Amoeblog

More Photographs from Helen Levitt

Posted by Whitmore, April 30, 2009 06:54pm | Post a Comment
The legendary street photographer Helen Levitt died earlier this month at the age of 95. Besides being a still photographer, Levitt was also involved in the making of documentary films in the late 1940s as a director, cinematographer and writer. For In the Street (1948) she was assisted by renowned New York writer James Agee and artist Janice Loeb. This silent film documents the grim realities of Harlem street-life in the days after the Second World War. In the Street was selected in 2006 for the National Film Registry list. For The Quiet One (1948), Levitt worked once again with Agee and Loeb; this time she received an Academy Award nomination for the screenplay. The Quiet One is an account of the rehabilitation at the Wiltwyck School of an emotionally disturbed African-American boy. Levitt's photography career would span more than seven decades. Here is more of Helen Levitt's work.

Obi 3

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, April 30, 2009 06:15pm | Post a Comment

Here's a 3rd Obi gallery; you can check out the first two here and here...



The Godfather
Obi above is very cool-- unfortunately the cover had water damage. The Kate Bush LP above is a cool take on a more common design where the Obi blends in with cover. This Bad Company LP was just featured in my gambling post, but I though that the Obi was cool enough to include it anyhow...



The Throbbing Gristle LP above doesn't have the most exciting Obi, but it sure is a rare one. BTW, TG were quite stunning on the 21st @ the Ricardo Montalban theatre in Hollywood. I must say that the marquee was one of the most amazing absurdities I've seen since Paul Reisner discussed Black Flag @ the Grammys in 1995. Nike Sportswear presents Throbbing Gristle indeed...


out this week 4/21 & 4/28...pet shop boys...depeche mode...the horrors...empire of the sun...

Posted by Brad Schelden, April 30, 2009 04:30pm | Post a Comment

It is hard for me to think about anything except for Grey Gardens today, but I will try. The new Grey Gardens Docudrama was on HBO last week, but I finally had my little screening party last night and watched it. I have been a big fan of the documentary for a while. I fell in love with it not only because it is an amusing look and a very interesting eccentric family, but also because it is tragic and beautiful and hilarious all at the same time. There is really a bit of the Beales in all of us. But I had my doubts about this movie. I was excited about all the interest in what I felt like was a secret little documentary that not that many people knew about. Still, I was skeptical-- I had not seen the musical version on Broadway but thought it was sort of a strange subject for a musical. Somehow despite all that, this movie worked out perfectly. I really can't imagine it being any better. I really think that the Beales would have even liked it themselves. They would most certainly enjoy the fact that the story of their lives was not only an award winning documentary but also a musical and an HBO movie.

Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore were fantastic as Big and Little Edie. I have been really wanting them both to have a good role for a while now. Jessica Lange was great in my favorite, Tootsie. She also starred in Frances that same year in 1982 and broke my heart with her performance. While I loved her in Cape Fear in 1991, I feel like she has not really found the right role for herself until now. And Drew Barrymore just blew me away with her performance as well. I have long been a fan of Drew Barrymore but never really liked the movies she ends up in. I really have not enjoyed much since Firestarter and E.T., aside from Charlie's Angels. The makeup was probably the most amazing thing about the movie. This was only a TV movie but had better makeup than most big budget blockbusters. I can't wait to go back and watch the old documentary now. It was really crazy how they seemed to totally become these two characters. They not only got the look and voices perfectly, but they also had all the mannerisms down perfectly. They really were a fascinating family. I liked the way the film intertwined the backstory of how they came to be with the recreations of the footage from the original documentary. The story is actually extremely sad and poignant. Fantastic. This movie will be staying with me for a very long time to come.

Last week really did sort of feel like 1987 all over again. There were new albums out from Pet Shop Boys and Depeche Mode, and a deluxe reissue of I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got by Sinead O'Connor, plus new box set from Jane's Addiction, and a best of album from D.A.F! I was suddenly in high school all over again. Not that I really musically ever left high school. The bands that I fell in love with then still remain my favorite bands. I have managed to move on and expand my horizons beyond the 10 or 15 bands I liked back then, but they still remain a big part of who I am. To celebrate the release of their new ablum, Depeche Mode put on a huge free show for their fans at the corner of Hollywood and Vine. I was able to look beyond the cheesy corporate sponsorship of the event by the W Hotel. I do love Depeche Mode quite a bit, so any chance at a free show is OK by me. It was also part of the Jimmy Kimmel Show, so fans across the world got to watch a couple of the songs. They ended up playing 3 songs off the new album and 4 old songs. We got to hear "Never Let Me Down Again," "Enjoy the Silence," "Personal Jesus," and "Walking In My Shoes." The show was two days after the release of the new album. Lucky Amoeba shoppers who bought the album that morning got free passes to the VIP section of the show. This section was a couple hundred people right in front of the stage, and there were 12,000 or so people total. The new album is called Sounds of the Universe.

I was so in love with the last Depeche Mode album that I had really high hopes for this one. Playing The Angel came out in 2005. The first single from that album, "Precious," was so fantastic that the rest of the album didn't really even matter to me. But other songs like "Damaged People," "John the Revelator," and "Lilian" were also fantastic. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it. While Depeche Mode remain a fantastic touring band to see live, the albums are sometimes not as great as I would like them to be. But out of 12 albums there have really only been 2 that I didn't like. I still loved Ultra in 1997 and Songs of Faith and Devotion in 1993. Exciter was a bit disappointing, as is the new album. However, my love for them will never disappear and I can't wait for the todepeche mode sounds of the universeur. They know what their fans like and still play tons of songs from the old albums. I have not given up fully on this new album yet. I will still give it some more time. Some of the songs are growing on me. The new Pet Shop Boys album is actually the better of the two. Their new album Yes also came out last week. The Pet Shop Boys got a much later start in their career than Depeche Mode, but they both managed to put out their two best albums in 1986 and 1987. 1986 was the year of Please by Pet Shop Boys and Black Celebration by Depeche Mode. 1987 was the year of Actually by Pet Shop Boys and Music for the Masses by Depeche Mode. These first two Pet Shop Boys albums were amazing. They were super fun albums that have remained favorites of their fans. Please had "West End Girls," "Suburbia," and "Opportunities." Actually had "It's A Sin," "Rent," and "What Have I Done To Deserve This?"

Pet Shop Boys put out Behavior in 1990 and Very in 1993. Behavior has some OK songs on it, but it's pet shop boys yesmostly forgettable. I did fall in love with Very though, in 1993, also the year of Songs of Faith & Devotion by Depeche Mode. "Can You Forgive Her" was totally overplayed that year, but I still loved it. I have seen Pet Shop Boys live since then, but never really listened to their newer albums all that much. I was too obsessed with the old albums. However, this new record is actually really good. There is no "Rent" or "West End Girls" on the album, but their never will be again. The album is still distinctly Pet Shop Boys. There is no getting away from Neil's trademark voice and the "sound" of the Pet Shop Boys. It is good and super gay, just like you would expect from them. There are also some really catchy songs on the album. I keep wanting to go back and listen to "Love Etc." and "More Than A Dream." Much like Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys are really great to see live. They don't simply play the songs, they put on a show. And I always look forward to new albums by both of them because it always means a nesinead o'connor i do not want what i haven't gotw tour!

Along with being obsessed with Depeche Mode and Pet Shop Boys in the late 80's and early 90's, I was also obsessed with Sinead O'Connor. The Lion & the Cobra came out in 1987 when I was still in junior high, but I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got in 1990 was the album that made everybody know who she was -- and most people either loved or hated her. There was not much in between. The deluxe version of the album has the remastered album and a whole extra disc of bonus stuff. It Includes the songs "Night Nurse," "Damn Your Eyes," and "Mind Games." I am just excited to have this album back in my life. It still holds up as a fantastic album. You will either still love it or still hate it.

Other albums you need to listen to that came out last week are the new Horrors and Empire of the Sun. I liked the first Horrors album out a couple of years ago, but this album has grew on me much more. It is sort of a shoegaze album but sort of not. Mix up some My Bloody Valentine with Jesus & Mary Chain and Joy Division and this is what you get. The new album is called Primary Colours. The new Empire of the Sun album is worth it simply for the amazing cover. It is a modern take on Siegfried and Roy. The are Australia's answer to MGMT. The new Camera Obscura is also fantastic, but only if you like super cute female fronted twee type music. It is one of those albums that is hard to not fall in love with, but only if you open up your heart a bit and let yourself. I could have easily hated this album if I was in bad mood when I first heard it.

also out 4/21...






Art Brut Vs. Satan by Art Brut











My Maudlin Career by Camera Obscura











Best of D.A.F. by D.A.F.











Eccentric Soul: Smart's Palace






empire of the sun australia




Walking on a Dream by Empire of the Sun











Primary Colours by The Horrors










Cabinet of Curiosities by Jane's Addiction










Mean Everything To Nothing by Manchester Orchestra





also out 4/28...






Colonia by A Camp











Together Through Life by Bob Dylan











Coming From Reality by Rodriguez











Cryptomnesia by Omar Rodriguez-Lopez











Help by Thee Oh Sees






Total Eclipse of the Heart

Posted by Miss Ess, April 30, 2009 11:24am | Post a Comment
We've all had that moment...the moment when you are in the grocery store or the bank or the donut shop, somewhere completely banal, where you are hidiously bored and spacing out...when, suddenly, something glorious happens...


Out of nowhere, a song appears that you hadn't heard or even thought about in years and from that moment on there's a little spring in your step as you cruise the aisles or order your coffee and maple donut. Suddenly the sad state of your bank account seems a tiny bit less crushing. These are the kinds of songs you find on soft rock radio and probably nowhere else unless your record collection is all-encompassing, the kind of songs that had their day and went away for the most part.


Joltingly they arrive again, searing into your brain for potentially the rest of the day. All pretense disappears, washed away by the sheer sincerity of the song, and the day becomes instantly brighter. The chance of it all gets you momentarily giddy.

For me, because of my age, these songs are overwhelmingly from the 80s, and also overwhelmingly and somewhat oddly from Whitney Houston, with some exceptions of course.


One of my absolute favorites that I always forget about somehow (though I am sure the legions of mega Cure fans never do) is The Cure's "Lovecats." Robert Smith's voice is one of the best ever:

My Bodyguard Saturday At The New Beverly!

Posted by phil blankenship, April 29, 2009 08:04pm | 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 May 2

My Bodyguard

Director Tony Bill IN PERSON, schedule permitting!

Terrorized in the toilets? Chased after school? Shaken down for lunch money? Get a bodyguard!


New Beverly Cinema
7165 W Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
11:59pm, All Tickets $7




May
May 9 License To Drive
Corey Haim & Corey Feldman - Some guys get all the brakes!

Friday May 15 The Car
Midnight Shock copresented with Shock Till You Drop

May 16 Freaked
Alex Winter in person! EXTREMELY RARE 35mm Print!

May 23 Gleaming The Cube
Skate or Die! 20th Anniversary! EXCEEDINGLY RARE 35mm Print!

Continue reading...

SUPREME COURT RULING WASTE OF FLEETING EXPLETIVE RESOURCES

Posted by Billyjam, April 29, 2009 07:17pm | Post a Comment
cher
Yesterday, as the serious threat of the swine flu epidemic loomed even larger over the nation and while the economy sunk even deeper in its dismal downward-spiral, the public servants at the US Supreme Court, as a result of actions by the public servants at the FCC, wasted more public time in their drawn-out debate of  the use of so-called "fleeting expletives" on US airwaves.

The 5-4 ruling, which endorsed a Bush administration Federal Communications Commission (FCC) policy, upheld a federal prohibition on the one-time use of [fleeting] expletives in a case arising in part from words uttered by Bono, Nicole Richie, and Cher. It was at a live television broadcast of the 2002 Billboard Music Awards show on Fox TV that Cher, while at the podium accepting an Artist Achievement Award, and in response to critics who had said her career was dead, famously said, “People have been telling me I’m on the way out every year, right? So fuck ‘em.”

Was Cher right in what she said? Probably so (about the critics) and good for her for expressing her honest views. But should she have cursed on a family viewed TV show? Probably not, but it is not a huge big deal in my opinion-- not one that deserves so much attention and resources poured into it, especially during these critical times. Cher's one-off use of the F word on a live show or Bono's equally blown-out-of-proportion use of the same word in adjective form (as in “this is really, really, fucking brilliant”) at the live NBC televised 2003 Golden Globe Awards, which the FCC ruled as “indecent,” and hence deserving of a fine, are both non-issues that should not have caused such a fuss. But as they stand, they are a most important issue since they address the First Amendment.

Continue reading...

New 12" Electronic Releases at Amoeba Hollywood - 5/01/09

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, April 29, 2009 05:37pm | Post a Comment


Get em now while you can! Early Techno classics!!

Model 500 Records Coming Back In Stock:


-Model 500 - BE BRAVE 12" RS98135 EXC

-Model 500 - BE BRAVE REMIXES 12" RS98135X

-Model 500 - CLASSICS DLP RS931LP EXC

-Model 500 - DEEP SPACE DLP RS95066 EXC

-Model 500 - I WANNA BE THERE 12" RS96084 EXC

-Model 500 - MIND AND BODY DLP RS99145 EXC



Also, New Electro 12"s Coming In This Weekend:


Deepgroove - THE CLOCK 12" (remix by JAMIE ANDERSON)(Rekids)
REKIDS037 EXC
"This one's idiotproof," laughs JOSH WINK. "THE CLOCK" is pure tech house magic, with a dancefloor stormer remix from BEN KLOCK. DEEPGROOVE & JAMIE ANDERSON also record under IDIOTPROOF, and carry the same sensibility over to their housier productions. This is an anthem!

Delphic - COUNTERPOINT 12" (R & S)
RS0903 EXC
DELPHIC are the missing link between CHEMICAL BROS & NEW ORDER, between UNDERWORLD & MUSE. On "COUNTERPOINT," they offer an epic, ravetastic moment produced by EWAN PEARSON. Includes a tech house bumper remix from THE CHAIN and PAUL WOOLFORD offers a heavy hitting techno mix. Incl. a dub.

Housemeister - BEEF JERKY EP 12" (BOYS NOIZE)
BNR032 MUS
100% analog produced techno & breakcore, outside of any trend. Five tracks that are a mix of techno, b-more, dubstep, and techno. "WHO IS THAT BOYS" is one that will tear the roof off, and "VAKUUM" gives you a REPHLEX techno vibe. "GEHACKTES" plays on a big sample, and is HUGE! TECHNO CLUB ELECTRO.


House Releases:

Andreas Gehm- MY SO CALLED ROBOT LIFE 12" (MATHEMATICS)
MATH027 EXC
STEVE POINDEXTER presents ANDREAS GEHM.
"MY SO CALLED ROBOT LIFE" is broken down into five parts or versions. Authentic Replicant 80s Chicago house music from Chicago's own MATHEMATICS label.

Salvatore & Volta - WESTERN SPAGHETTI 12" (FREERANGE)
FR120 EXC
"WESTERN SPAGHETTI" is a furious percussive house excursion that weaves magic on the floor. On a slightly deeper and trippier note is CHARLES WEBSTER's remix of "PATATAS BRAVAS," a throbber with dark overtones. The original version is also incl. with a hint of eastern mysticism.

Alton Miller - INNER8-LITERON RMX 12" (RIZE RADICAL)
RIZE003 MUS
LITERON's take on "INNER8" comes with razor sharp claps, one intense house stab, and deep sub bass. STEVE AZZARA's re-rub is sublime and deep with spiritually aware Detroit beats and gripping strings. Traditional house meets modern club tracks, perfection!

Andre Lodemann - YOU NEVER KNOW EP 12" (BEST WORKS)
BWR002 MUS
Classic American house feel with a Berlin orientated, somewhat minimal influence. Both tracks on this EP exhibit surprising arrangements and deep sound tapestries, piano harmonies with dark alarm signals...? It works, and delivers a thriller-meets-drama house vibe.

Aphrodisiax - UNFINISHED BUSINESS EP 12" (JUS HOUSE)
JUS003 MUS
Already stimulating the crowds of KARIZMA, PHIL ASHER, QUENTIN HARRIS, & MIKE DUNN, this four track EP crosses the boundaries of afro, latin, and deep house & stirs them up in a percussive, sexy way. Includes title track plus "KEEPING IT MOVING," "MY GETAWAY," & "RIGHT BESIDE YOU."


Dubstep Releases:

Djunya- ELEVATE 12" (LODUBS)
LODUBS1209012 MUS
A sprawling dubstep gem with an unusually optimistic feel to it, this has thick layers of bass & keys over some heavy breakstep action. "PUJA KARNA SAGIT" is a thick, hazy slice of global dubstep ambience that would sound right at home on SKULL DISCO.

MRK 1- KILL ZONE 12" (CONTAGIOUS)
CON021 MUS
Wobbly bassline action intact, this is some hard dancefloor business for the kids, & B-side "TUNNEL FORM" brings the tempo way down low for a lazy electro dubstep workout.


AWAYDAYS' SOUNDTRACK: REMINDER OF UK POST-PUNK'S GREATNESS

Posted by Billyjam, April 28, 2009 09:40pm | Post a Comment

Due out next month, the new British movie Awaydays based on the Kevin Sampson book of the same name, looks like it might be a pretty good flick. Definitely good, really good, is the soccer hooligan film's accompanying soawaydaysundtrack, which is predominantly UK post-punk, circa late seventies -- the period in which the film's story line unfolds.

Awaydays, as its name implies, is about the football (soccer) game days when a team plays away from home in their opponents' towns; when their diehard thuggish fans follow them, they cause mayhem along the way. The fans in this case are The Pack in the far from glamorous Birkenhead corner of Britain. It is 1979 -- the same time that the unpopular conservative Margaret Thatcher had just begun her reign as prime minister -- so there is a lot of angst and aggro in the grim Northern English wasteland air.

If the above trailer, in which Awaydays is described as a "Control meets This Is England," is even halfway right then it should be a damn good film since each of those were very good films: both the Joy Division biopic and the early 80's skinhead and National front era films, that were each also set in that same rough time period -- and set against a sparse, overcast grey English backdrop where music (as well as booze, drugs, and sex of course) offered escapism from life's bleak reality.

Continue reading...

Remembering Photographer Helen Levitt

Posted by Whitmore, April 28, 2009 09:14pm | Post a Comment
Earlier this month the legendary photographer Helen Levitt died at the age of 95. In the 1930’s she pioneered the art of street photography, most often documenting the neighborhoods and the people of her hometown, New York City. Her influence is undeniable. With the help of an inconspicuous Leica camera she captured small, everyday events, exceptional moments and quiet dramas. Someone once noted that Helen Levitt was "the most celebrated and least known photographer of her time." Here is some of her work.

California Fool's Gold -- A Southeast Los Angeles Primer

Posted by Eric Brightwell, April 28, 2009 06:52pm | Post a Comment
SELACO - THE SOUL OF SUBURBAN SPRAWL


Pendersleigh & Sons' Official Map of Southeast Los Angeles County


Introduction to Southeast Los Angeles County

One of my favorite aspects of the Southland is that there is no single, dominant center. Whereas many bemoan the region’s sprawl, I prefer to think of it as a vast, occasionally smoggy theme park, with scattered neighborhoods and cities all exhibiting their own charms just like the rides at “the happiest place on Earth.” But instead of Critter Country, Mickey's Toontown or Tomorrowland, we have the IE (Inland Empire), the Valley (the San Fernando Valley), the Eastside, the Westside, South LA, the Pomona Valley, The Harbor, the San Gabriel Valley, the South Bay, the Santa Monica Mountains, Angeles Forest, the Channel Islands, Northeast LA (NELA), the Antelope Valley, Northwest County, the Verdugos, Downtown, Midtown, the Mideast Side, &c.

Outside of Los Angeles County there's the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario Metropolitan Area, the Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura Metro Area, more Channel Islands, and Orange County, each with their own regions. But there is one scarcely-discussed region of Los Angeles County that, as far as I know, lacks a name despite its unique character, like that part of Fantasyland around Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. I speak of the communities of southeast Los Angeles County. OK, whilst hardly the epicenter of, well, much of note in the Southland, it’s in no way the complete, cultural no man’s land that its near absolute lack of exposure or press suggests and I hope to suggest that there are actual points of interest or at least note in the area.

Imperfect existing terms

The cities and neighborhoods north of the Harbor area, east of South Los Angeles, west of OC and south of East LA and the SGV are, in the official usage of the Los Country Board of Supervisors, referred to with the unwieldy and colorless moniker “Southeast Los Angeles County.” There are several names that actually apply to the area, but all are problematic for the same reasons -- they don’t correspond either entirely or solely to the area in question. The 562 area code covers much of the area but also parts of Long Beach, Orange County and South Los Angeles, The Gateway Cities is an even larger area, including not only the 562 area but also parts of East Los Angeles, the San Gabriel Valley and the South Bay. Given the historical importance of dairy farming in the area, Paramount, Bellflower, Cerritos, La Palma and Cypress were often collectively referred to as the Dairy Cities or Dairyland, but Cypress and La Palma are in Orange County, so that's out.

Support for Selaco

In order to promote pride and awareness of the area, I coined the term Selaco, roughly an acronym for SouthEast Los Angeles COunty. My thinking was that it would catch on in the way Benelux, WeHo and NoHo have, yet WeCo (for West Covina) sadly hasn’t, regardless of how often I say it. A little research proved, to my surprise, that (as with almost all my attempted neologisms) I was beaten to the punch and there was a small but real precedent for the term "Selaco" or variations already. For example there is SLACYD (Southeast Los Angeles Country Young Democrats), ARCSELAC (The Association for Retarded Citizens of Southeast Los Angeles County), SELACO WIB (The Southeast Los Angeles County Workforce Investment Board) and, most encouragingly, a school in the Selaco city of Downey called Selaco-Downey High. If saying “Selaco” makes you cringe, just keep repeating it until you’re numb. If Selaco had been in use a couple of years ago, the outwardly generic, ultimate suburb with the seedy underbelly would've probably become the title to David Lynch's last film instead of the misleading Inland Empire.


The character of Selaco

The area that makes up Selaco, like almost all of the Southland, passed from the hands of the Tongva, to the Spanish, then the Mexicans, and finally the US. Once part of the US, the area was largely inundated with Dutch and Portuguese dairy farmers. With the expansion of trains and the discovery of oil, many more people moved to the area. During World War II, much of the area became the site of heavy industry and Selaco, along with South Los Angeles, made up the industrial core of the Southland. During and following World War II, areas of Selaco also became heavily suburban and populated by returning GIs and their families. When industry began to relocate, jobs began to disappear and crime rose. In the face of vacating industry and suburban decay, many of the mainly middle class black and white residents moved away to newer suburbs in other parts of the county. A large majority of the new inhabitants were recent immigrants from Mexico. In spite of any apparent heterogeneity, Selaco is in fact fairly diverse. In fact, the so-called ABC region (Artesia-Bellflower-Cerritos) is ethnically and linguistically among the most diverse regions in the country. Being a vast flood plain, it tends to be quite flat geologically, but also architecturally. There are a few taller structures however, probably the tallest being the 10-story Bank of the West in Commerce.
 
 

Artesia

Artesia is named after the area’s many artesian wells, which I vaguely remember learning about in my Rocks for Jocks (Geology 101) class. As it suburbanized, most of the dairy farmers moved to Chino or the Central Valley. The stretch of Pioneer Blvd between 183rd and South is known to most people as Little India. There is a huge number of clothing stores, various varieties of Indian restaurants and lots of beauty salons. Pretty much any night (besides Mondays) the sidewalks are bustling with a mostly south Asian crowd. However, Indians only make up a small percentage of greater Artesia and around Little India there are a large number of Korean-owned businesses. Because there are also large numbers of Azoreans, Chinese, Filipinos and Mexicans, the city compromised and the official name of the area is the unfortunately faceless but thankfully rarely-used "International and Cultural Shopping District."

