Amoeblog

Minnesota's New Senator: Al Franken

Posted by Whitmore, June 30, 2009 12:05pm | Post a Comment
The Minnesota Supreme Court Tuesday morning ordered that Democrat Al Franken be certified as the winner of the state's never ending Senate race and recount that was decided by only a few hundred votes. Finally, the paint has dried ...
 
The high court rejected a legal challenge from Republican Norm Coleman, whose options for regaining the Senate seat dwindled to almost nothing. Shortly after the decision was announced, Coleman accepted the loss, conceding and congratulating Franken on his victory. Coleman told reporters outside his St. Paul home, "The Supreme Court has made its decision and I will abide by the results; in these tough times we all need to focus on the future, and the future is that we have a new United States Senator."
 
Jim Manley, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, said the earliest Franken would be seated is next week because the Senate is out of session for the July 4th holiday.
 
The unanimous court wrote that "because the legislature established absentee voting as an optional method of voting, voters choosing to use that method are required to comply with the statutory provisions." They went on to say that "because strict compliance with the statutory requirements for absentee voting is, and always has been required, there is no basis on which voters could have reasonably believed that anything less than strict compliance would suffice."
 
The 58 year old Franken was born in New York City but was raised in St. Louis Park, Minn., a suburb near Minneapolis. He graduated cum laude in 1973 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Harvard University. Best known as a writer and performer on Saturday Night Live from 1975-1980 and 1985-1995 and as the radio talk show host for The Al Franken Show on Air America Radio from 2004-2007, Franken has also authored several books, including Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations (1996) and Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right (2003).

FIillmore SF Artist Big Rich Drops Heart Of The City Today: Livin' large and Independent Big Rich Raps

Posted by Billyjam, June 30, 2009 11:20am | Post a Comment
Big Rich
Today, June 30th 2009, Fillmore San Francisco rapper Big Rich releases his latest album Heart Of The City on his own local independently owned & operated label 3 Story Muzik/Street Cred Music Group. Available at Amoeba Music San Francisco today, Luis in the hip-hop department at the Haight Street store commented, "We're very excited to have a new project by Fillmore's finest. We always sell out of everything he does."

Three years ago the hometown hero burst on the scene with the critically acclaimed, E40 presented debut Block Tested Hood Approved released on the New York based KOCH Records. Last year he followed up with both the album San Francisco Anthem as part of the All City crew, and the underground slim-jewel case CD release Get Down Or Lay Down Vol 2. And now today he unleashes the album Heart Of The City which sticks close to the script that the Bay Area artist developed on those previous releases.

Of the lyrical content of the new 17 track Heart Of The City (see exact tracking below) Big Rich says that, "I'm talking about issues happening in every city on a daily basis. I'm trying to capture the mood of rolling through your city and seeing different things going on in your everyday life. I'm telling my story through the eyes of a hustler's lifestyle: not a gangsta, a drug dealer, a politician, but a person who once struggled and now enjoys the journey after the fact,"  Heart Of The City features some of the finest local acts making cameos including Glasses Malone, The Jacka, Dem Hoodstarz, and 3 Story Gang. Meanwhile production is handled by 3 Story's own in-house producer D-Animals, Automattik and M.A..

Continue reading...

Choral, Organ and Brass Concert July 2nd FREE!

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, June 29, 2009 10:30pm | Post a Comment

In the confusing sprawl that is Los Angeles, you never know what alternate realities are hidden from block to block. Some of our best kept culinary secrets are tucked away in minimal blight or carted around in taco trucks, secret museums are hidden in bank basements, powerful soothsayers and Santaria healers rent corner spaces from struggling car stereo shops. But due to the overwhelming topography of LA, we can miss out of things that are not hidden at all. In fact, some of these "secrets" can take up city blocks. Case in point, the First Congregational Church of Los Angeles. The beautiful Neo-Gothic church is just behind Lafayette Skate Park in the Westlake area and quite visible from Wilshire. If you need an escape from the drug dealers and fake I.D. guys in MacArthur Park, this is the place. Every Thursday @ 12:10 they open the doors to the public and give free organ concerts. Their organ happens to be the largest on the planet, so it's quite a privilage to attend these concerts. This Thursday, July 2nd, there will be a special concert @ 2:00pm featuring brass and choral ensembles as well as the organ. It might be worth an extended lunch break...




First Congregational Church of Los Angeles
540 South Commonwealth Ave. (@ 6th St)
Los Angeles, CA  90020–1298

June 29, 2009

Posted by phil blankenship, June 29, 2009 10:12pm | Post a Comment





New 12" Electronic Releases at Amoeba Hollywood - 07/10/09

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, June 29, 2009 02:33pm | Post a Comment



New Electro/Techno 12"s Coming this Weekend: 

Boys Noize
STARTER 12"
BNR034

The single is a double A salute featuring "STARTER," a classic BOYS NOIZE electro house banger in OI style, and "JEFFER," an all time fresh summer disco hammer to fall in love with.



Siskid
WOLVES EP 12"
MEANT004

SISKID is back on MEANT records, receiving full support from DAMIAN LAZARUS, LAURENT GARNIER, AGORIA, and more. Three brand new peak time tech tracks, plus a fantastic remix by CHLOE. Tight production ready to work out the floor.    

Chequers GET UP DIFFERENTLY 12" DCLAS15

Detboi Y'ALL WANT MO EP 12" CHEAP009X

Feature Cast ARTIST SERIES 1 12" GG06

Jazzy Jens AFRICA 12" GAMM049

Rephrase SINCE 1939 & MINK 12" REPHRASE002

Various SOUL ALL-TIMERS VOL 4 12" DCLAS16

Analog People ROSE ROUGE REMIXES 12" HYS1697

Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band P.I.M.P. 7" 451016

Bright Eyes DANGER MOUSE REMIX EP 7" DM01 

Depeche Mode WRONG-DJ REMIX EP WHITE 12" 12BONG40DJ

Douglass Greed NEW INNERSTATE...12" IF2017

Enola WORDS IN A BOTTLE 12" INITIAL028

Frankie Goes Hollywood MEMBERS ONLY 12" MO14

Frederic De Carvalho ROCK STAR EP 12" BOXON09

Jessica 6 FUN GIRL 7" MSSS01

Killers SPACEMAN REMIXES 12" SPACEMAN001

La Roux BULLETPROOF (1-SIDED, SQUARE) 7" 2705728

La Roux BULLETPROOF (ZINC RMX) 12" ROUX9

La Roux IN FOR THE KILL (CUT N RUN) 12" CAR036

Lefto vs Fela HOOLIGAN (LEFTO EDIT) 7" HOOL1

Luciano VERSUS-G.GERBER, L.VAN DOWSKI 12" CADENZA36

Moby VERY BEST OF MOBY - REMIXED 12" MORX001

Orbital LUSH HERVE REMIX 12" 2564688320

Peaches LOSE YOU REMIXES 12" XLT434

Peter Kruder CHORDAL & LAW OF RETURN 12" MACROM12 

Vincenzo THIZZ IZZZ THE LAB 12" PFR104

Who Made Who KEEP ME IN MY PLANE #1 12" GOMMA128

Who Made Who KEEP ME IN MY PLANE #2 12" GOMMA130

Wigald Boning KOBRA DANCE REMIXES 12" COMP331

Echospace 
INTRUSION REFLECTION LP ECHO7    


New House/Disco 12"s Coming this Weekend:     

Jimpster
SLEEPER 12"
FR123

JIMPSTER comes out of hibernation with some lush grooving deepness to warm up the dancefloor, complete with newcomer FRANC SPANGLER's own chugger of a remix. Also includes "JUST THE KIND OF GIRL," with a slowmo vocal on the break. House heads...get on this.    


Dirty Funker
FLAT BEAT (BANKSY HELICOPTER ARTWORK) 12"
DF08

Massive new 12" from DIRTY FUNKER based around MR OIZO's dance classic "FLAT BEAT."
 

Chalkhill CHALKHILL EDITS VOL. 1 CHALKHILL001

Curtis Vodka HOOK N SLING EP 12" OTB008

Llorca UNRELEASED REMIXES 12" AOT001

Silicone Soul DUST BALLAD II 12" SOMA265

Toby Tobias SPACE SHUFFLE REMIXES 12" REKIDS039

Trinidadian Deep THE OFFERING EP 12" FVR013

3 Na Massa 3 NA MASSA EP 12" NUB12016

Baaz PASS IT ON EP 12" QUINTESSE07

Ben Watt GUINEA PIG REMIXES 12" 043BUZZ

C-Rock RAWSEN-NIC FANCIULLI REMIX 12" STIR1536

Chris Coco SUMMERTIME REMIXES 12" DUMB012DJC01

Dorothy's Fortress DJANGO STRIKES..12" BASTARD002

Eclier ALPHA RIVER 12" BOXON10

Greymatte BELIEVE IN SOMETHING RMX 12" NYSOUL013

H.O.S.H. BETTER & SWEET 12" DIYNAMIC027

Horse Meat Disco EP #2 12" HMD002

Hot City HOT CITY BASS 12" RAMP020

John Daly SPACE WALK 12" MULE039

Nicky Siano THE GALLERY 3LP SJRLP100

Pepe Bradock PATH OF MOST RESISTANCE 12" ATA011

Rick Wade INTELLIGENCE 12" LAID01

Season & Sygaire INNER NAVIGATION 12" R008

Sharod SCHOOLIN 12" SUPRAA005

Soulphiction IN THE LIMELIGHT-TRUSME 12" PHP039

Stereo Heroes NOISOME & POUNDSCAKE 12" BSR003

Twocker STITCH 12" VR011

Wax Poetic BRASIL-MCDE REMIX 12" NUB12015

Larry Levan WEST END REMIXES FROM THE GARAGE LP WES2001-1

Pheek & Stefny JAPAN EXCURSION JOINT 12” ARCHPL017

Euterke 
FRAGMENTS ORNIMENTS 12” MMU001    


New Dubstep/Jungle 12"s Coming this Weekend:    

Ragga Twins 
SPLIFFHEAD (RAMADANMAN) 12"
SJR19712

Seminal rave/jungle anthem gets a serious dubstep remix from RAMADANIMAN and KUTZ! Fully cut up, reworked, and dissected by these modern wizards, who have recorded with BENGA and SKREAM.    


Southside Steppas
WHEN SHE MOVES 12"
SJR21612 

Twisted UK dancehall / dubstep bullet, as KINGSTON MC's meet the sounds of South London inna soundclash stylee! Heavyweight beats with killer MC skilz of 2-ICE and JUNIOR LAWLESS, grimey juggling and dark, very Jamaican stepping riddims. Highly recommended!

Temper D vs Balkansky CLOCKWISE 12" ROCST24

Varoslav I LOVE US (FT.DOP)-DAVID K 12" DIRT034

Von D 
COQUINE 12" ACRE011    

Black Metal Top 5, Cowboys' Metal Band, Air Guitar Clip Of The Week: Metal Monday Amoeblog Summer Series

Posted by Billyjam, June 29, 2009 01:33pm | Post a Comment


Five Popular Metal/Black Metal Releases @ Amoeba Music San Francisco.

Torgeist
1) Throne of Katarsis Helvete - Det Iskalde Morket

2) Torgeist Devoted To Satan

3) Vlad Tepes Black Legions Metal

4) Vietus Mortuus These Haunted Lands

5) Root Hell Symphony

This list of five popular Metal/Black Metal full length albums can be found under the expansive "new releases" CD section of heavy metal, located on the right hand side of the back wall of the Haight Street Amoeba Music store in the vast metal section. These are just a sampling of the countless wonderful metal (including lots of black metal) albums on CD found in this section of the store. More metal releases popular at Amoeba's three stores will be featured in future Metal Monday Amoeblogs. Note that this "new releases" section is technically not all brand new releases, but most are new to many US metal fans. There are also many black metal imports in the section which were previously often difficult to find.

Included is Throne of Katarsis -- the Norwegian self-described "masters of unholy black metal," who in the six years since forming have achieved their goal of trying to keep the spirit of dark atmospheric occult Black Metal of the early ninties Norwegian Black Metal alive and well. According to the band's website, "Sanrabb of Gehenna joined forces with Throne of Katarsis on bass and will appear at upcoming shows and on tour with the band. Current bass player Lord Imalas will still be a part of the live line-up, as they will do separate rituals in the future." 

Continue reading...

Remembering Lowell George

Posted by Whitmore, June 29, 2009 12:14pm | Post a Comment

Lowell George
was the Hollywood born son of a famous chinchilla-raising furrier for Tinseltown aristocracy. His dad’s friends included the likes of Wallace Beery and W.C. Fields; matinee idol Errol Flynn lived next door. No wonder George grew up with a somewhat skewed perspective of things, eventually becoming a truly absurd, slightly eccentric slide guitarist extraordinaire. His often surreal songs defined the sound of his band Little Feat, convincing more than a few fans that they came directly from New Orleans, bringing home that convoluted and slippery vibe. Bonnie Raitt once referred to Lowell as the "Thelonious Monk of Rock & Roll."
 
In his early twenties George played in a several Hollywood based bands like the Brotherhood of Man, and a late faltering version of the Standells. Eventually he wound up with Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention, where George was soon fired. He formed Little Feat soon afterwards with the original line-up consisting of Mothers bassist Roy Estrada alongside pianist Bill Payne, with whom George had briefly played with in the Brotherhood of Man and drummer Richie Hayward from George's previous band, The Factory. According to legend, the name of the band came from a remark made by Mothers' drummer Jimmy Carl Black about Lowell's "little feet." The spelling of "feat" was an homage to The Beatles.
 
Thirty years ago today, June 29, 1979, Lowell Gorge died of a massive heart attack.
 
Two weeks earlier in June, 1979, George began touring in support of his first, and only, solo album, Thanks, I'll Eat it Here. The night before he died, George played before a packed Lissner Auditorium on the campus of George Washington University in Washington D.C. George's final encore was a solo acoustic version of "Twenty Million Things (to do)."
 
That Thursday night, after returning to his hotel room at the Twin Bridges Marriott in Arlington, Virginia, George complained of chest pains. Around 10am the next morning George was having problems breathing; his wife, Elizabeth, called road manager Gene Bano, though once Bano arrived George felt better. They suggested George rest while Elizabeth and Bano went to breakfast. She returned with her two children later that morning to find George unconscious on the bed.
 
Arlington County Rescue Squad's No. 75 arrived and tried to administer cardiac respiration but to no avail. Later it was determined George had probably been dead for about 45 minutes, if not a couple of hours.
 
It’s often been presumed that George died of a drug overdose; the circumstances behind his death are riddled with inconsistencies. There’s no clear account of what George did after the show. One hotel official said that some members of the band were up all night partying. But a waiter who brought food up to George's room said nothing out of the ordinary took place. Reportedly no drinks were even ordered.
 
Although George was a long time drug user, no evidence of drugs or drug paraphernalia were found at the scene, though they could have been removed before Police or Rescue Squad personnel arrived. A hotel employee who was supposedly the first person other than Mrs. George and Bano to enter the room said that he saw a large, mostly empty, phial of white powder. He also said that there were about four or five containers of prescription drugs out in the open but they were gone once the police arrived.
 
George was officially pronounced dead on arrival at Arlington Park Hospital at 1:10 p.m. Friday afternoon. A post mortem report showed that he died of heart failure.
 
When he died at the age of thirty-four George had already ballooned into Elvis-sized proportions, probably weighing in close to 300 lbs. George's fondness for junk food, hard liquor and an appetite for drugs, especially cocaine-and-heroin "speedballs," finally caught up with him.
 
Lowell George's body was cremated in Washington D.C. on August 2. His ashes were flown back to LA where they were scattered in the Pacific Ocean from his fishing boat.


June 28, 2009 pt 2

Posted by phil blankenship, June 29, 2009 12:27am | Post a Comment







June 28, 2009 pt 1

Posted by phil blankenship, June 28, 2009 04:22pm | Post a Comment











Chico Mann

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, June 28, 2009 01:59am | Post a Comment
Chico Mann, aka Marcos Garcia, has a new album. However, like many releases these days, it is only being released digitally. However, Amoeba Hollywood was fortunate enough to get a few CD copies of the tour edition of his latest release, Analog Drift Muy Esniqui, straight from the man himself.
.
Analog Drift... recalls the days back in the 80's when musicians from the U.S. and England started listening to African and Cuba music. Artists such as The Talking Heads, Grace Jones, Hector Zazou and even Michael Jackson had elements of African music in some of their biggest hits. Chico Mann merges his love of funk and freestyle with Afro-Beat and Afro-Cuban music making this an infectious low-key dance record.

Part of this album's appeal is its marriage between lo-fi and hi-fi. On one hand we have Marco with the Casio and hand claps; then you have collaborators such as Victor Axelrod (better known as Ticklah), who is a highly sought remixer as well as a former member of Sharon Jones And The Dap-Kings and current keyboardist for Antibalas adding his thing to the mix. Also, the album is vocal rich, with Marco performing most of the vocal duties with help from Mayteana Morales (Akoya Afrobeat, The Pimps of Joytime) and Vinia Mojica, who sang back-ups on many classic 90’s Hip-Hop albums by artists such as A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Jungle Brothers, and last but not least, Mos Def and Talib Kweli.

Analog Drift includes a charming cover of The Talking Heads' "Once In A Lifetime," a song I never really cared for until this version. Analog is the kind of album that reminds me how cool New York was in the late 70’s/early 80’s, and perhaps how cool their music scene is today.

Once again, we only have a few, so get them while you can!

Favorite Sesame Street Collaborations

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, June 28, 2009 01:12am | Post a Comment
Johnny Cash W/ Oscar The Grouch- "Nasty Dan"


Celia Cruz- "Songo Song"


Stevie Wonder w/ Grover



Ray Charles w/ Bert & Ernie - "I Got A Song"


Los Lobos w/ Elmo - "Elmo & The Lavender Moon"

STARTIN' SOMETHIN': DEATH STARTS NEW CHAPTER IN MJ's CAREER:

Posted by Billyjam, June 27, 2009 05:40pm | Post a Comment
MIchael Jackson R.I.P.
"What hit me most about hearing the news of Michael Jackson dying was only then I realized just how much he meant to me, how much his music was such a part of my life," confided my friend Eboness from New York by phone on Thursday evening, just hours after the shocking news of the pop star's passing had clogged all channels of communication. 

One of the many friends and acquaintances who seemed compelled to reach out and talk MJ on Thursday and in the days since, Eboness is 38 and lives in Harlem. Like so many people out there, she grew up on Jackson's music.

She said she and her mom had just come from 125th Street, where a growing crowd was gathering en masse outside the Apollo Theater to spontaneously mourn alongside total strangers in the shared sadness. As Jackson's music boomed from speakers up high, the teary eyed crowd below, with sunken shoulders, sang along to every lyric.

Thursday afternoon's shocking news of MJ passing caught everyone off guard it seemed. When I got that first text on my phone sometime after 3pm from my friend Timi D... which read "Michael Jackson just died???" I thought that maybe it was some of kind of prank or inside joke about the oft mocked star. Maybe it had something to do with his string of upcoming UK concert dates, I theorized as my Google search quickly confirmed the tragic news, with reports citing either the LA Times who broke the story or leading gossip news site TMZ that simultaneously reported on the same story. And when I next logged on to my email, my inbox was overflowing with messages with MJ's name in the subject box. I then clicked on the Amoeblog, where I saw that Whitmore had just posted the news. That was about 3:15 or 3:20 pm on Thursday; by then the news had already spread like wildfire via news and gossip sites and of course via Twitter, Facebook, and every other social network. Michael Jackson thriller

Continue reading...

Parkway Pumpin - Be Pumpin' Hits Like its Motown

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 27, 2009 04:34pm | Post a Comment
Although many independent labels appeared in the wake of New Orleans's 1991 bounce explosion, Parkway Pumpin' was one of the first. It was also one of the most influential stables of talent, although the limited finances of KLC (the man behind the boards) resulted in precious few recordings. When Master P relocated No Limit from Richmond, California to New Orleans, most of the original roster (aside from his siblings) was taken directly from the legendary Parkway label.

Most of Parkway Pumpin's associates never got around to recording with the label. Artists like Fiend, Mac (as Lil Mac The Lyrical Midget), Mystikal Mike (as Mystikal), Mr. Serv-On and Da Hound (Da Gert Town Hounds/Full Blooded) all went on to record popular records at No Limit without having anything released in their time at Parkway Pumpin'. Only one future No Limit Soldier did, Soulja Slim.

39 Posse

The first act to record on Parkway Pumpin' was 39 Posse, a trio comprised of Shack, DJ KLC and MC Dart. Shack was born Derrick Mushatt in 1970. He grew up in a large family with nine siblings. When he wasn't working, he often rapped at parties. MC Dart's real name is Dartanian Stovall.

DJ KLC was born Craig S. Lawson. He grew up in the Melpomene projects. His father played saxophone and Lawson, nicknamed "The Drum Major," followed in his musical footsteps, playing in the Green Middle School marching band. 

The three met around 1985 when they competed in breakdancing contests.Lawson later moved to a house in Uptown on Parkway. Lawson's production genius can scarcely be exaggerated and he deserves to be as widely recognized as the justly lauded Mannie Fresh, who was a childhood friend. They both began producing around the same time. A year after Fresh's production debut with Gregory D, DJ KLC  and DJ Treble appeared on MC J Ro J's "Ain't Nuthin Nice" in 1988.

39 Posse released their debut EP in 1989 but caught legal flack over some lyrics and it was quickly withdrawn. They returned to the studio with the intention of remixing the offending songs and ended up recording all new material. They released a single, "Clockin' / Pumped in Power," in 1991. In 1992 they released their second EP, which included “Got What It Takes to Make It,” “Ask Them Hoes” and “Pass the Snake.” Around the same time, Parkway also included Lil’ Elt, Corey C., EXD, Silky Slim.

39 Automatic
In 1993, 39 Posse dropped their debut full-length, 39 Automatic. Songs like "Ask Them Hoes," show KLC's nascent sound to already be immediately distinguishable from other triggerman-employing producers with his use of deep, sustained bass and martial snares. "Stuntin' Stars," "Bitch I'm Dart" and "Pass the Snake" are like a low budget, gutter versions of later Beats By the Pound produced tracks, with their hard beats and bluesy piano. For fans of No Limit's production, it's well worth seeking out.

 
Lil Elt & DJ Tee's "Get the Gat" and "Get The Gat Gemix" from the same year showed KLC easily capable of knocking out enjoyable but standard bounce.






On Parkway Pumpin' there were obviously no contracts, and artists including KLC himself often simultaneously worked at other labels. In 1994, KLC played keyboards and 39 Posse produced EXD's No Elevation for In the House Records. Mystikal (now minus the "Mike") recorded his debut at Big Boy, where KLC also produced a track for veteran New Orleans rapper Sporty T.


Magnolia Slim recorded Parkway Pumpin's sole release in '94, his debut, Soulja fa Lyfe. To fans of Soulja Slim's later stuff, it's immediately clear that this too is the work of someone most commonly described as being "the realest." Here is the New Orleans susperstar who, though having a slightly higher voice, is already mixing crudeness, scariness and humor on highlights like "Kickin it for them Hoes" and "Powda Bag" in a captivating combination that made him so enjoyed by so many.

In 1995, Magnolia Slim recorded The Dark Side EP (produced by KLC and featuring 6 Shot) at Hype Enough. Fiend followed Mystikal to Big Boy and recorded his debut. That same year, Master P moved to his grandmother’s in New Orleans from his mother’s in Richmond, California. Back in California he'd established No Limit records with an inheritance from his grandfather in 1990. Though in California his solo records and West Coast Bad Boyz compilations were viewed by some as underground classics, he had little traction in the south. Once he arrived in New Orleans, he quickly signed Mia-X and Tre-8 to his label. In addition to them, P blew up into the household name he is today by signing most of the Parkway Pumpin' talent, including, most notably, KLC, who as the leading figure in Beats By The Pound transformed No Limit from a little-heard west coast label into a southern powerhouse that sold over 50 million units. In 1998, alleging across the board unfair business practices, nearly everyone left No Limit and most of Beats By the Pound, including KLC, who continued as leader of The Medicine Men

Tragically, the previous year 39 Posse's 28-year-old Derrick Mushatt was shot nineteen times at the intersection of Philip and Clara. In 2003, 27-year-old Soulja Slim was shot four times on the way to a performance in front of his mother's home. MC Dart is still making music in New Orleans, as Poison Dart. KLC also lives on; a few years back he released this amazing song with former Parkway Pumpin' figure Fiend.




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Untouchable Records - down wid it cuz we bound to get it

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 27, 2009 01:15pm | Post a Comment

Untouchable Records was one of the many New Orleans rap lables that sprang up in the early nineties after the advent of bounce. A small label with a roster of musicians that, for the most part, came and went as they pleased, they nonetheless featured some of New Orleans' biggest, most notable talents. It was
started by Al "Rock" Capone; he also handled some of the production of the mostly downtown roster.
Most of their production was handled by Gary "Ozone" McKee, as well as the Tombstone-associated Merrill "Real Roc" Robinson, and even Cash Money's prolific genius, Mannie Fresh.

 

1994
The first release on the label was Raw II Survive's West Syde Gz, produced by Merrill "Real Roc" Robinson, L.O.G. and Swift. With titles like "Crippin' in da Darkness" and "West Syde Gz," you might assume that it has a west coast sound. Rest assured, it's unmistakably New Orleans. It's also solid but not especially memorable, perhaps hampered by its very low budget sound. 

Also released in 1994, 9th ward rapper Pimp Dogg's Forever Loaded (produced by Double O, San Quin and L.O.G.) is the winner of the two. I'm not sure who influenced who, but it's got a gangsta bounce sound at times very similar to Fila Phil with the dynamics of Mr. Ivan and 6-shot.

1996


211's
Hustlin' Pays the Bills was produced by Ozone with several tracks by Mannie Fresh and T-Bone.
It's mostly gangsta bounce with some straight up West Coast sounding tracks. Meanwhile, Pimp Dogg already took off, releasing his next record (Who's That Aggin) on Hollygrove Records.

