Secret Society of the Sonic Six SAT Dec 1st @ MRX in Chinatown!!

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, November 30, 2007 07:47pm | Post a Comment

2 Dance rooms w/ DJ's Detonator (Quarantine), Eric Dead, Tony X, Job Leatherette, Adam XVI, and Reanimator spinning Minimal-Elektronik-Synth-Wave-Goth-Deathrock-Industrial etc...


Venus Was Her Name

Posted by Eric Brightwell, November 30, 2007 05:09pm | Post a Comment
All data seems to indicate that this planet is going to be uninhabitable by 2012. Jack van Impe says it's a good thing. Jesus is going to take charge.

"Don't be scurred!"

I, for one, don't plan on hanging around. I honestly heard that the Bush administration set aside billions of dollars for some project in Antarctica. I can't remember where I heard it or any specifics but my theory is that global warming will soon cause a major disaster. Sea levels will rise, causing hordes of displaced, massive, occasionally cannibal Samoan and Maori populations to invade the continent-dwellers' homes- eating the skinny first and saving the chubby for last. The rich and powerful will retreat to the newly tropical Antarctica Maximum Security New Eden Colony like monks in the Dark Ages whilst those of us who've survived work the sand mines of the wastelands, occasionally fending off bands of marauders.

Halt! You have violated New Eden's borders.                               "Give us the sand and we may let you live!"

Too far fetched? Beyond our puny imaginations? OK, just look at Palestine and imagine apartheid on a global scale.

"Exterminate the bioforms! Exterminate the bioforms!"

If I learned anything from my Dad it's to procrastinate until there are consequences and then blame everything on Gin 'n' Juice. So, now that the Earth is getting totally jacked I've started focusing on moving to other planets or moons. My friends tell me that I won't be among the chosen on the USS Space Ark which I, of course, realize. I'll stowaway, duh!

The Space Ark- Hecho en Colombia.       Venus compared to a typically Madagascar-centric view of Earth

My first planet to research is Venus. It's our "Sister Planet." Like Lusaka Zambia is Los Angeles' sister city, this may or may not mean jack. Unlike our world, Sol IV (or "Earth" as your people call it), Venus only has two continents -- Terra Ishtar and Aphrodite Terra; two goddesses of sex which we are lead to believe are goddesses of love- a confusion responsible for global warming perhaps.

Obviously these Goddesses were intended to be more than mere sex objects- like symbols of Love

Things that are bad about Venus:
There is constant thunder and lightning but no rain. Have you ever sat on a porch at night fanning yourself, watching heat lighting in the distance and swatting mosquitoes?
There was water on Venus but the same greenhouse effect happening here made it all evaporate into space several billion years ago, leaving it the hottest planet in the solar system.
Venus rotates so slowly that a day lasts longer than a Venerean year. 1 Venerean day lasts for 243 Earth days! Question-- how long is my lunch break going to be, right Kevin?

Things that are good about Venus:
It's over 460 °C but there's no humidity. And everyone knows it's not the heat, it's the humidity. And we'll acclimate after a couple weeks to the point where anything cooler than 430 is sweater weather.

Venerean Timeline


This film is supposedly a sort of boring, talky imitation of The Day the Earth Stood Still with a little romance tossed in, so I'd probably really like it.

I haven't seen this. Actually, I haven't seen any Three Stooges. Seriously. Three Stooges to me are like Monty Python. I endured you and your friends' recreations and recountings of the hilarity for many years in grade school. Then I finally saw a Monty Python movie. I don't think I laughed once. "Whoop whoop whoop." "Run away!" "Knucklehead..." *yawn* I'm slightly more interested because it's got Joe, a post-Shemp stooge whom I'd have never heard of before writing this. Also it has a kind of scary-looking playboy playmate named Marilyn Hanold who is a Venusian.

In keeping with Earth's universal agreement that Venus is the "Babe Planet," Queen of Outer Space is released and shows a world in which our "sister" planet is ruled by a man-hating bitch scarred by some dude. Get over it, lady! Lest we accidentally take it seriously, Warner Brothers has helpfully branded it a Cult Camp Classic. Thanks for the heads up, Warner Brohams.

East Germany releases der Scheigende Sterne, which depicts a multinational voyage to a very creepy psychedelic Venus destroyed by nuclear disaster and now filled with ruins, robotic bugs and unpredictable ooze. I love DEFA science-fiction. I love Stanislaw Lem. It has lots of talking and really cool set pieces and they play chess to pass time. Not much need for conflict in an intellectually-driven utopia except for the thankfully unavoidable interpersonal relationship stuff. If you look at the two in the backseat and think they had a thing-- you're right!


In the same year the Three Stooges make Have Rocket, Will Travel. Again, a scant two years after Space Ship Sappy, the bad boys of Vaudeville are back for more hijinks of the highest variety.

Venera 1 is the first probe sent to another planet.
The same year Russia releases Planeta Bura.
Soviet Film Planeta Bura which means, "Planet of Storms," not "Planet Brr" because Venus is HOT!!

Mariner 2 becomes the first successful interplanetary probe.

Outer Limits shows the episode "Cold Hands, Warm Heart." Even in a still photo you can feel the elevated acting stylings of Bill Shatner. Like most great shows, it was cancelled during its second season. In the episode, an astronaut comes back from Venus and finds Earth's weather overly chilly upon return... because he's turning Venusian!

The Venera 3 implodes and crashes-- the first time an Earth ship has gone to the surface of another planet.

Zontar-The Thing From Venus is released.
This one was made by Larry Buchanan, a former documentarian for Oral Roberts who graduated, quite naturally, from Christian propaganda to sexploitation, raceploitation and other grindhouse stuff.

Venera 7 lands on Venus and sends back the first telemetry received from the surface of another planet.
Venera 9 sends back images of Venus confirming suspicions that the only "hotties" on the planet, are the rocks carelessly strewn about, right Kevin?

Venera 13 and 14 send back the first color photographs of Venus' surface.



This movie, The American Astronaut, is so hard to keep in stock. Amoeba has a hard enough time getting it but then it sells out immediately and never comes in used! I haven't seen it but it has something to do with a band called the Billy Nayer Show whom I've never heard. Also, a guy in it has to service the female population of Venus.

Space Odyssey: Voyage to the Planets. The BBC makes a mockumentary about a manned voyage to Venus. I watched the Venus episode. It was OK but not as good as the "Walking With" stuff.

The only photos of Venus where they didn't point the camera straight at the ground.

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Slumber Party Massacre 25th Anniversary Screening !

Posted by phil blankenship, November 30, 2007 01:01pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba Music & Phil Blankenship present

Saturday Dec. 1

25th Anniversary Screening!

Slumber Party Massacre

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

Tell your friends!

Justin Timberlake Sings Along In Southland Tales

Posted by phil blankenship, November 30, 2007 11:32am | Post a Comment
Posted at the request of Hiland. Skip ahead to the halfway point where Hiland says it gets "really good".


Posted by Mr. Chadwick, November 30, 2007 12:49am | Post a Comment


Below is a knockoff Chipmunks LP on Audiofidelity subsidiary, not sure how well foil is showing up
on other computers, but the red background is all foil, with flat ink images on top, very cool looking
in real life... I will be doing a big piece on Audiofidelity very soon...

Prime Risk

Posted by phil blankenship, November 29, 2007 10:18pm | Post a Comment

Lightning Video LA9909

Ask Forgiveness, by Bonnie Prince Billy

Posted by Miss Ess, November 29, 2007 07:20pm | Post a Comment
Most of this week I have been listening to the new EP Ask Forgiveness by Bonnie Prince Billy, just repeating it over and over.  It features 7 covers and one new original.

The best tracks are the Danzig cover "Am I Demon", and the Phil Ochs cover "My Life".  Yeah, there's an R. Kelly cover on there too, of "The World's Greatest", and it's funny and semi ironic and all, but I like other stuff on the cd much better. 

Bonnie Prince Billy is always both covering and writing songs about identity and struggling with that whole thing! Previous tracks "Little Boy Blue" and "Wolf Among Wolves" both are about those kind of issues.  Anyway, the Danzig track is slow and pretty and asks "Am I Demon?/I need to know".  We all get the somewhat resigned answer by the end of the song. I love when BPB ends the phrases by singing waaay up high.  It's lovely.  It's fun to hear a song about demons that's all folky and acoustic and not screamed! 

I'm a fan of Phil Ochs (See the name of my blog!), and it's great to hear someone like BPB covering him since he was such a talent and so brilliant and cutting.  His lyrics are better than about 90% of everyone else's, give or take a few percentage points, of course.  Anyway, "My Life" is a beautiful choice, and I guess it's yet another song about identity, about what life means and changes and paranoia and growing up.  I guess it covers a lot of ground!  It's really a poem:

My life was once a joy to me,
Never knowing, I was growing, everyday.
My life was once a toy to me,
And I wound it and I found it ran away.
So I raced through the night
With a face at my feet, like a God I would write,
All the melodies were sweet, and the women were white.
It was easy to survive, my life was so alive.

My life was once a flag to me
And I waved it and behaved like I was told.
My life was once a drag to me
And I loudly, and I proudly, lost control
I was drawn by a dream
I was loved by a lie, every serf on the scene
Begged me to buy.
But I slipped through the scheme
So lucky to fail
My life was not for sale.
My life is now a myth to me
Like the drifter, with his laughter in the dawn.

My life is now a death to me
So I'll mold it and I'll hold it till I'm born
So I turned to the land
Where I'm so out of place
Throw a curse on the plan
In return for the grace
To know where I stand
Take everything I own
Take your tap from my phone
And leave my life alone
My life alone.

Also included all over this EP are beautiful harmonies by Meg Baird of Espers-- 
she's kinda whispery and warble-y and flawless.  

Now that I am continuing still to listen to the songs, the Sinatra cover "Cycles" is also really genius.
Really, the whole cd is worth checking out-- I have to say I kinda love it all!  I'm impressed with BPB's 
cover choices--they really are all over the map.  Hopefully this is a sign that a full length record is not too 
far off in the New Year. 

augmenting the blather ...

Posted by Whitmore, November 29, 2007 11:06am | Post a Comment

Perhaps the holiday season has already taken something of a toll on my psyche, (though I do little shopping and I’m more or less done), I’m feeling a tad bit overwhelmed these last few days. I think it’s mostly due to the fact that my trusted computer is in the shop for some repairs, as is my guitar amp … and I think every electronic gadget I own. And on top of that, someone hacked into my own Myspace account. And today a plumber is suppose to show up and take care of a few problems we have here at the old homestead, but how often do plumbers actually show up on the day scheduled, and on time? I should perhaps lighten the mood, quit the blather - or just step boldly forth and augment the blather, and mention that I’m really fond of old school fear inducing literature on subjects like culture shock and modern paranoia, media paranoia, ("the medium is the message") … (my personal favorite faux-cultural-analytical phrase: “media derived fantasies”), conspiratorial governments, and discourses on the mechanization of middle class culture on their efforts to mute class … basically anything on the spooky-spooky future. I’ll just quote some Alvin Toffler here and put up a pretty picture of a galactic spiral. I’ll feel better. Hey, I do feel better!

"Man has a limited biological capacity for change. When this capacity is overwhelmed, the capacity is in future shock."

In short the definition of future shock is a personal sensitivity to "too much change in too short a period of time". I think Toffler is speaking to me directly, and that’s not a good sign!

I recently came across one of Toffler’s old books in a thrift store, The Third Wave. I glanced through it, and it’s not as richly paranoid as I would like it to be- I need more suspicion. If I was on my own computer, I could just click over to some eerie bookmarked pages, and just settle in with a nice cup of Earl Grey tea. There is a crumb of comfort there, don’t know why, but on some of these sites I find just enough soothing reassurance that whatever the hell is going on, seems to keep right on going on. It’s a disquieting assurance, yes, but it’s consistent, besides you know in this day and age you grab whatever peace you can find, I'm no good at being noble, but it doesn't take much to see that the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you'll understand that. Now, now ... here's looking at you kid.  

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Gomez Comes Alive In Las Vegas - Thanksgiving In Vegas

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, November 27, 2007 09:55pm | Post a Comment
This Thanksgiving I went to Las Vegas to visit my parents. They are now retired and living with the vast number of seniors who have ventured to the desert for the cheap housing, warmer weathe, and, of course, the gambling. There is nothing Vegas likes more than getting those social security checks deposited straight into a slot machine! Coincidentally, my annual visit has fallen on the Thanksgiving holiday. In fact, I don’t like the holiday. First off, to me, celebrating Thanksgiving is basically celebrating the genocide of all the indigenous people of the Americas, and, much like Columbus Day, it is one of my most loathed holidays. Still, what are you going to tell your parents when they invite you to their home for Thanksgiving dinner? “No, Mom, no, Dad, I refuse to celebrate with you because this holiday celebrates the rape, murder and the stealing of the land of indigenous people like you and me...?” However, my ideals are often compromised by the love of my parents. They will win every time.

I remember when they were looking to buy the house they live in now a couple of years back. I drove with my mother to Vegas to check out the house. I remember walking into the place and thinking how “faaabulous” the house was. The owners weren’t there, but because of the numerous naked Greco-Roman statues, posters of Broadway musicals and the abundance of I Love Lucy show memorabilia, I had concluded that the house belonged to an older gay couple. Then there was the backyard. Rome suddenly turned into Martin Denny’s Quiet Village, complete with faux Polynesian totem poles, tropical plants and Tiki torches. My mother, on the other hand, was clueless.

After a quick look through the house, I asked my mother,

“Are the owners of the house an older gay couple?”
She looked at me like I was crazy.
“No” she replied. “I met the husband the first time I came to see the house. He said he had a partner.”
I looked at her like, “And…”
She continued. “Yeah, and he had a cute dog too.”
“What kind of dog was it?” I had to ask.
“A white poodle!”

She stopped and thought about it after the words left her mouth. She was quiet for about five seconds. Then, she whispered in my ear.

“Don’t tell your father.”

My father couldn’t care less who owned the house before them. He was happy to be living in a house and not a single in Gardena with my mother. As the years go by, the fabulous-ness of the place fades. The Greco-Romanesque walls have been repainted and the statues are long gone. Lucy O’Ball still remains in some of the rooms and so does the rainbow thermometer that hangs over the bathroom door. My father likes it. He knows the temperature at any given moment just by visiting the bathroom.

I never had that full-on Las Vegas experience. I never partied hard or gambled the night away. What happens to me in Vegas doesn't need to stay in Vegas. Truth is, I get in more trouble living in L.A. Visiting my parents in Las Vegas is a welcome rest!

Quest For the Missing Piece

Posted by Eric Brightwell, November 27, 2007 07:00pm | Post a Comment
I saw this documentary with Chaz. It's a documentary wherein director Oded Lotan explores the topic of male circumcision. Whereas female circumcision is an almost universally vilified procedure, one in five males in the world is circumcised, the film tells us. The reasons given are usually the same: To maintain the status quo, hygiene, aesthetics, health, tradition, to fit in, religion/kicks.


It's told in sort of a contrived fairy tale structure with narration and whimsical cartoons which I found a bit annoying but I could imagine the more whimsically-inclined enjoying. Lotan attempts to track down both his Mohel and his estranged foreskin. In the process he engages his uncircumcised boyfriend, his mother, an adult Russian immigrant who undergoes the surgery to feel more whole, a seven year old Muslim kid with little idea what "becoming a man" entails and a group of Jews vehemently opposed to this strangely anachronistic and (more strangely) run-of-the-mill ritual.

Lotan presents compelling arguments. As a gay Jew, he still doesn't fit in, even without his foreskin, so why is it that his not-especially religious mother thought that penile similarity would ensure his acceptance in a society that probably never knows what his penis looks like unless speedos are popular in Israel? Why not get him a nose job or gender reassignment? Maybe remove some moles and birthmarks too.

But what about health and hygiene? I like the idea waiting 'til adulthood to decide whether or not you'd like to symbolize your bromance with God by slicing off a bit of their knob that He probably shouldn't have put there anyway. Why does it have to be done when you're a baby and can't verbally oppose the process? Why are we the only species that evolved to have a pesky foreskin that serves to make sex even more amazing only to be required to chop it off? God is cruel.

But don't take my word for it. Quoth Yahweh: "This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised; and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you. He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised, every male child in your generations, he who is born in your house or bought with money from any foreigner who is not your descendant. He who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money must be circumcised, and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. And the uncircumcised male child, who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant." (Genesis 17:10-14)

Most people that circumcise their kids don't seem to mind that God also forbids eating pork, being gay, eating rabbit, eating shellfish, tattoos, men having long hair, women not wearing veils, women speaking to men other than their husbands, touching anything that's touched a woman whilst she's on her period, grilled cheese, Three Musketeers candy bars and a bunch of other stuff. God's like some crazy rock star with this really bitchy, insane, prima donna-ish backstage rider. That stuff is all silly, we can agree. But the part about mangling a baby's penis. Well, who would question that? It's just common sense, right? God's circumcised, right? It's not like he's asking us to remove all the green M & Ms!  
I swear, if you don't cut off that damned foreskin I'm never talking to you again!


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Southland Tales

Posted by phil blankenship, November 27, 2007 06:02pm | Post a Comment

Holy fuck.


Posted by Billyjam, November 27, 2007 04:15pm | Post a Comment

1) Press 0 at each prompt, ignoring messages
2) Say "operator" at each prompt, ignoring messages
3) Don't press or say anything
4) Say "agent" at each prompt
5) Say fuck, shit, or bitch

Foolishly I assumed making a few calls, as I did earlier today, to AT&T, B.O.A., and EBMUD wouldn't take but a few minutes or be too difficult a task -- especially since I am "a valued customer" with each company. But that privelege today or any day never seems to shorten the time wasted on the phone trying to bypass some automated voice options just to get to talk to a human at a company that already has my business.

People tend to forget that getting directly through to an actual person when you pick up the phone used to be a given in customer service. But not in these high-tech but low-overhead, outsourcing times, when most companies would rather you do everything automated online and not put them through the expense of hiring actual humans. Hence when you try to call up to talk to a person it is rarely a simple task. Usually it is like entering a voice system obstacle course -- one that's gonna take time and bit of wit and a lot of patience.

The pre-programmed voice (often a woman's) on automated phone systems will do all it can to waste your time before (if ever) it lets you talk to that elusive human voice on the phone. It will suggest you press certain buttons. It will assault you with an arsenal of (seemingly) pertinent questions. And, guaranteed, it will always remind you about the company's website. Did you know you could save 5% on your monthly bill just by registering online? In other words -- get off the goddam phone. But the ever-professional sounding automated voice will never use those exact words, since it "really values your business."

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I'm Not There, This Isn't Happening

Posted by Miss Ess, November 27, 2007 02:14pm | Post a Comment

and I went to see I'm Not There this weekend and we loved it.  He covered the Todd Haynes territory in this blog he posted earlier this week, but I thought I should chime in a little since I'm a big Dylan fan.

The movie is very stream of consciousness, kinda like most Dylan songs.  If you have not seen it yet, please don't go to the theater expecting something easily followed, with a traditional narrative storyline, cause it's not like that at all.  In fact, that was one of the reasons I really liked the film-- it was different and unafraid to be so.  Throughout the film I wondered what others in the theater were making of the movie, and I wondered esp what those who may not be big fans of Dylan were thinking.  It seems like it would be pretty hard to follow if you didn't know much about him.  Dylan has always avoided being concretely characterized or pinned down by anyone or anything, and it was so cool to see someone as fantastic as Todd Haynes working within that fact and making it into something creative instead of trying to create a typical biopic.

There are 6 different actors each portraying a different aspect or period of Dylan's life.  Cate Blanchett has been getting all the press for this film it seems, and she deserves it-- she's brilliant!  All the details in the movie were just perfection-- it's obvious that Todd Haynes did a heck of a lot of homework to make this film happen.  I have to admit sometimes I thought it was weird to recreate scenes from his life or to take things that have happened and refashion them when this really is about a real person, but overall I was willing to suspend my belief and just go with the film as another piece of art.

Cate Blanchett plays Dylan at the point in his career when he was at his most vitriolic, which is really saying something!  She's Dylan circa '65/'66, when he "went electric" and faced the press and fans who were disgruntled.  He also had developed a pill addiction.  Cate will win an Oscar for this role, I am sure.  She is insanely good.

The toughest sections for myself and probably most viewers are the Richard Gere portions.  Richard Gere plays Dylan in his subconscious basically, in a world that exists only in his mind and creative spirit.  This is an old timey place, where Dylan is hidden away in a cabin, isolated from the chaos that exists in the nearby town.  The world is on the edge of collapse and when he heads into town to protest the coming changes, Dylan can only watch the goings-on and shout and ultimately run away.  It's a world straight out of Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music, one of Dylan's greatest inspirations.

Heath Ledger seems determined to continually show us all his wiener throughout his filmic career.  He portrays Dylan when he becomes involved with and builds a life with his wife.  In the film her name is Claire and she's played by Charlotte Gainsbourg.  Although Heath is not my favorite, I did like these segments of the film.  They show how and why Dylan destroyed his marriage.

This little African American kid, Marcus Carl Franklin, plays the ragamuffin ideal Dylan wanted to be after reading Woody Guthrie's Bound For Glory as a child.  He's the hobo who hops trains and spins yarns to everyone he meets. 

Christian Bale and Ben Whishaw play two other versions of Dylan, including his Jesus loving Christian period, his Greenwich Village period and his press conference persona.

Oh yeah, and David Cross rules pretty much as Allen Ginsberg.  Random but so good.

I'm really interested to hear what other Dylan fans think of this film, so feel free to leave a comment if you have one.

(In which Job & Corey brave the California wilderness.)

Posted by Job O Brother, November 27, 2007 10:17am | Post a Comment

(Has nothing to do with this blog entry.)

I wish I didn’t like Kathy Griffin so much. It’s such a cliché – me and my boyfriend, Corey, on our way to the foreign country known as Orange County, to see Ms. Griffin perform at the (and how’s this for a cute name) Orange County Performing Arts Center’s Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall (I think I’m naming my kid that, you know, if it’s a girl).

It was Friday and Corey picked me up, fresh off a typical eight-hour shift in the soundtracks department of your favorite record store. It took about fifteen minutes before I realized that the man sitting next to me was my boyfriend and not someone hoping for a restroom, a wall-item, an “Amoeba buck”, or the “I’m Not There” soundtrack. I relaxed immediately and we discussed matters that are none of your business in amorous tones. Also I ate gum.

Have you tried this stuff yet? The Orbit “sweet mint” flavor? It tastes exactly like chocolate-mint ice cream and is so sumptuous it makes me barf a little, spiritually. Don’t ever try it unless you like being weirded out by deliciousness. I wish it had never been born. I need a piece now. Excuse me…

(That's me there, next to the dude with the thing.)

…Okay, so we made it to the Orange County Performing Arts Center’s Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in plenty of time, despite getting lost a while (we were distracted from following directions by a heated conversation about thantophobia and Scrabble). We saddled up to the uncozy Orange County Performing Arts Center’s Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall bar for cocktails and a quick trip to the Orange County Performing Arts Center’s Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall restroom for men.

