American forehead?” I think the answer lies in the sound of a tuba.

Side Note: not only am I something of a record geek, I’m also a closeted history geek, and I kind of believe in what philosopher George Santayana once said: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to have it shoved up their friggin’ asses!” (Okay, maybe it didn’t go quite like that)

Of course there was a difference between the late 60’s and the early 70’s. Perhaps not a great defining difference (at least not until disco hit big), but let’s say as different as “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” compared to “Blue Bonnet” margarine, or olive oil to canola oil. Actually ignore that part. But there was a slight imperceptible change in attitude somewhere early on in the 70’s and I believe I‘ve uncovered, for my thesis, the linchpin date.

Of course it just dawned on me not everyone knows The Bonzo Dog Band. Created in the early 1960’s by British art-school students (art school, where all great bands begin!) the Bonzos started out playing mostly traditional jazz, early century novelty and British music hall songs.

Later they combined those elements with rock, adding touches of psychedelia and dadaism to confound the public at large. They released about 4 or 5 albums, and toured the US with The Who and The Kinks. Eventually they were aligned with Monty Python's Flying Circus, having met several future members on the set of the children's television show, Do Not Adjust Your Set, where the Bonzo’s were the resident house band. They disbanded in 1970 but had one reunion album released in 1972. There you have it … in a nutshell.


Posted by Billyjam, August 2, 2007 12:01am | Post a Comment

I understand that many of the readers of this AMOEBLOG may not dwell in New York City or be anywhere even close to the East Coast, but the issue that is planned to be protested today (Thursday, August 2nd) in NYC -- fighting the possible ban on our freedom to take photographs in public places in New York City -- is something that seriously affects all of our civil liberties.

Here's the deal with this latest possible ban (bear in mind it may not even happen or may not be enforced even if it is made law) as reported recently by the New York Times and by a New York City politically charged group called NYC 911 Truth.
They say that the proposed banning would essentially mean that any non-insured still photographer or filmer, solo and more specifically a team of camera operators, would be targeted by this proposed ban that calls for a requirement of a one million dollar liability insurance policy in addition to a permit for various photography and filming actions that occurs for more then 10 minutes.

Reportedly the city claims it is only enforcing and "adjusting" old permit laws, to justify these actions. The police department has stated it will begin enforcing the laws, as of today August 2nd. Hence the planned protests for today, which are scheduled for protesters to begin gathering at 4:30PM today (Thursday August 2nd) at City Hall, downtown New York City to challenge the Mayor Bloomberg-enduced ban on filming and photography. 

If indeed this ban were to fully go into effect (and even in these crazy post 9/11 paranoid times seems unlikely, but possible), the implications would be very great and far-reaching. For example, at one NYC Critical Mass gathering I attended some time back (like in SF, also held on last Friday of the month) there were countless cyclists (unfairly in my opinion) arrested by the ever-vigilant NYPD, who packed them into the backs of Paddy Wagons and hauled their asses off to jail.

Video Murders

Posted by phil blankenship, August 1, 2007 11:49pm | Post a Comment

Trans World Entertainment 0614

Studio "West Coast"

Posted by Brad Schelden, August 1, 2007 10:30pm | Post a Comment
It is always interesting to go back and think about the first time you heard a certain band or certain song. As it happens, you may not always realize what an important moment it is. It may be months or years later when you look back and reflect on that pivotal moment when you first heard some song that you are now obsessed with. I can still remember the first time I heard certain songs. I remember exactly who I was with and if it was on the car radio or in someone's bedroom. I remember certain songs being played to me over the phone when talking with friends late at night. I also remember seeing a music video for the first time of some band that I had never heard before. This does not happen so much anymore. But I still do get introduced to new bands all the time. Most of them are not so memorable. I already like a lot of bands so I spend most of my time listening to those bands old albums or getting excited by their new albums. But the best thing about music is hearing a new band for the first time. There is really nothing like the excitement of hearing a song and immediately getting obsessed with it. Knowing that your life will now be better just because of this one new band.

