Amoeblog

World No Tobacco Day

Posted by Whitmore, May 31, 2009 06:06pm | Post a Comment

It seems like every month, week and most any day is dedicated to something, and today is no exception. In 1987 the World Health Organization passed Resolution WHA40.38, "a world no-smoking day." Two years later Resolution WHA42.19 was passed and "resolves that each year 31 May shall be World No Tobacco Day." Every May 31st since has been designated as such. Observed world wide, it draws attention to the widespread prevalence of tobacco use and to its negative health effects. The day aims to reduce the 5.4 million yearly tobacco related deaths. In 2007 the tobacco theme was “Smoke-free environments.” Last year's WNTD theme was “Tobacco-Free Youth.” This year’s theme is "Tobacco Health Warnings," with an emphasis on picture warnings, shown to be particularly effective at making people aware of the health risks. More and more countries are requiring tobacco packaging to show the dangers as is called for in guidelines to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. As for tomorrow, June 1st, it is the start of the officially designated Turkey Lovers Month and here in Hollywood we’ll be celebrating with a wide concoction of turkey dishes, turkey activities and tossing around fun facts such as: wild turkeys can fly for short distances up to 55 mph and can run as fast as 20 mph.

June 2 - 8 New Bev Film Explosion

Posted by phil blankenship, May 31, 2009 03:47pm | Post a Comment
www.newbevcinema.com

June 2-8 New Beverly Film Explosion!
Amoebite Phil Blankenship takes over the New Bev for a full week of double (and triple) features of MOVIE MANIA!


Tuesday June 2

Class of 1984 plus
3:15
The Moment Of Truth


Class of 1984 screenwriter Tom Holland will appear IN PERSON to discuss the movie, schedule permitting.

Class of 1984 7:30pm

3:15 The Moment Of Truth 9:30pm


Wednesday
June 3


Witchboard plus
Witchtrap


Director Kevin Tenney will appear IN PERSON with other special guests to discuss the movie, schedule permitting.

Witchboard 7:30pm

Witchtrap 9:30pm


Thursday June 4

Under Siege plus
The Taking Of Beverly Hills

Under Siege 7:30pm

Continue reading...

Oiran So Far Away: Making sense of Mika Ninagawa's Sakuran

Posted by Kells, May 31, 2009 12:23pm | Post a Comment
Want candy but concerned about empty calories? I had been looking forward to seeing Mika Ninagawa's candy-colored film adaptation of the manga Sakuran for quite some time and, like a child hypnotized by sugar-filled display cases at the confectionary house, I had become quite sure of its deliciousness before I had a chance to taste the rainbow, so to speak. 


There was no doubt in my mind that this film could be anything but great. The recipe seems flawless: director Ninagawa's photographic vision delightfully compares to the eye-popping, richly colored superworld of noted fashion photographer David LaChapelle, sultry J-pop songstress Shiina Ringo lends her musical caress to the soundtrack, and actress Anna Tsuchiya, an ex-model turned J-pop strumpet who stole the show as a teenage biker girl gangbanger in Kamikaze Girls, seemed like the perfect sort of rough 'round the edges, streetwise prima ballerina to play the rebellious-yet-kept lady of the night lead character trapped in the red light of Sakuran.

Though we never learn her true name, the story follows a young girl sold to a house of ill-repute in the notorious Yoshiwara district of Edo, a "pleasure quarters" area of what is now known as modern day Tokyo. We watch this girl grow up learning about womanhood, sex, and the art of allure and deception, as it pertains to prostitution, from her working-girl housemates and mama-san handler. (It should be mentioned here that there is a surprising mini-montage of various angles and close-ups of breasts and nipples during a bathhouse scene that caused me to verbally chasten my television for revealing such an unexpected anatomical expose.) The girl is given the name 'Kiyoha' and, armed with what we are supposed to understand as sort of preternatural understanding of "desire," hers becomes the name on everyone's lips whether whispered passionately by admirers or spat out like venom in hatred. This leads to great fame and high, ahem, society for Kiyoha as she eventually makes the move from nobody "new girl" to celebrity oiran, a sort of esteemed courtesan who gets to parade around town in fabulously lofty footwear. Drama!

The infallible foundation and sturdy framework of the film is not the story, but rather the luscious scenery; the visuals satisfy cherry-pie like cravings while the tepid plot-points weaken the elastic of your undergarments like carbohydrate loading minus the burn. It doesn't help that the story is a familiar one. Many folks draw comparisons between Sakuran and Memoirs of a Geisha and, to a lesser extent, Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette. It's true Sakuran shares a similar story line to that of Memoirs, but I believe it is the better film for two reasons. First, the cinematograpic orgasmatron that Sakuran flaunts is colorfully, texturally and artfully way above and beyond anything showcased in Memoirs, including that crazy, cathartic dance scene. Second, I've always had trouble with movies that are dripping wet with a specific "other" cultural fragrances yet cast actors for convenient English speaking roles (the artistic biopic Frieda starring Salma Heyak comes to mind); Why? Is it too much to ask of an American audience to check out some subtitles? Too much trouble getting the production staff on the same page linguistically? (Sorry to digress Arsenio Hall-style, but I'll forever store this phenomenon in the things that make you go "hmmm" file.) Sakuran may be just another "geisha" picture, but it's got wicked style enough to make the 110 minutes you'll sit basking in it worth your time.

As for the comparisons to Marie Antoinette, the blemish shared by the two films is glaring, unfortunate and, in my opinion, ready to freaking pop --- pun intended. Both films have strong, pop-rock derived soundtracks and that's all fine and groovy, but I must say that there were times where I wanted to accuse the music of purposefully bad acting. I could point to many scenes in Sakuran where Shiina Ringo's music, music I really like, just doesn't work. I can totally understand choosing Ringo as the musical director for such a film, however, as she has made it obvious throughout her musical career that the subject matter of a film like Sakuran is right up her alley. But just imagine, if you please, a jazzy bossanova number with carefree vocal warbling accompanying a painfully emotional, tear-filled breakthrough on a muddy riverbank. How can anyone, any dramatic character make a serious attempt to harness and portray raw humanism when the music playing in the background demands an up-tempo dance number? Like juicy meat clinging to rickety bones, Marie Antoinette relies just as heavily on costume, set dressing and ephemeral, nature-themed vignettes to pull together a skimpy story and obtuse musical meandering, but Sakuran suffers more for its total presentation. Though it goes against everything the film wants you to understand, it would be perfectly understandable to watch this film on mute and enjoy it. 

But what a shame it would be to miss out on everything that was said, even if you wouldn't understand it without subtitles. Anna Tsuchiya's raspy voice is charming, and a lot of the incidental music is good, not to mention the bonafide Shiina Ringo hits that snuck into the film in various musical disguises (it's not that all the music contrasts with the film in an unflattering way, it's just the moments when the music clashes with a scene that potentially puts one's patience on trial). And then there's the look, I could go on and on about the exquisiteness --- I love it! Overall I was happy with what I saw and I discovered more than one delicious color story that I never figured would turn me on. Now, if there were a hair story to be told of the film I think it would sound a lot like the lyrics to Daft Punk's "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger." I'm getting carried away. Anyway, I think I've said enough; If I can't convince anyone to see Sakuran despite its deficiencies, then maybe these candy-coated visuals will:

No sound no tell, Gay Cinema in the silent era

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 31, 2009 12:12pm | Post a Comment

Frederic Lord Leighton's Flaming June

June, in addition to being Vision Research Month, Fireworks Safety Months, Light the Night for Sight Months, National Candy Month, Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month, Cancer in the Sun Month, Dairy Month, National Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Month, National Iced Tea Month, National Pest Control Month, Safety Month, Scleroderma Awareness Month, and Zoo and Aquarium Month, is also Gay and Lesbian Pride Month, first established by Bill Clinton back in '00. Therefore, I may in the coming weeks blog about iced tea or become aware of Scleroderma, but for now I will focus on Gay Cinema.

One of the first things I noticed about gay people's feelings toward Gay Cinema is that they're almost all negative.  Exceptions are usually foreign films, which are almost invariably downers. The first year Amoeba observed Gay and Lesbian Pride month in the movie department in the form of a display, we all had an uncomfortable chuckle about the unfailingly depressing storylines of the films we featured. Films based on the lives and deaths of famous gays like Joe Orton, Brandon Teena, Oscar Wilde and James Whale all ended tragically. And here I thought gay meant happy!


The history of Gay Cinema is quite unlike most minority driven alternatives to Hollywood. Unlike American Asians, blacks, Latinos and Natives -- whose identities have always been fairly obvious (except in cases of passing) -- gays have always had the option of remaining invisilble. Therefore, gays were never required to sit in the back of the bus, attend special schools or live in segregated neighborhoods. In the silent film industry, most gay actors understandably chose to hide their identitites. Though there are few overt representations of homosexuality in silent films -- mostly in European films -- most are merely hinted at. More importantly, however, the contributions of gays both in front of and behind the camera are many and noteworthy.


In 1895, Irish celebrity, genius, comic, dandy and second-most-read author in the English language, Oscar Wilde, was arrested on charges of "gross indecency." On the stand, he eloquently defended his position:

      "The love that dares not speak its name" in this century is such a great affection of an elder for a      
      younger man as there was between David and Jonathan, such as Plato made the very basis of his
      philosophy, and such as you find in the sonnets of Michelangelo and Shakespeare. It is that deep 
      spiritual affection that is as pure as it is perfect. It dictates and pervades great works of art, like     
      those of Shakespeare and Michelangelo, and those two letters of mine, such as they are. It is in
      this century misunderstood, so much misunderstood that it may be described as "the love that 
      dares not speak its name," and on that account of it I am placed where I am now. It is beautiful, it is
      fine, it is the noblest form of affection. There is nothing unnatural about it. It is intellectual, and it
      repeatedly exists between an older and a younger man, when the older man has intellect, and the
      younger man has all the joy, hope and glamour of life before him. That it should be so, the world
      does not understand. The world mocks at it, and sometimes puts one in the pillory for it."

The courts were unmoved and Wilde was sentenced to two years hard labor, which destroyed his fame and person. Given the climate of the time and the relative ease at concealing their sexual orientations,  Gay Cinema was, in most cases, coded and subtextual for many years. In the US, depictions of homosexuality were forbidden in by the censors. Thus there would be no minority-serving alternatives along the lines of Asian-American Cinema or Black Cinema for decades to come. As a result, what is Gay Cinema is much more up for debate in a way that other minority cinemas are not and arguing about what/who is/isn't gay seems to be practically a pastime.

     

Then as now, Hollywood was full of gay and bisexual actors such as William Haines, Edmund Lowe, Lilyan Tashman, Alla Nazimova, Charles Bryant, Clifton Webb, Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich and Louise Brooks. In order to keep up appearances, many paired up in front marriages, sometimes with straights and other times with gays of the opposite sex. For the most part, many were widely known to be gay or bisexual within Hollywood.



A few gay actor made no efforts to hide their preferences. Tallulah Bankhead, for example, was one of the few actresses to live her life completely out of the closet, bragging that she bedded Greta Garbo, Barbara Stanwyck and Joan Crawford. But most actors stayed in the closet for their own safety. When an actor's homosexuality was too well known, violence often resulted. When William Haines and his boyfriend Jimmy Shields were too obviously gay, they were attacked by an angry mob. Minority gays seemed to have it twice as bad. Luis Antonio Damaso de Alonso not only had to anglicize his name to Gilbert Roland to be accepted within Hollywood, he also married a woman in order to maintain his commercial appeal as a "Latin Lover." Another Latino actor, Ramon Novarro, ended up being beaten to death.



Gays behind the camera were uninteresting to celebrity worshippers and therefore mostly ignored by scandal rags. As a result, they often went to less trouble to hide their homosexuality than those in the public eye. Gay directors of the silent film era include Edmung Goulding, F.W. Murnau, James Whale ("The Queen of Hollywood"), Jean Cocteau, Mauritz Stiller and the completely uncloseted, butch Dorothy Arzner. That's not to say they didn't sometimes run afoul of scandal. Gay director George Cukor was arrested at least once on vice charges, although his connections got them dropped and the scandal rags said nothing of it. Few risked depicting homosexuality overtly, instead relying on subtle gay subtexts that went past the offendable. Nonetheless, there is evidence that some of their careers were impacted by knowledge within the industry of their homosexuality, with several finding difficulty sustaining careers despite their commercial viability.


1890s
Some argue that the first gay film is 1985's Dickson Experimental Sound Film, directed by William Dickson. It's also the first known sound film. The film depicts Dickson playing "Song of the Cabin Boy" whilst two men dance. Some have argued that there is no actual suggestion that the dance partners are meant to depict a couple but, "The film depicts Dickson playing 'Song of the Cabin Boy'," and it does, in its seventeen seconds, include more homoeroticism than the entire Philadelphia. In Vito Russo's The Celluloid Closet, he asserts (without citation) that the film was known as The Gay Brothers although the term "gay" was rarely used to refer to homosexuals in the Gay '90s.


1900s
I don't think reading L'éclipse du soleil en pleine lune as gay actually requires much in the way of mental acrobatics. Not that it offers much in the way of overtly sympathetic portrayals of homosexuality, just a camp chuckle and some amazing pre-CGI special effects.


1910s
Some have suggested that Alice Guy-Blaché's Algie the Miner depicts the first obviously gay character. I would argue that he's merely a sissy, an archetype not always associated with homosexuality as it is now. In A Florida Enchantment, characters ingest magic seeds which turn them gay for comedic effect.



When Sweden's Mauritz Stiller (himself gay and best known for Sir Arne's Adventure) directed Vingarne, he depicted the first overt and non-comedic gay (and bisexual) characters. Commissioned by sexologist Magnus Hirschfield, Anders als die Andern followed a few years later as a protest against the infamous Paragraph 175. After stirring up controversy, it was subsequently restricted to audiences in the medical profession.

Algie the Miner (1912), A Florida Enchantment (1914), Vingarne (1916), Anders als die Andern (1919)

1920s
Germany ruled the gay roost in the 1920s, thanks in part to the atmosphere of the Weimar Republic. Mikaël was Carl Theodor Dreyer's adaptation of the same novel that had previously been turned into Vingarne. Alla Nazimova purportedly requested that Salomé's parts be entirely cast from gay performers. The resulting film, a highly stylized, decadent visual feast, was a financial flop.

   

Salomé (1923), Mikaël (1924), Jean Cocteau, fait du cinema (1925), Gesetze der liebe (1927), Geschlecht in fesseln - Die sexualnot der gefangenen (1928), Die büchse der Pandora (1929), Das tagebuch einer verlorenen (1929)

In conclusion, whilst gay actors and directors may've kept all things gay hidden (for the most part) in the silent era, it's hopfully obvious that they nonetheless played a considerable role in advancing all aspects of film as an important art, paving the way for everything from the cult, gay experimental films in the early sound era to the mostly not-worthy-of-a-raised-eyebrow gay films of the present.

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Amoeba Hollywood Latin Music Best Sellers For May 2009

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, May 31, 2009 02:52am | Post a Comment

1. Mexican Institute Of Sound-Soy Sauce
2. Zoe-Reptilectric
3. Eydie Gorme Y Los Pachos-Cantan En Español
4. V/A-Salsa Dura Show
5. Don Omar-IDON
6. La Excelencia-Mi Tumbao Social
7. Manu Chao-Clandestino
8. Mexican Institute Of Sound-Piñata
9. Federico Aubele -Amatoria
(Five releases tied at #10)

Mexican Institute Of Sound
's latest release, Soy Sauce, takes the number one spot from April’s big seller, Zoe. Soy Sauce has received great reviews and much support on public radio, not to mention the Anglo crossover appeal. All the exposure has helped M.I.S.’s overall catalog sales. Their previous release, Piñata, took the number eight spot as well. Eydie Gorme Y Los PanchosCantan En Español is at number three, thanks in part to the fact that this album seems to be a perennial Mother’s Day gift.

May also brought to Los Angeles the 11th Annual Los Angeles Salsa Congress and with it, many Salsa fans from all over the world. I had the pleasure of helping people from Australia, Japan, Puerto Rico and some peeps from all over the U.S. Some of the Salsa enthusiasts even made last minute trips to Amoeba just before heading to the airport on their way home. Now that’s some determination, if you know L.A. traffic! Among those releases was La Excelencia’s brilliant Mi Tumbao Social and The Salsa Dura Show compilation, featuring deep Salsa jams put together by Nick Aguirre, host of one of the most popular Salsa internet radio shows in the world, Nick Aguirre's Salsa Dura Show.

A few new releases hit the charts as well. Reggaeton icon Don Omar's much-anticipated new joint, IDON, came in at number five and Federico Aubele’s third release, Amatoria, came in at number eight. Fans of Aubele’s music should know what to expect-- dubby, down tempo electronica with Spanish guitar, sultry female vocals and Tango influences. Also, along with Aubele’s new CD, there are a few new 12” remixes of previous released songs, such as "Maria Jose" from 2007’s Panamericana.

June will bring in a two new Wisin Y Yandel releases, as well as the ZZK Vol.2 compilation out of Argentina, and last but not least, the Rudo Y Cursi soundtrack. If you haven't seen the movie yet, here is a video of actor Gael Garcia Bernal singing "Quiero Que Me Quieras," which is a Norteña version of Cheap Trick's classic "I Want You To Want Me' off the soundtrack. It's an instant classic!

Your Pals Are Not What They Seem 2: Faith and Reason in Lost's Season 5 Finale

Posted by Charles Reece, May 30, 2009 02:07pm | Post a Comment
Page I


Being a congenital skeptic, I had expected Lost to go the way of other fantasy shows exploring the issue of faith. It began by establishing the central antagonism between its central characters, the rationalist doctor Jack Shephard (the de facto leader -- get it?) and the faith-filled, ironically named John Locke (the namesake of the famous British empiricist whose philosophical inbred progeny was one B. F. Skinner). In regaining the use of his legs after crashing on the island, Locke was granted something of his own revelation. By way of this objective correlative, Locke and the audience had a inkling that there was something more to the island than Jack's skepticism allowed. Throw in a smoke monster, people coming back from the dead and time travel and any reasonable person starts sympathizing with Nochimson's vaginal heroism. The lure is there to wrap the antagonism up in the same generic package as all the aforementioned failed fantasy programs. Affirm faith by killing it with literalism (compare the deracinated horror of Stephen King's CGI-infested movie-adpatation of his The Shining to the dread of Stanley Kubrick's).

Seems to me that faith is both an opening and a closing. The believer must remain open to mysterious possibilities that defy the normative limits given by our best explanatory models while digging his heels in the sand and claiming his irrationally derived belief is the truth. Therefore, faith requires mystery. If the implausible is made normative, as it is so often in fantasy, there is no faith involved. Of course, the recipient (viewer, reader) must maintain a level of faith by way of the classic suspension of disbelief. Similarly, lest the believer become a mere ideologue, he must live with uncertainity, a nagging suspicion that he might be wrong (i.e., not all that different from the fantasy genre's suspension requirement).


As developed over Lost's five seasons, there's some unitary (possibly collective, if you're so disposed) force pushing the buttons, be it deterministic fate (such as Lucretius' nature of things) or a telelogical will (such as God). Jack denies it to the point of despair, eventually becoming as much of a believer as Locke in a search for salvation. (Jack goes from militant skeptic to miserable addict to setting off a nuclear warhead as an act of redemption. Now, that's a character arc!) Locke is a true fanatical acolyte, following his gut from the getgo, and only finding more reasons through which to validate his faith. He doesn't seem like an ideologue/theocrat in comparison to Ben Linus. LIke a Jerry Falwell, Ben attempts to control others through his faith, whereas Locke is willing to martyr himself. Furthermore, the island is for Locke a personal guiding force and benevolent (or, at least, trustworthy) power. If he feels the island telling him to do something, he does it. This force has a name, Jacob. And with this season's finale, he finally has a recognizable face, the same one as the hired killer, Joe, in Lynch's Mulholland Dr.


Choosing an actor from Lynch's Weirdville doesn't seem accidental, since Lost has taken a decidely Twin Peak-ish turn: with the introduction of Jacob comes his age-old, unnamed nemesis, much like the dynamic between the reformed demiurge Mike and the unrepentant BOB; both BOB and the nemesis can take the form of mortals, the former through possession, the latter by using a doppelgänger (provided the source is dead, it seems); these beings aren't omnipotent gods (maybe demi-gods, if I'm remembering my D&D Handbook correctly), because they have to obey rules not of their devising (e.g., BOB has to be invited in, the nemesis has to trick mortals into doing his dirty work); the hero-seekers of both shows, Cooper and Locke, willingly sacrifice themselves for a higher purpose. It's that last similarity that I find most interesting.


Cooper lets BOB in as a quid pro quo for the release of his beloved Annie, which is ultimately more a romantically heroic feat than an act of faith. Locke, on the other hand, gives his life because a supposed apparitional representative of the island (Jack's dead father) asks him to. That's some Old Testament, Abrahamic faith right there. From Cecil B. DeMille to the present, Hollywood fantasies with this theme have copped out by demonstratively showing such sacrifices are not in vain. Much to its writers' credit and my surprise, Lost doesn't. Instead, the show brings in Cartesian doubt. René Descartes, the founder of modern skepticism, asked how we can know that all of reality isn't some malicious demon's skullduggery, rather than the truth from an omnibenevolent God. His answer was the undoubtable cogito (the 'I' necessary in order to doubt) and a bit of undoubtedly brilliant circular reasoning. Locke's answer is that he was fulfilling his role in the nemesis' malicious scheme to do away with Jacob.

Because the rules of the island's game state that the nemesis can't kill Jacob himself (just as Ben can't kill his rival, Charles Whitmore), the former had to devise an elaborate ruse to get someone else to perform the task. Locke's belief that he was acting in accordance to his destiny -- what the island had mapped out for him -- turned out correct, but his role was as a patsy. (His whole history is laid out here.) His sacrifice was needed so that the nemesis could take his form in order to manipulate Ben into killing Jacob. As any televangelist can tell you, the fear of God is a better tool than rational bargaining for getting people to do things against their own interests. "It is your destiny" sounds more virtuous than "I wonder if you wouldn't mind committing suicide to resolve this argument I'm having." Stopping here would make the show a parable for the merits of skepticism (not an unworthy endeavor in a country dominated by creationists). However, the writers amp up the mystery at this point by having Jacob goad a doubting Ben into fulfilling the nemesis' plan. If Jacob's apparent death is part of a higher purpose, then so is Locke's. The issue of faith's value is still on the table. But, pace the theocrats, it's the skeptical challenge that gives faith its substance.

The Lost team has already avoided the major pitfall of earlier similarly themed shows by getting ABC to agree to an end (the executives had wanted them to milk it as along as possible). Once the mystery is revealed, the jig is up, so it's good that there'll be a conclusion to the narrative. Now, it's a question of whether the show will follow the unfortunate path of Battlestar Galactica, answering all the questions with a mundane deus ex machina, or if it'll keep the mystery intact while giving some closure to the human drama rooted in the mystery.

DJ Roger Más

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, May 30, 2009 03:02am | Post a Comment

I met DJ Roger Más at Mas Exitos a few months back. I bought a few copies of his new single for Amoeba Hollywood based on the strength of his set that night and the fact that he is a label mate with DJ Lengua. Roger Más is a Bay area-based deejay that has a show on 90.7 KALX in Berkeley. He also spins at a few clubs, including The Make-Out Room and Skylark, both located in the Mission District, and The Missouri Lounge in Berkeley. His single is out on Club Unicornio Records.

Both sides are re-workings of somewhat obscure Cumbia and Salsa songs. “Baila Hihi” has a fat beat over a classic Descarga jam with the catchy “Baila, mulata baila” chorus. Personally, I like what he does with the Cumbia track on side B. “Cumbia Bonita” is a reworking of what I believe is the Pacho Galan Y Su Orquesta version of the song. Roger works the Cumbia percussion breakdown perfectly, which makes the track great for a segue from Hip-Hop to Cumbia or from Cumbia to something else. Deejays, I highly recommend this single.

Check out a Q & A with Roger Más right here, written a month ago for the SF Weekly. Also, check out a video made for “Baila Hihi”:

I Heart Stones Throw

Posted by Smiles Davis, May 29, 2009 02:08pm | Post a Comment

What’s the best thing about living in Los Angeles? If you guessed Amoeba Records, you were close (we’re second-- actually first, according to LA Magazine). The correct answer, or I should say, the appropriate answer, is the surfeit of open-minded music aficionados that breathe and walk the streets every day. Being able to find inspiring and mood altering music readily at your disposal is the sweetest candy; being able to share it with like minded individuals who will appreciate it and celebrate it as much as you is priceless. That is why I heart Stones Throw. The air over at the Stones Throw headquarters is thick with bubbling ingenuity and relentlessness blended meticulously with an appetite for exploring outside the box. With artists like Madlib, Aloe Blacc, Damn Funk and Mayer Hawthorne leaving the swagger and overactive egos at the door, Stones Throw has singlehandedly redefined the definition of cool.

Giles Peterson dubbed Aloe Blaccs last album, Shine Through, as simply “brilliant” and I agree 110%. It's R&B, it's hip-hop, it's in two languages, and it's magic to my ears. I was fortunate enough to catch up with the bilingual, multi-instrumentalist crooner and emcee to ask him about his relationship with Stones Throw, his love for music, his upcoming album, the return of Emanon, and some of his favorite new artists.

SD: How did your environment as a child and coming from a bilingual household affect your music?

AB: I had a very diverse musical upbringing and my understanding grows more every day. My parents are Black-Panamanians, so in the home we listened to a lot of Caribbean music: salsa, meringue, soca, and calypso. My dad’s record collection also included R&B, Funk, and Soul artists of the seventies and eighties from the U.S. In grade school I played the trumpet in the orchestra, so I learned classical music and some jazz in junior high. My friend’s parents had classic rock collections that we sampled from in high school to make beats. I have taken all of these influences and fused them with my bilingual upbringing in some of the songs that I make.

SD:
How has being signed to a label like Stones Throw affected your musical decisions?

AB: Signing to Stones Throw has made me more aware of the business side of the music industry. It doesn’t change what I make because I don’t feel I have much control over the ideas that come to me, but it effects what I release. I started out as an emcee, and the label appreciated my vocalist songs, which is why I released Shine Through on Stones Throw.

SD: What brings you more pleasure-- being a singer, or being an emcee?

AB:
Right now I am at a crossroads with both singing and emceeing. I was not satisfied with emceeing for a while because I felt it was too limiting with regard to the broad effect I could have on an audience.  Learning to sing and write better has given me tools that I can apply to emceeing to draw on emotion without using too many words. For a time I felt that some of my raps were just too wordy for no reason other than to rhyme at the end of a line and sound cool. Now I want to do that, plus make a complete statement and make the listener feel something.

SD: Did you ever have doubts about pursuing music?

AB: I don’t ever have doubts about pursuing music. I only doubt the method of pursuit. The Internet has changed the game since I started making music. My adolescent niece and her friends discover music and experience it in a totally different way from how I learned [about and] enjoyed music. I am coming to terms with the new school and trying to figure out how to make it feel as real as when I was a kid.

SD: You’re totally right. Things have changed, which makes me wonder, with the lack of album sales, how does an artist make a living in these tuff times?

AB: I have been an independent artist for a long time and have established a good network that keeps me quite busy. Internationally, I am able to tour and record, which helps me to sustain a living. Artists need to maintain relationships and help one another out as much as possible. Sometimes helping another artist is the best way to maintain a relationship with a business contact. People remember who is easy to work with and they return for more business. I introduce my network of friends to others and let the currency of relationships bring new work my way.

SD: Between Facebook, Twitter, Linked-in, and MySpace seems like that would be easy to do. How do you feel about the sudden growth spurt of social media?

AB: I think that the sudden spurt of social media is a double-edged sword. It is great because the new tools help to promote the music, but it is also terrible because it changes the income structure in ways yet unresolved. It seems now that music is the promotional item for a style of artist, brand, or a character. With everything being hyper-marketed, it feels as though an artist has to be a superhuman character to really be recognized. Reality suffers and culture limps as a consequence.

SD: Do you think musical artists have a responsibility to be socially conscious?

AB: I am in two minds about socially conscious artists. I personally want to be a socially conscious artist and often choose to release songs that make a positive or progressive statement. However, I also view art as a very self-centered activity through which people can express transient feelings that have no identifiable socially conscious message. I believe both self-centeredness and social consciousness are necessary in any form of art.

SD: Who are some of your favorite new artists?

AB: I really still enjoy a lot of independent hip-hop like my Stones Throw cohorts Madlib, M.E.D, and OH NO. I am always impressed by my good friend DJ Exile, with whom I have been making music since 1995; he has been able to find new, talented emcees and make wonderful music in the past few years while I have ventured out on solo efforts. Maya Jupiter is also a very talented artist that I am co-producing at the moment.

SD: When’s the next album coming?

AB:
I am pretty sure my next Stones Throw release will be out by late Fall 2009. It is produced by Leon Michels and Jeff Silverman of Truth & Soul records. I recorded with musicians from El Michel’s Affair, Antibalas, Dap Kings, Olympians, and Menahan Street Band in Brooklyn. I am also working on another EMANON album with DJ Exile, which should also be released before Fall 2009.


'Till the next time...chew the corners off.

AMOEBA MUSIC HIP-HOP WEEKLY ROUND UP: 05:29:09

Posted by Billyjam, May 29, 2009 07:37am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five: 05:29:09
Eminem Relapse
1) Eminem Relapse (Shady/Aftermath/Interscope)

2) Method Man & Redman Blackout! 2 (Def Jam)

3) The Grouch & Eligh Say G&E! (Legendary Music)

4) Busta Rhymes Back On My B.S. (Flipmode/Universal Motown)

5) Tanya Morgan Brooklynati (Interdependent Media)

Eminem's latest full-length, Relapse on Shady/Aftermath/Interscope is the Detroit artist's sixth studio album and his first in five years. It is also in the number slot on the hip-hop chart at Amoeba Music Berkeley this week, just as it ranked last week at the Amoeba Hollywood store. The 20 track album from the 35 year old artist, born Marshall Bruce Mathers III, comes 13 years since his independantly released debut album Infinite, and exactly ten years since his major label breakthrough and first album through Dr Dre's Aftermath Entertainment, The Slim Shady LP.  Dr. Dre not only produced most of the new album (and its promised sequel in a few months) but Dre also cameos on the track "Crack A Bottle" with 50 Cent. As for the reaction to Relapse? It is charting high at Amoeba and elsewhere. Even here in Dublin, Ireland, where I am writing this Amoeblog, it is given high profile in and getting high sales at all the main record stores. But also here in Europe, as in the States, the album has folks divided into the two camps of either loving or hating it. Those who hate it include many former Eminem fans who contend that he has fallen off and is merely going through the motions. Those who love it do admit that it takes a few listens to fully appreciate and warn the faint of heart to be prepared for Em's often unsettling, disturbingly vivid tales of violence and abuse, including, of course, drug abuse, which is the album's theme, based on the artist's open admission to a prescription drugs addiction. 

Continue reading...