 
 
Michelle Kwan, most famous as an ice-skater but also an occasional voice actor [Arthur (the cartoon, not the films about the lovable alcoholic), Mulan II and others], operates the East West Ice Palace in Artesia. In addition, the film Rising Shores was filmed in Little India... whoops, I mean the International Peoples' Commercial Consumer Zone of... whatever. Its most famous feature is the water tower atop an artesian well that was featured prominently in Freddy's Dead - The Final Nightmare.
 

Bell


Pioneer James George Bell moved from Missouri to the area, which he subsequently farmed, presided over as the first postmaster, and established himself as a noted Freemason, living in the Victorian, eponymous Bell House. In 1896, he graciously leant his name to the town he lived in. Bell (the town, not the man) didn’t see significant growth until the 1920s. In 1925, the Alcazar Theater opened. Not surprisingly, it later became known as the Bell Theater and subsequently, when James was safely gone, the Liberty Theater before it was demolished in the late 1980s. In the 1960s, 15-year-old George Escobedo of Huntington Park stabbed to death two 17-year-olds in the theater's restroom, Robert Haney of Cudahy and Billie Bogard of Bell Gardens. According to Escobedo, they and two other cornered him and his friend, telling them, “We don’t like surfers round here," at which point Escobedo jabbed them.
 
In other film-related news, AMPAS Executive Director Bruce Davis described Bell as a “Bermuda Triangle for Oscar things” after, in 2000, 55 Oscars were stolen from a City of Bell loading dock... following 4,000 Oscar ballots being misrouted and showing up at Post Office processing center in Bell.

 

  1989’s Intruder and the 2008 short Cure were filmed in Bell.

 
Bell Gardens

In keeping with standard Los Angeles County nicknaming practices, Bell Gardens is frequently referred to as “Bell Garbage" (get it?), although I would prefer "Smell Gardens," but that doesn't seem destined to be. Bell Gardens is also named after James Bell. The “gardens” of its name derives from the many Japanese who, early in Bell Gardens’ existence established vegetable gardens and rice fields in the fertile soil. Beginning in the 1930s, cheap homes were constructed, filled largely by defense plant workers. Bell Gardens is also home to the oldest home in Los Angeles County (Casa de Rancho San Antonio or the Henry Gage Mansion), begun in 1795 by Francisco Salvador Lugo and his son, Antonio María Lugo.
 
 

Bellflower

Unlike other Selaco towns with “bell” in the name, Bellflower most likely derives its name from a mispronunciation of Belle Fleur, a type of apple grown by local pioneer William Gregory. How it became the name of the town is something of a mystery, although it was reportedly foisted upon the unknowing townsfolk by a group of so-called “leading citizens.” It originally experienced a jolt of growth when the famed Red Cars made a stop there and the population grew from about 100 to 1200 in just a few years, with Somerset Avenue becoming the center of excitement in town. Before that, its citizens took joy in being “The home of 200,000 laying hens.” By the 1950s and ‘60s, Bellflower Boulevard was a happening thoroughfare popular with those wanting to cruise and Clark Street was known for its shopping. In large part rejecting malls and chains, Bellflower chose to promote mom-and-pop stores and its small-town vibe. Nicknaming itself “The Friendly City,” many of the residents nonetheless moved away to the more modern suburbs of the SFV, SGV and OC. By the ‘90s, Bellflower was nearly bankrupt. Most recently, the media has returned to “The Friendly City” to follow the adventures of Octomom.


The school scenes of The Invisible Kid, and the short films Picket Guy and Until Next Time were filmed in Bellflower.

 
 

Cerritos

With its connotations of polluted air, deafening noise, gridlock and road rage, it’s hard to imagine a city crowing over its bounty of interstates and congested roadways. Cerritos (aka “The Freeway City”) presumably chose that appellation back when people thought that cigarettes were good for one’s T-zone or that carpets were a good idea. Cerritos, formerly Dairy Valley, became Cerritos in 1967. For the first two years of the ‘70s, it held the distinction of being the fastest growing city in the state. In keeping with the town's tradition of curious priorities, today citizens of Cerritos boast the New Orleans-style architecture of the Cerritos Auto Square (the world’s largest auto mall), the antiquatedly-spelled “Ceritos Towne Center” (built in ’94) and a big mall built in 1971, Los Cerritos Center. In the 1980s, Cerritos became a favored destination for Filipino immigrants, as well as many Chinese and Koreans. In 1986, an air collision above the city killed 82 and the Cerritos Sculpture Garden was created to commemorate the disaster. Public transportation in the city is courtesy of the propane-fuelled Cerritos On Wheels (COW). The four-acre Pat Nixon Park occupies the site of the former First Lady's childhood home and truck farm, where she lived from 1914 until 1931.

 

The city has many ties to the entertainment industry. The Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts opened in 1993 with “Old Blue Eyes” singing four consecutive dates. Cerritos is also the birthplace of Morris Chesnut and the hometown of Roger Lodge. Until Tomorrow Comes, Coneheads, She's All That and Eli's Liquor Store were all mostly or entirely filmed there, as was Thunder’s “Boys Like Girls” music video and the short film The First Time.

Commerce

Straight out of Commerce. In the northwest corner of Selaco, with East LA to the north and South Central to the west, the city of Commerce is often called “City of Commerce" and it is indeed where it takes place, if the "it" in question is... commerce. In 1887, when the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway built its main line through the area, the area quickly became industrialized. In the late 1940s, industrial figures, along with residents of Bandini, Rosewood and Bell Gardens, gave the city its name to encourage commerce. It became a city in 1960 to avoid annexation by Los Angeles or Vernon. Whereas many of the Gateway Cities suffered heavily during the deindustrialization of the next two decades, Commerce remains oriented around manufacture and retail.



The aforementioned outlet mall is the city's recognizable feature. It was built in 1929 to resemble the palace of Assyrian ruler Šarru-kên II (Sargon II) as the new home for Adolph Schleicher's Samson Tire & Rubber Company. Given Hollywood's vague notions about accuracy, it was featured in Ben-Hur.
To the south is the rather less impressive, castle-like Shoe City. The various duchies of Commerce are currently ruled by the court of current Miss Commerce, Leilani Davis. 1975's made-for-TV youth/crime Susan Dey vehicle Cage Without a Key was also filmed there.

Black And White Los Angeles

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, April 28, 2009 12:16am | Post a Comment
X- "Because I Do"



Freestyle Fellowship- "Inner City Boundaries"



The Minutemen- "This Ain't No Picnic"

April 27, 2009

Posted by phil blankenship, April 27, 2009 10:43pm | Post a Comment

























A B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P-Q-R-S-T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z

Posted by Billyjam, April 27, 2009 08:11pm | Post a Comment


















Folky South America & Cuba

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, April 27, 2009 12:54am | Post a Comment
Baden Powell- "Samba Triste"

This is a beautiful version of the classic Brazilian song.



Genesis- "Como Decirte Cuanto Te Amo"

This is a cover of Cat Steven's "How Can I Tell You" done by the Colombian band called Genesis (pronounced Hen-knee-sis in Spanish). The group is not to be confused with the Peter Gabriel fronted group or worse, that god-awful Phil Collins fronted Genesis...Didn't anyone else in the 80's notice how offensive the song "Illegal Alien" was? Crazy, that song was a hit too!



Silvio Rodriguez- Ojala

Silvio Rodriguez is a Cuban trovador, hugely famous among revolutionaries all across Latin America. Ojala is actually an Arabic word that the Spanish inherited from the Moors. In Arabic, ojala is actually
"o allah!" as in "Allah, please grant it." In Spanish, it is used in the context of "to wish" or better yet, "to hope." There is a great Juan Luis Guerra song that is called "Ojala Que Llueve Cafe" (I hope it rains coffee) which Cafe Tacvba made even more famous. Ojala que lleve cafe is what I hope every morning when I wake up...just as long as it comes with a little cream and some sugar. They use the word ojala in Farsi as well.

Joyce & Los Flippers

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, April 26, 2009 11:43pm | Post a Comment

Los Flippers
-Pronto Viviremos Un Mundo Mucho Mejor

This is a comp of the Colombian rock group Los Flippers, mostly from the late sixties going into the early 70’s. Gone are their mod looks and their Beatles covers in Spanish. Their hair is now long and the songs are even longer. But before you dismiss them as South American hippies, check out the funkiness of “Vivamos Siempre Juntos,” a song that is a mixture of Buddy Miles' “Them Changes” and the Otis Redding/Carla Thomas duet “Tramp.” During this era of the band, Los Flippers were influenced by groups such as The Chambers Brothers, Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin. The power trio added a horn section, making their music both funky fresh and bien pesado! Make your sixty-year old South American rocker uncle proud and blast this at your next family gathering -- sit back and let him tell you how it was back in the day. Maybe he’ll break out his original Grupo Genesis vinyl for you!

Joyce-Vision Of Dawn

This is a lost album of Joyce that dates back to 1976; it is a recording session that she did in Paris with fellow Brazilians Nana Vasconcelos and Maurio Maestro. They took their cue from their participation in the Clube Da Esquina songwriter movement, which included Milton Nacimento, Lo Borges and Nelson Angelo, who made a brilliant album with Joyce back in 1972. Vision Of Dawn flows much in the same vein as those classic Clube Da Esquina albums, with psychedelic folk, bossa nova and jazz leanings. At times, Visions Of Dawn sounds like what was coming out of California during the same time, but there is a melancholy that Brazilian music captures that no other music in the world has. It’s not gloom and doom, but it’s an instant grey cloud that covers you like a warm blanket. So slip this disc in player, lay on the couch and cover yourself with a cozy blanket and let the music take over your head. Highly recommended.

April 26, 2009

Posted by phil blankenship, April 26, 2009 10:12pm | Post a Comment


Noir Do Wells 2: Desperate (1947)

Posted by Charles Reece, April 26, 2009 08:34pm | Post a Comment
Anthony Mann's Desperate


I tend to view film noirs as fantasies dealing with realistic themes. As such, they don't have to be versimilitudinous representations of the way people would act in a realworld parallel (for the narratives are rarely plausible), but be symbollically suggestive of our moral situation. If Robert Mitchum or Burt Lancaster falls in love to the point of a sick obsession within 2 minutes of screen time, that's okay; it just adds to the dreamy quality of the film, while still conveying something real. What doesn't work within the oneiric narrative is Desperate's hero, Steve (Steve Brodie), and villain, Walt (Raymond Burr), consistently acting in such a dunderheaded fashion that their actions convey nothing but ill-thought out plot mechanics.

On the eve of his and Anne's (Audrey Long) 6-month anniversary, independent trucker Steve gets a job offer from an old friend, Walt. Tried and true Steve doesn't find out until he gets to the loading dock that the job is transporting stolen merchandise. He, of course, refuses, only to be persuaded at gun point. The cops show up for a shootout, allowing Steve to escape in his truck after punching out the hood who's currently in the driver's seat. Walt's brother, Al (Larry Nunn), isn't so lucky, getting knocked out and arrested. Now on the lam, Steve commits the first in a long line of convenient errors which get him where the scenarists need him to be. He leaves the hood's gun on his lap with the hood unconscious in the passenger seat. The crook wakes up, grabs the gun and forces Steve to take him to Walt's hideout. Although pure nonsense, Mann and his cinematographer, George Diskant, at least aesthetically justify these contrivances with the film's noirish set piece, where Walt and his cronies beat the tar out of Steve in a masterful chiaroscuro rendering:


That light swivels for so long that it must've been motorized. This scene alone makes the film worth seeing. Anyway, proving that Steve isn't the only dipstick in the film, Walt concocts a scheme to get Al out of jail, namely get his former friend to be a patsy. In a contest of wills to prove who's dumber, honest Steve won't just agree and leave unharmed, but instead refuses and takes the above beating. But, even if he had agreed, what would that have done other than getting Steve sent to the big house with Al? Well, what Steve's refusal does is give Walt a reason to go after Anne for leverage. After escaping Walt's clutches, Steve gets his wife, and the two decamp. What follows is one stupid decision compounded on another, with the couple getting drawn further and further into the criminal world. Steve decides Anne will be safer if they run from the law, rather than put themselves under the protection of the police. Even if he couldn't convince them of his innocence, he could've made sure they knew where to find Walt and his crew, saving his wife from danger. 

I suspect Mann and his fellow writer's intent was to show the way a few bad decisions can structure one's world in a such a way that future actions become determined, like a self-imposed fate, or tragedy. However, every choice is structured in such a way that there's a much better, and more obvious, option than the one the protagonist takes. This all makes for pure manufactured hoakum, but there is that one great scene, which is better than what most films offer.

The Shredders' Brain

Posted by Whitmore, April 25, 2009 09:57pm | Post a Comment
A new study was published last month in BMC Neuroscience; researchers from the Max Planck Institute in Berlin, Ulman Lindenberger, Viktor Müller, and Shu-Chen Li and Walter Gruber from the University of Salzburg using an electroencephalography (EEG) -- a machine that measures electrical activity in the brain -- found that musicians who play in sync have brains that also fall into alignment. And the more they play together, the more in synch their brains become.
 
Eight pairs of guitarists were wired-up and examined as they played a jazz-fusion melody. Performing the piece as many as 60 times, the EEG picked up their brain waves via electrodes glued to their scalps. As their playing became more synchronized, several regions of the brain reflected the coordination. The frontal and central regions of the brain exhibited the strongest synchronization. But the temporal and parietal regions also showed a high level of synchronization in at least half of the pairs of musicians. These regions may be part of a process supporting the coordinated action between players, or the area simply enjoying the music.
 
The study suggests that when people do activities together, called "interpersonally coordinated actions," these acts are preceded and accompanied by brain wave coordination-- “the between-brain oscillatory couplings.” The authors of the study presume that these couplings reflect similarities in the temporal properties of one's senses and actions. However the study did not prove whether this coupling occurred in response to the beat of the music, or by watching each other's movements or by paying close attention to each other’s playing, or whether the synchronization takes place first and next promotes a coordinated performance. To clarify that, further research would be needed.
 
Oddly enough, this is the first time musicians have been measured jointly while performing together. Of course, I think the obvious study should measure the brainwaves of drummers playing with guitarists, and then lead singers and strippers … and yes, there are at least 2000 other jokes hovering over head.

Beatrice Arthur: May 13, 1922 – April 25, 2009

Posted by Job O Brother, April 25, 2009 02:29pm | Post a Comment
Heads up, everybody. This planet just got less funny.


























R.I.P. BEA ARTHUR!!!

Posted by Brad Schelden, April 25, 2009 02:06pm | Post a Comment

Weapons II

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, April 25, 2009 12:20am | Post a Comment









out 4/7 and 4/14...doves...bat for lashes...erasure...junior boys...juan maclean...

Posted by Brad Schelden, April 24, 2009 10:55pm | Post a Comment
bat for lashes
These last couple of weeks all seem to be weeks spent waiting in anticipation of new albums by some of my favorite groups. It is always exciting to first hear that second or third album by the bands that you fell in love with when their first album came out. It doesn't always work out like you had hoped -- that experience that you have when you first hear that first album by a new band can never be replicated. For some bands, the first time you are hearing them might be their second album, so then when you finally get around to hearing their first album it is sort of like going back in time, experiencing something that already happened. It is your first experience with the album but not your first experience with the band. Two of my favorite albums from 2006 were So This is Goodbye by The Junior Boys and Fur and Gold by Bat for Lashes. They both have new albums out this month. It is the second album for Bat for Lashes and the third for The Junior Boys. That first Bat for Lashes album seemed to come out of nowhere. One day I had never heard of them and the next day they were my favorite band. Bat for Lashes isn't really a them -- it is just a her. Natasha Khan is Bat For Lashes. The new album does not disappoint. I have been listening to the single "Daniel" over and over again for the last couple of months. She is sort of a mix of Kate Bush, Stevie Nicks, Tori Amos, and Bjork. A nightmare for anyone not fond of the weird dark female singers, but a great new artist to fall in love with for those of us who like the weird ladies.

This new album is called Two Suns. It is one of those super sad albums that manages to somehow also have some joy and happiness hidden inside of it...one of those albums that has the ability to make you cry but yet you still keep going back to, like a really good dark movie that you can't stop watching. I didn't get a chance to see her tour for the last album but I will be making an effort to see her this time around. She is playing at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco on June 13th and at the El Rey in Los Angeles on June 16th. I will be there for sure. I really do love the album cover as well. It is a nice combination of Stevie Nicks and Rozz Williams from Christian Death, but it also sort of makes me think of the cover of some Goa Trance album. I recommend you get some Bat For Lashes in your life. But start with her first album if you have not yet enjoyed it. Bat for Lashes also does a great cover of "The Forest" by the Cure. You can find it as the b-side on the 7" for "Daniel, and it is also on the Cure tribute album that came out a couple of months ago called Perfect as Cats. There have been about 20 Cure tributes but this one is a bit different and is actually very good.

The new Junior Boys album is called Begone Dull Care. This album is yet another one of my current favorites. It is the reason that I have not been able to spend as much time as I would like with some other albums that have come out recently. I keep coming back to it. The first song on the album "Parallel Lines" is a nice intro to the album, but the best song on the album comes two songs later-- "Bits and Pieces" made me fall in love with the album. It is just one of those songs that has already marked this month for me in my memory. I am probably about to wear out this song. I tend to do that too often. I wish I could cherish it more and only listen to it sparingly, but instead I listen to it over and over again until I finally get a little sick of it. Lucikly that has not happened to me just yet. I still have a couple more weeks to go with it. I always go for the albums with the most synth and electronics. Junior Boys are great at creating playful electronic songs. They don't necessarily make me want to get up and dance, they just make me feel good. The songs are the nice and mellow synthpop that I have come to expect from the Junior Boys.

The new album by The Juan Maclean got me to forget about the Junior Boys for just a bit. I had heard that it sounded like a Human League album before I actually got a chance to hear it myself. Being a big Human League fan, this only made me more excited to hear it. I was looking forward to a more modern sounding Human League, but this albums does really sound like a Human League album. Like, exactly. I love it. The song "One Day" is one of the best on the album. It could have easily been a single by Animotion, The Thompson Twins, or The Human League. I always love the songs that have the back and forth male/female singing. I don't know why, but I love it every time. The contrast just sounds great up against each other. I am quickly filling up my list of my favorite songs of the year, and it is only April. I do like the whole album a lot, but I keep going back to this song. It will be just like that Junior Boys song, only I don't see myself getting over it any time soon. Juan Maclean is actually John Maclean. He was in the great band that was Six Finger Satellite. The Juan Maclean goes in a much different direction, but it works for him. With a little help from DFA and James Murphy he sort of found himself with The Juan Maclean. This is his second album as The Juan Maclean but I actually like this one better. I am going to happily be going back into a Human League phase soon thanks to this album, but for now I will just keep listening to this Juan Maclean album. For sure this will be one of the most fun dance records of the year.

I really would have been satisfied for the rest of the year with the albums that have already come out so far. I didn't need any more. I still have some quality time that I need to spend with the albums that came out towards the end of last year. There are even some albums from 2008 that I am still discovering. My coworker just turned me onto Telefon Tel Aviv a couple of weeks ago. Somehow I escaped through last year without having listened to their new album until now. Immolate Yourself is now one of my favorite albums from last year that I fell in love with this year. It is one of those albums that I feel like was made especially for me, as if I just thought it up myself, combining different elements of all sorts of bands I love and putting it all together on one album. The band is very similar to M83 -- dark and super interesting electronics. One of the main members of the band also just died under some mysterious circumstances very recently. It makes me sad I didn't get into the band earlier. It also gives the album an extra layer of darkness. It is a brilliant album and already has a very special place in my heart. It reminds me of Bark Psychosis as well. Good sad stuff.

But it does get even better. The album that tops them all is the debut album by Thieves Like Us. I have managed to quickly fall deeply in love with this band in a matter of weeks. It is getting to the point where I don't want to listen to anything else. I still hardly know anything about this band, I just know I love them. I got really obsessed with that album Reality Check by The Teenagers last year. It reminds me of that, just without the humor. A bit more dark and intense, but still super catchy. Two of the guys in the band are from Sweden and the third is from the United States. That is about where my knowledge of the band stothieves like usps. Their Wikipedia page even got deleted. There are so many great songs on this album -- you can quickly fall in love all of them. I am warning you now that this album is super addictive. They have elements of lots of different bands, but it is hard to really compare them to anything. Maybe they remind be a bit of the Legendary PInk Dots mixed with some New Order. You just have to listen to them. I have big hopes for this band. My favorite song is probably "Fass," but I really, really love "Miss You" and "Sugar and Song" as well. I just want everyone to love this album as much as I do. Part of me wants to keep it as my little secret, but I know Thieves Like Us already has tons of fans and I am sure all those fans will keep spreading the word about how great this band is. You can visit them here on their myspace page. Here are some videos of their songs as well. You must fall in love with them like I have. I don't know how you can't...

"Drugs In My Body" by Thieves Like Us...


"Fass" by Thieves Like Us...



also out 4/7...
doves kingdom of rust




Kingdom of Rust by The Doves






erasure total pop




Total Pop! Deluxe box set by Erasure











Positive Rage by Hold Steady











Now We Can See by The Thermals













Miroir Noir DVD by Arcade Fire








score! 20 years of merge




Score! 20 Years of Merge Records











Repo by Black Dice











Leaves in the Gutter by Superchunk











Tentacles by Crystal Antlers











Telekinesis! by Telekinesis!











Atlantic Ocean by Richard Swift






casiotone for the painfully alone vs. children




Vs. Children by Casiotone for the Painfully Alone











Jigsaw by Lady Sovereign











Scramble by The Coathangers







also out 4/14...






One Foot In the Grave deluxe version by Beck











Gentlemania by Kevin Blechdom






bill callahan




Sometimes I Wish I Were an Eagle by Bill Callahan





death cab for cutie ep




Open Door EP by Death Cab For Cutie











Sleepwalking Through the Mekon by Dengue Fever










Fortress Round My Heart by Ida Maria











Fantasies by Metric










You Can Have What Want by The Papercuts











Everything She Touched Turned Ampexian by Prefuse 73










Swoon by The Silversun Pickups






telepathe dance mother




Dance Mother by Telepathe











Filth by Venetian Snares











Dos by Wooden Shjips

 

This Week At The New Beverly!

Posted by phil blankenship, April 24, 2009 10:14pm | Post a Comment
This Week At The New Beverly!

Harlan Ellison At The New Beverly April 24 - 30

Famed speculative fiction writer Harlan Ellison visits the New Bev for a week of some of his favorite films. Be sure to join us for this once in a lifetime event!


Friday & Saturday April 24 & 25


Harlan Ellison Picks Some Of His Favorite Films!

All About Eve (1950)
Winner Of 6 Academy Awards
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0042192/
dir. Joseph L. Mankiewicz, starring Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders, Celeste Holm
Fri: 7:30; Sat: 2:40 & 7:30, Watch The Trailer!

The Big Knife (1955)
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0047880/
dir. Robert Aldrich, starring Jack Palance, Ida Lupino, Wendell Corey, Jean Hagen, Rod Steiger, Shelley Winters
Fri: 10:10; Sat: 5:20 & 10:10, Watch The Trailer!

Bonnie Prince Billy's Beware - Is That Scary?

Posted by Miss Ess, April 24, 2009 04:50pm | Post a Comment
Bonnie Prince Billy's prolific, unrelenting output sort of forces me to prolifically blog about him -- he's one of the few present day artists whose work I always seek out, and consistantly his albums are nothing short of incredible...so here we are again.


This time, however, I had my doubts at first; now that I have had a few weeks to settle in with Bonnie Prince Billy, aka Will Oldham's latest, Beware, plus seen him perform material from it live, I am starting to get more and more into it. At first all the production work and the over the top backing vocals were getting in the way of my enjoyment of the record, but now the goodness of the songs has seeped into my brain and I've noticed I have tracks from Beware stuck in my head constantly, which is usually the most inescapable way of knowing when something is getting to me.