Because Corey is press, we got fantastic seats. The venue itself reminded me of a much cheerier version of that auditorium in “Dark City” where the evil dudes with bad dental hygiene gather to be wicked. And exchange recipes.

"Can you help me find row F-8?"

Kathy exploded on stage to an ovation. She performed for over two hours without a break, her material never dull, her energy never diminished. She is the Bruce Springsteen of stand-up comics.

Since you weren't there (I know, I looked for you) here's footage from an earlier tour. You can pretend you're sitting next to me. And I'm totally pulling that "yawn, stretch, put my arm around you" move.

At one point she made a joke about kids with MS that caught me so off-guard that I choked on my own spittle and almost asphyxiated. If I had been chewing gum I would surely have perished… in the Orange County Performing Arts Center’s Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall.

After the show, confused staff sent Corey and I from the green room to the lobby and back again before we were finally rescued by Tom, Kathy’s assistant, famous in his own right for appearing on the TV show “My Life on the D-list” as Tom, Kathy’s assistant.

We filed in, along with about fifteen other people, into the Orange County Performing Arts Center’s Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall green room.

Now, it’s not often I get to say this, but the green room of the Orange County Performing Arts Center’s Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall is actually smaller than my apartment. Wow.

When I read the listing for my place, it boasted “New York-style apartment”. I thought this meant it had high ceilings and a wall of exposed brick – which it did – but it also meant there was about enough room for me, a small bed, and… maybe a Cheeto.

Not a whole bag. Just une Cheeto.

Kathy entered the green room and graciously spent time with individuals; each one smiling so big and tight in anticipation to meet her you’d think we were a support group for people with bad face-lifts.

Corey seemed to be the only one there in any kind of work-related capacity. Others were either friends/employees of Kathy and their friends, contest winners, and, as one confessed, an actual stalker.

Kathy looked great and was personable – pretty much exactly what you’d expect. She’s attractive up close, but don’t tell my boyfriend I said that.

What is it about her that I love? Much of it is because I feel like celebrity culture is deconstructing – pop will eat itself, right? – and Kathy is this kind of “celebrity middle-class”, taking us by the hand as she ascends the ladder to greater stardom, exposing the folly and effort involved. She is the Eva Perón of stand-up comics.

"Did you hear the one about two nuns, a Jew, and Courtney Love?"

Celebrities tend to be alienated from the rest of us (I’m assuming, dear reader, that you are not Sharon Stone or Larry King) and sometimes they’re separated from us in a way that feels unfair. Movie stars especially are the U.S.’s royalty. Is it any wonder then, when they’re treated with such privilege for sometimes no greater feat than looking pretty, that we delight in seeing them led to proverbial guillotines?

Honestly, wouldn’t we rather see Britney slosh around stupidly on the VMA’s than see her give a great performance? (I’m assuming, dear reader, that you are not Britney Spears.)

Anyway, seeing Kathy both on and off stage was swell. For those of you who don’t appreciate her comedy, I hope you can at least appreciate her impact. I, for one, am ready for our Revolution.

Kathy Griffin's stand-up performances and TV show "My Life on the D-List" are available at Amoeba Music. Orbit "sweet mint" gum is not.

out today 11/27...not much out this holiday season...but I sure do love Sweden right now...

Posted by Brad Schelden, November 26, 2007 11:40pm | Post a Comment

What I find surprising about this year is that there have been tons of great releases out throughout the year. I have not liked this many albums in one year in a very long time. Yet there seems to be nothing coming out this holiday season. There are still tons and tons of great albums out there. Thousands of great albums from years past. But just not much new out right now. So I have been trying to use this time wisely. I have been going back in time lately and discovering old albums from decades past. But I have also been spending this extra time catching up on all the great albums that came out this year. I am obsessed with that new Sally Shapiro album "Disco Romance" right now. It is the funnest album out this year since Lily Allen. Sort of like a more modern version of Stacey Q. Like a mix of all the great and fun things about 80's electro and freestyle. But still sort of relevant and exciting. I also am a bit obsessed with Pelle Carlberg. His latest album "In A Nutshell" came out about six  months ago but I just found the time to give it a proper listen. And now I can't stop. It really is brilliant. Both Sally Shapiro and Pelle Carlberg are from Sweden. I guess it is just a coincidence. But maybe not. Two of my other favorite albums of the year also come from Sweden. "Night Falls Over Kortedala" by Jens Lekman and "West Coast" by Studio both come from the land of Sweden. Jose Gonzalez is also from Sweden and I am also in love with his album this year "In Our Nature." The Shout Out Louds are from Sweden as well. What is going on this year. Sweden is taking over my life. The Knife and Love Is All are also from Sweden and they both had two of my favorite albums from last year. And I always had a special place in my heart for ABBA. But I never really thought much about Sweden until this year when I started realizing all my favorite albums were from Sweden. So don't get too depressed if you don't think there are any good albums out this month. There are plenty of albums for you to catch up on. You can just spend a couple months getting to know all the great music coming out of Sweden alone. There are also two brilliant albums out recently on Italians Do It Better. Both "Night Drive" by the Chromatics and "Beatbox" by Glass Candy are absolutely fantastic. You will not be able to stop listening to them once you stop.

And while there may not be hardly any new release DVDs or CDs coming out this month or last. There are a ton of movies out in the theater right now. I just saw "I'm Not There" last night at the brand new remodeled Kabuki Theatre last night. I have been excited about this movie since I first found out about it a couple years ago. Todd Haynes has been a longtime hero of mine. I have loved every single one of his movies and they have all been completely different but all equally brilliant. The first film I saw of his was "Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story." The movie has never been properly distributed and is sort of hard to find. It chronicles the life of Karen Carpenter and is all told with Barbie Dolls as the actors. Both Richard Carpenter and Mattel are not big fans of the movie and I am sure it is near to impossible to get this movie released on DVD. Maybe someday. I even did a whole paper for my independent film class on the the movie Superstar. The paper sort of turned into a paper on how hard it was to find a copy of the film on video. His first real movie "Poison" (1991) and his second "Safe" (1995) are also both out of print on DVD. Maybe there are some exciting reissues on the way. But we might have to wait until "I'm Not There" comes out on DVD next year. Safe remains one of my favorite movies and Julianne Moore is brilliant as a woman who develops multiple chemical sensitivity. Todd Haynes movies tend to come out every 3 or 5 years. But they are always worth the wait. His glam rock docudrama "Velvet Goldmine" came out in 1998. This movie had an amazing soundtrack just like his new film "I'm Not There." The Velvet Goldmine soundtrack included a mix of new and redone songs. However the I'm Not There soundtrack is all covers of Bob Dylan songs. There are 34 songs on this soundtrack. Songs by Sonic Youth, Cat Power, Calexico, Sufjan Stevens, The Black Keys, Antony & The Johnsons, Yo La Tengo, Mark Lanegan, Karen O, Mira Billotte, and John Doe. I know this will be a shock, but I am not really even much of a Bob Dylan fan. I have always loved him as a person ever since I saw "Don't Look Back." This was the documentary that the great D.A. Pennebaker made about Bob Dylan's 1965 tour of England. I have tried for years to get into the great Bob Dylan. But nothing has worked for me. Until Now. The movie is just possibly one of the most amazing films that I have seen. And something is finally making me like Bob Dylan.

Todd Haynes continued to impress me with his film "Far From Heaven" in 2002. I saw this film on Thanksgiving in 2002. Almost 5 years ago exactly. This was a drastically different film since his film before this, Velvet Goldmine. Far From Heaven starred Julianne Moore and Dennis Quaid living in 1950's suburbia. The film was nominated for four oscars but really should have been nominated for Best Picture as well. The film was brilliant because it was filmed in the style of those old 1950 films. It was very similar to "Imitation of Life" directed by Douglas Sirk. The film starred Lana Turner and came out at about the same time her daughter was on trial for murdering her boyfriend. While both films dealt with race relations in the 50's, Todd Haynes film also deals with homosexuality in the 50's. But it handles it in ways that would never be possible in 50's cinema. Far From Heaven deals brilliantly with a man dealing with his own homosexuality and coming out of his closet and also the anguish of his wife. But all in the style of a 50's film. It is not a spoof about 50's film or some pale imitation. Todd really captured the feel of a 50's film brilliantly. And Julianne Moore is always amazing. She also stars as Joan Baez in "I'm Not There."  She was even good way back in her first film in 1992, "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle." But after Short Cuts I was forever sold on the brilliance of Julianne Moore. Far From Heaven is close to perfect and not like anything you are likely to ever seen again.

The idea of "I'm Not There" may sound a bit weird. It is sort of a dreamy imagining of the life of Bob Dylan. Todd Haynes takes six actors and shows six different parts and aspects of his life. The film could have easily failed miserably. I am sure many people thought that it would. But I had faith in the great Todd Haynes. The movie uses Marcus Carl Franlkin, Ben Whishaw, Heath Ledger, Christian Bale, Richard Gere, and Cate Blanchett as the Bob Dylans. They are all sort of perfect. It is a bit hard to even explain and I did not fully get the whole concept until I actually saw the movie. Christian Bale and Cate Blanchett are the best Bob Dylans. They both completely transform into different parts of Bob Dylan's life. Cate Blanchett is just ridiculously brilliant. All I could do was stare at the screen every time her scenes came on. She becomes Bob Dylan completely. I really do love music biopics but they often are so similar and predictable. But Todd Haynes takes the genre and recreates it is as something completely different and fun. The whole film feels like a big dreamlike interweaving story. Bob Dylan fans will fall in love with this film I think. I just hope that people are not scared away by the unique approach that the film takes. I may respect the man Bob Dylan but I would hardly consider myself a fan of his music. But even I fell in love with this film. The smaller parts are also cast brilliantly. David Cross is perfect somehow as Allen Ginsberg. It just works. Charlotte Gainsbourg is also great and Michelle Williams is barely recognizable but briilliant in her role.

The sets and art direction are also perfect. The film was co-produced by Christine Vachon who has been with Todd Haynes since the beginning. Her production company "Killer Films" is also responsible for this new film. Every scene had a perfect set up and looked fantastic. I wanted to move into the house that Heath Ledger lived in with Charlotte Gainsbourg. Every little detail in the furniture and set decorations was all part of his brilliant vision for the picture. The cast and set for the outdoor scenes with Richard Gere were also great. One of the most beautiful scenes is with Jim James of My Morning Jacket singing the song "Goin' to Acapulco." It will give you chills. I really don't even know how to explain the scenes with Cate Blanchett. You really just have to see it to believe it. The movie actually does not include any songs sung by Bob Dylan himself. They are all cover versions. But the movie still manages to capture the essence of Bob Dylan and the feeling of a Bob Dylan song. I really did love this movie as did my movie partner Sarah. But the movie did get started off to a nice start. I was really hungry but didn't really just want movie theater popcorn. I really wanted a hot dog. But being a vegetarian I always just have to stare at the rolling hot dogs wishing they had veggie dogs. But at the Kabuki they did! It was like a dream come true. Sort of like the movie. That Robert Redford sure knows how to design a new movie theater. Sundance came in and saved the Kabuki theatre and actually made it look more like a theatre that belongs in Japantown. I do love myself a good old beautiful theatre. And I will never turn my back on the great Clay, Bridge, or Castro Theatre.. But it is going to be hard to resist the veggie hot dogs. I guess I could start bringing my own into those old theaters I love so much. Next on my list is "No Country For Old Men" at the Bridge Theatre. I already saw "Control" at the Clay a couple of weeks ago. There really are some amazing films out right now. "Lars & the Real Girl" and "American Gangster" were both also brilliant. Wherever you see "I'm Not There," just make sure you see it in a movie theater where it is meant to be seen for the first time. Brilliant.

Spirit Records & Francis Thompson

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, November 26, 2007 02:23pm | Post a Comment
I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter ...
                                                                                                                 Francis Thompson

A misfit Catholic from a time and a place where just being Catholic made you a misfit, Francis Thompson lived a down and out life in London's late 1800's.   An opium addict, failed doctor and failed priest who found his savior in many forms, down many an odd avenue, his story is simply fascinating.  He died Nov 13th 1907 from TB, his later years spent nursing himself after  the disappearance of his muse and savior, a prostitute who had been housing and supporting him.


The Catholic Poetry Society of New York issued this LP of his works in what I'd pin as 1964. Very cool laminate cover & nice label design.  Check out the notes on the back for bits of info on the poet, label &  orators ...


Posted by Billyjam, November 26, 2007 10:54am | Post a Comment


Posted by Billyjam, November 25, 2007 03:49am | Post a Comment
sweet caroline neil diamond
What is it about that song, "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond that people like so much? Because people really do like that song. I've seen many the person (despite whatever their core musical preference might be) just let loose and howl along with those well worn lyrics: "Where it began, I can't begin to know when...touching me, touching you." 

You'll hear em sing along with "Sweet Caroline" at parties and in bars. You'll even join in. I just heard it the other day at a Thanksgiving party in the Mission with everyone cheerily chanting along. And you always hear "Sweet Caroline" in sports stadiums -- mainly the Boston Red Sox fans at Fenway stadium games (see/hear clip below). It's also plneil diamond hot august nightsayed at New York Rangers hockey games.

The song has becaroline kennedyen a part of popular music and culture since it was first released as a single in September 1969, when it went to #4 on the Top 40 charts and sold a million copies. Since then it has continued to sell (most people get it on one of the Neil Diamond hits packages) and of course Neil has continued to perform it. 

Earlier this year Diamond performed the song for Caroline Kennedy at her 50th birthday celebration. She was the inspiration for the song, he said in an interview this year.

"Sweet Caroline" has also been featured in many movies, including the 2001 film Saving Silverman with Jack Black, Amanda Peet, and Steve Zahn. The film, about fanatical Neil fans, features a cameo from Diamond himself.
Beside a million karaoke versions of "Sweet Caroline," numerous artists have also covered the song over the years, including Waylon Jennings, Dave Matthews Band, Frank Sinatra, and Bobby Darin, who did it a bit slower and Elvis Presley, who did it a bit faster (see his performance below).
But what is it about "Sweet Caroline" that people like so much? That's not a rhetorical question. Is it that melody or is it those lyrics?

Continue reading...

Childhood Remembrances...

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, November 24, 2007 10:55pm | Post a Comment
Another round of price tags for all ov you...Now, my wife has told me stories of buying jelly shoes @ Zody's in the early 80's and our good friend Rubin who heads Amoeba Hollywood classical dept once managed the Wherehouse on El Cajon Blvd (the original one @ Choctaw) ...the same one a young Chadwick would frequent during Rubin's stint there in the late 70's & early 80's...I lived half a block away and I can still remember the Donna Summer "Cats Without Claws" window display (I was 9, do the math), but I doubt that Rubin actually had much to do with the Disco-pop window displays. In fact within 5 blocks I also had a killer Tower (oh god, my first Madonna and Prince records...I also bought the X rated Girls on film VHS there too) and San Diego's legendary, original "Off the Record" (At which I later got my start in this Record business) ... I guess I was kinda born into the business...also within those 5 blocks were the discount movie theater I snuck into to see Purple Rain, my favorite Arcade of all time (where I mastered Space Ace & Atlantis), a huge Chuck E Cheese, Bob's Big Boy, 3 used music gear stores, the Drive-in that I saw Outland at (when I was 6, again do the math) and two other great used LP stores that, along with a Music Plus, popped up in the late 80's...

FYI- everything listed above is now gone....

Although, I think that they do have a golds gym & a rite aid in the area now...

OK, anyone with stories about these fine establishments or any of the others I've pictured here, please let us hear it.  Where and what was Quonset Hut???

Savage Abduction

Posted by phil blankenship, November 24, 2007 07:38pm | Post a Comment

Genesis Home Video GV 31

Sinner's Blood

Posted by phil blankenship, November 24, 2007 07:38pm | Post a Comment

Genesis Home Video GV 19

The Klutz Cargo Adventures, epilogue ...

Posted by Whitmore, November 24, 2007 04:47pm | Post a Comment

You think people get crazy around here the day after Thanksgiving; check out this shopping frenzy in the UK last January. A cargo ship, the MSC Napoli, ran aground about a mile from the town of Branscombe, dumping more then 200 containers into the ocean. And what a bonanza on the beach, (if you didn’t mind the accompanying chemical and oil spill), some barrels were filled with perfume and wine, while others contained battery acid!  Some of the larger cargo containers held BMW cars, motorcycles, auto parts, tractors, bags of dog food, weird bric-a-brac and bales of wool. Police tried to close the beach to prevent crowds from ransacking the containers and seeking to claim ‘salvage rights’, but by the time the local scavengers were finished, about £1million worth of ‘treasure’ was carted away to make a little seaside village an even more idyllic place to live, and shop. That is if you don’t mind the battery acid killing off the local sea life …



Posted by Billyjam, November 24, 2007 10:38am | Post a Comment

The beach on the secluded, rural, former hippie Marin County oceanside town of Bolinas, CA (about an hour north of SF) is perhaps the last place where you would expect to greeted by a huge bright display of graffiti, but there it is -- lots of it and other public art too. The type of art and graffiti on the walls nearby and along the beach at Bolinas (popular with surfers) varies in both style and quality. Most seems passionately painted, and obviously inspired by the unqiue picturesque setting that the art is created in. Mostly done on the walls, it's occasionally -- as above -- on fallen or washed up tree trunks. There's a lot big graf pieces and also lots of small illustrations, tags, images, and paintings. There's even a wall of painted poetry and stoner and surfer doodles. But mainly it's large graffiiti style pieces on the wall along the beach thrown up -- not at night but in the daytime and without apparent fear from authorities, unlike in the city where graf artists risk been arrested (as felons) at any moment.

Below is a group of graf artists working openly with all their spray cans out by one of the beach's walls on a Sunday afternoon earlier this year when most of the pics in this AMOEBLOG (part two) were taken. 
According to some artists, the lifespan of pieces along the windswept ocean beach (with salt air) is much shorter than usual and hence many pieces are frequently painted over. What I think makes the art along the beach at Bolinas so cool is the most unique setting that it is so fortunate to occupy -- a relaxed, open space on a great beach with lush green hills towering behind. It's ideal for creating art of any kind!

Continue reading...


Posted by phil blankenship, November 24, 2007 02:43am | Post a Comment

CBS / Fox Video 6127-30

Getting Even

Posted by phil blankenship, November 23, 2007 10:43pm | Post a Comment

Vestron Video 5188

Sudden Death

Posted by phil blankenship, November 23, 2007 06:43pm | Post a Comment

Vestron Video VA5117

Late to the Game As Usual, This Time With Morrissey

Posted by Miss Ess, November 23, 2007 11:31am | Post a Comment
Although I recently posted about seeing Morrissey shopping in our own store, music-wise I have to admit I am completely late to the Morrissey game.  It's a bit scary to admit this amongst the musically literate crowd I hang within, but what the hell. 

It seems like I am just a little too young to have caught on to The Smiths, his earlier band, or to have heard any more of him than the single "The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get" on the radio in 1994.  In high school, when kids a few years older than me were clinging to their Morrissey CDs with dour faces, I was still bopping to The Beatles.  I guess I wasn't ready for it yet.  Fast forward to just a couple of years ago, and Morrissey suddenly had a new surge in popularity among the hipster crowd. At that point, I had well heard of The Moz, as he is known in certain circles, but this new over- the- top hipster cred popularity he had gained turned me off and I still never got around to listening to his music.

Finally, this last week I have picked up a Morrissey CD-- Your Arsenal (1992)-- and listened.  One very strong sign of a great CD is when it's still very new to you but you can't get the songs out of your head and they seem to be following you around constantly -- when you lay your head on the pillow at night, when you are out grocery shopping, or waiting on the train.  This happened to me with Your Arsenal almost immediately.  One other thing that is exciting about Morrissey is how funny his music is!  I love that about him! What took me so long to embrace his music? One of the songs on Your Arsenal that is a favorite is entitled
"We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful"
.  Another fave is "You're the One For Me, Fatty".  His sense of humor is so dry I'm never quite sure if he's serious or not, but the fact that he's British cues me in to the fact that he's probably just being silly -- I believe we call that "tongue in cheek".  And how refreshing is that? -- silly, sad songs of yearning and intelligence.  I do see why all those dour high school kids saw Morrissey as the second coming.  I know everyone else figured this out over a decade ago, maybe even longer, but I am just a little bit slow here!  It's all kind of new to me.  Still, I am glad I have waited until it felt right to me to listen.  I think I'm going to end up listening a bunch more.  Maybe I will finally catch up to the rest of you!

Cameron Crowe, Filmmaker Extraordinaire

Posted by Miss Ess, November 23, 2007 11:21am | Post a Comment
Have you ever felt like someone stole your dream life before you even got a chance to pursue it?  That's how I feel every time I think about Cameron Crowe.  He's a writer, first of all, and a fine one at that, but he also directs and produces. Three of my favorites he's created are Say Anything (writer), Jerry Maguire (writer/director/producer), and Almost Famous (writer/director/producer). 

Say Anything is so cutting, hilarious and real, my friends and I still quote it on a daily basis, even though it came out back in 1989. (Among the most quotable moments: "Joe lies/When he cries".) It's a first love movie about the high school valedictorian and a schlumpy trench coat guy, and it's how so many of us fell in love with John Cusack.  The thing that I like so much about Crowe's writing is that he's both honest and tender.  It takes guts to be either of those things in Hollywood.  The characters he creates are true to life-- they are flawed but lovable. 

Jerry Maguire is one of those characters.  Played by Tom Cruise, Jerry is a sports agent who is fired when he write
s a mission statement, attempting to inspire those at his agency to have more integrity.  When he strikes out on his own, he is only able to retain one client, football player Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding Jr.).  He also has Dorothy Boyd (Renee Zellweger) at his side as the only employee from the agency who believed in his mission statement enough to leave the company with him.  When Jerry embarks on a relationship with Dorothy, the integrity he stood for in the office is tested in the arena of his personal life. The movie's kinda cheesy, sure, but I still think it's great and well written.  Hell, for me to like a Tom Cruise movie, it better be!

Almost Famous is Crowe's most blatantly autobiographical film, and this is where my jealousy about his life really rears its head.  The film is about a 15 year old kid who finagles his way into being a reporter for Rolling Stone in the 70s.  He gets to go on the road with rockers Stillwater to interview them.  He also manages to get a crash course in life, partying, women and writing, and we all get to go along with him.  In one incredible scene, the band and its entourage are in a private plane that's in a storm and they think the plane is going to go down, so they all start screaming out their deepest secrets, further complicating the situation when the plane ends up landing, its passengers unscathed.  Crowe really is an expert writer.  Say Anything, Jerry Maguire and Almost Famous each hold a particularly special place in my heart.