Lalo Guerrero "Pancho Claus" b/w "The Burrito"

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, May 29, 2009 02:09am | Post a Comment
I was going through some singles I had recently purchased and one of them was one by Lalo Guerrero. It wasn’t one of his most famous songs, but it's a great single nonetheless. "Pancho Claus" b/w "The Burrito" was released in 1969 on Cap Latino Records. By then, Lalo was touring and recording with his son, Mark, and his band, Mark & The Escorts. According to Mark Guerrero's website, “Pancho Claus” was a newer version of his classic Christmas song, which he originally recorded in the fifties. It’s the Chicano version of Twas The Night Before Christmas, with mother cooking Enchiladas (I wonder why Lalo didn't mention tamales? Even my Non-Mexican friends know that's when you get tamales? hmmm...), while Dad dances Mambos with the all the ladies. Rather than the kids sleeping, they are listening to The Beatles. During that part of the song, Mark & The Escorts break into “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band.” The original 1950s version referred to Elvis, but since it was 1969, Lalo wanted to stay with the times. The next verse describes a drunken uncle that will surely end the fun and prevent Pancho Claus from visiting the household. Eventually, Pacho Claus appears, but not before the drunken uncle breaks into a version of the Mexican classic “Guadalajara.”

The flipside is even better. “El Burrito” is a song about a guy eating a burrito with a girlfriend. The chorus goes: “I’ll bite on one end, you’ll bite on the other, we’ll meet in the middle and then oh brother, we’ll kiss and kiss until we smother, and when it’s gone, we’ll order another.” It’s one of those double-meaning songs that ends with the mother catching the couple sharing the burrito. The mother takes the daughter home and Lalo is left all alone with just his burrito in his hand.

Lalo is considered the Father of Chicano Music, but should also be acknowledged as being the Father of Chicano Comedy as well. Cheech Marin, Paul Rodriguez, George Lopez and Culture Clash all owe much to him. Check out Lalo Guerrero performing “No Chicanos On T.V.” on the unfortunately very short-lived Culture Clash show that aired on Fox back in 1990.

Continue reading...

This Week At The New Beverly!

Posted by phil blankenship, May 28, 2009 11:19pm | Post a Comment
This Week At The New Beverly

The full June Calendar is online!
http://newbevcinema.com/calendar.cfm


Friday & Saturday May 29 & 30


BACK TO BACK TO BACK !

Back to the Future Trilogy Marathon
All tickets are $10 for this special event.
One ticket admits you to all three films!

Great Scott! Dr. Emmett Brown himself, Christopher Lloyd, will appear IN PERSON Friday night, schedule permitting.

Actress Claudia Wells, Jennifer in the original film, will appear IN PERSON both nights to discuss her film work.
Check out Claudia's new website www.armaniwells.com, too!

Actor Jeffrey Weissman who played George McFly in Parts II & III will be on hand Friday to talk about both movies!


Back to the Future (1985)
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0088763/
dir. Robert Zemeckis, starring Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover, Thomas F. Wilson, Claudia Wells
7:30, Watch The Trailer!

Vinyl Confidential, 2.1 -- The Brief History of 45’s, Part One

Posted by Whitmore, May 28, 2009 08:42pm | Post a Comment

The whole brief history of 45’s comes down to about two and a half minutes of heartbreak and a music industry coked up on millions of nickels and dimes from ten year olds spending their allowance. Aaah! But the joy in the weird, seemingly up the arse, off-the-cuff business decisions arbitrarily slung together.  
Why seven inches, and not six… phallic compensation? Why a big whole instead of a small one … phallic compensation! There must be some kind of underlying order and logic to all this, I guess. Then again, I'm no expert on logic and order-- I spend most of my thinking time in the absurd, geeky universe of 45's.   
 
The 7” 45 rpm record was introduced in 1949 by RCA as a smaller, more durable and marketable way to sell records to teenagers. In between crashing jalopies and begetting the next generation at lover’s lanes across the nation, all the flattop cats and the dungaree dolls were done playing Dad’s deadsville 78 rpm shellac platters at sock-hops. The Second World War brought new technology into the marketplace, the unbreakable disc was born, changing and dominating the industry for the next 40 years.
 
The first 45 rpm records were monophonic...and probably should have stayed there in its sepia toned aural perfection. But a few years later technology once again wielded new brawn, cutting a swath through the new middle class’ piggy banks and their want for shiny new electric toys. In the 1950’s and 60’s stereophonic sound looked too fancy to ignore, capturing the imagination by way of graphic designs carving up the backs of entire album covers with a geometry textbook fill of charts, dials and numbers. To starry eyes, this was the conduit to the modern world, chock-full of jetpacks, personal robots, self guided automobiles and scrumptious TV dinners. Except for the occasional monophonic promo record pressed for AM radio play, by the early 1970s almost all 45 rpm records were produced in stereo, though coincidentally, we’re still waiting on everything else promised by those rosy sci-fi prognosticators. I suspect color TV was invented specifically to take the edge off all the disappointments.  
 
Records, like bodies, like the Earth, are not necessarily made to move smoothly on curved orbits by a force called commerce. The cheapest and quickest way for record companies to track the newest new thing in a curved space was always 7” singles. Etched into each side is the shortest distance to a musicians sound, the fastest way to contemplate their muse, value, and the least painful way to navigate the unknown until the slow fade at grooves end has left your head either bopping or shaking. But sometimes the manufactured pre-determined length of a 45 was woefully insufficient. Old school set of natural law insisted three minutes was more than adequate. (Though on occasion editing could be conspicuously delicious, slicing out the unnecessary crap to get to a song’s hook: for example, the original single versions of "American Pie," "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" and "Thong Song"...) Eventually 12” 45’s, unhampered by space and time, boogied down the pike and unhinged the pulse, setting off the ballroom floor, teaching matter how to dance and in particular small objects traveling along the straightest possible lines in curved space. Anyway, the cosmos continues to evolve in its typical way; Earth continues to revolve -- though not at 45 revolutions per minute -- and my blather continues to dissolve in its typical way ...

out this week 5/26...james blackshaw...phoenix...grizzly bear...blank dogs...

Posted by Brad Schelden, May 28, 2009 01:45pm | Post a Comment

I imagine that everybody will be so busy talking about Grizzly Bear this week, they will forget about any other albums that have also come out this week. I am still trying to get into the Grizzly Bear, but it just hasn't been working. I don't neccessarily have a problem with them and maybe they will finally grow on me in the next couple of weeks. It just has not happened yet. But I imagine if you are already a Grizzly Bear fan then you will love this new album -- everybody seems to like it. Some lucky fans got to hear the album early and even buy it early on this Monday here at Amoeba, the day before the album officially came out.

But there are some smaller albums that are getting me very excited this week. First up is the new album by Blank Dogs. The album is called Under & Under and is released by In the Red Records. Blank Dogs is actually just one Blank Dog: one dude from Brooklyn. We seem to know way too much about most artists these days, so I find it refreshing when I know absolutely nothing about an artist. It just makes it all about the music, which is what it should be. This guy even goes so far as to wear masks when he is photographed. Blank Dogs have been putting out music for a couple of years but this is my first real introduction to him. I have long been a fan and will always be a fan of blank dogs under and undershoegaze...and shoegaze this is not, but it does sort of fall into the new genre -- "Shitgaze," brilliant term that makes complete sense. He basically is sort of making up his own weird distorted intrepretation of a genre. It makes it super personal and way more interesting than anything else out there. I am also forever in love with the keyboard, so when it is done right, I usually fall in love with the album. Blank Dogs sound not too different than the synth bands you might have grown up with. Elements of Joy Division, The Cure, and Tuxedomoon are easy to find in these songs. He is not really hiding his influences, but imagine a Jay Reatard type playing with those old genres and making his own sound. The album is dark and dreary but also has a hidden energy inside that make the songs have a sort of more fun, pop feel to them. This is probably the music I would have wanted to play if I had ever continued on my career in music and perfected my keyboard playing skills. Lots of good songs on the album, however, the first track is still my favorite. As much as I love Joy Division, sometimes I need a break. This album is the perfect alternative -- giving you the darkness you desire but with a little something else. Maybe if Ian Curtis had found the right medication and managed to survive the 80s and 90s, this is the sort of album he would have ended up making.

One of my other favorites of the week is the new James Blackshaw. This guy has been around for a while but I have never actually gotten around to listening to him...although it is very possible that I did listen to him before and it just didn't hit me until now. I honestly always thought this guy was some 60 something Irish dude playing old timey folky ballads. I pictured him with a long white beard and maybe in a wheelchair -- not unlike Robert Wyatt. I was amazed to find out he was actually born in 1981, and he is from London...so I was not so far off on his location, just a bit off on my guess of his age. He has been putting out albums since 2004. He made his way to the label Young God for this new album called Glass Bead Game. Like the albums of Grouper and Jose Gonzalez, this album manages to break my heart a little every time I listen to it. At first it just seems like a simple little album of solo guitar and piano, but it managed to get inside me and break me all up inside. It was one of those albums that I put on not really exjames blackshaw glass bead gamepecting to like, but I was intrigued because it was on Young God. I just expected some Glenn Yarbrough style vocals over the music. I have not had a chance to explore his old albums, but I know he has crossed some boundaries and experimented with a couple different genres. I just like what he is doing right now. There is also some great piano work on this album. The Glass Bead Game is actually the last book by author Hermann Hesse, the man who brought us Siddhartha and Steppenwolf. The album features Joolie Wood on violin, clarinet, and flute; and also John Contreras playing the cello, both of whom also play with Current 93. Lavinia Blackwall also contributes some vocals, but most of album is instrumental. The album is nothing short of beautiful. While it manages to break my heart every time I listen to it, it also mangages to heal it every time. The album is sort of a spiritual classical album. It really makes me feel like I am living in a different era.

I am also really enjoying the new album by Harold Budd out this week. Candylion is a collaboration between Harold Budd & Clive Wright. I am most familiar with Harold Budd because of his work with the Cocteau Twins in the 80s, and I have always wanted to dig deeper into his discography. I have always been a fan of ambient music and Harold Budd is one of the originators of the genre. Darla Records put out two albums by Harold Budd and Robin Guthrie in 2007. He also released A Song for Lost Blossoms with Clive Wright last year. While I am told that his catalog is sometimes hit or miss, he seems to have never really stopped putting out albums. He has also put out a couple soundtracks over the years. This album could easily be a soundtrack and it is possible to listen to it without even knowing that it is on -- but not because it is boring or dull -- it just manages to slip in and out of your consciousness. His music is very minimal and beautiful. Imagine Cocteau Twins without the vocals. I have been threatening to get into New Age music for years, but I think this might be as far as I go. I have always been a huge fan of instrumental music and really do often fall in love with the scores of many films. This is just a nice, pleasant album. But it also has that intenseness that the James Blackshaw album has, maybe just more ethereal and dreamy. However, it can still manage to get inside you and make you feel things you didn't know were in there and is also sort of healing music. I guess that is why it gets labeled New Age Music, but I love it just the same. Sometimes I just need to calm myself down a bit and listen to music like this. It really is a stress reliever. Music is supposed to make you feel good, right? Sometimes you just need a different type of music to accomplish that. Thank you, Harold Budd. You made getting through this week just a little bit easier.

also out this week...






Freak of Araby by Sir Richard Bishop











Eating Us by Black Moth Super Rainbow











Aleph at Hallucinatory Mountain by Current 93











Veckatimest by Grizzly Bear











High End of Low by Marilyn Manson












Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix by Phoenix










Monoliths & Dimensions by Sunn O)))











Hard Knox by Wand


Continued Anticipation Surrounding Lil Wayne's Rebirth Album

Posted by Billyjam, May 28, 2009 08:00am | Post a Comment
Lil Wayne Rebirth
With its release date having been postoned more than once already (April 7th, May 19th, and June 23 were each cancelled street dates), Lil Wayne's anticipated seventh studio album Rebirth (Cash Money Universal Motwon) is now slated to be released eight weeks from now, on July 21st. However, the promise by the rapper that it would be an all rock album is up for debate. Still, regardless of whatever music is on the new Southern rap artist's album, Rebirth is a guaranteed future hit.

Originally billed as a "rock album" by the artist, born Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr, who has cited Kurt Cobain in interviews as being among his major influences, Rebirth has caused controversy among rap fans who fear that their hero had deserted the genre he came to fame in. In fact, the first single off Rebirth, the rocking, guitar laced "Prom Queen" (video below), didn't chart nearly as well as some past Wayne hits. Some have speculated that this was part of the reason for the album's delay and its genre reformatting to more of a rap than a rock album.

"The influence of the new album is mainly rock...a little different than they [the fans] have been used to," offered Lil Wayne in his recent Soundcheck interview. "We just used the title rock cos we didn't want people to think I am too different so therefore we put the title on the music before they do. But really it's just more Lil Wayne maturing," he said in an interview on The View four weeks ago. Meanwhile Bryan "Baby" Williams (aka Birdman -- one half of BIg Tymers), Cash Money Records co-CEO and mentor to Lil Wayne, informed Vibe magazine that, “It’s not a rock record...That’s what I think people are getting misunderstood. When you speaking about a rock record, you think he’s got a guitar and everything, but it’s not that."

Back to the Future Marathon at the New Beverly

Posted by phil blankenship, May 28, 2009 12:03am | 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!



Friday & Saturday
May 29 & 30


Back to
the Future Trilogy Marathon!


Actress Claudia Wells, Jennifer from the first film, will appear in person both nights to discuss the film!

All Tickets $10
One tickets admits you to all three films

Back to the Future 7:30pm

Back to the Future Part II 10:00pm

Back to the Future Part III 11:59pm


New Beverly Cinema
7165 W Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036



Be sure to check out Claudia Wells' new website www.armaniwells.com, too!

June
June 2-8 New Beverly Film Explosion!
We take over the New Bev for a full week of double (and triple) features of MOVIE MANIA! Each show starts at 7:30pm.

June 2
Class of 1984 with 3:15 The Moment Of Truth

Beach Party 2009

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, May 27, 2009 10:07pm | Post a Comment

We're expecting a heatwave, so here's a nice round of beach themed covers...



I know that the Jazz Oasis cover is supposed to be desert, but it looks like the Pismo Beach sand dunes to me.


Although I love the Date With Riverside cover above, the Enrique Jorrin LP below is my personal favorite of the bunch.

Asian-American Cinema Part IX - the 2000s

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 27, 2009 04:00pm | Post a Comment
The ninth of a nine part series on Asian-Americans in front of and behind the camera

INTRODUCTION TO ASIAN-AMERICAN CINEMA


The first efforts to combat negative racial stereotypes of Asians and Asian-Americans in film began in the silent era, when a few empowered figures attempted to create an alternative Asian-American Silent Cinema. After their efforts faltered, Hollywood provided most cinematic images of Asians in the '30s, 40s, 50s, and '60s. With the birth of Asian-American theater, Asian-American cinema was revived in the 1970s and began to take off as a viable independent cinema in the 1980s. By the '90s, the scope of Asian-American Cinema broadened considerably, a trend that continued in the 2000s.

APAMERICA IN THE 2000s
In the 2000s, Asians became the fastest growing racial minority in the county. As of 2006, there were over thirteen million Americans of Asian descent (not counting Native people). Of the top ten languages spoken in American homes (English, Spanish, Chinese, French, German, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Korean, Italian and Russian), four are Asian.


         Yunjin Kim                    Daniel Dae Kim               Masi Oka                     Bobby Lee                    B.D. Wong

APA TV IN THE 2000S

Despite the conspicous presence of Asians in America, in film and on TV Asian-American are still nearly invisible, aside from roles as doctors on ER, Grey’s Anatomy and House, or objects of ridicule (e.g. William Hung and Renaldo Lopez). Yunjin Kim, Daniel Dae Kim and Masi Oka, some of the few Asian-Americans on TV, all play foreigners. Bobby Lee of Mad TV and B. D. Wong on Law & Order: SVU are two of the few Asian-American male actors whose roles challenge stereotypes both directly and indirectly. My Life... Disoriented and A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila became only the fourth and fifth TV series with Asian Americans in starring roles.

APA THEATER IN THE 2000s

In the 2000s, APA theatre continued to quickly grow with new groups like Amherst's New WORLD Theater; The Bay Area's Krea; Chicago's DueEast Theatre Company, Rasaka Theater Company, Silk Road Theatre Project and YAWP; Dallas's Diwa Theater Company; Hawaii's Kumu Kahua TheatreHouston's Shunya Theater; Los Angeles' Chinatown 90210 and Thumping Claw One Act Series; New York's Cuchipinoy Productions, Desipina & Company, Disha TheatreeyeBLINK Fluid Motion Theater, Mellow Yellow Theatre Company and SALAAM Theatre; San Diego's Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company; San Francisco's Locus Arts and Youth for Asian Theatre; Seattle's Pratidhwani Drama Wing, Sex in Seattle;SoCal's Here and Now Theatre Company;Tampa's Asian Pacific American Scene and Washington DC's Awaaz Theatre all joining the fray during the decade. New playwrights included A. Rey Pamatmat, Carla Ching, Edward Bok Lee, J.P. Chan, Lloyd Suh, Michael Golacmo and Qui Nguyen.

APA COMICS IN THE 2000s

In the 2000s, there were finally recognized APA comics whose last names weren't "Cho." Aziz Ansari, Dat Phan, Bobby Lee, Dr. Ken, Steve Byrne, Susan Chuang, Kevin Shea, Joey Guila, Soonpoong Choi, Augustine Hong and Nakgyun Im may not be household names but have all received decent exposure. New comedy ensembles like Chicago's Taco Flavored Eggrolls and Los Angeles' Room to Improv also sprang up during the decade.

APA COMEDY DVDS



I'm the One That I Want
(2000), Notorious C.H.O. (2002), Revolution (2003), Assassin (2005), The Kims of Comedy, What's That Clickin' Noise (both 2006), Comedy Zen (2007), Happy Hour (2008)

APA HOLLYWOOD IN THE 2000s

2002's Better Luck Tomorrow ushered in a new era for Asian American filmmakers and actors after it became a surprise independent success. In Hollywood, John Cho and Kal Penn, in Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, were quietly revolutionary by being the first two Asian-American male leads to co-star in a Hollywood film in forever. For the most part, however, Hollywood films like Memoirs of a Geisha, Mistress of Spices, Monsoon Wedding, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Wendy Wu - Homecoming Warrior continued to offer  familiar depictions. On the other hand,  for the first time, large numbers of APA films were made. A large percentage moved beyond the traditional focus on acculturation to explore a much greater variety of subject matter suggesting that Asian-American Cinema is now a healthy, viable movement if still a bit under the radar.

APA ACTORS WHOSE CAREERS BEGAN IN THE '00s

   
                Aaron Takahashi                                Aaron Yoo                                                Aiko Tanaka 

  
          Alexander Agate                              Alexis Chang                                               An Nguyen     

  Angel Desai  
                        Angel Desai                                                  Angie Lieuw                                     Brenda Song

  
                        Camille Mana                                        Cat Ly                                                     Chil Kong                          

  
               Christina Stacey                                    Christopher Dinh                               Damien Nguyen  

   
                        David Huynh                                             David J. Lee                                  David Shih

 

                         Di Quon                                                    Dileep Rao                                             Eddie Shin     

 

                              Elizabeth Ho                                         Emily Ryan                                                Esther Chae            

  

                     Ewan Chung                                              Feodor Chin                                      Ganita Koonopakarn  

 
Hahn Cho
                       Grace Park                                              Hanh Cho                                               Hettienne Park

    
 
                  Hira Ambrosino                                             James Kyson Lee                                   Jane Kim       

  

                        Janet Linn                                               Jeff Lam                                              Jennifer Wu              

 

                        Joy Osmanski                                           Julia Ling                                              Justin Chon               

   
                   Karin Anna Cheung                                          Kathy Uyen                                              Kenzo Lee                                      
 

               Kevin Leung                                                Kylie Kim                                                       Lanny Joon   
                      
 
 

                 Leonardo Nam                                                      Linda Park                                           Lynn Chen  

 

         Michael David Cheng                                           Migina Tsai                                                 Natasha Yi   
 
 

                     Richard Chiu                                     Samantha Futerman                                     Samson Fu       
 
 
 
                      Shelley Conn                                 Shin Koyamada                                                 Siu Ta           

 
Steph Song 
                    Smith Cho                                                   Steph Song                                                Tania Gunadi   

  

                      Tim Chiou                                       Tim Kang                                                          Tina Duong  


  
  Wayne Chang 
                       Valerie Tian                                      Wayne Chang                                                 Yoi Tanabe

Not pictured: Austin Lee, Christy Qin, Darwood Chung, Esther Song, Grace Fatkin, Hoon Lee, Jim Chu, Jimmy Lin, Kerry Wong, Mao Zhao, Ngoc Lam, Oliver Oguma, Ruth Zhang and Shawn Huang


APA RELATED FILM IN THE '00s

  
Becoming an Actress in New York (2000), Being Hmong Means Being Free (2000)

 
Conscience and the Constitution (2000), Constructions (2000), 

 
Crossover (2000), Daughters of the Cloth (2000)

  
Days of Waiting (2000), Desi -  South Asians in New York (2000), Drift (2000)

   
First Person Plural (2000), Of Civil Wrongs and Rights (2000), Saanjh - As Night Falls (2000)

 

Sea in the Blood (2000), Snow Falling on Cedars (2000) 

Glen Hansard of The Frames and The Swell Season Chats

Posted by Miss Ess, May 27, 2009 01:51pm | Post a Comment
Irishman Glen Hansard's band The Frames has been quietly (at least Stateside) putting out strong, earnest rock records since the early 90s. Everything changed in 2007, when an excellent, endearing low budget indie film called Once, starring Glen and Marketa Irglova and studded with songs written by the pair, exploded into the mainstream due to massive positive word of mouth buzz. Glen and Marketa were swept along all the way to the Oscars, where they performed one of the songs from the movie, "Falling Slowly." By the end of the night they had won the Academy Award for Best Original Song! Since then, Glen and Marketa have been touring relentlessly as The Swell Season and earning rave reviews across the globe for their performances. Their backing band is often The Frames! Glen was kind enough to chat with me about his inspirations, what he's recording now, Van Morrison, and, of course, the Oscar moment. Read on for the interview:


Miss Ess: You were in the studio in Feb recording -- can you tell us a little more about what you were recording and how it's sounding? What's coming up next for you?


Glen: Yes -- we [Marketa and several Frames members] were in the studio in February and March and April and finally it's done. I'm in New York right now mastering the final sequence; I'm happy with it. I'll go back to Ireland for a few days after this, then [Marketa and I] go to Korea and Japan to follow up on a tour we did recently that went well, so they invited us back to do some follow up dates. After that I think I'll rent a place in New York for the summer before going back on tour proper in late August early September.

ME: What is your creative process like when you are writing a new song? Does it come from the ether or are you structured about it?

GH: Well, if it's going the right way, then it's usually the ether first, then lots of looking at it and trying to see what's inside it, then chipping away and reworking an idea until it either makes sense or has died in the working...

No matter what the chord structure or rhythm of a song, at its core, the simple ones are best; if it takes too long to write, then the chances are it won't survive. It's important to work on a song while it's still exciting, still got its potential. I've started way more songs than I've finished. Michealangelo used to go to the marble quarry and work there through the night while the marble was still soft. Straight out of the mountain marble has the consistency of hard cheese, so he would work and work and after a brief time no more work could be done. I like this idea... although it's not true of song or poetry. It can be reworked over many years... but the first idea hardens, so it's important to have a respect for craft and work, but never let that become the central reason to write. There's too much credit given to inspiration and not enough to craft. They co exist and are equally essential.

ME: What aspect of the musical process do you enjoy most: writing, recording, touring, or something else?

GH: Well, it's hard to say. Each part of the process has its own value. Writing a song is the most exciting because it's new, it's full of potential, it may be the true song you've always wanted to write, the one that negates any further writing. It hasn't been judged by anyone-- it's alive and your close companion. Then to perform it is to introduce it to others and then the song becomes its own personality -- it doesn't need you anymore...if it's a good tune. Then recording is the part I'm still not entirely confident about because the recording is just one version but it becomes the version by which all other versions orbit, or are judged. And that's too much to think about, so it's best just to throw it down and not over think it. Confidence is one's best ally in a studio-- the confidence to throw the songs down on tape and allow the hidden and unknown elements to play their part. The more I try to control the musical or emotional architecture of a song the further I drift from the heart of what I love about music...its freedom, its magic...the things that my limited scope can perceive. What makes one tune good and another not?

ME: What is your most prized piece of musical gear and why?

GH: Well, I try to view instruments as tools and not invest in them too much. I just like the idea of keeping the relationship simple, although having said that, I've had my acoustic guitar for many years and it's served me very well and I've grown quite attached to it, mostly because I've not played another guitar as comfortable or sounding as good as this one, so if it eventually broke or got lost I'd be upset because replacing it would be difficult. It's not even an expensive guitar-- I bought a good case for it 2 years ago and the case is worth more than the guitar, but it is invaluable to me.

Was there someone in your life early on that recognized your musical interest/talent and nurtured it?

There were a few such people, luckily for me. My mother loved music very much and so would tolerate me bugging her and playing the new Dylan song I worked out while she was trying to cook. Then there was my friend Jim, who was much older than me and again loved the same music I did and we would sit up late into the night playing guitar and listening to records. He encouraged me to pursue music deeper. Then the principle teacher at our school was a d.j. and we talked a lot about records we liked and he encouraged me to take up street playing, "busking," which I did and pretty soon after that I quit school [at 13] and took it up as a more permanent job.
 
What was the first record you heard that really blew your head back and made you get into music?

I think it would have been around age 10 or 11 when I heard AC/DC and realized I wanted to be Angus Young. It was my sister's boyfriend that played the record in her room and I listened outside and later he lent me the album-- it was the live record, If You Want Blood You've Got It, and that really opened my head up so wide. He also loved Dylan and Marley, Pink Floyd, Skynyrd, ZZ Top, etc, and all of these people would become at some point my favorite musicians on the planet. I got into Leonard Cohen later and that's when I began to write my own songs, around 12.
 
What kind of music was playing in your parents' house before you had a choice? What kind of influence do you think it had on you?

My mother would vacuum the flat every Sunday and she'd play her records loud enough to hear over the hoover. I loved these days. She'd play "Stand By Your Man" by Tammy Wynette, "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World" by Charlie Rich, Perry Como, the Animals, The Beatles, Cohen, Beach Boys; she had great taste and she would sing at the top of her lungs as she vacuumed. It was definitely where I got a love of music.

What have you been listening to lately?

For the past year I've listened to pretty much only rocksteady reggae. It's become my favourite music. I've bought maybe 10 compilations and I've heard nothing I didn't like.
 
That's funny, a few of my friends are feeling reggae lately too! It's going around right now. Is there a record that has flown under the radar but that you really love and think more people should listen to?

There's a record that came out about 5 years ago called Twilight by John Hegarty here in Ireland and it blew me away. It didn't sell and disappeared and it's hard to find now. I love that record and that singer.
 
If you could form a one-night only bill with any other bands, regardless of if they exist in the past or present, who would it be?

Bob Marley, Claude Debussy,  Blind Willie McTell, Planxty, Serge Gainsbourg, early Velvet Underground with Nico, Bon Scott era AC/DC, Thin Lizzy, Joe Jackson, Luke Kelly -- it'd have to be a festival.
 
Sometimes I think the best parts of music come in little tiny moments -- the kind that make your hair stand on end. I think Van Morrison produces more of these moments than most musicians so I am wondering, since I know you are a fan, if you'd care to share maybe even a tiny little moment in a Van Morrison album that really gets to you.

There's a moment in "The Healing Has Begun" on Into the Music where Van randomly says, "I can't stand myself," that I find incredibly potent...honest and dangerous and real...he is out on his own as an artist..

None of us could even dream of where he's been and left already.
 
I first heard about the Frames almost 10 years ago because I was/am an avid Will Oldham fan and I heard you'd covered "New Partner" -- what was it about that song that made you want to cover it yourself? How do you decide what songs to cover when you are on tour?

Sometimes you hear a song and it hits you so hard that you don't even learn it, you just start playing it because you want everyone to know the song. That's how it was with this song; a friend made me a compilation tape called Slicing of Eyeballs. I still have it here. It had many great bands that were all new to me-- Smog, Magnetic Fields, Come, Rachels, Daniel Johnston, Palace, etc, and it opened me in a way I hadn't been since I'd heard music first. "New Partner" was just jaw dropping... simple and plain and thrown away. I wanted to share it with all my friends, so I sang it. It was a popular song among Frames folk so we recorded it as a b-side.
 
Since Once really has become a phenomenon, I am curious -- when did you realize it was going to take off in the way it did and not just go straight to dvd, as you'd feared it might? While you were filming did you feel that certain magnetic quality within the material and the moment, or did you have no idea how huge it would become?

When we got accepted and invited to Sundance it felt like a miracle had occurred. We were proud of the film from the start and we'd worked hard to make it as good as it could be, but going to Utah was just beyond what we had hoped. I brought my guitar and we played at all the screenings and I busked a bit in Park City and we had the best week... trying to get into films and parties and failing most of the time. It was a holiday for us and afterward it got taken by Fox Searchlight and I was afraid they'd want to change it, but they treated it with respect and put it out in a way that made sense to the film and when we heard people were going to see it we were completely overwhelmed and overjoyed. It couldn't have happened at a better time for me, as I and my band had been trying and trying to build an audience for years and we were slowly getting there, but Once made it possible to go on tour with the guarantee of a good room and a good number of people at the shows. It's been a real blessing... no other word for it..

What was the easiest part of making that film for you? And the most difficult? 

The easiest was the musical scenes, as this is the area I felt most capable.

The acting was fun, but not always. We were very relaxed about what we were getting on tape and we just went with whatever came out a lot; [Director] John [Carney] was very patient and smart enough to know that we weren't going to respond to direction the same way a professional actor would. I've a lot more respect for actors after making that film.
 
I know that you are a passionate film fan -- what are some of your favorites and why?

I like all kinds of films. I don't really have a top ten or anything, or if I do, it keeps changing.

My Life As a Dog (Hallstrom), because it captures childhood so clearly; it's got the best atmosphere.
Come and See, because it's a perspective I was so glad was voiced, and it was so strong a film.
The Seventh Seal (Bergman) because it speaks of the search for truth and salvation. It's probably my favourite film.
Salesman by the Mayseles, it's just great.
Fitzcarraldo (Herzog) because, again, it's about the big stuff. The triumph of the will, so to speak.
Paper Moon (Bogdonavich) -- the O'Neals are insanely talented! 
The Verdict (Lumet) -- Paul Newman is so tender and strong in this film, it just floored me.
The Wicker Man (Hardy) -- No, not the bullshit remake. It's just got a great atmosphere and amazing music.
Naked (Leigh) -- David Thewlis is one of the finest actors and writers alive and he proves both in this film.
Close Encounters (Spielberg) -- Richard Dreyfus is incredible and the film takes you away like all good cinema should.

There's a hundred more but I'll leave it there...
 
This is self-indulgence time for me because I am a big Oscars freak and you lived my dream of attending the Oscars -- let alone the fact that you won! So, if you'd please indulge me here for a sec: what was that moment like, how did you come up with what to say and how do you feel about it all now -- have you rewatched that performance/speech again and relived it at all or have you avoided it?

To be honest, I haven't watched it since the day. It's such a golden memory...the whole thing was sorta dreamlike; I'm sure if it's the world you inhabit, then there's a different perspective on it. We got nominated and we were shocked and couldn't hardly believe it-- then I panicked and thought, should we be doing this? Is it just self congratulatory? But I soon realised this was just a really good thing and it should be embraced. We were outsiders visiting a strange, exciting town. L.A. really took on a different face to what I'd ever seen before. We didn't plan a speech, as we felt it was bad luck, and when our name got called it was insanely surreal and time just stopped. It's as if the stars had aligned in that moment and there was nothing to do but accept the joy of it. On the way Mar said, "If we win, you say something -- I'll just say thanks." And in the moment I don't know what I said...nothing made sense...I fumbled my way through something and Mar didn't get to say thanks...that's all she wanted to say. Then, as we left the stage, there was a swarm of people around and I saw Marketa get taken off with Jon Stewart and as I got to her she was walking back on. She thought she was just saying thanks during the commercials to the people in the hall -- it was only after [that] she realised it had gone out live, and what she said just nailed it...she said it so clearly and so gracefully. I was so proud to be her mate.
 
