Amoeblog

Obi 2

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, March 31, 2008 11:25pm | Post a Comment
Main Entry:
obi 
Pronunciation:
ˈō-bē
Function:
noun
Etymology:
Japanese
Date:
1876
: a broad sash worn especially with a Japanese kimono

OK, part 2 of our trip through Obiland begins with a Boston classic, along with its promo sticker sheet...



A trio of 80's classics. I'm sorry, but Pete Burns was always scary...


 
This Al Kooper Obi was used in a series of albums related to him via production and such...



My favorite Obi from this batch. Is Prince the drug!? Or does looking at him make you feel drugged??



A batch of pro proggers and their respective Obi's. The GTR LP has the flap folded into the jacket opening type variation on the classic band/sash type Obi.....



Disco does Obi, love the Fro-pickish image on the Three Degrees...



HOT Obi action below!



Of course, Kiss had some amazing Obi action.  Their early albums had artwork that mixed perfectly with the Obi, and of course Gene had the Samurai thing going on...It may seem that I'm a bit of a Kiss fan as they've appeared in a couple of blogs, but I'm not really.  It's just that they were so dead-on in the marketing department that they have many great examples of album related design works...

Oasis Of The Zombies

Posted by phil blankenship, March 31, 2008 07:47pm | Post a Comment
 



Filmland

WWTarkovskyD? Editing Reality

Posted by Charles Reece, March 31, 2008 11:54am | Post a Comment
This interview with Orson Welles by New Wave assistant director and Cahiers critic Charles Bitsch and film critic André Bazin reminded me of why The Bourne Ultimatum won the Oscar for editing this year:

For me, almost everything that is called mise en scène is a big joke. In the cinema, there are very few people who are really metteurs-en-scène; there are very few who have ever had the opportunity to direct. The only mise en scène of real importance is practiced in the editing. I needed nine months to edit Citizen Kane, six days a week. Yes, I edited [The Magnificent] Ambersons, despite the fact that there were scenes not by me, but my editing was modified. The basic editing is mine and, when a scene of the film holds together, it is because I edited it. In other words, everything happens as if a man painted a picture: he finishes it and someone comes to do the touch up, but he cannot of course add paint all over the surface of the canvas. I worked months and months on the editing of Ambersons before it was taken away from me: all this work is thus there, on the screen. But for my style, for my vision of cinema, the editing is not one aspect, it is the aspect. Directing is an invention of people like you; it is not an art, or at most an art for a minute a day. This minute is terribly crucial, but it happens only very rarely. The only moment where one can exercise any control over a film is in the editing. But in the editing room, I work very slowly, which always unleashes the temper of the producers who snatch the film from my hands. I don’t know why it takes me so much time: I could work forever on the editing of a film. For me, the strip of celluloid is put together like a musical score, and this execution is determined by the editing; just like a conductor interprets a piece of music in rubato, another will play it in a very dry and academic manner and a third will be very romantic, and so on. The images themselves are not sufficient: they are very important, but are only images. The essential is the length of each image, what follows each image: it is the very eloquence of the cinema that is constructed in the editing room.

[...]

I don’t believe that the sum of the editing work is a function of the brevity of the shots. It is an error to think that the Russians worked a lot on editing because they shot in short scenes. You can spend a lot of time on the editing of a film in long scenes, because you are not content to just glue them one scene to the next.

[...]

I can’t believe that editing is not essential for the director, the only moment where he completely controls the form of his film. When I shoot, the sun determines something against which I can’t fight, the actor makes his intervention to which I must adapt myself and the story; I only manage to dominate what I can. The only place where I exercise an absolute control is in the editing room: consequently, that is when the director is, in power, a real artist, because I believe that a film is only good to the extent that the director manages to control his different materials and is not content to simply finish the film.

Unfortunately, Welles lost the battle on that one.  Ah well, here's an example from The Magnificent Ambersons where he uses what Sergei Eisenstein referred to as parallel montage (editing between 2 events to create a sense of their existing simultaneously):


Continue reading...

PETE ROCK @ AMOEBA TONIGHT & OTHER NEWS BITS

Posted by Billyjam, March 31, 2008 08:13am | Post a Comment

Amoeba Music Hollywood has one highly recommended free instore performance today when producer/remixer/rapper and hip-hop legend Pete Rock graces the stage of the 6400 Sunset Blvd store at 7PM for a free show. For full details on the Mt. Vernon, NY hip-hop great, whose new joint is the appropriately titled NY's Finest -- a guest-heavy production that among others includes Wu Tang Clan's Raekwon and Masta Killa.  Check out the insightful, in-depth bio on Pete Rock (including his influential years with musical partner CL Smooth, with whom he recorded one of hip-hop's greatest songs -- the classic "T.R.O.Y." -- among others) elsewhere on the Amoeba website by clicking here

Remember tonight's Hollywood Amoeba instore starts at 7PM sharp so get there on time if you are planning on heading over.  Meantime check out the electronic press kit video of NY's Finest below.



Another new hip-hop full-length release and one that I highly recommend is Questolous by longtime San Francisco turntablist DJ Quest of the Bulletproof Scratch Hamster/Space Travelers and Live Human fame who tomorrow (April 1st) drops this, his first solo album since he dropped Questside seven years ago.  Questolous is an amazing hip-hop album, rich with scratch mastery from the pioneering Bay Area scratchmaster Quest plus his numerous guests including DJ Marz (Space Travelers), DJ Vandal, Oaty Love, Dawgshit, and DJ T-Rock, who each add either scratching or production to the sixteen track offering that also features the three Bay Area emcees Luke Sick, Bas-One, and Eddie K, each on their own tracks.  If you love hip-hop but have gotten sick of much of what passes for hip-hop in recent years, this is an album you should really like.

Continue reading...

Obi 1

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, March 30, 2008 11:05pm | Post a Comment
The art of the Japanese Obi strip has always held a special spot in my heart.  I remember visiting a bandmate's house back in 1989 and getting a peek into his older, cooler brother's bedroom.  He was a musician who had reputedly jammed a bit with Caterwaul;  I was very impressed!  On his walls, in shiny import bags, were dozens of Japanese issue LPs with Obi strips, a sight I'd never seen before.  For me, the obi is like cool neon on a bar front.  It's an enticing advertisement- promising something exotic, cryptic and sexy.  Even if it is just an 80's Elton John record... something which, in reality, is none of the above.  The Obi is meant to be disposable, hence the flimsy design. That's why the people who covet Japanese issues pay so much more for certain LP's with intact Obis.  Older LP's are especially difficult to find with the Obis intact.  Anyhow, here's a two parter for you, all from a recently priced out collection- some of which are currently hanging on our walls or awaiting for you in our vinyl bins...



A popular Obi design uses a band photo or artist head shot. These are often used on later press runs when an artist has a body of work, all of which can be adorned with the same band/artist image.



Below are a batch of records with "series" obi's. Usually used to push a batch of like minded groups. Among the other releases in the Hard Attack '85 series were Iron Maiden Live After Death 2xLP & Aces High 12" as well as Saxon Innocence Is No Excuse LP (the one with girl and the apple).  I really love the guitar humper on the Free record...











































More artist image-adorned Obis.  Love the redundant Aerosmith...



and finally, a couple of beards and a couple quite familiar with the concept...

Blade Of The Ripper

Posted by phil blankenship, March 30, 2008 08:01pm | Post a Comment
 



Interglobal Home Video

STILL IN THIS MORNING FOG

Posted by Whitmore, March 30, 2008 06:27pm | Post a Comment

This morning,
dawdling
in its tracks
in the wet
dust,
the fog
fingered
the mist
as the scapegoat
alongside
its cohort,
the westerly breeze,
as the petty thieves
who stole
away with the
neighbors.
Fog always
seems to have an
alibi.

THIS MORNING IN THE FOG

Posted by Whitmore, March 30, 2008 05:39pm | Post a Comment

This morning in the fog
billowing
green fires smoldered
inside
the immense
drifting
ooze,
there was
no blaze
just dawn
lingering
as
dusk,
meanwhile,
I suspect
the fog
stole my newspaper.

Roy Ayers, Tony Allen & J.Rocc @ The Crash Mansion #3

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, March 30, 2008 02:45am | Post a Comment
You know it's going to be a good show when many DJ's, musicians and all-around people with good taste are in the audience. All the people pictured are some of my favorite Amoeba shoppers and fellow employees. I hope they had as good of a time at the show as I.


SASHA ALI & ZANE ONE

JOE BAIZA (SACCHARINE TRUST)

CARLOS NIÑO (DUBLAB)

ERIK (AMOEBA) & FRIEND

DJ SLOE POKE AND BORROWED PRETTY GIRL

MAHSSA (AMOEBA,B-MUSIC)

DJ JUN & FRIEND

QUINCY (AMOEBA) & GIRLFRIEND

Roy Ayers, Tony Allen & J.Rocc @ The Crash Mansion #2

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, March 30, 2008 02:20am | Post a Comment

DJ  ANT. VALADEZ STARTS OFF THE NIGHT

NAJITE BEFORE TONY ALLEN JOINS IN

JAZZ GREAT PHIL RANELIN PERFORMING WITH  TONY ALLEN & NAJITE



TONY ALLEN

 
J.ROCC ROCKS THE MAIN STAGE
WHILE...


JEREMY SOLE HAD EVERYONE DANCING IN THE BAR

Once again, it was so packed when Roy Ayers went on I couldn't get any good shots of the band. Sorry.

Roy Ayers, Tony Allen & J.Rocc @ The Crash Mansion

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, March 30, 2008 02:02am | Post a Comment

JUST STARTING

ROY AYERS, FELA KUTI &
  TONY ALLEN START TO APPEAR


THE HOMAGE IS ALMOST DONE

During Roy Ayers' set, Kofie added color to the faces. I couldn't get a good shot of it because the club became so packed. I ended up leaving before the piece was done. Still, what I did see was amazing.

Roy Ayers, Tony Allen & J.Rocc

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, March 29, 2008 03:47pm | Post a Comment
If you can make it, don't miss it. I'll have some pictures and a review of the show later tonight!










Art Aragon 1927 - 2008

Posted by Whitmore, March 29, 2008 12:38pm | Post a Comment


Several years back I was a dedicated MTA bus rider. I spent countless hours wandering back and forth from Silverlake to my job in Century City where, believe it or not, I worked for a law firm. One afternoon I was sitting in the back staring out into space when someone leaned over past me and tapped the knee of an older man sitting next to me. Hey, this guy told the old man, you’re Art Aragon. Sure enough sitting next to me was none other then LA’s original "Golden Boy,” the legendary and flamboyant Hall of Fame Boxer. This past week Art Aragon died at the age of 80 from the effects of a stroke. And though he never won the world title he was one of boxing’s biggest draws during the 40’s and 50’s.

Born in Belen, New Mexico in 1927, Aragon grew up in East Los Angeles and began boxing in 1942. His first professional fight was in May 1944, against Frenchy Rene at the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles. He ended his career with a 90-20-6 record, including 61 wins by knockout. He fought many of the stars of the era like Tommy Campbell, Jesse Flores, Carmen Basilio, Don Jordan, Billy Graham, Chuck Davey and Chico Vejarand. Sadly, Aragon had only one title shot in his career, losing to lightweight champion James Carter in November 1951. Aragon, who often struggled to make his weight class, said afterward that he was weak from having to lose seven pounds in the few days before the bout.


Though he was never a world champ, in 1990 Aragon was inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame. And while he had a great fight career, it was marred by allegations that he fixed a few of his fights. In February 1957, Aragon was convicted of offering a $500 bribe to welterweight Dick Goldstein to take a dive in their scheduled San Antonio bout the previous December. The fight was called off at the last moment when Aragon became ill. Eventually though, the conviction was overturned on appeal.  

Continue reading...

COPYRIGHT JERRY SIEGEL

Posted by Charles Reece, March 28, 2008 08:54pm | Post a Comment
After seventy years, Jerome Siegel’s heirs regain what he granted so long ago – the copyright in the Superman material that was published in Action Comics Vol. 1. What remains is an apportionment of profits, guided in some measure by the rulings contained in this Order, and a trial on whether to include the profits generated by DC Comics’ corporate sibling’s exploitation of the Superman copyright. -- Judge Larson

One for the little guys!

Grebo -- Spotlight on the spotty

Posted by Eric Brightwell, March 28, 2008 11:57am | Post a Comment
Grebo was the name given to a short-lived music scene/subculture in the late 1980s/early 1990s which was centered in England's Midlands region. Key bands in the scene were Pop Will Eat Itself, Ned's Atomic Dustbin, Carter USM and The Wonderstuff. Other bands associated with Grebo to varying extents include The Levellers, Zodiac Mindwarp, Crazyhead, The Bomb Party, The Hunters Club, Scum Pups, Gaye Bikers on Acid, The Senseless Things, Mega City Four and New Model Army. These musically diverse bands on the surface had little in common with one another but were united in their incorporation of (to varying degrees, given the band in question) musical influences taken from many of the more marginal scenes of the day such as heavy metal, alternative, dance, glam, hip-hop, punk and industrial. Though rarely, if ever, termed Grebo; Jesus Jones and EMF applied a strong pop sensibility to an undeniably Grebo-esque formula which carried them to considerable, though short-lived, heights.



Still, where there is little recognizable commonality to the musicologist, there is an undeniable vibe evident in their attitude, sartorial sense and Chaz's Grebo dance, which the subcultural anthropologist can recognize easily. The Grebo look often involved dreadlocks, topknots, crimped hair or otherwise unflattering, grubby coifs. The clothing often saw long-sleeved lumberjack shirts or Ts combined with shorts and heavy boots.  Skate brands and surplus were often topped off with odd hats which were popular in the early 1990s and will prove an essential, if unflattering, ingredient in any upcoming 90s revival. The result was deliberately ugly, comical and political, in keeping with most of the music.

Continue reading...

FINDING BEAUTY IN THE CONCRETE STRUCTURE OF FREEWAYS

Posted by Billyjam, March 28, 2008 10:11am | Post a Comment
       

While certainly not the same form of beauty as found in nature, there is undoubtedly something beautiful to behold in the shapes and forms of freeway and highway structures - especially elevated ones.  Aerial views of these intricate freeway interchanges, commonly found in major urban areas such as the MacArthur Maze in the East Bay, can often be as breathtaking (to some eyes) as some sights in nature, such as looking at a river meandering its way down a mountain side towards the sea.  Equally satisfying is the view looking up from below at these giant concrete creations.

I thought of this recently as I cycled the dirt track along the railway tracks under the elevated merging 580 and 880 freeways in a desolate (except for the overhead rumble of traffic and the occasional homeless encampment) part of Oakland and Emeryville - not far from where that oil tanker burst into flames and screwed up the freeway structure about a year ago.  From the relatively peaceful vantage point, directly below this network of connector ramps that merge the East Bay's major interstate freeways and highways, one can, without being bothered, take in the engineering beauty of the concrete roadways as they wind and meld together overhead.

    

       

       


       

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes!

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, March 28, 2008 03:07am | Post a Comment
Tuesday night found some of us working after hours at Amoeba Hollywood for our latest change. I'm going to go through these changes quickly, so pay attention!


Most music DVD's  (Rock, Hip-Hop, Soul, Reggae, Country, Oldies & World) are now located where the posters and books used to be, behind the information desk. Jazz, Pop Vocal, Classical & Opera DVD’s remain in their sections.
Posters have moved where the World Music DVD's were once located
(along the stairs)

AND

to Aisle 7, which once housed Experimental music.

Experimental Music and 78's have moved into our Jazz Room.
 
Books and Magazines are now located behind the Country Music.
 
All cassettes are now located against the west side wall.

The move allows the DVD movie section to expand. Blu-Ray Movies are now along the west wall which once housed the Black and Latino Cinema.  There is an expanded clearance movie section and all other movie genres have expanded as well.

Downstairs, the Goth, Black Metal, Reggae and Electronica have a little more room the breathe. Whew!

Confused? I don't blame you. I'm a little myself.

This is the best solution I could think of:

You’ll just have to come in and check it out yourself. What better time than Friday, March 28th at 7 p.m., just in time to check out Tita Lima’s DJ set. Tita released an Amoeba Hollywood favorite, entitled 11:11, back in 2006. She comes from Brazilian Rock royalty (she is the daughter of Os Mutantes' bass player) and has performed with such prestigious Brazilian artists such as Bocato, João Donato, Luz de Caroline, Núcleo and Dori Caymmi.

My suggestion? Listen to Tita spin her favorites and check out the many changes we have made in our store for yourself.

Personally, I like it. The changes make sense for all us non-collector types.

Tobe Hooper's The Funhouse Saturday At The New Beverly !

Posted by phil blankenship, March 28, 2008 12:59am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music and Phil Blankenship are proud to present some of our film favorites at Los Angeles’ last full-time revival movie theater. See movies the way they're meant to be seen - on the big screen and with an audience!


Saturday March 29

A RARE screening of the '80s horror classic!

Tobe Hooper's
The Funhouse

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

www.newebeverlymidnights.com

 


April - Joe Dante Month!
Apr 5 Piranha
Apr 12 Gremlins 2
Apr 26 The Howling

May - New Beverly's 30th Anniversary!
May 3 Burnt Offerings
May 10 Smokey And The Bandit
May 24 Creature From Black Lake
May 31 Zardoz

Friday May 2 Special Premiere!
THE MULTINAUTS

From the creators of Dungeon Majesty, Telefantasy Studios presents The Multinauts, an all new adventure saga set in an intergalactic post nuke universe. www.dungeonmajesty.com

THE ORIGINAL RECORDED SONG, NEW CASSETTE TECHNIQUES

Posted by Billyjam, March 27, 2008 07:44am | Post a Comment

There is a really interesting article in the Arts section of this morning's (Thursday, March 27) New York Times about newly uncovered research that challenges the belief that Thomas Edison was the father of recorded sound. This new research claims that even before Edison had recorded his first sounds a French man named Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville recorded a ten second sound bite of a female vocalist singing a French folk song (Au Clair de la Lune) back in 1860. However, it was not recorded onto a record but rather on a "phonautograph" or "phonautogram" (as seen in photo left) which was in turn recently made playable - by converting the written images on the paper into sound - by scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Library.  If you click on the NYTimes story, not only can you read about this amazing discovery in detail, but they also have an MP3 sound file of this historic 10-second 1860 recording.
                                                                                                                                                                                                 
When you stop and think about it, it is truly amazing how far we have come in the advancement of music recording and playback in the short time span (relatively in the history of mankind) since Thomas Edison (pictured right) first invented the phonograph in 1877 and unveiled it a year later to an amazed public.

Continue reading...

Gold Records

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, March 26, 2008 11:15pm | Post a Comment
















      Aaah, nothing says class like a little gold embossing.  Starting with a trio of the Chairman and
                                       ending with Mr. Q, here's a solid  gold cover gallery...





 


































 



Let Us All Celebrate with a Cool Refreshing Dr.Pepper!!!!

Posted by Amoebite, March 26, 2008 08:20pm | Post a Comment
Untitled Document
In what may be my favorite marketing ploy of the year... Dr. Pepper has offered to give everyone in America a free Dr. Pepper if Axl Rose decides to release his long awaited Guns N' Roses album, Chinese Democracy in 2008.

Only Buckethead & Slash are exempt from the promotion. In response Axl says he will happily share his with Mr.Bucket.

Let's all hope this happens soon because the Amoeba breakroom tends to run out of Dr. Pepper towards the end of the week.

Read More....

Read GNR's Response...

Horror Rises From The Tomb

Posted by phil blankenship, March 26, 2008 08:16pm | Post a Comment
 



Alpha Video Distributors

FUN STUFF TO DO IN L.A. FOR FREE

Posted by Charles Reece, March 26, 2008 12:20am | Post a Comment

Amoebamusic_KXLU_&theHiveGallery_present:

UndergrounDNUOS_03.30.08

A nonprofit night of collaboration and experimentation embracing the
concepts of improvisation in any genre and any sound.

Created as a labor of love by a handful of Amoeba employees, it is
designed to be a space for people to step outside of what they
normally do and collaborate with others in an unexpected live setting.

IZZY COX: VOODOO MURDER BALLAD QUEEN

The Muse Project (burlesque/cabaret): Featuring Uni and her Ukelele
along with Tippy Canoe

Kawaiietly Please with Japanese Extreme Super Sushi Chef Assassin Kung
Fu Master Masochist Percussionist TAKA

END.USER (breakcore.sonic insanity)

Live 16mm film projection, manipulations & hand-painted slides by Televega
Vegan Delicacies by Komeme
Live Painting by Hive Gallery Artists
Vinyl Records & Other Giveaways by Amoeba & KXLU

And...

We have quite a few visual artists doing live painting for this show.
Here they are:

Meats Meier
Bill (thirteen11)
Yuki Miyazaki
Paul Torres
Randy Kono
Alex Schaefer
Steve Umana
Walt Hall

03.30.08
10:00 PM
Amoeba Music & KXLU present: undergounDNUOS
@ Charlie Os (downtown at the Alexandria Hotel)
501 S. Spring Street
Los Angeles, 90013
THIS SHOW IS FREE!

BABY BEATLES, BUSH&BUNNY, MORRISSEY, XM-SIRIUS, ATM JACKPOT

Posted by Billyjam, March 26, 2008 12:15am | Post a Comment

Ha, YoungWoong (aka Hero, aka Baby Beatles), the talented lil kid above doing his version of "Hey Jude" that was recorded about two years ago, is already a star back in his native Korea where he has wowed audiences on many national TV variety and talent shows. And even though he is still only four (he celebrates the big five come September), he is very ambitious, or at least his parents are. They have set up a special YouTube channel called Hero Is Born dedicated to their prodigy and on which they are trying desperately to get Paul McCartney to meet and hopefully collaborate with Baby Beatles. They write: "Baby Beatles is dying to meet and play with his idol! Do you have any clues on how he may possibly perform with Sir Paul? Please send your email/message to heroisborn@gmail.com."  On that YouTube channel you can also catch Hero interpreting others from the forty odd Beatles songs he knows by heart - many have been recorded more recently and he appears more grown up and is out of diapers.

On Monday (March 24th) the U.S. Justice Department gave the okay to the XM-Sirius satellite radio merger - coming more one year since the two companies first announced their agreement. Read the full story here on Money.CNN.com.

Last week an ATM outside an English supermaket malfunctioned and mistakenly started spitting out twice the money requested. For example if you wanted to withdraw a hundred English pounds it would instead dispense 200 but it would show as only a 100 deducted from your account. As you can imagine word spread quickly and after a few busy hours of use the ATM ran dry.  Since no crime was broken the police in the town of Hull could not arrest anyone but said that those who benefited could face charges, but only if the company administering the machine complained.  Ah, let them keep the money. I say it's theirs to keep if the machine made the mistake.

Continue reading...

The Raconteurs Have a New Video: "Salute Your Solution"

Posted by Miss Ess, March 25, 2008 10:21pm | Post a Comment



Autumn DeWilde is at it again-- she created this video out of a bazillion individual photos, just like she did for Elliott Smith's "Son of Sam."

