Final October Favorites

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, October 31, 2007 10:00pm | Post a Comment


OK, so the day has finally arrived...All Hallows Eve...Devils Night...So my final three suggestions for listening pleasures this wicked evening are here as well...

First, I'll break ranks and suggest a compact disc.  Not just a compact disc but a compact disc single, CD5, whatever...In 1997, the visionaries @ K-Tel came up with the idea to release a novelty single for the Halloween season by none other than Chubby Checker...Maybe they had seen his half-time extravaganza with the Rockettes back in '88 and, that being pretty scary, they thought he could pull of the Halloween thing. The tracks- Doin' The Zombie, House of Horror, The Twist, & Screams From Beyond rival the Fat Boys collaboration on the scare-o-meter (of course none of these tracks come close to the Fat Boys collaboration that the Beach Boys did, or worse yet Mike Love's "Rock n Roll Again" LP where he helps butcher some older songs...check out "Walk Away Renee" by the Association, Midi/Yamaha DX7 frights from hell...anyhow I digress)

Next is an album I've selected purely for the cover. Don Shirley's "Orpheus in the Underworld" on Cadence Records, 1956...

Considering how polite and restrained Don's piano work is, his painting on the cover is quite surprising. Very wicked indeed.  A beautiful shellac original, in the future I will do a bit on Cadence Records. The label history is quite interesting and earlier releases such as this gives other labels known for their lavish packaging, such as Liberty and Atlantic, a run for their money...

Finally, we have "Barbara, the Grey Witch"...

Released sometime in the very early 70's on LA label DEA, this release bears similarities to the Louise Huebner classic in that there are incantations over crazed music and much 'feminist' power type talk.  I'm hoping that the Producer, Ed Hansen, is the same fellow who Directed Eroticize (the full nude workout VHS classic featuring Kitten Navidad, Phil do you have a copy?). My copy of this double LP has an axe mark (a little accident a couple of years ago) that makes one side unplayable, so I'll be accepting gifts of both Barbara and the Chubby Checker CD (as I only have a burn of that release). You can see where the axe hit the record on the front cover, below her left arm...I've got to go now,  enjoy your Samhain, however you must...

Happy Halloween! Halloween Picks for Angelenos

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, October 31, 2007 12:20pm | Post a Comment
Nothing beats a Halloween party with your friends. But in case none of your friends are having one (or you have no friends), here's a few suggestions:

Cinespia Presents: The Shining at Hollywood Forever Cemetery

A special screening of The Shining on Halloween night at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
Gates open at 5:30 pm, film begins at 7:00 pm. First come, first serve for a $10 cash donation. You’ll be sitting on the cold, damp grass of a cemetery, so bring a blanket -- no tall chairs. Bring a picnic!

Check out a preview of the Halloween feel good movie of a lifetime:


Very Be Careful @ La Cita in Downtown L.A.

L.A.'s best punk rock Vallenato and Cumbia group plays at La Cita. The VBC is always a good time. Wear a costume and destroy it on the dance floor!

La Cita
336 S. Hill St
Los Angeles, California 90013
Cost: $8

Low End Theory @ The Airliner
Featuring: Themselves (Anticon), Daedelus, Nobody, Daddy Kev & others.

Check out a rare appearance from Themselves, featuring Dos One & Jel, and the onslaught of great DJ's. But the best thing about this show is the cover charge! This is from their website:

Now, be forewarned: THIS IS A COSTUME PARTY. We'll be charging $5 with costume, $100 without (yes, that's ONE-HUNDRED DOLLARS without a costume). No exceptions. And when we say "costume" we mean head-to-toe. A mask with pair of jeans and T-shirt will not cut the mustard. So please, take some time and get yourself a REAL DEAL costume for the occasion. Full nudity also welcome.

The Airliner
2419 N. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90031
$5 cover | 18+ | 10PM-2AM | Fully stocked


Posted by Billyjam, October 31, 2007 11:38am | Post a Comment

Just now I walked in off the street after seeing not one, but two different dogs decked out in eye-catching Halloween costumes. One little pug had bat wings and another had some kind of crazy, colorful wig that flowed in the wind and got caught in his tiny legs. It got me thinking about the whole phenomenon of dressing up one's pet for Halloween, which seems to be growing in popularity each year.

So, in keeping with both the Amoeba Dog Blog posting I did earlier, and also with the theme of today, Halloween, and this semi-controversial trend of dressing up dogs-in-costumes, I am posting some video footage and still-picture collages of dogs decked out in a wide variety of Halloween costumes; it is something that seems to get a really mixed reaction from folks, with opinions being generally divided into either the "Oh, how cute that little doggie looks!" or the  "That is so unkind, to subject an animal to this kind of thing!"  

Regardless, it is a very popular thing to do. In fact, there are even annual Halloween dog costume contests such as the one below from last year in Nevada held by Lucky Dog magazine. And while other pets, including cats (a couple of whom snuck into the collage above), are also dressed up in costumes for Halloween, it seems that dogs are the most obliging of all animals to go along with the program.  Anything to add on the topic? Do so in the COMMMENTS box. Thanks!

The collage below was titled by its maker "Why Dogs Hate Halloween"


Posted by Billyjam, October 30, 2007 11:31pm | Post a Comment

This is the third installment of the AMOEBLOG featuring Amoeba Dogs (dogs in some way closely connected to Amoeba Music -- usually the pets and best friends of Amoeba Music employees in the Hollywood, Berkeley, or San Francisco stores.) The three fine canines featured in this AMOEBADOG blog are Cugat and Stella (that is Stella pictured left), both of whom are the best friends of Oliver (Amoeba Music floor manager and electronic music buyer) and also Suki, who is the pet and best friend of Brandi Shearer, the Amoeba Music recording artist who recently released the album Close To Dark and who, you will recall from the last Amoeba Dog Blog Part II, knitted a doggie sweater for Amoeba Dog Melina.

I asked both Brandi and Oliver to talk a little about their respective pooches: the basics, such as what breed, age or weight the dogs might be and also how they originally got their canines (something that is often really interesting, I find). I also asked them both what their dogs really mean to them and if they have any significant impact on their lives.


Oliver shared with the AMOEBLOG that Cugat (pictured right) should never be judged by his diminutive scale, warning, "Cugat at four years old may only weigh in at a mere 3.2 pounds, but [he] can scare you off just as much as any Pitbull.

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the untamed touch of unbounded evil

Posted by Whitmore, October 30, 2007 08:11pm | Post a Comment

I can state with ease, and it is a well established fact, I am something of a record geek. I prefer the term ‘record collector’ or even ‘music buff,’ but I can live with the ‘geek’ moniker.  Now I also know as a matter of fact, my wife wishes wholeheartedly I wasn’t such a collector/geek. See, there’s a particular and peculiar trait in people like me, and it’s called “the completist syndrome.” The definition: “somebody who collects a particular kind of thing and wants to obtain an example of everything available, even of inferior items.” I can’t just buy a CD of one of my favorite artists and be content, I feel compelled to collect everything in their discography … everything.

Let’s say I’m a Paula Abdul fan. I would have to collect, not just all her full length CD’s and Albums, but I would find it compulsory to track down every single variant of "Straight Up" or "Opposites Attract" in its many forms: 7” singles, CD singles, 12 inch singles, remix here, remix there…

side note: I ‘m not a Paula Abdul fan at all. In fact I can easily state, again as fact, I think she erred in not fulfilling her destiny as a Lakers Cheerleader. In fact, I believe her going into the music industry caused some kind of “butterfly effect,”  which might explain the personality of our chaotic American lives since the eighties. And to think, I always blamed everything on Ronald Wilson Reagan, (here’s one reason, just add up the letters, he’s President 666. Coincidence? There are no coincidences! Know what I mean ...)

The thought I’ve been attempting to start is this:  last week my fine fellow Amoeba blogger, Chadwick, wrote about some great Halloween records, and since I am a completist, I couldn’t resist but spotlight two other records on the Sounds label he touched upon. In other words I’m assisting Chadwick conform to the Completist mindset. I’ll apologize to him later in person … Anyway, here we go.

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joy division reissues out 10/30...

Posted by Brad Schelden, October 30, 2007 08:05pm | Post a Comment
So it's now only one more day until Halloween and I finally got around to watching the Paul Lynde Halloween Special. The special originally aired over 30 years ago in 1976. But it is now rescued from obscurity and released on a nice little DVD. I knew it was going to be ridiculous and hilarious. But it really is hard to even explain. You must simply watch it. The guest stars include Billie Hayes (Witchiepoo from H.R. Pufnstuf), Tim Conway, Betty White, Margaret Hamilton (The Wicked Witch of the West), Florence Henderson (The Brady Bunch), Billy Barty (Legend, Willow, Sigmund & the Sea Monsters), Roz Kelly (Pinky Tuscadero of Happy Days), Donny and Marie Osmond, and Kiss! I know what you are thinking....amazing. Yes it is. And with the brilliant Paul Lynde as the host and Bruce Vilanch helping out with the writing this special was bound to be amazing. Kiss perform the amazing song "Beth" on the special.  The show includes ridiculous skits and musical numbers and the network debut of the band Kiss. I sort of wish they still made specials like this today. There really was nothing like Paul Lynde and he paved the way for many who came after him in Hollywood.

There are some very exciting things out today. First of all in the land of TV on DVD there are two very exciting releases. Twin Peaks the Complete Series comes out today. The definitive Gold Box Edition is really amazing. Not only does it include the recently released Season 2 but also the out of print Season 1. Also included is the original and European version of the pilot for the first time on DVD domestically! It is finally all together in one box. The 10 disc set includes new interviews and special features all supervised by David Lynch. This show was amazing and nothing has ever come close to its brilliance. I have been waiting for years to watch the whole series over again in anticipation of this release. If you have never seen this show in its entirety, I highly recommend it. For my review of Season 2 you can go back and read it here.  I can't even begin to explain how much this show means to me. Also out today is My So-Called Life on DVD. The complete series gets a better more deluxe treatment than the previous release on DVD. This show started a couple years after Twin Peaks in 1994. But it was just as important and nothing has really come close to this show except for maybe Freaks & Geeks. This new release comes with a book with photos and special things from the show. It also has interviews with cast members including Claire Danes and 7 audio commentaries. These are exciting times.

There is also some exciting music coming out today. But let me just start with this little band called The Eagles. They have a new album out today but it is only being exclusively sold at Wal-Mart. I respect an artists right to sell their music wherever or however they see fit. But Wal-Mart. Really. I realize that they probably made tons of money on this deal and will probably still sell thousands of albums. But a move like this doesn't make much sense to me. Are they really saying that they don't care about any real music stores and just want to treat their album like a 24 pack of toilet paper or a wicker chair. Wal-Mart is betting that tons of Eagles fans are now going to be forced into a Wal-Mart to buy an album priced below its worth and then maybe spend more money on some useless things that they don't really need. What worries me is that a band like the Eagles has made a decision like this. They have simply turned their backs on the record stores that have supported them for years  and are supporting a store that is quickly ruining small businesses. I know we will soon have used copies of this album on the shelves of Amoeba for cheaper than even Wal-Mart. But I still find it a little disturbing. Radiohead will at least eventually sell their album at all record stores. It may just be available as a digital download right now, but at least they are not forcing their fans to go inside of one store only to buy their album. Just in case you were wondering. That picture on the left is not the Eagles but "Hotel California," an Eagles cover band. I really do love those cover bands. They are not only available at Wal-Mart but will play your wedding or Bar Mitzvah wherever it may be. You should really see "The High Cost of a Low Price" if you have not yet. It is a documentary about Wal-Mart that they do not want you to see. The Eagles have obviously not seen this movie.

There are also two excellent soundtracks out today. The new Todd Haynes biopic, unique imagining of Bob Dylan, "I'm Not There" will be in theaters very soon. The soundtrack is out today. It features the voices of Stephen Malkmus, Cat Power, Karen O, John Doe, Sonic Youth, Eddie Vedder, Yo La Tengo, Iron & Wine, and Calexico. The clips I have seen of this movie look amazing. I love Todd Haynes and can't wait to see Cate Blanchett. Heath Ledger, and Christian Bale all play the part of Bob Dylan. Alsoout today, is the soundtrack for the new biopic of Joy Division, called Control. It includes songs by Joy Division, New Order, The Buzzcocks, Velvet Underground, Kraftwerk, David Bowie, and the Killers. I will be seeing this movie on Thursday and seriously can barely wait that long. I have loved Joy Division since I have loved music. And like The Smiths, The Cure, Depeche Mode, and Siouxsie, I really can't imagine my life without them. The amazing Joy Division Box Set was released about 10 years ago. But today we finally get the deluxe remastered reissues of the Joy Division catalog. Since they were really only a band for a couple of years they only released two real albums. Both these albums, Unknown Pleasures (1979) and Closer (1980) remain as brilliant today as they were when they first came out. The collection album Still (1981) also gets reissued today. Still features live tracks and outtakes. Joy Division and eventually New Order had an impact on almost everyone I know. These albums are still powerful and really sort of haunting. A nice little release in time for Halloween. The band and these albums are loved and respected by not only the punks and the goths and new wavers but also by the indie rockers and hipsters. How can you not love this band. Seriously. The reissues look great and have all sorts of new stuff added to them. These albums have also been reissued on beautiful 180-gram vinyl.

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Lunch Wagon

Posted by phil blankenship, October 30, 2007 06:20pm | Post a Comment

Media Home Entertainment M184

California Fool's Gold -- Exploring Granada Hills

Posted by Eric Brightwell, October 30, 2007 06:05pm | Post a Comment
Today's Los Angeles neighborhood blog is about Granada Hills. To vote for another Los Angeles neighborhood, vote here. To vote for a Los Angeles County Community, vote here. To vote for Orange County neighborhoods, vote here.

I drove to Granada Hills today to buy a rug for Lush Floral Design head-honcho, Ngoc Nguyen. To get there I used the Ronald Reagan Freeway, named after an actor from Illinois who made some films which are widely regarded as being universally unmemorable. The ex-actor, after retiring from Hollywood, went on to sell weapons to the Iranian dictatorship using the profits to arm death squads in Central America. He also used funds designated for cleaning up toxic waste to fund instead the campaigns of sympathetic politicians and he closed institutions for the mentally ill, which flooded the street with hundreds of thousands of crazy new homeless people that now fill our jails, sidewalks and parks.


In 1959 Nikita Khrushchev visited the United States with two requests which revealed the Hollywood movie-lover in the famous shoe-banger:

1. To go to Disneyland
2. Meet John Wayne

The United States had a better idea; show him a modern suburb on Sophia Drive in Granada Hills. Instead of inspecting an aerospace plant, he was taken behind the scenes of 20 Century Fox's Can-Can.

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The Tormentors

Posted by phil blankenship, October 29, 2007 06:56pm | Post a Comment

Trans World Entertainment 46001


Posted by Eric Brightwell, October 29, 2007 11:21am | Post a Comment

I saw Control with Morten. It's the movie about Joy Division and more specifically Ian Curtis. It's funny because the first I heard of it was critics tripping over themselves to point out that they liked it though they'd never heard of the band. The point is always pretty much, "I'm a square. I'd never heard of these guys but I liked the movie, although for a rock band, they sure weren't that much fun." I wonder what those critics were listening to back then. To me, Joy Division is one of those bands that, if you have taste, you should've at least heard during their existence if you were teenage or older. I mean, how separate are the worlds of music and movies that you'd have us believe you've got great taste and an ear to the underground if you still haven't heard of Joy Division? What bigger independent bands were there in the late '70s? And didn't you review 24 Hour Party People not five years ago?

Back to the 24 Hour Party People then. When that came out I saw a lot of dour Raincoats leaving the theater expressing their wish that whole film had been about Ian Curtis and not those awful acid house Blue Tuesdays or whatever was going on after Ian Curtis' death, at which point their lot zoned out 'til the credits. Pity them. And I thought of how awful that would be -- a film about Joy Division. Biopics are so suspect. Made For Cable movies that sit in the wings like vultures to be released in theaters only in the event of the subject's death because what is an awful film will likely reap the awful rewards at the Oscars.

Control is directed by Anton Corbijn, which I didn't know till the end. Whatever you think of the guy, and I love his videos, you've got to admit that his images always have to easy to appreciate visuals. I mean, Bryan Adams got him to direct "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman," after all. He's f---ing Dutch, for Christ's sake.

Rembrandt                                                                                         Vermeer

Strongo disliked that it was in black and white. Morten pointed out that the world of Joy Division is black and white. It's kind of like how you're supposed to always film World War II in black & white or viewers get confused. The movie is visually stark, grey and remote. It always looks chilly and breezy year round. As far as plot, Corbijn sticks to the facts, which fans will recognize from the myth that has been passed down. He doesn't attempt to color in many of the bits on one knows about. For a music video director, I'm surprised at how artful, confident and unsullied by commercial demands it is.

Let's look at other music video makers who become movie directors. Remember Tarsem Singh's debut after promising videos? The Cell. For every David Fincher, Spike Jonze or Michel Gondry, there is an example of the opposite. Hype Williams made Belly, which we sell the ish out of, but I won't watch because it has Method Man and worse, Nas and who knows -- James Woods. Joseph Kahnn made Torque, which I still think needs to be on a Crotch Rockets double feature with Biker Boyz, filed in our otherwise perfect Biker Movies section in the Cult department of Amoeba.


For those that know a little about the characters of the late '70s Manchester scene there's a lot of fun to be had. Sadly, Martin Hannett is barely there. Craig Parkinson as Tony Wilson seems to have absorbed Steve Coogan. Toby Kebbell plays Rob Gretton as a self-promoting, slightly salesman-like guy who is nonetheless honest, loyal and charming. Sam Riley plays Ian Curtis as sweet, sensitive, selfish, self-absorbed, and lovable despite his weak will. Samantha Morton is Deborah Curtis (who, to me, has always been vilified somewhat as cashing in on Ian's death by writing a not always flattering account of being cheated on by her husband and the father to her children) and is pretty great. It seems like suffering wives of adulterous protagonists are always made out to be annoyances, not characters we should feel bad for. They are shrill, they're always crying and looking unsexy, their teeth are yellow, they wear housecoats too much and they just don't understand their adulterous husbands who really have no choice but to cheat, e.g. Brokeback Mountain. It's the fault of the crazy, messed up world they're in.

Much has been made of the film's stately, measured pace. That is to say, there isn't a lot of extraneous camera work or other bullshit. A-men. I think if you like either Last Days or Zodiac you'll find a lot to enjoy.


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Newhart - the rumor mill

Posted by Eric Brightwell, October 29, 2007 10:22am | Post a Comment

My spies have told me that season 1 of Newhart is going to be released in the winter of 2008. Of all the shows based around Bob Newhart (the others being The Bob Newhart Show (1961-1972),
The Bob Newhart Show (1972-1978),


and the bizarrely-named George & Leo (1997)...

...Newhart (1982-1980) remains my favorite. Dick Loudon (Newhart) is a writer from New York City who buys an inn in a rural Vermont town populated by colorful locals who exist to exasperate Dick. I like Bob Newhart in all of his roles, which are essentially the same -- a mild-mannered, stammering straight man. A bit like Droopy Dog (minus Droopy's explosions of anger and muscle). As David Hyde Pierce observed, "The only difference between Bob Newhart on stage and Bob Newhart offstage – is that there is no stage."

