Amoeblog

Mark Of Cain

Posted by phil blankenship, December 31, 2007 06:38pm | Post a Comment
 



Vestron Video VA4479

AMOEBLOG PREDICTIONS FOR 2008, PART THREE

Posted by Billyjam, December 31, 2007 03:08pm | Post a Comment
BRITNEY SPEARS FINDS GOD AND STARTS HER OWN RELIGION:

My prediction for 2008, well … I have many, but just for the sport of celebrity gawking I’ll throw in this prediction:  
Britney Spears will find God, actually become a religious zealot. She’ll start her own religion, set up a compound/church in Iowa where millions of her disillusioned directionless fans will follow her.

A couple of years down the line Iowa will pass a referendum establishing itself as the independent Sovereign Nation of Iowa. By 2009, Mike Huckabee, having only ever won in Iowa, will run for President of Iowa and win. Meanwhile Britney’s sister, Jamie Lynn, will disappear from public view only to resurface in 2012, when she signs with Blue Note Records as a jazz singer.  Her new approach will emulate her idol Anita O’Day. Jamie Lynn then will write her own parenting book titled It’s Never Too Early to Start Good Parenting. 
            
She’ll eventually marry the California Highway Patrol officer who pulled her over for driving under the influence, though he’ll tear up the ticket once he recognizes her from her Playboy spread.
                     
Whitmore ("the thing of a thing of a thing..." Hollywood AMOEBLOGGER, member of the band Listing Ship)

BABY EATING ON FEAR FACTOR & PERSONAL MEMORIES ON NETFLIX

The cross cultural fusions happening in popular music will grow so varied that Frankenstein-esque new genres will have to be sewn together in order to describe the newest music like: gothic indie folk, or post-grunge screamo tech, or neuvo-retro contemporary psychobilly Christian, acappella death electro, braille, sunshine blues and every CD will have either a string quartet tribute or a downtempo remix.   Someone in everyone of these band will either have the chin-beard/dreads combo, extreme bedhead/facial grimace combo or will wear a necktie incorrectly.

Continue reading...

AMOEBLOG PREDICTIONS FOR 2008, PART TWO

Posted by Billyjam, December 30, 2007 04:35pm | Post a Comment
DOMINATRIX HILLARY CRACKS THE WHIP TO WARM LEATHERETTE

I predict Clinton will win the presidency and immediately win a hefty boob job. She'll then dye her hair red and sport a hip cyber-dominatrix uniform while cracking a whip madly. Bill is on all fours on a leash in a pink muzzle by her side cranking Warm Leatherette by Grace Jones from a giant 80's boombox on his back at her second State Of The Union Address.

- Tim Ranow (Amoeba Music Hollywood )

USC, LAKERS, AND GOOGLE ALL GOOD BETS FOR 2008:

USC win Rose Bowl: In addition to being the Pac-10 champions, USC will beat Illinois in the Rose Bowl on New Year's day.
 
Google Shares cross $800: In 2007 Google's stock was as low as $437 per share and as high as $747 per share. 2008 will see Google's stock soaring past $800. Don't sleep on the big G.

Lakers in '08: Bold prediction -- the Lakers will be the Western Conference champions only to lose in the NBA Finals. Can't say who they will lose to.
                                                                                
  - Rameen Mansour, Amoeba.Com Web Office

Continue reading...

Happy New Year! Or, Stay Home and Watch a New Year's Eve-Centric Movie

Posted by Eric Brightwell, December 30, 2007 09:16am | Post a Comment







After the Thin Man (entire film)






Ирония судьбы, или С лёгким паром!
(Part 1 of 2)


 


 
Metropolitan (trailer)

 


New Year's Evil (entire film)




Rudolph's Shiny New Year (entire film)


 


Terror Train (entire film)




 
Вовочка (trailer)

   
***** 

Follow me at
ericbrightwell.com

Looking Back

Posted by phil blankenship, December 30, 2007 01:23am | Post a Comment

Minutemen Overload -Three Books and A DVD That Covers The History of San Pedro's Finest

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, December 29, 2007 11:35pm | Post a Comment


This is a two DVD set: the first DVD is the a biography of the band, the second contains various live performances. Many interviews with punk rock luminaries and local San Pedro homies who grew up with them. A touching story about three guys who never thought they would do anything that ended up influencing thousands.



Michael Azerrad's book on the post-punk underground (Pre-Nirvana) has a great chapter on the story of The Minutemen. This is a great read for anyone who is a fan of the band and fan of the influential bands of that era. The title of the book is taken from the first line of The Minutemen song, "History Lesson Part 2."

This is Mike Watt in his own words. Lyrics he wrote for the Minutemen, a 1983 tour diary and all the illustrations Raymond Pettibone did for the Minutemen. Introductions by Joe Carducci, Thurston Moore and Richard Metzler:

This book is the story of the making of The Minutemen's classic album, Double Nickels On The Dime. It covers the recording sessions, the concept of the album and its influence on music after the record was released.

TOP 11 FILMS OF 2007

Posted by Charles Reece, December 29, 2007 06:07pm | Post a Comment
In no particular order:

AMOEBLOG PREDICTIONS FOR 2008, PART ONE

Posted by Billyjam, December 29, 2007 03:47pm | Post a Comment

This is part one in a series that will run over the next few days (up to and including New Years Day) featuring predictions for 2008 by folks somehow connected with Amoeba Music -- staff, owners, and Amoebloggers (including The Bay Area Crew, Whitmore, Gomez Comes Alive!, and Eric Brightwell), plus other individuals who are either fans of the Amoeblog (such as DJ ALF) or have been featured in some way in past Amoeblogs such as hip-hop author/journalist Michael A. Gonzales (interviewed months back in a report about the book Bronx Biannual). 

Each contributor was asked to make a prediction for 2008 on any topic -- music, film, technology, politics, sports, social trends, etc. Their prediction could be real or imagined (i.e., wished for) and they could be done in all seriousness or in jest or in half-jest. And the responses could be anywhere from a few words to a paragraph or longer in length. Very special thanks to those who took the time to share their predictions for 2008 including today's contributors: Eric Brightwell, Amoeba Marc, The Insomniac (Bay Area Crew), and DJ ALF -- all below:

                  

INCREASING OUTSIDE PRESSURE ON THE USA TO CHANGE ITS WAYS:

I predict that the biggest criminals in the history of humankind, literally having stolen the entire contents of the US Treasury several times over in the last decade, not to mention all the lives ruined or lost along the way, will continue their thieving virtually unabated in 2008.

Continue reading...

The late, great Cab Calloway on his 100th birthday,

Posted by Whitmore, December 29, 2007 01:21pm | Post a Comment

The legendary saint Cab Calloway, brought into existence on Christmas, was never off the cob, he was the heppest cat, the gasser on the scene, and scribe to the Dictionary of Hepology, not just any book of lingo like some hincty gate-mouth might cop to, emphatically no! This man’s a poet! Hey, Calloway was solid, a ready cat with serious chops, never capped, I mean never capped. Cabell Calloway III licks hit all the armstrongs every time with those "hi-de-hi's," and "ho-de ho's, singing in that blip beat key, swinging overcoats growling some hip and hot gammin’ grooves. Be it a gutbucket blues, the ready racket on the main kick or just some clambake where he’s got this cat riffing on the doghouse - hitting all the basso notes, cool Gabriel wigging on a boogie-woogie and some Jack on skins mugging heavy, Cab always crept out like the shadow, stylish threads togged to the bricks, walking hand made, custom to the thread mezz ground grippers … on each arm, a fine righteous queen he dug the last black, each dicty dutchess fresh off the dreamers and lily whites. 

At one point Cab was collaring 200 g’s a year, that’s one foxy stack of fins. Platter gravy coming on like a test pilot, cuts like "Minnie the Moocher", “Reefer Man” and "St. James Infirmary Blues" were everywhere man, chicks breakin’ it up, dropping a nickel or a dime note just to latch onto the hippest cat who could send the coolest riff riding high. Cab the man was the man; kids come again to the Cotton Club in the Apple, rug cutters Trucking, Pecking, or bugging to the Susie-Q, never no fraughty issue here. That’s the Bible baby! Cab and the cats digging a mess, one riff after another, and every hot killer jam taking off, that combo was always bustin’ conk, breaking up the joint like gangbusters. Zazu-zazu-zazu-zay! No room here for icky squares who can't collar the jive. The jitterbuggers at the Cotton Club always had a hummer of a ball. Yeah! Whipped up! Jumpin’ and mitt pounding till the chimes say its way past early bright. Ow!

Continue reading...

Empathy for the Devil: The Lives of Others (2006), Black Book (2006), The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

Posted by Charles Reece, December 28, 2007 06:12pm | Post a Comment
Doing terrible things in an organized and systematic way rests on "normalization." This is the process whereby ugly, degrading, murderous, and unspeakable acts become routine and are accepted as "the way things are done." There is usually a division of labor in doing and rationalizing the unthinkable, with the direct brutalizing and killing done by one set of individuals; others keeping the machinery of death (sanitation, food supply) in order; still others producing the implements of killing, or working on improving technology (a better crematory gas, a longer burning and more adhesive napalm, bomb fragments that penetrate flesh in hard-to-trace patterns). It is the function of defense intellectuals and other experts, and the mainstream media, to normalize the unthinkable for the general public. -- Edward S. Herman

Sympathy is much easier to come by than empathy.  Funny that, since it would seem easier to disinterestedly understand the conditions leading to another's feelings and reasons behind his or her actions than to actually share those feelings and agree with those reasons, particularly when the other is so different from oneself.  I suspect the dominance of the word 'sympathy' is largely due to not enough people appreciating the need for 'empathy,' or even understanding what the word means, as if the two terms were synonyms.  Thus, when the more ethnographically inclined among us suggest America needs to understand the environs or rational structures of a foreign entity perpetrating some act that we deem immoral, they get called traitors, or sympathizers.  HUAC in the 50s springs readily to mind, as well as the right-wing media's reaction to the intellectual Left's take on 9-11.  Classical liberalism, which serves as the bellwether for America's moralizing, defines the human as a self-regulating rational individual, and thus any action taken by an entity (our state, another state, or some hodge-podge collection of disagreeing radicals) that violates the rights of the human so defined is, ipso facto, inhumane.  Thus, any attempt at humanizing, eliciting empathy for, the ad hoc devil will be received about as judiciously as Hannah Arendt's "banality of evil" in 60s Israel -- which is to say, not very to downright hostilely.  This negative reaction is always despite any potential moral agreement that the devil should still be hanged.

It's a characteristic of the Leftist and what's now called the Liberal, particularly artists and intellectuals of these persuasions, to try and understand how another human can be led to committing inhumane acts, whether due to their focus on structural influences on behavior or because they're all just godless commies who don't have enough commonsense to tell right from wrong.  Regardless, one can smell leftism or modern day liberalism on art any time a story about some morally reprehensible subject is eliciting an act of understanding from the audience (be that subject an Islamic terrorist, Nazi, covert CIA operative, or mythical monster like Grendel).  Sometimes, you get a critical understanding of the subject, as in CROSSING THE LINE, a doc about an army private defecting to North Korea in '62, but other times such artists slip into sympathy when they should've been going for empathy, ironically creating a right-wing work, like DIRTY HARRY.  Three dvds I've recently caught all have that familiar odor:

Writer-director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's film takes place on the wrong side of the Berlin wall in its waning last decade and tells the story of Stasi Captain, Gerd Wiesler, who is sent to spy on the popular, ostensibly pro-Soviet playwright, Georg Dreyman, and his apolitical girlfriend, actress Christa-Maria Sieland, all because the Minister of Culture, Bruno Hempf, has a hard-on for the actress.  Wiesler is shown being a devoted agent for the communists, teaching students the techniques of his craft, defending its morality and having very little life outside of work.  It's not until he discovers the true reason for his current assignment -- while being told by his commanding officer, Anton Grubitz, to find something on Dreyman when his eavesdropping has produced nothing -- that he begins to question his ideological service,  It's not so much that he questions the ideology, only whether anyone around him is serving communism or the more bourgeois interest of personal gain.  It's his vicariously experiencing the aesthetically romantic lives of Dreyman and Sieland that he begins to turn against the ideology, the crux of his transition being when he hears the playwright playing a piano piece composed by Gabriel Yared.

This tale of the transformative powers of art was inspired by an anecdote of Lenin's reaction to Beethoven's Appassionata, where he could no longer listen to it as it made him want to stroke heads, not smash them.  In a century where one of the greatest poets, Ezra Pound, was making radio broadcasts in support of Fascist Italy, the anecdote comes across as not much more than a romantic lie artists would like to believe in to inflate the political importance of their vocation.  Contrary to Donnersmarck's assessment that it's a testament to the power of art, what seems more crucial is that Lenin chose smashing heads over listening to a phonograph.  Thus, what the film ultimately leaves us with is a sympathetic tale of how we'd like to believe we'd react if we (meaning us non-communists and members of a non-totalitarian, liberal state)  found ourselves in the unfortunate position of being a Stasi Captain.  What it doesn't give us is any reason why we might find ourselves in that position had we been brought up in East Berlin.  Thus, we're to admire Wiesler for his bravery in trying to save the artists from state persecution and despise his superiors for their misuse of bureaucratic power -- humane on this side, the inhumane on that side.  Right back where we started.

Paul Verhoeven is the master of transparent cinema, taking classical Hollywood narrative techniques and turning them into a reflective experience of viewing.  His masterpiece of mainstream film is undoubtedly STARSHIP TROOPERS, where he delivers the goods one expects from a sci-fi action spectacle, but, upon reflection, makes the viewer feel dirty for being complicitous in enjoying a fascist fantasy.  He seems to be going for a similar effect in BLACK BOOK (which seems to be loosely inspired by Anthony Mann's movie of the same name)  where he gets you to root for Ludwig Müntze, an SS-hauptsturmführer, which is the Nazi equivalent of a Captain.  (Interesting that Sebastian Koch, who played the persecuted artist in the previous film, is now playing the Captain in a totalitarian regime.)   However, Verhoeven leaves out just about all personal actions and  traits that might have led to Müntze's having achieved his rank in the first place.  It seems unlikely that a man would achieve a rank similar to that of Josef Mengele's without being a fairly committed Nazi.  One might object in the film's defense that actions don't always convey beliefs, but as Slavoj Žižek says of communism, acting as if one believes is good enough for the totalitarian bureaucracy to be real. 

Thus, Verhoeven and his co-writer, Gerard Soeteman, gain sympathy for a Nazi only though a cheat, namely omission.  But that's not their only trick.  They also tend to focus on the character's more positive qualities and the Dutch resistance's more negative ones: his falling in love with a Jew, Rachel, the main character -- who, with her hair dyed Aryan, was sent  to spy on his activities; his willingness to negotiate with the Dutch resistance, members of which it turns out were the reason for the majority of Jewish deaths depicted in the film; and contrast him with a classic evil Nazi whom he gets to butt heads with over the mistreatment of prisoners.  As with the prior film, the only kind of "understanding" here comes from a manufactured form of sympathy, making what most call a monster into what's not much more than a version of who we believe we'd be if thrown into evil circumstances.  The questions of how such circumstances structure one's decisions or how seemingly benign actions (e.g., those of efficiency) in one context take on monstrous implications in another are largely ignored.

Finally, I saw the last of the Bourne trilogy, which turns out to be the most critical here of the tendency toward viewer identification, or sympathy, even if it makes little attempt for empathic understanding.  The interesting aspect of Jason Bourne, which keeps him being just another fantastic superspy in the mold of James Bond is that while his super-abilities come from his secretive training, his morality  comes from no longer being able to recall the ends for which he was trained.  Thus, the narrative thrust of the trilogy: while trying to find out who and what he is and why a top secret offshoot of the CIA wants him dead, he tries to make amends for various assassinations he performed, but can only remember as abstractions without their ideological content.

So as not to condemn the entire CIA, there's good guys (Nicky Parsons and Pamela Landy) -- who recognize the wrongs perpetrated on Bourne by the ultra-clandestine offshoot Operation BlackBriar -- and real bad guys (Deputy Director Noah Vosen and Dr. Albert Hirsch) -- who do everything they can, including killing innocent civilians, to keep the Operation under wraps.  In terms of an action spectacle, the film delivers (although there is an extended sequence involving cellular technology that reminded me of that tedious Ben Affleck actioner where he spends an hour and a half with a phone to his ear).  As with 007, the object of the audience's wish-fulfilling identification is clearly delineated, only with a face that suggests more B.M.O.C. at your average Mid-Western fraternity than international espionage.   But the film is tuned to STARSHIP TROOPERS in that its final reveal has the viewer questioning his or her fantasized identity rather than giving into the dictates of diversionary entertainment.   -- SPOILER ALERT -- Upon going face-to-face with Dr. Hirsch, Bourne achieves total recall, remembering that he willingly gave himself over to the Operation, proving his allegiance by willingly killing an unknown captive for no other reason than he's told to.  -- END SPOILER ALERT -- Therefore, director Paul Greengrass and writer Tony Gilroy reinforce what a responsible viewer should already know, that there's a bit of fascistic yearning underlying these wish fulfilling fantasies of agents "doing what has to be done" outside of liberal law, what Dirty Harry viewed as flaccid bureaucratic moral proscriptions.

Come On Down to Amoeba Tonight! Catch Andy Cabic and Zach Cowie Blowing Up the Turntables

Posted by Miss Ess, December 28, 2007 05:26pm | Post a Comment
Tonight if you are in San Francisco, come on over to Amoeba and check out a DJ set by two musical masters of all things obscure:  Zach Cowie and Andy Cabic!

Andy Cabic you know from his band Vetiver.



Zach Cowie is a member of the LA-based DJ crew Small Town Talk and he is also single handedly responsible for turning me on to so many crazy tunes I never would have heard otherwise. 



In other words, their DJ set is gonna be flawless-- these guys are highly skilled pro-fessionals-- so if you are around, come and listen.  They'll be spinning vinyl from 7-9 pm.

Jackson C. Frank - Blues Run the Game

Posted by Miss Ess, December 28, 2007 04:42pm | Post a Comment
Jackson C. Frank has one of the more sad stories in music history.


The good news is the music he created is fantastic.

He was a part of the folk music scene in the early/mid 60s.  He only released one full length album in1965, which is self titled and beautiful.  It's a melancholy collection of songs, but it's one of my favorite records.  Frank's voice is strong and deep.  I feel like it brings a lot of emotion to the songs he sings.  I like the fact also that the songs sound a little faraway, like the equipment they were recorded on was old and on the brink of death.  Oh yeah, and it was produced with said eloquence by Paul Simon-- yeah, the Paul Simon.

Although he was American, Frank was thick in the scene of musicians in London in the mid 60s, and that's also where Paul Simon happened to be.  Frank was also friends with Sandy Denny, even dated her for a while, Bert Jansch, who covered "Blues Run the Game," Al Stewart and more.  Nick Drake also covered several of his songs and Roy Harper is said to have written a song about him.

Frank was able to pay for his initial boat ride to England due to a long-awaited insurance check--  when he was 11, while he was in music class, his school caught fire and he was one of the injured students, with bad burns covering much of his body.   Ten years later and with that check in hand, he lived the high life in England for a while, arriving at just the moment when folk and music in general was really taking off in swinging London.


You can actually see his right hand has been burned in this pic if you look closely. 

Eventually he came back to the States, where he continued to wallow in obscurity for decades, dealing with the death of a child, and living on and off the streets and in and out of institutions for the rest of his life.   He seems to have suffered many more misfortunes than most throughout his life. He died in 1999.

He lives in the folk section here at Amoeba, and there's a good reissue version of Jackson C. Frank with bonus tracks.  Good music for a freezing cold rainy day, like today!

Here's a video where you can hear (but not see!) Bert Jansch playing "Blues Run the Game" -- it's a perfect song.

SANTA'S GHETTO BETHLEHEM 2007

Posted by Billyjam, December 28, 2007 05:15am | Post a Comment
          

Aritst Ron English, recently interviewed here on the Amoeblog about his new books and interviewed again here for this report, has just returned to the US after a most interesting visit immediately before Christmas to Palestine where he was a part of the unique Santa's Ghetto Bethlehem 2007 art project. He joined several other "street artists" from around the world, including renowned British artist Banksy (the project's mastermind).

While in Bethlehem Ron posted his art on the controversial Palestine wall and fence as well as in places nearby the wall. The unique ongoing annual art exhibition was held in Bethlehem this year by Banksy reportedly in the hope that it would focus attention on the poverty of the West Bank and draw tourists back to the traditional birthplace of Christianity.

To the left and down below are some of the pieces by Banksy. Immediately above and below are two of the pieces by Ron English.  All of these pieces along with many others were posted on the website SantasGhetto which, note, in the days before posting this  blog, had just been been "closed" but may be open again. Meantime, check out both Ron English's Popaganda site where on the first page is a segment titled "This Christmas in Bethlehem" and also Banksy's main website.

Banksy created the Santa's Ghetto project six years ago when he felt that the spirit of Christmas was being lost. "It was becoming increasingly uncommercialized and more and more to do with religion, so we decided to open our own shop and sell pointless stuff you didn't need," said the artist in a statement at the time.  

Continue reading...

Girls Nite Out

Posted by phil blankenship, December 28, 2007 01:09am | Post a Comment
 





Thorn EMI Video TVB2674

MY TOP 50 ALBUMS OF 2007...

Posted by Brad Schelden, December 27, 2007 11:07pm | Post a Comment



#1 A Place To Bury Strangers-

A Place To Bury Strangers
(Killer Pimp)





 






Studio-

West Coast
(Information)





 






Justice-

Cross
(Vice)







 




Explosions in the Sky-

All Of a Sudden I Miss Everybody
(Temporary Residence)




 

 






Jens Lekman-

Night Falls Over Kortedala
(Secretly Canadian)






 

 




Ulrich Schnauss-

Goodbye
(Domino)







 

Continue reading...

THE LITTLE GIRL GIANT: BEAUTIFUL OR SCARY?