1997


In 1997, one of the greatest rappers, 9th Ward's Fila Phil followed up his classic debut at Slaughterhouse with Da Hustla Returns on Untouchable. The result, produced by Ozone, Real Roc, Carlos Stephens (of Beats By the Pound fame), Mannie Fresh and Sean "Solo" Jemison and the result is another classic. Another 9th ward (CTC) rapper (and former member of The Bally Boyz with Fila Phil), L.O.G. released Camoflaged Down. It's another good record, mostly produced by Ozone and Real Roc with contributions from Al "Rock" Capone, XL, T-Bone and Mista Sinista. Ms. Tee was formerly responsible for singing a lot of the hooks at Cash Money, where she also released solo albums. After coming to Untouchable, she released Hot Girl.

Continue reading...

Recently Found Art Part 2

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, June 27, 2009 10:10am | Post a Comment


I'm always amused by scribbled out faces on album covers. Was it a small child or a high strung, maladjusted adult? I mean, hating on a Mary Jane Girl for their hotness is one thing, but what did the drummer of the Shondells ever do to you?

I
 
Here are a couple of love messages, evidently one coming from the Artist himself. Below is a quality control stamp; every DJ should have one.





A couple of reviews down below. I'm pretty sure that the Elvis write up is courtesy of man with the last name Nixon. I kick myself for not cataloging all of his rambles, but most of his records were found early on in the store's history and I wasn't shooting photos yet. I beg to differ with both of these reviews-- Elvis was certainly not "treible" and the "He Ain't Heavy" ain't at the top of my Hollies list.













Some TV show library records. The E.T. one ain't such a big deal, but I love the PM Magazine / Eno connection.  It's fairly telling that no one ever bothered to check it out. I'm sure the Al Jarreau and Starship LPs got loaned out heavily though.



A couple of obscure autographs and a couple of warnings at the bottom. I think that the Mothers sticker is what the PMRC should have used as a template. It cuts right to the f**king point. The Tony Alamo stamp is a great find, as it gives a clear cut indicator of just how long the guy has been scamming people!



AMOEBA MUSIC HIP-HOP WEEKLY ROUND UP: 06:26:09

Posted by Billyjam, June 26, 2009 07:38pm | Post a Comment
JenRO
JenRO
(pictured left) was among the artists featured in the new hip-hop documentary Pick Up The Mic: The Evolution of Homohop that graced the stage of Amoeba Music San Francisco yesterday (June 25) for a free in-store performance. The instore both marked the release of the critically acclaimed documentary on DVD, and also helped celebrate Pride '09. As you know, the big SF LGBT Pride parade & party is on Sunday, June 28 -- and Amoeba will be present, with our own booth where you can win fabulous prizes! Details here and here.

JenRO's Amoeba performance was tight and captured the emcee's pure Bay rap flavor and gift for lyrical flow. JenRO is not just a good queer hip-hop artist -- she is a talented emcee, period. For more on this San Francisco female rapper, who, as she rapped at Amoeba yesterday "was born the same year that CDs were created," visit her website, or hit up her official info phone line @ 415-692-5695, or check out the video interview with her on Yo!TV included in the Recognize: Bay Area Female Rappers Amoeblog from a year ago.

Longtime Bay Area homo-hop artists Dutchboy and Juba Kalamka were also performing at Amoeba SF yesterday. After the show I caught up with Juba Kalamka, whom I know from his days with now defunct  Bay Area homo-hop crew Deep Dickollective (D/DC). Eight years ago the group's great song "StraightTrippin" (feat. Doug E) was featured on Independent Sounds: Amoeba Music Compilation Vol. III, and two years later fellow D/DC founding member Tim'm T West also appeared on the Amoeba Music Compilation Vol. IV. Check back for an interview here with Juba in an upcoming Amoeblog.

Recently Found Art Part 1

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, June 26, 2009 02:30pm | Post a Comment

Starting off with some nice homemade cover art, Bowie never looked finer. I absolutely love the red drawing below; the details are awesome. Dude is drinking f**king Alize! The Ric Ocasek scrawl is priceless, unlike his solo efforts which are priced low. Sorry, couldn't resist that one...


A couple of Beach Boys afters and befores. The Sharpie drawings were over the original shrink wrap; I really dig Mike Love with huge black eyebrows.


How many different GGW Lps are there? I'm not sure, but this is a one of a kind, as is the Grim Reaper pic found inside. Bobby Vinton looks to have had a bit of an accident. The Elsa Lanchester 10" is rare on its own, the drawing must add...oh...a 80% deduction to the value. Unless of course, she drew it, which is a possibilty. The Decline record is too good to be true-- could it have been El Duce himself who defaced poor Darby?


The Argentinean Paramour and the Presidential Contender

Posted by Whitmore, June 26, 2009 07:38am | Post a Comment

File this under “there isn’t much of anything new under the sun.”
 
Hearing that the South Carolina Governor and possible Republican 2012 presidential candidate, 49 year old Mark Sanford, was having an affair wasn’t all that surprising. I’m beginning to believe most everyone in politics is diddling somebody on the side. But an Argentinean paramour and a southern Presidential contender reminded me of another career unraveling misadventure a few decades back.
 
In 1974, Democratic Congressman Wilbur Mills from Arkansas, the powerful overseer of federal revenue legislation as chairman to the House Ways and Means Committee and briefly a candidate for President in 1972, was caught in a year long affair with an exotic dancer from Argentina, Fanne Foxe, who worked at Washington D.C.’s not quite legendary Silver Slipper on 13th Street NW. It was reported at the time that Mills would spend as much as $1,700 a night at the club.
 
The melodrama unfolded in the wee hours of October 9, 1974. Mills’ car containing five passengers and driven by a former Richard Nixon staffer (... set up? ... conspiracy? ... you never know ...) was pulled over by D.C. Park Police for driving without headlights. Congressman Mills was intoxicated in the back seat sporting a bloody nose and a few facial scratches from an altercation he had with his companion, Fanne Foxe, born Annabelle Battistella, better known in the burlesque world as the “Argentine Firecracker.” But when police approached the car, Foxe leapt from the car and tried escaping by jumping into the nearby Tidal Basin, a man-made inlet next to the Potomac River. That didn’t work out so well; she was rescued by a policeman and taken to nearby St. Elizabeth’s Hospital for treatment.
 
Despite the scandalous headlines, Mills was re-elected to Congress in November 1974, winning 60% of the vote in a big year for Democrats following Nixon’s resignation and Watergate scandal. But a few weeks later, on November 30, 1974 at Boston's Pilgrim Theater, a Burlesque house where Fanne Foxe was performing, an intoxicated Mills was in the audience. Mills, accompanied by Foxe’s husband, was called to the stage by the exotic dancer. After exchanging a few one-liners with the audience, the Congressman received a kiss on the cheek from Foxe and then exited. According to some accounts he then held an impromptu press conference in Foxe's dressing room. The whole trip to Boston, Mills drunkenly explained, was to quell rumors he had ever had an affair with Fanne Foxe. Well, I guess some people are just a bit thick in the head. Needless to say, after this second round of embarrassing press Mills was forced to step down from his chairmanship on the Ways and Means Committee. Mills' distinguished 36 year legislative career didn’t just end, it crashed and burned. Mills checked himself into the Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD for a much needed respite; eventually he acknowledged his alcoholism and entered the West Palm Beach Institute saying he was a “sick man.” He did not seek re-election in 1976 and retired. In 1992 Mills died at the age of 82.
 
Fanne Foxe continued working as a stripper for a while longer, re-dubbing her stage show from "The Argentine Firecracker" to "The Tidal Basin Bombshell." She also authored a book about the affair, The Stripper and the Congressman. In it Foxe claims she became pregnant by Congressman Mills and had an abortion. A couple of years later it was reported she attempted suicide. After that she just faded away, eventually returning to Argentina.

This Week At The New Beverly

Posted by phil blankenship, June 25, 2009 11:36pm | Post a Comment
This Week At The New Beverly

The July calendar is now online!
http://newbevcinema.com/calendar.cfm


Friday & Saturday June 26 & 27


Two Directed By Powell & Pressburger

Tribute To Cinematographer Jack Cardiff


A Matter Of Life And Death (1946)
aka Stairway to Heaven
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0038733/
dir. Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger
starring David Niven, Kim Hunter, Robert Coote, Kathleen Byron
Fri: 7:30; Sat: 2:50 & 7:30

"The movie becomes a glorious romance that is as poignant and exciting today as it was over fifty years ago. Part of that is down to the taut writing and the excellent performances from David Niven and Kim Hunter. But perhaps most of it is because the film is replete with sheer and successful audacity." - BBC

Michael Jackson Lives in Videos

Posted by Miss Ess, June 25, 2009 07:08pm | Post a Comment
...but that makes these deeper cuts all the more interesting to watch!


"Ben"


"Billie Jean" live -- Motown 25 performance that blew everyone away. The syncing is a bit off but the dancing is all there.


"We Are the World"


"Man In the Mirror" live at the Grammys


"In the Closet" with Naomi Campbell


"Dirty DIana"

New Electronic CD Releases 6/25/09

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, June 25, 2009 05:16pm | Post a Comment

SHINEDOE

No Boundaries
Intacto

This is the first full-length release for Amsterdam-based DJ/producer Shinedoe on her own Intacto label. True to its name, she has chosen a broad sound for No Boundaries -- one that is always focused on the dancefloor and is never predictable. This record can be seen as the yellow-bricked road right through all the sounds that defined her DJ sets in the past years. The result is a record where rhythmic tracks fluently take turns with organic-sounding jam sessions -- warm and jazzy, deep and funky. "Below" starts it all off with an irresistible minimal groove, a tempting bass line and a warm, soothing synth. "Bounce To This" features a more funk-influenced house sound, just waiting to rock dancefloors around the globe. "Jazz it Up" is a track like you've never heard from Shinedoe, but it leaves you concluding, "why not?" Deep drum rolls build around a funky housebeat and saxophone sample in an almost hypnotizing groove -- just try to stand still for this one. "Finding A Balance" also shows a side of Shinedoe we didn't know before -- it's as if she gave the extremely rhythmic productions from her past a stylish, deep house twist. "No Boundaries" showcases her first collaboration with a vocalist -- guest of honor on this unadulterated oldskool house track is Bumpy, aka Mr. J. On "Higher," produced under her Innersphere alias, we can hear Shinedoe doing what she does best: subtle percussion and airy piano-loops put together in an inevitable dancefloor bomb. With the atmospheric closing-piece "Just For Us," she underlines her border-crossing ambition; warm, jazzy grooves jut against headstrong minimal techno. A brilliant and accomplished release from one of dance music's most organic and future-minded producers.

SMITH & MUDD
Le Suivant
Claremont 56

UNADULTERATED, MIDDLE OF THE ROAD PURE POP MUSIC

Posted by Billyjam, June 25, 2009 03:30pm | Post a Comment
Middle Of The Road
The term AOR, as in Album Oriented Rock, was first used in the seventies to describe the then new format of FM rock radio stations that specialized in playing album cuts, digging deeper into a record than merely spinning the singles heard on more pop oriented radio. The AOR format idea, which over the years disintegrated into boring predictable programming by "suits" whose bottom line was profit, not good music, began its days as a somewhat noble idea; one that borrowed the progressive and freeform radio pioneered in the years just before its launch by such adventurous  programmers as the late great Tom Donahue at KMPX and KSAN in San Francisco.

But before there was AOR, there was MOR, a format that never pretended to be hip or alternative or adventurous in any way. Most popular in the sixties and seventies, MOR, as in Middle Of the Road, was, as its name implied, a most mainstream radio format whose playlist offered a mix of non-offensive popular music. Middle Of The Road was not the type of music that a self-respecting "artist" would claim to be but it was also the name that a successful 70's Scottish pop band chose. Although technically more bubble gum pop, Middle of The Road sure managed to appeal to a middle of the road audience and also scored a string of pop hits in the early 70's, including their 1971 debut single, "Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep," which shot to #1 on the UK pop charts that year and went on to sell over 10 million copies. The hit captured Middle Of The Road's pure, unadulterated sugary pop, and their singalong sound. To me, their infectious Europop Abbastyle and the fact that Middle of the Road included male and female pop vocals harmonizing made the group sound similar to Abba's style, whom they predated by a couple of years. Sweden's Abba formed in 1972 and scored their first pop hit ("Ring RIng") in 1973.

Michael Jackson 1958 - 2009

Posted by Whitmore, June 25, 2009 03:13pm | Post a Comment


Pop icon Michael Jackson was rushed to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center this afternoon by Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics. Paramedics responded to a call at Jackson's home at 12:26 p.m. He was not breathing when they arrived. The paramedics performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation and took him to the UCLA Medical Center.

Paramedics were called to a home in the 100 block of Carolwood Drive off Sunset Boulevard in the Bel-Aire area of Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Times  and CNN  posted early this afternoon Jackson died of a probable cardiac arrest . His talent and ambition made him the biggest international pop star of the 1980's and 90's. His 1982 album Thriller remains the biggest-selling album of all time, selling somewhere in the range of 65 million copies world wide, powered by seven Top 10 singles and eight Grammy Awards. Michael Jackson was 50 years old.

Calfornia Fool's Gold -- Exploring Yucca Corridor, Los Angele's Crack Alley

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 25, 2009 01:25pm | Post a Comment
In this installment of the Los Angeles neigborhood blog, we visit Yucca Corridor. To vote for a different Los Angeles neighborhood, go here. To vote for a Los Angeles County community, go here.

  
Pendersleigh & Sons' Official Map of Yucca Corridor & Hollywood

The Yucca Corridor is a small, crowded neighborhood in central Hollywood, just northwest of downtown. Its borders are Franklin Ave on the north, Hollywood Blvd on the south, Highland on the west, and Vine on the east. Below is the southeast corner of what's now Yucca Corridor as it was in 1907. Nowadays it is 42% Latino (mostly Mexican and Guatelmalteca), 41% white (mostly Armenian), 7% Asian and 5% black.



The Yucca Corridor
Yucca Corridor is a fairly dilapidated section of Hollywood, despite 100s of millions of dollars having been dumped into it since the death of Hollywood in the 1950s. Today, although much improved from its nadir, it’s still one of the most run-down areas of Los Angeles. Now, after decades of heralding its complete rejuvenation, the hype finally seems to be approaching reality -- though tellingly, the predominant smell in the air is of sun-dried urine.


Hollywood was originally a dry, Methodist community founded of a few hundred residents located roughly ten miles northwest of Los Angeles. In those days, the film industry was then centered in Edendale. In 1910, D.W. Griffith's In Old California -- shot at 1713 N Vine in what’s now the southeast corner of the Yucca Corridor in downtown Hollywood -- was the first film made in Hollywood. Within five years, most American films were made in Los Angeles and several studios and stars called Hollywood home. By the '20s, it was hopping, as a shot of the same intersection below shows.


By the 1940s, Hollywood was the center of film, radio and television production. In the 1950s, however, faced with rising property values and rents, the entire area experienced a mass exodus with most television and film production facitilies moving away.


For a time, bouyed by the 1954 construction of the nearby Capitol building, Hollywood retained some sense of glamor and was still known as a hub of the music industry. The Villa Capri at 6735 Yucca was a favorite Rat Pack hangout. However, despite its continuing glamourous reputation, Hollywood began a long decline from which it wouldn’t even begin to emerge for another forty years.



By 1958, the music industry had proved incapable of keeping Hollywood alive and it was, for all intents and purposes, dead. In the first of many efforts at restoring life to the necropolis, the neighborhood created the Hollywood Walk of Fame that year, placing eight stars in the sidwalk just west of the Yucca Corridor, which ultimately grew, passing along the entirety of the Corridor's southern edge. Today, the grimy sidewalk of widely unrecognized names seems rather unimpressive. Most of the stores along it sell post cards, novelty license plates, tattoos and clothing so tacky that most prostitutes have too much decency to wear it.


In the 1960s, Hollywood undertook another effort to make the neighborhood attractive -- destroying most of the art deco buildings in the area to make way for boxier, less stylized structures. Two art deco buildings that escaped the wrecking ball are the Fontenoy at 1811 Whitley (pictured above), constructed in 1928 and the Montecito, at 6650 Franklin (pictured below).



The oldest restaurant in Hollywood, Musso & Frank’s, opened in 1919. Suspecting it’s a tourist trap, Musso & Frank's and a Chinese place on Highland are about the only Yucca Corridor restaurants I haven’t eaten at in the name of research. Only the Village Pizza and the Lotería Grill exceed mediocrity, which they both do by a healthy margin. Anyway, back in the 60s, the efforts to attract tourists largely failed and the void left by the departure of the entertainment industry was filled by hippies. The many head shops in Yucca Corridor have proven one of the neighborhood's most enduring business successes.

  

By the '70s, the Yucca Corridor slipped further into decline and most of the hotels in the area became flophouses. One, The Lido, inspired Frank Zappa’s “Willie the Pimp” and was featured in the album art for Hotel California. The Lido had a long history of notoriety, roughly paralleling the neighborhood's decay. Back in the 1950s, Ed Wood did much of his drinking in its bar, which he lived above until he was evicted.

 
Wilcox and Yucca - note the cameras

Wood's upstairs neighbor pimped out her young daughter, beneath was a woman who pimped out her young daughter. A drag queen was stabbed to death in the hallway and it was also there that Victor Kilian, the Fernwood Flasher on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, was beaten to death. Crossing the street to buy booze at Playboy Liqour, Wood was routinely mugged in the intersection that was long considered the most dangerous in the neighborhood. As a result, neighborhood watch groups installed video cameras at the intersection later, but that didn’t stop the theft of the martini glass serving as the “Y” in the store's name and now it goes as Pla-Boy.


The “Tortilla House,” a famous crash pad on Las Palmas, housed 100 homeless transients at one time. But in the '70s, many of the hippies were joined by working class Latinos and the character of the neighborhood changed. On weekends, Hollywood Boulevard was choked with lowrider traffic. Around the same time, many of the sex stores, stripper-wear merchants and porn theatres moved in, followed by an influx of prostitution and drugs. At this point, the crime rate in the area was double the rest of the city -- only topped by the areas around LAX. In the midst of it, the famous The Masque at 1655 N Cherokee was an L.A. Punk venue that hosted The Weirdos, X, The Go-Gos, The Germs, the Screamers and F-Word and was shut down in 1977, when cops began to crack down on the neighborhood.

 
By the early 1980s, the shadowy band of crazed transients known as The Night People dominated Hollywood, based out of the vacant Security Pacific National Bank Building and Garden Court Apartments (aka Hotel Hell), both flanking but just outside the Yucca Corridor. In 1983, the Hollywood Branch Library at Ivar was broken into, vandalized, then set on fire, destroying about 68,000 books.

After much of Hollywood was declared a blighted slum, redevelopment began in earnest in the late 1980s, with efforts led by another shadowy group of glassy-eyed walking dead, the Scientologists. Strangely, they appeared on the scene roughly around the same time as the collapse of another cult, the 1970s' The Center for Feeling Therapy (or The Screamers), who bought much of the property south of the neighborhood. In the 1980s, though a blighted hellscape, game shows still routinely offered winners a two-night stay in glamorous Hollywood, California to unsuspecting tourists, who can still be seen departing from airport shuttles with horrified and disbelieving looks in their eyes.
 

On the left, one of Ed Wood's old apartment buildings. On the right, the former location of La Iguerita.

At the beginning of the ‘90s, the Yucca Corridor seemed little improved, beyond Scientologists' having saved some of the neighborhood's historic buildings from ruin. The crack problem was so bad that the stretch of Yucca between Whitely and Wilcox was known as Crack Alley, which was patrolled by the neighborhood watch groups: Ivar Hawks, Cherokee Condors, Las Palmas Lions, Wilcox Werewolves, Whitley Rangers and Hudson Howlers. Previously focused on individual streets, in 1991 they united as United Streets of Hollywood and Yucca Corridor was proposed as a name to bring attention to the most decrepit neighborhood in a bedraggled district. After two dozen people were killed between the 7-11 on Cahuenga and Ivar and La Iguerita Club, the police formed a special task force to target the area. La Iguerita Club was famous for its violence and drugs that spilled out into the streets. After a murder inside the bar, it was shut down for 45 days. After being closed again for serving alcohol to people who were already blind drunk, people in the Corridor organized to shut it down permanently.

 

In 1992, a block to the south, the LA riots spread to Yucca Corridor and Frederick's of Hollywood was looted, Madonna’s famous pointy bra stolen in the process. The following year, the street was paved with glassphalt, a sparkly pavement designed to add a suggestion of glamour to the embattled, ramshackle neighborhood. When the Northridge earthquake hit the following year, several buildings were condemned. Violence peaked afterward, with Yucca averaging a murder a day. Blockades were erected along the street to reduce drug trafficking.

 
In the 2000s, the neighborhood grew noticeably less shady, with attention-whoring hipsters mostly replacing the the more conventional sort at night. A landscaped median with a sign, the "Gateway to Hollywood” was recently completed by the Yucca Corridor Coalition at a cost of $658,000 in an effort to create yet another reason for visiting the neighborhood. So far, I haven't been asked by anyone for directions to it, although as I took the picture, a guy asked me where the notorious 7-11 is. 
 
For more Yucca Corridor:

  Frank Zappa Hot Rats  



*****


Follow Eric's Blog and check out more episodes of California Fool's Gold

Li'l Bit #8

Posted by Job O Brother, June 24, 2009 10:13am | Post a Comment
This clip was forwarded to me from my sweet Mammy, who in turn received it from one of her friends, saying it was a "video that feels really good to watch."

Perhaps I'm a cynical ol' coot, but I thought this was one of the most horrifying things I had ever seen in my life. Like, it made me feel the way directors of zombie films want me to feel, but never quite achieve. I can promise you, if this ever happens to me in any train station (or, indeed, any place of public transport) I will have a profound and thorough heart attack.

francEyE 1922 - 2009

Posted by Whitmore, June 24, 2009 05:01am | Post a Comment

Frances Dean Smith
, the prolific Santa Monica poet known as francEyE died earlier this month in San Rafael of complications from a broken hip. She was 87.
 
She was inspired by Charles Bukowski, whom she met in 1963. They began a relationship and soon after moved in together. Their daughter, Marina Louise Bukowski, was born the following year. But her legacy is so much more than being the mother of Bukowski’s child.

She was a winner of the Allen J. Freedman Poetry Prize, and was a frequent contributor to a variety of presses, large and small, like the Saturday Review, Chiron Review, Comet, and Blue Satellite. francEyE also published several collections of her work including Snaggletooth in Ocean Park (Sacred Beverage Press, 1996), Amber Spider (Pearl, 2004), Grandma Stories (Conflux Press, 2008) and Call (Rose of Sharon Press, 2008). Smith can be seen in the film Bukowski: Born Into This (2004), GV6 The Odyssey: Poets Passion & Poetry (2006), and other documentaries about the LA poetry scene.
 
francEyE was affectionately called the Bearded Witch of Ocean Park (a Santa Monica neighborhood where she had lived since the early 1970’s) because of the wispy gray strands of hair flowing from her chin. Bukowski fondly referred to her in one of his poems as Old Snaggle-Tooth. Here is some of her poetry:
 
(UNTITLED) "I WANNA KNOW WHAT IT'S LIKE TO DIE ..."
I wanna know what it's like to die.
Will I see Skye? Will I really
fly? Will I never be able to taste tiramisu again
and are there pleasures after death greater than taste? Soon I'll find
out,
of course, but I'd like to know about it while I'm still
alive. This little pain in the middle of my chest
annoys me; is it trying to tell me not to worry? Well, really,
worried I'm not; I'm inquisitive. No
answers in sight, I believe, so I think I'll lie down and
close my mind to all that, think about
Leonard Cohen.
(Thursday, March 26, 2009)
 
SO LONG, WHOEVER YOU ARE
Today's the day I saw you die. It's
the day Obama won, so now I'll always remember,
Oh yes, I remember when Obama won, it was the day
I saw that woman die. We were sitting in the hall
across from each other in our walkers, resting. We
made eye contact, peaceful in the sort of eventless
afternoon when it seemed the only thing
happening was on
TV. Obama was winning, we were resting, our heads supported by
the backs of our chairs. Then yours wasn't, it fell forward til your
face
hit your chest; I gave a yelp; nurses came. Here, and then not here,
just like that. Mystery woman, I'll remember you, and honor you every
year on the day Obama won, 4th
day of November, 2008, his
victory day and your
yahrzeit.
(Tuesday, November 4, 2008)
 
FOR MY BIRTHDAY SOME DAY
to N.H.B. Sahoo

please,
make me a book
of pictures of dragons,
pictures of all the dragons that you know.
I would like to see a picture of the dragon of sunrise,
and I would like to see a picture of the dragon defender of all frogs and toads
and I would like to see a picture of the dragon of mercy
and one of the dragon of no mercy, too,
and above all I need a picture of
The Dragon of Everything and if there is a Dragon of Nothing
I need that one,
and then to end the book I think there should be a picture
of a dragon of excellent birthday parties and
one of
sweet sleep. Especially yes, I want to see with my own eyes
a picture of the dragon of sweet
sleep.
(Tuesday, August 15, 2006)
 

(어떤 점에서 우리는 새우와 꿈을 읽어 보시기 바랍니다.)

Posted by Job O Brother, June 23, 2009 11:06am | Post a Comment

This should be enough to get me season 2 of Lost on Blu-Ray...

The first thing my boyfriend told me upon awakening this morning was this:

“I dreamed that… there was an Amoeba that sold shrimp. Like, instead of a music store, it was a place where you could go and sell your used shrimp and… they’d re-sell it to places like Iraq. Saddam was actually buying the shrimp, so I guess he was still alive. I got good money for it, too. Like, $112.40.”

Okay – there’s a lot to love about this dream, and needless to say I started my day with laughter, but I think my favorite element is not that Saddam was alive again and personally brokering shellfish trade with my favorite record store, or even that the concept of “used shrimp” is so utterly disgusting as to be hilarious, but the fact that, in his dream, my boyfriend received and remembered such a distinct trade quote: $112.40. Not bad for a bag of second-hand, decapod crustaceans, no?