Trivia -- the last two times that I flew, actress Julia Duffy and celebrated beauty Ngoc Nguyen were on the plane! Imagine my joy!


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Posted by Billyjam, October 29, 2007 08:13am | Post a Comment
porter wagoner wagonmaster
Country music legend and longtime Grand Ole Opry host Porter Wagoner died last night (Oct 28th) of lung cancer at age 80, according to a news report posted on the Grand Ole Opry website.  Always a fighting spirit, Wagoner was active for most of his years, despite the fact that just a little over a year ago he had been seriously ill after suffering an intestinal aneurysm. He somehow overcame this serious medical prognosis to make a miraculous recovery followed by a career comeback with a series of memorable performances, including a wonderful appearance on The Late Show With David Letterman (see the video clip of it below). Wagoner also played Madison Square Garden as opening act for the White Stripes at the insistence of the Stripes, who are huge fans of Wagoner's music. Unfortunately since he went on so early, not a lot of folks had already arrived at the cavernous midtown Manhattan arena. Throughout his career Porter Wagoner boasted over eighty songs on the country music chart, nineteen of them duets with Dolly Parton, whose career he helped launch and whose careers are often connected. They were named "country duporter wagonero of the year" in 1970.

Truly a country music vet, Wagoner had recently celebrated his fiftieth year in the Opry (he joined the Opry in 1957) and a little earlier this year released the critically acclaimed album Wagonmaster on ANTI Records. Look for it along with other recordings from the Missouri-born artist in the country sections at Amoeba Music. Today's LA Times summed up Wagoner's legacy accurately by writing, "His showmanship, rhinestone suits and pompadoured hair made him famous, with his own syndicated TV show, The Porter Wagoner Show, for 21 years beginning in 1960. It was one of the first syndicated shows to come out of Nashville, and it set a pattern for many others." For more information on the late, great Porter Wagoner visit his official website.

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The Boston Red Sox Win the World Series

Posted by Whitmore, October 28, 2007 10:54pm | Post a Comment

Well I have to say, finally after all those unforgiving decades, after all those wicked cruel years, the Curse of the Bambino is definitely dead and buried for good … the Boston Red Sox have won the World Series again. Again!

Beantown wins the World Series again! …No f ’in’ way! Sweeping the Colorado Rockies in four straight games? You’re shittin’ me! How the hell did that happen? The Rockies had won their previous 21 of 22 games. If Boston’s World Series victory in 2004 wasn’t beyond friggin’ belief, coming back to win against the much hated New York Yankees in American League Championship series and then sweeping St. Louis in the World series to end an 86 year drought … winning it ALL again this year, just a couple of seasons later is utterly mind blowing! This must be the new millennium!

This year Boston was just an evil heart breaker in the playoffs. First they swept the Los Angeles Angels in the Division series, and then they ripped out the hearts of all Cleveland Indian fans everywhere by coming back and winning the AL Championship series after being down 3 games to 1. And in the Series against Colorado, the Red Sox were simply overwhelming in every sense of the word. Tonight, Sunday, the Boston Red Sox swept to their second title in four years. Wow! With Jon Lester, Mike Lowell, who won the series MVP award, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Jacoby Ellsbury, Hideki Okajima, Josh Beckett, Curt Schilling, Jonathan Papelbon and the big bats of Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz, Boston was just relentlessly, obstinately, unremittingly, unstoppable! (Thank god for my Thesaurus!) Congratulations Boston!

Side note: I’m actually a Dodger fan, always have been, always will be … just wait till next year! … Anyway, here’s the weirdest sports line of all; the Red Sox manager Terry Francona is undefeated in the World Series, winning 8 games without a loss.


Posted by Billyjam, October 28, 2007 08:30pm | Post a Comment

Back in 1986, when this heated debate on Crossfire was broadcast, the beginnings of the current era of censorship in popular music were just unfolding (meaning the era that began with the PMRC). In this must-see, 20 minute clip from the CNN show, the late, great self-described 'conservative' Frank Zappa goes head to head with arch conservative John Lofton of the Washington Times. Of course, Zappa had been in the center of this fight against popular music since his career began decades earlier, defending both the music and freedom of speech, but he was most publicly vocal during this mid eighties round which had begun the previous year, 1985, when the PMRC (Parents Music Resource Center), the music censorship organization that was founded by then-Senator Al Gore's wife Tipper Gore and included many other political wives, first came about.The PMRC and Lofton in this debate were most vocal about such songs as Prince's "Darling Nikki," which was accused of promoting incest and videos such as Van Halen's "Hot Ffrank zappaor Teacher," which is included below. Note that the arrival of the PMRC around the same time as MTV's meteoric early years, with its obvious influence on mainstream America, was no coincidence.

In September 1985 Frank Zappa testified before the US Senate Commerce, Technology, and Transportation committee, attacking the PMRC and making a historic statement that said the PMRC's proposal to ban certain rock music was an "ill-conceived piece of nonsense which fails to deliver any real benefits to children, infringes the civil liberties of people who are not children, and promises to keep the courts busy for years dealing with the interpretational and enforcemental problems inherent in the proposal's design. It is my understanding that, in law, First Amendment issues are decided with a preference for the least restrictive alternative. In this context, the PMRC's demands are the equivalent of treating dandruff by decapitation. (...) The establishment of a rating system, voluntary or otherwise, opens the door to an endless parade of moral quality control programs based on things certain Christians do not like. What if the next bunch of Washington wives demands a large yellow "J" on all material written or performed by Jews, in order to save helpless children from exposure to concealed Zionist doctrine?"

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The Manhandlers

Posted by phil blankenship, October 28, 2007 06:52pm | Post a Comment

Trans World Entertainment 49003

Oct Favorites pt. 2

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, October 28, 2007 12:00pm | Post a Comment

The second installment in my October favorites series starts with an opera LP from Brazil, it's a single LP of excerpts from Johann Strauss' "O Morcego" or "Der Fledermaus" or "the Bat" if you must.  Issued on the Copacabana label, the sound quality is radio broadcast level and the performance by the Zurich Radio Orchestra is fine, but it's the cover art that makes this a Halloween treat. Cool record store sticker from the Loja Gomes store on Av. Afonso Pena. It appears that the store was once in the center of Belo Horizonte-a huge city about 300 miles above Rio...

Up next...a classic American mix

Folkways and Edgar Allen Poe...Folkways records released this version of the Pit & the Pendulum in 1967, the orator is David Kurlan.  I was abe to dig up a little about  his Broadway work, mostly roles in musicals. He also did a couple of other Folkways voice overs. His reading is straight forward and very effective, kind of like the polar opposite of the Lou Reeds double CD nightmare based on Edgar Allan Poe. The LP comes with a small pamphlet containing instructions for teachers as well a sheet of transparency images for the old mimeograph...

And finally, to round out your night of frights, "The Rite of Exorcism"...on the Crunch Records label.  We will have to forgive those at Crunch for their lack of artistry when it comes to their logo and label.  The design would better suit a community college athletic department, thus breaking the Lance Rock "sports and music NEVER mix" rule, with which I am in complete accord.  Anyhow, the LP starts off with some amazing Satan Fuzz Funk and jumps right into a poor fellows discovery of an Exorcism taking place in a church alongside a lonesome road that he has had the misfortune to be traveling down...some guys have all the luck...There's more musical interludes including a pious Our Father sung by Dorothy Lerner...the mastermind of said effort is the good Rev. Patrick J. Berkery, Ph. D.  AlI I could dig up on the guy was that he's still around in the Catholic Church and that he's quite a prolific writer. Unfortunately his writings seem to emphasize positivity, therefore denying us any follow ups in the exorcisim dept...

The Grandaddy of all Conspiracy Theories

Posted by Whitmore, October 27, 2007 10:07pm | Post a Comment

I do love conspiracy theories and here is one of the best. On this date, October 28 in 1943, at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in Philadelphia, a naval military experiment often called the Philadelphia Experiment took place … allegedly. According to published reports the USS Eldridge turned invisible to eye witnesses for a brief moment, dematerialized, teleported to Norfolk, Virginia, and then reappeared in Philadelphia. The experiment supposedly had some horrific side effects on the sailors who either became extremely sick, insane or among other things, became engulfed in flames; many of the crew never led normal lives again. Since this had a few negative consequences on overall morale, the Navy halted the experiment and silenced the whole affair … allegedly.

The U.S. Navy of course has always stated that the experiment never occurred and many refer to the entire narrative as a misguided and absurd hoax. It doesn’t matter that many details of the Philadelphia Experiment contradict some of the facts about the Eldridge. (The USS Eldridge was not commissioned until late August 1943 and remained in port in New York City until September, 1943. During the month of October the ship was undergoing training exercises in the Bahamas -or was it the Bermuda triangle! - and never made it to Philadelphia that year. But who cares!) Conspiracy theories don’t get much more fun than this. Take this gem and sprint with it baby, because this where it all starts, this is the granddaddy of them all, from here countless Conspiracies can be traced, directly tripping into other conspiratorial ideologues of covert governments, secret organizations, murder corporations and agendas for world domination.  

Let’s dig into this historical event.

According to carefully scrutinize accounts, the experiment was conducted by a Dr. Franklin Reno, (or was it a German/Austrian scientist named Rinehart?), as a military application of Einstein's unified field theory. The experiment would attempt a successful connection between gravity and electromagnetism: electromagnetic space-time warping.

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Posted by Mr. Chadwick, October 27, 2007 01:20pm | Post a Comment
Another round of well executed, attention grabbing promotional sales stickers.  A very transitory artform as said stickers are almost always attached to the outer shrink wrap, most of them get thrown away as soon as an LP is opened for play .  In vinylandia we often come across NOS Long Players or records that have their shrink  wrap preserved and once in a while a brilliant little piece of advertising art will still be on that shrink.  Here's this weeks finds...

            "lasts a full hour and is designed to be repeated
             endlessly without fatigue or boredom."

             a bit from the mission statement from the
             Environments LP series website, a run of
             "psychoacoustical" field recordings that
             evidently made some big promises to their
             listeners. I'll have to give it a try next summer...

           Butt-rockin' Motley classic,not to be
           confused with the Christian Death
           classic "Only Theatre of Pain"
           unleashed 3 years prior...


On an entirely different 80's tip, below we have a very nice MTV tie in...oh long for the days when MTV played these and many more hair-raising acts instead of the "beautiful"-people-mellow-dramatic-TV-series type programs they seem to push nowadays...


For our final entry today, my favorite of the bunch, Mr. Leon Russell...

      You've got to love a pink egg promo tie in...        &a

Wooden Shjips - Not Your Momma's Stoner Rock

Posted by Miss Ess, October 27, 2007 01:29am | Post a Comment

Wooden Shjips
is, quite simply, my favorite local band. They have really gotten it all right. They've got it right in sound, melody, musicianship, energy, independence, intelligence and gentlemanly-ness (very important).

They have a dense, heavy, fuzz-filled sound that nonetheless still reverberates with hooks and energy, and it's at their fantastic live shows that they show off this sound at its peak. They have stripped it down to just the right basic elements with nothing remotely computerized (thank god!). Those who speak and judge quickly may lazily label them "stoner rock." Have you ever gone to see a "stoner rock" band where they busted out a trumpet? Yes, the musicians lock together in repetitive, tantalizing riffs, and yes, they have big amps, but the moral of the story here is although we do happen to live in a hipster- approved "stoner rock" time, didn't your mom ever teach you to not judge a book by its cover?

This band is far too smart and skilled to be labeled by simpletons. They started off their recording career by literally giving away a 10" and a 7" to anyone that happened to find them at Aquarius Records, or anyone that would listen. Imagine that, a San Francisco band, a ROCK band, no less (it's a rather rare breed here, don't know if you'd heard.), that cares more about building an audience of listeners than making money? Wooden Shjips' first live performance was a free show at Cafe Du Nord. Again, they used their sound, their songs and their mysteriousness to build word of mouth support that packed the room. Their second show ever was opening up for recently recuperated 13th Floor Elevators' Roky Erikson! They've parlayed all this into a recently released full length, self titled record on Holy Mountain and they just got back from playing at CMJ. One of the record's tracks was featured in the giveaway CD in a recent issue of Mojo. They got a write up in David Fricke's section in Rolling Stone. They released a single on Sub Pop. Not bad for less than a year's time since that first show. A little intrigue and all the skills to back it up was all it took and this band is officially en fuego.

I can't wait to see and hear what they do next! You'd best catch them in smaller clubs here in San Francisco while you can, cause they're movin' on up!

They play at the Hemlock on November 14. Oh yeah, and it costs $6. See, I told you!

Check out my interview with Wooden Shjips' Nash right here.

Murder: No Apparent Motive

Posted by phil blankenship, October 27, 2007 01:21am | Post a Comment

Vestron Video VA4388

The simpletons guide to the history of ...

Posted by Whitmore, October 26, 2007 09:23pm | Post a Comment

The Ark Of The Sun God

Posted by phil blankenship, October 26, 2007 09:07pm | Post a Comment

Interglobal Home Video 1387


Posted by Billyjam, October 26, 2007 03:17pm | Post a Comment

This week Mac McCaughan (left) of the bands Superchunk and Portastatic and the influential label Merge, which has released approx 300 albums to date and which he launched  along with fellow Superchunk member Laura Balance,  spoke to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation at a hearing titled "The Future of Radio." The hearing, which is not to be confused with the House of Representatives' Girl Talk-referencing copyright hearing from several months ago, took place on Wednesday, October 24th and is available in full transcript in PDF file by clicking here (finally your tax dollars at work doing something worthwhile).

According to the Committee's website, the purpose of the "The Future of Radio" hearing was to "assess the state of innovation and competition in the radio market." And the Superchunk singer/guitarist's testimony stressed the importance of the role that non-commercial radio has played in introducing independent musicians to wider audiences. He mentions Merge Records' instances like the Arcade Fire and Spoon -- two highly successful bands whose albums this year debuted in the Billboard Top Ten. McCaughan also addressed the power of the internet, as well as the importance of maintaining network neutrality so that commercial and technological experimentation can continue. Additionally, McCaughan urged the Committee to resist corporate pressure to loosen ownership restrictions in order to avoid a potential media monopoly, something that many others have voiced concern over. 

In addressing the hearing Mac accurately noted that it has been reported "that the FCC is considering altering the media ownership rules again and loosening the local ownership caps to allow major radio groups to buy even more stations in each market. No matter what your tastes in entertainment or news, if you value localism, competition and diversity, Congress and the FCC must recognize that further deregulation is not the answer."  A true supporter of independent and alternative artists, he also noted that artists who "thrive outside of the commercial realm depend on and deserve open access to public platforms such as the airwaves and the internet. Likewise, communities and citizens should have access to localized and diverse media. This is not just a means of doing business, but also an important facet of American life that needs to be nurtured and protected."

Continue reading...

Label Focus...Caedmon Records

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, October 25, 2007 11:20pm | Post a Comment


                          THE ART OF CAEDMON RECORDS
                 (click on any image for full size and better detail)

A personal Favorite of mine, the Caedmon record label was started in 1952 by Barbara Holdridge and Marianne Roney.  In my last blog I covered their wonderful version of the infamous Malleus Maleficarum.  The releases spanned the worlds of legitimate theatre, poetry, oration, kids stories, literature and anything in between. Singlehandedly, the ladies kick started the book-on-tape business.  Poking around on sites like discogs, it's amazing how few of the label releases are listed.  From the innersleeve catalogs in my personal collection of Caedmon releases, their output was immense. Check out our spoken word section sometime and you'll find at least a handful of Caedmon treasure. I've always enjoyed the utilitarian aspects of their packaging and the tastefulness of their art.  The blue, green and white label design is an absolute classic...

For links to comprehensive overviews of Caedmon's history click on either Dylan Thomas LP pictured below.  He was their first signing...                                 



Posted by Billyjam, October 25, 2007 07:46pm | Post a Comment
vincent price
Today I spill a lil on the curb for the late, great Vincent Price, who died exactly 14 years ago on October 25th, 1993. A truly great and most unique American actor, Price will be forever remembered for his distinctive voice and the semi-serious/semi-comedic roles he played in countless horror films. He will also be remembered to some for such things as hosting the PBS television series Mystery! in the 1980's and for adding the ghostly voice-over at the beginning of Michael Jackson's "Thriller." 

Vincent Leonard Price was 82 years of age when he died of  complications from emphysema and Parkinson's disease. He was still active up to within a few years of his death; one of his last major film roles was a part in the movie Edward Scissorhands. That last film of his, which saw him in a smaller role due to his ill health, was in 1990 and capped an extremely long, illustrious, and most prolific film career. It began for the actor in 1938 and included well over a hundred films -- many available on DVD at Amoeba Music. Two of my personal favorite Vincent Price films are House of Wax (1953) and Theatre of Blood (1973) -- the latter vincent pricebeing the very first film of his I ever saw and the one that got me hooked on his ever-engaging on-screen persona. The film is pure, brilliant horror and suspense with just the perfect balance of humor -- the sort of film that makes most of today's over-the-top on special effects but low on anything else so-called "horror" flicks pale in comparison.

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Joysticks - Saturday Midnight @ The New Beverly

Posted by phil blankenship, October 25, 2007 04:11pm | Post a Comment
Saturday October 27

Greydon Clark's
80's T&A Arcade Classic!


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


This forgotten T&A classic not only has the greatest theme song of the 1980's ("Totally awesome video games!"), it combines everything you loved from that preposterous decade: Valley girls, arcades, nerds, slobs, boobies, left-over hippies and the all time greatest punk gang, The Vidiots (led brilliantly by Jonathan Gries of Napoleon Dynamite fame.) Help save the arcade from being closed down by those evil conservative townsfolk and yeah... play some games while you're at it!

You will not find another movie that genuinely captures the video game craze of the early 80's.

Special Guests (schedules permitting): Jonathan Gries (King Vidiot), Jim Greenleaf (McDorfus) and director Greydon Clark!!!

With special help from Jesse Hawthorne Ficks (

Raul Campos Performing Live @ Amoeba Hollywood 10/26

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, October 25, 2007 01:07pm | Post a Comment

Born and raised in East L.A., Raul Campos is a DJ that is both old school and new school. He knows the importance of keeping the party rocking, yet is deep in his selections and not one to play the same old jams. He has own show on 88.9 KCRW (Nocturna, M-F from 10 p.m. -12 a.m.) and a new CD out on Nacional Records, Lotería Beats Mixtape, Volume 1. Raul will be doing an instore performance at Amoeba this Friday.

Raul spent years playing clubs, parties, Quinceañeras, even doing a stint at Radio Clandestina, a great pirate radio station out of Highland Park from the early 2000’s, before starting at KCRW. An idea of the show’s eclectic play list ranges from Venezuela’s very cool Cuatro Poder, The Budos Band, Teddy Bear w/Iggy Pop and classics from Sonora Dimamita and Eydie Gorme Y Los Panchos.

In an interview with the L.A. Times, 106.3 Power Tools host Meraz is asked if Raul being Latino makes a difference from other Non-Latino DJs trying to play the same style:

"He's coming from a different space," says Meraz. "It's not just, 'Look what I found.' It's, 'Look what I am.''"