I'm liking Jack White's chops-- they remind me of the Dilettantes' Joel Gion!  I'm also (as usual) liking Jack's musical chops on the guitar-- at last, the return of Jack's blindingly shiny copper guitar!  Watching this video has me licking my chops to get my hands on the full album - Consolers of the Lonely, which came out today!  Here's a review of the record by our own Kaitlin.

The final shot of the back of the Raconteurs' heads in the video reminds me of that famous shot of The Beatles and their mop haircuts from the back.  Highly enjoyable.

Exorcism

Posted by phil blankenship, March 25, 2008 08:09pm | Post a Comment
 



All Seasons Entertainment

Neil Aspinall, R.I.P.

Posted by Miss Ess, March 25, 2008 05:39pm | Post a Comment
One of the central figures in The Beatles' lives and career died yesterday. 



Neil Aspinall went to school with Paul McCartney and George Harrison and he remained a trusted confidante until the end.  Neil worked as a personal assistant and road manager to the Beatles throughout their rise to fame and became an indispensable member of their inner circle.  When the boys formed Apple in 1968, they made Neil Chief Executive.  I remember reading somewhere that Neil had no idea what that meant or what precisely he was supposed to do, but in the halcyon days of the late 60s, it was anything goes and he managed to make it work as best he could, though Apple Corps is known to have leeched money from the get-go.

Nonetheless, Neil remained at Apple until last year.  He must have figured out the way to run the company successfully because he saw Apple through the breakup of the Beatles all the way to the lawsuits against Apple Computers and Steve Jobs.  He was behind the fantastic Beatles Anthology series, and contributed his own set of interviews to the documentaries, which was one of the few times he allowed himself to be seen on camera talking about his career.

He died of lung cancer in New York City.  It's sad that with him, all those stories and memories stored up inside him of a time long past are g

Laserdisc Blowout Ending Soon

Posted by Eric Brightwell, March 25, 2008 05:07pm | Post a Comment


Right now there's a raging Laserdisc blowout occurring on the mezzanine here at Amoeba Hollywood. The big, shiny discs with the high mass are blowing out at low, low prices.


Most kids today, when they see a laserdisc, assume that they're silver vinyl soundtracks but some of us remember the extinct format, especially if we're Japanese.


Laserdisc technology was developed in the late 1950s and demonstrated for the public in 1978. Laserdiscs were first sold in Atlanta, possibly because of its reputation as "The City Too Busy To Hate." The first title available was, ironically, Jaws, a low budget monster film about a shark with nothing to do but hate.


Over the next 12 years, dozens of titles were released on the format. Common complaints against Laserdiscs were the limited catalog and high prices ($89.99 for Honey I Blew Up the Kid). Also, you couldn't tape your stories on 'em and you had to flip them over just when the kid is growing into a giant! The most common rejoinder I've heard for the latter gripe is, "That's when I get up and get a beer!" There's a lot of "You too, I thought I was the only one" moments in the laserdisc section, which is one of the great things about the medium. Also, you can freeze frame and get a clear picture, maybe glimpsing some naughty bits on a cartoon character snuck in by a frustrated Disney animator.


Then there were games made for LaserDisc like the evil Don Bluth's quarter-devouring, impossible-to-play Dragon's Lair.

Other cons of the format:
Of course, there's also LaserRot, a disease brought on by poor choice in adhesives on some LaserDiscs. The most common title to succumb to LaserRot is Eraser, which could arguably be a case of planned obsolescence.

Other pros of the format:
Criterion stuff still not on DVD.
Some Lasers still have exclusive commentaries and features.
Sure they were expensive back in the day, but now most are 1.99 or 1.00.
Unlike DVDs, LDs are immune from macroblocking and contrast banding, two concepts I don't have any interest in reading about.


And Where Are They Now, The Little People of Laserhenge?

In China, low prices trump low quality so VCDs killed them when introduced in 1993 (there are now over 500 million VCD Players in China). And VCD Players perform well in high humidity, unlike their tempermental, posh cousins the Laserdisc. In the U.S., where they were never popular, the introduction of the DVD in 1997 was the same year the last Laserdisc was released.

And now with HD and Blu-Ray, macroblocking and contrast banding are as scary as Diptheria or Scarlet Fever. The main selling point of these "Next Gen" formats is their crisp picture, which I find inartistic and unpleasant. Why hang impressionist art in your homes when you can have photos? Why not bring that Seurat into crisp, High Def focus? Or better yet, if absolute realism is the end goal of visual art, why not just go outside or to a play?

In honor of the LaserDisc blow-out and to benefit from the perspective of the experts, I wrote to all the guys who have worked Amoeba's LaserDisc section -- past and present. One said he didn't want to be a part of anyone's blog in any way, one said to give him time (and has yet to reply), one didn't reply at all, even though I know he got the interview, and so here's my interview with the sole participant, whose name I will change to Lyle Alton Blair to protect his identity. [note -- an employee whom I shall refer to as "Jam" replied long after the blow-out ended and I have added his answers subsequently]
 

Me: What was your favorite LaserDisc moment?

Barbarasteele's Farewell Gig Tonight @ Cafe Du Nord

Posted by Miss Ess, March 25, 2008 02:36pm | Post a Comment

Tonight's a special night for many of my nearest and dearest.

It's the farewell show for long-standing local band barbarasteele.

The band has had many different incarnations throughout its many years of existence, and tonight at Cafe Du Nord, all former and current members will perform in a climactic send-off for Nero Nava's barbarasteele. 

Nero has lovingly created The Barbarasteele Mixtape, including demos, premixes, live cuts and rare stuff, which will be offered to all attendees of tonight's show free with admission. 

It has been a year since key 'steele member Mike Jilali died, forcing a sudden but, due to the circumstances, inevitable end of the road for barbarasteele.  In addition to being the final night to hear barbarasteele songs performed, the show will function as a celebration of Mike's life.


Here's the official line up for tonight -- show starts at 9pm and costs $8:

Nero Nava and the Invitation to Love
Sexx
Ultraset

and performances by Jacqui Elliott & Marc Perry, Goliath and Relise

After tonight, Nero will continue with his new project The Invitation to Love, so keep your eyes peeled for future gigs.  Hope to see you there tonight. 

   
   
   
 

out today 3/25...hercules & love affair...

Posted by Brad Schelden, March 25, 2008 01:11pm | Post a Comment
I have been really obsessed with Antony & the Johnsons since I moved to Los Angeles. I'm not really sure why. I did first listen to him when I initially moved to Los Angeles in 2001, so maybe I have him attached to Los Angeles in my mind. I was immediately in love with him. He was like a stretched out version of Marc Almond-- a bit more intense and not as flamboyant. I guess he had a different kind of flamboyance. He's also incredibly interesting and completely engaging. I wanted to know more about this man. My love for him grew after I eventually moved back to San Francisco. After recently finding myself living back in L.A. once again, I inevitably began listening to all his albums. I listened to them over and over again as I unpacked and rearranged my new apartment. I even broke out a live bootleg album that a friend of mine had made for me. I normally stay away from the live albums-- I would rather physically be there at a live show-- but I even became obsessed with this live album and soon had all his comments to the crowd memorized as if they were part of the album. So of course I was excited to find out that Antony would be featured on a new album coming out this year. Hercules & Love Affair just released their self titled album in the U.K. on DFA Records. You might have to wait a couple months for a domestic release, but in the meantime it is more than worth the import price for this amazing new debut album. You will find Antony on the vocals for four of the ten songs. He also sings some back up on an additional song.


I was really not a fan of Greek mythology in high school. I actually failed the test we had on the subject and had to take a creative writing class that same year to make up for my failing semester of AP English. My English teacher was obsessed with mythology and I seriously think 95% of the semester was devoted to mythology, just as 95% of my junior high English class had been devoted to Anne Frank. But things tend to always happen for a reason. My creative writing teacher was one of those inspiring teachers you have that you remember forever. The class was fantastic and I ended up writing some fantastic little stories and even wrote a whole play about high school angst with one of my classmates. The class opened up my mind and really helped me to start seriously thinking about life and literature. Still though, any time I hear anything about Greek mythology I get a really sick feeling in my stomach. Homer's Odyssey still gives me chills when I think about it. Maybe someday I will try and tackle it again. I may have a better ability to understand it after watching all these movies about Hercules.

In spite of my gut reaction to mythology, The Clash of the Titans was one of my favorite movies as a kid. I think it might have just been because of my senior year high school teacher. Perseus, played by Harry Hamlin in Clash of the Titans, was the great grandfather of Hercules! There was actually a film made out of the Odyssey in 1997 starring Armand Assante, Greta Scacchi, Isabella Rossellini, and Bernadette Peters. I only wish this had aired on television when I was still in high school-- I may have done better in the class. Hercules has been the subject of many films over the years. Lou Ferrigno played him the 1983 movie of the same name. Kevin Sorbo played Hercules in the 90's television show. Ryan Gosling played "Young Hercules" in 1998.

Continue reading...

(In which Job sees something beautiful.)

Posted by Job O Brother, March 25, 2008 11:38am | Post a Comment

Me and my girlfriends. Note Corey's rad Leslie Hall shirt!

Friday night I was fortunate enough to see Margaret Cho’s new show, “Beautiful”…

…This grapefruit juice tastes weird… Huh… It’s kind of hard to tell if grapefruit juice is a little “off”, because good grapefruit juice should taste a little bad…

Anyway, Corey got press tickets and he chose me to be his date for the show. Quite a coincidence, considering I’m also his boyfriend.

Once upon a time, everyone I knew was a big fan of le Cho. Lately, however, it seems a lot of hipsters have turned sour. Common complaints include that she’s co-opting the GLBT movement, and/or, her material never changes – she just revises the same routine.

These comments make me crazy. Last time I checked, the GLBT community wasn’t “so accepted” that it could afford to start being snobby about who embraced it (Kenny G coming out of the closet being a rare exception).
Cho’s self-proclaimed “queerness” transcends most sexual identifications, which may be a more evolved concept of sexuality. Personally, I find the choice between gay, straight, or bisexual to be similar to asking someone what their favorite color is: white, black, or grey?

And as far as her material being variations on the same themes? Uh, Richard Pryor didn’t just deal with race for “that one record”. Lily Tomlin’s never going to be considered for the Blue Collar Comedy Tour. Bill Cosby, Rusty Warren, Lenny Bruce, Bill Hicks, Chris Rock, Sandra Bernhard… Most, if not all, stand-up comics have a consistent style and content.


So why these turn-coats? The answers that come to mind are, to me, obvious and depressing.

Luckily, Cho’s become confident enough to allow her detractors ample spewing space. I guess I’m just not as forgiving as she is.

Whatever – Sorry  about the rant. I think the weird grapefruit juice is making me cranky.

For those of you who, like me, enjoy laughing your face off, do make a point of seeing Margaret Cho’s new show. If you have no idea who she is, I’m sorry for what must have been a very boring blog entry, but you can find out by watching the clips below. There's some naughty language in these clips, though, so be certain to watch them with your children.


BAY AREA ARTISTS TAKE MANHATTAN

Posted by Billyjam, March 24, 2008 07:00pm | Post a Comment
        

It was a Bay Area weekend in New York with a bunch of different artists from the Bay Area in New York City over the weekend each doing their thing (Bay recognize Bay mayn).  These included the 30 member San Francisco Leonard Cohen-covering men's choir the Conspiracy of Beards who literally took Manhattan (as well as other parts of the area) as they blew everyone away during their six-gigs in two days.

These half a dozen shows included performances at  the Bowery Poetry Club, the Highline Ballroom,  Grumpy's Cafe in Greenpoint, the Box,  and on the air at both WFMU and at Neighborhood Public Radio's (NPR) interactive installation part of the Whitney Biennial 2008.  Part of their NPR (coincidentally another Bay Area artist outfit in New York & who were recently profiled here on the Amoeblog) concert/broadcast included all 30 members (as pictured above) singing both inside and outside the sidewalk of Madison Avenue on the Upper East Side of Manhattan where they did a moving rendition of none other than Leonard Cohen's beautiful song "First We Talk Manhattan."

Other Bay Area peeps in the Big Apple over the weekend included the mash-up party DJ/promoters Mysterious D (pitcured below) and Adrian from Bootie SF (profiled here on the Amoeblog last year) in town for their monthly Bootie NYC party at the Vault (an annex of the club Element) in downtown Manhattan on Friday. That same night a few blocks away at the Cake Shop the the amazing SF rock group Citay, who had driven up from a gig in Philly the night before after being at SxSW the week before, were in the New York area Friday and Saturday  doing a  few gigs including one on WFMU (on Bay Area transplant Liz Berg's great weekly show) and one at the Lower East Side club (as pictured above in the low-ceilinged basement performance space) in which they won over everyone in the house with their rich, crisp and clean sound and perfect mix that highlighted their vocals and layers of guitar.  Also over the weekend longtime Bay Area DJ Spun, who actually lives in New York these days, was representing Rong Music and spinning at both APT and Easy Lover Loft.

Shrimper Records

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, March 24, 2008 12:20am | Post a Comment



No, not the Upland indie label.  I'm talking the slang term for toe fetish...Here's a 'gorgeous' gallery of barefoot babes of both genders along with a couple of artists interpretations of the ped. Fairly gross, I know, but where else are you going to find such a collection???














Gee, Ain't It Funny? Horror and Bertolt Brecht Don't Mix: Funny Games (2007)

Posted by Charles Reece, March 23, 2008 10:43pm | Post a Comment


Depicting beauty gets a free pass compared to depicting violence.  Mankind's history of brutality indicates that violence is as much -- if not more -- a determining factor in the creation of what now constitutes civilized self than our love for beautiful things.  Why, then, no "that portrait of the beautiful Contessa is pure exploitation?"  Accusations of exploitation only enter when there's a gaping wound involved (or prurient nudity, which is objected to on the grounds that it does violence to its subject -- an objection that is, in practice, limited to pornography for heterosexual men).  It's assumed that there's something wrong with you for taking any sort of pleasure in the the depiction of the violent side of our cultural constitution.  Despite that, I had a real enjoyable time the other day at the moving picture show thanks to Michael HanekeFunny Games is a good, psychological thriller that's no more gruesome than Psycho, largely due to Haneke's mastery of Hitchockian prestidigitation.  Just like Morrison in Florida, the meat of the matter is more suggested than shown.  Many critics were distraught over Haneke's hooks-on-the-eyelids sadism anyway, referring to his film as another instance of "torture porn" and/or that it's nothing but a misery to sit through (at least for right-thinking folk):

  • The “Hostel” pictures and their ilk revel in the pornography of blood and pain, which Mr. Haneke addresses with mandarin distaste, even as he feeds the appetite for it.  -- A. O. Scott
  • To a healthy human mind, however, it’s one of the most repugnant, unpleasant, sadistic movies ever made. No matter what virtues of craft one can find within, no matter what themes lie beneath, Funny Games is aesthetically indefensible. -- Andy Klein
  • Professional obligations required that I endure it, but there's no reason why you should. -- J. Hoberman
  • The joke is on arthouse audiences who show up for Funny Games, which is basically torture porn every bit as manipulative and reprehensible as Hostel, even if it's tricked out with intellectual pretension. -- Lou Lumenick
  • [T]he film itself inched close to the sort of exploitational detail that it was supposed to abhor—a proximity that only gets worse in this later version, which adds a definite carnal kick to the sight of the heroine being forced to strip to her underwear. -- Anthony Lane

In truth, Haneke brings much of that kind of moralizing on himself.  In an interview with Scott Foundas, he gives his reason for remaking his German-language film in English, namely to better address its target audience: "For the consumers of violence — in other words, Americans."  Evidently, Germans and other Europeans aren't the ones who come first to his mind when it comes to enjoying the representational infliction of pain on others.  Maybe he believes his countrymen don't consume specular violence when they have a recent history with the real thing ... but I doubt it.  Rather, it's due to a moralizing European arthouse pretension, as can be read in an interview he did with Jim Wray: "Funny Games['s] subject is Hollywood’s attitude toward violence. And nothing has changed about that attitude since the first version of my film was released — just the opposite, in fact."  He'd probably suggest turd-munching served a real aesthetic purpose when Pasolini used it, but not so much when John Waters did -- if Haneke ever contemplated the aesthetics of coprophagia, that is.  Not to be outdone by the Europeans -- and as a function of their culture-envy -- the middlebrow American critics attempt to prove their highbrow bona fides by turning the table on Haneke, dismissing his film as another instance of the (sub-)genre he was himself purportedly condemning (cf. the video above).  Haneke isn't above the Americans, say they, he's just as bad.

For my money, no one does abjection like the Europeans (well, maybe the Japanese); they have a rich tradition in specular depravity that has not only pushed art to the edges of humanity, but sexualized and intellectualized the cruelty along the way (for starters, look at  the writings of Foucault and Kristeva).  The words 'sadism' and 'masochism' weren't derived from Americans, after all.  Nothing in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre or the oeuvre of Herschell Gordon Lewis  makes my toes curls like Dali and Bunuel's razor across the eyeball or induces a dry heave like Bataille's orgy in a puddle of urine, blood and feces.  Of more recent vintage, one barely dips the toes in the toilet by watching the so-called torture porn of Saw or Hostel compared to the baptism by sewage in the films of Breillat and Noé.  Really, Pink Flamingos is one of the few American films that holds a candle to the European tradition -- with Waters' challenging commitment to cinéma-vérité -- and he and his "actors" did it for laughs.

Violent depravity in art tends to be called ''transgressive" when the Europeans do it, but "pornography" or "exploitation" when the Americans do it.  However, this isn't due so much to intercultural biases as it is to a class bias.  The American suburban teens like Ricky Kasso aren't staving off ennui with angst-ridden readings of Les Chants Des Maldorer and 120 Days Of Sodom.  It takes a just-right combination of naiveté, boredom, and border-line personality disorder to treat the pseudo-rebellion of Ozzy lyrics and Anton LeVay's charlatanism as a prescription for a way of life.  The same remains true of the moralistic middlebrow's current bête noires -- videogames, rap music and "torture porn."  It's not that suburban moralists wouldn't call for a banning of Lautreamont's writing if it registered on the pop cultural map, only no one but intellectuals read his stuff.  And intellectuals are secure in their own cool-headed ability to handle such transgression; it's the other, more red-blooded types, which are cause for worrying.  Thus, when the moral concerns of a leading European filmmaker happen to line up with those coming from commentators on the mainstream news channels, elitist condescension and stirring up mass fears for ratings overlap: the masses are too ignorant to distinguish between fiction and reality.  As movie and videogame ratings, book burnings, obscenity trials, et al. demonstrate, the masses will often come around to believing it about themselves.

Such classism can be heard in the video interview when Haneke discusses the impetus for making the original Funny Games.  He was distraught over reports at the time of teens from good, bourgeois homes committing acts of seemingly random, inexcusable violence.  In a prime example of rarefied cluelessness, his solution was to make a violent arthouse film as a homeopathic injection into the popular cross-cultural bloodstream.  Well, in the words of Gomer Pyle, "surprise, surprise," his attempt failed.  Films are just as just as bloody as they were and their audiences just as bloodthirsty.  Reasoning that his failure must've been due to a language barrier and the lack of big, global stars (as opposed to his films being of interest to a relatively small arthouse audience, who probably already share many of his views), Haneke remade his film in English and set it in New York.

Haneke's own class-based critique is most explicit in the scene where the lumpish Peter is left alone with the traumatized couple while Paul -- the alpha male of the two preppy perps -- has gone off to capture Georgie, the couple's son.  Peter is passively watching NASCAR racing at full volume with Ann (the mom), bound with duct tape in her skivvies, and George (the dad) incapacitated after having been beaten with a golf club, among other things.  Putting aside the innate horror that NASCAR racing must hold for the haute-bourgeoisie -- that it could infect even their children -- Haneke's intuitions and skill as a filmmaker tend to override his snobbish worldview.

spoiler alert!

My favorite scene from the film is where George and Ann are left alone with the remains of their dead child's prostrate body poking out from behind the tv set.  George is unconscious and off-camera and Ann, with her arms bound behind her back, is bruised and kneeling before the tv.  In a long, static shot, Ann struggles to her feet in order to turn off the noxious sound of the racing cars.  It's a morbidly beautiful scene, and I don't feel the least bit guilty for seeing it as such.  Haneke uses a similar technique to David Lynch: a wide angled shot of a room where commonplace objects have become signs of terror.  Real dread occurs when the safest of places (e.g., a home) become thoroughly estranged (by the eruption of violence).  If Lynch can make beautiful films out of horrific circumstances, why not Haneke?

The film only falters in its misuse of Brecht's distanciation, or alienation effect (counter-narrative strategies which push the audience out of the diegesis in order to make them reflect on its ideological underpinnings, e.g. having Paul turn to the camera and ask us who we're siding with).  The most controversial of which is where Ann manages to shoot Peter with a shotgun, only to have Paul use the reverse button on the tv's remote control to change the course of events.  Unlike a transgressive tale where the reader or viewer is implicated by the depraved protagonist -- being pulled along with his or her abject desires, and thereby having to face oneself in the abyss -- the audience of Funny Games wants the couple to survive, feeling cheated when the scene is rewound for an outcome more advantageous to Paul. 

This desire on the audience's part isn't the same as what can found when cheering on Arnold Schwartzenegger as he mows down a bunch of villainous Arabs.  All that Haneke's distanciation points out here is that the audience is siding with the innocent couple, not some ideological bias.  Compare that to the critique of identification implicit in our anxiety as we wait with Norman Bates for the car to sink in Psycho, so as to erase evidence of his murderous crime.  Identification per se isn't the problem, but the purpose to which it's used (xenophobia, among others things, in the case of Arnold).  If anything, Haneke uses the Brechtian technique against Brechtianism by strengthening, or justifying, identification, rather than alienating us from its object (the family).  We want order restored and nothing about the movie makes for a good critique of that wish.  Ironically, Haneke's modernist gimmick creates the same effect as Classic Hollywood's demands for a happy ending -- both lessen the emotional impact that the narrative has had up to that point.  Fear not, clueless viewer, you're only watching a fiction.  Haneke's intellectual condescension and Hollywood's crass commercial concerns turn out to be not all that different-- both sell the audience short.

If Haneke didn't feel shame for his gift as a horror director and hadn't attempted to make his audience share in his guilt, Funny Games could've been a great film, rather than a good one with some serious flaws.  Compare his rewind effect to the one used by Lynch in Lost Highway (or Mulholland Drive).  In that film, a new narrative direction is taken at a crucial point where the strains on the protagonist's psyche have become too great, causing a shift in narrative reality.  What Lynch doesn't do is let his audience off the hook by excusing us from the events that have occurred in the prior portion of the film.   The impotent, wife-murdering Fred's alternate life as a the Noirish stud, Peter, only lasts so long before reality starts to leak through the cracks in the dream.  The diegetic reality and the diegetic dream (the "rewind") reflect each other, holding the audience within the film's moral view.  Haneke, on the other hand, makes it so Paul and Peter could've done far worse to the family without the audience ultimately feeling any worse for wear, since his rewind effect falsifies the story within the diegesis itself.  Whereas the events in Lost Highway only become more tragic with each viewing (fantasy and reality becoming more inextricable), any moral impact of the horror felt from Funny Games will happen only once, since you know it's all bullshit going in a second time.