This was just after we’d been woken by our iHome. For our alarm, I have a playlist filled with classical music pieces specifically selected as the least traumatic way to start the day. One of the best is this little gem…


If I had to name my top five favorite composers of all time, Claude Debussy would be one of them. If you thought the above piece was lovely, I cannot recommend his other chamber works enough. I mean, I love everything he wrote – but his chamber pieces are what really kill me dead. Come on in to Amoeba Music Hollywood sometime and I’ll hook you up. Your life will be so much the dreamier for it.


Claude Debussy
(What he lacked in normal shaped head he made up for in lovely tunes.)

In other news, I have finally finished writing my spec script and am preparing to enter it into a couple writer’s programs. Fingers crossed. Some of you may remember me mentioning this, and that the TV show I chose to base my script on was It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.

I love this show – enough that I’m always startled when I discover how many people still remain unaware of it. Perhaps because, in LA, we are inundated with billboards for it.

Because I am such a blockhead, I just now went on YouTube in search of clips of the aforementioned show to share with you, obviously forgetting that I already put myself through this. So, I am once again faced with offering you an alternative diversion...

REGIS, KELLY, & DJ JS-1 WRECK SHOP

Posted by Billyjam, June 23, 2009 09:36am | Post a Comment

The above video clip of turntablist DJ JS-1 on Live With Regis And Kelly (originally aired two years ago, but resurfaced today in an updated edit to tie in with the turntable artist's new release) is one of the most entertaining turntablist clips I have seen. I love both JS-1's sharp turntable set, and also when his hosts join him, with Regis cutting up Perry Como and Kelly wrecking the mic in a spot-on rendition of Mims' "This Is Why I'm Hot." The appearance on the show, which was, as Regis said, the first time that they had just a DJ /turntablist on to perform, was re-edited and mixed in HD condtion by the Queens DJ/producer to promote his brand new album, Ground Original 2: No Sell Out (Fat Beats), which arrives in Amoeba Music today, Tuesday June 23rd. Note that DJ JS-1 also appeared on the Amoeba Music Compilation Vol V with the track "Audio Technician" featuring Immortal Technique and Lifelong.

REMEMBERING ED MCMAHON, WHO DIED TODAY AT 86

Posted by Billyjam, June 23, 2009 09:02am | Post a Comment
Ed McMahon + Johnny Carson
Veteran American TV personality Ed McMahon, best known as Johnny Carson's sidekick for almost 30 years on The Tonight Show (1962-1992), died earlier today in Los Angeles, reported NBC. He was 86 years of age. While exact reasons for death were not announced, McMahon had been in extremely poor health since he was admitted to the hospital back in late February -- reportedly with pneumonia.

Best known for his second banana role to Carson, including his trademark "Heeeeeeeeere's Johnny!" intro to the show, McMahon was an all around television personality. A regular on countless TV shows over the decades, he was a game show host, announcer, comedian, and endorser of numerous products. Long before American Idol existed, McMahon hosted the popular talent search TV show Star Search. As an NBC personality regular, he would often be one of the presenters at the annual  Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. For a time he also co-hosted with Jerry Lewis at his fund-raising telethons for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).

Over the years he appeared in many TV ads, including for Budweiser beer, and most recently he was in an ad during this year's Super Bowl along with MC Hammer for Cash4Gold following his well publicized tragic fall into tough financial woes -- his house was foreclosed on in recent times. McMahon also did a series of short parts and walk-on parts in movies and TV shows over the years. And of course, Ed McMahon will also always be remembered as the presenter of American Family Publishers Sweepstakes, which would arrive in TV vans at the homes of winners. Below are a series of video clips from the life of Ed McMahon, including a recent era one for FreeCreditReports.com in which he parodied his old American Family Publishers Sweepstakes days.

THE STATE OF HEAVY METAL '09? "HEALTHIER THAN EVER" - STEVIL

Posted by Billyjam, June 22, 2009 07:22pm | Post a Comment
Five Popular Audio & Video Metal Releases  @ Amoeba Music SF
Nyktalgia Peisithanatos
1) Iron Maiden Flight 666 DVD

2) Metallica Death Magnetic CD/LP

3) Mastodon Crack The Skye CD/LP

4) Metal: A Headbangers Journey DVD

5) Nyktalgia Peisithanatos CD/LP

If, like me, you suspected that heavy metal music had been going through a bit of a renaissance in recent years and that the decades old genre born out of hard rock in the late 60's/early 70's seems more popular than ever these days, you would be correct, according to longtime metal fan and Amoeba employee Stevil. "The state of metal is healthier than ever. Plus it is more diversified than it has ever been," confirmed Stevil, who works at the San Francisco Amoeba Music, and who has been a dedicated metal fan since the early 80's -- a time when the genre, while popular with certain crossover bands, was generally not nearly as widely accepted as today. "It's cool and acceptable to like metal these days. That's good," said Stevil. He recalled the bygone era when he first got into the genre, when it had a certain "excitement and camaraderie" due to being a relatively smaller and more insular scene. "It was like a huge worldwide gang," reminisced Stevil, noting that, "Nowadays there's a lot of bands, a lot more bands, but with more and more fractured sub-genres" beyond the once standard classic, thrash, and black metal musical divisions which remain his personal favorite types of metal. "A lot of bands have come over from the hardcore punk scene, so there is a whole new fanbase to it, a wider fanbase than ever."

John Joseph Houghtaling 1916 – 2009

Posted by Whitmore, June 22, 2009 11:39am | Post a Comment
Put in a quarter
Turn out the light
Magic Fingers
Makes you feel alright.
- Steve Goodman from “This Hotel Room”

Maybe it wasn’t quite up there with jet packs and flying cars as what the future might hold but in the 1960’s the vibrating Magic Fingers bed was a sign that the future was here. And it felt kind of weirdly good.
 
John Houghtaling, inventor of the vibrating Magic Fingers bed, died this past week in Fort Pierce, Fla., of a brain hemorrhage after a fall. He was 92.
 
Probably the first significant hotel room amenity after the TV was the Magic Fingers bed, and in its time it was a veritable goldmine. The vibration system offered fifteen minutes of mild massage to the weary traveler for only a quarter. At the height of their popularity 250,000 machines were in service across the United States. With the average revenue of just $2 a week per machine, they generated approximately $2 million a month.
 
In 1958 Houghtaling had been hired to design a combination mattress and box spring with a pre-installed vibrating mechanism. Neither the beds, nor the concept, sold well. But later as he worked in his New Jersey basement he devised a small motor that attached directly to the existing box springs. The brilliance of the idea was not in the motor itself, but the idea to install this simple mechanism in hotel beds across the country for a newly mobile culture.
 
Magic Fingers have become a popular reference point in American culture, frequently appearing in movies and television like National Lampoons Vacation, Planes, Trains and Automobiles -- which features a can of beer exploding on a vibrating bed, and an episode of The X-Files where Agent Dana Scully is seen dropping quarters into a Magic Fingers in her hotel.

Over time though, the coin boxes were targeted by thieves and vandals, motel owners gradually found the Magic Fingers as a more of a pain than a vibrating pleasure. Eventually Houghtaling sold the company in the 1980s and though the company has changed hands several times over the years, a home Magic Fingers version is still available.
 
Houghtaling once appeared as a mystery guest on the classic TV game show What's My Line? One panelist, after figuring out Houghtaling’s Magic Fingers connection, claimed that he was owed 25 cents due to a broken machine, Houghtaling tossed him a quarter as he walked off the stage.
 

Six String Sisters

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, June 21, 2009 11:35pm | Post a Comment







New 12" Electronic Releases at Amoeba Hollywood - 06/26/09

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, June 21, 2009 08:10pm | Post a Comment


New Electro/Techno 12"s Coming this Weekend:

Miss Kitten & The Hacker 
PARTY IN MY HEAD 12" BIZZ7

Fresh out of the traps and hot on the heels of MISS KITTIN & THE HACKER's "1000 DREAMS" springs "PARTY IN MY HEAD" -- one of their best. Also contains remixes from MR PAULI (CLONE/VIEWLEXX), THIEVES LIKE US, and KIKO. Hi-NRG, 80s indie electro party stompers on one 12".

Peak 
DARKSUITE-SOULTOURIST REMIX 12" ORN008 

New limited ORNAMENTS from PEAK! Three cuts of quality, dub-influenced deep house & techno, including a remix from SOULTOURIST (DRUMPOET COMMUNITY) and YOUANDME. Vinyl release ONLY, and even though we don't know for sure, it's probably pressed on marble wax. You know how ORNAMENTS does it.

Fort Knox Five FOUNDATIONS EP 12" FKXP000

Fort Knox Five RADIO FREE DC RMX #4 12" FKX017 

Medusa Edits REFLECTION SERIES #3 12" ME003

Rephrase CHASE YOUR TAIL 12" REPHRASE001

Rephrase JELLY JAM REMIX EP 12" REPHRASE003

Sly Players ARTIST SERIES 8 12" GG16 

Assembly Line FALLING BACK EP 12" CCR007

Beatstalkers MODERN STALKING EP 12" FFM002

Bonaparte VS Markus Lange ANTI ANTI 12" FMO0905 

Depeche Mode ACAPELLA ALBUM LP DMACCLP

Dimlite QUIZ TEARS 7" AC7X7X0 

Heavy FeeSASQUATCH EP 12" PASA050 

Kenny Larkin SKETCHES EP-SHLOMI ABER 12" BAO018 

Modernaire FAITES VOS JEUX 12" ROXOUR005   

Sally Shapiro MIRACLE 12" PERMVAC037 

Various ALL NIGHT LONG EP 3 12" AUS0921  
 
 
 


New House/Disco 12"s Coming this Weekend:
Master Plan 
OBAMA TRIBUTE EP 12" FVR012

RON TRENT presents the MASTER PLAN "OBAMA TRIBUTE," a musical tribute to the election of BARACK OBAMA. Two versions of "MELTING POT" (one being the instrumental) combine layered speech excerpts over a dreamy, conga driven deep house beat w/an uplifting piano solo towards the end.

Noze 
MEET ME IN THE TOILET 12" CCS038

"ENCORE" kicks things off with a strong rollin' house bassline and those distinct NOZE pads throughout. Sexy girl vocals tell you to "relax." On the flip is the quirky title cut, a groovy horn party is what you'll find. This goes places where other house doesn't.

1 School TRIBUTE TO LESSONS OF LIFE 12" FVR014

Les Aeroplanes IMPERSONAL NAVIGUANT 12" MATH026

Smith & Mudd LA SUIVANT LP C56LP001

Alif Tree CLOCKWORK REMIXES PT. 1 12" COMP324

Atlantic Conveyor FANTASTIC REPRESS 12" UT008

Channel 83 TONITE & ACID CRUNCH 12" C83001

Harri & Revenge SPACE DOUBT-VERA MIX 12" TIMBRE001

Humate LOVE STIMULATION-RADIO SLAVE 12" FCD02

Karton NEVER TOO LATE 12" VR012

Knee Deep SICK LOVE EP 12" KDR017

Lavonz-Glenn Underground FATE 12" JOSS016

Maya Jane Coles MONOCHROME EP 12" DOG010

Noze MEET ME IN THE TOILET 12" CCS038

Parallel Dance Ensemble TURTLE PIZZA 12" ISM001X

Permanent Vacation TIC TOC FT KATHY 12" PERMVAC040

Peven Everett SPECIAL 12" TRP009

Selfmade Millionaire ROCKIN & POPPIN 12" SMM1006

Shahrokh Sound Of COMPOST BLK LBL 48 12" COMP323

Soul Purpose KEY ISSUES VOL.1 12" SP010

Subway SUBWAY II DLP SJRLP202

Subway EMPTY HEAD 12" SBEST22

Subway JOURNEY (TODD SINES RMX) 12" SBEST31

Subway SATELLITES EP 12" SJR15712

Subway SIMPLEX (GATTO FRITTO MIX) 12" SJR18912

Sun God JACK FM 06 7" JACKFM06

Tyrone Francis VALUE ON VINYL EP 12" TRP005

Various FIRECRACKER 2 12" FIREC002

Undaworld FUCK WORK 12” 5000 MIRACLE

Barbarella SOUNDTRACK BOB CREW GENERATION LP DYNO31908

Tim Curry PARADISE GARAGE SMOKE PT. 1 COKE 2 12” LARRY11

Sade TATTOO YOU SMOOTH OPERATOR 12” CM06

Sinister Concepts DIVINE INSPIRATION 12” ER0001

Sinister Concepts LA MELODIA 12” ER0002     


New Dubstep/Jungle 12"s Coming this Weekend:

Hello It's Me

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, June 21, 2009 01:49am | Post a Comment
Todd Rundgren - "Hello It's Me"


Nazz - "Hello It's Me"


The Isley Brothers - "Hello It's Me"


Mark King Of Level 42 With Toots Thieleman - "Hello It's Me"


John Legend - "Hello It's Me"


Groove Theory - "Hello It's Me"


The Cast From That 70's Show - "Hello It's Me"

USTAD ALI AKBAR KHAN REST IN PEACE

Posted by Billyjam, June 20, 2009 10:48pm | Post a Comment

Sarod maestro Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, who was instrumental in popularizing Indian classical music in the West as both an artist and a teacher, passed away Thursday night/Friday morning after a prolonged kidney ailment, it has been reported.

The Indian born Khan, who lived in San Anselmo in the Bay Area, was 88 years of age. To read the news report on his passing, click here. Look for releases from his rich catalog at Amoeba Music, and enjoy his beautiful music in the videos above/below. Rest in peace Ali Akbar Khan. Your soulful music will keep you alive forever!

California Fool's Gold -- Exploring Elysian Valley, Los Angeles's Frogtown

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 20, 2009 10:47pm | Post a Comment


In this entry of the Los Angeles neighborhood blog, we will cover Elysian Valley. To vote for a neighborhood, go here. To vote for a Los Angeles County community go here. To vote for Orange County communities, go here.


 
Pendersleigh & Sons' Official Maps of the Mideast Side and Elysian Valley


Elysian Valley
is a small working class neighborhood in LA's Mideast Side, bordered by Fletcher to the north, the 5 freeway to the west and south, and the LA river to the east and south. It's surrounded by Elysian Park, Silver Lake, and Elysian Heights and, across the river, Atwater Village, Glassell Park and Cypress Park.

Summer Solstice

Posted by Whitmore, June 20, 2009 10:45pm | Post a Comment

Summer begins in Hollywood, Ca 34°08′02.56″N 118°19′18.00″W
June 20, 2009, 10:45 PM PDT.
 
The longest day of the year is here.

At the Summer Solstice, Earth is positioned in its orbit so that the North Pole is leaning 23.44° toward the sun. As seen from Earth, the sun is directly overhead at noon 23.44° north of the equator, at the Tropic of Cancer.

A solstice occurs twice each year, when the tilt of the Earth's axis is most inclined toward or away from the Sun, causing the Sun's apparent position in the sky to reach its northernmost or southernmost extreme. Solstice means the “sun standing still;" at the solstices the Sun stands still in declination; that is, the apparent movement of the Sun's path north or south comes to a stop before reversing direction.

Forbidden, Fantastic Planets @ Aero This Sunday

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, June 20, 2009 01:06pm | Post a Comment
Of all the weekends to be lacking transportation...A mere 32 miles from my home, the Aero in Santa Monica is showing both Forbidden Planet and Fantastic Planet! The best thing about the Aero is the sound system and these film are renowned for their soundtracks, so it'll be an fantastic night for sure. 

Sunday June 21st
Aero Theatre
1328 Montana Ave (at 14th st.)
Santa Monica, CA



World Juggling Day

Posted by Whitmore, June 20, 2009 09:48am | Post a Comment

Juggling
the thing of a thing of a thing ... the physical skill of shaking up gravity and moving a couple or more objects through the air with care, in a continual motion as balls roll or bowling pins fly or a chainsaw and lit torches flutter in ways light and weightless clinging to their paths here and there and there and here.
 
Or as T.S. Eliot put it: "Twit twit twit / Jug jug jug jug jug jug / So rudely forc'd. /Tere"
 
Yes, today is June 20, 2009, World Juggling Day (or just WJD for those in the know), and jugglers everywhere are tossing or bouncing their balls or rings or cantaloupes into the air, simply because they’ve solved that great mystery …
 
Here’s a bit of trivia: The earliest known graphic depiction of jugglers was found in the Beni-Hassan tombs situated on the east bank of the river Nile and dated back to around 2000 BC. The drawings show several Egyptians figures standing sideways tossing balls into the air.

Here are some events around the world:
 
Canterbury - The University of Canterbury Unicycling and Juggling Society (Unisoc) will be holding an event meeting at 2pm in Cathedral Square, Christchurch.
 
Bucharest - The Juggling Culture community is organizing a juggling Flashmob at Piata Universitatii, at the fountain at 3pm and will juggle for a total of ten minutes. Don’t be late.
 
Singapore - Jugglers will be gathering at Esplanade Underpass, and will be giving free lessons on how to juggle from about 1pm - 6pm.
 
Miami - somewhere near the south end of Kennedy Park, by the Coconut Grove Juggling Exchange Banner, people will be gathering with an odd assortment of objects. 
 
Dublin – Emerald Circus Live '09 will host Ireland's official juggling event for WJD and will be included as part of the festivities at the Street Performance World Championships '09, which will take place in Merrion Square.
 
Santa Cruz - In honor of World Juggling Day, the UCSC juggling club held a day long juggling mini-festival on Thursday, promoting next year's Santa Cruz First Annual Juggling Festival.
 
Sacramento - Drop in juggling lessons are taking place between 11am - 1pm at the McKinley Library, 601 Alhambra Blvd.


Lego introduces a mini-Guggenheim and mini-Fallingwater

Posted by Whitmore, June 19, 2009 10:28pm | Post a Comment

Now, I’m not sure my six year old wants these Legos, unless some clone troopers are included, but …

The Danish plastic toy-brick maker, the Lego Group, has joined with Brickstructures Inc. to launch a model version of Frank Lloyd Wright's iconic architectural design, the Guggenheim Museum, to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the New York museum, which opened six months after Wright's death. In late June, both companies will once again combine their talents on another model to commemorate the up coming 75th anniversary of Wright’s famous Fallingwater house located in rural southwestern Pennsylvania, 50 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.
 
The mini-Guggenheim has a suggested retail price of $39.99 and contains 208 pieces, including dish-shaped pieces that attempt to evoke the building's inverted ziggurat. The model of the Fallingwater house will consist of 811 pieces and is listed at $99.99. Among the elements, there is a clear plastic version of the waterfall from which the house takes its name. By the way, if anyone is interested, my birthday is in just a couple of weeks.

The name Lego is from the Danish “leg godt,” which means “play well” and was coined by Lego founder Ole Kirk Christiansen, who began making wooden toys in 1932. By 1940 Lego expanded to producing plastic toys. In 1949 Lego began producing the now famous colorful interlocking plastic bricks. Based largely on a design by the UK company Kiddicraft Self-Locking Bricks, Lego slightly modified the design and by the late 1950’s had settled on the overall design most kids are familiar with today.

Lady Labels Part 2

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, June 19, 2009 09:30pm | Post a Comment







Obscure & Unrecognized Republics of Eastern Europe

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 19, 2009 08:55pm | Post a Comment

So as not to offend anyone, films set in Eastern Europe commonly take place in imaginary countries like Trouble for Two's Karovia, The Terminal's Krakozhia or Chitty Chitty Bang Bang's Vulgaria. In reality, there are several little-known, obscure republics which enjoy various amounts of autonomy that would fit the bill. As portions of their citizenry actively campaign for self-rule, I thought I'd shine a light on the unrecognized peoples of eastern Europe. It turns out there's more to the region than ruthless spies, fortunetellers and stout babushkas.

The Caucasian nations and the trans-continental Bashkortostan are dealt with elsewhere.

******
(If interested, there are similar entries about Caucasia, North Asia and South Asia)

******


       

Chuvashia
Chuvashia is a highly industrialized, densely populated tiny republic. It is the home of the Chuvash people, who divide themselves into three groups: the Hill people, the Meadow people and the Downer people. Originally the area was home to a Finnic peoples, the Mari and the Mordvins. In the 600s and 700s, a Hunnish people, the Suars, left their home in north Caucasia and moved to the area. The resulting mix became the Chuvash. They were later conquered by the Tartar Khanate of Kazan and subsequently Russia. Today Chuvashia is famed in Eastern Europe and Central Asia for its enormous beer industry. They should be known, as well, for their scale mail hats.


Traditional Chuvash music uses the pentatonic scale. Tradional genres include lingering songs (lamentations and recruit songs), semi-lingered songs (labor songs, hymns, cradle-songs and guest songs) and quick songs (children’s, comic and play songs).

              

Ingria
Originally, Ingria was home Finnic Izhorians and Votes. After the Swedish conquest of the Ingrian Finns, many emigrated to area, giving the Republic its name. Later, large numbers of Estonians and Russians assimilated into the country's populace. Over the centuries, Danes, Swedes, Vikings, Russians and Germans have all fought over the land but the most dramatic event in their history was Stalin wiping out nearly all of them. In 1926, there were 26,137. In 2002 there were 327. Not all were victims of the genocidal Russian tyrant though; the Ingrian existence also disappeared due to intermarriage.


Ingrian music shares characteristics with Karelian lamentations. Today, the repertoire is kept alive mostly by non Izhorians, since they're expected to die out within the next few years.

           

Kalmykia
Kalmykia (or 
Xal'mg Tanghch in the tongue of the natives) is noteworthy as the only republic in Europe where Buddhism is the dominant religion. The Kalmyk are descended from a western Mongolian tribe, the Oirats. When they arrived, around 1630, the land was in the possession of the Turkic Nogai Horde. The Oirats summarily chased them off and founded the Kalmyk Khanate. After years of Russian encroachment, 200,000 attempted to returned to their ancestral homelands. Crossing the desert, many Kalmyks were enslaved and killed by Kazakhs and Kyrgyz. When they arrived in modern day East Turkestan, there were only 96,000. Catherine the Great then formally abolished the Kalmyk Khanate. Stalin later killed many and dispersed the rest and Kruschev allowed them to return in 1957. Today, their government has focused on promoting chess, which is why the Kalmyk women above are wearing chess-themed outfits. The guy who won is not Kalmyk.


The music of Kalmykia is based on Mongolian roots with Turkic, Russian and Caucasian influences. The group Tulpan formed in 1937 to promote Kalmyk culture.

              

Karelia
For centuries Karelia has been fought over by Russians and Swedes, who ultimately decided to divide it amongst themselves in 1323. Since then, the Finnic Karelian people have been ruled by various states, currently Finland and Russia. Their folklore and that of the Finns was collected and published by Elias Lönnrot, compiled from Finnish and Karelian folklore in the Kalevala. The best version has illustrations by the great Finnish artist Akseli Gallen-Kallela.


The music of Karelia is closely related to Finnish music but with less Germanic influence and is exemplified by The Karelian Folk Music Ensemble, Burlakat, Myllärit and Värttinä.

             

Komi
The Komi Republic is located in northeastern Europe. Mostly located within the boreal forest, it has a large timber industry and is known in the region for its woodwork. The Finnic Komi once were part of a kingdom in the middle ages called Permia. One of their kings was named Stephen of Perm. I like the picture above because it really captures the foresty side of Komi. Their main industry is reindeer husbandry.


Unfortunately, I can't find much about Komi music but this Komi song his a pretty good video.

              

Mari El
The Republic of Mari El
(or Марий Эл Республик in Mari) is home to the Finnic Mari people. A significant part of the country is swampland and their main resource is peat. The people divide themselves up into Mountain, Meadow and Eastern. Many Mari still practice their own indigenous religion. Though pantheistic, there is a figure of singular importance, Ош Кугу Юмо, which translates to "Great White God." The picture above is of real-life European pagans, not Tori Amos-listening, Magick the Gathering-playing kind.


I couldn't find any scholarly information about Mari music. To my unacademic ears, this song at least sound kinda Cajun.

              

Mordovia
The Mordovins are a Finnic people who divided into two groups in the first century AD, the Moksha and Erzya. One of their unresolvable issues was over which way the dead should be buried, head to the north, or head to the south. The earliest written mention of them occurs in 6th century accounts of their princes raiding Muroma and Volga Bulgaria. In 1241, they fell to the Golden Horde of Gengis Khan. Later Mordovia was ruled by the Khanate of Khazan and Russia. In the 1600s, an elderly ex-nun, Alyona, led a peasant revolt and freed Temnikov. When apprehended, the Russians burned her at the stake.



             

Sandžak
Sandžak,
nestled between Serbia and Montenegro, derives its name from the Turkish word, sancak, meaning "flag." In antiquity, the indigenous Thracians were overrun by successive waves of Celts, Huns, Goths, Sarmatians, Greeks, Romans and ultimately, Slavs, who arrived in the 500s and 600s. In 1912 it was divided between the kingdoms of Serbia and Montenegro. Today, most of its inhabitants self identify as Bosniaks, Montenegrins, Serbs or simply Muslims, but caught up in the Balkanization craze, many call for the return of independence.


Traditional Sandžak music draws from a variety of influences including Slavic, Vlach, and Albanian.

              

Tatarstan
Originally inhabited by Finnic peoples, around 660 they were joined by a group of Bulgars. In the 1230s, the land was ruled by Mongol prince Batu Khan. He brought with him the subjugated Ta-ta (or Dada), a desert people from the Gobi in modern China. The resulting mixture of ethnicities became known as Tatars. Today the republic is highly industrialized and contains many oil fields, which dominate the economy. 


The folk music of Tatarstan mixes Hun, Turk, Hungarian, Russian and Finnish elements, though using the pentatonic scale. Noted composers include Cäwdät Fäyzi, Salix Säydäş, Mansur Mozaffarov, Zölfiä Kamalova and Näcip Cihanov.

              

Udmurtia
The Finnic Udmurts (literally "Field People") were mentioned in writing by ancient historians Herodotus and Ptolemy. Overrun by successive invasions from the east, some Udmurts joined the Samartians and settled far to the west. From the 900s-1200s, those who remained resisted the Kievan Rus' attempts to subjugate them. In 1237, they were consumed by the Mongol Horde. Over the following centuries, the Udmurts and Tatars united in rebellions against a succesion of foreign invasions.