I think it's weird that the media is labeling this album "mature," and calling it his move toward a more "popular" sound...it's just plain wrong, really, because if anyone in the biz has just been doing exactly what he goddamn pleases, thank you very much, in his music for going on two decades, it's been Will Oldham. The media onslaught he's brought upon us for this record is, I believe, him trying to help sell records for Drag City's sake; it's not a ploy to catch the attention of the mainstream. That is something Oldham has never courted with any real commitment, or, in my opinion, any actual interest whatsoever. Oldham seems truly happy following his own muse, and I, for one, am continually ecstatic to listen to the result-- over the top backing vocals or not!

This album was apparently inspired in part by Elvis' 70s period, hence that slick, over the top aspect I keep referring to. When I first listened and was off-put by the production, at least I felt I understood the meaning behind the sonic choice. Sometimes it can be freeing and fun to go over the top (see: Bonnie Prince Billy Sings Greatest Palace Music)...and over time, the songs' pure melodies, inescapable ragged glory, and Oldham's typical lyrical charms worked their magic on me, as always. 

The live show the other night at the Fillmore was fantastic. Oldham brought his singular energy, dressed all in white, even his fingernails a matching hue. As in his music, his onstage presence feels less about the audience and its desires and more about whatever it is that is going on in his brain as he feels his way through each song. In what can only be called the most overly self-conscious era of all time, Oldham, despite his penchant for eyeliner, remains utterly unaffected as he stands stork-like on one leg, twists his face and lifts his arms high over his head in abandon. His eager band, starring perennial underground fave Jim White of Dirty Three as the drummer, brought the songs, both new and old, to great heights. Jim White's arms while drumming can only be described as octopus-like -- he brings them up, around, and over there all at once with a seemingly slowed-down, underwater grace, enhancing the music. The only thing that tells of the labor it takes to keep that beat going is the at first tiny, then growing, growing spot of sweat that eventually took over White's entire shirt as the night wore on. Another player highlighting the band is Cheyenne Mize, who adds fine fiddle and strong harmony vocals. Mize and Oldham have recently released a 10" together entirely of tracks from 1915 or before, like "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" and "Beautiful Dreamer." It's called Among the Gold. Hopefully it will be available at Amoeba soon; until then, check out two tracks here. And nab yourself a copy of Beware.

For all the images from Bonnie's recent Amoeba Hollywood instore, click here.

Easy Meat And A Reasonably Good Buy: Morrissey triumphs despite disappointment

Posted by Kells, April 24, 2009 01:12pm | Post a Comment

"I started something, I forced you to a zone and you were clearly never meant to go."


Last Saturday was supposed to be a good day. It was Record Store Day and business was positively booming. Plus I had a ticket, and a very good ticket, mind you, for the Morrissey show scheduled for that night at the Paramount in Oakland. I was truly pumped to go to the show, but I tempered my excitement with caution because every time I have ever purchased tickets to and saved the date for Morrissey's live shows in the past he has cancelled with very short notice. And, wouldn't you know, he did it again! One could argue that my finding out about this most recent "I told you so" Morrissey no-show before I was on my way to the venue is the equivalent of "good timing" as far as the Morrissey-time contiuum, well, continues -- however, it was still very frustrating! A good friend of mine who was to accompany me to the show was especially hurt by this sad announcement, as her anticipation had built up to the extent that she had developed an extremely intense, emotional investment in the event, becoming more and more chuffed as the days and hours counting up to what was to be our time with Morrissey flew by. She went from compiling her very own hopeful set list of Morrissey and Smiths songs she'd just die to hear played live to  drowning in the very depths of despair. Morrissey sings in his hit single "Suedehead" from his Viva Hate album, "Why do you come here when you know it makes things hard for me/ when you know, oh why do you come?" I think it nothing if not fitting verse for the deflating occasion that marred what should have been an otherwise splendid weekend, pun intended. But that was then, before the magic happened.

"There is no hope in modern life."

Morrissey is currently touring, and occasionally canceling dates, in support of his latest release, Years of Refusal, which, I have to admit, is a pop triumph comparable to his 1994 album Vauxhall And I. It's just great through and through, top to bottom, beginning to end. The ol' Mozzer seems as tremendously comfortable in his skin as he's ever been -- his whip-smart wit a-lashing and his pashernate lyrics dashing hearts to pieces, again. The weirdness evoked by the bejewelled baby propped on Moz's hip on the cover of the record should melt off as "Something Is Squeezing My Skull," Refusal's opening track, heats up with lyrical threads like: "I'm doing very well/ I can black out the present and the past now/ I know by now you think I should have straightened myself out/ Thank you/ Drop dead." Even the videos for Refusal's singles thus far ("All You Need Is Me," "Throwing My Arms Around Paris," and "That's How People Grow Up") are really great, each featuring prominently what I like to call Moz's "cute T-shirt boy" backing band (never mind the seven inches of scandal pictured on the inner sleeve of the "Throwing My Arms Around Paris" 7" single). And while I'm pleased to host many of these catchy new songs mentally in semi-regular rotation, the hits have definitely suffered a loss of exuberance beneath the shadow of disappointment -- dammit, Morrissey, what gives? 

"Sing your life, any fool can think of words that rhyme."

Well, I'll tell you what gives: the local lads of the excellent Smiths/Morrissey cover band better known as This Charming Band gave an impromptu free show at the Blackthorn Tavern in San Francisco on Saturday night after the Mozzer dropped the bomb on bummed out fans both local and wilted from their respective pilgrimages. There were folks there from Washington, Oregon, Nevada and elsewhere within California who all came to the area originally for one night with Morrissey, only to end up in a tiny pub seeking whatever release they could get from the band or from the bar, or, as in my case,  from both. And I like to think that it wasn't necessarily the bomb that brought us together that night, but instead, love: dumb, nerdy love spurred by This Charming Band's three hour(!) set of cherished Smiths/Morrissey A-sides and deep cuts with the icing-on-the-cake being lead vocalist Orlando's remarkable voice that not only mirrors Moz's impressively but also managed to stay in one piece as night crawled to early morning. Standout performances of "Bigmouth Strikes Again," "The Loop," "Sing Your Life" (sung by a random dude in the crowd who got to live the dream, if only for a moment), "Cemetry Gates," "What She Said," "Still Ill," "Tomorrow," "Picadilly Palare," and, well, I could go on, but you get the picture: these guys were just killing the audience and we couldn't get enough. There came a point late in the set when the bassist sat on the floor, presumably from fatigue, yet the band played on, often shining in their spirited renditions. A roomful of voices sang in unison along with them as the microphone was passed around the crowd several times throughout the lengthy set, highlighted by a few fans who sang portions of "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" in Spanish.

And you know what? My friend was so relieved by the end of this experience that she left without any mention of "breaking up" with Morrissey (though for all I know he may still be in the doghouse). All I have to say is thank heavens For This Charming Band, for if it wasn't for their last minute, hastily thrown together free show at the Blackthorn Pub, we'd surely still be miserable now. Check out these live performances by This Charming Band of "This Charming Man," "Glamorous Glue" and "Well I Wonder" and bring your dream Smiths/Morrissey set list to their next show at Slims on May 22, 2009 (Morrissey's birthday) because, chances are, many of your best selections will be happily checked off:





AMOEBA MUSIC WEEKLY HIP-HOP ROUND UP 04:24:09

Posted by Billyjam, April 24, 2009 10:02am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music San Francisco Hip-Hop Top Five: 04:24:09
grouch and eligh
1) The Grouch & Eligh Go G+E! (Legendary)

2) Mr. Lif I Heard It Today (Bloodbot/Traffic Ent) 

3) Finale A Pipe Dream And A Promise (Interdependent Media)

4) Jadakiss The Last Kiss (Roc-A-Fella)

5) Keak da Sneak Thizz Iz Allndadoe,Vol. 2 (Thizz)

Thanks to Luis at the San Francisco Amoeba Music store for this week's Hip-Hop Top Five chart. The Living Legends power-duo, The Grouch & Eligh, hold down the top slot with their new album Go G+E! -- the third and latest in an ongoing collaborative series that just hit Amoeba on Tuesday this week. Coincidentally the pair are also playing a free show at the Haight Street Amoeba on Monday at 6pm. They will also play a longer set later that night at Slim's on 11th Street in San Francisco. Both shows should be really good based on the new album alone, which sports some kick-ass tracks with lots of collaborators on board including Mr F.A.B., Slug of Atmosphere, and AmpLive of Zion I to name but a few. As accurately noted elsewhere on this website, the Legends' Grouch & Eligh have been at the forefront of the West Coast's independent qbert at amoebarap movement for over a decade. The Legends' history can be traced back to Amoeba Music when the collective first started getting their lo-fi but heartfelt early recordings into the Berkeley Amoeba. Note that you can purchase the new Grouch & Eligh CD online for $10.98 at Amoeba by clicking here. You can also check out a performance from a past instore by Zion I and the Grouch right here.

As you probably already know from either/or attending the big Record Store Day this past Saturday at the three Amoebas or reading about it on the Amoeblog, the event was a huge success. "It was crazy...just off the hook," said Luis, who also said that he and everyone at the San Francisco store had a blast. One of the highlights, Luis noted, was the surprise turntable display by world renowned turntablist DJ QBert, who just happened to be crate digging in the store but was easily persuaded to get up on the ones-and-twos. Check out the full Amoeblog report of the Record Store Day at the SF Amoeba here.

Shoulder Pads

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, April 23, 2009 10:40pm | Post a Comment

In the mid to late 80's shoulder pads & multiple pleats were all the rage. Although I don't remember wearing any oversized shoulder padding, I did have a couple of pairs of rayon pants with triple pleats...



My favorite in this batch? It's a tough call for me-- France Joli or Full Force. I think that I'll give it to France, though, as it takes all six of the Full Force guys to compete with one Joli. Bowlegged Lou & Shy Shy have more over-the-top LP covers anyhow, check out the vid below...


BTW, I thought it'd be a great time to launch this blog as I wore a jacket with prominent shoulder pads today...


out 3/24 & 3/31...fever ray...yeah yeahs...mono...

Posted by Brad Schelden, April 23, 2009 02:55pm | Post a Comment

I seriously don't know where the month went. I thought it was still March. I have so very many new albums to talk about. It may have seemed like there was just nothing for me to talk about since I have not updated this blog in so long, but that is so far from the truth. I was off on a little vacation and then I had some visitors from out of town and then there was Record Store Day craziness! I am now officially back on the blog to tell you about all the amazing and exciting things that I have been listening to. There is always that horrible dry spell of music at the end of the year and the very beginning of the new, but all the new releases that you could ever want were saved up for March, April, and May. I am going to get finished up with March right now and just talk about the 3/24 and 3/31 new releaes. I will save the April stuff for the next couple of blogs. I highly recommend the new Decemberists album. I have been a fan of theirs for a couple years now. I suggest you go back and discover some of their older albums if you have not yet done that. I still need to spend some quality time with the new one. I also usually end up liking their albums more after I see them live. My favorite ladies from Azure Ray both had new albums in the last couple of weeks. Ladyluck by Maria Taylor is for sure good stuff but it has not yet grown on me like that second Maria Taylor solo album did. Lynn Teeter Flower from 2007 remains one of my favorites. I find myself going back to it whenever I feel a bit sad -- it has the perfect combination of pop and sadness. Orenda Fink, the other part of Azure Ray, also has a new album out. The band is called O+S and the new album is fantastic. O+S is Orenda and Cedric Lemoyne who was the bassist in Remy Zero. So far this O+S album is beating out Maria Taylor's as one of my favorites. I love them both and they both have fantastic voices, I have just been listening to the O+S more often.

There is also a great new album by Jeremy Jay. This dude is from Los Angeles and seems to be a very busy man. His last album made it onto my Best of the Year list last year. I was barely ready for a new album by him. Still spending some quality time with the last one A Place Where We Could Go. The new one is called Slow Dance. I like it so far but honestly have not had enough time to fall in love with it like I did the last one. Just too many albums to listen to right now. I keep listening to the same albums over and over and over again.

Another album that I have not had enough time for yet is the new Malajube. I have listened to it probably only twice but absolutely love it. I am going to have to again recommend their first album. Trompe-l'cei came out in 2006. I will not go so far as to say that the album changed my life, but it came very close. They are French Canadian and I have no idea what they are singing about, but the music is so good it really does not matter. The new album is called Labyrinthes. It is very close to the top of the list of albums that I need to spend some quality time with very soon. The music is very pretty and all sorts of messed up at the same time. A bit like Gang Gang Dance. They also remind me a lot of Blonde Redhead-- that same kind of crazy energy mixed up with an intense sort of dark feeling. I did love them before I saw this video...But now I really love them...

Here is the video for "Porte Disparu" from the new album...




I think that most of my top 10 or 20 albums of the year have come out in the last couple of months. Both the new Royksopp and Fever Ray will for sure be on that list. The new Royksopp is called Junior. I liked a couple of songs off their last album The Understanding, but I never completely fell in love with the whole album. The song "What Else Is There" remains one of my favorite songs. Maybe I just spent too much time listening to that one song. Nothing else on the album could really compare to it. The song featured Karin from The Knife and Fever Ray. Please go listen to that song if you have never heard it. If you love it like I do then you will love this new Royksopp album. If not, then you probably should not bother. The Understanding came out in 2005, so it has been a long 4 years to wait for this new album Junior, but Royksopp will give us two albums this year. In March we got Junior, and we also get Senior later in the year. I wonder how Junior Senior feels about this. Senior will be more instrumental and atmospheric. Junior features all sorts of guest vocalists. My favorite, Karin Dreijer Andersson, returns to sing on two songs, easily the best on the album. Her first song is track 4, which is "This Must Be It." The song is dangerously addictive and I find myself listening to it over and over again. I absolutely love her voice and love The Knife and love her new stuff as well. But Royksopp is able to do something else with her. Maybe they just make her a bit more accessible. Her voice is stil the strange and weird voice that you may be accustomed to. They just lighten her up a bit and make her more fun somehow. But don't get me wrong. I love her any way I can get her. Karin also has her new project, Fever Ray, who also just happen to have put out a new album. The new self titled album is put out by the great label Mute. I love love love it as well. Fever Ray is also more accessible than any of the Knife albums-- very similar to the Knife but maybe just a bit less wierd and a bit more of a pop album, or as close as she could possibly get. I don't really want her to turn into Robyn or Kylie Minogue but it is nice to hear a different side of her.
royksopp junior
I tend to get Norway and Sweden mixed up a bunch. They are right next to each other. It is an easy mistake. And I do like so much of the music that comes out of both those countries. Royksopp is from Norway. The Knife is from Sweden. The new Royksopp also features Robyn on one of the songs. She also comes from Sweden. Lykke Li, also from Swedfever rayen, sings on the song "Miss It So Much." Anneli Drecker, the singer from Bel Canto, sings on three of the tracks. She is actually from Norway. Her songs are my favorite from the album right after the songs by Karin. The two main members of Royksopp are Svein Berge and Torbjorn Bruntland. They do all the music on all the songs and sing on two of the songs on the album. The album is great and fun and everything an album should be. It makes you enjoy your life while listening to it and makes you want to come back for more. I do a lot more driving than I ever did before, and this is one of those great driving albums. Please pick up a copy of Silent Shout by The Knife if you have not yet done so. If you already have it and love it, then you really need both the new Fever Ray and Royksopp records in your life. I can't imagine the last couple of months of my lifyeah yeah yeahse without these albums.

I have been waiting for a new Yeah Yeah Yeahs album since the day after the last one came out. I did love Show Your Bones, I just wanted more. Three years seems like so long to have to wait for a new album, but the new album will not disappoint you...or maybe it will if you are expecting the exact same album. This album is a bit different and more atmospheric, but it is still Karen O and it is still the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. I just recommend listening to it a couple times before you make up your mind. While I am still having trouble falling in love with the new PJ Harvey, I had no trouble falling in love with this album. It is called It's Blitz! and the first single is "Zero." I am sure you have already heard it and have maybe already watched the video that I posted on my last blog. The video is filmed on the streets of San Francisco, which makes me love yeah yeah yeahs its blitz!it even more. The deluxe version of the album features 4 acoustic versions of songs on the album. Acoustic Yeah Yeah Yeahs is for sure a different experience than I am accustomed to, but it is great to be able to hear those versions. The album is full of many fantastic songs. It starts with the great single and then just gets better. My favorite song is probably track 2 which is "Heads Will Roll," but then I also fall in love with the next track "Soft Shock" every time I hear it. There is not a bad song on this album and each song is so very different. "Skeletons" and "Runaway" make me cry every time I listen to them, but I keep going back for more. "Dragon Queen" is probably the most fun song on the album. I think the second to last song "Hysteric" is my favorite on the album, but it changes every time I listen to the record. I know I throw the word love around way too much, but I do love this album absolutely. And if you have never seen this band live, then you simply must do everything you can to try and see them. They are one of the best bands to see live. Karen O is just amazing to watch up on that stage. She just seems to be having so much fun.

Mono is one of those bands that I have been wanting to get into for a while. I knew I would like them, I just never got around to it. It was not until a couple of years ago that I finally started listening to them. They put out Gone in 2007, which was a collection of their EPs from 2000 to 2007. I, of course, fell in love. (I tend to do this a lot with music.) So I was anxiously awaiting this new album called Hymn to the Immortal Wind. I have been a long time fan of Explosions in the Sky. Mono does the same sort of instrumental rock type of thing that they do, and they are on the same great label called Temporary Residence Limited, but while the Explosions are from Texas, Mono are from Japan. This new album was recorded in Chicago and mixed by Steve Albini. It is hard to explain why you like an album like this so much. I guess it is like describing a classical album. There are no lyrics to fall in love with. No voice to captivate you. Just the sounds of the instruments. It ismono just the music. Without vocals, all the instruments obviously become the focus. I just like these albums because of the way they make me feel. I know I have described the Explosions this way before. The music allows me to think. I am not making up my own lyrics to go along with it, but I am sort of making up my own story to go along with it as I am listening to it. This music is just a sort of therapy. It helps me when I am not feeling the best and manages to fix most of my problems. This new album has 7 songs, most of them longer than 10 minutes. But, like a great score to a movie, they seamlessly flow together, creating one great album. There are certain albums that I would recommend listening to while driving around, and then there are the bands that I like listening to on my headphones while walking around the city. Mono is one of those bands. They don't work so well in the car, but are perfect for those private moments that you have by yourself. I highly recommend putting on your headphones and going for a nice 67 minute walk with this album. It will seriously cast some sort of magic over you and make you feel a whole lot better. But you really don't need to be feeling down to listen to this band. It just makes them even better for some reason.

Here is the rest of what came out on 3/24 and 3/31. Next up will be the releases of 4/7 and 4/14. It only gets better. New Bat For Lashes, Junior Boys, and Juan Maclean. And my new favorite album of the year by Thieves Like Us...

also out 3/24...






Hazards of Love by The Decemberists











Fist of God by MSTRKRFT











In A Perfect World by Keri Hilson











Grace/Wastelands by Peter Doherty











The Bends/Pablo Honey/OK Computer Deluxe Reissues by Radiohead











Enemy Mine by Swan Lake











I Blame You by The Obits











Slow Dance by Jeremy Jay











Fuckbook by Condo Fucks (Yo La Tengo)











O+S by O+S











Early Output by Fridge














Walt Disney & the World's Fair
















Bromst by Dan Deacon







also out 3/31...






A Woman A Man Walked By by P.J. Harvey & John Parish










Live In London by Leonard Cohen










Lost Channels by The Great Lake Swimmers











King Baby by Jim Gaffigan











That's So Gay by Pansy Division











Ladyluck by Maria Taylor










Labyrinthes by Malajube





MIRA COOK'S UNIQUE YET FAMILIAR WINNING SOUND

Posted by Billyjam, April 23, 2009 07:07am | Post a Comment
mira
Every once in a while an artist who is totally unique yet immediately relatable and instantly engaging comes along and wins you over; the sort of artist whose soothing, seductive sound, with soulful melodies & heartfelt harmonizing, creeps up on you and pulls you in from the first few bars. Bay Area one-woman band Mira Cook is this kind of artist. Tonight she shares a bill with Michael Hurley and Sean Smith at The Verde Club in San Francisco.

Mira Cook's lo-fi yet lush sound, while completely original and unique, will remind you of a myriad of other artists you might have heard before, from Meredith Monk to Liz Phair to the U.S. Girls to Laurie Anderson to DJ Radar. Radar the DJ? Yes, her similarity to the Arizona turntablist is based on her performance style of utilizing live loops to build upon her sound, the difference being that while Radar uses records as his sound source, Mira Cook uses her own voice. 

A classically trained ballet dancer with a respected career in dance, the Texas born, San Francisco based vocalist/multi-instrumentalist is also classically trained in piano and comes to the music she makes from a refreshingly different place than your typical "alternative" artist. I have seen Cook perform live twice recently and each time was completely blown away, first by the harmonic sound she creates with her voice -- pitch-perfectly layered to sound like a group of female vocalists heavenly harmonizing that at times conjures up the Gillian Welch, Alison Krauss & Emmylou Harris' collaboration on the O-Brother-Where-Art-Thou soundtrack -- and also by the fact that she does it all solo and live without missing a beat. Amazing!

Coachella Was A Beast!!!

Posted by Smiles Davis, April 22, 2009 10:35pm | Post a Comment

Coachella
was bananas! It was packed, hot and full of unexpected moments. Love was in the air...or, maybe I should say, infatuation was in the air. Oh, young love. The plethora of emotions evoked from this weekend was like something out of a Fellini flick. Between the sea of screaming fans, dancing nomads, empty liquor containers, blazing balls of fire, earplugs, lawn smoochers, unfortunate mishaps, and broken dreams, I’d have to say people got their money's worth. Looking back at who I was most excited to see and who, I felt, gave me that tingle after watching their set, I realized just how hard it is to put on a show of that caliber and pull it off with rave reviews. Golden Voice did a pretty superb job at making sure fans would leave with enough awwww and ew moments to fill a thick book. I made a list of my favorite and not so favorite moments from Coachella ’09. I had some unfortunate mishaps of my own, so I missed a few key players, but the journey is what counts. So, here in no particular order, are the highlights:

The Black Keys, who I was so amped to see, were something else! The blues rockers really know how to bring it. Fearless. There was enough thick smoke in the air to make me assume viewers from every angle were enjoying themselves plenty. Their set was flawless, from start to finish. They didn’t disappoint. It was like watching a baby Jimi Hendrix and mini Buddy Miles up there. Superb!

TRV$DJ-AM gave an unexpectedly stellar performance. There were so many people gathered around to see the humbled two put it down, security had to be increased. People were spilling out of the sides, seams, and crevices nearly into the Gobi tent some distance away. I felt like I was an entire football field away from the stage and still I felt the rush and the roar they evoked from the adoring fans. Kids were singing the words to almost every song they played. Travis Barker and DJ AM took folks down memory lane, cruising through a set packed with classic punk rock, classic hip hop, and classic electronica. A packed crowd in the Sahara went nuts when they had special guest Warren G bust onto the stage to "Regulators." Some kind of serious!

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs were unbelievably good live! I’m now their biggest fan. The group has got mad stage presence. There were more people gathered out side of the main stage to watch them than any other band I saw perform while the sun was still out. Karen O put everyone under her spell: she was absolutely mesmerizing.

Fans gave Paul McCartney a nice warm welcome and full round of applause as he graced the stage, by far the best welcome I saw over any other artist at Coachella. Mad respect. He played a handfull of his new material then graced his fans with pure Beatles hits for the last hour of his 3-hour show. Can’t imagine how much Golden Voice charged him in overage fees. McCartney didn’t seem to be to bothered about it.

I met a man wearing a Snuggie in the scorching 100 and something degree heat.