Politik Kills

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, March 23, 2008 09:22pm | Post a Comment
Ever thought after listening to one of those remix CD by one of your favorite artists, "Damn, I could have done a better remix than that!" Well, here is your chance.









Manu Chao has a new website, www.PolitiKills.com. On it, you can preview his new remix EP, Politik Kills and watch the new video. According to a press release by Nacional Records, the site will also include include "commentary from social leaders, writers, artists and more; all in the name of reflecting on the misuse and abuse of power plaguing the world."

Besides the commentaries, there is a link that allows you to download the parts of the song Politik Kills and create your own remix. Then once you are finished with it, you can upload it back on the site for everyone to hear. Hear your remix along the ones created for the E.P. by such artists as Linton Kwesi Johnson, Dennis Bovell and The Nortec Collective. Even the ol' vampire himself, Island Records founder Chris Blackwell has a remix as well.

I love this idea and I hope other artists in the future will let people download wave files from their recording sessions so that we can all have a chance to remix our favorite artists. So far, most of remixes I've heard are of the Reggae variety. I think I'll go a whole other route with mine. How about Freestyle Manu Chao???

The Witchmaker

Posted by phil blankenship, March 23, 2008 08:32pm | Post a Comment
 





Vidmark Entertainment VM 5913

Why You Should Shop In The World Music Vinyl Section #4

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, March 23, 2008 08:32pm | Post a Comment
I got some great Salsa records the other day. Nothing amazingly rare but L.P.'s one should have if you are going to compete in the Salsa arms race. I have to say I'm proud of my little collection. However, when  I saw the cover of the new Jesus Pagan CD, I nearly flipped. Now that's a collection! I don't know if that's his personal collection, but from the sound of his first album, he must of dug through plenty of crates. Jesus Pagan's first release, Salsa De La Mata - From The Roots, is out now and is red hot!



One day ... I keep telling myself. One day.
Here are some of my finds:

Dimension Latina-Salsa Brava
(with Oscar D'Leon on vocals)



Roberto Roena Y Su Apollo Sound-Pa'Fuera



Grupo Fascinacion-Fascinating Sounds
(w/Johnny Rivera on Vocals)



Happy Easter!

Posted by Eric Brightwell, March 23, 2008 12:38pm | Post a Comment
In terms of beloved figures central to Christian children's mythology, the Easter Bunny would probably show up near the top, well below Santa Claus but higher than Jesus, The Sandman and the Tooth Fairy. Actually, I was never too crazy about the Tooth Fairy. What does she does with all those teeth? Why does she buy our silence with micropayments left under our pillows?

    

Questions about the Easter Bunny are less frightening and more practical. How does a rabbit lay eggs? Where does the Easter Bunny live the rest of the year? How does he carry the Easter basket? And perhaps, what does he have to do with Christ Jesus' resurrection (if you're Rod or Tod)?

Of course, like all great holy days, Easter's roots aren't in Christianity. Whereas usually the Churchies change the name of the holiday when moving their religious observance onto its pagan foundation, in this case they left the old name. This could be because Eostre, a goddess of the Angles and Saxons, hadn't been actively worshiped for some time when Jesus' resurrection was being celebrated.

      

The Venerable Bede, the Northumbrian monk who is known as the "Father of English History" wrote, somewhat speculatively:

In olden time the English people – for it did not seem fitting to me that I should speak of other nations' observance of the year and yet be silent about my own nation's – calculated their months according to the course of the moon. Hence after the manner of the Hebrews and the Greeks, [the months] take their name from the moon, for the moon is called mona and the month monath.

HAPPY EASTER!

Posted by Whitmore, March 23, 2008 08:23am | Post a Comment

Art Don't Sleep & Fania Records Present:

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, March 23, 2008 12:56am | Post a Comment
Art Don’t Sleep has been putting together some incredible shows over the last four years. Tonight was no exception. The show was a record release for San Francisco DJ Sake 1, who is part of the Fania Live CD series released by the newly reformed Fania Records. Los Angeles was blessed to hear a set from Sake 1, whose Fania Live release is the best of the series so far. Master percussionist Francisco Aguabella, now 83 years old and still going strong, followed Sake 1's set.  Aguabella's first set of Latin Jazz and Salsa kicked into high gear when Chuchito Valdez, piano virtuoso and son of the infamous Chucho Valdez joined in on the keyboards. His thunderous keyboard playing shook the audience out of their seats and on to the dance floor. After Aguabella's first set, the infamous Bobbito from New York went on the ones and two and rocked a great DJ set full of Fania classics and remixes by the likes of The Candela All Stars and others. I know Bobbito is a great Hip-Hop and Soul DJ so I was anxious to hear what he could do with Latin music. He did not disappoint.

The dance floor was full of all types, from the Salsaheads who look like they are in competition with each other to the Fania geeks like myself that have no Salsa dance skills whatsoever. I was better off snapping photos and having drinks. Salsa is tricky. Take a person who looks great dancing to Hip-Hop and R&B and put them on a Salsa dance floor.  Most of the time they look like they have to go to the bathroom.

I left the show before Aguabella's second set. I wish I could have stayed longer but that’s the pitfalls of working Sunday morning. I’m sure as I write this the show is still going strong.

Check out a few photos I took at the show:









Dark Tide

Posted by phil blankenship, March 22, 2008 10:22pm | Post a Comment
 

Vidmark Entertainment VM 5913

Please Please Me

Posted by Whitmore, March 22, 2008 07:29pm | Post a Comment

45 years ago today,  March 22, 1963, the Beatles released their first album Please Please Me. This mono version was rush-released to the public in the UK to capitalize on the success of the hit single of the same name which had reached #2 on the charts. The album contained six cover songs, but more importantly it contained eight songs written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. A stereo version of this album was later released in 1963 on April 26th.

In the U.S., most of the songs from Please Please Me were first released in 1964 on the Vee-Jay Records label on the renamed album Introducing The Beatles. And in 1965 a similar collection was issued once again on Capitol Records as The Early Beatles. The unexpurgated Please Please Me was not released in the U.S. until the Beatles catalog was released on CD in 1987.

Other than the singles and the flip sides of "Please Please Me" and "Love Me Do" (the Beatles' first single which had charted and reached #17 in the UK), all the other tracks were recorded in a marathon session on Monday, February 11th, 1963, at Abbey Road Studios. The Beatles, with George Martin producing, essentially recorded their live act in 9 hours and 45 minutes. The entire day's session cost around £400. And besides John, Paul, George Harrison and Ringo Starr playing their respective instruments, George Martin also played a little piano. The earlier tracks recorded the previous September and November had session player Andy White on drums, who has also recorded with the likes of Marlene Dietrich, Herman's Hermits, and Tom Jones.

The Darjeeling Limited: Style Over Substance

Posted by Miss Ess, March 21, 2008 08:37pm | Post a Comment
I must be in an overly cynical mood today. Regardless, I just finished watching Wes Anderson's The Darjeeling Limited, which has recently come out on DVD.


This movie is yet another suitably quirky Anderson film. I'm all for directors who put their stamp on their pictures, especially when it's to the degree where you can tell who made it just by looking at a brief clip.  I'm also all for characters that are idiosyncratic and different. What I'm trying to say is, I really do like Wes Anderson, perhaps mostly because he doesn't make Julia Roberts movies. Ever. He has his own voice, and I applaud that.

That said, this movie was all style, no substance, which is what his movies sometimes can be, at their worst.

The Darjeeling Limited is built around a wonderful, interesting concept: Three adult American brothers unite in India to reconnect.  The brothers are, of course, suitably quirky to the nth degree. They are played by Owen Wilson (Francis), Adrian Brody (Peter) and Jason Schwartzman (Jack). These oddball brothers are wealthy enough to stay endlessly at gorgeous Parisian hotels, tear up their return tickets from India and carry an Ipod with a speaker dock all through their Indian trip by train/bus/bike/etc, but they are duly pained by their father's death and their mother's negligence. It was difficult for me to invest myself in their story-- they come off as exceedingly self absorbed, and while that may have worked for Margot Tenenbaum (in Anderson's highly enjoyable The Royal Tenenbaums), she was not filmed interacting with locals throughout third world India-- rather, she appeared in her natural environment of upper class New York City. The characters here seemed to have permanently down turned, achingly sad eyes, overly glorified by many closeups and slow pans. Oh, the pain of great wealth and great luggage!

On the plus side, the movie is gorgeously shot. Every frame is bursting with detail and eye candy. The colors and patterns of India are well suited to Anderson's style, which always celebrates minutia. Each well-selected song on the soundtrack seems labored over and suitably Beatles-esque or sitar laced.

In fact, this entire movie feels exceedingly labored over -- which is great when it comes to the styling, but a bummer when it comes to the plot. At one point, Peter, looking over Francis' newly scarred face from a motorcycle accident, declares unironically, "It's definitely going to add more character to you." Great-- in fact, each of the brothers could use a shot of personality beyond their obvious quirk! Ultimately, all the elements of a moving film are accounted for here: life, death, love, spirituality, a cobra...and still, nothing comes of it....

....but they really do have the most enviable luggage ever-- stenciled with elephants and palm trees and other suitable travel motifs! I don't think I am really giving all that much away by saying that the brothers arrive in the film with this gorgeous, perfect looking but nonetheless heavy and multitudinous baggage, and by the end of it, they are literally flinging it away, overdramatically casting it off piece by

March 19, 2008

Posted by phil blankenship, March 21, 2008 08:20pm | Post a Comment
Using our free passes for Horton Hears A Who, this is the ticket we got:



However, this is what we really saw:



This is how many people were in the theater with us
(it's dark but there isn't anyone else there):



It was amazing. See pics below for further proof.






L'eggs -- By popular demand...

Posted by Eric Brightwell, March 21, 2008 03:16pm | Post a Comment
It seems like every week brings another DVD with a woman's legs in the foreground and a usually bemused guy in the background, framed by them. See what I mean?*



 


  











*National Lampoon produces half of them.

Become a fan of Eric's Blog on Facebook!

LITERALLY, A CHEESY DRUM SOLO

Posted by Billyjam, March 21, 2008 07:38am | Post a Comment

To call the above drum solo "cheesy" would not be an insult, but rather an accurate description of the art installation piece entitled "Cheesy Cheese Kit Diptych" in which the drums being played are rounds of cheese. The musician working the cheese-as-percussion is Dutch improvisational jazz drummer Han Bennink.  The kit he is playing was made by artist Walter Willems in an installation from three years ago at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art in Toronto.

Willems built the Cheese Kit Diptych installation, which consists of two drum kits.  One has full rounds of real cheese (Dutch cheese, of course) propped atop drum stands. The other kit is built out of plastic cheese replicas, the kind that are used in store display windows. Apparently the reason Willems, who is Dutch, chose cheese and also the clogs-as-percussion bit at the beginning, was to mock and reinforce the international stereotype of the Dutch by using classic Dutch export products as its main ingredient.

The video of the drum performance by Han Bennink above was recorded on June 17, 2005 and reportedly was a featured artwork in the Demons Stole My Soul: rock 'n roll drums in contemporary art exhibition. As part of the performance Bennink also played a conventional drum kit. 

Chris Matthews and Ellen DeGeneres Dirty Dancing

Posted by Miss Ess, March 20, 2008 04:23pm | Post a Comment
I've always been a bigger fan of daytime TV than I perhaps care to admit.  I've been sick this year already more than any other time in my life, providing me with ample time to take in what's up on television during the daytime hours. 

The more I watch Ellen the more I actually like it.  It's sweet in a non sappy way, tough to pull off on daytime TV. Maybe I am getting old and soft, but I enjoy all the dancing on her show. It's energetic, it's fun, it's spirited, it's all-inclusive.

But I was completely horrified yesterday by this moment between Chris Matthews of Hard Ball and unsuspecting Ellen DeGeneres:


Wow.  Just thought I'd let you all in on what you are missing out on in daytime television.

BIGGER THAN HIP-HOP: SISTERZ OF THE UNDERGROUND

Posted by Billyjam, March 20, 2008 03:15pm | Post a Comment

Major props are in order for the Bay Area founded, all female hip-hop collective the Sisterz of the Underground (SOTU), who are celebrating their seven year anniversary with a big show this weekend in San Francisco. As with many other fine organizations before them, SOTU, which features b-girls, emcees, spoken-word artists, DJ's, graffiti/street artists, and others, began almost by accident. 

But since its inception in 2001 it has grown by leaps and bounds. Besides the numerous showcases, spotlighting women artists, SOTU also branched out and created a wonderful sister organization called DEF ED which holds workshops and classes for youth throughout the greater Bay Area. 

As outlined on their website SOTU is "an open collective for women to: feel comfortable and not intimidated, to share or learn hip hop skills, be open to be who we are while being respected in how we choose to express that, choose to represent hip hop, & feel hip hop no matter what level of skill." 

Perhaps what is most commendable about this organization is that through their passion and positivity for hip-hop, coupled with their genuine concern for their fellow sisters, Sisterz of the Underground and its offshoot group DEF ED, have transcended hip-hop itself to create a family structure and provide a much needed support group for young women (especially in this current sexist era of popular hip-hop where women are constantly objectified and degraded) in which they can learn invaluable life lessons.  What they do is bigger than hip-hop.

To celebrate their seven successful years of putting on shows, workshops, and other events the Sisterz of the Underground are putting on a highly recommended show Friday night (March 21st) at Club Six in San Francisco with a talent packed bill, hosted by Melina Jones, that will include DJs Celski & Deandroid, DJ Zita, DJ That Girl, Medusa, Shredone, Butterscoth, Lady Fingaz, and the Extra Credit Cru. Showtime 9:30PM. More show info.

Continue reading...

Varan The Unbelievable

Posted by phil blankenship, March 20, 2008 11:31am | Post a Comment
 





VCI Home Video 7338

BRING THE YELLOW TAPE: THE CRIME OF WAR

Posted by Billyjam, March 19, 2008 06:00pm | Post a Comment

Usually anniversaries are times of celebration; opportunities to rejoice a landmark in the life span of someone or something notable, positive, inspirational, etc. etc.  But today's date, March 19th 2008, which marks the five year anniversary of the war in Iraq, is hardly a time for any sort of celebration for anyone.  Even those few remaining staunchly pro-American, anti-terrorist, die-hard Bush supporters must find little to celebrate today.

For even if they choose to blindly dismiss & ignore all of the damage done to Iraq and its people (approximately half a million citizens of Iraq killed & countless more maimed or left homeless and/or with their lives in total disarray) and just focus on the American lives lost, not to mention the incredible damage done to the US economy that is not even fully felt, and won't be for years, nay, generations, to come -  then even the most stubborn supporters of this war would have to agree that is a losing battle in every sense of the word.

One life lost is one too many no matter how noble a cause might seem. But in this case, in this war, there is no noble cause at stake. There is no honor. Just a tragic waste of lives and money and a huge stain on the future - especially for the USA.  If we were to just forget about all the human lives lost and were to just ponder the financial drain of this war it is simply mind-numbing.  Currently the US has wasted over $500 billion on this war.  And estimated figures point to the US spending close to a total of a trillion dollars (a thousand billion) before this whole war in Iraq can be brought to a close.  Now considering the needs of so many poor struggling American citizens at home, with so many living below the poverty level and dealing with poor medical care, housing, and schooling, etc., this war is not just a terrible waste. It is horrendous crime.

Continue reading...

How Sassy Changed My Life

Posted by Miss Ess, March 19, 2008 04:43pm | Post a Comment
Growing up, my best friend and I were obsessed with reading.  We would spend time together whiling away the summer in the hammock in her yard, voraciously reading through any books that came our way.  My best friend's sister was 5 years older than us.  Although she was basically nerdy too, she was, by age association alone, more advanced and thus cooler than us.  It was through her that I discovered Sassy Magazine at the age of 11.

When I think about the major influences on my life, the bits that I've clung to and that have truly created and informed who I am today, the first thing I think of is The Beatles and the second is SassySassy was utterly unique-- a teen girl's magazine that addressed feminism, individuality and intelligence.  Sassy gave voice to ideas I was too young to communicate and also acquainted me with relevant topics I had never read about before.  It bolstered my already- formed beliefs in honesty and creativity, and it gave me a sense of self-esteem in those dreaded middle school years.  It showed me there was a world outside of my preppy high school-- a world where there was more going on than wearing Gap Jeans and driving a Mercedes.

It was written by a small group of young women (and a few men) in their early and mid 20s who had clearly made it out of adolescence and had, in my eyes, made something of themselves.  They embraced the high and the low culturally and taught me to look with an even keener critical eye at popular culture.  They seemed to have complete freedom in their lives and spent their days, as I imagined it, meeting stars and adequately tearing them down or flirting with them, listening to music, gossiping amongst themselves and of course, writing.

Sassy was where I finally could see that there was an underground, not just what we were spoon -fed by mass media.  At a very tender age, I was introduced to Bikini Kill, Sebadoh and Courtney Love through the pages of Sassy.   I eagerly read articles slamming everything from homophobia to 90210 and absorbed every word and image to the point where I can remember certain pieces' layout and photos to this day.  I embraced each issue like it was a letter addressed directly to me and arriving in my sheltered mail box from the actual real world.  It was comforting to know something else besides middle school was out there on the other side.  Reading through each issue and its various articles gave me the feeling that it was perfectly okay to be whoever I wanted to be, to be whoever I was, and to relax a bit through the process of figuring all that out.

I write all of this because I've just finished reading a new book paying tribute to the long defunct Sassy.  It's somewhat grandly called How Sassy Changed My Life.  While the title admittedly sounds over-dramatic, I must concede that in many ways, for me and I am sure many others, it's actually true.  The fact that I am at a place like Amoeba now is directly tied to my all-consuming Sassy reading all those many summers ago, swinging in that suburban hammock.

Reading HSCML is a bit like visiting old friends, as Sassy's staff writers were so well known and loved issue to issue that they went by first name only.  Many ex staff members are interviewed.  The tone of the book is interestingly academic, hardly what I expected since its topic is one of the most resoundingly conversational magazines ever.  The authors of HSCML are also kind of preaching to the choir-- Sassy's cultural impact and importance are proven again and again in the book, but those of us who were compelled to pick up HSCML already know all about that.  We are much more eager to read about all the behind the scenes goings-on.  Luckily, moments in time from Sassy's offices are occasionally interlaced with all the academic jargon.  If only the authors had allowed for more of that!  And when is someone going to publish each and every Sassy issue in one book? Is that even legal?  Someone should be working on it!

For a taste of what Sassy was, check out Christina Kelly's 1992 interview with avid Sassy fans Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love.  Also, here's a sample of their monthly 'Dear Boy' column, in which an "Established Male", such as Thurston Moore or Beck, or in this case, J. Mascis, answers girls' questions.

March 18, 2008

Posted by phil blankenship, March 19, 2008 01:07pm | Post a Comment

Swallows Return

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, March 19, 2008 01:00am | Post a Comment
Today, the Cliff Swallows are expected to return to California's oldest building, the San Juan Capistrano Mission.  In their honor, I've put together a gallery of bird labels...
































out today 3/18...she & him...the teenagers...

Posted by Brad Schelden, March 18, 2008 10:33pm | Post a Comment

This is one of those weeks that I look forward to. There are tons of great albums out today. Not everybody is going to like all these albums, but there are seriously tons of records out today that make me happy. It makes me happy to still work in a record store. It reminds me of those days before I worked in a record store when I would go out searching for those new albums. It is much easier to find out about albums these days. It was all about the magazines back then and also just trusting your local record store to promote the good albums. It was also all about getting and giving recommendations to all your friends. That is sort of what I think I'm doing with my blog. I just get so excited sometimes to talk about all the things that I love and make me happy. Back when I was just a slightly obsessive record shopper, it seems like there would be nothing out for weeks and then all of a sudden there would be like 10 albums out on one day and I would need to buy them all. Today is one of those days.

This album has totally grown on me in the last couple of days -- I really didn't think that I was going to like it, but I am just suddenly in love with it. I can't control it. The album is called Volume One by the new band She & Him. Also known as Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward. I am a sort of big fan of her work with her other career as an actress, but I had no idea how addictive this album would be. It sort of sounds like a mix of some Neko Case and Loretta Lynn with M. Ward playing along. I am also a big fan of the biopic docudrama, music biography type of movie, and two of the movies I am looking forward to are the Janis Joplin story and the Dusty Springfield story. I was also excited about the Etta James movie but I am not really sure how I feel about Beyonce playing Etta. But Kristin Chenoweth as Dusty is perfect, and Zooey as Janis is also perfect.

The first song on the album is close to perfect. "Sentimental Heart" is one of those songs that is just a perfect little tragic sort of pop song. It is almost a little too cute-- but her voice and the arrangement make a fantastic little song that really got me hooked on the album. I only had to listen to it twice before I was addicted to She & Him. They also cover "You've Really Got A Hold On Me," the 1962 song by Smokey Robinson & The Miracles. The song has been covered a bunch by everyone from Cher to Cyndi Lauper.  The version that I am most familiar with is the version heard on an episode of Roseanne. Bonnie Bramlett of Delaney & Bonnie played one of Roseanne's coworkers at the diner she worked at in the mall. Her name on the show was Bonnie. She sang the song in a little backyard picnic scene and the whole cast is just in shock when she starts singing the song. She totally blows them away with her rendition of the song. I really love those scenes in sitcoms that stand out because they don't really fit. The whole album by She & Him is really great. They also cover "I Should Have Known Better" by the Beatles.

My other favorite new band of the moment is The Teenagers. Their debut album comes out today. It is called Reality Check. I feel like I say this a lot, but I really can't get enough of it-- like Jack Penate last month. And like Jens Lekman last year. I really love this record. It sound nothing like those guys. It is more close to Franz Ferdinand or maybe Jamie T. Brilliant and fun. They are from France and this is their first album. A lot of the album is sort of like spoken word and slow singing. It reminds me of times of the great album out last year by No Bra, just much more accessible. It has the fun of a record like the first Arctic Monkeys or Franz Ferdinand. It even reminds me a bit of The Klaxons from last year. The album is the first really great dancey pop album of the year. I just hope their new fans find them. I know they are out there. The band deserves to be popular just for making such a fun album. It is not meant to be a serious rock album. It is made for good times. There are also great albums out by Crystal Castles, Be Your Own Pet, and The Kills. There really is a lot to choose from today. Also some excellent deluxe sort of reissues from Mission Of Burma, and a reissue of one of my old favorites Replicas by Gary Numan. And I am excited to hear the new project by Jarboe and Justin K. Broadrick from Jesu and Godflesh. I have not heard it yet but I am sure that it will be fantastic.  A very exciting day it is.


 
also out today...