Edgar Wright at the New Beverly!!!

Posted by phil blankenship, October 25, 2007 09:34am | Post a Comment
Reposting the announcement for my friends at the New Beverly Cinema

The New Beverly Cinema has The Wright Stuff.

December 2-17, 2007.

The New Beverly Cinema is proud to announce that Edgar Wright, director of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, will be programming a special festival of films, The Wright Stuff, at the theater in December of this year.

After selling out a screening of his films in August, Wright is returning to the New Beverly to show some of his favorite movies. Wright will be at the theater to introduce the screenings, schedule permitting. In addition, the festival will also include several surprise special guests. Painstakingly handpicked, the films cover a wide spectrum of decades and film genres. From horror to comedy, musicals and more, the festival is sure to have something for every taste.

Admission to all of the screenings is $7 for adults, $6 for students with ID and $4 for children and seniors. All evening screenings begin at 7:30, with a matinee double feature on weekends. No advance tickets will be sold. The box office opens 15 minutes before the first show.

The New Beverly Cinema is located at 7165 Beverly Blvd. in Los Angeles, a block west of La Brea. For more information on the New Beverly, visit our website,, or You may email the theater at [email protected] with any questions. The New Beverly Cinema is thrilled to have one of today's most talented filmmakers program this exclusive festival.

Wright started out directing television in the UK, most famously the cult series Spaced. He then moved on to his first feature film, the horror comedy Shaun of the Dead, which won him the British Independent Film Award for best screenplay, and the Empire Award for best British film. In 2007, Wright's second feature, Hot Fuzz, was released to critical success, winning him best comedy at the National Movie Awards.


Posted by Billyjam, October 24, 2007 12:22pm | Post a Comment

This recent no-holds-barred political speech (above) made in Congress by Representative Pete Stark (Democrat) --  in which he just relentlessly tells it as it is on the issues of kid's health care juxtaposed with the expense and moral issues of the war in Iraq and the GOP's stance on immigration etc. (perhaps even going a liar liar jim carreylittle over the top in some of the personal comments at Bush in making his points, but nothing obscene or anything like that) -- made me wonder how different the world would be today if more politicians constantly spoke their minds as freely as this. You know, like in that Jim Carrey movie Liar Liar, where he had no choice but to tell the truth no matter how undiplomatic it might sound.

More importantly, what if politicians also fully acted on their words by fully following through with concrete actions? And what if -- no matter what -- they stood by what they said? Note that since this speech, Pete Stark did apologize. Full story in today's LA Times.


Posted by phil blankenship, October 24, 2007 12:05pm | Post a Comment

Vestron VA4073

Ahhhh, Thelma!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, October 24, 2007 01:19am | Post a Comment

"This Amoeba thing is getting to be very catchy," said Houston from the stage of her SF in-store appearance. (She was referring to her other appearance earlier in the year at the Hollywood store.)

The 61-year-old daughter of a Southern cotton farmer turned disco diva is touring in support of her new CD, A Woman's Touch, which is a mix of covers from people like Luther Vandross, Marvin Gaye, and Sting. Houston explained to the crowd why all of the songs that she sang were originally done by men, and not women, considering the name of her record: "Once Gladys, Chaka, or Aretha record a song," she said, "you don't need to go there!"

The audience was loaded with old queens (this being SF, after all), all there to pay homage to the woman who sang one of the top ten disco songs of all time, "Don't Leave Me This Way."

But besides being a disco icon, Houston is also an accomplished stage actress, and it showed in her delivery. She came out to the platform dressed like Tina Turner, in a tight tunic and leggings, with a shock of neatly dredded hair in a ponytail cascading around her. She placed a top hat upon her head, which had gigantic feathers dripping off of it. "This is my good luck thing," she joked, "my good voodoo spirit."

Accompanied only by a backing track and a microphone, she lit into her first song, "Wake Up," and then into an Al Green cover, "Love and Happiness." Before she sang it, she told the crowd a story about Al Green, and how she and a certain male friend of hers both had a crush on him in the '70s. "[This was] before the grits," she joked, referring to Green's run in with the law, a hot pot of porridge, and his woman's back.

Continue reading...

the signs are everywhere - deux ...

Posted by Whitmore, October 23, 2007 08:28pm | Post a Comment

As a ridiculously naive adolescent I thought of getting a tattoo of my favorite line by French surrealist writer and poet Arthur Rimbaud: “my wisdom is as scorned as chaos”… well in most ways we grow old, but in some ways we never mature… so here I am decades later, still tattoo free, (I will be the last musician on the planet not tattooed or pierced… it is my destiny!) and I find it now the time for the obligatory  “plagiarize or simply steal if necessary” blogging moment. My 14 year old brain was right and will always be right. Steal from Rimbaud because you can’t go wrong … besides, the signs are everywhere.

O! The vast highways of this god forsaken country, dotted endlessly with primary colored gas stations. Our shrines to shiny new SUV’s sucking fuel; build another on-ramp to another Arco, another Union 76, another Texaco with a KFC attached. For Christ’s sake, there can never be too many! Just remember, one day, I want my turn at greed and ingenuity! But first, where is the cheapest gas station? I must save three cents to every gallon! That’s 36 cents a tank full. If you add it up, that’s $1.44 from Seattle to Los Angeles. Or a 20 ounce cup of coffee at a 7-11! But then again, these are just numbers, simple math.

From that time to here, I can still see the old me in my rear view mirror! I remember the those beautifully crafted black and white Ford Crown Victoria highway patrol cars trying to lure me into a felony, they can’t stop me, I’m invisible, I have the entire 5 Freeway on my shoulder, at my hip, caressing me, pushing me, telling me to fly home like a homing pigeon over the battle of Verdun in 1916. Everyone is too busy killing each other to notice me overhead. 362,000 French and 337,000 Germans, nearly 700,000 men will die at Verdun with perhaps a million wounded, and I’ll fly over them like it’s a sunny Sunday afternoon in Central Park … but hey, please ignore the blathering of my brain, these are just numbers, and since there are no dollar signs in front of them … not enough people cared back then, so why care now.

Continue reading...


Posted by Billyjam, October 23, 2007 07:19pm | Post a Comment

As reported by the BBC, the popular torrent-sharing network OiNK has been shut down in a joint operation by the British and Dutch police. The home of a 24-year-old IT worker from Middlesbrough, England plus his father's home were raided, as was his place of employment. Meanwhile, OiNK's Amsterdam based servers were also seized by the Dutch authorities. The BBC report speculated that OiNK was responsible for leaking 60 major pre-release albums this year to date and many stateside fans, who flooded message boards today, speculated that it was because of the more mainstream artists available on the network that the popular and high-fidelity network was busted.

According to the BBC report, the IT worker, allegedly the mastermind of the operation, "is being questioned on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and infringement of copyright law." As explained in a report on the bust by PitchForkMedia, OiNK was an invitation-only service in which "membership was maintained by
the consistent sharing of new music torrents. The more tunes you uploaded, the better your standing. Monetary donations were also encouraged."

Sea Monsters -- A Prehistoric Adventure -- 3-D at the California Science Center

Posted by Eric Brightwell, October 23, 2007 01:08pm | Post a Comment
The lovely and amazing Ngoc em accompanied me for a viewing of Sea Monsters at the California Science Center, a fact which you probably already gathered from the title and not from hours of watching Forensic Files. The film is structured like a lot of the (superior) BBC Walking With series that focuses on all those crazy monsters that didn't fit on Noah's Ark. Like the Allosaurus episode, Sea Monsters focuses on an slightly anthropomorphic female Dolichorhynchops and her search for a man amidst danger on all sides.

If you're a fan of magic lantern shows, or view masters, then you probably love 3-D. Well, really 4-D, because don't all movies have duration/time, width and height already? Why didn't William Castle think of that?

                     View Master!                                         Magic Lantern!                                 William Castle!

Anyway, Liev Schreiber's soothing tones placate you whilst giant marine reptiles swim toward you interspersed with period re-enactments of paleontologists finding fossils played by really hammy actors... and Peter Gabriel's light touch with the music should minimize any trauma from the bloodshed in all but the biggest bawl babies. Watching this with the sound off whilst tripping would probably be quite different in effect.

My main gripes are the short length (which is the norm with IMAX) and that, because we stick to the story of one Plesiosaur at the end of the Late Cretaceous, we only see maybe four or five marine reptiles. Personally, I'd rather have seen a lengthy and comprehensive expose of marine reptiles from the Mesozoic to the present. That would've given the parents more time to make out whilst sprawled out in the courtyard while the seven-year olds and myself got our learning on.

A Saltwater crocodile, which can grow up to 28 feet long can kill a shark. The largest predatory kind (the Great White) can grow up to 21 feet.

Continue reading...


Posted by Billyjam, October 23, 2007 12:11pm | Post a Comment

Rest in peace to Italian-American Napa Valley resident Vincent DeDomenico, who was the inventor of the "San Francisco treat," RIce-A-Roni, and who died in his sleep last Thursday at age 92. DeDomenico's legacy will live on forever and Rice-A-Roni is something that will always be synonymous with cable cars and San Francisco, California. Vincent was born in San Francisco in 1915 to Sicilian immigrants who had moved to California and set up the family business in San Francisco's Mission District -- the very rice a ronisuccessful Gragnano Products, Inc, which supplied pasta to Italian stores and restaurants all around San Francisco and which by the mid 1930's had changed its name to the Golden Grain Macaroni Company. A couple of decades later the invention of Rice-A-Roni would come about when in 1958, apparently inspired by the pilaf recipe of mixing rice and macaroni with some chicken broth, Vincent mixed all the ingrediants together dry: rice and macaroni plus a dry chicken soup mix and voila, "The San Francisco Treat" (its registered trademark) was born. Within four years Rice-A-Roni went national and just took off from there. By the 1960's it had become a cooking staple of US households and is still extremely popular to this day. In 1986 the Quaker Oats Company purchased the family business from the Golden Grain Company and has continued to expand its product line.

The catchy Rice-A-Roni advertising jingle is one that everyone seems to know and has become synonymous with the City by the Bay -- especially to outsiders/tourists -- because it repeatedly identifies with San Francisco imagery (including the sound of cable car bells). Additionally, the jingle has been sampled in many hip-hop releases and also the words "Rice-A-Roni" have been included in rap lyrics by both Bay Area and non Bay rap artists. Some rap songs over the years that have included the words "rice-a-roni" in their lyrics include Timbaland And Magoo's  "Up Jumps Da Boogie" from Welcome To Our World  featuring Missy when Magoo raps, "Eating Rice-A-Roni with Toni Toni Tone/Keep Cindy Crawford, to me she's to boney" and by the 2Live Crew in their take on Roy Orbison's "Pretty Woman" (the one that got Luther Campbell in a high profile lawsuit) with the lyrics, "Ya know what I'm saying you look better than rice a roni." 

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coming out today 10/23...dave gahan...

Posted by Brad Schelden, October 23, 2007 11:19am | Post a Comment

So these last couple years have really been all about Depeche Mode. But really, my life has been all about Depeche Mode and Dave Gahan. I still remember the day I first heard "People are People" for the first time. My life was really changed forever. This man named Dave Gahan has influenced countless bands  and artists. And much like Morrissey and the Smiths, I really can not imagine what music would be like without him. I am sure many would  like to imagine music without him, but not me. Generations before had The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Or Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. For me and thousands of others, we had Depeche Mode and The Smiths. Siouxsie and The Cure. I think most of us who grew up in the 80s and 90s either loved or hated Depeche Mode. You were either a proud devoted fan or you made fun of them on a daily basis. The mutual love of Depeche Mode helped to create friendships and bring together countless boyfriends and girlfriends. Really, where would I be without Dave Gahan. After releasing his first solo album in2003, "Paper Monsters," he went on tour as the solo Dave Gahan. The shows of course included many Depeche Mode songs. But his solo tours really lacked the energy of a Depeche Mode show. I have probably said this before, but there is really nothing like seeing them live. Just watch Depeche Mode 101 again, if you don't understand. Luckily Depeche Mode was not yet done. They released "Playing the Angel" in 2005 and it was really one of their best in many years. I had never stopped loving this band but it was really nice to know that they were still as good as ever. The band released another live album and another greatest hits. They released a great compilation of all their mixes. But most importantly they reissued their entire catalog of albums as deluxe cd/dvd combos. The albums really needed some remastering. The final two albums just came out a couple of weeks ago. They really are amazing. Each album has its own complete mini documentary about the making of the album. Dave Gahan is now releasing his second album today, "Hourglass." Some might say, enough already, Mr. Gahan. But for those of us still in love with the man that brought us "Dreaming of Me" 26 years ago, there can really never be enough.

The first single off the album is "Kingdom." But I have already moved on to "Saw Something." As the main voice of Depeche Mode, Dave is really putting out albums that don't sound too different from a Depeche Mode album. But I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed in his first solo album. I just expected better. But this new album is sort of making up for it. After a really amazing Depeche Mode album a couple years ago, I knew he still had it in him to make a great solo album. There are harder and louder songs on the album like the first single. "Kingdom" is a great song that will not disappoint any Depeche Mode fan. The same guys who worked on the songs he wrote for "Playing the Angel" also helped with this album. So it is not a surprise that is sounds a lot like that album. There are lots of electronics on the album. But it really could not be a Dave Gahan album if it did not i guess. The album also comes in a deluxe version with a DVD. He probably had so much fun making those Depeche Mode documentaries for the reissues that he just kept going and created one for the new album. The DVD includes "Hourglass": A Short Film, the video for Kingdom, and studio sessions for five of the songs from the album. A new album also means a new tour of course. He is doing a couple live appearances to promote the album this week in New York since that is where he now lives. But I am sure he will be on some sort of tour very soon. And I am sure some more Depeche Mode activity will be right around the corner.

also out today...

"1938" by Savage Republic

"Raising Sand" by Robert Plant & Alison Krauss

"La Cucaracha" by Ween

"Life Line" by Jesu

"Cotton Eyed Joe" by Karen Dalton

"1985-1987" by The Soul Merchants

(In which Job celebrates Stiv Bator's birthday.)

Posted by Job O Brother, October 22, 2007 03:06pm | Post a Comment

They say it’s my birthday. Happy birthday to me.

You’re like me, right? I mean, you HATE the song “Happy Birthday to You” as much as me. That saccharine dirge that well-wishers croak as they lug out some lit-on-fire, tacky cake smeared with artificially-colored vegetable shortening? It’s the sonic equivalent to that inedible frosting; coating your orifice with a greasy slime, leaving you wondering why you ever tell people when you were born. And then you remember why. Because they pay for dinner.

But that song! Most foul! And you know that it’s copyrighted, right? Someone actually owns that sucker. Warner/Chappell Music, specifically. The company bought the company who owned it (The Summy Company) in 1990 for $15 million dollars.

If I had $15 million dollars, I’d buy the world a piñata, and inside I’d stuff it with hope and love, and when it was busted open it would heal the planet.

Anyway, royalties have to be paid to Warner Music if you want to use that song. It’s why you rarely hear it, in its entirety, in films and TV.

"Happy checks sent to me...!"

I wish everyone had to pay to sing the song. Yeah, you heard me right. I wish every joker who decided to sing that song to me on October 22 had to pay the $10,000 price-tag. And yes, they would still have to pay for my dinner.

Lots of fun, famous peeps share this birthday with me:
Annette Funicello, Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme & William IX, Duke of Aquitaine!

Now, because it’s my birthday, I can do whatever I want, no questions asked. I can throw every single 6th grader into a volcano, sew the elderly together into one, great, old-person lei, and chop down every Ikea store in the world to make materials for trees – I could do any of these things and more, since it’s my birthday, and that's the law. Yet, I choose to spend it here, with you, my Amoeblog family.

Oh sure, Brad and Angelina have invited me to go baby shopping at their favorite orphanage in Cambodia; Al and Tipper are hoping I’ll join them as they “rough it” – camping in their new, “green,” luxury yurt, replete with self-sustaining Jacuzzi and “friendly” raccoon traps, and Condi Rice has used all the memory on my cell-phone with her “best wishes” text messages, but even so, I remain loyal to you, and only you, dear reader.

Provided you don’t sing that effing song at me. And if you do, I’ll tell.

Lars and the Real Girl -- Finally an Idiot Man-Child Film I Wasn't Crazy About

Posted by Eric Brightwell, October 22, 2007 01:02pm | Post a Comment
                 Lars... whoops- David Arquette                                                               The real Lars

In Lars and the Real Girl, Ryan Gosling plays a shy loner who is henpecked by nagging family and friends determined to engage him. He reacts to their attempts to set him up on dates and hang out in familiar and realistic shy guy fashion. Then he buys a sex doll which he falls in love with and all at once we're transported to a world I could only recognize as the familiarly formulaic "quirky indie film." Of course it's in the Middle West (Ontario in real life), the last bastion of quirky, lovable, soft-headed townsfolk with hearts of gold and fresh-baked good intentions.

What I had hoped was going to be a semi-comic observation along the lines of Punch Drunk Love or Chuck & Buck in one contrived bit plunged straight into the territory of an SNL sketch-cum-movie or an Improv skit that goes on for way too long (i.e. over 3 seconds). OK, it's not as bad as those examples, mostly because of the casting and because you don't have Horatio Sanz cracking up at the hilarity of it all. Ryan Gosling goes a long way in making Lars a character we care about even while the script or direction provide almost no insight into what's going on in his head aside from contrived instances with a psychiatrist. We never know if he really thinks the doll is real; does he ever have moments of clarity? What made him change from a believable loner into a delusional cinematic joke? We never know much of anything that goes on inside. You won't laugh, you won't cry, even though it's calculated to make you do just that. Ultimately Lars is just an icon with funny hair, funny clothes, a funny name and a funny relationship with others a la Napoleon Dynamite. Here's hoping he doesn't similarly inspire a legion of "hipster" imitators or else I'm going to have to make a lot more calls to the Redneck Squad.

I get the feeling that director Craig Gillespie (who also made the critically-despised Mr. Woodcock) didn't keep us distant from Lars deliberately like Todd Haynes did in Safe with Julianne Moore. Lars is viewed as a curiosity from arms length through the eyes of a guy whose prescription for social heterogeneity seems to be getting the world's "weirdos" laid or, at the very least, some hugs.

There are a couple of shots of the sex doll that register on the outskirts of funny and disturbing, but for the most part Lars and the Real Girl is (like Waitress or Little Miss Sunshine) only about as quirky as a Halloween episode of Friends. Almost too edgy for an in-flight movie or your great grandmother. The story slowly flows along toward inevitable plot markers at molasses speed and then ends, gratefully, sort of abruptly.