Did you meet anyone you'd always admired at the Oscars or have any serendipitous run-ins there and at the parties?

I met the Cohen Brothers and got to talk [The Big] Lebowski with them, that was important. We met many great people during that time and have kept in contact with many since. We met some genuinely good people.
 
Going back even further in time, to the instore here at Amoeba SF you and Marketa did back in August 2007, I remember us having some technical difficulties-- you couldn't hear yourself in the monitor but you guys sounded flawless. I think those fraught moments and your excellent performance in spite of them gave the instore an extra bit of magic. I was wondering what the experience felt like for you, since I am sure it was quite different from a typical night time club gig.

It was a nerve wracking show because so many people had showed up to see us and I wanted it to be as good as it could be. The audience pulled us through it and the sound guy was doing his best to help us out but the speaker went and there was nothing any of us could do. In moments like that I'm glad to have a busking backround.
 
What song describes your life right now?

"Staying Alive" by the Bee Gees.
 
What has been the musical highlight of your life thus far?

Playing with Van Morrison late at night, both drunk, getting to hear all my favorite songs of his. Getting to observe the master up close, it was an education.
 
What has been your best find at Amoeba?

I bought Sweet Movie by Dusan Makavejev for the cover. It's a very sexy cover and I thought I'd try it as I'd heard of Mysteries of the Organism but I'd not seen it. I was floored at how good the film was. That was a find. Also I bought a Songs: Ohia record based soley on the cover also and loved it very much and subsequently bought all [Jason] Molina's work...another great Amoeba find. Thank you!

Thank you so much for your time!

-------

For more, check out the video below to see what was in Glen and Marketa's bag when they shopped at Amoeba recently!

Vinyl Confidential, 1.1 – the odd order of oblong boxes

Posted by Whitmore, May 26, 2009 08:34pm | Post a Comment

Why the record boxes? Why the art work? Why the hell don’t I write more about dumpster diving? Many questions are piling up here on the ol’ TV tray…
 
The theory goes: Disorder increases with record collecting because we measure collecting in the direction in which disorder increases.
 
Any theory is always provisional, in the sense that it is only a hypothesis: you can never prove it, no matter how long you may scream into somebody’s contrarian ear, or pound your fist into a table or a disagreeing face. And no matter how many times the results of experiments agree with some theory, you can never be sure that the next time around the result will not contradict your precious little theory. But as philosopher of science Karl Popper has emphasized, a good theory is characterized by the fact that it makes a number of predictions that could in principle be disproved or falsified by observation and survive.
 
For example, each time a new box of records with distinctive artwork is observed to agree with the predictions, like selling quickly, that’s a good thing. The theory, ‘art covered record boxes are cool', not only survived but found revival. Hallelujah and pass the collection plate! Our confidence is increased! But if a new box, covered in great artwork, is put out on the floor yet contains only random, scratched, dusty and chipped records, sprinkled with rat poop, the resulting observations may be a bit negative. We may feel obligated to abandon or modify the theory, even though this collection of records didn’t match the usual criteria. Nevertheless the theory of ‘artwork on record boxes’ is still solid. However, amending our assumptions is not out of the question, especially if we have to deal with irate customers and a significant berating by management. A slight re-adjustment in the theory might conclude that the art work is just the carrot, and yes, you can lead a record geek to water, but without any water in the 45 box to wash down that rat poop stuck in his throat … well, you know … anyway, next time around we should just toss those ruined, scratched records in the dumpster and note; disorder increases because we tend to measure in the direction in which disorder increases.

SEEKING DISTINCTION IN OVERCROWDED ONLINE NETWORKS

Posted by Billyjam, May 26, 2009 01:39pm | Post a Comment
MySpace
Way back in August 2006  -- a relative eternity ago in this fast-paced, ever changing Internet age -- MySpace hit the 100 million members mark, an accomplishment that blew peoples' minds at the time. That was three years ago, when MySpace was king and Facebook, while two years in existence, was still far from the force it is today. Meanwhile, Twitter was just a little baby born that year and something that comparatively few knew about. My, how things change! In March this year, a Nielsen.com blog ranked Twitter as the fastest-growing site in the Member Communities category for February 2009 when it had an astounding growth rate of 1382%. That same month of this year Facebook enjoyed a growth rate of 228%.

Around that time, the site compete.com compiled the interesting Top 25 Social Networks Re-Rank chart (below) that Social Networking Top 25includes the monthly visits each social networking site received for the first month of this year and ranked them in popularity accordingly. Even though MySpace, the once most popular social networking website, has slipped down to the number two position and many people have deserted it in favor of Facebook, it still continues to attract new members and hang onto old ones, including countless artists and musicians.

Music makers from all genres and at various stages along in their careers, from established global acts to young aspiring rappers and rockers, all vie for attention on MySpace since is very difficult to stand apart and get noticed these days with so much competition out there.

Asian-American Cinema Part VIII - the 1990s

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 26, 2009 11:55am | Post a Comment
The eighth of a nine part series on Asian-Americans in front of and behind the camera


INTRO TO ASIAN-AMERICAN CINEMA

In the silent film era, a few Asian-Americans braved decidedly limited opportunities and even attempted to create a cinematic outlet for their voices. By the dawn of the sound era, Asian-American cinema disappeared and Hollywood once again controlled depictions and roles. In the post-war era, roles for Asian-American actors grew in number, if not diversity. As a result, Asian-American theater arose to fill the void, ultimately leading to the rebirth of an authentic Asian-American Cinema that grew slowly over the next two decades before expanding rapidly in the '90s and continuing in the 2000s.

APA DEMOGRAPHIC MILESTONES IN THE '90s

The 1990s were a time of tremendous growth in the Asian-American population, resulting in a notable demographic milestone when Monterey Park became the first Asian-American majority city on the US mainland. It was soon followed by several others, including Cerritos, Cupertino, Daly City, Milpitas and Rowland Heights in California as well as Millbourne in Pennsylvania.

       
           Chay Yew                      Diana Son                     Han Ong                      Ralph Pena                     Sung Rno
  
APA THEATER IN THE '90s

With Hollywood depictions of Asian-Americans surpsingly minimal and unsophisticated, not surprsingly APA theater exploded to exploit the ignored audience. Prominent new APA playwrights included Chay Yew, Diana Son, Euijoon Kim, Han Ong, Ji Hyun Lee, Mrinalini Kamath, Ralph Peña and Sung Rno. By the decade's close there were about forty APA theater companies. APA companies founded in the '90s included The Bay Area's NaatakChicago's Pintig Cultural Group; Nevada City's Community Asian Theatre of the Sierra; Los Angeles' 18 Mighty Mountain Warriors, Lodestone Theatre Ensemble, Propergander Theatre and TeAda Productions; Minneappolis's Mu Performing Arts; New York's In Mixed CompanyMa-Yi Theater Company Second GenerationNational Asian American Theatre Company, PEELING,  The Slant Performance Group and Yangtze Repertory Theatre of America; Philadelphia's Asian Arts Initiative; Sacramento's InterACTSinag-tala Filipino Theater and Performing Arts Association; San Diego's Asian American Repertory Theatre; San Francisco's Bindlestiff Studio; San Jose's Contemporary Asian Theater Scene; Seattle's Aono Jikken Ensemble, Isangmahal Arts Kollective and Pork Filled Players.

APA TV IN THE '90s

On TV, Margaret Cho's All-American Girl became only the third TV series in American history with a predominantly Asian cast.

   
           Margaret Cho                                Henry Cho                               Stir-Fridays                                         OPM

APA COMEDY IN THE '90S
In the '90s, the concept of a mainstream APA comic was still novel, with Henry Cho and Margaret Cho undoubtedly the most visible. Meanwhile, new APA (and largely APA) groups like Chicago's Stir-Friday Night and Los Angeles' OPM nurture APA stand-up, sketch and improv comedy.

APA CINEMA AND ASIAN HOLLYWOOD IN THE '90s

Despite the revival of Asian-American Cinema in the 1980s, it wasn’t until the 1990s that it truly took off, part of the larger boom in independent film. Some films, like Joy Luck Club, enjoyed a great deal of crossover success with non-Asian audiences. In Hollywood, Rush Hour became one of the first mainstream films to star no white actors in decades. Perhaps an unintended consequence is that whilst Jackie Chan's performance opened doors for Hong Kong compatriots like Jet Li, Chow Yun Fat, Michelle Yeoh and others in Hollywood, it simultaneously closed doors for Asian-Americans and subconsciously reinforced notions about Asians as foreign martial artists from the exotic east.

APA ACTORS WHOSE CAREERS BEGAN IN THE '90s

   
      Bernadette Balagtas                    Charles Chun                           Christina Ma                               Cici Lau

   
            Cindy Cheung                         Colin Foo                         Constance Wu                            Corrine Hong Wu

     
              Derek Basco                              Elaine Kao                        Elizabeth Tsing                        Eugenia Yuan 

   
             Fann Wong                         Garrett Wang                                    Garz Chan                          Greg Watanabe

    
              Irene Ng                           Jade Wu                             James Sie                                 Jeanne Chinn 

   
        Jen Sung Outerbridge                      Jennifer Tung                         John Cho                         Joy Bisco   

  
                Kal Penn                            Kathy Shao-Lin Lee                Keiko Agena                           Keisuke Hoashi    

.   
          Ken Leung                            Kenneth Choi                             Kristy Wu                             Lee Wong

   
              Lela Lee                    Louis Ozawa Changchien               Lucy Liu                            Luoyong Wang

    
     Michelle Krusiec                Mina Shum                         Parry Shen                                     Peggy Ahn 

  
               Phil Young                         Ray Chang                                  Reggie Lee                        Richard Chang  

 
                  Rick Tae                              Robert Wu                                  Roger Fan                                Roger Yuan 

 
                  Sara Tanaka                      Sarita Choudhury                       Sharon Omi                           Shazia

Susan Chuang 
           Sung Kang                         Susan Chuang                                  Suzy Nakamura                     Terry Chen     

  
                  Vivian Bang                                           Will Yun Lee                                                   Yi Ding 

Not pictured: Ben Wang, Bobby Lee, Brady Tsurutani, Dan Koji, Daniel Dae Kim, Danton Dew, Diana C. Weng, Donald Fong, Emmy Yu, Goh Misawa, Gregory Hatanaka, Howard Fong, Jenny Woo, Jina Oh, Johnny Mah, Lenny Imamura, Margaret Cho, Mary Chen, Mia Suh, Michael Li, Mai Vu, Nathanel Geng, Radmar Agana Jao, Shannon Dang, Susan Fukada and Yoshimi Imai
APA CINEMA AND ASIAN HOLLYWOOD IN THE '90s

  Banana Split (1990), Dreaming Filipinos (1990), I'm British But. . .

  
The Story of Vinh (1990). Animal Appetites (1991),  Come See the Paradise (1991), 

  
En Ryo Identity (1991), Issei Wahine (1991)

    

Rebuilding the Temple - Cambodians in America (1991), Toxic Sunset (1991), Troubled Paradise (1991),

   

 
Fated to be Queer (1992), 
The Kiss (1992),

   

  Memories from the Department of Amnesia (1992), Mississippi Masala (1992), Mixed Blood (1992),

Aircraft

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, May 25, 2009 11:40pm | Post a Comment







Asian-American Cinema Part VII - The 1980s

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 25, 2009 04:16pm | Post a Comment
The seventh of a nine part series on Asian-Americans in front of and behind the camera

 APA GROWTH IN THE '80S

In the 1980s, the Asian-American population grew radically, with over 2.5 million immigrants joining the already large, native-born, Asian-American population. Nonetheless, Asian-Americans continued to be disproportionately underrepresented on the silver screen.

APA THEATER IN THE '80S

On the stage, David Henry Hwang's play M. Butterfly was the first Asian-American play to appear on Broadway. Other successful Asian playwrights followed, including Philip Kan Gotanda and Velina Hasu Houston. New APA theaters were founded too, including Cold Tofu Arts and Entertainment/Theatre inLos AngelesNew York's Ma-Yi Theater Company and National Asian American Theatre Company, and the Asian Story Theater in San Diego.

ASIAN HOLLYWOOD IN THE '80S

Whilst in Hollywood most Asian males were invariably cast as fortune-cookie mystics and ninjas, a new stereotype emerged for younger Asian males; the studious, awkward and almost always heavily-accented Asian nerd (e.g. Long Duck Dong, Data WangToshiro TakashiVinh Kelly, &c). One notable exception to the young Asian nerd stereotype in Hollywood is Dustin Nguyen as Harry Truman Ioki on 21 Jump Street. In 1987, Pat Morita stars on the TV show Ohara, the third series with an Asian lead.

APA CINEMA IN THE '80S

Asian American media arts organizations including Los Angeles' Visual Communications and New York's Asian CineVision began producing Asian American works.

 
                                  Wayne Wang                                                                               Steve Okazaki


Wayne Wang
's Chan is Missing, made in 1982, although not the first APA film, ushered in a new era. Not only was this feature film directed by an Asian-American, but it was the first to feature a mostly Asian-American cast since 1961's Flower Drum Song. But unlike that film, it was also made for a largely Asian-American audience and therefore didn't engage in exotification, dehumanization or fetishization intrinsic to Hollywood portrayals. 

  
                              Jon Moritsugu                                           Gregg Araki                               Roddy Bogawa


Several independent Asian-American directors began their career shortly after: Jon MoritsuguGregg ArakiPeter Wang, Roddy Bogawa and Steven Okazaki. Whereas some films, like Peter Wang's A Great Wall, followed the fairly formulaic traditions of the "assimilation drama," focusing on inter-generational conflict within Asian-America, the films of the so-called Bad Boys (Moritsugu, Araki and Bogawa) -- when they dealt with race -- generally favored an approach to the subject that was, at most, eliptical. The '80s were also the first documentaries began to appear that dealt with the indignities suffered by Asian-Americans in the past.

                                    Christine Choy                                                                         Renee Tajima-Peña


In the world of documentaries, Christine Choy debuted with 1984’s Mississippi Triangle, about black, white and Chinese-Americans in the delta. Renee Tajima-Peña made her directorial debut with collaboration with Choy, Who Killed Vincent Chin?

Asian-American Cinema Part VI - The 1970s

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 25, 2009 04:16pm | Post a Comment
The sixth of a nine part series on Asian-Americans in front of and behind the camera

ASIAN-AMERICAN CINEMA

After short-lived attempts in the silent era to establish an Asian-American Cinema, for most of the in the first and second halves of the studio era, Hollywood single-handedly created and controlled almost all celluloid images of Asian-Americans. With the beginnings of Asian-American theater in the 1960s and its growth in the 1970s coinciding with the decline of the Hollywood studio system, all that began to change with the rebirth of Asia-American Cinema, albeit slowly at first. Only in the 1990s and 2000s has a large and diverse Asian-American cinema, Asian-American theater and Asian-American comedy scene truly flourished -- offering a viable alternative to Hollywood's continued stereotypes and ongoing homogeneity.



THE CHANGING FACE OF ASIAN-AMERICA IN THE '70S

In the 1970s, more than 130,000 refugees arrived from Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, drastically changing the make-up of the Asian-American population. Broadly speaking, this wave of immigrants had more in common socio-economically speaking with most blacks, Latinos and Natives; therein challenging the mid '60s-born concept of Asians as "the model minority."


GROWTH OF ASIAN-AMERICAN THEATER '70S

The growth of Asian-American theater provided an outlet for APA Actors who found themselves out of work in Hollywood after a brief post-war fetishistic period in the studio era. During the decade, new APA theater groups including New York's Pan Asian Repertory Theatre and Asian American Theater Company and San Francisco's Theatre of Yugen encouraged a new generation to pursue acting. As a result,  first time in many years Asian-Americans began to appear on TV and films in increasing numbers, in roles that occasionally challenged the stereotypes and bit parts they'd been relegated to in mainstream America.
Wakako Yamauchi

APA TV IN THE '70S

On TV in the '70s, Hawaiia Five-0, Kung-Fu and M*A*S*H often featured Asian-American actors, albeit most often in non-recurring bit parts. However, Mr. T & Tina, starring Pat Morita, became only the second American TV series to star an Asian-American actor. Frank Chin's Year of the Dragon and Wakako Yamauchi's And the Soul Shall Dance were both adapted for television productions from plays.

BEGINNINGS OF APA CINEMA IN THE '70S

Following the popularity of San Francisco-born Bruce Lee, many APA actors found themselves cast in  martial arts-centered roles and still usually as portraying foreigners rather than Americans. But with the rebirth of Asian-American Cinema (actually made by Asian-Americans) that would begin to change.


Robert Akira Nakamura

In 1970, Robert Akira Nakamura founded Visual Communications, which is today the oldest community-based media arts center in the US. The acclaimed filmmaker and teacher is sometimes known as“the Godfather of Asian American media.” Nakamura was previously a photojournalist who switched to documentary film, Manzanar (1972), an examination of the wartime internment of Japanese-Americans.

New 12" Electronic Releases at Amoeba Hollywood - 5/25/09

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, May 25, 2009 03:12pm | Post a Comment

New Electro/Techno 12"s Coming this Weekend:

Diskokaine

BIKININI DJ FUNK RMX 12"
GOMMADT002

DISKOKAINE (produced by SALLY SHAPIRO) rips out this club- focused, high energy electro tech record chock full of ear piercing synths & big room fuzz. Includes a ghetto-tech remix by DJ FUNK and two other storming remixes from TELONIUS and CHRISTOPHER JUST.

Beatfanatic
-
BERLIN NIGHTS & P.O.D. 12" SCR017


Nick
Thayer - PARTY PEOPLE-VS.W.STYLES 12" BOMB015T

Ursula 1000 - ZOMBIES EP 12" ESL149
 
Alex Metric - HEAD STRAIGHT 12" MAPA050
 
Free Blood - ROYAL FAMILY 12" RONGDFA03
 
Dealers - DOWN ON LAFAYETTE EP 12" ARI053
 
Depeche Mode - WRONG-DJ REMIX EP WHITE 12" 12BONG40DJ
 
Impellers - HOW AM I? 7" FSR7056
 
James Kumo - SPACE DANCER EP-D.CURTIN 12" MET024
 
Little Boots - NEW IN TOWN REMIXES 12" 679L166T
 
Mr Clean - WHAT'S GOING ON (SERATO) 7" JSERATO001
 
Quadrillion - JUMP OUT KIDGUSTO REMIX 7" TG008
 
Roctakon & DJ Eli - MONEY LOTION #7 12" MS042
 
Serge Santiago - GENIALISSIMO 12" LAX113


New House/Disco 12"s Coming this Weekend:

DO BELIEVE THE HYPE SURROUNDING GRIZZLY BEAR

Posted by Billyjam, May 25, 2009 06:52am | Post a Comment
Grizzly Bear "Two Weeks" video by Patrick Daughters from the new album Veckatimest on
Warp Records - official release date tomorrow but available today at Amoeba Music

The buzz surrounding Brooklyn's Grizzly Bear and the anticipation for their new album Veckatimest on Warp Records is well justifiedGrizzly Bear Veckatimest. The record will be officially released tomorrow (May 26th), but is available exclusively today at Amoeba! Grizzly Bear is the sort of muscial group that comes along way too rarely: one that is truly original yet somehow familiar sounding, and also extremely talented. Their music draws you in with timeless melodies and harmonies so beautiful that they might make you weep, but will definitely remind you of snatches of a myriad of other (mostly bygone) great rock/pop/folk acts including the Beach Boys, Simon & Garfunkel, and even a bit of Radiohead (who they opened for on part of their North American tour last summer).

Comprised of guitarists/songwriters Ed Droste and Daniel Rossen, along with drummer/vocalist Christopher Bear and multi-instrumentalist Chris Taylor (bass/electronics/woodwinds/vocals), Grizzly Bear released their first record as a quartet in 2006. Yellow House came out on Warp and included their infectious song "Knife" (see video below). Although released under the name Grizzly Bear, 2004's Horn Of Plenty on Kanine Records was really an Ed Droste solo release. Most recently, in late 2007, they released the EP Friend.

Asian-American Cinema Part V - The 1960s

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 24, 2009 04:58pm | Post a Comment
 The fifth of a nine part series on Asian-Americans in front of and behind the camera

The 1960s also the growth of minority-minded civil rights like AIM, the Black Panthersthe Brown Beretsand the Yellow Brotherhood. With Asian-themed musicals no longer in vogue, Asian actors struggled to find work in the entertainment industry. As a result, Asian theatre blossomed, beginning in earnest with Los Angeles' East West Players in 1965 and followed by San Francisco’s Asian American Theatre Workshop, New York’s Oriental Actors of America and Pan Asian Repertory Theatre, and Seattle’sTheatrical Ensemble

The theater groups performed Asian-created works by the likes of Edward Sakamoto, Frank Chin, Hiroshi Kashiwagi,  Momoko Iko and Wakako Yamauchi.

On TV, Asian American actors continued to be nearly non-existent with Green Hornet, Hawaii Five-O, Hong Kong, I Spy and Star Trek being exceptions. 

In film, the fetishization of Asian women continued. More shocking was the way films like Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Thoroughly Modern Millie still represented Asian men in the most hateful ways.

ASIAN-AMERICANS WHOSE FILM CAREERS BEGAN IN THE 1960s

  
               Bill M. Rusaki                                                Brian Tochi                                                Chao Li Ch 

   
                   Gina Alajar                            Harold Sakata                                                     Irene Tsu 

   
                      Jack Soo                              Joanne Miya                                                John Fujioka 

  
             June Kyoto Lu                                            Kieu Chinh                                                    Lloyd Kino 

   
                  Lynne Sue Moon                                  Miko Mayama                                                Nancy Kwan                                  
 
                        Pat Morita                                                              Soon-Tek Oh
 

Not pictured: Alicia Li, Arthur Song, Brian Fong, Hans William Lee, James Shen, Lee Kolima, Linda Ho, Marc Marno, Reiko Sato, Tiko Ling, Tina Chen, Tsuruko Kobayashi, Willard Lee and Yoshio Yoda 

               
  
   
 

Asian American Related Films of the 1960s:

Hell to Eternity, The Mountain Road, The Wackiest Ship in the Army, Walk Like a Dragon, The World of Suzie Wong (all 1960), Bridge to the SunCry For Happy, Flower Drum SongOperation Bottleneck, Seven Women from Hell, Visa to Canton (all 1961), A Girl Named Tamiko, Confessions of an Opium Eater, Girls! Girls! Girls!, The Horizontal Lieutenant,The Road to Hong Kong, Satan Never SleepsWomanhunt (all 1962), Diamond Head, Donovan's Feef, TamahineThe Ugly American (all 1963), Man in the Middle (1964), Dimenson 5, Paradise, Hawaiian style, 7 Women, Walk Don't Run (all 1966), The Final War of Olly Winter, Kill a Dragon, The Mystery of the Chinese Junk, The Sweet and the Bitter,Thoroughly Modern Millie (all 1967), The Green Berets, Nobody's Perfect (both 1968) and The Wrecking Crew (1969)

Asian-American Cinema Part IV - The 1950s

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 24, 2009 04:58pm | Post a Comment
The fourth of a nine part series on Asian-Americans in front of and behind the camera

During the silent film and Hollywood eras, most Asian-American actors' roles were usually limited to the background and in offensive roles. Two actors, Anna May Wong and Sessue Hayakawa, nonetheless became superstars. They and pioneers like Esther Eng, Marion Wong, and the folks at Grandview Film Company (not to mention numerous actors) gamely attempted to produce and sustain an alternative and viable Asian-American Cinema.


Hawaiian Eye with Poncie Ponce (right)

In the 1950s, Hollywood roles for Asian-American women were usually limited to the objects of war time romance. On the Broadway stage, musicals about the Far East like The King and I, South Pacific and Flower Drum Song were in vogue although Asian characters were usually portrayed by white actors in yellowface. Asian stage performers typically enjoyed more attention on so-called Chop Suey Circuit, an mostly Chinese-American strand of Vaudeville

Roles for Asians were slightly more in number on television. In it's early years, the small screen was a much more diverse place than the big screen. It was there, in 1951, that Anna May Wong became the first Asian-American to star in her own series, The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong, which aired on the DuMont Network
*****

ASIAN-AMERICANS ACTORS THE 1950s


 
 
                                Aki Aleong                                                 Barbara Yun                                   Beulah Quo              

 Candace Lee 
                                  Bill Saito                                                    Candace Lee                                 Chang Tseng   

 
                                    Cherylene Lee                                            Dale Ishimoto                                    Edo Mita

  
             France Nuyen                                             Guy Lee                                               George Matsui     


                            George Takei                                         Gerald Jann                                              Ginny Tiu 

  
 
                     Henry Nakamura                                          Hideo Inamura                                     James Hong

  
         James Shigeta                                       James Yagi                                                   Jaqui Chan  


  
                  Jerry Fujikawa
                                               Judy Dan                                                 Kam Fong 

     
                                         Lisa Lu                                                  Lucille Soong                             Mai Tai Sing     


   
                        Mako (aka  Mako Iwamatsu)                                 Michi Kobi                                    Miiko Taka     

  
                   Miyoshi Jingu                                      Miyoshi Umeki                                                  Noel Toy

   Paul Togawa                      Pat Suzuki                                                Patrick Adiarte                                            Paul Togawa         

   
                      Poncie Ponce                                              Reiko Sato                                            Robert Kino 

Shuji Joe Nozawa (aka Fuji)             Shuji Joe Nozawa (aka Fuji)                      Tsai Chin                                                    Victor Wong

 
            Virginia Ann Lee                                      Yuki Shimoda                                          Warren Hsieh 

 
                  Willie Soo Hoo

Not pictured: May Takasugi, Robert W. Lee, and William Yokota


ASIAN-AMERICAN CINEMA OF THE 1950s


            

MORE ASIAN-AMERICAN CINEMA OF THE 1950s

Go for Broke
, I Was an American Spy, Korea Patrol, and Peking Express (all 1951); Feng ye qing, Japanese War Bride, and A Yank in Indo-China (all 1952); China Venture, Forbidden, and Target Hong Kong (all 1953); Hell's Half Acre (1954); House of Bamboo, The Left Hand of God, and Love Is a Many Splendored Thing (all 1955); The Teahouse of the August Moon (1956); Battle Hymn, China Gate, and Sayonara (all 1957); The Inn of the Sixth HappinessChina Doll, The Geisha Boy, Ghost of the China Sea, The Quiet American, and South Pacific (all 1958); and Blood and SteelThe Crimson Kimono, and Tokyo After Dark (all 1959)

Asian-American Cinema Part III - The 1940s

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 24, 2009 04:57pm | Post a Comment
ASIAN-AMERICAN CINEMA IN THE 1940s

The third of a nine part series on Asian-Americans in front of and behind the camera

The US entered World War II on 7 December, after Japanese forces bombed an American colonial base at Pearl Harbor. As a result, a huge number of Hollywood war films were set in Asia, which meant roles for Asian-Americans. Major Asian character roles were still routinely performed by white actors in yellowface and roles played by actual Asian-Americans  were almost always supporting, uncredited, and often demeaning. 

Esther Eng (center) at work -- image source: China Daily)

Of course, Japanese-American actors weren't available because from 1942-1946, they along with 110,000 other Americans of Japanese ancestry who were interred in American concentration camps. Overall, it seems that far fewer Asian-American actors began film careers in the 1940s than had in the previous decades.

There were a few filmmaking Asian-Americans behind the camera. Esther Eng returned to San Francisco in 1939 and directed Golden Gate Girl in 1941. After an abandoned project in Hong Kong, she returned to California and filmed The Blue Jade (1947) and Too Late for Springtime (1949) before retiring from filmmaking to go into the restaurant business. 

Grandview Film Company ca. 1935 -- image source: Fuck Yeah Asian/Pacific Islander History

Grandview Film Company
, founded in San Francisco in 1933, continued making Cantonese-language films in the 1940s. White Powder and Neon Lights (1941) was the first Cantonese movie filmed in color. Between 1942 and 1947 the company produced at least 21 films. 

Still there were seemingly more opportunities for Asian-American (mostly Chinese-American, although some like Dorothy Takahashi found work and avoided internment by passing as Chinese) entertainers on the so-called "Chop Suey Circuit" than in Hollywood. The Asian-American cabaret scene had first arisen in Chinatowns in the 1930s and continued to flourish through the 1950s.

  
Barbara Yung, a flyer from San Francisco's Forbidden City, and Ming and Toy

Off-screen, several key laws were passed that affected Asian-Americans, especially of Chinese origin. The Chinese Exclusion Act was repealed in 1943 and replaced with the Magnuson Act which allowed for 105 Chinese to immigrate to the US annually and allowed Chinese already living in America to become naturalized citizens. In 1946 the Luce–Celler Act of 1946 would similarly affect Filipinos and Indians. In 1945, the War Brides Act allowed for Chinese-American veterans to bring their wives to the US. In 1946, grocer/restauranteur/attorney Wing F. Ong became the first elected state official when Arizona voters elected him to the state House. In 1949, following the establishment of the People's Republic of China, 5,000 Chinese were granted refugee status. 


ASIAN-AMERICAN ACTORS OF
  THE 1940s

  
Aen-Ling Chow (Annie Ling Chow)                 
Bob Okazaki                                                  Charles Opunui

  
David Chow (David Tai Wai Chow)             Frances Chung                                            Frank Kumugai   

 

                      
Hilo Hattie                                            Hsi Tseng Tsiang                       Jennie Hanaiali'i "Napua" Wodd

  
         Jessie Tai Sing                                         Joseph Kim                                            Kei Thin Chung                                              
   
                    Lane Nakano                                Lawrence "Ducky" Louie                             Leon Lontoc                    

  
                    Marianne Quon                                      Maylia                                         Patricia Joe   (Chow Kwun-ling)   

 
     
          Pete G. Katchenaro                                                  William Yip

Not pictured: Frank Wong, Keye Chang
, and Leslie Fong


ASIAN-AMERICAN  CINEMA IN THE 1940s

    

  

  
  

       
  

Other films made by or otherwise significant to Asian-Americans from the 1940s include Phantom of Chinatown (1940); Secret of the Wasteland, Golden Gate Girl, She's My Gal,  White Powder, and Neon Lights (all 1941); Across the Pacific, Bombs Over Burma, China Girl, and Little Tokyo, U.S.A. (all 1942); China, Headin' for God's Country, Lady from ChunkingNight Plane from Chungking, and We've Never Been Licked (all 1943); The Keys of the Kingdom (1944); Back to Bataan, Betrayal from the East, China SkyChina's Little Devils, First Yank into Tokyo, Samurai, and Secret Agent X-9 (all 1945);   Tokyo Rose (1946); Intrigue (1947), Back Street aka Too Late For Springtime, Half Past Midnight, Women in the Night (all 1948); Chinatown at Midnight, Mad Fire, Made Love, and State Department: File 649 (all 1949)  

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Asian-American Cinema Part II - The 1930s

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 24, 2009 04:56pm | Post a Comment
The second of a nine part series on Asian-Americans in front of and behind the camera

If opportunities for Asian-Americans in silent film were decidedly limited, they seem to have actually worsened with the coming of sound. Several actors with Asian origins moved to countries in Asia, no doubt frustrated by the increased lack of work available to them in American films. The attempts by Marion WongSessue Hayakawa and Anna May Wong to create an Asian-American alternative to the degrading roles and yellowface of Hollywood had fizzled.


