Amoeblog

Night Of The Juggler Saturday Midnight At The New Beverly

Posted by phil blankenship, July 31, 2008 08:01pm | 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 August 2

James Brolin in

Night Of The Juggler

1980, 101 min

New Beverly Cinema
7165 W Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Midnight, $7

 


August
August 2 Night Of The Juggler

(No one can stop James Brolin!)
August 9 Rainbow Brite & The Star Stealer
(Rainbow Brite's first movie - insanely RARE performance!)
August 23 The Gate
(... pray it's not too late!)
August 30 Little Darlings
(Paramount Archive 35mm Print! Rare Screening!)

 

September
September 6 Idle Hands

(9th anniversary for the 1999 stoner horror comedy!)
September 13 Showgirls
(Beyond your wildest dreams. Beyond your wildest fantasies!)
September 20 Michael Mann's The Keep
(25th Anniversary! Paramount Archive 35mm Print!)
September 27 Over The Top
(Sylvester Stallone. Big Rig Truckin'. ARM WRESTLING!)

October
October 4 Hard To Kill

(Steven Seagal is Mason Storm. Mason Storm is... Hard To Kill!)
October 18 All Night Horror Show!
(100% Movie Mania! New Bev Fundraiser! 12 Hours Of Movies, Fun & ??)

 

out today 7/22 & 7/29...neil halstead...dead can dance...

Posted by Brad Schelden, July 31, 2008 02:45pm | Post a Comment
I still can't believe that summer has already started. I am sure that it will be over even quicker. Soon it will be Christmas time again. The year is a little more than half over and I have been back in Los Angeles for about 6 months now. The boyfriend just moved down last week and it has been a busy couple of weeks for me, but it has been a bit slow for the new releases the last couple of months. Some big things are right around the corner for the next couple of weeks, but not so much for this week or the last. Last week was the week of the debut album for the Black Kids and the release of the second album by CSS. There was another Nine Inch Nails album and a new Dr. Dog.

This week is basically a new Neil Halstead album and a new one by Rick Springfield. Not a very big week. I am a huge fan of both Slowdive and Mojave 3, so I am a bit excited about the new Neil Halstead, but I have not yet heard it. Next week we get new albums from both The Faint and Conor Oberst from Bright Eyes. They both were on the label Saddle Creek Records up until these new albums. Bright Eyes put out a ton of albums on Saddle Creek and helped to make a name for the label, but he has made the jump to Merge Records for his new solo album. The Faint decided to go with their own new label for this new album. Conor is one of those guys you either love or hate. Most people I know have some passionate opinion about him. I know I have talked about this before. I was on the hating side for a bit, but crossed over to the fan side about 4 years ago. Conor Oberst will also be playing a free show at Amoeba in both San Francisco and Hollywood. The Hollywood instore is this coming Monday, August 4th. We will also be selling the album the day before it comes out since the actual street date is the day after the instore. He is playing at the San Francisco store 3 days before the album comes out, on Saturday August 2nd. There will be tons of people at both these instores, but I think it is worth dealing with the crowds just to see him perform live. It might convert you to a fan as well.

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EIGHT DAYS TO EIGHT EIGHT EIGHT (08:08:08)

Posted by Billyjam, July 31, 2008 09:55am | Post a Comment
boredoms
It is exactly 8 days to 8-8-8 (aka August 8th, 2008), when many noteworthy events are scheduled to take place, including, of course, the kick off of the Olympics in Beijing and such lesser publicized events as World Hoop Day. 8-8-8 is also the date for the Boredoms' 88BoaDrum show.

This free large scale drumming concert, which takes place in LA.'s Hancock Park, is scheduled to start at exactly 8:08PM next Friday (August 8th). The show is a sequel to last July 7th's 77BoaDrum celebration in Brooklyn, NY. As you probably already know from reading this website, the event will feature a total of 88 drummers performing for 88 minutes. As you also most likely know if you are an Amoeba fan, two weeks ago the Hollywood store gave away a chunk of tickets for this big, free (but so in demand that the free tix became a premium) event. Check out the blog I did on last year's 77BoaDrum.

Another music-related event scheduled for 8-8-8 at exactly 8 o'clock is when Genesis P-Orridge of Psychic TV has announced that he/she will have the final surgery in the ongoing series of gender reassignment operations in the unique Pandrogeny Project (a love story of gender reunion), that he/she and his/her late partner/collaborator Lady Jaye, who tragically died suddenly late last year, were going through together -- essentially a process whereby they were attempting to become one and the same person, or as close to it as physically/mentally possible.

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Bud Browne 1912 - 2008

Posted by Whitmore, July 31, 2008 08:32am | Post a Comment


Last week ‘the father of surf films,’ Bud "Barracuda" Browne, the onetime lifeguard who began showing his 16-millimeter movies commercially in the early 1950’s, died in his sleep at his home in San Luis Obispo. He was 96.

Born July 12th, 1912, in Newtonville, Massachusetts, Browne began swimming competitively at age seven. He attended USC, was captain of the swim team and in 1933 ranked second in the nation as a collegiate swimmer. While working as a lifeguard at Venice Beach in late thirties, Browne was introduced to surfing. In 1938 he went to Hawaii to ride the big waves in Waikiki, taking along an 8-millimeter movie camera to film the local surfers. One his first and most prized reels of film recorded the legendary king of the surfers Duke Kahanamoku.

During World War II, Browne served as a navy chief specialist in athletics (earning the nickname "Barracuda" for his long lean look). Following the war he became a teacher in Los Angeles, working as a middle-school physical education instructor and also attended USC Film School. He upgraded his camera to a 16-millimeter Bell & Howell. In 1953, after spending several years filming surfers in Hawaii, Browne pieced together enough footage to compile a 45-minute film. Hawaiian Surfing Movie debuted at John Adams Middle School in Santa Monica.

Browne eventually gave up his teaching gig and took to chronicling the 1950’s surf scene full time, releasing at least one movie a year between 1953 and 1964. With films such as Trek to Makaha, The Big Surf, Surf Down Under, Cavalcade of Surf, Locked In and Gun Ho!, Browne documented all the surfing greats of the longboard era, like Phil Edwards, Buzzy Trent, Greg Noll, Miki Dora, Linda Benson and Dewey Weber, plus the first-generation of shortboard riders, like David Nuuhiwa, Nat Young and Gerry Lopez. In addition to completing nearly 20 of his own films, he also contributed footage to other projects such as Big Wednesday, directed by John Milius, Greg McGillivray/Jim Freeman’s Waves of Change (also known as The Sunshine Sea) and their 1972 classic Five Summer Stories. In the early 1990’s Browne began re-editing some of his earlier efforts. The first project, Surfing the 50's, honed his best color footage from the eight films he produced during the fifties. That success led to re-releasing some of his other movies such as the 1963 classic, Gun Ho!.

As a surf-film pioneer, Browne had a huge influence on those who came after him like Bruce Brown (The Endless Summer) and photographer John Severson. Bud Browne was inducted into the International Surfing Hall of Fame in 1991 and the Huntington Beach Surfing Walk of Fame in 1996. This past March, he was honored at the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival for his lifetime achievements to the genre of surf films.

Here is some of Browne’s footage used in a Hamms Beer commercial from 1965.

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July 30, 2008

Posted by phil blankenship, July 30, 2008 03:55pm | Post a Comment







Enzo G. Castellari, Fred Williamson and Bo Svenson at New Beverly TONIGHT!

Posted by phil blankenship, July 30, 2008 01:21pm | Post a Comment
Tonight only, director Enzo G. Castellari will be appearing at the New Beverly Cinema to introduce his films THE INGLORIOUS BASTARDS and BATTLE SQUADRON and do a Q&A during the intermission. As an incredible added bonus, THE INGLORIOUS BASTARDS stars Fred Williamson and Bo Svenson will be joining Castellari for the introduction and Q&A!
 
Castellari is one of our favorite directors, having created westerns like KEOMA and KILL THEM ALL AND COME BACK ALONE, crime films like STREET LAW and THE BIG RACKET, giallos like COLD EYES OF FEAR, post-apocalypse hits like 1990: THE BRONX WARRIORS, and the hard-to-see killer shark film GREAT WHITE. He's flown in from Italy to join the New Beverly crowd for an amazing night, and it's also his 70th birthday so be sure to wish him well when you see him.
 
DO NOT MISS THIS EVENT!
 
The event starts at 7:30pm, and admission for the two features plus a reel of rare Castellari trailers is only $7.00. This is a regular New Beverly Cinema event that we're just helping with, so theater discount cards and student/senior discounts also apply!
 
As an added bonus, there will be some amazing prizes and freebies courtesy of Severin Films, who have just released a beautiful 3-disc DVD special edition of THE INGLORIOUS BASTARDS. Check them out on our top friends on MySpace, and also at www.severin-films.com.
 
 
---------------------------------------------------------
 
Wednesday • July 30th, 2008
 
Tribute to Enzo G. Castellari
 
New Beverly Cinema
7165 Beverly Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 938-4038
Admission: $7.00
 
Special Guests: Enzo G. Castellari, Fred Williamson and Bo Svenson
(other special guests also expected to be in attendance)
 
7:30pm  THE INGLORIOUS BASTARDS (1978)
Directed by Enzo G. Castellari
Starring Bo Svenson, Fred Williamson, Peter Hooten, Michael Pergolani, Jackie Basehart, Michel Constantin and Ian Bannen.
 
10:00pm  BATTLE SQUADRON (1969)
Directed by Enzo G. Castellari
Starring Frederick Stafford, Van Johnson, Francisco Rabal, Ida Galli and Luigi Pistilli

BUILDING YOUR OWN MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS

Posted by Billyjam, July 30, 2008 09:10am | Post a Comment

The one clear message from the always fun annual Bay Area Maker Faire a couple of months back was that we, a society weaned on consumerism, need to shake the shackles of dependency on corporations who sell us products shrewdly manufactured with a built-in obsolescence -- products whose mechanisms are deliberately made difficult to figure out.

To hell with that! We should not have to always hire others to fix our cars, fridges, vacuum cleaners, lawn-mowers, bikes, computers, etc., etc. when they (inevitably) break down.

Instead, we should learn all we can about the products we own and use daily. Furthermore, we should not only know how to fix these things when they break down but we should also know how to build our own things from scratch. DIY baby!

Of all the homemade items that people create, the most inspiring to me are homemade musical instruments created out of found parts. These can range from the most simple (an empty pork rinds bottle with a rubber band & piece of cloth tied on top as a drum) to the most intricate (an electronic keyboard built from found odds and ends).

Over the years I have seen/heard many great variations on all types of instruments, from string to wind to electric and I thought it was time to do an Amoeblog about them, drawing from videos I found on YouTube, where I even discovered an interactive thread on making your own instruments, which includes perhaps one of the most popular one among music instrument makers-- the cigar box guitar.

One is from the recent Memorial Day observed Morningside Build Your Own Instrument Day in Pittsburg, PA, featuring Jim Lingo's creative string instrument, which drew equal parts awe and amusement from those at the outdoor event. Then there is the homemade electric bass by KgldMond who built his instrument from a piece of wood, an old turntable, and a string. Finally, there is CrazyEzra's nice noise maker constructed out of a saw, a pick up and a big purple synth modulator.homemade turntable

Continue reading...

Pt. 2 Bad Boys At Nite

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, July 29, 2008 10:25pm | Post a Comment







I wonder if photographers had to have a special section in their portfolios back in the 80's for these alley shots. Why the hell were "tough" guys always pictured hanging around alleys and dumpsters ??

(In which we consider the mystical & tragic Judee Sill.)

Posted by Job O Brother, July 29, 2008 12:25pm | Post a Comment

Last night I was mugged at gunpoint. The perpetrator not only made off with the $560.00 in cash that I was carrying (which I had intended to deposit today) but he knocked me down to the ground and kicked me hard enough that he left a nasty bruise in my ribs before he made his getaway on a magic, chocolate-colored Pegasus.

None of which is true, but it is a rather exciting way to begin this week’s blog entry, isn’t it? Except that, by lying to you, I have now risked alienating you emotionally, because you will now think twice about trusting what I tell you, even if it’s about how much I like that top you’re wearing and how to sets off the flecks of color in your shimmering eyes.

Speaking of violence and the romantic visage of your enduring beauty, I know some of you haven’t yet heeded my advice and investigated one of my most favorite balladeers of all time: Judee Sill.
 

Judee Sill conducts herself well.

Judee’s story is one of tragic darkness, from which sprung gorgeous and sage songwriting. She was the Billie Holiday of the “Laurel Canyon sound.”

Influenced more by Johann Sebastian Bach than her 1970’s rock ‘n’ blow contemporaries, methodical composition such as fugue-structure, and over-dubbing of her own voice into chorale-style, inform her heart-wrenched post-hymns.

Her father and brother both died when she was a child, and her mother re-married to Kenneth Muse, an animator for one of my least favorite cartoons of all time, Tom & Jerry. (I mean really, the way that mouse antagonizes that poor cat, who very naturally fights back – both by his nature as a felis catus and in defense of Jerry’s cruelty – only to be downtrodden every time. What kind of message does that send to children? BE A BULLY. That’s what it tells ‘em. And then poor, sensitive, fat kids like me get the brunt of it. And all I ever wanted was to love and be loved. Is that so wrong?!)

[Insert sound of Job sobbing here]

Judee left her dysfunctional home (I imagine her stepfather probably lured her head into a mouse-hole and bopped her face with a mallet) and hit the road for a life of free-wheeling druggery and armed robbery. She developed an addiction to that precocious li’l drug we call heroin. In order to pay for the habit, she prostituted herself (which almost certainly prepared her for a life as a professional musician).

She honed her skills as a keyboard player while serving time in jail for fraudulent check writing, and, as she found herself with some soul to spare after kicking smack, she decided to write music.

She had early success selling compositions to other groups, such as The Turtles, who covered her song “Lady-O.”



She was signed by David Geffen, who was then developing his new Asylum Label, and toured as the opening act for Graham Nash and David Crosby. Her self-titled, debut album was produced by her ex-husband, Bob Harris (who also produced Joni Mitchell’s superb effort Ladies of the Canyon).

While critics gushed praise for her work, sales remained low and, after some snarky comments about Geffen and his sexual-orientation (he was not yet out of the closet), Judee was given the bum’s rush, after only producing two albums. (Don’t rush to assume she was homophobic, though, as she was known to fancy the ladies herself.)
 

EEEK!!! I just now experienced my first earthquake ever! That was some ride. Now I understand what all the hub-bub is about. A giant silver crucifix just fell off my shelf and knocked the } ] key out of my laptop. Anyway, friends and family outside LA, Fangs and I are fine, just a little shaken-up (har har har!).

Silver crucifixes are also apropos when pondering Judee Sill, who sports one on the cover of her debut album. She was deeply interested in the occult and Christian mysticism. Some people, considering her lyrics, assume she was Christian, as Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, is a reoccurring theme, but her appreciation was esoteric, not dogmatic. (Though it is worth noting that she was baptized by Pat Boone in his swimming pool.)

"Don't worry - I'll save you!" Christian pop icon, Pat Boone

After losing her ties with Geffen, Judee rode a downward spiral into obscurity. Rumors circulated of her death. So much so, that when she actually did die in 1979 from a cocaine overdose, it surprised people. She had seemed to die twice.
 

Cover art painted by Judee

To our good fortune, in 2005, Water Records produced a two cd compilation of unreleased demos, studio recordings, and live video footage of Judee, titled “Dreams Come True.” Jim O’Rourke provided the mixing.)