Ngoc Nguyen in stripes

If you don't believe me, my fetching, go-to paragon of flawless taste, Ngoc Nguyen, espoused similar views. If you still need convincing if the film's mediocrity, check out these particularly rote hyperboles it inspired among some of the nation's blandest critics:

Joe Morgenstern of Wall Street Journal: "nothing short of a miracle"

Ann Hornaday for the Washington Post: "a small miracle"

Wesley Morris for the Boston Globe: "something miraculous has occurred"

There you have it. The film is pretty much an act of an all-powerful, all-knowing being.
Jesus H. Christ is reportedly "totally jealous" of Craig Gillespie's recent spate of miracles


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Posted by Billyjam, October 22, 2007 01:00pm | Post a Comment
juice tupac
The image to the left is the album cover art from the soundtrack to the film Juice that starred Tupac Shakur as the crazy & wild, revolver-carrying character Bishop (one of a group of Harlem teenagers). At the time of its release in 1992, the film stirred up quite a bit of controversy over said gun in the artwork that was also used in the movie's advertising campaign. I remember back then, as you probably do too, seeing the ad in magazines, on big billboards and also on AC Transit buses driving by. The image was identical to the one at the left with a gun-toting Pac. But soon after, a heated controversy arose over the inclusion of the gun in the movie poster and the artwork was altered, with the gun being airbrushed out of the image altogether.

The whole controversy over the Juice advertising campaign was instigated by reporter Anita Busch at the Hollywood Reporter when she wrote a critical article about Paramount Pictures' advertising campaign for the movie. She wrote that some people feared the ad dipiction would lead to violence around the movie theaters. The article triggered a landslide of bad publicity, which in turn triggered fear, which ultimately led the studios/producers of the juice tupac film to alter the artwork and remove the gun (a revolver) from all movie related materials -- as in the DVD cover art, on the right.  

Among shocked rap fans at the time (myself included), the feeling was that it was a bullshit censorship move, with the real irony being that Hollywood was not airbrushing out guns from other (non rap related) movies. Clearly it came off at the time as a double-standard targeted at black youth and at a genre of music that was prone to controversy. (This was around the time of Ice T's "Cop Killer" and other hot-button controversies.) In fact, just a year earlier Vice President Dan Quayle used his high-profile position to slam Tupac's first album, 2Pacalypse Now: "There is absolutely no reason for a record like this to be published … It has no place in our society," was what Quayle said at the time of the rap album by the former Digital Underground member.

Continue reading...

October Favorites Pt. 1

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, October 22, 2007 12:26pm | Post a Comment
The month of October begins the massive turn inward that results in the great isolation of the later winter months. We in SoCal tend to be spared the brunt of all the snow and ice that is the harsh reality of winter for much of the rest of the country.  Even so, the general isolation that comes with winter certainly occurs here- try getting people out to a performance during even a light Feb. rainstorm and you'll know a true feeling of loneliness deep in your heart.  I thought that I'd put together a three parter featuring some of my favorite recordings for your post Mabon listening pleasure...those lonely nights in your SRO curled up next to your illegal space heater, anticipating the Samhain spirit night quickly approaching...

(Glendale, CA private press)

Always a favorite around the (((6))) compound this time of the year, this LP not  only has some truly great cat screeching and chain rattling, but really spooked out THEREMIN SOLOS.  Originally issued as two separate Halloween themed 7" EP's (one pumpkin cover, one werewolf cover). I have the LP, the cover of which is a picture of a"spooky" Victorian house.  My copy had a former life  as a library LP so the cover has a big rip where the card pocket was ripped off and there's a heat warp warning sticker to the left, which I believe gives my copy creepier feel.

Tom O'Neil
on Pedal Records
(private press from Southern Pines, SC)

Spot on Rod Sterling impersonation by one Tom O'Neil, enriching sound effects  and stock music and a few decently put together supernatural tales make this a comfortable fit for a latch key / B&W UHF watching child of the 80's.  The Cover is very beautiful, Aqua background with dancing Casper type ghosts, covered in the most environmentally challenging shellac coating available in 1961...Truly amazing...

on Witchcraft, Demonology and Exorcism
written by Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger
translated by Montague Summers
read by Ian Richardson

Original documents drawn up my two Dominicans in 1486, considered for many years to be the most accurate, complete and frank dissertations on witchcraft, it's ceremonies and effects on society- all from a Witchfinder POV.  Shakespearean quality diction makes Ian Richardson's reading especially engaging.  Translated by the infamous Montague Summers-close pal of Crowley, cited and somewhat ridiculed by Anton Lavey, he is well worth researching as his story is very entertaining.  The track titles give you the general idea. I'm sure  that these  writings have been giving some church leaders and many statesmen fuel for their private    dalliances for many centuries...                                                                                   

Goodbye Friend - Lance Hahn 1967-2007

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, October 22, 2007 02:05am | Post a Comment

For those who didn’t know, Lance Hahn passed away Friday after slipping in a coma a week earlier. Lance Hahn was a brilliant songwriter and a great musician. His band, J-Church (and before that, Cringer), recorded several albums and many singles. He had friends all over the world, who will be very sad when they get the news.

I met Lance nineteen years ago. He was 21 and I was 19. We worked for nuclear disarmament organization. We would canvas rich liberal neighborhoods trying to sign people up as members, much like Greenpeace does. It was a shitty job to say the least. The best part about it was meeting Lance. Lance was really funny and I loved the way he laughed. It was real. He and his friends moved to L.A. from Hawaii in the late 80’s because they thought the punk scene would be better in L.A. Unfortunately, they came right when the hair-metal thing was huge in L.A. and punk was out of vogue. His band Cringer only played a half a dozen shows in the three years they were in L.A. At the time I was taking a recording class at Harbor College. I told him that I could record Cringer for free. He took me up on the offer and we recorded Cringer’s Zen Flesh, Zen Bones E.P. It was my first time behind the mixing board. It sounded horrible and I knew it, but they released it anyway. I ended up playing a show or two on guitar with them before they moved to San Francisco. They asked me a few days before they left, "Hey, do you want to come with us?" I declined. Once they moved up north they became a part of the Gilman Street community, released some records, did a few tours, broke up and became J-Church. I started playing in bands as well and every time I would come up San Francisco to play he would be at the shows. After the shows, we’d drink 40’s and eat burritos from one of the Mexican places on Valencia in the Mission District, then he'd load me up on punk rock gossip. He was like my punk rock comradre.

In 1994 I spent most of the year playing bass in Beck’s band. On a break from tour I went up to San Francisco to visit friends. Beck was searching for a guitar player to replace one who just quit the group. When I told Lance that Beck was looking for a guitar player he asked if he could try out. I never thought of asking him, even though he was a great guitar player. I just figured he was busy with J-Church. He learned all the songs in a few days, came to Los Angeles to try out and joined us for the rest of the year. We went to Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, The Philippines, Japan, Europe and the East Coast. I was always amazed how many people Lance knew. Everywhere we went he had friends, from celebrities, huge area rock stars, cult bands, writers, directors, politicians to indie-rock legends. Even though it was Beck with the hit on the radio, backstage, Lance was the star. He was the one that everyone knew and loved.

From the time I knew him, he kept in correspondence with everyone he met. I admired that about him. I’m lucky to remember someone’s name twenty minutes after meeting them. He also could write more songs in a week than I could in a year and all of them would be great. He was always up for an adventure. Anytime he went anywhere or met someone he soaked up everything about that person or place. He was the type that could get up and move somewhere new when the time was right. Me? I get too attached to places, people and things. Maybe that’s why I won’t leave L.A.

On top of that, he was D.I.Y. in the true sense. He frequented, worked or helped start many independent establishments. He released his own records, made his own fanzines, website and t-shirts. He had high ideals but was never preachy. He was never one of those annoying, “look at me” D.I.Y. guys. He just did it. It was his way of life and as easy to him as breathing is to most. He never once told me, “This is the way you do things.” He did his thing and I learned from that.

The last time I saw Lance was at the end of 2003. I was on tour and had a show in Austin. I wanted to invite Lance to the show but I had forgotten his phone number at home. I happened to check the local newspaper and I noticed that J-Church was playing that night at Emo’s. After my show I went Emo’s to find Lance. We spoke briefly after his set. He did not look so well. Still, he said he was going to pack his gear and come and visit me at the club I was playing at. He never made it, but I wasn’t upset. I figured I’d see him down the line. I always did.

I never had the chance to tell Lance how much he meant to me. I  think he would be embarrassed if I ever did. His influence helped me and others like myself over the last twenty years. It didn't matter if you'd known him since he was a teenager or if you talked to him a couple of times -- you felt his influence. I feel lucky to have known him and to have called him my friend.

Goodbye Lance, see ya friend.

The Search for the Next Elvira

Posted by Brad Schelden, October 21, 2007 11:13pm | Post a Comment

Two of my heroes growing up were Rod Serling and Elvira. I am a bit surprised that I actually turned out sort of well adjusted. I absolutely loved watching The Twilight Zone on television. One of my babysitters let me watch it and I really thought that Rod Serling was the coolest man in the world. His shows were nothing short of brilliant. I still look forward to the yearly marathons even though I have the episodes on DVD now. I also watched a lot of the "Movie Macabre" hosted by Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. The show originally aired in 1981. I also became obsessed with Elvira and watched her late night movie show any time I got the chance. The movies were absolutely horrible, but her hosting and commentary was hilarious. It probably helped develop my love of horror movies and just bad movies in general. But also my love of sarcasm. Elvira got her start in Hollywood with the comedy group the Groundlings. Both the Elvira character and Pee-Wee Herman were created at the Groundlings. I got to meet Elvira at Midnight Mass last year and the lady is still as great and beautiful as ever. I was excited to find out she had a new reality show coming to TV. The show finally started and I just finished watching the second episode. The reality show is on the Fox Reality Network. A channel that I am sure I will probably never watch again after the Elvira show. But the show itself is great. Elvira is basically looking for "the next Elvira." I am sure that she gets tons of appearance requests that she can't always fulfill and needs somebody to basically help run the Elvira business. Imagine how popular she is in the month of October. Maybe she should pick live five new Elviras.

The first episode was filmed in my hometown of Long Beach aboard the Queen Mary. I was excited since I worked there for two summers. The ship is seriously a little creepy and a great place to film an Elvira Reality show. I still have never stayed on the boat. But someday soon I will. All the rooms are still decorated like they were when the ship  was originally an operational ship. Now it is permanently docked in the port of Long Beach. This episodes went through all the american idol style tryouts and got the girls down to the "Unlucky 13." They really only showed the worst "Elviras." I was surprised that there were actually ladies that showed up with blond hair that looked nothing like Elvira. But most of the goth and rockabilly types that showed up knew what they were doing. The show is actually done pretty well and Cassandra Peterson (Elvira) obviously had a lot to do with the writing and production of the show. The show is co-hosted by two "manviras." They two gothy dudes that co-host look like better Elvira's than almost all the contestants. Only one man actually made it into the first group of thirteen. Elvira still has her same sarcastic valley girl style. So the show is mostly Elvira and the manviras making fun of all the ladies trying to be the next Elvira.

The set for the show is great and she even has her own little person maid "Helga" to clean up the debris once she has electrocuted the girls that get eliminated. Instead of being "in" or "out" the ladies "rest in peace" or "the nightmare continues." The second episode gets the list down to seven. They have to act out an Elvira scene and it quickly becomes obvious who is gonna last on the show. The best 5 of the remaining 7 have to pick the best one out of the other 2 of the 7. So the contestants are now the "sexy six." I already have my favorites. And after the next episode the list gets down to only three. The TV audience then gets to pick the final winner. My favorite so far is "Kitty." But I also like "April." But it really is gonna be hard to become the next Elvira. There is really nobody like her. Nobody that could possibly have the influence she has had on countless kids and teenagers first getting into horror movies. She has just had a huge influence on popular culture by creating a unique and endearing character that will be with us forever.

Shout Factory started releasing Elvira's original "Movie Macabre" shows on DVD last year. They came out in great double feature two packs. Last year we got Legacy of Blood/Devil's Wedding Night, Count Dracula's Great Love/Frankenstein's Castle of Freaks, and The Doomsday Machine/The Werewolf of Washington. This year we get Maneater of Hyrda/The House that Screamed, Blue Sunshine/Monstroid, and Gamera, Super Monster/They Came from Beyond Space. The movies are all horrible as you would expect. They would have all been forgotten and never talked about again. But Elvira revived these old horror films from the 50s and 60s on her show in the 80s. And she is now doing it again with these releases on DVD. Not that these movies really need to be remembered. It really is all about the Elvira introduction to the film. She also comes on screen throughout the movies to make fun of the bad acting and ridiculous scripts. I love that set with the red couch and candles and the creepy Elvira background music. The movies are pretty easy to make fun of. But Elvira just does it so well. There was a TV pilot filmed in the 90's for a show called "Elvira." The should would of course star Elvira and Katherine Helmond (Soap, Who's the Boss?). The show was about witches living in a small town and I am sure it was amazing. Unfortunately it never aired. Maybe this will be out on DVD some day as well.


Posted by The Bay Area Crew, October 20, 2007 11:32pm | Post a Comment
The growth of the Japanese band Boris' popularity in America is a perfect example of life imitating art. Their songs—droning metal scapes that can last over 45 minutes--  start with the merest hint of sound and then build to high, layered crescendos of noise.

Boris has been around since 1992, but only really gained a foothold in the states after Southern Lord began reissuing their catalog here. A successful appearance at South By Southwest this year also increased their profile in American music press, who adore them. So, like their songs, they have been lurking quietly in the background and have slowly but surely increasing their volume here over 15 years.  

This was apparent at their Amoeba in-store early in October. The place was packed with long hairs, noise geeks, and anyone else who wanted to spend their Saturday afternoon going deaf.  "Akuma no Uta is the best album ever!" yelled someone from the crowd as the band took the stage.

The band's three members, Atsuo, Takeshi, and the only female member, Wata-- a mother and could be seen carrying around her toddler who was wearing airline-grade ear protection—calmly got behind their instruments and began playing what would end up being one drawn-out song for nearly 40 minutes. It started as a slow steady background drone, then began to soar and climb with skittish metallic sounds that could only be described as "bubbly." At times it sounded like a jet beginning take-off, and by the time the drums kicked in and the main crescendo took hold, there was little doubt in the room that this was one of the best bands on earth.

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Kung Fu Kids

Posted by phil blankenship, October 20, 2007 09:21pm | Post a Comment

Trans World Entertainment 15006

The Revenge Of Doctor X

Posted by phil blankenship, October 20, 2007 09:13pm | Post a Comment

Regal Video R1014

Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music

Posted by Miss Ess, October 20, 2007 04:56pm | Post a Comment
Last night I watched some of the Johnny Cash Show DVDs, which just came out and from what I saw are completely fantastic! My favorite performance is by Mr. Ray Charles. He adds some soul to "Ring of Fire" and it's fantastic. Check it out here:

Isn't that amazing? I just wish people were still making TV talk shows as daring and intelligent as Johnny Cash's. At least we have the DVDs now to remind us how things were. Hopefully sometime very soon when I have watched the whole offering, I will have a more thorough review of The Johnny Cash Show!  I couldn't resist putting Ray up now though.

Tools of the Trade

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, October 20, 2007 01:24pm | Post a Comment

There are many reasons to add a sticker to the front of your release...Maybe the designer left out some minor detail (like the Band or Artist name)...Maybe there's an unexpected hit...other times repackaging a previous release requires an announcement of the enticing goodies that have been added to boost sales...the list goes onandonandon...Here's a collection of well done promotional stickers...

   Novelty design tie in for Ms. Ward's big hit    

   Moon Chart and Moog...perfect 70's pitch points

Import pressing distributed by Jem, seems like the French language sticker might have reminded customers in the states that this was an exotic piece, therefore "rare" and an obvious must have...

1st US issue for the debut clash album, different tracks and a bonus 7" insured repeat purchases by those that already had the UK version.

Above we have a classic example of the "how else will anyone know what this is" type promo sticker. Unlike the previous stickers, this one is directly on the cover. Although usually this sticker would be on the shrink, thisis white label promo copy that had both the timing strip and the promo sticker adhered to the cover...

        A modern release, similar to the Joni LP...

For our final example, we'll save the best for last...GOLDMINE!!!

2, count'em 2 hit single stickers!!!  "See Saw" fits in beautifully with the color scheme and general feel of the layout, while "I Say A Little Prayer" is similar to the Anita Ward sticker in that it's a bit of a novelty tie in with the song title, using the black letter font typically associated with all things biblical.  Also included and old price code sticker from what chain??? Let us know, I'd love to do a bit just on price tags from yesteryear. Hmm...


Posted by Billyjam, October 20, 2007 11:00am | Post a Comment

Last night (10/19) I went to check out Z-Trip, who sold out Studio B in Brooklyn during busy CMJ week, and the DJ totally rocked it. As at his San Francisco concert a couple of months back at the Independent, he again broke out the full drum kit and between DJ'ing played some mean drums. In the true Z-Trip tradition, his set was as much (if not more) classic rock than hip-hop and included his ever popular rendition of Rush's "Tom Sawyer" remix (included on the recent All Pro Soundtrack on Decon).

But the classic rock track Z-Trip dug up and remixed live for the energetic twenty-something crowd that got everyone going the most crazy was Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody." Everyone was going audibly wild to the point that it was like he was breaking out the hottest new record of the moment -- amazing, considering the Freddie Mercury-penned song was released (on the 1975 album A Night At The Opera) before most in the house were even born. Of course, the song never really went away -- it has constantly popped up in pop culture, including back in the 90's in Wayne's World and on jukeboxes and radio stations to this day. 

"Bohemian Rhapsody" is a truly brilliant piece of music: one that can transcend time and genres and always remain fresh sounding -- even if it is the Manualist doing his (fart sounding) microphone rigged sweaty-hand version (below, along with Waynes World, plus an a capella rendition by the UC Men's Octet.): 

Continue reading...


Posted by phil blankenship, October 19, 2007 10:04pm | Post a Comment

Sony K0631

Will Oldham: One Man, Many Names

Posted by Miss Ess, October 19, 2007 02:00pm | Post a Comment

Someone's been very kind to me today:  I received a package in the mail chock full of Bonnie Prince Billy bootlegs and singles!  Very exciting day, and how perfect is it that it's drizzling and grey out?  It's ideal for BPB listening, at least to me for whatever reason.

That's not to say his music is depressing though.  It can be dark, but for the most part for me it's actually uplifting and really almost unbeatable.  It's got a loose feel to it, a risky feeling.  Feels like everything's on the brink of falling apart, but it never does.  Fantastic.

In case you are unaware, Bonnie Prince Billy goes under many names, so his albums can be difficult to find and collect.  Some of these names/projects include: Palace, Palace Brothers, Palace Songs, Bonnie Billy, and Will Oldham (his real name).  He also collaborates often with others, like Amalgamated Sons of Rest, Matt Sweeney (that's Matt in the pics on the left and below), David Pajo and, more recently, Tortoise.  Oh yeah and he just contributed vocals to a record by Scout Niblett as well!  You can see how it's tough to keep up with the guy.  Oh yeah, and some of his best songs can be found on out of print 45s.

These bootlegs I just got are from the I See A Darkness and Ease Down The Road period.  I LOVE I See A Darkness, and Ease Down the Road is a solid record for him.  He's put out so many, you see!  His output can be fairly staggering to the uninitiated.  I'll try to break down a few of my favorites at the end of the post.