The Cure tried to pull a Paul McCartney by playing beyond their time limit, but they got the plug pulled on them mid song. Ouch!

Public Enemy is always amazing to see live. But their Coachella performance suffered a major set back: There was no bass the entire performance. Made it hard to nod your head to the beat. Chuck D still knows how to rock the mic! Some kind of sweet.

MSTRKRFT had some technical difficulties at first. There was mad stress going on back stage. You could just feel the sheer panic exuding from the stage crew about 15 minutes before set time. The time came, no curtain call. 10 minutes after, still no curtain call. Finally some 12 minutes past, the curtain opened with the smoke machine on full blast to MSTRKRFT on the wheels. The crowd went nuts! They played an intense, high energy, 50 minute set, but unfortunately I was not there to witness any of it. I left after the first song. A little birdie told me John Legend performed the closing song! Word.

I did catch a little bit Beirut, but only by default. Peanut Butter Wolf was having some technical difficulties, so the first 15 minutes or so of his set was dead air. I wandered out of the tent in a daze at the sound coming from the adjacent Mohave tent. It was a full on Jamboree: women were holding hands, dancing in circles like young giddy school children, everyone was singing along; boys were chasing girls, girls were chasing boys, the spirit was in the air. Wow, what a turn out. The crowd was full on participating. Makes it easy to enjoy yourself.

Peter Bjorn and John seemed to be in good spirits. Although the unpleasant sound of feedback crept up on them a couple times throughout the set, the crowd seemed far more open to error than the disgruntled crowd from SXSW. They played the song that made fans first fall in love with them, “Young Folks.” It's the type of song that makes you wanna kiss you Grandmother on the lips just because. People were dancing everywhere. The following song was interrupted by a short introduction: the band called upon two friends who were waiting back stage. Out walks UK pop singer Robyn with another singer whose name has escaped me. Then the kids’ vocals kicked in-- it was the intro to “Nothing to Worry About.” The two blondes sang over the vocals of the children, another crowd pleaser. The song came to an end and the crowd happily cheered them on. I looked down at my watch and noticed they still had 15 minutes left in their set. The album has been out only a week or two so I wasn’t familiar with the last three or four songs of their set. I wasn’t the only one. It’s tuff when bands put all their eggs into one basket too early into the night. It would have been cool to see the two most notable songs at opposite ends of their set. I was fed plenty, though and enjoyed the enthusiastic crowd while it lasted.

Oh yes, back to Peanut Butter Wolf and his mad video mash up skillz. I was standing at the outer edge of the Gobi tent watching Beirut when I caught the bass from the Gobi tent. It didn't take more than a second to register that my feet had their own agenda and marched me straight over to the front of the stage. The crowd had cleared out because of the delayed start, but it felt like I blinked and the place was back to fully packed. I was so enraptured; it’s all one big blur. All I remember is some kid next to me wilding out, head banging when Metallica was on. PBW just demands that type of response, you really can't help it. I also remember this sick mix from Nancy Sinatra to The Doors. Ridiculous. He brought it, for sure!

M.I.A. was M.I.A.: rebellious, charming, witty, colorful and 100% open to whatever happens, happens. She came out with a bang! The intro to her set was bananas! There was so much going on, real eye candy. There were images of M.I.A protesters streaming through all these bright, beautiful, color galore graphics, soldiers, and street dancers. It was jaw dropping. Then the floor opened up and about 5 male dancers in sweats outlined with flickering neon lights marched down the small flight of stairs to center stage in unison, crazy sick! It looked like something out of a coloring book come to life. They displayed it on the jumbotrons on either sides of the stage and it looked like a video game. Nuts. Out of the stage emerged M.I.A. behind a podium drenched with mock press microphones. She wore a sash with patches and symbols all over it, a boat captain's hat and some red or maybe green hipster shades, all outlined with flickering neon lights. She looked like a politician out of The Fifth Element giving a speech at a press conference to foreign creatures and androids. She keep the ball rolling when she brought Rye Rye out to perform "Bang Bang". She even paused the show to invite fans onto the stage. Security freaked. She made the night for about 40 Coachella goers. She gave security a heart attack.  She was wise and saved "Paper Planes" for last. Everyone in the joint knew the lyrics, sang along, waved an arm or two and lit a torch. Finally, the type of response she well deserves.

Coachella was good to me this year: I didn’t lose any of my belongings, I managed to avoid anyone getting sick and using me as their regurgitating canvas, I discovered new things and managed to only get lost from my crew only once. All the bands seemed to be in good spirits, except for Morrissey, who walked off stage mid performance after complaining about the smell of meat in the air. Bummer. Clipse was a no show, Thievery Corporation was spellbinding, Fatlip performed with N.A.S.A., Paul Weller performed The Jam and, well the rest is history. ‘Till next time…chew the corners off.

WHEN CONTROVERSY GOES TO WASTE: BANNED EUROVISION SONG

Posted by Billyjam, April 22, 2009 05:17pm | Post a Comment
putin
Usually when an artist's music is banned or mired in controversy, particularly policital controversy, said artist's song/album/music is something that you definitely want to track down and hear, and most likely own a copy of for posterity. What could be so powerful a piece of music that would lead to it being banned? Incidents that come to mind include the classic example of the Sex Pistols and their controversial 1977 single "God Save The Queen" which was banned by the BBC upon its release. 

So when I recently read all of the hullabaloo that made international news headlines surrounding the "controversial anti-Putin" (as in notorious Russian leader Vladimir Putin) song “We Don’t Wanna Put In,” I was intruiged. The song is by the quartet Stephane & 3G who hail from the country of Georgia, and it recently won that country's preliminaries for the Eurovision Song Contest, which this year is to to be held in Moscow, Putin's backyard. But due to pressure (much of it reportedly trickled down from Putin himself) to change the lyrics or be banned, the song has been withdrawn from the contest by the group, who refuse to change their song in any way. Now Georgia will no longer be represented in the Eurovision Song Contest. In fact, the country of Georgia, in solidarity with the banned group, is reported to be holding its own international music show, to be broadcast on the Georgian national TV station Rustavi 2 at exactly the same time the Eurovision Song Contest is to be broadcast live from Moscow.

ANGUS Saturday Midnight At The New Beverly!

Posted by phil blankenship, April 22, 2009 10:03am | 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 April 25

Angus

For everyone on the outside looking in... your moment has arrived!

New Beverly Cinema
7165 W Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
11:59pm, All Tickets $7




Lockdown

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, April 22, 2009 12:50am | Post a Comment








SOUNDTRACK SERIES #2

Posted by Job O Brother, April 21, 2009 07:30pm | Post a Comment
Directions: Imagine Mr. Brother living another day, as always, with music playing. Whether it’s one of his trusty iPods, or his home stereo, or working the soundtracks section of Amoeba Music Hollywood, Mr. Brother is eating, sonically, with the mouths of his ears.

To simulate this experience, as you read the below story of a day lived, you will be given certain music clips to play. These are inserted to provide you with the same tunes Job was hearing as he was doing what you’ll be reading.


For example, while he was writing the above directions, he was listening to this:


I’m moving. My boyfriend and I are finally shacking up together. We had to pick between our two homes: my tiny bachelor, located in the heart of Hollywood, with decaying floors, rotted walls, and endless episodes of water and power failures – you know, what real estate agents refer to as a building “with real character and Old World charm,” or his two-floor townhouse on the Miracle Mile, a building so nice that even the landlord keeps a room in it, and the only creatures that crawl around are the snails in the pretty gardens out front.

I said, “How about I move in with you.”

So, I’ve been packing up my collections of antique religious paintings, record albums, spooky bad-luck charms, record albums, various flavors of vinegar, record albums, biographies on various dead people I have crushes on, record albums, and plants.


Because I own so many framed pictures (my goal has always been to have enough wall hangings so as to never reveal what color my room is painted) I found that I needed some string to bind armfuls of them together, so as to move them. Since I also needed some boxes, I hooked myself up to my iPod and headed to my local Staples.


After scanning the aisles and being temporarily distracted by the multitudes of Sharpies that are available these days (“It’s not like when I was a youngster!”) I found that string was nowhere to be found. I asked the cashier:

“Where can I find string?”


He furrowed his brow.

“String?” he asked, confounded.

“Yeah. String.” Now my brow was furrowed, too, because I didn’t understand why he seemed so bewildered. He turned to a fellow co-worker.

“Do we have any string?” he asked him. This other co-worker, a supervisor or something, walked towards me.

“You want string?” he asked me.

“Yeah,” I said, surprised that this simple request was causing so much commotion.

“What for?” he asked me.

At this point, I stuttered. I was so overwhelmed with all the many uses of string that I could barely mention one. Besides, why was this even a conversation? When you ask for milk or eggs at a grocery store, they tell you an aisle number and you’re done – there’s no mental pow-wow over the why’s and wherefore's.

“To… to tie things together,” I faltered, feeling so stupid that I had to explain what string was for.

“We have twist-ties,” the supervisor offered.

“No,” I answered, “I need string. To tie bundles together.” He shook his head.

“We don’t have string.”


I bought the boxes and left, astonished that they didn’t have string at an office supply mega-store, and annoyed that they made me feel as though I were requesting an item that was preposterously obscure. I mean, gimme a break people – I was asking for string, not a hinge for my pewter inkwell!


Fearing the worst, I dared to shop at my nearby Wrong-Aid. I call it “Wrong-Aid” because I never get in and out of there without some kind of cockamamie challenge. Either there will be an old man in line in front of me who disputes the price of York Peppermint Patties -- “This coupon says they’ll be five cents each – not six!” or the only flavor of chips they’ll have is “tripe ‘n’ marshmallow” or I’ll slip on a pool of urine that a set of toddler twins left near the beer section, or I’ll be trying to figure out which type of Advil is best for my headache when a ghost ship of pirates will fall on top of me. Whatever it is, whenever I shop Wrong-Aid, the only guarantee is that I’ll leave with a frown and a story.


And yet, lo and behold – they had string! I was so happy that I let my guard down and was startled when the cashier informed me that they were “out of coins” so I couldn’t use cash. I would’ve committed suicide, but I still had things to pack and a blog to write. So I guess you sorta saved my life, dear reader. So thanks. Thanks for life and everything.

Hopefully this is my last report from Hollywood. Miracle Mile, here I come!

Collectors Wowed By Record Store Day At Amoeba Berkeley!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 21, 2009 06:27pm | Post a Comment
Record Store Day at Amoeba Berkeley was truly a blast this year! With exclusive releases, giveaways, DJ sets and a dancing unicorn, the day showcased the hard work that the Berkeley staff puts in day in and day out. We'll get to each of these items, but let's get to the good stuff first: collectibles!

record store day 2009

The exclusive releases that came out for Record Store Day really seemed to have the die hard record collectors in mind. Most of the releases for the day took the form of limited edition 45's from workhorse artists. Because of the limited number of each title, not every store got every title that was released, which provided collectors wpavement live in europeith a bit of a treasure hunt to track down each and every title that was released on the 18th.

Columbia came out swinging with some of their heaviest hitters. 7-inches from Bruce Springsteen, Leonard Cohen, and Bob Dylan were some of the first items to disappear off the center aisle where we had all of our Record Store Day releases up. Sub Pop also had an impressive showing of 45's from Flight of The Conchords, Blitzen Trapper, Vetiver, and Obits, as well as one of the few CD's released on RSD from Iron and Wine.
queen's first ep
Sonic Youth had a pair of split 7-inches: one split with Beck, and the other with collector's wet dream of the moment Jay Reatard. There were also lots of other splits in the bunch such as The Flaming Lips b/w The Black Keys, and The Thermals b/w Thao and The Get Down Stay Down.

Amoeba San Francisco's Record Store Day Brings Thrills

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 21, 2009 02:33pm | Post a Comment

Whew, another Record Store Day has been and gone at Amoeba San Francisco, and what a whirlwind it was! The special international holiday created to celebrate the independent record store in all its resplendent glory brought with it special guest DJs galore, prize giveaways and, of course, mega-limited special edition releases by popular, record store-lovin' artists.

Over at the Haight Street store we had a salivating group of customers waiting with bated breath outside our doors for 10:30 am to finally arrive. When the doors opened at last, there was a mad rush for the limited edition 7"s, vinyl, CDs and DVDs that artists such as Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, Pavement, Guided By Voices, Metric, The Flaming Lips, and many more had released in honor of RSD. We sold through almost everything within just a few hours -- some, like the Jesus Lizard singles collection, went in mere minutes! Employees worked like barkers, calling out artists' releases and getting them to the frantic masses as quickly as possible. The Information Counter was lit up with zillions of phone calls, checking on the status of any number of artists' special releases.

record store day amoeba 2009

record store day amoeba 2009




At noon we began our giveway drawings, ably hosted by our own spirited Zack, who took to the intercom with game show host-like zeal. Various customers won $50 gift certificates and their choice of a myriad of prizes, including Guitar Hero and a special prize pack from heaviest heavy rock label Southern Lord. These giveaways were met with cheers and screams of delight, both from being caught up in the moment and encouraged by their host!

Record Store Day Insanity!!!

Posted by Amoebite, April 21, 2009 12:19pm | Post a Comment
record store day 2009 amoeba

Forget about Groundhog Day, Walpurgis Night or Guy Fawkes Day... for a real good time you HAD to be at Amoeba Music for Record Store Day! Folks across the nation had a wonderful time celebrating these sometimes underappreciated bastions of culture and Manic Panic hair dye that we call independent record stores... but celebrating it at Amoeba is like being in Times Square for New Year's Eve! It's pretty much ground zero! We had more fun and hotter action than we've had in a bit, and hardly anyone left without a big smile on their face. We had exclusive vinyl releases, celebrity DJs, crazy rock stars hanging out, t-shirt silkscreening... lemme tell you all about it!

record store day 2009 amoeba

While founded in 2007, last year was the first-ever Record Store Day that we at Amoeba celebrated, and a couple of artists and labels decided to put out exclusive vinyl releases that were only available in actual record stores on that day. This year, about a hundred more bands jumped on the bandwagon and SO, there was a hotly anticipated lineup of exclusive releases... so many we could hardly keep track of them!  We frantically received all this stuff last week, and the phones rang off the hook with demands for this or that 7" single or LP, and it all developed into a tsunami-like wave of insanity that hit the shore at 10:30 Saturday morning, when we opened our doors and a mad rush of people poured in looking for this stuff!  There were 7" records by everyone... Sonic Youth, Beck, Jack White, Leonard Cohen, Bruce Springsteen, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, Depeche Mode... a live LP by Pavement... reissues by the MC5, Stooges, and the Smiths... a Wilco DVD... and much, much more! We set up all sorts of special displays for this stuff, and it was basically a shark-like feeding frenzy as folks desperately dug for those limited edition releases from their favorite bands. Even with a one-per-customer limit, we sold completely out of practically everything... by noon! Exclusive vinyl isn't all there is to Record Store Day, but it IS really neat that all those bands and artists appreciate record stores so much (surely having worked and shopped in them for many years themselves) that they would skip the internet and go straight to the stores with all these awesome releases. The result was surely exactly what anyone could hope for... a bunch of record store geeks gathering in their favorite spot to happily shop for limited, one-of-a-kind rarities. It was fun and frantic and everything went fast!

Observing Yom Hashoah: Holocaust Remembrance Day

Posted by Billyjam, April 21, 2009 11:31am | Post a Comment
the readerOne of the most memorable scenes from the hilarious Ricky Gervais/ Stephen Merchant television series Extras produced by HBO/BBC is the episode in which Kate Winslet, playing a nun taking a break from shooting a Holocaust film, is giving advice on how to score an Oscar. "If you do a film about the Holocaust, you're guaranteed an Oscar," advises Winslet, playing herself in the mockumentary about extras in Hollywood. Winslet's episode was first aired in August 2005. Of course, the real kicker to this fictional scenario is that just three years later Winslet went on to star in the wonderful 2008 Holocaust film The Reader and won an Oscar for her role for "best actress" at the Academy Awards earlier this year. 

But the real reason why so many films about the indelible scar on the human experience that is the Holocaust go on to justifiably win Academy Awards is that these typically somber heartfelt films tend to be made, by both directors and actors alike, with such a level of pure passion and sincerity that it comes across in the finished product and ultimately makes for really powerful pieces of art. Examples of films that deal in some way with the Holocaust include Anne Frank - The Whole Story (2001), The Devil's Arithmetic (1999), Conspiracy (2001), Sophie Scholl - The Final Days (2005), Life Is Beautiful (1997), Schindler's List (1993), Jakob the Liar (1999), as well as the 1978 TV mini-series Holocaust. All of these films are available on DVD and found at Amoeba Music.

Take A Chance On Me

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, April 20, 2009 12:01am | Post a Comment



I'm just back from the final night of the 2009 Film Noir festival. The 1st feature Walk Softly, Stranger had gambling as a central theme, so I thought it was time to post this blog...




Although I've priced out the LP many times, it wasn't until very recently that I realized how ridiculous Pablo Cruise's Part of the Game cover is. My favorite? Los Braveros del Norte wins this round, hands down...

Remembering Virginia O'Brien

Posted by Whitmore, April 19, 2009 07:40pm | Post a Comment

One of my all time favorite comedic actresses was Virginia O’Brien, and yesterday would have been her 90th birthday. She was also a popular singer in the 1940’s and often co-starred in MGM musicals with Red Skelton. O’Brien was best known for her deadpan expression as she sang, a gimmick she stumbled upon by accident at the Los Angeles Assistance League Playhouse's opening night performance of a musical comedy revue called Meet the People. The 20 year old O’Brien became literally paralyzed with stage fright as she performed her number. In her terror, standing completely still, wide eyed and expressionless, she managed to finish her song, and the audience thought she was absolutely hilarious. Two weeks later she signed a film contract and in less than a month Virginia O’Brien found herself opening on Broadway.
 
Some of her films include The Big Store (1941) with the Marx Brothers, Ship Ahoy (1942), Du Barry Was a Lady (1943), and Merton of the Movies (1947), all with Red Skelton. Then there are Thousands Cheer (1943), The Harvey Girls (1946) with Judy Garland, Ziegfeld Follies (1946), Francis in the Navy (1955) and Gus (1976). After a guest appearance in 1948’s short film Musical Merry-Go-Round, O'Brien was dropped from her MGM contract, a victim of the old Hollywood studio star system fading. But she found continued success on stage and with television appearances on a variety of shows such as Ed Sullivan, Jack Carter, Steve Allen and Merv Griffin. She also created a cabaret act, mostly a retrospective of her MGM career, and during the 1980’s released an album, recorded live at the legendary Masquers Club in Hollywood.
 
On January 16, 2001 at age 81, Virginia O’Brien died suddenly of a heart attack at the Motion Picture and Television Hospital in Woodland Hills. She’s buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale.



AUTHOR JG BALLARD (Crash/Empire of the Sun) DEAD AT AGE 78

Posted by Billyjam, April 19, 2009 12:51pm | Post a Comment
jg ballard
As reported by the BBC and other UK media sources, the famed British author JG Ballard, best known for his novels Crash and Empire of the Sun, died earlier today following several years of illness. He was 78. As noted on the BBC site, despite being referred to as a science fiction writer, Ballard instead insisted that his books were, "picturing the psychology of the future." 

Ballard's most acclaimed novel (one of 15 he wrote and he also penned some short stories collections), Empire of the Sun, was based on firsthand experience drawn from his crashchildhood in a Japanese prison camp in China. "I remember a lot of the casual brutality and beatings-up that went on," Ballard was quotied as saying in reference to the three years he spent interned in a prison camp run by the Japanese from age 12 during World War II. and from which he drew much material for the fictionalized account of his childhood in his famed book.

Empire of the Sun
was later made into a film by Steven Spielberg. Meanwhile, his controversial book Crash, about sexual desires stimulated by car crashes, was made into the 1996 film Crash by director David Cronenberg and stars James Spader, Holly Hunter, Elias Koteas, Deborah Kara Unger, and Rosanna Arquette. Ballard/Cronenberg's Crash is not to be confused with the similarly titled 2005 Paul Haggis movie set in Los Angeles and involving a collection of interrelated characters.

INTERVIEW w. DOSEONE/THEMSELVES WHO PLAY COACHELLA TODAY

Posted by Billyjam, April 19, 2009 11:00am | Post a Comment

Today is the third and final day of the talent-packed, weekend-long Coachella Festival, which has been Amoeblogged about here intensively in the hella informative Coachella 2009 30/30 Initiative (30 Coachella Bands Featured in 30 Days) blog over the last few weeks leading up the annual diverse outdoor music festival at the Empire Polo Field in Indio, CA.

Rightfully dubbed by the UK music magazine NME as "probably the best festival in the world," today's (Sunday, April 19th) impressive lineup includes The Cure, Public Enemy (the recently reunited), Throbbing Gristle, Lupe Fiasco, Roni Size Represent, My Bloody Valentine, Groove Armada, K'NAAN, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Antony and the Johnsons, and Themselves, who I recently caught up with. I checked out their show (amazing!) and talked with member (and former Amoeba employee) Adam "Doseone" Drucker, who shares membership in the Oakland-based Anticon duo with fellow producer/emcee Jeff "Jel" Logan.

Although Jel and Doseone are both members of the group Subtle and are constantly producing together or just hanging out in the East Bay, where they both live, as the duo Themselves they had not performed or recorded together in six years until recently. They've just recorded an album that will drop in a couple of months or so, put together a kick-ass mix-CD, and have undertaken a national tour that ends today at Coachella. Then, on Friday (24th) they begin their European tour, starting in Paris, France. I caught up with them in NYC a couple of weeks ago when they played at Webster Hall and talked with Doseone about various doseonethings, including the Anticon group's ten-year anniversary. "We made up a ton of music we always wanted to make and one was a giant collaborative effort...with everyone we ever shared air with and that was something we always wanted to do in a million ways," said Dose-One of the new mix CD that includes such killer tracks as "Know That To Know This," featuring Aesop Rock. "There's nothing like an hour-long posse cut to clean the blood," he laughed. "And we finished our full-length, which is our kind of stoic little ten song banger for the ten year anniversary and [on it] every song has its place in the history of rap recording to us and our own personal history with respect to rap and how we make music these days. So, you know, it's a blast. It was great! It was like getting our fitted suits."

Noir Do Wells 1: Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956)

Posted by Charles Reece, April 18, 2009 09:56pm | Post a Comment

The most wonderful thing about life seems to be that we hardly tap our potential for self-destruction.
-- John Cheever

Over the past few weeks, I've been attending some of the features being shown at the American Cinematheque's 11th Annual Film Noir Festival. My next few blog entries will be about what I saw. First up, two films by two of my favorite directors that center on the basic stupidity of their protagonists to get all the pieces to fit into their respective jury-rigged plots.



Independent journalist Tom Garrett (a well-lubricated Dana Andrews) goes along with a harebrained scheme to prove the injustice of the death penalty as devised by his future father-in-law, the liberal newspaper editor Austin Spencer (Sidney Blackmer). More gonzo than Hunter S. Thompson, Tom will plant enough evidence to get himself convicted for an unsolved, brutal murder. Since women are prone to hysteria, the two men decide it best not to tell Tom's fiance, Susan Spencer (Joan Fontaine, the missing link between Grace Kelly and Madame). It's not difficult to see where this one's going: on the way to the courthouse when the jury is to hand in its verdict, Austin gets into a fatal car crash, with all the exculpatory photographic evidence burning up (cars were real fire hazards in those days).

For the most part, Lang's Hollywood style is closer to Howard Hawks than his German period, so I'm not sure what's so "noirish" about this film (all the images being logical, but still just functional). If anything, Reasonable Doubt is, as the title suggests, a courtroom drama. HIs only true noirs from the 50s that come to mind are The Big Heat and Clash By Night. Lang's films from this period are typically noted for their cynicism (like many of his fellow intellectual émigrés, he had had it with American pop culture), but they're not really any more so than Testament of Dr. Mabuse or M. The important point, though, is that Douglas Morris' plot is so brazenly idiotic that Lang's journeyman direction is certainly not enough to salvage the film.