Judee’s music holds a place so dear to my heart that, while I’ve often been tempted to blog about her, I’ve never felt up to the task. I simply can’t do justice to the ecstasy she evokes in me. (That’s also why you’ve never read any blogs by me regarding Scott Walker.)

Anyway, check her out if, y’know, you’re into gorgeous, haunting music that makes your heart ache and pierces your soul. Otherwise, check out some Warlock Pinchers. They’re fun.
 






July 28, 2008

Posted by phil blankenship, July 29, 2008 12:00pm | Post a Comment

We used our free ticket (above) to see a different movie (below).





Ted Mikels' THE DOLL SQUAD with guest Francine York TONIGHT!

Posted by phil blankenship, July 29, 2008 11:41am | Post a Comment
The Grindhouse Film Festival returns to the New Beverly Cinema TONIGHT with a special Ted V. Mikels double-feature. We'll be screening Ted's film THE DOLL SQUAD and will have star Francine York (THE CENTERFOLD GIRLS, CURSE OF THE SWAMP CREATURE, CITY BENEATH THE SEA, and a ton of TV appearances) in attendance to introduce the film and do a Q&A afterwards. This film, also starring Michael Ansara, Anthony Eisley and the incredible Tura Satana, was the uncredited inspiration for the original CHARLIE'S ANGELS TV show and should not be missed. Following THE DOLL SQUAD will be a second, surprise Ted V. Mikels film.



The event starts at 7:30pm, and admission for the two features plus a reel of rare exploitation trailers and our world-famous free raffle is still only $8.00.



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



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

Tuesday • July 29th, 2008

NEW BEVERLY CINEMA
7165 Beverly Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 938-4038
Admission: $8.




Tribute to Ted V. Mikels

Special Guest: Francine York

7:30pm THE DOLL SQUAD (1973)

Directed by Ted V. Mikels
Starring Michael Ansara, Francine York, Anthony Eisley, Tura Satana and John Carter

Continue reading...

DAVID BYRNE'S FREE NYC "PLAYING THE BUILDING" INSTALLATION

Posted by Billyjam, July 29, 2008 07:05am | Post a Comment
     David Byrne's Playing The Building installation, NYC

LA and San Francisco may be offering a lot of really good free entertainment this summer, but New York City tops both of them with a richly varied, non-stop offering of entertainment to choose from all summer long: much of it stuff that you would happily pay to see, from great concerts to cool exhibits. Topping this list is David Byrne's Playing The Building (Friday, Saturday, Sunday Noon to 6PM) at the Battery Maritime Building (10 South St.), which has been extended through August 24th. If you are making a visit to NYC by then, make time in your schedule to include this hands-on sound exhibit.

As explained by the former Talking Heads member in the video below, the idea for this unique installation came about after he realized that you "could turn the space into a musical instrument by attaching machines to the various parts of the structure." In conjunction with the wonderful NYC arts group Creative Time, who specialize in transforming soon to be demolished or restructured old city buildings into cool art spaces for their final days, Byrne took over this lower Manhattan decades-abandoned ferry terminal (soon to be remodeled) and turned it into a giant musical instrument.

Byrne and company painstakingly created this giant musical instrument by hooking up a series of sound-generating gizmos, strategically positioned throughout the empty cavernous old ferry building, and connecting them, via long cables, draped down and across the ceiling and back down to the keys on an old organ (the only thing on display in the otherwise completely empty building), which in turn causes the whole building to vibrate and resonate into a myriad of hypnotic noises/sounds. Fun!

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Privilege

Posted by Whitmore, July 28, 2008 11:06pm | Post a Comment


I’ve often said coincidence does not exist, but I'll save that diatribe for another time. However, a couple of days ago, and for the first time, not one but two Paul Jones 45’s -- he’s the former lead singer for the 1960’s British invasion band Manfred Mann -- wandered into Amoeba from separate collections. Both of these singles are from the same soundtrack, Privilege, a film released in 1967 starring Paul Jones, who was making his big screen acting debut. Now, two days later, I find out that for the first time ever, Privilege will be released on DVD today. Coincidence or plot? I just don't know. Well, anyway...


The film was directed by Peter Watkins, whose highly controversial anti-nuclear drama The War Game won the 1966 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature (and was soon to be banned in Great Britain). Watkins once again doesn’t stray far from controversy in Privilege. Taking place in a totalitarian English State of the near future, specifically 1970, the dark comic vision of Privilege criticizes the media and its media manipulation, corporate culture and its corporate manipulation. It portrays a time where most everything seems to bounce off the absurd and neurotic teen pop-dom dominating the age and the happily tranquilized population is content with fluffy distractions. The main character, Steven Shorter, played by Paul Jones, is a rock god. His popularity and career have been meticulously engineered by a vast music corporation, reaching dizzying Beatlesque heights. But all this begins to crack when an artist, played by the original supermodel Jean Shrimpton, is hired to paint Steven Shorter’s portrait, and finds an unstable, empty shell of a man, lost in a lonely world, a puppet trapped by the demands of a music business out of control, and a simple singer victimized by all the excess, process, and success. Of course, the artist tries to rescue and prop up Steven Shorter before he becomes yet another statistic in the eternally doomed scenario of recyclable pop stars. But as can only happen in real life and/or rock melodramas, fortunes take a Machiavellian twist when rebellion is only a pop song away. Now that’s entertainment!

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Bad Boys At Nite Pt. 1

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, July 28, 2008 12:10am | Post a Comment
Recently, Joey Jenkins and I were giving Vinylandia its once every 7 years cleaning. I guess you could call it the 7 year itch, maybe the 7 year sneeze, as that's all I did for two days afterwards. You would not believe the amount of dust that accumulates when you are sorting and cleaning vintage vinyl... Anyhow, we found quite a few gems tucked away in all the nooks and crannies. One of the best finds is this collection of covers that Chris Guttmacher has set aside over the years. These are THE  "Bad Boys At Nite"...








Go Forth and Replicate: A Few Thoughts on Advertising, Christian Rock, Mad Men and Why Should The Devil Have All The Good Music (2004)

Posted by Charles Reece, July 27, 2008 10:17pm | Post a Comment
I've been letting my Movies We (I) Like blog languish for far too long, so before I get to my Batman critique, I'm adding not one, but two entries to it with in the next couple of days. I'm going to try to add one a week from here on out (we'll see how well that goes). Anyway, until they appear, I won't keep you in suspense: the first pick is the pretty darn good Mad Men (which is a TV show, not a movie, but it's better shot than most movies) and the other is the surprisingly thoughtful and balanced Why Should The Devil Have All The Good Music (a documentary about the current Christian rock scene).


Beginning its second season today, Mad Men is about a third-tier agency on Madison Avenue in the early sixties, a time of radical (well, pseudo-radical) change in the world of selling stuff. The first season is set in 1960, following the recent appearance of the famous Volkswagen ads by the Doyle Dane Bernbach agency. William Bernbach was a critic of advertising as a science, instead using it to convey emotions and deep-seated connotations to sell a product. His ads sold you an image of yourself, rather than a laundry list of the product's qualities that were supposed to appeal to you. The approach proved highly successful, and it's why we have the Super-Bowl commercials we do today.


There's a scene in the final episode of the first season where head adman Don Draper sells a campaign for a new slide projector to clients by using snapshots of his own family. So moving is his pitch that one of the other admen, who's currently undergoing some marital woes, has to leave the room lest he be seen crying. Ironically underscoring this heartwarming moment is the whole season where Don has been shown in the company of two mistresses. Advertising is an art that says less about itself or its creators than it does about the intended audience. It's art that's meant to be entirely consumable by being designed with the audience, not artist, in mind. If it's not understood by the target demographic, then it fails as art. That's why it's questionable to even call it art. It's not intended to offer resistance, only acceptance. Any resistance that it offers is purely manufactured, meant to play into a collective mind that wants to see itself as an uncollected group of free-thinking individuals. That Bernbach and others following him could and can walk that line -- selling individualism as a collective commodity -- is the evil brilliance of late-20th century advertising. 


I was thinking of Bernbach's movement and that scene from Mad Men while watching Why Should The Devil Have All The Good Music, named after the song from Larry Norman. Norman serves as the inspirational spirit for the film, promoting God while still managing to make music that could exist on its own terms. I don't know about the rest of his stuff, but that song's pretty catchy. I love country songs about Jesus, hillbilly sacred harp, classic Gospel, old Southern and Negro spirituals, et al., but the closest I ever came to being inspired by so-called contemporary Christian was dropping acid at a Stryper show (someone had to do it, and therein lay my inspiration). When a womanizing boozer like Kris Kristofferson asks "why me, Lord," one gets the sense of some struggle going on between his beliefs and his actions.  That sort of struggle gives the song an air of authenticity. But when Michael Sweet and his band sing they're "soldiers under God's command," one gets the message that this is metal being sanitized for the easily contaminated. Little has changed since when they were on top.


Most of the bands featured in Heather Whinna and Vickie Hunter's documentary sound like particular secular bands, just with special lyrics. The ones escaping this marketing pigeonholing tend to do so by sounding so generic that they can't be ascribed a particularized label. That strategy was employed by Stryper during the metal heyday, obtaining secular acceptance by sounding blandly like the genre, rather than the Christian-Iron Maiden or -Van Halen. 


The fundamental problem with Christian rock is that, rather than build on an authentically religious tradition of struggle, it's made to serve two masters: mass culture and fundamentalism. It fails both because it has no soul, no aesthetic inner life, being entirely outwardly directed. Like a modern ad, it tells you no more than what you already bring to the table. On the one hand, it's designed to appeal to the "secular audience" (i.e., the largely Christian audience in the U.S. -- if the census is any indication -- that aren't Christian enough for the extremists). Here the connotation is that Evangelicals are just like you (evidently just as bland as you), and after conversion you can keep on liking the same stuff that you liked in your heathen days. This message is doomed to fail, I suspect, because it's saying there is no essential change in who you are when coming over to their side, so why bother? On the other hand, the music is designed to appeal to the "Christian audience" (i.e., those teens raised with a severe pop cultural immune-deficiency order) who really like music, but live in fear of its not serving God, only itself -- in a word, idolatry. By giving the fundamentalist youth what they want, the ability to rock, while only reinforcing their cultural seclusion, the music is depleted of its potential aesthetic-objective vitality, instead serving as agitprop. In making rock music easily consumable, the dialectic between beliefs and the world is cut short. The religiously conservative audience doesn't have to struggle with popular art any more, because it's now being made with only one message in mind: buy Christian. With the Christian rock scene, the religion has become just as much of a commodity as the music that it copies, easily consumable in one's leisure time.


Callisto - Jupiter IV in Entertainment

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 27, 2008 10:14pm | Post a Comment
CALLISTO



Callisto was discovered by the Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei in 1610. It was named by Simon Marius after a nymph in Greek mythology who was associated with Artemis, Goddess of the Hunt. In the Grecian religion, Zeus took the form of Artemis to seduce Callisto because she didn't fancy the fellow. Then he raped her.



Its diameter is approximately 99% that of Mercury's. It orbits Jupiter. The surface is primarily dominated by impact craters which cover it almost to the point of saturation. However, underneath the surface of rocks and ice is a salty subsurface ocean 100km deep*.

  

Jupiter Moon, the "Jupiter Jazz" episode of Cowboy Bebop and the Sporilla from Terrahawks

Above the surface, a thin atmosphere of carbon dioxide coats the icy world. NASA's Revolutionary Concepts for Human Outer Planet Exploration has named the world as the favorite for a future Jupiter base.

    

A lot of people don't realize that Amoeba Hollywood sells video games, as well as 78s, audio cassettes, DVDs, VHS, CDs, Books, &c. The Playstation game G-Police offers yet another hypothesis about the nature of Callisto.

*maybe

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SAN FRANCISCO'S LATE 70's PUNK SCENE BY BRUCE CONNER (RIP)

Posted by Billyjam, July 26, 2008 05:14am | Post a Comment
Bruce Connor collection @ BAM/PFA
There is just a week left to catch the recommended BAM/PFA (Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive) photo exhibit by Bruce Conner, who sadly passed three weeks ago In San Francisco, reportedly from a liver ailment. The exhibit focuses on the one year period in the late seventies (77-78) Conner spent taking photos of both punk bands and punk fans at the infamous West Coast punk palace the Mabuhay Gardens (aka "The Fab Mab" -- the dismal failing Filipino supper club that would be saved/immortalized by punk rock) on Broadway in San Francisco.

The fifty three Bruce Conner photos on display at the BAM/PFA, which act as an excellent historic overview of the early SF punk scene, include wonderful action shots of bands and artists including Frankie Fix of Crime, the Mutants, Penelope Houston of The Avengers, and Negative Trend's Will Shatter (who later went on to form Flipper).

Multi media artist Bruce Conner, who the curators at BAM/PFA aptly describe as  "a proto-punk provocateur who scavenged cultural waste to construct his assemblages," ended up doing the photo series by mere coincidence. In the late 70s, Conner was 44 years of age and an established avant-garde artist who created film mash-ups from a mixed bag of found sources and whose rich legacy dated back to the SF 1950's Beat scene. While attending Devo's first ever San Francisco show in 1977, Conner crossed paths with V. Vale, now the publisher of RE/Search magazine, who was about to launch the seminal punk zine Search & Destroy

Continue reading...

The 2008 World Yo-Yo Contest

Posted by Whitmore, July 25, 2008 05:15pm | Post a Comment

For any alternative sport/entertainment fans looking for a new fix in the pedestrian gene puddle of cable TV athletics, one event next week just might be the best thing to ease your cravings since competitive eating and Takeru "Tsunami" Kobayashi. It's time, once again, for the World Yo-Yo Contest held annually in Florida. The 2008 event will take place in Orlando at the Rosen Plaza Hotel on July 31st, August 1st, and August 2nd.

There are several categories and divisions in competition, such as '"One Handed String Trick Division," "Two Handed Looping Division," "Two Handed String Trick Division," "Off-String Division," "Counter-Weight Division," and a lot of other divisions and descriptions and concepts I just don't quite understand, but it's absolutely amazing to watch. My five year old son and I were glued to Youtube this morning watching some of last year’s competition. Tricks like the Nunchuk, Atom Smasher, White Budda, Warp Drive, Brain Twister, Superman, Shoot the Moon, Sword and Shield, Double Iron Whip, Lladder Escape, And Whut, and Eiffel Tower have come a long way from simply Walking the Dog. And, oh yeah, read some of the posted comments on these YouTube videos! There are some serious yo-yo geeks out there with one helluva critical eye!

Anyway, here's a clip from the 2007 Champion, Yuuki Spencer, an incredible freestyler with a love for death metal. Yuuki won both the U.S. Nationals and Worlds in 2007, an extraordinary achievement to accomplish in the same year.

Frederick's of Hollywood

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, July 25, 2008 10:55am | Post a Comment
So, on a walk back from the Egyptian a couple of weeks ago I had had the displeasure of running the gauntlet....Hollywood Blvd. on a Saturday Nite: females in late 80'sish formalish wear, hoar-moanally pumped young men who mad-dog everything in sight-- probably even the trees, cracks in the sidewalk and their own reflection in the windows. Hell, there were even a couple of Guardian Angles, two of the most out of shape guys imaginable. In fact, that gave it kind of retro twist, as I haven't seen GA's since 1990 or so.

Anyhow, we passed the old Frederick's of Hollywood building-- it's now another "classy" "party" palace.  The facade is still intact, one of the nicest on the Blvd, but the interior is now just another one of those places plushed up to make the bridge and tunnelers think they might rub elbows, or whatever, with Sienna Miller

I prefer Hollywood Blvd. in the day time, as it's had the same vibe for many decades.  