Will Oldham takes a lot of chances with his live shows and also with his records.  I love having the feeling that he's just working on whatever pleases him and that's precisely what he puts out.  He doesn't care what the audience thinks.  At all.  At his live shows you may hear songs that you think you've never heard, only to realize 5 min in it's your favorite song, just so reworked it's almost unrecognizable!  You may hear him singing about going down on his girlfriend.  He may sing about death and dying.  Nothing's off limits.

One of my favorite songs is "Madeline Mary" from I See A Darkness.  It's a sea shanty, a dirge about the one extraordinary woman aboard a stormy watered ship surrounded by lecherous men.  Here's a performance of it.  It sounds quite different on the album, but I like this a lot too:

Here are just a couple of my favorite records by BPB (in order of release):


Days In The Wake - 1994 - Palace Brothers

I See A Darkness - 1999 - Bonnie Prince Billy

Superwolf - 2005- Bonnie Prince Billy & Matt Sweeney

And if you made it this far, check out this little treat, Will covering Bill Withers.  He also recorded a cover of this track and, again, it sounds COMPLETELY different here.  I actually like this YouTube one much better:

When I had the great pleasure of meeting Will Oldham, I instantly noticed he had the kind of eyes that make you feel like they can see right through you.  Interacting with him was an odd experience, hard to describe.  We sang Carly Simon songs together in the pop vocals section.  It was a good day.


Posted by Billyjam, October 19, 2007 09:18am | Post a Comment
lucky dube
R.I.P. to reggae great and South African musician Lucky Dube. Yesterday evening around 8:20PM (October 18th), Dube was gunned down and killed, reportedly in front of his own kids, in the Johannesburg, SA suburb of Rosettenville. Police are calling the murder part of a botched hijacking in which the artist was reportedly dropping off his son and daughter at another family member's home. Reportedly two gunmen approached Dube's car and opened fire, killing the artist but not harming his children. The kids apparently had already just exited the vehicle, then ran to get help after witnessing the shooting from afar.

Lucky Dube was one of South Africa's most successful reggae recording artists and started out his career doing traditional African Zulu music as a Mbaqanga artist in the eighties before switching up and doing reggae music full time. His rich catalog includes 21 albums, both Mbaqanga and reggae, including last year's reggae album Respect. He was only 43 years old and is survived by seven children and his wife Zanele. His full name was Lucky Philip Dube (pronounced doobay) and his mother named him Lucky apparently because he was born in poor health, yet survived.

The simpletons guide to the history of ...

Posted by Whitmore, October 18, 2007 10:04pm | Post a Comment

Attracting Today's Woman

Posted by phil blankenship, October 18, 2007 08:13pm | Post a Comment


Posted by Billyjam, October 18, 2007 07:26pm | Post a Comment


Rocky (pictured above) is the best canine pal of Don Ford, who manages at the San Francisco Amoeba Music store. The happy dog's full name is Rocky Balboa, "but we just call him Rocky," says Don. The Boston Terrier will be turning four in December. "We got Rocky in January because my Pug puppy was killed at the vet when he went in for a booster shot and he went into shock," recalls Don sadly.  "The Pug's name was Brutus. It was all a sudden shock. So after a few months of grieving we decided it was time for a new puppy. So we picked Mr. Rocky Balboa. He has been amazing and so special. He is sweet, funny,  and he farts sometimes," laughed Don, adding that the energetic Mr Balboa "Is aways there with a lick or a jump up to your waist. He goes nuts to go for field trips in the car. And he loves to run at Fort Funston.  


Pictured left is Melina (AKA Donut, AKA Doglet), who is the best friend of Kara who works in the marketing offices of the Amoeba Music Hollywood store. "I like to call her a Chihuahua/fruit bat mix, but there are many theories about her origin," says Kara, who crossed paths with Melina after she was brought into the Amoeba Hollywood store by her owner -- a store regular -- who had tragically lost his home and could not find a new one that would allow pets. But luckily, from frequenting Amoeba, this former owner knew just how much the staff there loved animals, especially dogs, so he left Melina with Amoebite Kim to find the little pooch a safe and loving new home. Kara babysat Melina just once and instantly knew that she would be the one would adopt the little cutie and provide her with that loving new home. "So she now lives in Santa Monica," says Kara. There the dog keeps a good guard over her front yard while laying in the sun every morning with her toys. Kara noted that Melina pulls her weight too. "She works a few days a week in the marketing office -- taking calls, booking in-stores and playing fetch in the hallway when she needs to stretch her legs. Her hobbies include: gazing longingly at people trying to eat in the break room, getting visits from her many friends around the store, barking at skateboards and burrowing under blankets." Melina also enjoys trips to the dog park, driving up the coast to look for birds to chase (which she never catches), looking cute, and any food you'd maybe like to part with. "I was amazingly lucky to have this special dog cross my path!!"

Continue reading...

(In which Job extols the merits of the Great State of Tey-haas.)

Posted by Job O Brother, October 18, 2007 09:34am | Post a Comment

A map of Texas, courtesy of AAA... or maybe it was AA? Anyway, they were nice and had free maps.

I’ve recently returned from the Great State of Texas; more specifically, Houston and its surrounding communities. I’ve also just eaten a lemon-blueberry scone. What do these facts have in common? They both concern me, though only one of these things will be mentioned again in this blog.

I went to Houston to accompany my boyfriend to his 10-year high school reunion. It was my first time in Texas. It was also my first time at a high school reunion, having never been invited to mine. It’s not my alma mater’s fault, though – I was probably handed a form to fill out so they could reach me, and, knowing me, I ignored it in favor of flirting with Zach H’s girlfriend in the campus theatre lobby instead. Or maybe reading an Anne Rice novel while drinking screwdrivers from my thermos. High school was bleak.

"I hate Driver's Ed, too! Mr. Mancy sucks."

The trip was delightful. Corey gave me a tour that covered his life’s history up to his flight to the Sunshine State. One stop on the tour was Wes Anderson’s high school, where the film “Rushmore” was shot. Faced with this spectacle, I said:


It occurred to me that I should honor the State that so graciously fed me the greasiest* taquitos on God’s Earth, found at the epic Tex-Mex fast food chain, Whataburger (imagine McDonald’s breakfast menu wrapped in a steamed, flour tortilla). Here then, is a list of some proper nouns I love which I have Texas to thank for:

Tex Avery

This is the dude who gave us Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, which is good. (He also gave us Chilly Willy, which is bad. Very, very bad. I hate Chilly Willy. I hate his little round cheeks and knit cap. I hate his happily flapping wings and precocious, yellow beak. I want global warming to render him extinct.)

*Giggle!* "I just love to frollick in the snow! Also to chew babies' heads until the juice comes out."

Is it too late to tell you to ignore that last paragraph?

Mr. Avery’s influence on the world of animation was huge. He diverged from the more realistic style of Walt Disney, encouraging his illustrators to instead take imaginative advantage of the medium. “In a cartoon you can do anything,” he said.

It’s worth getting a laserdisc player just to be able to watch his complete, collected shorts (otherwise unavailable). I’ve seen it come in occasionally at Amoeba Music Hollywood (in the DVD depot). Not only is it chock full of cartoon brilliance, it’s heavy enough to strike and kill evil ninjas who might try to end your lineage.

But wait! There's so much more! I'll be continuing this testament in my next post, so stay tuned. Yeee-haw!

Because Four Times Was Enough - Why I Probably Won't See The Darjeeling Limited

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, October 18, 2007 12:59am | Post a Comment

I just read two critical essays on Wes Anderson’s new movie The Darjeeling Limited. I won’t bore you with a synopsis of the essays. You can check them out by clicking here and here.

Wes Anderson movies have been a guilty pleasure of mine. Not a lot of heads in the barrio get his humor. His movies remind me of having a privileged upper class white friend who is insightful and fun to hang around with one on one. But once you are around his friends, he acts differently and treats you as more of a token ‘ethnic” friend then a human being. Any person of color who has these friends knows what I’m talking about. I don't feel like I'm looking way too into this... something in Wes Anderson movies always made me feel a little uneasy and I think both these critics unveiled what I always felt but never could express.

I'll defend Wes Anderson just a bit, to be fair. In the movie The Royal Tenenbaums, one of the only characters with any dignity is the character Henry Sherman, played by Danny Glover. In the movie, Henry has depth. He is a good man, smart, supportive and decent. He is a friend and financial adviser to Etheline Tenebaum, the family’s matriarch, who has kept the family together throughout the years despite the family's many pitfalls. Both Henry and Etheline fall in love with each other and their love comes from their friendship. There is no fetishism or tokenism involved, just two old friends who fell in love.

Also in the movie, the outcast father and ex-husband of Etheline, Royal, tries to keep the couple apart so that he can possibly rejoin the family now that he is broke. His attempt at being a racist in order to make Henry look bad and lash out on him is clumsy at best and never really believable, because you cannot hate a guy like Henry Sherman. (Who insults any black person by calling them Coltrane, anyway?)

At the end of the movie Royal apologizes to Henry for being, well, Royal:

Royal: I've always been considered an asshole for about as long as I can remember. That's just my style. But I'd really feel blue if I didn't think you were going to forgive me.

Henry Sherman: I don't think you're an asshole, Royal. I just think you're kind of a son of a bitch.

See, even now I defend Wes Anderson and his movies. It’s those moments when I am one and one and see the beauty that is deep inside and not all the tokenism.

It’s not that I think Wes Anderson is a flaming racist, nor an asshole, I just think he’s kind of a son of bitch.

Thanks to Sasha Ali for passing me the critical essays.

Terminal Entry

Posted by phil blankenship, October 17, 2007 07:55pm | Post a Comment

Celebrity Video 4014

52 Pick-Up

Posted by phil blankenship, October 17, 2007 03:16pm | Post a Comment

Media Home Entertainment M892

Welcome to my world

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, October 17, 2007 12:04pm | Post a Comment
Greetings from Vinylandia...

Mr. Chadwick here with a new blogspot chronicling  finds and fascinations that lie just beyond the above pictured door. Uncovering those hidden treats that flow through the vast sea of vinyl platitudes that Amoeba Hollywood attracts, as well as many of my own personal treasures.  As things progress I hope to bring you more in-depth histories of the odd and curious private press and small label houses that the City of Angels has produced, but for now we'll start with some simple entertainment... found artwork.... Specifically artwork that was spontaneously created under the "influence" of the very object within which the said art piece was unearthed...

First up a nice trio of interpretations of very famous photos of a very famous UK pop group...

Here we have a very inspired George and Paul, outlined from a white album photo...


By far the most effective of the trio, a very different Ringo than we are used to... John got lost somewhere along the line...or maybe his being left out was some sort of message from the artist...

Beginning our next series, also inspired by the Fab 4, is a batch of potential fonts for a B/O compilation, ink-pen & marker on inner sleeve...The "Taxman" heavy metal font might have worked well for Rockwell had he decided to release his version as a single...

The next piece is an intense psych-o-delic trip, inspired by LA's one and only DOORS...

Spray paint and Ink-pen on the back of the "LA Woman" inner sleeve....

Our final finding for today is slightly different but in my opinion just as inspired as the above pieces... it falls into the "home made lyric sheet" category.  Found in a copy of  Amoeba REGULAR "Weird" Al Yankovic's 3-D album, typewritten and then dot matrix printed lyric for Eat it...Bon Apetit...

Hot Sexx Tonight! @ Cafe Du Nord, That Is

Posted by Miss Ess, October 17, 2007 12:03pm | Post a Comment
Tonight some of my nearest and dearest will be rocking the Cafe Du Nord! Check it out:

The show starts at 9. And yes, that flyer does say "Formal Attire Preferred." Check out the myspace page for Sexx. Hope to see all of you the


Posted by Billyjam, October 16, 2007 05:12pm | Post a Comment
bill laswell
Recently I had the opportunity of meeting up with prolific longtime artist of many genres Bill Laswell, who, unlike the average artist, just keeps tirelessly making/recording new music and avoiding repetition along the way. "I couldn't imagine being in some rock band that only makes ten records their whole life. And then plays them over and over and over and over. I just don't know how they can do it," the New York City based artist told me when I caught up with him in his Hells Kitchen area apartment. Laswell, who estimates he has about two thousand releases credited or directly related to him (under various names, collaborations, and acclaimed lineups including Praxis, Material, & Tabla Beat Science), epitomizes the term prolific artist. The trippy video below is "Animal Behavior" by Praxis featuring Laswell along with Buckethead, Bootsy Collins, Bernie Worrell, Brain, and Nextman Flip.

For three solid decades now, the tireless musician/producer/remixer has built a strong reputation for consistently and successfully melding together seemingly disparate and divergent musical styles, drawing from, but not limited to, funk, dub, jazz, turntablism, hardcore, ambient, African, Indian, and various other world music sources. His most recently released project, the collaborative Method Of Defiance's Inamorata, is an effortless hybridization of free form jazz, funk, and drum n bass. A talent-packed affair, it features numerous artists, including input from such longtime heavyweight collaborators as avant-garde composer/saxaphonist John Zorn, keyboardist Bernie Worell, guitarist Buckethead, and jazz pianist/keyboardist Herbie Hancock.

Continue reading...

Celebrate Today's Holidays With a Movie or Two -stocking stuffers for the ones you love

Posted by Eric Brightwell, October 16, 2007 03:26pm | Post a Comment

Boss Day

Dictionary Day

Hurricane Thanksgiving Day - US Virgin Islands

St. Gallus Day - Switzerland

World Food Day

Anniversary of the Pope's Election - Vatican City

Ether Day

National Feral Cat Day


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Maximum Security

Posted by phil blankenship, October 16, 2007 01:46pm | Post a Comment

R&G Video / Starmaker 80225

today is 10/16 and this is what is coming out...

Posted by Brad Schelden, October 15, 2007 10:29pm | Post a Comment

After a couple of crazy new release weeks, today is a bit slower. Beirut came out on top last week. At least for us at Amoeba. I am still thinking Jens Lekman has the best album out this year. But I know its now a new week. And the Christmas releases are continuing to come out. The Michael Buble "Let it Snow" EP is finally out at retail stores. I know most people really hate the Christmas music. But I sort of get a sick pleasure out of it. I may not be excited by Michael Buble but there are plenty of great christmas albums. I am actually getting excited that we will soon be putting out our Christmas section. I am not really sure what is wrong with me. But don't worry. I'll be doing some Christmas blogs in December. But my plan was to do all sorts of Halloween blogs as well. But somehow it is already the 16th of October. But I still have a couple of weeks to go. The Halloween sections are up at all the Amoebas right now. So go buy all your favorite Halloween music soon. I really do love October. When I think about October, I think about horror movies and the magical Elvira. Unfortunately, it is a rare treat for an artist to do a whole Halloween album. It is just not the same as Christmas. Try to imagine how great it would be to hear a whole album of The Carpenters singing Halloween classics. Or how about Aretha Franklin or Dolly Parton. Almost everybody does a Christmas album at some point in their career. Even Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand have Christmas albums. But who besides the great Elvira puts out a whole album of Halloween songs. You really need to check out some of those great B movies hosted by Elvira that have been coming out on DVD. Amazing stuff. Her jokes are still hilarious. But I guess if you never liked her then you still will not like her. I grew up watching those Elvira movies and really thought that she was the coolest thing ever. She actually still is. Her reality show "The Search for the Next Elvira" just started a couple of days ago. I have not had time to watch it yet. But all I know is that it is a four part series and I will be watching and talking about it very soon. It on the special Fox Reality network. If you live in the Bay Area and have Comcast cable, that is channel 159. I seriously had no idea that this channel even existed until I was searching for her new show to record.

There have been some amazing reissues coming out lately. I'm not just talking about Depeche Mode and Joy Division. But some more obscure bands are finally getting some fancy reissue treatment. The Delta 5 got their fantastic reissue last year. This year it is time for a great little band called Pylon. It is a nice week for this to come out. They come from the land of Athens, Georgia. The little town that brought us R.E.M. and The B-52's. R.E.M., who were influenced by Pylon, also have an album out today called "R.E.M. Live." I was a big fan of the new wave music of the 80's. But I was not really old enough at the time to discover the more hidden obscure bands of the period. I was only 16 when the 80's ended. So I pretty much only listened to what I heard on KROQ or saw on MTV. I was a very big B-52's and R.E.M. fan back in junior high. I loved them. But it really was not until I moved to San Francisco that I actually heard of Pylon for the first time. Pylon started playing music together in 1978. They released "Gyrate" for the first time back in 1980. It is now reissued by DFA with some bonus tracks and has been renamed "Gyrate Plus."                                     

The band were all art students at the University of Georgia in Athens. The band was made up of Randall Bewley on guitar, Michael Lachowski on bass, Curtis Crowe on drums, and Vanessa Briscoe on vocals. They were not together for that long but had a huge influence on a lot of punk and new wave bands. Both the B-52's and R.E.M. were big fans and supporters. Pylon toured with both of them and also Gang of Four. They opened for U2 on their first U.S. tour. The band broke up in 1983. They later reunited and put out an album in 1990. They have got back together a couple of times over the years to play reunion shows. They even played a show this year in celebration of this reissue.

The Love of Diagrams covered the first track on this Pylon album called "Cool." And it is on their album that came out this year that I talked about months ago on my blog here. This new reissue will hopefully get Pylon a new group of fans. I think a lot of people will claim to have liked Pylon forever. I can imagine some kids who were born after the band broke up claiming to have been a fan for years. But some people will be very excited to discover this new band that they knew nothing about. The album only took 27 years to come out on CD! Some fans will be excited that their favorite band is finally getting the credit and respect they deserve by a reissue. But others will be upset that their little secret band is now exposed for everyone else to listen to. Those rare albums and 7"s might not be as valuable today now that this reissue is out. But that stuff might even become more valuable as more and more people discover Pylon. Hopefully it is not too late for them. It is sort of great that they have been preserved for so long. Because the album still sounds amazing. They don't sound at all like R.E.M. or The B-52's. Sort of more like Siouxsie singing for Gang of Four. But they really also remind me a lot of Romeo Void. I think Pylon was the Romeo Void of Athens. And Romeo Void was the Pylon of the Bay Area. They were both around at the same time and played a similar style of New Wave. But Romeo Void got much more exposure. I heard "Never Say Never" and "Girl In Trouble (Is a Temporary Thing)" many times on KROQ in Los Angeles. Pylon really only got exposure on college radio. But it is fantastic that we can now be exposed to them. If you want to listen to them just go here. There is another great reissue coming out next week from the band known as the "Sisters of Mercy of Denver." Smooch reissues a 2cd set of the "Soul Merchants."

also out today...

"Pieces of Peace" by Pieces of Peace

"R.E.M. Live" by R.E.M.

"Oblivion with Bells" by Underworld

"Rare & Unreleased" by Aretha Franklin

"Chase this Light" by Jimmy Eat World

"Heresy & the Hotel Choir" by Maritime

October 15th

Posted by Whitmore, October 15, 2007 06:15pm | Post a Comment

1815 - Napoleon I of France is sent into exile on Saint Helena somewhere out there in the Atlantic Ocean.

1878 - The Edison Electric Light Company is incorporated.

1888 - The "From Hell" letter possibly sent by Jack the Ripper is received by investigators. Also known as the "Lusk letter," the letter is postmarked October 15 and was received by George Lusk . Upon opening the small box he discovered half a human kidney, probably from Catherine Eddowes, the fourth victim. Who ever wrote the letter also claimed to have fried and eaten the missing kidney half. Though, through the years, some have contended that it may have been a sick practical joke.