First, no one has any moral qualms about distracting the police from finding the actual killer by framing the wrong guy? Second, despite being a supposed indictment of our legal system, the film actually perpetuates the myth that justice is rationally meted out, capable of correcting itself, rather than a matter of bureaucracy. Once convicted, so the plan goes, Tom will be absolved by the delivery of Austin's counter-evidence. As we should all know by the numerous instances of wrongful convictions, there first has to be some demonstration that the trial was performed incorrectly (a bureaucratic concern), not merely the existence of a well argued countervailing attestation after the fact. Tom would be looking at 10 years behind bars even with photographs of his innocence. Third, how does providing concrete evidence that Tom was the killer point to the injustice of the death penalty? It's an adolescent skepticism that says of everything, well, it could be a trick. Maybe Mumia didn't really shoot that cop, men only landed on a sound stage in Burbank and we're all just brains in a vat. If all of reality is really just fiction, then fiction is reality, and that's all we have to go on. All of the manufactured data indicts Tom, so his receiving the sentence is fair. It would only be unjust if he got off when the same evidential amount put others (such as a minority population) on deathrow. But the film doesn't make a case against that. *SPOILER* Fourth and finally, what kind of numbskull would go along with this plan knowing that he's in fact the killer? One of the worst twist endings I've yet come across.

In summary, I like that poster.

Next, Desperate by Anthony Mann...

Record Store Day 2009 LP Price Tag Gallery

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, April 18, 2009 06:20pm | Post a Comment







Parts and Prints

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, April 18, 2009 04:50pm | Post a Comment









RECORD STORE DAY 2009: YOU CAN'T PUT ARMS AROUND AN MP3

Posted by Billyjam, April 18, 2009 10:18am | Post a Comment

Today, April 18th, 2009, is Record Store Day and Amoeba Music is among the countless independent record stores today celebrating the annual event. RSD this year seems even more worthy of celebrating than ever. We all have our own record store memories. My earliest ones go back to when I was just a little kid -- maybe four or five -- growing up in Ireland where my dad, a DJ and avid music collector, would take me along with him on Saturday mornings when he would make his regular stops at tiny record shops in the heart of Dublin. I remember that always reassuring familiar record store smell. These were shops where he knew the owners by name and they knew him and would always have that record he was "looking for" set aside. I remember how they would keep the actual records under the counter, all carefully catalogued and filed in their sleeves, with the empty floppy album covers out in the bins that I was barely tall enough to see.

Click on Amoeba Music Record Store Day for details of the music & fun packed events jumping off today at each of the three Amoeba Music outlets, including both Wendy & Lisa and DJ Babu spinning at Amoeba Hollywood at 1pm and 5pm respectively; Kylee of Loquat, Kelley Stoltz, John Vanderslice and Aesop Rock all spinning sets at Amoeba San Francisco; and Yoni Wolf of Why? spinning a set at Amoeba Berkeley.

This Week At The New Beverly

Posted by phil blankenship, April 18, 2009 10:15am | Post a Comment
This Week At The New Beverly!


Friday April 17


The Alamo Drafthouse Cinemapocalypse
Co-presented with New Beverly Midnights

Austin's original Alamo Drafthouse Cinema will take their popular classic exploitation movie series on the road - presenting A HUGE NIGHT of white-hot exploitation thunder at the New Beverly Cinema!!! Alamo Weird Wednesday programmer Lars Nilsen and Terror Tuesday curator Zack Carlson will bring the rampaging Cinemapocalypse road trip to the Pacific Coast, and will be presenting rare and absolutely unseen treasures from the American Genre Film Archive's top secret subterranean 35mm bunker, each film destined to peel the hair from your eyeballs, scorch the skin on your cortex and make you sterile for ninety weeks. From manic hicksploitation epics to bloodthirsty shoestring goreblasts, each movie is a railroad spike through the heart of limp modern cinema. Join us in shattering the wall between you and THE BEST TIME OF YOUR LIFE!!!


Surf II - End Of The Trilogy
Star Eddie Deezen & Other Special Guests IN PERSON!
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0088207/
25th ANNIVERSARY SCREENING!
Dir. Randall Badat, 1984, 35mm, 91 min, R - NOT ON DVD!
One of the supreme party romps of the genre's defining decade, here is a No Rules celluloid powerhouse that doubles as a 300-fisted beachfront avalanche of insanity! Honestly, this greatest-mohawked-surfer-zombie-comedy-ever-made is best summarized by writer/director Badat: "Menlo Schwartzer - the geekiest mad scientist of all - wants to rid the world of surfers by transforming them into garbage-ingesting zombie punks! But no way dude can he stop their most awesome party!" SURF II (no, there was not a SURF 1) packs more early '80s drive-in mania into one movie than even a brain in the final stages of rabies can handle. Drooling undead new wave boneheads, valley girls, electronically transgendered geekazoids in underwater fortresses, the guy who played everyone's favorite corpse in WEEKEND AT BERNIE'S, spazztastic video game combat and an appearance from actor Fred Asparagus as "Fat Boy # 1"! Speaking of the stellar Z-caliber cast, this picture sports a career-best lead performance from Supreme Alpha Nerd Eddie Deezen, as well as surprise roles from Ruth Buzzi, Carol Wayne and BLAZING SADDLES' Cleavon Little. Combine with the pogo-inducing soundtrack by Oingo Boingo and The Circle Jerks and you have the most entertaining IQ-remover The Video Age ever shat out! Totally retardular!!! (Zack) 7:30

National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Month

Posted by Whitmore, April 17, 2009 09:14pm | Post a Comment

"April is the cruelest month . . ." begins the first line of The Waste Land, the signature poem by T. S. Eliot -- personally, I find November more of a pain in the ass -- but by special decree April is now officially known as National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Month. Don't ask me who proclaimed such madness, though I have an idea ... and to help celebrate April’s culinary extravagance, Kraft Singles, for the second consecutive year, will be the sponsor of the National Grilled Cheese Invitational. Yes, this is a real event and competition featuring both professional and amateur chefs cooking their inspired takes on my favorite sandwich. I just hope someone is serving up some tomato soup. The event will take place on April 25th in Downtown Los Angeles; the exact location will be announced on April 20th.
 
By the way, the organizers for the 7th Annual National Grilled Cheese Invitational are now asking for and accepting talented grillers to register for and compete in this year’s event. The fee is $10. All competitors must register their sandwich for competition no later than Thursday, April 23, 2009 at 8:00 pm PDT. To register, go to:

www.grilledcheeseinvitational.com/2009sammich.php

There are three categories of competition:
 
The Missionary Position: Any kind of bread, any kind of butter and any kind of cheese (or combination of cheeses) but no additional ingredients.
 
The Kama Sutra: Any kind of bread, any kind of butter, and any kind of cheese (or blend of cheeses), plus additional ingredients.
 
The Honey Pot: Any kind of bread, any kind of butter, any kind of cheese (or blend of cheeses), and any additional ingredients, but a sandwich that is sweet in flavor, or would best be served as dessert.
 
As for the winners, there will be a 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th place trophy awarded in each category.
 
And if you have a zeal for the cheese and feel qualified (and who doesn’t?), everyone is welcome to register as a judge on-site. All judging is done using standardized ballots and a patented, computerized database that uses a ridiculously unnecessary amount of scientifically calibrated technology to tabulate the results and determine the cheesiest winners.
 
And if that isn’t enough, Kraft Singles will be cooking up thousands of free grilled cheese sandwiches all day. Not to mention you can expect a share of anything and everything cheese or cheesey from poetry, comedy, art, and music to cheese grilling exhibitions.
 
Admission to the event is only $5.
For those unfortunate lactose intolerant folks … "I will show you fear in a handful of dust."

AMOEBA MUSIC WEEKLY HIP-HOP ROUND UP 04:17:09

Posted by Billyjam, April 17, 2009 06:17am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five: 04:17:09
jadakiss the last kiss
1) DOOM Born Like This (Lex)

2) Jadakiss The Last Kiss (Roc-A-Fella)

3) Aceyalone Aceyalone & The Lonely Ones (Decon) 

4) eLZhi Witness My Growth (Fat Beats)

5) UGK UGK 4 Life (Jive)

DOOM, the artist formerly known as MF DOOM, continues to sell well at each Amoeba Music store with his latest album Born Like This on Lex. Last week he was #1 at Amoeba Hollywood, two weeks ago #2 at Amoeba San Francisco, and this week the masked mic master is number one at the Berkeley store, and deservedly so. It's a great album that demands repeated listens! And number two at the Telegraph Ave store this week is the brand release from Jadakiss, The Last Kiss on Roc-a-Fella. If there ever was a cameo-laden, star-studded rap release, this is it. Dizzam, does it have a lot of guests! Jadakiss has eye-catching, big name stars to collaborate with on the 18 track CD -- he only has three tracks to himself! Guests include Lil Wayne, Nas, Mary J. Blige, Young Jeezy, Styles P, Pharrell, Ghostface Killah & Raekwon, Ne-Yo, and Faith Evans, to name but some. Evans, the singer and widow of Christopher "The Notorious B.I.G." Wallace, appropriately appears on "Letter To B.I.G.," a truly touching tribute to the late, great Biggie Smalls that is also found on the recently released soundtrack to film B.I.G. biopic Notorious.

ANTICHRIST

Posted by Charles Reece, April 17, 2009 04:14am | Post a Comment
I prefer Von Trier's earlier style, and this is why:

Coachella 2009 30/30 Initiative: Coachella Cram Session

Posted by Amoebite, April 16, 2009 06:43pm | Post a Comment
127 Bands, 5 Stages, 3 Days and 1 Mean Sunburn.

"Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival - April 17-19th, 2009 or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Find 30 Reasons To Love a Weekend in the Desert."

- By Scott Butterworth

Artists 26-30: No Age, TRAV$DJ-AM, Throbbing Gristle, Mastodon and Shepard Fairey

Ladies and gentleman, we are on the eve of my favorite weekend of the year, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. If the past twenty five days of my Coachella blog and the following video hasn't convinced you to go to Coachella...then I'm not sure what will. But I hope you've at least found something you liked along the way. If you haven't read the last 25 band features, then you've got some homework to do, but for the last five band profiles of this 30 Coachella Bands in 30 Days blog, I'm going to throwback to an old college tradition...the "cram session." So grab a Redbull...and let's do this!


Artist #26 -  No Age:
No Age
No Age, another band from the Sup Pop mafia, the Seattle label that's throwing its weight (and talent) around this year's Coachella festival, is one my most anticipated performances of the weekend. Their debut album Nouns was, without a doubt, in my top three albums of 2008. No Age is a lo-fi fuzz/art rock duo, with one member on guitar, one on drums. But don't expect the White Stripes...They sound more like Sonic Youth. If you want to be able to say to the kids, "...I was there when (insert legendary band and time/place) happened....", buy this album now and go see them play live...anywhere!

Russia to pull out of Chechnya

Posted by Eric Brightwell, April 16, 2009 04:57pm | Post a Comment


Cessation of operations

Russia has announced the end of its ten year “counter-terrorism” campaign in The Chechen Republic of Ichkeria (aka Noxçiyn Respublika Noxçiyçö and Нохчийн Республика Нохчийчоь). Although Chechnya has been fairly peaceful for some time now, many allege that it is due to the ironfisted rule of Russian-approved-and-installed Chechen leader, Ramzan A. Kadyrov, who along with his private militia, Kadyrovtsy, faces widespread suspicion of kidnapping, torturing and murdering advocates of self rule.


Eliza Betirova

Russia’s president, Dmitri A. Medvedev, having vowed to make rule of law the cornerstone of his government, may in fact be attempting to distance itself from the monster many say Moscow created by installing and giving free-rein to a scandal-plagued former rebel who some have compared to a cult leader who has described Chechnya as a “zoo filled with animals” and bragged, “I will be killing as long as I live."

 
Ali Dimayev

Russia’s involvement with Chechnya
Chechnya declared its independence in 1991, alongside many of its fellow Soviet republics. In what’s become an almost comically transparent double standard, Russia recognized the independence of former Soviet republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia (since they’re within Georgia), and Georgia, which denied recognition to its breakaway republics, was one of two nations to recognize Chechnya’s independence (although the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria is a member of the Unrecognized Nations and Peoples Organization), the other being Afghanistan.

Timur Mucuraev

Yeltsin, then president, was upfront about Russia’s unwillingness to let Chechnya secede, due, in large part, to its considerable oil reserves. Russia first invaded the newly-independent republic in 1994, sending in 40,000 troops. The war ended in the humiliating defeat of the Russians two years later.

 
Ramzan Pascaev
 
In 1999, Kadyrov’s private army switched its allegiance to Moscow and his family seemed to come into some money, beginning construction on a 54 million dollar palace and closing refugee camps, calling their inhabitants spies.


From a Russian standpoint, their involvement in Chechnya has been largely disastrous. The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg ordered Russia to pay damages to the families of thirteen people who disappeared in Chechnya between 2001 and 2003, finding the government guilty of violating the ban on torture and the right to life and freedom.
 

Most estimated that the Russians lost around 5,000 troops in the first operation alone (and killed at least 41,000 Chechens). The most widely recognized event of the second war was the Beslan Massacre in North Ossetia, in which over 300 people died.
 
 
Fatima Turtulhanova

A pattern of violence
In March 2005, the democratically elected Chechen president Aslan Maskhadov was killed by Russian special forces. His successor was Kadyrov’s Moscow-approved father, who was killed by a landmine in 2007. Ramzan Akhmadovich Kadyrov is a former Chechen rebel (like his father) who assumed power in 2007. Shortly afterward, a pattern has emerged of his critics getting shot and killed.


Liza Umurova

In 2008, Ruslan B. Yamadayev was shot dead in his car whilst driving in Moscow. In January of this year, one of Kadyrov’s former bodyguards, Umar S. Israilov, was shot dead whilst buying yoghurt in Vienna after talking extensively to the New York Times about the Kadyrovsty’s widespread abuses.


Zina Anasova

Just this March, Sulim B. Yamadayev, one of Ruslan’s brothers and an elected member of Parliament, was shot dead in the parking garage of his apartment in Dubai. Dubai’s police chief, Lt. Gen. Dahi Khalfan bin Tamim, said the killing was traced to one of Kadyrov’s associates, Adam S. Delimkhanov. Kadyrov came to Delimkhanov’s defense and countered that Yamadayev had tried to kill him by poisoning a lake as well as committing other abuses, including involvement in the death of Kadyrov’s father, also a former rebel who defected to the Russian side and subsequently governed Chechnya.


A history of struggle
One thing is inarguable. After killing most of his opponents, Grozny, Chechnya’s capital, has achieved a peace that many thought would never come – especially as violence flares up in other parts of the region. Even before the twenty year violent struggle against Russia, Chechens have long been among the most embroiled people on earth. In the 1940s, Stalin deported the entire population to Siberia, charging them as a people with collaborating with the Nazis to weaken Russia’s imperialist hold on the Soviet-subjugated region. A third of the Chechen people died on the way there, another third died when they were moved back in 1956.


Imam Alimsultanov

Chechen culture
Chechnya is a mostly Muslim nation. Despite their language belonging to the Nakh family, Arabic was the only written language until 1923, when the Chechen alphabet was created. Chechnya converted to Islam under the Ottoman Empire in the 1400s. Before Islam, their religion was largely based around rain rites and farming, including honoring the Thunderer Sela and the Goddess Tusholi.


Marina Aidaeva

Although Muslim, Chechen’s traditional culture imbues their lives, especially the concept of “nokchallah,” a term for the Chechen behavioral code which is roughly analogous to the dead concept of chivalry in the west.


Imran Usmanov

As with most cultures, a big part of Chechen cultural expression is their music. As with their spiritual views, their musical expressions are also closely tied to Chechen culture. Pkh'armat is a legendary figure who brought fire to the Chechens with a burning reed, who is thus honored with the music of the native reed pipe. The chiondarg is a fiddle-like instrument that, when played, is believed to lead to healthier crops. The pondur is a stringed instrument similar to the balalaika.

Bilo Haj

The Soviet composter A.A.Davidenko travelled to Chechnya in the 1920s and published arrangements of their folk music in 1926. Chechen musicians include Marina Aidaeva, Imam Alimsultanov, Ilyas Ayubov, Liza Akhmatovabulat, Zina Anasova, Aza Bataeva, Eliza Betirova, Valid Dagayev, Ali Dimayev, Amarbek Dimayev, Said Dimayev, Umar Dimayev, Khas-Magomed Hadjimuradov, Sultan Islamov, Sultan Makkayev, Raisa Malsagova, Timur Mucuraev, Ramzan Paskayev, Tatyana Rostova, Makka Sagaipova, Adnan Shakhbulatov, Maryam Tashaeva, Fatima Turtulhanova, Liza Umarova, Imran Usmanov and Malika Utsayeva.

     

Chechnya has been the subject of several documentaries and features, albeit nearly all focused on more recent, traumatic events: From Chechnya to Chernobyl, Rights and Wrongs: Chechnya - Russia's Human Rights' Nightmare, Guerrilla Tactics – Total Resistance, Kavkazkie plenniki, Terror in Moscow, Mountain Men and Holy Wars, Disbelief, Coca: The Dove From Chechnya - Europe In Denial of a War, Beslan: Siege at School No. 1, Kavkazskaya Rulyetka (Caucasian Roulette), Marksman, Alexandra and Russian Triangle.
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Painted People

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, April 15, 2009 11:45pm | Post a Comment







Mummy Dearest

Posted by Eric Brightwell, April 15, 2009 06:06pm | Post a Comment


Mummy films
are unique among classic monster movies in that they're neither primarily based upon myths or literature. Only Isaac Henderson's 1902 play, The Mummy and the Hummingbird and Bram Stoker's 1903 novel, Jewel of the Seven Stars, have inspired cinematic adaptations (the latter spawning four to date) with its subject of an archaeologist attempting to revive a mummy. There were a few examples of the mummy in literature, as with Edgar Allan Poe's "Some Words with a Mummy," Théophile Gautier's The Romance of a Mummy, Ambrose Pratt's The Living Mummy, Louisa May Alcott's "Lost in a Pyramid or, The Mummy’s Curse" and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "Lot No. 249" and "The Ring of Thoth" all deal with mummies, albeit not always in a horror setting, and have never even loosely been adapted into film.

The rise of mummy films seem to be directly related to a then-widespread interest in archaeology and, more specifically, an enduring western vogue for Orientalism and fascination with the Near East.  Several major discoveries in the field of Egyptology occurred in the 20th century and helped renew and increase interest in one the the planet's oldest, most complex and enduring civilizations. Yet fascination with Egyptian mummies, with their tantalizing ties to the ancient past, never really translated into a healthy monster subgenre, only sporadically rising to the level of more continually popular monsters like vampires and ghosts.



In 1912, the famous bust of Nefertiti was rediscovered and rekindled broad interest in ancient Egypt. Filmmakers of that decade responded by producing more mummy films than any subsequent decade till the current, although they usually depicted people pretending to be mummies or the theft of them rather than reanimated monsters. In 1922, Tutankhamun’s tomb was discovered. Completely hidden for ages, it was and is the most complete, un-plundered Egyptian tomb ever found to date. Following its discovery, the tabloids spread a rumor that a curse of death was placed on whomever entered the tomb and this, along with Stoker's plot involving re-animation of mummies, seems to have influenced practically all mummy movies that followed.
 
    

   

As opposed to Dracula amongst vampires, Frankenstein's monster amongst golems, or the Wolf Man amongst werewolves, no one mummy has ever managed to rise to dominance amongst their kind, a fact which I view as critical in its remaining a second string monster. In the 1930s, Imhotep was the first big mummy, played by Boris Karloff and then revived in the 1990s in loose remake and its sequels. In the 1940s, Universal's Kharis was the main mummy. King Rutentuten (aka Rootentootin) appeared in two Three Stooges films. Yet all these mummies are virtually interchangeable. Despite the well known mummies of the Guanches (of the Canary Islands), the Incas, the Tibetans and the Chachapoyas, filmmakers again and again depicted lumbering, unstoppable Egyptian mummies, except, notably, in Mexico, which got into the mummy movie game. Popoca starred as the Aztec mummy in a whole slew of films and even pitted a werewolf mummy against Tin Tan.

 

In addition to no single mummy achieving widespread name recognition due to inter-mummy competition, they also all suffer from the absence of engaging personalities and conversational abilities. By comparison, Frankenstein's monster practically seems like Oscar Wilde. Even a ghoul might express its love of brains, but the Mummy, on the other hand, usually broods in silence, single-mindedly obsessing over his long dead girlfriend.
 
 

The monster rally subgenre began with Frankenstein's monster's meeting with the Wolfman in 1943 in Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man. The mummy, criticized by some for being little more than Frankenstein's monster in bandages, would seem like an obvious choice of combatant. That almost happened with 1944's House of Frankenstein. There, the scientist's monster was joined by Dracula, Wolf Man and even a hunchback frighteningly named Daniel. Early drafts of the film had included the Mummy (as well as the Invisible Man and the little-known Mad Ghoul) but the monster didn't make the cut. The following year, in House of Dracula, the Mummy wasn't even considered and it became clear that the Mummy was perceived by most as a B-list monster who would remain absent from exclusive monster rallies like Van Helsing, only showing up in more democratic affairs like Groovie Goolies, Carry on Screaming, Monster Squad, Mad Monster Party, El Castillo de los Monstruos, The Halloween That Almost Wasn't, and Mad, Mad, Mad Monsters.


Perhaps no other example illustrates the Mummy's comparative unpopularity than General Mills' monster-themed cereals. When introduced in 1971, it was Count Chocula and Franken Berry that came first. They were joined by Boo Berry in '73 and Fruit Brute in '74. It wasn't until 1987 that Fruity Yummy Mummy was born, only to be discontinued in 1993.

  

The mummy was a natural in the silent era, since he never had much to say anyway. The first known mummy picture was 1909's La Momie du roi. The 1910s, as previously noted, were a heyday of mummy films, including Romance of the Mummy (1911), The Mummy (1911), The Mummy (1912), The Vengeance of Egypt (1912), The Mummy and the Cowpuncher (1912), The Mummy (1914), When the Mummy Cried for Help (1915), The Avenging Hand (1915), The Mummy and the Hummingbird (1915), The Live Mummy (1915), The Missing Mummy (1916), Die Augen der Mumie Ma (1918) and Mercy, The Mummy Mumbled (1918).
 
The 1920s witnessed a dramatic decrease in mummy movies, with only one example, the comedy The Mummy (1923), produced in the decade.


The 1930s began with Boris Karloff's famous portrayal in 1932’s The Mummy. It was the first Universal horror film not based on an earlier source, although it owed both to Dracula (with an ankh substituting for a crucifix) and Frankenstein (also starring Boris Karloff as a re-animated monster) which may've worked against it. Unlike those two predecessors, it spawned no sequels. The other two mummy films in the '30s were the animated Tom and Jerry (but not the cat and mouse) film, The Magic Mummy (1933) and the Three Stooges' We Want Our Mummy (1939).


With the 1940s, the mummy was again the star of Universal films, albeit relegated to B-movies. This time the mummy was Kharis and a few, somewhat feeble attempts at creating some mythology came with the introduction of tana leaves, which like Popeye's spinach, give Kharis his strength. Kharis largely popularized the portrayal of mummies as a stiff, slow, relentless and almost unstoppable ghoul and zombie-like monsters. In the Mummy’s Hand (1940) he was played by western star Tom Tyler. In the follow-ups, The Mummy’s Tomb (1942), The Mummy’s Ghost (1944) and The Mummy’s Curse (1944), Kharis was played by Lon Chaney Jr, more famous for playing the Wolf Man. The mummy comedy subgenre endured with the British quota quickie, A Night of Magic (1944) and another Three Stooges mummy film, Mummy’s Dummies (1948).
 