"Hollywood Blvd. my foot. A lot of bit players out of work and fish faced blondes trying to shake a hangover out of their teeth."
--Raymond Chandler, Bay City Blues

OK, so I rest my case. The Blvd. by day still delivers... a huge let down for tourists, a real dream ender.

A couple of days later I stumbled upon this LP with the tag intact. I thought it really embodied the yesterdays of classic Frederick's. Tacky yes, but no dream ender...










BILLY JAM'S WEEKLY HIP-HOP ROUND UP: 07:25:08

Posted by Billyjam, July 25, 2008 09:22am | Post a Comment

HOLLYWOOD AMOEBA MUSIC HIP-HOP TOP FIVE:

1) Nas Untitled (Def Jam)

2) Immortal Technique The 3rd World (Viper)

3) Lil Wayne Tha Carter III (Cash Money/Universal)

4) Suga Free Smell My Finger (HMF/Warner)

5) Jean Gray + 9th Wonder Jeanius (Blacksmith/Warner)

Thanks to Scott Carlson in the hip-hop department at Amoeba Music Hollywood for this week's top selling albums chart, which includes in the number three slot the brand new release from SoCal's Suga Free, Smell My Finger, which dropped earlier this week. 

Lil Wayne's hot selling new album (#3 on Amoeba chart) has caught the attention of Abkco Music who are suing the rapper, his songwriters, and his label (Cash Money - a division of Universal) for "copyright infringement and unfair competition" over a new Lil Wayne album track that appears to heavily borrow from the Rolling Stones song "Play With Fire" which they own rights to. 

SF rapper Z-Man's group One Block Radius (the alt rock trio he is  a part of when not doing solo stuff or with his Gurp City familia) have signed to Def Jam. The Cali based One Block Radius accurately describe their unique, pop-ready sound as "Pharcyde meets Steve Winwood meets Sublime meets Outkast meets Hall and Oates" and drop their major label debut in September.

Continue reading...

Chopping Mall At The New Beverly Cinema - Saturday Night!

Posted by phil blankenship, July 25, 2008 01:19am | 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 July 26

Kelli Maroney
& Barbara Crampton in

Chopping Mall

1986, 77 min

New Beverly Cinema 7165 W Beverly Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90036 Midnight, $7

w/ Special guests director Jim Wynorski & star Kelli Maroney in attendance, schedules permitting.

 


 

August
August 2 Night Of The Juggler

(No one can stop James Brolin!)
August 9 Rainbow Brite & The Star Stealer
(Rainbow Brite's first movie - insanely RARE performance!)
August 23 The Gate
(... pray it's not too late!)
August 30 Little Darlings
(Paramount Archive 35mm Print! Rare Screening!)

September
September 6 Idle Hands

(9th anniversary for the 1999 stoner horror comedy!)
September 13 Showgirls
(Beyond your wildest dreams. Beyond your wildest fantasies!)
September 20 Michael Mann's The Keep
(25th Anniversary! Paramount Archive 35mm Print!)
September 27 Over The Top
(Sylvester Stallone. Big Rig Truckin'. ARM WRESTLING!)

October
October 4 Hard To Kill

(Steven Seagal is Mason Storm. Mason Storm is... Hard To Kill!)

Since When Do I Enjoy Kathy Griffin?

Posted by Miss Ess, July 24, 2008 06:52pm | Post a Comment


Kathy Griffin?
! Somehow I never thought I would say I enjoy Kathy Griffin. I know, I know-- considering the fact that I: a) have been referred to as a fag hag on many an occasion and also that I: b) actually live in the Castro, this should come as a shock to some.

Forgive me, for I have caught on: with latest season of her reality show My Life On the D-List airing regularly, color me hooked.

I applaud Kathy for being so unabashedly herself. She knows what she is good at (making fun of others, but also herself) and she knows her fans (mainly gay men but also middle aged straight women), and she has no qualms about catering to them. In the near-past I had always thought of her as sort of irritating and uncreative. Now I see that she is both of those things at times, but plenty of others the rest. She knows she is merely a comedic commentator and she knows she is an attention whore, so why not live it up? She is a woman of many faces-- whatever it takes to continually secure her place on the D-List, and I support her in her quest.

Now I am scrambling to pick up Season One on DVD! I should never have underestimated my enjoyment of poking fun at celebrities. What have I been thinking all this time? Kathy has been there with her gays and her snarky humor all along, and here I was shunning her for no real reason other than her copious plastic surgery and her copious need to talk about it! For shame! Once again, I have learned not to judge a book by its cover...I'll let Kathy do that for me in her stage routine, so I can laugh along! 

I even enjoy her assistants and her mother. I'm touched every time she has a semi-bawdy yet also informative discussion with her mom about what a Bear is, or about Australian Mardi Gras, and it also reminds me of conversations I've had with my grandma about the same stuff. (But my grandma is NOT obsessed with Bill O'Reilly, thank god!) Kathy, all these years you've been there, loving Oprah and The View in precisely the same way I do and I have turned the other cheek!

I've seen the light now and I am a total convert. Kathy, I may have missed your onstage performance this year at the International Bear Round Up down the street from my apartment, but it won't happen again.

This is a clip from a recent episode of the show, where Kathy headlines a 14 hour Pink Flight to Australia from San Francisco on Air New Zealand. I have a feeling if I had been on this flight I would have been able to forget about my fear of flying...

BAY AREA HIP-HOP ARCHIVES, PART II: DECEMBER 1994

Posted by Billyjam, July 24, 2008 08:35am | Post a Comment
RBL Posse
1) RBL Posse - Ruthless By Law
2) Spice 1 - Amerikkka's Nightmare
3) Lil Ri - Deep N Tha Game
4) West Coast Bad Boyz - High Fo' Xmas
5) Dru Down - Explicit Game
6) Goldy - In The Land of Funk
7) D-Moe - Do You Feel Me
8) Young Rich The Factor - Gettin' A Grip
9) V/A - West Coast Bad Boyz
10) Young Joker - Who's Laughin At Cha

11) C-Bo - Gas Chamber
12) A.M.W. - The Real Mobb
13) Rappin 4-Tay - Don't Fight The Feeling
14) Paris - Guerilla Funk
15) Fly Mar - Ya Betta Ask Somebody
16) Ray Luv - Last Nite                                  
17) Rondo & Crazy Rak - The Abused
18) Roots From The Underground                  
19) GLP - Straight Out The Labb
20) Hugh EMC - The M.O.B.

Continue reading...

July 23, 2008

Posted by phil blankenship, July 23, 2008 10:07pm | Post a Comment









Voice of the Future

Posted by Whitmore, July 23, 2008 07:42pm | Post a Comment

I am finally back in good ol’ L.A. after my extended hang about on a gorgeous island in the Puget Sound. Unfortunately the tall tales I could tell would probably lull even a meth head into a deep coma. Not a lot happens on Vashon Island … except the brutally unexplainable!

So before I reinvent my accounts and bring to you the hard hitting, hard boiled, sinister saga of the vast depravities, the whorish lives in the wanton Northwest, I thought I’d first show the newest music video from the Los Angeles based band Listing Ship, “Voice of the Future.” This sci-fi/video game homage is directed by James Fletcher. By the way, since I advocate fair and mostly truthful blather, I should disclose that I make a brief appearance -- and me think too brief an appearance -- as the plucky rampaging robot. There are other facts I should also add, but who really needs more facts about me...

(In which we consider Vince Clarke.)

Posted by Job O Brother, July 22, 2008 10:49am | Post a Comment

Vince Clarke, worshiping in his own way.

Oh! Something I meant to tell you: The other day I was talking on the phone to Vince Clarke about Yazoo (or Yaz, for those few of you who live in the quaint li’l province of The United States of America). He’s on tour right now with the indomitable Alison Moyet. For those of us who discovered the two, flawless Yaz albums in youth and remained loyal to the duo long after they weren’t to each other, this reunion tour is nothing short of a miracle.

Corey and I saw them perform recently and I’m telling you now, kids – find out when they’re playing near you, buy your tickets fast and GO! I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed a concert more.



Because I signed away all legal rights (I wasn’t using them anyhow) I can’t post my chat with Mr. Clarke on the Amoeblog, but you can read it by clicking on the sentence below:

This sentence serves no purpose other than providing a convenient link upon which you may click with your (rather dirty and in need of cleaning) mouse.

In other news, a bunch of we Amoebites went to the Hollywood Bowl Sunday night to see Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings and Feist, but I’m not going to report on it until Logan sends me the [insert cuss word here] pictures.

So, what does this blog entry have to offer you besides promises of reports elsewhere available?

Well… um… how about this?



No, but that’s not good enough. Last I checked, Amoeba Music isn’t selling baked goods (although there’s rumors that we might replace our Freestyle section with a smoothie stand).

My mind is still with Vince Clarke. He’s brilliant. My favorite Depeche Mode album is their debut, Speak & Spell, for which he did the music.



He then quit the band and formed Yazoo, which (sadly) only produced two albums: Upstairs at Eric’s (Eric being E.C. Radcliffe, one of the producers) and You and Me Both, which has the distinction of having my favorite cover album art of all time (at least, I think so – don’t hold me to that).


From 1983 to 1985, Mr. Clarke formed The Assembly, which was more a project than a group. The concept was that Clarke would write music that different vocalists would sing for. Very little output came out of this, though it did produce one UK hit, “Never Never.”



After that came Erasure. I remember, in high school, being backstage at our production of Camelot in which I played Tom of Warwick (which meant I spent two hours backstage and, at the finale, running on stage dressed like a cross between Gidget and Bea Arthur and screaming precociously to King Arthur). One of the techies, a pretty girl named Star, was listening to her Walkman. I asked if I could hear her music and she offered it to me. It was their album Wild! and I thought it was keen, but for whatever reason I could not manage the name Erasure.

“It’s Erasure,” she informed me.

“A razor?” I asked.

“No, Erasure,” she said again, unjustifiably annoyed and taking the Walkman back. But I still didn’t hear correctly and for the next year I thought my new favorite band was called Your Asia. Which isn’t a bad name for a band, actually. Any of you readers who’ve recently formed a music group but not yet decided on a name, might I suggest you call yourselves Your Asia? It’s yours for free, but please do give me props in your “special thanks” section.

It’s rare these days to find anyone outside the GLBT community who’s willing to take Erasure seriously, which is a shame. Their lyrics are unabashedly vulnerable and romantic, and certainly go against the grain of what we collectively signed onto when we looked to the Seattle grunge scene to determine what was proper etiquette for cool.


The in sound from way out.

I’m no exception. At a certain point I decided they were “too” something and stopped listening, but recently I’ve been re-investigating their catalogue and secretly enjoying them. I’m still sometimes embarrassed by Andy Bell’s gushing, emotive vocals, but their ability to craft a catchy pop song is undeniable. They rival ABBA in their understanding of what makes a song stick in your head happily. Someday, when you’re not feeling so cynical, you should give them another chance.

Of course, enough time has passed for even you hard-hearted Hannahs to enjoy their 80’s catalogue. If nothing else, you can shield yourself in the cloak of irony which is so fashionable these days. (Just be certain to accessorize appropriately.) And if anyone gives you grief for rocking out to some Erasure, just point out the ridiculous amount of Journey in their iPod and tell them to feck right off.
 

The Mutilator

Posted by phil blankenship, July 22, 2008 10:36am | Post a Comment
 




Vestron Video VA5103

THE "GAY MYTH" THAT STILL HAUNTS DONNA SUMMER

Posted by Billyjam, July 22, 2008 09:00am | Post a Comment
Donna Summer's new album Crayons
At a recent music event in San Francisco, where a guy was busily handing out flyers promoting the upcoming Bay Area concert appearance by Donna Summer, I overheard a short but slightly-heated conversation between the guy handing out the flyers for the disco diva and someone walking by.

"Has Donna Summer been fully forgiven for allegedly been homophobic and......?" the passerby began asking, innocently enough it seemed. But before he could even fully finish his question, the street promoter, sounding jaded at still fielding this seemingly recurring question on a long dead topic, had cut him short: "It's not true. It never happened. It was a rumor based on a myth."

Known as the "gay myth" this nasty slice of misinformation has haunted Donna Summer for the last 25 years and, apparently, seems like it will never fully die. The rumor started in 1983, back when the disco bubble had popped and Summer's career along with it. She had also recently gotten divorced, gotten into a mental funk, and consequently become dependent on anti-depressant medication. Because of all of this, the singer, who had topped the charts with songs like "Bad Girls," had found God and become aDonna Summer born again Christian. More importantly it was when the AIDS crisis was tightening its frightening choke-hold on the gay community -- long Summer's core dedicated fan base.

Continue reading...

LP-abels

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, July 22, 2008 12:01am | Post a Comment
Here's a batch of labels that ape their cover. Most are of the front cover, but a choice few are of the back cover image.







Big Blowout!

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 21, 2008 02:23pm | Post a Comment

There's a "Big Blowout" underway here at the Hollywood Amoeba. What's so big about it, you ask? Well, not the prices. For about as much as a couple of pupusas, banh mi or a seven layer burrito, you can add to your DVD library instead of your waistline. No, friend, the only "big" thing here is value.

Become a fan of Eric's Blog on Facebook!

The Funhouse

Posted by phil blankenship, July 21, 2008 10:33am | Post a Comment
 


 
MCA Universal Home Video 55051

July 18, 2008

Posted by phil blankenship, July 20, 2008 11:40pm | Post a Comment



 





Free To Do What I Want: Joss Whedon's Dr. Horrible

Posted by Charles Reece, July 19, 2008 08:01pm | Post a Comment


Dr. Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog
is a 3-act webcast musical created by Joss Whedon with his brother Zack and half-brother Jed (the latter of whom also does the score). Hurry up and watch it, as you'll have to pay iTunes for the privilege after July 20th. Or buy the dvd. Or watch the degraded YouTube version:

 
This is Whedon in top form. Anyone who's watched Buffy or Angel or read his run on Astonishing X-Men knows that he does great set-ups, but never gives himself (or his co-writers) enough time to follow through with a fitting ending. This time around, he finally creates an effective resolution, and it's exceedingly morose, given that the rest of the story is a much lighter shade of dark comedy. (Don't worry, I'm not going to give it away.) 


This is the tale of Doogie Howser all grown up in a world that doesn't appreciate his eccentric genius.   Unlike in Doogie, Dr. Horrible (Neil Patrick Harris) doesn't get a preternaturally chesty girlfriend who loves him for being an outsider with a weird, greasy friend. He still has a despicable sidekick, Moist (Simon Helberg), but the best Dr. Horrible can manage is to daydream in song while staring across the laundromat at Penny (Felicia Day), the whey-faced nerd girl on whom he's fixated. Otherwise, feeling like Klebold and Harris, he plots the destruction of the normalizing cultural institutions that have marginalized him out of existence. With each nefarious deed, he gets one step closer to being allowed membership into The Evil League of Evil, run by his hero, Bad Horse. But every time he tries something, he gets pulverized by the fists of the status quo, Captain Hammer (Nathan Fillion). Things go from bad to worse when the cloddish attempts of Captain Hammer to stop a heist of Horrible's puts Penny at risk. Even though the bad Doctor is the one who saves her, it's the Captain who gets the credit and a date. When the beefcake good guy learns that Penny's the only thing his downtrodden nemesis cares about, he begins to torment him (in song, of course) saying stuff like, "normally I don't sleep with girls more than once, but I hear that the second time's when they start doing the weird stuff." Cue the chorus of Hammer groupies. That's more than the put-upon villain can take, so he plots the death of the hero. 