Although Udmurtia has a strong folk music tradition, the republic's most famous musician is undoubtedly the famed Romantic composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
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McCartney - Maybe I'm Amazed

Posted by Miss Ess, June 19, 2009 02:35pm | Post a Comment

The photos from the album McCartney are seared indelibly into my consciousness. They capture so many golden moments in pastoral, domestic family life. As a child, the album was often propped up in front of our record player and I would get lost in each image, staring into them one by one while simultaneously absorbing the music crackling through the stereo. I wanted to live in those pictures and actually still somehow feel, although clearly my family was different from the McCartneys, like they capture the mood and feeling of the best, most nostalgia-raising days of my childhood.


Must be why listening to the album these days takes me right back there, to my earliest years, only now I can listen to the album with my own thoughts and images of love, family and the pastoral. This new, more complex listening experience that comes with McCartney now that I am older has deeply enriched an already fantastic album for me.

McCartney was Paul's first post-Beatles album and he came at it sounding as confident as ever, making singularly fab songs such as "Every Night," "Maybe I'm Amazed," and "Junk" sound so simple, so easy. Though there are some patchy bits where the record veers into instrumentals, I see those portions as time to process some of the other songs, moments to wrap up my mind in my own memories while still listening.

On McCartney, Paul sounds so effortlessly on top of his game. He played pretty much all the instruments himself, wrote all the songs himself... It's 1970 and he's in love and satisfied with his life. Perhaps, though it is 2009, because I feel similarly and have my own little family and life to daydream about, this album is getting to me more than ever these days.

It was Paul's birthday yesterday, incidentally. Seems like a good time to put some McCartney on the player -- the album is so worth going back to if you haven't heard it for a while, and it's definitely worth finding if you've never had the chance to hear it before.

Here's "Maybe I'm Amazed":



AMOEBA MUSIC HIP-HOP WEEKLY ROUND UP: 06:19:09

Posted by Billyjam, June 19, 2009 07:00am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five: 06:19:09

Mos Def
1) Mos Def The Ecstatic (Downtown)

2) J Dilla Jay Stay Paid (Nature Sounds)

3) Black Eyed Peas The E.N.D. (Interscope)

4) DJ Quik & Kurupt Blaqkout (Mad Science)

5) Eminem Relapse (Shady/Aftemath/Interscope)

Following two less than impressive albums (2004's The New Danger and 2006's True Magic) from an artist who has the skills to deliver more, Mos Def returns with his strongest release in many years, The Ecstatic on Downtown. This is the New York emcee's fourth solo release. The new 16 track album, this week's number one hip-hop release at Amoeba Music Berkeley, returns Mos Def to closer to the magic captured on his debut Black on Both Sides ten years ago and his earlier Black Star days than he has been in quite a while.

Maybe the renaissance man (who also has a successful active acting career, including the award nominated role he had in last year's movie Cadillac Records) was spreading himself too thin up til recently to deliver a solid hip-hop album like this one. Or maybe the fact that for this record he had, among others, Madlib, his younger Mos Def The Ecstaticbrother Oh No, Preservation, Mr Flash, and even the late J Dilla on production duties, all of whose beats and mixes perfectly compliment Def's smooth flow. J Dilla's production was for the song "History" featuring Talib Kweli, Mos Def's other half in the legendary hip-hop duo Black Star.

This Week At The New Beverly!

Posted by phil blankenship, June 18, 2009 11:22pm | Post a Comment
This Week At The New Beverly

The full June Calendar is online, July available soon!
http://newbevcinema.com/calendar.cfm


Friday & Saturday June 19 & 20


The Story Of Two Epic Rivalries

The Duellists (1977)
Beautiful Recently Made 35mm Print!
Ridley Scott's Feature Film Directial Debut
Cannes Film Festival Best First Work Award Winner Ridley Scott
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0075968/
dir. Ridley Scott, starring Keith Carradine, Harvey Keitel, Albert Finney, Edward Fox, Cristina Raines
Fri: 7:30; Sat: 2:55 & 7:30, Watch The Trailer!

The Duellists... may well remain one of the most dazzling visual experiences throughout all of 1978. The movie, set during the Napoleonic Wars, uses its beauty much in the way that other movies use soundtrack music, to set mood, to complement scenes and even to contradict them. Sometimes it's almost too much, yet the camerawork, which is by Frank Tidy, provides the Baroque style by which the movie operates on our senses, making the eccentric drama at first compelling and ultimately breathtaking. - Vincent Canby, The New York Times

New Electronic CD Releases 6/19/09

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, June 18, 2009 03:26pm | Post a Comment
BUTANE
Endless Forms
Crosstown Rebels

This is the debut full-length release by Berlin by-way-of Saint Louis Alphahouse label-head, Andrew Rasse, aka Butane. Endless Forms is the future of electronic music, exploring fresh directions and true experiments in sound, heralding the arrival of one of the more pioneering artists of our times. The title is a homage to Darwin, the true master of progress, and the discoverer of evolution. Butane took inspiration from Darwin's concepts, considering "all the complexity that surrounds us has developed from ultimate simplicity." Working from this notion, Butane has created a project that holds the beauty of simplicity, yet listen carefully, and you can hear the intricacy of its craftsmanship. "This Is Your Brain On Music" takes a sample from Daniel Levitin, a neuroscientist/musician, talking about his book and encapsulating the message of the album -- "that scientific and philosophic inquiry into the nature of things leads to new forms of artistic expression." Endless Forms drifts through the organic sounds of Butane's production in tracks such as "His Story" and "Mutation," each creating new patterns in the engineering of modern techno. "Transmit The Music In Me," "Almost Finished," and "Idle" further augment the atmosphere, where industrial beats encounter laid-back harmony. Taking influence from evolution, he embodies a wide musical range, encompassing anything from seamlessly-blended soul-led techno to warm, deep, cerebral house music.


STEFAN GOLDMANN/STRAVINSKY

Le Sacre Du Printemps
Macro Recordings

Beloved and renowned Berlin-based producer and head of the Macro Recordings label Stefan Goldmann delivers a groundbreaking edit of a classic: a minimalistic cut-up on the edges of perception, celebrating one of the most thrilling works in music -- Igor Stravinsky's Le Sacre Du Printemps. Staying 100% true to the original score, he moves through over a dozen classic recordings of the work in 146 individually-treated segments. Nothing has been left out, nothing has been added. Still, everything totally changes every few seconds. Probably the most radical approach to editing, ever, and serving to officially electrify classical music to its core. These are some of the most revolutionary notes in the whole history of music. Written in 1913, Le Sacre Du Printemps redefined what music could be, much as Beethoven's Eroica had done a century before. While its debut performance caused massive riots, it has become one of the most celebrated works of music ever since. It has been performed and recorded by basically every renowned conductor and orchestra in the world, and is one of the most often played orchestral works of all times. Stefan Goldmann's edit is as radically innovative without ever messing with Stravinsky's intentions. With each listen, you will encounter a different performance, room, and recording set-up. This is a minimalistic journey into the depths of interpretation and concert hall acoustics, microphone positioning and mixdown decisions. Goldmann on the editing process: "Each time a different world in the headphones. Also the different shades of tape hiss in the recordings make it sort of an electroacoustic avant-garde work, as you can follow a floating noise contour throughout the work -- probably the clearest evidence of the edit process. It's putting a focus on the subtleties of orchestral interpretation -- a field often neglected and widely unknown to the electronic society. Identify the edits through analysis of interpretation parameters! It's a very quiet intrusion into the material and I have been extremely careful not to change sound color or to mask any relevant elements." This is an utterly masterful celebration of an original. This disc also features a "classic" 1957 live recording of Sacre with Pierre Monteux conducting the Boston Symphony Orchestra.


DIRT CREW

Blow
Moodmusic

Presenting the first full-length on Moodmusic by producer/DJ duo Peter Gijselaers and Felix Eder, aka Dirt Crew. Blow sees them back on the block with more of their original, raw-as-fuck house music. This album reveals the true roots of these pioneers of European electronic house music, with influences ranging from early Chicago warehouse tracks, sophisticated mid-'90s NYC-inspired house productions, and pioneers of UK dub house from the likes of Warp and DIY. "Deep Cover" slowly evolves with a dubbed house feel and perfectly-arranged vocal samples. Followed by "Rough Roads," the theme stays the same, deep bass confiscating the groove, holding no hostages with a building, arpeggiated synth-line. "Blow" throws old school samples and deep keys into the mix with stunning results. Keeping the pace mid-tempo, the groove just keeps going. "Clap" layers synths and vocal snippets into a frenzy of house bliss, ending in an FM synth-horn crescendo which could be from a Jovonn production from 1992. "Redux" is an old school stomper with 2009 production to keep it fresh. Borrowing a touch from early Deep Dish, this has a massively hypnotizing, hands-in-the-air factor in true Dirt Crew-style. "Slope" is a darker affair with a well-paced Berlin peak-hour frenzy that never gets too dark. "Parade" is an ode to classic house -- deep, pulsating bass and groove mixed with some tasteful keys and vocals. "Scenario" enters darker territory, with pitched-down vocals and echoed percussion, keeping the groove on high alert till the keys drop and the dancefloor explodes -- another DC classic, for sure. "The Real Shit" is a bouncy, almost techno production with distorted beats, true DC bleepiness and dubbed-out vocals -- a demented dancefloor bomb already. Finally, "Star" starts with mesmerizing keys and a murderous bass line, evolving over minutes of modern house music at its best to a crazy horn breakdown. There's no stopping the Dirt Crew now.


BROCK VAN WEY

White Clouds Drift On And On
Echospace Air

San Francisco's Brock Van Wey (also known as bvdub) has been spreading his ambient-textured deep techno to the world for the past few years with releases on Styrax, Millions Of Moments, Southern Outpost, Meanwhile, and his very own Quietus imprint. His love of abstract shapes and forms of electronic music caught the echospace label's attention -- so much, in fact, that Stephen Hitchell (Intrusion, Echospace) has made his own interpretive versions as an additional album, included along with the original. This is a soundscape of subtle beauty which paints a picture of lands yet to be explored, a sonic collage filled with heartbreak, love and happiness, all played in the same key. A pure, refined sonic collage, filled with influences that could easily be said to border the surface of works by Steve Roach, Gas, Hans-Joachim Roedelius, Brian Eno, Philip Glass, Steve Reich, John Cage, or even the ambient works of Basic Channel, and yet, this still has an identity all its own. Beautiful layers of sound rush over you like waves in the ocean, a tidal wave of organics and textures so subtle, soft and virtually hypnotizing. There is a sense of space felt here which cannot be described in words, a sense of displacement which takes the listener out of their normal environment and away to someplace else. These spare musical fragments voyage off into the land of dreams, a place where everything appears to move in slow motion and hours feel like seconds. Simplicity in its own world is the most beautiful of things, an art of restraint -- not to do too much but to do everything at the same time, which is exactly what Brock has perfected here. This is an absolutely gorgeous gem of the highest caliber and one that the folks at echospace consider an integral part of any ambient or electronic music lover's collection.

"WEIRD AL" CHANNELS JIM MORRISON & A LITTLE JELLO TOO

Posted by Billyjam, June 18, 2009 10:40am | Post a Comment



All these years later, music's king of parody "Weird Al" Yankovic is still doing his thing, as proven by his latest release "Craigslist" which is a parody of Jim Morrison and The Doors' "When The Music's Over." And if the music sounds really like the Doors, that's because The Doors' keyboardist Ray Manzarek is playing on the new Weird Al version. But Jim Morrison isn't the only musician Weird Al seems to be channeling on "Craigslist." Check out the video at the time point 3:12 to 3:14, when Weird Al says "No tip for you." Doesn't he sound exactly like Jello Biafra? I think he does. The video above was directed by Liam Lynch. For more info on Weird Al, visit his website or MySpace

FLIPPER'S "HA HA HA" LIVE @ AMOEBA & BERKELEY SQUARE 1980/2009

Posted by Billyjam, June 17, 2009 08:00pm | Post a Comment
                                              Flipper "Ha Ha Ha" (1980 Live @ Flipper Berkeley Square)
                                          
In the two video clips, above and below, Flipper, one of the greatest bands of all time, play their timeless track "Ha Ha Ha," first in 1980 and then in 2009. The 1980 video clip shows the legendary and unique San Francisco punk band playing "Ha Ha Ha" along with the song "Oh Oh Ay Oh" at the long gone East Bay nightclub the Berkeley Square in July of 1980, about a year after the band had formed.

And below is a video of Flipper performing the song at a recent free in-store at Amoeba Berkeley in April 2009 with a line up that included Ted Falconi on guitar, Bruce Loose performing vocals, Steve DePace on drums, and Rachel Thoele on bass in only her second gig with the band. 

The in-store coincided with the group's classic albums being reissued on vinyl. A little over a year earlier, in February 2008, Flipper also did an Amoeba in-store when they played the San Francisco Amoeba Music store. For an interview with the band from their 2008 San Francisco Amoeba instore, click here.

In defense of lipsynch

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 17, 2009 07:03pm | Post a Comment
Whilst pricing vinyl recently, Amoeba's Chris Matthews unearthed a copy of one of Milli Vanilli's albums that looked normal enough from the outside but when opened up proved to be a sort of scrapbook/time capsule created by a one time fan. Apparently, when confronted with the shocking admission from the two-heavily accented Euros that the smooth, American accented vocals on record were not theirs, said fan responded by cutting out articles about what was scandalous to their pre-teen audience but a non-issue to any adult smarter than a parakeet.




1989 - A Time of Lies
Rewind back to 1989. It was a time of shadows and deception. A Massachussets-born, Ivy League blue blood masquerading as a Texan succeeded a bad Hollywood actor as president. America's youth shaved the Batman emblem in the back of their heads in anticipation of Michael Keaton playing Bruce Wayne, who secretly fights crime by night as Batman. The music world was rocked when, at a Connecticut performance, the recording of "Girl You Know It's True" began to skip. See, CDs had been billed as indestructible, so why was it skipping? And even the most naive fan had to accept what had been obvious and scarcely worth pointing out, that this particular dance-pop duo may've been chosen for their looks in an unholy scheme to... make... money!

  

In 1990, a nation was stunned to learn that that the ruggedly handsome, sideburned Luke Perry of Beverly Hills 90210 was twice the age of the character her played on TV. Still reeling, only a month later the owner of Milli Vanilli, Frank Farian, admitted that, in addition to not writing their own material, the guys in the videos didn't even sing.


The Duped Grammys Cry for Blood!
The ensuing backlash was meant to protest the deception perpetrated by Farian. In fact, it merely supported Farian's logic. People only wanted to enjoy Milli Vanilli's music if the singers were pretty and not for the music, which is why he put models in his videos instead of the actual vocalists, Brad Howell, John Davis, Ray Horton and Gina Mohammed. Reinforcing this notion, fans didn't rush out to buy the album by The Real Milli Vanilli. Had it actually been about music, no one would've cared who was in the videos. When the Grammys took back their award, they were in essence admitting that they were awarding the image and not the music. After all, everyone lipsynchs in videos, just usually to their own vocals... which in pop are usually singing lyrics that someone else wrote... and no one cares.

Demands for Authenticity in Film vs. Music
Of course, in reality the entertainment industry is built on fantasy and image-making. Why does Marilyn Monroe have fans? Her real name was Norma Mortenson, her appearance was the work of plastic surgeons, peroxide and make-up artists-- and the photo capturing her surprise when her skirt was blown upward? Staged! Of course, flat-buttocked actresses like Denise Richards and Angelina Jolie routinely use butt doubles and audiences are happy. Nearly everyone accepts stunt doubles, body doubles, stand-ins, airbrush and CGI too. Yet people seem more capable of accepting unreality in film rather than with music. Cartoons aren't actually speaking but are in fact voiced by real-life people. Music's always been held, unfairly, to a different standard even when actors just play musicians. The Monkees and The Partridge Family were ridiculed for not playing their instruments whilst no one cared that William Shatner wasn't actually flying a spaceship. It seems silly to demand authenticity in music but it happens and that's why rap is so artistically stunted today.

John 8:7
To paraphrase Jesus Christ, "Who of you has never worn contacts, painted your nails, worn extensions, worn black to look thinner, gotten plastic surgery, put on make-up or used fake tan? Let him cast the first stone!" I, for one, don't really care who appears in the video, but I don't mind looking at pretty people. So, in further celebration of lipsynching!

               

God I hate C + C Music Factory. That song still gives me the willies. I will never watch a Dreamworks cartoon because I'm deathly afraid that the animals will at some point bust out with, "everybody dance now!" The fact that the woman on the left sang the song but the woman on the right appeared in the video does nothing to change my assessment of its qualities. And, maybe because the idiots at The Grammys hadn't awarded THEM best no act, there was no media-driven scandal, just a shrug of indifference when the truth was revealed.



Similarly, no one much cared that the androgynous Ya Kid K was replaced by model Felly Kilingi by Technotronic in "Pump Up the Jam." What was more bizarre was that both women were Zairian, as if the listener would somehow subconciously pick up on something being off if they weren't from the same country. In fact, when the truth came out, no one cared.


So Nolan Thomas was really a Turkish guy named Marko Kalfa. And he appeared in this video even though he didn't sing the song. I wonder if his little brother is wearing a wig or if Kalfa's a natural blonde. Anyone who would change anything about this video is a Philistine.

              

In Den Harrow's case, the fact that the guy on the left sang and the guy on the right was in the video seems laughable. I guess the guy on the right's a bit prettier, but when I found out that neither was really named Den Harrow it was about as world-rocking as finding out George Michael was gay. The video and song are awesome, and that's what's important.




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Skweee - the sound of young Scando

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 17, 2009 03:36pm | Post a Comment

Skweee is a stripped down, barebones, (mostly) Nordic and Finnish, minimal synthfunk. The songs sound like old midi files and karaoke soul music that's the perfect soundtrack to Leisure Suit Larry getting his mack on. The scene's been around for a few years and I can't remember when I first became aware of it... it may go back to the myspace age. Actually, this blog entry has been around a long time so I thought I should wrap it up. Vinyl is the medium of choice for this example of what can happen when your country pays you to advance their culture.

Check out these label sites if you're interested:
Flogsta Danshall, Harmönia, Dødpop, Disques Mazout and Titched.













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John Carpenter's The Fog June 20 at the New Beverly!

Posted by phil blankenship, June 17, 2009 12:14pm | 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 June 20

John Carpenter's

THE FOG


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


June
June 27 Purple Rain
25th Anniversary of the Prince classic!

July
July 4 Red Dawn
In our time, no foreign army has ever occupied American soil. Until now.

July 18 To Live And Die In L.A.
A federal agent is dead. A killer is loose. And the City of Angels is about to explode.

Ten Questions For Amanda Diva

Posted by Smiles Davis, June 17, 2009 09:52am | Post a Comment

The first roommate I had here in LA was completely out of her mind. We’re talking a real nut. I won’t go too far into details, but I will say skydiving without a parachute would have been more pleasurable than living with that woman. Her little sister, on the other hand, who used to frequently visit from NY, was the polar opposite; she was well read, sociable, easy to please, giggled perpetually, she didn’t steal my stuff, and she found enjoyment in sharing things. One thing she shared with me was here love for a local emcee from her hometown, Amanda Diva. I was unaware of her at the time, but completely open to discovering new music. She played this track for me called “40 Emcees,” and my head spun.


It was like seeing a unicorn for the first time. It was such a breath of fresh air, since, for the most part, female emcees -- female performers, period -- at that time, had been reduced to floss, glitter and stilettos, to say the least. Not exactly my meat and potatoes. But, I digress. Amanda Diva is the TRUTH, and she comes fully equipped with a Master’s degree, bubbling personality, mad lyrical flow, wit, charm, the gift of gab and crazy talent.

Now, nearly three years after my first encounter, I see and hear Amanda Diva almost everywhere, from her show on her YouTube spot, Diva Speak TV, to here guest appearance on Q-tip’s album, to her blog, to The Roots, to Floetry. I tracked Miss Diva down to chat her up about female emcees, the First family, the Internet and her new EP Spandex, Rhymes, & Soul.

What is a diva to you?


A diva is a woman about her integrity and her business.  There are some negative connotations to the word but it really derives from the head soprano in the old Italian opera houses. She was the one folks came to see and ran that stage when she was on it. Translate that to now and a diva is a woman who runs her business!

What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of being a female emcee, or female performer in general?

Advantages: dudes look out sometimes, because in the back (really the front) of their minds they think it might get them “somewhere” with you, lol. The field is smaller, so if you’re on point you can get further faster.

Disadvantages: People question your seriousness and credibility. Folks continuously attempt to take advantage of you because they underestimate your intelligence. [Lack of] safety.

Do you think females catch a brick sometimes where men get a pass?


Hell yea. We are expected to be SO much more on point that men. And people are much quicker to dismiss us off of one lil snafu or missed bar! Lol!

How has life changed for you since election night?

Not that it's relevant to Bams being in office, but since then I’ve just become much more of an efficient hustler. I was working harder, not smarter, and it was wearing me down but I’m doing better and seeing results. Also, Q-tip’s album dropped on election night and as a feature on the album I’ve seen my credibility grow immensely.

What comes to mind when you see Michelle Obama?

Class.

In the Internet age, what advice can you give to new artists?

Utilize it but don’t swear by it. You can’t ONLY exist on the Internet. You have to get out there and do shows. You have to be tangible for folks. Also, watch what you say. Folks get WAYYY too comfortable!

You’ve really taken advantage of the Internet; do you think things would be different for you, had you not had that outlet?

Oh, no question. The Internet has unquestionably been the key to my success. It has allowed me, someone with a vision and drive, to be able to put that to praxis with the machine of a label, which for SO long was the only way to break through.

When did you realize the industry had embraced you as an artist?


When I people started asking me for features and artists referred to me as a peer during interviews. After I dropped Spandex, Rhymes, & Soul, peers even sent me emails commending me on my work. That brought a tear to my eye, lol.

What do you think about auto tune?


NO DICE!

-----------

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

Big Boy Records

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 16, 2009 08:53pm | Post a Comment
For several years in the '90s, before Master P moved to New Orleans and gobbled up most of the talent of the legendary Parkway Pumpin, Big Boy Records was one of the main creative and commercial rivals to uptown's fledgling Cash Money. Over the course of the next few years, they released some of New Orleans' indisputably finest (and under-recognized) bounce and rap music. They also got caught up in all-consuming rivalry with Cash Money that raged in tit-for-tat diss songs while at the same time many of their stars departed for bigger labels. When Cash Money and No Limit signed multi-million dollar deals with major labels, Big Boy floundered, only to be reborn years later on a smaller scale,

Big Boy Records
was founded by Charles "Big Boy" Temple and the talented producer, Leroy "Precise" Edwards, who was responsible for most of the varied but always warm, solid and organic sounds. Others involved in the production were " David "D-Funk" Faulk and Brian "Big Bass" Gardner.

1993
Big Boy's first signee was pioneering New Orleans raper Sporty T (Terence Vine). The Gentilly resident had previously been a founding member of The Ninja Crew -- New Orleans's first rap group to record. In the early '90s, inspired by hits by Juvenile and Everlasting Hitman's bounce hits, he moved in that  direction as well. The label's first single was "Sporty Talkin' Sporty." Though bounce, it had an uncharacteristically heavy sound for the genre. After it sold 4,000 copies, Big Boy sought out more talent.

June 16, 2009

Posted by phil blankenship, June 16, 2009 08:12pm | Post a Comment



(During which the author suspects ruin is imminent.)

Posted by Job O Brother, June 16, 2009 01:15pm | Post a Comment

The "homework feeling." That’s what I’ve got.

It started when I was a kid. It would be after school, and I was finally at home. The sense of relief was huge, because I hated school. Every school day was something to survive – forget about excelling.

Not that I attended schools that were innately dangerous, mind you. In fact, my Ma made sure, humble means or no, that I went to private, reputable institutions. But my antipathy was unconditional. I have the test scores to prove it.

Having finished a day of school there still remained, however, a most evil of responsibilities: that heinous curse, homework.

It haunted me every hour I didn’t do it. Whether I was watching You Can’t Do That On Television, or making my culinary invention – Sweet, Scrambled Pancakes* – or writing cry-for-help puppet shows, there was always that voice in the back of my mind reminding me in a chiding tone that I had homework.


I pretty much never did homework. No amount of privileges revoked, respect lost, or threats of future failure could convince me to do a sheet of fractions. Heck, the homework could have been to sit in a chair and clap twice – I would have found a way to avoid doing it.

To this day, most any time I’m not actively doing something responsible and productive, I feel guilty, or like I’m forgetting something important and, as a result, my life will be sent into a furious, downward spiral. I know it’s neurotic, but all it takes is two hours of enjoying listening to music and daydreaming for me to worry that I’ll be living in a rotted cardboard box by Tuesday.


This is what happens if you procrastinate watering the plants.

Since I’ve been transferring my vinyl collection into MP3 format with my new (superior quality at low cost) turntable from Amoeba Music, I get the homework feeling all the time. It’s simply too much fun I’m having – clearly I must be wallowing in sin.

And yet, even as I record the b-side to my LP compilation of Swedish pop from the 60’s, here I am, writing my blog like a good boy. Granted, this hasn’t been much of a music/movie blog entry – it’s more of a cheap form of therapy, really.







I don’t know where to go with all this. This wasn’t a thought-through article as much as it was me telling you how I feel right now. Perhaps it’s not appropriate? But after what we’ve shared, you and I, I feel as though I can let my guard down and just be myself. Our love is that strong.

Besides, it keeps me from editing the synopsis I’m due to turn in next week.

*The recipe for my Scrambled Pancakes was more or less as follows:

Prepare Bisquick© brand pancake batter as directed, except to ADD about ¾ cup of             honey. Yes, that much. I did say they were sweet.
In a skillet, melt a cube of butter. Listen, it’s nothing Elvis wouldn’t do, and if it’s good         enough for the King…
Pour entire amount of batter into skillet and cook, continuously scraping pan as you             would when cooking scrambled eggs.
When batter resembles a pile of pastry dough with multiple sclerosis, it’s done!
Garnish with MORE honey and butter!


Do not attempt to drive after eating. Or going outside. Or doing anything other than sitting in front of the TV watching You Can’t Do That On Television. You’ll be digesting this for days.

I invented this recipe when I was eight.