Philip Ahn (left) in Thank You, Mr. Moto (1937)

There were few films made by Asian-American filmmakers during the Hollywood Studio Era and Hollywood firmly controlled the manner in which Asians were represented in American films (with the notable exception of some American-made Cantonese-language films exhibited that were primarily screened overseas). Films like The Bitter Tea of General YenThe Good Earth, and series like series like Charlie Chan, Fu Manchu, Mr. Moto and Mr. Wong suggested that American minstrelsy, far from vanishing, had simply changed color. Asian-Americans found more accepting audiences as live performers on the so-called Chop-Suey Circuit, which took off in the 1930s.


Publicity still from The Good Earth (1937)

Asian-American actors faced and overcame various obstacles. For example, Anglo-Indian actress Merle Oberon concocted several phony stories about her origins and used skin whitening make-up. Korean-American Philip Ahn, a native of Los Angeles's Highland Park neighborhood, was required in many of his roles to attempt a phony Japanese accent and played the villain so often that he received more death threats than fan mail. 

Mako and June Koto Lu in East West Players' 1965 production of Rashomon

In the 1950s and '60s
, little would change for Asian-Americans with cinematic aspirations. It wasn't until after the decline of the Hollywood studio system and the simultaneous rise of Asian-American Theater that there would Asian-American Cinema would be reborn, ultimately expanding and maturing in the 1990s and 2000s.


GRANDVIEW FILM COMPANY 


On the set of 1944's She's My Gal (image source: Soft Film 軟性電影)

One notable exception to the lack of Asian-Americans behind the camera was Joseph Sunn Jue's San Francisco-based Grandview Film Company, co-founded in 1933 with Moon Kwan. Chiang Kay wrote the screenplays and cameramen included Joseph Jue and Wong Hock Sing (aka Wong Hok-sing).

Wong's White Powder and Neon Lights (1941) was the first Cantonese-language film filmed in color. Wong also managed San Francisco's Grandview Theater, later renamed the Chinatown Theater.
Grandview found success by distributing their films in Hong Kong, which they temporarily relocated to in 1935. After Japan invaded, however, the company returned to San Francisco where they made 21 more features between 1942 and '47.


 


Another notable Asian-American filmmaker of the era was Esther Eng (aka Ng Kam-ha), a native of San Francisco. In 1935 she founded the production compnay Gwong Ngai in Hollywood where she co-produced the company's first film, Sum Hun (aka Heartaches), the first Cantonese-language film made in Los Angeles. Sum Hun starred Cantonese actress Wai Kim-fong and was shown in the US and Hong Kong.

After that she directed five films in Hong Kong before returning to the US. With Grandview Film Company she co-directed (with Kwan-Man Ching) Golden Gate Girl (金門女) in 1941, which featured an infant Bruce Lee in his first film appearance (and for which Joseph Sunn was the cinematographer). Through the remainder of the 1940s she directed Blue Jade (1947), Back Street aka Too Late for Springtime (1948), and Mad Fire, Mad Love (1949). Her final directorial efforts were the New York sequences of the Hong Kong-US co-production, Murder in New York Chinatown (1961). She passed away in 1970. Her story has been told in S. Louisa Wei and Law Kar's documentary Golden Gate Silver Light Esther Eng: Story of a Pioneer Woman Director (伍錦霞: 華語電影之女性先鋒)


ASIAN-AMERICAN FILM FIGURES OF THE 1930s


  Barbara Jean Wong
             Al Kikume                                                 Allen Jung                                                  Barbara Jean Wong  


   
                          Beal Wong                                      Ching Wah Lee                                      Benson Fong      

  Clarence Lung 
                            Chester Gan                                                 Clarence Lung        Dorothy Fong Toy (Dorothy Takahashi)


  
                            Eunice Soo-Hoo                             Frances Chan                              Frank Tang 

  
                           George Chan                                          Gladys Li Lain-Ai                    Grace Lem (Grace Key) 

  
                              HW Gim                                                    Honorable Wu                                     Iris Wong  

 
                                        Jadin Wong                                                                            Joe Wong

  
               Kam Tong                                                    Keye Luke                                            
Lal Chand Mehra


   
                    Layne Tom Jr.                                       Lee Tung Foo                                      Lee Tung Foo

  
                                   Lotus Liu                                                                    Lotus Long                      Luke Chan    

       
  
                          Mary Wong                                                 Moy Ming                                           Otto Yamaoka

  
                                   Paul Fung                                                          Peter Chong                            Philip Ahn

  
       Richard Loo                                        Roland Got                                                    Rudy Robles  


 
  Spencer Chan
                   Sammee Tong                        
Soo Young (aka CK Huang)                             Spencer Chan


 Teru Shimada 
  (Keye Luke 
and) Suzanna Kim                                 Teru Shimada                                        
Victor Sen Yung  

  
                       Victor Wong                                           Walter Soo Hoo                                William Law

 
                 Wing Foo

Not pictured: Benny Inocencio, Bruce Wong, Caroline Chew, Eddie Lee, George Kaluna, Hayward Soo Hoo, Joseph Jue, Maurice Liu, Oie Chan, Paul Singh, Paul Wing, Prince Leilani, Satini Pualoa, and Tom Ung.


ASIAN-AMERICAN FILMS OF THE 1930s


 

 

More Asian-American Related Films of the 1930s:

The Flame of Love, Hai-Tang (both 1930), Daughter of the Dragon (1931), Secrets of Wu Sin (1932), The Bitter Tea of General Yen (1933), Chu Chin Chow, Limehouse Blues (both 1934), Captured in Chinatown (1935), The General Died at Dawn,The Leathernecks Have Landed, Shadow of Chinatown (all 1936), Daughter of Shanghai, The Good Earth, The Rainbow Pass, West of Shanghai (all 1937), Barricade, King of Chinatown and North of Shanghai (all 1939)

*****


Your Pals Are Not What They Seem 1: Faith and Reason in Lost's Season 5 Finale

Posted by Charles Reece, May 24, 2009 10:32am | Post a Comment
When Twin Peaks veers into the conventions of illusionism, which pay homage to the rationalist's faith in a phallic force and properly directed will, the series loses its sense of the benign subconscious and the affirming power of femininity. In the later episodes, the seeker regresses into a stereotypical hero. Proper reason directing Cooper's will becomes the heroic focus of the action against the typical perverse will and reason of the villain. The traditional conquest of Earle -- not the desire to see -- becomes the desire of the series. -- Martha P. Nochimson, David Lynch: Wild at Heart in Hollywood, p. 93

The only thing Columbus discovered was that he was lost! -- Wyndom Earle


Since Ron Moore and colleagues sank my Battlestar, the only show I've cared about is Lost. As the former demonstrated, TV is determined by its own law of entropy, where any show gets worse in direct proportion to the length of time it's on times the structural quality (plot, characters, diegesis, etc.) that the creators initially developed. Clearly, BSG went on for about 2 years longer than the initial fund of creativity allowed. Its keg was all but tapped by the beginning of the third season. Given its tenuous beginning, Moore probably thought his show wouldn't make it much past the mini-series, hoping that he'd at least have one of those cult-celebrated shows that could've been. On the other side of the coin, TV executives don't much care about quality, but about how long they can wring some advertising dollars out of the shows they're broadcasting. As such, they are creatures of chaos, encouraging the steady dissolution of the creative order; they are, in a word, demonic. It's the nature of the beast that creators have to get in bed with these incubi to give birth to a TV show. This Faustian dialectic requires as much blind faith from the creators as it does money being thrown about by investors. Little wonder, then, why so many SF-fantasy shows are predisposed to defending faith over reason. As articles of faith in the face of overwhelming odds, they came into being as the result of big, dumb chance.


A classic example is X-Files, which burned out after the third season and whose endings justified every ludicrous theory the conspiracist Agent Mulder came up with. After a few years of this, the skepticism of Agent Scully's ratiocinations came across as implausible, or just plain dumb. Faith in something that's demonstratively true isn't really faith; it's empirical knowledge. Contrary to some interpretations, X-Files didn't really analyze the role of faith, so much as side-step it by making the supernatural natural. You'd be one stupid hobbit to doubt magic in Middle-Earth. The hero in an absurdist universe can either fight it like Agent 6 did in The Prisoner, or just embrace it like Maxwell Smart in Get Smart. On the former journey -- Kafkaesque in its structure -- lies madness, cancellation and no end to the story, much like what waits for the rationalist in the real world; on the latter, you get a better chance at a few more seasons, but, like a business going public and expanding, the product begins to feel like a cheap imitation (just look at X-Files).

Contrariwise, David Lynch and Mark Frost built the possibility for endless expansion into Twin Peaks with the mystery of Laura Palmer's murder -- what Lynch has called "the golden goose." They intended to keep it ongoing indefinitely while exploring the epiphenomenal mysteries arising from the central investigation. ABC felt that endless mystery would tax the faith of viewers, and "asked" the creators to wrap up the Laura storyline in the second season. The end of that mystery wasn't all that killed the show's élan: both Frost and Lynch went away to work on other projects, turning the reins over to a bunch of cheap Lynch clones, resulting in a whole lot of James and Lucy. It was with the return of Frost that the show began to regain some sense of direction, but more along the lines of the classic good versus evil struggle to which Nochimson alludes in the above quote. Agent Cooper now had a Moriarty, Wyndom Earle, a damsel in distress, Annie, and there was a white lodge to go along with the black one -- tropes that a Jungian once called archetypes, but are now known as clichés. Nochimson is herself a Jungian feminist who sees Cooper as a hero-seeker, a protagonist who leaves himself open to questions, tapping into the universal unconscious, rather than one who is out to conquer the Other. Openness, you see, is the province of universal femininty -- think the woman's classic coital role ('classic' should here be read as another synonym for 'cliché', or 'stereotype'). Reason is phallic, controlling, penetrating, and thusly the province of masculinity.


Despite the reductionistic men-are-from-Mars-women-from-Venus rhetoric, Nochimson's book gets it right that Lynch isn't much of an us-versus-them sort of narrator. As becomes increasingly evident from Blue Velvet to Inland Empire, all of his protagonists possess a Hermann Hesse-duality that drives the narrative more than some external battle with another. However, Cooper is his purest hero, only shown to face his dark side when Lynch returned for season 2's finale. By listening to his dreams and going with his occult intuition, Cooper might be considered a man of faith, albeit one who doesn't put all his eggs in one basket. (These eggs aren't of the hysterical kind, though.) But he was until the final episode, and against Nochimson's reading, always in control. He asked the right questions and proffered the best hypotheses again and again. I'd say, given the preternatural realm of Twin Peaks, Cooper belongs philosophically with his cohort Agent Mulder to Noam Chomsky's brand of rationalism. ("Mulder" even pops up in Twin Peaks as an FBI investigator in drag, an agent of scientifico-rationalism mocking the identity politics inherent in Nochimson's account.)


Against the bottom-feeding positivism of behaviorism that was dominant back in the 50s, Chomsky countered that unobservable mental models (the a priori, or given) were necessary to understand linguistic behavior. Scientific discovery, like language learning, is guided by models, where one has an initial theory that undergoes modification as experience dictates (I speak loosely here, so see these entries on Universal Grammar and Modularity if you're curious). If the data is consistent with the theoretical model, no change is necessary; it is, for all intents and purposes, rational knowledge. Mulder and Cooper's seemingly outlandish theories might not work in our world, but they tended to be confirmed by (were consistent with their experiences in) their own diegeses. Their faith is more analogous to David Hume believing that one billiard ball will move when struck by another, i.e., it always had in the past (as far as he knew).

Cooper had good enough evidence for believing his dreams continually tried to tell him something real, such as tangible evidence (e.g., the ring placed in his hand while in the Red Room appears in his hand once awake). In the dimestore realms of L. Ron Hubbard where Xenu really exists, Scientology becomes an inference to the best explanation. What we normally think of as religious faith, or simply faith, is taking a stand against the epistemological abyss, like Tom Cruise on Oprah's table or his martyred resistance to Matt Lauer's Socratic attacks. There are those who argue for a rational basis to religion (e.g., Alvin Plantinga), but if correct, their faith becomes more like X-Files than, say, willing to kill your boy because some voice is telling you to. No, real faith is believing that I'll get around to some point about Lost, which is coming on Page 2.

Gleaming the Cube Tonight at the New Beverly

Posted by phil blankenship, May 23, 2009 03:27pm | 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 May 23

Gleaming
The Cube


EXTREMELY RARE 35mm Print! Actor Art Chudabala (Christian Slater's brother in the movie) IN PERSON plus other special guests & surprises!


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



May
May 29 & 30 Back To The Future Triple Feature
All Three Movies - Two Nights Only!
BttF: 7:30pm, BttF2: 10pm, BttF3: Midnight
$10 Triple Feature Ticket

June
June 2-8 New Beverly Film Explosion!
We take over the New Bev for a full week of double (and triple) features of MOVIE MANIA! Each show starts at 7:30pm.

June 2
Class of 1984 with 3:15 The Moment Of Truth

June 3
Witchboard with Witchtrap

June 4
Under Siege with The Taking Of Beverly Hills

June 5
Friday The 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter / Friday The 13th Part V: A New Beginning / Friday The 13th Part VI: Jason Lives

Reach Out, I'll Be There!!

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, May 23, 2009 11:26am | Post a Comment

The Roc Lochner cover below always cracks me up, it's got such a Manowar-ish earnesty about the power of rock!



Terry Garthwaite's arty period is represented below. This Raffeys cover is amazing!


Jethro Tull give Roc Lochner a run for their money. Not only the power of Rock, but the power of Flute-Rock! Trance obviously digs the bare arm thing, as we've got two of their covers in this batch.

LIGHT IN THE ATTIC RECORDS' WEST COAST ROAD TRIP

Posted by Billyjam, May 23, 2009 09:35am | Post a Comment
Light In The Attic
On Memorial Day --this Monday, May 25th, sometime between 1 and 2 in the afternoon, four guys from Light In The Attic Records (LITA) up in Seattle are expected to roll through the doors of Amoeba Music on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood.

The four may look tired and understandably so, as it will be Day 8 of their unique road trip that will take them from Seattle to San Diego and back. But expect the LITA four and the Amoeba folks who greet them all to be smiling widely once they peep the cool music these guys are coming armed with -- all from LITA's deep catalog: stacks of wax, rarities, and lots of goodies from the indie label known for its roster of reissue projects and its distribution catalog, with artists including Serge Gainsbourg and The Monks.

On Monday last, May 18th, they crammed thousands upon thousands of pieces of music into their van and since then have driven all the way down from Seattle, through Tacoma and Olympia, then through Oregon and into California, stopping all along the way at a total of 50 indie record stores to personally Black Daisy Light In The Attic road tripdeliver the goodies. This 50 store/10 day/3000 mile music road trip will take them as far south as San Diego. Then it's back north and inland to Sacramento, their last stop before heading home to Seattle by Friday, May 29th. For those of you with calanders asking, doesn't that then make it an 11 or 12 day trip? Well, technically it is still 10 days, since the record store part of the operation runs from May 18th to the 28th.

This Week At The New Beverly!

Posted by phil blankenship, May 22, 2009 09:22am | Post a Comment
This Week At The New Beverly

The full May / June Calendar is online!
http://newbevcinema.com/calendar.cfm


Friday & Saturday May 22 & 23


Charles Bronson Badass Cinema

The Mechanic (1972)
He has 100 ways to kill... and they all work!
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0068931/
dir. Michael Winner, starring Charles Bronson, Jan-Michael Vincent, Keenan Wynn, Jill Ireland
Fri: 7:30; Sat: 3:25 & 7:30, Watch The Trailer!

Mr. Majestyk (1974)
He didn't want to be hero... until the day they pushed him too far.
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0071866/
dir. Richard Fleischer, written by Elmore Leonard
starring Charles Bronson, Al Lettieri, Linda Cristal, Lee Purcell
Fri: 9:30; Sat: 5:25 & 9:30, Watch The Trailer!

AMOEBA MUSIC HIP-HOP WEEKLY ROUND UP: 05:22:09

Posted by Billyjam, May 22, 2009 07:00am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five: 05:22:09
eminem
1) Eminem Relapse (Shady/Aftermath/Interscope)

2) Method Man & Redman Blackout! 2 (Def Jam)

3 Busta Rhymes Back On My B.S. (Flipmode/Universal Motown)

4) Tanya Morgan Brooklynati (Interdependent Media)

5)  DOOM Born Like This (Lex Records)

Released this week, Relapse, the sixth studio album from Eminem, went straight to number one on the Amoeba Music Hip-Hop chart. And most likely this anticipated album from Slim Shady, produced by Dr Dre, willl also top most other charts this week, including Billboard's. Even though many critics have already panned the album, most saying that the once controversial Em is now attempting to stilll sound shocking and merely duplicating his old formula with a twist of Reggaton, most music fans are hungry for, or at least curious to hear what Eminem Version 2009 is all about. After all, it is the artist's first new album in five long rap years -- since he dropped Encore in 2004 -- which is a virtual eternity in the ever shapeshifting hip-hop genre. Typically, fickle rap fans move on but Eminem ain't no ordinary rapper and a lot of people want to see/hear what's new with the artist who withdrew himself from the world and became dependent on prescription drugs. 

In true Eminem tradition, his personal life -- in this case his openly admitted addiction to prescription drugs and some other issues, including, of course, his mother -- is fuel (fodder?) for his art. And drugs are certainly a prominent theme on Relapse, and not just the repeated lyrical references. The album cover spelling of the name Relapse cleverly utilizes the "Rx" symbol as used in prescriptions (Dr. Dre, naturally, is the prescribing doctor), while the cover art illustration of the artirt's head (above) is mademethodman redman up by a mosaic of thousands of pills.

Palm Springs Film Noir Festival @ Camelot Theatres

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, May 22, 2009 12:55am | Post a Comment

Lately I've been making more of an effort to take small trips out of town. Recent trips to the Shady Dell in Bisbe, AZ and the Red Fox Room (hang out in Marion Davies' old living room!) in San Diego have proven to be quite enjoyable, so we're going try out a little Palm Springs action. The festival is a great excuse to drive out into the desert & this year's schedule is packed with true rarities, so we're going to try to cram in at least 5 movies into 2 days.  Anybody out there that can recommend any must see Palm Springs curiosities, let me know...








STEVIE NICKS SONG GETS NEW LEASE ON LIFE FROM KIDS @ PS22

Posted by Billyjam, May 21, 2009 09:34pm | Post a Comment
fleetwood mac
Above is the wonderful recent version of the timeless Stevie NIcks/Fleetwood Mac song "Landslide" sung by the PS22 Chorus, which is a children's choir of about sixty kids from a New York City public elementary school. Since this video was posted on YouTube yesterday (May 20) by Agreggofsociety, who works with these kids and is seen/heard playing guitar in the piece, it has gotten close to 80,000 hits. And no wonder: it is hard not to be moved by the power of these young souls pouring their hearts into the song. Their hand and facial gestures alone just grab you.

Below is Stevie Nicks with Lindsey Buckingham singing "Landslide" on the Late Show with David Letterman twelve years ago when the song appeared on the live album The Dance. The original version can be found on the band's 1975 album Fleetwood Mac and to this day remains a favorite amongst both Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks fans as well as many other artists who have covered it over the years.


Love Land

Posted by Whitmore, May 21, 2009 04:24pm | Post a Comment
I planned on posting this several days ago but I too was in the midst of dealing with the ol’ wrecking ball. Euphemistically speaking…
 
Love Land, China’s first sex theme park, expected to open in October, has already been demolished. The powers that be, jolted by the worldwide publicity, brought in the wrecking ball before such a crude establishment could blight the good city of Chongqing.
 
The developers had billed the attraction as tasteful and socially beneficial theme park full of informative displays on all things ‘sex.’ A quick investigation determined the park's content was vulgar and that it was neither healthy nor educational and would be an “evil influence” on the culture.
 
Love Land had promised to make available workshops to help visitors improve their sexual technique and advice on safe sex, along with a detailed history of sex thru the ages.
 
Once the decision was made a demolition team moved in posthaste, first knocking down the giant revolving pair of women's legs standing over the entrance and then moving on to the giant genitalia.

out this week 5/12 & 5/19...tori amos...iron & wine...true blood...jarvis cocker...bricolage...

Posted by Brad Schelden, May 21, 2009 12:40pm | Post a Comment

When I first moved to Los Angeles 7 or 8 years ago I became obsessed with Six Feet Under. I remember going to work one day and one of my coworkers talked about the show for hours. She couldn't believe that I was not watching it. However, I didn't have HBO and I don't think the show was out on DVD yet. I didn't even have a DVD player yet. VHS releases of TV shows were starting to disappear so I didn't really have any way to watch it-- so it might have been Six Feet Under that made me finally give in and get a DVD player. My first DVD purchase was The Muppet Movie, but I think my second or third purchase was the first season of Six Feet Under. It had been a while since I had been obsessed with a really good TV show. I still managed to watch the entire Twin Peaks series about once a year, but there wasn't much else out there. It was just that I didn't have HBO. I had heard about all these new shows, but still had never watched Oz or the Sopranos. These shows would later become some of my favorites as I started to collect the DVDs and eventually was forced to get HBO again. I don't want to sound like an advertisement for HBO, but it really did change the way I looked at TV and really gave me many enjoyable viewing hours. Six Feet Under came at a perfect time in my life. The show took place in the Los Angeles area and was filmed just down the street from Amoeba at the Gower studios. I somehow felt the show was speaking directly to me. And I somehow felt more involved with it since it was filmed so close to me and took place in a city so close to my heart. It was also nice to see a gay character as one of the lead roles in a drama series. I have always had a love/hate sort of relationship with Los Angeles, but this show made me love it just a little bit more. The five seasons of the show took me on a long and intense journey. I fell in love with all the characters and started to think of them as my family. The show followed me back to San Francisco, where it eventually ended in 2005. This was one of those shows that I really did love but it also just sort of tortured me when I watched it. Not only was every episode dealing with somebody's death, but it was also dealing with all the characters' messed up lives at the same time. It was an intense journey. The thing that made this show so fantastic was the cast. The mix of the brilliant writing with the perfect cast was a magical combination -- and it doesn't really happen that often. The leads were all perfect. Peter Krause, Michael C. Hall, and Lauren Ambrose were perfect as the siblings of the house. Frances Conroy was brilliant as their mother. The show just had a list of some of my favorite or soon to be favorite actors -- Rachel Griffiths, Freddy Rodriguez, Jeremy Sisto, Lili Taylor, Kathy Bates, Richard Jenkins, Rainn Wilson, Justin Theroux, Mena Suvari, Veronica Cartwright, Illeana Douglas, and Catherine O'Hara. And Patricia Clarkson and Joanna Cassidy were nothing short of brilliant as the aunt and mother in law. I wish they could have been in every episode, I don't think any TV show will ever get a better cast...although Mad Men comes very close.

The finale of SIx Feet Under still remains the most intense hour of television I have ever seen. I really didn't want the show to end, but sometimes five seasons is enough. I would have hated to see the show go on when it didn't really need to. I don't want to explain too much about the finale in case you have never seen it, but the show basically did what I have always wanted a show to do. It answered that question, "But what becomes of all these characters after the show ends?" Sort of the exact opposite of the approach that The Sopranos took with their season finale. I understand that this is not appropriate for every show. Sometimes it is great to just be left with an unknown future for the cast. You can sort of make up your own future for them. I sure wouldn't want to know what lies ahead of me in my own life. It would get rid of any excitement and wonder. But it was a perfect way to end a show that dealt with death. I have watched this episode only twice, but sometimes I think of just skipping ahead and watching it once more. I will most likely be making the journey and watching the whole series again at some point in the next couple of years. I will just have to wait until then to experience that final episode once again. But it is seriously so intense that I can make myself cry just thinking about.

The reason that Six Feet Under is on my mind is because of another show by the same creator. The genius behind Six Feet Under was Mr. Alan Ball. His new show is called True Blood. The show aired on HBO last year. The first season is out on DVD this week. Season two premiers next month on June 14th. It is the perfect summer show. It takes place in Lousiana, so I always feel hot and sweaty when I watch it. I still have never been to Lousiana but I just imagine it always being hot and humid there. There is also not usually much on TV in the summer, so it is the perfect time to get a show like this. Hopefully you have already watched the show and fallen in love with it like I have, but if not, you still have some time to pick up season one and get all caught up in time for season two. But you do probably need to at least have a mild interest in vampires to really get into the show. Hopefully you have at least read Interview with the Vampire or at the very least seen the movie. I have been a fan of vampires since I can remember. I have always liked horror movies and horror fiction. Vampires are the perfect subject for novelization. Maybe you wouldn't want to live forever yourself but it is still a very interesting subject to explore. True Blood is one of those great shows that really brings you into the city it takes place in. This story could not really take place in any other place and they capture this small town perfectly. I have never been there in person but I feel like I have because the sets and art direction are so perfect. The cast is also close to perfect. I originally thought Anna Paquin seemed a bit too young for this show, but she has grown up. Unlike other child actors like Katie Holmes and Christina Ricci, she still doesn't look like she is 10 years old. It is always strange watching an actor or actress grow up in front of the camera. Sometimes it is hard to see them as an adult. Anna Paquin got off to a great start with her career. She won an Oscar for her very first film, The Piano, in 1993. She has been acting ever since but I really have not seen her in anything memorable since then. It is as if she was just trying to find part a like this for the last 15 years. I am glad she finally found it. Or it found her.

Vampire films and TV shows always have the risk of being a bit cheesy. I don't really know how you can make a vampire not seem a little silly. That is part of their charm I guess. Buffy the Vampire Slayer sort of embraced the funny aspects of being a vampire and combined humor with the horror. There is always a bit of comic relief in most vampire movies. There is just something funny about vampires for some reason. True Blood also does a good job of combining a bit of humor with the horror. The show did take a couple of weeks to grown on me. I hadn't decided that I really loved the show until about half way through it. I feel like most shows are like this -- it takes some time for you to get to know and love the characters. You really need to care about the characters and what happens to them. There is really no reason to follow the show if you don't have that connection. That is what keeps you coming back every week. You feel invested in their lives. The first season is only 12 episodes, so you really could watch it all in one day, or maybe stretch it out into one long weekend. That is the best way to watch these shows. That is how I watched most of Six Feet Under and The Sopranos. It is sometimes hard to wait a whole week to find out what happens next. The show is also available in Blu-Ray, which I also highly recommend. I watched this show originally in HD so I imagine the Blue-Ray also looks fantastic. There are a couple special features in the box set, but it is really just all about the show. You don't really need anything else. The show is based on the set of books by Charlaine Harris. I imagine the books to probably be even more entertaining than the show. I will most likely be exploring these very shortly. They are on my list of books to read. This show is so much better than that other movie that was also based on a series of vampire books. While I am sure there are way more Twilight fans out there in the world, True Blood actually does the vampire story right, but I guess Twilight is aimed at the younger generations. When the Twilight fans get a bit older they will now have something to look forward to. I am just glad that this show is now on DVD for everybody to enjoy. And I can't wait for season two to start! I have missed my television friends.

also out 5/12...






Mind the Drift by Big Business











Bricolage by Bricolage











OK Bear by Jeremy Enigk











Lost Verses Live by Mark Kozelek











Magnolia by The Wooden Birds







also out 5/19...






Abnormally Attracted To Sin by Tori Amos











Around the Well by Iron & Wine











Eats Darkness by Apostle of Hustle










Still Night, Still Light by Au Revoir Simone











Catastrophe Ballet by Christian Death











Clues by Clues











Further Complications by Jarvis Cocker











Rotting Slowly by The Curious Mystery











Super Animal Brother by Ear Pwr











Relapse by Eminem











Yesterday & Today by The Field











Two by Miss Kittin & the Hacker











Polly Scattergood by Polly Scattergood












Nests of Waves & Wires by Tartufi










Terminator Salvation Soundtrack











True Blood Soundtrack

New Electronic CD Releases 5/21/09

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, May 21, 2009 10:46am | Post a Comment
Dark music for Dark Warehouses...
Heinrichs & Hirtenfeliner
HEINRICHS & HIRTENFELLNER

Dark Orbit CD (HIGHGRADE 062CD)

This is the debut full-length release on Highgrade by Berlin-based Heinrichs & Hirtenfellner. The duo asked the question: "Is there life in outer space?" and were answered easily by the sound-universe that they created on Dark Orbit. From the mesmerizing glitter of "Supernova," to the funky vocal cuts drifting through "Starry Fog," to the off-the-beaten-track explorations of "Hubble," this album maps out new galaxies and star systems of sound. "Quantum Jump" is a springboard to a parallel universe made out of pulsating bass and vocal sequences, echoing to us from the depths of space. The "Black Hole" in Heinrichs & Hirtenfellner's world works somehow backwards -- instead of eating energy, it spills all over -- making the impact of this track as powerful as a meteor storm. "Alpha Particle" sounds like a lunar probe on speed, while "My Gravitation" shows perfectly how to build massive club-hits from dreamy sequences. Despite all this journeying, Dark Orbit never gets lost: it remains a fresh club album that always shows a subtle grasp of humor, weird sounds, and small oddities -- the perfection of the added human touch. The CD version also includes small interludes which serve as anchoring, central themes, like map-coordinates on a pleasant flight.


EXERCISE ONE
In Cars We Rust
(MOBILEE 008CD)

This is the debut full-length release by Berlin duo Exercise One (Marco Freivogel and Ingo Gansera). DJs know them as crafters of cracking tracks on wax. Clubbers around the world know them as an unstoppable live act. Now, prepare to meet another side of Exercise One. On In Cars We Rust, the dancefloor stormers are still here, and the record's flow is guided by the same spirit of improvisation that drives their live sets. But the clubbier material is rounded out by sounds we've never heard from Exercise One before: gorgeous, enveloping ambient tracks; soundtrack-ready synthesizer ballads; even a kind of retro-futurist electro-pop. In Cars We Rust is the studio product of their hands-on approach, as passages of spontaneous creation are edited, collaged and remixed into a strikingly varied, startlingly cohesive whole. "Circeo" comes on like dawn, with a rustle of percussion and muted horns giving way to slowly unfurling chords and gentle electro-acoustic chatter -- featuring Seth Josel on guitar, it's an ambient palate-cleanser to prep you for the deep-listening experience to follow. The beats begin on "1994," which eases out of the intro with shimmering keys and a shimmying beat, nearly dissolving into bubbly echoes of Steve Reich. "It Is Happening Again" features home-hewn breaks and a monster bass line courtesy of Jacopo Carreras. "Trapdoor" cools off with a taut, undulating spiral of metallic percussion and oscillators. "The Drunken Tinman" is low-slung funk, skipping dry drum machines across a sludge-pool of charred, muddied bass and dubby chords. After that, "Good Kid" rouses with cinematic strings and a drunken piano line. "No News Today" features Argenis Brito's distinctive vocals, and is the perfect fusion of electronic production with a classic pop sensibility. "Sleeper" boasts lush chords, diamond-tipped drums and spiraling oscillators. "What You Say" is a lean, mean percussive groover, and "Don't Slip" slows the tempo and loses itself in a field of freaky bleeps. The breathtaking finale "Just Not!" feels like an amalgam of all of Exercise One's deepest tendencies, as ropy bass lines, dissipating chords and intricate rhythms spin together into a hypnotic, pulsing whole.