Posted by Billyjam, November 23, 2007 09:46am | Post a Comment
the end of america naomi wolf
The following excerpt comes courtesy of AlterNet and TruthOut.Org, thanks to a link from Amoeba Marc who first spotted this engrossing and unsettling yet must-read interview posted a couple of days ago with Naomi Wolf, author of the book The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot. The title gives you an idea of what to expect. Below are just some key excerpts. For the full interview with AlterNet's Don Hazen, click on's website, or read just the bits below, especially if you already have major concerns or worries over democracy and the state of the USA  today.
naomi wolfIf you think we are living in scary times, your worst fears may be confirmed by reading Naomi Wolf's newest book, The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot. In it, Wolf proves the old axiom that history does repeat itself. Or more accurately, history occurs in patterns, and in order to understand where our country is today and where it is headed, we need to read the history books.

Wolf began by diving into the early years leading up to fascist regimes, like the ones led by Hitler and Mussolini. And the patterns that she found in those, and others all over the world, made her hair stand on end. In
The End of America, she lays out the 10 steps that dictators (or aspiring dictators) take in order to shut down an open society. "Each of those ten steps is now under way in the United States today," she writes.

The Final Terror

Posted by phil blankenship, November 22, 2007 05:42pm | Post a Comment

Vestron Video VA5053

Happy Thanksgiving -- The evolution of Thanksgiving

Posted by Eric Brightwell, November 22, 2007 12:05pm | Post a Comment
December 4, 1619. 38 Brits got together in Charles Cittie. Captain John Woodleaf spake,

"Wee ordaine that the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned for plantacon in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually keept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty god."

    Wahunsenacawhk                          Matoaka                                                       John Rolfe

They had reason to give thanks after rocky relations with the natives started to calm down. Previously, after Chief Wahunsenacawh's daughter Matoaka (nicknamed Pocahontas) married John Rolfe, relations between the two peoples had improved. In the spring, however, new leader Opechancanough's adviser and famed warrior/magician Nemattanew (derided as Jack of Feathers by the English for his feathered costume) was murdered by two Englishman disproving Nemattanew's claim that a magic oil made him immune to gunfire.


In revenge for the murder, the Powhatan Confederacy attacked the English, killing 347 (or roughly a third of the colonists) and taking 20 women as hostages. Opechancanough mistakenly thought the English would accept defeat and leave. Instead they retaliated and the Powhatan decided to negotiate. At what was meant to be a peace ceremony, the English (led by Captain William Tucker) served the Powhatan poisoned liquor (prepared by Dr. John Potts) which immediately killed about 200 of them whilst 50 more were killed by hand. Opechancanough escaped.


Posted by Billyjam, November 21, 2007 06:09pm | Post a Comment

If you are one of those individuals who has an uncooked turkey, a ton of people coming over for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, but don't have a clue as to how to go about cooking the bird coz you have never cooked a turkey before, then the above basic how-to-cook a turkey with Chef Tom should be of help. And if you are one of these harried people, you may wish to check out the first part in this simple how-to video guide by clicking here.


Posted by Billyjam, November 21, 2007 03:08pm | Post a Comment
The other day I made a trip out to one of my favorite places in the world: the beach at Bolinas, CA -- about an hour's drive from Oakland or San Francisco, north of SF, just past Stinson Beach on the Pacific coastline. There the beach is beautiful, the surfers plentiful, and the out-of-context yet unobtrusive graffiti along the beach is in full effect as usual. And as usual, much of the graffiti along the beach at Bolinas is influenced by its surroundings: i.e., images of surfers and sharks and birds, as you will see in some of the pics below -- part one in this three part series.

Of course, this was just the other day, meaning in these immediate post-Bay oil spill days. And even though technically Bolinas was not closed off to the public for fear of oil contamination and surfers were out en masse, it was still not completely safe, especially for dogs without leashes as you will see from some of the signs below, although that didn't deter a couple of canines that I saw running freely (without leashes) along the Bolinas beach. One of the reasons it was unsafe for dogs was because oil-contaminated birds were still showing up on the beach.

Above and below are some of the warning images from the beach at Bolinas, but mostly I've included images of graffiti art (of all sizes and types) along the beach walls and leading down to the beach.

This is Part One in a three part series. Part Two in this series will be posted in a few days and Part Three (which will include more big graffiti pieces) in about a week. Thanks for checking it! And if you know of any remote rural spots in NorCal where you also unexpectedly find graffiti or murals, please share in the COMMENTS box all the way down. 

The Wright Stuff - Guests & Intros Updated ! !

Posted by phil blankenship, November 21, 2007 12:22pm | Post a Comment
THE WRIGHT STUFF @ The New Beverly – Dec 2nd - 17th

Just when you thought you couldn't get any more excited about Edgar Wright's festival at the New Beverly, we've come to blow your mind. The line up of Edgar's special guests are so incredibly awesome, you are going to thank us profusely for the best Christmas present you have ever received.

The following performances will feature introductions from Edgar and Q&A's with these special guests.

Dec 2nd 7.30pm – Bugsy Malone & Phantom of the Paradise

On the night of Dec 2nd , Edgar will start off the whole shebang with a very, very special guest. Not only the super talented composer of Bugsy Malone, but the star Phantom Of The Paradise, Mr. Paul Williams.

Yes, that's right, one of America's greatest songwriters will be in the house and talking to Edgar.

Also! December 2nd, at midnight is the Dangerous Business Secret Show, all are invited, and it's something you certainly won't want to miss!

Dec 5 – Flash Gordon & Danger Diabolik – 7.30pm

In attendance with Edgar will be everyone's favorite Flash nemesis, Prince Barin himself, Timothy Dalton.

Then Joe Dante will be helping Edgar introduce Mario Bava's cult classic Danger: Diabolik!

december 7 - The Last Boy Scout and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang – 7.30pm

In attendance with Edgar, the writer of Last Boy Scout and the writer / director of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, as well as countless other crime classics, Shane Black, will be in attendance!

Dec 10 – American Werewolf in London and Tremors – 7.30pm

You can't get much more brilliant than John Landis, and we've got him! The director of American Werewolf will be in here in person and in conversation with Edgar.

December 12 - Top Secret and Bananas – 7.30pm

In attendance with Edgar tonight, a very special guest. When it comes to comedy, the name Zucker ranks high on the list. It doesn't get much funnier than Top Secret, and it doesn't get much more exciting than a Q&A with David Zucker himself!


Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 21, 2007 12:17pm | Post a Comment
Question:  Do you own a television?  How about a DVD player?

If you answered "yes" to both questions, you have no excuses.  At your earliest convenience (which is probably now if you're just fucking around and reading this), go get Metalocalypse Season One and WATCH IT!!  Seriously.  But finish reading this first.

Perhaps you've heard of a little thing called Adult Swim?  It's the late night cartoon extravaganza which airs on Cartoon Network.  Such shows as Robot Chicken, Moral Orel and Aqua Teen Hunger Force, oh, but to name a few, have quickly become some of my favorite cartoons ever.  Check out this clip from Season Two of Robot Chicken:

That's some funny shit there. 

But I am here today to tell you about Metalocalypse, the best fucking show on TV.  Premiering last year, Metalocalypse centers around the exploits of the biggest, most metalest band in the world, Dethklok

William Murderface plays bass.  "No one in the world is full of more hatred than him.  And he hates no one more than he hates himself."  Skwisgaar Skwigelf is from Sweden, and plays guitar.  He is the fasted Guitarist alive.  Nathan Explosion is the "brutal vocalist and lyrical visionary of DETHKLOK."  Pickles the Drummer "became the world's most celebrated drummer after fronting LA rock band "Snakes and Barrels."  Toki Wartooth also plays guitar, and he is the second fastest Guitarist alive.


Posted by phil blankenship, November 21, 2007 12:14pm | Post a Comment

Good Times Home Video 4438

When my sun goes down?

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 21, 2007 01:58am | Post a Comment
I could be sad. I could cry. I could holler and make a scene at the bus stop. I could pay for my new milk at the 7-11 all in pennies and nickels.

But NO. I do not have to resort to any of these slightly dangerous outlets!

Because I have Leslie and The Ly's ...

S o o p a  -  D a m n !

We are talking the #29 most watched video on YouTube this month. I FAINT!
How many views? Almost half a million souls have been HEALED by this Queen.
You go on and spoil ya-damn-self!  Watch 'em all and be cured.

---------- The Insomniac

Columbia Label Designs

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, November 21, 2007 01:15am | Post a Comment

For your viewing pleasure... a random Columbia Records label gallery.                I've included parent company CBS & subsidiaries...

A beautiful trio of Import labels. 
The gray is French, Blue is Australian,
the Silver & Green is British...


Six Eye White Label Promo, an absolute classic design...followed by two more WLP for Roadshow & Just Sunshine imprints...

                           Above, the Windfall record imprint, releasing all things Mountain...

      Below, 80's CBS classics, "Portrait" & "Tabu" followed two separate Santana custom jobs...

            Finally retro touches on the "Rockpile" & "Columbia Historic Edition" custom Labels...


Posted by Billyjam, November 20, 2007 11:23pm | Post a Comment
little britainAlso out today (November 20th, 2007) on DVD is the complete sketch comedy TV series from the hilarious Brit comedy duo of Matt Lucas and David Walliams, who make up and produce the best new comedy show from the other side of the pond in recent years -- Little Britain.

This is the complete collection of the series in a nice box set of DVDs which maybe you have seen some of already on BBC America or else on DVD already (it has been available in individual seasons before). If so, you already know just how crazy and downright hilarious this show can be. And this box set also includes a live concert.

True, it may take a minute to get into some of the characters or another minute to fully understand their sometimes thick UK accents, but once you do, you will be hooked and won't be able to stop imitating these silly silly British wits. It is hard -- and sort of unnecessary to describe -- but basically the plot of the show, which was based on a radio series, is that it takes an inside look at some of the strange yet very intriguing and curious characters that inhabit them there British Isles.

Below are some clips to better give you an idea of what to expect from Little Britain, which you should find in the DVD sections at all three Amoeba Music stores.


coming out today 11/20...rhino brit box...

Posted by Brad Schelden, November 20, 2007 10:49pm | Post a Comment
Rhino has finally decided to put out a special box set just for me. If I could imagine up any box set to best describe me and capture my little world of music, it would look something like this new brilliant box set released today by Rhino. The new "Brit Box" is a 4 cd set of the british music from the 80's and 90's that made me who I am. I have many mix tapes that resemble a lot of what is included in this box. Some of them made by me and many made by friends. I can remember the exact moment that I heard some of the songs on this box for the first time. The exact moment that I went to a record store in search of the albums from these artists. There are 78 songs by 78 different artists in this box.

The box is officially called "The Brit Box: U.K. Indie, Shoegaze, and Brit Pop Gems of the Last Millennium." It really looks awesome. The box is shaped like one of those red telephone booths in England. I have never seen one up close but we all know what they look like. It even has a working light. It also comes with an 80 page book of interviews and photos. It includes essays by Alan Mcgee, Stephen Street, and Alan Moulder. It drives me a little crazy when box sets or collections have a random order to the track listing. So it made me happy to see that the tracks are all in a basic order. The box set is not perfect. But it comes really close. I own or have owned at one point almost all of the songs in this box. If I didn't own one of the albums that all these songs were on, then I definitely had a close friend that did. I might have picked a couple different songs for some of these artists and I probably would have included a couple more artists. But overall, the box is very impressive. I really can't wait to open one up and read all those interviews and stories in that fancy little booklet. And I can not wait to listen to all these songs again. I have never stopped listening to most of the bands in this box. The Smiths, Cocteau Twins, My Bloody Valentine, The Stone Roses, Lush, Suede, Blur, & Pulp remain some of my favorite bands. It is really hard to even put into words the lasting effect that these bands have had on me and on a whole generation of music fans.

The first disc covers the mid to late 80's right up to 1990. It covers the bands that I was just getting into in high school. The Smiths are a perfect start to this box. They were the band than many of us first got into and were sort of the gateway to all the other bands included in this box. Where would we be without The Smiths? This disc includes all the bands that I first really became obsessed with.
Echo & the Bunnymen, Cocteau Twins, The Stone Roses, The Sundays, The Charlatans, The Cure, Jesus & Mary Chain, Happy Mondays, & Primal Scream all quickly became my favorites. With the exception of The Smiths and Happy Mondays, I have seen all of those bands live at least once. These were just the kind of bands that once you heard that one song, you were immediately hooked. I heard a lot of these songs on the radio for the first time. Saw videos for some of them for the first time. A lot of them I heard about from friends. These were the bands that formed friendships as well. They became the songs that brought friends together. You knew that if you found someone else who liked The Smiths, that you then had found a friend that you had a whole lot in common with. This was also the period of bands like Jesus Jones, EMF, The Shamen, and Pop WIll Eat Itself. I was obsessed with all these bands. These bands all popped up in the late 80's and early 90's. I was also in love with "I'm Free" by The Soupdragons, "All Together Now" by The Farm, and "3 A.M. Eternal" by the KLF. These could have all easily been included with this disc. I would have put  "Pure" by The Lightning Seeds on this disc as well. But the disc is a nice introduction to the british music that got us all obsessed with music during the late 80's and early 90's.

Disc 1 includes...

The Smiths -'How Soon Is Now?'
Cocteau Twins -'Lorelei'
Felt -'Primitive Painters'
Shop Assistants -'Somewhere in China'
The Mighty Lemon Drops -'My Biggest Thrill'
The Cure -'Just Like Heaven'
Echo & The Bunnymen -'Lips Like Sugar'

The Jesus And Mary Chain -'April Skies'
Spacemen 3 -'Walkin' With Jesus (Sound of Confusion)'
The Primitives -'Crash'

The Wonder Stuff -'Unbearable'
The Stone Roses -'She Bangs the Drums'
The Charlatans UK -'The Only One I Know'
Happy Mondays -'Step On'
Primal Scream -'Loaded' [single version]
Inspiral Carpets -'This Is How It Feels'
The Trash Can Sinatras -'Obscurity Knocks'
The La's -'There She Goes'
The Sundays -'Here's Where the Story Ends'

Disc 2 covers the early 90's and the shoegaze bands. I got into most of these bands in college. Ride, Pale Saints, My Bloody Valentine, Lush, Chapterhouse, Catherine Wheel, and Teenage Fanclub all quickly made their way into my CD collection. I remember being so excited when I was first introduced to all these bands. Slowdive is obviously missing from this disc. Maybe it was just too hard for them to pick just one Slowdive song. I would have maybe included "Skyscraper" by the Boo Radleys, "Catch the Breeze" by Slowdive and "Watersong" by The Cranes. I would have also put Ned's Atomic Dustbin on the first disc. But this disc is still great. Boo Radleys do end up on the next disc but should have been on this one along with Swervedriver. All of these bands have influenced a whole set of bands in the 90's and a whole new set of bands in the last couple years. It remains an excellent genre of music and its fans are completely devoted. I still love my shoegaze and hold it very close to my heart. This is probably my favorite disc in the box. A whole 4 CD box set completely devoted to shoegaze would be awesome. These bands have influenced tons of electronica bands and artists as well.

Disc 2 includes...

Ride -'Vapour Trail'
Pale Saints -'Sight of You'
My Bloody Valentine -'Only Shallow'
Lush -'For Love'
The Telescopes -'Flying'
Chapterhouse -'Pearl'
Catherine Wheel -'I Want to Touch You'
Bleach -'Trip & Slide'
Curve -'Coast Is Clear'
Five Thirty -'You'

Moose -'This River Will Never Run Dry'
The Family Cat -'(Thought I'd Died) And Gone to Heaven'
The Dylans -'(Don't Cut Me Down) Mary Quant in Blue'
Thousand Yard Stare -'0-0 A.E.T. (No Score After Extra Time)'
Ned's Atomic Dustbin -'Grey Cell Green'
Birdland -'Shoot You Down'
Manic Street Preachers -'Stay Beautiful'
Teenage Fanclub -'Star Sign'

Disc 3 cover the mid 90's and the breakthrough of Brit Pop. This was the period of Blur and Oasis. Suede and Pulp. Echobelly and Gene. I quickly fell in love with Blur and their music. I never really felt like I had to pick one or the other but I always preferred Blur over Oasis. Much of these bands were not just about the music but also about their image and look. It reminded me of New Wave and it was easy for me to fall into the trap of Brit Pop. The music was a drastic change from the shoe gaze on the last disc. This music was fun and exciting. Blur and Suede went on to create many more great albums after their fantastic debut. I bought every single that Pulp and Gene put out. For many years this was the music that I listened to. I went to a lot of these shows after I moved to San Francisco. And spent many nights at Pop Scene in S.F. in the mid to late 90's. This was also the period of bands like Portishead, Massive Attack, and Tricky. I had been obsessed with Saint Etienne for years already. But it was really Pulp and Suede that had the biggest impact on me in this period. I really couldn't get enough of them. I think they were all I really talked about for a good couple of years. The Verve really belong on this disc instead of disc 4. Their best albums came out in 1993 and 1995. Long before "Lucky Man" and the album "Urban Hymns. They were just as important as Blur and Oasis in this period of music.

Disc 3 includes...

Suede -'Metal Mickey'
Swervedriver -'Duel' [radio edit]
Eugenius -'Breakfast'
Superstar -'Barfly'
New Order -'Regret'
James -'Laid'
Nick Heyward -'Kite'
The Boo Radleys -'Lazarus'
Saint Etienne -'You're in a Bad Way'

Stereolab -'Wow & Flutter'
Blur -'Tracy Jacks'
Oasis -'Live Forever'
Pulp -'Common People'
These Animal Men -'Speeed King'
Mega City Four -'Wallflower'
Echobelly -'Insomniac'
Gene -'Sleep Well Tonight'
Menswear -'Sleeping In'
Supergrass -'Alright'
Cast -'Alright'
Elastica -'Stutter'

Disc 4 is basically the later period of Brit Pop and the british music of the late 90's. I was already getting over most of the britpop by this point. However, I remained a huge fan of the bands that I first got into. I did become a huge Placebo fan and really did like The Divine Comedy, Sleeper, and Ash a bunch. But most of these other bands didn't have much impact on me. There are still some great songs on here. But the box is really all about the first 3 discs. Some of these bands did have a huge influence on many others so I'm sure some will be excited by them being included. It is fun to be taken back to this period again. While many of these bands sort of disappeared, they did make a huge impact on the fans that became obsessed with brit pop and british indie. This box is really exciting. It is validating a whole scene of music that is often neglected or pushed aside. It is about time that these shoegaze, britpop and british indie bands get the respect that they deserve. They had such a major impact on my life and will never be forgotten. This box set just makes it nice to look back and reflect on an exciting time in british music.

These box set collections are always a bit weird. Especially when they cover a period of music so close to your heart. There are bound to be songs that you can't believe that they missed. Bound to be songs that you don't even think belong in the set. But I just sort of look at it at a great little tribute to the music that made me who I am. The british music that is often overlooked. And it makes me more happy than I could possibly explain to think that some people will now discover a whole section of music history that they barely knew existed. There is no point in keeping it secret anymore. I am sure that most people would have some sort of box set that they would like to see featuring the music from the late 80's and 90's. But this comes pretty close to what mine would look like.

Disc 4 includes...

Dodgy -'In a Room'
Ash -'Girl From Mars'
Sleeper -'Sale of the Century'
Marion -'Sleep'
Kula Shaker -'Tattva'
Ocean Colour Scene -'The Riverboat Song'
Babybird -'You're Gorgeous'
The Bluetones -'Slight Return'

Super Furry Animals -'Something 4 the Weekend'
The Divine Comedy -'Something for the Weekend'

Cornershop -'Brimful of Asha'
Silver Sun -'Service'
Spiritualized -'Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space'
Mansun -'Wide Open Space'
Hurricane #1 -'Step Into My World'
The Verve -'Lucky Man'
Rialto -'Untouchable'
Catatonia -'Mulder and Scully'
Placebo -'You Don't Care About Us'
Gay Dad -'Oh Jim'

also out today...

"Ask Forgiven" by Bonnie Prince Billy

"Rock Dream" by Boris & Merzbow

"Devil Makes Three" by Devil Makes Three

"D-Sides" by The Gorillaz

"Y34RZ3R0R3MIX" by Nine Inch Nails

"Shelter From the Ash" by Six Organs of Admittance

"Joshua Tree" Deluxe Edition by U2

"Frank" by Amy Winehouse

"Heima" DVD by Sigur Ros


Posted by Billyjam, November 20, 2007 07:12pm | Post a Comment

The title of prolific modern artist Ron English's book Son of Pop - Ron English Paints His Progeny pretty much explains the content of his recommended brand new 100-page, full color art book recently published by San Francisco's 9mm Books. Inside are paintings in the artist's usual irreverent, anti-corporate style (McDonalds and the tobacco industry being two of his favorite targets), only using his two children (Zephyr age 12 and Mars age 9 -- aka "the Kiss kids") as his subjects.  For more information on the illustrious artist Ron English, who describes his work as "popaganda" and whose body of work and history is too long to go in to here, I recommend you check out his website or pick up the documentary about him, also titled Popaganda. Meantime, check out the selections of his art here and also read the interview he recently conducted with the AMOEBLOG about the new book Son Of Pop which also includes a mini 4-song CD featuring his same two kids singing such songs as Wesley Willis' "Rock and Roll McDonalds."

AMOEBLOG: When exactly were the paintings in Son of Pop made?                                                         


Posted by Billyjam, November 20, 2007 05:37pm | Post a Comment

The Klutz Cargo Adventures, chapter four

Posted by Whitmore, November 20, 2007 03:59pm | Post a Comment

A picture paints a thousand words … what else is there to say!
“There’s a huge cargo ship serenely sunning on a beautiful stretch of beach!”
“Enjoy the special features Club Med has to offer at all their exotic locations.”

 Anyway, as catastrophic as cargo wrecks tend to be, this one is like watching paint dry.


Hurricane Smith

Posted by phil blankenship, November 19, 2007 04:03pm | Post a Comment

Warner Home Video 35424

The Devil's Gift

Posted by phil blankenship, November 18, 2007 03:58pm | Post a Comment

Vestron Video VA4376

(In which Job... well... just read it if you wanna know.)

Posted by Job O Brother, November 18, 2007 03:26pm | Post a Comment
I was enjoying my usual Wednesday afternoon – a walk to the park with a small picnic lunch. I have a favorite spot beneath a chestnut tree with sprawling branches which remind me of my Dad’s strong arms and how they seemed to be able to do anything – swing an axe, knock a ball out of the park, bruise the side of my face and neck for forgetting to put the lid back on the jelly jar…

Anyway, I sat in my favorite spot and began my standard ritual: eating the first half of my baloney sandwich, sipping a strawberry Crush soda-pop, and crying. Just crying. Sobbing uncontrollably, like, to the point where even the homeless people look at me with faces that say, “Man, that dude has it bad.”

But don’t be fooled! I wasn’t sad. It was the book I was reading – it always makes me cry. Not because it’s about bone marrow cancer (it’s actually pretty upbeat and the recipes are not only delicious but good for those of us on a tight budget!). No, the reason it makes me cry is because its pages are made out of paper-thin sheets of glass which cut my hands horribly. Oh gosh, I mean, it really hurts. And the bloodier the pages become the slipperier it gets and it’s hard to get through a chapter without passing out from pain.