R.I.P. BOB BOGLE OF THE VENTURES

Posted by Billyjam, June 16, 2009 10:13am | Post a Comment

Guitarist Bob Bogle, who co-founded the Ventures (known for such hits as "Walk, Don’t Run” and “Perfidia”) died on Sunday after suffering for several years from Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. The Vancouver, The VenturesWash resident was 75. As a part of the Ventures, the legendary instrumental rock band with a distinctive guitar sound that were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March 2008, Bogle leaves behind quite a legacy.

The Tacoma, WA garage-rock band formed in 1958 by Bogle along with Don WIlson who both shared a strong passion for guitars. In 1960 they scored their first hit with an inspired instrumental remake of the Chet Atkins song “Walk, Don’t Run” (above) with Bogle on lead guitar.

The Ventures' version would go on to become one of the most influential songs in rock history and not only launched their long successful career but also helped lay the ground for what became known as "surf music," although they are not technically a surf band. The Ventures' guitar playing has influcenced guitarists in bands for generations, ever since their first hit almost fifty years ago. The prolific group has sold 100 million albums and they still perform to this day. Bogle had stopped playing some years ago due to his illness. R.I.P. Bob Bogle.

Top 5 World Music Best Sellers For June 7th-June 14th

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, June 16, 2009 01:31am | Post a Comment
Top 5 World Music Best Sellers June 7-14

1. Aventura-Last (New York/Dominican Republic)
2. Los Amigos Invisibles- Commercial (Venezuela)
3. Federico Aubele- Amatoria (Argentina)
4. V/A- Love Is Love (Africa)
5. Serge Gainsbourg- Historie De Melody Nelson (France)

The self-proclaimed Kings of Bachata ran away with the top spot on Amoeba Hollywood's World Music top five. Aventura sold enough to get on Amoeba Hollywood's overall top ten (a rare feat for our little section of the store), along with new releases from Mos Def, Grizzly Bear, Sonic Youth and J Dilla. Aventura, along with Wisin & Yandel, is the soundtrack to many lovesick teenage Urban Latinos in matching Kobe Bryant jerseys. It's the kind of sickly sweet stuff that you dedicate to your girl or guy if you love them or if they broke your heart.

Although this was an conscious attempt to make a mainstream album, Los Amigos Invisibles' latest, Commercial, stays the course that the band has been on for fifteen years. Remember what was often said about The Grateful Dead? “It's not that they're the best at what they do, it's that they're the only ones who do what they do?" That's certainly the case with Los Amigos Invisible. If you love their unique take on Latin Disco with loungy undertones, Commercial won't disappoint.

Federico Aubele’s electronic dub meets Tango and acoustic music has many fans, including Argentineans, KCRW heads and people who love Thievery Corporation. Maybe they are all one in the same? Nevertheless, they go gaga for this guy. It’s perfect background music for a café or perhaps that mood music for driving or for that soundtrack for the mini-movie inside your head. There are also remixes on vinyl of some of these tracks as well as some from his previous release, Panamericana, which bump a little more than the CD versions.

From our newly expanded World Music vinyl section comes an African compilation, Love Is Love. This is a collection of “R&B, Highlife, & Dry Guitar Music from various African countries, recorded between 1955 & 1972." I wish I could tell you more about it, but it sold out before I could get a copy of it. Hopefully we will get more and I’ll have my chance to tell you more about it. By the way, did I tell you Amoeba Hollywood has expanded the World Music Vinyl section? There will be more on that to come.

Finally, at number five comes the re-release of a timeless classic, Serge Gainsbourg's Histoire Of Melody Nelson. Oh, those French! While we are in the days where David Letterman has to apologize for making a joke about an adult having sex with a teenager, back in 1971 ol’ Serge made an entire concept album about it. The Lolita-esque story of a love affair with a teenage girl (played by Serge's then girlfriend Jane Birkin) has influnced so many I couldn't begin to list them all. If you've never heard this album, you will be embarrased to admit you like those artists who stole from this classic. The reissue of Histoire De Melody Nelson, released by Light in The Attic, is also out on vinyl, limited to 2000 units worldwide.

Coming this week: Panama 2! & Novalima Coba Coba Remixed!

Money Changes Everything Pt. 1

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, June 15, 2009 11:22pm | Post a Comment




The Whispers
-One For The Money



Tom Waits- Blood Money



Supergrass- In It For The Money



Rabanes- Money Pa' Que



Pitbull-M.I.A.M.I. (Money Is A Major Issue)



Paul Wall - Get Money Stay True



Frank Zappa & The Mothers Of Invention
-We're Only In It For The Money
(Japanese Version)



Duke Ellington, Charlie Mingus, Max Roach
- Money Jungle



Mick Farren- Vampires Stole My Lunch Money



Lil' Scrappy- Money In The Bank

Men In White II

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, June 15, 2009 11:20pm | Post a Comment

Another round of the men in white. A couple of these guys are wearing a bit of off white or cream, but I think that's close enough...






Mobo Records - West Bank's Finest

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 15, 2009 06:05pm | Post a Comment

In the old days (the '80s), most New Orleans rap was released by labels from outside the state. Dallas's Yo! had handled Gregory D & Mannie Fresh and Tim Smooth. Ft. Lauderdale's famous bass label, 4 Sight, released Ninja Crew's "We Destroy." Juvenile was initially on New York's Warlock. When majors got involved, they invariably mis-handled the artists. Gregory D & Mannie Fresh moved to RCA; Warren Mayes and pioneering west bank rapper MC Thick signed to Atlantic.

All that changed following the bounce explosion of 1991. New Orleans's long established Soulin' Records finally got into the rap game, releasing DJ Jimi's debut single, the bounce classic "(The Original) Where Dey At?" Seemingly overnight, a number of cottage industry labels sprang up, including Big Boy, Cash Money, Parkway Pumpin, Slaughterhouse, Take Fo' and Untouchable. None of them except Cash Money lasted into the new millenium. But for a time, they collectively produced and recorded some of the most overlooked and greatest rap of the decade and routinely outsold nationally-promoted rappers of the day, helping turn the tide toward the south.

New 12" Electronic Releases at Amoeba Hollywood - 06/20/09

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, June 15, 2009 04:21pm | Post a Comment
 

New Electro/Techno 12"s Coming this Weekend:

Black Meteoric Star 
DEATH TUNNEL 12" DFA2200

Latest project by longtime DFA alumni GAVIN RUSSOM, inspired by Euro-disco, wonky early electronic body music and global psychedelic rock. "DEATH TUNNEL" is a hot club cut just waiting to be unleashed, while the flip "WORLD EATER" is a more mid-tempo groover with a strong EBM lean.

Sven Weisemann SHOVE EP 12" ARTLESS2193 

This 6 track EP is a mixture of deep electronic journeys of dub and tech, with a surprising chunky IDM mover (peep track 5) that comes out of nowhere into the forefront. SVEN never disappoints with his keen ear for digital landscapes and fresh musical concepts.

Amy Winehouse THE SKA COVERS EP 7" AMY7001

Andy Votel ALL TEN FINGERS LP TNXLLP153

Bob Marley FORT KNOX FIVE REMIXES 7" FKX011 

Fort Knox Five Set 000-009 + 017 10X12" FKXBOX0TO9

Lily Allen THE SKA EP 7" LILY7001

Nightmares On Wax WAX ON RECORDS V2 12" WAX12007

DJ Cam's Bouncer Crew SMOKESUM EP 12" KIFHH111

Detachments FLOWERS THAT FELL RMXS 12" TINAE018

Emperor Machine SPACE BEYOND THE EGG DLP DC92LP  

Otto Von Schirach BASS LOW 12" BASSHEAD002

Pet Shop Boys DID YOU SEE ME COMING 12" 12R6772

Purple Brain 3 TRACK EP 7" + MIX CD RVNGMX7SEVEN   

Tombee GODFATHERS 7" JTP018

Pheek & Stefny JAPAN EXCURSION JOINT 12” ARCHPL017

Dj Bone SECOND ENCOUNTER 12” BE002

Unknown Artist TRAVERSABLE WORMHOLE VOL. 2 12” TW02

Orphx Division SURGEON & SUBSTANCE 12” SG0936


New House/Disco 12"s Coming this Weekend:

Claude Vonstroke
AUNDY EP 12" DBIRD023

"AUNDY" is a deep track that pays homage to the 90s drum and bass sound of people like LTJ BUKEM. "STORM ON LAKE ST. CLAIRE" is a vibing summer house track, lying between moody house & big room thunder. The feedback is HUGE! APPLEBLIM, CHARLES WEBSTER, DIGWEED, SINDEN all love it.

Reggie Dokes 
CHICAGO PIMP 12" CLSS01

New CLONE LOFT SERIES sees REGGIE drop a dirty house track for peak-time use with "CHICAGO PIMP." On the flip is the fierce "I WEAR THE MASK," with a jumpy beat, staccato keys, balanced bassline, and high emotion that will get em on the floor.

Cabin Fever CABIN FEVER TRACKS VOL.6 12" RKDS007

Cabin Fever CABIN FEVER TRACKS VOL.3 12" RKDS004

Cecilia Stalin AFRO BLUE REMIXES 12" AJABU12004

Joshua Heath DIRTY THIRTY EP 12" DRM064

Inland Knights BAD MAN EP 12" DRM058

Manuel Tur GOLDEN COMPLEXION REMIX 12" FR122 

Manuel Tur ACORADO 12" FR088

Various TRIBE SESSION SAMPLER ONE 12" TRIBEEP001

Basement Jaxx BEST OF VOL.2 EP 12" BOBJ002

Basement Jaxx FLYLIFE (TAYO MIX) 12" JAXX032

Basement Jaxx PLANET 1 YELLOW VINYL 12" JAXL014

Basement Jaxx PLANET 2 RED VINYL 12" JAXL015

Basement Jaxx RAINDROPS 12" XLT444 

Elitechnique MUNICH EMOTIONS 12" CLSS02

Evan Baggs CHOKE CHAIN-RIVA STARR 12" FRANKIE045

James Teej SPENDING LIFE 12" REB027

Loose Shus THREESOME TAURUS 12" SEED030

Magistrates HEARTBREAK REMIXES 12" XLT432

Mano Le Tough WARHORN EP 12" INT008

Mike Rez SECOND SIGHT EP 12" DEVR005

Mina Jackson PRAY-MIKE DUNN REMIX 12" CCS01

Salvatore & Volta WILD BEACH 12" LIEBE028

Silhouette Brown SPREAD THAT-BRUNO E 12" ETHV002

Unknown THE ANSWER & TIMELESS SIGNS 12" UPS002

Various LIVE & DIRECT IBIZA 09-DAY 12" 12C2LD009

Dj Slip AVAILABLE LIGHT 12” THEMA017

Dj Sneak BACK IN THE BOX VOL. 5 12” BITBLP04E

Kerri Chandler ATMOSPHERE EP 12” SHL1004

Lil’ Louis CLUB LONELY 12” CL455

Louie Vega THOUSAND FINGERED MAN 12” VR009

Louie Vega HOUSE OF RHUMBSTEEL CONGO 12” VR010

Louie Vega AFRICA (ISOLEE REMIX) 12” VR011

Mr. V MISS PATTY DA BUMP 12” VR029

Mr. V DA BUMP (AME REMIXES) 12” VR038

Mr. V 
WELCOME 12” VR414    


New Dubstep/Jungle 12"s Coming this Weekend:

Bounty Kill 
TELL DEM (DUBSTEP RMX) 12" CTRLV

A boombastic dubstep remix of "TELL DEM" by dancehall legend BOUNTY KILLA & EINSTEIN is matched on the flip by a more laidback dubstep remix of "CAN'T BE MY LOVER" by JOHN LEGEND & BUJU BANTON. Very limited stock!

D Bridge 
WONDER WHERE 12" NONPLUS001

This haunting track that skirts the frontier between dubstep and D&B is quickly becoming an anthem, with SKREAM closing his sets with it & BURIAL seeing fit to include it on his upcomong "DJ KICKS" mix. On the flip is the similarly genre-bending "NO FUTURE" by INSTRA:MENTAL.

Frohlocker HIPBRASS 12" GALOPP003

Bootleggers PAPER PLANES 12" BLAG002

Current Value & Rodell SPARSE LAND 12" SUBT006

Jus Wan SUBMERSIVE (SCUBA VERSION) 12" NL003

Lion Dub HEARTBROKEN (NOAH D RMX) 12" EAR010

Liquid LIQUID IS LIQUID 12" TVZ005

Sarantis MORE THAN MONEY-STARKEY RMX 12" SENSELESS009

Truth TERROR PLANET 12" LAB006

IRON MAIDEN'S NEW DVD FLIGHT 666 VERY POPULAR AT AMOEBA

Posted by Billyjam, June 15, 2009 01:08pm | Post a Comment
Popular Heavy Metal DVDs at Amoeba Music Hollywood:
Iron Maiden Flight 666
1) Iron Maiden Flight 666 (2009)

2) Metal: A Headbanger's Journey (2006)

3) Heavy Metal In Baghdad (2007)

4) Metallica: Some Kind of Monster (2005)

5) Monsters of Metal Vol. 6 (2008)

The new Iron Maiden film Flight 666 is an excellent concert documentary directed by Sam Dunn & Scot McFadyen. The film was screened at several festivals, including SXSW in Austin a few months ago, had a brief run in theaters, and has been recently shown on VH1 Classics. Finally, it's now available on DVD with lots of bonus footage. Since it was released last week (Jun 9th) it has been selling extremely well at Amoeba Music's three stores. "We sold nearly every copy, way more than we expected. We've had to reorder it, it's so popular," reported Chris at the Hollywood Amoeba store, whose areas of specialty include music DVDs. So who's buying Flight 666? Iron Maiden fans of old or  music fans that have been newly converted to the legendary British metal monsters? "Metal head dudes of all ages are buying it up," said Chris, adding that others are too, including many curious to learn more about this legendary hard rock group, who have been putting it down for 34 years and yet still manage to blow away many metal bands half their age.
heavy metal in baghdad
The movie was made in the classic concert documentary style, and it follows the band on last year's Somewhere Back In Time World Tour, during which the veteran metal musicians clocked 50,000 miles round the globe, playing 23 concerts on five continents over a 45 day period with stops in such cities as Los Angeles, Mexico City, New York, Mumbai, Sydney, Tokyo, Costa Rica, Bogota, and Buenos Aires. The deluxe edition is a two disc set that includes the entire set from the 2008 segment of this tour on the bonus disc. Nice! The sound is crispy clean and passes the cranked up loud on a big sound system test, and while nothing equates the experience of being in the flesh at a concert, the live show footage on Flight 666 comes pretty close.

FAITH RESTORED

Posted by Charles Reece, June 14, 2009 10:53pm | Post a Comment

The above is the only remastered vinyl that I've been willing to pay 40 bucks for. What can I say? I'm still a fan, and it makes me pleased as punch to see these guys playing together again. But it's without these two:

    
Jim Martin                                   Chuck Mosley

I didn't much care about the band after guitarist Martin was given the boot, and still don't. So, here are my favorite songs from the Big Jim-era albums that Faith No More played live at the recent Download Festival in Donington Park, UK:

Introduce Yourself's "Chinese Arithmetic" (coupled with a version of "Poker Face" from someone named Lady Gaga -- she's popular, evidently):


The Real Thing's "From Out of Nowhere":


Angel Dust's "Midlife Crisis":


And while mining the web for info about the reunion, I found this 2005 interview with Metal Hammer (it's still around!), where Roddy Bottom, Billy Gould and Mike Patton dish on their erstwhile guitarist:

Bottum: “Jim Martin had always been very conventional in what he wanted to do with the band, very much a fan of guitar music only and metal specifically. During the recording of Angel Dust it became apparent to both him and us that we were heading in very different directions.”

The scene in need of a name

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 14, 2009 06:39pm | Post a Comment
 

About ten years ago, my friend Pete Jourdan and I were trying to advance the awareness of what we felt was a scene that was somehow unrecognized both for its existence as a scene and for the Godlike Genius of it all. I described it thusly, "Although there’s never been a name put to it, there’s an ongoing movement in music whose participants mix musical influences like the baritone atmospherics of Lee Hazelwood, the Doors, Scott Walker and Leonard Cohen with Ennio Morricone, Hank Williams, and Southern Gothic and Poetic Realist literary influences to create a sort of rural, post-apocalyptic, midnight cabaret music that, whilst dark and doomy, offers a sepia-tinted alternative to the embarassing cornballisms of Goth. A lot of the bands hail from Australia and their members normally look like a mix of consumptive prospectors and bourbon-drunk undertakers. Their lush, decadent sound is usually built around haunting violins, spaghetti western guitar and old time religion."

 

Windswept, Australian, Hillbilly Heathcliffs

It was the CD era, pre-blogs, and eventually we, like Israel and Palestine, couldn't come to an agreement either on what to call it or how to characterize it. Pete maintained that Nick Cave was the central figure. Given that Boys Next Door inarguably sucked while the similarly minded Young Charlatans and Crime + the City Solution were already good, I didn't want to overemphasize Nick Cave's importance at the expense of Rowland S. Howard, Simon Bonney, Mick Harvey and others. If everything had to tie directly to Nick Cave, how could we incorporate bands like Wolfgang Press and Tindersticks but through at least three degrees of separation? Nick Cave became our "right of return" and talks broke down. I don't know whether this biography is auto or not, but in order to preserve it:

Peter D. Jourdan, plagued with weak health, was begged by his family physician, Old Man Olafson (who runs Olafson’s General Store in West Lakeland Township), to harden himself and his constitution by way of spending a length of time on in the masculine arts of ranching and trail-riding in our wonderful frontier... but only after his prescription of horehound (oral) failed. Instead, however, it seems he fell in with the notorious Rowena gang and his health and moral reserve were subsequently eroded completely.



And Also the Trees


Anita Lane


Angelo Badalamenti


Asphalt Ribbons


Birthday Party


Blackeyed Susans


Kid Congo Powers


Crime + the City Solution


The Dirty Three


The Flaming Stars


Gallon Drunk


Hugo Race & the True Spirit


Mick Harvey

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

Phil Shoenfelt & Southern Cross

PJ Harvey

Rowland S. Howard

Simon Bonney

Veuillez installer Flash Player pour lire la vidéo
Sixteen Horsepower


These Immortal Souls


The Tindersticks


The Triffids


The Walkabouts


Wolfgang Press


Young Charlatans

Also check out Conway Savage, The Denver Gentlemen, Die Haut, Fatal Shore, The Gilded Bats, Honeymoon In Red, Hungry Ghosts, Once Upon a Time, Shotgun Wedding, Those Poor Bastards and Woven Hand, which have no decent video footage currently.

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June 14, 2009

Posted by phil blankenship, June 14, 2009 05:23pm | Post a Comment











plus a bonus show of

WHEN RAP GETS EVEN SCARIER: YOUNG CONSERVATIVES WITH MICS

Posted by Billyjam, June 14, 2009 02:51pm | Post a Comment

The above video, which, note, is serious, not ironic, has been making the rounds since it first surfaced on YouTube a couple of weeks ago and after the pair of young conservative "rappers," Serious C and Stiltz (aka The Young Cons), recently got airtime on -- big surprise -- FOX News. On the network, they expounded upon their political rap, which includes lyrics such as "Terrorists were imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay, now they’re in our neighborhoods, planning out doomsday" (for more of their distorted logic, see full song lyics below). 

The pair appeal to the legions of disgruntled, Obama-hating, anti-abortion, anti-socialist, right wing conservatives (many not rap fans but who are drawn in by the Cons' politics). There appear to be many of these types of people, judging by the majority of the almost 6000 YouTube comments the pair has received to date.

Admittedly, I do not agree with their political views, but that's not why I dislike the Young Cons. It's because their mic skills totally suck. Please peep the video above and/or read the lyrics below and post your opinion in the "comments" box below. And for more background info on the duo, visit the Young Cons' MySpace.

"Young Con Anthem" lyrics:

Yo this one's for all the young conservatives.
I rep the Northeast and I’m still a young con,
Let your voice release, you don’t have to be Obamatrons.
I debate any poser who don’t shoot straight,
Government spending needs to deflate,
Your ideas are lightweight,
Ya careers in checkmate
I frustrate. I increase the pulse rate
I hate when,
government dictatin, makin statements, bout how to be a merchant,
How to run a restaurant, how to lay the pavement
Bailout a business, but can’t protect an infant
Deficiencies are blatant, young con treatment
I stand one man, outnumbered at my college
Thank you Miss Cali for reminding us of marriage
Can’t support abortion, and call yourself a Christian
I support life, you’re a puzzled politician
Terrorists were imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay,
Now they’re in our neighborhoods, planning out doomsday
No such thing as utopia,
no government can control ya, baby ya,
Reap the benefits hard work, self reliant
Listen to Stiltz, my dude’s a lyrical giant

Animals

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, June 14, 2009 11:06am | Post a Comment






So, I tried to include a couple of bears since it's LA Pride this weekend. A couple of pandas and the creature on the Fadisa label is all I could come up with. I think that's a bear in a suit and top hat on the Fadisa label...a look some guys might be into.


Got A Light?

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, June 13, 2009 12:15pm | Post a Comment










With the feds' new takeover of the tobbacco industry, I thought it time to do another smoking related post. It will be interesting to see if overall tobacco quality improves; I can't believe the low grade crap people kill themselves with! I'm off to puff on my pipe now...


 

CHRIS KNOX (TALL DWARFS, TOY LOVE, THE ENEMY) SUFFERS STROKE

Posted by Billyjam, June 13, 2009 09:27am | Post a Comment
Chris Knox "Not Given Lightly" (1990)

Chris Knox, the pioneering New Zealand musician of influential Kiwi bands The Enemy, Toy Love, and the Tall Dwarfs, is reportedly in an Auckland hospital today after suffering a stroke two days ago. The talented New Zealander, who also co-founded the country's legendary indie Flying Nun record label in the early 80's, is a major figure in the development of the kiwipop story.
Chris Knox
A living legend in his native New Zealand, the 56 year-old Knox's rich & respected career dates back to late 70s NZ punk era bands The Enemy and Toy Love, followed by being one-half (along with The Enemy guitarist Alec Bathgate) of the quirky oddball 4-track pioneering duo the Tall Dwarfs, whose music I highly recommend you seek out at Amoeba if you don't already have it in your collection. (For a prime example of their sound, check the video down below of the brilliant Tall Dwarfs song "The Brain That Wouldn't Die.")

Knox, who has an uncanny knack for creating the perfect infectious pop song, has also released a number of solo, self-produced albums. His 1990 song "Not Given Lightly" (a love song to his wife -- see video above) was named "New Zealand's ninth best song of all time" at the 2001 New Zealand Music Awards.

Aquanauts - heroes of oceanic exploration

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 13, 2009 08:23am | Post a Comment


Aquanauts - What Are They?

Aquanauts, as the name implies to anyone with even the most basic awareness of Latin and ancient Greek, are the oceanic equivalent of astronauts, cosmonauts, taikonauts and other nauts. However, there's more to being an aquanaut than wearing a blue blazer with gold buttons paired with white trousers. Nor are aquanauts mere scuba divers or snorkelers. Even donning a Breton sailor's shirt and Greek fisherman's cap, puttering around in a pressure-and-climate-controlled sub just makes you a submariner. If you want to be an aquanaut, you've got to get your hands wet. There's also an implication that you have to be indigenous to land because no one ever described a porpoise or a jellyfish as an aquanaut.

 

Famous, Real-Life Aquanauts

Although every documentary about the Earth's oceans points out how much more interesting the oceans are than space (and how we know less about it), aquanauts are never as famous as their spacegoing rivals. Whereas everyone knows the names of the first astronauts on the moon, who can name any of the crew who first descended the Marianas Trench? See if any of these "famous" aquanauts' names ring any diving bells:

Robert Stenuit, Bill Tolbert, Billie L. Coffman, George Dowling, Mike Meisky, Robert Sheats, Shorty Lyons and Wally Jenkins, Alina Szmant, Bill High, C. Lavett Smith, Chris Olstad, Harold Pratt, Ian Koblick, John Perry, Joseph MacInnis, Morgan Wells, Neil Monney, Phillip Sharkey, Richard Cooper, Robert Dill, Stephen Neudecker, Steven Miller, Sylvia Earle. Malcolm Scott Carpenter was both an aquanaut and and astronaut!

 

Aquanauts in Film

Sometimes, filmmakers decide that enough is enough and choose to relocate what are essentially space movies to an underwater location. When I was 11, I learned to scuba dive and got my first paying job (under the table... child labor and all that) at a scuba shop. A few years later, there was a spate of aquanaut films beginning with Deep Star Six. To me, any aquanaut film was held to the absolute lowest standards. I even purported to find The Abyss "not boring" even though I only remember one scene.


Special notice must be given to Chris Elliott (no less a hero than Scott Carpenter) who has done more than any other actor to raise the stature of ocean-centered films, having starred in The Abyss, played a submariner in an episode of Get A Life entitled "Neptune 2000," and a cabin boy in Cabin Boy. His autobiography, Daddy's Boy even begins, "The sea is a cruel mistress..." 

 

20000 lieues sous les mers (1907) and 20,000 leagues under the sea (1916) are two early examples of aquanauts in action. As you can see in the earlier version, a work of the always unrealistic Georges Méliès, the aquanaut seems to explore the depths without the aid of a breathing aparatus. Yeah right. Somebody's got nitrogen narcosis! The 1916 version is actually quite entertaining with reasonably amazing effects.

 

Undersea Kingdom (1936) holds the distinction of being Republic's lowest budget serial... and it shows. It could've been subtitled Buck Rogers/Flash Gordon underwater. As such, like the spate of aquanaut movies of 1989, it seems like little more than a gimmick and there's very little aquanatic action.




20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954) is a classic that everyone knows and loves. No exceptions.

  

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1961) followed a few years later and had some superficial similarities (giant squid punch up), as did War-Gods of the Deep (1965) (another period aquanaut piece). Some would argue that Fantastic Voyage (1966) has no place in this blog, but blood and people, as we all know, are mostly made of water, it has submarines and scuba divers, so it stays! And then there's Captain Nemo and the Underwater City (1969).