Konrad Black Watergate
KONRAD BLACK
Watergate 03 CD
(WG 003CD)

This is the third volume in Watergate Records' series of mixes dedicated to the sounds of the Watergate Club in Berlin, mixed and curated by Konrad Black. Situated by the river Spree, and known for its first-rate line-ups of international talent and, of course, its famous wall-to-wall LED dance floor installation, the Watergate Club has quickly become one of the world's leading dance music clubs. The Watergate series delivers only the finest DJ mixes by some of club's most exciting residents and guests. With the focus not only on the music, but also on the packaging and design, this series will quickly become a truly sought-after collector's item. Konrad Black is a founding member of the Wagon Repair label and part of Richie Hawtin's M_nus family. For Watergate 03, he delivers a mix containing influential classic material as well as current gems, including a new, unreleased collaboration with Martin Buttrich and a forthcoming release by Mathew Jonson. His signature dark vision of techno shines throughout this utterly seamless mix and reflects his self-perception as a DJ. Over the years, Konrad's sound has found a home at Watergate Club and one can catch him playing there on a regular basis. Other artists include: Alex Cortex, D. Diggler, Raudive, Loco Dice, Onur Özer, Matthew Dear & Seth Troxler, Stephan G, Queen Atom, Cesare vs. Disorder, Louderbach, Thrill Cosby, Ben Klock, Discogs, and Paul Ritch.

May 20, 2009

Posted by phil blankenship, May 21, 2009 12:23am | Post a Comment

PUT ANOTHER DIME IN THE JUKEBOX BABY

Posted by Billyjam, May 20, 2009 10:11pm | Post a Comment

I am sure that I am not alone when I say that I love "I Love Rock'n Roll," the song popularized by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, who released it from the album of the same name in 1981. The hugely successful record went to number one on the Billboard singles chart and #2 on the Billboard albums chart.
joan jett i love rock n roll
Distingushed by its irrisistable handclap and beat and killer guitar lick, "I Love Rock'n Roll"'s writing and first recording is often mistakenly credited to Jett. But it was Alan Merrill and Jake Hooker of the Mickie Most produced, British based group The Arrows who wrote the song and first recorded it six years earlier in 1975 (originally as a B-side on RAK Records). Their version is below in a clip from their weekly Granada Television program The Arrows Show.

I am curious to know which version people think is better, so if you have a moment, please write which version you prefer in the comments below. Note that songwriter Alan Merrill of The Arrows is an American who moved to London, hence the original line he wrote is "put another dime," whereas if he had been British born, it probably would have been something like "Put another 10 pence in the jukebox baby."

the arrowsOver the years "I Love Rock'n Roll" has been covered by many artists. Britney Spears covered the song for the 2002 movie Crossroads (movie clip below), and it has been used in many other movies too, including the 2006 film The Covenant, which featured the Joan Jett version in a bar with jukebox scene.

ProtestationTartare

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 20, 2009 09:14pm | Post a Comment

Today an estimated 15,000 Crimean Tatars gathered in Simferopol, Ukraine to mark the 65th anniversary of their forced deportation at the hands of Soviet authorities under Stalin. In 1944, approximately 200,000 Crimean Tatars were loaded onto trains and sent to Siberia, with roughly half dying along the way.


Since the collapse of the USSR, many have returned to their ancestral homelands, joining the 280,000 who currently live there. Around 150,000 have expressed their intention to return.


Many of the protesters held aloft their national flag and voiced their demands, which include calls for national recognition, autonomy and Crimean Tatar schools.

  

Without a doubt, the most famous Tatar in American popular culture of Tatar ancestry is actor Charles Bronson. They also gave us steak Tartare.


Become a fan of Eric's Blog on Facebook!

Smoke!

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, May 20, 2009 12:10pm | Post a Comment

I figured that this would be a good follow up to my fire blog. After I launched that one in honor of Pele, I realized that yesterday was the feast of Brighid and that I should have offered my work to her. So today, I make this tabacco offering to her.



Although the entire Jackie Gleason series has beautiful artwork, Night Winds is my favorite. Very sinister undercurrents flowing through the image.


The pic of Brenda Bennett on the above Apollonia 6 LP cracks me up because she always looked old to me when I was a kid, but in this picture she's probably younger than I am now. I love the way that the Straight Lines LP came out in this photo. The giant cat urine stain on the left adds so much. OK, I'm going off to smoke my Peterson now...

Buford's Beach Bunnies

Posted by phil blankenship, May 19, 2009 09:50pm | Post a Comment
 


Imperial Entertainment Corp 3409

PETULA CLARK'S UNIQUE SEVEN DECADE CAREER

Posted by Billyjam, May 19, 2009 05:29pm | Post a Comment
petula clark
76 year old English singer/composer/actress Petula Clark holds the distinction of being the most successful British female solo recording artist ever, with a career that spans seven decades and that has racked up record sales of over 70 million units. For this feat she has been recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Additionally Clark was honored by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II during an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace in 1998 when she was made a CBE (Commander of the British Empire).

Clark, whose number one hits include "Downtown," "My Love" and "This Is My Song," and whose other big hits include "I Know A Place" and "Don't Sleep In The Subway" (video below), made her first public performace singing at age 7 as part of a retail store promotion.

Her professional career began a few years later when the talented young girl became an entertainer on BBC Radio during World War II when she performed an inspired rendition of "Mighty Lak' a Rose." Clark was a few weeks shy of celebrating her tenth birthday. She would go on to perform approximately 500 times in radio programmes designed to entertain the British troops during the War. At this same time she would tour the UK with (fellow child performer) Julie Andrews, earning herself the nickname of "Britain's Shirley Temple."


In 1944 (at age 12) she made her big screen debut in Medal For The General playing the character of Irma in the film. This led to her appearing in a string of films (many B-movies), includinpetula clark don't sleep in the subwayg Strawberry Roan, I Know Where I'm Going!, London Town, and Here Come the Huggetts. She continued making films, about 30 in all, for the next four decades. It was In 1949 when Clark, who had still to turn seventeen, released her first single and in 1954 scored her first top ten hit, "The Little Shoemaker," which would be the first of string of hits for the artist. 1961's "Sailor" would be her first UK #1 hit and "Downtown" (video below) would be her first US #1 hit single in 1964. The 1960's was her decade, with other Petula Clark hits including "I Know a Place," "My Love," "Colour My World," "A Sign of the Times," and "Don't Sleep in the Subway."

Cass McCombs' "Dreams Come True Girl"

Posted by Miss Ess, May 19, 2009 02:33pm | Post a Comment


Cass McCombs
is one of the best bubbling-just-under-the-radar songwriters around. Cass's got a new video out, fiercly featuring actress Karen Black (Five Easy Pieces, Easy Rider), as well as our own dear Greg in a skateboarding cameo, for his song "Dreams Come True Girl." The track is a sweet, ambling, highly hum-able song that will be on his upcoming album, Catacombs, out on Domino June 1. The single is also out now on 7". Check out the vid below:

May 18, 2009

Posted by phil blankenship, May 19, 2009 12:25am | Post a Comment

plus





Fire!

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, May 18, 2009 10:45pm | Post a Comment

I present this blog as an offering to the Goddess Pele. May she protect us through the upcoming fire season!





It's nice to see father and son in the same blog -- The Captain and his pop Carmen Dragon! If I could just fit the Surf Punks in somewhere it'd be an amazing hat trick!

Gonzales' 27 hour solo performance breaks Guinness record

Posted by Billyjam, May 18, 2009 05:24pm | Post a Comment

The Canadian musician and producer Gonzales made history today when he broke the world record for the longest-ever solo gonzalezconcert. The 37-year-old artist, who was born Jason Charles Beck and currently lives in Paris, France, successfully played piano non-stop for 27 hours, three minutes and 44 seconds in a performance at the Cine Theatre 13 in Paris that began at midnight Saturday night (technically the very beginning of Sunday) and ran until just past 3am this morning (local French time).

The record-breaking concert by Gonzales was streamed through his website. It contained 300 pieces of music in varying lengths and included a diversity of works from the likes of Gershwin, Beethoven, Britney Spears, and Feist (a fellow Canadian artist he regularly collaborates with). In the video above from approximitely 5:30am yesterday, he is seen/heard performing the Feist piece.

The performer takes the new world title from the previous Guinness record-holder, Prasanna Gudi of India, who had played raga for 26 hours and 12 minutes in 2008. As reported by the the Ottawa Citizen, Guinness, who monitored the solo performance, did permit Gonzales to take a 15 minute break after each three-hour set and a 30-second pause in between songs.

Hardbodies

Posted by phil blankenship, May 17, 2009 10:21pm | Post a Comment
 


RCA / Columbia Pictures Home Video 60366

(During which the author continues to unpack.)

Posted by Job O Brother, May 17, 2009 10:20pm | Post a Comment

The author decorates his new Study.

It’s late. I’m tired. And earthquaked. I’d no sooner finished up my final box of bric-a-brac placement, when the latest in seismic waves rocked my little piece of Los Angeles.

What occurred in my imagination was far more dramatic than what actually took place. In my mind, my bookshelf toppled over on me and I was knocked unconscious by my collection of creepy, antique clowns and monkeys. Naturally the wound would cause me to fall into a coma, and since the boyfriend is in Vegas for the weekend, I wouldn’t be discovered until late tomorrow. Although he’d rush me to the hospital (taking time to wolf down a Cliff Builder Bar – this candy bar masquerading as a protein supplement he’s addicted to) and I’d be put on life-support, my vegetative state would last for days.

By the time I came out of the coma, I would have lost 180 pounds (making me a very fashionable 5 pounds) and my speech would sound like a recitation of Dada poetry. For some reason I’d be scared of celery, too, though the doctors would never understand why.


Now with easy-to-open flaps!

My fantasy tragedy went on longer than the actual earthquake.

Throughout unpacking my ridiculous belongings, music played. I found I gravitated to two kinds of tunes while I worked: female musicians who could be linked (either directly or loosely) to the "Laurel Canyon sound," and creepy, difficult noises. (And yes, I know that for some of you, those two things are one and the same. Har – de – f**king – har.)

What follows is a short version of today’s playlist. For the full experience, I recommend playing this music while dusting off crickety, old portraits of dead people, polishing a Samurai sword, trying to find the right place to hang portraits (that’s plural) of St. Rita, and eating a salad from Trader Joe’s. And, of course, during the last song, get into an earthquake.

Have fun!











New 12" Electronic Releases at Amoeba Hollywood - 05/23/09

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, May 17, 2009 07:21pm | Post a Comment
 

New Electro/Techno 12"s Coming this Weekend:
 
Ghost - FREEDOM OF THOUGHT EP #1 12" BNB046
UK hip hop producer GHOST drops this dope as hell 5 track EP mixing 2 rap tracks and 3 beat driven instrumental head nodders that fans of NINJA TUNE, DJ SHADOW, RJD2 and the like will dig. One rap cut is a brand new remix of DJ IQ's "ELEVATE" feat JEHST on vocals. Don't sleep.
 
Tiga - SHOES 12" DIFB1216T 
First single from his forthcoming LP is a delicious slice of non conformist pop feat a mystery female guest and prod by SOULWAX! Killer mixes from MR OIZO and GREEN VELVET take this superstar DJ / fashion icon into the pop stratosphere. Not to be missed indeed.
 
Deborah Jordan - NOTHING LASTS 7" FM013
 
Future Beat Investigators - LOUDER 12" RAF048
 
Ghost - BASIC INSTINCT (NATURAL SELF) 12" BNB027
 
Ghost - LET EM KNOW 12" BNB017
 
Ghost - SELDOM SEEN OFTEN HEARD DLP BNB025LP
 
Kazahaya - REMEMBER HIP HOP 12" BNB047
 
Medusa Edits - REFLECTION SERIES #4 12" ME004
 
Linkwood - PRIME NUMBERS 3 12" PN03
 
Arcadion - FLY VISION 12" DC104
 
Castle Of Freaks - BEEN A LONG TIME 12" WMR004
 
Busta Rhymes Vs J Credible - REMIXES 12" WMR003 
 
Coolhurst - BAMBA GAS COIN 12" NANA001
 
Depeche Mode - WRONG - CASPA RMX 12" 12BONG40
 
Ebony Bones - THE MUZIK 7" SBESTSX72
 
Emperor Machine - KANANANA 12" DC96
 
Evil Nine - ICICLES 12" MAPA049
 
Exile - STAY TUNED EP 12" PLG81
 
Feature Cast - ONE STEP RE-EDIT 7" DP004
 
Friendly Fires - JUMP IN THE POOL RMX 12" XLT439
 
Jazzanova - I CAN SEE (TELEPATICOS) 12" WPBH001
 
Lily Allen - NOT FAIR (PIC DISC) 7" REG153
 
Little Dragon - TWICE REMIX EP 12" PFG123
 
Parallels - ULTRALIGHT EP 12" TINAE017
 
Phoenix - LISTZOMANIA 12" VVR703076
 
TV On The Radio - DANCING CHOOSE RMXS 12" BAD2837
 
Telonius - LIKE WHAT (GLIMMERS RMX) 12" GOMMADT001
 
Various - KUNG FU SUPER SOUNDS LP DWVR002
 
Acid Circus - V SNARES 12” TTT23



New House/Disco 12"s Coming this Weekend:

Demis - DEMIS DLP 6153776
Classics like "I DIG YOU" were blasted from MANCUSO's LOFT and LARRY's PARADISE GARAGE. After twenty years under the radar this soul-disco don drops an album full of blues and soul. A voice that is unforgettable, and painfully true. Limited edition collectible double vinyl pressing.
 
Chicken Lips - ROBOT EYES 12" LPS001 
The debut on the band's own imprint LIPSERVICE under the guise ZEEFUNGK-- but we're not fooled. It's CHICKEN LIPS. 3 tracks of dirty house mixed with liberal doses of electro, funk and disco. Incls the STEVE KOTEY edit of "FEAST OF FREAKS" and synthy groover "ROBOT LIPS." Smokin'. Lots of props from PETE HERBERT, ASHLEY BEEDLE, GERD, and more.

Arthur Russell - INTERPRETATION 2009 12" EMINDS010
 
Automats - GUARDIAN ANGEL EP 12" PLIMSOLL001
 
Shoes - MY NAME IS BOHANNON 12" SHOES009
 
Cabin Fever - CABIN FEVER TRACKS VOL.5 12" RKDS006
 
DJ Enne - IMPATIENT MAN EP 12" NANG03
 
DJ Enne - PLEASANT SURPRISE 12" SNS031
 
Manuel Tur - WILL BE MINE 12" FR121
 
Soulparlor - BACK UP TRAIN-RECLOOSE 12" RAF046
 
Steve Kotey & Max Essa - EP PART 2 12" EMINDS011
 
Worst Case Scenario - HOT BEEF 12" REKIDS038
 
Adam Port - BOOGIE BASS 12" SOUVENIR017
 
Argy - DAY TWO-MARTINEZ BROS & DJ DUKE 12" TD02
 
Blackjoy - BLACKJOY'S DISCO JAM 12" JOY001
 
Chicken Lips - WHITE DWARF-20:20 RMX 12" ADTS002
 
Cobblestone Jazz - TRAFFIC JAM EP 12" WAG048
 
Cosmic Boogie - SPACE MACHINE 12" CB01
 
Crazy P - STOP SPACE RETURN RMX'S #1 12" CRAZYP003
 
DJ Wild - CON ESTRELLAS-KABALE REMIX 12" SWS002
 
Data - ONE IN A MILLION 12" EOS022
 
Delicate Genius - THE DELICATE GENIUS 12" HITS004
 
Disco Deviance - #8 OUT IN THE STICKS 12" DD008
 
Dub Pistols - BACK TO DAYLIGHT 7" SBEST73
 
Jesse Rose - TOUCH MY HORN-CROOKERS 12" DSD022
 
Kelvin K - BASEMENT VIBES EP 12" LMD024
 
Motor City Drum Ensemble - LONELY ONE 12" VIS174
 
Slam - POSITIVE EDUCATION REMIXES 12" SOMA264
 
Slam - CITY DESTROYER 12" PARAGRAPH001
 
Sunburst Band - OUR LIVES ARE SHAPED 12" ZEDD12110
 
Tensnake - IN THE END 12" RB015
 
Todd Terry - CHECK THIS OUT 2009 12" INHR056
 
Various - BEST OF CODEK 12" CPV0800
 
Wasted Chicago Youth - MARS OR BUST 12" TSPORK044
 
Will Saul - IN & OUT (I:CUBE REMIXES) 12" SIMPLE0938
 
Fred Everything & Oliver D. - RETRO VISION D VOL. # 1 12” AMENT11038
 
Jay Tripwire - 8 CHANNEL INDIGO (TOUANE) 12” RNFN05
 
40 Thieves - BEATS IN SPACE EP 12” RONGDJ6
 
Abe Duque - FOLLOWING MY HEART 12” ADR063
 
Moodymann - MOODYMANN VOL. 3 12” MMVOL3
 
Osunlade vs. Phil Collins - IN THE AIR TONIGHT 12” JS011


New Dubstep/Jungle 12"s Coming this Weekend:
 
Caspa - EVERYBODY'S TALKING... 3LP FABLP005
One of the leading producers of dubstep finally releases his debut album, EVERYBODY'S TALKING NOBODY'S LISTENING. The LP features 6 tracks from the CD: "RIOT POWDER," "VICTORIA'S SECRET" (w/ D1), "LOW BLOW," "RAT A TAT TAT" (w/ DYNAMITE MC), "DISCO JAWS" (w/ BEEZY), & "BACK TO '93."
 
N-Type - DARK MATTER 12" ACRE010 
BLACK ACRE RECORDS comes stronger than ever with a new single from N-TYPE (who mixed the still discussed DUBSTEP ALLSTARS VOL. 5). Dark, almost spooky melodies hover over a rumbling bassline on this infectious cut. "HP SAUCE" is a halfstep riddim with lazer bass & ultra low-end.
 
Bassnectar - ART OF REVOLUTION 12" AM001
 
Actress - GHOSTS HAVE A HEAVEN 12" PN06
 
Black Sun Empire - INVASION 12" SOTE002
 
Calibre - SHELFLIFE VOL. 2 4LP SIGLP004
 
Caspa - AVE IT VOL.2 D12" SUBSOL004
 
Cluekid - SOUL VIBE 12" SJR21112
 
Falty DL - TO LONDON 12" RAMP018
 
Zomby - THE LIE 12" RAMP015
 
Joker - DO IT 12" KAP003
 
Joker - HOLLY BROOK PARK 12" KAP001
 
Rogue State - OPPORTUNITY 12" ARG024
 
Rufige Kru - EVER WANTED 12" METH078
 
Tunnidge - HIGHER FORCES 12" BOKA019
 
Untold - I CAN'T STOP THIS FEELING 12" HES008
 
Various Production vs. Pumajaw - BUDS 7" BLAZE45167
 
Various Production - EUROPEAN EP 12" VARS001
 
Vicious Circle - HAVANA 12" SBOY021
 
System - NEAR MISS (PIC DISC) 12" SBOY013P 

New Theme Park Opens in China

Posted by Whitmore, May 17, 2009 08:59am | Post a Comment

What happens in Chongqing stays in Chongqing.
 
I can’t imagine this ever happening here in the states, but China is building what is billed as its first sexually explicit theme park, aimed at providing for its visitors better sex education, sexual technique workshops and demonstrations of safe-sex methods.
 
Due to open in the south-western China in the mega-metropolis of Chongqing this coming October, Love Land includes displays of giant genitalia, nude bodies and features an exhibition on the history of sex and sexual practices in other countries as well as a display on how to use condoms properly.
 
At the main entrance is a sign bearing the park's name straddled between a giant pair of women's legs topped by a red thong. The park’s manager, Lu Xiaoqing, was inspired by a similar sex themed park in Jeju, South Korea that is enjoying huge success. Lu Xiaoqing says that Love Land is not only about educating the public but will help adults enjoy a harmonious sex life.
 
Earlier this year, the Chinese government launched a national sex education campaign aimed at breaking taboos, getting more people to seek treatment for sexually transmitted infections and seeking solutions for infertility problems.
 
Since the 1980s sexual attitudes have changed dramatically in China. One research project shows that in Beijing the percentage of people having premarital sex rose from under 16% in 1989 to over 60% in 2004.

70mm

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, May 16, 2009 12:45pm | Post a Comment
Having missed the Egyptian's 70mm presentation of both 2001 and Vertigo last week, I'm going to make the trek out to the Aero on the 23rd to catch Vertigo. My last vacation to San Francisco was heavily influenced by the film; we checked out a few of the landmarks that pop up throughout the winding plot. Anyhow, back to 70mm: A few years back I took my son to a Sleeping Beauty 70mm screening and was blown away. During the 80's I caught quite a few of the major blockbusters (E.T., Raiders, Return of the Jedi etc.) but I most remember the Cinema 21 showing of Lawrence of Arabia back in '89. I remember it was '89 because they played "So Alive" by Love and Rockets during the intermission and I hate that song. Even at 14 I could appreciate what the 70mm projection did for Lawrence of Arabia and I'm sure you'll agree if you too choose to run out to Santa Monica next weekend and catch the sceening of either Lawrence or the Hitchcock classic. While you're at it, tomorrow night they're showing an amazing Noir double as part of their Jules Dassin tribute-- Thieves' Highway and Night and the City!





Remembering Andy Kaufman

Posted by Whitmore, May 16, 2009 11:51am | Post a Comment

Hugh Van Es 1941 - 2009

Posted by Whitmore, May 16, 2009 11:15am | Post a Comment
Hugh Van Es, a Dutch photojournalist who covered the Vietnam War, capturing some of the most enduring images of the era, has died. Last week he suffered a brain hemorrhage and never regained consciousness. He died on Friday at the Queen Mary Hospital in Hong Kong. Van Es was 67.

One of his most famous photos is that of the fall of Saigon in 1975, showing evacuees scaling a ladder onto a helicopter from a rooftop. The image, in no subtle way, became a metaphor for the United States’ profound policy failures in Vietnam.

Van Es arrived in Hong Kong as a freelance photographer in 1967, joining the South China Morning Post. After a stretch as a photographer for the Associated Press from 1969 to 1972, he covered the last three years of the Vietnam war for United Press International. His first celebrated photo was of a wounded soldier with a tiny cross gleaming against his dark silhouette taken in May of 1969 during the battle of Hamburger Hill.
 
But Van Es’ most lasting image was taken on the final day of the U.S. involvement in Vietnam on April 29, 1975. Van Es was in the Saigon UPI bureau offices when he saw a few dozen Americans climbing a ladder trying to board  one of the CIA’s own Air American helicopters on a rooftop just a few blocks away at 22 Gia Long Street, which sat about a half a mile from the embassy. From his vantage point on the UPI balcony, Van Es captured the scene with a 300mm lens, the longest one he had. The building in the picture was an apartment that housed C.I.A. officials and families and not Saigon’s American Embassy as has been erroneously believed over the years.

When the Vietnam War ended Van Es returned to living in Hong Kong, working freelance for American and European newspapers and magazines and shooting stills for Hollywood films on Asian location.

 Hugh Van Es is survived by his wife of 39 years, Annie, whom he met in Hong Kong, and a sister in the Netherlands.

This Week At The New Beverly!

Posted by phil blankenship, May 16, 2009 02:45am | Post a Comment
This Week At The New Beverly

The May / June Calendar is NOW online!
http://newbevcinema.com/calendar.cfm

Printed calendars are at the theater - be sure to pick one up for yourself and a few for your friends!


Friday, Saturday & Sunday May 15, 16 & 17



The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951)
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0043456/
dir. Robert Wise, starring Michael Rennie, Patricia Neal, Hugh Marlowe, Sam Jaffe, Billy Gray, Frances Bavier, Lock Martin
featuring a legendary score by Bernard Herrmann 
Fri: 7:30; Sat & Sun: 3:55 & 7:30

The Day The Earth Stood Still was added to the National Film Registry in 1995.

plus a

Feature Length Sci-Fi Trailer Show!
Fri: 9:25; Sat & Sun: 5:50 & 9:25


Friday May 15

Like, Omigod! I Might Actually Enjoy 80s Music...

Posted by Miss Ess, May 15, 2009 06:23pm | Post a Comment
Going on a road trip any time soon? Looking for the perfect soundtrack to capture the giddy spontaneity of the road? May I suggest taking along epic 80s boxset Like, Omigod! The 80s Pop Culture Box as a way to bring the good times?


I'm just starting to get comfortable with being an actual fan of 80s music. (Brad will be proud!) My boyfriend, on the other hand, is well beyond the comfort level with his fandom, and is completely into rehashing every last radio hit from that era. In the past, this would have been met with little more than a blank stare from me; when he put this 7-cd box set collection on in our car, I admit I braced myself for impact, but turns out it was more entertaining and silly, more of a conversation-starter, even, than anything else we could have spent hours listening to in close quarters.

Track after track brought either squeals of recognition and memories, like Frank Zappa's "Valley Girl" and my total fave, Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart," or was met with a vacant look by me and incredulous gasps by my partner in crime, who couldn't get over the fact that I had never heard "Pac Man Fever" by Buckner & Garcia or "The Look of Love" by ABC. What can I say? My parents sheltered me back in the 80s! While I of course appreciate gems like Prince and The Replacements, I've spent the last few years even further deprogramming myself and very slowly coming to terms with the fact that musically the 80s weren't complete and utter trash. Nostalgia aside, based on the tracks I had never heard before, this box set goes a ways in proving that singles from the 80s work hard and succeed at providing something pop music nowadays is sorely lacking: fun...which is exactly what you need when you are endlessly stuck in a two door car in the middle of nowhere!

AMOEBA MUSIC HIP-HOP WEEKLY ROUND UP: 05:15:09

Posted by Billyjam, May 15, 2009 09:14am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music San Francisco Hip-Hop Top Five: 05:15:09
ftc face to face
1) TD Camp Face To Face (Hella Records)

2) Tanya Morgan Brooklynati (Interdependent Media)

3) Cam'ron Crime Pays
(Diplomat Records/Asylum Records)

4) The Grouch & Eligh Say G&E! (Legendary Music)

5) Themselves freeHOUDINIdeluxe (Anticon)

The number one album at Amoeba Music San Francisco this week is Face To Face from the longtime SF DJ/producer/engineer and head of Hella Records, TD Camp. Many may know TD Camp for his work with Bored Stiff, Co-Deez, Equipto, Zumbi of Zion I, and other artists. This anticipated 17 track CD on Hella Records, which is presented by FTC, the skateboarding company, features hella guests, mostly hometown or Bay Area artists the producer has built up a relationship with in his years in the rap game since the early nineties. Guests include: Andre Nickatina, Goapele, San Quinn, Zion I, Casual, Pep Love, DJ Qbert, Mike Marshall, JT the Bigga Figga, Bored Stiff, Z-Man, Big Mack, Willie Hen, Otayo Dubb, Spank Pops, Rick Flare, Schwinn, Akil, Bailey, Big Rich, Rosco Feddi, Philthy Rich, PZ, and Jay Anthony. Also included on Face to Face are SoCal's legendary Snoop Dogg and the late great Vallejo rap artist Mac Dre.

WHEN MUSIC IS USED TO CAUSE PAIN AND HUMAN SUFFERING

Posted by Billyjam, May 14, 2009 02:39pm | Post a Comment

Traditionally thought of as soothing and relaxing, or at least pleasurable in some way to the subjective listener, music can also be the cause of pain and suffering.

You have probably heard that classical and other music is sometimes used to disperse loitering adolescents at malls, as in the case in New Zealand a couple of months ago when Barry Manilow songs were blasted to alienate and drive away unwanted teens. But that is nothing compared to the US armed forces' use of music as a form of torture against detainees in US operated detention centers in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay. It has been reported by journalists and human rights advocates that the music of such artists as Eminem, Nine Inch Nails, Queen, Rage Against the Machine, Britney Spears, and even Barney and Sesame Street tunes have been blasted at deafeningly high decibels as a means of physical torture in interrogation at these centers.

Not surprisingly, word of these tactics has shocked many, including the artists whose music was unknowingly appropriated, and has resulted in the formation of an organization, UK non-profit group Reprieve, to protest the use of music as torture and to make sure it never happens again. Reprieve is supportive of the anti-torture initiative called Zero dB that is hoping to bring an end to the technique by gathering the support of musicians whose songs are used in controversial interrogation techniques by US forces. So far they have gotten overwhelming support from outraged artists including Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine and Lars Ulrich of Metallica who was interviewed recently on the topic by Rachel Maddow on MSNBC. Sesame Street composer Christopher Cerf's reaction is captured in the video news report below, courtesy of AP, that also includes an interview with former detainee Donald Vance.

Jon Moritsugu - Original BB in da house

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 14, 2009 02:38pm | Post a Comment

Jon Moritsugu and Amy Davis

Jon Moritsugu
is an American filmmaker who's enjoyed a long career of critical acclaim and underground fandom. Many of his films feature actress/wife/Scumrock co-writer/sometime bandmate Amy Davis. Although best known for his cult classic Mod Fuck Explosion, he's consistently and constantly made films that challenge and entertain with his unique style. As part of a series of interviews with groundbreaking Asian-Americans in the entertainment industry, he graciously agreed to be interviewed.

Eric Brightwell: Since it’s Asian/Pacific Island American Heritage Month, I’ll start with some questions related to that. First of all, how’s your APAH Month so far? Does it mean anything to you?

 
nori in its green glory                                                             "wok on over" and "taste the joy"... I don't get it!

Jon Moritsugu: APAH?... Ah... I did eat a buncha nori my mommy sent me... I think every day should be a day of awareness, be it racial, cultural, environmental or personal. No, but I digress...to me APAH is two for one Panda Express for me and the lady.

EB: It seems like in the past two decades, there’s been a fairly healthy explosion in the number of Asian American movies (albeit mostly within the indie sector). With the diversification within the works of Asian-American filmmakers, do people still tag you with the “bad boys” thing? Who were the “good boys of Asian American Cinema?” Wanye Wang and Peter Wang? What do you think about the current state of Asian American film?



JM: The current shade of Asian American film is pissy wissy yellow dolloped with EXTREME neon chartreuse. I dunno what people label me as...maybe Old Bad Boy? Original BB in da house? I am still labeled as a BAD ASS and I guess to me Wayne Wang and all the Eat a Bowl Of Freckled Rice types of Asians are the good boys.

EB: Do you get the sense that the role and representations of Asian Americans in the entertainment industry are changing at all?



JM: I think M Night Shyamalan was one of the only curry-scented yellow men doing something original in the field and he totally lost it... I do like Bobby Lee and Sandra Oh as far as actors go... And right on for Justin Lin (Director) for getting inside and making H-wood films. The opportunities now for Asians are so much more plentiful than twenty years ago...time to burn the rickshaw at both ends!


from Terminal USA

EB
: Do you get much feedback or criticism about your atypical and maybe oblique way addressing Asian American identity? I’m thinking specifically of Mod Fuck Explosion, Terminal USA and Scumrock, which each seemed to approach the issue from fairly different directions.



JM: I don't get much negative feedback because in these modern times my stuff is pretty au courant. 10 or 20 years ago, I did get bad reviews. Now, I get normal feedback and I think perhaps the critics have chilled out and/or the world has gotten a lot weirder.


Mommy, Mommy, Where's My Brain?

EB: One thing I’ve heard more than once about your films (i.e. Der Elvis, Mod Fuck Explosion and Hippy Porn) is that they bait a subcultural audience and then defy their expectations. Is there a deliberate agenda to confront people’s preconceived notions with the titles?