Posted by Billyjam, December 27, 2007 06:43am | Post a Comment
 

One morning earlier this year, according to Royal de Luxe, The Little Girl Giant (above) woke up at Horse Guards Parade in London, took a shower from the time-traveling Sultan's elephant and wandered off to play in the park, and then sat down in her giant deck chair.

This art/performance piece, as well as the video of it above, is one of those simple yet beautiful images of this past year that stayed with me ever since I first saw it. Not everyone finds it beautiful, however; many little kids as well some adults, find the Girl Giant model creepy or scary.

What do you think: beautiful or scary?

Secret Society of the Sonic Six live in Long Beach Fri 28th Dec.

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, December 27, 2007 01:50am | Post a Comment

The Stud

Posted by phil blankenship, December 27, 2007 01:14am | Post a Comment
 





Thorn EMI Video VHS 618

STEAM!!!

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, December 26, 2007 10:00pm | Post a Comment
OK, here's another great collection carefully chosen by the vinyl mistress Alice...simply amazing...




































































































































































































































































































































This final pic leaves us with a new direction, shirtless bands on album covers...coming soon...

Scarecrows

Posted by phil blankenship, December 26, 2007 09:53pm | Post a Comment
 





Forum Home Video FH79013

The Passing of The Legendary Lydia Mendoza - The Queen Of Tejano Dead At 91

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, December 26, 2007 02:58pm | Post a Comment


With all the hubub of Christmas, this news of Lydia Mendoza's death escaped me. Amoeba carries her titles along with other great Tejano artists from Arhoolie label, just in case you've never heard of her and want to check out her music. Thanks to Billy Jam for this news item.

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
SAN ANTONIO (AP)

Lydia Mendoza, a Tejano music pioneer known as the Lark of the Border, died here on Thursday. She was 91. She had lived in the nursing home portion of the Chandler Estate, a retirement community. Her death was confirmed by her daughter Yolanda Hernandez.

Ms. Mendoza, who scored her first big hit, "Mal Hombre," in the 1930s, became one of the first Mexican-American superstars by singing to the poor and downtrodden. Her memorable musical style earned her a National Medal of Arts and a National Heritage Award fellowship. She was also asked to sing at Jimmy
Carter's inauguration in 1977.

Ms. Mendoza recorded more than 200 songs on more than 50 albums, including boleros, rancheras, cumbias and tangos, for labels including RCA, Columbia, Azteca, Peerless, El Zarape and Discos Falcon. In addition to pursuing a solo career, she also enjoyed performing with her family.

"Mal Hombre" (Evil Man), released in 1934 on the Bluebird label, became a hit on both sides of the border and was her signature song. Other hits included "La Valentina" and "Angel de Mis Anhelos."

She set the trend for others: Las Hermanas Cantu, Chelo Silva, Las Rancheritas and other women who followed Mendoza's lead in the world of Spanish music, said Lupe Saenz, executive director of the South Texas Conjunto Association. Mendoza will be remembered for her unique style of the 12-string guitar
and unique voice and style of singing.

Born in Houston, Ms. Mendoza learned to sing and play the 12-string guitar before she was 12, and later learned to play violin and mandolin. In 1928 her family landed a recording session at the Blue Bonnet Hotel in San Antonio with the Okeh label, which generated five singles.

In 1999 Ms. Mendoza received the National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony in which she shared the stage with Aretha Franklin, the producer and director Norman Lear, the architect Michael Graves and the sculptor George Segal.

Lydia learned much from the oral tradition of Mexican music that her mother and grandmother shared with her, President Bill Clinton said at the time. In turn, she shared it with the world, becoming the first rural American woman performer to garner a large following throughout Latin America.

Mendoza, who was the guest of honor at a 2006 tribute concert in San Antonio, was also inducted into the Tejano Music Awards, Tejano Conjunto Festival and Texas Women halls of fame.

She is survived by her daughter. Two other daughters, Lydia Alvarado Davila and Leonor Salazar, died before her.

Best Of 2007, Part 8 - More Music Picks of 2007

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, December 26, 2007 02:22pm | Post a Comment
Coolest Guitar Solo of 2007:

Hands down, Nels Cline's guitar solo on Wilco’s “Impossible Germany.” I heard the song several times before I knew who the band was, but I recognized Nels’ sound instantly. The solo ranks up there with Richard Thompson’s solo on “The Border” and Television’s “Marquee Moon.”

Favorite Amoeba Hollywood Instore Performances:


Vieux Farka Toure: Best son of a famous father to perform at Amoeba this year.

Paul McCartney: For the sheer madness of it all.

Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings: The best instore of the year.

Ollin: The Chicano and Irish group performed Pogues covers for St. Patrick’s Day. They were so good The Pogues took them on tour.

Money Mark: Money Mark’s back-up singers that night were Petra Haden and Cava. Are you kidding me?  It made all his sweet pop songs sweeter.

Antibalas: It doesn't matter to me who left in the group, that they aren’t African or didn’t create Afro-Beat, the band still delivers and delivered that night.

Brother Ali: Ali brought back that 1990’s Ice Cube flow to Amoeba that night.

Patti Smith: More chaos. People just lost it when she hopped on stage.

Willie G & Thee Midniters: Mostly played the rockers but ended with a slow jam that brought down the house.

Talib Kweli: Still the best live M.C. performer.

San Francisco & Berkeley Instores That I Wish Amoeba Hollywood Had:

Federico Aubele, High On Fire, Pharoahe Monch, M.I.A., Boris and The Budos Band.

Favorite Internet Radio Station

www.bigshowradiola.com has an old school punk show (Noise! Noise!), a great deep house show (A Deeper Soul with L.A.’s most underrated DJ, Mando Fever) and Turn Off The Radio, a mix of Latin Alternative -- and whatever they see fit.

Favorite Podcast

I’m addicted to the Watt From Pedro Show, Mike Watt’s weekly Podcast. It’s not just for the music, which can be iffy at times, but more for his stories (or his “spiel,” as he likes to put it) and his special guests.

This year his guests in included Jim O’Rourke, Steve Shelly, Steve Mackay, Money Mark and members of Boris, plus his tour adventures with The Stooges and a retrospective on the Minutemen’s infamous Double Nickels On The Dime (now 21 years old). My favorite part is trying to decode his speech: his Wattisms are like another language.

She Wolf

Posted by phil blankenship, December 26, 2007 11:44am | Post a Comment
 





K-Beech Video

CHRISTMAS PRANK FROM THE GRAVE

Posted by Billyjam, December 26, 2007 11:24am | Post a Comment

We can all only wish that we will maintain the same sense of humor that an elderly Oregon man had right up to the time of his death two months ago. 

88 year old Oregonian Chet Fitch, who was well known by family and friends for his sense of humor right up to his death in October, pulled one final prank on loved ones from the grave when 34 Christmas cards, all hand-written by him and with a return address of “Heaven” on the envelope, started arriving in mail-boxes in the week leading up to this Christmas.

As it turned out, the mailing prank was a plan that the late Fitch had been hatching for two decades in cahoots with his barber, Patty Dean, who told the Ashland Daily Tidings this week that the late prankster kept updating the mailing list and giving her extra money when postal rates went up. This fall, she said, Fitch looked up to her from the barber chair and said smiling, “You must be getting tired of waiting to mail those cards. I think you’ll probably be able to mail them this year.” He died a week later.

The cards, which were met with varying degrees of shock and amusement, all contained the same greeting that read as follows:

I asked Big Guy if I could sneak back and send some cards.
At first he said no; but at my insistence he finally said,
’Oh well, what the heaven, go ahead but don’t (tarry) there.’
Wish I could tell you about things here but words cannot explain.
Better get back, as Big Guy said he stretched a point to let me in the first time,
so I had better not press my luck.

I’ll probably be seeing you (some sooner than you think).
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas.

REMEMBERING OSCAR PETERSON:

Posted by Billyjam, December 26, 2007 06:39am | Post a Comment
oscar peterson
Legendary jazz pianist Oscar Peterson, whose influential career spanned seven decades, died at his home outside Toronto, Canada on Sunday as a result of kidney failure. He was 82.

Greatly admired by his fans and peers, Duke Ellington once referred to him as the "Maharajah of the Keyboard," while Count Basie said, "Oscar Peterson plays the best ivory box I've ever heard."

"Oscar Peterson redefined swing for modern jazz pianists for the latter half of the 20th century up until today," once said Herbie Hancock of Peterson's influence on music.

Peterson's long and illustrious career included playing with such legendary jazz figures as Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, and Billie Holiday. He is also remembered for the trio he led with bassist Ray Brown and guitarist Herb Ellis in the 1950s and the live concert clip below is that same Oscar Peterson Trio performing "A Gal In Gallico" in 1958.
 
Since his death on Sunday there have been tributes pouring in from near and far. In Canada, where he has always been revered as a national treasure, there have already been many tributes to the jazz great. There have also been tributes arriving from all over the world, including from French President Nicolas Sarkozy who said in a statement about Peterson: "One of the bright lights of jazz has gone out. He was a regular on the French stage, where the public adored his luminous style...It is a great loss for us."

christmas records you should own

Posted by Whitmore, December 25, 2007 10:20pm | Post a Comment

Blood Cult

Posted by phil blankenship, December 25, 2007 06:31pm | Post a Comment
 





United Home Video 1011

Christmas: My Wish Is For 'Less' Instead of 'More'

Posted by Charles Reece, December 25, 2007 06:31pm | Post a Comment
When he wasn’t drinking in pubs and shooting billiards, the greatest Scotsman who ever lived, David Hume, took apart human reasoning, piece by piece.  Of particular relevance to the holiday season, in his essay, "Of Miracles," he critiqued one the foundational chestnuts of the Christian tradition.  In order for something to be a miracle, it must be supernatural.  If it's truly supernatural, then it's beyond natural laws.  If it's beyond natural laws, then it's a violation of anything we humans have the capability of understanding or reasoning about -- is, in other words, beyond rationality.  A Christianity without miracles isn't much of a religion, since all of it's basic beliefs become, at best, metaphors for natural phenomena (virgin birth, resurrection, et al. would be just strange ways of talking about more pedestrian subjects that we all know occur under natural laws).  Thus, Christianity isn't rational. At best, it's nonrational (as opposed to merely irrational), the belief being what's called fideistic, which is the act of accepting a proposition (like 'there is a god') without sufficient evidence, or, really, any evidence at all, because of the supposed value in faith itself.  Many Christians don't like this approach, but it's hard to see any other viable alternative.  Of those who bite the bullet and continue to believe, the most famous are:

Blaise Pascal, who argued that one should believe in a god because if there is a god, the possible reward for being right outweighs the possible punishment for being wrong and you don't get jackshit if you're right about there not being one.












William James, who argued in absence of definitive evidence one way or the other, one shouldn't just be skeptical of both propositions (there is or isn't a god) for doing so misses out on any good that might obtain from either being true (although he seems to focus more on the good of the affirmative).  One can't wait until definitive proof to trust every person one meets without having an incredibly impoverished existence, and the question of a god places a similar demand on an individual.   The noncommittal agnostic will burn in hell just like the determined atheist after all, so suck it up and be a man.








Søren Kierkegaard, who argued, as best I can tell, that the qualitative difference in the act of becoming a Christian was for him, at least, enough of a reason to have faith in a god.  Justification comes from the Christian acting good because of his faith, rather than any foundational assumption about the necessity of Christianity.  (Ludwig Wittgenstein had a similar approach to the majority of human activities, so there is a group of fideistic Christians out there calling themselves Wittgensteinian, even though it's doubtful Wittgenstein was one himself.)






I don't much find this approach very convincing as it's more an argument that some practical advantage might come your way if you do believe than any sort of reason for believing.  You're better off in a theocracy pretending to believe in the mandated god, but pretense isn't the same as actual belief (minus CLOCKWORK ORANGE-styled brainwashing).  Who gives a shit if religious belief leads to a longer life, as has been reported in some scientific research?  You can’t just turn on belief for a life extension.  Hell,  it might be the religious context in which the nonreligious have to live which contributes to their early grave (cf., the Inquisition).  Honesty isn't very pragmatic for achieving power.  Morality isn't likely to get you rich.  Perspicacity rarely leads to bliss.  So in the spirit of giving, here are some intellectuals who have taken a stand:


Bertrand Russell, who doesn't sound like he was the nicest of fellows, but he gave good argument, nonetheless.  His classic anti-Christian tract is Why I Am Not a Christian, wherein he takes to task all of the famous theological arguments for God (as in the one who used to not have any true vowels to his name, not some aberration with multiple arms or a big dumb guy with a hammer).












Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins in an interview about his atheism and his general scientistic belief that not much else other than science gives us a truth worth considering.















Another scientistic thinker, bearing a striking resemblance to Saint Nick, is Daniel C. Dennett, who uses philosophy as the little yapping dog to Dawkin's big dog of science, Spike.  In the link he talks about faith and its role in a democracy.








The late, great paleontologist Stephen J. Gould referred to the former two's camp as pan-adaptationist, because they (along with other popular scientists like Steven Pinker) attempt to explain all human behavior as a function of natural selection.  That's neither here nor there for this blog entry (except to explain why I keep using 'scientistic' in the place of 'scientific'), but a particularly eloquent opponent to their camp who's no more Christian than they, but far less scientistic is H. Allen Orr, so here are some of his takes on science, religion, Dennett and Dawkins, plus an exhange with Dennett.



And, finally, all-around curmudgeon, Christopher Hitchens gives us some yule-tide warmth and season's greetings.














Also, coming out on Jan. 7th, a conversation between Dennett, Dawkins, Hitchens and Sam Harris:





















Merry Tuesday.

December 25, 2007

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 25, 2007 07:31am | Post a Comment
So this is Christmas
And what have you done
Another year over
A new one just begun
And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear ones
The old and the young

A merry merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear

And so happy Christmas (War is Over, if you want it)
For weak and for strong
The rich and the poor ones
The road is so long
So happy Christmas
For black and for white
For yellow and red ones
Let's stop all the fight

A merry merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear

And so this is Christmas (War is over, if you want it)
And what have we done
Another year over
And a new one just begun
And so this is Christmas
We hope you have fun
The near and the dear ones
The old and the young

A merry merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear
War is over, if you want it
War is over now

- John Lennon

This quiet, early morning meditation brought to you in hopes that we can all band together in 2008 and shake off our passivity, and start the change our world desperately needs. The change doesn't start by marching in the streets, writing big checks to politicians, posting blog after blog, angry rants in dark bars ... the change starts in our hearts, in our minds.

God bless every one of us: the newborn baby, the man with a shopping cart on the street, Dick Cheney, a woman giving birth somewhere, the murderer in prison, a person who lays dying. The word God means so many things to so many people - and nothing at all to others, so let us let it be just that: let blessings rain down on everyone, because we all need it. Whatever it is, whatever this godlike state is, this state of love without judgment, I hope it for every human: maybe then we can start to heal this world. One heart at a time.

Continue reading...

DECEMBER 25th: JAMES BROWN DAY

Posted by Billyjam, December 25, 2007 06:15am | Post a Comment

Today, December 25th, means different things to different people. To many, including myself, it will now forever be the anniversary of the passing of one of music's greatest artist's ever: James Brown, aka The Godfather of Soul, aka The Hardest Working Man in Show Business.  Exactly one year ago today, Dec 25 2006, James Brown died at age 73 from congestive heart failure resulting from complications of pneumonia.  And that shocking news, which spread fast and kept getting retold over that whole holiday week last year, put a damper on the festivities for many of us.

So this December 25th I say spill a lil on the curb for James Brown in his honor or drink a toast to the man's memory. And be sure to listen to some of the incredible legacy he left behind. What is amazing about the music of James Brown, and of course the stellar JB band (as witnessed in concert footage below from '71), is that it never ages or loses its edge or uplifting vibrancy. And I for one can literally listen to James Brown all day long and never get tired of it.

R.I.P. James Brown. We will never forget you!

Merry Christmas

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, December 24, 2007 11:56pm | Post a Comment



















Mac bought daddy a Rolling Stones album back in 1983...It had kind of a naughty cover... Daddy stored some Stones clippings along with the original shrink and xmas tag...






































Quite an amazing piece, possibly Wladziu is sitting up waiting for his brother George to call to spread a little holiday cheer???
1978 cheapo release on the Mistletoe label- a subsidiary of Springboard.  A complete Springboard post is in the works...





































Seasonal specials often get their own promo stickers... this one found on the back of a Supremes Christmas LP re-issue, probably from the early 80's...





And finally, from the "and then I wrote series" on Coral, a collection of songs written by J. Fred Coots.  Mr. Coots wrote the New York Rangers theme song, the theme from PBS DIY trailblazer (seriously, this show was the template for so many reality TV shows) "This Old House", and of course that little ditty "Santa Claus is Coming to Town"...



























































YOUR OWN HOLIDAY YULE LOG

Posted by Billyjam, December 24, 2007 08:31pm | Post a Comment

Above is your very own holiday yule log -- one of many kindly posted on YouTube for those without a fireplace or a TV to watch it on a local channel. This one comes with its own soundtrack which you can replace with your own music. It is from a station in New York and runs for about ten minutes, longer than most others posted, but you can loop it to keep it going. And if you cannot enlarge it to fit your whole  computer screen from above, then just click directly on the YouTube site stream and enlarge by clicking in the lower right corner.
                                                                   Peace for the holidays!

Magic Kid

Posted by phil blankenship, December 24, 2007 06:38pm | Post a Comment
 





PM Home Video PM 239

Christmas records, you might have missed

Posted by Whitmore, December 24, 2007 03:56pm | Post a Comment

Twister Kicker

Posted by phil blankenship, December 23, 2007 09:45pm | Post a Comment
 



World Video Pictures WV1069

ALI G R.I.P.

Posted by Billyjam, December 23, 2007 06:44pm | Post a Comment


Ali G is dead! The always amazingly entertaining, over-the-top junglist comic character and star of HBO's Da Ali G Show has been killed off by its creator, British comic genius Sacha Baron Cohen, who simultaneously killed off his even better known character/alter-ego Borat Sagdiyev. 

The passing, or rather retiring, of both Ali G and Borat was announced in a British newspaper interview with Baron Cohen a couple of days ago. "When I was being Ali G and Borat I was in character sometimes 14 hours a day and I came to love them, so admitting I am never going to play them again is quite a sad thing," the 36-year-old actor-comedian said in Friday's Daily Telegraph.

The good news is that Ali G and Borat are survived by Bruno, Baron Cohen's slightly lesser known but no less over-the-top creation -- the flamboyantly gay Austrian fashion reporter character (with a knack for making people contradict themselves and look foolish), who is reported to be the star of Baron Cohen's in-the-works, next movie, the sequel to his 2006 surprise hit Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.
borat
In the meantime Baron Cohen has been spending more and more of his time on his acting career. He plays the singing barber Signor Adolfo Pirelli in Tim Burton's just opened Sweeny Todd (starring Johnny Depp) and in last year's Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby he played Will Ferrell's arch rival, the French Formula 1 speed demon Jean Girard. Additionally, he guest-starred in the finale of the fifth season Curb Your Enthusiasm. And more importantly, in perhaps the most challenging part as an actor, he plays the role of Abbie Hoffman in the upcoming biopic on the sixties satirist being directed by Steven Spielberg.

Continue reading...

(In which good tidings abound.)

Posted by Job O Brother, December 23, 2007 06:43pm | Post a Comment

Christmas Trivia: Which creatures in this picture traditionally ended up being sacrificed?
(See the answer at the bottom)

Merry Christmas, Dear Reader!

…Unless of course, you’re Jewish, in which case...

Happy Chanukah!


Or maybe you’re an African-American who’s reconnecting with what Ron Karenga characterized as their African cultural and historical heritage by uniting in meditation and study around principles that have their putative origins in what Karenga asserts are "African traditions" and "common humanist principles", in which case...

Happy Kwanzaa!


Oh! And my friend Giggles is a pagan.

Happy Solstice, Giggles, and all you other pagan pals!


Did I forget anyone? In a world of such rich and diverse cultural and religious/spiritual… uh… things, I’m sure it’s impossible to include everyone, except to say:

HAPPY WHATEVER THIS TIME OF YEAR MEANS TO YOU!


…Oh… Unless your beliefs prohibit being happy. I suppose my blanket statement wouldn’t include you. Sorry! Okay, so, let’s try this again…

WHATEVER EMOTIONAL STATE FOR WHICHEVER MEANS OF HOWEVER YOU DEEM TO MARK THIS TIME OF YEAR, I WISH THEE!


Whew! I think I nailed it that time. I must admit, though, I’m glad most of you readers just celebrate it as Christmas and Chanukah, because that’s much easier to say. ...And to write in hot glue on a stocking.

I will be celebrating the holidays at the home of my beloved. I’m going to make egg nog from scratch with bourbon and we’ll probably play Scrabble and watch the French & Saunders Christmas Special.


I’m also trying to come up with a recipe for "dessert eggs benedict". Any suggestions?

However and wherever you’re spending your December 25, remember that I think the world of you and will do everything I can to make things radder for you in the coming year.

Love,
Job

Trivia answer: All of them! Ho, ho, ho!

HAPPY XMAS (WAR IS OVER)

Posted by Billyjam, December 23, 2007 09:32am | Post a Comment





War Is Over...if you want it
"War is over!" If only those three simple words were true. If only this current senseless war in Iraq, and the pending one in Iran  along with every other (inevitable) future war between nations was over and done with. If only there truly could be peace on earth forever. And why is this such a far-fetched idea? Why, in this current so-called progressive, high-technology, information age, where we should have learned long ago from history's mistakes (i.e., war is bad because war kills humans), are we still waging wars on one another?

The answer, I believe, lies in John Lennon's lyrics to this timeless anti-war song: war is over if you want it and I strongly believe that the reason we still have wars is because voters (especially in the USA) don't care enough to keep fighting for peace and not allowing administration after administration to trick us into thinking mass murder is justified because it is done in the name of fighting for our freedom. If we really, really wanted the war to bewar is over john lennon yoko ono over, it could be.