  

For a while, the aquanaut genre lay undisturbed, like a giant wrecked Spanish Galleon silently resting at the bottom of the sea. The genre was revived in 1989 with the release of Deep Star Six. It and the films that followed had a notably different vibe than earlier aquanaut films. At that point they borrowed elements from horror and science-fiction and some would say owed a slight debt to Alien. Within a span of twelve months, Deep Star Six was followed by Leviathan, The Abyss and the inevitable Roger Corman production, Lords of the Deep. The following year, The Rift aka Endless Descent (1990) was cannibalizing all of them in its poster art, name, plot and almost appears to be a parody.









Sphere (1998) came out years later. I found it unintentionally funny at points, such as the Seinfeldian "Harry is Jerry!" "Harry is Jerry?" "Jerry's Harry!" Nick Pinto swears by it though.


Aquanauts on TV

There've been several examples of aquanauts on the small screen including Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1964-1968), Stingray (1964-1965), Sealab 2020 (1972), SeaQuest DSV (1993-1996) and Sealab 2021 (2000-2005). Note: Pacifica Radio DJ Rick Frystak has pointed out that there was a syndicated show called The Aquanauts in 1960 and '61 although it doesn't seem to've been about actual aquanauts and more in the vein of Sea Hunt.












Years ago, I made a custom, limited edition Aquanaut box set. If you bought it, I'd love to hear from you.

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MC Taylor of Hiss Golden Messenger Chats

Posted by Miss Ess, June 12, 2009 05:40pm | Post a Comment
MC Taylor is a certified California boy, born and bred. After growing up in Southern California, he rocked the San Francisco scene for many years with his popular band The Court & Spark, and was long a seminal part of our fine city's musical fabric. Then, one day about two years ago, he packed it up and moved to North Carolina to study folklore at a local university. Taylor has since emerged with a new project, Hiss Golden Messenger, and a new album, Country Hai East Cotton, which has very recently been released. Here, Taylor chats about his new life in the South, where, aside from creating music, his time is taken up by barn stompers, tending to his garden, and, oh yes...obsessing about and being inspired by an ever-changing musical array.


Miss Ess: What is Hiss Golden Messenger?

MC Taylor: Hiss Golden Messenger is the name under which I make music, usually in collaboration with Scott Hirsch and many of our friends in California, Texas, North Carolina, and New York. HGM is not so much a band as a musical approach.

I think of golden messages—like sky songs—as tunes that appear out of the blue and hang around your head, waiting to be sung. Some singers of gospel music I have talked to refer to these as “gift songs” that come from above, but I believe the more skeptically inclined can receive and sing these songs too. For example, I get a lot of golden messages while I am singing my son to sleep; they’re usually silly and I forget most of them. But some I remember and I record them later.

ME: What is the music scene like where you are in North Carolina?

MCT: The musical scene in North Carolina is great. Everyone is so friendly and welcoming, and there are a lot of great musicians and venues where I live here in the Piedmont region as well as in the mountainous region (Asheville, et al) to the west. People are very easygoing here; there are a lot of house parties and cookouts with people playing music outside, and that is really nice. During the warm months my wife and I host parties on our farm that we call Groover’s Paradise where we cook up a bunch of food and have different people perform. The most recent Groover’s Paradise featured D. Charles Speer (of NNCK and D. Charles Speer & The Helix) and Marpessa Dawn. It was good. I drank too much sake. In the last month I saw Ghost and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy perform near my home, and they were both fantastic. And I got to meet Ash Bowie not long after we moved here, which was a special event because he is one of my guitar heroes.

I should be clear, though, I’m not exactly an authority on musical happenings here, considering my proclivity towards hermititude and the fact that we now have a three-month old with us. But I try.

ME: What has it been like, as a Californian obsessed with folk and country music, to move yourself fully into part of the cradle of it all in North Carolina?

MCT: It’s been really interesting to be living in a place where bluegrass, old time, blues, and country music seem to be a part of the vernacular. Folks here seem to be somewhat more versed in those musical genres, and are genuinely proud of the contributions that North Carolina has made to them. It’s been very educational for me to be living here; although I’ve spent a lot of time digging through crates of country and folk records, I’m far from an expert, and here I’m surrounded by bona fide scholars. It’s a good position to be in.

ME: Through your work studying folklore, did you discover any musicians that you particularly love and hadn't heard about before? Or any particularly interesting musical mythologies?

MCT: I’ve had the good opportunity to work with some incredibly gifted and knowledgeable teachers since I arrived in North Carolina. This past spring, I assisted a singer named Alice Gerrard in teaching a class called “Documenting Traditional Music.” Alice performed with another singer named Hazel Dickens as part of a duo called Hazel & Alice that are very well-loved, and I can’t think of anyone more knowledgeable about bluegrass and old time music than she is. During the course of the class, we invited many of Alice’s close friends in as guest speakers; some of these included Art Rosenbaum, a gifted artist and documentarian who is responsible for assembling Dust-to-Digital’s Art of Field Recording box sets (one of which I believe just won a Grammy award), Dick Spottswood, one of the foremost experts on 78s (and boyhood friend of John Fahey), and Mike Seeger, who is arguably one of the most important musical documentarians and old time musicians of the late-20th century. Hearing Mike talk about finding Dock Boggs in the hills of West Virginia after years of living in obscurity, and of learning to play the guitar from Elizabeth Cotten (who worked for his family when he was a boy) was pretty mind-blowing. So that was an experience that really deepened my knowledge of folk music writ large.

There are also a lot of legendary musicians from the Upper South—performers like Tommy Jarrell, E.C. Ball, Etta Baker, John Dee Holeman, George Higgs, The Blue Sky Boys, Nimrod Workman, Luther Davis, Ola Belle Reed, and many others—that I probably would not have had the opportunity to really dig into had I not moved to this area. Old time music can be a real black hole of knowledge, and I have a hard time keeping all the names, tunes, and regional styles straight in my head.

How has the move from SF to NC influenced your own music?

Well, the cost of living is less expensive here, and things, generally speaking, are a little more easygoing in the South, so I think my stress levels have dropped some. Where we live is very nice; we’ve got a house in the country that we rent from a gentleman named June Sparrow, and I spend a lot of time working in our garden (where we grow a lot of our own vegetables) and recording music. We can make as much noise as we want out here, and Scott Hirsch has come down several times for recording sessions, which we do right in my living room. It’s so nice to be able to do this. A couple weeks ago, we arranged speakers outside in the woods late at night and played a bunch of stuff we had already recorded through them, which we then recorded with a stereo pair of mics we had set up out there. We got this beautiful, ghostly echo and the sound of rain dripping through the trees and humming cicadas. I miss San Francisco so much, but none of this is stuff I ever could have done there, at least not with the degree of freedom that I have here. 

What was the songwriting process like for you, working somewhere new and with a different project from the one you had been involved in for so many years previous?

Well, the songs on Country Hai East Cotton were actually written while I was living in San Francisco, although Scott and I were still wrangling with them when we both moved to the East Coast. Knowing that this project would be largely about following whatever path the song took us on was very liberating. And I believe in anticipatory memory—sort of like future memory, which P.M.H. Atwater writes about—and I think that, even early on in the making of this record, I knew that I would eventually be living somewhere more open, and I was subconsciously making music to suit that coming situation.

Where was the album recorded and what was the concept behind its production, if any?

Hmm. I guess we just wanted to make a record that sounded good and moved us, and we ended up working with people that we felt had the right feel for the music. John Hofer, who played drums throughout, was pretty critical; he’s such a gifted musician, and knew pretty much exactly what each song was asking for right off the bat. When the project was still in the planning stages, I gave him copies of a couple records that I really liked the drumming on, specifically Traffic’s The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys and Fairport Convention’s Full House; both of these albums feature rock solid drummers—Jim Gordon and Dave Mattacks, respectively—that really swing. But I’m pretty sure John didn’t even listen to these records, even though he probably was familiar with them. He just knew the deal.

The majority of basic the tracks were recorded to 2” tape at a studio called A Different Fur Trading Co, which is in the Mission District right next to the Lexington Club. It’s a beautiful sounding studio where Herbie Hancock recorded some of his most killer albums, like Sextant and the first Headhunters record. Dr. Patrick Gleeson, who played all the intense patched synths on those records, founded the studio in 1968, and that really drew me towards the place. After these sessions, we took the tracks to the loft that Scott was living in in a converted Sears building off of Army Street, and finished them there.

Going back, when did you first start playing music and what was it that got you going enough to want make it a big part of your life?

When my Dad was in high school, he had a band called The Settlers that played around California opening for John Denver and things like this. My dad has a gorgeous singing voice and is a beautiful guitar picker, and some of my earliest memories are of listening to him play guitar and sing.

There was also always music playing around the house when I was a kid, and I think that taught me that music was important and transcendent. My dad really liked, among other things, Buffalo Springfield and John Stewart’s California Bloodlines, along with The Beatles and The Byrds. He actually told me that he saw The Beatles and The Byrds on the same night in Los Angeles once, which is truly amazing to me.

What has been the musical high point of your life thus far?

Every summer we throw a big party in Upstate New York at a farm belonging to our friends Julian and Juliette. They have an old wooden barn behind their main house, and a bunch of folks play all day and into the night, and then we have a big bonfire to burn off all the detritus from the previous year, followed by an early dawn swim in their pond. It’s definitely the musical highlight of every year for me. Last year featured HGM, P.G. Six, Meg Baird, The Family Band, and Endless Boogie, and this year D. Charles Speer & The Helix is going to be joining us up there along with most of the aforementioned acts. It’s a good time to catch up with old and new friends, eat delicious food, ingest a bit of psilocybin, and listen to really good music.

Name an album you love that you think more people should listen to and why.

That’s a tough one. People that collect music sort of specialize in this kind of question, right? I suppose I’ve always been a big fan and advocate of Peter Rowan. He’s made some strange, possibly unflattering career choices, but his music is so good and he’s so talented. That record of him with his brothers, just titled The Rowans (on Asylum from 1976), is so great, almost like a companion piece to Gene Clark’s No Other-- an epic Buddhist country record. My friend Brendan was recently in correspondence with Terry Allen (another musical and artistic legend), and Mr. Allen sent him an incredible mix tape called Border Burn that was full of Peter Rowan’s stuff with the Free Mexican Airforce. I was pretty stoked to hear that. And I also read something Peter had written somewhere about going to see Bob Marley & The Wailers’ first tour of the U.S. He said he smoked a big joint and laid down under Carlton Barrett’s drum riser and listened to the whole set from there. That is heavy!

Augie Meyers’s Augie’s Western Head Music Co. is also a classic country rock record from the golden era, and I’m always surprised that more people don’t know about it. Augie is so rad; my dream would be to record with him someday. He was Doug Sahm’s right-hand man in the Sir Douglas Quintet, and his sound is so unique and awesome. HGM are in the middle of finishing a cut from this record called “Roll Some Inspiration,” which is about exactly what you’d think.

I also really love Gib Guilbeau, and think he’s sadly underrated. His first, self-titled solo record is awesome. And Keith Hudson. I think everyone should own some Keith Hudson records, particularly Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood. Ronnie Lane’s Anymore For Anymore? Is there anyone who doesn’t know Ronnie’s music? I shouldn’t even get started with this. I could just go on forever.

What have you been listening to lately?

Rod Stewart’s Gasoline Alley, Clipse’s Hell Hath No Fury, Augie Meyers’s Augie’s Western Head Music Co. and Live at the Longneck, King Sunny Ade’s Juju Music, J.J. Cale’s Really, Gary Stewart’s Steppin’ Out and Little Junior, Joe Higgs’s Life of Contradiction, The Beach BoysSurf’s Up, Mickey Jupp’s Legend, Sleepy LaBeef’s The Bull’s Night Out, Travis Wammack’s Not For Sale, Gerry Rafferty’s Can I Have My Money Back?, Jethro Tull’s Aqualung and Heavy Horses, Merle Haggard’s Back to the Barrooms and Rainbow Stew, The Grateful Dead’s Live at the Baltimore Civic Center 3.26.1973, Popol Vuh’s Nosferatu, Burning Spear’s Man in the Hills and Dry & Heavy, Bert Jansch’s L.A. Turnaround, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy’s Beware, Sharon Van Etten’s Because I Was In Love, Tanya Tucker’s What’s Your Mama’s Name, Willie Lane’s Known Quantity, MV&EE’s Drone Trailer, Tompall Glaser’s Tompall Glaser & His Outlaw Band, Alice Gerrard & Mike Seeger’s album from 1980 on Greenhays, that self-titled record by Henry Flynt & Nova’Billy, Mel Tillis’s Me & Pepper and Live at the Sam Houston Coliseum & Birmingham Municipal Auditorium, the McDonald & Giles album on Island, the latest Arborea album on Fire Museum Records, Chris Darrow’s first record, the album by Miss Abrams and the Strawberry Point 4th Grade Class on Reprise from 1972, Mac Gayden’s Skyboat, D. Charles Speer & The Helix’s After Hours, Augustus Pablo’s Rare Dubs 1970—1971, Lee Perry’s Double Sevens, Don Cherry’s Brown Rice, Sammi Smith’s Help Me Make It Through The Night, David Allen Coe’s Spectrum VII, Michael Hurley’s Parsnip Snips, Gib Guilbeau’s first self-titled solo record, Willie Nelson’s Honeysuckle Rose soundtrack, Junior Murvin’s Police & Thieves, Ike Turner’s Bad Dreams, Ike & Tina’s ‘Nuff Said, Mickey Hart’s Music To Be Born By and Rolling Thunder, The Wild Magnolia’s self-titled record on Polydor from 1972, Herbie Mann’s Muscle Shoals Nitty Gritty, E.C. Ball with Orna Ball & the Friendly Gospel Singers’ album on Rounder, Tangerine Dream’s Phaedra, Erykah Badu’s New Amerykah Part One: 4th World War, Terry Riley’s Descending Moonshine Dervishes, George Strait’s Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind, Gwigwi Mrwebi’s Kwela, Eric Clapton’s Backless, Ronnie Lane’s Anymore for Anymore and One For The Road, The Rowans’ self-titled record on Asylum from 1976, Taj Mahal TravellersAugust 1974, Ola Belle Reed’s My Epitaph, Brand Nubian’s One For All, Count Bass D’s Dwight Spitz, The Orleans Gunn live jams up on Myspace, and a bunch of Link Wray. Oh, and Traffic’s Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys. I listen to that one a lot.

What song best describes your life right now?

“It Is Good” by Burning Spear or “Don’t Blame It On Me” by Michael Hurley. 

You live so far away now! But what has been your best find at Amoeba?

That’s a tough question! I’ve done some serious record shopping at Amoeba in my time, so it’s hard to remember specific titles. I’ve spent hours and hours in the reggae and country sections alone.

Years ago, I watched a copy of Ian Matthews’s Valley Hi collect dust for months before finally buying it. I don’t think it’s a particularly rare record, but I love it so much. And I’ve bought maybe 10 copies of Traffic’s Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys in the dollar bins. Whenever I’d see a clean copy of it, I’d buy it because it’s my favorite record.

What’s next for you?

In the immediate future I need to do some weeding, pull up the kale that has bolted, and put in some pole beans. I also plan on doing a lot of hanging out with our baby boy, Elijah Lee. Musically speaking, Scott and I are in the middle of finishing up a HGM EP that we recorded most of with Irene Trudel in NYC for broadcast on WFMU. Irene is one of radio’s heroes, and she was gracious enough to give us the tracks to continue working on. We’ve also been working on a very sprawling new record, but we’ve still got some serious work to do on that. We’re having a good time.

I should also say, if anyone is interested in purchasing a copy of the Hiss Golden Messenger record Country Hai East Cotton (and can't get to Amoeba!), visit our label website here or our blog. Thank you Sarah for asking me to do this, and thank you everyone for reading. God bless Amoeba Music.

Thanks for your time!

New Electronic CD Releases 6/12/09

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, June 12, 2009 01:04pm | Post a Comment

Ray Mang

Mangled
Mangled

Ray Mang is the disco dance party DJ alter ego of writer/producer Raj Gupta. The moniker was introduced as a vehicle for creating, releasing and spinning anything goes disco-centric party music for collectors, dancers, enthusiasts and Jocks alike. Taking inspiration from the extended disco mixes, dub versions and edits of such luminaries as Larry Levan, Walter Gibbons, Daniele Baldelli, Tee Scott, Began Cekic and Tom Moulton, and the open minded music policies of some of the pioneering early clubs such as the Paradise Garage, the Loft and the Italian Cosmic parties, Ray Mang sets out to help keep the glitter ball shimmering and the disco flame burning into the new millennium!


Abe Duque
Don’t Be So Mean
Process Recordings

THE STORY It’s drawn from an album with artwork and a name that are a sly comment on American foreign policy. But the first track taken from Abe Duque’s new album Don’t Be So Mean, the Obama-sampling "Tonight Is Your Answer," is political but far from pessimistic. It’s a reflection of Abe’s chequered life. He’s been both a US Marine and a resident DJ at New York’s notorious club-kid 90s-club Limelight. He knows how to operate the machine gun on the cover of the album, but wishes there was less call for gunfire. He’s been arrested for potential terrorism -- but for being found with a knife issued to him by the US government itself. Don’t be so mean, as the expression goes … And in the music world, he’s been in and out, up and down, from residencies at Tresor during the height of its first popularity to being so broke in the early 90s that he could barely afford to release his own records. And then he's come back into the limelight again with his own hand-etched vinyl and tracks like "Champagne Days, Cocaine Nights"; "What Happened?" and "Acid" -- not to mention remixes of huge acts like Miss Kittin and the Chemical Brothers. Now he’s back with his third album, Don’t Be So Mean, and first single "Tonight is your answer," backed with "Life is so good to me."

King Roc
Chapters
Process Recordings

Debut home-listening album from one of the UK’s biggest techno DJs. This one’s been building through marketing of collectable one-off 12″s and King Roc’s increasing press presence. King Roc is no longer one of the UK’s best kept secrets. From high-profile remixes of New Order and Future Sound of London, he’s been DJ mag’s “one to watch for 2008″ and touring from Brazil (15 gigs) to China to Australasia to Russia to Europe, as well as gigs right round Europe. He’s half of blindingly successful techno duo Two Armadillos but his main focus for the last two years has been the heavily publicised Chapters project -- five EPs of mood music to trip-hop to techno that have now been totally ripped apart and turned into cinematic home listening for his debut CD.

AMOEBA MUSIC HIP-HOP WEEKLY ROUND UP: 06:12:09

Posted by Billyjam, June 12, 2009 08:32am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music San Francisco Hip-Hop Top Five: 06:05:09
AZ legendary
1) J Dilla Jay Stay Paid (Nature Sounds)

2) Eminem Relapse (Shady/Aftemath/Interscope)

3) Marco Polo & Torae Double Barrel (Duck Down)

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

5) AZ Legendary (Real Talk)

This week's top five hip-hop chart from Amoeba Music Hollywood, courtesy of Ray at the Sunset Ave. store, has many of the same brand new hip-hop releases that were also charting high at Amoeba Music San Francisco last week, including Eminem, Marco Polo & Torae, Method Man & Redman, and J Dilla.

For the second week in a row the great new album from the late, great Detroit hip-hop producer, also known as Jay Dee, Jay Stay Paid on Nature Sounds is number one at Amoeba. And deservedly so, since this new release, which is overseen production wise by Pete Rock, unveils new beats by the late artist plus matches his music with a variety of other artists including his ownJ Dilla younger brother Illa J.

The other new chart entry is the album Legendary from legendary emcee AZ, who's been putting it down since the early nineties and who first came to fame in 1994 when he made a cameo on "Life's A Bitch" on the Nas album Illmatic (he was the only guest to grace that landmark hip-hop album). He released his debut, Do Or Die (EMI), in 1995.

East L.A. Loves Derek Fisher!

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, June 12, 2009 02:52am | Post a Comment

I live about six blocks away from the corner of Atlantic and Whittier Blvd. Every time I drive under the Whittier Blvd sign I still hear the infamous “Let’s take a trip down...Whittier Blvd!” from Thee Midniters’ song in my head. I love East L.A. It’s my adopted city. It's like I was always meant to be here. I love the people, the stories, the history and I respect that I live here, I’m not from here. People in East L.A. are down for their Lakers. Los Angeles gets a bad rap as far as being a city of self-absorbed status-seeking phonies and fair-weathered fans to boot. Perhaps in the $1500 seats at The Staple Center, but if you want to see some true fans, head over to East L.A. (or for that matter, any Los Angeles barrio) and you will see true fans.

Tonight, right after the Lakers' victory and Derek Fisher’s amazing three point shots, some kids in the neighborhood got a little crazy and ran out on the corner of Atlantic and Whittier Blvd, shaking a few cars and generally scaring some people. The police showed up and the kids all ran home. I hope that no one got arrested or killed by the police. Would be ashamed to die over one’s love for a sports team. I guess maybe some knucklehead would think it would be an honor to die for their favorite team, but like that quote from Full Metal Jacket,

The dead only know one thing. It is better to be alive.”

So The Lakers stay alive, thanks to Derek Fisher. Wow, what a player! Do you know that Hedo Turkoglu was on the floor for both tonight’s game and Fisher’s infamous 0.4 second shot against The Spurs back in 2004? Tough luck for Turkoglu! Anyways, when the Lakers finally win this (and they will), I hope people in East Los don’t get all rat crazy! I hope everyone has fun, remains good sports, celebrates and stays alive.

Now, if East L.A. would get that riled up over our failing school system, we would really be the champions of Los Angeles. Derek Fisher has his degree already!

When Artists Go Commercial & Sell Out (or not)

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, June 12, 2009 12:49am | Post a Comment


Los Amigos Invisible-Commercial



The Residents- The Commercial Album

The Who- Sell Out



The Minutemen
-Project: Merch



Frank Zappa
- Strictly Commercial



Bongwater- The Big Sell-Out



Little Brother- The Commercial Free EP



Djam Karet-No Commercial Potential



Colin Newman
-Commercial Suicide

BOOGIE DOWN PRODUCTIONS WAS INFLUENTIAL FOR MANY REASONS

Posted by Billyjam, June 11, 2009 10:52pm | Post a Comment
Boogie Down Productions
Bronx, New York hip-hop group Boogie Down Productions (aka BDP), who formed in 1986, earned their legendary status for numerous reasons, including the distinct musical style that they forged. They were pioneers not only for incorporating dancehall reggae into their music but also for being instrumental in paving the way for two very different strains of hip-hop-- both hardcore gangsta rap and conscious hip-hop.

Additionally, the group gave the world longtime hip-hop ambassador KRS-One (Knowledge Reigns Supreme Over Nearly Everyone). BDP at first was essentially the duo of KRS and the late DJ Scott La Rock. The group had numerous members throughout its existance and regular collaborators including D-Nice, KRS' brother Kenny Parker, his one time wife Ms Melodie, Harmony, Mad Lion, Channel Live, Run, McBoo, Scottie Morris, Tony Rahsan, RoboCop, and DJ Red Alert, to name but some. Still, it was KRS-One who was always the central character of Boogie Down Productions.

Hence, when BDP disbanded in 1992 and KRS-One continued on as a solo act, it was really more of a continuum than a total demise of BDP. However, despite the key role KRS always played, he never let the light be taken off his slain partner, original member DJ Scott La Rock, with whom he formed the group after the two met under unusual circumstances. DJ Scott La Rock, whose real name was Scott Sterling, was a social worker who met a then 19 year old KRS-One while working at the Bronx shelter for men, the Franklin Avenue Armory Shelter. KRS-One was then homeless.

Perhaps it would later be the well meaning social worker in Scott La Rock that ultimately led to his death. One day in 1987 he tried to diffuse a dispute between fellow BDP member D-Nice and some local gang bangers but the well-meaning peaceful intervention resulted in him getting shot and killed. His untimely death came only a short time after BDP's debut album Criminal Minded was released. But Scott La Rock would forever be kept alive through the music of BDP and would be consistently remembered by KRS-One in his lyrics in songs such as "My Philosophy." He is also mentioned and shouted out on countless other songs too, and "Overseen by Scott La Rock" can be seen printed on the back of several BDP releases. "My Philosophy" along with BDP videos for "Why Is That?," "The Bridge Is Over," and "Duck Down" are all featured below as a reminder of just how amazing a group BDP was.


Boogie Down Productions "The Bridge Is Over" (1987)

Beat Swap Meet | Los Angeles

Posted by Smiles Davis, June 11, 2009 10:49pm | Post a Comment
Beat-Swap-Meet: A Record swap meet consisting of over 20 invited vendors & collectors from the LA and surrounding areas vending music genres of a wide array, but more-so focusing on Blues, Funk, Hip-Hop, Jazz, Punk, Reggae, Rock, Soul, and World 12" and 45 Records. An event considered to be the 1st of its kind in the LA area, The Beat Swapmeet hopes to reunify LA in a way that is long overdue. Come through, listen to Beats, Swap records & Meet new people.

Source: beatswapmeet.com

This Week At The New Beverly

Posted by phil blankenship, June 11, 2009 10:31pm | Post a Comment
The full June Calendar is online:
http://newbevcinema.com/calendar.cfm


Friday & Saturday June 12 & 13


1930s Classics Starring John Barrymore!

Dinner At Eight (1933)
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0023948/
dir. George Cukor, starring Marie Dressler, John Barrymore, Wallace Beery, Jean Harlow, Lionel Barrymore
Fri: 7:30; Sat: 3:05 & 7:30, Watch The Trailer!

Dinner at Eight is a near-flawless comedy/drama with an all-star cast at the peak of their talents. All Movie Guide

New 12" Electronic Releases at Amoeba Hollywood - 06/13/09

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, June 11, 2009 04:48pm | Post a Comment
Chez Damier
Time Visions 1 
Mojuba

Mojuba presents a new project in collaboration with the one and only Chez Damier. Mojuba G.O.D. (Good Old Dance) was created as a platform for his new productions as well as some classic anthems from the Chez-vault. The very first release will feature the brand new epic downtempo excursion called “Why” which takes Chez’s music to the next level and it will be accompanied by two classic prescription cuts you might been looking for for years! We are speaking about an unreleased version of “Sometimes I Feel Like” from hip to be disillusioned and the Noni hymn “Teach Me” … no more words necessary.  TIP!