Trailer from Mod Fuck Explosion

JM: There is a deliberate DESIRE to confront all narrow minded people who live, breathe and DIE for their COOL. I was all the asshole characters in my movies...I AM MILES MORGAN. "RED DOT DON'T PLAY ME" (from Scumrock) is a total picture of me as RECORD GEEK...UBER RECORD GEEK.


a clip from Fame Whore
 
EB: In the past you’ve been an outspoken proponent of the democratization of filmmaking that has resulted from cheaper, more accessible means of production. But as a result, it seems to me that more and more often independent films seem designed to show how well they can imitate Hollywood. On the other hand, Hollywood seems to have effectively transformed Indie film into a genre with its own set of clichés (e.g. quirky ensemble casts, hand drawn titles, &c) Where do you and other underground filmmakers fit in?  

JM: Hollywood has actually made it easier, not harder, for the freaks like me to get a deal. I feel I could get a deal tomorrow. I know I could keep making films even if I don't get one. I can make a film for 50 million or for 5 grand. There are pros and cons, but ultimately life for folks like myself is better now than in 1985 when I started out. There are so many more venues, cheap equipment, and DIY ways for all filmmakers to get their work out there.


Trailer from Scumrock

EB: In interviews, everyone always asks you about your use of music, but you’ve been in several bands yourself, right? What bands have you been in and what’s the current state of your musical endeavors?

JM: Here are some bands I've been in:

SPRAY RAY URBAN BAND (1982-83)
THE URBAN BAND (1983)
SEX DRUMS (1984-85)
ALIEN BUFFET (1985)
BIG SKID (1986-87)
HATE FAMILY (1986-87)
FURBALL (1988-1990)
NONOBOY (late 90s - I don't remember...)
DREAM CHILDREN (2006-2007)
LOW ON HIGH (1993-2009)


LOW ON HIGH is me on guitar/vox/drums and my wife/leading lady Amy Davis on bass/vox. This is where the action is right now. We have a song on a new SWISS compilation w/ folks like SKULLFLOWER as well as a full-length album coming out later this year. LOW ON HIGH also has a 4-song 7" single coming out soon in France on SHIT IN CAN RECORDS.

For Sale at all Amoeba locations and other fine stores:



SEVEN MOMENTS IN 45 YEARS OF IRISH SOUL

Posted by Billyjam, May 14, 2009 12:07pm | Post a Comment
                                                                Laura Izibor "Shine"  (2009)

 Padraig Rushe "Gonna Be A Change" (2008)

Republic of Loose "I Like Music" (2008)

Them feat. Van Morrison "Mystic Eyes" + "Gloria" (live on French TV circa '64)

Taste feat. Rory Gallagher "Sugar Mama" (live @ Bilzen Jazz Festival) (1969)

Hothouse Flowers "I'm Sorry" (live) (1988)

Mt Egypt Interview - His New Album III Is Out Now

Posted by Miss Ess, May 13, 2009 04:58pm | Post a Comment
Travis Graves is the one and only member of the musical act known as Mt. Egypt. His latest album, III, is out now on vinyl only from Secret Seven Records and available at Amoeba. Airy, cyclical and sweet, nature seems to surround the album. Its acoustic songs are confessional and simultaneously sunny- sounding. The record kinda makes me want to go to the beach but maybe for a good cry down near the crashing surf. Mt. Egypt's music has beautiful harmonies and gorgeous moments of sonic intensity. This all seems strange perhaps, coming from a formerly sponsored skateboarder who mostly listens to hip hop, but welcome to the enigma that is Mt. Egypt -- read on for more about what makes Travis tick, how his new record III came to be and also his brushes with greatness, including tours with Flaming Lips, Willie Nelson, Cat Power and even...The Osbournes!


Album artwork by Justin Limoges

Where does the name Mt Egypt come from?

Travis: The name Mt. Egypt came from an area in rural North Carolina out by my father’s house. It’s an homage to him, his songwriting and to spending long periods in the wilderness with little to no human contact.

When did you pick up the guitar?

Travis: My old man got me playing guitar when I was 12 or 13.

How did you start writing songs?

Travis: By the swimming pool – summer camp, Maryland – right before the lockers [literally] fell on my forehead. I was six or seven…

What musicians' posters did you have on your walls growing up?

Travis: I only ever had skateboarding posters on my wall.

What albums or artists do you like to skateboard to?

Travis: I don’t skateboard to any music, but what gets me hyped to skate right now: 1) E-40The Ball Street Journal 2) The first Wu-Tang 3) NasUntitled.

What was the album that really sparked your interest in music when you were growing up?

Travis: Will Oldham’s music made Mt. Egypt happen. I was 18. In particular, “Oh How I Enjoy the Light” from the album Lost Blues [& Other Songs].

What was the first live show you ever went to?

Travis: REM with my mom circa ’87.

I know you have toured with artists like Willie Nelson, Band of Horses, Flaming Lips and Cat Power...Please share some stories about these artists' idiosyncrasies that you learned from touring with them!

Travis: Willie Nelson smells good. Ben Bridwell from Band of Horses can knock you out. Wayne Coyne is a sweet, thoughtful man. Chan Marshall is a reminder of how strong women are.

What was the Flaming Lips' tour bus like?

Travis: Being on the Flaming Lips’ bus made me realize how much better vans are…I get motion sickness in buses…puke…

How did you end up touring with Willie Nelson and what was it like?

Travis: Miss Caitlin Crowell [Rodney Crowell and Roseanne Cash’s daughter who worked for Record Collection, Mt Egypt’s last label] hooked up the Willie tour. I was frazzled, but it made my grandpa proud.

Who produced this album and what was your concept for its sound?

Travis: Blake Mills produced this record…no concept, just song by song.

What was the process of making the record like? Where was it recorded and how was the experience of committing your songs to tape?

Travis: This record is all pro-tools. I’m glad these ghosts finally have a home. It was recorded at Zeitgeist Studios [in Los Angeles] by Sean V. with ghost dog Tony Berg.


A little bird told me you were on The Osbournes?! How did that come about and what was the
experience like?

Travis: The Dillman [pro skateboarder Jason Dill] brought my friend Nicki and I over there. It was like being at the circus. I didn’t talk to anyone really…watched the little dogs hump each other though.

What is your musical guilty pleasure?

Travis: All musical pleasure with no guilt, I must say.

What have you been listening to lately?

Travis: Nas, Nastradamus; The Game, LAX; and 105.9 in LA.

What is next for you once the record comes out?

Travis: Just keep working at my day job, skateboard whenever it feels appropriate, eat food, drink water, coffee, kombucha, listen to the rain and frogs all night. Go to Greg’s wedding…

What has been your best find at Amoeba over the years?

Travis: [Employee] Gregory Todd -- “Make new friends and keep the old. One is silver and the other gold.”

Mt. Egypt - Perspectives from MIKE PISCITELLI on Vimeo.

New Beverly Midnights: THE CAR Friday / FREAKED Saturday

Posted by phil blankenship, May 13, 2009 11:21am | Post a Comment
Ryan Rotten and Phil Blankenship proudly present MIDNIGHT SHOCK!
www.shocktillyoudrop.com


Friday May 15

James Brolin vs.


THE CAR

There's nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, no way to stop... THE CAR

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



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 9

FREAKED

EXTREMELY RARE 35mm Print!

Alex Winter & Tom Stern IN PERSON, schedule permitting!


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



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

May 29 & 30 Back To The Future Triple Feature
All Three Movies - Two Nights Only!
BttF: 7:30pm, BttF2: 10pm, BttF3: Midnight
$10 Triple Feature Ticket

Humboldt County's Potluck Use Weed As A Gateway Message

Posted by Billyjam, May 12, 2009 10:30pm | Post a Comment

Humboldt County's Potluck may have spent the last decade building a rap rep closely associated with their Northern California home county's best known export, but below the surface of this talented, hard-working, hip-hop duo is a lot more than blunts and weed smoke, insists member UnderRated.

"Our first message might appear to be the weed because we are from Humboldt and our name is Potluck," said the rapper/producer backstage at BB Kings in NYC recently as part of the North American End of Days tour with Twiztid, Boondox, and Prozak. "But what we really try to do is spread a message of peace and to show that everyone can get along for real." Proof lies, he says, in the fact that a comparatively small Jewish white guy born in the small town NorCal Humboldt area and his partner in rhyme, the SoCal born African American 1 Ton, who lives up to his name, can get along so well. "We are totally different people but we get along great. We have learned from each other, coming up from completely different backgrounds. He's not from Humboldt. He's from San Diego. So he came up north and learned a different way...a Humboldt way, which is laid back, cool, you know be cool to everybody. And then I learned from him like this world ain't all cool and easy."potluck

Further proving that Potluck is a lot more than just stoner-anthem makers, are several fantastic songs on the new album Pipe Dreams like "Computer Love," a hilarious commentary about the perils of online romantic connections, and the serious, heartfelt "My Dad," which is an ode to the pair's respective fathers. "That's really a very personal song to both of us," said 1 Ton. "You see, my father is really sick right now, so that is why I start my verse with 'Some thoughts that you deserve to hear before you pass away,' because a lot of the reason why I am who I am is because of him. So it's like a tribute song but in the same way a celebration of the relationship we have. I just hope that now with my kids that I can have the same relationship."
 
The two members of Potluck, neither of whom were rappers to begin with, first met at a DJ audition. "We both started out as DJ's," recalled emcee 1 Ton, who, despite his intimidating Suge Knight-like presence, is nothing like the Death Row figure. "We met at a DJ trial for a club and we started DJ'ing [together], four turntables, ya know, rockin' underground house parties and all that stuff and we started making beats. And then reluctantly at the very end we started rhyming, you know just due to potluckpeople flaking and not coming over to rap and stuff like that. So then it just kinda snowballed into what it is today. But we reluctantly got into rap." That was a decade ago. Since then, the pair have worked hard at honing their craft and equally as hard at building their careers, mostly through tireless networking wherever a door opened for them. All of their hard work has paid off.

Ce n'est pas un commercial

Posted by Job O Brother, May 12, 2009 04:46pm | Post a Comment



Friends!
Romans!
Countrymen!
Everyone else not covered by the above catagories!


I've just been notified that my dear friend Hedda Lettuce is currently angling for a spot on Logo's hit reality TV show RuPaul's Drag Race.

You may remember Hedda from Season 5 of Project Runway when she had the misfortune to work with fashion no-no Suede.

Do humanity a favor, won't you, and take a couple seconds to vote for her? Thanks!

(In which we bric some brac and knick some knack.)

Posted by Job O Brother, May 11, 2009 05:46pm | Post a Comment

As God is my witness, I don't know what I'm supposed to pack my collection of vintage boxes in.


Phew! Hey – how’s it going? Oh, you’re reading the Amoeblog, I see. Well, hope I’m not interrupting you – I just needed to take a break from unpacking. I don’t know how I fit so much stuff into my previous, tiny, New York-style apartment! I mean, I don’t remember sleeping on a pile of books and LP’s eight yards deep, but I must have.

The whole process of moving can be especially complicated for those of us who are avid collectors of music and film and all manner of art-faggory. It becomes a reenactment of that crucial scene from Sophie’s Choice (I won’t include any spoilers here for those of you who’ve never seen the film; suffice it to say that, due to Sophie’s fear of baking soda, her love for the town’s baker suffers some dire tragedies. And her cat turns out to be the murderer.)

I find myself reconsidering whether or not I need a collection of punk 45’s, but before I can decide, I’m distracted by the hilarity and exuberance of the Blatz song then suddenly stuck in my head, and before I know it, everything’s in the box “to be saved” and all that makes it to the thrift store is a redundant garlic press and a cutting board whose origin I cannot recall.

I suppose I could live without my antique sextant. But what if I wanna measure the altitude of a
celestial object above the horizon while onboard a ship without electricity? ...I better keep it.

To be honest, I never really identified with the “collector” mentality. I have this many albums because I love this many (and more) and I have these DVD’s, books and posters for the same reason. I don’t keep hold of anything simply because of its cash value. I never questioned what I could sell my autographed, first pressing of Stories From the Nerve Bible for on Craig’s List – I just wanna read it again and again, ‘s all.


My boyfriend does not share my affliction, but he’s been patient and compassionate. He’s also mastered the art of walking away and waiting for me to come around. For example, when he first suggested I get rid of a few T-shirts that no longer fit me, either physically or socially, such as the muscle-T of camouflaged material held together, not with sewing thread, but dozens of safety pins and boasting a silk-screen of female breasts and the words ELVIS CHRIST* on the bosom, I turned on him, eyes bulging, and in my best impersonation of a harpy, screeched, “Well, maybe.” Sensing I was reconsidering what I wanted more, this musty rag of a top or his true and abiding love, he calmly left the discussion and returned to washing my assortment of Rocky & Bullwinkle drinking glasses.


It makes things taste better!!!

An hour later, after a misty recollection of the first time I almost barfed in the 924 Gilman Street restroom – the same night I had found said muscle-T in a free box next to the ticket counter – and after secretly putting the shirt on and coming to grips with how much my body’s grown since I was 17, I meekly approached my boyfriend – who was, by now, dusting one of my many Bibles, and announced that I had decided to get rid of the T-shirts.

He held me.

I used to think I was a collector, but that was before I started working at Amoeba Music. There are customers, dear reader, who spend longer hours there than I ever do. When do they have time to listen to all the music they’re hunting? Why do they need so many copies of the same Miles Davis album? Do their wives know these men are cheating on them with out-of-print copies of the Un homme et une femme soundtrack?


Anyway, I better get back to unpacking. These issues of Neat Stuff aren’t going to file themselves, you know.


* Time has taught me that most every city in the U.S. has, at some point, produced a punk band by the name Elvis Christ. The group to which this reference is attributed was an entirely un-famous and lovable line-up of young men from Grass Valley, California, which is why you've never heard of them.

EVIDENTLY JOHN COOPER CLARKE - THE BARD OF SALFORD

Posted by Billyjam, May 11, 2009 03:24pm | Post a Comment
In addition to the whole DIY ethic that was instilled, another great gift of both the punk rock movement and the post-punk movement that immediately followed it was how they each helped open people up to embracing a really wide & diverse range of music by artists doing anything from punk derived guitar music to varying styles of electronic, industrial, dub, roots reggae, world, and spoken word, etc. And of the spoken word artists, none matched the brilliant "bard of Salford," punk poet John Cooper Clarke, whose satirical & witty run on rants easily match any of the best hip-hop emcees.

John Cooper Clarke (JCC), who looked a lot like Dylan circa Blonde On Blonde when he first came to fame in the late seventies, hailed from Salford, Greater Manchester, the same area that Joy Division came from -- a group with whom he will forever be associated. As well as opening for such acts as the Sex Pistols, The Fall, The Buzzcocks, and Elvis Costello, JCC also opened for Joy Division. In fact, in one memorable moment from the 2007 Joy Division biopic Control, the artist convincingly recreates, 30 full years later, a performance from a 1977 Joy Division concert where he supported the group. 

Additionally, he can be seen performing his best known poem, "Evidently Chickentown," at the start and end of the video for Joy Division's live performance of "Transmission" (clip below), which features JCC reading the refrain and third verses. And even after Ian Curtis' suicide, when the band morphed into New Order, he continued to open for them, even in 1984 at a Music for Miners benefit at London's Royal Festival Hall.

New 12" Electronic Releases at Amoeba Hollywood - 05/16/09

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, May 11, 2009 03:09pm | Post a Comment


New Electro/Techno 12"s Coming this Weekend:

Linkwood Family - MILES AWAY DUBS 12" FIREC005
INTRUSION DUBS pressed on ultra heavyweight white vinyl. Limited pressing of 1000 copies each hand stamped by the label with each sleeve done with a special screen printing process. This is STEVE HITCHELL aka INTRUSTION aka CV313 aka SOULTEK and one half of ECHOSPACE. Do not sleep!!
 
Jon Hopkins - LIGHT THROUGH THE VEINS 12" DS014
Sit down and listen to this. Classic, hypnotic, spacey electronica with a beauty and sadness to it. EWAN PEARSON delivers a 15 minute future Balearic classic and DAVID HOLMES keeps it simple and euphoric, with a slight indie meets cosmic feel.
 
Beatfanatic - AUTOMATIC 12" SCR016
 
Francisco Mora Catlett - BABA LU AYE 12" PC12002
 
Nickodemus - SUN CHILDREN EP 12" ESL152
 
Federico Aubele - LA ESQUINA & CORAZON 12" ESL126
 
Federico Aubele - MARIA JOSE 12" ESL127
 
Annie - ANTHONIO (FRED FALKE REMIX) 12" ITEM1
 
Embassy - State 08 12" ADV003
 
Golden Bug - BARBIE'S BACK REMIXES 12" SSG003
 
Hexadecimal - SECRET AGENT EP 12" DISNT184
 
Kraftwerk - ULTRA RARE TRAXX 1 DLP KFT001
 
MGMT - KIDS (SOULWAX REMIX) 12" 88697412831
 
Metronomy - RADIO LADIO REMIX 12" BEC5772480
 
Maetrik - SPACE CHRONIC EP 12" MSHIP008
 
Nice Up! - DARE MAN & SHOW ME DUB 7" NICEUP007
 
Trackademics - ENJOY WHAT YOU DO 12" FGR016
 
Various - FOOL'S GOLD REMIXED 12" FGRRMX
 
Various - WIREBLOCK 002 12" WB002
 
Roxy Music - AVALON 12”  ROXYMISC.



New House/Disco 12"s Coming this Weekend:

Jaz - I PLAYED SPORTS EP 12" SF005  
Groove Dis Exclusive! 4 track EP taken from JAZ's CD. It starts off with some rough vocal disco slow and funky called "GLAMSANITY," the next track is a smooth and slow groover/head nodder, "GIVE ME SOME LOVE" is a percussive Jamaican funk meets disco cut and the last track is a late night Balearic epic.
 
Rone - LA DAME BLANCHE-ROCCO REMIX 12" IF2016
New French house and disco sounds from RONE. This one is a chugger with a catchy synth hook. On the flip "ROCCA (BUZZIN FLY)" drops a tracky house version with some acid sounds over French vocal snippets. A steel drum like synth pierces through unexpectedly and makes ya wiggle.
 
DJ Bang - THIS'N THAT (AKA DERRICK CARTER) 12" GKM028
 
DJ Bang - ST JAMES REMIX 12" GKM023
 
DJ Funky Chocolate - FIRST CHOICE #4 12" FCR004
 
Demis - LOVE IS (DANNY KRIVIT) 12" 6153606
 
Demis - LOVE IS (DIMITRI FROM PARIS) 12" 6153786
 
Fred Everything - MERCYLESS REMIX 12" OM350SV
 
Jaz - SHRIMP & GRITS 12" SF004
 
Mendes & Alcada - COASTER (IDJUT RMX) 12" C56012  
 
Various - SMALL TIME CUTS VOL.1 12" STC001
 
Amel Larrieux - GET UP (LEO & G.ROBIN) 12" RAW016
 
Atlantic Conveyor - FANTASTIC REPRESS 12" UT008
 
Delano Smith - THE SMITH HALL PROJECT 12" UT002
 
Ivan Allard - BRING DOWN THE HOUSE 12" F009
 
Los Charlys Orch - DISCO FUNK EP 12" IMAGENES004
 
Los Charlys Orch - DISCO ROYALE 12" IMAGENES003
 
Louie Vega - DA JUNGLE (DJ PIERRE) 12" AAP002
 
M Swift - FEELING 12" FSR069
 
Claude Vonstroke - S.MACAW, E.DIRK RMX 12" MSHIP007
 
Output - VIBRATIONS - PEACE DIVISION 12" DOG009
 
Tarnished Thighs - BUTTER BALL ROCK 12" HC005
 
Touch Sensitive - BODY STOP-BRADBERRY 12" FCL35
 
Truck - RADIO-CAGE & AVIARY-LEO ZERO 12" EARS3005
 
Various - HOME RECORDINGS SAMPLER EP 2 12" HOMERECEP2
 
Half Pint - WINNER TAKES ALL (BOBBY KONDERS MIX) 12” MB007
 
Frankie Knuckles - TEARS NIGHT CRAWLERS 12” 739classic
 
Lil Louis - I CALLED YOU/BREAK 4 LOVE 12” M870
 
Levon Vincent  - SOLEMN DAYS EP 12” DEC02
 
Forrest Avery & Eric Andrew  - ON THE SLIDE 12” MHM004
 
Brothers Vibe & Anthony - COOL MIX SESSION 12” MIXX11
 
Ron Hardy - MUSIC BOX CLASSICS 12” Ph04
 
Kerri Chandler & Friends  - KCS KLASSIX VOL. 2 12” KK002
 
Soho - FREAKY (FRANCOIS K/JUNGLE BROTHERS) 12” 96358



New Dubstep/Jungle 12"s Coming this Weekend:

Coki - SQUARE OFF 12" DDEMON001
Limited stock on this first single from the DANCING DEMONS label. "SQUARE OFF" is a wobbly, pulsing, bass-heavy dubstep anthem, while "WARLORD RIDDIM" is a more dubwise steppers track with an insistent kick drum.
 
Kito - WHAT IF 12" DISF005
A deep, atmospheric dubstep track with ethereal vocals, this is modern / futuristic chillout. B-side "COLD" takes the same vibe, but adds ominous wobbly bass & synth washes for a dark, chilled vibe. Very dope! But what else would you expect from SKREAM's DISFIGURED DUBZ label?
 
Compound One - SPACE ODYSSEY 12" CMPD005
 
Compound One - THE PHONECALL 12" CMPD002
 
Dev79 - IN YA FACE 12" SECLUS017
 
Ed Rush & Optical - TRAVEL THE GALAXY 3LP VRS007LP
 
RSD - ON DECK 12" R8004
 
Scuba - BLEACH 12" ABUCS005
 
Scuba - FROM WITHIN (M.DETTMANN RMX) 12" HFRMX005 

Memorial for John Leech

Posted by Whitmore, May 10, 2009 10:47am | Post a Comment

MOTHER: 2PAC, JOHN LENNON, SINEAD O' CONNOR & ROGER WATERS

Posted by Billyjam, May 10, 2009 08:40am | Post a Comment

2Pac - "Dear Mama"


John Lennon performing "Mother" live at Madison Square Garden


Roger Waters & Sinead O' Connor "Mother" (The Wall Live in Berlin concert)


The Pharcyde "Ya Mama"

The End Or A New Beginning For Fania...

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, May 10, 2009 01:40am | Post a Comment

I should have been clued in when Fania Records promised to be a sponsor for a club called Anda! that I do with fellow deejays Gazooo, Ray Ricky Rivera and Mando Fever. The folks at Fania suddenly backed out on their sponsorship for no apparent reason other than to say that there were going to be "changes in the company." Then I read this today: according to an announcement made on Decarga.com, Emusica, who had purchased Fania in 2005, has sold Fania to Signal-Equity, a company that, according to their website, specializes in “leveraged buy-outs, roll-ups, restructurings and secondary purchases of investment portfolios in the media and technology sectors.”

Also according to Descarga.com, it seems that Signal-Equity intends to be respectful of the catalog and “appears to be committed to doing the right thing with this historically significant material.” Formal announcements and future release dates are planned for late summer or early fall.

What does this mean for the fans of Fania Music? Signal-Equity seems like it’s one of those companies that takes failing businesses and turns them around for a profit. The best-case scenario is that Signal-Equity will improve upon what Emusica has started with the catalog. Emusica did a great job reissuing and re-mastering the classic titles that have been out of print for decades. However, my criticism is that there were way too many compilations, including ones aimed at people new to Fania Records that neither appealed to new fans nor Fania enthusiasts. Also, there were way too many “Greatest Hits” packages, many from the same artists. Currently, there are five different Willie Colon, Hector Lavoe and Celia Cruz “collections,” most of which contain the same songs. Perhaps Signal-Equity will focus on the many titles that were still in the Fania vaults rather than barrage their customers with endless greatest hits packages?

The worst-case scenario is that it will take Signal-Equity a while to either resell Fania or re-release the current catalog, which means the remaining titles currently in print will eventually run out. This is what happened just before Emusica took over the Fania catalog, forcing stores such as Amoeba to have a Salsa section devoid of its titles. Imagine a soul section without Motown or a Jazz section without Blue Note and that might explain the severity of having no Fania titles in stock.

My advice to the Fania Heads? You may want to pick up those remaining titles you have perhaps been holding out on, because who really knows if or when they will return? I’m kinda kicking myself right now for passing up a few gems.

This Week At The New Beverly!

Posted by phil blankenship, May 9, 2009 05:16pm | Post a Comment
This Week At The New Beverly

The May / June Calendar is NOW online!
http://newbevcinema.com/calendar.cfm

Printed calendars are at the theater - be sure to pick one up for yourself and a few for your friends!


Friday & Saturday May 8 & 9


Gloria Swanson and Erich von Stroheim

Sunset Blvd. (1950)
Winner of 3 Academy Awards, Nominated for 8 Others!
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0043014/
dir. Billy Wilder, starring Gloria Swanson, William Holden, Erich von Stroheim, Nancy Olson, Fred Clark
Fri: 7:30; Sat: 3:20 & 7:30, Watch The Trailer!

Queen Kelly (1929)
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0020298/
dir. Erich von Stroheim, starring Gloria Swanson, Walter Byron
Fri: 9:40; Sat: 5:30 & 9:40

Emily Ryan of Emily's Sassy Lime

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 9, 2009 10:39am | Post a Comment

Emily Ryan
is an artist/actress/DJ/musician who, in 1994, formed possibly the first all female Asian American rock group, Emily's Sassy Lime, with sisters Amy and Wendy Yao. In 2002, she played James Duval's girlfriend in Jon Moritsugu's underground classic Scumrock.

Eric Brightwell: Question 1: what other all Asian-American rock bands were there before Emily's Sassy Lime?
 
Emily Ryan: J Church, Seam, aMiniature, Slint… I suggest you peep the (seminal) Ear of the Dragon comp… Versus… no all girl ones however! They would sprinkle in one here or there…Skankin’ Pickle.

EB: I had no idea that half of those bands were comprised of Asians! They weren't really getting a lot of play on Friday Night Videos.

ER: Exactly. I’ll correct myself; those groups were LED by Asian Americans… as in "not just the bassist.” I want to say that I recently met the drummer from an old Matador band, Chavez – James Lo...Tae from Kicking Giant...Steve Gamboa from Nation of Ulysses, Cupid Car Club, and Make-Up.

EB: Ha! When I asked a co-worker we came up with James Iha, Joey Santiago and Soundgarden because of Hiro Yamamoto and Kim Thayil.

ER: These are the solid names; Kim Thayil is a great one. I’m coming distinctly from the indie underground. Robynn Iwata from Cub (Canada), who is now in IamspoonbenderRop Vazquez from the PeeChees and Rice. During the pre-internet days, I didn't know that Pete Tong (BBC) or David Yow (Scratch Acid/Jesus Lizard) were not Asian.
 
EB: Oh, and then I got Shonen Knife... which I thought illustrates something about the persistent difficulty
with distinguishing Asian Asians and Asian Americans in a way that people don't have with blacks or whites. I took this test and it said I was subconsciously slightly biased toward viewing Asians as foreign, which made me pissed!

ER: Good thing to come to terms with, Eric. How about this, Dengue Fever are actually making music that sounds foreign, in the face of, let's say, Thao Nguyen.




EB: Well, the first year I was trying to get the store to recognize the month, people were giving me all of
these suggestions for Asian-American actors and they were all Chinese, you know. And the films they were suggesting were like Old Boy. But once you emphasize Asian-American you get the same suggestion 95% of the time. Guess!

ER: Wayne Wang, Eat a Bowl of Tea?

EB: Joy Luck Club. What's the deal with that movie? (I've never seen it.)

ER: Harsh, thin Asian women -- a dated concept.

EB: It just looks well-meaning but prohibitively cheesy... but for some reason, it is the go-to Asian American film for most people.

ER: Well, I’d say you haven't lived until you've watched Wayne Wang's Chan Is Missing.

EB: Really?


ER: I love it.  Watch it and we'll talk! Some Ang Lee isn't bad, but relies too much on indulgent Americana.

EB: That's [Chan Is Missing] pretty much the film, as far as I can tell, that ended the long silence in Asian-American Cinema. After the silent era, it doesn't seem like there was anything made by Asians for Asians until that.

ER: What a voice -- I love that movie, [and] all of Jon Moritsugu's films, starting with the short ones he
did while still at Brown -- Der Elvis, Sleazy Rider, Mommy Mommy Where's My Brain? Also very important are all of V. Vale's Re/Search books -- my favorites are the ones on experimental film and pranks.

EB: It seems like there has been an explosion of Asian-American films recently. A lot play a few festivals
and then are on DVD... or they play at a theatre like the horridly named ImaginAsian Theater. That name just makes me cringe. I think it may have something to do with a distaste for portmanteaus. 

ER: As in AMOEBLOG?

EB: Oh yeah, and infotainment. There's something instantly dated about portmanteaus. Remember when people thought, "If I put '2k' at the end of the title, it will sound so cool!" …advertainment, blogebrity! …It's like the screenplay to Juno 2. Did you hear about Kal Penn being appointed as cultural liaison to Asian-Americans or whatever?

ER: Yeah, he’s ok. I don't like the layers of meaning to his role on 24, though.



 
EB: I thought Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle was kind of culturally important because it had two male Asian leads and they weren't even heavily-accented nerds. Why do you think it’s such a given that Black History Month is going to be a big deal at every business but when you bring up APAH Month people are like *eye rolling* "where does it end?!" Personally, I think Black History Month is an assuagement of white guilt and a thank you for providing us with most of our notions of what's cool...

ER: And also maybe I need to get past myself and talk up the Hmong and Cambodians oppressed by me.
 
EB: Yeah, I feel like, everybody's people have oppressed and been oppressed at some point. I personally
don't even feel guilty for my parents' actions, much less certain unrelated members of my race hundreds of years ago.

ER: Also there are more people from the past in underrepresented fields… I think the first wave of immigrants from 1975 have children in my age range and through the '90s I have seen a wide spectrum of
Asian-Americans on both sides of the media -- reporters and artists, increasing visibility from SuChin Pak on MTV to Theme Magazine in Brooklyn and even a Vietnamese-American artist named Mylinh Trieu
sounds familiar to folks nowadays. In 1990? It was Margaret Cho and that was it.

EB: Even as a kid I thought it was weird how Black History Month is like some kind of mundane trivial
pursuit where you learn about who invented the traffic light. But they never really address what people are going through now. It reduces inequality to an historical and academic matter.

ER: Well, how about this, it matters to your environment. On a civic level, there should always be _____ history month, but on the commerce level, it gets too one-dimensional.

EB: True. It always seems tacky how big corporations like McDonald's, Wal-mart and Coca-Cola are the biggest supporters of Black History Month... which they mark by making a commercial with an entirely black cast. Way to go! But I do think that these month-long observances are good opportunities to recognize what makes us different and what we-that-are-alive-now go through due to wrongly assumed differences, etc.

ER: Hopefully!!


EB: Did Emily's Sassy Lime encounter certain expectations because of your race or was the scene a little more open minded?

ER: Well, mind you, we were from southern California; we bullied kids at our schools, we were conscious about race. For example, one of the things that was always top of mind was Asian home-based karaoke culture and Asian racer and parachute kid culture …those "GQ Asians," so it was definitely part of our identity and then we would get offended and mad when this zine came out called Emily’s Sassy Lime Get Eaten by Wolves where we were drawn as stick figure slit eyes playing on stage and getting chased off and eaten by wolves. But we were loud and brassy and we would be lecturing everyone on how bad that was that a zine like that was allowed to be circulated, you know what I mean? So we were sort of like, "nothing gets past us" in terms of racism. Remember, we had to deal with sexism so we sort of battled both with big mouths.


EB: Well, if you were men and you make a big deal out of something, you're strong. If you're a woman and you do the same thing, you're a whiny bitch.