Did you know that if you pass out in the park people will leave you coins in your strawberry Crush soda-pop can? This is why I have hope for humanity.

But last Wednesday, something unusual happened to my usual routine. I was passed out under the tree (though not from injuries – this time it was because I had sniffed a freshly picked plumeria, only to discover that it was actually a tank of methoxyflurane) and was brought back to consciousness by a young man performing CPR on me. (For those of you who don’t know what CPR is, it’s a thing.)

Separated at birth? Plumeria flower and Penthrox brand methoxyflurane

Once I was able to speak, I thanked the man for saving my life and offered him the second half of my baloney sandwich. Having physically taxed himself from forcing the breath of life into me, he was happy to have a snack, and the two of us began talking.

He told me his name was Andy and that he was visiting from some town called New York City. Apparently it’s located in the Northeast – I guess somewhere near Accord. I asked him what he did for a living and he said he was on a television program called “Saturday Night Live”, which sounded nice, and then I began to wow him with stories about working at Amoeba Music; how we get free snacks every Saturday, how our health benefits include a free pony (after five years of full time employment only), and how our bosses, Karen and Jim, are actually snowmen that were brought to life one day when we put magic hats on their heads and sang a merry song about retail.

By the time we had finished my lunch, we were joking and laughing like old friends, which is normally a red flag for me – I mean, once you start enjoying someone’s company you only want to hang out with them AGAIN, and who has that kind of time? Never mind the fact that laughing is very bad for the complexion; it torques the pores, causing them to sag, while attracting harmful atmospheric pollutants that cake in layers inside your skin and kill you.

Don’t ever, ever laugh. I mean it. You’ll f**king die.

Medical photo showing after-effects of laughter and smiles

But I digress. We were throwing jawbreakers at each other – trying to catch them with our mouths – which was good fun until we learned why they’re called “jawbreakers”.

An ambulance took me and poor Andy over to Cedars-Sinai Hospital where we waited in the emergency room. Andy’s face was pretty busted open and I tried to keep the swelling down by poking it really hard with the turkey-baster I found under my seat, but that wasn’t working too well.

(Incidentally, why are there turkey basters under the seats of the Cedars-Sinai emergency room? And why are they shaped like seat cushions?)

Speaking of turkey – aren’t you excited about Thanksgiving? I am. My family was very poor, but we always had a special Thanksgiving dinner. My Mom would fix pain blanc avec la gelée and my Dad would let us have one glass each of his special Albertsons bourbon. Then it was off to bed, before the Thanksgiving monster comes to collect children who are awake or complaining of hunger. Ha, ha! Oh, those halcyon days…

"Why yes, you may have another slice! It'll only cost you your land, your happiness, your prosperity. Some butter?"

Andy was admitted quickly and everyone was sweet to him and treated him like a star, I guess because they found out I worked for Amoeba. I’m used to it. I wanted to stay by his side so I lied and told the nurses that I was his brother, which raised some eyebrows because, unbeknownst to me, Andy had already fibbed and said I was his gay lover. We managed to cover up our tracks by French-kissing and talking about “our” Mom.

Andy ended up having to have an operation to remove the fetus that had been accidentally inseminated in his uterus at the first hospital we’d gone to, “Bob’s Hospital ‘n’ Things”. Luckily, the good folks at Cedars-Sinai also removed the uterus that had been accidentally inserted into Andy’s guts while we were playing Frisbee.

The fetus is fine and we’ve since named him Notfood to remind us not to make the same mistake twice. We’re enrolling him into a prestigious private school as soon as he gestates himself some thumbs and spine, then it’s “look out, ladies!” Ha!

We were out of surgery in time to catch Joanna Newsom perform at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Joanna’s performance was spellbinding. I’ll tell you all about it in my next blog. For now, let me leave you with some of Andy’s creations. Most of you have seen these a thousand times over, but why not watch them again? Just make certain, whatever you do, that you DON’T LAUGH. Because you will die. You will die suddenly and irrevocably. For eternity.

Andy's film "Hot Rod" will be available for purchase at Amoeba Music on November 27.

Raising Sand

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 18, 2007 02:18pm | Post a Comment

Perhaps the strangest thing about Raising Sand, the magical collaboration between fiddler/chanteuse Alison Krause and rock god Robert Plant, is how much of a leap each of them had to take to record it. For both, they claimed that the recording required them to step out of their usual bailiwicks-- bluegrass and rock-- and into other song realms. But when you consider that bluegrass and rock are all basically offshoots of folk and blues, how could the jump be that hard?

The answer lies in their innate musicianship. Each of them understands their respective genres so profoundly, that any skitter outside of the “box” involves for them all new landscapes of vocalizing, arranging, and experimentation. To the rest of us it just sounds like more great-American music.


The difference comes down to small things. Plant, who admitted never really singing harmony before, says the project was a whole new, and therefore intimidating, song structures and performed bits that she says she would never have chosen for herself. experience. And as for Krauss, she says that she stepped out of her normal Bluegrass

Yellowface -- Hollywood Chinese

Posted by Eric Brightwell, November 18, 2007 09:34am | Post a Comment
Famed Asian-American rights activist Ngoc-Thu Thi Nguyen and I watched this documentary about depictions of Chinese in Hollywood film called ... Hollywood Chinese. I love observing how Hollywood deals with all races and ethnicities. Sometimes it's hilarious and sometimes it's pretty appalling and then there's the rare occasion on which it rings true, which usually catches me by surprise. The development of an Asian-American Cinema has interesting similarities and differences with more often discussed and documented minority film genres like Black Cinema and Gay Cinema, which sprang up to tap into markets Hollywood mostly ignored for decades. In the 1948 case of the U.S. vs Paramount the government ruled against the studios and they were no longer allowed to control the studios, the distribution and the theaters and Hollywood opened up, to a degree, to the minorities which they'd systematically ignored up to that point.


Early Gay Films

Race Films

In the Classic Hollywood era, Chinese women (like all Asians) were generally played by white actresses as shy, subservient innocents totally devoted to their white lovers. Chinese men were usually portrayed as cruel, buck-toothed, long-fingernailed mystics who delighted in tormenting the white heroes who'd fallen for their women. Or, they were depicted as simple, asexual, buck-toothed peasants who almost always wear a queue. Either way, it's only the women that are sexualized.

Of course, a lot of uncomfortable humor and unpleasantness arises from the way the actors portray Chinese, which Hollywood Chinese shows in great cringe- and laughter-inducing clips. One particularly funny scene in Arthur Dong's documentary is taken from Dragon Seed, which features white actors speaking in a varied assortment of accents (none even attempting to sound stereotypically Asian), including Canadian, Austrian, Russian, Katherine Hepburnian, western accents and more. Once pointed out by the film, it proves so distracting you wonder how audiences were able to follow the dialogue at all.


It's also shocking to see how actors like Lon Chaney (noted for his amazing observation and make-up skills) managed to make himself look more like a bespectacled macaque or a Westside Botox disaster than a human being of any variety. Only Christopher Lee seems to have the slightest awareness of epicanthic folds and even (especially) "well-meaning" portrayals result in discomfort for modern viewers.  Austrian-born actress Luise Rainer makes the argument that anyone should be able to play anyone, regardless of race or ethnicity, as long as they're able to portray them convincingly, which she feels she and her Jewish co-star did admirably, one supposes, in The Good Earth. In the Q & A after the screening, Nancy Kwan made the same argument, claiming that she was discriminated against recently when auditioning for a Latina role.

But the question is, who's deciding what's convincing? Nancy Kwan has a pretty thick Chinese/British hybrid accent and doesn't look typically Latina by any stretch (although there are, of course, significant numbers of Latasians). Conversely, white actresses seem to find scooting around like a wind-up doll with furiously batting eyelashes a convincing depiction of Chinese women. Personally, if I were trying to pass as Chinese, I would talk only in an outdoor voice and ask my white friends to not park in front of my house, but that's just my experience and I'm not an actor. Besides, the fact remains that there's never been a shortage of Chinese actors willing to play Chinese extremely convincingly, just a shortage of roles in which they've been allowed to do so.

To me the most interesting revelation of Hollywood Chinese, as a lover of early film, was its discussion of recently discovered attempts at creating an independent Asian American film industry. The Curse Of Quon Gwon, filmed by Marion Wong in 1916, is now acknowledged as the first Chinese-American movie.

                                   Curse of Quon Gwon                                                    Marion Wong

Had Wong's films been successful, there may have been another interesting chapter in minority and independent films. From 1915 to 1947, black filmmakers and actors produced 500 "race films" which were among the first financially successful independent American films. Perhaps with a much smaller minority and, one assumes, smaller potential audience, Asian-American cinema somehow just wasn't viable until Chan Is Missing.

The main shortcomings of the film are its reliance on a completely color-by-numbers Ken Burns-ish presentation which makes you feel like you should be watching it on PBS and not in a theatre. Talking heads, that incredibly familiar sort of clarinet-heavy score and lots of stills being panned across and zoomed in on upon make it feel made for TV. It's always disappointing when a documentary chooses that easy, tired look. The information is good though. It's great, however; to hear Nancy Kwan, James Hong, Wayne Wang, Christopher Lee, Ang Lee and the rest's observations and anecdotes but it's presented in such a visually dull fashion that it almost seems like it'd make a better book if it weren't for the amazing clips (that I wish there were significantly more of).

I also wondered why they focus just on depictions of Chinese. The director is Chinese but the film made the point that once you're in America, being Chinese is trumped by being Asian and Japanese play Chinese, Vietnamese play Indians, and (of course) white people play everything. The specifics of ethnicity are blurred, erased and distorted. Therefore I'd have liked the scope to open up a bit more and then we could've been treated to more perspectives (like France Nuyen!) and more clips illustrating the same issues (e.g. Mickey Rooney as Mr. Yunioshi). I don't think it would've drastically changed the nature of the film-- just added some insight and accounts of a few more Japanese and Korean actors.

And my last gripe is that the structure seems rather haphazard. It bounces around, back and forth through time, dropping and then revisiting films again as they come up again randomly in different actors recollections. A small thing. Anyway, May is Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month so just wait until it's on KCET or KOCE. The information is interesting, the look isn't so much.

When it was over we went to Palms Thai. We saw Amy Tan eating.

I Pass For Chinese:


Follow me at

Tonight at 7:30 and 9:15?

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 17, 2007 04:22pm | Post a Comment

The Life of Reilly, Starring Charles Nelson Reilly, at the Lumiere!

Film version of one-man show by the late gay actor/director Charles Nelson Reilly best known for his "Match Game" appearances!

Showing at 7:30 9:15 at the Lumiere 1572 California Street at Polk

In Square Circle

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, November 17, 2007 04:00pm | Post a Comment

So, borrowing from the later period Stevie Wonder catalog, I call this group of promo stickers "In Square Circle". Above we have the lovely Barbara Mandrell from her "Moods" LP...I came across a big stash of sealed copies recently!

Here we've got a couple of stickers, one of which is not circular, but I'll include it anyway.

Up next, a custom job...someone made their own grammy brag for our favorite band of sidemen...Up next, more Grammy bragging...

     Album of the year 1977...

Speaking of Stevie''s a nice "mirror" job from the Mac's main mystic...

Last but not least, good friends of the Witchy Woman, with a nice "Rockin and Rollin" sticker that attempts to blend with the theme of the cover. This is not the greatest example of said technique...Next week I'l have a batch of stickers that do nail the essence of the cover which they adhere to...

The Klutz Cargo Adventures, chapter three ...

Posted by Whitmore, November 17, 2007 02:19pm | Post a Comment

tragedy struck in Canada on the Trans Canadian Highway towards Thunder Bay when a delivery truck, filled with cases of Grolsch, swerved and narrowly missed a moose that had stumbled onto the highway losing most of its cherished Premium Dutch Lager cargo.

What a sad day. Somewhere out there is a cheerlessly sober family spending an abstemious wintry night in freezing Northern Ontario. An odd little twist to the entire saga, Grolsch is brewed in a completely natural process using no animal by-products like isinglass, gelatin, cartilage, etc. In fact, Grolsch received the "Best Vegetarian Beer" award from the UK Vegetarian Society in 2003. I never knew there were vegan-friendly beers. No wonder I felt oddly ill at ease last time I drank a Grolsch at a barbeque



Posted by Billyjam, November 17, 2007 11:00am | Post a Comment

Harmonix Music Systems
' ever-popular Guitar Hero series is, like, so last week. Move over Guitar Hero and make way for Triangle Hero above and Cowbell Hero below.

Devil Dog The Hound Of Hell

Posted by phil blankenship, November 17, 2007 12:06am | Post a Comment

Lightning Video 9505


Posted by phil blankenship, November 16, 2007 01:32pm | Post a Comment

Orion Home Video 1026


Posted by Billyjam, November 16, 2007 09:33am | Post a Comment


#3 - parking ticket validation

#2 - green Amoeba dollar off coupons.

#1 - directions to th
e Amoeba public
(there isn't one.)

Tim, how long have you worked at Amoeba, what is your job at the store, and how exactly did you end up working at Amoeba Music Hollywood?

TIM RANOW: I lived with Laurie W. in San Francisco in the Santiago Party House for six years. We hosted several Amoeba get-togethers. I got booted from Wired magazine and decided to move to Los Angeles. Amoeba and I seemed to have a lot in common, so we formed a special something. I've been at the Hollywood store since 2001. I'll be celebrating my 47th anniversary with Amoeba in 2048! I'm an information person at Amoeba. I'll figure out what the name of that country singer you're looking for is even if you only know that his name might be John or Ronnie and his last name might have the letter "J" in it somewhere. Then I'll tell you where you can find it used on cassette tape because I know your money is tight. I remember that your cousin isn't allowed CDs in prison due to the inherent shankiness factor.

AMOEBLOG:  And what's good about working at Amoeba?

work with talented and wondrous people in the funnest [sic] and coolest environment ever! People get really excited visiting where I'm getting paid to be. That is pretty rad!
blind willie mctell
AMOEBLOG:  What's a good place to grab a bite nearby Amoeba?

Arby's, located at 5920 W Sunset Blvd Los Angeles.
AMOEBLOG: How would you describe the LA music and/or arts community to people who know nothing about living in LA?

It's implosive!

AMOEBLOG: What do you think will be the future of the music biz and how people get their new music?

I'll tell you what I tell pshaun cassidyeople at the information counter when asked this question: Please hold.

Diabolically Yours

Posted by phil blankenship, November 15, 2007 10:58pm | Post a Comment

Unicorn Video 1188

Today Is Our Birthday! We're Gonna Have A Good Time!

Posted by Miss Ess, November 15, 2007 07:08pm | Post a Comment

Today is the 10th Anniversary of the opening of Amoeba San Francisco!  A good time was had by all, as we toasted our employees, new and old, in San Fran style-- with champagne, Papalote and Tres Leches cake. 

There are still 28 employees that have been here for that entire time, if you can believe it!

Original employees, we salute you:

Dave Aberdeen, Barry, Brian D., David James, Derrick M., Donnell, Doug Pagan, Greg C., Jefferson, Kima, Luis S., Orlando, Pittman, Richard B., R.W., Stacey, Tom Lynch, Tom Maffei, Tony G., Allen, Brandon, Gabriel W., Josh, Mike B., Rico, Steve L., Suzanne, and Esten!

Tony Green told me that he remembers driving in to work that first day from the East Bay and completely missing the exit off of the Bay Bridge.  It was raining really hard apparently.  He ended up in South San Francisco, totally lost!  Eventually he did of course make it to Amoeba and he's really been here ever since.  He also told me that on that opening day the sun came out just as the store opened.  Awwwww.....

Check out some party pics:

Here's to another 10 years, Amoeba SF!


Posted by Billyjam, November 15, 2007 05:37pm | Post a Comment



The first thing that you notice when you walk through the long, dimly-lit tunnels that lead to Battery Townsley which sits atop the hills on the Marin Headlands is that there's something missing: a certain smell. There is no smell of pee. Nope, the usual stank of urine -- something that I automatically associate with trekking though tunnels to take pictures of graffiti -- is noticeably absent there. So, too -- not surprisingly -- it seems are any signs of any graffiti. Although on one wall of the long tunnel I noticed the faintest trace of a big graffiti piece that looked like it had been painted over years ago. Maybe, I thought, the no pee stank was because of the two Port-O-Pottys conveniently placed near the tunnel entrance.

But whatever the reason, there was also no graffiti here, or so I was thinking until I spotted off to the right near the end of the long tunnel (one of several blasted by dynamite back during World War II when the battery was built) an opening that appeared to lead off to another smaller tunnel. I slowly stepped into this unknown darkened space which, it turned out, was not another tunnel but a low-ceilinged, cement-walled room. And it was pitch dark. Not having a flashlight, I slowly edged my way into the dark, windowless room. And once inside, my nostrils were awakened to that familiar stench. Piss. And sure enough -- graffiti wasn't far off.

As my eyes slowly got a bit accustomed to the lighting I could make out some graffiti on the walls  that surrounded me and on the entrance to this claustrophobic, enclosed, window-less space. I couldn't make out much with the naked eye but the flash on my camera lit up all the graffiti nicely as it took pictures -- see all, displayed below. Also included in the pics below is an adjacent room plus a couple of low-key pieces of graf outside the tunnels like the R.I.P. on the (tombstone like) rock out in the forest area.

the klutz cargo adventures, chapter two

Posted by Whitmore, November 15, 2007 09:42am | Post a Comment

Last December off the coast of North Carolina, a cargo ship accidentally dropped a container overboard loaded with Doritos, thousands of bags washed up onto the local beach. But happily, for local residents, disaster was avoided; most of the bags were still airtight and edible.

Price Tag Gallery

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, November 15, 2007 08:20am | Post a Comment
So, I've been collecting snapshots of price tags old and new... I feel that they are the proverbial "lipstick traces" of the music industry.  So many stores, so many stories....Feel free to share any you might have about these music emporiums...

Project Runway Season 4! PreShow Dinner To Be Held At Red Lobster

Posted by Miss Ess, November 14, 2007 12:00pm | Post a Comment

Tonight is the night!  Project Runway is FINALLY coming back to Bravo!!  I am a huge fan of this show.  It's maybe the only reality competition show that actually RULES.

I am one of those poor unfortunate souls who does not have cable so I have eagerly anticipated each season's release on DVD, and Season 3 just came out on DVD this week also, so I will be hitting that as soon as possible as well.  Even though I already know who won Season 3, I can't wait to sink back into all the drama and the fashion.  I tend to blaze through the whole season in only a few days, so it will be interesting that for Season 4, for the first time I will actually see it all unfold each week thanks to a friend's cable!  I was a little late to the game with Project Runway, so this is actually the first time it's gonna be starting up a new season while I am on to it, and I will not miss an episode now!

Project Runway works so well because it has all these creative, intense, driven people working and living in such small quarters and under so much pressure.  It's fabulous to watch them cope with the challenges, like making evening wear out of items bought from a half hour shopping spree in a grocery store, or designing an ice skating outfit in one day for Sasha Cohen after experiencing the ice and leotards for themselves.  I love it. 

The hilarity that ensues from these circumstances is off the charts and it's so easy to get addicted to the different personalities that populate the show.  Could anyone forget this moment with Santino and Tim Gunn?

Speaking of Tim Gunn, isn't he just the greatest thing since sliced bread?  He's so elegant and well-spoken.  He's definitely my favorite thing about the show.  He brings back a little class to television.  I adore him.

Michael Kors, one of the judges, needs to lay off the spray tanner.  I love him though!  He's bitchily blunt, but you can see that sparkle in his eyes, which is just what the show needs.

Judge Nina Garcia, on the other hand, is so freaking cold!  Maybe she needs double the spray tans and an attitude adjustment to boot!  I still am not sure even that would warm her up.  She is easy to hate, sure, but when you are on this fun show, what's the point of being so serious?  She has no humor whatsoever. Michael Kors knows how to be cutting, witty and truthful without being icy, unlike Miss Nina.  She has issues.

Anyway, if you have not caught the Project Runway disease yet, what are you waiting for?  Tonight is the night!

Slaughter High

Posted by phil blankenship, November 14, 2007 11:29am | Post a Comment

Vestron Video 5219


Posted by Billyjam, November 14, 2007 09:30am | Post a Comment

I hate you! You said you had to work. Then why is your car here at her place? You're a liar.
I hate you. I hate you!
                                       PS: Page me later

Pictured above, holding one of his countless finds, a photo/painting collage, is FOUND magazine co-founder Davy Rothbart and to the right is a transcription of the infamous, short, passionately scribbled note that he found on his car windshield one snowy morning in Chicago six years ago -- the very note that inspired him to initiate what would become a popular magazine (Found), a couple of books culled from the magazines, a popular website, a spinoff magazine (Dirty Found), and an excuse to tour the USA making connections with a whole subculture of people addicted to digging in the garbage or looking down on the sidewalk to find discarded or lost items (letters, to-do lists, photos, kids' paintings, napkin doodles, birthday cards, printed emails, etc, etc) to submit for publication in Found.

At the moment, Davy, who runs the popular and unique magazine with his brother/business partner Peter and a host of others, is currently in the midst of one of his "tours." The current Found Tour is a sixty five city trek across the USA and Canada during which he and his brother converge with fans at independent bookstores, libraries, community halls, bars, and small clubs. There they display "found" items, read aloud found letters, and with guitar and other accompaniment, perform musical interpretations of their finds, and, most importantly, meet other fanfound magazines of found items who always bring along stuff that they've found -- much of which finds its way either into an issue of Found or on the Found Website where the Find of the Day is posted daily. I recently caught up with Davy, who was in the SoCal area last week for a series of Found shows in San Diego, Long Beach, and Los Angeles, to ask him about his magazine and in particular that note from Amber to Mario that started the whole thing.

then a banana pulled a cool standup tube, dude …

Posted by Whitmore, November 14, 2007 09:14am | Post a Comment
Last week thousands of bananas washed up on two Dutch North Sea islands after about a half a dozen containers fell off a cargo ship during a storm. Scattering across a half-mile stretch of beach, thousands of unripe bunches bejeweled the beaches of Terschelling Island, 70 miles north of Amsterdam. Bananas also washed up on neighboring Ameland Island.

Apparently this happens more often then you’d think on the Terschelling beaches. Last year thousands of tennis shoes, aluminum briefcases and children's toys washed ashore, I hope it was Saint Nicholas day.

The Timeless Classics Of Cheech And Chong - Mexican American, Earache My Eye, Me and My Old Lady

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, November 14, 2007 01:13am | Post a Comment
There were so many to pick from, so I narrowed it down to three.

"Mexican-American" (from Next Movie)

Favorite line: "Mexican Americans are named named Chata and Chela and Chema and have a son and law named Jeff..."

"Me And My Old Lady" (from Things Are Tough All Over)

This is one that slipped my mind for a minute. The song has that country-era Freddy Fender feel to it.

Favorite line: "Sometimes people space us out, so we make like a bread truck and haul buns out of there."