Namito
Zorro w/ Phonique & Tigerskin remix
Kling Klong

After the groundbreaking “Seven Lives” in cooperation with his mates Martin Eyerer and Stephan Hinz, Berlin’s finest Persian Namito drops the second bomb from his forthcoming debut album Eleven (to be released end of June 2009). A driving groove, catchy “Get Busy” shouts and a very surprising synthie-breakdown. Just the right ingredients for a big clubtrack. With the help of two other collegues from Berlin (Phonique & Tigerskin) and Canada (Strict Border) on the remix duties, this whole release should stay in the case for the whole summer.


Donnacha Costello
Pleite Reissue
Looking Long

out this week...6/2 & 6/9...sonic youth...deastro...placebo...patrick wolf...

Posted by Brad Schelden, June 11, 2009 11:58am | Post a Comment

I always get excited whenever there is a new Placebo album. They never let me down. I was bit by the Placebo bug many years ago, back when they just had a small little self titled album in 1996. I think I probably saw them on the cover of a magazine before I actually ever heard the album, but I quickly became a big fan. I loved anything British at the time, and especially anything that was a little bit dark and weird. Brian Moloko was an intriguing man. I have seen him live many, many times and read tons of interviews but still don't really have him completely figured out. But that just makes him all the more interesting. Like many of the other bands that I have stuck with over the years, I associate each of their albums with a time in my life. The albums sort of organize my life for me into more organized sections than I could create myself. The first self titled album came out before I had moved to San Francisco. It actually came out in July, which was the month before I moved to San Francisco from Santa Barbara -- so my new life actually did start with the very first Placebo album, but I didn't really get into it until after I had moved. I listened to it a lot over the years. Often I would listen to it between albums. It helped fill the void when there wasn't a new album by them. Highlights of the album would be "Bruise Pristine," "Lady of the Flowers" and "36 Degrees." But "I Know" is the song that gets me every time I listen to this album. It breaks my heart a little bit, but in a good way. This whole album can really do no wrong for me. The second album, Without You I'm Nothing, came out in 1998 after I had been in San Francisco for a couple of years. This was probably the height of my Placebo obsession, although it honestly has never ever gone away. This was the first tour I saw with them and I was hooked for life after this. I really couldn't get enough of this album. It was a dark and depressing one, but I can't tell you how many times I listened to the song "Without You placebo without you i'm nothingI'm Nothing." It pretty much became the song I would always listen to after the end of any relationship. It always seems like a long song so you can go through a rollercoaster of emotions in just that one song. My other favorites on the album are "My Sweet Prince" and "Every Me Every You." I forever associate this album with my early years in San Francisco. I grew up a lot in these years but also experienced some heartache.

Black Market Music came out in 2000. While I did like this album when it came out, it remains my least favorite of their albums. I don't really ever find myself going back to it. This is the tour where I met them backstage, so I do have fond memories of the tour but the album just didn't stick with me. I moved to Los Angeles for the first time (not the last!) soon after this album came out. No new Placebo album came out in my first year in Los Angeles but Sleeping With Ghosts came out soon after I moved back to San Francisco once again. The album came out in 2003. I seemed to spend a lot of time by myself this first year back, and I spent many, many hours with this album. I listened to it on my walkman on my walks through the city and also spent a lot of time listening to it at home. This was another album that was great from the beginning to the end. "The Bitter End" is without a doubt my favorite on the album. It is just what a Placebo song should be. I also love "Special Needs" and "Second Sight." Placebo always manage to write a song that breaks my heart on every album. The title track "Sleeping with Ghosts" is the song that does it for me on this album. It actually physically hurts me to listen to this song. But I always go back placebo sleeping with ghoststo it. I can't stop listening to it. I will forever associate this album with my apartment in the Mission. The next album came out before I moved back to Los Angeles for the second time but I had already moved to the Polk Street house. I associate Sleeping With Ghosts with my walks from Haight St. to the Mission. The next album would be associated with my walks from Haight St. to Polk St. Meds came out in March of 2006. I was really obsessed with long walks at this point in my life and loved walking home from work. My walk through the Castro and Noe Valley led me back to the Mission from Haight St. It took about an hour. It was a bit hilly but had awesome views. I was worried I would not be able to do the same walk once I moved to Polk St. but it was just a different walk and still took about an hour. I would basically walk down Stanyan to Geary and Geary to Polk St. I made a couple variations to keep it interesting. When I think about San Francisco I think about these walks. They were really theraputic for me and just awesome. I seriously looked forward to them every day. So many albums were the soundtracks to these walks, but Meds was played quite often on my walk to Polk St. from Haight St. I wouild walk through the Richmond, Pacific Heights, Japan Town, and Nob Hill to get there. The self titled song on this album is one of the best. "Song to Say Goodbye," "Infra-Red" and "One of A Kind" are also fantastic. "Blind" is placebo battle for the sun the song that breaks my heart on this album.

So I am now back in Los Angeles and have been ready for a new Placebo album. Ready for a new chapter in my life. This has for sure been a crazy couple of weeks and I have been trying to be careful what I listen to in these weeks. I can already look ahead and know that I will forever associate the albums that I have been obsessed with lately with the strange new transitional period in my life. The new Placebo album is the perfect album for this period. They are always good for breakups. Battle For the Sun just came out this week. Sometimes it takes me a couple of weeks to really get into a Placebo album. I know that some of the songs will continue to grow on me and I already am in love with a couple. The album gets really good by track 3. The title track, "For What It's Worth" and "Devil in the Details" are all really good tracks. "The Never Ending Why" is probably my favorite on the album. I do have to admit that I have not found that heartbreaking song on the album yet and I don't really think it is there. Maybe that is a good thing though-- I don't really need that right now. But Placebo have not let me down with this album. I love it already and glad that it arrived in my life this week. Can't wait to hear it live.

One of my favorites from last week is the debut album from Deastro. I highly recommend it. It is called Moondagger and has been released by Ghostly International. I have been waiting for this album all year. Every year there are a couple of albums that come out that I feel like are made especially for me. I can't even really explain what I would want them to sound like before they come out but I know they will find their way to me every year. This is one of those albums. The album is full of keyboards, as you might imagine, since keys are a constant favorite of mine. The album is one of those records that takes you away to a magical land. Hard to really explain until you listen to the album, and I know it will not make everyone feel that way, but it is just magical and fun. I know everyone is in love with Animal deastro moondaggerCollective and Grizzly Bear right now, but I would much rather listen to this Deastro album any day. The album is sort of hard to categorize. It for sure takes elements from most of my favorite genres of music. There is a new wave and shoegaze element, but it is also nothing like those genres. Just has some elements. "Greens Grays and Nordics" is maybe my favorite track on the album, but it changes every day. There is not really a bad song on here. Randolph Chabot is the man behind Deastro. I thank him for making this album. It just has a great energy to it. He is at times manic in his singing style, like he is in a race against time to get through the songs. So many of the songs seem to end soon after they have started. I do love it. You should love it to. A nice album for these gloomy days of June.

also out 6/2...






Grace Around the World by Jeff Buckley











Bachelor by Patrick Wolf











Crossing the Rubicon by The Sounds













Vol. 1 Archives by Neil Young









also out 6/9...






Black Meteoric Star by Black Meteoric Star











Man of Aran by British Sea Power











Cutting the Edge by Chicks on Speed










Rainwater Cassette Exchange by Deerhunter











Survival Strategy in a Modern World by Liechtenstein











Maladjusted Expanded by Morrissey











Half Control by Six Finger Satellite











Eternal by Sonic Youth

Hugh Hopper 1945 – 2009

Posted by Whitmore, June 10, 2009 07:09pm | Post a Comment
 
When I was about 13 years old I became a regular customer at Platypus Records on Hollywood Blvd about a half a block east of Vermont in Hollywood. It was all about their inexpensive used records. I still spent a small fortune from money I earned the old fashioned way; recycling cans and bottles, mowing lawns and stealing money from my mom’s purse. I found great records for pennies. And one that left an indelible mark on my rookie ears was the Soft Machine album, Volume Two, released in 1969 and featuring Robert Wyatt on drums and vocals, Mike Ratledge on piano and Hammond organ, Brian Hopper on saxophone and Hugh Hopper on bass and guitars. I think I paid 99 cents for the album.
 
When I bought that record all I knew about Soft Machine was that they were part of some mysterious and legendary English Canterbury music scene, they hung out with Syd Barrett’s Pink Floyd and once toured the US as an opening act for Jimi Hendrix. Volume Two is still one of my all time favorite records. Over the years I’ve worn out more than a few copies.
 
This past Monday, idiosyncratic composer, art-rock bassist extraordinaire, veteran of some two dozen diverse solo albums and Soft Machine member, Hugh Hopper, succumbed to his year long battle with leukemia. He was 64.
 
In his years before Soft Machine, Hugh Colin Hopper, born April 29, 1945 in Canterbury, Kent, found himself immersed in the burgeoning Canterbury scene and emerging bands like Gong, Hatfield and the North and Henry Cow. In the mid sixties he was working with Daevid Allen and Robert Wyatt in the Daevid Allen Trio. That band evolved into the Wilde Flowers, an almost mythic pop and soul band consisting of his brother Brian, Robert Wyatt, Kevin Ayers and Richard Sinclair that spun off into two influential progressive rock groups, Caravan and Soft Machine.
 
Hopper joined Soft Machine in 1968 after their tour with Hendrix, contributed two compositions to their first self titled album, recorded in New York. Their sophomore release saw Hopper not only adding his virtuoso bass work to the mix but also composing half the tracks. He would remain with Soft Machine through 1973 and the album entitled 6. About the time Soft Machine was moving from a psychedelic, progressive rock sound into more of a jazz/fusion outfit, Hopper departed, recording his classic solo record 1984 at about the same time. His first effort was a decidedly non-commercial adventure filled with avant-garde soundscapes, tape loops, and free improvisation.
 
After his stint with Soft Machine, and in between his own solo projects, Hopper worked with some of the most original musicians of the last thirty years; Carla Bley, Keith Tippett, Robert Wyatt, Elton Dean, Pip Pyle, Stomu Yamashta, Phil Miller, Lol Coxhill, Allan Holdsworth, Chris Cutler, Yumi Hara Cawkwell and bands like Gilgamesh, Isotope and Soft Heap. In 2002 Hopper began a new association with several former Soft Machine members. Originally named Soft Works, they later renamed the reunion Soft Machine Legacy; besides touring extensively throughout Europe and Asia, they’ve also released four CD’s, two studio and two live recordings.
 
After his diagnoses last summer with leukemia, a benefit concert was held for him at London's 100 Club in December, featuring friends and many of his legendary musical collaborators from all phases of his career.
 
Just two days before his death he married his longtime companion Christine.




45RPM SINGLE TURNS 60 AND ENJOYS NEW LEASE ON LIFE

Posted by Billyjam, June 10, 2009 04:26pm | Post a Comment

This year marks the 60 year anniversary of the seven inch single, the 45rpm record that was originally introduced by RCA Records back in 1949 with the release of Eddy Arnold's double sided mono record, "Texarkana Baby" b/w "Bouquet of Roses."

The then new format, at first treated by many with a degree of suspicion, was embraced by RCA as a more compact and more durable replacement for the heavy 78rpm shellac-based records -- the ones known as wax records that would break into many pieces if dropped on the ground.

After witnessing the success of this new format for RCA, Columbia Records followed suit two years later in 1951 and from there demand just snowballed into the sixties and seventies and eighties by which time the format began to lose momentum. There have been several interesting articles written about the 45rpm's 60th birthday, including a wonderful piece written by Robert Benson published on the website JustPressPlay this week which traced the format's history and also noted how, "British trade journals have been reporting that single song 45rpm records are now outselling their CD counterparts and how many American bands are now releasing music via this historic audio medium."

A visit to Amoeba Music in Berkeley, San Francisco, or Hollywood, where there are boxes and boxes and wall displays of 45's (new and old), will also quickly confirm that the once seen as deceased 45rpm is very much alive and well. As you know, vinyl in general (45rpm's, 10" records, 12" singles, and vinyl albums) has been going through a renaissance in recent years.

Motel Hell w/ Special Guests at the New Beverly Cinema

Posted by phil blankenship, June 10, 2009 03:38pm | Post a Comment

Ryan Rotten and Phil Blankenship
proudly present MIDNIGHT SHOCK!
www.shocktillyoudrop.com


Motel Hell screenwriters Robert Jaffe & Steven-Charles Jaffe IN PERSON, schedule permitting, to discuss the movie!


Friday June 12


MOTEL HELL

It takes all kinds of critters to make Farmer Vincent fritters.

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






June 9, 2009

Posted by phil blankenship, June 9, 2009 08:04pm | Post a Comment





LA PRODUCER/DJ TROUBLEMAKER INTERVIEW

Posted by Billyjam, June 9, 2009 07:44pm | Post a Comment
Troublemaker
Los Angeles'  Troublemaker is one hardworking & talented producer/DJ. Born Josh Kouzomis, the artist has been honing his skills since the early 1990s when he started out as a college radio DJ and music director while at school in Ohio. After leaving college and returning to LA, he got an internship at punk label Epitaph Records where he gained invaluable inside music business and production experience.

This led to him co-founding the hip-hop/drum'n'bass label Celestial Recordings in 1998. Fast forward into the beginning of this decade and Troublemaker joined forces with fellow producer/DJ talent E. Moss to form the Backyard Bangers, whose eponymous debut track was a collaboration with Z-Trip on the Constant Elevation compilation from 2002 on Astralwerks. The Backyard Bangers released several wonderful recordings, including the CDs Get That Shit Outta Here, Pardon My French, and Spunkbubble, all through the Hollyrock label. Their great song “Road of Good Intentions” appeared on the Amoeba Music Compilation Vol. V.

As a solo recording artist & performer Troublemaker has remained incredibly prolific. He's toured with Z-Trip, recorded lots of original tracks, and done many more remixes of music by a wide variety of artists including Bonde do Role, Justice, Johnny Cash, Linkin Park, and Peter Bjorn & John. Download his inspired remix of their infectious hit "Nothing to Worry About" featuring Adam Tensta, U-N-I and The 87 Stick Up Kids on his website. Also there  you can check out Troublemaker's impressive discography including tons of remix projects. 

The Late Great Johnny Ace

Posted by Whitmore, June 9, 2009 10:16am | Post a Comment
Rock and roll has a long and ridiculous history of tragedy. And it probably all started with the accidental shooting death of R&B star Johnny Ace who would have, should have, been 80 years old today.
 
Born John Marshall Alexander, Jr. in Memphis, Tennessee in 1929, Ace was a pianist and balladeer and the first postwar solo black male rhythm and blues star signed to an independent label, Duke Records, to attract a white audience. His first of many hits, "My Song," was released in 1952; other hits followed including "Cross My Heart," "Please Forgive Me," "The Clock," "Yes, Baby" and the classic "Pledging My Love," which was on its way to the top of the R&B charts when he died. Johnny Ace's career lasted barely eighteen months. He only recorded 21 songs.
 
On Christmas Eve in 1954, Ace was performing at the City Auditorium in Houston. Also on the bill was Big Mama Thornton. They had been on a long, grueling promotional concert tour for most of a year. Ace had put on a lot of weight and was exhausted by the schedule of performing more than 300 shows, playing successive one-night stands sometimes hundreds of miles apart. Ace had become fond of playing with his .22 caliber revolver. Members of his band said he often would point or even unload the gun in their direction or at roadside signs from their car.
 
In Houston during a break between sets, Ace was, as usual, playing with his gun. First he pointed the gun at his girlfriend and then at another woman who was sitting nearby. He then pointed the gun toward himself, said, "I'll show you how it works." The gun went off into the side of his head.
 
According to legend Johnny Ace was playing Russian roulette. But witnesses gave a different account. Big Mama Thornton's bass player Curtis Tillman was there: “I will tell you exactly what happened! Johnny Ace had been drinking and he had this little pistol he was waving around the table and someone said ‘Be careful with that thing…’ and he said ‘It’s o.k.! Gun’s not loaded…see?’ and pointed it at himself with a smile on his face and ‘Bang!’; sad, sad thing. Big Mama ran out of that dressing room yelling ‘Johnny Ace just killed his self; Johnny Ace just killed his self!”
 
Johnny Ace died several hours later on Christmas Day. He was 25 years old.



Let's Make It a Movie Night

Posted by Smiles Davis, June 8, 2009 09:15pm | Post a Comment
I have the same dilemma every weekend: what foreign film or documentary is it going to be tonight? My mammoth DVD collection is pretty impressive, but a little overwhelming. I sometimes ponder what to watch for entirely too long, looking over shelf after shelf, from right to left, then left to right, up and down, down and up just to make sure there’s one I didn’t miss. Minutes pass, sometimes hours, sometimes the ice cream truck, you really just never know. Eventually, fatigue kicks in and my legs and back begin to ache, then my neck, and inevitably my eyes and then it just takes over my entire body 'till the only thing left for me to do is retire to bed. Not exactly how I’d like to spin every Saturday night.

Since this question has pitched tent and perpetually inhibited my thinking space, I’ve officially decided to get it out and put it down on paper for good. So, in the future I can reference it and decipher what’s going to be my entertainment for the night in a utilitarian, more expedient manner. Well, I’ve made my list and checked it twice. Here, in no particular order, are my top 5 foreign picks (for now). 

Y tu Mamá También

Directed by Alfonso Cuaron
One amazing reason to love this film:


Amelie

Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet
This is one film I have to watch at least once every other month. One of the many reasons to love this film:


Malèna
Directed by Giuseppe Tornatore
One reason to love this film:


Frida
Directed by Julie Taymor
Aside from Salma Hayek, one reason to love this film:



Sex and Lucia
Directed by Julio Medem
This is seriously the greastest love story ever told. Just one of the many reasons why I LOVE it:
-


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

New 12" Electronic Releases at Amoeba Hollywood - 06/13/09

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, June 8, 2009 05:10pm | Post a Comment
 

New Electro/Techno 12"s Coming this Weekend:

Codebreaker

FOLLOW ME REMIX 12"
DDR002

The "criminally infectious" followup to "FIRE" is a mix of disco, electro, Italo funk and more and comes with remixes from THE JUAN MACLEAN, BOTTIN, and France's OUTRUNNERS. The original version from the fierce and funky 4 piece (who rocked it at SXSW) is also included.

Streetlife DJ's

VOLUME 2 (PIC DISC) 12"
SL004

Slick edits and remixes of "GET DOWN," "R U GONNA GO MY WAY," "MASSIVE BLACK HOLE," and "KISS." This exciting DJ duo can be described as SASHA meets COLDCUT meets SOULWAX. Basically, they rule. Great fusion of rock, electro, & crazy party music on a limited edition picture disc.

Herve BASEBALL BAT (FEAT MARINA) 12" CHEAP08X

Ruckus Roboticus HERE WE GO REMIX 12" GR003

Tal M. Klein DISCO VILLAINY 12" ALG028

Wild Cookie DRUGS EP 12" HOMEGROWN010

Pedro FEAR AND RESILIENCE RMX'S LP MELO025

Cesars Salad BATUCADA SURGIU 7" TR1017

Cha Cha Shaw KINGDOM COME LP KSRE6LP

(Wherein we weigh which warble wears weather well.)

Posted by Job O Brother, June 8, 2009 03:11pm | Post a Comment

The last few days in LA have been kind of gloomy – gloomy by LA standards anyway. I mean, it’s still no place for Ian Brady and Myra Hindley to stage a killing spree, but the clouds have been thick, grey and low, and wet, cool swirls of breeze pour through my window as I write this.

This is a good thing. This is a great thing! I did not move to LA for the weather. My idea of perfect weather is something akin to a cemetery scene in [insert gothic horror film here].

Recently, I found myself at yet another pool party where Industry types multi-tasked by schmoozing while sunbathing, enjoying tropical cocktails and posing atop Danish-designed chaise lounges as the desert sun baked their copper hides; the air perfumed with herbal ointments, oils and extractions, occasionally flavored with dissipating puffs of cigarette smoke – sex was in the air and everyone was hoping to be noticed by someone they were pretending not to notice – and all I could think was, “I wish it would rain.”

Inspired as I am by the titillating tenebrous of today, what follows is some of the music I save for a rainy day. These ditties are safely tucked in a specific playlist for whenever the Sun’s obscured and the scent of moisture’s all around.

Siouxsie & The Banshees – "Dazzle
"


This song takes me back to the appropriately dark days of the 1980’s. I had just dropped out of high school my sophomore year and the world was a new and wonderful playground of drugs and whimsical fashion choices.

Whether it was holding (legally unrecognized) weddings in the graveyard at night or dropping acid on the banks of the South Yuba River, two things made these occasions sweeter: the rain, and the sound of Siouxsie crooning brooding. This song is taken from the album Hyæna (released 1984) which features Robert Smith from The Cure on guitar and keyboard. No matter what phase of my life I’m in, this album always makes me feel like a teenager again… and gives me an immediate hangover.

Kate Bush – "The Kick Inside"


This song, from the album of the same name, was the debut from English treasure Kate Bush. Because I had dropped out of high school, I would wake up bright and shining at around two o’clock in the afternoon.

My “morning” ritual was this: make a cup of Earl Grey, put on The Kick Inside, smoke clove cigarettes and drink tea until my best friend, Sadie McSweeney, arrived at the garage (I was living in a garage at the time). After she would berate me for waking up just as she was finishing her laborious school day, we would settle in and play a few games of Ace to King, an obscure card game I learned from my maternal grandmother who was once a Las Vegas blackjack dealer and housekeeper for one Frank Sinatra. (Did you get all that?)

But this album was also always played when it rained, which, in Nevada City in the wintertime, is often.

Fats Waller – "Ain’t Misbehavin’"


The fact that this song features in the film Stormy Weather is appropriate, but coincidental. It could be any Fats Waller number and it would sound sweet to me come a gloomy day. There’s something about the playful tickling of his keys that makes me feel all gezellig. Next time storm clouds keep you from jumping hopscotch outside, stay inside, put some Fats on, and drink scotch instead. I do.

Franz Schubert – Piano Quintet in A Major


This is the perfect soundtrack to daylight showers, particularly in spring. It makes everything feel fresh and I swear that this quintet actually deodorizes the air, despite its being known as the “trout” quintet.

In the provided clip, you’ll see one of the most famous recordings of the piece and one I highly recommend. There’s an informative documentary on it, too, which you can watch by clicking on the word altiloquent in this sentence.

Miles Davis – Ascenseur pour l'échafaud


Miles Davis created the soundtrack for this French film about a woman who is very sad because she’s injured herself and, as a result, must now walk very slowly. Things seem like they will improve when she meets and falls in love with a car (who could allow her to travel faster) but they find they have nothing to talk about, so they part. The film ends with the woman discovering her forehead has become greasy, so she contemplates buying some facial wash, which, in French New Wave Cinema, is the equivalent to Sandra Bullock finally finding romance. The end.

You don’t need to see the movie to enjoy the soundtrack, which is romantically depressed and sultry.

Scott Walker – "Plastic Palace People
"


Oh, Scott. Lovely, lovely, Scott Walker. Scott on a rainy day. Nothing more needs be said here.

Anyway, whatever you listen to, stay dry, drive safe, pray for earthworms and don’t over-do the marshmallows on your cocoa. People die from them, you know. Like, all the time. They have too many marshmallows in their cocoa and they f**king die. The end.

Vietnamese New Wave - Part II

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 8, 2009 02:01pm | Post a Comment
Due to popular response, here's a follow-up to my initial blog on Vietnamese New Wave. For those of you who may not have read it, Vietnamese New Wave (less often called Asian New Wave) is not Vietnamese music. Think Northern Soul, a British genre of music that didn't come from British artists, but were beloved by 70s speed freaks for their common sound. At least, they didn't make it, but they took it, played it at dances, made bootleg mixes of it on tape and CD. The songs in the genre share easy-to-dance-to/syncopation-avoiding beats (setting it apart from Freestyle), easy-to-learn and obviously ESL lyrics, and are completely devoid of pretense or irony. My love and exposure to this amazing music is owed entirely to an amazing person, the flawless tastemaker, Ngoc Nguyen.


Vietnamese New Wave artists come from a variety of scenes including Italo-Disco, (English, French and Swedish) Synthpop and (German and Spanish) and Eurodisco. Beginning in the some time around the mid-to-late '80s, these bubbly, infectious tunes found an unexpected audience in the Vietnamese diaspora who disseminated these gems through the aforementioned mixtapes, parties and bootleg mix CDs which you can still find in Little Saigons around the globe.

We carry many of these artists at Amoeba. Most are found in the Freestyle section. However, a lot are found in, erm... Rock. So ask at info if you can't find something.


La Francitronique
- French synthpop
Where the French are widely known for their chanson and yé-yé, as well as their considerable contributions to Romanticism, house and rap (among other musical forms), their central importance in the development of electronic pop music is bizarrely less well known than, say, the Germans' or Italians' -- even though Jean Michel Jarre and The Rockets were making electronic pop music back when Kraftwerk were still bearded, flute-playing hippie longhairs. Nonetheless, most French synthpop was sung in French, thereby considerably limiting its audience. But at least two acts are firmly within the Vietnamese New Wave canon.

 
Début de Soirée


F.R. David

Kashmir (no video)

Magazine 60


Freizeithknast
-
German Eurodisco

Like most Eurodisco, the German variety is often lumped in with Italo, despite its Teutonic origins. Although musically it’s quite similar, there is an overall greater emphasis on pop song structures resulting in a slightly less club-oriented, keytar-dominated sound that takes it further away from its disco roots. Additionally, whether produced by Dieter Bohlen (Lian Ross, Modern Talking, Blue System, C.C. Catch, &c) or not, many German Eurodisco songs bear his influence, or that of others in his style. Whereas the Anglosphere proved fairly unreceptive to German Eurodisco, the artists found massive fame in Central, Eastern and Northern Europe; the Middle East, South Africa, and of course East and Southeast Asia.