The above video collage set to John Lennon and Yoko Ono/The Plastic Ono Band's classic Happy Xmas (War Is Over) is put together by YouTuber Sakitamasao. The song itself was recorded 36 years ago at the Record Plant Studios in New York City with the help of producer Phil Spector. The children singing in the background, who really add to the overall beauty and power of this song and who were fully credited on the single's sleeve and even pictured on its cover (above), were from the Harlem Community Choir and would all be in their forties now, having lived through many more US wars since the Vietnam War -- which was what the song was recorded in protest of at its recording back in November, 1971. 

Continue reading...

Best Of 2007, Part 7 - Even More Ideas For Christmas Gifts

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, December 23, 2007 02:39am | Post a Comment

Veterans Sounding Like New

Caetano Veloso-
Bad Brains- Build a Nation
Os Mutantes- Live at the Barbican Theatre 2006



Dios Mio! Finally a New Release By These Artists!
Café Tacvba-Si
Manu Chao-La Radiolina
Tinariwen- Aman Iman: Water is Life



Hip Hop From Around The World

Calle 13- Residente o Visitante (Puerto Rico)
Mala Rodriguez –Malamarismo (Spain)
Tego Calderon –Contraataca (Puerto Rico)
Orishas –Antidiotico (Cuba)
Mokobe -Mon Afrique (France/Senegal)
Marcelo D2-Perfil (Brazil)
Bocafloja- El Manual De La Otredad (Mexico)




Best of the Re-Issues
Johnny Ray (Johnny Zamot) -Las Estrellas De Nueva York: Camino De Fama (Walk Of Fame)
Héctor Lavoe -A Man And His Music - La Voz
Orlando Julius -Super Afro Soul
Bobby Valentin- Soy Boricua
Fania All-Stars- Latin Soul Rock
Tipica 73- Orquesta
Bembeya Jazz National -The Syliphone Years
Jorge Ben - Força Bruta


 

Signs

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, December 22, 2007 10:20pm | Post a Comment
Take a break from the holiday madness and check out this fine collection of sign shaped stickers...

Starting off with a couple of soulful street signs from duos McFadden & Whitehead as well as Ashford & Simpson...










Now a couple of very similar highway signs from fairly dissimilar acts...







This Ramones sticker is actually kinda rare and it fits into a couple of other categories which I'm working on right now...movie tie-ins and collectible stickers....



Our final piece of the day is a classic from Kraftwerk...



A sheet of this image came in the original issues of Radio-Activity, but I believe they were old fashioned decals and not the regular peel off sticker variety...


The Invincible Armor

Posted by phil blankenship, December 22, 2007 09:40pm | Post a Comment
 



TransWorld Entertainment #15012

La Vie En Rose: Not So Rosy

Posted by Miss Ess, December 22, 2007 03:32pm | Post a Comment
Rough:  That's the only way to describe Edith Piaf's life.


La Vie En Rose, a recent film about her life, is kind of tough to watch in parts.  Edith lived with so much pain!  The woman who plays her, Marion Cotillard, truly becomes Edith and is likely to garner an Oscar nomination for her acting skills.  I liked how the film flashes between Edith's life at all different stages and ages-- it's not a linear narrative and that makes it all the more compelling.  In rapid succession we see both what Edith becomes and why she became that way, where she has come from.


Piaf's childhood alone is riddled with more drama than most people experience in an entire lifetime:  Edith was born in Paris, ditched by her mom and then her dad.  The film shows how she lived for a time in a brothel and was cared for by the prostitutes there.  She goes through a period of being blind due to ill health.  One day her father comes back for her and takes her off on the road with (of course!) the circus, where he is a contortionist.  When pops quits the circus, he is forced to perform in the streets for change, and one day he pushes Edith out and tells her to "Do something", so she opens her mouth and sings.  With her warbley voice and energetic charisma, she's a hit from the get-go.



From there Edith's life takes off in many different directions and she eventually became the singer we have all enjoyed.  She's got such a dramatic and intense personality and it bleeds right into her performances!  Before watching this film I really had no idea about her back story, other than (of course) that she was French and called "The Sparrow."  Her life was full of roughness and not much love, except  when she was on stage performing.  The film does a good job of showing how Edith becomes addicted to many things, but especially to performing on stage.  It's the one place she can feel flawless.  Her life shifts quickly and often between the highest highs and the lowest lows.  It's both compelling and painful to watch.

Check out Edith Piaf herself performing:

christmas records, putting the "x" back in xmas

Posted by Whitmore, December 22, 2007 10:21am | Post a Comment

The legendary Mae West recorded “Put the Loot in the Boot Santa” in 1966, from her album of parodies, double entendres, and burlesque songs: Wild Christmas, (which also includes the classic "Santa, Come Up and See Me Sometime”).  The silver screens greatest vixen was still, even then, tantalizing in her steamy send-ups. Though in her 70’s, she was every bit the notorious raconteur and diva-risqué she was in her heyday of the 1930’s and 40’s, and here she is a quarter of a century later, putting the ‘x’ back in xmas. The flip side of this single is West’s cover of Lennon/McCartney’sWith Love from Me to You” filled with more sexual overtones than any Beatle song you will ever likely hear in this life. As Mae West, the original sex kitten once said, "My left leg is Christmas and my right leg is New Year's. Why don't you visit me between the holidays?"

Inside Atlantic Records

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, December 21, 2007 11:40pm | Post a Comment











































































































































































































































































The Perfect Match

Posted by phil blankenship, December 21, 2007 09:33pm | Post a Comment
 



Forum Home Video FH79004

afternoon playlist

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 21, 2007 03:29pm | Post a Comment



5 Disc Player (fancy!):

1. Lena Willemark and Ale Moller - Nordan

2. Radiohead - OK COMPUTER

3. Mastodon - LEVIATHAN

4. earth - hibernaculum





lastly:


5. cocteau twins - blue bell knoll              

You?

                                        -The Insomniac


christmas records and christmas cheer

Posted by Whitmore, December 21, 2007 02:57pm | Post a Comment


Lorne Green
’s greatest claim to fame is starring in the long running western Bonanza, playing the role of the family patriarch Ben Cartwright and being the first man most people ever saw in color on television. But Green’s oddest credit is that he had a number one single in the middle of the English Invasion in 1964: his talking ballad “Ringo”, (which ironically is not about the Beatle, but a Western gunslinger: Johnny Ringo).

This 7 inch record, “Must be Santa,” is his contribution to the subgenre of “annoying kids singing Christmas songs”, (of which I have somehow become a leading collector!?!), featuring some fine shrill warbling of the Jimmy Joyce Children’s Choir. Oddly enough the flip side, “One Solitary Life”, is the polar opposite; a morose, bleak, 2000 year old tale of loneliness, social deprivation and the ultimate execution of a doomed unnamed man (hint, hint) which is probably a more telling song of Christmas than we’d like to acknowledge. Loren Green really plays the fate card well.  Then again, years before Bonanza, Lorne Green was known to his fellow Canadian citizens as "The Voice of Doom", a nickname he earned as a radio announcer for CBC radio from 1939 to 1942, where his distinctive baritone painted the grim news of World War II in deep somber tones. Listening to such a desolate voice, especially on a Christmas record, is just a plain and simple holiday cheer killer …  that miserable tingling in your soul, its not unlike that vacant stare when you’re trying to find parking at the Glendale Galleria the weekend before Christmas, and you have an exhausted, yet frantic, raging, sugar-doped child in the back seat screaming that he wants to see Santa -NOW!- meanwhile babbling on a badly deteriorating cell phone connection is your employer going on about something trivial and asinine, and while looking at that pink parking ticket still stuck under the windshield wiper blades from the last failed attempt at shopping, you rear-end a new Lexus ...  

The Dangers of Swordplay: Cruising (1980)

Posted by Charles Reece, December 20, 2007 11:59pm | Post a Comment
A quick Google search reveals (well, confirms) that the snooty de rigueur critical terms ‘lyrical’ and ‘poetic’, which let you know that a film is serious art, rather than déclassé entertainment, pop up frequently with discussions of Claire Denis’ BEAU TRAVAIL, but only accidentally, if at all, with William Friedkin’s CRUISING.  (‘Poetic’ even shows up as a plot keyword in the former’s IMDB listing, whereas the latter gets words like ‘perversion’, ‘evil’ and ‘stabbed in the back’.)  Yet both films feature extended sequences of men with beautiful bodies, clustered together and moving in rhythm to music; both are concerned with men of uniform in their habitus, either diurnal or nocturnal, performing a ritual; and both argue for a certain degree of fluidity in male sexuality – however, degree is implicated by using highly different narrative styles.  The “poetic” homophilia of BEAU TRAVAIL is more a suggestion through the recognition of the beauty of male movement, so any of its purported gayness has plausible deniability (like obsessive wrestling fans rewatching old matches of Jimmy ‘Superfly’ Snuka), whereas CRUISING quite literally and graphically depicts the lure of homosexuality for even the most macho of men, NYC cops.  If the object of audience identification, a straight cop, Steve Burns (Al Pacino), can catch it by breathing in the salty air of late 70s S&M clubs and dirty rags drenched in amyl nitrate, then you might, too.  I guess lyricism and poesis don’t spring to mind when our hero is starting to get turned on by a greasy depiction of fisting.

That homosexuality might be taught, or that it could lure someone in, remains a controversial idea among gay rights advocates.  Essentialism qua naturalism tends to be a more comforting thought, and not without some good reason.  Religious demagogues work up the fear of right-wing parents by suggesting that their children might catch the immoral queer “meme.”  Thus, the possibility that homosexuality is as natural as heterosexuality becomes a way of assuaging these bigoted fears, or at least as a scientistic defense.  But this has always been a fallacious debate.  Just because something’s natural doesn’t give it moral propriety.   If a murder-gene were found, society wouldn’t suddenly start calling murder moral.   And so it goes with homosexuality: regardless of whether Steve Burns starts off as latently gay, or begins to become more gay as he goes undercover in the gay S&M outre-mer to investigate a string of murders is unimportant, the moral questions raised by the film shouldn’t be any different.  Homosexuality is no more nor less moral for being biologically natural than heterosexuality.

Continue reading...

Captive Rage

Posted by phil blankenship, December 20, 2007 11:34pm | Post a Comment
 





Forum Home Video FH79016

christmas records, hollywood icon style

Posted by Whitmore, December 20, 2007 09:11pm | Post a Comment


Celebrities, actors, politicians, actually any one with an ounce of fame and without an ounce of shame seem to always want to get into the glamorous record business. That is as true today as it has been for many, many a decade. And one of the simplest ways to back into a recording career is to release a Christmas record, either novelty or a heartfelt, weepy ditty. But I have to say it’s very odd when a cultural icon steps into these murky waters.

When Cary Grant recorded “Christmas Lullaby” in 1967 it was just a year after he retired from the movie industry, leaving as one of the most popular and respected actors of all time. Obviously, Grant learned a few things from his occasional, and unintentionally amusing, stabs at singing on screen. Check-out his performance as the Mock Turtle in the 1933 Alice in Wonderland, or his attempt with a ballad in Kiss and Make Up, because in 1967 Grant mostly recites “Christmas Lullaby” in that perfectly invented accent of his. He gently whispers to his sleeping daughter the joys she’ll find on Christmas morning, about the time Grant promises that angels will always be there to watch over and bless her he breaks into song … well sort of … I guess it was easier for the former Archie Leach to invent the actor we know as Cary Grant then it is for Cary Grant to invent a singer. But who cares, it’s still Cary Grant! Like Audrey Hepburn’s line in Charade whenshe asks and purrs, "Do you know what's wrong with you?  Nothing." 

December 19, 2007

Posted by phil blankenship, December 20, 2007 06:57pm | Post a Comment

Best Of 2007, Part 6 - 13 Suggestions For Christmas Gifts

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, December 20, 2007 12:40pm | Post a Comment
Best Of The Latin American Compilations
                                                           
THE ROOTS OF CHICHA: Psychedelic Cumbias from Peru
Colombia!: The Golden Years of Disco Fuentes -
The Powerhouse of Colombian Music 1960-1976
Si, Para Usted: The Funky Beats of Revolutionary Cuba, Vol. 1
Bachata Roja: Acoustic Bachata From The Cabaret Era


Latin Influenced Electronica
Up, Bustle and Out- Mexican Sessions
Nickodemus -Endangered Species Remixed (2007)
Geko Turner- Chandalismo Ilustrado
Mexican Institute of Sound -Pinata


Fresh Blood in Old Genres
Jose Conde y Ola Fresca -(R)evolucion
The Budos Band-The Budos Band 2
B-Side Players Fire In The Youth
Antibalas-Security
Sharon Jones And The Dap Kings 100 Days and 100 Nights

Once

Posted by Miss Ess, December 19, 2007 06:28pm | Post a Comment
I watched the movie Once last night. 

It's a simple but complicated film about two people who meet in Dublin and begin writing songs together.  There's not terribly much plot to it, but I thought it was fantastic.  Nothing seems contrived in this movie, it all feels completely real.  It truly captured a tone, a beautiful feeling of not only melancholy but also joy and inspiration.  There's not much dialogue and most of the communicating actually goes on through the music, which really makes this film different and intriguing. 

We had an instore here at Amoeba SF with the film's stars, Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova back in August and I had the chance to meet them (without ever having seen the movie) and discover how fantastic and genuine they truly are.  Watching the film last night  reminded me of the feeling I had when we met:  Once, like Glen and Marketa themselves (and their equally tremendous road manager Howard), kinda grabbed me right away and I could tell everything was going to be great from just a few minutes in. 

There's a lot of integrity to the characters in the film.  It's a movie about people who are flawed but good hearted, which felt...different from most movies these days.  It was a pleasure to watch this film.  There aren't a bunch of jump cuts and flashy sets.  I enjoyed the fact that the minimal dialogue allowed the viewer to put pieces together and create the story by paying attention.  There's no pandering to the audience in this movie, and that's one of its most refreshing details.  There's also a hell of a lot of chemistry between the two main characters and it's compelling to watch and become absorbed in.  When I finished the movie, I wanted to watch it again right away, which is an unusual feeling!

When I spoke with Glen and Mar at the instore, they were overwhelmed with the exposure this movie has brought them.  Glen has been the leader of the band The Frames for something like 17 years and after all that suddenly now he's being recognized everywhere.  It's a testament to how engaging this movie is.  (It was written and directed by a former member of The Frames-- John Carney!) It's also probably in part because over the years you could've bought all The Frames' records and never really seen Glen's face as much as when you are sitting with it for about an hour and a half, staring in the theater.  They never even expected the film to be able to be released at all, so this attention has been very unexpected.  Back when they thought the movie would never be released, they recorded an album together titled The Swell Season, which includes some of the songs from the Once Soundtrack and also more originals. 

Anyway, if you haven't seen Once yet, I highly recommend it-- there are so many beautiful scenes and moments in it! Here's the trailer for the film:

(In which you'll learn a new word.)

Posted by Job O Brother, December 19, 2007 03:05pm | Post a Comment
Working at Amoeba as I do, I am constantly coming across albums that stlit mind, and I…

Eh? What? Oh, you don’t know what ‘stlit’ means? Well, before you go racing to consult the Great Oracle that is Wikipedia, let me save you the trouble; you won’t find any definition of the word there (although you may find this). Stlit is a word I coined.

You’re familiar with the phrase “blows my mind”? Well, stlit is like a smaller version of that. Imagine for a second that your brain is made out of bubble-wrap. Now, if something “blows your mind”, it’s as if you took the entire sheet of bubble-wrap and twisted it hard, bursting hundreds of the bubbles and creating that sound reminiscent of a chiropractor adjusting your neck.

A stlit is when just one of those bubbles in your mind pops.

When your dad comes home and sits you down in the living room and tells you that he’s not your real dad after all, rather, he’s a robot – a killer robot from outer space sent to assassinate escape Martian criminals – and then he removes his face to reveal his inner mechanical controllers and then your baby sister walks in on you and he zeros in on her new party dress, causing it to burst into flames and she runs off the top of the skyscraper to her death (don’t ask me why the living room is on top of a skyscraper – it’s your weird family we’re talking about, not mine) because your sister was actually one of the escape Martians (which explains why she wouldn’t eat corn – aliens hate, hate, HATE corn) and then your dad turns to you and says “I hope this is…” but you don’t hear the end of the sentence because he flies away into the atmosphere, THAT’S your mind being blown.

If, however, you stumble upon something like this…


…That a “stlit”. One bubble in your brain bursting. And working at Amoeba Music, it happens on a daily basis.

I thought I’d share some discoveries, some known and others less so, that caused a stlit in me.

The Shaggs


The animation in the above video clip is not by The Shaggs. As far as I know, there is no visual footage of them performing in their original anti-glory.

The story of the three sisters, Betty, Helen and Dorothy "Dot" Wiggin, is a dark and strange one. Their father, Austin, had been told by a palm-reader that his daughters would one day become a famous music act. Despite the girls having no inclination to play music, their father - a harsh disciplinarian (and by some accounts, abusive) - forced them into it, going so far as to self-produce their first album "Philosophy of the World" way before the girls felt prepared to record. The result is an album so raw, so unprofessional, and yet, so unflinchingly sincere, when I listen to it, I alternate between embarrassed snickering and genuine heartbreak. The lyrics are what you'd expect from dowdy, sheltered, teenage girls. And that's rad.

Long lived as a cult classic, The Shaggs have been rediscovered by each generation, partly due to their being championed by Frank Zappa, who claimed their debut album as the #3 best album of all time.

I heard a rumor that Tom Cruise owns the rights to the film version of their life's story. If this is true, it seems the fate of the Wiggins sisters will remain dark and strange.

Florence Foster Jenkins

Known to her many fans as "Flo-Fo", Jenkins' passion for singing began as a child. She studied music and decided it was her calling. When her wealthy father refused to pay for her to study in Europe, she eloped with a doctor (only to divorce not long after). Upon the death of her parents (at different points in her life) she received sizable inheritances, which allowed her to pursue her operatic singing. She organized regular live recitals, recorded herself and finally, at age 76, performed at Carnegie Hall in 1944. People were so eager to see her that this event was sold out, weeks in advance.

This all sounds like a nice little career for a professional, classical singer, yes? But what makes Flo-Fo's story so fantastic is that she was just... well... bloody awful. One of the worst singers ever recorded in the history of music. And yes, I'm including Ashley Simpson.


Jenkins' popularity stemmed from her brutal pitch, disastrous sense of timing, ridiculous costumes (which she herself created) and, most importantly, her complete ignorance of the fact that she was utterly rotten. People came to laugh, and they did, but she herself wasn't in on the joke.

She died a month after the Carnegie Hall concert, most likely believing she would go down in history as a cherished and gifted singer, which is true, except for the "gifted" part.

Now, before you think that all I'm presenting to you are opportunities to listen to music that will give your ears the stigmata, I give you...

Noosha Fox


Glam-chanteuse Noosha Fox is best known for her work with 70's band Fox, founded/produced by Kenny Young, although she did go on to a mostly unsuccessful solo career in the 1980's (didn't we all?).

Noosha's stage persona was inspired by Marlene Dietrich, even if their voices couldn't be more different.


This tribute montage on YouTube made me giggle (in a totally manly way) and left me with a strange craving for caramel. The song, "Imagine Me Imagine You" is Noosha with the band Fox. The song was a chart-topper in Europe, and also and huge hit whenever I'm shampooing my hair.

Tired of the bombast, bling, boasting & the big productions?

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 19, 2007 10:24am | Post a Comment
WARNING:  This video will teach your children to curse like a sailor, so I sure hope you Moms and Dads are being responsible and spending time with your kids so you can help them make important decisions that will educate them now and have a massive impact on the rest of their lives. If you are a Gentle Reader as introduced to me by Katy St. Clair - or a Christian or a Mormon, please, look away. We'll talk again some other day.

Today is a quick homage to .... A Regular Everyday Normal Guy (Motherfucker)



You know who I think is great? The everyday, normal guy. (MF) -The Insomniac

THE $84,000 PHONE BILL

Posted by Billyjam, December 19, 2007 05:45am | Post a Comment
No matter how bad your phone bill ever gets, odds are it will never come close to that of the Canadian oil field worker who recently was stunned upon receiving an almost $84,000 cell phone bill. Turns out that the Canadian, a 22 year old named Piotr Staniaszek, who is an oil and gas well tester in rural northwest Alberta, mistakenly thought that he could use his new phone as a modem for his computer as part of his unlimited monthly browser plan for 10 Canadian dollars from Bell Mobility, a division of Bell Canada. Or at least, that's what his dad (his designated press rep) is telling the media.

But that was far from the case, hence the hefty phone bill. Apparently he was online a lot, all the while thinking that he was on his $10 a month unlimited plan, as he downloaded movies and other high-resolution files oblivious to the later per-minute charges they would incur. "He's working in the field sometimes, alone, in the shack. What to do? Drink vodka or go on the Internet?" Staniaszek senior said, in defense of his son. "Now it's C$85,000 and nobody told him," he said.

According to the invoice, his son rang up about $59,000 in charges in November, and they have since  climbed to around $84,000. But then, after he protested and it got a lot of media attention, first in Canada and then beyond, the Bell company reduced it considerably out of "goodwill" -- making it now the much lower and affordable amount of $3,365. But even that is too high says the 22 year old, who still feels like $10 a month is what he should be charged, so long as he doesn't do it again.

A Bell spokesman said the plan is not intended for downloading files to a computer, and that's clear in his contract. Meanwhile, Poppa Staniaszek said his son did not want to talk to the press after the interest his story has received and that he is afraid to use his cell phone and incur more long-distance charges.

The Art Of Dying

Posted by phil blankenship, December 18, 2007 11:27pm | Post a Comment
 






PM Home Video

The Employee Interview XIII: Kaitlin

Posted by Miss Ess, December 18, 2007 03:56pm | Post a Comment

Kaitlin
4 years employment
Photographer Extraordinaire

ME:  What was the first thing (band/song/moment) that got you into music-- like, really into music? 