"Earache My Eye" (From Up In Smoke)

I was watching this recently and noticed that one of the horn players is none other than my mentor Ruben Guevara of Ruben and The Jets fame. A few weeks back I got see Ruben perform with members of the band Ollin at The Knitting Factory. They did a version of "Con Safos," Ruben's underground hit from the early 80's.

Favorite Line: "The basketball coach he just kicked me off the team, for wearing high heeled sneakers and acting like a qquuueennnn!!!!"


Posted by Billyjam, November 13, 2007 03:25pm | Post a Comment
ol' dirty bastard
Russell Tyrone Jones
, aka Ol' Dirty Bastard (usually shortened to ODB), one of the founding members of the famous Staten Island hip hop group Wu-Tang Clan, died on this day exactly three years ago (Nov 13th, 2004). Had he lived, he would have celebrated his 39th birthday in two days, on Thursday November 15th. The unique, gravely-voiced emcee took his rap name from a 1980 kung fu film entitled Ol' Dirty & The Bastard. It was exactly three years ago when the big news broke that he had collapased at Wu-Tang's studio, 36 Records LLC on West 34th Street, after a day of reportedly having difficulty breathing. He had been complaining of chest pains.

The Wu Tang member, who also was successful as a solo artist, will best be remembered as perhaps one of hip-hop's most eccentric personalities. What other rapper can you think of that filmed a video in his boxer shorts as the ODB did for his "Shimmy Shimmy Ya" video (scroll down)? Then, of course, there were the ODB's seemingly endless legal troubles. These legal woes included being arrested for public drunkeness on many occasions (Ol' Drunk Bastard  was what he was labeled by Bill Bellamy at the VIbe awards one year, due to his inebriated condition) and being thrown in jail (2001) for possession of crack. ODB was also convicted of second degree assault for an attempted robbery. He even got himself shot after an argument with a fellow rapper. And, in a well- publicized case, got in trouble for failure to pay child support for three of his thirteen children. The list of legal woes goes on and on and even includes being arrested for shoplifting a pair of $50 shoes from a Foot Locker store in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Ironically, at the time the rapper had a wad of $500 cash in his pocket!.  odb graf

out today 11/13...duran duran...the killers...

Posted by Brad Schelden, November 13, 2007 01:53am | Post a Comment

Seriously, how is it November 13th already? Christmas is just right around the corner. There have really been a lot of great albums out this year already. I think that this year has been a lot better than the last couple years. I already have over 100 albums on my top 50 already. It's gonna be hard to get that down to just 50. I might have to share my top 100 with you this year instead of just my top 50. But whatever has come out this year has pretty much already come out. There are still a couple things to look forward to after this week, but not much. The Sigur Ros DVD comes out next week. The Mary J. Blige album finally comes out the week before Christmas. I am not really sure why they are waiting so long on this one. I really love the new song and video and am very excited to hear this one. I also love that Mary J. Blige. There is also the soundtrack to Sweeney Todd featuring the singing voice of Johnny Depp. I am so excited about this movie. I love Tim Burton so much I can't even stand it. And I love Johnny Depp. This movie does look amazing. Other than that, it is mostly reissues, greatest hits, deluxe editions and live albums. The standard holiday releases. But there is also this amazing box set coming out soon as well. It comes out November 20th. It is basically my music collection crammed into a box set. All of my favorites from England from the 80's and 90's. I can' t really imagine my life without the music in this box. Before I go on to this week. I need to tell you all to go see "Lars & the Real Girl." It really is the most amazing movie. The funniest thing that I have seen in a while. But also super touching and sweet. I can't really stop thinking about and I beg you all to go see it if you have not yet.

Out this week is a new album by Alicia Keys. I really do love this lady. It is just one of those things that happened and I can't really explain it. She just sort of makes me happy and I think she might be sort of magical. I really liked that "Songs In A Minor" way back in 2001. And she got me hooked. One of my old favorites, Duran Duran, also has a new album out. This one is produced by Justin Timberlake and Timbaland. Seriously, it really is. I have not had the chance to hear it yet. But I am very curious. My cousin is still the biggest Duran Duran fan. But it really makes me happy. I love when anyone is devoted to their favorites. I know a couple of those Duran Duran fans. You don't really want to mess with them. They are serious about their Duran Duran. Please do not joke about Duran Duran with them. You might get hurt. It does make me happy that Duran Duran is still putting out albums. I really did love those early albums. They still give me lots of good memories. You really should get that Duran Duran DVD that came out a couple of years ago. It is the greatest hits DVD and it is sort of amazing. Those videos were just fantastic. The design of the DVD and the features are really awesome as well. Lots of little secret things inside the DVD. The Hives also have a new album out today. I do also really love the Hives. I do fear that my love for them has been slowly dying since the last album. But I am willing to give this new one a big chance. I was really swept up in the Hives frenzy when I was last living in Hollywood. I love myself some swedish garage music. That Veni Vidi Vicious and Barely Legal album are still really great. I saw them live in Hollywood and it is still one of my favorite shows that I have ever been to.

The Killers also have a new album out this week. It is a sort of a compilation of unreleased stuff. The new Killers album is called "Sawdust." Sort of like all the left over stuff that didn't show up on an album yet. The album includes both their songs that were on soundtracks this year. "Shadowplay" from the Control soundtrack and "Move Away" from Spiderman 3. It also has the song "All the Pretty Faces." This song was the b-side for "When You Were Young" from the last album. The most exciting song is of course the Kenny Rogers cover. They do the song "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town." The rest of the album is made up of songs that did not make it on Hot Fuss or Sam's Town. The song "Tranquilize" also features that guy named Lou Reed. The Killers are really one of my guilty pleasures. They just make my happy when I listen to them. And there is really nothing wrong with that. It is really so funny how different everyones opinions can be. I just read some message board stuff about the band and it made my laugh. People really do take themselves so seriously. The Killers covering Joy Division really made a lot of people mad. But I actually like their cover. It doesn't sound anything like Joy Division and sort of makes the song a bit catchier and lighter. But I still like it. The Killers are one of those bands that you love or hate. I think they know exactly what kind of band they are and don't really pretend to be anything that they are not. They are a good fun band and that is what I like about them. Having a collection album after only 2 real albums is a bit ridiculous. But I don't really mind it. Nobody has to get it if they don't want it. But there are some good songs on here that you might miss out on. But only if you really like this band. If you don't care about this band you have probably already stopped reading this blog anyway.

also out today...

"Black & White Album" by The Hives

"As I Am" by Alicia Keys

"Mothership" by Led Zeppelin

"Red Carpet Massacre" by Duran Duran


Posted by phil blankenship, November 12, 2007 07:52pm | Post a Comment

MGM / UA Home Video MV800319

the simpleton's guide to the great war, 1914-1918 ...

Posted by Whitmore, November 12, 2007 02:45pm | Post a Comment


Posted by Billyjam, November 12, 2007 01:53pm | Post a Comment

It's Britney bitch! announces Britney Spears straight out the gate on her brand new album, Blackout, on Jive/Zomba (available at each Amoeba Music store) which was released early on October 30th due to fears of internet leaking. The big surprise is that the album isbritney spears blackout actually pretty darn good -- a tight dance-pop collection on which the heavily processed voice of Brit often lashes out at the mean media -- like in the vocoder-fed song "Piece of Me" -- as heard in the above "non-official" video version that displays the Tabloid Britney that we are all too familiar with -- like it or not. But putting aside all the tabloid self-references and all the other superficial stuff, what really strikes me most about this new Britney Spears album is its production, the music itself and just how expertly its producers (Danja and others such as Timbaland and Pharrell Williams) effortlessly channel pop's golden past. Take, for example, "Heaven on Earth" (scroll all the way down for the YouTube clip) is a straight homage (rip-off?) to Donna Summers' 1977 Giorgio Moroder-produced dance masterpiece "I Feel Love." 

Meanwhile, the first 30 seconds of Blackout's track #10 "Ooh Ooh Baby" (streamed below on YouTube) borrows its drum rhythm from Gary Giltter & the Glitter Band's "Rock and Roll (Part II)," the 1972 hit and sports anthem, while Britney's lyrical delivery in the track echoes the melody straight from the Turtlles' 1967 classic "Happy Together." In fact, for a bit of fun I recommend that you play around with hitting the start buttons on the two videos below -- Britney's "Ooh Ooh Baby" with the Turtles (on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour) doing "Happy Together" and try and make your own impromptu video mash-up. I suggest starting the Britney song about five seconds before hitting "Play" on the Turtles. And if you go off beat or get bored with one of the two songs, hit the pause button on one video -- especially since you cannot control volumes on YouTube when they're embedded like they are here.

My soul be lifted and sanctified.

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 12, 2007 10:06am | Post a Comment
I look around every day and see people being awful to one another, I see everything from violence to rude. I have to say to anyone who reads this: there is no excuse for it. Not a one. Ever.

For myself, Nina Simone is the high priestess of kicking your ass, among many other talents. My day required this video, and I hope it touched your day as well.

 -The Insomniac

Norman Mailer RIP

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, November 12, 2007 08:00am | Post a Comment

I remember "borrowing" a copy of a great Marilyn Monroe coffee table book when I was about 12 years old.  Of course it was for the great writings of Mr. Mailer, not the photos, ahem...

Here's a few shots of Norman Mailer's spoken word LP on the short lived Prestige  records subsidiary "Lively Arts"


Below is a complete list of the Label output for the Lively Arts series...In the future I'll do a photo essay for the complete series...

Prestige Lively Arts 30000 series (12 inch LP)

  • LA 30001  Billy Dee Williams - Let's Misbehave
  • LA 30002  A Taste Of Hermione Baddeley
  • LA 30003  Roddy McDowall Reads The Horror Stories Of H.P. Lovecraft
  • LA 30004  Burgess Meredith Reads Ray Bradbury
  • LA 30005  Larry Storch Reads Philip Roth's Epstein
  • LA 30006  James Mason Reads The Imp Of The Perverse And Other Stories By Edgar Allen Poe
  • LA 30007  James Mason Reads Herman Melville's Bartleby, The Scrivener
  • LA 30008  Morris Carnovsky Reads Dostoevsky's Notes From Underground
  • LA 30009  Norman Mailer Reads Norman Mailer

Square Dance

Posted by phil blankenship, November 11, 2007 10:21pm | Post a Comment

Pacific Arts Video PAV673

what came first?...the cover or the cover version...

Posted by Brad Schelden, November 11, 2007 05:32pm | Post a Comment
I don't know what it is that gets me about cover songs. But I really do like them. It is always fun to hear one of your favorite bands cover some horrible song that was not really good before they covered it. Or to hear  some band do a sort of tribute to some awesome song you loved in your youth. As I listen to more and  more music I also find out that some of the songs that I loved forever and thought were originals were actually covers of much older songs. I didn't grown in the girl group 60's or the Motown 70's. So many of the songs that I originally heard in the 80's and 90's that I thought were originals, were actually just covers. When I bought the  Siouxsie & The Banshees "Through the Looking Glass" cassette and listened to it for the first time, I had no idea it was all covers. It only took me a couple years to figure it out. I had not heard Television and Iggy Pop yet. I also heard most of the covers on the This Mortal Coil albums for the first time as "This Mortal Coil" songs.  It is weird to grow up hearing one version of a song only to learn later that there is some older original version that actually inspired the version I grew up loving. How would I know that the Soft Cell song "Tainted Love" was actually performed 10 years before I was born by the great Gloria Jones. The song was then covered by Ruth Swan in 1975. After the Soft Cell version that I grew up with in the early 80's, the song has of course been covered countless more times. The song has been performed by Blue Oyster Cult, Coil, Marilyn Manson, and the Pussycat Dolls. Rihanna even sampled the Soft Cell version a couple of years ago for her song "S.O.S."

There have been many entire tribute albums over the years. Some have been great. Most have been pretty bad. The best covers tend to turn up as b-sides and bonus tracks on actual artists albums. Sometimes they work there ways into the live shows and then end up as extra tracks on reissues or singles. They tend to also turn up on soundtracks. The great Cat Power will release her second entire album of covers early next year. The first one was fantastic. There is a great website to search for all your favorite cover songs. You can look at it here. Some of my favorite covers over the years have been covers of new wave and 80's songs by artists in other genres. I absolutely love Johnny Cash's covers of "Personal Jesus" by Depeche Mode and "Hurt" by Nine Inch Nails. I don't know why but I really love Rammstein's cover of "Stripped" by Depeche Mode. And even though this song was a bit overplayed, I still have a special place in my heart for Frente's cover of "Bizarre Love Triangle" by New Order. Placebo have a whole bonus disc of cover songs. They do great covers of "Running up that Hill" by Kate Bush and "Bigmouth Strikes Again" by The Smiths. Xiu Xiu does an amazing cover of "Fast Car" by Tracy Chapman. I also love Low's incredible version of "Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me" by The Smiths. These are just some of my favorites. I could go on forever. The band Japancakes do an entire album cover of "Loveless" by My Bloody Valentine. The original is one of my favorite albums and they really do a great job covering the entire album. But I also love those cover versions that you really only need to hear once. Sometimes I just need to laugh and some covers often do the trick. William Shatner did a brilliant cover of "Common People" by Pulp. Me First & the Gimme Gimmes do a great cover of "Jolene" on the their last country album. There have been many brilliant covers of Jolene over the years. My favorite being Strawberry Switchblade. But it is really about the b-side of "I Will Always Love You" on the recently released single. Whitney Houston already ruined the song for the "Bodyguard" soundtrack. The song was originally by the great Dolly Parton for the movie "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas." That Whitney Houston song was so overplayed that she almost made me never want to listen to the Dolly version again. Me First sort of make up for it with their version. It is at least meant to be funny.

These are some of my favorite covers at the moment...

The Killers do a cover of "Shadowplay" by Joy Division for the soundtrack to the new movie "Control." Its is the only new song on this great soundtrack. I really did love this movie so much more than I thought I was going to. Anton Corbijn did such a great job of capturing the feel of the band. And the cast was really amazing. The guys actually looked and sounded like the band. I am sure most Joy Division fans will probably hate this new Killers cover. I think some fans feel like they have to hate any band coming in and covering one of their favorite bands. But I actually really do like this version. They don't try and sound exactly like Joy Divison. They actually take the song and make it into a great Killers song. If you have never heard the song before it could easily just sound like another great Killers song. The band was obviously a fan of Joy Division and I am sure were excited to even be on the soundtrack. Another great thing about this soundtrack is that there are only 4 Joy Division songs on the soundtrack. The soundtrack has songs from The Velvet Underground, Iggy Pop, David Bowie, Kratwerk, Roxy Music, and New Order. You really just need to go get those great reissues if you need some more Joy Division in your life. But one of the Joy Division songs is the cast version and it is seriously hard to tell which one it is. The band in the film is really that good.

The Chromatics just put out a great little album called "Night Drive." The album was originally a tour only thing that they decided to release some copies of in some stores. The album includes a brilliant cover of "Running up That Hill" by Kate Bush. It is one of the most over played songs by Kate Bush and it has already been covered a bunch of times. But it is also still a really great song. Their version even comes close to being better that the original. They also take the song and turn it in to their own song. I think I listened to it about 10 times on the day that I picked up the CD. Its a great little electronic cover of the song.

The band Test Icicles seemed to break up only months after their album came out. I was just starting to like them. Devonte Hynes is now in the band Lightspeed Champion and just put out their first EP. It is called "Galaxy of the Dust." They have an album coming out next year on Domino. I really fell in love with the EP and have been listening to it a bunch this last month. It does not really sound anything like Test Icicles but I don't really even know how to describe it. But it has an adorable cover of "Xanadu" by Olivia Newton-John from the soundtrack for Xanadu. It completely reworks the song into a cute little indie rock song. They also cover "Flesh Failures/Let the Sun Shine In" from the soundtrack to Hair. This song is also brilliant and completely different. This EP really got me excited for that new album next year.

I think Ryan Adams has had about 10 albums and EPs in the last couple of years. I was sort of getting over him a bit. I really have not liked much since the Rock N' Roll album. But he does have a great little cover on his new EP "Follow the Lights." It actually took me a minute to figure out the original even though I already knew all the words. He covers "Down in A Hole" by Alice In Chains. The song was on their album "Dirt" from 1992. Not exactly the song I would expect for him to cover. But he takes over the song and it becomes a Ryan Adams song.

Bat for Lashes does a great version of "I'm On Fire" on her album "Fur & Gold." The song was originally done by Bruce Springsteen on his "Born in the U.S.A." album. Imagine a Joanna Newsom type with a less annoying voice with Lisa Gerrard from Dead Dance playing the music. It is a haunting little cover and I love it. She has an amazing voice. These are the sort of covers that I love. It sounds completely different. The entire album is fantastic but this song is a nice end to the album.


Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 11, 2007 12:40pm | Post a Comment
As the saying goes, there's no rest for the wicked. If that's the case, then DJ 4AM and Dopestyle just may be one of the wicked-est teams in San Francisco, if not the world.

Almost four years in the making, "The Little Happy/Fool's Pool" double album (officially released November, 2007) contains some of the most slick production ever unleashed by 4AM aka Jason Chavez. That's a bold statement considering he's provided the beats and soul for projects such as OCTAVIUS, SOFAKING MASSIVE, his own successful series of mixtapes and recently in SF bands SEXX and Black Fiction (the latter of which he's a full-time member).

From the get-go, "The Little Happy" propels us on a positive journey through a hip hop-meets-shoegaze amusement park. Dopestyles' rhyming technique seems effortless, yet intricate-and fits perfectly over 4AMs' intricate and lush landscapes. "Wrap It Around Me" is like a Sunday morning: cuddly and chill, while "Dominator D" commands your soul ... "Patty Cake" punches us square in the jaw and "Stress Reducer" winds us down to the end of the first record. Nice and easy, right? Wrong.

"Fool's Pool" is the polar opposite from its' Brother disc. Yes, the dynamic duo is in full effect, but this story is much darker than its' predecessor. It's "good" Dopestyle versus "bad" Dopestyle. Genius. Power of the P, indeed...

search for the holy grail: episode 4

Posted by Whitmore, November 11, 2007 11:32am | Post a Comment

A particularly rare and much sought after EP from Anne Briggs, The Hazards of Love from 1963 on Topic Records, draws a pretty penny these days on Ebay and other auction sites. Though she never sold a vast number of albums, Briggs was a leading figure on the English folk music revival of the mid 1960’s. First gaining prominence as a traditional a cappella singer, (“The Hazards of Love” has just one song complemented by any instrument, a bouzouki), by the late sixties Briggs would add a bit of instrumentation to her recordings but more significantly she would also include some of her own compositions. Her musical legacy is significant; it wouldn’t be an overstatement to say she was the defining voice of the era, influencing virtually every folk singer from June Tabor, to Sandy Denny, Jacqui Mcshee, Maddy Prior, to Eliza Carthy and Beth Orton. Many of her songs have been recorded by some of these artists plus others such as Pentangle, Bert Jansch, and Dorris Henderson.

Anne Briggs has always been something of an elusive and slightly mysterious figure on the British folk music scene. In the 2006 documentary, Folk Britannia, Richard Thompson recollects that he only ever stumbled upon Anne Briggs twice; and on both occasions she was drunk and unconscious. Her entire catalogue consists of only 3 full lengths albums and this EP, and half of those recordings are her singing completely unaccompanied. The common explanation for her limited output, Briggs retired from recording in 1973, has been her own anxiety and apprehension about the sound of her recorded voice. But whatever the reason, it’s been over 30 years since Anne Briggs has produced any new recordings, and it is unlikely anything new will come to light soon.  

On The Hazards of Love, one of the best cuts is Rosemary Lane, later to be recorded by guitarist Bert Jansch, and become one of his signature pieces. Anne Briggs was the source for quite a few traditional songs Jansch would later record (they’d been great friends since meeting in the late 50’s) including Blackwaterside. Jansch's instrumental accompaniment was later copied, virtually note-for-note, by Jimmy Page for Led Zeppelin's Black Mountain Side. Oh the tangled web we weave …  


Posted by Billyjam, November 11, 2007 10:50am | Post a Comment
kylie minogue
By now the face-off between Facebook and MySpace is old news, especailly with the entrance of a whole new social network onto the cyber landscape-- one that very well could signal a whole new wave of social networks. This probable new onslaught of social networks is being spearheaded by Kylie Minogue, who recently launched kyliekonnect -- an entire social network dedicated to the music artist and set up by her label Parlophone to help promote her new music. On the site visitors are coaxed to "Come, come into Kylie’s world as we bring you the chance to make friends, upload pictures, send messages and more..."  

On kyliekonnect, in addition to getting all the latest dish on their hero, the pop star's fans can also create their own profiles, post their own photos, blog entries, and friend lists -- just like any other social network, except that on kyliekonnect everything directly links back to or is connected to and about Kylie Minogue. One of the features of this service is that lets users upload content directly from their mobile phones to offer her fans exclusive pictures taken on the road.

But what is most newsworthy about this new type of artist/celebrity based social network is that it could very well open the floodgates to a proliferation of new social networks set up and run by every damn band and artist out there. In short, it could get darn overwhelming in no time. Stay tuned. Meantime, scroll down to check out a live performance of Kylie doing new song "2 Hearts" on Star Academy.

                                   MOST POPULAR GOOGLE SEARCHES BY CITY
google hand
In a recent report issued by Google that tallied words searched under topic and by city/country of search, the following results came up:

Guillaume Apollinaire

Posted by Whitmore, November 11, 2007 10:05am | Post a Comment

This weekend marks the anniversary of the death of a personal hero of mine, poet Guillaume Apollinaris de Kostrowitzky, better known as Apollinaire, who died during the Spanish influenza pandemic of 1918. His greatest contribution to the 20th century, other than coining the term ‘surrealism’ and helping to publicize and define the cubist movement, was probably his poetry, influencing many of the avant-garde, dada and surrealist writers in post-Great War France, such as André Breton and Tristan Tzara.

Some of the best anecdotes about Apollinaire concern his occasionally dubious character. He was known for reviewing non-existent books and writing erotic / pornographic fantasies under pseudonyms. Re-inventing facts was a penchant of his, often ending in uncomfortable predicaments. In 1911, for example, he was detained for six days on suspicion of stealing the Mona Lisa.  When things looked a bit bleak, he pointed the finger at his trusted friend Pablo Picasso, implicating him in one of the biggest crimes of the era. Both were eventually exonerated, but the Mona Lisa wasn’t recovered until 1913, and after some eight forgeries had been sold! Nevertheless, the more adventurous Parisians were counted in Apollinaire’s circle of friends and colleagues. They were the who’s who of  Paris, artists like Picasso, Henri Rousseau, Marie Laurencin (his long time lover), Marc Chagall and Marcel Duchamp, writers Gertrude Stein, Alfred Jarry, Max Jacob, and composer Erik Satie.