Some of The Evil League of Evil: Bad Horse, Fake Thomas Jefferson, Dead Bowie, Professor Normal and Fury Leika

There's nothing particularly novel about this story. In fact, it's real similar to The Villain (1979), itself a comedy Western spin on the Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner cartoons. In that movie, Arnold Schwarzenegger is a dipstick do-gooder protecting Ann-Margaret from the villainous Kirk Douglas. Douglas' character is wittier, more charming and all-around more creative than the dullwitted hero, but the forces of order are constantly working against him, just like poor Wile E. Coyote, super-genius. The Coyote is a fundamentally repressed part of the modern psyche, which has been stripped down and mass produced by the homogeneous order. We want to side with the villain against the stifling forces of control and celebrate true individualism, until we realize that cute bird would be eaten. The Coyote cartoons maintain the agony of the paradox (between desire and morality), whereas The Villain cheats and lets Douglas get the girl.
 

What the Brothers Whedon add is that line between sadness and funny one-liners that Joss and his writers regularly managed to walk on his TV shows. Unlike The Villain, they don't let you off the hook for wishing for chaotic freedom. Dr. Horrible, therefore, sides with Wile E. Coyote and our own moral reality.  And it's nice to hear dialog from his company that doesn't sound like the Buffyverse argot, which I was beginning to think was the only dialect they could write in (the diminutive form gets old really fast). The music is similar to the Buffy musical, Once More With Feeling. It still has that Rent-burnished pop sound to it, but the lyrics are funny and the music generically catchy enough to get you through. I'd say the music and singing are, at least, an improvement over the Buffy episode. If you hate Joss Whedon, none of this will change your mind, but if you appreciate his pop virtues, this is good stuff.

There's also an online comic featuring Dr. Horrible's arch-nemesis Captain Hammer available for free. It's written by Zack Whedon and drawn by Eric Canete. It's sort of the flipside to the musical, focusing on what we always stand to lose with moral order (à la Big Brother):



And here's an interview with Whedon on NPR with some commentary about how this is the first "TV" show for the Web. I'm pretty sure there was a soap opera a couple of years back, but this is the first thing I've wanted to watch that was created solely for the Web.

Hip-Hop Author Marcus Reeves Discusses "Somebody Scream! Rap Music's RIse To Prominence in the Aftershock of Black Power"

Posted by Billyjam, July 19, 2008 12:24pm | Post a Comment
Marcus Reeves ("Someboday Scream!" author)
Marcus Reeves
, former editor of the the Source hip-hop magazine and contributor to such publications as the New York Times, the Washington Post, Rolling Stone, and Vibe magazine, recently had his book Somebody Scream! (Rap Music's Rise To Prominence In The Aftershock of Black Power published by Faber and Faber Inc.

Like Jeff Chang's critically acclaimed hip-hop history Can't Stop Won't Stop, Somebody Scream likewise takes an analytical look at hip-hop -- a musical form that, like rock before it, is now all grown up and going through its own kind of mid-life crisis. Cornel West called Reeves' book "a strong  timely book for the new day in hip-hop" and he is right.

I recently had the opportunity to catch up with the East Coast based author to talk about his new book, Somebody Scream,  and its subject matter: hip-hop. Here is that dialog:

Amoeblog
: First up, how hard is it writing a book on a topic that is still unfolding around you as you report on its subject matter?

Marcus Reeves: Surprisingly, it wasn’t that hard to write because before I even started I had a beginning, a middle and an end. I’d already picked out who were the most influential rap artists—the ones who lead their particular era—strung their stories together by chapter and let the narrative unfold.Marcus Reeve's book "Somebody Scream!" And the narrative was easy because, like so many who’d watched the story of commercial rap over the last 30 years, it was also the story of my life. All the history and events that the music reflected, and I talk about in the book, were things I lived through and impacted my life. The last chapter of the book, which discusses what events shape the music now, helped capture all those moments that were still unfolding.

Continue reading...

BILLY JAM'S WEEKLY HIP-HOP (W)RAP UP: 07:18:08

Posted by Billyjam, July 18, 2008 08:31am | Post a Comment
AMOEBA MUSIC SAN FRANCISCO HIP-HOP TOP FIVE 07:18:08

1) Lil Wayne Tha Carter III (Cash Money/Universal)

2) Messy Marv Hustlas Motivation Mixtape

3) Jean Gray + 9th Wonder Jeanius (Blacksmith/Warner)

4) Immortal Technique The 3rd World (Viper)

5) Nas Untitled (Def Jam)


This week's number one seller at the Amoeba Music San Francisco store should come as lil surprise. It was Tha Carter III by Lil Wayne, which, despite advance leaks and rampant downloading of its tracks, still managed to sell big numbers (by today's music industry standards) and hit the number one spot on countless charts (both airplay & sales) from Billboard (3 weeks straight @ #1) to KMEL toFillmore, San Francisco rapper Messy Marv Amoeba etc. Luis in the hip-hop department at the Haight Street Amoeba, who kindly supplied this week's Hip-Hop Top Five, said that Bay Area music buyers love Lil Wayne just as much as national audiences (especially considering the historic Bay Area/Dirty South connections), but that their dedication to Bay Area rap/hip-hop, including this week's chart's number two album, is unbridled.

Continue reading...

July 16, 2008 part 2

Posted by phil blankenship, July 18, 2008 12:00am | Post a Comment















out today 7/15...dark knight...abba...mamma mia...the x-files...

Posted by Brad Schelden, July 17, 2008 07:20pm | Post a Comment

There is a new Nas album out this week, but that is about it. Nothing much else for me to share with you. The big albums might not be coming out every week, but the big summer movies continue to come out. Both the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight, and the movie version of the musical Mamma Mia! come out this weekend. As a huge fan of both Batman and ABBA, I will be seeing both of these movies as soon as I possibly can. The week after this weekend is the release of the new X-Files movie, I Want to Believe. Some people may not like that they keep making movies out of old TV shows, but I would much rather see an X-Files movie with the actual cast than a remake 10 years down the road starring new 20- something actors in the roles of Mulder and Scully. You know it is going to happen. They did just remake Get Smart into a new movie with new actors, and Hollywood seems to be constantly turning old TV shows into new movies. But they usually don't work out so well-- The Dukes of Hazzard with Jessica Simpson and The Beverly Hillbillies with Jim Varney are two bad examples. It did have both Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton in the cast, so I guess it wasn't all bad. Still, sometimes these remakes work out beautifully, like the big screen adaptations of Charlie's Angels. I also have to admit that I like the Brady Bunch Movie as well, and I am looking forward to the Wonder Woman and A-Team movies. I just hope they don't make Jake & the Fatman or Head of the Class into big screen movies. But a Murder She Wrote movie is not such a bad idea. I bet it would actually make some fantastic money among the senior set. Unfotunately I think they waited too long to make a Golden Girls movie. The Get Smart movie actually worked. I know there were a few people out there that did not like it or decided to not give it a chance, but I think Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway could do no wrong. Without them in it, I seriously doubt I would have even seen it. 

So yes, I am very excited about this X-Files movie. I was obsessed with the show and can't wait to see what they did with this movie. I also seem to be enjoying the "musical movie" more as I get older...or maybe they are just getting better or I am getting less cynical. The movie version of the Hairspray musical was actually fantastic. I love the original John Waters Hairspray movie so much that I really thought I would hate this new version, so I skipped it in the theater, but I was pleasantly surprised when I watched it on DVD. I just tried to look the other way every time John Travolta appeared on the screen. I did see the Mamma Mia! musical about 10 years ago. I have always loved myself some ABBA and the musical was super fun. I also love Muriel's Wedding, which was basically another ABBA movie. I have been preparing for the new Mamma Mia! movie by listening to a lot of ABBA. I don't think I am alone in the fact that I have only ever owned ABBA collections until this week. I have owned various versions of ABBA's greatest hits over the years. Most people have an ABBA Gold or Essential ABBA in their CD collection, but who really owns all the ABBA albums? Well, I decided to change all that and invest some money in the ABBA catalog. All their albums got reissued in 2001 and they are super cheap. You can find most of them for $9.98 or $8.98 new! Some of the albums are full of the songs that you already know, but it has been really fun to go back and listen to all these old albums and discover songs that I have never heard before. I highly recommend it. Here is a breakdown of the ABBA albums that you might need to add to your collection...


Ring Ring (1973) "ring ring"..."love isn't easy"...


Waterloo (1974) "waterloo"..."honey honey"...


ABBA (1975) "mamma mia"..."sos"..."bang-a-boomerang"...


Arrival (1976) "dancing queen"..."knowing me,knowing you"..."money, money, money"..."fernando"...


The Album (1977) "take a chance on me"..."the name of the game"...


Voulez-Vous (1979) "voulez-vous"..."does your mother know"..."chiquitita"..."summer night city"..."angeleyes"..."i have a dream"...


Super Trouper (1980) "super trouper"..."the winner takes it all"..."lay all your love on me"..."on and on and on"...


The Visitors (1981) "one of us"..."head over heels".."the day before you came"...

What is so great about ABBA is that they released a new album almost every year. They only took one year off in 1978. Not sure what happened that year, but that is pretty awesome. Most bands these days take 2 to 3 years to come up with a new album, and it is rarely as great as an ABBA album. And unlike most other bands, they did not continue making bad albums up into the 90's. They were really a 70's band and simply stopped making ABBA albums in 1981. They may have made solo albums after that, but ABBA the group just stopped when it was time. I really love all these albums. One of my favorites right now is The VisitorsEven though it is their last album and I didn't really recognize any of the songs, tthis album really has some great songs like "Under Attack," "One of Us," and "Head Over Heels."

My ABBA obsession has gotten so bad this week that I actually wanted to buy some ABBA cassettes for my car. I only have a tape player in my car but I refuse to get an adapter. I was once a big fan of the cassette tape and actually never stopped loving them. I still have all my old tapes and now have a use for them. And there are thousands of cassettes at Amoeba for me to explore. Unfortunately the ABBA cassette selection was not the best the other day. Somebody must have beat me to it. But I just found a "Grandes Exitos" ABBA cassette from Mexico, so that will have to do for now. I really love cassettes, and I know I am not alone in my love of the cassette. While my first exposure to music was Vinyl, when I actually started buying my own music, it was on cassette. I also have very fond memories of taping songs off the radio. I would tape live shows of my favorite DJs and also tape songs I liked off the radio. I also made and received many mixed tapes over the years. I really miss those mixed tapes. Burned CDs are just not same. I also love when people still refer to albums as tapes. I have heard many people at Amoeba asking for some artists new "tape." My first Depeche Mode, Cure, and Smiths albums were all on cassette. And most of them still work. I have had a couple cassettes expire on me over the years. Music for the Masses by Depeche Mode and Louder Than Bombs by The Smiths both had to be put to rest, and one of my Erasure cassettes was not doing so well today. Let's just hope that my "new" ABBA cassette will work perfectly.

also out today...





Eight Oh Eight by Black Devil Disco Club











Love to Make Music by Daedelus










Dark Knight Soundtrack











Stay Positive by Hold Steady












Object 47 by Wire








Just One Of The Guys - Saturday Midnight At The New Beverly !

Posted by phil blankenship, July 17, 2008 12:32am | 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 July 19

Joyce Hyser
& Clayton Rohner in

Just One
Of The Guys

1985, 90 min

New Beverly Cinema 7165 W Beverly Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90036 Midnight, $7

 


July
July 5 The Delta Force

(celebrate Independence Day weekend - watch Lee Marvin & Chuck Norris kick terrorist BUTT in the Cannon Films classic!)
July 19 Just One Of The Guys
(Sony's LAST 35mm print of the ultimate '80s role reversal comedy!)
July 26 Chopping Mall
(w/ special guests director Jim Wynorski & star Kelli Maroney in attendance, schedules permitting)

 

August
August 2 Night Of The Juggler

(No one can stop James Brolin!)
August 9 Rainbow Brite & The Star Stealer
(Rainbow Brite's first movie - insanely RARE performance!)
August 23 The Gate
(... pray it's not too late!)
August 30 Little Darlings
(Paramount Archive 35mm Print! Rare Screening!)

September
September 6 Idle Hands

(9th anniversary for the 1999 stoner horror comedy!)
September 13 Showgirls
(Beyond your wildest dreams. Beyond your wildest fantasies!)
September 20 Michael Mann's The Keep
(25th Anniversary! Paramount Archive 35mm Print!)
September 27 Over The Top
(Sylvester Stallone. Big Rig Truckin'. ARM WRESTLING!)

Continue reading...

(((6))) Tuesday Nite July 22nd @ Ding-a-ling

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, July 16, 2008 11:59pm | Post a Comment

Come on down to Ding-a-ling...A free, free for all at the bar formerly known as Cuffs (Yes, THAT Cuffs!), located in Silverlake @ 1941 Hyperion Blvd. Tuesday July 22nd, it's (((6))), Binary Field & Bran - Pos along with some amazing obscurities being hurled from the DJ booth courtesy of Don Bolles. It's a night guaranteed to make that anti-drum machine fellow cry...
                                    
Also, the Secret Society of the Sonic Six has two new singles out, including a split with ex-Subtonix and all around Amoeba legend Brandi Obsolete. Head on down to your local Amoeba and pick one or the other (or both) up. Click on the above link to check out the new trax and if you're nowhere near an Amoeba, order the singles on the band site as well...

Americans Wearing Khimar, Arabs Wearing High End Fashion

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, July 16, 2008 11:57pm | Post a Comment

I heard moans once Rachid Taha started his set. The distorted tone of the electric guitar pierced through the crowd and created a division in the ranks. Couples dropped their pitas with spicy chipotle hummus out of pure confusion. The West Hollywood women in their belly dancing outfits didn’t know how to dance to it. It was only rock and roll and they liked it…sort of. In other countries, Rachid Taha is a rock star. For America, Rachid Taha has to be marketed as an “eccentric world music artist” or something like "The Algerian U2." It's not that Rachid has ever denied his Algerian roots, but he brings his Algerian influences to the 21st century when America still wants to hear him sing in the style of the 19th century.

It’s somewhat understandable. Most of us drawn to any kind of alternative culture seek what is different from our own. The kids who dress like Cholos in Chiba, Japan and the Mexican kids who dress like American Emo kids do it for the same reason non Islamic American women wear a Khimar strictly for fashion, they just think it looks cool. In fact it was funny to see how many Non-Arabic people at the show dressed in Traditional Arabic clothes and to see the Arabic people dressed to the nines in high-end fashion.

It was only after performing "Ecoute-Moi Camarade," a song off his 2006’s brilliant Diwan 2, his “traditional album,” that the audience woke up. From then on it was a full-on dance party. Rock and traditional songs were equally appreciated by most of the crowd after that. Rahid’s line-up consisted of the basic elements for a rock band (guitar, bass, drum keyboards) with the addition of the tradition instrumentation (The Oud and Arabic percussion). Neither traditional nor modern instrumentation dominated; they blended together quite well, even in a live setting.

Rahid’s backing band reminds me of Manu Chao’s backing band. The two groups contain excellent musicianship, are full of energy, and contribute to the show as much as their leader. Both groups have the ability to play the traditional but can’t shake their punk roots. The last song of the night was Rahid Taha’s version of The Clash “Rock The Casbah” sung in Arabic, complete with a “Fuck Bush” and a “Vote Obama” at the end. On top of all that, Rachid Taha came out in an emerald green silk suit with no shirt underneath ...Chiao!!!

Joe Strummer
would have been pleased.

Salsa Dancing In Chanclas

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, July 16, 2008 10:16pm | Post a Comment

As I watched The Spanish Harlem Orchestra blow the planks off The Santa Monica Pier last Thursday, I started to think about the degrees of dancing in the crowd. I was busy working at the Amoeba booth so I kept my thoughts to myself. Later, I overheard my co-workers George and Anel talk about exactly what I had been thinking.