"Get Awkward" by Be Your Own Pet











"Only as the Day Is Long" by Sera Cahoone











"Turning Dragon" by Clark











"Crystal Castles" by Crystal Castles











"Trouble in Dreams" by Destroyer











"A Mad & Beautiful Telling" by Devotchka











"Sixes & Sevens" by Adam Green











"J2" by Jarboe & Justin K. Broadrick











"Midnight Boom" by The Kills











"Horrible Truth" reissue by Mission of Burma











"Signals, Calls & Marches" reissue by Mission of Burma











"VS." reissue by Mission of Burma











"Yael Naim" by Yael Naim











"Stainless Style" by Neon Neon











"Replicas 2008 Tour Edition" by Gary Numan & the Tubeway Army











"Beat Pyramid" by These New Puritans











"Paralyzed" by Witch

(In which we see the end of our Las Vegas trip.)

Posted by Job O Brother, March 18, 2008 11:59am | Post a Comment

This is how we.......... yaaawn.... sssstretch.... roll.

It was our final day in Las Vegas, and Corey and I were determined to sleep through as much of it as possible. Corey is more gifted in late mornings than I, so he was impressed and pleased when my peepers didn’t pop until after eleven o’clock, ante meridiem.

We ordered room service. I had the same, slimy oatmeal mentioned previously in my blog, but this time I had it in the luxury of our suite, so okay! Everything tastes better when you have live footage of a shark tank playing on wide-screen TV.


"I'm only working The Strip to put myself through college."

Our only real schedule obligation was to vacate the room long enough for the maids to magically transform it to its virginal state. While we wandered into the lobby, wondering where we’d walk, we fortunately stumbled into a serious conversation about some dynamics in our relationship. So we sat down at a patio table outside and proceeded to communicate, sincerely.

Not only did this help illuminate certain things for each other, but it totally kept us occupied long enough for housekeeping to complete, so, once we were satisfied we understood each other, we returned to the room to continue doing as little as possible. It was a success.

That night was The Advocate’s party at Ivan Kane's Forty Deuce, Mandalay Bay’s burlesque club, which, every Monday night (as it was) hosts “Stormy Mondays” – a male burlesque show.

As Corey was one of the hosts, we were on hand ahead of time to panic and prepare, which we did, more or less in that order. I observed the go-go boys practice their routines - so bored looking, so distracted without the throngs of gay dudes and fag-hags clamoring to pad their g-strings with greenbacks. It was a very heterosexual moment for me. I started drinking scotch.

It didn’t take long for the club to fill – many of Las Vegas’ GLBT VIP had RSVP. I took refuge on the uppermost pier of the VIP lounge and made it a point to lose track of how many cocktails I’d had.


Job takes a sip of Las Vegas celebrity, Hot Chocolate.

By midnight, and with the party in full swing, Corey was contented that his work was done, and we old codgers slinked away.

One of the stories I had told Corey earlier in the day was how, as a child on my first trip to Vegas, I had seen the giant slot machines and determined that, when I was finally old enough, I would play one.

Tipsy as I was after the party, it occurred to me that, while I loathe gambling (for myself only, not in general) I should indulge that boy-child me of yesteryear and drop $20 on the giant slot machine.

We found one such behemoth and I – flying  in the face of my normal relationship with money – inserted an Andrew Johnson reserve note. I was at peace with losing it - after all, this was for my inner child - so it was especially surprising when, on my first pull, I won $30.

That was it. I was done. Far from being seduced by the possibility of even greater gains, I gleefully turned my tokens in, and Corey and I walked arm-in-arm up to our room.


The high-roller shows-off his winnings. Note the giant machine behind him.

Once inside the room, my iPod began crooning one of my favorite songs of all time: Betty Carter singing “Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye”. Half-dressed, Corey and I slow-danced and realized that “this was our song”.

To appreciate this moment, you have to understand that, after over a year of being together, we had yet to discover “our song”. It was a moment so perfect, so romantic, you would have totally barfed.

The next morning, we checked out, drove back home, and I went straight to Amoeba Music for a closing shift, the bulk of which I cannot recall.

(I couldn't find footage of Betty Carter singing the above-mentioned song, so below I've included another performance of hers. Check her out, but only if you're into music that is so fantastic.)

The Witches Mountain

Posted by phil blankenship, March 18, 2008 11:40am | Post a Comment
 





Unicorn Video

Raconteurs Album in ONE week!

Posted by Miss Ess, March 18, 2008 11:08am | Post a Comment


Yes, it's true!  Our silent prayers have been answered and The Raconteurs will release a brand new album on Tuesday, March 25 called Consolers of the Lonely

Apparently Jack White didn't want anyone to get a hold of the new tracks and leak them to the internet, thus the sped up announcement/release date, and I'm all for that.  What a fantastic surprise! 

There's even going to be a YouTube video for the first single, 'Salute Your Solution' on the 25th.  I am loving this! 

And, excitement of all excitements, there's even already a tour date in my own fair city of San Francisco!  Here are all the dates:

04-20 Vancouver, British Columbia - Commodore Ballroom
04-21 Seattle, WA - Neumo's
04-22 Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom
04-23 San Francisco, CA - Bimbo's 365 Club
04-25 Indio, CA - Coachella
04-26 Las Vegas, NV - The Joint
04-28 Denver, CO - The Fillmore Auditorium
04-29 Kansas City, MO - Uptown Theatre
05-01 Dallas, TX - House of Blues
05-02 Austin, TX - Stubb's BBQ
05-04 New Orleans, LA - New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival
06-13 Manchester, TN - Bonnaroo
06-26 Arendal, Norway - Hove Festival
07-12 Kinross, Scotland - T in the Park
07-13 Naas, Ireland - Oxegen Festival

Police Story-An Intermission

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, March 17, 2008 12:46am | Post a Comment
Warning: Strong Language on both tracks. Cover your ears if you're like that.

 


I wanted to include NWA in this but there was no official video, so I included the classic Muppets version instead.


 

Police Story, Part 2

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, March 17, 2008 12:21am | Post a Comment
2008-Winter

It is a Friday night and I’m driving with my girlfriend. We are heading to The Spot, which is a Mexican restaurant  called Villa Sombrero in Highland Park. We call it The Spot because it is our spot; it has the perfect margarita and good food, which is a rarity. The L.A. area Mexican restaurants seem to sacrifice one for the other. It’s either you have great drinks and lousy food or visa versa. We have our favorite waiter, Jesus from D.F., who is a character in his own right. I couldn’t even begin to explain him-- he is an experience and probably the best waiter I’ve ever known. Going there signals the start of our very short weekend. After the first sip of my margarita I am reminded that my workweek is over and I have the day off the next day. It doesn’t matter how broke I am or how inconvenient it is going there. The Spot gives us a sense of humanity. That we do not just exist to work and pay bills.

I make a left on to Cypress Ave. I see two police cars on opposite sides of the street, not even a block away from my house with their flashing lights on. I wonder if it was more fallout from an incident that happened on February 22nd, in which undercover police gunned down a twenty two year old. A few days before that, there was a hit on a thirty-six year-old veterano while he was holding his two-year old granddaughter, followed by the police, killing one of the hit men in nearby Glassell Park. All over the city there has been an increase of gang and gun related deaths. The most recent was last Thursday, a drive-by shooting and subsequent death of a twenty year old on Ave. 59 in Highland Park, not too far where we are going to eat. I hadn’t even reached the point where Cypress turns into Eagle Rock when I saw at least several more police cars.

Every person the police has pulled over looks the same. All are Latino, young, male and pelon with custom cars. Most of them don’t look the part of a gang member yet still they are pulled over. It is incredible how many police are out tonight. By the time we hit the restaurant I have seen more than fifteen units under a two-mile stretch. At a light I watch the young pelones bum out. It’s not so fun to go out on a Friday night after being humiliated by some cops.

Continue reading...

Police Story, Part 1

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, March 16, 2008 10:17pm | Post a Comment
1983-Summer

My first run-in with the cops was when I was fourteen. I was in a parking lot across the street from Del Amo Mall in Torrance after football practice, waiting for a ride home. I wasn’t used to taking the bus to the new school I was going to, several miles away from my home in Gardena. I kept boarding the wrong bus so finally I gave up and called my sister to pick me up. As I was waiting, I watched the cops make a u-turn across the street. I remember thinking that they probably got a call for a crime and were heading for it, but I was wrong. They pulled right in front of me, jumped out off the car and had me put my hands in the air. I dropped my backpack full of my sweaty clothes on the ground. The cops asked me why I was standing here as they frisked me. I told them that I was coming back from football practice and I was waiting for my sister to pick me up. I then asked what I was doing wrong, because I was just leaning against a brick wall waiting for my sister. They didn’t answer me. I watched as the passengers in the cars slowly passing me by gave their slow judgment. I was embarrassed and I was scared that that they were going to find something to bust me for, even though I had nothing on me to get busted with. In short, I felt like a criminal. After the frisking and looking through my backpack full of sweaty clothes, they let me go and said, “Stay away from the parking lot-- it looks like you’re checking out the cars,” and they left.
My fourteen-year-old brain was confused, “Checking out the cars?” I guess they thought I was going to break into one.  

When I got home I looked in the mirror and saw for the first time what they saw. I was nearly six feet, wearing a white t-shirt with my head shaved down to a number two guard and, I was dark. As dark as the dirt on the ground, as dark as the cochinto pan dulce that sat on the dinner table, as dark as all the criminals I’d seen on the news. Until then I felt like every other kid. But now I knew better. I knew that from now on I would have to be careful of what I said and what I did. I knew I just couldn't go anywhere. Others could get away with more but because of the way I look I couldn’t. I couldn’t stand on a corner, I couldn’t dress different, I couldn’t even check out cars in a parking lot. On that day the cops let me know how different I was, and I hated them for it. For the first time in my young life, I felt powerless.

SAINT PATRICK'S DAY & THE POGUES

Posted by Billyjam, March 16, 2008 10:01pm | Post a Comment


There is so much great Irish music out there-- from traditional folk Irish music to Irish rock, jazz, electronic, and hip-hop Irish music etc.-- much of it available at Amoeba Music. But for Saint Patrick's Day I always find the more traditional or trad/folk rooted Irish music is the perfect soundtrack to celebrate the day with. Above is one of my all time favorite songs performed by two of the best, the Pogues and their main musical inspiration, the Dubliners, together doing a rendition of the traditional song "The Irish Rover."  Below is a video of the Pogues performing "Dirty Old Town" -- another song previously popularized by the Dubliners.   And if you happen to be in New York City on Saint Patrick's Day, you can catch the third consecutive night of the Pogues performing live at the Roseland Ballroom. Also on the bill are Billy Bragg and William Elliot Whitmore.

March 14, 2008

Posted by phil blankenship, March 16, 2008 01:22pm | Post a Comment

STAYING ALIVE AS A CYCLIST

Posted by Billyjam, March 16, 2008 12:12pm | Post a Comment
       

In the Bay Area recently there has been a surge of road accidents involving cyclists and not just the much publicized ones like the recent tragedy in which a Santa Clara County sheriff's deputy fell asleep at the wheel of his patrol car and veered across the divide and into a group of cyclists, killing two, on Steven's Canyon Road in Cupertino. Besides this and several other recently publicized fatal bike accidents there have also been a ton of unreported crashes in the Bay Area (which has a high density of bike fanatics) that often send cyclists tumbling from their bikes and to the hospital for stitches, or worse.

Coincidentally, this morning just as I was reading a newspaper article about bike crashes in the Bay, I looked up to witness (on College Avenue in Oakland) a cyclist taking a spill on his bike.  The cause of the accident was perhaps the most common one in urban areas.  He suddenly swerved, losing his balance and knocking himself off his own bike, in an attempt to avoid a car door being carelessly flung open by its driver  Luckily the cyclist was wearing a helmet and (seemed) to be okay. Although I think he was still in a state of shock as he told the small crowd suddenly gathered around him,  "I'm fine, I'm fine," as he remounted his bike and shakily cycled off down College. A lot of times you don't realize you are hurt until later after the adrenalin rush subsides.

Parked cars flinging open their doors, along with cars driving too fast or recklessly near cyclists, seem to be the most common causes of accidents for bikers. And it leads me to believe that for true safety for cyclists the only real solution is to completely separate the routes traveled by autos and by bikes: have exclusively bike-only paths and restrict cars to their own routes.   But in the meantime - as bikes and cars are forced to share roadways -  here are some safety tips for cyclists that, although they should be common sense, need reiterating:

Continue reading...

Still Life: Telling Time in La Jetee with Henri Bergson, The Human Torch and EC's Weird Science

Posted by Charles Reece, March 16, 2008 01:52am | Post a Comment

The prisoners were subjected to experiments, apparently of great concern to those who conducted them.  The outcome was a disappointment for some - death for others - and for others yet, madness.  One day they came to select a new guinea pig from among the prisoners.  He was the man whose story we are telling.  He was frightened. He had heard about the Head Experimenter. He was prepared to meet Dr. Frankenstein, or the Mad Scientist. Instead, he met a reasonable man who explained calmly that the human race was doomed. Space was off-limits. The only hope for survival lay in Time. A loophole in Time, and then maybe it would be possible to reach food, medicine, sources of energy.  This was the aim of the experiments: to send emissaries into Time, to summon the Past and Future to the aid of the Present.  But the human mind balked at the idea. To wake up in another age meant to be born again as an adult. The shock would be too great.  Having only sent lifeless or insentient bodies through different zones of Time, the inventors where now concentrating on men given to very strong mental images. If they were able to conceive or dream another time, perhaps they would be able to live in it.  The camp police spied even on dreams.  This man was selected from among a thousand for his obsession with an image from the past. -- Narrator, La Jetée

I hate temporal mechanics! -- Miles O'Brien, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Thanks to YouTube, I finally got around to watching La Jetée by Chris Marker. Perhaps most surprising after all the ink that's been spilled analyzing this experimental work is how much it resembles the old science fiction stories of EC's Weird Science.  These stories -- like the majority of those from EC -- featured some twist ending that followed along like fate from whatever course of action the protagonist chose in the beginning. 

Continue reading...

Libido Terror

Posted by phil blankenship, March 15, 2008 08:26pm | Post a Comment
 

Ital Video-Disco

AMOEBLOGGER MIKE BEE IN SF WEEKLY + OTHER NEWS ITEMS

Posted by Billyjam, March 15, 2008 07:28pm | Post a Comment

Props to San Francisco Amoeba Music electronic music buyer and sometime Amoeblogger MikeBee (left),  aka Mike Battaglia, who pens the Technophilia blog.  He got a really nice one page write up in this week's SF Weekly in their special Listen Up issue dedicated to "local aficionados who help San Francisco navigate a brave new world."

Under the heading "Making a Buzz: DJ MikeBee keeps electronic connoisseurs on their toes," the article, penned by Toph One, gives much love to MikeBee, calling him "a true vanguard in the SF music community" and labeling him a "Renaissance man" for his long list of accomplishments that include being a club & radio (KUSF) DJ, journalist, and label co-owner. To read the article in full either pick up the current SF Weekly and flip open to Page 15 of the Listen Up supplement or read it online at sfweekly.com.

Monday, March 17th (aka Saint Patrick's Day) looks like it is going to be a good day at Amoeba Music for free music when Neon Neon (the group formed by Boom Bip and Gruff Rhys of Super Furry Animals) play a free instore at the Hollywood Amoeba Music (6PM showtime), while up north Peru Negro have an instore performance at the San Francisco Amoeba Music at 7PM.  Speaking of free things from Amoeba Music: coming soon will the new issue of Music We Like, the booklet and online list of the music that folks who work at Amoeba are feeling (Top Five lists etc.). Meantime, check out the last Music We Like  online.

Continue reading...

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Posted by Eric Brightwell, March 15, 2008 04:19pm | Post a Comment
Irish Bishops Move St. Patrick's Day 2008 Over Conflict With Holy Week

"Religious celebrations for St. Patrick's Day will come two days early in Ireland next year to avoid a conflict with Holy Week.

St. Patrick's Day is usually celebrated March 17, but Ireland's bishops have shifted the feast day, in honor of the national saint, to Saturday, March 15, reported The Associated Press.

Church authorities reportedly spent weeks debating where to move the feast day because March 17, 2008, falls on the second day of Holy Week next year.

The liturgical norms would require the feast day to be moved to the earliest available date after Easter, which would be April 1. But church officials said the Vatican approved the March 15 date in order to minimize conflict with the scheduled civic events.

While religious celebrations honoring St. Patrick are affected, religious and secular authorities stressed this would not change secular festivities. The St. Patrick's Festival Committee in Dublin confirmed that next year's parade would be March 17 as usual. In addition, Monday, March 17, will remain an official day off of work in Ireland.

This marks the first time the date has been changed since 1940. The next conflict with Holy Week is not expected until 2160."

(source: the Catholic New Agency)


This is news to me! Just to be safe and cover your bases, wear green and drink whiskey on both the 15th and the 17th... and the 18th (Sheelah's Day- which you honor by drowning the shamrock in whiskey in honor of Sheelah-Na-Gig).

       

In the face of my enthusiasm for holidays, I often encounter all types of Negative Nellies who, with their cosmopolitan wisdom, frequently let me know that St. Patrick's Day isn't that big of a deal in Ireland. To them I offer these facts:

Fact 1: I'm not in Ireland
Fact 2: Over 500,000 people attended 2006's St. Patrick's Day parade in Dublin.
The population of Dublin is 505,739.
Fact 3: Who do you think you are?
Fact 4: The first St. Patrick's Day Parade took place in the United States of Kiss My Arse, not Ireland.
Fact 5: Who do you think you are?


In 2007 Father Vincent Twomey stated, "It is time to reclaim St Patrick's Day as a church festival."  He bemoaned the "mindless alcohol-fueled revelry" and added, "It is time to bring the piety and the fun together."  Well, I've got news for you, Father Twomey-- all this blarney about St. Patrick chasing snakes off the island is a load of hooey. There were no snakes in Ireland. All he did was popularize a foreign cult and displace indigenous beliefs, including the pre-Christian observances of Bacchanalia on the 17th and Sheelah's Day on the 18th-- events that can't really be chalked up to coincidence.  So I say, if there's to be any reclaiming, then let's reclaim this mindless, superstition-fueled church observance and then return it to its roots in pious, alcohol-fueled revelry.




To meet my "film-related content" quota, I tried to think of some good St. Patrick's Day movies.  I've scanned the internets and everyone seems to suggest two veins of film. On one side you've got Darby O'Gill and the Little People, The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns and Leprechaun in the Hood. On the other you've got The Quiet Man, The Departed and The Snapper. Ouch. Leprechauns and Irishness hardly seem to be enough. So, here's what I've got that has actual St. Patrick's day content although it may be slight.



So pinch those not wearing green, maybe (just maybe) watch one of these films and raise a glass for Sheelah-Na-Gig.

 
                   Sheelah-Na-Gig                                                                                             Mr. Green Jeans

St. Patrick's Day

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, March 15, 2008 12:15pm | Post a Comment




















Beware the Ides of March

Posted by Whitmore, March 15, 2008 01:09am | Post a Comment

March 15th is the Ides of March, best known as the date that Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC, retold most famously by William Shakespeare's in Julius Caesar. But instead of printing out the Bard’s “Marc Antony's Funeral Oration” (Act 3, Scene 2, lines 74-108), I thought I’d take the high low road and present to you the version, updated and serrated, by the truest hipster saint, double-frantic sphere-gasser, the maddest bon vivant extraordinaire, joyous jazz monologist, and the most exquisite hepcat that ever breathed fire on this fair square planet, His Majesty … Lord Buckley!

 


"Hipsters, flipsters, and finger-poppin' daddies, knock me your lobes.
I came to lay Caesar out, not to hip you to him.
The bad jazz that a cat blows, wails long after he's cut out.
The groovy is often stashed with their frames,
So don't put Caesar down.
The swinging Brutus hath laid a story on you
That Caesar was hungry for power
If it were so, it was a sad drag,
And sadly hath the Caesar cat answered it.
Here with a pass from Brutus and the other brass,
For Brutus is a worthy stud, Yea, so are they all worthy studs,
Though their stallions never sleep.
I came to wail at Ceasar's wake.
He was my buddy, and he leveled with me.
Yet Brutus digs that he has eyes for power, and Brutus is a solid cat.
It is true he hath returned with many freaks in chains
And brought them home to Rome.
Yea, the looty was booty and hipped the treasury well.
Dost thou dig that this was Caesar's groove for the putsch?
When the cats with the empty kicks hath copped out,
Yea, Caesar hath copped out, too, and cried up a storm.
To be a world grabber a stiffer riff must be blown.
Without bread a stud can't even rule an anthill.
Yet Brutus was swinging for the moon. And, yea, Brutus is a worthy stud.
And all you cats were gassed on the Lupercal
When he came on like a king freak.
Three times I lay the wig on him, and thrice did he put it down.
Was this the move of a greedy hipster?
Yet, Brutus said he dug the lick, and, yes, a hipper cat has never blown.
Some claim that Brutus' story was a gag.
But I dug the story was solid.
I came here to blow. Now, stay cool while I blow.
You all dug him once because you were hipped that he was solid
How can you now come on so square now that he's tapped out of this world.
City Hall is flipped and swung to a drunken zoo
And all of you cats are goofed to wig city.
Dig me hard. My ticker is in the coffin there with Caesar,
And, yea, I must stay cool til it flippeth back to me."

This Plot Synopsis Is Empty: Doomsday (2008)

Posted by Charles Reece, March 14, 2008 06:12pm | Post a Comment


While everyone else was yucking it up at Haneke's remake of his own Funny Games, I went to see Neil Marshall's Doomsday.  I was really wanting to see the former, but I might be seeing that with a friend tomorrow (at least, assuming she finds Funny Games more chick-friendly than Doomsday).   Imdb's current plot synopsis is pretty accurate as it stands, presumably waiting for some user to come along and fill it in.  That's pretty much what Marshall's film is, a cobbled together group of signifiers waiting for the viewer to connect them to some signifieds.  The series of posters above says all you need to know about the film, but what the hell, I'll say a little more:

[Spoiler Warning: if you want to be surprised by the derivative content, finding enjoyment in noticing it yourself, read no further.]

It has a contaminating virus just like 28 Days Later, which was itself just like The Crazies.

It has a region quarantined off from the rest of civilization (this time, Scotland), with the remaining people left to rot, just like 28 Weeks Later, which itself borrowed the bit from Escape From New York.

It has a little girl who loses her family during the initial infestation and develops into a Wonder Woman, just like Resident Evil.

The little girl loses her eye, and when not wearing a synthetic eye as an adult, dons an eye patch, just like in Kill Bill, which took its one-eyed gal from Thriller: A Cruel Picture.

It has a team of specialists sent on a task that's not exactly what the bureaucrats claimed it to be, just like Aliens.

The heroine, along with her team, has to go into the quarantined zone to find a scientist, just like Escape From New York.