KL: The Beatles and The Beach Boys are my earliest music memories.  Actually, I still have a Shirley Temple record that was the one record I would beg my dad to play for me.  “The Good Ship Lollipop” was my song!

ME:  Seeing as you are one of the biggest Beatles fans currently working here, I think this is a really important question for you:  Who is your favorite Beatle and why?

KL:  George.  I wept the day he died.  I think I always identified with him.  John was wonderful, but in a more outspoken way, whereas George was always thoughtful and understated.  He lived his live quietly and peacefully.  I once cut a quote out of a magazine where George tells what he said to the intruder who stabbed him at home: “I just shouted 'Hare krishna, hare krishna!'”  Oh, George.

ME: Yeah he really was the Dark Horse.  Which Beatles track is your favorite?

KL:  Well, there is a different answer every day, but “For You Blue” on Let It Be is one of my favorite George tracks.  “Cry Baby Cry” on the White Album.  “I’m Only Sleeping” on Revolver-- I dig the backwards guitar.

ME:  One of the more underrated George songs in my opinion is "Long Long Long."  I think it gets lost on the White Album cause there's so much else that commands attention on there.  Do you have a favorite ex- Beatle solo album?

Continue reading...

AIR FRESHENER IS NOT FRESH AIR, NOT NEARLY

Posted by Billyjam, December 18, 2007 03:54pm | Post a Comment

Yesterday I had one of those moments of uncanny coincidence -- one that makes you go 'wow' because the exact person or thing that you happen to be thinking about appears right there in front of you. Only in my case it was the thing that I was just reading about that hit my nose.

I was sitting on the bus, lost in this great article in the latest (Dec 07) issue of Arthur magazine (the one with the Amoeba Records ad on p27) about the dangers of household chemicals when this strong chemical odor hit my nose. The source of this overpowering toxic stank was the fresh nail varnish that the young mother directly behind me was applying with precision to her long fingernails. Meanwhile, the article in Arthur titled "Kick Out The Chemicals" that I had just started reading tackles this exact same topic: the toxicity dangers of everyday household products such as nail polish, hair dye, air freshener, window-glass cleaner, etc.

Equally important, this wonderful article, written by regular magazine columnist Molly Frances, also offers many safe non-toxic alternatives to these dangerous products that so many of us use daily or are exposed to daily. This list's cheaper and a million times safer alternative cleaning tools include white vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, borax, tea tree oil, cheap vodka, lavender oil (for scent), cut up rags (to avoid wasting paper towels), and an empty spray bottle.

That's all you need to clean the bathroom or kitchen floor. More than you need, in fact. Frances suggests for natural, non-toxic floor mopping to get a bucket of hot water and simply add vinegar and a drop of Bronner's (vegetable-based) soap."

Continue reading...

MAGIC

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 18, 2007 01:56pm | Post a Comment
There have been very, very few times in my life that I have heard a new song on the radio--  commercial radio-- that makes me stop, pull over, and turn it up. And yes, I am forced to listen to commercial radio in my car because I dont have anything but a cassette player and an AM/FM band. I'm that ghetto. But anyway, the other evening I was driving home, and I happened upon the middle of song that blew my mind. I couldn't quite place the vocals, they were male, and the arrangement was decidedly un-KFOG, the channel it was on.

Now, I'm no musical encyclopedia, but I am good at guessing who's who on the radio, especially when its the same 12 songs that they play over, and over, and over. But this time, hmmm... No. I couldn't quite place it. The refrain was magical: "The girls in their summer clothes, in the cool of the evening sky; the girls in their summer clothes, pass me by." I'll get to the melody soon, but those lyrics really got me. I love songs that can be read two ways. For example, if you listen to Cat Stevens' "Wild World" closely, he's actually not sending off his love with, er, love. No, he is being extremely passive aggressive. "The girls in their summer clothes" could also be read two ways.


  First, he is enjoying watching pretty girls walk by. And second, he is enjoying watching pretty girls walk by who are completely ignoring him because he's a loser. I love it. I listened a bit closer. Could it be? Nah... but maybe. It sort of sounded like an overproduced... Bruce Springsteen? His single from his latest album underwhelmed me, to say the least, so it couldn't be him.

Plus he never has songs that sound like that; a Phil Spector take on Big Star, in my best estimation. No, this had to be some cool indie band that was getting all Americana. I kept listening. The song told a story about a guy who gets up, puts on his jacket and heads out the door. OK, totally Springsteen.

Best Of 2007, Part 5 - Joe Bataan Live @ The Montebello Inn 6/15/07

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, December 18, 2007 12:44am | Post a Comment

It was straight out of a George Lopez comedy skit. It was Vatos with their ironed Pendletons and bushy moustaches, Rucas on their arms sporting painted eyebrows and short skirts, which some would say weren't "age appropriate." It was a tough looking crowd, to say the least. We waited in line outside The Montebello Inn to see the legendary Joe Bataan, The Afro-Filipino Latin King. In the 60's and 70's he released some of the best Boogaloo and Latin Soul albums on the infamous record labels Fania and Salsoul. Although Joe is from New York, he has been supplying the soundtrack to the slow and low culture of East L.A. since before I was an embryo.

The Montebello Inn is a straight-up dive, the kind of dive you only see on the outskirts of Los Angeles. All the cleaning in the world couldn't wash away the stains and memories this place has seen. My friends and I quickly got a table in the back. We didn't want to dish out the extra thirty bucks to sit in the V.I.P. area, located a mere 15 feet away from us. So, we ordered a round of the strongest margaritas I have ever had; in fact, it's a good thing smoking is banned in clubs, otherwise we would have been lit on fire every time we took a sip.

After a mediocre opening band, Joe Bataan quickly came onstage. A fifteen-piece band backed him up and I prayed they would retain that old school flavor. He and the band did not disappoint. They started off with "I Wish You Love Part 2" and launched into hit after hit. He played "Ordinary Guy," "Subway Joe," "Gypsy Women," "Latin Strut" and his version of  "Shaft." Joe sounded pristine. He hasn't suffered any deterioration in his voice that usually comes with age.

Quite buzzed, I continued to yell out my request for a recent Joe Bataan song entitled "Call My Name." I don't think that the oldies crowd was familiar with this gem, released on the Vampisoul label in 2004. My guess is that they were thinking, "Why does this guy want Joe to call out his name?"

After the show, Joe sat up at the merch booth and signed autographs but would only sign if you bought something. I bought a CD and waited in line in order to take a picture with one of my heroes, only to get bum rushed by the ladies with the painted eyebrows who bought NOTHING. I didn't get a very good picture with Joe. However, I did get to speak to him briefly, which to me always means more than a name on a piece of paper. He was a very nice guy in the midst of the chaos of bum rushing Vatos and Rucas. Overall, it was a good night. I got to hear almost all my favorite songs and drank the most potent margaritas ever! A perfect night in slow and low Montebello.

out today 12/18...mary j. blige...

Posted by Brad Schelden, December 17, 2007 11:36pm | Post a Comment

So we finally reached the end of the year. This is the last release date before Christmas. Christmas actually falls on a tuesday new release day this year. But since most music store are closed on Christmas there will not be anything coming out. The new Mary J. Blige album was originally scheduled to come out weeks ago. But it got pushed back until today. Today is the day for the world to hear the new Mary J. Blige. I have been going a bit crazy myself just waiting for it. I have really liked her for a long time since she first gave us her first album back in 1992. Ever since I heard "Real Love" for the first time, I have been under her spell. She is now releasing her eighth studio album titled "Growing Pains." It has been a couple of years since I really liked one of her albums. I became absolutely obsessed with "No More Drama" back in 2001. I really could not get enough of "Family Affair" and "No More Drama." The album seemed to be out forever and it sort of was. It got rereleased and repackaged in 2002 and it for sure became the album of 2002. I still have to play the song "No More Drama" anytime I find it on a jukebox. I had lost a little interest with her next album. She released "Love & Life" in 2003.  But she was back again with a great album in 2005.  "The Breakthrough" featured the great single "Be Without You." I may have not listened to it as much as "No More Drama" but it was still a great album.

The new album looks like it is going to be just as good as the last one. But more close to the level of "No More Drama." The first single off of "Growing Pains" is perfect. The song is "Just Fine" and I can't stop listening to it. The video is amazing. She changes her outfit about 20 times and looks amazing as she is reflected in mirrors and ends up singing duets with herself. I am sure the album will end up being one of the best of the year. Mary J. Blige is just one of those performers that somehow got under my skin. I just can't help loving her and her music over the years. She just makes me happy and I can't really explain it. But anybody who likes her understands what I am talking about. You just want to listen to Mary J. Blige because you know she is going to make you happy. This album is bound to do that again and remain a part of my memories for the rest of my life.

Continue reading...

Black Roses

Posted by phil blankenship, December 17, 2007 11:19pm | Post a Comment
 





Imperial Entertainment Corp 2002

SINGER DAN FOGELBERG DIES AT 56

Posted by Billyjam, December 17, 2007 11:47am | Post a Comment
dan folgelberg
Singer, songwriter Dan Fogelberg, whose hits included "Leader of the Band" (inspired by his father -- see video below), "The Power of Gold" and "Same Old Lang Syne," died yesterday (12/16) at his home in Maine after battling prostate cancer for the past four years, according to several reports including CNN and the artist's official website. He was 56 years of age.

Fogelberg, whose career blossomed in the seventies and early eighties, epitomized the "soft-rock" sound that safe radio programmers loved but many rock fans disdained. In the latter days of his music career, Fogelberg wrote material that focused on the state of the environment, something that he felt very strongly about. His last album was Full Circle from 2003. 

Yesterday on the singer's official website the following notice was posted:

"Dan left us this morning at 6:00am. He fought a brave battle with cancer and died peacefully at home in Maine with his wife Jean at his side. His strength, dignity, and grace in the face of the daunting challenges of this disease were an inspiration to all who knew him."

 

Best Of 2007, Part 4 - Los Poets Del Norte...Anywhere They Performed in 2007

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, December 17, 2007 03:40am | Post a Comment
LOS POETS DEL NORTE - PT2


Cannibal Campout

Posted by phil blankenship, December 16, 2007 11:13pm | Post a Comment
 





Donna Michele Productions

Solstice w/ (((6))) @ Bordello Dec. 19th (Wed)

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, December 16, 2007 11:00pm | Post a Comment

It is the season for giving they say ...

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 16, 2007 07:03pm | Post a Comment
I was asking around to my friends about how I haven't heard of any coat drives this year, when it's been darn cold here in Northern California. One of the sweetest and smartest gals I know sent me a link to the information here. There's some folks working on literacy and getting kids to read *better.

(*Sorry: Zoolander fan!)

They also happen to be doing a whole lot of good work down in Louisiana where people are still trying to rebuild their lives. The whole she-bang is called Lullalee Productions, and here is a quote from their mission statement:


"Lullalee Productions and Services (LPS) provides free books and "Magical Literacy Events/Car-Ni-Fairs" designed to enhance the lives and learning experiences of all children. LPS supports families, communities, facilities and local organizations serving children that are low-income or have special needs."



Now I know times are tough all over, but I can't stand the thought of a child being cold. So these folks are trying to get presents for all the kids this holiday season down in Terrebone Parish, and they are also collecting coats for kids. They are at 78% of their goal - maybe we can raise that percentage some with whoever out there reads this particular blog!
 

Happy Yule - Turns Out Jesus Isn't the Reason For the Season

Posted by Eric Brightwell, December 16, 2007 01:08am | Post a Comment
   

Amongst the Sami, midwinter was an occasion for honoring the goddess Beiwe, who was associated with the sun, fertility and sanity. She reportedly traversed the sky in a craft made of reindeer bones accompanied by her daughter, Beiwe-Neia. Beiwe's followers sacrificed white female animals and smeared their doorposts with butter for Beiwe to munch on during her journey.


Quit fighting, you! At least you'll be out of this blasted cold soon! Plus, I've still got to smear some butter.

Amongst the Germanic peoples to their south, Juletid referred to their take on midwinter festivities. By the late Viking Age the word "Yule" had come to refer to a pan-European bricolage of midwinter observances.


Real Vikings don't use horns (on their helmets)

Yule logs were lit to honor Thor. The feasting would continue until the fires had burned out. Although
in 960, Norwegian King Håkon signed into law that Jul (Yule) was to be moved from the solstice to December 25, to align it with Jesus' birthday party; Icelanders continued to keep it real until the Reformation reached them and ended the fun.

Icelandic sagas frequently mention Yule but rarely specifics beyond the feasting aspect. Adam of Bremen wrote that the Swedish kings sacrificed male slaves every ninth Yule at the Temple of Uppsala. A boar was also traditionally slaughtered in honor of Freyr.


Yule leftovers. The Buche de Noel...                                                   ...and the Christmas Ham
              
Freyr - God of rain, sunshine, produce and fertility                                 Thor - God of thunder

   
One-eyed Odin, hammer-yielding Thor & corn-carring Freyr                              Father Christmas riding a Yule goat

*****

Follow me at ericbrightwell.com

Are you sitting at home on a Saturday night?

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 15, 2007 06:39pm | Post a Comment

When I think of Dave Gleason & The Wasted Days Band playing live, it's like dancing to ass-kicking Country-Americana-Rock, the kind that wears out yer dance shoes in one song, spins you around & kicks your ass toward the bar. When you come back to the dance floor with a round of cold ones, your feet are already dancing before the next note is struck.


All Music Guide describes Dave Gleason as 'heavy, outlaw-influenced sound with its origin in classic Nashville counterculture.'  They sure talk prettier than I do!



If you aren't familiar with The Starry Plough in fine town of Berkeley, California, you are in for a treat. In fact, first let me say that this is a damn nice stretch of Shattuck Avenue close to Ashby. It's actually on the corner of Prince Street - and when I used to live half a block up from the Plough, I'd often wander down and grab my dinners and a fresh beer to see what live music I could bump into.

Dinner? Damn right, kitchen is open until 11pm, get your Burger, your Pizza (capitalized out of respect) or what have you and dance your blues away! Nicest beer selection and plenty of hot and cold liquids with no intoxicants at all for your designated driver home.

RAHOWA: I Am Legend (2007)

Posted by Charles Reece, December 15, 2007 06:29pm | Post a Comment
   

There was to be a great joke played out in the latest film incarnation of Richard Matheson’s novel of the last surviving man on Earth.  The old racist movie cliché is that if a black man is one of the central cast, he’ll be the first to die.  So casting a black man as the last surviving man in Matheson’s tale seemed like perfectly mad twist given how the book ends, a joke that would do Renny Harlin’s DEEP BLUE SEA, where LL Cool J is the lone survivor against smart shark attacks, one better.   However, Hollywood’s commercial belief in soothing heroic endings turns the casting of Will Smith as Robert Neville into something of a sick hoax where the old cliché is given new life for the current generation.

In the book, Neville is described as a white scientist with blue eyes and blond hair, weighing in at 200 and some odd pounds.  While having an English name, he’s also of Germanic origin.  The Master Race parallel was obviously intentional, given that the story is about our species' one lone survivor indiscriminately killing off the now dominant competitors.  'Indiscriminately,' because although his rivals in this Darwinian competition look the same, have the same feeding patterns, similar totemic fears of garlic and religious icons, and the same nocturnal behavior patterns, they're of two types: a more bestial, lower order form and a mutant human-vamp hybrid capable of highly rational thought.  Neville is a classic tragic figure, holding on to the last vestiges of our civilization’s rationality by pathologically trying to find a cure for vampirism even though he’s immune and more than willing to annihilate the Other through a more physical remedy while it sleeps.  His success via the latter means has made him a fearsome legend in the hybrid community as the ravager of their race. 

It’s no wonder, then, that Ridley Scott wanted that Teutonic slab of manhood, Arnold Schwarzenegger, to play the role in his version, which ultimately faltered for budgetary reasons.  Despite his Aryan taint – or the cynic might say because of it – Arnold is what The Industry calls a likable star, enjoyable to watch, regardless of how many ethnicities he might be mowing down.  Money in the bank.  So seeing him playing out Matheson’s hero as the chickens come home to roost would’ve made for a great ironic tale, but alas you’re only as likable as your last picture, and his previous few didn’t do so hot.

Enter Will Smith, as likable a star as Hollywood currently has, even more so than Tom Hanks.  When an actor was needed to play controversial figure, Muhammad Ali, Smith was a natural choice given Hollywood’s ratiocination.  I’m sure it went something like he’d help us all identify with Ali during his most divisive period.  White America has never warmed up to the Nation of Islam, after all.  It’s barely reading between the lines to see how “likable” translates to “bankable” and “bankable” translates to “appeals to white audiences” and “appeals to white audiences” translates to “tends not to bring up any racial issues that might disturb said white audiences.”  Thus, if you’re going to change the racial makeup of Matheson’s last man on Earth, let it be a black man who’s very likable.  Helps us identify with him.  Mighty white of the producers.

Whatever machinations might have existed to place Smith in the role, he has the chops to carry off the extended quiet scenes of a very lonely guy whose only companion is his dog, Sam, and a bunch of showroom dummies (a big surprise to me, I must admit, since I’ve never found him any more prone to nuance than Arnold).  If tv movie reviewers aren’t already talking about Oscar nods, it’s only because his performance is in a sci-fi flick.   I resisted seeing director Francis Lawrence’s last picture, CONSTANTINE, for some like-minded changes that were foisted on comic book character, John Constantine.  Presumably for purposes of identification (this time meaning to an American audience), the thoroughly dark British Sting-lookalike became the more likable American star, Keanu Reeves, and his struggle in the wicked arts was transplanted to sunny Southern California.  Casting Smith, on the other hand, promised some new and interesting commentary on its source material, rather than making hash of its symbolic structure.  And had screenwriters, Akiva Goldsman and Mark Protosevich, kept to Matheson’s basic story, it would have, but they didn’t.

Spoiler!

Imagine a black man behaving in the same way as Matheson’s white hero, futilely trying to eradicate the Other as if it’s another form of virus, or degenerate vermin.  When Neville is captured by the hybrid race and has to come to terms with his mission being not much more than some perfunctory last ditch effort at eugenics, the film would’ve played out like a version of “only I’m allowed to call my brother an asshole.”  Like the recessive genes that lead to the phenotypes of blue eyes and blond hair, Neville, black or white, possesses a natural immunity to vampirism.  And when the biological chips are down, the illusion of race gives way to an irrational, biologically derived need to protect the species, side with the family that’s neglected you for years.  It might’ve proved a disturbing tale to those who believe a history of oppression and lack of cultural power obtains an intrinsic trait of morality to minorities and/or those people who have been oppressed.  Any of those differences in people that exist today would prove to be not much more than empty signifiers when humanity itself is a minority of 1.  Now that’s what I would call a valuable use of identification. 

But this film is a blockbuster aimed at the December market, so what we get are vampires who are, at best, beginning to function on a level slightly above that of Bud in Romero’s DAY OF THE DEAD.  They’re capable of following indexical commands through deep-level growls (supplied by Mike Patton) and can duplicate the actions of Neville (copying his Rube Goldberg traps, but not inexplicably his ability to drive the cars placed there by Ford’s advertising department).  This keeps the evolutionary struggle between Neville and vamps somewhere on a par with lions chasing deer (both of which are shown running around in sequestered Manhattan), rather than exploring the ontological implications that Matheson’s vampires have for humans.  Neville is still fastidiously trying to find a cure, but he doesn’t much hunt for vampires during the day, except for the occasional test specimen.  Most crucially and most stupidly, Neville’s encounter in the book with a hybrid female who dupes him is replaced by an encounter with a real woman and child with a promise of salvation in a hypothetical community of humans living in Vermont.  Neville is shown being a devout Christian in flashback, but one who has come to reject God in his solitude.  When the mysterious woman, Anna, and the child, Ethan, save him from attempted suicide, she reveals that God told her of the commune.  He yells at her, giving her empirical reasons for why there’s no reason for hope, but the audience know it’s just about Christmas and science never wins these debates in popular fantasies. 

Just as vampires are invading Neville’s house, he and Anna discover that his cure is working on a captured female vampire.  It’s at this point where the movie begins to truly make mincemeat pie of just about every significant philosophical aspect of the novel.  As the vampire hordes are crashing in on the humans, Neville gives a sample of the recuperating vampire’s blood to Anna, puts her in a safe room of some sort and sacrifices himself by blowing the horde up with a grenade, all  for the salvation of humanity.  The hoax to which I alluded at the beginning of this essay is that Anna and the child, both white (well, alright, she’s Brazilian), survive in a movie purportedly about the last man on Earth who also happens to black.  Compound this stupidity with her arrival to the commune, whereupon big iron doors are opened to reveal what is by and large a bunch of fucking white people in a town’s square looking like Mayberry, with a big symbolic white steeple dead center in the screen, and you get a backwards racialist and religious fabled-styled ending; one that could only be inadvertently created in our sensitive times through just the right mixture of identity politics, generic feel-good naïveté and economically determined choices.  The filmmakers might as well have replaced Anna’s voiceover at the end with the West Texas drawl of Sam Elliot saying, “We hear tell of this legend, some black fella who sacrificed hisself so that we might survive.  That’s right noble of him and we all sure wish we could thank him.”  It’s not quite as offensively hilarious as 300, which didn’t even try to be decent, but it comes close.  Keep hope alive.

SNOOP DOGG INTERPRETATION DOESN'T HAVE THE X-FACTOR

Posted by Billyjam, December 15, 2007 06:10pm | Post a Comment

Above is the wonderful video that UK duo Dan le Sac VS Scroobius Pip produced of them performing their acapella interpretation of Snoop Dogg's (feat. Nate Dogg, Warren G, and Kurupt) "Ain't No Fun" juxtaposed (digitally) with footage of the X-Factor UK TV talent show. The video is to promote their new single "Letter from God to Man" which they are giving away for free in MP3 format from Xmas Day til New Year's Day. You can also hear the cool track on their MySpace right now along with three others, including their standout track "Thou Shalt Always Kill" (released back in February this year), which is so lyrically engaging that it merits its lyrics being reprinted below in addition to its equally great video for the song also (scroll all the way down).