George came up with the concept that there are three types of Salsa dancers. The first type is the “look at me” dancer-- those who took Salsa lessons and want to show off  every move they learned.

It may look great at a competition or even at a Salsa club, but on the packed Santa Monica Pier it looks a little awkward and out of place. Imagine a couple trying to dance in the middle of a busy airport terminal and that would give you an idea of what it looked like.

The next group is the Naturals. The Naturals are cool. They have been dancing to Latin music for years and it’s second nature. The Naturals tend to be the older folks or the younger generation who have been dancing since they were kids. Their moves are fluid and not showy, yet if one of the look-at-me’s called them on the dance floor they could hang with ease.

The last group consists of the rest of us: all the people who can’t dance, but try. Chanclas weren’t made for Salsa dancing and to watch the beach-goers give it a try in their flip-flops was nothing less than comical. I watched one couple try to do it. Not only were they wearing flip-flops, they were also dancing on a warped wooden pier while intoxicated, a trifecta for a potential disaster. Lucky for them, the only abuse suffered was my side hurting from laughing so hard.

Like I mentioned earlier, The Spanish Harlem Orchestra were amazing. Vintage Puerto Rican Salsa in the style of 70’s Fania-era Sonora Ponceña. The horns were tight, the percussion solid and the vocalists were top notch.

Amoeba Records will have a booth at The Santa Monica Pier every Thursday during their summer concert series. We have CD’s for sale, including our clearance bins. (Three used CD’s for only five bucks!) There are freebies, a chance to win gift certificates and various other prizes. Come by and say hello to us.

July 16, 2008

Posted by phil blankenship, July 16, 2008 06:05pm | Post a Comment







 

July 15, 2008

Posted by phil blankenship, July 16, 2008 10:10am | Post a Comment













 

(In which Job strays, but remains Faithfull in his heart.)

Posted by Job O Brother, July 16, 2008 09:10am | Post a Comment

My apartment. ...Or wait - No, this is a picture of Dresden after the bombing.

I’m looking around my apartment for a conversational starting point. My apartment is a mess right now, so there’s a lot to see:

A full hamper of clean clothes that I haven’t yet folded and tucked away.

The (amazing and important) Paul Robeson DVD box set that Criterion released. On top of that is the Nina Simone “Four Women” anthology that Charles loaned me.

My stereo, upon which some Marianne Faithfull recordings of Kurt Weill is playing.

Books everywhere, the closest of which, to me, is “Scum Manifesto” by that blithe and sparkling literary pixie, Valerie Solanas.

A drop-leaf table from Ikea that’s nearly completed construction (since February).

A computer upon which I’m writing an, as yet, trite and aimless blog.

I really should clean this place up.

You know, speaking of Marianne Faithfull, she came into Amoeba Hollywood not that long ago. Normally, when celebrities shop our store (every hour, it seems) I turn a blind eye. I don’t want to be “that guy” that demands some stranger’s time because I “feel” like I “know them” because they played some teen star’s mom on some trite and aimless sitcom.

However, when Kim and Logan came racing back to the soundtrack section to tell me they spotted the glorious Ms. Faithfull inside, I dropped everything and gave chase. I knew, from friends’ stories, that Ms. Faithfull was gracious; besides, I admire her so much that it would be an honor just to have her snub me, so I couldn’t lose, either way.

She was already descending the stairway to the parking garage by the time I found her. She heard my footsteps on the cement above and turned around – huge, black sunglasses covering her eyes. I stopped – froze. I hadn’t thought further than finding her, and now that I had, I didn’t know what to do with the situation.

She removed her sunglasses and we made eye contact. I spoke.

Speaking of speaking, I wish everyone would learn Sign Language. There’s so many instances in which it would be helpful if y’all did. When watching a movie, as an alternative to yelling across a room, when gossiping behind someone’s back, etc.

There’s a million household uses! But none of this has anything to do with music or movies or Amoeba. As you can imagine, I don’t get a lot of opportunities to speak Sign Language, working in a record store. (Sighs.)

And what does any of this have to do with Marianne Faithfull and my story? Well… urr… would you believe there’s, like, some Da Vinci Code-like clues within the above paragraph? Like, in a couple centuries, historians and code-breakers will marvel at the intricate mysteries woven within this blog’s text?
 

Would you believe that?

My framed photograph of Pope Paul VI is askew. And that Japanese import of Christine McVie’s legendary, self-titled, solo debut “Christine Perfect” isn’t going to put itself away, you know.
 

Christine Perfect. What a great name. Why would she change it? I don’t care how much she loved John McVie.

How cool would it have been for her and Marianne to do an album together? “Perfect & Faithfull” they could have been. Both of them with their rich, husky voices and cool, British poise.

Speaking of Marianne Faithfull, I opened my mouth and a gush of admiration came out, as I thanked her for the hours and hours of joy her work had provided me. She listened with a sweet and present smile, availing herself to “our” moment – a true professional, aware of her role as someone to admire.

Not wanting to keep her from her life, I quickly excused myself. I returned to the soundtrack section feeling effervescently rad.

You know, I could blog you some facts about Marianne’s life or career or something (such as the fact that she was the first woman to perform music on the Moon, or that, at age 9, she was briefly married to Albert Einstein, just before he died*), but there’s plenty of resources that do that already. I’d just assume tell you this little story and include some of her work so you can experience it for yourself.

She covered a lot of territory in her long career, so there’s a period of Marianne for most everyone. Whether you love her folksy, Anglo-Saxony, early works...

...or her tough-as-nails, fueled by junk and NYC, pop of the 70’s/80’s...

...or her gloomy, cabaret crooning of the 90’s...

...to her re-emergence as confessional popstar with albums produced by PJ Harvey, Beck, and others.

Well… I guess that’s another blog done. And I guess it’s about Marianne Faithfull, which pleases me. But it’s done nothing to help clean my filthy apartment. My filthy, dirty apartment. Naughty, naughty apartment! You’ve been bad, haven’t you? You filthy apartment.

Why am I still writing? Stop! Stop it!

*
Not actual facts.

Wild Blue Yonder

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, July 16, 2008 01:08am | Post a Comment







The Vinyl Dreams design kinda rules. I always thought that the Pasha design was ridiculous-- just like the music they released. Actually, by my standards, that makes it a perfect design. The Asylum design really speaks to the imbibing going on back in their heyday-- trip out and pass the mirror dude, cuz I think I see a huge door floating in the sky that leads to the looney bin...

Murder In Space

Posted by phil blankenship, July 15, 2008 03:36pm | Post a Comment
 



Vidmark Entertainment VM 3601

EAST BAY EXPRESS' HELLA FUN BEST OF THE EAST BAY PARTY

Posted by Billyjam, July 14, 2008 06:28pm | Post a Comment
The Uptones @ Oakland Museum, East Bay Express party
"I thought there would be maybe a couple of hundred people here and that it would be a pretty good event but, damn, I didn't think there would be this many people here and that it would this great a party. Hell yeah!," exclaimed Dan K -- one of the many attendees at last Friday's East Bay Express party.

The Oakland biker/hip-hop artist (who a few years back had a feature on him in the East Bay Express) was excitedly shouting over the music coming from the main stage at the Oakland Museum of California, where the independent East Bay weekly was hosting its "Old School" themed "Best of the East Bay" free party. Meanwhile, behind him, one of the hella fun night's many performers, longtime Berkeley ska group The Uptones (pictured above), ripped into their appropriately old school hit "Out to Sea."   

"Crazy....in a good way," laughed Amoeba Music's Naomi about the scene. She and fellow Amoebite Rachael were kept extremely busy tending to the long line of music fans who patiently waited for their turn to Amoeba Music spin-to-win @ East Bay Express 2008 Best-of party spin-to-win prizes including CDs, DVDs, and lots of Amoeba swag, including bags, hoodies, and turntable slip mats. (Amoeba was one of the main sponsors of the event.) A little later, headlining act Flipper was scheduled to sign autographs at the Amoeba table.

Continue reading...

Deadly Dreams

Posted by phil blankenship, July 14, 2008 04:14pm | Post a Comment
 




 
Virgin Vision #70028

July 13, 2008

Posted by phil blankenship, July 14, 2008 03:41pm | Post a Comment

True Tales of Political Correctness Gone Wild

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 13, 2008 10:28pm | Post a Comment



This guy asks some really good questions so I thought I'd set aside five seconds to come up with some answers.

Why didn't the scientists call it a white hole?
They did. A white hole, in astrophysics, is an object which ejects matter from within its event horizon (as opposed to a black hole, which absorbs all visible light, and has a black appearance). They're theorized to serve as the exit points for wormholes. Their appearance would be white, like a white dwarf (which is also known as a degenerate dwarf). If Commissioner Mayfield had made the analogy to a white hole, it would seem to imply that central collections is spewing paperwork.

Tell me one thing when they say "white" and you get a negative connotation?

For starters, ketracel white, white coats, white collar crime, White Noise, White Sox fan, White House, White Castle hangover, The White Stripes, White Horse, Bill White, white flag, White Devil, whitehead, white guilt, White Men Can't Jump, White Man's Overbite, white out, white reggae, great white shark, white bread, white booty, white trash, "that's so white," white wash (as he used himself).

Warning! This trailer does NOT necessarily reflect my opinions or the opinions of Amoeba Music, although we do sell this DVD. It's arguably our generation's Birth of a Nation.



Continue reading...

The Vindicator

Posted by phil blankenship, July 13, 2008 05:26pm | Post a Comment
 


Key Video 1501

FRIDA FOR FREE IN DA SFC + OTHER BAY AREA FREEBIES

Posted by Billyjam, July 13, 2008 11:19am | Post a Comment

The best things in life are free and the free things in life are the best -- especially if you're broke as a joke or just hate wasting money.  The Bay Area is a wonderfully resourceful place to find free things to do. Today, Sunday July 13th, you can go check out the new Frida Kahlo exhibit at San Francisco's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) for free, and it is just one of the many wonderful free things to do in the Bay Area this summer.

First Tuesdays of the month are when most (not all -- so always check in advance) major SF museums host free days. On July 1st, the most recent free first Tuesday at MoMA, I headed over in the hopes of catching both the general museum exhibits (which are highly recommended) and the recently opened one of Frida Kahlo's work (thru Sep 28), which spans the famed Mexican artist's career and also includes her own collection of photographs, most of which have never been displayed before.

When I arrived at the main entrance on 3rd Street, there was no cover charge and no line to get in to the general part of MoMA but the much (justifiably) hyped new Kahlo show had attracted an additional wallop of eager art fans who both had to line up (it moved fast) and pay an additional $5 (still good value) to see the Frida Kahlo exhibit. I inquired about seeing Frida for free and was informed by Jean Halverson at MoMA that July 13th would be the only completely free day to see that exhibit. But be forewarned: free often comes with some kind a price, usually standing in line for a bit -- so arrive prepared, and bring a book to read or snacks to share with your friends in line. At one ridiculously long wait for a one-time only exhibit in New York, a bunch of us in the slow long line had pizza delivered.

Continue reading...

I HATE DRUM MACHINES, OR GOOD 80s BANDS 1

Posted by Charles Reece, July 13, 2008 02:44am | Post a Comment
Before Hanoi Rocks, guitarist Andy McCoy and bassist Sam Yaffa were playing with the (locally) famous Finnish punk band Pelle Miljoona Oy. This is a 1980 performance of the song "Olen Kaunis":


The next clip is an early promotional video for the great "Motorvatin'" with original drummer Gyp Casino.  This was also the best hair period for singer Mike Monroe. Surely, David Sylvian felt so inferior that he cut his mop off, resigning himself an artsier David-Bowie-circa-Low 'do. Nothing will make one give up glam faster than seeing a much prettier rival with a better head of hair. Just ask Brian Eno.


The band replaced Gyp with the ill-fated Razzle on drums and the following is purportedly the first visual recording of his being with the band. They do "It's Too Late" (where they pretend to play each other's instruments) and The Damned's "Problem Child":


I searched high and low for a live performance of my favorite song, "Tooting Bec Wreck," but couldn't find one. As a second choice from their greatest record, Back to Mystery City, here's "Mental Beat":


I wasn't aware until traveling the byways of YouTube that a video for "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" existed, but here 'tis:


After Vince Neil "vehicularly manslaughtered" Razzle, the group broke up and went on to various other projects, the best of which was undoubtedly The Suicide Twins, featuring McCoy and fellow Hanoi guitarist Nasty Suicide. Their best song was "Sweet Pretending," which is the best acoustic glam song that Jesus & Mary Chain never recorded:


Monroe struck up a friendship with Little Steven from the E Street Band, which eventually led to a short-lived punk band, Demolition 23. Little Steven left before much recording was done, but they did write an über-catchy pop punk song, "Hammersmith Palais":


Finally, as McCoy was getting over a prolonged bout with alcohol and drugs (or, at least, learning to function better with them), he had a Finnish #1 single with the appropriately entitled "Strung Out":


Monroe and McCoy would eventually reunite, but about the best that can be said of the new version of the band is that at least it's not Him.

Night Game

Posted by phil blankenship, July 12, 2008 04:35pm | Post a Comment
 




 
Vidmark Entertainment VM46099

Body Beat

Posted by phil blankenship, July 11, 2008 11:32pm | Post a Comment
 


Vidmark Entertainment VM46099

KRIP-HOP PROJECT'S LEROY F MOORE ON BEING BLACK & DISABLED

Posted by Billyjam, July 11, 2008 07:40pm | Post a Comment
Leroy Franklin Moore Jr.
My name is Leroy Franklin Moore Jr.  I was born in New York in 1967 and was born with a physical disability (cerebral palsy). Being both Black and disabled, I’ve always had questions about race and disability. 

I grew up in an activist family and became active in issues that faced my Black and disabled communities. At an early age I realized that both of my communities, Black and disabled, did not recognize each other and because of this fact I continued to search for some kind of balance with my two identities.
 
In school I found out that very few professors or students knew about Black disabled people in history -- from slavery, to the music industry, to activism. Outside of the educational system and my communities, I started to educate myself on the rich history of Black disabled people. 

Because my father was into Black music, I started my research on Black disabled people in music and found out that most of the early blues artists were Black and blind or had other types of disabilities that forced them to make a living from singing on street corners all over the South and North: artists like Cripple Clarence Lofton who had polio but used to dance and was known as one of the creators of boogie-woogie piano. 
                                                                                                                                                                                  Cortella Clark
A lot of these Black disabled musicians didn’t get their dues and were discriminated against. The story of Cortelia Clark, who was a blind blues singer, singing on the streets of Nashville, is one of many true stories of Black blind/disabled artists in the early stages of the development of the music industry. Although Clark won a Grammy for his 1967 song, the appropriately titled "Blues in the Streets," he couldn’t attend the ceremony because he couldn’t afford to buy a ticket. The following day he was back on the streets trying to earn money to pay rent.

Continue reading...

Passing Strange

Posted by Whitmore, July 11, 2008 10:34am | Post a Comment


First the bad news: Passing Strange, the critically acclaimed Broadway Show about a young musician’s journey through sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll, will close on July 20th in New York at the Belasco Theater. But the good news is that director Spike Lee plans on making a film version of the musical.