 

After two Three Stooges movies with mummies, it was obligatory for Abbot & Costello to do one, which they did with Abbott & Costello Meet the Mummy (1955) -- they'd already met Dracula, Frankenstein, Jeckyll & Hyde, Captain Kidd, "the Ghosts" and even Boris Karloff. Strangely, the American mummy then almost completely disappeared from the screen. In Mexico, however, the Aztec Mummy made several appearances beginning with La Momia Azteca (1957) and continuing with La Maldicion de la Momia Azteca (1957) and La Momia Azteca vs el Robot Humano (1957). Another Mexican mummy appeared in the Tin Tan vehicle, La Casa del Terror (1959). In the UK, Hammer takes over with Christopher Lee as Kharis in The Mummy (1959), following up with a couple more. Pharoah’s Curse (1957) depicted a blood-sucking mummy, doing little to dispel the notion of the mummy being a derivative monster.



The 1960s weren't terribly kind to the monster movie genre in the US, although Europe, Japan and Latin America made many. La Momia Azteca was re-cut and edited together with new footage and released in the US as Attack of the Mayan Mummy (1963). In Mexico, Luchadoras contra la Momia (1964) pitted the mummy against female wrestlers. In the UK, Hammer produced The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb (1965) and The Mummy’s Shroud (1967). In America, the little-seen Mummy and the Curse of the Jackal (1967) finally pitted a mummy against another monster (a were-jackal) in Las Vegas.

 
By the 1970s, most mummies rested in peace, coming out of their tombs in a TV movie here (The Demon and the Mummy - 1976), a Santo appearance there (Santo en la Venganza de la Momia - 1971) and Las Momias de Guanajuato - 1972) and the occasional Spanish Eurohorror movie (1973's La Venganza de la Momia and El secreto de la momia egipcia). Somewhat surprisingly, Blood From the Mummy’s Tomb (1971) was the first mummy film to adapt Brams Stoker’s mummy novel into a film. It was also noteworthy for having one of the first female mummies in film and one played without bandages by Valerie Leon.





The 1980s followed with more of the same. The Awakening (1980) again adapted Stoker's novel. The Curse of King Tut's Tomb (1980) was another TV movie. Dawn of the Mummy (1981) was a low budget, Zombie-inspired film. La momia nacional (1981) was Spain's obligatory offering. O Segredo da Múmia (1982) was Brazil's first mummy picture. Time Walker (1982) was unique in its portrayal of an alien mummy. The Tomb (1986) was one of Fred Olen Ray's early directorial efforts.
 


In the 1990s, the mummy failed to be revived until the end of the decade. First, Tony Curtis filled in for a recently-departed Tony Perkins in The Mummy Lives (1993). Under Wraps (1997) was a made-for-TV children's film. The Mummy aka Eternal aka Trance (1998) was probably the first mummy film about an unintentional mummy, one mummified by natural occurences, with a protagonist who was mummified in a peat bog. Cult Australian director Russell Mulcahy made Tale of the Mummy (1999). The mummy genre only really came back to life with the Brendan Fraser adventure/comedy/fantasy franchise, beginning with The Mummy (1999), which returned Imhotep, albeit with re-imagined origins, and the mummy film.



The 2000s have truly re-animated the mummy genre in a variety of forms. There've been many low budget, direct-to-video titles and even a handful of softcore skin flicks.
 
Ancient Evil: Scream of the Mummy (2000)
Lust in the Mummy’s Tomb (2000)
The Mummy Returns (2001)
Belphégor - Le fantôme du Louvre (2001)
Ng goh haak gwai dik siu nin (2002)
Mummy's Kiss (2002)
Mummy Raider (2002)
Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)
Attack of the Virgin Mummies (2003)
The Mummy: Evil Unleashed (2003)
7 Mummies (2005)
The Fallen Ones (2005)
The Kung Fu Mummy (2005)
The Mummy's Kiss: Second Dynasty (2006)
Terror in the Pharaoh's Tomb (2007)
Mil Mascaras vs. the Aztec Mummy (2007)
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008)
My Mummy (2008)
 

In addition to the man mummy films, there have been several mummy characters in cartoons over the years, including Hakushin in InuYasha, Mumm-Ra in Thundercats, the cast of Mummies Alive! and Tutenstein in Scooby-Doo in Where's My Mummy?

 
Computer Games saw a minor revival in mummy interest beginning in the late '90s with Mummy-Tomb of the Pharaoh (1997), Choose Your Own Nightmare: Curse of the Mummy (1999), Mummy Mystery Starring Mercer Mayer's Little Monster Private Eye (2001) and Sherlock Holmes: The Mystery of the Mummy (2006).


The video game industry has also benefit financially from re-awakened interest in mummies with The Mummy (2001), The Mummy Returns (2001), The Mummy (2002), Mummy Maze (2003), Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy (2003) and Mummy-Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008).
 

In music, the mummy has failed to inspire anywhere close to as much devotion as other classic monsters but there have been rare examples. The Verdicts did "The Mummy's Ball," The Distortions had "The Mummy" and Bob McFadden memorably performed "Mummy." There was the band The Mummies, and last October Babl Bijits were mummified for a Halloween performance here at Amoeba.











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Karen Carpenter - Only Yesterday

Posted by Miss Ess, April 15, 2009 05:28pm | Post a Comment

Been thinking about Karen Carpenter today. Isn't this just the best?


Poor Karen, the submissive misfit in a controlling, perfectionistic family. Here's a frail looking Karen playing a huge drum solo on the Carpenters' 1976 TV special:


In the typically dull world of easy listening, Karen Carpenter really stands out as someone with great talent and passion for music, inserting both pathos and intensity into her singing and playing. She also appears to have been someone who never quite fit into that rigid, clean cut and repressed world and who was emotionally damaged in part by that realization. The sadness and the difficulties she faced seem to have been channeled into her creative endeavors, which no doubt added to her capability and appeal, but anorexia withered her away to the bone and she finally passed away due to its complications in 1983.

There's an interesting documentary about the Carpenters that's available on DVD, Close To You: Remembering the Carpenters, which in my memory is notable for Richard Carpenters' closed-offedness, constant creepy smiling and refusal to admit or recognize much of anything that might have been tragic or difficult throughout the career he and his sister had.

In 1987, Todd Haynes directed a short film about Karen Carpenter called Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, in which her story is portrayed entirely with Barbies and stop-motion. I've still never watched it myself, but copies float through Amoeba occasionally, though it is out of print.

The Carpenters live in the pop vocals section here at Amoeba.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BESSIE SMITH, EMPRESS OF THE BLUES

Posted by Billyjam, April 15, 2009 09:12am | Post a Comment
bessie smith
Today marks the birthdate of legendary blues singer Bessie Smith, who was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee on April 15th, 1894 according to the 1910 census. (Note that Smith's D.O.B. has been contested, but this one is the commonly agreed on date.)

Life was tough for the young Smith, who would go on to great success and become widely known as the “Empress of the Blues” (initially she was dubbed "Queen of the Blues").

After both Smith's father and mother died by the time she was only nine, she and her siblings teamed up to earn money to make ends meet in their impoverished household and assist her older sister, Viola, who had taken over the role as parent for her and her brothers and sisters. 

At a young age music became a way to make money. Around the turn of the century, along with her brother Andrew, Bessie would do a song and dance routine on the streets of Chattanooga for spare change. Andrew played guitar while she sang and danced.

By age 18 Bessie Smith joined the Stokes troupe, a company that also included Ma Rainey, as a dancer initially. Smith's singing career would later be given a chance to blossom via stage productions and when Columbia Records began releasing her recordings in the early 1920's. bessie smith

She would make over 150 recordings for the label before splitting from them in 1931. Smith soon beacame a major star and was the highest paid black performer in her heyday, when she became the biggest headliner on the black Theater Owners Booking Association circuit. Her stage shows, during which she was known to wear a variety of  eye-catching costumes, were legendary.  Smith's signing with Columbia Records in 1923 coincided with the label expanding its target audience to include blacks by forming a "race records" series and Smith's earlist hits for the label included "Gulf Coast Blues" and "Downhearted Blues."

Record Store Day This Saturday!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 14, 2009 06:35pm | Post a Comment
record store day

Coming up this Saturday, April 18, is that ultra-cool, ultra-fresh international holiday Record Store Day! It's a whole day designed to celebrate the independent record store! So, all three Amoeba Music stores plan to celebrate in our classic, over the top Amoeba fashion!

kelley stoltzwendy and lisawhy

To see what the Hollywood store will be up to, from a DJ set by the enduringly hip Wendy and Lisa to exclusive on site T-shirt screening, click here!

You can also check out what Berkeley has planned, including a DJ set by Jonathan "Yoni" Wolf of Why?, by clicking here!records

Here in San Francisco, our very special DJs this Saturday will be: For more information on the SF store's happenings, click here!

Coachella 2009 30/30 Initiative: The Gaslight Anthem

Posted by Amoebite, April 14, 2009 02:08pm | Post a Comment
127 Bands, 5 Stages, 3 Days and 1 Mean Sunburn.

"Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival - April 17-19th, 2009 or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Find
30 Reasons To Love a Weekend in the Desert."

- By Scott Butterworth

Coachella LineupThe Gaslight Anthem

Day #25 - Artist #25 - The Gaslight Anthem:
The Gaslight Anthem
I think what I love about The Gaslight Anthem is that they take me back to summer days spent with my friends on Pier 30/32 on the beautiful San Francisco Bay watching our favorite punk rock bands at the annual Warped Tour. But I hate to call them a "Warped Tour" band; that label just feels so limiting. The same issue was brought up in Pitchfork.com's review of their second album, The '59 Sound, that slapped the dreaded "Sophomore Slump" across the band's face with its release in August 2008. Pitchfork's notoriously cynical reviewers expressed the essence of the band in the exact way I felt, but didn't know how to describe: "The Gaslight Anthem might work the Warped Tour mall-punk circuit, but they're not of it. Instead, they belong to an older breed of punk band, one we don't see too much anymore: Social Distortion, Alkaline Trio, fellow Jersey knuckleheads Bouncing Souls. These bands might be emotional, but they're about a million miles removed fromThe Gaslight Anthem - The '59 Sound emo, especially in the way that term gets tossed around now."

Coachella 2009 30/30 Initiative: Tinariwen

Posted by Amoebite, April 13, 2009 11:43pm | Post a Comment
127 Bands, 5 Stages, 3 Days and 1 Mean Sunburn.

"Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival - April 17-19th, 2009 or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Find 30 Reasons To Love a Weekend in the Desert."

- By Scott Butterworth


Coachella Lineup     Tinariwen

Day #24 - Artist #24 - Tinariwen:

It doesn't fail! Tonight is the second night in a row that I have been in bad mood, or a stressed mood or an exhausted mood or any combination of undesirable moods. And as soon as I press play on Tinariwen's recent album, Aman Iman: Water Is Life, my mood instantly takes a 180 degree turn. I have plenty of go-to albums to put me in a good mood or get me excited or motivate me, but this album physically woke me up...instantly! What normally takes a cup of coffee an hour or
Tinariwenso to do, Aman Iman: Water Is Life does in a matter of seconds.

"Tinariwen is a Tuareg group that performs in the Middle Eastern/African style Tishoumaren, similar to artists like Ali Farka Toure or Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan; [they] sing mostly in the French and Tamashek languages." I consider myself to be a pretty cultured person...but I'm going to be honest; I have no idea what that description means. But what I do know is that they formed in Mali in 1982 and have released music for 18 years, circulating locally in Africa. The music had a political soul of rebellion and became a voice for the Taureg people, eventually becoming banned in Algeria and Mali. It wasn't until 2001 that Tinariwen gained attention from the Western world with the release of The Radio Tisdas Sessions (2001). Their most recent album, Aman Iman: Water Is Life, released in 2007, introduces us to songs that were actually written as far back as the band's origins in the early '80s, but still sound as if they were born yesterday.
Tinariwen - Aman Iman: Water Is Life
There's just something different about this band's music than what I'm used to with Western popular music (and I would put almost every other band at Coachella into that category). They are a magical band, from a magical land. Tinariwen's music feels like it's made because it has to be, and for no other reason. The album title Water Is Life alludes to the band's foundation of necessity and Tinariwen is the water that their Saharan Desert lacks. If the Sahara Desert is a metaphor for my night, coffee is not the "water" that my soil needs...I think it needs Tinariwen.

Los Angeles Film Noir Festival 2009

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, April 13, 2009 11:34pm | Post a Comment

OK, I'm late with this one. I've already attended three double features and I have tickets to two more. You've still got a week's worth of programming left, so get on it! Ann Rutherford gave an amazing interview last week, absolutely sharp as a tack and a total charmer. The Fritz Lang double on Sunday was amazing-- Ida Lupino was smoking hot in the first feature While The City Sleeps. Opening night was amazing... 3 hours of Jane Greer. This week I'll be at the Deadline USA/ Chicago Deadline & Walk Softly Stranger/ Chicago Syndicate doubles. My hopes are high as Abbe Lane is in Chicago Syndicate. 1955 may have been a September year for film noir, but it was a peak year for Abbe. Check out the rest of the festival lineup at the Egyptian Theater site.



"!woeM"

Posted by Job O Brother, April 13, 2009 11:28pm | Post a Comment
My cat is weirding me out. He’s sitting in front of my closet door, facing it, staring.

After I wrote the above sentence, he suddenly lunged up, supported by his hind-quarters, and pressed his face into the long mirror nailed to the door. Methinks he’s of a mind to jump into the room he sees inside the looking glass, despite the fact that I have repeatedly forbidden him to do anything of the sort. Call me old fashioned, but I’ll never approve of house-pets defying the laws of physics. It’s un-Christian!

What a perfect lead-in this would be to discuss with you my great love of the works of Lewis Carroll, and the myriad influences it’s had on both music and movies. How sad it is that this blog won’t discuss it further!

It was on this day in 1894 that Thomas “Sloppy-kiss” Edison produced the first commercial exhibition of motion pictures in history, in New York City, using his new invention, the kinetoscope. (It’s interesting to note that, even at this first “movie,” people were already complaining that there were too many previews.)


For a fee of 25¢, patrons could peer into a variety of kinetoscopes and enjoy a hilarious comedy such as “Man crouching and getting back up,” or passionate romances like the heartfelt “Woman arranging a bouquet, then dusting a lamp”, and let's not forget the riveting drama and pathos of “Balloon blown up, then popping.” It’s testament to the genius of these stories that little has changed in Hollywood plot-structures, even all these years later.


Edison saw little real value in his invention, having been (tragically) hypnotized by his other new invention, the Hypno-helper, into believing the hypnotizing machine would be the answer to every home-makers’ chores. (His confidence in the contraption remain unchanged, even after hundreds of letters came from husbands across America complaining that they’d come home from long days of work, hoping for hot meals, and instead finding their wives in trances, thinking they’re chickens, or their “arms were so light they’d float away,” or, in some extreme cases, that they were the Sea Islands Hurricane and had killed over 1,000 people in the greater coastal area of Georgia.)

Despite Edison’s ambivalence to the kinetoscope, it was a tremendous success. Where Edison saw no future, others saw a fortune waiting to be made, and soon advancements in film-making technology came faster than Fatty Arbuckle at a game of spin-the-bottle. [I am so, so sorry about that.]

Over the course of time, movies have become a diverse and refined art-form (excepting anything starring Matthew McConaughey, that is), and the people who make the films have become the closest things our country has to royalty.


You've come a long way, baby! - Lillian Gish vs. Courtney Love

All of which would be great background information if this blog was about the motion picture industry, but as it is, instead, about Tammy Grimes, I present you with this:


Despite being a staunch Republican, Grimes managed to give birth to the ultra-cool Amanda Plummer.


Ms. Plummer earning that S.A.G. paycheck in Peter Greenaway's homage to Fellini, 8½ Women

Amanda Plummer’s fame as an actress of both screen and stage (she’s been nominated for three Tony Awards and has won Best Actress once) has eclipsed her skills as a pet therapist, her true passion. I know this because Ms. Plummer was kind enough to take my pussycat on as a patient. (My cat had suffered a traumatic experience when a neighborhood dog jumped in through my open window and, after tearing up my best pillow, proceeded to introduce my cat to crystal meth, which led to years of addiction which only abated after months of intensive counseling and controlled supplies of catnip chewies.)

Ms. Plummer’s revolutionary, therapeutic process involves the use of Edison’s hypnosis wheel, the only bad side-effect of which is that my kitty now thinks he can jump through my mirror to the other side.

But, as I said before, that’s not what this is about.

BUT WHO WILL PLAY CAPTAIN RICHARD PHILIPS? GEORGE CLOONEY?

Posted by Billyjam, April 13, 2009 09:17pm | Post a Comment
george clooney
Sssh. Listen. Can you hear it? Can you hear the sound of dozens of keyboards in Hollywood excitedly typing at 90 words a minute to rush off story-board ready drafts of the movie version of yesterday's rescue of ship captain hero Richard Phillips? If ever there was a real news story ready for movie adaption, this is the one: the dramatic seafaring tale of evil pirates overcome by the ever-skilled US Navy SEALs, led by their brave captain in a shoot out rescue of the heroic American captain, and all set against an exotic high seas backdrop.

I am not making light of the situation, but merely observing and reflecting on the sensationalist reaction by the media to the story since the rescue news broke just a day ago. Since then, newspapers, websites, and of course TV news, talk shows, and gossip outlets have each had a field day with eye-catching headlines like HIGH SEAS RESCUE or AMERICAN HEROES. It's already like a Hollywood movie or a superhero comic book. So powerful was this seafaring tale that once the rescue news broke Sunday afternoon all the 'controversy' over Barack Obama bowing to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia got swept aside and instantly forgotten.

Hence, the question of whether or not there might be a movie made about thiscastellano and phillips based-on-a-true-story, high seas pirate adventure is moot. Of course there will be a movie! At least one. Shoot, it's got every element you could ask for in an action-adventure blockbuster (complete with an built in happy ending -- it just needs a little love story thrown in for good meaure and even broader box-office appeal). It even has the President of the United States directly involved. Can't you just envision the Situation Room scene in the movie with the actor playing Obama overseeing the nail-biting proceedings?

Coachella Is A Beast!!!

Posted by Smiles Davis, April 13, 2009 04:03pm | Post a Comment

Coachella 2009 is less than a week away and I couldn’t be more stoked about it. The anxiousness, over emotionalism and lack of sleep could be brought on by the fact that this will be my first time, or it could be the fact that I get to skip town for a couple days that’s making me giddy like a young school girl on a first date. Could be either of those, but I’m really going to have to place my bets and give full credit for my fevered state to the acts I’m most excited to see grace the stage.

Day 1: The Black Keys. The blues-rockers put on a spectacular live show, having toured with bands like Pearl Jam, Radiohead and Beck. They’re phenomenal on every record. My favorite has got to be Thickfeakness. It’s the truth! Meaning: the sweetest tasting candy in the world!!! Their last album, Attack & Release, which was produced by Danger Mouse of Gnarls Barkley, was originally supposed to be a collaboration with the legendary Ike Turner, but that idea was rendered impossible after Turner’s sudden death in December 2007. Danger Mouse, or that guy who put Jay-Z’s vocals from The Black Album over beats from The BeatlesThe White Album, isn’t on the bill this year, but it would be a great surprise to see him grace the stage with The Black Keys this weekend. I know… just wishful thinking. Then again, anything’s possible at Coachella -- I say it like I know. To whet your appetite, check out a video of the Black Keys performing at Amoeba right here.

Day 2: M.I.A. on the main stage. What a feast for the eyes and ears she's going to be; some kind of spectacular! I must admit, I was a little disappointed after hearing Amy Winehouse had pulled out of the line-up. Nothing could have made my day more, though, than learning M.I.A. would be taking her place. This will be my first time seeing her live and I'm going to enjoy it like the kids on the block love to jump rope, like a waitress loves a good tip. She's my hero. The visual artist was as cute as a button at the Grammys with her polka dots on and her big, beautiful belly bouncing around. She just gave birth to a little bundle of joy. Good news, considering she would have been miserable with a belly full in the scorching heat of Coachella, which tends to cause an alarming amount of inflammation in the feet and ankles. We’re just glad to hear she’s decided bed rest is for snoozers. I’ll be her number one fan, front row center, k'ankles and all. Click here to watch a video interview with M.I.A. from her Berkeley Amoeba instore.

Her artist Rye Rye is suppose to perform tomorrow night at Steve Aoki's Dim Mak Tuesdays at Cinaspace on Hollywood Blvd. So, grab your spandex, scrunchies and hipster shades and head out, 'cause the show is going to be bananas. Get there early-- the line gets crunk around 10:30pm. Who knows, M.I.A. might even make a special guest appearance like she did at the Kid Cudi show a few weeks back -- and that's how rumors get started.

Day 3: Peter Bjorn and John. The Swedish indie rockers are amped to redeem their performance cred in front of a crowd like Coachella after a disastrous show at SXSW where they were heckled and booed by an impatiently unsympathetic crowd for long interruptions due to equipment malfunctions. Oh, the pressure. What a nightmare! They're in my good graces: I just got my paws on a copy of their new CD Living Thing fresh off the presses and haven’t stopped bumping it since. Have you heard their new single “Nothing To Worry About?" LOOOOVE IT-- that means more than a little bit. The playful joint features the vocals of little kids on the hook and is a superb follow up to their last banging
single “Young Folks.” The video for their hot new single is just as bittersweet. It's equal parts red-hot fireballs, extreme sour warheads, and sweet tarts, all bundled into one.


I'm so ready for three music packed days, highlighted by The Black Keys on the first day, M.I.A on the second day and Peter Bjorn and John on the third. I guess I’m also pretty excited to see Thievery Corporation, Groove Armada, The Chemical Brothers, The Ting Tings, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Sheppard Fairey, The Knux, Clipse, My Chemical Romance, K’naan, and well, just about everyone. See you on the field. And if you are looking for information about many other bands that will be hitting the Coachella stage, check out Scott's Coachella 30/30 Initiative series. ‘Till next time…chew the corners off!


Easter Promises - Every Sin Leaves a Mark

Posted by Eric Brightwell, April 12, 2009 03:24pm | Post a Comment
Hello friends, it's Easter once again. And no one does Easter better than Amoeba. Yes friends, Amoeba is known for our selection that simply can't be beat. So after gorging yourselves on low quality milk chocolate lupine effigies to honor a pagan fertility goddess, sit back in the easy chair and let those calories do their worst whilst you enjoy some of our fine Easter fare. Do your one "hop" shopping at Amoeba this Easter, won't you?




Thanks Easter Bunny!!!!!!!! *Bwok Bwok!*



Remember, Ēostre is the reason for the season.




I used to get so excited when Cadbury eggs were available!




Ah yes, dressing up for Easter in outfits you only wear once...



     
The Easter Bunny shouldn't be so anatomically correct.




Uh oh, is the vet available on Easter?



     
The Easter Bunny has interesting style.

 


Which is cuter, a bloody Easter Bunny or a bird taking a deep breath of cigarette smoke?




   
Aussies hate bunnies, so they have the Easter Bilby.

 

This just screams Easter!
 


If you enjoyed the more bizarre Easter cards, check out this website for a truly amazing collection. Actually, even if you hated them, do it.

Become a fan of Eric's Blog on Facebook!

Happy Easter

Posted by Whitmore, April 12, 2009 10:00am | Post a Comment

Clube Da Esquina

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, April 12, 2009 02:46am | Post a Comment

About ten years ago, I read a great article about Tropicalia and Caetano Veloso. I knew about the Tropicalistas (Os Mutantes, Gilberto Gil, Tom Ze and Gal Costa), but I was looking to broaden my scope of Brazilian music beyond Bossa Nova and Tropicalia. That same article mentioned Milton Nacimento & Lo Borges' classic, Clube Da Esquina. I wasn't hip to Milton or, for that matter, Lo Borges. All I knew was that I liked the cover of their album and Caetano Veloso was a fan of Milton's. That was good enough for me. I went to a local record store and bought Clube Da Esquina.