After the start of the First World War, Apollinaire joined the French military, requesting front-line infantry duty. On March 17, 1916, while entrenched on the front near Champagne close to the Belgian frontier, he suffered a shell wound to the temple. The neurological consequences of such an injury are uncertain. But what is certain, according to people who knew him before and after, his personality and behavior altered dramatically. He became irritable, anxious and depressed, ending significant relationships, including breaking the engagement to his fiancé. Perhaps in part because of his war wounds, exposure to mustard gas, or any of the multiple surgeries he underwent, Apollinaire would become one of an estimated 100 million people worldwide who died from the great influenza pandemic, passing on November 9th in his apartment in Paris at 202 Boulevard Saint-Germain. Every couple of years or so I travel to Paris and I always make a point to stop by his gravesite in Père Lachaise, open a bottle of wine, snack on some bread and cheese, relax and give people directions to Chopin’s and Jim Morrison’s graves.


Posted by Billyjam, November 10, 2007 04:22pm | Post a Comment
norman mailer
Norman Mailer
, the famed American writer, died earlier today (Saturday Nov 10th) of acute renal failure following lung surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital  in New York City, according to his biographer Michael Lennon. He was 84. For the full news report courtesy of the Associated Press, click here. Along with such writers as Tom Wolfe and Truman Capote, the two-time Pulitzer Prize winner was considered an innovator of creative nonfiction or "New Journalism."

He leaves behind a very rich literary legacy that includes The Naked and The Dead, The Executioner's Song, The Armies of the Night, and too many more to mention --click on the link for a list of many of Norman Mailer's books. Even up to close to his death, Mailer was still active and always focused, articulate and ready to share his opinion on important issues. Check out the interview clip below he did about five months ago on the topic of Iraq and the American Right. Then, the clip below that is another recent interview with Mailer-- an excerpt of an interview with Charlie Rose talking about his novel The Castle In The Forest, published this year by Random House.

Big Trouble In Little China - Midnight TONIGHT At The New Beverly

Posted by phil blankenship, November 10, 2007 01:57pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music & Phil Blankenship proudly present:

Saturday Nov. 10

Kurt Russel in
John Carpenter's

Big Trouble In Little China

New Beverly Cinema

7165 W Beverly Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90036

(323) 938-4038

Midnight, $7


Posted by Billyjam, November 10, 2007 03:00am | Post a Comment

Recently in New York City a 21 year old "subway surfer" was killed after getting bounced off a moving C line train. Subway surfing is the dare-devil stunt that involves riding either atop or clinging to the side of a moving train. While popular in certain South American and European cities (including in Denmark, where the documentary excerpt below is from), it has only been sporadically popular in New York City's MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority) subway system over recent years, and for good reason. The stunt has a very high probability of ending in fatal disaster due to the tight space between the train and the MTA tunnels. Unlike in other foreign cities, where the trains are mostly outdoors, the MTA run mainly through underground tunnels. Four years ago there were several subway-surfing fatalities on New York's subway system within a short time span -- apparently inspired by some publicity about the practice at that time. Since then, the MTA has initiated a campaign educating those foolish enough to try surfing a New York subway car.

In comparison, the relatively tame, although still illegal and dangerous, annual Broadway Bomb -- a race in which about a hundred daredevil skateboarders roll from uptown to downtown Manhattan along Broadway from 116th Street all the way down to Bowling Green, which is eight and half miles, dodging cars, buses, and taxis and ignoring traffic lights along the way -- went without incident two Sundays ago in New York City.  And even though the motto for the event is "You could die," no one has so far. But then, the event is held on a Sunday when there is very little traffic in NYC compared to weekdays. There is also talk that the event, which already has sponsors, may soon become legit.

My So-Called Life - It's Been 13 Years and I Can Say In My Case It's Still So-Called....

Posted by Miss Ess, November 9, 2007 02:49pm | Post a Comment

I was 15 years old when My So-Called Life was on TV, exactly the same age as its main character, Angela.  I remember watching it as it originally aired on ABC and becoming more and more obsessed with the show.  I really felt like it was like watching my own life in so many ways...  except I don't have an annoying little sister, just an aggravating older brother.

The parents are truly exactly like my parents, the friends really are like my friends from high school, especially Sharon, Ricky and Brian-- I didn't have my own Rayanne until college.  Everyone has had a Jordan Catalano in their life to some degree, let's face it.

Anyway, so the show has just been reissued on DVD and I am having the best time watching and reliving it all.   I guess it's been about 2 years since I watched any of the 19 episodes, and this DVD set has all kinds of extras the other one didn't.  The day I got the new box set I eagerly watched every extra (minus the commentaries as of yet). 

There's a recent interview with Claire Danes (Angela) and she has this weird air about her.  She seems unnaturally poised or something, and her perfectly coiffed layered blond hair stands in stark contrast to her fire engine red stick straight hair back when she played Angela.  She seems miles away from Angela, and I guess she should since that was 13 or so years ago.  In a way though, I still feel often like that kid I was in high school, and Claire, despite admitting to sharing many characteristics with the fictional Angela, seems not only to have moved waaaaay beyond her 15 year old self, but also seems determined in her speaking on the DVDs to prove it to be so.  Maybe a lot of people come up to her in the street and still expect her to BE Angela.  That really would get old.  I'm glad she's agreed to be on the new DVDs at all.  It was an interesting experience to see her now, speaking about what transpired so long ago.

In fact, everyone is on the DVD except Jared Leto, and we all know he's painting his face and getting drinks thrown on him in his rock band 30 Seconds to Mars these days, who cares.  But otherwise it's sort of like catching up with my old friends from high school or something, watching the interviews.  In one of the interviews someone mentions how Ricky (Wilson Cruz) is like the moral compass of the show, which I think is so true.  I remember watching the show as a kid and thinking Ricky was the only one who seemed to know what was right in a given situation.  It's like he had already been through so much in his life and he was searching like anyone else but was just able to see through B.S. more easily than everyone else somehow.  I admired his navigation skills, despite the fact that he was facing so many difficult things.  I remember watching the show and whenever Ricky would cry, I would very adolescent of me!  But I think I was responding to his realness, and I just wanted so badly for Ricky to just be OK and to know life would get better.  That's pretty much true of all the characters actually!

Wilson Cruz has gotten veneers or something on his teeth and they are big ol' chompers now (see photo above).  It's still fun to see him these days, all grown up and able to look back and discuss how similar he was to his character.  He's still acting.

The show's main writer, Winnie Holzman is interviewed as well and she's cheesing with pride.  I don't blame her-- the show was just so dead-on in every way.  That's what makes the show work, above all.  There are so many details that bring so much more to the experience of watching it.  It's so moving.  I've only made it through the extras and about 3 episodes, so I might have more to say about it later, but for now I really do think it's the best show I can remember being on TV.  (Yes, I do love Freaks and Geeks too.  Why are all the best shows about high school?  Most of us don't even want to think about that time anymore!  It's just coincidence I think.)

When I have teenagers someday I am gonna make them watch MSCL, even if I have to sneakily leave it around the house, since clearly you can't make a teenager think anything is cool that their parent thinks is cool.  I think no matter which character you relate to the most, the show is a good reminder that, as isolating as high school can feel,  we aren't alone in what we go through.


Posted by Billyjam, November 9, 2007 06:20am | Post a Comment

Imagine for a moment if Tony Soprano lived not in NJ but in da Bay. This is exactly what Bay Area resident, YouTube member, and local hip-hop artist EmceeT visualized before he went out and shot and edited (directed by ZTY Media) the inspired above video clip, spoofing the intro to the popular, and sadly defunct, HBO series The Sopranos. In the "Yay" version Emcee T (aka The Chinese King of the Bay)  winds his way through various parts of the Bay Area in his whip with cigar (or blunt?) in mouth, and capturing along the way shots of such familar sights as the Bay Bridge and its toll-booth, the Caldecott tunnel, that big ole bow-and-arrow sculpture & the palm trees along the Embarcadero in San Francisco, the Martinez Oil refineries, the Showgirls Strip Club, Casino San Pablo, Oakland Port, the infamous Mac Dre mural (off Harrison Street in SF), SFPD patrol cars, Lake Merritt mural, and at the end (in true Tony Soprano style), Emcee T's own house. Click here for more of Emcee T's videos, here for his MySpace, and for general info on "the real emcee" Emcee T, visit his website.

And in case you want to compare it with the original shot in New Jersey, it's below for your viewing pleasure. By the way, the song used in the Sopranos intro is by the group A3 and is titled (not too surprisingly) "Woke Up This Morning." The full version, which is available on the Sopranos soundtrack (look for it at Amoeba Music) is a really great song with a nice slow build-up and then towards the end it goes into a rap, clocking in at about five plus minutes compared to the television show intro version which is a bit under two minutes.  


Posted by Billyjam, November 8, 2007 10:30am | Post a Comment

Damn! It's already November 8th! Where did the time go? It seems like only yesterday when this AMOEBLOG corner of the Amoeba Music website started up. But actually it has been jumping off since March of this year -- not that long ago, true, but long enough for the accumulation of a bounty of engaging AMOEBLOGS covering oodles of different topics (music and otherwise) from a stable of gifted and insightful AMOEBLOGGERs including (but not limited to) Mike Battaglia, Job O Brother, Brad Schelden, phil blankenship, Miss Ess, Gomez Comes Alive, Whitmore, and the Bay Area Crew. In all, there are hundreds and hundreds (well in excess of a thousand) of AMOEBLOGS posted and available to read in the Archives right here. Just for me alone there are 170 AMOEBLOGS archived and I am only one of a dozen paul mccartney at amoebaactive AMOEBLOGGERs.

Glancing back at some of these AMOEBLOGS I have posted since May, I think it is time that I should follow up on a few of them. First up was the post (one of several) about the historic Paul McCartney instore at Amoeba Music Hollywood store on June 27th that generated a ton of COMMENTS from Amoeba shoppers who were lucky enough to make it inside to witness the former Beatle's memorable performance. Anyways, the follow up, good news, is that next week (November 13th) one of the songs from Paul's performance that day ("I Saw Her Standing There") will be released on an extremely limited edition 12" vinyl-only release titled Amoeba's Secret. This Paul McCartney maxi-single will feature four songs from the exclusive instore: “Only Mama Knows” & "That Was Me" (both originally on his latest release) plus ”C Moon” (the classic Paul McCartney & Wings song), and of course, the aforementioned "I Saw Her Standing There." The sure to be highly collectable, vinyl-only Amoeba's Secret will be available in all three Amoeba Music stores next Tuesday (11/13) and also here at -- priced at $5.98. (Note that this rare release will not be released digitally or as a CD and since it is limited, is bound to sell out fast.)

White Fire

Posted by phil blankenship, November 8, 2007 12:36am | Post a Comment

Trans World Entertainment 19001

That Avalon Ballroom back in '69 ...

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 7, 2007 10:34am | Post a Comment
I remember the day Dave Prinz, one of the owners of Amoeba, came running into the office of the Haight Street store in San Francisco. Dude wasn't walking: he was floating. He was beaming, bouncing and dancing. He was pretty much out of his mind with the happy.

"You have got to hear this,"  he said as he reached for the office boom-box. Maybe he would've said that to anyone who was standing there, I have to grant his excitement that much. Cause the dude was on Cloud 9 and the fact that he even saw me standing there is a miracle, but I'll take it as he knew what all this would mean to me.

"This is it, this is the goods," he said as he prepped the CD player, and I knew exactly what he was talking about: the Gram, the live Gram Parsons that no one had ever heard before. He'd finally gotten it on the CDs to bring in and show us all that he wasn't nuts: this was GOLD. Hell, this is platinum. (industry joke, sorry.)

Man, that day was a long time ago. It was a damn long time ago, what with everything that happens in everyone's lives? You know how long a year or two feels. But there I was, last night, finally: I had my copy, I was reading the liner notes, and at first I was laughing, thinking "Dave! You left out the part where you talked about this record every day since then!! Every day!"

But that's the beautiful thing: when anyone is that much of a fan ... and we all knew how much of a fan Dave is before he ever got to go over to that magical place: Bear's Vault. (Forgive me, at 39, I am practically an old fogey to most of you and a lifelong Deadhead.) That much of a fan you can forgive almost anything. (Almost = Hinckley, Jr.)


Posted by Billyjam, November 7, 2007 07:00am | Post a Comment
chris rock
"Music kind of sucks. Nobody's into being a musician. Everybody's getting their mogul on. You've been so infiltrated by this corporate mentality that all the time you'd spend getting great songs together, you're busy doing nine other things that have nothing to do with art. You know how shitty Stevie Wonder's songs would have been if he had to run a fuckin' clothing company and a cologne line?" says Chris Rock In a wonderful new interview in Rolling Stone  (Nov 15, 2007 issue 1039) in which the magazine accurately notes that in this age of hip-hop it is more than common for most rappers to utter those words that we have heard a zillion times already: "I'm not a rapper, I'm a businessman." And Chris Rock responds, "That's whycb4 rap sucks, for the most part. Not all rap, but as an art form it's just not at its best moment."

The always articulate, observant and funny comedian/social satirist Rock has built a career on consistently poking fun at rap music in particular, from his SNL impersonations (including one of MC Hammer) to his hilarious lead role in the excellent 199chris rock bigger and blacker3 obviously NWA inspired, faux-gangsta rap group comedy CB4 as the fictional emcee Gusto, to such things as the cover art of his 1999 comedy album Bigger and Blacker which mocked the (at the time) predominant No Limit/Cash Money record labels' styled rap album cover art. Rock never misses a beat in taking shots at rap music and at the music scene, um business, in general.


Posted by Billyjam, November 6, 2007 09:57pm | Post a Comment

As you likely already know, today (November 6th) was the release date of the anticipated Gram Parsons with the Flying Burrito Brothers' Live at the Avalon Ballroom 1969 2CD set -- the first volume in the long lost sessions from the late great artist who created "Cosmic American Music," and the second release from the recently launched Amoeba Records. (The premiere release a couple of months back was Brandi Shearer's Close To Dark.) Coincidentally, there is also a new biography just out on the artist titled Twenty Thtwenty thousand roadsousand Roads: The Ballad of Gram Parsons and His Cosmic American Music written by David N. Meyer and published in hard copy by Villard Books.

Gram Parsons, who died of a drug overdose at the young age of 26 and who would have celebrated his 61st birthday yesterday, November 5th, is one of those great artists whose contributions to American music are realized increasingly more and more in every year since his 1973 tragic death. And as each year progresses the legions of fans and artists directly touched by this long deceased singer/songwriter/guitarist/pianist just seem to continue to grow.

"Parsons was born in 1946 into a rich but dysfunctional Southern family; his father committed suicide when Gram was 12, and his mother died of alcoholism the day Gram graduated from high school. Although he grew up in Georgia and Florida, Parsons wasn't turned on to country until he went north to Harvard (where, obsessed with music, he flunked out freshman year), but once he discovered Buck and Merle, he was smitten," wrote the New York Times in its lukewarm review of the new 559-page biography on Parsons. The book, and other reviewers agree, is by no means a perfect biography -- skipping some important details and over-emphasizing others -- but it is a good book to have, especially for diehard fans and Parsons completists. It is also by no means the the only book out there on the fascinating character that was Gram Parsons. Others include Grievous Angel: An Intimate Biography of Gram Parsons by Jessica Hundley with Polly Parsons (Gram's daughter) that was published by Thunder's Mouth Press a couple of years ago and is available in both hard-cover and on paperback. There is also the recommended Hickory Wind: The Life and Times of Gram Parsons by Ben Fong Torres that is well worth reading to further understand the artist. Other books in the long list under Gram Parsons' bibliography include Pamela Des Barres' I'm With the Band: Confessions of A Groupie which was published by Jove Books in 1988. DeBarres, who counts Gram Parsons among her closest past friends, also wrote the liner notes for the new Amoeba Records release.

Skeleton Coast

Posted by phil blankenship, November 6, 2007 09:55pm | Post a Comment

Nelson Entertainment 7744

Heckler - Only Bitches Talk Ish

Posted by Eric Brightwell, November 6, 2007 06:09pm | Post a Comment
I saw Heckler at an AFI screening the other night. In it, the nearly universally-derided Jamie Kennedy turns the camera in the direction of hecklers and online film critics, attempting to argue that they're essentially the same thing. In the process, comedians, filmmakers and a dancer share anecdotes
about how they deal with relentless negative criticism and live with the pain caused by disruptive heckles. That may sound awful but it's actually quite enjoyable.

Jamie Kennedy in the ten-years-too-late Kickin' It Old School, which Richard Roeper courageously gave a "thumbs down," which is good, because I thought it was going to be a masterpiece along the lines of Seabiscuit.

The first part of the film focuses on the hecklers. Comedians that I don't even usually find terribly funny are, for the most part, pretty successful at making the viewers feel sorry for them and a lot of the filmed scenes of comedians being heckled are extremely tense (and in some cases, familiar from YouTube). If you have any sort of recognizable emotions you'll feel sorry for these easy targets of doltish goons trying to learn us something.

The second part of the film attempts to portray online film critics as no more than hecklers operating behind the safety of anonymity and protected from recourse from the heckled comedians. In this portion of the film, Jamie Kennedy is filmed confronting some of the writers of the most mean-spirited criticism and personal attacks which also ends up creating an alternately funny, sad and tense air. But I even felt sorry for the critics, who seem like harmless, socially-retarded dorks across the board (and I don't mean that in a mean way).

The result is a surprisingly entertaining film that doesn't necessarily argue its case terribly logically or consistently but does make for an enjoyable albeit frequently uncomfortable viewing.

Some of the assertions by the interviewees come off merely as whining and poorly-reasoned. Joel Schumacher, with an arrogant flounce, dismisses the possibility that any child has ever wanted to get into film theory or criticism which is, of course, untrue, and expectedly moronic from the guy whose critically-doubted creativity produced the ripe cinematic fruit that is the accidentally hilarious Flawless, which everyone without a heart of stone should view (you'll need subtitles though).

                                "No one wants to be a critic"                                       "And no one wants a Charlie-In-the-Box"

I'm sure (despite the assurances of the noted authority on the dreams of children) other kids watched At the Movies and Sneak Previews and thought, "I want to be paid to watch movies and turn people on to stuff they might not otherwise know about," at least occasionally. Just as I'm sure some kids think, "I want to be paid well to squeeze out a sequel to a re-make to an adaptation from television for the Hollywood garbage factory with no redeeming values whatsoever." 

Joel is a self-described "sexual outlaw." How can you say stuff like that and then demand no one call you on your bullshit? And that's indicative of why people like him are so much fun to criticize -- because artists like him want cash-paying disciples, not critically-thinking film-goers. There's a prejudice in the commercial art world among the less intelligent that creativity is an aspect of intelligence superior to all others and yet only possible when safely detached from other forms of thinking like analysis, evaluation, criticism and whatever else clicks in our heads that tells us, when confronted with a Joel Schumacher film: maintain eye contact, back away slowly and then run downhill. That's why he made the self-gratifying, cocaine-induced Batman & Robin. 

The ever pompous George Lucas talks about "his art" being a Force for Light or some equally repulsively self-important B.S. Have you seen your films after Empire Strikes Back? They're not good. Good said they've never heard of you. And the gag reflex kicking in when you hear someone talk about themselves like that is a valid reaction, even if it gets in the way of being fake, dishonest and friendly, as these "artists" would like. Which is one more reason the film is so much fun -- you get to see truly annoying people making asses of themselves.

So, no -- I don't think all film critics are failed Hollywood hacks. I do think, however, from what I saw in the film, that most critics are aspiring celebrities and frequently failed wits. The screening drew a few of them that were confronted in the film. Some I recognized only because before show time they made sure to grab attention by making loud, unfunny jokes to their chortling entourages. I guess my problem with their sort isn't that I think we all need to put on the kid gloves and follow every criticism with a condescendingly diplomatic, "Hey -- but that's just my opinion, brother." No, critics need to be able to skewer worthy targets -- the Oscar-aspiring histrionic, chest-beating garbage that preaches from the soapbox and pats itself on the back with a gloved hand whilst the middle-of-the-road critics agree upon its importance.

It's funny, because in Hecklers Kennedy asks a couple of hipster-come-latelies why they were heckling him. They, along with all of the vocal detractors, say something to the effect of, "You should be more original." True, his routine about country music betrays an observational depth that draws on other, tired jokes about country and nothing actually observed firsthand. The same could be said for the majority of stand-up in 2007. I'm sure it's happened to all of us where someone tells us what white people are like and it has no resemblance whatsoever to anyone we know or anything we can relate to ... but we get it because we heard about how white people sit up really straight when they drive and they can't dance hur hur hur a million times before. The jokes refer to a history of inauthentic cliche and nothing from reality. And when Kennedy does a British character and says (in a posh, Joel Schumacher-ish way), "I say!" whilst miming drinking some tea; a British heckler yells out, "We don't talk like that." True, but maybe he's missing the point or problem (depending on how much credit you give Kennedy).

Maybe the problem is that we never see accurately-observed imitations of Brits. Maybe all of our images are from distorted Edwardian stereotypes fostered by the horrible performances of American actors as Brits in best-unwatched period pieces. Or maybe Kennedy's comedy is itself a satire of the staleness that has crept into the "art" along the lines of Pauly Shore's misunderstood genius. Whatever the case, attacking Carrot Top or Jamie Kennedy is itself completely unoriginal and as safe as shooting a caged deer who's been dead for ten years after it was delivered in said cage stillborn. It's obvious that these knaves just want to show off their stunted embryonic wit without any risk of incurring the disagreement of their douche bag friends. Similarly, the bad reviews of the online critics all smell like they were created before the films come out. I doubt most of them take the time to go watch a film they know is geared toward pre-tweens. I've never been disappointed so much by a brainless comedy film that I ranted and raved about it (with the exception of Troop Beverly Hills and The Devil Wears Prada). For example, you're clearly a moron if you went to an Ernest film and it didn't live up to your expectations. Do you look in the toilet for a golden egg? I say, save your barbs for the truly offensive and incomprehensibly lauded Paul Haggis (and his ilk) and risk alienating the people you're trying to impress.

An irony of the film is that most comics base at least part of their routines around being critically observational and attacking their targets, usually in underhanded and personal fashion. What's next, George Bush making a documentary wherein he goes around to clubs and asks comics, "Why are you making fun of me? It hurts. I'm a hormel simian too." I, for one, certainly don't want comics to become as safe as Jay Leno, who, to his credit, is so deeply offensive on so many levels that my head honestly hurts just trying to figure it all out. I don't think the film really wants that either. It's, in its muddled way, more of a plea for a bit of sensitivity and politeness instead of blind insults thrown out without any regard for the consequences. I mean, when you see how buff Carrot Top is you will feel like that last time you heard someone disparage him you should've said, "Hey, be cool man." It really made me sad. Look at what a career filled with heckling can do. Have your heckle-rays helped man as you claimed they would-- or have they recklessly imperiled us by creating something more terrifying, you mad critics?

11/6 new releases...sigur ros...