1894 - Alfred Dreyfus, an up and coming artillery officer and Jewish, was arrested for spying. So begins the Dreyfus Affair. He was pardoned in 1899 by President Emile Loubet while serving time in prison on Devil's Island. New evidence, actually old evidence that was covered-up by anti-Semitic army officers, found him innocent of all the charges and in 1906 Dreyfus was officially exonerated by a military commission.

1917 - On this date, just outside of Paris at Vincennes, Dutch exotic dancer, courtesan and spy  Mata Hari, was executed by firing squad for being a double agent and spying for Germany. Many have argued that Mata Hari never really was a double agent and was used as a scapegoat by the head of the French counter-espionage, Georges Ladoux, who had recruited Mata Hari to be a French spy. Of course later Ladoux himself was arrested for being a double agent. The facts of the case have remained a bit hazy, the official documents concerning the execution were sealed for 100 years, and more details won’t be revealed until 2017.

Continue reading...

Small Kill

Posted by phil blankenship, October 15, 2007 01:35pm | Post a Comment


VCI Home Video 1552

Cinema Direct vs. Cinema Verite - The Quest for Cinematic Truth

Posted by Eric Brightwell, October 15, 2007 12:55pm | Post a Comment
Today marks the one billionth time the term "cinéma vérité" was used in a manner with which I don't agree. This time it was in reference to a shaky-cam advertisement for blue jeans or cell phones or something. 

Cinéma Direct

Cinéma Direct is documentary genre that began in Quebec in 1958. The Quiet Revolution, a cultural assertion of the French-speaking majority under the rule of the Anglo-minority, encouraged the development of a distinct Quebecois identity. As part of this cultural expression, filmmakers sought to re-instill truthfulness in the documentary genre, which, by the 1950s was usually studio-based propaganda rife with dramatizations and mickey mousing. In 1922's Nanook of the North, for example, Nanook (actually an Inuit named Allakariallak living in Inukjuak, Quebec) was built an oversized igloo to share with his wife (who wasn't really his wife) to allow a camera crew and sufficient lighting inside. He was filmed hunting with a harpoon. In the scene, Allakariallak looks in the direction of the camera laughing and smiling memorably. He only knew how to hunt with guns. You can almost hear Robert Flaherty taking him aside and asking, "Could you act... you know... more Eskimo?"

Continue reading...


Posted by Billyjam, October 14, 2007 06:21pm | Post a Comment

If there was one moment in hip-hop that changed the direction of the genre forever it would have to be in late '92 when thdr dre nuthin but a g thange advance promo single from Dr Dre's first major post-NWA project, The Chronic, surfaced. Just weeks in advance of the December 1992 release of that classic rap album, which went on to sell over four million copies and fully cross over gangsta rap into pop music territory, white label copies of "Nuthin But A 'G' Thang" featuring the then little known young Long Beach City (LBC) rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg (heard only before this on the Dre produced Deep Cover soundtrack/single) got serviced to DJ's across the country. I was one of them and I will never forget the reaction the record got both on the radio and in clubs at the time. One night back then I was DJing at the Kennel Club (now the Independent on Divisidaro in SF) and people who normally didn't care for rap were banging on the DJ booth window demanding to know "Who/what the fuck was that?" Music fans went crazy for that addictive combo of Dre's dope production (fully utilizing the Leon Haywood "I Wanna Do Something Freaky To You" sample) and of course Snoop's hypnotic, laidback rap drawl (check out how young he looks in the video above!) that suddenly made street/gangsta themes digestible to all. 

Of course, the album that spawned "G Thang" and which took its name from sodr dre the chronicme sticky icky Cali weed, The Chronic would truly crystallize this turning point in hip-hop -- taking both West Coast and gangsta hip-hop to commercial heights undreamed of before this point. To many, this point represented the downfall of hip-hop since we have never fully recovered from its influence on popular rap. To me, as a fan of both "gangsta" and "conscious," or of both "rap" and "hip-hop," its success is bittersweet. I love good music no matter what its lyrical content might be, but I long for variety within popular hip-hop and I especailly miss the popularity of more positive hip-hop groups like Brand Nubian, A Tribe Called Quest and Gang Starr.

Continue reading...

Exterminators Of The Year 3000

Posted by phil blankenship, October 14, 2007 12:57pm | Post a Comment

Thorn EMI Video TVB 2304


Posted by Billyjam, October 13, 2007 04:38pm | Post a Comment

Originally created in 1978, the Cabbage Patch Kids and the mania that surrounded them didn't fully kick in until 1982 when the cute or spooky (depending on your perspective) looking, needle-molded fabric "Little People" (their original name) were made widely commercially available across North America. They consequently caused consumer mayhem like in the above video clip from 1983 when a riot at Zayre's department store in Wilkes-Barre, PA broke out in which shoppers had limbs broken and teeth knocked out-- all in an effort to get to these "adoptable" lil creatures. The above video (c/o of CBC's news archives) also briefly traces the history of the dolls that were created by Xavier Roberts and you can see from it how they ecabbage patcharned the name "cabbage patch" at the "hospitals" they arrived from.

Cabbage Patch Kids became the biggest toy phenomenon of the eighties and anyone reading this most likely remembers them and the whole hysteria about them, either fondly or with disgust. Personally, I find the level of consumer mania that the manufacturer's marketing department created over these butt ugly items mind-boggling. But then, this is the USA -- home of consumerism, where people buy into the hype of fiending to be the first on the block to have something, be it Cabbage Patch Kids or Xbox or iPhone etc. etc. Of course, the fact that the Cabbage Patch Kids were marketed as being "adoptable" was a very shrewd move on the part of the manufacturers.

garbage pail kids And remember the later fun but deliberately evil-looking spin-off of the Cabbage Patch Kids: the Garbage Pail Kids bubble gum cards? You might remember that they didn't last forever in their original design since the makers of the Cabbage Patch Kids sued them and as a result the Garbage Pail Kids had to be toned down and graphically altered so as not to resemble the "kids" anymore.

Continue reading...

Randy Van Horne 1924 – 2007

Posted by Whitmore, October 13, 2007 12:16pm | Post a Comment

A couple of weeks ago Randy van Horne passed away at the age of 83. You might not recognize his name but you would certainly recognize the sound and work of the Randy Van Horne Singers, one of the most in-demand studio session vocal groups of the 1950s and ‘60s. They can be heard on countless television and radio commercials, jingles and station identification spots many of them written by Van Horne. But they’ll always be remembered for singing the themes to many of Hanna-Barbera’s iconic pop-cultural cartoons like The Jetsons, The Huckleberry Hound Show, Yogi Bear, and The Flintstones. Hey, it’s Yabba-dabba-doo time, kids!

The Randy Van Horne Singers also worked with some of the biggest names of the era including Mel Tormé, Dean Martin, Martin Denny, Jimmy Witherspoon and Juan Garcia Esquivel, who twisted jazz and lounge into a quirky genre we now call Space Age Pop. Serious fans of Esquivel will know his trademark "Zu-zu-zus," crooned by the Randy Van Horne Singers.

The group included some of the most famous session singers (yet almost completely unknown to the public!) of all time including Marni Nixon. She was singing voice for Natalie Wood in West Side Story, and sang for Deborah Kerr in The King and I. Thurl Ravenscroft - the voice of Tony the Tiger for Kellogg's Frosted Flakes commercials, and he sang You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch from the classic animated television special, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and B.J. Baker who worked with Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin and Sam Cooke, among others. She was also Miss Alabama in 1944.

Continue reading...

Miami Cops

Posted by phil blankenship, October 13, 2007 11:52am | Post a Comment

Warner Home Video 31104

Strange Things Happening Every Day: Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Posted by Miss Ess, October 12, 2007 06:21pm | Post a Comment

I feel like everybody should know about Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Isn't it sad how unexpected it seems to see a woman playing a guitar in old black and white footage? It seems almost bizarre. Sister Rosetta Tharpe doesn't just play the guitar, she brings so much energy and passion to it-- it's joyful, or at least, it always perks me up to see her play and sing. She has a huge sense of spirit.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe was definitely a pioneer in the world of gospel and rock n roll too. I don't really think there's anyone else like her. She was popular in the 30s and 40s. She wasn't afraid to blend the sacred with the secular, which was kind of revolutionary at the time. Apparently she was quite shocking in her day, which makes sense because watching her even today she was so far ahead of the game and so fearless, it's shocking and also affirming to know she existed.

Watching a woman perform in gospel robes clutching and coaxing an electric guitar, the newly invented  symbol of sin to so many at the time, it's refreshing! It's exciting! It's inspiring! She's a consummate performer and entertainer; she's killer. Check out a performance:

Now that's a solo!

This is one of my favorite videos to watch of all time:

The fact that we have these videos seems like some kind of miracle to me. It seems like a lost relic from a time that feels so long ago, it's practically forgotten. I think it's important to revisit Sister Rosetta! I never get tired of hearing her voice and solos. 

She lives in the Gospel section here at Amoeba.

jose gonzalez at the great american music hall

Posted by Brad Schelden, October 12, 2007 05:50pm | Post a Comment
I was very close to almost not going to this show. Curt had too much homework so I was left to go to the show all alone. But I am really glad that I did. Not only is the Great American Music Hall only a couple of blocks from my house but I love it there. I know I have said this before. But I really do love it there. The architecture is so amazing. I actually ended up running into about 6 friends there so I had no more worries of standing all alone in the corner once I got there. But I was sort of looking forward to that. I really like going to movies all by myself in the middle of the week. It is usually just me and some retired ladies and grandpas. Maybe cause I end up seeing movies like  "The Queen" and "Letters from Iwo Jima." This would explain the old ladies and grandpas. I went and saw "Eastern Promises" this week. There were still only about 10 people in the theater but the "crowd" was a bit different. More old loner type dudes than old ladies. The movie was really awesome. Cronenberg and Vigo Mortensen fit together so perfectly. They captured the feel of a little russian restaurant so well. I have never been to one. But I feel like now I have. OK, back to the Jose Gonzalez show. I may have been to plenty of movies by myself but I have not really gone to a show by myself before. It is weird though. As much as Curt and I go to shows, I don't really see people I recognize out that much. I am always thinking to myself, who are all these people. Why don't I ever see them anywhere else in the city. But it seems that Jose Gonzalez was the show that all of my friends decided to go to. I had heard great things about his show at Bimbo's last year, so I was looking forward to the show. I really love the new album and wanted to hear it live.

The amazing thing about Jose Gonzalez is that the live show sounded exactly like the album. It is justhim on the stage all by himself. But just with his voice and guitar he sounded amazing. It was a little sad that you could barely see him. Since he was sitting down on a chair, all you could really see was the top of his little head. I really felt sorry for the people who were any shorter than I was. They probably could not see anything at all. I sort of feel like I already wrote this blog so I just had to go back and check. But I think that I just wrote it all in my head after the show and then forgot to write it down that night. So now I am trying to remember what I feel like I have already written down. I think what was in my head sounded much better that this sounds. His new album is really beautiful. And everything that is great about it was just as great live. But since I could not really see anything I kept daydreaming during the show.

Continue reading...

Screamfest LA Starts This Weekend !

Posted by phil blankenship, October 12, 2007 12:33pm | Post a Comment
Over a week's worth of modern horror starts TODAY at the Chinese Theaters here in Hollywood! Including the cutting edge of international horror such as France's A l'intérieur & Austria's Dead In Three Days , new films from classic directors (George Romero's Diary Of The Dead) , and tons of titles that would otherwise go straight to dvd (Return To House On Haunted Hill, Shrooms) .

Take a look at the Screamfest site ( and I hope to see you there !


Posted by phil blankenship, October 12, 2007 11:39am | Post a Comment

Warner Home Video 37214


Posted by Billyjam, October 12, 2007 08:26am | Post a Comment
madonna confessions from a dance floor
The ever-changing music industry is fresh on everyone's minds these days and the other day Amoeba Marc forwarded me a wonderful "Timeline" (the great read is reprinted below) of the key events this year to date in the rapidly changing music biz that is from a cool blog called "The Lefsetz Letter (First in Music Analysis)," which can be found online here. I got the email from Marc on Wednesday this week but the next day news broke of yet another major and noteworthy event that could be added to this Timeline: the news that Madonna had signed a new deal, not with Warner or some other major record label, but with Live Nation (the concert folks) for almost $120 Million. Of course, this makes sense, since, as reported here recently via the Guinness World Records AMOEBLOG, Madonna is one of the top grossing concert performers and since (as we all well know) concerts and merchandizing (not CD sales and not even digital music sales) is where the real $krilla is nowadays -- especially for Madonna, who can gross $200 million for 60 shows.

The Madonna/Live Nation deal is the first of its kind and is certainly one for the music biz history books, since this will be the way of future, although not every artist will be so lucky as to get such a sweet deal as Ms. Ciccone. Here is the breakdown of Madonna's Live Nation deal: she gets $17.5 mill up front, $50 million for three albums, and $50 mill (In cash and stock) to promote her concert tours and merchandise. While some analysts are predicting that Live Nation will need to sell at least 15 million of each album to recoup their investment, they are being short-sighted and (like the record labels) thinking in terms of the traditional music biz model -- and thinking merely of recouping from digital or hard copy forms and not figuring in all the future revenue from the licensing of music to movies, TV advertising and ringtones, etc.

Continue reading...

Rock Bottom Riser: Bill Callahan

Posted by Miss Ess, October 11, 2007 03:46pm | Post a Comment

's Red Apple Falls is so simple and so beautiful.  I put it on today after not having heard it in years. The songs have a transportative effect on me.  There's something about the combination of Bill Callahan's deep voice and the pared down-ness of the music behind it that makes me perk up and listen so intensely that I can get totally lost in all of it.  I love that.  It's almost like a blanket, since I have been listening to Smog for so long.  Red Apple Falls has songs that are fable-like and also songs that are so real I cringe when I listen to some of the lyrics.  Callahan has a certain bold power; he is able to admit things that others would be too afraid of, and he sings about it all without even slightly cringing.  When I imagine him in my mind, singing these intimate songs with a straight face and a voice devoid of much emotion, he's a staid soldier at attention with his gloved hand tucked into the breast of his brass buttoned uniform.  It's lovely and brave.

I saw Bill Callahan play this Sunday night.  His voice has grown so much deeper even than before.  It's more confident and he seems even more comfortable with himself and his songs, which would make sense since, after all, he's an artist and artists develop and grow with time.  Callahan's first album came out in 1990!  He's been at this a very long time, and only gets better.  He mostly played tracks from his newest album Woke On A Whaleheart, but for me the showstopper (as it has been for the last couple of years since he's been playing it) was "Rock Bottom Riser", from his 2004 album A River Ain't Too Much To Love.  It's another almost painfully real song, exceptionally and austerely delivered.  It was a great show.

My favorite Smog record is Knock Knock from 1999.  Whenever I hear the song called "Let's Move To the Country", I just wanna drop everything, grab a blanket and run outside so I can lay in the sun and contemplate leaving everything behind and making a fresh start somewhere far from everything else.  Again, the tune is really transporting for me.  Callahan's songs bring up images and stories and ideas that are timeless but he writes about them in ways that seem different than how anyone else has ever done it before, and sometimes they are even a bit shocking, like in the song "Dress Sexy At My Funeral" from Dongs of Sevotion, another of my favorites.   Here is a performance of that song:

And here's "Rock Bottom Riser":

Army of Darkness - Saturday Midnight at the New Beverly !

Posted by phil blankenship, October 11, 2007 12:28pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music & Phil Blankenship present:

Saturday October 13

Bruce Campbell in Sam Raimi's

Army Of Darkness

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


Posted by Billyjam, October 11, 2007 10:13am | Post a Comment

This week (Oct 10) is the Stateside opening (in select US cities) of the film Control -- the biopic about Joy Division's tragic lead singer Ian Curtis (played by Sam Riley) who committed suicide in 1980 at age 23. Even though I've read various reviews of the movie that range from good to bad and mediocre, I know I will definitely be going to see this film, which was directed by Anton Corbijn (shot in black and white -- similar to his infamous photography of Joy Division, U2 etc.) and based on the book Touching From a Distance by the film subject's widow Deborah Curtis. Some reviewers warn Joy Division fans that it is not really a story of the ever-influential band, but rather a dramatic love story -- a tragic tale of this troubled young artist who liked Bowie and cigarettes, got famous at an early age, married too young (19) and then fell in love with another, suffered from deptression and anxiety, and on top of all this had epilepsy for which he had to take pills that had negative side-effects. 

Additionally, fans fiending for original Joy Division music should know that the music is not by the band itself but rather the actors playing the band in the movie, with the exception of a Joy Division cover by the Killers over the closing credits. In one magazine interview, on the topic of having the actors learn the music of Joy Division and play it in the film, director Anton Corbijn (who is interviewed on Dutch TV below) said that it would be more authentic to have the actors learn to play the songs and perform them in the movie, noting that Joy Division were not really that advanced as musicians anyway, so it wasn't impossible to have the actors learn the musical parts. It might have been had it been, say, a film about Pink Floyd, he said. For more information on the film go the official website. And if you go check it out in theaters, please come back here to this AMOEBLOG and post your review in the COMMENTS box. Thanks!

Continue reading...

Talking Head.

Posted by Job O Brother, October 10, 2007 10:07am | Post a Comment
The endlessly pithy Japhy Grant paid Walrus Day some lip service two days ago on his brilliant blog The Modern Romantic. When you're done plundering Amoeblog, go check it out! I mean, what else are you gonna do - read a book?


Posted by Billyjam, October 10, 2007 06:48am | Post a Comment

In the Paul D Zimmerman-written and Martin Scorcese-directed 1983 film The King of Comedy, Robert De Niro brilliantly plays the character of celebrity autograph hound, aspiring stand-up comic, and extremely wannabe star Rupert Pupkin, who so desperately wants to achieve success in showbiz that he goes to king of comedysuch extremes as stalking his idol, a late night talk show host named Jerry Langford (played by Jerry Lewis). He eventually ending up kidnapping Langford with assistance from an equally deranged celebrity hound, Masha, played to perfection by Sandra Bernhard.

If you have not already seen this movie, I recommend you do. It is available on DVD and should be found at each of the three Amoeba Music locations. I hadn't seen it in many years and just recently re-watched and enjoyed the film as much as the first time I'd seen it --although not in a feel-good movie kind of way. To me, watching The King of Comedy is like some horrible car accident that you don't want see but at the same time cannot pull yourself away from. In the film, De Niro is the car wreck as he so effortlessly plays the desperate and totally delusional Rupert Pupkin character to a tee. He has you cringing in your seat as you witness him go to such lengths to convince the world of what he imagines his life to be -- or wills it to become. Most engaging are the scenes when the obsessive Rupert indulges in elaborate fantasies where he imagines himself and the talk show host, just hanging as the best of colleagues and friends.