ER: "Annoying" was the word. Cos we happened to be sneaky and well educated, so it doesn't go down well when you are in the underground. Michelle Carr from Jabberjaw is putting out a book and I contributed some memories and she told me, "You remembered the most amazing things." That was
because at the same time I was remembering the mundane details of my high school obsessions, I did that for underground music too.

EB: Do you feel like representations of and attitudes toward Asians are improving or changing at all?

ER: Our coming of age is still in process.


EB: I feel like Asian women, especially, are sometimes treated like fashion accessories. Asian men,
on the other hand, are usually belittled for comedic value, like William Hung. But if someone thinks an Asian guy is hot, they make sure to let you know, to prove how open minded they are... like the guy on Lost.

ER: I was ushered backstage one time at Webster Hall with this guy Peter Kim, accompanied by the acknowledgment, "It's Margaret Cho and the guy from Lost!"

EB: That's not so bad; when I was watching Gran Torino this black guy asked me if I was Ryan Reynolds and I said, "That's so racist!" And he was like, "Oh, you're his brother?" I said, “No, we all look the same.” ...Did you know Emily's Sassy Lime is on Pandora?

ER: Actually, funny you say that, I just got a royalty statement today $20 in the past month! At $100 they cut me a check...

EB: Ca-ching!

ER: Ha ha, more now than ever. Ok, I have to leave soon for Bánh mì sliders.

For more, reference:

1. Jimmy Duval, actor/musician
2. Anya Phillips, founder of Mudd Club
3. Alice Bag, punk
4. Jon Moritsugu, filmmaker/musician
5. Madame Esther Wong of Sun Mun Way, of Madame Wong's

Become a fan of Eric's Blog on Facebook!

Giant Tarantulas Attack!

Posted by Whitmore, May 8, 2009 07:40pm | Post a Comment
Australia is someplace I will probably never visit, and that goes double for Australia’s Outback. The main and personally terrifying raison d'être is the Down Under’s world renowned collection of weird, poisonous, larger than friggin’ life creepy crawlies lurking in every shrub, behind every rock, and under every toilet seat.
And a new story in Times of London isn’t helping my arachnophobia, ophidiophobia, or even my entomophobia.
 
Scores of eastern tarantulas, that can grow larger than the palm of a man’s hand, also known as “bird-eating spiders” or “whistling spiders” because of the noise they make when disturbed or aggravated at close range, have begun crawling out from their netherworld lairs and are now invading the coastal town of Bowen, about 700 miles northwest of Brisbane. Even long time, hard core outback residents have gotten the willies.
 
Earlier this week a tarantula the size of an SUV was spotted wandering towards a public garden in the center of town. Alarmed residents called in the Amalgamated Pest Control but not before using a full can of insect repellent spray to stymie the spider's approach.
 
According to Audy Geiszler, the hero in this tale who runs Amalgamated Pest Control, he has been inundated with calls from wigged out locals. "There have been a number of reports. It's not plague proportions but a number have been spotted around the district.”
 
Not plague proportions … yet!
 
One spider was so large that when he placed it in the palm of his hand -- dead of course -- its legs hung over his fingers. Common in eastern Australia where they usually live under logs and in naturally rocky outcrops, these giant tarantulas seem to have been pushed out from their usual habitats by the recent unseasonably heavy rains.
 
While not deadly like many other Australian spiders, these tarantulas are still venomous; their bite can pack quite a punch. They can grow up to, and obviously beyond, 6cm (2.4in) long with a leg span of 16cm (6.3in). By the way, despite being called “bird-eating spiders,” they do not eat birds, but can kill a dog or cat with one quick bite.

AMOEBA MUSIC HIP-HOP WEEKLY ROUND UP: 05:08:09

Posted by Billyjam, May 8, 2009 07:07am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five: 05:08:09
grouch and eligh
1) The Grouch & Eligh Go G+E! (Legendary)

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

3) DOOM Born Like This (Lex)

4) Rick Ross Deeper Than Rap (Maybach/Poe Boy/Def Jam)

5) Q-Tip The Renaissance (Universal/Motown)

For the third week in a row the Living Legends duo of The Grouch & Eligh are number one at Amoeba Music. The pair's third collaborative album, Say G&E! (Legendary Music), is the number one best selling new hip-hop album this week at Amoeba Berkeley, and has been on top since last week at Amoeba Hollywood and for two weeks already at Amoeba San Francisco (where they also performed last week). And what a diverse hip-hop album it is, with numerous guest contributors including Flying Lotus (who produced "Old Souls"), Mistah F.A.B. (who sounds unlike his usual self on the song "Comin' Up"), Gift of Gab and Pigeon John (who guest on the alt-rock sounding "All In"), and Slug of Atmosphere (who appears on the very Bay sounding, AmpLive-produced riding track "BOOM!").

out this week 5/5...akron/family...esser...isis...magik markers...mika miko...st. vincent...peaches...

Posted by Brad Schelden, May 7, 2009 12:35pm | Post a Comment

I think I am sometimes easily persuaded by advertising...but I like to think of myself as a pretty strong person. I usually turn off my brain during commercials or at least think of other things while they are on... and these days I usually just fast forward through them! I try to ignore billboards, and while I might look at ads in magazines, I don't usually pay attention to what they are advertising. But I most certainly have nothing short of Star Trek fever. I think sometimes advertising and promotion is just right and my mind is already open to the idea. Sometimes, like this time, I just can't resist, even though I have never been a huge Star Trek fan. I have always loved science fiction and did watch the first couple of Star Trek movies, but I never made it past the fourth movie, which came out in 1986. I might have to venture back and watch them all over again. Maybe I will make it up to the fifth one this time. It does sound a bit interesting, if not a bit absurd as well-- Spock's half brother kidnaps the Enterprise to go on a search for God! Sounds a bit like a big budget, sci fi soap opera plot. I think the time is just right for this film. We were all horribly let down by the three prequel Star Wars movies. We grew up loving those movies and I sort of had a little bit of hope at the time, but they were just not good, as much as I tried to like them. I have much higher hopes for this new Star Trek. Let's just hope there is no Jar Jar Binks in the new Star Trek. The Star Trek movie is really more of a reinvention than the Star Wars movies ever were-- George Lucas would never let that kind of reinvention happen, but it would still be interesting to give the Star Wars franchise over to someone like Quentin Tarantino or Danny Boyle just to see how it could be revinvented. Maybe Robert Rodriquez and Quentin could codirect it. It would be interesting at least! J.J. Abrams seems like a great director for this new set of films, and the cast seems perfect: choosing Zachary Quinto as Spock and Simon Pegg as Scotty is just brilliant. I also think Winona Ryder as Spock's mother is perfect casting. Enough about Star Trek! It doesn't really need any more promotion! I am just excited. I couldn't get my favorite seat at the Arclight Dome until next Monday, and I was also not so sure I wanted to see the movie with all the crazy super fans on the first weekend -- although maybe I will be missing out on some great costumes in the audience.

Anyway, I really thought I had gotten over Peaches. I was a huge fan of her first album-- I just couldn't get enough of The Teaches of Peaches. She had recorded an album before that one, but 2000 was the year the first real Peaches album came out. It was the year she made her way into San Francisco, into my small little world and she seemed to sort of take it over and reinvent a whole new sort of music. She made dance music fun again and made pop music more interesting. Her shows were amazing and out of control. I know there are Peaches haters out there, but you really can't really understand what she is all about until you see her live. Seeing her perform with John Waters in Los Angeles many years ago was the perfect lineup for her. It just made sense. As much as I loved her and listened to this first record, I sort of started to lose interest over the last couple of years. Was I now a bit to old to listen to Peaches? Was she too old to be Peaches? The new album is out this week and is called I Feel Cream. It will manage to offend just as many people as the other albums have, but it should also please all her old fans. She even manages to sing on the album. The song I keep going back to is "Lose You" -- mostly because I can't even believe it is her. It is a song that could easily end up on a Kylie Minogue of Royksopp album, but it is peaches i feel creamPeaches and she actually has a good voice. I also love the song "Mud." "Mommy Complex" and "Trick or Treat" are also fantastic songs on the album. I can't really imagine anyone but Peaches being able to pull these songs off. There is really nobody like her and nobody else should even try to be. Peaches is Peaches, and I am happy to know that she is still in my life. I don't know if I will still be listening to her in 10 years, but I imagine she will have reinvented herself by then. Maybe she will start doing modern opera or some classic bluegrass. I would really love for her to reinvent every genre. She could do a fantastic comedy album. I could also imagine her putting together a really good blues album. But I do know one thing for sure: in 10 or 20 years Peaches will be performing showtunes in Vegas. And I will most certainly make the drive out there for that one! She will never be as big as Cher or Bette Midler, but it sure would be fun to see her perform in some big Vegas production! A Peaches Cirque Du Soleil would mosty certainly be fantastic and amazing. Somebody please steal my idea! Peaches in a sort of animal revue would also work. We do need another Siegfried & Roy! Can't you just imagine Peaches and her lesbian assistant performing on a Vegas stage with some wild birds and monkeys?

My new favorite album of the week is most definitely the debut album from Esser. Ben Esser is most certainly from England -- that much is obvious early on in the album. My first thought when I heard this record was Patrick Wolf. They have a similar style and both seem to play all their own instruments and record albums in their bedrooms. They both also have that young, early 20's energy that is hard to capture once you are beyond your early 20's. This excellent album is called Braveface. Equal parts Blur and Lilly Allen, plus Patrick Wolf singing with the Ordinary Boys. His lyrics are not as magical and ethereal as Wolf's though. They are more rooted in the angst of new relationships and love. The best song on the album comes at the very end, so make sure you make it all the way to track 10, "Stop Dancing." It is the song that you will keep coming back to. The whole album is less than 40 minutes long, so it doesn't take you long to get there and you also have fantastic, perfect pop songs like "Headlock," "Bones," and "I Love You." The album is not replacing my favorite of last week though! I still love that Thieves Like Us album more than anything, but this Esser album comes in close second. Pop music is usually so horrible -- it is nice to find a great little pop album every once in a while. They mostly all seem to come from England. But I guess that is just my taste in pop music! I am already looking forward to his next album. He may have not even written the songs yet but I can already imagine it in my head. I am gonna go back and listen to "Stop Dancing" again, probably a couple of times. I love it. Thank you, Ben Esser for sharing your album with us. It is just what I needed to start my summer.

also out this week...






Set Em Wild Set Em Free by Akron/Family











Arctic Monkeys at the Apollo by Arctic Monkeys











Entertainment by Fischerspooner











Grey Gardens Soundtrack











Wavering Radiant by Isis











Balf Quarry by Magik Markers











We Be Xuxa by Mika Miko











Cause I Sez So by The New York Dolls











Ways Away by Tara Jane O'Neil











Outer South by Conor Oberst & the Mystic Valley Band











Outside Love by PInk Mountaintops











Spoils by Alasdair Roberts











Actor by St. Vincent











Star Trek Soundtrack











Shallow Grave by The Tallest Man on Earth











Enter the Vaselines by The Vaselines


WHO NEEDS A DRUMMER WHEN...

Posted by Billyjam, May 7, 2009 04:27am | Post a Comment



Who needs a drummer in the band when you have a reliable idling tractor that keeps time perfectly? In the recent YouTube posting above from member Fschnell in Hungary, his band features the two cylinder diesel engine percussion sounds, which round out their live rendition of "Sweet Georgia Brown," the jazz standard/bygone pop tune whose music was written by Ben Bernie & Maceo Pinkard in 1925. File under jazz standards or industrial!

What's In My Bag? w/ Camilo Lara of M.I.S.

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, May 6, 2009 06:46pm | Post a Comment

Lately I have been doing interviews for the Amoeba website, mostly for the "What's In My Bag?" section. In the last few weeks, I have interviewed Camilo Lara from Mexican Institute Of Sound, members of Zoe, and Gil Cerezo of Kinky & Chico Sonido. I have enjoyed talking to different musicians about what they are listening to these days. My conversation with Camilo Lara lasted beyond the time we interviewed him for the segment. We discussed the future of music and how the internet has leveled the playing field, which is great for indie bands from Mexico. We discussed his audience in the U.S., who he describes as "mostly Anglos who listen to music on NPR or public radio, world music enthusiasts and Mexican nationalists who check out every band from Mexico..." Finally, we discussed his somewhat unusual day job as the Chairman of E.M.I. Mexico. He once dropped the band Zoe from Sony after their first record didn't do so well, only to resign them once they became bigger as an indie band. Sometimes you are just too ahead of the curve.

I found him to be an interesting person and quite knowledgeable about music in general. Check out my segment with Camilo below:

Mick Fleetwood's Autobiography: Fleetwood - My Life and Adventures with Fleetwood Mac

Posted by Miss Ess, May 6, 2009 04:48pm | Post a Comment
Ever since I wrote this post a few months ago, it's been a full on Mac attack in my life -- I have been listening non-stop to Fleetwood Mac's Tusk, everywhere I go, over and over. I picked up Mick Fleetwood's 1991 autobiography as well, Fleetwood - My Life and Adventures with Fleetwood Mac, hoping for some salicious tidbits about the band that is known not only for its instantly addicting, mega-popular music, but also for the many interband rumours...


The book is pretty great. Mick describes his childhood and early life with candor, including his stints in boarding school and his feeling that he was not smart, upheld by his poor academic performances and difficulty memorizing facts...thus, he turned to music, and with perfect timing. Although he certainly slaved away upon moving to London, paying his dues in one dank club after another, he makes the process of gaining early fame and fortune seem somewhat simple -- after all, this was Swinging London! He was in the right place at the exact right time to make a career for himself.

Mick portrays himself as the glue that held the various incarnations of the band together over the years, and it appears to be true -- he and a rather mute John McVie are the only two members that have stuck with the band since its creation in the mid 60s. Mick felt he had no back up career; holding the band together was what he pledged his whole heart to, even at the expense of his first marriage, relationships and children.

Mick tenderly describes being in love with Stevie Nicks fairly early on in their friendship, but when it comes to the actual relationship that occured between them, we don't get many details-- I guess some things must be left private. Mick mentions that he realized he must have a talk with her former flame/bandmate Lindsey Buckingham about his new relationship with Stevie, but never details when, where or how that conversation took place. And it must have at some point, because Stevie and Mick were a couple on and off for a few years. He hints that he's never gotten over her, although he did go on to marry one of her best friends, Sara! (Nowadays he is married to someone else though.)

On a fairly random aside, did you know that Christine McVie's mother was a healer? I always wondered how it was that Stevie Nicks and Christine got along so easily, considering Christine seemed like a stiff upper lip kind of Brit, but now I see that they were probably connected in a great many ways, including their spiritual leanings, and of course there is also the fact that they were talented, driven women in an overwhelmingly male-dominated field.

Mick's book was contested by Lindsey Buckingham and it's easy to see why, as Lindsey's quitting the band in 1987 is carefully, detailingly documented. Buckingham quit at the moment when Fleetwood Mac was coming back together to tour to help Mick, who had recently declared bankruptcy. Lindsey comes off as a chauvanistic egomaniac. Who's to say what's right and what's wrong? We only have Mick's side of the story, and I have to say, overall the entire book was definitely an interesting read.

One of my favorite over-the-top, decadent moments came late in the book, when Fleetwood Mac is recording and living at an old chateau in France. It's a foggy morning and Mick and a friend are returning via car to the chateau when they pass a stable and Mick is overcome with the sudden desire to ride on horseback the rest of the way home, to make a grand entrance. He somehow secures a grey horse and rides off through the mist, galloping to the chateau, right up the front stairs and into the entryway! Suddenly, a caped and hooded Stevie Nicks comes flying down the staircase, leaps on the horse and takes off back out into the countryside. Now that is why I read this autobio!&n

New Electronic CD Releases 5/06/09

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, May 6, 2009 04:04pm | Post a Comment
Few highlights from this weeks new CD releases. The Prins Thomas live mix CD is the best mix I've heard in months!  - Oliver
Prins Thomas
Prins Thomas
Live At Robert Johnson Vol. 2 (CD)
(PLAY)

This is the second volume in a 4-part CD compilation series celebrating the 10th anniversary of Frankfurt's Robert Johnson club. Volume 2 has been selected and mixed by one of Norway's best: Full Pupp label head, DJ/producer, and versatile disco Viking, Prins Thomas. In the studio, Thomas sprinkles everything from the Junior Boys and Studio through to Justus Köhncke and techno classics on R&S Records with his lively drum-bass-organ magic. As a DJ, he works his sets from front to back, from loud to quiet, and from one genre to the next, through all various shades of grey in between. This is probably the only CD in the whole world on which Ricardo Villalobos dances to "Afro Punk Reggae Dub" by Steel An' Skin with his house band Cos/Mes, where a Playhouse classic from Roman Flügel performs an Acid Test in the "Gallery Oslo" by Kåre & The Cavemen, where synth-rock by Trans Am glows like a fixed star, and where Bjørn Torske makes it clear who was the first to polish the Norwegian disco ball (the Idjut Boys claim this title for England). Also on this mix, Closer Musik evokes wistfulness and Sébastien Tellier argues about beard lengths with DJ Harvey of Map Of Africa. Twenty-seven breathtaking gems, some of them affectionately edited by Prins, but always with two hands, a Urei mixing desk, two CD players and turntables, the mischievous Korg Kaoss Pad as well as an in/out insulator, and mixed with that unwavering, killer DJ instinct of his. And of course, everything is done live in one take so as to evoke the feeling of a Viking longboat on a stormy sea. Other artists include: Arpadys, Cage & Aviary, Capracara, Rub N Tug, Trans Am, Babytalk, Frankie Valentine, Isoul8, Low Motion Disco, Still Going, James Yuill, Dogs Of War, Anarchic System, Argy & The Mole, Martin Circus, Opolopo, Domu, Mathew Jonson, Samos, and Lindstrøm.

UH UH UH STICK 'EM: THE FAT BOYS REMEMBERED

Posted by Billyjam, May 6, 2009 12:22pm | Post a Comment
fat boys
Compared to the all too prevalent mean mugging, tough scowling stance of today's typical hip-hop star, the popular 1980's rap group The Fat Boys (Prince Markie Dee, Kool Rock-Ski, Buff Love) were polar opposites with their smiling, all-ages friendly personas (not to mention lyrics) and cuddly, good humored personalities. From right when the NYC trio burst onto the still burgeoning hip-hop scene in 1984, they embodied a wholesome, non-threatening image to accompany their instantly engaging beatbox driven rap style. In fact, the late Buff Love, aka The Human Beatbox, was a hip-hop pioneer in beatboxing along Doug E. Fresh, who simultaneously helped popularize the mouth percussion style unique to the genre.

But barely below the surface there was also a somewhat sinister aspect to the Fat Boys-- they were exploited (or allowed themselves to be) by labels and marketing men who went overboard, playing up their obesity and downplaying the seriousness of not eating healthily. Obesity tragically led to the 1995 heart attack death of Buff Love/The Human Beatbox at age 28, by then reportedly weighing 450 lbs. Below are a selection of videos from the 80's that in a way tell the Fat Boys story, displaying the marketing of the group. Included are the videos "Jailhouse Rap" and "Stick Em" from their 1984 self-titled debut on Sutra Records, an album whose cover picture (above) showed them stuffing down pizza and ice cream. This food-gorging image was only further enforced in such videos as "All You Can Eat" from the 1987 film Krush Groove and their appearance on Square One TV eating too many burgers. Also below is the group's cameo in Miami Vice when they were not eating, but instead were portrayed as beatboxing drug dealers.

New 12" Electronic Releases at Amoeba Hollywood - 5/08/09

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, May 5, 2009 03:39pm | Post a Comment

Electro/Techno Releases Coming this Weekend:
 
Gel Abril -THICKEN 12"
BAO016 
"RECALL DUB" unleashes GEL's well-known original stamp of fresh & bouncy techno, while "THICKEN" creates haunting atmospheres in its whistling melody & chopped up beats. Super chunky sounds with fine minimalist dub tech throughout.
 
Mike Shannon - BOX EP-ADAM MARSHALL 12"
CYN033
SHANNON dug deep into the archives for "THE BOX IS OPEN." It's nostalgic, with an old school jackin' Detroit vibe. ADAM MARSHALL on the remix tip, flipping the chords and adding a synth that just keeps elevating…kept us on our toes. Props from BROTHERS VIBE, JUSTIN LONG, MOSSA.
 
Basement Freaks - ARTIST SERIES 7 12" GG15      
 
Various - REGROOVED 3 EP 12" GG03    
 
Gel Abril - THICKEN 12" BAO016      
 
Lopez - BEAT DISPENSER 12" KEEP004     
Mike Shannon - BOX EP-ADAM MARSHALL 12" CYN033
Sam Young - PEEP THIS (FT. APHLETIK) 12" SEED026     
Tony Lionni - GOLDEN 12" LD005
Various - HEAR NU EVIL VOL.3 12" FID12004     
The Glass - WANNA BE DANCIN’ (IN FLAGRANTI) 12” SEED027
Marco Furstenberg - EIBENSTOCK EP 12” BAUM005
Resoe/Shinsuke - BAUM LIMITED PICTURE EDITION 001 12” BAUMLPE001
Dubatech/Havantape - BAUM LIMITED PICTURE EDITION 002 12” BAUMLPE002
Louderbach - AUTUMN 12” MINUS76
Louderbach - SHINE 12” MINUS75
STL - SILENT STATE 12” SMALLVILLE12
V.A. - IN LOVING MEMORY 4:4 12” STRX09
MRI - DIE STASIKINDER VOM BUSBAHNHOF 12” RSPRED030
Minilogue - ARB ALUMB ALMOH 12” MSHIP017
Dewalta - SALUKI 12” MEANDER004
Santiago Salazar - ARCADE 12” MACROM11
DJ Koze - MRS. BOJANGLES 12” CCS037
Honesty - RENAISSANCE EP 12” VIEW001
Martin Eyerer - SEVEN LIVES 12” KLING025


House Releases Coming this Weekend:
 
Exercise One - NO NEWS TODAY-DEADBEAT 12"
MOBILEE051
Here we see a different side of EXERCISE ONE. Gorgeous, enveloping ambient tracks, soundtrack ready synth ballads, a sort of retro-futurist electro pop sensibility. Features a mind melting remix from DEADBEAT ("WAGON REPAIR") who churns out a driving house track.
 
George Cochrane - MY SYNTHESIZER 12"
BH025
Debut for BLOCKHEAD sees CHOCHRANE & PRISMATIC cohorts ANDREW PHELAN & ORIGAMI team up for for a kick heavy house remix that you can feel in your chest with a DETROIT GRAND PUBAHS kind of vocal. LUKE SOLOMAN drops a house swagger remix along with ANTHONY MANSFIELD. Bumpin shiz for the clubs.
 
Chaz Jankel - UNDISCOVERED REMIXES 12" NANG02         
Marcello Napoletano - A PRESCRIPTION 12" MATH028                            
Various  - DROP MUSIC SAMPLER 1.0 PT 4 12" DRM063                             
Ame  - SETSA 12" IV22        
Arnaud Le Texier - ALMORAVIDS EP 12" VIS177       
Dev79 - IN YA FACE 12" SECLUS017     
Ekkohaus - ISLAND OF LOST CHILDREN V2 12" CCS035      
Exercise One - NO NEWS TODAY-DEADBEAT 12" MOBILEE051     
JDeep - DEEPER EDITS VOL 2 EP 12" DSE002      
Mirco Violi - CHAINLETTERS EP 12" IF12    
Windsurf - BIRD OF PARADISE 12" INT007      
Luna City Express -ROUGH NECK (BROTHERS VIBE) 12” MHR042
Kerri Chandler - A BASEMENT A RED LIGHT 12” KCLP623
Sacred Rhythm Music - AFRIKAN BASEMENT 12” SOIL3300
Moodymann - VOLUME 1 MUSIC PEOPLE/SUNDAY MORNING 12” MMVOL1
Moodymann - VOLUME 4 DON’T BE MISLED/DON’T YOU WANT 12” MMVOL4
Franco Cinelli - SINGA PURE 12” AD008
Bobby Konders - THE POEM/NERVOUS ACID 12” MB020
Mark Henning - VICK FOR PRESIDENT EP 12” FRANKIE044
Jaxson & amp/David Keno - TOUT LE TEMPS 12” KINDISCH023
Daze Maxim - ORGAN MESSAGE 12” HELLO014
Diskjokke - ASA NISI MASA 12” FP19
Touch Sensative/ T. Tobias - BODY STOP, AZUL BLUE, FOUGHT & AMP 12” FCL35

Dubstep Releases Coming this Weekend:
 
Greymatter - BELIEVE IN SOMETHING EP 12"
UU12001   
Excellent vinyl only EP that finds GREYMATTER branching out into beats and dubstep. Check the remix of "BELIEVE IN SOMETHING" by TEMPA's TRG, a fast dancefloor dubstep cut that takes up the whole A-side. The flip feats 3 more experimental, instrumental, beat-driven tracks. 
 
Martyn - NATURAL...(FLYING LOTUS RMX) 12"
3024003 CAT   
Out of stock for months, finally re-pressed! MARTYN recruits 2 of the biggest names in underground music for remix duties. FLYING LOTUS uses his frantic glitch-hop skills on his cleanse Mix of "NATURAL SELECTION," while 2562 takes "VANCOUVER" into his signature 2-step/techno hybrid territory.
 
J Kenzo - MORTAL KOMBAT 12" ARG023
 
Sigha  - ON THE STRIP 12” HFT007

SCRATCHING AWAY HIS US AIR FORCE PRESSURES - DJ ALF INTERVIEW

Posted by Billyjam, May 4, 2009 10:20pm | Post a Comment
dj alf
While every turntablist has their own individual story of exactly how he/she became a hip-hop scratch DJ musician, most seem to share a somewhat similar history. Typically this starts out with them first becoming bedroom DJs, practicing their mixing, cutting, scratching, and beat-juggling, etc., skills for hours on end to prepare them for the typical next step, becoming battle DJs, entering contests and going head to head with other aspiring scratch DJs.

Baltimore, MD area turntablist DJ ALF took a slightly different path, having never entered a DJ battle in his life. A self-taught DJ and producer who is currently putting the finishing touches on his debut album This Way Or That Way, ALF developed his scratching musical path while simultaneously serving as a member of the US armed forces.

In fact, practicing hip-hop scratch music while a member of the US Air Force (which he is no longer a member of) helped maintain ALF's sanity, especially while stationed overseas. He would "scratch away" his "pressures," as he reveals in the interview that follows.

Amoeblog: Pre DJing, did you ever learn to play any musical instruments? If so, how has that influenced your approach to DJing?

DJ ALF: I used to play the clarinet from 4th grade to the 12th grade. I remember some basic music theory, which has helped me some in my DJ career. Since I used to play in a marching band, concert band, and orchestra, I must say that alone has helped me easily figure what fits in terms of doing freestyle turntable orchestration with others.

Amoeblog: When/where was the first time you ever scratched?

(In which we witness love and marriage and indegestion.)

Posted by Job O Brother, May 4, 2009 01:29pm | Post a Comment

Howdy!

The boyfriend and I just returned from a weekend in the great country of Texas – Houston, to be exact. We went there to celebrate the marriage of some neat humans.

The boyfriend was Best Man at the wedding, so I spent a lot of time in the chapel entertaining myself as he practiced marching down the aisle, handing over rings, smuggling in tequila shots and body-blocking any attempts the bride might have of going “runaway” – you know, typical Best Man duties.

Having been raised in a church, I know how to find all the best hiding spots, and I felt immediately at home. Curled in a cool, dark alcove between the pipe organ and a wood-carved dove of peace, I listened to music on my iPhone and surfed the World Wide Web – reading The Guardian, watching this and this, and wondering why Facebook suggested I be friends with Bill Murray (who I still haven’t forgiven for dog-earing my copy of Dubliners).

Rice Memorial Chapel, the house of God in question, is tucked centrally on the campus grounds of Rice University. It’s a lovely, small chapel, decorated with gold tile and royal blue carpeting. It is noticeably lacking in denominational iconography – a single, movable, wood cross sat off-stage – which is to be expected, I suppose, from a University that specializes in applied sciences. Stained glass glorifying Dr. Willem Kolff healing the crippled with Jarvik-7’s and panels depicting various stages of the Scopes “Monkey” Trial would not have seemed out of place.


I flipped through one of their hymnals. I love a great many hymns, but none so much as “Blessed Assurance” composed by Phoebe P. Knapp and written by Fanny Crosby.


Take a load off.

Fanny Crosby was one of my childhood heroes (a fact which illuminates just how carefree and fun a youngster I was). Although a celebrity in her lifetime (born 1820 – died 1915), her name is now relatively unknown outside Protestant churches.

Rendered blind in infancy after a botched eye operation, she nevertheless grew to be a gifted musician – penning over 8,000 hymns under various pseudonyms – and a popular public speaker. She acted as a lobbyist in Washington, D.C., promoting financing of education for the blind. She also trapped a brainwashing health club owner with his own subliminal suggestion gimmick. (Actually that was the Green Hornet – I just wanted to see if you were still paying attention.)


Would you believe the hymnals of Rice Memorial Chapel don’t have a single Fanny Crosby song in them?! I was flabbergasted and, yes, a little hurt. Which is why I’m using the Amoeblog to organize a grass-roots effort to encourage Rice University to include Fanny Crosby songs in their chapel hymnals. Friends! Americans! The time has come to take action! MAYBE WE CAN! MAYBE WE CAN! MAYBE WE CAN!!!



The wedding itself was a sweet affair, and the bride and groom proved their love, not only of each other, but also of us, by keeping the ceremony brief.

The reception afterwards was rad! They held it at the nearby Houston Museum of Natural Science, in the spooky and captivating Cullen Hall of Gems and Minerals, where corridors of black showcased dazzling geological wonders. This proved to be not only an enchanting setting for a romantic celebration, but convenient, too, as a speakeasy. Only beer and wine was being served, you see, so the boyfriend and I, plus a handful of groomsmen and their wives, had to sneak in tiny bottles of booze.

“Is that a bottle of Chivas Regal in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?”


The Garnet & Diamond Necklace, designed by Ernesto Moreira,
to the left of which is a perfect spot to spike beverages with scotch without getting caught.

At one point, we were sitting at the cool kids’ table, eating the kind of high-class fry food you can only find in Texas. (I’m talking deep-fried scallops drizzled in garlic mayonnaise, served on a bed of rock salt, folks. God bless Texas!) The boyfriend handed me a tiny airplane-style bottle of vodka to pass down the table to the lovely Bosnian lady awaiting it. Between her and I was her husband. I stealthily took the bottle and, under the table, placed it on the man’s leg so he could continue the distribution. Instead, he looked suddenly shocked and confused, as though he’d just caught Santa dorking a reindeer. He looked at me, speechless, and I realized he had no idea I was pressing a bottle on his thigh – he thought I was copping a feel!

Once we all figured what was going on, we laughed. Well, my boyfriend and the Bosnian wife laughed – her husband and I were pretty awkward for a while, in that way that dudes get when homoeroticism is accidentally stumbled into. What tickled me the most was reconsidering his reaction, knowing what he thought was happening. I mean, if some guy sitting next to me at a dinner party suddenly placed his paw on my thigh I can’t promise I’d be as polite as he was! Later, when I smuggled a bottle of rum into his mouth with my tongue he wasn’t so startled.

The DJ, a woman unknown to both the bride and groom (who described her beforehand as a total crap-shoot) played an odd assortment of jingles, ranging from obvious wedding party pleasers…


…to more quizzical canticles…


The boyfriend had to physically hold me down when the DJ segued from Bobby Darin to the “Time Warp.”