Speaking of Tarantino films and Wonder Woman, Doomsday has a bondage sequence, where the heroine, Eden, is chained up and beaten while a guy in black latex is hunched over and getting off in the background, just like Pulp Fiction.

The decaying city remains are ruled by a group of tattooed cannibals sporting colored mohawks from 80s Hollywood teen films.  Maybe Marshall hasn't spent much time in Hollywood, but a good rule of thumb for him or any filmmaker is that mohawks and tattoos suggest bourgeois privilege more than dangerous anarchy these days.  In other words, Mad Max meets Valley Girl for a party up in the Beverly Hills Have Eyes.

It has really terrible, inappropriate music, just like John Carpenter's films.  During the big punkster gathering scene lifted from Beyond Thunderdome, we get to hear a bunch of 80s pop songs by the likes of Siouxie & the Banshees, suggesting John Hughes rather than dystopia.  There's even a ruling diva who's the inverse of Tina Turner in the previous film -- same hair, but it's dark and she's white.

One man enters, one man gets eaten: Marshall uses cannibalism to make some vague, dipshitted social point, just like Cannibal Holocaust.

There's a big car chase scene through the "wasteland" between the heroine and the would-be mall punks (if there were any malls left).  You know, just like Road Warrior, only the wasteland in question is actually quite beautiful and pastoral and not likely to be some place that the ruling class would let go to the troglodytes when the cities are so over-populated in the future.   Marshall's one innovation here is having his heroine drive the same product placement as appeared in the latest version of Casino Royale.

Knights in full armor are still around, just like in Knightriders.

According to the Revengers Tragedy, the Jacobean aesthetic returns somewhere around 2011, and it continues in Doomsday when the heroine meets up with the other surviving group, ruled by Malcolm McDowell.  Where the pristine 400 year old clothes came from, I don't know.  McDowell also provides a voiceover that sounds pretty close to Richard O'Brien's in Jubilee.  (That makes two voiceovers from McDowell I've heard in just one week, the other being Justice League: A New Frontier.)

While in McDowell's kingdom (yes, there's a castle), there's another "2 men enter" scene, but this time with a woman, a knight who looks like that big baby creature from Beyond Thunderdome, and no cannibalism.

Slap a bunch of Biblical names onto the characters for potential Web-exegeses, a la The Matrix, and you get the picture.

Finally, the film sucks just like Chloë Sevigny in The Brown Bunny.

MOVING VIOLATIONS PART THREE: GRAFFITI ON THE GO

Posted by Billyjam, March 14, 2008 04:44pm | Post a Comment
       

This is the third and final part in this series of graffiti on moving vehicles. These "moving violation" graffiti photos of autos were all taken this week in Oakland and in San Francisco's Mission District as well as out in the Avenues.  You gotta love the one above which is a vehicle scale get well card.

        

        

        

        

        

        

        

        

BAY AREA GUERILLA BROADCASTERS TAKE UP RESIDENCY IN NYC

Posted by Billyjam, March 13, 2008 10:54pm | Post a Comment

The Bay Area's NPR (Neighborhood Public Radio) is currently broadcasting in New York City as part of the Whitney Biennial 2008 and will be there through early June.  During this time they are broadcasting, doing live concert events, and holding workshops. For more information check out Neighborhood Public Radio's website or the Conceptual Art website.

I recently visited Lee Montgomery and Jon Brumit
(pictured L to R holding one of their NPI boxes) to talk about their current exhibit "American Life" on Madison Avenue, a few doors down from the Whitney Museum.

AMOEBLOG: Can you explain the set-up in New York City for those you are not able to visit you at this location?

JON/NPR: We have a broadcast booth in the front window and the door is unlocked (during all broadcasts) and a signup sheet so that people from the neighborhood or visiting the museum (Whitney) can come in and sign up on the sign up sheet to do a show, tell stories, interview people.

AMOEBLOG: And how many hours a day/week are you broadcasting exactly?

LEE/NPR: We are broadcasting 24/7, though sometimes it's just the sound of the pedestrian and automotive traffic outside our window.  New stuff can be heard Thursday through Sunday.  Wednesday we keep office hours, and sometimes use the time to broadcast experimentally and spontaneously
improvisationally or to invite insistent newcomers on the air.  You just never know what'll happen.

AMOEBLOG: What is the one thing you would like to get out of the NY installation?
 
LEE/NPR: One thing, hmm? I think we never are inclined to be so goal oriented, but I will say that any positive effect we can have on people's attitudes toward ideas of free speech, and any critical stance we can foster towards media analysis will be considered a success.  Beyond that, it would be awesome to see new relationships forged between people in the museum, and in the community, and new connections (two ways) made between average people and the art world.. We love the fact that no one ever has to pay to access our work in this show..even if we are way up on Madison Ave.
 
AMOEBLOG: How is it going so far and what interesting things have happened or who has shown up to check out the NYC installation?

LEE/NPR
:
It's been crazy fun. Of note, we have had a visit from a bitter, fired ex-NPR (National Public Radio) reporter, a current NPR reporter, a WNYC producer, two National NPR trustees, a woman retired from the National NPR's general counsel's office, Anabella Sciorra, and the accountant for The Who, The Stones, Monty Python and Uriah Heap, and his very dynamic and charming wife.  Additionally, we have had students and children from the neighborhood, The Enablers, EDAS, Daniel Goode, Scott Rifkin, and friends from San Francisco talking with artists in New York and talking about a protest against the Detourned Menu art show at the ISE in SOHO.  The museum has been brilliantly supportive (if sometimes a bit nervous) throughout, and we have been surprised and pleased by the diversity of guests and points of view on display.

The Employee Interview Part XVII: Andrew Lux

Posted by Miss Ess, March 13, 2008 02:54pm | Post a Comment
Andrew Lux
3 years employment
Man About Amoeba



ME: So, what brought you to Amoeba?  How did you end up working here?

AL: I've wanted to work at Amoeba ever since it opened. It's basically been my dream job forever. I remember in high school my girlfriend at the time would have to drag me out of the store. Umm... but yeah, I got the job here cause somehow one of my good friends, Jessica, was working at Amoeba, and I had told her about how I love the store, and I really needed a job because I had just gotten kicked off disability, so Jessica called me on the day someone got fired. So I ran down to the store and filled out an application and met one of the managers and next thing I know I'm being interviewed and I'm behind the counter-- crazy right?

ME: Timing is everything!  Ah, I didn't know you and Jessica were friends before you worked here!  Cool.  So what song describes your life perfectly right now?

AL: Man that's a hard one... Umm "Interesting Results" by Ariel Pink cause I have been writing a lot of songs, or trying to at least, and that song really sums up the creative process. Now I just need to think about what song out there deals with buying a new computer... hmm...

Ah yes, my good
friend Ariel Pink!  If you could trade places with any musician, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

My instinct on this is to go with Phil Elvrum of The Microphones/Mt.Eerie because everything he does is perfect and honest and somehow not in any way pretentious. I don't understand how an artist can make an album with only 4 tracks on it that deals with life and death and being reborn into something new, completing a cycle, and NOT make it pretentious. And now he's working on something that supposed to be something like black metal with acoustic guitars or something... and it's going to be amazing! 
But then I want to be totally rich - so I'm going to say Bono.

That's like going from the least pretentious person to the most pretentious ever!  Hilarious. I still have never gotten into The Microphones.  I need to make a bigger effort.  Good thing I work here so I can go grab one of Elvrum's cds!  People have been telling me to listen up for years and I just haven't.  Anyway, I love your band the Passionistas.  How did you all come together?  How did you come up with your sound?

It started out with my old high school friend Aaron wanting to start a band - he met Myles at SF City College, and he asked me to play bass for them... and I've been with them ever since. I have no idea how we come up with our sound - the songs Aaron writes are different then the songs Myles writes and they are all different from the songs I write. So, there is no real cohesive sound.

When is your next show?

We are recording a lot in April - the next show will be beginning of May at The Eagle.

I adore The Eagle!  Such a fun place to play and hang out at.  What's your favorite local band besides your own?

Girls.  They are the best thing to come out of San Francisco in such a long time-- Christopher writes the most perfect pop songs.  Everything about them is amazing.  If you have a chance to see them live, do it-- it'll change you.

What local band(s) do you think are about to break out?

I don't know of any local bands that are going to break out.  It's too hard to get any big label attention in the city-- I'm bummed.

I love that you are a native San Franciscan! What was the SF scene like when you were in high school?

The scene in high school was weird - I went to a lot of house shows, and warehouse parties, the old eviction parties... I went to Numbers' record release part in Oakland, and Deerhoof opened for them. That was a crazy show, now you can't see Deerhoof without paying an arm and a leg-- I remember when they were a noise band playing garages and shit! I went to house parties where Two Gallants would play someone's kitchen. The scene has fallen apart since I was in high school. There was a great noise scene here and now there is nothing going on anymore. It's weird -- I feel like everyone in the city is just waiting around for something to happen. I think it might be pop music that's going to save this city. I don't know though.

Interesting.  Speaking of noise, who is your favorite experimental musician?

Fanuelle
- he's so amazing. His CD is fantastic but you cant find it anywhere. Fanuelle is this guy who lives in New York and walks around with ear plugs in all the time, and just hears these songs in his head. Then he records them all in "Garage Band" -- it's incredible home recording, just one guy and his music.

We talked a little recently about how perfect music also has a sense of humor and good times to it.  What music do you consider the "most fun"?

Depends on my mood. Most of the time it's electro pop, stuff that's retarded and makes you dance and you can forget everything and just go crazy. Kylie Minouge does that to me. Her album Fever is amazing, I could listen to that forever. Then there are really good indie pop bands like the Go Betweens, and Gangway, and The Lucksmiths.

I know you like to get out there-- what tune always gets you on the dance floor?

I have been trying to figure out what makes songs dancy - and I have been going about it very scientifically with lists and charts and things like that, but man, it's hard to define what gets your ass on the dance floor. There is so much power in a song that really MAKES you dance. Like you're listening to it and you have to just move-- that's crazy!  The ones that do it for me:
-Minor Detail - "Canvas Of Life"
-Kylie Minouge - "In My Arms"
-Crystal Castles - "Crimewave" (remix)
-The Knife - "Heartbeats"
-Le Sport - "Chemical Drugs"
-Daft Punk - anything by them will make you shake your butt.

I know what you mean!  I am not a dancer so the songs that get me on the floor really have got that certain something that's insane about them!  It really is indescribable.  I want to see your research though!  What album do you love that you think more people should listen to?

There are a lot of albums I want to tell people about  - ones that they should know about, that are not famous bands and famous bands with great albums that don't get any respect. Still, I would have to say Joanna Newsom's Ys --  I just cleaned out all the songs on my ipod, and I realised that I have had that album on my ipod since before it came out... so everyone should hear it. It's magical.

I agree 110%.  What song do you hear and always wish that you had written?

"Hit Me Baby One More Time" -- if I had the songwriting credits on that song, I could be so damn wealthy. Or "Coffee and TV" by Blur. That song is so perfect.

Do you have any musical guilty pleasures?

I don't believe in guilty pleasures. I'll totally own up to liking things, and anyone who says they like something ironically is lying to you. You either like something or you don't listen to it! There are some things that I'm not to proud to tell people I like - Fall Out Boy, Everlife, Paul Simon's later work. but whatever...

Yeah let's kill irony dead!  I'm all about the new sincerity!  What song can cure a hangover, guaranteed, every time?

I've found that the best hangover cure is giggling - so any song that makes you laugh,  maybe Morrissey's  "King Leer." I don't know...

Morrissey has come up more in these interviews than any other musician by far!  It's crazy.  So what music did your parents listen to while you were growing up?

My mom was a total beatnik growing up - she wanted to name me Thelonious when I was born. That would have been interesting!   So I listened to a lot of jazz growing up - Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman. But also the Beatles and Bonnie Raitt. A funny thing happened the other day - I was cleaning my house and I instinctually put on a Bonnie Raitt album. That's what we listened to when we cleaned the house on the weekends - crazy how those types of memories get stored and just come out at times.

Yeah, that's why I like to ask everyone that question-- cause I think whatever your parents listened to really seeps into your brain somehow, for better or worse.  Speaking of family, my brother and I were constantly arguing about what was good music growing up (and still now).  He's into Mr Bungle and I'm into Arthur Lee and Love.  Did you and your brother ever fight over the stereo?  What did he want to play and what did you?

We always fought over the stereo when we were younger. I wanted to listen to Bjork and he wanted to listen to The Specials and The Smiths. But he was older and always won. Now that we are both older, we get along really well and push each other to get into different things. He got me into Beach House, I got him into Boat Club, He gave me old Kinks singles, and I played him the My Bloody Valentine EP's.

That's sweet!  You are lucky to have that kind of relationship. I gotta check out Beach House too!  Everyone here keeps talking about them and I am still in the dark.  What has been your best find at Amoeba?

Awww damn... I have so many! There was My Bloody Valentine's "Isn't Anything" LP that came with a limited edition 7" that had two instrumental tracks I had never even read about. The Black Orpheus soundtrack 7" with songs not on the album. Lightning Bolt's first 7". There are so many. I wanted to write a Music We Like entry titled "Amazing Things I Have Found That You Will Never Find," kinda like that...

What is your most prized musically-related possession (record/gear/whatever)?

My hard drive at home - I could press play on my computer, go on vacation for a couple of months, and nobody will have known I was gone, cause my music's been playing the entire time! HAHAHAHA!

What's the best show you've been to in the last year or so?

Surprisingly, since I have started playing shows, I don't like to go see live music. But I have seen Girls play twice now - and they are the best band in San Francisco since forever. I like to go see Bridez play-- we just played a show with them and it was great. Their drummer was too drunk to play and the singer broke a mic or something so we all had to hightail it out of the warehouse we had just played! It was madness. But fun.

What have you been listening to lately?

Getting back into the classics - Paul Simon, The Soup Dragons, Lemonheads, Go-Betweens, R.E.M, The Cure and Oasis. Also some new things --  Vampire Weekend, Geniva Jacuzzi, Dreamdate, Lightspeed Champion, Voxtrot.

I'm always getting back to the classics, it seems.  So what's the best part about working at Amoeba, in your opinion?

It's the people. I have met so many amazingly awesome people working here. Work goes by quickly cause we are all having fun... most of the time. The people here are cool and I'm surrounded by all the music I love. It's a great job. There's a reason I have been here almost 3 years. It works for me.

Me too.  Thank you for your time.
 





The Demons

Posted by phil blankenship, March 13, 2008 01:34pm | Post a Comment
 





Premiere Entertainment International

(In which foul language is used.)

Posted by Job O Brother, March 12, 2008 10:02pm | Post a Comment

The author being bullied into gambling. Note the excitement in his face. Note the sarcasm in the previous sentence.

Day two of Las Vegas saw Corey and I doing one of our favorite things: nothing.

After a breakfast of oatmeal so slimy you’d think it was an accessory for your Castle Greyskull play-set…





…we returned to the artificial beach that had been so typhoony the day before. This time it was sunny, sparkling, and crowded. Tacky house music blasted from every nook and cranny, making each action seem like a dull outtake from a beer commercial. We took refuge near a waterfall, which helped to drown out the incessant oomph – oomph – oomph

One feature I totally had a crush on was this thing they called the Lazy River, which was a stretch of pool that ran in a winding loop, with a strong current that was propelled by machines (or black magic – I didn’t actually ask). You get in this thing and you’re gently swept along with little physical effort. I decided then and there, if I’m ever a billionaire, I would buy myself a Lazy River. Then, dear reader, you and I could dive and splash and play all day, and no one could tell us to stop, because we’d just ride the current far away – safe from harm, from the voices, from the voices in our heads that tell us to kill.

Amidst all this carefree luxury, there grew in me a fear, tightening its grip, as hours past and evening drew near. You see, we had tickets to…


Cirque du Soleil.


Now, I had never seen a Cirque show, but I’d never let that stand in my way of judging them harshly. You have to keep a closed mind about things, right?

My fear was tied into my anxiety of all things “clowny”. This is not only about clowns, just behavior that I deem clowny. I don’t like circuses, carnivals, and other, similar events. I love Disneyland, but will go to great lengths to avoid the people dressed as Disney characters. The panhandlers on Hollywood Boulevard make my palms sweat and, confession time, when Amoeba Music celebrates Mardi Gras with a traditional parade, I time my fifteen minute break to allow for me to hide.

It’s nothing against these things. They bring joy and I totally think joy is rad, I just… feel incredibly… notwannabetherey when they happen.

So, when we neared the theatre and I saw ushers dressed in costumes and greeting audience members in character, I froze, and for a second I considered whether or not rushing out into the Nevada desert was an option. My behavior was moderately annoying Corey, so I put my courage to the sticking place and slipped in, careful not to make eye contact with theatre employees.

The show itself turned out to be good fun. There was one scene that genuinely excited me, because it showcased shadow-puppets.


Show-puppetry fucking rocks. It fucking rocks hard. Normally I don’t spell out cuss words in my blog, because I don’t want to offend spiritually bankrupt people, but in this case I have to make an exception and just let it out: SHADOW PUPPETS ARE FUCKING CHERRY.

After the show, Corey and I went backstage to meet Janine DeLorenzo, one of the (heh heh) instrumental people involved in Ka’s live orchestra. She was recently profiled, along with many other GLBT movers and shakers of Las Vegas, in the new issue of The Advocate.

Janine gave us a generous backstage tour. It was mind-boggling to see everything that goes into one of the productions – in some ways, behind the scenes was more astonishing than the show itself. (Though not the shadow-puppet part – that shit rocked harder than anything!)

Corey and I returned to our hotel room and snuggled up to some Mystery Science Theatre 3000, which has become our traditional, romantic, nightcap. Coincidentally, we both fell asleep for the whole night!





I dreamt that I was in a bar that was beautifully decorated with half-walls of colored, glass bottles. Kurt Cobain approached me. We exchanged pleasantries, then he asked me about his suicide and how it affected me. I was honest, and told him it made me very angry, that I hated him afterwards for doing it, though that hate eventually cooled. He listened to everything I said, looking compassionate.

I think the dream meant I need to eat more ice cream.

John Buttera 1939 - 2008

Posted by Whitmore, March 12, 2008 09:46pm | Post a Comment

I just discovered that "Li'l John" Buttera, legendary street rod and funny car master builder died on March 2nd due to complications from brain cancer at age 68. His death came just four days after that of his fellow hotrod builder Boyd Coddington.

John Buttera was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin in 1939 and began building dragsters there as a kid. A chance meeting with another racing legend, Mickey Thompson, led to his moving to Southern California in the late 1960s, where he worked on, among other things, Thompson's World Land Speed Record streamliner.

The trend setting Buttera went on to build and design almost every type of racing vehicle in the motor world, from street rods to dragsters, funny cars and Pro Stock machines, even customized motorcycles. After he opened his own chassis shop in Cerritos, Buttera’s skills led to working with many of the greats in those halcyon days of drag racing in the 1960s and 70s, including Don "The Snake" Prudhomme, Tom "the Mongoose" McEwen, Shirley Muldowney and Don Schumacher. His Funny Cars were lightening fast pieces of art, with their sleekly elegant and simple lines, suspended low in a beautifully wicked stance. And they also won championships.

Buttera’s stellar reputation as a builder of street rods began in about 1974 when he redesigned a 1926 Tall T Ford, it would be the first in a long series of influential cars. His subtle craftsmanship and superior engineering skills were unmatched. Buttera’s rods like his white ’29 roadster, John Corno’s ’32 roadster (that won the 1980 Oakland America’s Most Beautiful Roadster award), and his ’33 Willy’s model 77, were in a class by themselves, constantly thrilling hot rod enthusiasts. He is credited as being the first to carve customized parts for street rods, race cars and motorcycles from solid chunks of billet aluminum.

Some of Buttera's other famous creations are the 1970 Indy-winning Funny Car of Don Schumacher and his own stock-block-powered 1987 Indianapolis 500 entry, which garnered him the Clint Brawner Mechanical Excellence Award for technical achievement.

out today 3/11...the photographic...

Posted by Brad Schelden, March 12, 2008 09:00pm | Post a Comment

Maybe I am bit selfish or egocentric but I think sometimes that certain releases come out just for me. It makes me feel special. We all have our special little secret bands we like and it is always exciting to hear some new band for the first time, especially when you feel like you may already like every band that you are ever going to like.

I have been really obsessed with the Explosions in the Sky for the last couple of years. It is nice to have an instrumental album to escape into every once in a while, for the times you don't really want to hear anybody talking and just need time alone to think for yourself.  It helps me focus myself and think about my life. I often use electronic music on these types of days, but sometimes that gets a little too intense and I need some more smooth instrumental music. I really am starting to sound like some smooth jazz new age dude right now. What is going on? I guess it is sort of like some dude that is into crazy free jazz but every once in a while just needs some smooth jazz. I guess I really should not compare instrumental rock music to smooth jazz. It really is in its own category. I have really worn out my Explosions in the Sky albums, so I was excited to find the new band The Photographic. Their debut album Pictures of a Changing World comes out today. They come from the land of Louisville, Kentucky. And they really sound nothing like smooth jazz.

I seem to go through phases of liking music from one area of the world. For a while I seemed to be listening to a lot of music coming out of Austin, Texas. At the end of last year I was really obsessed with music coming out of Sweden. I don't intentionally go out and try to find bands from one certain city or country, it just sort of happens-- so it might just happen that I all of sudden start liking a bunch of Louisville bands. I thought I would check to make sure I already don't. I did also find out some interesting facts about the city.

Louisville was founded in 1778 and was named after the great King Louis XVI. I am quickly realizing I know very little about Louisville or Kentucky in general, although I did have a pen pal in elementary school who was from Louisville-- but that was a long time ago. I may try and find those letters to find out what he told me about the great Louisville. Maybe he ended up being in the band The Photographic. I knew that Hunter S. Thompson was from Kentucky, but I had no idea this is also where Tom Cruise came from. I also didn't know that the first ever hand transplant took place in Louisville. I didn't really even know that there had been a first hand transplant. One of the characters on the TV show Prison Break had sewn his own hand back on, but that did not work out so well for him. I guess he should have gone to Kentucky.

Will Oldham was born in Louisville. Slint are also from Louisville. A whole lot of folk and country hasalso come from Kentucky, as you would expect. Loretta Lynn and her sister Crystal Gayle. The Everly Brothers, The Judds, Dwight Yoakam, Billy Ray Cyrus and Ricky Skaggs all come from Kentucky. But there is also another one of my new favorites. My Morning Jacket also comes from the land of Louisville, and although the band has been putting out albums for years, it really took the movie I'm Not There to get me to finally listen to them. Rodan, Freakwater, and Gastr del Sol are also from Louisville, so I have been liking some of the music of Louisville but just not knowing it, which is often the case.  I really do love this new album by The Photographic. I have been listening to it a lot over the last couple of days. You will either like it or you won't. You've really got to be ready for some mellow instrumental post-rocky sort of music. If you are a fan of the Explosions or Mogwai or Mono, then you will like them. Think of it as smooth instrumental post rock. There is another sort of similar band with an album out today. They are called Them Roaring Twenties. They are from Chicago. I don't have the album yet, but I like what I have heard so far. They sort of sound like a band like Hella or The Numbers mixed with a Mogwai/Explosions in the Sky type band. I like it.