THOU SHALT ALWAYS KILL 
                 by dan le sac VS scroobius pip

Thou shalt not steal if there is direct victim.
 Thou shalt not worship pop idols or follow lost prophets.
 Thou shalt not take the names of Johnny Cash, Joe Strummer, Johnny Hartman, Desmond Decker, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix or Syd Barret in vain.
 Thou shalt not think that any male over the age of 30 that plays with a child that is not their own is a peadophile… Some people are just nice.
 Thou shalt not read NME.
 Thall shalt not stop liking a band just because they’ve become popular.
 Thou shalt not question Stephen Fry.
 Thou shalt not judge a book by it’s cover.
 Thou shalt not judge Lethal Weapon by Danny Glover.
 Thall shalt not buy Coca-Cola products. Thou shalt not buy Nestle products.
 Thou shalt not go into the woods with your boyfriend’s best friend, take drugs and cheat on him.
 Thou shalt not fall in love so easily.
 Thou shalt not use poetry, art or music to get into girls’ pants. Use it to get into their heads.
 Thou shalt not watch Hollyokes.
 Thou shalt not attend an open mic and leave before it’s done just because you’ve finished your shitty little poem or song you self-righteous prick.
 Thou shalt not return to the same club or bar week in, week out just ’cause you once saw a girl there that you fancied but you’re never gonna fucking talk to.

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, December 15, 2007 01:57pm | Post a Comment






Invasion U.S.A. Tonight at Midnight !

Posted by phil blankenship, December 15, 2007 11:55am | Post a Comment
Saturday Dec. 15

Chuck Norris saves
Christmas, America, and YOU!


Invasion USA

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





My real introduction to Gram Parsons ...

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 15, 2007 10:43am | Post a Comment
I came at Gram sideways, when my eyes saw the words ... Grievous Angel, Fallen Angel, Love Hurts  ... it was December, 2003 and I hadn't listened intently to any of Gram's music. I'd heard it over the years, but I'd never sat and played it in a dark room with my soul torn open, Gram playing on a little boombox while I sobbed like I could cry everyone's mortality away.

See, someone had just died. Here were all of her things, I'm trying to sort them out - and here was her Gram records. I had never known that Gram sang "Love Hurts,"  honest to God. I thought that was a Nazareth song. I know a lot about music, but sometimes I'm still that dumb kid who grew up in the 70's.

I spent about 3 weeks in that apartment listening to those albums over and over, and I thought ... this is what miracles are. That something so beautiful, angelic and sorrowful could whisper in the background of your life as your friends were all hip to it ... but sometimes the music waits until exactly when you need it. Then it runs you over like a Mack truck. The kind of Mack truck that heals you while you fall in love with it.

I had to put aside Gram for years, because the pain was too great. See, it was my best friend's Mom who had just died. I'd never been in a situation to have an aging parent, and I certainly had never been around to take an older woman to her (frustrating) doctor appointments, carry grocery bags upstairs and talk about how Nevada Barr is no Faulkner, but sometimes you can go the prettiest places in a 1.99 soft cover from Moe's Books in Berkeley, when you can't afford to get on a plane. Or when you're dying, and you probably know that deep in your bones. I'd never watched someone I respected so much ... just waste away. Disappear.

I wish we'd talked about her music too, because that woman had some damn good records. (You bet a whole lot of Emmylou was in in there was well.)  You never know someone it seems, until far too late. What would my life had been like if she'd hit play on "Love Hurts" back in the summer of 2003? Different, but in a way, I suppose this was better. I can't judge.

AMOEBLOGGER TOP TWENTY RELEASES OF 2007 LIST

Posted by Billyjam, December 14, 2007 09:31pm | Post a Comment
too $hort get off the stage
1) Too $hort Get Off The Stage (Jive)
2)  edIT Certified Air Raid Material (Alpha Pup)
3) Zeph & Azeem Rise Up (OM)
4) Dopestyle The Little Happy/Fool's Pool (Daly City)
5) V/A Soul Jazz Singles 2006/2007 3 CD set (Soul Jazz)  

6) Amir Sulaiman Like A Thief (Uprising)
7) Copperpot WYLA (EV Entertainment)
8)  Prefuse 73 Preperations (Warp)
9)  Ultimate Force I'm Not Playin' (Traffic)
10) MF Grimm The hunt for the gingerbread man (Class A Records)


11) El-P I'll sleep when you're dead (Def Jux)
12) Future Rapper Land of a Thousand Rappers Vol. 1 (Asthmatic Kitty Records)
13) DJ Muggs vs. Sick Jacken The Legend of the Mask and the Assassin (RMG)
14) Yea Big & Kid Static self titled CD (Jib Door)
15) KRS-One and Marley Marl Hip-Hop Lives (Koch)

16) OCDJ Hooray (Wildfire Wildfire Records)
17) Madlib Beat Konducta -Vols. 3,4: in India (Stones Throw)
18) V/A  Eskimo Vol 5 (Eskimo)
19) DJ Kentaro Enter (Ninja Tune)
20) 40Love Advantage (40lovehiphop)

Above is this Amoeblogger's Top Twenty Releases of 2007 list which, of course, is subjective and, obviously, not fully inclusive of the many, many more great releases that dropped in the year of 2007, and probably including some of your favorite releases. So tell me: what are some of your favorite releases of 2007? Type them in the comments box below. Thanks!

son of hysteron proteron: part two

Posted by Whitmore, December 14, 2007 07:17pm | Post a Comment


Many, many questions … mostly about the space-time continuum. I imagine it doesn’t actually run in a straight line, but in a vertical spiral, spinning in several directions simultaneously and at undulating speeds, analogous to a surging elliptical orbit, gyrating and wobbling like a mountain of dradles as they lose momentum. Think of ‘time’ as one of those old turntables that change a stack of records by dropping the next platter, except this turntable twists unpredictably forward and backwards, erratically spiraling and switching speeds, coughs up the record done, spits out a new one. Better yet, think of ‘time’ as a turntablist who is sandwiched between two turntables stacked on top of each other spindle to spindle, and the DJ is simultaneously scratching, looping, cross fading, juggling beats, rubbing, bugging, juggling the thing of a thing of a thing, cutting and pasting, grinding and humping, downbeat sweeps, creeps, bumping and slamming, twiddle, diddle, tweak, zig zag, squirrel, scribble scrabble, kif lift, willy nilly, dada, nada, dodo, zoot horn rollo, zither zather zuzz, hepcat swinging over a Euclidian three ring circus gumbo, without a net, without a tent, without an answer, up shit creek, without a gift on xmas day hallelujah.… then the record changer drops another disc on the other turntable and the tone arm continues all over again.  

This is also how one might explain paranormal phenomenon. If the ‘time’ spiral spin’s in conflicting and inconsistent directions, on occasion this spiral inter-splices momentarily into a singular part of the coil. In that collision, we could experience a virtual and distinctive time door, opening briefly, accounting for ghostly apparitions, UFO sightings, déjà vu and even disappearing socks.

Of course when I look this stuff up on the internet I usually find sites for vertical lift door repair. By the way, if you’re a space-time continuum expert from the future, (I don’t know why I would believe anyone else), I’d really like to hear your observations. (Besides, I’d really like to know if the Dodgers ever win the World Series again or how many more Bush’s become President, etc. etc…)

Marxist Tales, Part 2: I'm Not There (2007), or Bob Dylan, XYZ

Posted by Charles Reece, December 14, 2007 01:12pm | Post a Comment
Kant said that there was a secret mechanism in the soul which prepared direct intuitions in such a way that they could be fitted into the system of pure reason.  But today that secret has been deciphered.  While the mechanism is to all appearances planned by those who serve up the data of experience, that is, by the culture industry, it is in fact forced upon the latter by the power of society, which remains irrational, however we may try to rationalize it; and this inescapable force is processed by commercial agencies so that they give an artificial impression of being in command.  There is nothing left for the consumer to classify.  Producers have done it for him.  – p. 124-5, Horkheimer and Adorno, Dialectic of Enlightenment

Huh? I am not a bum. I'm a jerk. I once had wealth, power, and the love of a beautiful woman. Now I only have two things: my friends and... uh... my thermos. Huh? My story? Okay. It was never easy for me. I was born a poor black child. I remember the days, sittin' on the porch with my family, singin' and dancin' down in Mississippi.  – Steve Martin as Navin R. Johnson in THE JERK
What got me ruminating on the star-spectacle was a double-feature of the star-studded quasi-biopic of Bob Dylan, I’M NOT THERE, and the quasi-star-studded BEOWULF.  I’ll deal with the latter in my next entry.  Contrary to the average Hollywood celebrity, Bob Dylan’s a star who largely created the stories surrounding him, sold his image based on those stories, but always resisted those stories once the media and his fans began to reflect him through them.  In his film, Todd Haynes tries to walk the line between individualism (subjectivity defining itself) and his own radical semiotic belief that everything is just stories, signs signifying other signs.  The problem here is that if there is no core Dylan that we can ever arrive at, only a series of stories that we compile, how can we understand or appreciate what was Dylan resisting against or why he was resisting it, since that rebel is nothing but another confabulation, no truer than the rest?    As the title suggests, the movie tends to celebrate Dylan’s resistance to being defined, giving its subject what he wants, another story portraying him as he’s always portrayed himself, not responsible for anything he says about himself or others.  It’s hardly surprising, then, that Dylan gave permission to use his music for the film.   The irony here is that, despite its postmodernist structure of multiple narratives, the film divines a core Dylan-construct by giving into and clearly defending his side of the story, or stories.

Game Over - Eric Gagne and The Mitchell Report

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, December 14, 2007 04:21am | Post a Comment

It was the only time I ever liked hearing Guns & Roses. It was the ninth inning in the spring of 2003 and Dodger Stadium was alive. The Dodgers were winning by one run with the two men on and one out over our hated rivals, The San Francisco Giants. Two of the Giants' best hitters were coming up; one was Jeff Kent, the good ol’boy from Texas, sporting his trademark porn stash under his nose. He looked, as it was said in the movie, Serpico, like “an asshole with dentures.” After him, the most feared hitter in baseball, Barry Bonds, was up. Bonds was all “juiced up” and ready to break fifty thousand screaming Dodgers fans' hearts with one swing of the bat.

“Welcome To The Jungle” blasted through the Dodger P.A. The bullpen doors swung open and out came our hero. Last year, Eric Gagne was an average pitcher at best. He would be lights out for about three innings and then it looked liked he either became tired, bored or both. At that point, Gagne's concentration would collapse and it became batting practice for the opposing team until they pulled Gagne out of the game. Anytime I checked the newspaper to see who would be the probable pitchers that night and Gagne was listed, I knew the Dodgers were in for a long night. Not anymore. Over the off-season Gagne morphed into a hulk-like relief pitcher with absolutely no fear. As Axel Rose started to scream, the video screen flashed a cartoon of Gagne’s face with the words flashing underneath: “GAME OVER.” Then the crowd went bananas! Gagne jogged slowly to the mound, almost intentionally, to start his warm-up tosses. He was the cleaner; he was the assassin that would be sent to clean up the mess when everything went awry. I sat in the cheap seats on the top of the stadium with my fellow Mexicanos, mixed in with the Koreans and Ronnie Barnett, laughing to myself. This couldn’t have been more Hollywood.

After the warm-up tosses, catcher Paul LoDuca walked up to the mound to go over how they would pitch to Kent and Bonds. LoDuca wasn’t a superhero like Gagne, but he was “the little engine that could.” At 5’9”, he was supposed to be too small to play the game, but there he was in the big leagues, a future all-star who made Los Angeles forget that they traded away the best catcher they had since Roy Campenella. Mike Piazza was traded mid-season to the Florida Marlins and all the Dodgers got in return was garbage. LoDuca might not have been as devastating a hitter as Mike, but he was a better catcher, a clutch hitter and a better overall teammate. On top of that, LoDuca called a mean game and he and Gagne were all the Dodgers needed to finish the game.

Jeff Kent would have been every other team’s number one guy, but he lived under the shadow of Bonds and you knew he was bitter about it. This made him even more dangerous because he always wanted to one-up Bonds. Gagne couldn’t have cared less. Before you knew it, the count was 0-2, with Gagne shooting two 100-miles an hour fastballs right past the swinging Kent. Then it was the set up. Gagne threw a 60-mile an hour breaking ball that broke so hard that Kent swung way ahead of it.

Strike three.
Two outs.
Have a seat, Jeff.

There are still two men on base and Barry Bonds comes to the plate.  The boos and groans from the Dodgers fans were so loud that they drowned out the announcement of his name. The thing in vogue for opposing teams to do to Bonds during that time was to intentionally walk him and face the erratic-hitting Benito Santiago. Gagne didn’t want to have any of that. The first pitch was a balloon-like curve ball. You could see the white in Barry’s eyes, even from the cheap seats. He was expecting that 100 mile-an-hour fast ball, only to get a slow breaking ball. Barry swung at the pitch too early and he hit the ball 400 feet away, twenty feet foul. A collective hush comes over the crowd, followed by 50 thousand, ‘whews!” Foul ball, strike one.

Barry dug in the batter’s box. With his massive frame and body armor, he looked like something out of WWF. Gagne shook off a few of LoDuca signs to go inside on Bonds. No one was better at hitting inside than Bonds. Gagne instead threw the heat straight down the plate and Bonds couldn’t catch up with it. Strike two.

Barry gave Gagne a cold stare, like he was saying, “Why don’t you try that again?” Everyone was on their feet, cheering loudly for Gagne to give them what they wanted: a strike out and a victory. Gagne reared back and threw everything into the pitch. Bonds knew what was coming. He swung with everything he had. If he had hit it, it would have gone to the moon. But he didn’t. The ball ended up in LoDuca’s glove. Strike three, game over.

At this point I can’t control my laughter and pride steps in. Ha! Later, Barry, go shoot up some steroids and make that cranium even bigger! Later, Jeff Kent, go do some films in North Hollywood! Later, Internet yuppies from San Francisco that came to L.A. to see your precious Giants, I hope your dot.com goes under!

(Yeah, I’m not a good winner.)

That was a 2004 moment. I’m remembering that day because the Mitchell Report has just come out. I just spent the better part of the day reading it and the implications against Eric Gagne and Paul LoDuca for taking performance-enhancing drugs during that time. It was easy to see that Bonds did it, and even Roger Clemens makes sense. As I read the report it mentioned many others whole took steroids and HGH to benefit their careers. Most of the players who took them no longer are playing and some never even made it to the pros. Looking back, maybe I wanted to believe it was hard work that made LoDuca and Gagne as great as they were. Those Gagne years revitalized Los Angeles' interest in Dodgers baseball, taking some of the spotlight away from the Lakers, even without winning a championship in over twenty years. Much like San Francisco fans got caught in the hype of Barry Bonds record setting home run chase, Los Angeles got caught up in Gagne. He was invincible. It was amazing to see. He had 84 consecutive saves, almost two seasons of perfection.

When I watched Gagne struggle this year in Boston, I felt sorry for him. I knew he had to be off whatever he was taking. He looked human again. The batting practice pitcher had returned. Game over, indeed.

Grindhouse Fest Holiday Event - Tuesday, Dec.18th

Posted by phil blankenship, December 14, 2007 12:46am | Post a Comment
From: Grindhouse Film Festival

Don't miss our Holiday Edition of the Grindhouse Film Festival this Tuesday, December 18th, at the New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles. This event will feature screenings of a beautiful brand new 35mm print of Bob Clark's classic BLACK CHRISTMAS (1974) along with fan favorite SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT (1984), and we'll have John Saxon and other guests to introduce the films. This is always our most popular event of the year and a night that shouldn't be missed. Get in the holiday mood, Grindhouse style!

Click Here To View Event Page & RSVP

BLACK CHRISTMAS director Bob Clark is well known for his holiday perennial A CHRISTMAS STORY, but years before that he crafted a very different holiday film. BLACK CHRISTMAS is one of the earliest and best of what later devolved into the 'slasher film' genre and is not to be missed. This is our third annual holiday screening of the film, which we intend to continue as an ongoing tribute to Bob Clark. The film will be introduced by star John Saxon.

Director Charles E. Sellier's SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT was faced with nationwide protests over it's "killer Santa" premise upon release in 1984, becoming one of the most controversial films of all time. While we don't expect angry parents picketing outside the theater this time around, we do expect that everyone will have a great time with this entertaining film from the man previously best known as the creator of the Grizzly Adams franchise.

The event starts at 7:30pm, and admission for the double feature plus a reel of rare exploitation trailers and a free raffle is only $8.00.

For additional information and schedules for upcoming events, visit our MySpace page at www.myspace.com/grindhouse.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tuesday, December 18th, 2007

Brian Quinn and Eric Caidin with Grindhouse Releasing present
The Grindhouse Film Festival
New Beverly Cinema
7165 Beverly Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA
(323) 938-4038
Admission: $8.00

Special Guest: John Saxon

(additional guests to be announced)

7:30pm
Black Christmas (1974)
Directed by Bob Clark. Starring Olivia Hussey, Keir Dullea, Margot Kidder and John Saxon.

10:00pm
Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)
Directed by Charles E. Sellier, Jr. Starring Lilyan Chauvin, Gilmer McCormick, Toni Nero and Robert Brian Wilson.

Peepers

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, December 13, 2007 11:03pm | Post a Comment
Alice turned me on to this amazing collection of peeping tom themed covers...


Although he's not really hiding, the idea of looking out your window on a rainy night and seeing Glen Campbell looking at you like this is very scary...



a couple of attempts at paradise that kinda of give me the creeps...





I know your every movement say Joe Walsh...



and finally...



Now look, I'm no Raffi hater.  I know from experience that kids love his music and he's a really great guy- it's just that guy Ken back there peering at you from behind the bushes has to go...

AMOEBITE PROFILE: KELLY WATSON

Posted by Billyjam, December 13, 2007 07:15pm | Post a Comment
Kelly Watson,
Amoeba Music, Hollywood

Kelly Watson
works in the New & Used Rock CDs department of the Hollywood Amoeba Music store and, laughing, says that she is the "only person who only works at Amoeba," meaning that, unlike everyone else at the store (or so it seems) she is not a musician or artist in addition to being an Amoebite. Something else that distinguishes her is that she hails from down under, from Australia. Amoeblog recently pulled Kelly away from her work for a few minutes to ask her some questions about music, her life, and working at Amoeba.

AMOEBLOG: How did you end up working at Amoeba Music and how long have you worked at the store?

KELLY: I used to work at Tower Records and that, as you know, came to an end, so I got a job here at Amoeba Music where I started this April, 2007.
benecio del toro
AMOEBLOG: What makes working at Amoeba unique compared to other jobs you've had?
 
KELLY: It's much more family here and much more fun here too. For the last fourteen years I've consistently done music retail and this is the best gig by far.  Also the people that you run into here...you never know who it will be.  Like Bjork was here last Tuesday and Johnny Marr was in here last Saturday. Oh and Benecio Del Toro was here the same day that Bjork was here, last Tuesday.

AMOEBLOG: What is one of the places nearby Amoeba Music Hollywood you would recommended to grab a bite to eat?

Return Of The Living Dead Part II

Posted by phil blankenship, December 13, 2007 12:20am | Post a Comment
 





Lorimar Home Video 477

let the oscar season officially begin...

Posted by Brad Schelden, December 12, 2007 10:15pm | Post a Comment

In the midst of all the holiday craziness it is also time for the Oscar season to begin. It should be an interesting time with the writers strike going on. Without Bruce Vilanch writing the jokes it might not be as funny. But it also might be more interesting with actors and presenters having to make up their own lines. The season already began with the announcement of the Independent Spirit Award nominees a couple of weeks ago. The Golden Globe nominations come out tomorrow. The actual date of the Golden Globes is January 13th. Ashley Judd was going to be the presenter of the nominees tomorrow. But for some reason the horribly unfunny Dane Cook will be copresenting the nominees. But at least Quentin Tarantino will be there to balance him out. I'm hoping both Planet Terror and Death Proof get nominated but I am sure they will not. Maybe Quentin will just skip over Enchanted and Hairspray and add the grindhouse genre to the comedy/musical section. So I wanted to give my own little favorites and predictions for the Oscars before tomorrow. It just becomes a bit easier to predict the Oscars after the Globe Nominations come out. I have seen every movie on this list with the exception of Juno and There Will Be Blood. I'm basing my love of these movies just based on the actors in them and the trailers. My list is pretty much what I think will be nominated for Oscars. But it is also pretty much who I would pick if I ever become a member of the Academy. They will probably let bloggers into the Academy at some point, right? The official Oscar nominations do not come out until January 22 at 5:30 AM. But here are my very own official nominations. Just in case you didn't know yet. John Stewart will be hosting again and they will be on February 24th.