Written by native Angeleno and local musician Stew --who has played in such bands as Gutbucket, The Lullabies and most notably The Negro Problem-- and longtime musical collaborator Heidi Rodewald, formerly of Wednesday Week and also TNP, Passing Strange was originally work-shopped at the Sundance Institute in Utah and the Berkeley Repertory Theater in Berkeley before becoming an off-Broadway sensation last year. Passing Strange opened in February on Broadway to rave reviews and received seven Tony Award nominations, winning the prize for Best Book for its co-creator and star, Stew.

Overall, the musical will have played 165 performances and 20 previews by the time it closes at the Belasco Theater. Live stage footage will be shot on July 19 at both the matinee and evening performances, so all you west-coasters still have time to buy a plane ticket and reserve a couple of seats.


St. Louis Union

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 10, 2008 09:24pm | Post a Comment
St. Louis Union were a Manchester six piece fronted by impeccably-coifed singer, Tony Cassidy. Shortly after forming they won a Melody Maker beat contest in 1965 which scored them a deal with Decca. They were billed as "THE Group on the Northern Soul Scene." Their sound was centered around Alex Kirby's tenor saxophone and Keith Millar's electric guitar backed by some serious organ by Dave Tomlinson, John Nichols on bass and Dave Webb on the skins.

Their live set was built around "Turn On Your Lovelight," "Woke Up This Morning," "Every Day I Have the Blues" and "Get On the Right Track Baby."

Their name seems to be a reference to the St. Louis Union Station, a train station famous, like many things in St. Louis, as having been the biggest and busiest thing in its field way back when. Its archways are designed so that one can whisper into them and someone else can hear you clearly on the other end, a design feature with no apparent practical applications, save simple amusements in a simpler time. It was largely built of limestone taken from Indiana, probably just to remind the Hoosiers who's boss, as the state of Missouri is entirely made of limestone and they're the nation's leader in lime production.


Truman having a laugh at St. Louis Union Station

In the 1970s, the station was bought by Amtrak. They ended operations soon afterward and relocated their operations to a building the unhealthily train-obsessed refer to as Amshack. Now it's a mall where tourists watch the guys at the Fudge Factory put on a show and the Footlocker has a basketball hoop with the backboard autographed by the D.O.C.

While ridership of trains out of the station began to decline in the 1960s, 1966 was the Mancunian band's biggest year. Their debut single was a cover of the Beatles' "Girl," which reached #11 on the charts. A band known as the Truth also released a cover at the same time and didn't score a hit. Such was the world of British pop in mid-60s bands releasing covers of their peers. The b-side was a cover of Otis Redding's "Respect." They went on to open for him when he played in Manchester.


Their second single was a recording of slept-on genius Mancunian Graham Gouldman's "Behind the Door." The b-side was "English Tea."


They appeared in the Spencer Davis-centered Ghost Goes Gear alongside Dave Berry (singer of "The Crying Game"), The Three Bells and Acker Bilk (as the object of Modernists' disdained Traditionalist Jazz). It's not a great film, but as a relic it's fascinating and provides us with the only visual evidence of  St. Lous Union's impeccably forward fashion, timeless hair and considerable stage presence.

"East Side Story" backed by "Think About Me" failed to make the top 40 and it proved to be their final recording.

They split the following year, in 1967. Webb still plays drums, in a heavy metal band, T F L. Nichols went on to become a respected fashion photographer. Tomlinson, as Dave Formula, played with Magazine, Ludus, Visage and other bands. Millar went on to play synthesizer with many major artists and co-wrote Divine's "Think You're a Man." He died of a brain hemmorage in 2005 at just 58 years old. Cassidy, the swaggering singer, died that same year, just 57 years old.

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Island Camping Festival Starring Michael Hurley

Posted by Miss Ess, July 10, 2008 04:04pm | Post a Comment
Just wanted to say I found out there is an Island Camping Festival this Saturday, July 12 on Angel Island.  It's pretty much impossible to find any info on this secretive fest, but...


...I do know that amongst the performers set to entertain those at the campgrounds on the island are Michael Hurley, The Sarees, Lucky Dragons, Little Wings and maybe even Devendra Banhart!  Of course, the few camp sites on the island are long reserved, but if you can find a way, this sounds like the definite hot ticket for the weekend.  Hurley's songs alone were made for singing around the campfire, looking up at the stars.  It's gonna be an island jamboree!

Lady Avenger

Posted by phil blankenship, July 10, 2008 04:01pm | Post a Comment
 






South Gate Entertainment 1012P

out today 7/8...yaz!!!

Posted by Brad Schelden, July 10, 2008 02:05pm | Post a Comment

I still remember the first time that I ever heard Yaz. My cousin was driving me and my brother back home from my grandparents' house. It was 1982 and I was 8 years old. She was playing the Upstairs at Eric's cassette on her tape player. I immediately fell in love with the album even though I had never heard of them before. I had to ask her what it was. Luckily I was only 8 years old and didn't yet get embarrassed about not knowing the name of a band. I think I made my mom buy it for me as soon as I could find it. I really wasn't old enough to have seen them in concert anyway, but they never\ came to the U.S. for a tour anyway. Yaz put out a second album, You and Me Both, in 1983. They broke up before they even had a chance to tour the UK with that album, so the world has really been waiting 25 years for this reunion! A couple years later I became a huge fan of both Depeche Mode and Erasure. I soon realized that Vince Clark was in all these bands and he quickly became one of my musical heroes. Not only did he help to create Depeche Mode and their debut album Speak \and Spell, but he also went on to help create all of the Erasure albums with Andy Bell. I will go so far as to say that the world of new wave and electronic dance music might be a bit different if it were not for Vince Clark. He influenced tons of Industrial and electronica artists, even if they may not want to admit it. 

So the rumors are true. No, Alison Moyet is not a man...although a couple of my friends did have me convinced that at one point she was. But it is true: Yaz has reunited! Yazoo, if you live in England. They just played a show at the Paramount in Oakland which I most definitely would have been at if I still lived there. I love that theater and it is the perfect place to see them. I will be seeing them tonight at the Orpheum in Los Angeles, which is just as great. I really can't wait. 25 years of anticipation. I am also curious to see the crowd. I imagine that I will be one of the youngest there. I expect a mostly mid to late 30s and early 40s crowd, but maybe a whole new generation of younger people will be there. I hope so. In celebration of their reunion, Mute has just released an amazing Yaz 4 disc box set. I am assuming that reissues of the single albums will soon follow. This box set includes remastered versions of both their 2 solo albums. It also includes a disc or remixes and b-sides. The 4th disc is a DVD that includes a new short film with interviews with both Alison Moyet and Vince Clark. It also includes videos for "Don't Go," "The Other Side of Love," "Situation," "Nobody's Diary" and "Only You." I am excited to see the videos. I seriously can't even remember any of these videos.

Both Yaz albums have been a part of my life since they first came out. Even after 25 years, they still remain fantastic albums. They don't even sound outdated at this point, at least to me. I still know all the words to all the songs. And they remain albums that I own on cassette, CD, and vinyl. With this new box set I now own these albums in 4 different formats-- 5 if you count the digital files that I have of both of them. But I need all these formats just for the memories attached to them. I also just got a car so I now have a reason to listen to the cassettes again. This is how I first heard these albums so it is only appropriate to listen to them this way again. I still also remember hearing their song "Situation" used in the 1990 TV movie Exile. I remember being so excited to hear the song used in the movie. This was before I became cynical about hearing the same 80s songs used in movies over and over again. I guess it is a different situation when talking about actual movies in the 80s using songs from the 80s. And we all know that 1990 was still really part of the 80s. Exile was way before Lost, but I think show like Lost might owe something to this movie. It starred Corey Feldman and Kiersten Warren. It was sort of like the D-list brat pack. It was about a group of teens on a study abroad program that crash on an island. They are forced to live off the island in "exile." I was obsessed with Lord of the Flies and Swiss Family Robinson as a kid, so I already had a great "lost on an island" fantasy. This movie just helped develop it. Unfortunately Exile is not yet out on DVD, but for all you Corey Feldman fans out there, Lost Boys 2: The Tribe is coming straight to DVD on July 29th.

Just in case you forgot, Upstairs at Eric's includes the songs "Situation" and "Don't Go." It was sort of hard to avoid these songs in the 80's, but I never got sick of them. They were for sure picked up by alternative radio in the U.S. but were also played all over the clubs. I love this whole album. The album also includes "In My Room," "Too Pieces," "Bad Connection," "Midnight," "Goodbye Seventies," "Winter Kills," and "Bring Your Love Down (Didn't I)." It also includes the tearjerker "Only You." Like "Somebody" by Depeche Mode, this was the song that all the girls absolutely loved -- which of course included me as well. "Only You" remains one of my favorite songs of all time. I know some people think of the new wave songs of the 80's as a period in music that should be forgotten. It is sometimes thought of as music that is sterile and mechanical. Still, this music had such a deep effect on me and many others. Even though the music was all very electronic and futuristic, it somehow spoke to me and helped me develop my feelings about myself and life. I do love my new wave. And the 80s would not have been the same without some Yaz. I am just so glad that they have decided to give back to their fans and finally come to share their live show with us.


also out today...






Skeleton by Abe Vigoda











Modern Guilt by Beck











Como Te Llama by Albert Hammond Jr.











Nude with Boots by The Melvins











Turn by Alison Moyet











LP3 by Ratatat











Coral Sea by Patti Smith and Kevin Shields






Mondo Diablo!

Posted by phil blankenship, July 9, 2008 03:48pm | Post a Comment
The New Beverly Cinema will be hosting a two week festival of films programmed by Academy Award winning screenwriter DIABLO CODY. This is the fourth in the theater's guest programming series, following Edgar Wright, Eli Roth and Joe Dante.

MONDO DIABLO will run from July 11-24, with many guest appearances plus introductions to many of the films by Diablo herself.

July 11-12
THANK YOU FOR SMOKING
STRIPES


July 13-15
LABYRINTH
XANADU


July 16-17
GIMME SHELTER
GREY GARDENS


July 18-19
NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 3: THE DREAM WARRIORS
FRIGHT NIGHT


July 20-22
MIDNIGHT MADNESS
WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER


July 23-24
DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN
PRETTY IN PINK


More Information can be found at the New Beverly website:
http://www.newbevcinema.com

THE LATE, GREAT AXL ROSE

Posted by Charles Reece, July 9, 2008 03:17pm | Post a Comment

Tracker's dusty and modern road songs on the cheap

Posted by Mark Beaver, July 9, 2008 02:14pm | Post a Comment
First find on the dock: This has been waiting in the wings for some time, in fact, it’s a little bit of a redo, as it’s a title I championed a few years ago in the Music We Like book. I‘ll take this opportunity to expand my earlier opinion.

Tracker - Ames  (Film Guerrero)

Tracker is, basically, a guy from Portland, OR named John Askew (not to be confused with the DJ of the same name) and whoever he collects around him when he’s ready to record and tour. This was the first album from 1999 and is almost completely played by Askew with some help from friends Adam Selzer (Norfolk & Western) and Erik Herzog (Buellton). I bought it solely on the strength of the album art and the weakness of the price tag. Thus, I was doubly rewarded.

In a number of ways there are similarities to the dynamics of Jason Molina’s Songs:Ohia/Magnolia Electric Company projects. Both are the aggregates of a single man’s songwriting and organizational vision. Both have an undeniably roots Americana base, but with a lot of layering, whether it’s voices, samples of classical music or electronic textures hazing around simple plucked banjo lines. Like Molina, Askew writes extremely strong melodies, and couples them with thoughtful and often mystifying lyrics.

The charm of Ames is due largely to its lack of self-seriousness. Askew lets a breath of ease into his writing and production. “Evan’s Getting It Together” is driven with some lazy and seemingly living-room recorded handclaps that work perfectly to prove that, as beautiful and lush as the songs here sometimes get, they are being played by some guys who are just trying to make some cool songs that get into your head. In fact, some of the song transitions (and there is a lot of ambient connective tissue) remind me of the great also-overlooked Purple Blue by Eric’s Trip, another group of dudes (and a dudette) who were just trying to make some cool songs.

A lot of the tracks here have a plethora of patience. Not quite as patient as Red House Painters, but still with that laid-back, wait-for-it beat. The spirit of Neil Young's particular brand of open road permeates it all: clumsy waltzes (“Amboy, CA.,” “Standing in the Leak”), spaced out extensions (“Misinstructed”), and pared-down acoustic ballads with exiled Appalachian twang bubbling just under the surface (“We Don’t Need to Speak”).  Nothing drops on this album. Attention has been paid throughout.

“Liquored (in the Baker)” is the track that everything turns around. A beautiful gliss of guitar chime leads into a breathed vocal, doubling on the second verse with the texture of vintage radio. Then there's the wah-wah and the organ, barely played, barely goosing the pulse along. It develops like a really good morning, never becoming a jam, but always showing that it can if it wants to. And once you’re feeling really good, they follow up with the perfectly paced “The Telephone.” Oozing forward like the best of Okkervil River or Everest or Love As Laughter, until Askew cuts the music, you hear him mutter, “all right,” and then it all opens up into an expanse of fuzz and bass and tom.

For $2.99, it’s a thrill to find such a complete package. With a dusty scene of Monument Valley on the cover and a shot of empty road (across the hood of what looks like it could be a Charger) in the center of the booklet, Ames has put it all together. One of my favorite albums since 1999, and still popping up in the Amoeba Rock Clearance bins. It’s true, I saw one just last week. Go get it.

"Tracker are a Portland band specializing in texture: ambient, rock, country—all these vibes float in their songs like ether, investing the performance with an air of confident mystery.”  -The Stranger, Seattle

Here's two more great albums from Tracker that you're also likely to find cheaply:


Polk (Film Guerrero)


   
Blankets Soundtrack (Film Guerrero)

Pearls from the Red Sea: Treasures from the Clearance Sections

Posted by Mark Beaver, July 9, 2008 02:13pm | Post a Comment
                                                                                                                                                                   
What does an Amoeba blog have to do with that busy inlet of the Indian Ocean between Africa and Asia? Not a damn thing, really. The Red Sea to which this blog refers is that reservoir of red price tags that floats somewhere in the vicinity of the checkout counters at all three stores--that beguiling ruby pond that calls to you with promises of Buying Three and getting the Fourth absolutely FREE!
   
It’s a lonely sea, the Amoeba CD Clearance section, a bastard half-brother to the regular Rock or Soul or any genre section, really. But what I know, and I know that many of you know, too, is that CDs end up in the red tags for many reasons, many of which have nothing to do with the quality of the music on those sad, overlooked Lucite and aluminum discs. As it happens, some really great recordings sit around without the word getting out that they are great and need to be heard and cherished and talked about.

Thus…Pearls From The Red Sea. I will regularly be reporting on some fine, fine listens I’ve plucked from the ever-churning waters just off the coast of the checkout registers. Maybe you can find another copy out there, maybe I got the last, and maybe you and I will make it so popular that it never ends up in Clearance again. In either case, the price was right…at least for me.


First Blood

Posted by phil blankenship, July 9, 2008 12:32pm | Post a Comment
 

Secret Society of the Sonic Six back on stage

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, July 9, 2008 09:45am | Post a Comment

AMOEBA LOVE: BEST RECORD STORE

Posted by Billyjam, July 8, 2008 06:32pm | Post a Comment
Since its inception Amoeba Music has received numerous awards for its three locations, Berkeley, San Francisco, and Hollywood, with the latest award going to the Berkeley Amoeba store which was voted "Best Record Store" by the East Bay Express in their recent annual "Best of the East Bay" edition.

"There is NO place like Amoeba, not even in New York," wrote the accompanying text for this award, which was all the more significant since it was in the "Readers' Choice" section & hence was based on what a wide cross-section of Express readers sincerely think about Amoeba Music.