I just got back from Disneyland this last weekend. I had not been in a couple weeks but I had to go check it out since Amoeba was just up against Disneyland in a contest sort of competition that Los Angeles Magazine is running. You should go to the website and vote right now --  it is basically a contest to pick the best thing about Los Angeles. It probably will not make much sense unless you have spent a significant part of your life in Los Angeles. The first round is over -- we beat Disneyland but are now up against In N Out. I figured Disneyland would be the hardest to beat even though Disneyland is in Orange County and not Los Angeles. I voted for Amoeba of course, but I do really love myself some Disneyland. Curt was down for a visit and I made him run around the park all day and go on almost every ride. We even went on the Buzz Lightyear Toy Story ride. And we went to the wonderful "Enchanted Tiki Room." I had not been to this animatronic "show" in a long time, but it is just as weird and amazing as I remember. I wish I had a room like this in my house that I could go into whenever I was feeling a little sad. I seriously think a lot of people could deal without yoga and therapy if they just spent some time in the Tiki Room.

I have also been wanting to get one of those silhouette cut outs that you can get on Main Street in Disneyland. Ever since my pal at the Haight St. store got one with her boyfriend I knew that I had to get one. The cut out of Curt came out better than I did, but you can tell it's me because of the glasses. My head really is not that big, but the little old lady that made it was awesome and seriously cut it out in like one minute.



Also out today...






Eleventh Hour by Del the Funky Homosapien










Staying In by Diskjokke













Hello Voyager by Evangelista










Funky Nassau: The Compass Point Story











Obzen by Meshuggah











Ego Trippin by Snoop Dogg











Future Sandwich by Them Roaring Twenties











Alopecia by Why?

Secret Society of the Sonic Six @ Mutant Transmissions Festival March 14th

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, March 12, 2008 03:15pm | Post a Comment

















































19+ mutated synthoid performances over three days. (((6))) perform on the 1st evening, Friday the 14th.

Get a taste of the talent courtesy myspace linkage

http://www.myspace.com/mutanttransmissionsrecords
http://www.myspace.com/thesecretsocietyofthesonicsix
http://www.myspace.com/lotoballshow
http://www.myspace.com/testicularmanslaughter
http://www.myspace.com/thefuxedos 
http://www.myspace.com/newthrillparade 
http://www.myspace.com/lacoste 
http://www.myspace.com/asyntx
http://www.myspace.com/thisheadisforburning
http://www.myspace.com/chickenheads
http://www.myspace.com/swftwngs
http://www.myspace.com/marfaandneaf
http://www.myspace.com/dinglorious
http://www.myspace.com/thefreakmafia
http://www.myspace.com/icantreadicantread
http://www.myspace.com/jellowaste 
http://www.myspace.com/jeanpaulyamamoto
http://www.myspace.com/16sssss
http://www.myspace.com/stripmallseizures
http://www.myspace.com/zombieshark
http://www.myspace.com/kunstfascionmuzik
http://www.myspace.com/mediomutante

The Video Guide To Collecting Creature And Frankenstein

Posted by phil blankenship, March 12, 2008 01:27pm | Post a Comment
 



MOVING VIOLATIONS PART TWO: GRAF ON THE GO

Posted by Billyjam, March 12, 2008 11:33am | Post a Comment
  
       

This is the second part in the "moving violations" series of photos of graffiti on moving objects: never trains, mainly trucks and taken in New York, California, and Amsterdam.

      

   
       

       

       

       

      
       

The Up Series: Give Me a Child of 7 and I Will Show You the Man

Posted by Miss Ess, March 11, 2008 12:30pm | Post a Comment
I spent much of the last week immersed in Michael Apted's Up Series on DVD.  This documentary film series is fascinating-- each film offers a close look at how one becomes an adult, how certain decisions form and create a life, and how one's idea of one's self effects one's eventual place in the world. 

In 1964, a group of 7 year old English children were interviewed about their views on life, love, and the future.  Apted has revisited the children every 7 years-- so there are films for 14, 21, 28, 35, and 42 years old that all come in one handy box for your viewing pleasure. I've heard there's at least one more film, for 49, out there too.

It seems like these films were the precursor to reality tv in a way, for better or worse.  I think the project was started to see what effect class has on a British child's future, but it really offers much more than that.  The class system in Britain is still in effect in certain ways, although you can see over the years of the films that it breaks down quite a bit.  More importantly, the films capture real lives, real issues, real triumphs, real failures.

Watching the idealistic, blunt and hopeful children become independent, challenging, full adults is completely absorbing.  Who wants to think about getting old?  I mean, no one really,  but it's pretty interesting to watch people age before your eyes and to see and hear about the changes that they are going through.

One child, Neil, just broke my heart.  At 7 you can easily see the brightness and humor in his eyes.  He says that when he's older he doesn't want any children because they are naughty and dirty the house.  You can see plainly on his grinning face that he is guilty of this crime and has been scolded for it many a time. By 14, his eyes have already grown deadened and his front teeth have been busted out at sharp angles, never to be repaired (at least not by 42-- very British!).  The light never returns to his face either.  He has been raised in a Liverpool suburb and by adolescence feels misunderstood by just about everyone.  By 21 he's living in a squat in London and Neil continues to meander on, homeless and fairly destitute.  It's striking to see his life begin in such a hopeful way and spiral off and downward, and it's interesting to try to think about why.  By 42 he's finally starting to look for real employment and trying to make his way toward a career in something close to his heart.  His journey is a rough one to watch, at least for me.

On the other hand, Nicholas, a farm boy, grows up the only child in a tiny village.  He is educated in a one room schoolhouse.  At 7 he says he wants to learn about "the moon and stars and all that." By 14 he is so shy he won't even look up at the camera, hiding behind glasses and a long forelock of hair.  At 21 though, he's managed to make it to Oxford and is studying Physics, which continues to be his career.  He ends up by 28 bringing his English wife across the seas and teaches Physics at a university in America.  The series brings him back to his father's farmland at 42 to survey the property and muse about what parts of the space he grew up in are always with him internally.

There are many other subjects in the film, around 15 people total I think.  I rooted for all of them and found myself invested in their stories and their lives as they stumble through the world.  I highly recommend watching all of these films-- even though the people are "ordinary," I don't see what is more compelling than what ends up making up an "ordinary" life, really.

THE ULTIMATE ACT OF ANARCHY AND CAPITALIST REBELLION

Posted by Billyjam, March 11, 2008 12:02pm | Post a Comment

In Jerry Rubin's most famous speech, the one that the Yippie co-founder made in Chicago in 1968 during the Democratic National Convention,  he encouraged people to incorporate theater into their anarchy and stressed how an act such as throwing a bunch of cash money up in the air in the stock exchange and watching the pandemonium that would most likely ensue would be a much more profound statement than the stereotypical anti-capitalist protest of that era. 

Although they were not there in Chicago, USA in 1968 (they would have been only kids across the sea in Britain) it seems that the two founding members of the K Foundation, Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty, truly heeded the true meaning of those anti-establishment words uttered by the Yippie leader, and accordingly carried out a major public act involving throwing money away that would catch the public's attention and confuse most people with their destructive anti-capitalist act that the two carried out on the early morning of August 23rd, 1994.

On that day fourteen years ago the two former members of the successful British pop band KLF burnt      one million pounds sterling in hard cash bills (about two million dollars) on an island off the coast of Scotland. It took exactly one hour and three minutes for the cash  - in 50 UK pound note denominations, packed in suitcases - to completely burn up. 

The two unique (crazy?) individuals who undertook this unprecedented act of rebellion and/or performance art used the money they had earned from the profits of their successful hip-hop & sample based electronic-rock-pop group the KLF (formerly known as the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu, aka The Jams, and also for a short time The Timelords). They had deleted their entire back catalog of music in 1992 and then set up the K Foundation with the intention of subverting the art world - just as they had done with the music world.

Can't Hardly Wait For Saturday !

Posted by phil blankenship, March 11, 2008 12:39am | Post a Comment

Amoeba Music and Phil Blankenship are proud to present some of our film favorites at Los Angeles’ last full-time revival movie theater. See movies the way they're meant to be seen - on the big screen and with an audience!


Saturday March 15

10 Year Anniversary !
Can't Hardly Wait

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

A rare screening celebrating the 10th anniversary of this teen classic! Several cast members will be in attendance!


 

Leon Greenman 1910 - 2008

Posted by Whitmore, March 10, 2008 09:01am | Post a Comment


Leon Greenman
, the only Englishman sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp, has died this past Friday, March 7th. He was 97.

Greenman was one of six children born in Whitechapel, in the East End of London. His family’s background was Dutch-Jewish. His paternal grandparents were Dutch and when his father remarried, Greenman’s mother died when he was two, he moved the family to Rotterdam in the Netherlands. By the 1920s, Leon had returned to London apprenticing with a barber in Forest Gate. During the 1930s he joined an amateur operatic society where he met Esther "Else" van Dam. In 1935 they married and in 1940 their son Barnett was born. Meanwhile, he commuted between Britain and Holland, working for his father-in-law's book business.

Greenman believed that being a British citizen, his family would be protected from the Nazis.  But by late April 1942, the Nazis had enforced the wearing of the yellow Star of David on Jews in the Netherlands. Leon, meanwhile, gave his family's savings and passports to non-Jewish friends for safe keeping. Scared of reprisals for helping Jews, his friends burned the documents.

On October 8, 1942 the entire family were rounded up and taken to Westerbork, a Nazi concentration camp in the Netherlands. In mid-January 1943 they were told they were being deported to a Polish "work camp."  His wife Esther and three-year-old son Barney perished there at Auschwitz. Greenman survived the war and committed the rest of his life to teaching and reminding the public what he had witnessed at Auschwitz and the five other camps he was sent to. He believed that if he could tell enough people about the horrors of the camps and Nazism, perhaps it would never happen again.

He published a memoir, An Englishman in Auschwitz, and continued to lecture well into old age. In 1988 he received the prestigious Order of the British Empire from Queen Elizabeth II for his work fighting racism.

MOVING VIOLATIONS PART ONE: GRAFFITI ON THE GO

Posted by Billyjam, March 10, 2008 08:25am | Post a Comment
      

New York City subway cars of a bygone era, where graffiti started and was once most prolific, or freight trains in the US or passenger trains in Italy and other European countries where graffiti is currently commonly seen, are not the only types of vehicles or moving objects that graffiti can been found on.   Trucks and sometimes cars in cities are also quite common targets for graffiti artists to tag up. Generally these are commercial vehicles since the code (albeit not always a strict one) among graf artists is to exercise respect for private property - but to hell with businesses and city owned property, especially when you can get away with the illegal act.

Always fascinated with this aspect of graffiti done on moving vehicles - oft times really rushed tags since the truck or van is only parked temporarily for as short a stop as a traffic light - I have been snapping pictures of what I have named this "moving violations"  part of graffiti.  Taken over the last few years in various cities including San Francisco, Oakland, Amsterdam, Los Angeles, and New York City they include a broad spectrum of graffiti from some intricate pieces to some very basic and obviously rushed tag jobs - kinda like the one above on the truck with Santa Rosa plates parked in the Mission District of San Francisco.

One truck owner in Chinatown in New York told me that he had long stopped trying to erase the tags on his once white van that he used to transport garments all over the city in. Other vehicle owners said that they actually commissioned artists to paint their trucks because then they knew that most other graffiti artists out of respect would then leave the vehicle alone. This way at least they could pick the art themselves.  There are also some shots (including immediately below) of a graffiti'ed barge on a canal in Amsterdam, a city rife with graffiti everywhere, even along its waterways.

This Cartoon Can Be Yor Life...

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, March 10, 2008 02:37am | Post a Comment

Sunday’s episode of Fox’s television show King Of The Hill, entitled "Ladies And Gentrification," was nothing short of brilliant. In the episode, Peggy Hill is having problems selling a house to a hipster because none of the homes she has shown him are “real” enough for him. That is until Peggy agrees to meet Hank at his friend Enrique’s home in a Mexican neighborhood. Peggy brings her client along, as she is in the middle of showing the hipster homes to buy. Once the hipster sees the neighborhood, he wants to live there and Peggy closes a deal.

Soon Peggy is selling homes to other hipsters in Enrique’s Mexican neighborhood. The fruit stands and Goodwill are replaced by art galleries and trendy stores. Even Enrique’s favorite place to get fish tacos changes their menu, replacing the fried fish tacos with Salmon tacos. Soon Enrique has to move because he is being priced out of his own neighborhood.

There is a great scene in which Hank and Enrique are having fish tacos when a group of hipsters enter. They give Hank attitude because he’s neither a hipster nor a Mexican, calling him Gringo. The too cool hipsters say hello to Enrique,  to which he says to Hank, “They always act like they know me but I don’t know who they are!”

The episode touches upon many issues of gentrification that I thought were brilliant. One is that most hipsters want what they cannot have. While most poor people are trying to get out of a barrio, the hipsters want to get in, simply because they think it’s cool. Their adventures or ‘realness” are things that most people try to escape. Another thing is how they showed how hipsters love the realness of an ethic neighborhood but do very to little preserve the culture, often eliminating ethic businesses to bring in their own hipster culture. Then there was the hipsters that feel that they are “down” with the people simply because they live in the neighborhood, without actually getting to know their neighbors that were there before them. For the most part, many hipsters fraternized only among other hipsters from the same neighborhood.

Lastly, what I thought was cool about the episode was that it was never a race issue. Hank is white and Enrique is Mexican and they get along because they are good people. Hank is not the enemy. Many Latino hipsters have sold out many a neighborhood for their own profit. I have nothing in common with them other than ethnicity. Give me a fish taco and a beer with Hank Hill any day.

Control Machete

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, March 10, 2008 01:07am | Post a Comment

My girlfriend got me back into listening to the group Control Machete. To be honest, I hadn’t thought about them for a long time. They were one of those groups that I was into in the late 90’s/early 2000's, then I somewhat forgot about them. It was the same with her. One of Control Machete’s songs came up on her computer and she was hooked all over again, and so was I. We started discussing the song "Danzon" from their Artilleria Pesada album. The song was collaboration with Ruben Albarran from Café Tacvba and members of The Buena Vista Social Club. We argued who sang the chorus to the song. She insisted it was Ruben but I thought it was Omara Portuonda. I was way off. Ruben’s voice is somewhat feminine so I just assumed, and you know what they say about assumption…

Control Machete was the first Mexican Hip-Hop group I’d ever heard that was a true hip-hop group. They didn’t play instruments and they didn’t try to mimic The Beastie Boys, like some of their counterparts. They didn’t flow in Spanglish like the groups in the hip-hoppers in the U.S. (Mellow Man Ace, Cypress Hill, Big Pun, Fat Joe, Of Mexican Descent) It was two MC’s, Pato and Fermin IV, and a DJ (Toy) They had obvious hip-hop influences mixed with the ones that came from growing up in Monterey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. Fermin had one of the roughest voices in rap music that sounded a little like the Don Ramon character from the Chavo Del Ocho T.V. show. Control Machete’s DJ, Toy Hernandez, dug up samples that the best beat makers in Hip-Hop would envy. They were proud of being Mexican but not in a super-nationalistic way. Lyrically, Pato and Fermin IV instilled their listeners with pride in their culture as a way to inspire and to speak against poverty, ignorance, and oppression that constantly plagued Mexico. They were too heavy for the Fresas, ( Mexican slang for hipster) who looked to Europe for all their cues, but for the kids growing up in the barrios that grew up listening to hip-hop, they were a breath of fresh air.

They released three albums. All their albums sold well even before their mainstream exposure on U.S.' biggest stage. Their song, "Si Senor," was used in a Levi’s ad called Crazy Legs, directed by Spike Jonze. The ad played during the Super Bowl. It was funny to walk around my neighborhood after the ad was shown and watch all the kids trying to emulate the crazy legs moves. Ah…the power of advertising.

They group divided around 2002. Fermin IV went solo and release a CD on his own. Pato and Toy released Uno, Dos, Tres, Bandera in 2003. Toy continues to remix tracks by such artists as Ely Guerra,Gustavo Cerati, Celso Pina, and Up Bustle and Out.

Fermin IV became a born again Christian and is a pastor at a church in Mexico City. According to MI ESPERANZA, a Christian television show based in Mexico, Fermin spoke of his conversion from a rap superstar to Christian Pastor as “Nothing he was looking for, that Christ found him,”  freeing him from a world of alcohol, drugs and breaking rules. He still raps today, but for the church and for Jesus Christ.  He also has no regrets of his past because it led him where he is today.

Here is the Crazy Legs commercial and a bit of the "Danzon" video, filmed in Cuba.






See It Now, March 9th, 1954

Posted by Whitmore, March 9, 2008 09:58pm | Post a Comment

On this date, March 9, 1954, America's most respected journalist of the day Edward R. Murrow narrated an episode of See It Now, a news magazine broadcast on CBS television, called "A Report on Senator Joseph McCarthy."  Murrow had produced several episodes looking into hysteria of the Communist witch hunt of the 1950’s, but this program in particular was a monumental step toward the collapse of the demagogic and Constitutionally reckless Joseph McCarthy. Often referred to as television's "finest hour”, Murrow takes apart McCarthy’s campaign, showing it to be nothing more than unsubstantiated accusations and persecution towards anyone with a different point of view. By mainly playing recordings of McCarthy himself bullying witnesses and making cockeyed speeches, See It Now showed what they felt was the most dangerous risk to democracy-- not suspected Communists working in the government, but McCarthy’s actions themselves. The broadcast received tens of thousands of letters, telegrams and phone calls running 15 to 1 in favor of Murrow.

As Murrow said in his ending:

"No one familiar with the history of this country can deny that congressional committees are useful. It is necessary to investigate before legislating, but the line between investigating and persecuting is a very fine one and the junior Senator from Wisconsin has stepped over it repeatedly. His primary achievement has been in confusing the public mind, as between internal and the external threats of Communism. We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men -- not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate and to defend causes that were, for the moment, unpopular.

Summer Heat

Posted by phil blankenship, March 9, 2008 08:50pm | Post a Comment
 


 
Paramount Home Video 12594

WHAT IF TRAVIS BICKLE CAME BACK TODAY?

Posted by Billyjam, March 9, 2008 05:34am | Post a Comment

You know that part in Taxi Driver when Robert De Niro's Travis Bickle character utters those lines about wishing that "Someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets."  That eerily memorable bit from Martin Scorsese's landmark 1976 movie captured a totally different time in the history of New York City - a time when the city was bankrupt and grimy.  It was a time when the Bronx, which looked like bombed out Berlin (circa WWII), was visited by Ronald Reagan like a state leader visiting a war torn faraway land - except it was one of the five boroughs of America's main city.

It was a distant time that could be a hundred years ago, not just a few decades, considering just how very much New York City has transformed since then.  Today the midtown Times Square area of New York City (along & surrounding 42nd Street on Manhattan's West Side) is a radically different place than the one it was back in the mid-seventies; the area that was so effectively captured in Taxi Driver as Travis Bickle's cab crawled along in slo-mo, taking in every nuance of the rundown, scuzzy and scary area that was rampant with X-rated movie theaters, hookers, junkies, pimps, and street-wise con men lurking on every corner, ready to rip off gullible marks.

Today that same stretch of 42nd Street and Times Square is another world altogether, with the cheap eateries and strip clubs and X rated movie theaters replaced by back to back chain outlets like Starbucks, McDonalds, and of course the Disney stores -- hence the so-called Disneyfication of New York City that has slowly come about since the nineties -- a current trend in the US that is by no means limited to NYC.

TIME MARCHES ON

Posted by Whitmore, March 8, 2008 11:42pm | Post a Comment

March 1 - Johnny Cash, 36 years of age, marries June Carter, 38 years of age.
March 2 - World Ladies Figure Skating Championship in Geneva is won by USA’s Peggy Fleming.
March 3 - Greece, Portugal & Spain's embassies are bombed in the Hague.
March 4 - Evan Dando of the Lemonheads is born.
March 4 - Joe Frazier TKOs Buster Mathis in 11 rounds for heavyweight boxing title.
March 4 - Martin Luther King, Jr announces plans for Poor People's Campaign.
March 5 - U.S. launches Solar Explorer B, also known as Explorer 37 from Wallops Island to study the Sun.
March 6 - Actress Moira Kelly is born.
March 7 - Jeff Kent, second baseman for the Dodgers is born in Bellflower, CA.
March 7 - The First Battle of Saigon begins in Viet Nam.
March 8 - Bill Graham opens the Fillmore East in an abandoned movie theater in New York City.
March 10 - A Ferry boat sinks in the harbor of Wellington New Zealand killing 200.
March 11 - Lisa Loeb is born.
March 11 - Dmitri Shostakovich completes his 12th string quartet, in D flat major (Op. 133).
March 11 - Otis Redding posthumously receives a gold record for "(Sittin' On) the Dock of the Bay."
March 12 - Mauritius achieves independence from British Rule.
March 12 - President Lyndon B. Johnson edges out antiwar candidate Eugene J. McCarthy in the New Hampshire Democratic primary, a vote which highlights the deep divisions over Vietnam War in the U.S.
March 13 - The Beatles release the single "Lady Madonna" in the UK.
March 14 - Nerve gas leaks from the U.S. Army Dugway Proving Ground near Skull Valley, Utah. Sickening sheep on local ranches coincided with several open-air tests of the extremely toxic nerve agent VX at Dugway. The Army, which initially denied that VX had caused the deaths, never admitted liability, though they did pay the ranchers for their losses. On the official record, the claim was for 4,372 "disabled" sheep, of which about 2,150 died. 
March 14 - CBS TV suspends Radio Free Europe free advertising because RFE doesn't make it clear it is sponsored by the CIA.
March 15 - Diocese of Rome announces that it "deplored the concept", but wouldn't prohibit rock & roll masses at the Church of San Lessio Falconieri.
March 15 - LIFE magazine, in an article, calls Jimi Hendrix "the most spectacular guitarist in the world."
March 16 - In My Lai, South Vietnam, American troops massacre between 350 and 500 unarmed Vietnamese villagers - men, women, and children.
March 16 - General Motors releases its 100 millionth automobile, the Oldsmobile Toronado.
March 16 - Italian composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco dies at the age of 73.
March 16 - Democratic Senator from New York, Robert F. Kennedy announces he’ll run for the Presidency.
March 17 - A demonstration in London's Grosvenor Square against U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War leads to violence - 91 police injured, 200 demonstrators arrested.
March 18 - The U.S. Congress repeals the requirement for a gold reserve to back US currency.
March 19-March 23 - Students at Howard University in Washington, D.C., seize the administration building and stage a five-day sit-in, shutting down the university in protest over its ROTC program, and demanding a more Afro-centric curriculum.
March 20 - Carl Theodor Dreyer, Danish director of The Passion of Jeanne d'Arc (1928) and The Vampire (1932), dies of pneumonia in Copenhagen at age 79.
March 22 - Daniel Cohn-Bendit and seven other students occupy Administrative offices of Nanterre, leading to the closure of the University on May 2, which in turn helped move the protests to downtown Paris where the May 1968 Student Riots launch France into a deep state of chaos.
March 23- Edwin O'Connor, American novelist and Pulitzer Prize winner dies.
March 23 – UCLA beats North Carolina 78-55 in the 30th Annual NCAA Men's Basketball Championship.
March 24 - Alice Guy-Blaché, pioneering filmmaker who was the first female director in the motion picture industry dies at the age of 94.
March 25 - The 58th and final new episode of The Monkees airs on NBC.
March 26 – Country singer Kenny Chesney is born.
March 26 – R&B artist Little Willie John, he sang the original version of "Fever" and "Talk to Me," dies at Walla Walla State Prison in Washington. He had been imprisoned for stabbing a man to death in October 1964. The official cause of death is listed as a heart attack, though some reports say he died of pneumonia or asphyxiation.
March 27 - Yuri Gagarin, Soviet Cosmonaut and first human in space, dies in aircraft training accident.
March 29 - Lucy Lawless, New Zealand actress best known for her role as Xena is born.
March 29 - Students at Bowie State College seize the administration building to protest the run-down condition of their campus, at a time when Maryland essentially ran separate college systems for black and white students. Instead of negotiating, Governor Spiro Agnew sent the state police in to take back the administration building.
March 30 -The Yardbirds record their live album at the Anderson Theater in New York City. Though at first it was shelved by the band, once Led Zeppelin hit big, Epic Records tried to cash in by releasing the material as the bootleg Live Yardbirds: Featuring Jimmy Page. It was quickly withdrawn after Page's lawyers filed an injunction on the record.
March 30 - Celine Dion is born.
March 30 - Bobby Driscoll, Academy Award winning child actor, dies from a heart attack brought on by liver failure and advanced arteriosclerosis due to his long-time drug abuse at the age of 31. Believed to be an unclaimed and homeless person, he was buried in an unmarked pauper's grave on Hart Island where he still remains today.
March 31 - Seattle's first Major League Baseball team is named the Pilots.
March 31 - President Lyndon B. Johnson announces he will not run for re-election.