Best Picture




American Gangster












Atonement











I'm Not There











No Country For Old Men











There Will Be Blood







or...Control/Zodiac/Eastern Promises/Juno/Into The Wild/Michael Clayton/Lars & The Real Girl

Best Director

Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood)

Joel/Ethan Coen (No Country For Old Men)

Todd Haynes (I'm Not There)

Ridley Scott (American Gangster)

Joe Wright (Atonement)


Best Actor



Denzel Washington (American Gangster)









Daniel Day Lewis (There Will Be Blood)









Ryan Gosling (Lars & The Real Girl)









Emile Hersch (Into The Wild)










James Mcavoy (Atonement)






or...Johnny Depp (Sweeney Todd)/George Clooney (Michael Clayton)
Sam Riley (Control)/Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises)Christian Bale (Rescue Dawn)


Best Actress




Julie Christie (Away From Her)












Keira Knightley (Atonement)









Parker Posey (Broken English)








Ellen Page (Juno)












Marion Cotillard (La Vie En Rose)





or...Helena Bonham Carter (Sweeney Todd)/Jodie Foster (The Brave One)/
Keri Russel(Waitress)/Amy Adams (Enchanted)Cate Blanchett (Elizabeth:The Golden Age)

Best Supporting Actor

Christian Bale (I'm Not There)

Javier Bardem (No Country For Old Men)

Paul Dano (There Will Be Blood)

Hal Holbrook (Into The Wild)

Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton)

or...Philip Seymour Hoffman (Charlie Wilson's War)/Casey Affleck (The Assasination of Jesse
James)


Best Supporting Actress

Cate Blanchett (I'm Not There)

Romola Garai (Atonement)

Kelly Macdonald (No Country For Old Men)

Susan Sarandon (In the Valley of Elah)

Tilda Swinton (Michael Clayton)

or...Catherine Keener (Into the Wild)/Samantha Morton (Control)/
Jennifer Jason Leigh (Margot at the Wedding)

LARRY BOB ROBERTS' QUEER THINGS TO DO IN SF LIST

Posted by Billyjam, December 12, 2007 04:00pm | Post a Comment

Multi-media man Larry Bob Roberts is one busy San Franciscan and has been for some years now. In addition to constantly updating his ten-year old, popular Queer things to do in the San Francisco Bay Area list on his SFQueer site, he is also often involved in some worthy community activity. Additionally Larry Bob is an active musician and member of the band Winsome Griffles about whom the London Observer Music Monthly wrote, "The gay politik is equally present in the swish Americana of the Winsome Griffles," and whose new debut CD Meet The Griffles (available at Amoeba SF) is just out. This week, on Thursday, Dec. 13th, the group will perform a release party at the Eagle SF.

AMOEBLOG: Long before your online list existed you used to do a zine. Can you talk a bit about it?
 
LARRY BOB: I started Holy Titclamps in 1989, inspired by queer punk zines like JDs and Homocore. I did the zine for 15 years and published writing and art by all sorts of people -- published novelists, prisoners, high school kids. Material from the earlier issues is on the website, and the later issues can be ordered from me.

AMOEBLOG: Can you describe your Queer Things to do in the San Francisco Bay Area list on your SFQueer.com website?

Worth the Price of Admission: Antony & the Johnsons Cover Dylan

Posted by Miss Ess, December 12, 2007 02:52pm | Post a Comment
I finally got my hands on the soundtrack for I'm Not There and waaaaaaaaaaaaay down at the end of the sprawling two disc set is the track that makes it all worthwhile: Antony & the Johnsons' cover of  "Knocking on Heaven's Door." 


What impeccable song selection! Antony's voice is so moving and completely unlike anyone else's. He has an unmistakable style and this track is utter perfection. His rich, deep voice adds a completely different, absorbingly evocative element to the song, creating an almost hymn like sound, and I'm always most pleased with Antony's work when he just accompanies himself with an acoustic piano.

It might be my favorite track of the year.

Antony's next album is supposedly being released this spring. If you haven't heard his previous albums, please go get I Am A Bird Now

Check out this performance of "You Are My Sister" on Letterman:
 

Ike Turner Passed Away Tuesday, aged 76

Posted by Miss Ess, December 12, 2007 01:23pm | Post a Comment
Ike Turner died in his sleep Tuesday night.


Ike will no doubt be remembered for his contributions to Rock n Roll in its infancy.

He will also no doubt be remembered for beating and abusing his one-time wife, Tina Turner.

Return Of The Living Dead

Posted by phil blankenship, December 12, 2007 12:20am | Post a Comment
 



HBO Video 3395

MEL CHEREN, THE GODFATHER OF DISCO, DIES

Posted by Billyjam, December 11, 2007 07:14pm | Post a Comment

As reported by the Daily Swarm, longtime entertainment figure and major player in the disco movement Mel Cheren, who co-founded West End Records and was the man behind launching the Paradise Garage club, recently died of complications to HIV/AIDS. According to reports Cheren learned suddenly and years too late that he had HIV and that  it was too late to treat it. 

Cheren leaves behind quite a legacy, as outlined in the following bio care of the Daily Swarm and other sources including West End Records' Mel's World website page. In 1959 he began his career in the music business at ABC-Paramount Records. As head of production for Scepter Records, Cheren forged new territory. He was instrumental in creating the first 12” single for DJs, in forming the first record pool (The New York Record Pool-- later to become For The Record Record Pool) and the first to release an instrumental mix on a 12” B-side (“We’re On The Right Track” by Ultra High Frequency). This innovation earned Cheren and Scepter a Billboard Trendsetter Award and soon set the standard for an industry-wide practice. In 1976, Mel co-founded West End Records and soon after signed Karen Young, whose single “Hot Shot” sold 800,000 copies, making it one of the biggest selling 12s” in history. And if you forgot what that song sounds like check out the video of Karen Young below in a live performance from 1978.

The Sentinel

Posted by phil blankenship, December 11, 2007 12:08pm | Post a Comment
 



MCA Universal Home Video 45011

Marxist Tales, Part 1: The Lives of Stars

Posted by Charles Reece, December 11, 2007 02:00am | Post a Comment
The celebrity, the spectacular representation of a living human being, embodies this banality [pseudo-individualism by way of what you want to buy – think of a hippie rebelling by driving a VW] by embodying the image of a possible role. Being a star means specializing in the seemingly lived; the star is the object of identification with the shallow seeming life that has to compensate for the fragmented productive specializations which are actually lived. Celebrities exist to act out various styles of living and viewing society unfettered, free to express themselves globally. They embody the inaccessible result of social labor by dramatizing its by-products magically projected above it as its goal: power and vacations, decision and consumption, which are the beginning and end of an undiscussed process. – Guy Debord, Society of the Spectacle #60

I’m always left slightly annoyed every time I hear some star kvetching about how he or she is stalked by the paparazzi.  It’s as if a piston suddenly started to resent its function within the engine.  More often than not, a star is designed, by luck of genetics, familial ties, or modern surgical techniques for fitness to Hollywood’s nature – pop culture's own form of eugenics.  It’s rarely based on a meritocracy.  Not that there’s no inherent talent, or craft, involved, but similar to choosing a good dentist on a friend’s recommendation or insurance coverage, some other beautiful guy would’ve been People’s most eligible bachelor had the astrological rules played out a bit differently.  When stars start complaining about being photographed or gossiped about, it’s because they’ve bought into the myth of the spectacle (image as consumable reality), believing that their position in popular culture is one of true individualism, rather than a simulation of individualism.  They’re assuming control of their image, rather than their image being a mediation between an individual and reality.  It’s the fallacy of misplaced concreteness, confusing the map with the mapped.  Their image is there to be consumed like every other product in the market; the shinier and newer it appears, the more likely it’ll be desired.  The trick of the publicity machine is to perpetually churn out novel-seeming stories about stars that don’t fundamentally alter our desire for the star.  Stardom isn’t sustained by the films in which the actor is in, but by our interest in the stories being told about that actor that keep us returning to his or her films, regardless of what kind of shit they’re getting paid to be in.  The star represents who we’re supposed to want to be.  And with exceeding frequency in our media-saturated culture, we do want to be that star.  Hell, even the celebrities desire their star-images.  As Debord pointed out, it’s a dream of pseudo-power, the ultimate ability to consume without any real control over what the caviling star mistakenly assumes is his or her image of selfhood.  Ultimately, the star is nothing but the photograph to the culture industry’s camera, a postcard of a place where we’re all supposed to want to visit.

out today 12/11...bonnie prince billy...radiohead...silent night deadly night...lost...

Posted by Brad Schelden, December 10, 2007 11:37pm | Post a Comment
December is usually sort of a slow period for new releases.Usually by this point if it has not come out yet, it's not coming out until next year. But this year seems a bit ridiculous. I know it seems like this is what I have been talking about for the last couple weeks. I guess that is what I have been talking about. But its true. A couple more live albums. A couple useless boxsets and a couple hip hop and R & B albums. But we can always count on Bonnie Prince Billy to offer up some new type of album for us. He has probably released about 10 albums or singles or EPs this year. He also starred in an amazing Kanye West Video with Zach Galifianakis for the song "Can't Tell Me Nothing." It seriously made me so happy the first time I watched it and if you ever feel a bit sad you should just watch it.

Bonnie Prince Billy's new little album is called "Wai Notes." It is basically the demo versions of songs that made up the "Letting Go" album.  He sent songs back and forth with the lady from the Faun Fables to create what ended up being the last album. These are basically those raw songs before they were made all nice and album like. There is also a new album by The Wu-Tang Clan called "8 Diagrams" and a new album by Bow Wow and Omarion called "Face Off." I am not really sure what they are
facing off about but I really hope it has something to do with that horrible movie starring Nicolas Cage and John Travolta. You know the one where one of them gets a face transplant of the other one to infiltrate his crime organization. I am glad that it is now 10 years after this movie and medical technology has still not gone as far as they thought it would in this movie. Maybe its not far off. But I don't really want anybody to be able to switch faces with each other. Even for the good of solving a crime. Maybe Bow Wow and Omarion are just going to be covering each others songs and seeing who can do them better. Or it might just be their secret tribute to the Barbra Streisand movie "The Mirror Has Two Faces." They just gave it a more tough sounding name so nobody would know that they were secret Streisand fans.

There is also a new Radiohead box set out today. But don't get too excited. We will have to wait a couple years for any sort of real box set that Radiohead fans have been going crazy for I am sure. They may have not even know it. But they want a Radiohead box. There is more than enough material out there. We still have to wait until January 1st for the release of the new album "In Rainbows" on a real CD. But now there is a sort of pointless box with all the albums in nice little fancy digipak sleeves. No remastering or bonus tracks. Just the same albums with the same artwork. If you did want to spend a lot of  money on another one of your favorite bands, there is also a new sort of release from the White Stripes. The album Icky Thump has been repackaged as USB flash drives. It came out last week but didn't have a real street date. The flash drives are packaged in two salt and pepper shaker/lighter looking dolls that also resemble Jack and Meg White. They are extremely cute and even got themselves a last minute Grammy nomination for Best Packaging. But the pricing is way over indulgent even for a collector's item. How did USB flash drives become worth one hundred dollars. Just in case you are bit confused. You can take off Jack and Meg White's heads of the little flash drives and plug them directly into your USB port on your computer. The album downloads on to your computer as well as the artwork, lyrics, and some special extra pictures.  There is also a new Pink Floyd box set out called "Oh By the Way." It is similar to the Radiohead box in that it is their entire catalog in new packaging in a box. These are the Mini LP reproduction packaging type of deal. The box also includes some coasters and a 20" x 30" poster.

There should also be a new soundtrack out today. But for some reason someone had decided to hold back the new soundtrack to "The Golden Compass" until next year. The movie was just the top movie this weekend and will probably continue to do great through the holidays. But no soundtrack yet. At least domestically. You can get it as an import next week. And do not worry, Amoeba will have it. I just saw the movie on Sunday myself. I have been waiting a while for a new Lord of the Rings trilogy to get into. It is always fun to go to the movies and see the big crazy fantasy movies and then patiently wait a year or so for the next one. This movie is without a doubt a children's movie. It seems like they took out anything adult or even young adult-like out of the original story. But I still really enjoyed it. You just have to know what you are getting yourself into. This is what I am telling people. Just try to imagine yourself a ten year old girl before you walk into the movie theater. You will then enjoy the movie more than you could even imagine. The young girl in the lead role was really sort of amazing and I loved all the animals. The big polar bear was amazing and I found myself wanting my very own daemon by the end of the movie. Every human had their own daemon, which was sort of like a very loyal pet that also talked and followed you around everywhere. Like your own personal assistant/pet/guardian, bodyguard/spy. But it also was like your twin soul that felt what you felt. I do sort of sound like a 10 year old girl right now. But I don't know how else to describe it. The movie somehow managed to offend some religious authority types. But I can't really imagine why. They must have cut out anything remotely religious or I was just not looking that hard. The movie did feel a bit like a scientologist type story. But with even more fantasy. The closing credits featured the great Kate Bush singing her tribute to the main character "Lyra." Maybe she can win her first Oscar for the song just like Annie Lennox for her song in Lord of the Rings. But she maybe should have waited until the last film in the trilogy since that is what Annie Lennox did. Enya did not win any Oscar for her songs in the first Lord of the Rings movie. You always have to wait for the last film if you want to win any awards.

There are some exciting DVDs out this week to make up for the lack of albums out today. But still not enough for December.  Lost Season 3 comes out just in time to get everyone excited for the new season to be on TV. I do really love those Lost DVDs. Especially since I first fell in love with the series by watching the DVDs. It took me a while to really give Lost a chance. Since I missed the first couple episodes of the first season I had to wait for them to come out on DVD before I could catch up. But it really was not until season 2 came out that I had time to catch up and watch season 3 live as it aired. There are lots of special features on all these DVDs but I am still saving them for a very special rainy day. We have less than 2 months to wait until the season premiere of the new Lost season. Some time in February it will start all over. I can't wait. This is seriously the best show on TV in a long time. The box set has all sorts of great stuff just like the others. If you have not watched this season yet. Hang in there and get through it. It might start off not as good as the last season. But it really ends up being another fantastic season of episodes. It is always nice to watch a show like this on DVD. I don't mid waiting a week to watch a new episode. But it really is hard when you don't know what weeks are going to be new and what weeks are going to be repeats.

Bourne Ultimatum also comes out on DVD today. I really do love this series. It is simply just good fun action movie making. You can't really take these movies too seriously but they are a lot of fun to watch. There is also a Jason Bourne Collection Box out today with all 3 of the Bourne movies. My coworker just also made me aware that there was a TV movie called the Bourne Identity way before these movies came out. The movie starred Richard Chamberlain and Jaclyn Smith. And yes, it is out on DVD as well. The movie originally aired on TV in 1988. Just in case you forgot this was back when the Golden Girls and The Cosby Show were the top shows on TV. Back when comedies ruled the land of TV. The only shows in the top ten that year that were not comedies were Murder She Wrote and 60 Minutes. But Murder She Wrote did have its comedic moments. I sort of miss 1988. Back when TV Movies were still sort of interesting. Also from the 80's was the great horror film "Silent Night, Deadly Night." The movie came out in 1984 and is now being reissued as a sort of deluxe DVD. Like most great horror movies. It is also being remade and will probably come out in 2009.  But I am sure it will not be even close to as great as the original. It is a nice little horror movie just in time for Christmas. And for those crazy James Taylor fans, "Two-Lane Blacktop" gets a nice release on DVD. And the latest Harry Potter movie also comes out on DVD today as well. Next week we have a bit of excitement with Blade Runner coming out as 3 different version on DVD. I urge you to go see it in the theater right now. I have heard that the new print looks fantastic and as much as I love this movie I have never seen it in the theater. I am going to try and find some time this week. It is playing at the Embarcadero in San Francisco and the beautiful Grand Lake in Oakland.

TIME FOR SOME ACTION AT OAKLAND DANCE STUDIO

Posted by Billyjam, December 10, 2007 04:25pm | Post a Comment

"Dancing helps you heal"

                     - Corey Action

In North Oakland's Rockridge district, on a stretch of College Avenue nearby Diesel Books, Pegasus Books, George & Walt's, not far from new hip clothing store Dapper and scores of other mom & pops; in the 5400 block sandwiched in between The Rockrigde Masonic Center and the new eclectic Atomic Garden is the vibrant New Style Motherlode Dance Studio where, for the past seven years, Corey Action and his stable of able dance instructors have been teaching various forms of hip-hop based dance (including a Bay Area Style class) along with a healthy, positive outlook on life.

"Time For Some Action" boldly reads one poster in the window at 5451 College Ave. Inside, on one recent early evening, the place was packed with many urging the call to take action: dancing bodies, brimming with energy, all vibing to the pulsating music's groove that fused it all together. Owner, instructor, and recording artist Corey Action recently took time out to talk to AMOEBLOG about his studio and his passion, dance.

AMOEBLOG: Seven years for any small business, especially a teaching facility located in an expensive high rent area like you are in, means you have beaten the odds. To what do you attribute your success?

Karlheinz Stockhausen 1928 - 2007

Posted by Whitmore, December 10, 2007 10:55am | Post a Comment


Karlheinz Stockhausen
has died at the age of 79 at his home in Kuerten-Kettenberg, Germany. Regarded as one of the greatest musical visionaries of the 20th-century, he earned a great deal of respect and admiration from a cult following for his original and influential compositions, as well as for his authorship of new musical systems. But he’ll mostly be remembered as being one of the pivotal voices in the development of electronic music following World War Two. Though esteemed by many, he also earned a great amount of scorn from those who found his work to be “monotonous” or “unnecessary, useless and uninteresting”. He didn’t help his cause with his own awe-inspiring megalomania and eccentricities.

But ultimately he was a man who influenced practically everyone from the Beatles (he’s pictured on the Sgt. Pepper album cover,) to the Kraut rock sounds of Can (Holger Czukay and Irmin Schmidt studied with him), to the psychedelic sounds of early Pink Floyd, to the unconventional rock worlds of Frank Zappa, Brian Eno, Sonic Youth, Coil and Björk to the world of jazz and beyond with the likes of Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, Anthony Braxton Herbie Hancock, Evan Parker, and to the newer breed of avant garde composers like Cornelius Cardew and Hugh Davies. Stockhausen is also generally regarded as one of the originators of techno, given his experimentation with electronics which included tape, oscillators and Ondes Martenot back in the fifties and his use of beats in the 1970’s.

More recently, he made news for his reaction to the attack on the World Trade Center. Not  known outside the world of modern-music he became instantly infamous for calling the attack “the greatest work of art that is possible in the whole cosmos.” Needless to say, his comments drew outrage. He later apologized, saying that his allegorical remarks had been misunderstood and taken out of context. And just to get the story right, here is his statement.

Night Of The Zombies

Posted by phil blankenship, December 10, 2007 01:51am | Post a Comment
 





Creature Features CR 1224

(In which Job reflects on the end of the year... a year late.)

Posted by Job O Brother, December 9, 2007 10:46pm | Post a Comment

"They'll never give us a room if we don't pretend we're married."

Welp… We’re about ready to finish off ol’ 2007. And what a year it’s been. For years to come, we’ll be remembered by history as the people who got to see… urr… hours of YouTube footage of Britney Spears trying to buy cappuccinos. Oh yeah, and something about a war?

Anyhoo, I thought I’d maybe talk a little about my favorite album of the year – only, there’s a problem. My favorite album of the year came out in November of 2006. Hey, it’s not my fault if I wasn’t as blown away by the latest release by [insert everyone who released an album this year].

It’s not that I’m cynical and it’s NOT that I didn’t enjoy anything new this year. It’s that nothing has replaced my favorite yet. So, I continue listening to it.


For those few of you who don’t know what you’re looking at here, it’s the album “Ys” by Joanna Newsom.

There’s very little praise I can say here that hasn’t been said before by critics the world over. When it hit the scene, the album secured Miss Newsom some serious accolades. For myself, it was a rare moment when popular culture and yours truly loved something at the same time. That’s a blue moon moment. I think the last time it happened was… Twin Peaks. And Jesus, there’s people working as cashiers at Amoeba Music that are too young to remember who Laura Palmer is.


The good old days.

My relationship with the album is personal and doesn’t easily translate for my whimsical blog. I don’t like to talk about it. Every time I try to explain how I feel about the music, I get all overwhelmed and vulnerable, like a quaking fawn on newborn legs, and then I wanna punch faces in. You know how it is.

And I can’t just listen to it any old time. For instance, I only like to hear it alone. See, I’ve spent years cultivating defense mechanisms that keep me safe from getting hurt, but put on the track “Sawdust & Diamonds” and suddenly my heart is broken open and spilling forth deeply embedded remembrances of a love and sense of holiness drawing a line from the shell of my skin to a place where my real life begins.

And that’s awkward when you’re at the Laundromat.

Should the opening song “Emily” be selected by my iPod’s shuffle feature, I will freeze a few seconds, then my knees will buckle and I’ll sit, face-forward, staring at a landscape in my mind’s eye. For this reason, I can’t be taking a shower or feeding my cat. Should I be re-shingling my roof, it would mean certain death.

If this all sounds too sentimental, then you’ve proven my point about having to keep this treasure private.

Because it created such a buzz, I assume, even if you haven’t heard it, you’ve heard of it. Still, there are those of my readers who were in comas up until a few months ago. It is to them that I say, “Go get thee a copy,” and “Congratulations on coming out of that coma!”

(You have no idea how hard it is to find good greeting cards for people coming out of comas. I had to settle for one of those Anne Geddes cards, and even then it was an all-encompassing “Congratulations for surviving your central nervous system malfunction”.)


Not okay with me.

I was fortunate to see Miss Newsom play at the Walt Disney Concert Hall recently. Quite a long way from seeing her debut at the tiny Magic Theatre in Nevada City, and yet, not. It was still breathtaking, still passionate, still witty and sincere. Seeing her live, I feel giddy and humble, because I know I’m in the presence of a true craftsman, a visionary, a genius. And it makes me wanna punch faces in.

If you’re into that sort of thing, check it out. Maybe it can be your favorite album of 2008.

Best Of 2007, Part 3 - Son De Madera and Los Cojolites Live @ The Hollywood Cemetery 10/27

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, December 9, 2007 09:14pm | Post a Comment
I wasn’t expecting much other than a good time. It was The Hollywood Cemetery’s annual Dia De Los Muertos celebration. I wanted to check out the altars, have some Champurrado, a shot of tequila and some Pan De Muerto. As I walked in the cemetery I soon found out that two of the best Son Jarocho groups were going to perform that evening. Son De Madera and Los Cojolites, both from Vera Cruz, Mexico, are the Beatles and The Rolling Stones or the Biggie and Tupac of Son Jarocho. Trouble was that they going to perform on two different stages at the exact same time. Oh man, what to do?