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Photographer Al Chang 1922-2007

Posted by Whitmore, October 9, 2007 10:28pm | Post a Comment

Al Chang, an Army cameraman who was twice nominated for a Pulitzer Prize has died. He chronicled the conflict in both Korea and Vietnam, witnessed the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor (where he worked as a dockworker), and was even awarded the Purple Heart for being wounded in the line of duty in Vietnam, past away in Honolulu, he was 85. He is best known as the photographer who captured one of the most iconic images of the 20th century. That image shows a U.S. infantryman weeping in the arms of another soldier. Taken on Aug. 28, 1950, the photo shows Army Sgt. Bill Redifer comforting fellow soldier Vincent Nozzolillo, who has learned that his replacement has been killed, while in the background another corpsman sifts through casualty reports, looking strangely detached. The photograph was featured in Edward Steichen's "Family of Man" exhibit in 1955 at New York's Museum of Modern Art. This portrait of anguish, grief and comfort has become one of the most enduring images of the Korean War, often called the forgotten war.


Posted by Billyjam, October 9, 2007 05:24pm | Post a Comment

Back in 1964 when the Beatles came to the US and Canada they caused hysteria among their fans, who included many girls and some of their grandmas. Subsequently, their boyfriends were often jealous and more in favor of Peter, Paul, & Mary, as is the case in this video clip at least, c/o Canada's CBC TV.

WTF? (Tegan and Sara Were Right)

Posted by Billyjam, October 9, 2007 06:03am | Post a Comment

Exactly a week ago I was surfing this here Amoeba Music website and going back over all the clips in the recommended VIDEO GALLERY archive page when I found myself intently watching and listening to the ten minute interview (interspersed with some live in-store concert footage) at the Hollywood Amoeba Music with Tegan and Sara in which the Canadian sibling duo dropped some serious knowledge -- the sort of stuff that strikes a nerve and stays with you, because, in this case, it was so true and also because when I watched it last week it seemed to be so perfectly timely. The Tegan and Sara instorelindsey lohan performance and the interview backstage in the Amoeba Hollywood Green Room took place on July 24th -- the same day that Lindsay Lohan got arrested with the "news" event being splashed across all news media outlets. In the Amoeba interview (you can see above), the smart young sisters from that neighboring nation to the north rightly commented about how "profoundly irritating" the news media's treatment of this non-story was. "It's shocking how Hollywood obsessed America is," they noted, especially in light of the real issues of the day that genuinely affect American society, including money & poverty, environmental issues, racism, sexism, & homophobia, and of course the war in Iraq. 
I watched this interview last week, right when close to 5 million YouTube viewers were downloading and viewing Paris Hilton pouting on David Letterman and the same day that Britney Spears' kids being taken from her was the BIG news story. In the July Amoeba interview, Tegan and Sara made the strong point that it's easier to explain what Britney or Lindsay are up to than to explain the billions of dollars being wasted on an illegal war. So true. And it is the media, which goes along with the Bush administration's wishes, who is at fault for not showing the real images of war. In past US wars images of caskets with American flags draped over them were common sights in national news footage. But not now in this war, under this administration. And that is a key reason why Americans -- more than ever -- look to the silly antics of celebrities for distraction.

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jens lekman is out today!!!! 10/9/07...

Posted by Brad Schelden, October 8, 2007 11:41pm | Post a Comment
This is another album that I have been anticipating for so long this year. I just could barely hold in my excitement until today to talk about my little friend Jens Lekman. He has been creating brilliant little albums for a couple of years now. But I really think that this is the year of the Jens. The new album is called "Night Falls Over Kortedala." I can't stop listening to this album. It also seems that anyone who has already heard it is as obsessed with it as I am. Sometimes it is nice to have your little secret artists that not too many other people know about. But I have really been wanting the rest of the world to love Jens as much as I have the last couple of years.

I began my obsession with him when he put out "Rocky Dennis' Farewell Song to the Blind Girl." This is of course in reference to the brilliant film that is "Mask." Most people can't really handle the excellent makeup work that transformed Eric Stoltz. But I really do love this movie. Please go and watch it right now if you have never seen it. You can find the 3 Rocky Dennis songs on the EP collection album "Oh You're So Silent Jens" or the original "Rocky Dennis" EP. This new album is actually only his second real album. The first being "When I Said I Wanted to Be Your Dog."

Jens is a little bit Stephin Merritt and a little bit Sufjan Stevens. Sort of like an orchestrated indie rock lounge singer. I just read a review today that said his music was perfect for swingers parties. I really would not go that far. But I could imagine it being played live at maybe some piano bar in Portland or something. But with a full band and backup singers. The first song begins with music very similar to the theme of the Hellraiser movies.  However, I know he is sampling someone else on this song. But it really reminds me of the Christopher Young Score of Hellraiser. So it sort of puts me in a weird mood every time I start the album.  Jens is really a great songwriter and like Stephin Merritt or the great Paul Lynde, he has great delivery of his lines. The songs are actually fun little love songs with great lyrics like "I would never kiss anyone, who doesn't burn me like the sun." He is telling stories with his songs and albums but seems to be sort of making fun of himself while he is singing. Like he is telling us by his delivery that he really does not take himself as seriously as he seems to be. He is having fun with himself on these albums. He also sort of reminds me of Neil Hannon from the Divine Comedy.
In that European indie rock show tunes kind of way.

Just in case you were having some trouble pronouncing his name. Just skip ahead to track 4 "A Postcard to Nena." He pronounces his first name for us. Just like Sufjan he has one of those first names that will forever be mispronounced. Sort of like Ryan Phillipe, whose name I have heard pronounced about 4 different ways in the media. Jens is pronounced like "Yens" and not "Jens." This album is currently at the top of my list for the year. Things could easily change. He is currently in competition with his fellow swede Jose Gonzalez. But there have really been a lot of great albums out this year. It really is catchy and brilliant and sort of sweet. It also is not really like most of the albums I would normally listen to. But like Jose Gonzalez, I am currently under his spell.

Also out today...

"Cease to Begin" by Band of Horses

"Flying Club Cup" by Beirut

"Modern Tribe" by Celebration

"Grass Geysers...Carbon" by Enon

"Widow City" by The Fiery Furnaces

"Dropping the Writ" by Cass McCombs

"This Fool Can Die Now" by Scout Niblett

"This Is Forever" by She Wants Revenge

"Random Spirit" by Sunset Rubdown

"Comicopera" by Robert Wyatt


Posted by phil blankenship, October 8, 2007 10:47am | Post a Comment


VTC 1108

(In which Job celebrates his favorite date.)

Posted by Job O Brother, October 8, 2007 03:59am | Post a Comment
Happy Walrus Day, Amoeblog readers!

Don’t believe the propaganda – December 25 is NOT the “most wonderful time of the year” – today is!

Walrus Day is celebrated all day, every year, on October 8. It’s fun, it’s easy, and no native tribes had to be persecuted in order to bring it about!

A little history: When I was a kid, October was my favorite month (autumn, Halloween, my birthday, the month my parents would visit me at the orphanage), eight was my favorite number (the implications of infinity, the balanced aesthetics of its shape, the date my parents were sued by the orphanage for conning them into admitting me), and walruses were my favorite animal (the Beatles song, their grace in the water and might on land, the animals that raised me after my parents left me with them on the ride away from the orphanage).

I took these three elements and created my very own holiday, and my friends and family have celebrated it ever since.

“But Job,” I hear you asking (I can hear you asking because I can hear your thoughts… even now as you read this… although it’s not that interesting because your thoughts right now are echoing this sentence you’re reading, so I’m basically listening to myself) “But Job,” you wonder, “How does one celebrate Walrus Day, and also, does this shirt make me look fat?”

Well, dear friend, celebrating Walrus Day is easy. Basically, it’s your excuse to do whatever it is that you’d like to do, but normally wouldn’t because you don’t have an excuse.

Common ways of celebrating are:

•    Calling in sick to work (does not apply to Amoeba Music employees)
•    Replacing healthy, well-balanced meals with your favorite dessert
•    Spending money you shouldn’t on bric-a-brac that you want
•    Taking yourself out to Amoeba Music and shopping outside the red-tag clearance section
•    Anything that pampers, that delights, that titillates ye

I’ll be waking up early to fix Logan her dream breakfast: bacon-wrapped shrimp. For Carrie, I’ll be making a breakfast burrito and pancakes with homemade caramelized banana syrup. For myself, I over-spent on a bottle of absinthe.

No stressful gift-giving (unless you like that), no dreary, religious proceedings (again, unless that tickles you) and no bowls of gruel and being locked in the “little room” for sneezing during the midday spanking at the orphanage. Just a day where you treat yourself.

Carrie and I decided that, this year, our official song for Walrus Day is “Islands in the Stream”, recorded by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers. (We’ve been drinking a lot of white wine.) But you can pick your own song.

I love hearing how people spend their Walrus Day. By all means, drop me a line and let me know!

And if any of you know where my parents are, let them know that I still believe they’ll return for me, someday. My Mom will place the missing half of my heart locket in place, and we will sing along with Dolly and Kenny, drunk – not only on the Green Fairy – but on the joy of life.

Happy Walrus Day, dear reader!

DJ Nova of Pacha Massive - Live @ Nativo! This Wednesday, October 10th

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, October 8, 2007 02:53am | Post a Comment

This should be a lot of fun! DJ Nova is 1/2 of Nacional Recording artists Pacha Massive. He will do about an hour long set at Nativo! this Wednesday. Also spinning that night will be Mexican Dubweiser, Mando Fever, Sloe Poke and yours truly, Gomez Comes Alive! Also, we will celebrate the birthday of Jennifer Cuevas. So, you ask, "Who is Jennifer Cuevas?" Well, she is responsible for not only bringing Nativo! to you every week, but also Descarga once a month as well as being one of the people responsible for keeping The Root Down up and running. She also happens to be my roommate and anyone who can tolerate me as a roommate is cool in my book. Not only is it her birthday, but she going to get some sort of commemoration from The City of Los Angeles for her services to the city. Maybe she'll be mayor for the can I use this to my favor????

So...join the party! Good music, dancing, good looking people and the Señorita Margarita. What else could you ask for?

No Manu Chao, No Problem - Notes From The Latin Rock And Pop Section #2

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, October 8, 2007 01:19am | Post a Comment

Manu Chao’s catalog sells well enough in the Latin Rock & Pop section of Amoeba Music Hollywood that it’s usually in our Top 20 World Music chart every month. In fact, Clandestino, Manu Chao’s first solo album, has been out since 1998 and is usually in our Top Ten every month. Imagine my surprise to find out that three of the four Manu Chao releases, (Clandestino, Proxima Estacion: Esperanza and Radio Bembo Sound System) are currently out of print. It’s a little odd, I must say. It’s like having a Reggae section without Bob Marley or the Rock Section suddenly without Pink Floyd.

Not to fear. Our head buyer, Roxanne, told me that she expects all those titles will be back in print in the future in some form or another. But in the meantime, if you head to the Latin section to find those titles and can’t find them, it’s not on us. Maybe it’s a good time to venture out and find some new music, eh? The new Café Tacvba, Si No, will be out Tuesday, October 9th. Molotov’s supposed last album before they call it quits, Eternamiente, will be out the following Tuesday (10/16).

We also have plenty of Fania Reissues, Hip-Hop & Reggae En Español, 60’s and 70’s Psychedelia from South America, Cumbia, Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, Reggaeton and Norteños. We have deep catalog of many Latin Rock classics from Soda Stereo, Heroes Del Silencio, Mana, Aterciopelados and Mano Negra.

..  And of course, we have plenty of the latest Manu Chao release, La Radiolina, in case you still haven’t bought your copy yet.

I’m also proud to say the Latin section will be expanding in the next few months, with a section for Latin new used arrivals, just like the Rock and Electronica sections have. As other stores start to decrease their inventory I’m proud to say we are increasing ours.

the signs are everywhere ...

Posted by Whitmore, October 7, 2007 11:07pm | Post a Comment

The travails of travel…

Last year after drifting about the Northwest for a while, a new door opened, time came to ramble down the road and drive south to Los Angeles for some gigs … of course I should have flown but somehow I thought I'll just do 'the drive' one more time, a little adventure is good for the soul, besides, I’ll save a little cash on the expense of flying and car rental etc, etc, … in retrospect, it wasn’t my best idea.

Side note: I often feel suspicious in airports; airports regularly bring out my deepest, most paranoid feelings. But it’s not exactly the sensation that  “everybody is out to get me.”  As a matter of fact, my feelings are exactly the opposite.

Anyway, never again am I going to do that drive in one day by myself: 1100 miles from Seattle to Los Angeles, oh so dim-witted, pitifully dim-witted. Never again, I know I've said that before, but … Never. Ever. Again. (Funny how that reads so differently when you put a period after each word … huh?)

I felt like my hands were duct taped to the steering wheel for about thirty brain-snapping hours. Between waiting for the ferry (the only way on and off the island where I was living), taking my wife and son to SeaTac Airport (they were flying to Paris, France and I was driving to LA!?!), the realization I forgot something important at home, again ferry back over and off the island, (of course you might say if you forget something, so what, that's what a credit card is good for, exactly right … I forgot the credit card) stopping at a rest stop, my foiled attempts at sleeping in the car, include my kinder gentler approach to driving (not hammering the last bit of life out of my old Corolla), and I was a witness to, if not infinity, at least a very lengthy torturous wait in eternity.

This was the trip I started seeing the signs everywhere, not just signs everywhere … but the signs, everywhere.

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The Underachievers

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

Lightning Video 9984

October 5, 2007

Posted by phil blankenship, October 6, 2007 07:00pm | Post a Comment


Posted by Billyjam, October 6, 2007 05:20pm | Post a Comment

The Rolling Stones, Madonna
, and Jamiroquai are among recent music entrants into the Guinness World Records, formerly known (up until 2000) as The Guinness Book of Records. Mick Jagger & company entered by beating previous records by earning $437 million on their Bigger Bang Tour earlier this year, while Madonna set the Guinness record for "most successful female artist" by earning almost $200 million on her sixty date Confessions tour. Meanwhile, Jamiroquai may not have earned the most money, but the band earned an award for setting the record for "the highest concert" given, by performing in a converted Boeing 737 (for winners of a competition in the UK) at an altitude of 35,000 feet. And among the other music related new entrants into the 2008 issue of the book, the band Electrasy won an award for featuring the world's biggest custard pie fight captured on film in a 1998 video ("Best Friend's Girl") of theirs that featured 50 pie- throwing fanatics (all members of the Laurel and Hardy Fan Club) hurl a total of 4,400 custard pies at each other in 3 minutes.

Gillian Welch - Modern Americana At Its Finest

Posted by Miss Ess, October 6, 2007 05:03pm | Post a Comment
Since I have to work this weekend, I am not sure whether or not I am going to make it to the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival here in Golden Gate Park, which is sad. 

There are always a myriad of performers that I am excited about, but the one act I like to see consistently every year at the festival is Gillian Welch.  Gillian Welch consists of (duh) Gillian Welch (vocals, banjo, guitar) and David Rawlings (vocals and guitar). Rawlings is a phenomenal guitar player, with quick runs and showman's style. Still, he fairly rarely speaks onstage. Maybe that's why the "group" is called Gillian Welch and his name is not included except in liner notes, despite that he has cowritten almost every song on their records. Once I saw them play at The Fillmore and David took lead vocals at one point as they played a fantastic, slow and sad version of "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun." I loved how unexpected it was, not just that David was singing, but his song of choice. Check out a similar performance of the song in Nashville:

Did I mention that Gillian Welch's music is fairly pure, old school country? The songs are meant to sound as though they were written ages ago in the old time-y South, when they were actually written within the last 10 years or so by a California girl and a New England guy who have now planted themselves in Nashville. Their style is super Americana-y and my favorite aspect of their songs are the tight harmonies they include in almost every track.  When I hear Gillian and David's songs I am also reminded of how important melodies and hooks are to songwriting, and how much most music these days is lacking either of those elements.

Gillian has had an interesting life. She was adopted at birth and doesn't know her birth parents. She wrote a fantastic song about it called "No One Knows My Name." Check it out here (The footage starts out bad but gets better):

Gillian and David haven't put out a record since 2003's Soul Journey and I find myself wondering what the heck's going on?! It's been ages. All four of their albums are track to track pretty much equally great though, and isn't that refreshing? They have consistently quality song writing. It's hard to pick but if I had to, I'd say my favorite of their records is 2001's Time (The Revelator).

A friend of mine calls Gillian and David's music "the whitest music ever created" but I completely disagree, although I can see how that is an easy conclusion for some to perhaps flippantly come to. I think there is plenty of passion and purpose to what Gillian and David do, and that they are two of the best songwriters working today. 

If it's still Oct 6/7 and you live in the Bay Area and you are reading this, why aren't you out at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival? It's all free! Although by now we have all missed Gillian and David's performance.....I'm sure they wil

The end is at hand ...

Posted by Whitmore, October 6, 2007 04:29am | Post a Comment

Depending on your point of view this could either be good news or bad. So if I view this sign optimistically, does that actually make me a pessimist?

Photo by David Malcolmson.

Tales of Our City: Armistead Honored

Posted by Miss Ess, October 5, 2007 02:09pm | Post a Comment
Well, I hope that all of you dear readers are all still loving hearing me spout about Tales of the City author Armistead Maupin, cause I have more news!

Here in San Francisco, Armistead will be honored at the Opening Night of LitQuake '07, which is an annual literary festival here in our highly literary city.  He will be awarded the festival's first Barbary Coast Award for lifetime achievement!

Notable Bay Area residents/Armistead- related famous people Laura Linney, Michelle Tea, Jon Ginoli of Amoeba and Pansy Division fame AND Judd Winick, among others, will be speaking.  At last, the mystery of spotting Armistead and Judd of the Real World San Francisco eating together recently at Zazie is solved!  I feel better now.  According to Judd's Wikipedia entry, Armistead even spoke at Judd & fellow Real Worlder  Pam's wedding!  Who knew?

Anyway, I got the inside word from our Jon Ginoli and he said that he will be performing 2 songs in addition to speaking about what Tales of the City has meant to him and reading passages from the books.

The event takes place at the gorgeous  Herbst Theater tomorrow, October 6, at 8pm.


Posted by Billyjam, October 5, 2007 08:30am | Post a Comment

Last week I received an email which, on the surface, looked like a real sweet deal -- a request for me to do what looked like a well paying DJ gig at which I could play whatever I wanted and get tons of extra expenses covered. It was from a guy who was organizing an upcoming birthday party for his wife. It sure seemed like the ideal party to DJ -- good money, spin whatever music you feel like, plus have free travel expenses for me and my crew for this four hour gig,

It seemed too good to be true. Which, of course, it was. The email I received was similar, almost identical right down to every misspelled word, to one making the rounds right now through many US DJs' (club/radio/mobile) and musicians' email in-boxes over the last couple of months. In fact, you readers may have even received a copy yourself already if you are a musician or DJ. In Colorado recently the Denver Musician Association posted a warning on its website alerting its members "The following (or similar) email messages have been received by several members of Local 20-623 - Denver, Colorado. DO NOT RESPOND to this email should you receive it, as it has proven to be an attempt to draw you into a fraudulent business transaction."  The email that the musicians in Denver had received was almost identical to mine (scroll down to see all versions) with the exception of the party date and location. 