Broad Contemporary Art Museum

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, March 8, 2008 11:33pm | Post a Comment

I finally had a chance to check out LACMA's new building devoted to modern art. The Broad Contemporary Art Museum opened to less than favorable reviews, but for someone like me who had never had a chance to witness these famous works up close, I was glad that they made this.

The BCAM comes from the collection of Eli and Edythe Broad, who have collected famous works from a selective group of artists for the last forty years. Among those artists are Andy Warhol, Mike Kelley, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jeff Koons, Cindy Sherman and recent Academy Award nominee, Julian Schnabel.

The architecture of the building is pretty amazing. The elevator shaft that runs through the entire three-story building is an installment in itself, courtesy of Barbara Kruger's still unfinished piece. The museum devotes the entire first floor to Richard Serra's sculptures. Band and Sequence are two separate metal sculptures that are fifteen feet in height and took over two and half years to create. Walking through them, I had the feeling I was a few centimeters tall walking through a maze of ribbon.

I am by no means an expert in modern art but I can see why BCAM has created uproar in certain art circles. For one, the art collected by the Broads is limited, no matter how groundbreaking it is. There are many great contemporary artists whose art has had more influence in society that are not included simply because the Broads aren't collectors of their work. Also, the artists are limited to just American artists, which limits the scope of contemporary art of the last forty years even further. Still, to be able see the work of these great artists up-close makes me think how much these artists have influence culture, advertising and how we view everyday life.

A tip:

LACMA has a sliding scale of admission after five p.m. You can pay a dollar or you can pay one hundred dollars, if you are so inclined. Despite the bargain (if you choose to pay on the lower end of the scale like I did), the museum closes at seven p.m. and you need at least three hours to check out the museum in depth.

Nightfall

Posted by phil blankenship, March 8, 2008 08:59pm | Post a Comment
 



MGM/UA Home Video M0801326

(Wherein your neon's flashin & your one-arm-bandits crashin.)

Posted by Job O Brother, March 8, 2008 08:47pm | Post a Comment

"Say cheese"

Oh, hey! Fancy writing you here.

Where? Vegas, baby. Yours truly is currently 29 floors above desert level, tucked inside the golden, looming Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino on The Strip of Las Vegas, Nevada.

Corey, the dude I’m totally in a relationship with, and I left early this morning (if you ask him) or late this morning (if you ask me) and hit the freeway.

His car’s stereo plays MP3’s, and I’m notorious for making gigantic mix CD’s for the slightest road trip. (“Oh, we’re driving to Trader Joe’s? Better burn a ‘Going to Trader Joe’s’ mix!”) Corey, who finds my ravenous appetite for music overwhelming, manages to be patient as I force hundreds of hours of tunes upon him.

A couple weeks ago we were driving back from a romantic getaway in Santa Barbara, listening to the mix I had made for our trip to Disneyland, because we had already listened to the mix for driving to Santa Barbara on the way there (you following?). The mix for driving to Disneyland was mostly chipper, romantic songs – lots of doo-wop, some schmaltzy kitsch, with some Disney songs here and there for good measure. One of the songs was “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond. Corey smiled and said, “Now this is music!”



What Corey would say, as he’s said to me countless times, is that he “finds an album he likes, then listens to it over and over for weeks – maybe months – until he’s tired of it”. MP3’s containing entire discographies, however, are daunting.

Then there’s me. I’m the guy who's frustrated that iPod’s can only offer me 80 gigs of memory. (I have two – one for classical music and one for everything else. How do I live without a third iPod for jazz? It’s not easy. I sing spirituals to ease the burden of it.) Furthermore, these music libraries stay on shuffle. As I go about my day, I want Leadbelly to begat Cherrie Currie to begat Betty Carter to begat Yma Sumac to begat Germs to begat De Kift, ad infinitum.

So, when I hear Corey say “Now this is music!” in response to “Sweet Caroline”, I collect six albums by Neil Diamond, burn them into one MP3, and present it to him like it’s a Christmas goose to Tiny Tim.


I am so sorry that you're having to look at this picture.

But he’s not Tiny Tim. He’s Corey, and just because he once commented about a Neil Diamond song does not mean he wants everything the man recorded. Why can’t I get that through my handsome skull?

What does any of this have to do with Las Vegas? It’s some of what occupied my thoughts as we took the four-hour drive here.


The drive is beautiful. Mostly vast expanses of desert, broken up every eight minutes by a potty break at a gas station.

We arrived at the hotel. It was windy! Like, crazy windy – skinnier bellhops were being swept away by swift air currents. We barely made it into the lobby. We checked in, found our room, and changed into our trunks, eager to enjoy the famous “beach” of Mandalay Bay.

The beach is man-made, (un)naturally, with waterfalls, a wave-generator and tons of sand. Sounds nice, right? But you’ve already forgotten, haven’t you (as we did) about the wind storm. Instead of sunbathers and body-surfers, we entered something more akin to if-Disney-created-a-Hurricane Katrina Land.

Huge billows of sand hit us – grains stinging our skin – as we sought out a pool or hot-tub that was sheltered. When we found some that were, of course they were packed. Defeated, but laughing, we retreated. We saw five or six lifeguards (who had nothing to do because the entire beach was empty) taking refuge behind a wall, sitting huddled, looking like a human re-creation of a scene from “March of the Penguins”.


"I hear they're hiring at the Luxor MGM."

After grabbing a bite to eat, we settled back into our room, which is where I am now. The front desk mentioned that we would have a “view of the lagoon”, which we do, technically. What she neglected to mention is that the lagoon is half an acre at the base of the hotel, whereas, stretching out for miles beyond it, is the airport. Oh well. She can’t be expected to tell people they have a “lovely view of Las Vegas International Airport”.

I’m not sure which airline it is, but one of them has airplanes painted like orcas. It’s a surreal thing to be looking out on a desert horizon and suddenly see a Killer Whale go flying across the sky.

Anyway, I’ll be keeping in touch. I’m only sorry I didn’t make a “blogging from Las Vegas” mix to listen to…

Body Waves

Posted by phil blankenship, March 7, 2008 11:50pm | Post a Comment
 





New Horizons Home Video #NH00440

Rive Gauche

Posted by Eric Brightwell, March 7, 2008 09:14pm | Post a Comment

Roughly occurring at the same time as the more well-known and more celebrated French Nouvelle Vague (or New Wave), another group of frequently collaborative film-makers were grouped together under the moniker "Rive Gauche," named after Paris' artsy side. These film-makers (Agnès Varda, Chris Marker, Jean Cayrol, Henri Colpi, Marguerite Duras, Alain Robbe-Grillet,) applied to film the concepts which defined the Nouveau Romain in contemporaneous literature. Duras and Robbe-Grillet were also writers and associated with the literary movement in which experimental authors sought to create a new style with each work. Together, they produced an amazing body of film which remains largely overshadowed by the much more popular New Wave, though no less interesting or significant.

Because of the film-makers' approach to art and their being French, as well as contemporaries of the New Wave, they're often lumped in with them even though the New Wave, while radically experimental, was more stylistically consistent due its focus on the director as the film's author. Ironically, the New Wave view served to encourage the personal and recognizable authorial nature of film, whereas members of the Rive Gauche often sought to depersonalize their works in an attempt to defy expectations, placing them in polar opposition in this regard.



Alain Resnais began making films in the 1940s. He is best known for his films Nuit Et Brouiilard (1955), Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959) and L'Anee Derniere a Marienbad (1961).

Nuit Et Brouillard stands alone in cinematic history in its depiction of the Jewish Holocaust. Resnais avoided the familiar black and white stock-footage for most of the film and instead presented tranquil scenes of the by-then abandoned concentration camps in color, with flowers growing through the cracks and sun beams shining on the desolate remains. Compare, for example, Nuit Et Brouiilard to a cinematically conservative film like Schindler's List. Spielberg chose to film in black and white (both literally and morally), with big name actors and with action unfolding in a familiarly un-ending winter that makes the events seem cliche and safely remote.

Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, March 7, 2008 07:25pm | Post a Comment
When Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks took the stage to legions of hoots and hollering and a very crowded floor, it was clear that we were in for a rare treat. Malkmus is known for a few bands he’s been in such as Pavement, The Silver Jews and The Crust Brothers. Just last month he was the recipient of the Plug Awards’ Impact Award; known among it’s recipients as the “Indie Grammys’ Lifetime Achievement Award.”
The Jicks (a hybrid of “Jerk” and “Dick,” or Mick Jagger’s name backwards ...) are composed of drum maven Janet Weiss (Sleater-Kinney and Quasi), Bassist Joanna Bolme (Elliott Smith and The Minders), and Mike Clark on guitar and tripped out keyboards. Fresh from a secret show in Portland and a Sonic Boom, Seattle in-store just before that, Amoeba WAS their San Francisco post-record release show (that is, if you missed them in December at the Great American Music Hall) and the legions of fans and curious folks who crowded the aisles for the 45 minute plus performance couldn’t have been witness to more electric and often psychedelic magic.

With a heavy attack of electric guitar (a la Hendrix) the band grooved into the first song on the album "Dragonfly Pie." The band was on from the start, seemingly commanded by Janet Weiss’ super tight style on the house drum kit, “the best borrowed kit I’ve ever used,” she commented.  However, throughout the performance, all eyes looked to Malkmus for cues.

There had been a bit of equipment talk prior to starting – Malkmus pointed out that his guitar was plugged into the amp Jack White of the White Stripes was notorious for using. “Let’s see what we can do!”  He even joked,  “can we pass on the store credit and keep some of this equipment?”

Secret Society of the Sonic Six Saturday March 8th (L.A.)

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, March 6, 2008 11:05pm | Post a Comment
Our first performance of the year.  Also appearing is Dame Darcy's Death By Doll & SF legend ObsoleteDJ Scottish Andy is making his way down from the Bay as well....


KINDERGARTEN ROBOCOP

Posted by Billyjam, March 6, 2008 08:08pm | Post a Comment


What if RoboCop and Kindergarten Cop were fused into one movie character? What would the result be? The above make-believe trailer, in which YouTuber Grecofabulous mashes up elements from both movies, giving an inkling as to what such a melding of those two Hollywood cop characters might yield.

And with Hollywood and sequels and spinoffs (think Alien vs Predator, aka AVP) anything imaginable is possible, especially when the tease of box-office success is not far off.  The above trailer also reminds me of how engaging Robocop, the culturally critical, futuristic action flick, made in 1987 and starring Peter Weller, is. It reminds me that I  must watch it again.

But I am also reminded of just how ridiculously funny (in a so-bad-it's-good way) Kindergarten Cop is - a movie that I already own since I bought it used on VHS for a few dollars years ago at Amoeba.   One of the great things about the 1990 "comedy" that starred Arnold  Schwarzenegger as John Kimble, is that it  is just chock-a-block with Arnold soundbites that were so popular as samples a few years back with soundboard prank-callers ("Who is your daddy and what does he do?" "I'm a cop, you idiot!"  "Shut Up!" "Stop it!"  etc. etc.) as evidenced in the clip below.

But perhaps more surreal than all of this Hollywood make-believe is the reality - something that I personally choose to block out of my mind at times -  that this guy (Arnold) is the current Governor of California. Yikes!   To me this fact is even more surreal than a  Kindergarten Robocop movie!

If Dreams Came True.....

Posted by Amoebite, March 6, 2008 01:36pm | Post a Comment

Deadly Exposure

Posted by phil blankenship, March 6, 2008 10:22am | Post a Comment
 





A*Vision Entertainment 50502-3

Streets Of Fire - Saturday Midnight At The New Beverly Cinema!

Posted by phil blankenship, March 5, 2008 11:26pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music and Phil Blankenship are proud to present some of our film favorites at Los Angeles’ last full-time revival movie theater. See movies the way they're meant to be seen - on the big screen and with an audience!


Saturday March 8

A Rock & Roll Fable !

Walter Hill's
Streets of Fire

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

Heritage Day at the Heritage Square Museum

Posted by Eric Brightwell, March 5, 2008 03:20pm | Post a Comment
This past Sunday at the Heritage Square Museum in Highland Park it was L.A. Heritage Day, which I checked out, accompanied by the always scintillating Ngoc Nguyen. The Heritage Square Museum is a "living museum" made up of some Victorian buildings saved from impending demolition that was begun in the 1960s. All the homes were moved from their foundations and transported to their current home in Highland Park. Some of the buildings are still pretty rundown and, as money comes in, are restored. My sister and I used to play a game on road-trips where we'd try to spot rundown houses with trees poking through the roofs and cry out, "That's your honeymoon house!"  The idea is that honeymooning in a run-down house would be rather humorously outrageous. Of us siblings, only my sister has been married so far and I don't think she did end up honeymooning in a dilapidated mansion. Anyway, our parents responded by creating the "Quiet Contest."


        One of the more colorful Victorian homes.                              A Victorian teenager posing in front of the chapel.

Because of fire code, so the story goes, all of the second (and third, in the case of the hexagonal house) stories of these fine buildings are off limits except to the volunteers. One of the costumed guides complained how silly that was since there is no danger of fire in the homes. However, another guide said that two of the original buildings burned down after being moved to Heritage Square. Probably some punk kids out for kicks, but who knows?


   A docent and I in my Zodiac shirt.       It's like a giant cable-knit sweater that someone keeps knitting and knitting and...

In addition to the Victorian homes, there's a church, a carriage house, a train station and some train cars. The museum has a myspace page and activist/actor George Takei is in their top 16. I was once on Olvera Street and I recognized GeorgeTakei's distinct, pleasant voice asking, "Should I stand here?" whilst posing next to a fake donkey for some tourists.

Thank you, Steve Malkmus

Posted by Miss Ess, March 5, 2008 12:36pm | Post a Comment
Today we have the illustrious Steve Malkmus and the Jicks playing on the Amoeba stage at 7pm!  I'm very excited about this.  I enjoy Pavement, his previous band.  My favorite track of theirs, Malkmus'   Range Life  touched my life in a time when I was looking for answers.  By that, I mean, I was living in a hippie town and for years couldn't pinpoint why exactly all these scraggly pseudo hippies made me so dang pissed off.  Malkmus allayed my anger merely by recognizing his own confusion when it comes to hippies in this track.  In honor of his appearance today here at Amoeba San Francisco, here is the video for Range Life:



And here's another track that expresses some ambivalence about proto yuppie hippes from his first and fabulous self titled solo album.  It's a live performance of "Jenny & the Ess Dog":

Gary Gygax R.I.P.

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, March 5, 2008 11:30am | Post a Comment
Billyjam beat me to the punch, but here's my tribute to the man...



So, we visited my parents this weekend.  Went to the Auto swapmeet, the Museum of Man, the Santee Drive-in & got a small box of items from my youth.  At the bottom of the box I found this pin...Can you make out the sword, wizard hat, bat and ghost?



This item must have been made in 1982-83.  I was a 7 year old D&D nut...Anyhow I went to check my email this morning and bumped into some saddening news.  The co-creator of my long lost love had passed on.  Gary Gygax died March 4th. His heath had been ailing for quite sometime...Here's a few of my favorites from my monster manual...









Although I haven't opened the pages of any of my D&D books for at least 15 years, I was instantly transplanted to the fantastical world I knew as a little kid.  These rather simple drawings were a huge inspiration back then.  Reading some of Gary's comments about online games, I had to agree with him.  His take on the online games was that basically D&D type games left more to the imagination, therefore were more engaging. It's kind of the radio vs. TV conversations I've had with WWII generationers.




In 1983 I was a "dead king" for Halloween.  I based the idea on my favorite monster, the Lich.  I believe you needed to encase said monster in a box of lead to disable their magic.





My beaten Monster Manual and a vintage drawing of mine along with some important equations.



11:30 PM Tuesday Night....yes, we keep a giant NO! sign on our front door, it prepares us for the evil monsters  lurking just outside our door...

Haunted by the Brutal Splendor of old 45's, #5

Posted by Whitmore, March 5, 2008 08:35am | Post a Comment

I am as derelict as any opium reveler’s after-dream and in this wizened condition I’m aware of only the shrill din of an entire city cracking. Maybe I sit too close to the sheer brink of ruin, and lunacy, and guzzling a couple of dozen shots of espresso - this morning’s tomfoolery- only raises the bedlam quotient. Nonetheless, early this afternoon I found my way to Amoeba, where now I’m standing, mostly decaffeinated, on my desk, peering out of my office window into the anxious mirrored eyes of the CNN building across the way, looming bluntly above the squat Hollywood landscape. Below me, a rush of emergency vehicles flies down Cahuenga, and through the Sunset Blvd intersection.

Something is going on
somewhere, and probably something big, but do I really need to know? During this whole dull, dark, and luckless day, when clouds hung oppressively low outside, they hung even lower in here. Working alone, pricing yet another dreary stretch of 1980’s 45’s, I found myself longing for something more; more grand, more scintillating, more psychedelic, funky or even French! Maybe Australian! Maybe tomorrow … I now know what it was, what first caught my eye and what originally troubled me about CNN’s massive edifice; a sense of insufferable gloom pervades its spirit, like Poe’s House of Usher, grappling with its own shadows and history and treacheries. And as I scan its glass façade, I see just a bit of me waving back in the reflection: is there more here, more than the eye can see? If questioning brings knowledge, and knowledge brings dread, what’s next?

And that’s why I thought you might like to see all these record company 45 sleeves from around the globe. And now, maybe, its time to return to the real world,  and hold off on that brutal splendor blather for a while... then again, I just started reading the Cask of Amontillado by Poe, " ... thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge ..."

GARY GYGAX, CO-CREATOR OF DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS, HAS DIED.

Posted by Billyjam, March 5, 2008 06:50am | Post a Comment

Gary Gygax
the co-creator of the first role-playing game, Dungeons and Dragons, died yesterday (March 4th, 2008) at his home in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin at age 69 after years of suffering from health problems. He recently had suffered an abdominal aneurysm. He is survived by his wife and six children.

Gygax, who began life as an insurance underwriter and later was also an author, writing several fantasy books, will be best remembered for being the co-creator of Dungeons and Dragons.  Reportedly part of the inspiration came to him in the '60s after getting interested in playing war-themed board games.

Then in 1974, along with co-creator Dave Arneson, he designed Dungeons and Dragons, little thinking that it would go on to become such an incredibly important game and part of youth-culture, and have such a major impact on the video game landscape for years to come, inspiring a slew of video games, books and movies.

IRISH SONG WINNER RAISES LAUGHTER & RUFFLES FEATHERS

Posted by Billyjam, March 5, 2008 05:55am | Post a Comment

Dustin, the funny, smart-ass turkey puppet character, is already a major television and recording star in his native Ireland but last week when the foul-mouthed turkey with a strong Dublin accent won the televised national Irish Eurovision qualifier music contest with his entry "Irelande Douze Pointe," many feathers were ruffled - with cries of protest ranging from it made a "mockery of the Eurovision" to it  had been an "insult" to both the honor of the Emerald Isle and, more importantly, to the hard work and real talent of the other five (serious human) contestants who had also participated in the hope of going on to represent Ireland at the Eurovision semi-final in two months.

Since decades before American Idol and the X-Factor and shows like that, the Eurovision Song Contest has been in existence. But for many years it has been accused of becoming a bit of a joke itself, with countries accused of voting out of favoritism for neighboring nations rather than for talented singer/songwriter/performers.  When the puppet character Dustin recently won the Irish contest with his song "Irelande Douze Pointe" it became a front page news story over in Ireland, dividing the country into those for and those against.  Bob Geldolf (of the Boomtown Rats and Live Aid fame) came to Dustin's defense and said it would be nothing short of "rank poultryism" should "one of the greatest talents this country has ever produced" fail to be selected to represent "our glorious musical heritage" on the world stage, according to the Irish Times.

Others continue to see it as a "mockery" and question why Dustin was in the contest in the first place.  But despite all the controversy, the decision to select Dustin was defended by the chairman of the judging panel, television producer Bill Hughes, who in a press statement said, "We did think seriously about it but once we heard it and we all laughed so much, we decided it was worth including."  The video clip of Dustin and his crew performing "Irelande Douze Pointe," which is chock-a-block with witty inside Irish jokes including a public apology for Riverdance, performed on RTE Television in Limerick last week, is above.  And in May Dustin will perform the song again in the Eurovision semi-finals in Serbia (the last Eurovision song contest winning country).

out today 3/4...bauhaus...michael mcdonald...