Son Jarocho is traditional Mexican music that fuses indigenous, Spanish and African styles. It originated in the port towns of Vera Cruz, a region of Mexico located off the Gulf of Mexico. The instruments that are used for Son Jarocho are also used in other Mexican music with the addition of various percussion instruments with roots in African and Spanish/Moorish culture. It is music based on improvisation, both musically and lyrically. Imagine a rapper free styling verses while improvising on the guitar.

I had seen Los Cojolites earlier this year at Self-Help Graphics in East L.A. Their short set was absolutely jaw dropping. However, in the spirit of community, Los Cojolites relinquished the stage to other performers who were not up to par with the group and I ended up leaving early. Son De Madera was one of those groups I had always wanted to see but never got around to. Because of that, the battle of the dueling stages was won by the stage with Son De Madera on it. Son De Madera are traditionalists to a point. One of the Requintos (an acoustic guitar used for playing the lead guitar parts in Son Jarocho music) is put through an amp with effects pedals, which creates a washy, dream-like sound. Also included in the group is a stand-up baby bass, compliments of East L.A. native Juan Perez and Zapateado supplied by the beautiful Rubí del Carmen Oseguera. The minute they played their first note I was lost in their world of improvisations and melodies. It had the earthiness of the Mexican culture mixed with the seduction of the Moorish culture. None of that was lost, even with Son De Madera's modern take on their traditional sound.

Son De Madera ended their set early so that the audience could check out Los Cojolites on the main stage. I headed out there to check them out, only to see Hollywood’s favorite celebrity fire chief end the show exactly at 11 p.m. (Amoeba knows that guy, real well!)

I would recommend everyone reading this to get Son De Madera’s album El Orquesta De Dia and Los Cojolites’ El Conejo, except they are both out of print for some god-awful reason. Even the bands were selling CDR versions of both those albums that night. If you ever see these CD's used or collecting dust at another record store, do yourself a favor and get them!

Beware of the Chicken Little President

Posted by Billyjam, December 9, 2007 05:36pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba Marc sent me the link to the must-see above video of a recent editorial (Special Comment) by MSNBC's Keith Olbermann on December 6th. Olbermann tells it like it is with no sugar coating.  Everyone who is seriously concerned about the future of this nation and of the world and whether or not we all end up caught in the crossfire of an unwanted World War III needs to spend eight and a half minutes and view this direct and sobering commentary.

           

All Hail Led Zeppelin

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 9, 2007 04:00pm | Post a Comment

In England it is midnight, Monday, December 10, 2007.  In a matter of mere hours, Led Zeppelin will be reunited on stage to play a tribute show.  Playing at London's O2 Arena, it's a concert in aid of the Ahmet Ertegun Education Fund.  Mr. Ertegun, who passed away last year, was co-founder of Atlantic Records and chairman of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame & museum.  Led Zeppelin recorded with Atlantic Records until they released Physical Graffiti on their own Swan Song label in 1975. 

DO YOU UNDERSTAND?  LED ZEPPELIN!!  LIVE!!  TOMORROW!!  Maybe it'll be something like this:




In case you live under a rock and don't know, Led Zeppelin is made up of 4 guys:


from left to right:

John Bonham plays drums

Night Of The Demons 2

Posted by phil blankenship, December 9, 2007 11:39am | Post a Comment
 





Republic Pictures 3022

Lowriding: Auto Americana Part Three

Posted by Billyjam, December 9, 2007 01:26am | Post a Comment

"In our Lowrider Section there are a lot of compilations series, new and old, like Thump Records' Old School series and their Latin Oldies series and East Side Records' East Side Story series," said Orion, who works in the Soul & Hip-Hop section of Amoeba Music Hollywood, where the demand for lowrider music is so great that it gets its own section.

Lowrider music includes classic soul, funk, oldies, rNb, and Latin oldies, plus other types of music too, like rap and hip-hop and including lots of Latin rap, which is generally filed in the hip-hop section. There too you'll find the rap flavored lowrider DVDs, said Orion, noting that there are additional lowrider DVDs to be found upstairs in the Hollywood store's impressive vast DVD department. There are DVDs galore on the subject of cars which is "a pretty big portion within the Sports and Special Interests section," said Maryann, who works in that section of Amoeba Hollywood. And of the topics included in the car section?  "Street racing, monster trucks, drifting, racing (NASCAR, IndyCar races etc), customizing, classic/antique, and of course lowriding," she said. There are approximately 20 lowrider DVD titles currently in stock.  

Lowriding, for the uninitiated, is when you take a car a or truck (often classic American cars from sixties or fifties but other decades too) and modify its suspension system (often with hydraulics) -- the ultimate goal being that the auto will ride as low to the ground as physically possible. These lowrider vehicles often have user controlled height adjustable suspension -- as witnessed by the videos above and below -- which allow them to pull off some amazing antics. And while it is cool to look at video footage, there is nothing like seeing these rides up close in action. The sites below usually have info on car shows but one site called OneBadPup specializes in SoCal car shows and has been posting pics of them for the past two years (that's one of their their great shots below).

Richard Thompson

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 8, 2007 11:12pm | Post a Comment
Richard Thompson
Friday night, December 7th, 2007
Performing at the Montalvo Arts Center in the Carriage House

I know all of that is true not only because I looked it up on the net to verify my facts, but because I was there.

An intimate run of shows in this adorable town goes by the name Saratoga. Mind you, us Amoebas are in California, though I certainly would love to see Richard Thompson perform in an intimate venue in Saratoga, New York. I always loved that town. In Saratoga, California there are wineries and some really nice shops and no snow in December. (Unlike Saratoga, N.Y., though I haven't been to New York since this wacky global warming craze started, so for all I know it was colder in California last night.)

I grew up back East and I hate being cold about more than I hate anything except huge things like injustice, starving children and being stabbed. I do not mean to downplay how much I hate being cold, but luckily --although I have spent much of the last month freezing my damn ass off  --the intimate theater that Richard Thompson played in this week was only a chilly place. Not freezing, not really even officially cold.


Richard playing at Amoeba Hollywood

One December, I went to see Charles Brown perform at Kimball's East also here in California and it was freezing in that damn venue. I am well aware of the massive tangent I am on right now, and I don't give a damn. I'd had my face smashed open by a car dashboard when I was about 16, and that night at Charles Brown, it was so damn cold, my face ached so, and I watched the whole show holding the right side of my face because, frankly, it was sheer agony. Now Friday night, December 7th, 2007, in Saratoga California, I was not holding my face at all. I will admit to occasionally rubbing my legs and wearing a few layers, long johns and all. But it's been a cold December here in Northern California. This all popped into my head because I was at the Charles Brown show with the same person that said, "Hey, I have an extra ticket to see Richard Thompson, drive on down here."

From Beyond

Posted by phil blankenship, December 8, 2007 10:31pm | Post a Comment
 





Vestron Video 5182

Jelly's, Froggies and Jimmy's oh my...

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, December 8, 2007 08:35pm | Post a Comment
Another batch of tags, some of which may conjure up some good memories, the Radio Shack tag is my favorite of this batch...




3 variations on the Tower tag...below is a tag given to me by our own Ronnie Barnett, former Infinite Records employee, a store out of Houston, Tx...





We Miss You, John

Posted by Miss Ess, December 8, 2007 03:33pm | Post a Comment













No Reservations For Anthony Bourdain, Just One Gigantic Ramones Obsession

Posted by Miss Ess, December 8, 2007 12:54pm | Post a Comment

Anthony Bourdain
sure has a high opinion of himself.  I mean, I love watching his show No Reservations on the Travel Channel and I think he is a smart, open minded traveler for sure, but wow, he really loves himself and his image (see photo, right-- classic)!  I find myself rolling my eyes at him but adoring the program just the same.

As someone who rarely has the opportunity to travel anywhere, much less to destinations like Namibia, Sicily, Iceland, Peru, New Zealand and, uh, New Jersey, I find myself swept away in the show's exotic locations, locals and of course, food.  Bourdain was a chef for many years so a major focus of his show is indulging in local cuisine.  I really appreciate the fact that he tries to get off of the beaten path and hang out with people who know their city/country like the back of their hand, and I think this is what plays a major part in making the show so addicting-- Samantha Brown, be damned!  This show is no Tourist Board advertisement.


The Uzbekistan episode where Tony literally gets pummeled by a masseuse is a favorite.

Bourdain likes to present himself as someone dark and edgy, someone who's seen it all before, someone who is tough enough to scrap through any given situation and then light up a cigarette.  [Although I recently heard he quit smoking when his daughter was born this April!  That's a huge deal.] Some portions of the show are so self indulgent!  I can forgive Bourdain's Ramones obsession, which seems, incredibly,  to come up in about 50% of the episodes, but in Shanghai we got an entire segment of Bourdain swinging from wires in fighting style and edited into a fake movie.  It got a little much.   His Dante's Inferno fascination in the Tuscany episode quickly becomes grating. Where's the food??

Still, there is so much to love about the program.  Bourdain is always on the watch for the perfect roast pork, and that is one indulgence that makes for an entertaining search!  From Puerto Rico to Southeast Asia, Bourdain is constantly sniffing out the greatest roast pig and daintiest, most delicate pork fat.

A recent episode in Sao Paulo showed the more tender side of Bourdain, hanging out with Brazillian friends, getting to the heart of a complicated city.   My favorite portion of the show took place in the cozy home of a kind and experienced cook, Claudia, who made feijoada, a native stew dish.  Bourdain is smart enough to know that the home is where the true native cuisine comes from and it's these home-based portions of his program that really show us what each place he visits is about.  It's enlightening to see how others actually live and what their day-to-day is like.  That's the greatest part of the show--  whether we are seeing communal living in a village in Borneo or a family villa in Tuscany, it all shows us Americans what is really going on somewhere foreign and that cultural difference can be beautiful and a striking contrast to the monoculture we have here.  For a reality show, this one strikes me as pretty authentic.

Season 1 is now available on DVD and repeats of this season typically air on the Travel Channel Monday nights at 10pm.  Oh, and there's a special holiday episode with Queens of the Stone Age (!) wearing bad Christmas sweaters this Monday night at 10.

Radioactive Dreams

Posted by phil blankenship, December 7, 2007 09:59pm | Post a Comment
 




Vestron Video 5194

son of hysteron proteron: part one

Posted by Whitmore, December 7, 2007 04:17pm | Post a Comment

hysteron proteron - n. inversion of natural order or sense, especially of words; fallacy of proving or explaining a proposition with one presupposing or dependent on it.

It’s been a couple of months since I photographed any of our arty 7 inch boxes, so here are some more examples of post outsider art-damaged modern adverts faux iconography from Amoeba Hollywood 45 Room brain trust.

Hysteron Proteron literally means “the latter before”, and the purpose is to call attention to the more important idea by placing it first. You might say it’s the rhetorical equivalent to "the last shall be first and the first, last". (Sort of reminds me of my old Catholic School Catechism lessons, which no matter how hard I try to obliterate, remains intact in my skull, an example once again of the inverse natural order of things. But the rewards last a lifetime … I mean eternal! The vague and twisted challenges of a post Irish Catholic childhood are the dented theological reflections or simple colorful profanities, available at a drop of a hat … and are never more than just a couple of pints away.) 

Dallas: Scandal City

Posted by Miss Ess, December 7, 2007 04:11pm | Post a Comment
Well, I somehow managed to throw my back out yesterday and thank god I've had Dallas Season 4 at home to keep me company and to numb the pain! 


Dallas was one of the definitive shows of the 80s and I have to say, if nothing else, it's worth watching just for the styling and the cars.  Everything is completely over the top--  from the wood paneling to the exposed chest hair, the whole show is one long nostalgic trip through the fashions of the 80s and I love it!  Pammy's hair (see photos, left and right) alone makes the show!  It goes from rat's nest to sleek to curly to shagged-- every which way.

Maybe I should provide a little more background here:  Dallas is about the trials and tribulations of the Ewing Family.  The Ewings are rich as all get out from their oil business and they live on a ranch in Texas.  The family is large, with matriarch Miss Ellie, patriarch Jock Ewing (left) and their sons, meddler JR and do-gooder Bobby.  They have another son, Gary, who lives in California and returns from time to time.  His young adult daughter, Lucy, lives on the ranch with her grandparents.  Sue Ellen is JR's long suffering alcoholic wife and Pam is Bobby's young, fresh wife.  With this much family living in one house and all that wealth around, trouble just comes right to the Ewings!

There's always a kidnapping, a paternity issue, a scandalous affair or someone's long lost daddy showing up to  wreak havoc on the Ewings.  Because of their great wealth and image in society, someone is always out to get them!  There's also all kinds of drama within the family itself, of course, especially between JR and Bobby!  This show is a real slice of overdramatic life and it really sucks you in.  It's interesting and fun to watch people who are so rich but still so "country" (as Britney Spears would say)!

If you're ever in need of a way to pass many, many hours, seasons 1-7 are already available on DVD!  And when you are all done watching those, we still have a bunch more Dallas to look forward to-- the show went on for about 13 years!  So much scandal, so much drama.  It really is a classic.  Today I finally found out who shot JR!

Oh, and P.S., you can still visit the ranch where Dallas took place, Southfork!  It now is a location for events-- you can even get married there!  They do tram tours as well.  You can get a Chuckwagon Dinner at the end of the tour that includes Miss Ellie's Famous Barbeque Sauce!  Along with Dollywood (of course), Southfork is definitely on my shortlist of Southern Sites to visit.&a

The Resurrected

Posted by phil blankenship, December 7, 2007 11:52am | Post a Comment
 



Live Home Video 69007

STAN THE BIRD MAN OF CALIFORNIA: RAPTOR CAPTOR

Posted by Billyjam, December 7, 2007 07:00am | Post a Comment

Before I met Stan the bird man of California (my name for him) I had no idea that there were so many different breeds of raptors (birds of prey). Neither did I realize that there were dedicated individuals like Stan, who lives in Sonoma, CA, and whose spare time is consumed with these beautiful creatures that most of us just never notice or take time to discover.

So I had a lot to ask Stan about raptors and banding them and I had a lot to learn from him. Here is the AMOEBLOG interview -- followed by links if you want to learn more about raptors.

AMOEBLOG:
What is your title and what specifically do you do?

STAN:
I am a licensed raptor bander and I band birds of prey for research purposes, monitor banded raptors and their nests. 

AMOEBLOG: How did raptors become your passion and have you always been interested in birds of prey or birds in general?

STAN:
I think I can trace my fascination with raptors back to visits to the Texas Renaissance Faire as a teenager where I saw a falconry display where a falconer sent a trained hawk out over the audience and then called it back. I thought that seeing the bird land on the guy's glove was the coolest thing. Later I also became a falconer, but that is subsidiary to my research on wild birds of prey. 

AMOEBLOG: How long does it take to capture a bird of prey? And what is the longest time you have spent in trying to do so?

STAN:
If a bird of prey is motivated by hunger or some other motivation it can take just a few seconds or at most a few minutes to capture it. Usually if I do not capture an individual bird within ten or fifteen minutes, I move on and look for another. If a particular bird is a priority bird for some reason I may work all day to capture it, but that is rare. If a bird is not responsive pretty quickly, usually it is best to try to capture it at a different time.

The Opening Of Misty Beethoven @ The New Beverly!

Posted by phil blankenship, December 6, 2007 10:26pm | Post a Comment
http://www.myspace.com/grindhouse

Saturday • December 8th, 2007

NEW BEVERLY CINEMA
7165 Beverly Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 938-4038
Admission: $7.00


Classic 1970's Adult Cinema at Midnight!!!!!!!

THE OPENING OF MISTY BEETHOVEN (1976)
Directed by Henry Paris (aka Radley Metzger)
Starring Constance Money, Jamie Gillis, Jacqueline Beaudant, Terri Hall, Ras Kean, Gloria Leonard & Casey Donovan.

We'll be showing this absolute classic from the golden age of adult films, along with an assortment of original 1970's XXX trailers. If we get a good response for this, we'll keep doing additional screenings of classic adult films as an occasional midnight special event.

Fontage

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, December 6, 2007 03:25pm | Post a Comment
Incorporating the dramatic fonts used in the design of the album cover being promoted, the designers of these fine stickers created a nice compliment sure to garner extra sales.



Used to promote Robert Plant's
top 20 hit
, this sticker furthers the classicmodern rock feel of the
album cover. Cool 80's pink lifted from the artful embellishments
found to the left of the photo...









up next, R&B top 20 hit from George Clinton...


Sticker gets a little lost
as cover is already quite busy






Up next, a foreign selection...



Nice gold foil sticker promoting the lovely Geula Gil's version of the "Jerusalem of Gold", which is a huge song in Israel...











OK, Heartlight was truly a smash hit, but I am working on a collection of promo stickers that grossly overstate a song or artist's importance...

Oh, you can almost see the matching sticker reaching out to make contact with the cover, only to be prohibited by the shrink wrap....we'll maybe you can't but I can...you can however reach out a click on any of these images to see them enlarged, which is sort of like getting a healing touch from ET.
or Neil...





A Bargain Bin favorite, with the matching ransom note fontage....



Good comp kiddies, pick it up next time you see it in the CLR section...that's insider lingo FYI...









Aaah....

A deviation...

Faux stickerage from Germany...



btw, "We Are Detective" was a big hit overseas, so in this case, there is no hyperbole in the use of this imitation promo sticker...






Finally, a perfect compliment to Hyaena's layout.  Dear Prudence was a huge success in the UK, but Dazzle and Belladonna are just great songs....

Best Of 2007, Part 2 - Maneja Beto At The Levitt Pavillion 7/28

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, December 6, 2007 11:03am | Post a Comment

Maneja Beto
comes into town two or three times a year with little fanfare, and that’s too bad. They are the best Mexican rock band out on the scene right now that isn't actually from Mexico. Hailing from Austin, TX, Maneja Beto continues on a path that bands from Mexico no longer follow. Maneja incorporate traditional Mexican musical influences with their Anglo and Roc N' Español influences. At their performance at the Levitt Pavilion in Pasadena, Maneja Beto tore through an hour and half set that featured most of the songs from their brilliant release, Accidentes De Longitud Y Latitud. One of the things that makes Maneja unique is that two of the band members play multiple instruments. Bobby Garza doubles on percussion and keyboards and shares vocal duties with Alex Chavez. Chavez plays keys and a whole array of guitars (electric as well as traditional Mexican instruments such as the Jarana and the Requinto). Much like Café Tacvba, Maneja Beto has great songs and can mix all their influences together and still retain their own sound. But unlike Café Tacvba, Maneja does not have an engaging front person, which perhaps is the reason their rise to popularity has been much slower.

There is a Mexican saying, “Traen la cara de nopal,” which roughly translates to, “You have the face of a cactus." It is what some Mexicans say to each other when one forgets where he or she came from. It’s something one can’t shake, no matter how much you are educated, how much money you earn, where you move to or how much one assimilates into Anglo culture. In the end, you have to look in the mirror and see yourself, "la cara del nopal," the face of a Mexican.

The thing I like about Maneja Beto, with all their painted nails and their obvious love of bands like Joy Division and The Smiths, is that they never try to hide their “caras del nopal.”  I think that many bands from Mexico right now could learn from them.

Check out their video for "Los Cerros." It’s pretty cool.

Future-Kill

Posted by phil blankenship, December 5, 2007 10:17pm | Post a Comment
 




Vestron Video VA5109

While Jake's Uke Gently Weeps

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 5, 2007 03:14pm | Post a Comment
Music, one of the best things about music, is that it touches everyone in it's own way. Like a prayer sent up to heaven, once you release a song, it belongs to the universe. This is truly a beautiful video:



As you may know, we are big supporters of the ukelele here at Amoeba, and most of us are crazy about Those Beatles. This video and his amazing prowess on the instrument sure brightened up my day.

If you want to see more of Jake Shimabukuro, or others on Uke, you can hop over here to this website and uke your holidays away: http://www.ukuleledisco.com/jake

DRAG RACING: AUTO AMERICANA Part Two:

Posted by Billyjam, December 5, 2007 02:33pm | Post a Comment

Basically drag racing is an auto acceleration contest from a standing start between two cars (or other type of vehicle) standing side by side, and over a measured distance -- usually a quarter-mile (1,320 feet). And while drag racing is thought of as a strictly American past time, it is celebrated all over the globe with avid drag car racers in such lands as Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Africa, and Northern Europe. 

Above is one of my all time favorite drag racing compilations (check out that school bus doing a wheelie!) with the best music. It is "Burning Rubber (Remix)" by Big Stick, who shot the video footage and who, as a music outfit in the late eighties, churned out some of the greatest tunes ("Crack Attack," "Jesus Was Born on An Indian Reservation," etc) and a sound that carved its unique soundscape somewhere between industrial, rap, and manic rock. 

But as dear to their hearts as music was, Big Stick's passion for auto and drag car racing, as witnessed via their side project the Drag Racing Underground, under which they have released several DVDs of this fascinating past time. Click here for the website

Additionally there are also many other websites on the topic, including DragTimes.Com. Meanwhile, check the following video collection of drag cars doing a lot of wheel stands.

It's the Eve of St. Nicholas Day

Posted by Eric Brightwell, December 5, 2007 01:08pm | Post a Comment
It's already December 5th again. Everyone knows that I'm obsessed with holidays and St. Nicholas Day is one of my favorites. Most people have heard David Sedaris' story about Santa Claus vs. St. Nicholas and maybe some of us know that he was a Greek bishop in present-day Turkey who became the patron saint of children by resurrecting their little corpses and paying off debts of the living to keep them out of child sex slavery.
 
I know people still exchange gifts at least in parts of the Middle West. Fewer of us still stuff our shoes with carrots and hay for his white horse Amerigo (or in some places a donkey) with the expectation that tomorrow we'll find our initials in chocolate, chocolate coins or marzipan. Of course, if we've been bad there might be some salt or a bundle of sticks to get switched with.

In different parts of the world he's accompanied by different comrades.
 