Posted by Brad Schelden, November 5, 2007 11:12pm | Post a Comment
I still remember the first time that I heard about Sigur Ros. I had read an article about them in NME and was immediately intrigued by this new Icelandic band that looked sort of like Radiohead. I decided then that they would be one of my new favorite bands. I put a picture of them on my wall at work before I had even ever heard them.  I had no idea what an affect they would actually end up having on my life. They were described as a little bit experimental and a little bit classical. They were maybe a mix of a band like Radiohead and a band like Slowdive. Ethereal and dreamy and shoegazey. Exactly the kind of band that I could easily fall in love with. The first thing I picked up from them was the single for Svefn-g-englar in 1999. I couldn't really pronounce the name of the band or the single. But Sigur Ros easily and quickly became my new favorite band. They are even to this day sort of hard to explain. I often try and explain them to people and find it easier to just make them listen to it. Much like an artist like Bjork, you quickly will discover if you hate them or love them. There is really no in between. Jonsi Birgisson really has a  magical voice. There is really nothing that I have ever heard before that sounds anything like it. Sort of like Elizabeth Frasier from the Cocteau Twins. You just hear it and can't help but be impacted by the power of the voice. The music of Sigur Ros is also really fantastic. With the combination of the music and that magical voice, these Sigur Ros albums are easily some of my favorites.

Agaetis Byrjun came out right after the single and was really hard to find in stores for a while. The album went through a couple labels and distributors but I think anyone who found it also soon fell in love. I later found their real first album "Von" which was also reissued years later. "()" came out in 2002 followed by "Takk" in 2005. Both these albums are fantastic. The band can really do no wrong. I have seen them about 4 times. Each of these show I hold up as some of my favorite shows. I might sound like I am giving them a bit too much praise. But I really do love this band and just can't stop saying it. I saw them at the Fillmore in San Francisco. Gillian Anderson from the X-Files was up in the private balcony reserved for celebrities and friends of the Fillmore. I sort of remember yelling out "Scully" in the middle of the show. I was of course much younger back then. I then saw them at some fancy auditorium on Wilshire in L.A. after I had just moved down there. Both these shows were amazing. But for the Takk tour I saw them in Oakland at the Paramount Theater. I can't really think of a more beautiful place to see them. I had heard wonderful things about the Paramount but had never been there until a week or so before the Sigur Ros show. I had actually just seen an amazing Dead Can Dance show there. Which is sort of weird since a "best of" Lisa Gerrard CD is finally coming out domestically today as well. But this show was the best of the Sigur Ros shows that I had seen. They played some of the songs behind a screen and had amazing visuals during the whole show.

I have to admit that I don't really like live albums all that much. I love seeing music live and love listening to albums more than anything. But if I am going to hear live music I would rather just actually be there listening to it live. But Sigur Ros is different than your normal band. Hearing them live is a different experience than just listening to the album. This new album out today is not just a live album though. It is a two part album called "Hvarf/Heim." It comes in a beautiful cardboard box with a slipcase. I actually don't think that I have ever seen an album packaged like this before. It is a 3 panel case with one CD on one side and the other CD on the other side. Brilliant as always. Heima will be released in a couple of weeks on DVD. This is a live tour documentary sort of film. It captures them on this last tour. They played a bunch of free shows in Iceland in all sorts of weird places and filmed it all for this movie. I am sure it will be amazing. I really can't wait. But this CD will help us while we wait. The first disc "Hvarf" features new recordings of "lost" songs. Hvarf translates into either disappeared or haven. The songs are Salka, Hljomalind, and I Gaer which were never on any albums before. It also includes completely different version of Von and Hafsol. The second disc is called "Heim." Which translates into home. This second disc includes live acoustic versions of songs from all four of the Sigur Ros albums. These were all recorded in Iceland for the film documentary. The songs are Untitled 1 and Untitled 3, Agaetis Byrjun, Heysatan, Staralfur, and Von. Both discs sound amazing. I can only imagine how great this film is going to be. There are setting up screenings around the country close to the street date of the DVD. It won't be the same as actually seeing them live. But seeing this new film up on the big screen will be almost as good. I can't wait. I can never really get enough Sigur Ros.

also out today...

"Best of Lisa Gerrard" by Lisa Gerrard

"Archive Vol. 1: Live at the Avalon Ballroom 1969" by Gram Parsons with the Flying Burrito Brothers

"Little Kingdom" by Citay

"American Gangster" by Jay-Z

Commando Squad

Posted by phil blankenship, November 5, 2007 10:21pm | Post a Comment

Trans World Entertainment 37031

California Fool's Gold -- Exploring Alhambra, the Gateway to the San Gabriel Valley

Posted by Eric Brightwell, November 5, 2007 05:00pm | Post a Comment

I had to go to
Alhambra to see a man about a horse at the bidding of the original San Gabriel Valley Girl, the always radiant Ngoc Nguyen. To vote for another Los Angeles neighborhood, vote here. To vote for a Los Angeles County Community, vote here. To vote for more Orange County communites, click here

Pendersleigh & SonsOfficial Map of the San Gabriel Valley


Alhambra is on the western edge of the San Gabriel Valley between posh
San Marino, trendy South Pasadena, old San Gabriel, blue collar Rosemead, and the most Chinese city in the US, Monterey Park.

Pendersleigh & Sons' Official Map of Alhambra

The center of Alhambra is the intersection of Garfield and Main, which has functioned as the hub of town at least since 1895.

                          Garfield and Main, 1890                            Garfield and Main, 2007 improved with an Applebees

My favorite historical site, however, isn't really too historical. There's a great shopping center, New Valley Shopping Center, built in 1964. Its main anchor is replaced the 168 Market -- a subsidiary of Ranch 99 Market. It's one of those many, amazing LA simulacra that make what would normally be a boring stripp mall feel like a visit to Disneyland. This shopping center is, much more successfully than the Cerritos Auto Mile, going for a New Orleans French Quarter vibe with a gazebo, faux wrought-iron street lamps and balconies, and a cupola with a liberty bell. And in this beautiful setting, things get pretty third world, just in the Big Easy. 

New Valley Shopping Center


By the 1950s, Garfield and Main was the hippest place in the San Gabriel Valley and was predominantly populated mostly by Italian-Americans. The following decade saw an influx of Latinos from surrounding areas and Anglos moving to other suburbs. In the late 1960s Alhambra was a hotbed of anti-Vietnam War protests and Brown Beret activity. By the mid 1970s tensions rose between the predominantly Anglo "surfers" and cholos. Many
Taiwanese began to move to the neighborhood, followed by Chinese from the mainland, Vietnamese, Cambodians and other Asians
. Today the population is roughly 47% Asian (mostly Chinese and Vietnamese), 36% Latino (Mostly Mexicans of any race), and 14% white.


The San Gabriel Valley is widely recognized for having the best collection of restaurants in Los Angeles County. Being the gateway to the SGV, entering Alhambra on bike I was always hit with a blast of delicious fragrances emanating from kitchens and restaurants. Even though they make up a very small percentage of Los Angeles's Asian-American population, Los Angeles being the great city of the
Pacific Rim it should be no surprise that the highest population of Indonesians is in Los Angeles County. The highest concentration within Los Angeles County is in Alhambra. I mention this first because Indonesian cuisine is one of the world's greatest and Alhambra boasts a few places to get it. Borneo Kalimantan CuisineIndo Kitchen, and Wong Java House. One can also get Indonesian and/or Indonesian-inspired dishes at Garden Café, Savoy Kitchen, and maybe Noodle World. That being said, there's no place in Alhambra that I've eaten more than Yazmin Malaysian Restaurant -- representing the cuisine of Indonesia's neighbor to the north -- Malaysia, of course. I'm also a fan of Banh Mi Che Cali, the Alhambra Lee’s Sandwiches (don’t hate!), Thai Purple, and at least the fried zucchini at Rick’s

In addition to the aforementioned cuisines and restaurants, Alhambra boasts a number of American, Cajun, Chinese, Dim Sum, Hawaiian, Hu, Indian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mexican, Taiwanese, Thai, Vietnamese restaurants including the following:


Posted by Billyjam, November 5, 2007 03:14pm | Post a Comment

Former music star and God-fearing Republican, Kentucky resident Pat Boone recently made a plea to voters in his state (with the voting day quickly approaching) to steer clear of queer friendly Democratic gubernatorial candidate Steve Beshear and his running mate Daniel Mongiardo in a thinly veiled anti-gay speech (hear audio of speech by clicking here). (NOTE: click twice if it doesn't link first time.) The speech sternly warned voters in the state: "Do you want a governor who'd like Kentucky to be another San Francisco?" When asked by the Washington Post what he thought of this statement by Boone, Beshear diplomatically replied: “Pat Boone was a great singer. And I still enjoy listening to his music. I would think he ought to stick with singing.”

In vocal support of the Kentucky Governor, Republican Ernie Fletcher, who is up for re-election and is looking behind in the polls, Pat Boone, the grandson of Daniel Boone, made the speech via phone message over the weekend stressing that, "As an American and a Christian I am very concerned about the upcoming Governor's election" -- going on to say of Fletcher's pro-civil rights opponent Beshear that he is an individual "who has consistently supported every homosexual cause," including such things as "same-sex marriage; gay adoption; special rights to gay, lesbian, bisexual, even transgender individuals!"

And if you think that thinly veiled anti-gay rhetoric by Boone is bad, check out what Fletcher’s lieutenant governor candidate Robbie Rudolph had to say in a speech delivered on Saturday night to a crowd of over two hundred GOP supporters in Lexington, KY: “Do you want a couple of San Francisco treats or do you want a governor?” Yikes!!! Now, I don't know about you, but to me in this seemingly politically correct and ultra sensitive age -- where, for example, the recently disgraced A&E TV star Dog the Bounty Hunter saw his career go down the toilet for uttering the "N" word in a private phone conversation -- shouldn't Rudolph be held somehow responsible for what appears to me as pure hate speech?
Please add your thoughts/opinions in the COMMENTS box below. Thanks!

Amoeba's Asian Cinema Section

Posted by Eric Brightwell, November 5, 2007 01:55pm | Post a Comment
When Amoeba opened, Asian films were primarily divided between a Hong Kong section, a Japan section, the Foreign section and martial arts. Eventually we created a massive, Pan-Asian section (with martial arts still separated. However, Chaz has just divided the Asian section into Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Miscellaneous Asian sections. So, here's the top sellers from these new sections:
                                           Wong Kar-Wai                                                                                       John Woo 

Amoeba's Chinese Top 10:

Raise the Red Lantern
In the Mood For Love

Hard Boiled

Chungking Express
Wong Kar-Wai Collection
Days Of Being Wild
Infernal Affairs
The Killer
Shanghai Triad

Chuck Prophet? We're keeping him.

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 5, 2007 11:24am | Post a Comment

With a last name like "Prophet," you have but a few paths in life you could take. First there's the obvious, the path of the evangelist.  Then there's the option of being a medium, or mind-reader, or soothsayer. Or, as in the case of Chuck Prophet, you could combine both trajectories, and become a musician.

Local hero Chuck Prophet chose the latter, and he just released his eighth solo work, Soap And Water. He played six songs from the record for an amalgamation of friends, family, and fans on a balmy Saturday afternoon in our San Francisco store.

If "American Music" can be defined as having its roots in jazz, blues and the Old West, then Chuck Prophet is definitely a uniquely  "American" artist. He could easily be a staple in any House of Blues signature band, or back his van into any roadhouse in the country and put on a jumpin' show.

Amoeba has a certain road-house quality, let's face it, and we were more than glad to let him back his van up to our doors. Prophet plays with great intensity, holding his guitar like it's a limbo stick that
he is going to duck under, or a wily snake that he is trying to straighten out. "A woman's voice'll drug you," he drones in his Lou Reed-like tone, the swampy guitar backing him up with its own plodding, trance-like quality. "You'll get lucky for the chance."

Prophet's music engenders a certain intimacy; it's the perfect kind of relationship between the artist and his audience, all of which is just the sort of show for a setting like an in-store. To wit: during his between-song banter, Prophet looked out over the whole shop and quipped about all the "competition" that was out there staring back at him in the form of other CDs for sale. Immediately a rather strange
guy in a Sublime hoodie, a black fedora, and a Soul Asylum T-shirt ran up to the front of the stage waving a record. "Hm," said Prophet, holding it up to read 'the competition.' "The Sidekicks, Butt Candy,"
he read, deadpan. Everyone erupted in laughter.

steven king on dvd...misery...carrie...children of the corn...the shining...cujo...christine...

Posted by Brad Schelden, November 5, 2007 10:50am | Post a Comment
Well I guess it is now officially November. But even though Halloween is over that does not mean the season of horror movies is over. As a huge long time fan of the horror film I always look forward to any excuse to watch horror movies over and over again. The horror films at the movie theater were a bit disappointing this Halloween season. The only movies at the theater last weekend were Saw IV and "30 Days of Night." I luckily already saw Rob Zombie's Halloween, since it completely disappeared from the theaters. They really released that one way too early. I had many friends that were waiting to see it close to the the actual date of Halloween. It was always exciting to go see the new Halloween movie on or around the day of Halloween. I even wanted to go see this new one again. But I did see "30 Days of Night" directed by David Slade. The brilliant man behind the very disturbing movie "Hard Candy." I still get scared thinking about that movie and it wasn't even a horror movie. Every time I go to a horror movie in the theater these days, I always expect the worse. So if the movie is even half way decent I end up really appreciating it and possibly loving it. But 30 Days of Night was actually really good. The film was based on a comic book about a town that literally experiences 30 days of night. The development of the characters and the small town they lived in was really well done. Josh Hartnett, who also starred in Halloween H20, plays the town sheriff. He actually sort of resembled the Michael Myers mask and was really well cast as the son of Jamie Lee Curtis. I was not really scared that much during 30 Days but I was really cold. They did a good job of capturing the cold of Alaska even if the vampires didn't seem to mind it.

One of my favorite book to film authors is Steven King. I have always loved his books but I often end up hating the movies that are made out of my favorite books. But there have been many Steven King stories that work brilliantly on the screen. I don't know if the credit lies with Steven King for creating such brilliant visual stories or with the directors and screenwriters who recreate the novels on the big screen. A couple of my favorites have recently been released on DVD this Halloween season. And there are already a bunch available on DVD. Here are my top 8 Steven King Movies on DVD...

Carrie (1976)
This was Stephen King's first book to be made into a movie. The movie still freaks me out in parts. I have seen it so many times that I have most of it memorized. But the prom scene and any scenes with the mother, brilliantly played by Piper Laurie, still scare me. The film was directed by Brian De Palma and along with Scarface, it is easily one of his best. The special edition DVD includes 2 great documentaries on the making of Carrie. It also includes a "Carrie the Musical" featurette and a Stephen King biography. Sissy Spacek, P.J. Soles, John Travolta, Amy Irving, Betty Buckley, Nancy Allen, and Piper Luarie are all perfect in this film.  I got to catch this movie on the big screen a couple years ago at the Castro for a "Carrie White Christmas." P.J. Soles, who also starred in the original Halloween, was the special guest celebrity.

Misery (1990)
The Collector's Edition of this was just released on DVD last month. The film looks great and is just as creepy and scary as ever. Kathy Bates got one of the best roles in the history of film. But another actress could have easily messed it up. She is simply brilliant as Annie Wilkes and completely brings Stephen King's character to life. The DVD includes 2 commentaries. One by director Rob Reiner and another by Screenwriter William Goldman. It also includes about 7 little documentaries including "Profile of a Stalker," "Celebrity Stalkers," and "Marc Shaiman's Musical Misery Tour." Yes, there is a musical version of both Carrie and Misery. Most of the movies on this list are really faithful adaptations of the books. But this movie in particular really captured the feeling I had while reading this book. You feel a little sorry for Annie and almost side with her for about a second. James Caan is also perfect as novelist Paul Sheldon.

The Shining (1980)
They just reissued all of the Stanley Kubrick films on DVD last month as well. "The Shining" is one of those great films. This two-disc special edition is not much different than the last release on DVD. This Edition includes the same commentary and documentary as the last release. But it also has 3 new featurettes including a documentary on the music composer Wendy Carlos. This is one of those movies that I grew up watching the edited version of on TV over and over again.  Stanley Kubrick again captures the brilliance of the book. And much like Kathy Bates in Misery, I can't really imagine anybody else playing Jack Torrance. The great and amazing Shelley Duvall is also perfect as his wife. The hotel in this film is also a brilliant character in the book and is realized beautifully in the film.

Children of the Corn (1984)
The 20th Anniversary Divimax special Edition was just released a couple of years ago. This movie really freaked me out when I was a kid. Along with Cujo, this was one of the first horror movies that I ever saw. The film stars Linda Hamilton and Peter Horton as two normal people who end up in the wrong town. I am sure that the idea of a town with no adults or parents was many kids fantasy. But it really does not work out so well in this Stephen King Story. The kids were also all great in this film but especially John Franklin as Isaac and Courtney Gains as Malachai. The DVD includes a great commentary with the director and stars. The documentary and interviews are also really fun to watch. Both John and Courtney are featured in the commentary and documentary.

Christine (1983)
This Special Edition DVD also came out a couple of years ago. This film was directed by the brilliant John Carpenter. Combining a Stephen King story with the brilliance of John Carpenter was bound to make the perfect film. Carpenter is on the commentary for the film along with the lead actor Keith Gordon. Keith also starred in the Legend of Billie Jean a couple of years later. The DVD also includes a bunch of extra stuff including deleted scenes and 3 featurettes. It is hard to imagine a car actually being a key character unless you have actually read the book or seen the movie. But the movie really is all about the car. And the film is actually still scary. John Carpenter always makes his films have a certain feeling that go along with them. It really is a perfect combination.

Dolores Claiborne (1995)
This was a completely different role for Kathy Bates than the one she played in Misery. But she is again brilliant. This film and novel are more suspenseful than scary. But it is still one of my favorites of the Stephen King stories. The film is directed by Taylor Hackford and also stars Jennifer Jason Leigh, David Strathairn, and John C. Reilly. This DVD unfortunately has no extra features and is in serious need of a deluxe version. I really do love this movie and can't resist watching it whenever I get the chance. Stephen King's novels are just meant for the big screen. He creates such great visual stories and this film capture it perfectly. The art direction and locations are also perfect.

Cujo (1983)
Along with Misery, this film was also just recently released on DVD in a special edition. This 25th anniversary edition includes a director commentary by Lewis Teague. He also went on to direct another Stephen King film, "Cat's Eye" in 1985. The DVD also includes a 3 part documentary with interviews of the cast members. The film stars Dee Walace (The Howling, E.T.) and Danny Pintauro (Who's the Boss?). Since this was one of first horror films that I ever saw, it really scared me the most. I think I am still a bit scared of any sort of large St. Bernard. You never know when they are going to turn on you. I am sure it scared many children into never wanting a dog at all.

Firestarter (1984)
This was released on DVD in 1998 but is currently unavailable by itself. A deluxe version of this one is hopefully on the way. Maybe we will have to wait until next Halloween to hear the Drew Barrymore commentary that we all have been waiting for. It is currently only available in a stupid 2 pack with Firestarter 2. The director Mark Lester also directed Commando. Commando starred Alyssa Milano who also starred in Who's the Boss with Danny Pintauro from Cujo. And Drew Barrymore also starred in E.T. with Dee Walace from Cujo. Dee Walace can obviously be connected in some way to most horror movies. But who knew that Who's the Boss could be connected to two Stephen King movies! The film is great and was Drew's second big film and stars everybody including Heather Locklear, David Keith, Louise Fletcher, and Martin Sheen.


Remember, remember the fifth of November

Posted by Whitmore, November 5, 2007 08:58am | Post a Comment
Remember, remember the fifth of November,
gunpowder, treason and plot,
I see no reason why gunpowder treason
should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes,
'twas his intent
to blow up the King and the Parliament.
Three score barrels of powder below,
Poor old England to overthrow:
By God's providence he was catch'd
With a dark lantern and burning match.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, make the bells ring.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!
Hip hip hoorah!

Ninja Terminator

Posted by phil blankenship, November 4, 2007 10:42pm | Post a Comment

Trans World Entertainment 39001

Victory Variety Hour featuring Secret Society of the Sonic Six @ El Cid Thursday 8th November

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, November 4, 2007 06:21pm | Post a Comment
A totally new arena for us, we'll be playing a few songs between Burlesque acts, should be great very sexy...


Kazakh movies and music

Posted by Eric Brightwell, November 4, 2007 12:50pm | Post a Comment
Recently, Montebello-born and not-even-remotely-Kazakh-looking actor Jay Hernandez recently appeared in the Kazakh film Nomad alongside Mark Dacasos and Mexican actor Kuno Becker. In a misguided effort to appeal to foreigners and erase any harm done by Borat (or cash in on, perhaps), the Kazakhs spent 40 million dollars to make the most expensive movie in Kazakh history and cast Americans in the lead roles (and dubbed their parts in Kazakh). So far the film has only made $79,123. Maybe you could find it in your heart to buy a copy. It looks alright, no? Aren't you a little curious? Let me tempt you with the mysterious riches of the steppes!

Zhemeney performing "Kara Bura"

"Akjaik" performed by the Kazakh Wilson Phillips

Nomad, the 18th century tale of an Asian boy who grew up to be Mexican (Kuno Becker)

The trailer for Schizo which will appeal to fans of Ken Loach and/or track suits.

Kazakh films can be found in the Asian Cinema section at Amoeba.


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Night Of The Juggler

Posted by phil blankenship, November 3, 2007 10:27pm | Post a Comment

Media Home Entertainment M773


Posted by Billyjam, November 3, 2007 06:06pm | Post a Comment

After recently stumbling across the Craigs List New York City area posting (reprinted below - scroll down) directly addressing the ridiculous current state of the high cost of housing in New York City (and it is so bad that people who go out of town for a week sublet their place -- damn!), it got me thinking about the whole issue of the high cost of housing for all of us, in particular in certain desired American cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, and of course New York City. 

As eloquently and emotionally expressed in the recent CL posting, which appeared under the heading "Perpetual Childhood" and was written by a Brooklyn resident, NYC seems to be the very worst when it comes to the high cost of urban housing in the States these days. Please take a moment to read it and after you have, please add to the COMMENTS box below your thoughts on housing in the area where you dwell or have previously lived (rented). Is it as bad where you are? Are there any solutions to the ridiculous cost of housing that most of us are subjected to? What percentage of one's income do you think the average person should pay in rent? Personally, I think it should only be 15% or 20%. I also strongly believe that the government, local and federal, should heavily subsidize housing for artists. But when I say this to most people, they tell me I am crazy to hold such foolish beliefs. But what do you think of the state of housing in the USA  today -- especially in cities  such as SF, LA, or NY? Thanks for reading and for sharing your COMMENTS! Here is the posting:


This City is keepin us in F***ing perpetual childhood! Six figures and cannot find an apartment unless I'm willing to swallow pride and sanity and kiss the ass of some F***ing nickel and diming greedy scumbag feudal lndlord. They want you to make 20x the rent and they're looking at you with a straight face as they offer some f***ing shoe box with NO GARBAGE DISPOSAL, NO W/D, NO F***NG SCREENS ON THE WINDOW, MOLD, no closet space. Don't even blink in shame. What exactly am I getting for my f-ng money????! Tell me THAT you d***ass.