To help celebrate this latest award for the store, Amoeba will be part of the big party this Friday (July 11th) from 7PM until midnight at the Oakland Museum of California at 1000 Oak Street, where all of the winners in the East Bay Express'  recent "best of the East Bay" awards will be honored. If you go - and you should - be sure to stop by the Amoeba Music booth where you can say wassup and register to win free prizes,

The actual theme of this party is "Old School" and hence such classic acts from from back in the day as Flipper and The Uptones -- the longtime East Bay ska outfit who formed back in 1981 when most of its members were still attending Berkeley High School. Below is a video clip of the Uptones nowadays with them performing "Skanking Fool"  a year ago at the Metro in Oakland - a location currently closed.  Others performing at this big mixed arts event include Dyloot (Deep Voices) and Destroyer.


Brandi Shearer - Amoeba artist
Others on the bill for Friday's big and FREE event (meaning get there early, as it will likely be mobbed) include The Shoreshoes, Monarchs, and talented longtime Oakland hip-hop DJ Malachi.

Continue reading...

Wall-e

Posted by Miss Ess, July 8, 2008 06:29pm | Post a Comment
Thanks to my 6 year old stepson's interest, I saw Wall-e over the weekend.

Pixar sure is proud of its latest. The movie was alright, I suppose. It got two thumbs up from my stepson, so I guess I should lead with that. The actual kid among us viewers enjoyed himself a great deal throughout the film, practically dropping his well-ketchuped challah dog because he was so transfixed. There's a lot of amazing visuals in this film, whether you are floating in outer space or checking out the inside of a humongous space craft. Then there's also all those crazy futuristic inventions that spark imaginations. I think that's part of what makes it interesting and gripping for kids.

I, on the other hand, was a little bored...but I think this stems from my general lifelong inability to connect to stories about robots -- even robots with humanizing features like the ones in Wall-e. In fact, maybe in part because they were 'bots mysteriously programmed with emotions and sad, down turned eyes, I was even less likely to get sucked into the movie cause it felt kinda silly. I found myself wracking my brain to figure out whose voice one of the main characters was...and eventually, all that wracking paid off: it's Jeff Garlin from Curb Your Enthusiasm! I knew I'd heard that particular sputter before, usually following his wife on the show Suzie's rampant and dagger-like chiding.

The plot of Wall-e is noble, though, I guess. (It really wants to be, for sure.) Earth is no longer inhabitable and it's piled with garbage and thick with smog. Wall-e is a lonely little trash compactor with a penchant for collecting-- he might be a bigger hoarder than my dad! His only friend is a cockroach who hides in a Twinkie every time there's an apocalyptic explosion (often). (And actually my favorite detail of the entire film.  I kept waiting for Cher to show up though too!) When Wall-e finds a white (oh, so pure!) floating pod-like fem'bot that was left behind by a mysterious space ship, he brings "her" home and they bond as only anthropomorphic robots can. When "Eve" sees the tiny, growing plant Wall-e has recently found in his trash piles, she grabs it, pulls it inside of her "belly" and eventually is plucked up by her space ship. Wall-e goes for a ride with the ship, eventually discovering that humans now live in a gigantic space ship, their every convenience accounted for, to the point where they are all fat and don't know how to walk or read anymore. I appreciated the social commentary of the movie and what it said about where our society is headed, but the whole plot just felt kinda flimsy, like an excuse for the visuals. 

But. like I said, the 6 year old loved it. It definitely is absorbing for the kiddies and stimulates their imaginations...not a bad thing, until you end up with a lap full of ketchup and random popcorn kernels because the little one was so captivated by the screen. Chalk it up to a risk of the parenting trade.


Bloodmatch

Posted by phil blankenship, July 8, 2008 10:57am | Post a Comment
 

HBO Video 0187908

Ministry Of Vengeance

Posted by phil blankenship, July 7, 2008 04:13pm | Post a Comment
 



Media Home Entertainment M012462

Italian Giallo Festival July 11-24

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, July 7, 2008 10:30am | Post a Comment

Film fans in Los Angeles take note, the Egyptian is screening some very rare and completely amazing Giallo this month.

For those of you unfamiliar with the genre a quick search on Wikipedia comes up with this:

Giallo (pronounced IPA['ʤallo]) is an Italian 20th century genre of literature and film. It is closely related to the French fantastique genre, crime fiction, horror fiction and eroticism. The term is also used to mean an example of the genre, in which case it can take the Italian plural gialli. The word giallo is Italian for "yellow" (see Wiktionary: giallo) and stems from the genre's origin in paperback novels with yellow covers.  

All genres have their fair share of crap to wade through, but I feel Giallo is one of the most difficult. It's a catch all genre that DVD companies and, in the past, tape traders padded full of dull "action films," painful "horror" and sleep inducing "sexploitation." Aaah, but like a good Roughie, when you find the right film, it's well worth the wade through the dirty waters. Although the Egyptian festival is by no means complete, it's an amazing selection.There are so many interesting, if not great, Giallos that it would take an annual festival to really do it right....Anyone listening???

I am most excited for the 12th. 4 Flies on Grey Velvet, Bird with the Crystal Plumage, and Rings of Red Fear. Not so thrilled that Rings is going to be screened from a DVD, but at least they're warning us.  Clean prints of 4 Flies and Bird will surely blow minds. For more info, click here.

I'm listening to my Bird with the Crystal Plumage soundtrack tonight after work...


BILLY JAM'S WEEKLY HIP-HOP ROUND UP: 7:06:08

Posted by Billyjam, July 7, 2008 03:04am | Post a Comment
 Little Brother's new album "...and justus for all"
Juan
in the hip-hop department at Amoeba Music Berkeley reports that two of the hottest selling new albums at the East Bay store this past week were Little Brother's ...and justus for all and The 3rd Degree by Immortal Technique, which includes cameos from Chino XL, Ras Kass, and Crooked I and production courtesy of  Green Lantern, plus Buckwild (DITC), Scram Jones, and Southpaw.

North Carolina's Phonte and Rapper Big Pooh are reportedly releasing a total of five albums between them this year, both collaboratively and solo, including just one jointly under their group name, Little Brother.

The tight new album ...and justus for all is actually a kind of re-release since it came out last year with the same title in a (slightly different) mixtape format, which was overseen by DJ Mick Boogie. Released on Hall Of Justus, the new version of ...and justus for all has been cleaned up to a crispy clean sound via re-mastering. It also includes five new Little Brother songs that were not on the 2007 mixtape version of ...and justus for all.

Continue reading...

Summer Nights In L.A. Part 2

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, July 7, 2008 12:14am | Post a Comment


Summer Nights In L.A.

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, July 6, 2008 10:35pm | Post a Comment

This has been the summer of too much…too much to do in L.A., that is. In a summer of record gas cost and rising inflation, we are all looking for an escape. Maybe our plans for traveling have been put on hold due to the economy, but it doesn’t mean we all can’t have fun, right? It’s just now we have to wait for the fun to come to us.

June 20th marked the arrival of Seun Kuti to Los Angeles. There were a record number of people at the show at Grand Performances, not only for Seun but for the price (free).

Seun performed with Egypt 80, Fela Kuti’s last band before his premature death. Since Fela’s death more than 10 years ago Seun has been performing with the group, and this was their first time in Los Angeles. Egypt 80 is the real deal. Not to knock bands such as Antibalas and The Budos Band who play Afro-Beat (and do it quite well, I should add), but there is nothing like hearing Afro-Beat being performed by the people who have been doing it for years. About five thousand plus were absolutely losing it. The dance floor was packed to near capacity and people were dancing in the pools that separated the people from the group.

The next day (Saturday) I went to MOCA for their CineMoca series. For $10 you can check out the featured movie the exhibits inside The Geffen Contemporary. On this particular night, MOCA featured a mash-up of two similar themed movies created by Los Angeles–based artist Edgar Arceneaux. The two movies, Dave Chappelle’s Block Party and Wattstax, seamlessly flowed in and out of each other much like a DJ mix and created its own movie -- from Rufus Thomas to Mos Def, The Bar Kays to Erykah Badu, Dave Chappelle to Richard Pryor. I love seeing movies outdoors, so this was a treat for me. On top of that, I met one of my favorite writers at showing. Her name is Marisela Norte. Marisela has been a big inspiration on not only my writing, but also how I look at life. She was part of infamous ASCO artist group back in the 80’s and her Norte/Word spoken word CD released on Freeway Records is a classic. It is way out of print but if you can find it I suggest it most highly.

I remember going to a poetry reading in Long Beach back in the early 90’s. I went to hear Wanda Coleman and some other poets read and Marisela read first. I remember hanging on to her every word, including stories of hanging out at a K-Mart coffee shop in East L.A. and observing life as it passed on by. All the absurd, the ordinary and the tragic came alive in her words.

Marisela refuses to drive and takes the bus everywhere. During that time she is not stuck in traffic cursing at everyone like the rest of us idiots who drive, she is writing, writing writing. She told me that she soon will have a book completed and I can’t wait. Then it was off to Pete's in downtown for some wine & nachos. I suggest the Avila.

 


Programmed To Kill

Posted by phil blankenship, July 6, 2008 04:40pm | Post a Comment
 

Media Home Entertainment M927

The Glass Is Half Wack: The Wackness (2008)

Posted by Charles Reece, July 5, 2008 08:42pm | Post a Comment


Wackness is about white teens in the first half of the 90s who say stuff like, "You only see the wackness; I see the dopeness." They're in their 30s now, so the nostalgia is ripe. It was the period when the classical tradition in rap was giving way to the method acting mumbling of gangster wannabes selling the “real” to undergraduates. In a nod to Vincent Price famously referring to the method actors as "the mumblers," either Big Daddy Kane or Chuck D once lamented the fact that so many of the contemporary MCs gargled into the microphone. Anyhow, the film's soundtrack reminded me of why I started to hate commercial rap (not that I needed the reminding). Each line Big E wheezes brings him one step closer to a cardiac arrest and me to the door.  But, in trying to see the dopeness -- this movie wasn't Hancock, after all -- I soldiered on. I will draw the line at Sundance films set in a Lilith Fair concert.

So, the story: Luke (Josh Peck) is a pot dealer who’s just graduated from high school in the first year of Giuliani’s Manhattan. This is one of those introspective comedies (à la Little Miss Sunshine) that dominate Landmark’s arthouse chain, so Luke’s one and only friend is his psychiatrist, Dr. Squires (Ben Kingsley, supposedly a Brooklyn Jew, but looking like Cheech Marin circa Up In Smoke with an accent that slips into British, Indian caricature and Classic Hollywood Nazi). Luke trades the doc dope for counseling. Luke’s problems are that no one is his friend outside of wanting drugs from him and he can’t get laid. One such “friend” is the hip hop Asian character who functions as the foil for Luke’s romantic interest in Squires’ step-daughter, Stephanie (Olivia Thirlby). Another is nuevo hippie chick Union (Mary-Kate Olsen, the same twin – I checked – who plays the same character on Weeds).

As with Little Miss Sunshine, Charlie Bartlett and Juno, it turns out that adults have a lot to learn from kids. Doc Squires no longer loves his wife (Famke Janssen, who spends the entire film smoking and wearing a big floppy hat) and he doesn’t really have anyone to talk to either, except for his patients. Luke comes into his life at the right time. Squires self-medicates while telling Luke to face up to his life. The rest of the film involves both characters learning to live life as it comes, appreciate the dope, while living with the wack. Luke gets a chance with Stephanie, but blows it by saying he loves her. The Doc fucks up his friendship with Luke by suggesting a drug dealer isn’t good enough for his stepdaugher. The Doc wants a divorce but he’s afraid to go through with it. There’s a botched suicide attempt. The two friends make up by exchanging mixtapes (Luke likes Mott the Hoople and Squires even quotes Big E!) and Luke teaches Squires how to deal drugs. They both conclude that women are a necessary evil, and that which doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger (as was said by Friedrich Nietzsche and later confirmed by Hank Williams).

The exchange of mixtapes here is supposed to be a return to earnestness and a rejection of the irony that took hold of the popular arts in the 90s as the antifoundationalism of postmodernism seeped into mass consciousness. When all words only obtain meaning by deferring to other words, ad infinitum, and meaning is fundamentally linguistic (so the story went), is it possible to say what we mean? Is it even important to try? Luke makes a genuine attempt to give part of himself to Squires and his stepdaughter by passing along tapes of his favorite rap tunes. The metaphor is made literal when Luke continually calls Stephanie, reaffirming into her answering machine that he meant what he said, fighting the temptation to turn ironic. Dare to believe in your pop culture by sampling it to say what you genuinely want to say. As a re-recordable tabula rasa, the blank cassette becomes a perfect metaphor for the film's attempt to re-create the nostalgic glow of previous teen films by sampling their clichés, while recording over these previous efforts. But the quality gets a little more degraded with each new recording.

The problem is that film isn’t a return to any authentic human connection, but to the everyone-stand-and-applaud-the-outcast teen comedies of the 80s. Andrew McCarthy might’ve been earnest in choosing Molly Ringwald, but there was nothing honest about it. It was meant to make us feel good by playing into our paradoxical desires to be like the popular kids, but on our own terms. Wackness tries to recapture the earnestness of John Hughes’ wish-fulfilling fantasies for the ironic generation by following a downtrodden Duckie-like character, giving him the chance to sleep with the popular girl, as if that’s somehow more real.  It’s supposed to be more authentic because the relationship doesn’t last, so the target audience can keep whatever cynicism it learned from a decade-plus of ironic detachment while enjoying the myths of the previous decades the way those audiences supposedly did. Like American Graffiti, Easy Rider, Valley Girl et al., the fantasy feels more ethnographic. The further you get away from the actual times depicted, ironically, the more detached you are.



(Belated) Herbie Mann Memorial

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, July 5, 2008 11:50am | Post a Comment







out today...7/1...mad men...swingtown...

Posted by Brad Schelden, July 4, 2008 03:41pm | Post a Comment
There have been so many new albums out in the last couple months, and we have some really exciting things to look forward to as well -- new albums from Ratatat and Beck next week, and a new box set from Yaz next week as well, which I will most likely be talking about. Yaz is also playing in Los Angeles next week and you know that I will of course be there. I have never seen them before and I am sure that this will be my only chance. There is also this new album next week from Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine and Patti Smith! I am very curious. Not exactly two people that I would expect to work together, but I love them both! Should be interesting. July 22nd is the date that the Dead Can Dance reissues finally come out. It breaks my heart a little bit that those albums have not been in print for a little while. I imagine some young kid coming into the store, trying to explore the world of Dead Can Dance and only finding the greatest hits sort of collection. Luckily, we have the used CDs in the meantime. I can't imagine my life without these Dead Can Dance albums and am happy to know they will soon be joining us again in record store land. There is a new Faint album on August 5th as well as the solo debut from Conor Oberst from Bright Eyes, but this week there is really nothing out in the land of music. At least nothing for me. There are new albums from G-Unit, J*Davey, Alkaline Trio, Deltron 3030, and Earlimart, but they are not exactly the albums that get me excited. It has been a while since there has been a week like this, but I guess it is bound to happen every once in a while, so I am forced to move my attention to DVDs-- and there is one excellent TV show out on DVD this week that I absolutely love. If you have not seen Mad Men yet, now is the time!