Clube Da Esquina turned out to be one of my favorite albums... ever! I think I have bought this album several times over as a gift. Even now, when I see a used copy come into Amoeba, I think of who I can buy it for. This album changed my life and how I listen to music. Every time I listen to it, it feels like the first time I've heard it. It continues remains fresh. I feel Clube Da Esquina is often copied but never matched, although I have heard some great covers of songs from that album.

Today I heard a great version of the song "Cais" from Clube Da Esquina. It was done by the late, great Elis Regina, who often covered many of Milton's compositions. I started to wonder how many great covers of songs off Clube were out there! Thus, I began my search. From psychedelic groups, to house divas, to soul/jazz outfits and with some modern Brazilian folk groups thrown in, everyone seems to love the songs of Milton & Lo.

Quarteto Em Cy - "Tudo Que Você Podia Ser"



Elis Regina- "Cais"



Marjorie Estiano- "O Trem Azul"



Livraria Letras e expresseos - "Nuvem Cigana"


Banda Black Rio - "Cravo e Canela"

Coachella 2009 30/30 Initiative: Conor Oberst

Posted by Amoebite, April 11, 2009 04:17pm | Post a Comment
127 Bands, 5 Stages, 3 Days and 1 Mean Sunburn.

"Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival - April 17-19th, 2009 or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Find 30 Reasons To Love a Weekend in the Desert."

- By Scott Butterworth


Coachella Lineup  Conor Oberst

Day #23 - Artist #23 - Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band:
Conor Oberst
It's not the most recognizable name...yet it sits suspiciously high at the top of the Coachella lineup for Friday April 17, 2009, just under icons Paul McCartney, Morrissey, Franz Ferdinand, and Leonard Cohen.

Conor Oberst, born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, started his professional music career in 1993 at age 13. His first significant project was forming the band Norman Bailer (which later became The Faint), while he was only 14 years old! After sharing this info with my roommate, he exclaimed, "That makes complete sense now. I've been wondering for years Conor Oberstwhy The Faint was his backing band during his Coachella performance in 2005!"

MUSIC MAKES THE WORLD GO ROUND: "STAND BY ME" MOOGALOOP

Posted by Billyjam, April 11, 2009 07:40am | Post a Comment

From the award-winning documentary Playing For Change: Peace Through Music comes the first of many "songs around the world" being released independently. Featured is a cover of the Ben E. King classic "Stand By Me" (above) with musicians around the world adding their part to the song as it travelled the globe. This song and the rest of the film soundtrack and DVD will both be available in Amoeba Music in a couple of weeks, on April 28th.

Outlaw Force

Posted by phil blankenship, April 10, 2009 09:03pm | Post a Comment
 


Trans World Entertainment #0643

AMOEBA MUSIC HIP-HOP WEEKLY ROUND UP: 04:10:09

Posted by Billyjam, April 10, 2009 07:22am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music HFloRida Rootsollywood Hip-Hop Top Five: 04:10:09

1) DOOM Born Like This (Lex)

2) Flo Rida R.O.O.T.S. (Poe Boy/Atlantic)

3) UGK UGK 4 Life (Jive)

4) Jim Jones Pray IV Reign (Columbia)

5) Madlib Beat Konducta Vols 5 6 (Stones Throw)

Miami pop rap act Flo RIda is In the number two slot this week with his just released second album R.O.O.T.S. The record includes the already major hit "RIght Round" -- the unavoidably popular track that reworks Dead Or Alive's mid-eighties synth-pop hit “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)” to which it owes its phenomenal success. Despite contributions from the likes of Ne-Yo, Akon, Wyclef Jean, Pleasure P, and Nelly Furtado, this sophomore album on Poe Boy/Atlantic, while better than Flo Rida's debut, comes off as hollow and ten years from now will most likely forgotten. The problem? Like most mainstream hip-hop, it doesn't sound like it is coming from the heart or soul but instead comes off as music manufacturejim jones pray iv reignd out of a desire to score a quick pop hit.

Meanwhile, Harlem artist Jim Jones' delayed latest album, Pray IV Reign -- his first for Columbia -- is a superior record and sounds like it is made from the heart. But it too suffers from a common problem in rap these days, the derivative factor. In this case, the former hype-man is constantly channeling 2Pac, not only copping Shakur's whole rhyme flow and inflections, but going so far as to even loot some of his trademark phrases ("Keep your head up," he spits on the new album track "Let It Out").

Free Toy Selectah Album!

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, April 10, 2009 12:39am | Post a Comment


If you read my blog over the last year, it's easy to tell I’m a big fan of Monterey, Mexico’s very own Toy Selectah. His official releases on Mad Decent and Bersa Discos are due to drop at some point this year. Until then, Mad Decent has put up an entire album’s worth of Toy Selectah remixes that you can download free of charge. Included on his Mex-More release are remixes from the likes of Air, Chromeo, Santigold, Molotov, Lil Wayne, Café Tacvba, Devendra Banhart and The Human League. Whether it's Ghetto-Tech, Raverton or Cumbia remixes, it's a party from start to finish.

Speaking of Bersa Discos, they are having another installment of their Tormenta Tropical nights at The Three Of Clubs in Hollywood on Friday, April 10. Guest DJ’s will be Ghislain Poirier (Ninja Tunes) and Nguzu Nguzu from Maryland. They be playing some mean Electro-Cumbia, Electro-Soca or just plain Electro. Either way, it should be loud and fun.

Also on this busy Friday will be the return of Los Fabulosos Cadillacs to Los Angeles. After a seven-year hiatus and the death of one of the original members, Gerardo "Toto" Rotblat, the band decided to reform, record and take it on the road. Their album, La Luz Del Ritmo is out now and picks up where the band left off. Their blend of high energy, Latin infused Ska/Reggae/Funk/Cumbia/Punk has been widely imitated but few have matched. Should be a great show at the Gibson.

Riverbend

Posted by phil blankenship, April 9, 2009 08:52pm | Post a Comment
 




Prism Entertainment #51001

MIAMI GRAFFITI THROUGH THE LENSES OF JAMES & KARLA MURRAY

Posted by Billyjam, April 9, 2009 04:00am | Post a Comment
Photo-journalists/authors James and Karla Murray's last two graffiti books (Broken Windows and Burning New York) as well as their very recently published Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York (all three published by Gingko Press) all covered the territory of the five boroughs of New York City.

But for their latest graffiti book, published this week by Prestel, they traveled to Miami, Florida to capture the 200 + vibrant images for this recommended
contemporary art coffee table book.

Simply titled Miami Graffiti, it is an amazing collection that captures the vibrant and stylistically diverse graffiti and murals of Miami, a city that for some reason tends to be overlooked somewhat when it comes to its street art scene. In fact, this is the first book to focus soley on Miami graf. Flipping through the pages upon pages of perfectly shot, bright, colorful panoramic shots, it's immediately evident that the husband and wife team of James and Karla Murray have both a real passion and a true gift for what they do.

For this Amoeblog I invited the photo authors, who I will interview in a few weeks on the New York graf scene, to supply the Amoeblog with some high resolution jpegs of Miami Graffiti from pages I randomly picked, based on my own taste and the variety of styles displayed. I also asked them to say a few words on each shot and the subject captured. Their words are below, with the page of the book each image appears on as well.


p.40) CROME
The artist CROME says, "I always like to incorporate a character into my piece because if you just do letters it can look repetitive. You need something more to look at than just letters."

John Fante, Ask the Dust ...

Posted by Whitmore, April 8, 2009 10:39pm | Post a Comment
 
Today is the centennial of John Fante’s birth. The author of Ask the Dust, Dago Red and Wait Until Spring, Bandini was born in Denver, Colorado, April 8th, 1909. But along with the likes of Raymond Chandler (born in Chicago, raised in England – his first novel, The Big Sleep, published the same year as Ask the Dust, 1939), Charles Bukowski (born in Andernach, Germany, raised in Baltimore) and James Ellroy (actually born in L.A., raised in El Monte), Fante helped create the literary vision of Los Angeles. John Fante just may be the quintessential L.A. writer, if not its literary patron saint.
 
Here are some snippets from his novels:
 
“I took the steps down Angel's Flight to Hill Street: a hundred and forty steps, with tight fists, frightened of no man, but scared of the Third Street Tunnel, scared to walk through it—claustrophobia. Scared of high places, too, and of blood, and of earthquakes; otherwise, quite fearless, excepting death, except the fear I'll scream in a crowd, except the fear of appendicitis, except the fear of heart trouble . . . Otherwise, quite fearless.”
 
"We talked, she and I. She asked about my work and it was a pretense, she was not interested in my work. And when I answered, it was a pretense. I was not interested in my work either. There was only one thing that interested us, and she knew it. She had made it plain by her coming."
 
"I have wanted women whose very shoes are worth all I have ever possessed."
 
"So fuck you, Los Angeles, fuck your palm trees, and your highassed women, and your fancy streets, for I am going home, back to Colorado, back to the best damned town in the USA -- Boulder, Colorado."
 
"It was a bad one, the Winter of 1933. Wading home that night through flames of snow, my toes burning, my ears on fire, the snow swirling around me like a flock of angry nuns, I stopped dead in my tracks. The time had come to take stock. Fair weather or foul, certain forces in the world were at work trying to destroy me." 
 
"Los Angeles, give me some of you! Los Angeles come to me the way I came to you, my feet over your streets, you pretty town I loved you so much, you sad flower in the sand, you pretty town!”
 
“ ‘Arturo,' she said. 'Why do we fight all the time?'
I didn't know. I said something about temperaments, but she shook her head and crossed her knees, and a sense of her fine thighs being lifted lay heavily in my mind, thick suffocating sensation, warm lush desire to take them in my hands. Every move she made, the soft turn of her neck, the large breasts swelling under the smock, her fine hands upon the bed, the fingers spread out, these things disturbed me, a sweet painful heaviness dragging me into stupor. Then the sound of her voice, restrained, hinting of mockery, a voice that talked to my blood and bones.”
 
“When the last had been destroyed the pieces blanketed the surface of the water, and the water was invisible beneath. Sadly I stirred it up. The water was a blackish color of fading ink. It was finished. The show was over. I was glad I had made this bold step and put them away all at once. I congratulated myself for having the strength of purpose, such ability to see a job through to the end. In the face of sentimentality I had gone ruthlessly forward. I was a hero, and my deed was sneered at. I stood up and looked at them before I pulled the plug. Little pieces of departed love.”
 
“Come down out of the skies, you God, come on down and I'll hammer your face all over the city of Los Angeles, you miserable unpardonable prankster.”

Eliminators Saturday At The New Beverly !

Posted by phil blankenship, April 8, 2009 05:27pm | 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 April 11
Andrew Prine
& Denise Crosby in

Eliminators

New Beverly Cinema
7165 W Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
11:59pm, All Tickets $7

April

Friday April 17
The Alamo Drafthouse CINEMAPOCALYPSE!
http://cinemapocalypse.blogspot.com/

SURF II - 25th Anniversary!
7:30pm, One of the supreme party romps of the genre’s defining decade, here is a No Rules celluloid powerhouse that doubles as a 300-fisted beachfront avalanche of insanity! Honestly, this greatest-mohawked-surfer-zombie-comedy-ever-made is best summarized by writer/director Badat: “Menlo Schwartzer - the geekiest mad scientist of all - wants to rid the world of surfers by transforming them into garbage-ingesting zombie punks! But no way dude can he stop their most awesome party!” SURF II (no, there was not a SURF 1) packs more early ‘80s drive-in mania into one movie than even a brain in the final stages of rabies can handle. Drooling undead new wave boneheads, valley girls, electronically transgendered geekazoids in underwater fortresses, the guy who played everyone’s favorite corpse in WEEKEND AT BERNIE’S, spazztastic video game combat and an appearance from actor Fred Asparagus as “Fat Boy # 1”! Speaking of the stellar Z-caliber cast, this picture sports a career-best lead performance from Supreme Alpha Nerd Eddie Deezen, as well as surprise roles from Ruth Buzzi, Carol Wayne and BLAZING SADDLES’ Cleavon Little. Combine with the pogo-inducing soundtrack by Oingo Boingo and The Circle Jerks and you have the most entertaining IQ-remover The Video Age ever shat out! Totally retardular!!! (Zack Carlson)

GALWAY'S COMMUNITY SKRATCH GAMES (IRISH HIP-HOP PART I)

Posted by Billyjam, April 8, 2009 10:16am | Post a Comment

Turntablism is alive and well on the West Coast-- the West Coast of Ireland that is-- specifically in Galway town where later today, April 8th, the third annual Community Skratch Games kicks off with a seminar and turntablist performance.

Running through Sunday, April 12th the Community Skratch Games is a DJ centric hip-hop event geared to educate via workshops, entertain via showcases, and generally promote the art of hip-hop with an emphasis on turntablism and sampling based production. And of course the Community Skratch Games, which are put together by Galway-based turntable quartet Vince Mack Mahon (DJs Deviant, Jimmy Penguin, Mikey Fingers and Tweek) along with such other dedicated West of Ireland turntablism heads as Johnny "Doobs" Lillis, will also feature several DJ battles. Run purely out of love for the art, the non-profit event is completely free to attend and draws DJs and fans from both Ireland and other European nations. 

The Community Skratch Games (High Rollers Bonanza), which premiered this time two years ago in the Bierhaus in Galway, states that Its purpose is to further the art of turntable manipulation and raise awareness of the hip-hop DJ culture and promises, as well as workshops, showcases, and battles, "a barrage of funk, hip-hop, electro and sweaty dancing folk." In addition to the West of Ireland Community Skratch Games, the organizers also co-produce the Community Skratch BBQ with their British turntable brethren in Brighton/London, UK in August each year.

Coachella 2009 30/30 Initiative: My Bloody Valentine

Posted by Amoebite, April 7, 2009 11:04pm | Post a Comment
127 Bands, 5 Stages, 3 Days and 1 Mean Sunburn.

"Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival - April 17-19th, 2009 or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Find 30 Reasons To Love a Weekend in the Desert."

- By Scott Butterworth
Coachella Lineup     My Bloody Valentine

Day #22 - Artist #22 - My Bloody Valentine:
My Bloody Valentine
My Bloody Valentine formed in 1984 in Dublin, Ireland, and spent a few years of metamorphosis working out the kinks with lineup changes and varying musical output before developing their innovative sound. It wasn't until 1988 that the "caterpillar" became a "butterfly," with the band releasing a pair of EPs and their first album Isn't Anything on Creation Records (future home to Oasis). My Bloody Valentine became the torchbearers of the Shoegaze style of music popular in the late '80s/early '90s that sent sparks into the alternative revolution of the 1990s. Unfortunately, by 1993 the band would unravel into a "lost period" of scrapped recording sessions by songwriter Kevin Shields (similar to Brian Wilson/Beach Boys and Axl Rose/Guns N' Roses) that lasted until the band's reunion in 2008. 

Black Jack Davy in His Various Forms

Posted by Miss Ess, April 7, 2009 03:16pm | Post a Comment
In many ways, the creature known in traditional folk songs as "Black Jack Davy," among other variants, is one of the original bad boy rebels. His story has been passed down in poem and song since possibly the early 1700s, or, if you listen to Nick Tosches, since the tale of Orpheus and Eurydice. Gypsy Davy wins the heart of an upper class maiden merely by letting his song ring through the woods. With one listen she is spellbound, leaving her fine feather bed/husband/baby (different objects in different versions, often all three), all for the love of Black Jack Davy, a rogue gypsy. "Black Jack Davy" can, and has, been read approximately a zillion different ways over the aeons, and that is part of the enjoyment of the piece. I see it as a liberation in a way for the young maiden, who chooses to run off with a cunning and poor man she is (rather joltingly) in love with instead of remaining "kept" by her wealthy husband. Other interpretations of the story are all up to you.

Among the various permutations of "Black Jack Davy"...

Here's Warren Smith with one of the first recorded versions of the song, recording for Sun Records in 1956:


(audio only)

Woody Guthrie's take:


(audio only)

Since Bob Dylan is a known nicker, especially of folk traditionals, I believe he nicked the descriptive "Spanish Leather" from "Black Jack Davy" for his own "Boots of Spanish Leather" back in the early 60s. Through the magic of the internet, I now see that author Michael Grey [Song & Dance Man III: The Art of Bob Dylan] has also postulated the same theory. Here is Dylan's version of "Blackjack Davey":


(audio only)

The Waterboys are a trad folk tinged rock band, so of course they had to weigh in with another interpretation of "The Raggle Taggle Gypsy":


I drove down to LA in 2001 to see Elliott Smith perform at the Sunset Junction Street Fair. It was one of the most disheartening experiences of my life -- he was at his disillusioned and drugged out worst, but one song that stood out at that show, and not just because it was one of the only ones he managed to complete, was "Black Jack Davy," something I had never heard him cover before. It was a sweet little surprise in an otherwise depressing as all hell performance. (FYI: The braided hair is in tribute to Willie Nelson, and the screaming in the background is due to the fair rides in close proximity to the stage.)


The White Stripes contribute probably my favorite version of "Black Jack Davey" to date. Thanks to Jack White's electrifying guitar work, the song has a compelling intensity that brings its story to life:


(audio only)

DEL THE FUNKY HOMOSAPIEN DISCUSSES FUNKMAN, HIS NEW FREE LP

Posted by Billyjam, April 7, 2009 12:17pm | Post a Comment
del the funky homosapien funkman
There used to be a time in the music biz when artists had the option to not go out on tour if they so chose, a time when album sales would (or might) generate enough funds to carry an artist financially. Those days are long gone. Nowadays touring is not just an option for artists, it's a necessity.

Not only that, but the rules of the game have been totally flipped around. Once upon a time a tour supported an album, but these days an artist's new album is merely a tool to promote his/her tour.

Case in point is longtime East Bay artist/producer/emcee Del The Funky Homosapien (of Hieroglyphics and Gorillaz/Deltron 3030 fame etc.), whose brand new album, Funkman (FunnyMan Entertainment), released today, April 7th, is being given away completely free as a digital download exclusively on his site and is being utilized as a tool to promote the artist's national tour which kicks off tomorrow, April 8th, in San Luis Obispo and runs through May 22nd.

Unlike Radiohead, who so famously gave away their last album by making it downloadable for free or (preferably) whatever amount of money fans chose to donate based on what they thought the music was worth, Del isn't asking a penny for the music. Foolish? Not at all. On the contrary, Del, who you will recall along with his Hiero collective was among the earliest hip-hoppers in the mid 1990's to jump on the Internet as way to distribute music, has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to music market analysis. Besides, he knows that today's pirating generation of music fans don't expect to spend money on new music and are most likely going to steal it anyway. So, he figured, why not just givdele it to them anyway and stay in control of the situation?
 
Topically presented as Del's "Stimulus Package" release for these cash-strapped times, the 13 track Funkman is artist's seventh album and follow up to last year's Def Jux release Eleventh Hour. The new album was officially announced via video clip a few weeks ago with the artist shown as "The President of Funk" atop a podium with a large Red Bull logo, informing fans of his "13 point stimulus plan that is guaranteed to restore funk to our Government," along with the good news that he was giving away this new album for free as of April 7th.

Coachella 2009 30/30 Initiative: Ghostland Observatory

Posted by Amoebite, April 6, 2009 10:23pm | Post a Comment
127 Bands, 5 Stages, 3 Days and 1 Mean Sunburn.

"Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival - April 17-19th, 2009 or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Find 30 Reasons To Love a Weekend in the Desert."

- By Scott Butterworth


Coachella Lineup   Ghostland Observatory

Day #21 - Artist #21 - Ghostland Observatory:

Ghostland Observatory

At first listen you might think Ghostland Observatory were sharing drinks with The Rapture in dingy downtown NYC bars long before anyone cared about either band. But nope, Ghostland Observatory are not from the scene that gave us the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, LCD Soundsystem, The Strokes, etc. The duo are from the land that most recently brought us Jessica Simpson and George W. Bush. That's right...Texas. While they now make their homebase in Austin (the "Berkeley" of red-state America), these aren't big city hipsters moving to Austin to get a different "vibe." They're country boys at heart, frequently returning to the farms they grew up on in small-town San Saba, Texas.

Rocco Morabito 1920 - 2009

Posted by Whitmore, April 6, 2009 09:40pm | Post a Comment

The Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Rocco Morabito, famous for his shot of a utility line worker saving the life a fellow lineman, died this past weekend. He was 88. According to news reports Morabito's health had been in decline and he had been in hospice care for some time.
 
His photograph, tagged "Kiss of Life" by editors at Florida’s Jacksonville Journal, appeared in newspapers and magazines around the world in 1967. The photo dramatically details electrical lineman Randall Champion dangling unconscious from the power pole after being shocked by the high-voltage wire, as fellow lineman J.D. Thompson tries resuscitating him. Morabito was driving along West 26th Street in Jacksonville in July 1967 after returning from covering a railroad strike when he saw the incident. He called his paper to call an ambulance then grabbed his camera.
 
Morabito won the Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography in 1968.
 
Earlier in his career another of Morabito’s most famous images was featured in Life magazine. In 1958 his photograph of some elementary school kids reciting the Pledge of Allegiance along with a pet rabbit, its paws over its heart, was given the full page Life treatment.
 
Morabito, once a newsboy selling papers, worked his way into photography for the Jacksonville Journal following the Second World War where he served as a B-17 ball-turret gunner. He worked for the paper for some 42 years, 33 of them as a photographer. Morabito retired in 1982.
 
As for Randall Champion, he survived being electrocuted and died thirty five years later in 2002 at the age of 64.

Elli et Jacno... et Lio. Les electro-ye-yes

Posted by Eric Brightwell, April 6, 2009 09:13pm | Post a Comment
Denis Quillard (born in 1957) came from an eccentric but distinguished family in Champagne. A chainsmoking fan of Gauloises, he was known to some as "Jacno," after Marcel Jacno, the illustrator who designed the cigarette manufacturer's logo. Jacno had learned to play flute at a religious school in Margency, Notre-Dame-de-Bury. As a child his musical heroes had been Chopin, Mozart and Satie, but as a young teenager, he gravitated toward The Who and The Rolling Stones. At fourteen, he took a job as a messenger boy, enabling him to buy a guitar. He also grew increasingly rebellious, experimenting with drugs, engaging in petty theft, and being expelled from a succession of schools. In 1973, he formed a short-lived band called Bloodsuckers.

Elli Medeiros was born January 18, 1956 in Montevideo, Uruguay. Her mother, Mirtha Medeiros, was an actress, and as a child, Elli also appeared in Uruguayan film, stage and TV productions. In the early '70s, along with her mother and her stepfather, she moved to Paris. The following year, at a protest, Elli and Jacno crossed paths. Soon, the two began dating and plotted a musical career.

   

In 1976, Elli and Jacno (joined by Bruno Carone, Albin Dériat and Hervé Zénouda) formed Les Stinky Toys in Rennes, Brittany. They played their first gig as Les Stinky Toys on the fourth of July, 1976. Les Stinky Toys quickly garnered a reputation as a willing and fairly able band who played several notable performances, including at London's 100 Club alongside The Buzzcocks, The Clash, The Damned, The Sex Pistols and Siouxsie & the Banshees. That came about after Malcolm McLaren discovered the band at a boutique in Les Halles. The notoriously hype-loving Melody Maker featured them on their cover. Conversely, the notoriously bitchy Trouser Press described them as "uninspired sub-Rolling Stones rock'n'boogie with terrible vocals by Elli Medeiros." In March of 1977, they played with Generation X, The Jam and The Police at Le Palais des Glaces. Soon after, they signed with Polydor and released their debut single, "Boozy Creed," followed by an album, Plastic Faces.