I can’t not dance to the “Time Warp!” Even if no-one else is on the dance-floor. The boyfriend disagrees. Adamantly.

Speaking of booze (as I often am), this party wasn’t the only time on our Texas trip that my cocktails were mixed with subterfuge. We stayed at the luxurious (if somewhat notorious) Hotel Icon, in a penthouse suite that was inexplicably dubbed the Oriental Suite. The one Meiji period coffee-table aside, we couldn’t see any justification for such a moniker. Even the antique books which lined our headboard were, for whatever reason, printed in a variety of Scandinavian languages. I did my best to entertain the boyfriend by reading him Swedish musings on Eskimo culture.

Me: Eskimåerna älskar valspäck. De skaver på sina bröst och sjunga prisar.

Him: That’s what she said.


My latest love – and this will tie in, bear with me – is B&B Dom Liqueur. It’s composed of equal parts cognac to Bénédictine liqueur. Served straight-up in a brandy snifter, the scent will peel the outermost layer of your eyeballs off before coating your tongue in warm, honeyed, herbal deliciousness. After a day of eating at Texas’ own gastronomically defying Whataburger, a digestif like B&B becomes an angel of mercy.


I ordered a glass of it from the hotel bar after a long day of whatever the f*** I did that day, and took it up to our room, where the boyfriend and I snuggled into bed and watched a bit of (now-released) season one of Designing Women, because we are gay.


I was asleep before Delta Burke tearfully said goodbye to her Vietnamese foster child, Li Sing, with half my snifter still full of precious B&B.

The next morning, fearing the room service staff would abscond with my darling potation, I had the boyfriend hide it in the safe where it stayed, keeping company with a gold watch, until the following evening.


And now we’ve returned to our home. Yes, dear readers, the boyfriend and I are now living together on 8th and Curson, tucked behind what was until recently the Variety Building – an ugly piece of architecture that looks like a late 1980’s tribute to Mayan temples. Blech. Luckily, our own home is entirely lovable. Do stop by!

…But not without invitation. And never when we’re here.

Amoeba Hollywood World Music Top 10 For 2009...So far

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, May 4, 2009 12:29am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Hollywood World Music Top 10 For 2009

1. Zoe-Reptilectric
2. Amadou & Mariam-Welcome To Mali
3. V/A -African Scream Contest
4. Orchestre Poly Ritmo-Vol. 1- The Vodoun Effect: Funk and Sato from Benin's Obscure Label
5. Eydie Gorme Y Los Panchos-Cantan En Espanol
6. V/A-Nigeria 70: Lagos Jump
7. V/A- Vol.1-Nigeria 70
8. Rodrigo Y Gabriela -Live In Japan
9. Manu Chao-Clandestino
10. V/A- 78's From The EMI Archives: Sprigs Of Time

About some of the artists:

Zoe, a rock band from Mexico City, is on the top of Amoeba Hollywood's World Music chart for 2009. I wrote about Zoe in the beginning of this year in a blog entitled, Music Latin Music Majors Don't Want You To Hear, which was about how late in the game U.S. labels are when it comes to releasing popular Spanish rock artists domestically. To avoid being outsold by download sites, we ordered the import version of Reptilectric and sold out of all the imports we bought way before their U.S. release. Their in-store performance at the Hollywood store on 4/24 also fueled sales, far exceeding sale expectations for that evening. In short, Zoe fans came in vast numbers and Amoeba Hollywood was not fully prepared. Hey, it happens sometimes.

Amadou & Mariam's Welcome to Mali was another highly anticipated release. Once again we started with the import version due to the demands of our customers, who could not wait until the April release. People seem to be divided on their love for this album: Some feel Amadou & Mariam went too modern, while others warmed up to the group because of it. Either way, it was great to see the excitement over a release from our favorite blind Malian couple, who are now set to open for Coldplay in July on their U.S. tour.

Rodrigo Y Gabriela's Live In Japan is a teaser until their next album is released. Capitalizing on their strong live shows, Live In Japan contains a CD & DVD that allows fans to relive their epic live performances. Best thing I think about the group is that it has turned many people on to Flameco music who may have not been into it before. Rodrigo Y Gabriela could be the gateway Flameco drug that leads people to the hard stuff. Soon they will be strung out on Sabicas, Camaron De La Isla & Paco De Lucia! To watch a video of Rodrigo y Gabriela performing at Amoeba Hollywood, click here.

What The Cha
rt Says About L.A: If it wasn't Africano, it was Mexicano! With the exception of Manu Chao's Clandestino and 78's From The EMI Archives: Sprigs Of Time, the top ten chart was dominated by either African or Mexican artists.

CADBURY'S ELECTRO EYEBROW DANCE TV COMMERCIAL

Posted by Billyjam, May 3, 2009 08:20pm | Post a Comment


You gotta love this current UK TV commerical for Cadbury's chocolate that utilizes the classic electro track (longtime breakdance anthem) "Don't Stop the Rock"' by Freestyle as the perfect soundtrack to its two young stars' eyebrow dance. The 2009 production is by the ever innovative and popular A Glass And A Half Full production company, who last year produced the equally popular in the UK Cadbury's "Gorilla" TV spot that expertly utilized Phil Collins' "In The Air Tonight" as its backtrack, as well as the Cadbury "Trucks" commercial (below) that used Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now" as its soundtrack. So popular was the Cadbury's eyebrow dance with the public that it spawned a JiveBrow 09 contest (see highlights below) held by A Glass And A Half Full production company earlier this year.





Asian-American Cinema Part I - The Silent Era

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 3, 2009 03:00pm | Post a Comment
The first of a nine part series on Asian-Americans in front of and behind the camera

ASIAN-AMERICANS IN SILENT FILM


In the early days of west coast film production, there were few roles for Asian actors except as unflattering stereotypes or anonymous background work. Nonetheless, a small number pursued careers in front of and behind the camera, intersecting and influencing Hollywood's embryonic phase. Although most worked in near complete obscurity, two -- Anna May Wong and Sessue Hayakawa -- became veritable superstars. They still were virtually unable to find roles to their liking, since most of the lead roles (still usually degrading) went to actors in yellowface, a practice that continued long after blackface became taboo. Anna May Wong and Sessue Hayakawa used their earnings to attempt to improve opportunities for less famous Asians by creating more positive depictions, following black cinema's lead. However, with immigration restricted and laws preventing citizenship and property ownership, even the few rich, famous Americanized Asians faced considerable challenges.




ASIAN-AMERICANS IN THE SILENT FILM ERA

In the silent era, most of the APA-related films were low budget, forgettable Chinatown mysteries and crude yellow peril thrillers but they do remain interesting for multiple reasons, including their reflection of changing American attitudes as well as as documents of the efforts of the country's second largest racial minority to break into a system who viewed them as subhuman at worst and as generally as exotic, inscrutable aliens at best.

It would be more than fifty years before the flourishing Asian-American cinema of today would become possible and profitable, following the amendment of immigration law, civil rights struggles, an influx of refugees and the subsequent growth of the Asian American population in the 80s/90s. But the valiant efforts of early Asian-Americans (and a few non-Asian Hollywood insiders like Thomas Ince and William Worthington) shouldn't be overlooked in their pioneering efforts to allow Asian Actors to play roles other than androgynous opium sots, waiters, tongs, dragon ladies and lotus blossoms.


*****

Asian/Pacific Islander American actors of silent American Cinema


Ah Wing (not pictured) was born July 12, 1851 in China. He made eight films. He died February 27,1941 in Weimar, California.


 

Anna Chang was born in San Francisco around  and began singing on stage at age six. She made her debut film appearance in Hollywood with Two Little Chinese Maids (1929) and followed with Singapore Sue (1932). By 1941 she was back in San Francisco, headlining at the Jade Palace where she was billed as the "Chinese Princess of Song."



Anna May Wong (nee Wong Liu Tsong) was born January 3, 1905 in Los Angeles' Chinatown on Flower Street to second generation parents who ran a laundry. As a nine-year-old girl, she begged filmmakers for parts as they shot around downtown and was dubbed "CCC" (Curious Chinese Child). After she was cast in several films, she received top billing in The Toll of the Sea (the first film shot entirely in two-strip Technicolor process) and thereby became the first Chinese American movie star (and the first internationally known Asian American movie star).

Frustrated with the roles Hollywood offered Chinese Americans, Anna May Wong moved to Europe in 1928, where she was warmly received by critics. After making several films abroad, Paramount offered her a contract and the promise of lead roles.

Wong returned to the US in 1930, first appearing on Broadway in On the Spot. She continued working onstage and in Europe, still frustrated by Hollywood, especially after being denied a role in The Son-Daughter for being "too Chinese to play a Chinese." Although she continued to accept stereotypical roles, she was outspoken in the press about the need for positive portrayals of Chinese characters.

Wong's last two starring roles were in the Poverty Row anti-Japanese propaganda films, Bombs Over Burma and The Lady from Chungking, before she began accepting occasional roles on TV programs, including one written created especially for her, The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong, the first television steries with an Asian American star. She died in Santa Monica, California on February 2, 1961.



Bessie Wong (middle) with Lulu Wong (left) and Anna May Wong (right) -- (image source: Soft Film 軟性電影)

Bessie Wong
appeared in The White Mouse (1921) and Tipped Off (1923).




Bo Ling (Berenice Park) with James Hall (image source: Soft Film 軟性電影)

Bo Ling (real name Berenice Park) was born on December 18, 1908. Her sister was also an actress and singer, Bo Ching. The sisters were the children of Edward and Florence Park and grew up in Berkeley before moving to Los Angeles around 1926. The sisters formed a "three-gal act, singing, dancing, and playing piano and accordion" with fellow Vaudeville performer, Helen Wong Jean. She had roles in The Fifty-Fifty Girl,  Life's Like That, and Red Wine (all 1928); Golden Stairs; (1929), and International House and Myrt and Marge (both 1933).


 

Bo Ling and Bo Ching in Golden Stairs (image source: Soft Film 軟性電影)

Bo Ching (real name Winnie Park) was born on April 21, 1911. Her sister was fellow actress and singer Bo Ling. She appeared in Golden Stairs (1929) and Why Leave Home? (both 1929); International House, and Myrt and Marge (both 1933).

Charles A. Fang acted in 24 films, often as "Charlie Fang."




Duke Kahanamoku (nee Duke Paoa Kahinu Makoe Hulikohoa Kahanamoku) was born August 24, 1890 in Honolulu, Kingdom of Hawaii. He entered the 1912 Stockholm Olympics, the 1920 Antwerp Olympics and the 1924 Paris Olympics, winning medals at all for various swimming competitions. He is also famous for popularizing surfing. In 1925, whilst living in Newport Beach, he saved eight people from a capsized fishing vessel (17 died), using his surfboard to rescue them. He acted in fourteen films, usually playing a Hawaiian king. He died January 22, 1968.



Edward L. Park (image source: Soft Film 軟性電影)

Edward L. Park was the first Chinese-American to play Charlie Chan. He was born in San Francisco in 1876. His wife Florence was the mother of actresses Bo Ling (nee Berenice Park) and Bo Ching (nee Winnie Park) and acted as "Oie Chan." Edward Park worked as an interpreter at Angel Island before moving with his family to Los Angeles around 1927.


Etta Lee was born September 12, 1906 on Maui, Kingdom of Hawaii. She acted in fourteen films, playing both maids and slaves several times. She died October 27, 1956 in Eureka, California.


Frank M. Seki
 (not pictured) appeared in The Hope Diamond Mystery, The First Born and The Purple Cipher.



Frank Tokunaga (
aka Frank Tokawaja, aka Bunroku Tokunaga) was born July 7, 1888 in Japan. He married Japanese silent film actress Komako Sungata. After acting in 21 films, mostly in the US, he returned to Japan where he directed six silent films, with the intention of returning to America to further Japanese-American cinema. He died in 1967 in San Joaquin, California.



George Kuwa (ne Keiichi Kuwahara) was born April 7, 1885 in Japan. He was the first Asian-American actor to play Charlie Chan and acted additionally in 60 films. He passed away October 13, 1931, in Japan.




Goro Kino (also known as Gordo Keeno) was born June 2, 1877 in Japan. He acted in 17 films and he was one of the earliest Asian American actors. He died February 4, 1922 in Los Angeles.



Hatsu Kuma in a production of Tokio Blues (dated 1927)

Hatsu Kuma may've been Japanese rather than Japanese-American (I'm not sure). She made only known film appearance (alongside Anna Chang) in Two Little Chinese Maids (1929).


Henry Kotani (aka Hanoki aka Henry Katoni) was born in 1887 to Japanese immigrant parents in the U.S. At a time when few Asian Americans were employed in film crews, Kotani apprenticed at Jesse L. Lasky Company under "Papa" Wycoff, the "Father of Cameramen." Although he acted in only six films, he also worked as a cinematographer, produced, wrote and filled other roles in many films. In the middle of his career, he relocated to Japan, where he tried to introduce American cinematic flavor to Japan, insisting on directing in English, and never providing scripts to his his actors or crew. After directing six films which failed to find an audience, he returned to America where he died in 1972.



Iris Yamaoka was born in 1911 in Seattle. She appeared in six films; China Slaver (1929), Hell and High Water (1933), Pursued (1934), Petticoat Fever (1936), High Tension (1936) and Waikiki Wedding (1937).Yamaoka was interned at the Heart Mountain Relocation camp in Cody, Washington during World War II. She died, aged 49, on November 28, 1960 in New York City, New York.



Jack Yutaka Abbe was born February 2, 1895 in Miyagi, Japan. After acting in ten American films, he went back to Japan and directed 25 films as "Yutaka Abe." He died January 3, 1977 in Kyoto, Japan.




James B. Leong
(nee Leong But-jung, aka Jimmy Leong) was born November 2, 1889 in Shanghai, China. He became James Leong when he moved to the US at 24 in 1913. After attending college in Indiana, he found work as an assistant director and interpreter with Chinese extras for the likes of D.W. Griffith and Park Frame; he ultimately acted in 81 films. He died December 16, 1967 in Los Angeles.




James Wang was born in 1863 in China. In the US, he acted in 32 films. He died April 20, 1935 in Los Angeles.



James Wong Howe (ne Wong Tung Jim) was born August 28, 1899 in Guangzhou, China. His father moved to Washington when James was one, and he joined him when he was five. He bought a Kodak Brownie camera from a drugstore at the age of twelve. After moving to L.A., he worked as a commercial photographer but was fired when he was caught making fake passports. He got hired by the Jesse Lasky Studios' photography department for $10 a week, paid to pick up scraps of film. He next worked as a slate boy for Cecil B. DeMille. He first worked on a film as a cameraman in 1919, and then as a cinematographer in 1923, where he became known for his masterful use of deep focus and shadow. He began wearing a button declaring "I am Chinese," as did his friend James Cagney in solidarity. Due to anti-miscegenation laws, he couldn't marry his white girlfriend until 1949. He died July 12, 1976 in Hollywood.



Joe Sunn Jue (right) with actress Patricia Joe (Chow Kwun-ling) and cameraman Joseph Jue 

Joseph Sunn Jue directed his first film, the Cantonese-language Yaomo Zhi Yue (The Demon's Cavern) in 1926. It was the first film produced by Xue Pinggui quan zhuan (Chinese Educational Film Company), a company whose vice president was Jun You Jew, the director's father. In 1933 Jue went on to form his own film company, Grandview Film Company, in San Francisco.



Komato Sungata (Sunata) came to the US as five-year-old. She was described as the Japanese Gloria Swanson. Her first film role was as an extra in an Essany film at the age of fourteen. She met Japanese-American actor Frank Tokunaga on the set of a film and they married when she was nineteen. In 1923, the couple traveled to Japan, hoping to translate their experiences into Tokunaga-directed, Sungata starring films, with the desire of potentially elevating the quality of representations of Japanese in Hollywood.



Kunihiko Nanbu (also billed as "K. Nambu") was born November 29, 1890 in Tokyo, Japan. He acted in six films.



Lady Tsen Mei was born March 28, 1888 in Canton, China. She first found work with Betzwood Film Company in Pennsylvania. In The Lotus Blossom, for which she received top billing, she was billed as "The screen's first and only Chinese star." However, having acted only in that film, The Letter and For the Freedom of the East, her stardom never rivaled that of Anna May Wong. She died July 1985 in Norfolk, Virginia.



Louie Cheung (not pictured) acted in four silent films, A Tale of Two Worlds, The Concert, The Branding Iron and The Girl from Outside.

Misao Seki (aka M. Seke and not pictured) acted in eight films between 1918-1923 before moving to Japan where he acted in 17 more.



Mrs. Wong Wing
was born November 21, 1892 in China. She acted in eight films and died September 30, 1966 in Los Angeles.


Mr. Yoshida (not pictured) appeared in just three films, Domino Film Company's 1914 pictures, Nipped, A Relic of Old Japan and The Courtship of O San.



Olive Young (image source: Soft Film 軟性電影)

Olive Young was born June 21, 1907 in St. Joseph, Missouri. She moved to Shanghai and, as 杨爱立, began appearing in silent films in 1926 and was billed as "The Chinese Mary Pickford." Returning to the US she acted in Trailin' Trouble (1930), Ridin' Law (1930), and The Man Who Came Back (1931). She died suddenly, on October 4, 1940 (age 33) in Bayonne, New Jersey after collapsing in the dressing room of a night club where she'd just performed. 




Sessue Hayakawa
(nee Kintaro Hayakawa) was born June 10, 1889 in Nanaura, Chiba, Japan, the son of a governor/member of the samurai class. Although he wanted to join the navy, he was rejected because he'd ruptured his eardrum. Having thus disappointed his father, he attempted to commit suicide by stabbing himself in the chest over thirty times before being stopped.

Hayakawa subsequently studied political economics in Chicago before returning to Japan where he pursued a career on the stage in an acting company that returned him to the US in 1913. Spotted by Thomas H. Ince in a Little Tokyo production of The Typhoon, he was offered a movie contract. He appeared in The Wrath of the Gods and The Typhoon in 1914 and, on May 1, he married actress Tsuru Aoki.

In Cecil B. DeMille's 1915 film for Famous Players-Lasky, The Cheat, Hayakawa became the first Asian-American superstar (receiving $200,000 for a film at his height, driving a gold-plated Pierce-Arrow and, on one occasion, shrugging off a million dollar gambling loss in Monte Carlo), although the film was protested by Japanese-Americans who tried to prevent its re-release in 1918.

After the success of The Cheat, Hayakawa started his own production company, producing many films starring his wife and himself, earning on average $2 million a year and becoming an outspoken critic of stereotypical Asian roles. He then moved to Japan but failed to establish a career there. In France and the UK, he proved more successful.

Hayakawa returned to the US in 1931 and made his talkie debut with the other Asian-American film star of the day, Anna May Wong in Daughter of the Dragon. Like many silent actors, his speaking voice was supposedly not to the liking of audiences and he again returned to Japan and then France, where he made several more films and joined the French Resistance.

After World War II Hayakawa tried again to re-establish himself in Hollywood and appeared in several big films, including Tokyo Joe, Three Came Home and Bridge on the River Kwai. After the death of his wife in 1961, he returned once again to Japan where he became a Zen Buddhist priest and private acting teacher before dying on November 23, 1973 in Tokyo of cerebral thrombosis.




Sojin (ne Sôjin Kamiyama) was born January 30, 1884 in Sendai, Japan. After working on the stage in the Imperial Theatre in Tokyo, he moved to America. In the US, he married Ura Mita and had a son, Edward, in 1909. Beginning a few years later, he began acting in films, usually as a villain, but also as one of three Asian-American actors to play Charlie Chan. After 26 roles, with the advent of talkies, his accent proved an obstacle to getting further film work in Hollywood. After acting in a French film, he returned to Japan where he continued to act, notably having a part in The Seven Samurai. He died July 28, 1954 in Tokyo, Japan.


Tetsu Komai was born April 23, 1894 in Kumamoto, Japan. He acted in 64 films, almost always playing  Chinese characters. Though usually acting in lesser films, in 1932 he was singled out in a Time review of War Correspondant for his performance which was said to have risen above the sentimental material. He died August 10, 1970 of congestive heart failure in Gardena, California.


Tôgô Yamamoto was born November 4, 1886 in Yokohama, Japan. In 1930, after appearing in fourteen American films, he returned to Japan where he acted in sixteen more.

Tokuko "Taku" Nagai Takagi was born in 1891 in Tokyo, Japan and was the first Japanese to appear professionally in American film. In 1906, the 15 year old maid at the Bank of Japan married Chimpei Takagi, who returned to Japan from California after the Great Fire of San Francisco. After the two moved to the US, Taku appeared in four American films, The East and the West (1911) (as C. Taka), The Birth of the Lotus Blossom (1912), For the Mikado (1912) and Miss Taku of Tokyo (1912). All were made for Thanhouser Film Corporation, who were attempting to exploit the growing Japanese-American population. After the outbreak of World War I, the Takagi's returned to Japan where Taku died of a  cerebral hemorrhage in 1919 whilst on tour as a dancer.

  

Toshia Mori
(nee Toshiye Ichioka) was born January 1, 1912 in Kyoto, Japan. She came to the US when she was ten and acted in eighteen films. She was the only non-white person ever chosen to be a WAMPAS (Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers) Baby Star, in 1932. Baby Stars were young actresses felt to be on the cusp of something bigger. However, Mori's film career ended a few years later. She married a fellow Asian actor, Allen Jung. Toshia Jung, billed as Shia Jung (and leading to frequent confusion with the Shia Jung who acted in Chinese Tarzan films) acted in three more films, Charlie Chan at the CircusCharlie Chan on Broadway and Port of Hate, after which she retired from film. She died November 26, 1995 in the Bronx.

Toyo Fujita
 (not pictured) operated a theater in LA's Little Toyko. It was there, in a production of The Typhoon, that Sessue Hayakawa was noticed and propelled to superstardom. After Hayakawa began the pioneering Asian-American film company Haworth Pictures, Fujita acted in several films before he broke out into extra work for other studios, ultimately appearing in thirteen films.



Tsuru Aoki was born September 9, 1892 in Tokyo, Japan. She moved to Los Angeles with an aunt and uncle in 1903. She began her acting career on Toyo Fujita's stage in Little Toyko where she and Sessue Hayakawa acted sided by side. After being noticed by Thomas Ince, he placed her under contract. With a debut film performance in 1913's The Oath of Tsuru Sanshe became one of the first Asians to appear on screen in Hollywood. Afterward, she invited Ince to a play at the Little Tokyo theater she'd worked in for a performance of The Typhoon starring Hayakawa. Ince employed both actors in 1914's O Mimi San and the two actors began a relationship and married on May 1. Appearing in a total of 44 films, her career faltered as Hayakawa's rose and she retired from film to raise their two adopted children. After returning to film in 1960 and acting alongside her husband in Hell to Eternity, she died October 18, 1961 in Tokyo of acute peritonitis.

Yukio Aoyama (nee Massajiro Kaihatsu and not pictured) was born March 15, 1888 in Nagoya, Japan. After being schooled in Japan, he attended drama school in Chicago. He married Kuwa Kosaki and the couple had five children. In addition to acting in seven films, he was an editor of the Japanese Daily News for five years and a drama critic and writer. He also acted on the stage and worked as an assistant or technical director in over sixty films. In 1934, he owned the Oriental Costume Company in Hollywood and worked on The Japanese Movie Magazine. He died December 11, 1939 in Los Angeles.



Willie Fung was born March 3, 1896 in Canton, China. Despite acting in 128 films (probably more than any other Asian-American actor of the silent era), he almost always played unnamed characters. Despite little information available on him, just looking at his credits illustrates the reasons for Asian actors' frustrations with the Hollywood system. In 24 films he played a restaurant employee, in six he played a servant and in three, a laundryman. When he was named, he played a character named Wing three times, Wang four, and Wong ten! He died April 16, 1945 in Los Angeles from coronary occlusion.


Other Asian-Americans who appeared in at least one Silent Film era film include: Hoo Ching, Lee Gow, Lin Neong, and Tom Hing 

*****

ASIAN-AMERICAN SILENT FILM TIMELINE



1914 - The Ambassador’s Envoy, The Courtship of O San, The Curse of Caste, The Death Mask, The Geisha, The Last of the Line, Mother of the Shadows, Nipped, O Mimi San, The Oath of Tsura San, A Relic of Old Japan, Star of the North, A Tragedy of the Orient, The Typhoon, The Vigil, The Village 'neath the Sea and The Wrath of the Gods



1915 - The Cheat, The Chinatown Mystery and The Famine



1916 - In 1916, Oakland resident Marion Wong makes the first Chinese-American film, The Curse of Quon Gwon. It, however, proved a false start when it was shelved until it was restored in 2006.

Other APA related films to be released in 1916 include Alien Souls, Broken Fetters, The Honorable Friend, The Soul of Kura San and The Yellow Pawn.


1917 - The Bottle Imp, The Call of the East, Each To His Kind, The Flower of Doom, Hashimura Togo, and War of the Tongs (begun in 1914)


1918 - William J. Worthington had been making films since 1915, but in 1918 he hooked up with Sessue Hayakawa and Tsuru Aoki, who used their money to start Haworth Pictures Corporation with the aim of portraying Asians in a sympathetic light and which brought in on average $2 million a year.

Asian-American related films released in 1918 include: The Bravest Way, The Chinese Musketeer, The City of Dim Faces, For the Freedom of the East, Her American Husband, The Hidden Pearls, His Birthright, The Curse of Iku, The Japanese Nightingale, The Midnight Patrol and Mystic Faces.



1919 - Bonds of Honor, Broken Blossoms - or - The Yellow Man and the Girl, The Dragon Painter, The Gray Horizon, A Heart in Pawn, Mandarin’s Gold, The Pagan God, The Red Lantern and The Tong Man

1920 - Dinty, Li Ting Lang, Outside the Law, Pagan Love and A Tokyo Siren

1921 - Hayakawa forms the Hayakawa Feature Play Company who make The Swamp, Where Lights Are Low, Black Roses and The First Born.

Other films featuring prominent Asian characters made that year include: What Ho, The Cook, Lotus Blossom, Shame and A Tale of Two Worlds.



1922 - Boomerang Bill, East Is West, The Toll of the Sea, Five Days to Live and The Vermillion Pencil

1923 - Drifting, Haldane of the Secret Service, The Remittance Woman and Thundergate

1924 - Anna May Wong creates Anna May Wong Productions with the intention of producing films based on Chinese legends but, after discovering her business partner engaging in dishonest business practices, dissolves the company.

Other APA related films released in 1924 include: The Danger Line, The Great Prince Shan and Sen Yan’s Devotion.



1925 - East of Suez



1926 - Fairmont Productions' The Silk Bouquet, aka The Dragon Horse is financed by San Francisco-based Chinese Six Companies (六大公司) for a Chinese-American audience.

Also released in this year: Eve’s Leaves, A Trip to Chinatown, Mr. Wu, and Yaomo Zhi Yue (The Demon's Cavern)




1927 - Old San Francisco




1928 - The Crimson City, Chinatown Charlie

1929 - China slaver

 
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Anthony Mann /James Stewart/ Rock Hudson @ New Bev

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, May 2, 2009 03:00pm | Post a Comment
Having just seen a couple of Mann's earliest films, I'm very intrigued by this double feature. In addition to Stewart & Hudson, you've got Shelly Winters, Dan Duryea, Tony Curtis, Harry Morgan & Arthur Kennedy as well as William Daniels (Naked City/Abandoned/Brute Force) behind the lens on Winchester '73.

Sun-Tues
New Beverly Cinema
7165 Beverly Blvd.
LA, CA  90036

Modern Romantix Tonight!!!

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, May 2, 2009 02:35pm | Post a Comment

This Week At The New Bev!

Posted by phil blankenship, May 2, 2009 10:23am | Post a Comment

The May / June Calendar is NOW online!
http://newbevcinema.com/calendar.cfm


Friday & Saturday May 1 & 2


Two Favorites of Forrest J. Ackerman

Vetiver Performance & Interview Video

Posted by Miss Ess, May 1, 2009 02:16pm | Post a Comment

Local band Vetiver has risen in the folk rock ranks over the past few years, and their latest album, out now on the lovely Sub Pop, is called Tight Knit. We have a video of Vetiver performing May 15, 2008 at Amoeba Berkeley freshly up on the website as well as a video interview which I've included below, conducted by our own Arvel. The songs they play at the instore performance are mostly from their excellent covers album Thing of the Past, and also include one of my personal favorites, "Maureen," originally found on the Between EP. Check out the performance, track by track right here.


Stay tuned for an upcoming interview here in the blogs with Alissa Anderson, formerly of Vetiver, Andy Cabic's other half and a bonafide rock photographer with several album credits to her name, including Devendra Banhart's Cripple Crow.

Click here to read the interview I did with Andy from Vetiver last year.

Also, our website has tons of performance and interview videos and photos with the many artists who have hit the Amoeba stage over the years, such as Devendra Banhart, Band of Horses, Flight of the Conchords, M.I.A, Thurston Moore, Six Organs of Admittance and a zillion more. Just click here to take a peek at the archives.

Queen "Bohemian Rhapsody" Old School Computer Remix

Posted by Billyjam, May 1, 2009 10:07am | Post a Comment


The above video/song is by YouTube user bd594 who took a bunch of old-school computer gear to recreate Queen's “Bohemian Rhapsody" by synching the mechanical noises from the hardware’s motors into a damn good recreation of the song. In his description of the video he posted two weeks ago, bd594 wrote:

"This is dedicated to all fans of Queen and hey, let's not forget about Mike Myers and Dana Carvey of Wayne's World. No effects or sampling were used. What you see is what you hear (does that even make sense?). Atari 800XL was used for the lead piano/organ sound, Texas Instruments TI-99/4a as lead guitar, 8 Inch Floppy Disk as Bass, 3.5 inch Harddrive as the gong, HP ScanJet 3C was used for all vocals. Please note I had to record the HP scanner 4 seperate times for each voice. I wanted to buy 4 HP scanners but for some reason sellers on E-Bay expect you to pay $80-$100; I got mine for $30. I keep hearing parts of the song are out of tune. Keep in mind the scanner and floppy drive are not musical instruments. These are mechanical devices whose motors tend to drift and can cause some notes to be out of tune."

AMOEBA MUSIC HIP-HOP WEEKLY ROUND UP: 05:01:09

Posted by Billyjam, May 1, 2009 09:40am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music San Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five: 05:01:09
grouch and eligh
1) The Grouch & Eligh Go G+E! (Legendary)

2) Rick Ross Deeper Than Rap (Maybach/Poe Boy/Def Jam)

3) Aesher Roth Asleep in the Bread Aisle   (SRC/Universal)

4) DOOM Born Like This (Lex)

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

The Grouch & Eligh, who were number one at the San Francisco store last week, are also holding down the number one slot at Hollywood Amoeba this week with Say G&E!, the sometime hip-hop duo's third collaboration in a series on Legendary Music. And this past Monday (April 27th) they put on a great free in-store show at the San Francisco Amoeba. "It was awesome!," reported Amoeba's Luis from the Haight Street store. "Scarab and Very, aka Afroclassics (who recently released The Classic EP on Legendary Music), got it going when they went on first and performed for about half an hour. Then DJ Fresh (the DJ for the whole show) got busy. And then the Grouch and Eligh came on and wrecked it."

The Living Legends duo, Luis reported, did songs spanning their long respective solo and joint careers, much to the delight of the lucky in-store attendees. Songs off the new album they performed include the title track, "Say G&E!" Also doing well at each three Amoeba stores are the latest from both (MF)DOOM (Born Like This on Lex Records) and the politically charged Boston emcee Mr. Lif (I Heard It Today on Bloodbot through Traffic Entertainment).