This new email scam is just the latest spin on the stereotypical email scam whereby some wealthy banker or prince in Africa emails you out of the blue with an opportunity to make an easy million dollars. All you have to do is open a bank account and forward him a mere $1000 -- or something along those lines. The basis for any successful con is to win over the mark's CONfidence and then trick them into fronting the con artist a little up front in advance of the million dollars or whatever bait is being offered.

Continue reading...


Posted by phil blankenship, October 5, 2007 12:03am | Post a Comment

Trans World Entertainment #0688


Posted by Billyjam, October 4, 2007 10:44pm | Post a Comment

Fillmore San Francisco hip-hop crew Bored Stiff, who came on the Bay Area scene in the early nineties but who had been out of action for some years, return with this new video with lots of shots of SF and a song that addresses the issue of media. What has always made this Frisco crew unique is that they always blurred the line between so-called "rap" and "hip-hop" -- meaning that they are street/gangsta but simultaneously distinctly hip-hop in that they love all the elements, such as graffiti -- just the way it should be. Look for Bored Stiff's releases, including their new one From The Ground Up, as well albums by individual members (inc. Equipto) at Amoeba Music. 

Meantime, below check out Fillmore, SF rappers -- JT the Bigga Figga and Rappin 4-Tay along with Master P, Dangerous Dame, Ray Luv, Lil Ric, King George and the rest of the West Coast Bad Boyz mob, in a video shot in Richmond, CA for the posse single "Peace 2 Da Streets" from the compilation album West Coast Bad Boyz: Anotha Level of the Game (No Limit 1994).


Posted by Billyjam, October 3, 2007 08:04pm | Post a Comment
ian mackaye
After receiving about four emails and two phone calls since Tuesday asking me "Did you hear? Did you hear that Ian MacKaye was killed?" I decided I should post an Amoeblog to set the record straight in case anyone else out there was still under the wrong impression that the Minor Threat/Fugazi/Dischord mainman was indeed killed in a car crash Monday night. The rumor appeared on several websites including MySpace and Wikipedia. He wasn't killed, as outlined in the reprinted story from the Baltimore Sun that appeared online Weds morning under the heading Ian MacKaye: I'm not dead. And if you scroll down below I have posted one of the erroneous "news" reports that was making the rounds online. It is written in such a news-like fashion that you can see why someone reading it would tend to take it at face value.

This is another prime example of just how quickly misinformation can get around in this cyber/digital age and how it is important to always question what you read and to be aware of its news or fact checking source -- if there is any.


A phone rings at 6:08 p.m. in Arlington, Va. A 45-year-old man picks up. The
caller doesn't even have the chance to offer a greeting.

"I am still alive," reports Ian MacKaye, the frontman of such punk acts as
Minor Threat and Fugazi, and the founder of Washington's Dischord Records.

This would not be news except that The Sun and apparently many other
organizations had been told that MacKaye was, in fact, dead. We were told that
he died Monday night at Baltimore's St. Agnes Hospital. A call to the hospital
found no evidence of such a patient. We followed up with calls to Dischord
(left a message) and to MacKaye's home.

Continue reading...

L.A. Lesson # 1 - Echo Park/Silver Lake is Not the Eastside

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, October 3, 2007 07:09pm | Post a Comment
It drives me nuts when I ask someone where they live and they tell me, “The Eastside,” only to find out that they live in Echo Park or Silver Lake. Yes, I know. Echo Park is east of Hollywood, and despite what publications like the L.A. Weekly might tell you, Echo Park/Silver Lake Area (for that matter, downtown) is not “The Eastside.” That title is reserved for the communities east of the L.A. River, on the other side of the bridges. Areas such Boyle Heights, East Los Angeles, City Terrace and Lincoln Heights have their own culture, history and mentality that is miles away from the rest of the Los Angeles. Many people that live west of East L.A. have never ventured past those bridges that connect downtown to the East L.A., even though it’s only a few short miles away. In fact, to me, calling the Echo Park/Silver Lake “The Eastside” is like calling Culver City the “Eastside” simply because it is east of Santa Monica.

Here’s a little helpful guide so that you might be able to tell the difference:

In Echo Park/Silver Lake, it's called Sunset Blvd.
In East Los, it's called Cesar Chavez Ave.
Echo Park/Silver Lake is 40.53% White
East Los is 96.80% Latino
Echo Park/Silver Lake gave us Tom Waits, Beck & The Silversun Pickups
East Los gave us The Midniters, Los Lobos and Ozomatli
Echo Park/Silver Lake was once the home of the Walt Disney Studios
East Los is considered “the mural capital of the world” behind Mexico City
Echo Park/Silver Lake has The Sunset Junction Festival, Cuban Festival & Lotus Festival
East Los has Dia De Los Muertos @ Self Help Graphics and Festival De La Gente
Echo Park/Silver Lake: Elliott Smith, voice of a generation, died in Echo Park
East Los: Rudy Salazar, voice of a generation, died in East L.A.
Echo Park/Silver Lake: Mi Vida Loca, Quinceanera
East Los: Blood In, Blood Out, American Me (don’t look at me Lil puppet….)
Echo Park/Silver Lake: Almost completely gentrified
East Los: On it’s way if they don’t fight it

Continue reading...

New Beverly: Pagnol ! Bergman ! Anderson ! Antonioni !

Posted by phil blankenship, October 3, 2007 01:42pm | Post a Comment
Oct. 3 & 4
Two rarely screened French classics directed by Marcel Pagnol
Neither film is on DVD
“One of the greatest films ever made.” – New York Times
at 7:30
HARVEST (1937)
at 9:45

Oct. 5 & 6
Two Ingmar Bergman classics
Fri: 7:30; Sat: 3:50 & 7:30

Fri: 9:20; Sat: 5:40 & 9:20


Oct. 7, 8 & 9
Two by Wes Anderson
Sun: 3:50 & 7:30; Mon/Tue: 7:30
Sun: 5:40 & 9:20; Mon/Tue: 9:20


Oct. 10 & 11
Two by the late Michelangelo Antonioni
IL GRIDO (1957) at 7:30
plus ZABRISKIE POINT (1970) at 9:45

New Beverly Cinema
7165 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
1 block west of La Brea
$7 general
$6 students w/ID
$4 seniors/children
cash only
always a double bill!
all films presented in 35mm studio prints
reasonably priced concessions!
continuous repertory programming since 1978!

Juanita Bynum: No More Sheets Indeed!

Posted by Miss Ess, October 3, 2007 11:45am | Post a Comment
Last night I was flipping channels and happened upon a documentary about Juanita Bynum.  I had never heard of her before, and maybe you haven't either:  She is a wildly popular Prophetess and Minister and she often speaks particularly to women's issues.  She's apparently a huge figure in the Christian scene, and has even got her own magazine!

Watch a portion of her No More Sheets Sermon, which vaulted her to fame.

I just have not seen intensity like hers in a loooooooong time.  It's interesting to me, this evangelism.  I can see why people find strength in her sermons and at the same time I am not a religious person AT ALL, and cannot say I agree with her views.  She has a very powerful presence though and it's exciting to watch her careen through the riled audience while they jump up and down and scream with their arms raised:

I don't know why exactly, but the documentary I saw piqued my interest.  I might even be slightly obsessed with Juanita now.  Maybe it's because her life is so different from mine.  Maybe it's because the amount of confidence and strength it takes to get up in front of people and go off like that is way beyond me.  Maybe it's because to me, she seems a little nuts.  I just can't get enough of Dr. Juanita right now!  Watching someone preach is pretty foreign to me, and, as someone who reads an awful lot of media, it's interesting to realize that there's people out there who are famous to millions of people who I have never even heard of.

Just like most other prominent ministers these days, a scandal has recently hit Juanita.  Her second husband, also a minister, beat her in a hotel parking lot, and this put her back in the news over the summer.  It's sad because she has positioned herself as this figure of empowerment for women, with all her preaching about not needing a man and how to get ahead on one's own, and yet she has twice now been the victim of physically abusive marriages.  It is interesting to watch clips of her on YouTube from various tv shows like Good Morning America these last couple of weeks defending herself, her faith and her marriage as well as her right to not have spoken up about this abuse until he actually beat her in a public place.  It's so at odds with all her teachings!  She's obviously a complicated person.

We carry Dr. Juanita Bynum's CDs in our Gospel section!


Posted by Billyjam, October 3, 2007 08:26am | Post a Comment

In recent years in many US and European major metropolitan areas various eco-friendly and anti-consumerism organizations have been staging fully legal acts of protest. One example is the above "awareness creation mechanism" in which once a month in the UK a group of anti-consumer activists all pushing deliberately-empty shopping carts ("trolleys") form a human chain of sorts as they push these symbols of consumerism in a zombie like fashion around the megamart. Thanks to Adbusters for this video posting. Incidentally, the music playing as the background soundtrack is Goldfrapp's "Lovely Head" off the CD Felt Mountain (Mute). For more information on this Whirl-Mart project click here.

Julius Henry "Groucho" Marx

Posted by Whitmore, October 2, 2007 06:25pm | Post a Comment

Several years back I went to a Halloween party dressed as Groucho Marx, specifically as his character Quincy Adams Wagstaff, the eccentric and barmy president of Huxley College from the classic 1932 film “Horse Feathers.”  I wore the cap and gown, a pair of baggy trousers, an ill fitted shirt, worn leather shoes; I painted on the moustache and the eyebrows. I did it up right. When I arrived at the party I found myself milling around the bar looking for some whiskey. Nearby was a crowd in their late 20’s or early 30’s dressed to the absolute nines. I suspect “glamorous perfection"  (rented perfection?) was the concept behind their costumes, whatever it was, they hit it right. I sort of knew them from another party; I also knew they worked as grammar school teachers. I said hey and hello, they said hey and asked me about my costume.  

“Are you a professor of some sort?” one of them asked.
“I’m dressed as Groucho Marx” I replied, cigar in hand.
They all blinked and dimly asked, ‘Who’s Groucho Marx?”

One of the saddest and most preposterous nights of my life, right at that moment I knew there wasn’t going to be enough whiskey or conversation or beautiful women to keep me at this shindig for long, or this pin-brained world. Soon I said my adieus and I wandered back home dazed, stunned by it all … and I wonder why I’m depressed sometimes!

Anyway, today, October 2nd, is the birthday to a comic cultural icon, and the inspiration behind those novelty glasses, Julius Henry "Groucho" Marx.  Happy 117th birthday Groucho!


Posted by Billyjam, October 2, 2007 02:08pm | Post a Comment
If, like me, you were unable to attend the San Francisco Amoeba Music instore by legendary pioneering San Francisco punk rock band Crime in celebration of their new vinyl album Exalted Masters a couple of Fridays ago, then, no doubt, you too are curious as to how the event went.

Read on to check out the review that my man David Suisman wrote about it as well as peep all 24 photos taken during the Haight Street store free, all-ages concert in the Amoeba Music online gallery right here. And as you can see from the crowd shot (below left), the show was very well attended.

Additionally, if you missed reading it in advance of the September 21st concert, you can go back and check the Bay Area Crew Amoeblog titled "San Francisco Is Still Doomed (Still)," crime instore amoeba which is a really excellent in-depth preview of the event & interview with Crime's Hank Rank and Johnny Strike. Strike incidentally was also signing copies of his new book A Loud Humming Sound Came From Above (Rudos and Rubes).

it's already october? new releases for 10/2...siouxsie

Posted by Brad Schelden, October 1, 2007 11:12pm | Post a Comment
I can't really believe that it is already October! The great and fantastic Siouxsie Sioux has a new album out today. What a great way to start the month off right. Just saying her name out loud gets me all excited and nostalgic. I can't really imagine growing up without Siouxsie, Morrissey, and Robert Smith. It seriously scares me to think what would have happened to all of us without their music. Siouxsie really helped me become who I am today. She also influenced hundreds of artists and bands that followed her. She just turned 50 years old this year and she still is as relevant and talented today as the day she started. The new album is "Mantaray." It is actually her first solo album. The last Siouxsie & the Banshees album, "Rapture," was released over ten years ago in 1995. Siouxsie and Budgie have been performing as The Creatures for the last decade or so. The last Creatures album "Hai!" came out in 2003. She has since parted ways with Budgie and is now recording and performing as just Siouxsie.

The artwork for the new album is fantastic. And the songs are fantastic as well. This is not a Siouxsie & the Banshees album. But it is most definitely a Siouxsie album. Her deep recognizable voice is as powerful as ever. The album has been out for a couple weeks as an import. But her new label "Decca" is bringing us the album out domestically today. I am always worried when I listen to the new album of one of my favorite artists. Although, she really is just competing with herself. Nobody else can really compare to the brilliance of Siouxsie. But with such an amazing history and catalog of albums, it is really hard to put out a new album that can compare to her old ones. Her albums and songs with the Banshees are such a part of my musical upbringing and history that it really makes it even harder to compete with those memories. How do you put out an album that can even compare? Siouxsie has really done it. She has not tried to capture the brilliance of her albums with the Banshees. She also could have tried to create some super modern trendy album. But instead she creates something all her own. She has never been one to just simply fit into one simple genre. She may have helped to define what became goth music. But the Banshees were never simply a goth band. Her music has always been a combination of punk, glam, goth, new wave, experimental, electronica, world music, and art rock. The first single off the album is "Into A Swan." It is a fantastic little song with a great little video to go along with it. But there is so much else that is great on this album. I can't wait to hear these songs live when she performs them out on the next tour. I could not be more proud and excited that Siouxsie has not let us down. She is still very much the Siouxsie we all grew up with and fell in love with.

Also out today is the new album from Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings. The new album is called "100 Days, 100 Nights." She does not have much in common with the great Siouxsie Sioux other then being born at about the same time. But she is just as amazing. She was born in Augusta, Georgia. The city that brought us the great James Brown. However, it took Sharon Jones about 40 years to get recognized and respected. She worked a lot in the 60's and 70's as a back up singer and session musician. She never quite got the break she needed and ended up working for years as a prison guard. Although Siouxise found fame much earlier, I can also imagine Siouxsie as a pretty awesome security guard. About 10 years ago, in 1996, she released some songs with the Soul Providers. In 2001 she put out an album with her new band the Dap-Kings. This album was "Dap Dippin' with Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings."  "Naturally" followed in 2005. The Dap-Kings also helped Amy Winehouse with her recent album "Back to Black." The great thing about these Sharon Jones albums is that they could have easily been released in the 60's. If you are just listening to them for the first time, you could easily mistake them for old reissued albums. They don't just sound like albums imitating the old soul and funk albums of the 60's and 70's. They actually sound like they were written and recorded back then. It really is amazing stuff. I have never seen her live but have heard amazing things about her live shows. This is one amazing lady. It just took her a little while to record the albums that she always wanted to create. It is exciting that she still has a whole new group of fans that have not even found her yet. This album is without a doubt fantastic. It is really hard to stop listening to her once you start.

also out today...

"Magic" by Bruce Springsteen

"Ultra" reissue by Depeche Mode

"Exciter" reissue by Depeche Mode

"White Chalk" by P.J. Harvey

"Songs of Mass Destruction" by Annie Lennox

"Magick Daggers" by Magick Daggers

"Pilgrimage" by Om

"We Are the Pipettes" by The Pipettes

"Total Magique" by We Are Wolves

To All A Goodnight

Posted by phil blankenship, October 1, 2007 07:11pm | Post a Comment

Media Home Entertainment M178

Burnt Offerings

Posted by Eric Brightwell, October 1, 2007 03:29pm | Post a Comment
When I was a young'un, my parents exposed me to many horrifying films which they correctly reckoned I wouldn't understand but wrongly assumed wouldn't scar me for most of my adult life. I was four or five when my father took my six-year-old sister and I to see Alien. When I saw it again about twenty years later I was surprised at how vivid my memories were, although I could now recognize that the decapitated Ash was an android, and not, as I had previously surmised, someone with milk in his veins.

Another movie that haunted me when I was young that I have spent many years wondering about. I saw it in the late 1978 wood-paneled RCA Selectavision VCR. I didn't have much to go on. I remembered a country house, black & white sequences, an old woman in a chair that gets spun around and, most importantly, a chauffeur with an awful and inappropriate smile that he flashes during a funeral. After that I used to smile creepily at my younger brother whilst my sister relied on draping her long hair over her face like a Yūrei.


Anyway, for years I have repeated those vague details to co-workers and horror aficionados, blogged about it and watched things like The House of Seven Corpses which turned, in every cast, out not to be what I was looking for...

A few years ago a Korean
guy came in and asked about a movie with a creepy chauffeur and a country house. We started talking excitedly, hoping to reach a breakthrough. He too had seen it when very young and been scarred and he thought it was based on an Agatha Christie novel, which seemed likely because my mother loved Agatha Christie and so I set about watching the many Agatha Christie adaptations that take place in country houses, which is pretty much all of them, it turns out... unless it's on a train. Years passed. The Korean guy came back and asked if I'd figured it out. Neither had he.

We have some new guys in the horror section at Amoeba now so I thought I'd ask Rigoberto aka Riggs aka Rigo. Remaining calm, he snapped his fingers and replied, "Burnt Offerings." I looked at the back of the DVD. An old woman in a chair! I googled "Burnt Offerings" and "chauffeur." Lo and behold...

said there was a movie he was trying to figure out from his childhood and it involved a turbulent pool. Same movie. I got goosebumps. Now what am I going to ask God? How did Evan's doll "Becky" disappear from the pond and end up in a tree? Who spilled the jelly on the chair in the living room that I got blamed for? I fear that I have no reason to live now... except to get my three dollars back from preppy scum Jim Garbez, who, owing me money as he does, had the gall to say to write in my yearbook, "Change the hair, lose the jacket."

I watched the movie. It's not terribly scary to me now, although I did get goosebumps and chills now and then and it was fun to dredge up so many memories attached, still, to a toddlers point-of-view. It's pretty brutal for a PG film as well (although it was the 1970s... remember they made Dark Night of the Scarecrow for television!)


I skipped ahead in the commentary to listen to director
Dan Curtis talk about how at his mother's funeral a chauffeur had been laughing and smiling with his friends, which gave him the idea for the iconic image.

When I was four, there was this kid in my preschool who used to frequently don a Superman Underoos shirt as outerwear and I had a dream about him getting sucked into this supernatural pool and disappearing whilst the adults stood frozen at the water's edge. I woke up crying and ran to the living room where my mom was working on a quilt. I told her about it and she explained that it was just baby's first nightmare and I wondered what brought it on...


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Posted by Billyjam, October 1, 2007 08:53am | Post a Comment
radioheadNo longer legally bound to their contract with EMI, the always innovative and forward-thinking group Radiohead have just announced that they are going to take advantage of their new found contractual freedom by doing something a little different with the release of their new album, In Rainbows, whereby at this link they are offering Radiohead fans an opportunity to download the full album and pay whatever they wish to pay per song -- with prices starting at only 1P (that's one pence Sterling). Once you visit the aforementioned link you may pre-order a download and then receive an activation code and download details by email. Note that buyers will not be able to access the actual music downloads until next Wednesday, October 10th. Consumers may also purchase In Rainbows in a hard copy 'Discbox" format which will begin shipping December 3rd. For answers to specific questions click here.