Posted by Brad Schelden, March 4, 2008 11:29pm | Post a Comment
A new Michael McDonald and Bauhaus release in the same day! How lucky can we be? I really can't think of two more different musicians than Peter Murphy and Michael McDonald-- but I am actually excited that they both have albums out today. Bauhaus is one of those bands that I can't really imagine not existing-- like Siouxsie & the Banshees, The Cure, Joy Division, Depeche Mode, & The Smiths, it is hard to imagine my life without these bands. I wonder what bands could have replaced these bands in my life if the members of these bands had made other decisions and not decided to become musicians. I don't even know what I would have listened to in High School or what I would have talked about with my friends if not for these bands. So many friendships and relationships were built on the love of these bands. Bauhaus only released four albums in the early 80's, but they managed to make a huge impact on me and many others. Like the Smiths, the band broke up before I had ever heard of them. It is hard to believe, but this is the first Bauhaus studio album in 25 years. The new album is called Go Away White and is released today.

Bauhaus broke up in 1983 but the members of the band have all remained busy over the years. I was a big fan of both the solo Peter Murphy and Love & Rockets. These were the albums I grew up with. It was not until later that I went back to discover the brilliant albums of Bauhaus. Daniel Ash and Kevin Haskins went on to create Tones on Tail after the break up of Bauhaus. David J joined them for Love & Rockets, which was basically Bauhaus without Peter Murphy. The self titled album of Love & Rockets from 1989 remains one of my favorite albums. It had such a major impact on me when it first came out. It was one of those albums I still remember going to the store to buy and listening to over and over again. I was obsessed with this album. Peter Murphy continued to release solo albums over the last couple decades as well. He released Deep in 1990 and Holy Smoke in 1992. These albums basically framed my High School years. They also still remain two of my favorites. I am a bit surprised that I am still not sick of the song "Cuts You Up," but I can still listen to it over and over again and love it just as much as I did in 1990. I am actually listening to it right now. I still can picture the entire video whenever I listen to it.

I actually ended up being able to see Bauhaus twice over the last couple of years. They were one of the bands, like the Smiths, that I thought I would never be able to see live, but they reunited for a couple tours just for fans like me who never got a chance to see them. Now they are back again and put out another album that will probably be their last-- or we might have to wait another 25 years. I was a bit scared to listen to this new Bauhaus album. I am always worried that I will be disappointed when one of my old favorite bands puts out a new album. I have really loved them so much and loved much of what they have all been doing post-Bauhaus. I worry that these new albums will somehow alter my memory of them or at least change how I feel about them-- but this new album is actually fantastic! They made an album that it will be hard for Bauhaus fans not to enjoy. It simply sounds like a Bauhaus album should sound. You can't really tell that 25 years have passed. The album features the original line up of Peter Murphy, David J, Kevin Haskins and Daniel Ash. The liner notes don't tell you much about the album. But they do give you the wrong address for their myspace page. www.myspace.com/bauhaus actually goes to some 12 year old kid's page who I am sure is excited to be getting so much traffic to his page, but his page is actually set to private.The actual myspace page for the band is www.myspace.com/officialbauhaus. The album cover to the left seems to be moving. Maybe it is just me but if you state at it long enough the ghost angel seems to be moving.

Also out today is another solo album from your favorite Doobie Brother, Michael McDonald. He releasedMotown 1 & 2 in 2003 and 2004 and now gives us Soul Speak. He covers "Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher" and "Walk on By." I don't really know how to explain my love of Michael McDonald. I seriously can't explain it. But any of my fellow Michael McDonald fans will admit the same thing. You either love or hate him.  Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees) and Greg Dulli (Afghan Whigs & Twilight Singers) also release a new album out today. They really make an amazing little pair and put together an awesome album. They are called the Gutter Twins. I really love both their voices and it is awesome to hear them together on one album. There is also a new fantastic album by Autechre on Warp and another solo album by Stephen Malkmus from Pavement called Real Emotional Trash.  It's actually growing on me. I thought I was sort of over Pavement and Mr. Malkmus, but I actually like this new album and still enjoy his voice. There are also two amazing soul compilations out today. Conquer the World: The Lost Soul of Philadelphia International Records and The Sound of Philadelphia: Gamble & Huff's Greatest Hits.



also out today...






Quaristice by Autechre











Saturnalia by The Gutter Twins












Shots by Ladyhawk












Real Emotional Trash by Stephen Malkmus











Soul Speak by Michael McDonald











Batbox by Miss Kittin












I Need You to Hold On While the Sky is Falling by Kelley Polar











Transnormal Skiper by Jim White











  Conquer the World Various Artists











The Sound Of Philadelphia Various Artists

They Call Me The Mercenary #12

Posted by phil blankenship, March 4, 2008 11:00pm | Post a Comment
 



(In which Job earns a C+, at best.)

Posted by Job O Brother, March 4, 2008 11:37am | Post a Comment
Good morning!*

I slept in a little later than usual, so I don’t have as much time to toss this blog together. Hopefully my innate brilliance will bubble up; if not, I’m sure some well-intended filler and unwarranted bravado will do.

What do I do first thing in the morning, you ask?

…You didn’t ask. That’s not what you were wondering at all? Not at all.

Well… I wasn’t talking to you anyhow. (And shame on you for interrupting!) I was talking to another reader who was wondering what my morning ritual was. Honestly, not everything is about you, y’know.

Anyway, OTHER READER, thank you so much for asking.

What’s that? Oh, it’s for a report you’re doing for school? How delightful!


My morning routine is as follows:

1.) I tend to wake up first. There are exceptions to this rule. I’ve made it through entire days before finally waking up, but again, this is in the minority.

2.) I pet my cat and say mean things to him, sweetly. This is normal. I caress his little head and coo something like, “Morning, little one! I’m going to break your f***ing neck!” He looks at me and purrs. He doesn’t understand English, and is responding to the timbre of my voice. THIS IS NOT ANIMAL ABUSE. I often do the same thing with my boyfriend.

3.) I stumble out of bed, excited to discover which “mystery ache” I’ll have in my joints that morning. What a fun game it is!

4.) I boil water. Boiled water is delicious! I like to add a little tea or oatmeal to mine. Adds some flavor. Délicieux!

5.) I feed the cat. “I added some strychnine to create a sumptuous gravy!” I might say.

6.) I visit the restroom. You see, the restroom has been very ill of late, and it’s important to me that it feels loved and cared for. Unfortunately, I cannot afford (in time or money) to keep the restroom in my home, so I’ve sent it to a special place reserved for them. Sure, the restroom cried when I told it. “How could you send me to one of those places?” it wailed. I listened, sympathetic, and waited, patiently, for the chloral hydrate to kick in and make the move easier for all of us. Sure, I kept the restroom’s jewelry, but that was for safe-keeping! You know how much thievery happens in those places.

7.) I look in the mirror and scream. Don’t worry – it’s just the vision of Bloody Mary. It’ll go away in a few seconds, allowing me to check for pimples.

8.) I take my breakfast to my computers. On one monitor, I read the Guardian America. On the other, I often iChat with Jaime. She will ask me what I’m doing and I explain that I’m waking up and preparing to write a blog.

9.) I write a blog. If I’m not inspired by anything in particular, I’ll oftentimes just stretch out something very silly. Breaking it up into lists with numbers is a good way of creating mass without much effort. Another way to accomplish this is by adding lots of graphics.


Don't forget a pithy caption!

10.) I realize that my blog has nothing to do with Amoeba Music and its wares, so I reference some music or film or something. Sometimes, I’ll do that while listening to this fantastic record by Bob Lind…




11.) It’s almost time to go to Amoeba Music and peddle soundtracks! Most days, I’ll dress myself in clothes first, then step out to greet the day. You see, I brought the day here once the restroom moved out. Things have been pretty hot ‘n’ heavy ever since. Tee hee!

*Some restrictions may apply.

Rich Girl & Dangerously Close

Posted by phil blankenship, March 4, 2008 10:17am | Post a Comment
     

Rich Girl: To Jackie, Rock on!!! - Don Michael Paul

Dangerously Close: Phil - You're the Bestest!!! - Don Michael Paul



Don Michael Paul autographing the videocassettes.



Don Michael Paul (left), Phil Blankenship (center), Michael Torgan (right)

Rough Trade Creates A Counter Culture Icon Walk Of Fame

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, March 4, 2008 12:09am | Post a Comment

Here is an idea that goes into the “Why didn’t I think of that?” pile:

This is from exclaim.ca. Pretty funny as well.

Nick Cave Named Rough Trade's Inaugural "Counter Culture Icon" 
2/29/2008 By Brock Thiessen


In efforts to give hipsters their very own Walk of Fame, Nick Cave will be stopping by London’s Rough Trade East shop on Monday to be sworn in as its first “Counter Culture Icon.”

Sources from shop today told Drowned in Sound that Cave and his no pussy blues would leave his “prints” at the renowned record shop, marking the first of many enlistees to participate in the fame campaign. The Bad Seed will then reportedly be “hanging out in the store,” presumably kicking against the pricks.

Thus far, Rough Trade has remained tight-lipped over the names of future Counter Culture Icons but we can make some educated guesses. Perhaps be Morrissey? No, the concrete would be too “icky.” Mark E. Smith? Well, maybe he’d leave a fresh butt.

And just in case you were curious, Hollywood’s Walk of Fame now has more than 2,000 five-pointed stars featuring the names of celebrities, human and fictional, according to Wikipedia. The first star was awarded February 9, 1960, to Mrs. Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, star of the 1996 film Even If a Hundred Ogres...

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

Yeah, I get the irony, (oh, the English are soooo ironic!) but don’t you think Amoeba Hollywood should have their very own “Counter Culture Icon Walk Of Fame?” Amoeba could hit 2000 selections in one day.

I say Amoeba should have one, but with a slight twist. Amoeba Hollywood should honor Los Angeles based artists that helped keep counter culture alive, inspire other great musicians to create excellent music and helped places like Amoeba exist. In future blogs, I will make my pitch for which great Los Angeles Counter Culture Icons should go on Amoeba Hollywood list.

Here is a short list, off the top of my head:

Tom Waits
Love
N.W.A.
Black Flag
Los Lobos
War
Carol Kaye
The Minutemen
David Axelrod
Brain Wilson
Charles Mingus
The Germs
X
Shuggie Otis
Thee Midniters
Freestlye Fellowship
Frank Zappa
Ozomatli

I'm sure I'm missing many, many more, but here is a start.

Return to Casablanca

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, March 3, 2008 11:30pm | Post a Comment


Not sure if short lived subsidiary "American International Records" is the same as the "A.I.R." from the late 60's, but it's very likely.  The studio 54 comp had this custom jobber and the final image is a great example of the classic early Casablanca blue label design...



When studying the classic desert scene design, one will begin to notice many variations. Here's an interesting trio...A later period label, with mention of Polygram at the bottom.  Middle label bears the Fauves-Puma Records imprint, a pairing that was reported to have moved some 15 million units on this Santa Esmeralda hit!! Finally, the classic desert scene from the Village People's heyday, before "Can't Stop the Music" nearly did...



Chocolate City imprint, home of Cameo, Keb Mo, Brenda & the Tabulations, Parliament and as pictured here Vernon Burch...



A Trio of Kustom Kiss labels...Ace's solo LP, a platinum desert scene for the singles collection "Double Platinum" and a nice full band shot on this promo desert scene...



Clear sea blue 12" from hit soundtrack The Deep...



OK, that's it for now.  I'll leave you with this video of a fellow playing his copy of the much sought after 7"  (really, it's a very pricey item) "Theme Des Grands Fonds" or "Theme from the Deep"  I love the sounds on this song...

 

FILM ABOUT UK DISABLED PUNK BAND PREMIERES AT SXSW

Posted by Billyjam, March 3, 2008 07:40pm | Post a Comment

Billing themselves as the "UK's only disabled punk band" the five-member unique British rock group Heavy Load, who formed a dozen years ago -- several of whose members have learning disabilities -- and who reportedly have become cult heroes on the disability arts scene in the UK, are the subjects of a new film that will be premiering next week at the film festival part of the upcoming annual SXSW (South By South West) music and film festival in Austin, Texas.

The film is scheduled to be broadcast on television sometime this summer, according to the band's bass player Paul RIchards, who said that Heavy Load  (not to be confused with the 80's Swedish heavy metal band of the same name) are hoping to come over to the States this summer to do some dates to promote the film and connect with some disabled punk artists in the states. If you reading this know of any disabled punk or hard rock groups in the US please enter their names/contacts in the comments below, which Paul will be checking periodically. He will also be accompanying the filmmaker to SXSW next week.

Meantime, to hear some of Heavy Load's music, including the autobiographical song "We're In A Film," check out their MySpace and for more info on the documentary film about them (trailer below) click here.

For more details on the SXSW festival, which runs from March 7 to 16th, click here.

Lila Downs Loteria Cantada DVD

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, March 2, 2008 09:51pm | Post a Comment

Maybe because my girlfriend makes fun of me about my supposed 'crush" on Lila Downs, I overlooked this DVD on my top ten list of last year. It was only recently that I watched Loteria Cantada and I wasn't disappointed. I have to admit, it took me a while to get into Lila's last release, La Cantina. It wasn't until the DJ's started bumping "Cumbia De Mole" at the clubs that I gave La Cantina the once over again. The concert footage was recorded in Mexico City and in her home state of Oaxaca in 2006. Each song on this DVD was edited by nine different visual artists, bringing the concert footage to life with color and imagery synonymous with Mexican art. The DVD is set up like Loteria, with each song being a different card in a Loteria deck. The footage and sound quality are broadcast quality and even if you feel the visual art maybe be too ambitious, Lila's performance is top notch. If you are a fan of Lila's music and classic Mexican art like me, this is well worth getting.


Below is a clip from the DVD. It's Lila's version of the Son Jarocho standard "La Iguana," courtesy of youtube.com.

Teatro East Of The River

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, March 2, 2008 02:16am | Post a Comment
Teatro East Of The River, from East L.A., describe themselves as: Teatro Xicano, Theater Of The Oppressed, Hip-Hop theater, spoken word, flor y canto, using theater as a form of education, inspiring, organizing, enlightening and liberating.

...and on top of that, they have a new production:

The Complex
A Theatre of the Oppressed / Rebelde Production
Investigating the Prison Industrial System in the U.S.
Part of the USC Visions & Voices 2007-2008 Program


Companion community event of
"The Press"
March 2, 2008*
2:30 - 4:30 pm
FREE ADMISSION
(bring your resistence - traite tu resistencia)

at the
24th St. Theatre
1117 W. 24th Street (corner of 24th and Hoover)
Los Angeles, CA 90007

In this play, theatre takes on the political realities of prison life and asks us all to investigate what is trapping millions behind bars, including many of our youth, often for life sentences without the possibility of parole. What is really behind "the complex?" USC Senior Lecturer Brent Blair collaborates with activist/artist Mario Rocha, LA County Probation officer Rick Vidal and parents of incarcerated youth, along with other artists, activists and stakeholders from several groups within the general community affected by the "Prison Industrial Complex." This event loosely follows the framework of "forum theatre" informed by the techniques of Theatre of the Oppressed of Augusto Boal, where audience members are invited to trade places with the protagonists to derive solutions to this socio-political rupture.

2008, The Year Reggae En Español Broke

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, March 2, 2008 01:07am | Post a Comment

One of my predictions in the beginning of this year was that this would be the year Reggae En Español would come into the forefront. Reggae En Español has been around since the early 80's but with a few exceptions it has never become popular with the mainstream Latino audience. However, late last year, one of the biggest songs on Latin Pop Radio has been DJ Flex's (formerly know as Nigga but changed his name for obvious reasons) "Te Queiro." Other artists such as Eddy Lover w/ La Factoria ("Perdoname") and El Rookie from Panama and have been rocking Reggae clubs all over Latin America since the 90's. However, the trend has been to change these artist's style to "romantic Reggaeton" to accommodate the audience that listens to Latin Pop radio.

A much different take comes from Alika from Argentina. Alika comes from Dancehall, Roots Reggae and Hip-Hop background with little compromise to current trends. Each of her releases shows tremendous growth and her lyrics deal with female empowerment and her beliefs in natural living. Alika has been playing all over the L.A. area over the last week with East L.A. legends Quinto Sol as her back-up band. This is a must see for anyone who wants to check out what Latin Americans are bringing to the Reggae table!

LITTLE TEMPLE
4519 SANTA MONICA BLVD
(On the corner of Virgil & Santa Monica)
Cost: $10
21 and Over/Starts @ 10

Target Practice 1: On Sundry Topics

Posted by Charles Reece, March 1, 2008 09:09pm | Post a Comment
This is my trial run at blogging on my new laptop.  I switched to a Mac, which is a bit like what those really young kids must've felt in Piaget's experiments on object constancy where they hadn't yet developed the proper conceptual framework to understand that when a doll goes behind an obscuring object it doesn't cease to exist.  My perspective is all out-of-whack -- no right-clicking, can't figure out how to easily shift between programs, there's a bunch of little objects at the bottom of my screen that have no meaning for me -- forms without functions -- and I have no idea if files still exist once I've saved them.  It was definitely time for a change, however.  My other laptop looks like it was dug up on a excavation in New Guinea, a talisman from some forgotten arcane ritual.  Now, everything on the Web works the way it's supposed to (well, once I downloaded Firefox) and I don't have to wait for the grinding gears to stop before my next action, so I'll get used to it.  Baby steps.  The agony of living in the First World.

~ ~ ~

On my conversion to Macatholicism, I'm reminded, of course, of this piece from Umberto Eco, written way back in 1994:
The fact is that the world is divided between users of the Macintosh computer and users of MS-DOS compatible computers. I am firmly of the opinion that the Macintosh is Catholic and that DOS is Protestant. Indeed, the Macintosh is counter-reformist and has been influenced by the ratio studiorum of the Jesuits. It is cheerful, friendly, conciliatory; it tells the faithful how they must proceed step by step to reach -- if not the kingdom of Heaven -- the moment in which their document is printed. It is catechistic: the essence of revelation is dealt with via simple formulae and sumptuous icons. Everyone has a right to salvation.

DOS is Protestant, or even Calvinistic. It allows free interpretation of scripture, demands difficult personal decisions, imposes a subtle hermeneutics upon the user, and takes for granted the idea that not all can achieve salvation. To make the system work you need to interpret the program yourself: far away from the baroque community of revelers, the user is closed within the loneliness of his own inner torment.

You may object that, with the passage to Windows, the DOS universe has come to resemble more closely the counter-reformist tolerance of the Macintosh. It's true: Windows represents an Anglican-style schism, big ceremonies in the cathedral, but there is always the possibility of a return to DOS to change things in accordance with bizarre decisions: when it comes down to it, you can decide to ordain women and gays if you want to.
~ ~ ~

One of my favorite film critics, Jonathan Rosenbaum, has retired from his position at The Chicago Reader.  He's opening up his own website, so I'm not too sorry to see him go.  A biography, a selection of his personal favorite online critiques, and a YouTube-based analysis of a scene from Orson Welles' Don Juan can be found with a click on the link.  Also, you'll find a two-part interview with him, the second of which I'm putting up here:



You'd think an interview with a critic so knowledgeable about the formal qualities of cinema could have the camera placed better, but alas ....
~ ~ ~



Speaking of criticism, it's interesting that for all his braggadocio Quentin Tarantino has one of the more enlightened views on the function of the art I've read coming from a popular filmmaker (yeah, that's right, it's a form of art):
I love subtextual film criticism, especially when it's fun, when a guy knows how to write in a readable, charming way. What I love the most about it is that it doesn't have a fucking thing to do with what the writer or the actor or the filmmakers intended. It just has to work. And if you can make your case with as few exceptions as possible, then that's great.

In a weird way this goes back to Death Proof, because one of the biggest inspirations for the film, especially the first half of the movie - the more slasher-oriented section - was Carol Clover's book Men, Women, And Chainsaws. I really truly think that her chapter on the 'final girl', the role that gender plays in the slasher film, pins down the best piece of film criticism I've ever read. It gave me a new love for slasher films and one of the things that I was doing when I was watching that movie was applying her lessons.

February 28, 2008

Posted by phil blankenship, March 1, 2008 07:10pm | Post a Comment




California Fool's Gold -- Exploring Rosemead, Today's Small Town America

Posted by Eric Brightwell, March 1, 2008 06:35pm | Post a Comment

This installment of Eric's Blog takes us to Rosemead. To vote for another Los Angeles neighborhood, vote here. To vote for a Los Angeles County Community, vote here. To vote for Orange County neighborhoods, vote here.

 
Pendersleigh & Sons' Official Map of Rosemead


EARLY HISTORY

First, a bit of background on the City of Rosemead. As is proving to be true of everywhere I go in Southern California, the area which now makes up Rosemead was formerly inhabited by the Tongva for thousands of years before the
Spanish came. I'm considering just saying in regards to my posts about Southern California, "Unless I say otherwise, this area was inhabited by the Tongva for thousands of years before the Spanish came." Anyway, the Spanish did come and built a mission there in what's now Whittier Narrows. Due to flooding, they relocated the mission to its current home over in San Gabriel in 1775.

Los Angeles Revival House Calendar For March

Posted by Eric Brightwell, March 1, 2008 06:17pm | Post a Comment



New Beverly,
silent movie theater, nuart, Egyptian, Aero, Billy Wilder Theater





Become a fan of Eric's Blog on Facebook!

TURNTABLIST ROB SWIFT EDUCATOR AS MUCH AS ENTERTAINER:

Posted by Billyjam, March 1, 2008 02:53pm | Post a Comment

Hip-hop DJ trio Ill Insanity, whose just dropped debut Ground Xero on Fat Beats is available in CD and vinyl formats at Amoeba Music, have been kept busy since the record's release two weeks ago. Last week the Queens, NY DJ group were in California doing sets at Guitar Center in SF and LA on Pico, in addition to some club dates. And the last couple of days they were on TV and will be again this coming week on Monday and Tuesday (March 3rd & 4th) when they are DJ guests on BET's Rap City at 5PM each day. Meanwhile upcoming tour dates include stops in Seattle and Boston.

"It's a brand new start," said Rob Swift of the new group that he formed along with younger DMC champ DJ Precision and alsoTotal Eclipse -- the fellow former member of the famous DJ crew that Swift and Eclipse were in with Roc Raida and Mista Sinista, the X-ecutioners (originally known as the X-Men before Marvel Comics objected to copyright infringement).  Unlike the two albums that the X-ecutioners released, which had several vocalists featured, Ill Insanity's debut stays truer to the art of the DJ with only one of the album's fourteen tracks featuring an emcee: the rapper Dasha who cameos on the song "Decorated Vets."

Rob Swift says the freedom to make an album just as he and his bandmates wanted was  a result of being on a smaller label.  "When we signed to Loud Records as the X-ecutioners we were the first turntablist group to sign to a major label and overall we thought we were doing something good for the art form and introducing it to a wider audience," he recalled. "But the reality is when you sign to a major label you don't have the freedom that you would have if you put out the record with a friend on a makeshift record label. You have to compromise a lot with a major label....and we ended up working with artists we wouldn't normally work with. We were kinda bossed into this trap of being told what to do by the record company who said if you want to be popular you have to work with this or that artist."

Are You In The House Alone?

Posted by phil blankenship, March 1, 2008 10:40am | Post a Comment
 


Good Times Home Video VGT 9028