Probably most well known is Zwarte Piet who is his companion in Flanders and the Netherlands. Originally Zwarte Piet was a nickname for the Devil and, after arriving from Spain, he threatened to stuff bad kids into his sack and take them back with him. In the 19th century, in typically misguided proto-Political Correctness, he was re-cast as a Moorish servant in blackface wearing colorful clothing from the Renaissance. Satan is too offensive, Moorish slavery is still unfortunately commonplace, so I guess it's not as tasteless. If you look up Sinterklaas on YouTube you will be shocked by the prevalence of blackface, which no one there seems to find remotely controversial. All the comments are in Dutch and I guess you don't see a lot of black people in Holland unless Urban Dance Squad is still around.

         
Also well-known is Knecht Ruprecht -- his companion in parts of Germany. By some accounts he was a farmhand who suffered an accident which accounts for his limp. By others he was a foundling raised by St. Nicholas. If you're bad, he'll take you back to his home in the Black Forest or just toss your body into a river. Sometimes he rides with the Christchild himself.

 

                 
My favorite, perhaps, is Père Fouettard, who is known in Wallonie and Lorraine. Père Fouettard butchered three children which St. Nicholas resurrected. Now he is taken along in chains but still allowed to switch the naughty.

    
The Krampus (or Krampusz) are demons that roam around with bells and chains, drunkenly and indiscriminately attacking onlookers. If you look for Krampus on youtube you'll find plenty of evidence of this from parades in Bavaria, Slovenia, Hungary, Austria, and Croatia.

          
In Switzerland we have Schmutzli. His name means "little schmutzy one" and his m.o. includes the expected child abuse, beat-downs and kidnapping. Unlike some of St. Nicholas' other homies, he also is said to eat bad children.

  
In Luxembourg we have Houseker, a creepy figure who wears a monk's habit and carries the requisite bundle of switches.


The first I heard of St. Nicholas' companions was Belzenickl (or Pelz Nichol, Belschnikel, Belsnichols &c). He's a drunken woodsmen clad in furs (sometimes a skunk fur cap) known primarily among the Pennsylvania Dutch (Germans) who, if you were good, might throw nuts, cakes and treats across the carpet. If you were bad (you guessed it) -- switching. His name means Nicholas in Furs (or something like that) and he looks a lot like St. Nicholas, only wearing furs and carrying switches instead of gifts.


So, keep your eyes peeled and let me know who was riding with St. Nicholas in your neck of the woods.





If Zwarte Piet in his current Moorish guise leaves you curious about Moors and you desire someone with more firsthand knowledge of Moorish culture than Shakespeare, you could watch a popular Moorish movie on sale at Amoeba, Waiting For Happiness. I haven't yet seen it although comparisons to Michaelangelo Antonioni, Jafar Panahi and Yasujiro Ozu certainly tempt me.





Follow me at ericbrightwell.com

IF GANGSTA RAP NEVER HAPPENED: HELP THA POLICE

Posted by Billyjam, December 4, 2007 10:52pm | Post a Comment

Suspend your beliefs for a minute and imagine if gangsta rap never happened. Imagine if instead of a group doing a song called "Fuck Tha Police," like in the above UK comedy spoof on NWA's classic song, that the script was flipped into a sanitized good cop version entitled "Help Tha Police."

The Deadly Intruder

Posted by phil blankenship, December 4, 2007 10:12pm | Post a Comment
 





Thorn EMI Video TVB2908

(In which Job gifts you with holiday music suggestions.)

Posted by Job O Brother, December 4, 2007 12:04pm | Post a Comment
You fool. You bloody fool.

You’re too smug, too naïve! You think you have all the time in the world to deal with Christmas music. Or worse, maybe you haven’t even thought about acquiring any Christmas music at all!

It’s because I love you and want the best for you that I say I’m disappointed in you.

Don’t wait until the last second to figure out what you’re going to play for your Christmas party, Christmas Eve dinner, or Christmas morning, gift-giving orgy. (Incidentally, I found out what you’re getting this year, and frankly, most of it’s disappointing, but there’s at least one thing I think you’ll really like.)

Amoeba Music puts up their Christmas music section promptly after Thanksgiving. I understand if you’re too doped-up on tryptophan to shop it immediately (those vegetarians who opted for a Tofurky instead have an excuse – they’ll be suffering from indigestion until mid-February) but time is of the essence.

Learn from my mistake two years ago and buy USED Christmas albums early, before the hipsters pick-over the selection and leave only this:


"Eeeeeekkk...! Is it Halloween?!"

Here’s a few gems I recommend:

Swingle Singers “Noëls Sans Passeport”



Also released, in the States, under the title “Christmastime”, this album is jazzy and lighthearted, but the vocal harmonies are ornate and require deft singing. You may think you’ve never heard of these guys, but by now you’ve almost certainly heard their music; they are often featured on film and TV. And once your holiday guests have had a few cups of egg nog, they will inevitably try to sing along, sounding like stray cats in heat – and isn’t that what Christmas is all about?

Aimee Mann “One More Drifter in the Snow”


Harkening to a time when even the coolest pop stars cut Christmas albums, the pithy Ms. Mann came out with this smooth croon in 2006. Influenced as she is by Bacharach and country’s golden age, this album is a rare, modern addition to my collection. Her dry delivery and razor wit may not be at the forefront lyrically (she is singing mostly standards, after all) even so, knowing that she’s the brains behind the outfit will allow those of you who are “too cool for Christmas music” to relax for a second and enjoy the tunes without compromising your cultivated cynicism.

Bing Crosby (w/Andrews Sisters only, please) “Merry Christmas”


Let me make this absolutely clear: I fully resent this album. Bing Crosby is perhaps just as famous for physically abusing his children in alcoholic fits of rage as he is for performing scripted flirtations with a (much younger) Judy Garland. For myself, I have difficulty separating this knowledge from my enjoyment of his work, and if he sings a lyric that could be made into a double entendre for violence, inevitably my imagination will spin so.

That being said, this album is so deeply ingrained in me as the sound of Christmastime, that I can’t help but bring it out from the storage box. But ONLY for the songs with the Andrews Sisters. Their charming presence is enough to counteract the “Swinging Bing”*.

Ramsey Lewis Trio “Sound of Christmas”


For those of you who need respite from Christmas singers, or would like your Christmas music to enhance but not dominate the room, try this album on for size. It’s jazz, charismatic and smart. I recommend it for those of you who ONLY like the Vince Guaraldi “Charlie Brown Christmas” record but would maybe like another option.

Ella Fitzgerald “Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas”


Traditionally, I hanker for musicians with some kind of edge to them; I’ll play Shostakovich before Mozart, and in jazz, Ella is (to me) the vocal equivalent to Wolfgang Amadeus. Buoyant and adroit, the virtuosity of Fitzgerald is undeniable, even if I’d rather hear Billie Holiday nod her way through a number.

But at Christmastime, when the living room is perfumed with the crisp scent of pine, and I’m flying high on a sugar-rush from the umpteenth cookie, and people congregate all gezellig, this is the perfect album. Her voice is like one more tinkling, silver bell, lush with cheer and charm. Afraid your party is going to be awkward? Give this a spin, and the temperature will gravitate to “cozy”.

Christmas music I like is undoubtedly in the minority. If this is true for you, too, I hope this brief, but not complete, list of suggestions provides some Inspiration.

Merry Christmas, and send me some g**damn cookies.



*That’s “swinging” as in “I swing a sock full of soap at you for not finishing your glass of Ovaltine”.

out today 12/4...superbad...snl...rocky...

Posted by Brad Schelden, December 3, 2007 11:15pm | Post a Comment
It is another mellow release day in the world of music. A couple more collections and live albums. There are actually only a couple real releases out today. Both Too Short and Ghostface have brand new albums out. And there are also some cool tour only type albums coming out on CD by Songs:Ohia. The Rufus Wainwright album "Rufus does Judy" comes out on CD and DVD. I have never really cared much for Judy Garland. But hearing Rufus cover an entire show of Judy's is sort of hilarious and amazing at the same time. There is a live album from Daft Punk and a nice little Nick Drake box set. The Nick Drake box has 3 albums and a DVD. The Scissor Sisters have a live album and one of my favorite little bands called Idlewild have a best of album coming out. Basically a couple cute little things are coming out and two relatively moderately sized hip hop albums. As I mentioned before, the music labels decided to release everything early this year. Sort of like how they released Rob Zombie's Halloween months before the actual date of Halloween.

But there are a couple DVD's worth talking about. The brilliant Superbad comes out as an unrated 2 disc DVD. The movie is no Heathers. But it is sort of more like a Fast Times At Ridgemont High. Or maybe more like Porky's or Meatballs. I really ended up liking it more than I thought I would. That Jud Apatow is really a brilliant man and creating some of the funniest movies out in the last couple of years. The most recent Pirates of the Caribbean movie also comes out. I really do love the ride at Disneyland more than anything. And these Pirates movies are for sure better than the Haunted Mansion movie with Eddie Murphy. But I was really fine with just one movie. It sort of lost me after that. But if they decide to put out a movie about Space Mountain, I will be the first in line. I really do love that ride. I can't really imagine what the movie would be about but I might just start working on that screenplay right now. The sountrack alone would be amazing. The Sigur Ros DVD also comes out today in the more regular format. The beautiful version with the book is out of print and will soon be gone. It really is awesome and I highly recommend it. The second season of Saturday Night Live also comes out on DVD today. I do really hate those best of Saturday Night Live DVD's that have been coming out. I guess the hardcore Dana Carvey and David Spade fans were probably excited that their favorite cast member had their very own DVD. But I really just prefer to watch the entire original episodes. This season covered 1976-1977 and was still way too early on for me to watch live. I have seen some of the skits over the years. But it will be fun to watch these old episodes that I have never really seen. There were some amazing guests on this season including Jodie Foster, Lily Tomlin, Ralph Nader, and Sissy Spacek. But most importantly, the brilliant Shelley Duvall shows up as a host for one of the episodes. Wallace & Gromit also gets released on DVD. "Three Amazing Adventures" includes the fantastic early short films that made them famous. "A Grand Day Out," "The Wrong Trousers," and "A Close Shave" are all included. The Rocky Saga also gets released again in a nice little box set. This time with the most recent film "Rocky Balboa." The old box was a bit ugly and simple. So it is nice to see some better treatment for a series that had such an affect on me. I was really excited about this for months. I was expecting an awesome deluxe box. But the only improved thing is really the packaging. I do like the new black box packaging. I just wish there was more for me to talk about other than the new packaging.

If you know me even a little bit, you might know that I have one or two guilty pleasures. But I don't really feel guilty about them and I am rarely embarrassed. I have always been a big fan of the Rocky films. So much so that I even dragged myself to the theater to see the most recent Rocky film this year. And it really was not as bad as you would imagine. I will most likely go see the new Rambo film as well. I am expecting that one to be horrible. But I am sure I will still enjoy it. This new box set is called "Rocky: The Complete Saga Collection." It includes the original 5 Rocky films and also Rocky Balboa. Just in case you forgot the films are Rocky (1976), Rocky II (1979), Rocky III (1982), Rocky IV (1985), and Rocky V (1990).The original first movie remains a classic film. I often forget myself that this first film was nominated for Best Picture and became one of the most popular films of all time. Rocky came out in 1976 and did better than anybody imagined that it would. The film won Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director. It beat Taxi Driver, Network, and All the President's Men at the Oscars that year. I still don't know if it really deserved an Oscar over Taxi Driver, but a lot of people thought so apparently.

The Rocky Saga has been released about 4 times already in various box sets. This new set is really not different from those of the past. It simply just has the most recent Rocky Balboa included and a couple of Rocky Trailers. The first movie got some nice treatment when it was recently released as a 2 disc version for the 30th anniversary. This edition has tons of commentaries and documentaries and tributes to Bill Conti and Burgess Meredith. But this version is of course not the version in this new box set. The recent deluxe version of Rocky Balboa is not even included. I do really love all these movies and end up watching them all whenever they are on TV. But they do deserve some better treatment. The material is out there and I would really love to hear an audio commentary by Brigitte Nielson and Dolph Lundgren for Rocky IV. Rocky IV remains one of my favorites. All the films have great montage scenes. But the scenes in Rocky IV are brilliant. One of the montages shows Rocky getting ready for the big Russian fight using his traditional training techniques. This is cut with the clips of Dolph Lundgren training using high tech computers and training equipment. Brilliant. Brigitte Nielson is at her best here as the manager and wife of Ivan Drago. The scene of James Brown opening up the big fight with his performance of "Living in America" is also nothing short of brilliant. These movies did really have a big effect on me. I really fell in love with them as a kid. It may be hard to explain to someone who did not grow up with these films. While the films might look a bit outdated at this point. The powerful effect that they have is still there. This does give me another excuse to watch all the films again. I just wish the films were all double disc deluxe DVDs. I would love to see any documentary footage of the making of the films. It would also be fun to watch some interviews with fans who were affected by the film.
 

also out today...





"Alive 2007" by Daft Punk











"Fruit Tree" by Nick Drake












"Big Doe Rehab" by Ghostface










"Scottish Fiction" by Idlewild











"Ghost" by Songs:Ohia






  




"Protection Spells" by Songs:Ohia












"Get Off the Stage" by Too Short










"Rufus Does Judy" by Rufus Wainwright






Haunting Fear

Posted by phil blankenship, December 3, 2007 10:08pm | Post a Comment
 



Rhino Home Video RNVD7902

BAY AREA RAPPER SPICE-1 SHOT, CRITICAL CONDITION

Posted by Billyjam, December 3, 2007 08:05pm | Post a Comment

According to a report posted on the website Baller Status dot com, longtime Bay Area Rapper Spice 1 was shot earlier today (Monday, December 3rd) and is reportedly in critical condition. The legendary East Bay rapper is originally from Texas. He was discovered by Too $hort when he went by the name MC Spice and was part of The Dangerous Crew. Apparently he was shot in Hayward during the early hours of this morning but so far specific details of the exact attack are sketchy and incomplete.
       
According to the website, the rapper's manager, Six, confirmed the shooting but said that despite rumors, the rapper is still alive but in critical condition at an unspecified area hospital. According to the manager, two shots hit the rapper -- one in the chin and another in the chest, missing his heart by only inches. Ironically the attack on Spice-1, who refers to himself in lyrics as the "East Bay Gangsta," mirrors the lyrical content of many of his popular gangsta-themed tracks like the classic '93 "Trigga Gots No Heart" from the Menace II Society soundtrack.

       

AMOEBITE PROFILE: MARTY DOWERS, BERKELEY

Posted by Billyjam, December 3, 2007 12:20pm | Post a Comment

MARTY DOWERS
AMOEBA MUSIC, BERKELEY:

AMOEBLOG: How did you end up working at Amoeba Music, Berkeley and what is your job there?

MARTY: I was working at a record store in Hawaii and wanting to move back to the Bay. My sister inquired as to if Amoeba or Rasputin were hiring. Turned out they both were. I never heard back from Rasputin, but Marc (Weinstein) said come on out for an interview. This was just as the San Francisco store was opening -- so some of the Berkeley buyers moved over there, and there was a spot for me.

AMOEBLOG: What makes working at Amoeba different from other jobs you've had?                          

MARTY: I've been in the 'industry' since 1980, but always wholesale -- one stops, rack jobbers. The store in Hawaii was the first retail job. Going from that little store front shop to Amoeba was quite an experience. Amoeba has become an institution!

AMOEBLOG: Best place to  grab a bite nearby Amoeba Berkeley?

MARTY: Good luck. Where's the Japanese ramen?

AMOEBLOG: What's the best record of all time?

MARTY: (laughing) Obviously, that's a very difficult question. It depends on mood, genre, etc. But how about this: "Who's santana abraxasThat Lady" (from '64) by the Isley Brothers -- a perfect single!

Specially Priced

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, December 2, 2007 05:45pm | Post a Comment
OK, a bit of a hybrid tonight.  Discount or sale stickers...some are price tags, some are promotional stickers....A few of the classic mid-line stickers that the majors and minors (labels and chains) used throughout the 70-80's...











Nice discount sticker from across the pond, they really pulled out all the stops for this Rockpile LP. Threw in the Edmunds/Lowe 7" & gave you a GBP off... The final pic is my favorite, $ .02 is price tag not very often seen, love the way they kept marking the sucker down, maybe someone finally bit...

Another Southland Tale For The Day

Posted by phil blankenship, December 2, 2007 12:56pm | Post a Comment

INDIAN THRILLER

Posted by Billyjam, December 2, 2007 08:00am | Post a Comment

Michael Jackson's Thriller, celebrating its twenty fifth anniversary (see previous AMOEBLOG), has inspired many covers and interpretations but few come close to the "Indian Thriller" version above.

Best Of 2007, Part 1 - Café Tacvba 11/29 @ The Gibson Theatre

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, December 2, 2007 02:00am | Post a Comment
Writer's note: The next twenty blogs will deal with the best of 2007. The first 10 will highlight the best shows I had a chance to witness during this year. The second ten will highlight my favorite releases of this year. Nothing will be listed in order, as I enjoyed every minute of the shows and recordings; I can’t possibly pick a number one.

Some of the best rock bands in the last fifteen years have come from Latin America. Throughout those years, Café Tacvba has become one of the most important voices not only in Latin Rock but also in all of rock music today. At their show at the Gibson, Café Tacvba seamlessly flowed back and forth from their early Roc ñ Espanòl material into their recent cerebral songs without dating the older songs or trivializing the new ones. The songs they played from their brilliant new album, Si No, captivated the audience as much as the hits. Their show was part Beach Boys, part b-boy, part Electronica, part classic rock and part indie rock, all at its finest.

Café Tacvba mixed the older hits ("Ingrata," "Eres," "Las Flores," "Maria') with the best songs from the new album ("El Outsider," "53100," and the new wavy "Volver A Comenzar"). The band as a whole was entertaining and played flawlessly. Lead vocalist Ruben Albarran is everything you want from a front person. He charismatic, has a unique voice, and lots of energy, yet never takes the spotlight away from the rest of the group. The rest of the band is solid, mixing live instruments with sequenced beats. Bassist Enrique “Quique” Rangel is one of those bass players that can carry a band melodically, much like John Entwistle did for The Who or Mike Mills does with R.E.M.

MICHAEL JACKSON'S THRILLER TURNS 25

Posted by Billyjam, December 2, 2007 12:08am | Post a Comment
michael jackson thriller
Michael Jackson
's album Thriller is celebrating its 25th year anniversary. The 1982 album was a follow up to 1979's Off The Wall, which was a big hit. Thriller would become an even bigger hit  -- much, much bigger -- going on to become the biggest selling album of all time, with worldwide sales of over a hundred million to date!  

Thriller was such a large scale hit that it stayed on the Billboard Top 10 Album chart for a solid year and produced a total of seven Billboard Top Ten singles -- and the album only had nine tracks!

When Thriller was relased in late 1982 it was a different world in many ways -- besides the fact that people still loved Michael Jackson. For one thing, it was a time when a pop star of that scale could exist. Nowadays the fame pie is divided many more times and there are now no artists such a broad cross-section of the population could all agree on liking.

But Thriller era Micheal Jackson appealed to all demographics. Quincy Jones' perfectly produced sound -- whose key instrument was Michael's voice -- somehow captured the best of everything in music at that time, and beyond too. Thriller had everything -- rock, dance, rhythm, soul, groove and strong melody. It advanced disco into a new space, and tapped into (and topped) the imported new wave sound that was gaining popularity then.     

Thriller is available at Amoeba Music, both new and used, vinyl and CD. And note there are different versions/editions of it. In addition to the original 1982 version (see tracking below), there is also the 2001 Thriller Special Edition Release CD which has 21 tracks, including several Quincy Jones interview clips. But there is also the brand new 25th Anniversary edition of Thriller  which comes as a CD/DVD bundle.

GHOST RIDE THE WHIP: AUTO AMERICANA Part One:

Posted by Billyjam, December 1, 2007 02:33pm | Post a Comment

What makes the still popular US pastime of ghost riding the whip so adaptable is that it is the ultimate all-American type past time that everyone can do, or at least relate to; one that is based around the automobile. The auto, the car, the ride, the whip -- whatever you call it, since the 1950's when young rebellious Americans first started getting their own wheels and the automatic freedom that came with it, has gained its own subculture. And this auto subculture has been closely linked with music, sex, alcohol, drugs, and (of course) driving stunts. 

And ghost riding the whip, which has been extremely popular the past two years, is the current offshoot of this ever-evolving auto American pop culture. Since last year it has gotten a lot of sensationalist mainstream coverage which has only fueled its popularity and as a result flooded YouTube with lots of "ghost riding the whip" video clips being posted daily.

How to ghost ride the whip: "the whip" is the car, the ride, and "ghost ride" is how it is driven -- by the ghost, meaning that the car drives itself and the driver hops out of the drivers seat to sit on the hood or run around the car and tries not to crash, and if s/he does, then tries to remember what type of auto insurance s/he (though predominantly a male past time) has. S/he may also need medical insurance.

The soundtrack to ghost riding is Bay Area hyphy rap, which directly helped fuel its current popularity, including such faves as Mista F.A.B.'s "Ghost Ride It" (video below) and, of course, E40 and the Federation as featured in the ebaum's world video clip below with the crashes (when ghost riders attack). These ghost-ridin' songs are the latest in a long tradition of Bay rap that celebrates illegal car activity and is rooted in the beloved but outlawed tradition of sideshows, long an ingrained part of underground urban Bay Area culture, with songs such as 415's  single "Sideshow"  (featuring Richie Rich and from the album 41Fiven), reflecting the illegal car activities back in the late eighties.

Southland Tale Of The Day

Posted by phil blankenship, December 1, 2007 12:36pm | Post a Comment
According to Hiland, this was the most lyrical & moving scene in the movie.

Robert Craig "Evel" Knievel, Jr. 1938-2007

Posted by Whitmore, December 1, 2007 09:24am | Post a Comment
Here are a few images of some toys I really … REALLY … wanted for Christmas as a kid!!

It was no accident I got my first motorcycle at 11 years of age.
Rest in peace Evel.