The Employee Interview XII: Naomi

Posted by Miss Ess, November 3, 2007 11:47am | Post a Comment

9 years employment
Promotions Diva

ME:  I love learning about what has formed people's musical taste.  What kind of music were your parents listening to when you were growing up?

NS: I can't tell you how many Santana concerts I've been to. During my toddler years we listened to the good stuff. My mom was all about salsa, Banda and Freddy Fender. My pops fancied himself to be somewhat of a Pachuco, so it was all about the oldies! Later, in their quest to become more Americanized, we were subjected to the likes of Juice Newton and Sammy Hagar.  Then my parents got divorced and my dad thought he was the Urban Cowboy, so it became all country all the time during our visits, which wasn't so bad. But Ronnie Milsap can be a bit depressing when you're a kid.

I know you have 2 older sisters.  What were they into listening to? Did they have any influence on your listening tastes?

California Fool's Gold -- Exploring Montebello

Posted by Eric Brightwell, November 3, 2007 11:10am | Post a Comment

Pendersleigh & Sons' Official Map of Montebello

I went to a baptism the other day for one Mateo Gareza in the city of Montebello, the subject of this neighborhood blog. 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.

Pendersleigh & Sons' Official Maps of Southeast Los Angeles County

For the occasion I was oaccompanied by none other than Miss San Gabriel Valley 05, 06 and '07, Ngoc Nguyen. Montebello, for those not in the know, is situated between the more interesting East Los Angeles, Monterey Park and Rosemead. It straddles the San Gabriel Valley and SELACO. They used to have a Puerto Rican parade, the only one west of Chicago, but it was deemed too much fun and moved to the Pomona Fairgrounds. It still has a lot of Mexican restaurants, chain stores and bakeries.

Mateo wore a white Ralph Lauren with popped collar and white trousers. Several other boys wore similar outfits, although some sported white dress shirts and vests and the girls all dressed like child brides.

                       Young Master Gareza                                    Glamorous Montebello Town Center Mall


If you've never been to a Catholic ceremony, you probably wrongly assume (as I used to), that there's scary hushed chanting in Latin, ominous hooded figures, incense and peppermints and statues of Jesus crying real blood.

But sadly, no. There's merely unenthusiastic and unintelligible mumbling, scary sweater-clad figures, acoustic guitars and churchgoers crying real tears of boredom. Catholicism is now like an exaggerated stereotype of the blandest version of Protestantism.

On two separate occasions I went into some weird zone where I could count every speck of dust illuminated by colorful shafts of light passing through stain glass windows and then everyone would stand up (except for the guy that fell asleep) at the prescribed time and I'd come back to the "real" world. You're told to stand. You only stand when you're told to. The spirit will not move you to say "Amen;" rather, the priest will make a gesture. This is the organization that burned people at the stake just for kicks so I did what was expected and tried not to doze off.

As with every Catholic service I've attended, at the final "Amen" there is a spirited dash for the parking lot that rivals the final bell ringing in public school. No donuts and chit chat for this set. It's off to grill outs or bars -- both safely removed from the stifle of the Church.


Today Montebello is roughly 75% Latino (mostly Mexican and Salvadoran), 11% Asian (mostly Japanese) and 11% White (mostly Armenian).  Montebello is home to the oldest Armenian community in Los Angeles County and home to the only Armenian Cathedral in California, Holy Cross Armenian Apostolic CathedralThe Armenian Martyrs Monument at Bicknell Park commemorating the victims of the Armenian Genocide by the Ottoman Turks is the largest monument found on public property in the World. In the early 20th century, Japanese Montebellans ran  four nurseries in town, but were sent to concentration camps during WW II. Japanese-Peruvian and Japanese-Hawaiian communities settled in Montebello after the Japanese interment ended.


As with most of the area, the region now part of Montebello was for thousands of years Tongva land. After the Spaniards arrived, most of the Tongva died out with almost none left by 1870. During Spanish and subsequently Mexican rule, most of the lands which now compose the city of were parts of Rancho San Antonio, Rancho La Merced and Rancho Paso de Bartolo
The Juan Matias Sanchez Adobe, built in 1844, remains standing at the center of old Rancho La Merced in eastern Montebello and is the city's oldest structure. The Battle of Rio San Gabriel took place in Montebello on January 8, 1847. After several decades as part of Mexico it became part of the US.

In the 1860s, some 5,000 acres  of the East Los Angeles region was owned by an Italian settler from Genoa, Alessandro Repetto. After his death in 1885, his brother sold his rancho to a consortium of five Los Angeles businessmen. It was out of the Harris Newmark and Kaspare Cohn share that Montebello was established in 1899. After consulting William Mulholland, it was incorporated as the Montebello Land and Water Company in 1900.
An area of 200 acres adjacent to the tracks of the San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad  were developed into a townsite called Newmark, and the remainder of the land was subdivided into small lots. Newmark became Montebello. Montebello was originally an agricultural community. From its beginnings through the 1920s, the area was famed for its production of flowers, vegetables, berries, and fruits. On October 19th, 1920, the city's name was officially changed to Montebello and it was incorporated.
The discovery of oil by Standard Oil Company on the Anita Baldwin and Walter P. Temple properties in the Montebello hills, in 1917, resulted in a switch from agriculture to oil production. 


The annual Armenian Food Fair is hosted in May every year at Holy Cross Cathedral. As far as restaurants, there's Alberto's Mexican FoodAlexandras, Aloha Hawaiian BBQAlondra Hot WingsAmy's Pastry, Ani's ChickenArry's Super Burger, Astro Burgers, El Atacor No 7, Bakers Square Restaurant & PiesBamboo ExpressBeverly Pizza & Subs, Big SubmarineBJ's Suds & Grubs PizzeriaBrioche PastriesBroaster Kitchen, Bryan's Super Burgers, El BukanasCalifornia Chicken RoasterCalifornia Steak & Fries, Canton City Restaurant, Chela's Tacos, Chicken NowChinese Food ExpressChinese Garden, Crabby's Seafood and MoreThe Daily Brew Coffee House, Doublz, Fiesta MexicanaFruit RevolutionGardunosGina's Pizzeria, Golden Skewer, Golden Ox BurgersGolden Wok, Great WrapsHappy Family Restaurant, Happy Teriyaki Bowl, House of KabobHye BakeryJ&S, JP's Pizzeria, Jimmie's Family RestaurantJin Ja TeriyakiJuan Great FiestaKrazy KabobsKuan's Chinese, LebizuMaki Yaki, Massis KabobMediterranean Express GrillMiki Chan's Okazu Ya, Modern Thai, NeveraNick Paradise CafeOrdonez Mexican Restuarant, Panderia y PastaleriaEl PatioPiccolo MondoLa Pinata Tortilleria, Los PinosPlaya Baja Mexican SeafoodPlaya Baja No 2, Playa Express, Polly's Pies, Rafael's Mexican RestaurantRio's Pizza, Salvatore Italian Restaurant & PizzaSergio's Tacos, La SirenitaSubmarina, Sushi Bar Cafe Hiraki, Sweet O DonutsTaco VillageTacos Don Chente, Tam's BurgersTapia Mexican Food, Tokyo GrillTom's Burgers,Tony's Italian Delicatessen, Tutti Frutti Frozen YogurtTwo Sal's Pizza, Venecia Bakery, Waba GrillWhittier Peruvian Restaurant, Wild Coyote Steakhouse, Zankou Chicken and El Zipote Pupuseria.


A common criticism of Montebello is that there's not much to do. Not exactly au contraire, but what about Beverly Bowl? Club Chico? Little Red Rooster?, The Paloma Room? Quiet Cannon?


Not a lot of big musicians from Montebello. Jack Russell, lead singer from Great White, is from there. Then there's a rapper who goes by Nosaj Thing. Pioneering Chicano band The Blendells were also from Montebello. It also produced the punk band, Anti-SocialMontebello was mentioned in Little Village's song "The Action."

Several actors from Montebello have gone onto receive a degree of recognition. Montebello-born and not-even-remotely-Kazakh-looking actor Jay Hernandez appeared in the Kazakh film Nomad.


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So Bad It's Good Film Fest - Road House @ The Vista Nov. 30 !

Posted by phil blankenship, November 2, 2007 10:49pm | Post a Comment

Baghdad By The Bay and Halloween

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 2, 2007 10:09pm | Post a Comment
Things always weird in SF, California, dontcha know ... but ain't no day of the week is this Mac Dre:

Mister Sexx himself/herself, oh, who cares!?!? That is a costume without a safe word, honey.

Um, Jimmy baby, that aint no costume: you just been working that info booth too much, right next to the reggae section:

Just shows ya, Concord got nothing on ya, SF! Or wait, is it the other way around? I'm confused!


Okay, that explains why all the white men ran screaming out the side door. Ain't no play in that costume!
Trick or treat? SCALP!

Corr-Courtney, baby, I just LOVE your .... well, everything! Except, well ... if I have 4 drinks in me, and mind you, I DO, you kinda look like my mom here.  *faint

                                                                            The Invisible Lance!!

The Levelland UFO Incident

Posted by Whitmore, November 2, 2007 09:03pm | Post a Comment

Fifty years ago tonight on November 2, 1957 - and coincidentally about an hour after the Russians launched Sputnik 2 carrying the first passenger ever lifted into orbit, Laika the dog - one of the best known and well documented cases of UFO close encounters took place on the outskirts of Levelland, Texas, population 10,000.

Patrolman A. J. Fowler, on duty that night, received the first call at about 11pm and would receive another 14 different calls over the next two and a half hours. Among the witnesses were Levelland's sheriff and the town's fire chief who confirmed they too observed something pass across the highway in front of them. Most of the reports depicted the object as a brightly lit torpedo or cigar-shaped flat-bottomed object, eyewitnesses pretty consistently described the UFO as a glowing, pulsating bluish-green. The first call came from Pedro Saucedo, traveling with a co-worker named Joe Salaz. While driving down Route 116, about 4 miles west of Levelland, an object suddenly rose into the air from a nearby field. Saucedo estimated that it was 200 feet in length, and soon was flying at speeds around 800 miles per hour. While passing over their truck there was a sound of “thunder” and a “rush of wind.” The truck rocked from the blast, and both passengers felt “a lot of heat." As the object flew over the truck, the headlights went out and the engine stalled, but as the UFO vanished into the distance the engine restarted easily and the lights worked normally. In total, there were at least seven separate UFO incidents that night reporting either a car or a truck becoming disabled, but recovering each time the UFO departed.  

Head of the Air Force’s Project Blue Book, Captain G. T. Gregory, quickly suggested that the UFO’s sightings were merely ball lightning; there had been reports of an electrical storm in the area earlier in the day. However, Dr. J. Allen Hynek, a physicist at the University of Arizona, who initially agreed with Captain Gregory, later dismissed the possibility of ball lightning when he learned that though the night was overcast and misty, there were no reports of thunder or lightning near Levelland.  Later Dr Hynek also offered the view that there has never been any evidence suggesting ball lightning could temporarily kill a vehicles engine and lights in such a manner. Some conspiracy theorists have suggested that perhaps some sort of “weapon or device” was being “tested” on automobiles during the late 50’s, accounting for the unexplained UFO activity, and the flurry of similar events.  For a while, after the Levelland UFO Incident, such reports came in on almost a daily basis.

Local Pressings...

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, November 2, 2007 07:45pm | Post a Comment

I stumbled upon these two LPs a few years ago, upon dropping the needle I was instantly taken by the period piece quality to the service on the 1st.  Transistor organ, call and response hymnals, talk of vibrations and colors...Who were these people??  Ann Davies cuts an interesting figure on the 1st LP- a somewhat androgynous and harsh looking leader of an esoteric group that was at one time based in my then neighborhood of Highland Park...I'd have to look into it...


Soon after finding these LPs,my  mother-in-law mentioned stopping into a very interesting shop near her house, where one of the original Gold Dawn students, a Paul Foster Case, had started his own "Church of the Tarot" back in the 30's.  This was especially interesting to her as she herself had been raised by a man who had a huge library of orig. Golden Dawn manuscripts and pamphlets, a few of which she still has...Turns out this church was  the same place that put out these two LPs. Intriguing  indeed, the group was still around!  We decided to attend a couple of their "open to the public" Sunday ceremonies.

The temple is set up with a platform at the front, to the stage right there is an organ, near the center is a small podium.  The stage is flanked by black and white pilars (liken to the temple of Solomon) and on the walls surrounding this stage are are reproductions of the major arcana cards from the Tarot.  The ceremonies were very similar to the LPs- great transistor organ, prayers in the dark, and a short sermon. Afterwards,  I was introduced to a fellow who runs the show these days, he was excited to hear that I had the LPs as he sings on at least one of them...

Oddly enough, Gary Usher produced the second LP, you can tell on some of the vocal pieces as the have a touch of the 'lyte-psyche'.  He also painted the cover, so he must have been heavily involved with the group.

In 1954, Paul Foster Case "was summoned to another state of conciousness" and Ann Davies took over as Prolocutor General for BOTA, she seems to have really expanded on Case's original ideas-they still play her taped lectures a couple times a month. She passed on in 1975, the year of my birth!...

Very cool design on both releases, with my tastes leaning toward the first one, minimal and succinct...

Amoebite Profile: Heidi

Posted by Billyjam, November 2, 2007 06:00pm | Post a Comment


AMOEBLOG: What exactly is your job at the Amoeba Music Hollywood store? How long have you worked there and how did you end up working at Amoeba?

HEIDI: I've had a lot of different jobs at Amoeba but these days I'm mostly in rock vinyl and black metal. I was hired at Amoeba three years ago through my friend Inez.
AMOEBLOG: What makes working at Amoeba unique compared to other jobs you've had?

HEIDI: Working at Amoeba is a truly unique environment. It is refreshing to work with so many people who are as nerdy as I am about music. It's also satisfying to work for Amoeba Music as a company because they truly take care of their employees. It feels very much like a family.
AMOEBLOG: What are the Top 3 Items in the past week or so that you've noticed people are seeking out at the Hollywood Amoeba Music?

HEIDI: Dethklok The Dethalbum, Ulver Shadows of the Sun, Bruce Springsteen Magic on vinyl (new studio recording from the Boss with the E Street Band and featuring 11 new Springsteen songs -- all produced by Brendan O'Brien).

AMOEBLOG: I know you that you are a real fan of good metal music. In terms of that genre, how, in your opinion, is the scene in LA these days for bands and for clubs?

HEIDI: To be honest, I don't go out much, but I love to see that there's a rise in the number of youngsters reviving the thrash scene here in Los Angeles. I need to make more of an effort to check it out. If you want to see a good heavy show, go see High On Fire. They aren't LA natives but they play here quite a bit. But a couple of local bands well worth mentioning are Strong Arm Down, who are a great heavy live band... check em' out!! And then there is another LA band I recommend called An Endless Contortionist, who are super noisy fun!!

Halloween 2007 - Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Amoebite, November 2, 2007 05:07pm | Post a Comment

When the giant inflatable green-and-purple Frankenstein arises from the center of the store to welcome all visitors, you know it's... Halloween at Amoeba L.A.!!!

The store looked spooky for weeks... cobwebs, bats and pumpkins everywhere, skeletons dancing... even a skeleton with a handlebar moustache over the info counter!  Hmmm... also an old-timey gentleman skeleton in a top hat lounging above the opera CDs in the Jazz Room.  A spectre from beyond the tomb hung over our eerie Halloween section, filled with spooky sound effects, every compilation ever made with "Dead Man's Party" by Oingo Boingo on it, and some Jennifer Lopez movies.  Creepy!

Halloween dawned bright and sunny (as it sometimes does in L.A.) but we kept it appropriate in the store with some Cramps blasting on the stereo and candy bowls everywhere for trick-or-treaters.   Many folks arrived in costume... I was particularly startled by a co-worker dressed as Richard D. James a.k.a the Aphex Twin!  Pretty scary... and a really good cardboard robot (the Bot-O-Tron) and a girl with her head in a milk carton that said "Missing", and many more... Minnie Mouse, a mime, an evil clown, a melancholy bumblebee even!

At 3 we kicked the party off with our Halloween DJ, DJ Heebie Jeebies (real name Mike Dehlin, frontman for local psychobilly outfit The Goddamn Gallows).  He kept it real (scary) with lots of good old evil tunes from "She's My Witch" by the Sonics to "Run To the Hills" by Iron Maiden, interspersed with amazing horror movie trailers (the one for the transgender "Dr. Jeckyll and Sister Hyde" was my favorite!).  Around 5 the excitement was building... it was almost time for our annual Halloween costume contest!

As the many spooky contestants gathered round the stage, I donned my giant silver head with the monocle and purple moustache (no catchy name for this costume... I called it the Old Time Space Gentleman, others thought it looked like Mr. Peanut or the Monopoly Man, but all in aluminum foil).  Like Ed McMahon to Johnny Carson, I introduced our host and handed off the mike -- it was our old friend Lance Rock!


Posted by Whitmore, November 1, 2007 09:04pm | Post a Comment


Alfred Jarry had a profound, incalculable effect on most every art and literary movement of the 20th century movements influencing Dadaism, Surrealism, Futurism, Expressionism, Cubism, and especially the Theatre of the Absurd. You can start with Marcel Duchamp and Andre Breton and keep right on swerving through the better names of the century; poets Guillaume Apollinaire, Max Jacob, Tristan Tzara, artists like Picasso, entertainers such as The Marx Brothers, the Goons, Spike Jones, the Bonzo Dog Band, Monty Python, even Mad magazine.

Playwrights Eugene Ionesco, Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter, Edward Albee all owe much to Jarry, as do other literary greats like Jean Genet, Antonin Artaud, Douglas Adams, Robert Anton Wilson, Boris Vian, George Perec, and J.G. Ballard. In fact, I swear even George Bush and his entire administration have been heavily influenced by the absurdities of Alfred Jarry and his masterpiece, Ubu Roi featuring the bloated, thick and stupid future king, Pere Ubu.

Well, One hundred years ago today Alfred Jarry died of alcoholism and tuberculosis in Paris at the age of thirty-four. Every aspect of his life was a performance of self. More than just writing about Ubu, he lived as Ubu. He blew through a small fortune he inherited from his parents, served in the military, developed a taste for absinthe, and took to wandering around Paris inebriated; alcohol, he said, was his “holy water.” He costumed himself in black biking gear, often in a long hooded cape carrying a green umbrella and two pistols. He also assumed many of the characteristics he wrote for his fictional Pere Ubu: talking in a high falsetto, adopting a mechanical / monotone speaking style, enunciating every single syllable with no inflection or nuance, and Jarry always spoke of himself in the royal "we.”

His sentences were long, convoluted and vaguely descriptive narratives. In every sense of the word, Jarry lived in an intensely eccentric existence! And literally lived “in” … his apartment had been divided in half - horizontally. Forcing everyone except him to stoop, Jarry was less than five feet tall. He ate his meals backwards; dessert first, followed by the main course all the way back to the appetizer and bread, driving waiters mad. Whenever the mood hit him, he’d pull out his pistol and indiscriminately take target practice. On his deathbed, according to legend, Jarry’s last request was for a toothpick … an absurdist till the bitter end.

Linda S. Stein Dead

Posted by Miss Ess, November 1, 2007 08:21pm | Post a Comment
This is really creepy.

Linda S. Stein, ex wife of Seymour Stein, the head of Sire Records (Morrissey, Madonna, Talking Heads, etc), was found dead in her ultra ritzy NYC apartment on Tuesday.  She was bludgeoned to death.  No one knows why she was killed or who killed her.

Linda (on the left) was a manager of the Ramones and a major player in the 70s NYC rock scene.  Just a few weeks ago I randomly saw her profiled on some cable show about high end real estate, as she had become a high rollin' "real estate agent to the stars" (like Billy Joel and Sting) -- it seems really strange that someone would kill her.  I mean, they must have somehow gotten past all the security in her high class building and waited for her in her own apartment.  Freaky.  If the mystery ever gets solved, I will post what happened here.  But something weird i

(In which... *cough, cough* ...Job... *hack, wheeeeze* .......ugh.......

Posted by Job O Brother, November 1, 2007 07:25pm | Post a Comment
I’ve been real sick for the last week, and it ain’t over yet. Ill enough that I went to the hospital. My doctor explained to me what was going on and assured me that I was in no immediate danger of dying. But he told me this in such a somber, hushed tone that it sounded like he said:

“You have Ulerythema Ophryogenes and you’ll be dead by the time your insurance bill comes.”

And so it goes.

Anyway, one thing that’s managed to make me feel better (besides my very, very patient boyfriend*) is the unforgivably short-lived TV show “Wonderfalls”.

It was co-created and written by the whimsically pithy Bryan Fuller, who’s new show “Pushing Daises” promises to be equally as unpredictable.

Only fourteen episodes of “Wonderfalls” were made, and only three played on the air. A classic situation of “too good for TV” (see also: “Arrested Development”).

As my last wish before I die, I ask you to procure a copy (might I suggest at Amoeba Music?) and give it a gander.

I realize this entry is a little bare bones, so I give you this as an unrelated bonus gem:

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a date with a pint of Nyquil.

*Corey, my guy, has seen me through my current state of disrepair with humor and grace. It’s been like this:

COREY: How you feeling, honey? Can I get you anything?

JOB: What do you mean? You mean I’m incomplete as I am? YOU DON’T LOVE ME! (sobbing)

Tonight! RARE Scorsese Short Films at the New Beverly!

Posted by phil blankenship, November 1, 2007 11:49am | Post a Comment
Nov. 1: Five by Scorsese:

Kino International is proud to release a program of five rarely-seen films by America's greatest living director, Martin Scorcese. In ITALIANAMERICAN (1974, 48 minutes, color) Scorcese invites the viewer into the home of his late parents, Catherin and Charles (who have appeared in Goodfellas, Mean Streets and Raging Bull). There they discuss everything from their immigrant heritage, on-camera behavior and the family's secret spaghetti sauce recipe. To the tune of Bunny Berigan's "I Can't Get Started," a morning shave turns into a musical bloodletting in THE BIG SHAVE (1968, 6 muntes, color), an early black comedy gem unavailable for years. In AMERICAN BOY (1978, 55 minutes, Color), Scorsese "interviews" Steven Prince, best remembered as the peripatetic gun salesman Easy Andy in Taxi Driver Prince's accounts of his tragicomic upbringing as an army brat, his travels as a rock band's road manager and subsequent heroin addiction are punctuated by Neil Young's "Time Fades Away"

WHAT'S A NICE GIRL LIKE YOU DOING IN A PLACE LIKE THIS? (1963, 9 minutes B/W) A young writer grows increasingly obsessed with a framed photograph hanging on his wall. IT'S NOT JUST YOU, MURRAY! (1964, 15 minutes, B/W) A small-time hoodlum named Murray thrives on his friendship with Joe, oblivious to the fact that he is being exploited by his longtime pal.

Please note: all 5 films will be screened in 16mm.

7165 West Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
7:30 start time
$7 general admission
$6 student
$4 senior

Wolf Lake

Posted by phil blankenship, November 1, 2007 12:32am | Post a Comment

Prism Entertainment 1302