Hopefully you have already heard about the amazing show that is Mad Men. Billyjam blogged about the show last year, back when it was first on AMC. You can read that here. I really do love this show. They rarely make shows like this anymore, so when they come around every year or so, I get very excited. Six Feet Under was one of these shows. Twin Peaks was one of these shows. If you have ever seen even 5 minutes of Mad Men then you probably know that there is a whole lot of smoking in the show. They smoke in the grocery store, they smoke in the bathtub, and they smoke when they are cooking in the kitchen. They smoke everywhere. If you have recently quit smoking, you might want to wait and watch this later. But it is also a true test for an ex smoker: I quit over 3 years ago but I had no desire to smoke after watching the entire season. The packaging of this new DVD goes along with this smoking theme perfectly. The DVDs come packaged in an extra large lighter replica. The box set includes all 13 episodes from season 1. It includes some special features like interviews with cast members, a documentary on the world of Mad Men and a featurette on the music. It also includes commentaries on all 13 episodes, which is sort of a rare and amazing thing. I love the commentaries the most, so I can't wait to sit down and watch and listen to all of them. The DVD looks like it is just as great as the show. If you even think you might like the show a little bit, I guarantee you will love it. Just make the investment and pick it up and you will never regret it. I have never met anyone who has not liked this show! It really is that good.

The second season of Mad Men will be starting up very soon. Mark your TV calender for July 27th at 10pm-- you still have some time to catch up or watch them all over again. Mad Men is set in the advertising world of New York in the 60's. I love when shows dive into past decades, especially when they do it so perfectly. The costumes and hairstyles are all perfect. The set is perfect. You really feel like you are living in the 60's when you watch this show.

There is also another new stylized retro type show on the air right now. This time it is about swingers in the 70s, which just happens to be my favorite decade...maybe not the music, but for sure the style and fashion or the "look" of the decade. The show is called Swingtown. Swingtown just had its fifth episode this week. It is on Thursdays at 10pm on CBS. I recommend you jump right in and watch it if you have not yet. You can catch up later. Or you can even watch entire episodes on the CBS website. Or you can always wait for the DVD. It reminds me a bit of The Ice Storm or Dazed & Confused. Just like Mad Men, this show is cast perfectly. I can't really imagine myself doing a better job. Even on the first episode it seemed like the cast had been playing these characters for years. It stars Molly Parker from Deadwood, Grant Show from Melrose Place, Jack Davenport from Coupling, and Lana Parrilla from 24. Just like Mad Men, the costumes and hair are all perfect, and the sets and furniture all make you think the show is actually being filmed in the 70's. I am interested to know what the show could have actually been if it was picked up by one of the cable networks. Amazingly, they all turned it down and CBS ended up picking it up. I know they had to cut back some stuff. I am sure there would have been a lot more sex, but maybe this has just made the show better. I imagine they had to develop the characters and storylines more. I easily became addicted to the show during the first episode. The characters are all likable and fascinating, and there is something for everyone. They seem to be developing the younger kids' storylines as well, so it has a little bit of Wonder Years and Freaks and Geeks along with a little bit of Knots Landing and Dynasty. The perfect combination. That said, the show is not for everyone -- it might seem a bit too soapy for some. Still, I think it is for sure entertaining and easy to get addicted to. Give it a chance.

Happy Fourth of July! -- In which various VHS and DVD titles are suggested...

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 4, 2008 11:32am | Post a Comment

  
 

These chaps have the right idea! 

  



   

Some "Cut & Run" types think it's ok to celebrate such other July 4th holidays such as:

Filipino - American Friendship Day
Day of Agwe - Haiti
Birthday of Queen Sonja - Norway
Commemoration of Jewish Genocide - Latvia
Family Day - Lesotho
Fisherman's Day - Marshall Islands
Independence Day - Rwanda
King's Day - Tonga


   



Macaronis
(pictured above) were the Hipster douches of their day. On July 4th they mocked Yankee Doodle (a Dandy who, naturally, was the arch foe of the clueless, appalling, hideous sartorial abominations, the Macaronis). They erroneously assumed (unfamiliar as they were with understatement) that Yankee Doodle sticking a feather in his hat amounted to him wanting to join their odious ranks. In response he had to regulate. This is his day.

  

The War of Independence wasn't just fought against the teabags. On the western front, the colonies fought a genocidal campaign against the cussed natives. The Shawnee were upset at the Iroquois for having sold land to the English. They organized a resistance but were defeated by the Virginia militia. The Declaration of Independence spelled out the newly independent country's intentions. "…[He] has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions." God hates redskins.

Continue reading...

The Employee Interview Part XVIII: Don

Posted by Miss Ess, July 3, 2008 01:25pm | Post a Comment
Don
8ish years employment ("It's all a blur...")
Floor Manager Extraordinaire

Miss Ess: What have you been listening to lately?


Don: I've been listening to Adele, Sex & the City Soundtrack, Duffy and the new Kathy Griffin LP [For Your Consideration].

ME: What dance track changed your life?

Don: Donna Summer's Once Upon a Time was the dance album that changed my life. Not only because I realized I liked dance music but it was also the time I realized I like boys.

What album or song is your favorite to dance around to?

Wow what is my favorite dance lp? Hhhmm-- there are so many, but the stand out is probably "Dance This Mess Around" by the B52's. It's so much fun.



What lesser-known or forgotten artists should people seek out in the dance section?


Billy Ray Martin or Sophie Ellis-Bextor are two that spring to mind. Billy Ray is from Electribe 101 which was an amazing band also. Sophie is a current British pop dance diva.

What is your favorite Madonna video?

My favorite Madonna video is "Borderline" -- she was so real and feisty in that video. It was like she was hungry to succeed. I also love "Frozen."


You know you love them: what is your favorite TLC song?


Umm, I like "Waterfalls" the best, but "Creep" is a close second.

What is the best live show you have ever been to?

The best live show was Bruce Springsteen for The River tour. The energy was incredible and it was before he became mainstream with Born in the USA. Also Gus Gus at the Fillmore -- just a wall of keyboards and electronica and they blew the system at the Fillmore so it was like 30 min before the sound came back on.

What is your favorite Sex and the City episode and which character to you identify with the most?

I love the one where Carrie goes out to the Hamptons and her friend's husband flashes Carrie and Samantha keeps the peppermill joke going. There are so many great ones, but that one stands out. As a guy, if I had to choose a character --I guess Miranda is the most like me.

What Dolly Parton movie do you like best?

Not doubt it would be 9 To 5. The scene where they realized they have the wrong body in the trunk is classic: "Judy, can you come here for a minute?"  Love it!


Name a band you love that I would be surprised to hear that you are into, aside from the Boss – who knew!?

I guess X would surprise some people. I thought Exene was cool and the lyrics of their songs spoke to me, especially "Under the Big Black Sun" and "Wild Gift." Then I got to meet them here at Amoeba [at the Knitters instore] and I couldn't speak!

That’s your LA roots showing! If you could trade places with any musician, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Boy George-- that would be fun: the club kids, drugs, Taboo. I think it would be very interesting life story. I was one of the few people that saw Taboo in New York.

Was Rosie there [she produced the play]?

No it was in previews there still.

So, what is it about Kylie Minogue that you love so much anyway??

I just dig Kylie-- she is not the greatest singer, but she is a fashionista.

I know you are a big fan -- what impact did That Girl have on your life when you first saw it?

It really didn't change my life-- but it made me realize that women could do anything men can do.

What is your favorite music-related movie?

Wow, there are a few. First there was Tommy. I saw that when I was in junior high. I thought it was way out there. Also Evita. I thought Madonna was great in that. Across the Universe--loved it! As you know, I'm not crazy about the Beatles but I loved that movie.

What song or album reminds you of when you were a kid?

The song that reminds me of my childhood is Merle Haggard, "If We Make It Through December." It was the last song I can remember my parents listening to before they divorced.

What movie makes you cry every time you watch it?

I cry every time at The Joy Luck Club, Imitation of Life and the final scene in The Way We Were-- it's heartbreaking.

Yeah, that Joy Luck Club is a real tearjerker! I know you were a DJ back in the day.  What track would you play to get everyone out on the floor?

It was any Depeche Mode song, or Morrissey. Also, it was back in the beginning of the techno era, so any hit of the moment would pack the floor.

What's been your favorite instore?

My favorite in store was The Supersuckers. It was years ago.  And the Knitters, of course!

What's an album that you love that you think more people should listen to?

Yvonne Fair, The Bitch Is Black-- it's an amazing soul gem. More people should get hip to this.

What is your favorite thing about working at Amoeba?

The reason I like to work at Amoeba is because I love the big, dysfunctional family.

Thank you for your time.

The Kids of Widney High

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, July 3, 2008 12:30pm | Post a Comment
I have the good fortune to be part of the in-store crew here at Amoeba San Francisco, and this affords me many opportunities to do one of my favorite things ever: see live music.

I’ve seen some bands that I GREATLY admire (Earth, High on Fire, The Raconteurs, Thurston Moore, The Breeders, Boris, The Dirtbombs… the list goes on), some bands that I’m unimpressed with (I’ll keep those to myself), and sometimes it’s something I’ve never heard before, but it’s always something different and new.

One factor that can affect my experience as a viewer is whether or not the performers are having fun and are excited to be here. When artists are psyched up for the unique experience of an Amoeba instore, it makes their show all the better for everyone!

 

What is the point of this personal rambling, you might be asking yourself? Well, this coming Sunday, July 6 at 2pm, The Kids Of Widney High are going to be performing LIVE for FREE, and I can’t wait to see them. Have I ever seen them before? Nope. But I did watch the video for “Pretty Girls” on the Amoeba Website. After that I wanted to see more, so I clicked over to YouTube and found this mini-documentary about the school and the songwriting class that has created this group. It’s worth watching the entire thing, but be sure to check out just after the 9 minute mark, when former member Shantel Brown says “…and I hope they get to go back to San Francisco again.”  WHAT?!?! Are they going to be way excited to be here? That makes ME all the more excited… I think YOU should come by and check it out. There’s nothing like a room full of people who love music, is there?

audio specialists

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, July 3, 2008 12:00am | Post a Comment


Ribbon mics, reel tapes, jukeboxes, tubes & radio transmission towers- the embodiment of old world recording cool.  Hell, we even have an "Olde World Records" in this bunch.  People have long  fetishized recording and audio gear, these labels are a testament to such interesting interests.





IAN CURTIS' HEADSTONE STOLEN

Posted by Billyjam, July 2, 2008 04:53pm | Post a Comment

In a creepy crime similar to an incident that happened to the late Mac Dre's resting place three years ago when the slain Vallejo rapper's headstone was stolen, the gravestone of former Joy Division front man Ian Curtis was stolen sometime between yesterday and this morning from the Macclesfield Cemetery in Cheshire, England.

As reported earlier today by the BBC, "Detectives said the stone, which has the inscription "Ian Curtis 18 -5 -80" and the words "Love Will Tear Us Apart" was taken...There is no CCTV in the area and there are no apparent leads as to who is responsible for the theft."

The local authorities went on to speculate that the recent surge in interest in the singer might have led to the unusual theft. Last year's biopic on the singer, Control, and the documentary, Joy Division, which was released earlier this year, have both undoubtedly led to an increase in interest in the talented Curtis, who hung himself in the kitchen of his nearby Macclesfield home back in May 1980 when he was 23. Cheshire police have pleaded with anyone who has information to contact them.

This incident brings to mind both the theft of Jim Morrison's headstone from P’re Lachaise Cemetery in Paris in 1990, and the aforementioned Andre (Mac Dre) Hicks graveside robbery from Oakland's Mountain View Cemetery in 2005.  Despite the fact that a large reward was posted for the recovery of Mac Dre's headstone (and a beat-down promised if the perp was ever caught), the headstone was never recovered. Eventually it was replaced with a new one that was tightly secured.

EMPHASIS ON "CELEBRATION" AT 2008 SF LGBT PRIDE PARTY

Posted by Billyjam, July 2, 2008 03:00pm | Post a Comment
      

Not only was Sunday's incredibly fun, huge rave-scale 2008 San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration & Parade the best party of the year so far but it was also a landmark historic event: one that marked the California Supreme Court very recently making it legal (second to Massachusetts) for same-sex couples to marry. And this significant step forward (in a long uphill battle) for human rights clearly was prominently on the minds of the revelers who descended upon San Francisco this past weekend.

Sunday afternoon's giant celebration was essentially a really, really large wedding party since so many in attendance had just gotten hitched in the days leading up to the event. Included were the happy couple pictured left in front of City Hall where, they cheerfully informed me, they had gotten married two days before.

The first part of Sunday's mega-event was the long colorful parade that slowly snaked down Market and left onto Eighth Street, and along whose route Mayor Gavin Newsom got numerous ovations for his role in pushing the envelope in the same-sex marriage issue, starting four years ago shortly after he took office.

The parade was immediately followed by the "celebration" portion of the long fun afternoon. This giant party kicked into gear from the get-go and the energy didn't let up all day. The sprawling celebration extended for blocks in every direction and featured over twenty different stages in addition to countless spaces and booths that took over all the streets around the Civic Center area of downtown San Francisco.

Delta Force - Saturday Midnight at the New Beverly !

Posted by phil blankenship, July 2, 2008 01:46pm | 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 July 5

Chuck Norris
& Lee Marvin in

The Delta Force

1986, Cannon Films

New Beverly Cinema

7165 W Beverly Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90036

Midnight, $7


July
July 5 The Delta Force

(celebrate Independence Day weekend - watch Lee Marvin & Chuck Norris kick terrorist BUTT in the Cannon Films classic!)
July 19 Just One Of The Guys
(Sony's LAST 35mm print of the ultimate '80s role reversal comedy!)
July 26 Chopping Mall
(w/ special guests director Jim Wynorski & star Kelli Maroney in attendance, schedules permitting)

 

August
August 2 Night Of The Juggler

(No one can stop James Brolin!)
August 9 Rainbow Brite & The Star Stealer
(Rainbow Brite's first movie - insanely RARE performance!)
August 23 The Gate
(... pray it's not too late!)
August 30 Little Darlings
(Paramount Archive 35mm Print! Rare Screening!)


Cutting Class

Posted by phil blankenship, July 2, 2008 10:07am | Post a Comment
 



Republic Pictures Home Video 0773

Primal Scream

Posted by phil blankenship, July 1, 2008 10:02am | Post a Comment
 





Magnum Entertainment 3174

DOES CALIFORNIA'S NEW HANDHELD CELL PHONE BAN MAKE SENSE?

Posted by Billyjam, July 1, 2008 07:29am | Post a Comment


As you no doubt already know, today (July 1st) is the first day of a new law in California: the law banning the use of handheld wireless phones while driving. Drivers caught breaking this new law can be fined $20 for the first offense and $50 for subsequent times.

Note that It is okay to use cell phones with a hands-free device, such as a Blue Tooth, while talking, although both ears cannot be covered at any time. Using a handheld telephone’s speaker function is also allowed, but dialing while driving is not allowed.

And if you are under 18 then you may not use any phone (or any other electronic device, period) while driving. Below, courtesy of California's DMV, are answers to the most commonly asked questions about this new law.

But does this law actually make any sense? I think not, because a phone is a phone, and the danger to driving lies not in the type of communication device (handheld or ear-piece) that you are using but rather in the distraction of having a phone conversation while driving.

Instead of a handheld phone, a driver's hands could as easily be holding a map or an apple or a cup of coffee or adjusting the radio volume etc., rather than holding the steering wheel. The distracting thing about phone use while driving isn't so much about holding the thing in your hand, but rather how being caught up in a deep phone conversation can be so consuming that it momentarily takes your mind elsewhere and away from the road in front of you.

So I say either let everyone talk on the phone (handheld or other) while driving, or else ban car phone use altogether. And don't discriminate against under 18 year olds: treat everyone you allow to drive equally. Do you agree or disagree? Add your opinion in the "comments" box  down below the DMV's answers to the most commonly asked questions regarding this new law.