Uploaded by giomog

That same year, Kraftwerk went on a press tour by train to promote Trans-Europa Express and the notorious gatecrasher, Jacno, met them. The meeting seemed to have a profound effect on him, and his musical course began to change not long after. After being dropped by their label, Stinky Toys signed with Vogue. Their second album (sometimes known as La jeune) sold poorly, despite being an improvement. A gig at Le Palais des Arts was crashed by the Hell's Angels, who started a fight, leaving one fan dead. The band parted ways.

Uploaded by chris591972

Jacno's next work was a minimalist electropop EP, Rectangle (1979-Celluloïd). Far ahead of its time, it was turned down by many labels. Today it sounds like the missing link between Kraftwerk and Novelty Rock-era Denim. A writer for Cahiers du cinéma, Olivier Assayas (well-known now as the director of Irma Vep), had used Jacno's music in his film, Copyright, and subsequently made a music video called Rectangle: Deux chansons de Jacno (1980). Radio station Europe 1 picked up the song "Rectangle" for its theme music and it reached number one in several countries and was even used in a Nesquick ad.


1980 - Nesquick
Uploaded by fifitou

One song off of Rectangle, "Anne cherchait l'amour," featured Elli singing on the otherwise instrumental record. In 1980, they reteamed with the vision of updating the yé-yés of the '60s for the electropop era. Elli and Jacno's debut, Tout va sauter did well, buoyed by the success of "Main dans la main" and "L'age atomique."


The previous year, a Portuguese-cum-Belgian singer, Wanda Maria Ribeiro Furtado Tavares de Vasconcelos, taking the stage name and persona Lio (from Jean-Claude Forest's comic character from Barbarella) and aspring to combine her love of Blondie, Kraftwerk and Motown, teamed with Telex's Marc Moulin and scored a million-selling hit with "Le banana split," a thinly-veiled ode to fellatio. Having much in common with Ellie et Jacno, she approached them about collaborating and they gave her "Amoureux solitaires" which sold several million copies. Over the next few years, Lio and Elli et Jacno's updated yé-yé produced several musical gems.



Lio - "Amoureux Solitaires" (1981)
Uploaded by juanfrance


Elli et Jacno - "Oh la la" 1982
Uploaded by giomog

Elli et Jacno - "Le telephone" 1982
Uploaded by giomog

Jacno ended up working mostly over the following years as a producer. In 1982, Elli et Jacno had a baby, Calypso, and released Boomerang before ending both their personal partnership. After creating the score for Eric Rohmer's Les nuits de la pleine lune in 1984, the two dissolved their musical partnership as well.
.
Jacno has released the solo works T'es loin, T'es près (1989), Faux témoin (1995) and French paradoxe (2002). Lio went on to work with the Sparks and embarked on an acting career, appearing several times in the films of noted cinematic pioneer Chantal Ackerman. Elli Medeiros has released the tropical-flavored Bom bom (1987) and the bilingual EM (2005), in addition to working steadily as an actress since the '90s.

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RAP PRODUCER TONY D DIES IN CAR CRASH, AGED 42

Posted by Billyjam, April 6, 2009 03:13pm | Post a Comment
tony d
As reported on the front page of his hometown paper, The Trentonian, hip-hop music lost another notable contributor over the weekend when Trenton NJ hip-hop producer, DJ, and sometime emcee Anthony “Tony D” DePula died tragically in a one-car crash on Saturday evening (April 4th) not far from his Hamilton, New Jersey township home.

Reportedly he was driving home to have dinner with his wife and two young daughters (ages 3 and 15 months) at about 6 p.m. after dropping off beats to an emcee client when he lost control of his 2002 Suzuki XL wagon and struck the fence of St. John’s Cemetery on Bunting Avenue not far from his home. The impact flipped the vehicle onto its side and the hip-hop artist, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was found unconscious at the scene with a severe neck injury. Shortly after being admitted to the hospital he was pronounced dead. He was only 42.

Tony D was instrumental in putting Trenton, NJ on the hip-hop map back two decades ago, along with such fellow Trenton hip-hoppers as Poor RIghteous Teachers (PRT), a group he produced. And Tony D will be most rock dis funky jointremembered as the producer of PRT's 1990 timeless hip-hop track (and only major radio hit), “Rock Dis Funky Joint” (check the video below, shot on the "Trenton Makes" bridge). Aside from the popular single, he also produced nearly all of the rest of the PRT debut album, Holy Intellect

Tony D also produced PRT's follow up album, Pure Poverty, a year later. He then produced four tracks off PRT's 1993 album Black Business. Other artists that Tony D produced include YZ, King Sun, The Outsidaz, Method Man, Redman, and Cypress Hill. He also had numerous other production projects, including writing the score for the 2001 movie Snipes, which was a film about a fictional Philly rapper's rise to fame.

(For which we beg your forgiveness)

Posted by Job O Brother, April 6, 2009 03:12pm | Post a Comment
I spend a lot of time walking; it’s my favorite mode of transportation, except for maybe riding a train, but riding a train from my apartment to, say, Amoeba Music Hollywood, would require either walking half the day to the train station, spending lots of money on a ticket to the next nearest destination which would be somewhere on the outskirts of Los Angeles, at which point I would either have to walk back, which would take a couple days (stopping for food/bathroom/weeping breaks) OR a couple hours in a cab (which would cost more money than I make in a week) OR require walking to a bus-stop and a day-long bus ride. I could do all that, or I could walk the 10 minutes from my apartment to Amoeba.

So, while technically riding a train is my favorite mode of transportation, context is of some consideration, and that results in walking sometimes being my favorite mode of transportation.

Please accept my apologies for the above two paragraphs; they were a complete waste of both our time.

While walking to various destinations, I often enjoy listening to books that have been recorded. People, myself included, still most often refer to these as “books on tape,” even though compact discs are the preferred vehicle for said recordings (“said recordings” – get it?).

I am really hating my journalistic “voice” in this article. Like, a lot. But, going on…

Amoeba Music has a hearty supply of used, “books on tape” and other spoken-word gems. In the Hollywood branch, they’re located in the jazz room, tucked between the classical and experimental sections. We put them there because they kept getting picked-on by the rock/pop DVD’s and vintage posters, both sections known for their name-calling and general rowdiness.

At the time of this writing, there is only a vague organization of the section, and if you come into the store in a hurry – let’s say you’re in labour and your cervix is dialated about 3 centimeters – and you want a copy of Dianetics on CD, as read by Ruth Buzzy, you’re bound to be intimidated by the task of finding it. That’s the bad news. (Well, that and the discovery that you weren’t really pregnant at all – it was merely a splinter, not a fully gestated fetus, and now you have to return all those baby shower presents and cancel the placenta burying ceremony you had booked at Shakey’s Pizza who refuse to refund the deposit you paid even after you explain it to the manager who should have more compassion because she’s pregnant herself and shouldn’t be so quick to judge.)

THE GOOD NEWS IS that most every item in Amoeba’s “books on CD” section is inexpensive. I am constantly finding wonderful books to hear that are under five bucks. Five bucks! That’s less than a small pizza at Shakey’s!

(The above sales pitch may explain why Amoeba’s never hired me to work in the marketing department.)

Anyway, come check the section out, sometime when you’re not in a hurry.

In other news, The Advocate has published the article I wrote about my recent cruise to the Caribbean. You can read it by clicking on the picture below:


For those of you who didn’t click on the picture but instead continued on by reading this sentence, I apologize once again, as this sentence is only going to be another waste of your precious time, though of course by now it’s too late and you’ll never get the seconds lost back, which may not be a great tragedy in the scheme of things, but even so stands testament to the fact that fate is often unjustly impacted by silly fools who have nothing better to do than steal the attention of others in vain efforts, whatever they may be, and regardless of how these actions impact others.

This Week At The New Bev: Tarkovsky, Cassavetes, Thin Man & more!

Posted by phil blankenship, April 6, 2009 10:49am | Post a Comment
This Week At The New Beverly!


Sunday, Monday & Tuesday April 5, 6, & 7

Andrei Tarkovsky's medieval epic masterpiece ANDREI RUBLEV (1966), presented in the full, 205-minute version!

Andrei Rublev
(1966)
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0060107/
dir. Andrei Tarkovsky, starring Anatoli Solonitsyn, Ivan Lapikov, Nikolai Grinko, Nikolai Sergeyev
Sun: 5:00 only; Mon/Tue: 8:00


Wednesday & Thursday April 8 & 9


Two By John Cassavetes

Minnie and Moskowitz (1971) Out Of Print On DVD!
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0067433/
written & directed by John Cassavetes, starring Gena Rowlands, Seymour Cassel, Val Avery, Timothy Carey
7:30

Imaginary Jukebox, Part 2

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, April 6, 2009 01:29am | Post a Comment
My quest for the ultimate jukebox continues...Here are the latest selections, from Colombia, Australia and Philadelphia:

Lito Barrientos - "Chambacu Con Tambores"


X (Not the one from L.A.) - "I Don't Wanna Go Out"


Schoolly D - "Saturday Night"

Stuff I Thought Was Interesting, April 2009

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, April 6, 2009 01:01am | Post a Comment

Death -
…For The Whole World To See (Drag City)

Chances are if you are dating a single mother, you’re going to have some influence on her kids. That is what happened to Bobby, David & Dannis Hackney. The Hackney brothers’ mom was dating a Detroit area bouncer who worked the rock clubs. He got the young brothers into the clubs and exposed them to the crème de la crème of the Detroit scene of the late 60’s, early 70’s. They saw groups such as The MC5, The Stooges, Funkadelic and Alice Cooper. Soon they started their own band and recorded the best album you've never heard. Recorded in 1974, Death’s …For The Whole World To See finally sees the light of day. Death was one of those bands that no one knew what to do with. They were black teenagers that played Stooges influenced rock and roll. The African American community was into Motown and the Philly sound and Punk rock didn’t even have a name yet. Not having a vehicle to release their album, Death released an independent single from this session, their 1976 single, "Politician In My Eyes," which made it seem like these guys were followers rather than one of the originators of Punk. Nothing against The Ramones, New York Dolls or many of those bands people mention as being a part of the genesis of Punk Rock, but Death should have been mentioned along with those groups as pioneers of Punk. Hopefully now they will get their due.

Amadou & Mariam - Welcome To Mali (Nonesuch)

Things I love about this album: I like that Amadou and Mariam continue to modernize their sound. It would be easy for them to do their Malian style blues in a tradition style much like the great Ali Farka Toure did for many years. It would be easy for them to go the way of the Touaregs and get a cult following who will buy every Touareg rock release. I feel that Amadou & Mariam feel that they are bigger than Mali; I feel like they feel they are bigger than Africa as well. Much like Manu Chao, they want their music to transcend borders and time. They have songs in English. They will tour with Coldplay. This is a group not afraid to collaborate and to try new sounds. If Lil Wayne and Kanye West can have Auto-tune on their tracks, why can't Mariam?!

Some songs on this new record are in collaboration with Mr. Blur himself, Damon Albarn. They also do a song with new PC Superhero/notorious bad tipper K’naan (some inside info for you waiter/waitress types!). Some songs are brilliant and others are misguided, but the album is never boring. I would have to come to the same conclusion as my World Music cohort Viola Galloway on this one: Good, not great.

Chicano Rock! The Sound Of East Los Angeles (DVD)

This film originally aired on PBS. It is an hour history lesson on the music of East L.A. from the 1940’s till present day. Narrated by James Edward Olmos (as in, "he’s in Olmos every Chicano film every made!"), Chicano Rock contains plenty of great interviews, including some of the last interviews ever with the late Lalo Guerrero and Don Tosti. The documentary covers the struggles of Chicano musicians who weren’t accepted by their Mexican counterparts and were mostly ignored by mainstream America. There is classic footage of Cannibal & The Headhunters (and an explanation of how they got their name), Thee Midniters, El Chicano and Ritchie Valens. Also included is some recent footage of 80’s Punk band The Brat and some of Son Jarocho via Quetzal. This is great for a beginner to the Chicano music scene but if you are like me and have read a thousand books on this very subject, you probably will want a little more depth. Still, it is a welcome drink of Chicano knowledge for a thirsty world.


Coachella 2009 30/30 Initiative: The Courteeners

Posted by Amoebite, April 5, 2009 10:21pm | Post a Comment

127 Bands, 5 Stages, 3 Days and 1 Mean Sunburn.

"Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival - April 17-19th, 2009 or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Find 30 Reasons To Love a Weekend in the Desert."

- By Scott Butterworth

Coachella LineupThe Courteeners


Day #20 - Artist #20 - The Courteeners:

Twenty-two year old singer-songwriter Liam Fray grabbed three of his childhood friends from Manchester, England to form The Courteeners in 2006. Their debut album, St. Jude, was released in April 2008.The Courteeners

Listen to the Courteens, if you like -- you get a little bit of each of these:  The Walkmen, The Smiths. The Kooks, Arctic Monkeys, Stone Roses, Oasis. Paul McCartney, The Cribs, The Jam. And also listen to The Courteeners...because Morrissey said so!! Apparently now-a-days, New Musical Express (NME), Rolling Stone, Village Voice and pitchfork.com are all out the window -- to be crowned the "new hip band," all you have to do is get David Bowie or Morrissey to sign your permission slip.

My Favorite Color Is Love And Other Ways To Sell Records

Posted by Whitmore, April 5, 2009 09:16pm | Post a Comment

Coachella 2009 30/30 Initiative: Paul McCartney

Posted by Amoebite, April 4, 2009 09:34pm | Post a Comment
127 Bands, 5 Stages, 3 Days and 1 Mean Sunburn.

"Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival - April 17-19th, 2009 or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Find 30 Reasons To Love a Weekend in the Desert."

- By Scott Butterworth


Paul McCartney  Paul McCartney

Day #19 - Artist #19 - Paul McCartney (Motha F%&*#in' Beatle!):

We all know Paul McCartney. Former Beatle, one half of the greatest songwriting partnership of all time, and successfull solo artist. But you know what I want to know? When did it become "cool" (and I use that term very loosly) to hate Paul McCartney!?!? What year was it that the hipster constitutional convention convened and declared, "We, the hipsters of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union...agree that we will try to claim personal validation by systematically hating Paul McCartney?" It was ridiculous then, it's recoculous now, and absolutely asinine to ever contribute to in the future! C'mon, let's just put our hipster pride aside for one second.

Paul McCartney is without a doubt one of the greatest songwriters, musicians and cultural innovators in modern history. There is supposed controversy about whether or not he will "fit in" as a headliner in the Coachella environment. I've yet to hear a legitimate argument to support that. I'm willing to bet my entire next paycheck that more performers from the entire ten years of Coachella have been inspired by the music of Paul McCartney than by any other artist. And I'm willing to make the same bet that attendees at this year's festival own more albums of Paul McCartney's music than the Paullast two years of headliners' put together!! Yeah...I said it! I just don't get it...where the #%&* is the controversy?

Yoko Ono Unveils New Mural

Posted by Whitmore, April 4, 2009 11:39am | Post a Comment
This past week Yoko Ono unveiled her new mural entitled Promise and plans for it to be auctioned off for the charity Autism Speaks. The installation depicts clouds against a clear blue sky and presently stands in the lobby at the United Nations building in New York.

The 76-year-old Japanese-born artist, musician and widow of John Lennon divided the seven-foot tall mural into 67 jigsaw-like pieces. Each piece will be signed by the artist and is being auctioned at www.charitybuzz.com/yoko; the starting bid for each section is $1,000. The 67 pieces represent the approximately 67 million people who have autism world wide. When the piece was unveiled on Wednesday, two pieces were already missing.

Autism Speaks said this UN event was one of more than 100 that took place in 35 different countries to mark the second annual World Autism Awareness Day on April 2nd, one of only three issues recognized by the United Nations with a dedicated day. The other days are for AIDS and diabetes.

Yoko Ono hopes that all 67 pieces will be reunited once a cure for autism is discovered.

Secret Society of the Sonic 6 w/ 16s, Cut Chemist, Zombelle+++

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, April 4, 2009 10:30am | Post a Comment

Coachella 2009 30/30 Initiative: White Lies

Posted by Amoebite, April 3, 2009 08:02pm | Post a Comment
127 Bands, 5 Stages, 3 Days and 1 Mean Sunburn.

"Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival - April 17-19th, 2009 or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Find 30 Reasons To Love a Weekend in the Desert."

- By Scott Butterworth


Coachella Lineup   White Lies

Day #18 - Artist #18 - White Lies:
White Lies
One part Joy Division, one part Muse, one part Interpol, served in a tall glass to a West Londoner sitting in a downtown New York bar. The White Lies released their debut album, To Lose My Life..., less than a year from the date of the trio’s first gig and entered the UK Charts at number one in January, but the album wasn't released in the US until a few weeks ago in March. These lads (sorry...I've just always wanted to use that word) from Ealing, West London, England, have been the talk of the town, playing packed shows throughout the UK since last summer.  White Lies

Strangely, as they were selling out shows in the UK, they could hardly give away a show here in the US, as was evidenced when their free show at The Roxy here in Los Angeles drew a crowd of maybe 100 back in October of 2008. I know...I was there. My roommate and I had a tough decision that night between attending the White Lies show or the Secret Machines playing just next door at the Key Club. But we went with the free show and it was priceless (literally and figuratively)! It seemed like something special...more than the usual local club gig, but there was not much of an audience to receive it. With the American press just starting to catch on and a standout performance at the South By Southwest festival in Austin a couple weeks ago, I think America is finally ready for the White Lies.

AMOEBA MUSIC HIP-HOP WEEKLY ROUND UP: 04:03:09

Posted by Billyjam, April 3, 2009 06:22pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music San Francisco Hip-Hop Top Six: 04:03:09

aceyalone
1) Aceyalone Aceyalone & The Lonely Ones (Decon) 

2) DOOM Born Like This (Lex)

3) Eddi Projex I Got The Streets On Fire (Town Thizzness/Fontana)

4) UGK UGK 4 Life (Jive)

5) V/A Dillanthology (Rapster)

6) eLZhi Witness My Growth (Fat Beats)

In the top slot of this week's Amoeba Hip-Hop chart is the brand new project from LA hip-hop veteran Aceyalone, who never ceases to surprise with the directions he takes. Titled Aceyalone & The Lonely Ones, this retro styled project, which is totally unlike anything the founding member of Freestyle Fellowship has done before, is kind of like if you were to beam Ace back in a time machine to the sixties and place him smack in center stage during a Motown Records revue as soul bandleader complete with back up singers (The Lonely Ones) knocking out one catchy soulful hit after another, yet all delivered via lush modern day studio sensibilities. The end result is a Gnarls Barkley styled project that is bound to win Aceyalone fans that he never would have appealed to in previous incarnations.

MF DOOM, who many believed had hung up the mic and the mask for good, is thankfully back with a much buzzed about new album, Born Like This on Lex. Now billing himself simply as DOOM, the new album, which like all of his output takes a few listens to fully appreciate the sheer depth of, is up there with his classic MMM...Food, an album that one can never tire of. 

Coachella 2009 30/30 Initiative: Etienne De Crecy

Posted by Amoebite, April 2, 2009 04:10pm | Post a Comment
127 Bands, 5 Stages, 3 Days and 1 Mean Sunburn.

"Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival - April 17-19th, 2009 or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Find 30 Reasons To Love a Weekend in the Desert."

- By Scott Butterworth

Coachella Lineup    Etienne De Crecy

Day #17 - Artist #17 - Etienne De Crecy:
Etienne De Crecy
Until I attended Coachella in 2006, I always thought of DJ/Electronic music as something that was just anonymous background music in a dark club. Even the few DJs that became superstars throughout the '90s and '00s hardly had a "face" to their music in a traditional popular music sense. I mean, except for a few strobe lights at the raves out in the desert, the DJ could be performing his set from inside a port-a-john and the crowd wouldn't know if there was even a DJ on stage or not.

But the top DJ/electronic acts booked at Coachella have started a trend over the past several years of turning the large Sahara Tent Stage ("Dance Tent"), which might otherwise be 10 hours of monotonous strobe lights and loud music, into a complete rock and roll spectacle, which is fitting since Coachella is one of the preeminent rock festivals in America. And this year, Etienne De Crecy is going to bring his unique spectacle to the "Dance Tent" toward the top of the bill, Saturday April 19, 2009.
Etienne De Crecy Cube
Etienne De Crecy is a French DJ and producer who was very influential in pulling the spotlight toward the Paris dance music scene in the 1990s, working with renowned French artists Air, Alex Gopher and Phillipe Zdar, among many others. He first made a name for himself with his collaboration with Zdar in 1991 called Motorbass. He shined on his own for the first time with the album Super Discount in 1994, and followed that in a tad bit different direction on Tempovision in 2000. Both earned praise from dance music critics around the world. He's been laying low for a while but he's ready to make his long awaited return at Coachella this year.

B.I.R.T.H.D.A.Y. MAN: METHOD MAN TURNS 38 TODAY

Posted by Billyjam, April 1, 2009 09:45pm | Post a Comment

"M.E.T.H.O.D. Man" (1993)
method man
Birthday greetings are in order for living hip-hop legend Method Man who celebrates his 38th birthday today. One of the founding and most prominant members of the Wu-Tang Clan, in recent years he has been more well-known for his rhyme partnership with Redman and his acting career, which includes a role on the HBO series The Wire.

Born Clifford Smith, the young Method Man grew up in New York on both Long Island and Staten Island (aka Shaolin), where he would help form one of hip-hop history's most popular and influential groups, the Wu-Tang Clan.

As a member of Wu-Tang, Method Man had the distinction of being the first solo star to emerge from the rap supergroup that also featured Rza, GZA, Ol Dirty Bastard, Raekwon, U-God, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, and Masta Killa. The group's groundbreaking 1993 debut heavily showcases his talents and includes the hit single "Method Man."

The song's refrain M-E-T-H-O-D was drawn from the previous decade's Hall & Oates hit "Method of Modern Love" from their 1984 Big Bam Boom album. Within just a year of the Wu-Tang debut method man and redman how highalbum, Method Man released his own debut solo album, 1994's Tical on Def Jam, featuring such timeless hip-hop tracks as "Release Yo Delf," "Bring The Pain," and "All I Need" (a later version of this song won a Grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group under the title "I'll Be There for You/You're All I Need to Get By" with Mary J. Blige). 

Coachella 2009 30/30 Initiative: Jesse and The Rippers - Reunion!

Posted by Amoebite, April 1, 2009 06:20pm | Post a Comment
127 Bands, 5 Stages, 3 Days and 1 Mean Sunburn.

"Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival - April 17-19th, 2009 or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Find 30 Reasons To Love a Weekend in the Desert."

- By Scott Butterworth


Coachella 2009 April 1st Lineup

Day #16 - Artist #16 - Jesse and The Rippers - Reunion (Just announced hours ago!!!!):

Since its inception in 1999, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival has made bold attempts to reunite some of the most sought after bands in modern music history. And many of those attempts have successfully come to fruition, making Coachella the preeminent and trusted outlet for artists to bring back the magic that we the music fans hold near and dear to our hearts and our lives.

With Iggy and The Stooges in 2003, Pixies in 2004, Daft Punk in 2006 and Rage Against the Machine in 2007, Coachella made headlines around the world, making huge headliner reunions one of the festival's defining and signature attractions. But these headlines have just been dwarfed by the stunning, monumental annoucement made by Coachella Co-Founder/Talent Buyer Paul Tollet on KCRW's Morning Becomes Mullectic radio program just hours ago! The suspicious hole that was left in the Coachella line up for a very strongly rumored "Headliner reunion" on Saturday night of the festival has just been filled by one of the most lauded mainstays of the late 80's/early 90's San Francisco rock and roll scene, Jesse and The Rippers!!!

Lobster Man From Mars At The New Beverly!

Posted by phil blankenship, April 1, 2009 10:24am | 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 April 4

20th Anniversary!

Lobster Man From Mars

Director Stanley Sheff IN PERSON!

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