This just happened to me again last month. My friend was given a CD from Sweden of this new  band "Studio." Her friend bought it for her just knowing that she would love it. It then made its way to me. The album "Yearbook 1" was only available in Sweden at the time. The UK version called "West Coast" was out in a couple of weeks. As I listened to it the first time, I knew I would remember the moment forever. I knew I loved the album before it was even over. By the time I bought the UK version, I had already listened to the other version a dozen times. They changed the artwork and got rid of the first two tracks. While the artwork was a bit better on the Norwegian CD, the album does not really miss the missing songs. It is easily one of the best albums of the year already.

Many of the songs have very sparse vocals or none at all. The songs with vocals sort of remind me of Robert Smith. Sort of like Robert Smith singing for the Charlatans UK but with a bunch of synth electronics thrown in. It also is reminding me a bit of the soundtrack to Dario Argento's "Phenomena." But more the Bill Wyman stuff than the Goblin stuff. It seems Argento's film music is popping up everywhere. The band Justice samples some of the music by Goblin from the film "Tenebre." The whole Studio album could easily be a soundtrack to some futuristic science fiction movie. Sounding at times like instrumental Cure tracks or the better work of Tangerine Dream.

The first song on the album, "Out There," is about 16 minutes long. A nice little introduction to the album. It is an amazing song. Followed by one of the best on the album "West Side." The next two songs "Self Service" and "Origin" could easily be from a completely different band. They fit nicely into the middle of the album while at the same time sort of taking you in a completely different direction. These are the tracks that sound like Robert Smith singing in some late 80's or early 90's british band like the Soup Dragons or Happy Mondays. Next comes "Life's A Beach." This is probably my favorite and is the song that sounds like it came from an Italian horror movie. The last track "Indo" would fit nicely on the Blade Runner or Legend soundtrack. This album still sort of blows me away every time I listen to it. I think I love it more every time but it also sounds different every time. I notice different things in the songs. The album takes you on a little journey that you will not soon forget.

Care To Dance? The Spectacle of Showgirls

Posted by Miss Ess, August 1, 2007 04:31pm | Post a Comment
Let me just tell you, until you have seen one of your dear friends erupt from a volcano wearing nothing but a body stocking and strategically placed sequins, you haven't really been thrilled.

I was treated to such a glorious sight on Saturday night at Midnight Mass' Showgirls screening.

Good Lord, the event was delicious and horrifying at the same time, much like the film.

Showgirls is pretty fascinating. Isn't it obvious that while Gina Gershon realizes the movie is pure camp and revels in it, Elizabeth Berkley has absolutely no idea what's going on and just thinks she's killing it?  Crazy, huh?

I just can scarcely believe a movie like this got made in the last 15 years, movie making being as difficult as it is.  Someone out there clearly thought it was a great idea though!  And thank goodness they did.

I don't think there is a person alive over 20 years of age who doesn't know this movie's plot:  a young woman arrives in Vegas with a dream of becoming a Showgirl. She'll do anything to achieve this goal, as we see during the film.  Oh, it's good.  It's real good.

At Midnight Mass during the pre-show we were treated to some reenactments of scenes from the film, one of which was the scene where Nomi (Berkley) and Cristal (Gershon) bond over their love of....yes, dog food....and during which Martini, as Nomi, actually ATE dog food on stage! Yikes. There were many more moments of horror throughout the pre-show, during which tampons were thrown on the audience and audience members were willingly assaulted by a freakish posse of lap dancers.

All this, and then we got to experience Showgirls in its uncut entirety!
This movie is definitely so wrong it's right.  I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

If you get HDNet, you can check out local hero Peaches Christ's own TV show this Saturday night. (If you live in San Francisco, chances are you don't get this channel unless you have satellite TV.  What's up with that?!  Who can afford it?)  It's gonna be like having your own Midnight Mass right in the comfort of your own living room! Check out the fabulous preview:


Posted by Billyjam, August 1, 2007 08:36am | Post a Comment

Posted earlier this year on YouTube by "AlwaysThrowROCK," the video clip below of street art (mostly murals rather than graffiti) is a collection of stills of pictures taken throughout 2006 around the city of San Francisco in areas such as the Mission District and transferred to a five minute slide show in video format with music soundtrack by The Books. If you live in the Bay or spend any time in the city of SF, many of the pieces will be familar to you already. And you will also notice that there is a lot of street art that is not included, and also some that has already disappeared.