Angela Lee (no video)

Bad Boys Blue


CC Catch

Cheryl Hardy (no video)

Fancy

Gina T


Jim Player (no video)

Joy


Kay Franzes

Kelly Brown


Lian Ross


Modern Talking

Mozzart

Sandra

silent circle

Stravaganza (no video)


Italio Stalio
- Italo-Disco

Initially, what came to be known (only in retrospect, mind you) as Italo disco grew out of a synthesis of Space Disco's sci-fi preoccupation and (usually) Hi-NRG's staccato rhythms. Although “disco” became a dirty word in the Anglosphere, much of the rest of the world wasn’t ready to give up the ghost in the arcade machine. Whereas rock and rap grew unhealthily preoccupied with authenticity and machismo, Italo remained blithely indifferent and the videos often featured heavily-made up or scantily clad figures chosen more for their figures than singing talents. Although Italo is often used to describe all music in the ‘80s Eurodisco scene, here it’s only used for genuine Italian artists…although I hesitate to use the words “genuine” and “artist.”

Den Harrow

Fake (no video)

Fun Fun

Gazebo

Kano

Katey Gray (no video)

Ken Laszlo

My Mine

Wish Key

Sabrina


Savage



El sonido Sabadell 
- Spanish Eurodisco
Unlike their Mediterranean neighbor, Italy; Spain isn’t nearly as widely recognized for their '80s Eurodisco scene. In fact, it's much more likely to be referred to as Italo than its German Eurodisco counterpart. To be sure, there is little to distinguish Spanish Disco from Italo-disco musically, but the Spanish variety is much more often sung in the performers' native language. In Spain, it was widely associated with the Catalonian city of Sabadell.

David Lyme (no video)

Night Society (no video)

Squash Gang

Viet covers

Of course, it was only a matter of time before Vietnamese performers (such as Anh Thuu, Lynda Trang Dai, Nguyen Thanh, Tommy Ngo, Trizzie Phuong Trinh, &c) and Cantonese singer Cally Kwong started covering the New Wave songs, although amongst fans, nearly everyone understandably seems to prefer the originals.




DON'T NEED A WEATHERMAN

Posted by Charles Reece, June 7, 2009 10:28pm | Post a Comment
A Kiwi gentleman (hiya, Stevv) pointed me to this online time-waster, the Political Spectrum Quiz, so I figured why not put my results on this here blog. What does being from the South and reading too much Frankfurt critical theory get me? Well, this:


My Political Views
I am a far-left social libertarian
Left: 7.63, Libertarian: 6.57




My Foreign Policy Views
Score: -4.03


My Culture War Stance
Score: -8.04




What do you know? I don't trust big business or big government, just the former a little bit less.

This American Strife: Animation from Chris Ware

Posted by Charles Reece, June 7, 2009 09:56am | Post a Comment
I finally caught up with the cartoons Chris Ware has been doing. I was avoiding them because of their association with This American Life, a show I hate. The narcoleptic punctuation of host Ira Glass makes me want to slap him on the back of the head. With the show's tempo, it's like being trapped for an hour with a bunch of Dave Eggers' readers in an elevator designed by Errol Morris. And the cutesy stories of irrelevance make a good argument for Maoism. Ugh. Anyway, here's some good artwork (sound is advisedly optional):

Scimitars and Sand Dunes - Rethinking the Middle East, Arabs and Islam

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 6, 2009 10:41pm | Post a Comment
With President Obama's recent address at the University of Cairo, there has been a veritable sandstorm of media discussion about the Middle East, the Arab world and the Islamic world; three concepts lazily interchanged in the American mainstream media (including the supposedly smarter public radio). Despite some overlap, the indiscriminate use of the terms, both out of ignorance and deliberately,  minimizes substantial heterogeneity and differences -- to the detriment of our understanding of reality, and as a result contributing to the undermining and hindering of attempts at peace in the region. While I did find the president's speech fairly nuanced, intelligent and inspirational, until substantial actions reflect those attractive words, they offer nothing more than hope.



"Neighbour to the Moon," the legendary Christian Lebanese singer, فيروز.

Today Arabs, Muslims and Middle Easterners remain some of the last people in the west for whom racism is not only extremely common but also widely accepted, even governmentally endorsed. Merely advocating equality and human rights for Arabs and Muslims is often met with charges of racism and embracing hatred, probably the only people likely to ellicit that response besides Germans. Given this reality, centuries of negative stereotypes and repeated military and political actions that reflect undeniable double standards, it's no wonder that many view the frequent proclamations that "Islam is a beautiful religion" and hands extended in friendship with widespread suspicion at best.



The Arab world
Arabs trace their ancestry back to the Semitic tribes of the Arabian peninsula and the Syrian desert. Like many immigrant populations, Arabs are often viewed as so indelibly tied to their ancestral homeland that they are seen as perpetual foreigners; their allegiances are often questioned entirely on the basis of their ancestry. Today, not surprsingly, many Arabs make their homes around the world beyond the Middle East. The widespread hostility they are treated with is obvious not only in hate crimes, but larger political action, after both the Oklahoma City bombing and the Anthrax scare prompted calls to military response against someone, anyone in the middle east. Let's just drop some bombs over there and be done with it.


The "Arabian Elvis"... عبدالحليم إسماعيل شبانة

Arab in the non-genetic sense
Furthering the confusion is the use of Arab to describe anyone who speaks Arabic (similar to the way Amish call non-Amish Americans "English" or American-based Spanish Language TV stations are referred to as "Mexican."). Although many Berbers, Lebanese and Palestinians have some Arabic ancestry, it makes up a small portion of their genetics, even though they often self-identify as Arabs based on culture and language.

Syrian-born, half-Lebanese, Druze musical genius فريد الأطرش

Arab n. Bad guys in the Middle East
Just as the definition of the Middle East seems to expand in an effort to encompass the Muslim world, the term Arab grows too, as with the Darfur War, which is usually characterized as a genocide perpetrated by Arabs, despite the fact that the attackers are themselves black Africans. Arab is, therefore, understood to mean "bad guy" and they're one of the few people in the world who're never allowed to be portrayed as victims. Even when occupied, oppressed and living as second class citizens under apartheid, there's an understanding that they had it coming, being Arabs. Another example is the media and American culture's disproportionate attention toward Buddhist Tibet and almost complete silence regarding its neighbor to the north, mostly Muslim East Turkestan, despite their parallel situations.


The Islamic world

The Islamic World is usually mischaracterized as being roughly synonymous with the Middle East. Although most Arabs practice Islam, there are large numbers of Christians and Druze. But, in the minds of most, Arabs and Muslims are synonyms. When I caught a local news story about the secular-Marxist Palestinian organization, the PFLP (founded by an atheist from a Christian background), the newscaster referred to them as "radical Islamists," apparently incapable of thinking that the motivation for self governance could be motivated by anything other than fanatical devotion to God.


Islam outside the Middle East
Even more notably, the countries with the largest populations of Muslims are almost all located outside the traditional middle east. In descending order of population size they are Indonesia, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Turkey, Egypt, Nigeria, Iran, Morocco and Algeria... none of which are in the Arabian peninsula. Of the biggest Islamic populations, only Egypt and Algeria are Arabic to a substantial degree.



The Middle East
The Middle East itself is a hazily defined region in Asia with no universally-agreed upon boundaries but always including Arabia, Egypt, the Levant and Mesopotamia... but sometimes including parts of Eastern Europe, Anatolia, North Africa, Central Asia and South Asia. It seems to grow the more people become aware of the dominance of Islam outside of regions traditionally thought of as the Middle East. Nonetheless, it's often discussed like it's its own continent, with static borders and completely exclusive from the rest of Asia. Yes, Jesus and Mohammed were Asian in that sense. Put that in your shisha and smoke it.



The Middle East exists in the collective Western consciousness as a vast, homogenous region full of harems full of belly dancers presided over by oil barons, insane suicide bombers, sneaky (but inept) sheiks and genies. Everyone (except Israelis) is both Arabic and Muslim. Of course, in reality, Middle Easterners practice just as many faiths as anyone else. Most Assyrians, Bilen, Georgians, Armenians and a large percentage of Lebanese are, in fact, Christian. (Yes, I know few people consider Georgia and Armenia to be in the Middle East, but there are large numbers of Armenians and Geogians living in countries that are.)

Non-Muslim/non-Jewish Middle Easterners


                    Druze                                                    Zoroastrians Samaritans

It's also worth pointing out that not only did Christianity, Islam and Judaism come out of the Middle East, so did Druze, Zoroastrianism, Bahá'í, Samaritanism, Yazdânism and Sikhism (if your personal definition of the Middle East includes Punjab).

Non-Arabic/non-Jewish Indigenous Middle Easterners


       Afar woman                        Assyrian boy                                                   Azeri boys


                                        Beja                                                         Chaoui women              Hederab woman



                                 Berber Woman                                               Nara woman                 Nubian woman


    Pamiri woman                     Pashtun mother and child                                        Persian girls



                Rashaida couple                                   Saho Woman                               Talysh girls


   Tigre Woman                             Tigrinya                                                               Tuareg homies


         Turkish women                                               Turkmen musicians

What's even less known is that there are large numbers of non-Arabic/non-Jewish people indigenous to the Middle East, each with their own traditions, music and culture including both the examples above and non-pictured people like the Abkhaz, Bakhtiaris, Baloch, Bilen, Danagla, Dom, Gilakis, Haratin, Hausa, Ja'Alin, Kabyle, Kurds, Laks, Lurs, Mazandaranis, Mozabites, Shaigiya, Teoubou and Zazas (to name a few).

Young Afghans

Hollywood and the media's perpetuation of the faceless Middle East
With most of our impressions of the middle east coming from the media and Hollywood, it's not surprising how ignorant most westerners are about the Middle East. When Afghans (neither Arabic nor Middle Eastern by standard definitions) laughed at the idea of an Arabs like Osama bin Laden effortlessly blending into their population unnoticed, most American scratched their heads in confusion. How can they tell themselves apart? Of course, as part of the campaign to make our military opponents faceless, images of Afghans are extremely rare in the media. If we assume that all Middle Easterners are the same, we can just punish whichever ones we can get at most easily instead of pursuing the actual perps. When the World Trade Center came down due to the Afghan Taliban and al qaeda, the natural response was to shock and awe the Iraqi people, despite the fact that there were no Iraqis involved. It's the same kind of thinking that led people to deaths of Balbir Singh Sodhi, Adel Karas (neither of whom were even Muslims) and other brown skinned people in the days following the attack on 9/11.

Palestinian Children

Sometimes it's even more overtly politically motivated, as with arguments that suggest that there is no such thing as a Palestinian people and that the word didn't even appear until the 1948 invasion. This despite the fact that the Greeks wrote of Palaistinê (Παλαιστίνη) several millenia ago... and demands for an independent Palestine issued by the Syrian-Palestinian congress in 1921. All of this negative stereotyping, even when conciously recognized and rejected, can end up poisoning our subconscious. Test yourself here to test your own biases toward Arabs, Muslims and other people. And if you want to watch some Hollywood depictions of Arabs, Middle Easterners and Muslims, check out any of the following:

The Sheik (1921), A Son of the Sahara (1924), A Song of Love (1923), The Son of the Sheik (1926), A Café in Cairo (1924), The Desert Bride (1928), The Wind and the Lion (1975), Arab Conspiracy (1976),  Black Sunday (1977), Raid on Entebbe (1977), Midnight Express (1978), The Black Stallion (1979), Back to the Future (1985), Iron Eagle (1986), Death Before Dishonor (1987), Wanted: Dead or Alive (1987), Dadah is Death (1988), Navy SEALs (1990), Not Without My Daughter (1990), The Delta Force (1991), True Lies (1994), Executive Decision (1996), Return to Paradise (1998), Rules of Engagement (2000), Black Hawk Down (2001).

 

National Yo-Yo Day

Posted by Whitmore, June 6, 2009 05:30pm | Post a Comment
Carpe diem! If there is any day to walk the dog, pop the clutch, rock the baby, skin the cat, shoot the moon, or split the atom, today is the day, June 6th, National Yo-Yo Day. Flying Saucer, Around the World, Over The Falls, Buddha’s Revenge, Three Leaf Clover, Double On Trapeze, Brain Twister …

National Yo-Yo Day falls on what is believed to be the birthday for the entrepreneur who in 1932 got into the yo-yo business and built an empire, Donald Duncan Sr. Though the truth is the Duncan Company isn’t exactly sure the 6th of June is actually his birth date.

Yo-yos have been popular toys for more than 2,500 years, probably originating in China around 500-1000 B.C., though there is some evidence the Greeks had yo-yos even before then. While yo-yos in one form or another have existed for centuries, the yo-yo as we know it today seems to have originated in the Philippines.

Early yo-yos had a variety of different names; sometimes they were called quizzes, bandelores or Jou-Jous. The earliest recorded account of the word yo-yo is from an 1860 Filipino dictionary. Webster’sDictionary states that the word "yo-yo" probably derives from the Philippine Ilokano language word "yóyo." Other sources suggest that "yo-yo" is a variation of a Tagalog word meaning “come-come” or “return.” My favorite neo-fact about yo-yo's: the urban legend that they were sometimes used in the Philippines as a martial arts weapon.

In 1923 in Santa Barbara, California, Pedro Flores, a Filipino-American, went into the business of building yo-yo's by hand. Five years later in 1928, Flores started the Yo-yo Manufacturing Company and the first yo-yo factory. He also began to host yo-yo competitions. With in a couple of years Flores opened two additional factories in Los Angeles employing over 600 workers and produced 300,000 units daily. Donald Duncan recognized the potential of this yo-yo mania sweeping the west coast and bought out the Flores Yo-yo Corporation. Duncan is said to have paid more than $250,000 for all assets, a fortune in the depression era. He then hired Flores to run Duncan's promotional campaigns.

During the Second World War, sales dropped off, as did the availability of materials. But in 1946 yo-yo's again took off, the Duncan Company moved to Luck, Wisconsin, and quickly became known as the “Yo-Yo Capital of the World.” The Duncan factory produced some 3,600 wooden yo-yo's per hour.

The next big step in the yo-yo evolution was replacing the maple bodies. Duncan partnered with the company Flambeau Plastics in the mid 1950’s to produce the first plastic yo-yo's. Sales went through the roof. By 1962, the Duncan Company alone sold a record 45 million yo-yo's in a nation with only 40 million kids, and still could not keep up with the crazy demand. A couple of years later, Duncan Sr. retired and gave control of his company to his sons. The Duncan family sold the company name and associated trademarks in 1968 to Flambeau Plastics. Today Yo-yo competitions and exhibitions are held world wide. The 2009 World Yo-Yo Contest will be held in Orlando, Florida at the Rosen Plaza Hotel on August 13th, 14th, and 15th. Workshops and panel discussions, covering numerous topics of interest, will be held during the three days of competition. The event hall has over 10,000 feet of yo-yoing space with 22 foot ceilings and will be open 24 hours a day during the event. Sounds like a party about to spin out of control.

RICHARD THOMPSON: ONE OF MANY @ LA ACOUSTIC MUSIC FESTIVAL

Posted by Billyjam, June 6, 2009 05:46am | Post a Comment
Richard Thompson
There's an impressive line-up for this weekend's first ever LA Acoustic Music Festival on the Santa Monica Pier, today (Saturday, June 6th) and tomorrow (Sunday, June 7th) and it looks like it will guarantee that this will be just the first of many annual LA Acoustic Music Festivals to come.  Sponsored in part by Amoeba Music and a benefit for the California Acoustic Music Project (CAMP), the artist line-up for the two day festival includes Richard Thompson, Nanci Griffith and the Blue Moon Orchestra, Bruce Cockburn, The Kingston Trio, David Lindley, Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion.

Santa Monica's pier is currently celebrating its 100 year anniversary & includes such attractions as its historic 1922 carousel and its interactive aquarium. Seems like a great place to host this two day festival, a must for all fans of Americana and folk music. In fact, catching critically acclaimed singer/songwriter/guitarist Richard Thompson alone, who performs later today, is enough of a reason to attend this event.

Thompson is one of the greatest guitarists of our time (Rolling Stone placed him in the Top 20 of the magazine's list of The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time) and has been making incredible music since his early musical days in the legendary British folk-rock group Fairport Convention. Thompson, who penned such classic early Fairport songs as "Meet On The Ledge" and "Crazy Man Michael," was a member of Fairport Convention from 1967 to 1971. He still occassionally performs with Fairport -- usually at their annual Fairport's Cropredy Convention. Soon after splitting from the group he released his first solo album on which Linda Peters (soon to be wife Linda Thompson) sang. The two married in 1972 and officially became a musical team for the years 1973 to 1982 (a little longer than their personal relationship lasted), releasing a total of six albums together including I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight and Hokey Pokey, which the song "A Heart Needs A Home" (video below) comes from.

THE RETURN OF TRUTH

Posted by Charles Reece, June 5, 2009 08:39pm | Post a Comment
"As a philosopher I never accept the world as it is because it is as it is." -- Alain Badiou

Amen to that. I just started reading Badiou's Conditions, and I like how he's not afraid to use the word 'truth.' He's worth a listen, so for your convenience, comrades, here are some samples of his thinking.

On Nicolas Sarkozy, communism and capitalist failure:



On philosophy itself, truth and politics:


And lest this blog be accused of dealing with anything more important than crass pop culture, Badiou is supposedly appearing in Jean-Luc Godard's new film Socialisme (along with someone by the name of 'Patti Smith'). According to infinite thØught:

[I]t involves Badiou being on a cruise ship somewhere in/near Turkey; he is in three scenes; firstly having breakfast with a Russian spy (not a real one, although as he is really Badiou he asked Godard if the spy was really a spy, but she is an actor); secondly, he will be seen writing a lecture on Husserl's Origin of Geometry, and thirdly, he will deliver the lecture, still on the cruise ship, to an empty auditorium.

Sounds fun.

This Week At The New Beverly!

Posted by phil blankenship, June 5, 2009 02:45pm | Post a Comment
This Week At The New Beverly

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


Friday June 5


F13 Tommy Jarvis Saga Trilogy Marathon
All tickets are $10 for this special event.
One ticket admits you to all three films!

Jason Lives writer / director Tom McLoughlin IN PERSON, schedule permitting, to discuss the film!


Friday The 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter (1984)
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0087298/
dir. Joseph Zito, starring Corey Feldman, Kimberly Beck, Erich Anderson, Crispin Glover, Lawrence Monoson
7:30, Watch The Trailer!

National Doughnut Day

Posted by Whitmore, June 5, 2009 09:30am | Post a Comment
 

The perfect complement to coffee in the morning, other than the New York Times, is that magically deep-fried (occasionally baked), fatty combination of flour, sugar and oil-- the doughnut, or if you prefer the donut.
 
Every year the first Friday in June is National Donut Day. And according to a few noteworthy sources, some national chains like Krispy Kreme, Dunkin' Donuts, Yum Yum Donuts, and Winchell's are giving away some of their cream filled goodies today for free.
 
Now, I am often skeptical about Wikipedia entries, and this time though I am more dubious than ever – but anyway, National Doughnut Day was started in 1938 as a fund raiser for the Chicago Salvation Army. Their goal was to help those in need during the Great Depression and honor the 250 or so Salvation Army volunteers, "Lassies," who in 1917 went to France during the First World War. Because of the difficulties of providing freshly-baked goods in trench warfare, the Lassies served doughnuts to soldiers behind the front lines. According to legend, the doughnuts’ being doled out to US enlisted men was the origin of the term doughboy, the nickname for the US infrantrymen in the First World War.
 
Anyway, you still have a couple of hours left to find a free donut somewhere along our great nation’s glazed ribbon of highways. So get out there, grab a cup o’joe and who knows, maybe you can talk your way into a free chocolate glaze twist, a bear claw, a glazed donut with rainbow sprinkles, a maple long john, or even a raspberry filled glazed cake, or a frosted strawberry filled glazed donut, and if not, be nice and maybe somebody will buy you one. Happy National Donut Day!

AMOEBA MUSIC HIP-HOP WEEKLY ROUND UP: 06:05:09

Posted by Billyjam, June 5, 2009 04:20am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music San Francisco Hip-Hop Top Five: 06:05:09
J Dilla
1) J Dilla Jay Stay Paid (Nature Sounds)

2) Eminem Relapse (Shady/Aftemath/Interscope)

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

4) Marco Polo & Torae Double Barrel (Duck Down)

5) Tiye Phoenix Half Woman/Half Amazing (Babygrande)

The number one album on this week's Amoeba Music hip-hop chart is from the late great J Dilla, aka Jay Dee,  the Detroit producer and hip-hop talent who tragically died from Lupus three years ago. The new album Jay Stay Paid on Nature Sounds was produced by J Dilla's mother, Maureen Yancey (also suffering from Lupus) wtih Pete Rock acting as music supervisor of the project. The 28 track record is rich in beats of various styles and tempos and additionally features cameos from various emcees, including (his brother) Illa J, Mobb Deep, and Raekwon -- all guaranteed to appease the ever swelling base of Dilla fans.

And as seems to be the case with so many other deceased hip-hop acts, J Dilla continues to release a string of new albums posthumously. In addition to Jay Stay Paid, expect another J Dilla release coming soon. It is the second volume in the Dillanthology series on Rapster Records. Titled Dillanthology 2: Dilla's Remixes for Various Artists, the twelve track remix compilation, which will arrive in Amoeba on Marco Polo + ToraeTuesday, June 23rd, will feature Dilla's remixes for such artists De La Soul - "Stakes Is High" ft. Mos Def & Truth Enola (Remix), Busta Rhymes - "Whoo Ha" (Jay Dee Remix), The Pharcyde - "Y? (Be Like That)," Slum Village - "Fall In Love (Remix)," and Spacek as well as hard to find versions of tracks from The Artifacts and Masta Ace. For more info, click here.

Alasdair Roberts Chats About His Beautiful New Album Spoils

Posted by Miss Ess, June 4, 2009 04:32pm | Post a Comment
Drag City recording artist and Scotsman Alasdair Roberts' new album Spoils is one of the best I've heard all year. It's a lyrically dense, elegant and complex album with trad folk touches. One of its best qualities is its natural ease -- it manages to sound both organic and dense, positively medieval and modern at the same time. Roberts has been creating eloquent, idiosyncratic albums for quite some time, since 1994 to be exact, at first with the band Appendix Out and then simply under his name for the past 8 years. He was rather famously signed to Drag City after handing Will Oldham a tape of his music back in 1995, and his musical career has blossomed on since then. Spoils feels like the culmination of the sound he has cultivated since his first solo album. It is well worth tracking down and listening to repeatedly. My interview with Alasdair follows.


Miss Ess: When and how did you begin writing songs?

Alasdair Roberts: At 15 when I saw footage of the Hindenburg disaster on television and heard the pain in the presenter's voice saying, "Oh, the humanity." I then wrote my first proper song called "Autumn."

ME: What records from your youth have stayed with you most strongly?

AR: Early eighties pop singles. "Karma Chameleon" by Boy George; "Don't Leave Me This Way" by the Communards. "Pass the Dutchie" by Musical Youth.

ME: Whose music inspires you? Whose words inspire you?

AR: Many, many musicians. Some fantastic Romanian buskers in Glasgow city centre today. Fiddle and accordion. I am constantly amazed at how many great musicians there are everywhere who don't receive the credit they deserve. At the moment, Hector MacAndrew. After that I'll listen to Monteverdi. Everything I hear at one turn makes me want to quit and otherwise makes me want to improve my own art and keep going.

Words-wise, recent reading has been a lot of poetry from the so-called Metaphysicals to Wallace Stevens, Sorley MacLean in translation, Geoffrey Hill, David Jones, as well as the Four Branches of the Mabinogi, Colm Toibin's translation of the Cattle Raid of Cooley, the Poetic Edda, writings of Mircea Eliade, Kerenyi and Emma Jung's book on the Grail legend. That kind of stuff.

What Scottish rock and folk artists are your favorites?

There are so many -- singers like Lizzie Higgins and her mother Jeannie Robertson, Davie Stewart, Elizabeth Stewart, her aunt Lucy Stewart, Duncan Williamson... Dick Gaughan, the earlier records particularly.

How did Appendix Out's first single on Palace Records come to be?

Will Oldham heard some four-track recordings and handed them on to the guys who ran Palace Records. They put out the first two songs on the tape -- I front-loaded it so that the hits were first.

What kind of connection do you feel you have with Will Oldham's music? It's like you both are able to mingle aspects of your countries' deep rooted, native sounds with something completely your own...

Maybe some kind of similar attraction to the song form and engagement with singing as a means of "expression." An awareness of what's gone before and an attempt to reconcile that in creating something new. An element of metaphysical and philosophical exploration. Similar straddling of intellect and idiocy.

What comes first for you with your songs: music or lyrics? What was your writing process like for Spoils? The songs all seem connected in a beautiful way.

A mixture of both -- I take notes of lyrics all the time which eventually become songs. Guitar parts come separately -- I experiment a lot with different tunings. I'm aware by now that I'll never have the greatest guitar chops, so it's been a concern to try and forge a distinctive guitar style via the use of scordatura, which makes me sound like a better player than I actually am. Half the Spoils songs were written in a crazy summer blurt of activity; then I went on tour and the other half were written afterwards.

Where was your new album recorded? How did you decide on the instrumentation? Do you hear the songs in your head before you record or do you spontaneously bring them together in the studio?

A small analogue studio called Green Door in Glasgow. Great engineers Sam and Emily. Re: instrumentation, I had an idea that the record would be 'syncretic' -- yoking together apparently oppositional belief systems and/or musical approaches, so I brought together musicians from a lot of different backgrounds; all great musicians in their respective fields, all fairly well superior to me instrumentally...


Your songs are clearly influenced by ancient tales/imagery. What first exposed you to mythology? What about it appeals to you?

I don't know; it seems like a fertile area for the generation of ideas; the mythospheres of the world. It's not about escapism or nostalgia, it's more about the way that matters ancient can still have relevance today, and perhaps eternal relevance, although that's probably fanciful.

You are touring with Bert Jansch this summer in the US! Which album of his is your favorite?

I have been listening a lot to his record Avocet recently... beautiful.

What records have you been listening to lately?

A lot of stuff on tour -- Avocet... Fonotone boxed set... Abner Jay... Dexy's Midnight Runners, Kitchen Cynics, Alban Berg as played by Anne-Sophie Mutter, Bach's Magnificat, Jock Duncan, William Parker's Double Sunrise Over Neptune, Chain and the Gang, Hector MacAndrew, Gaelic Bards and Minstrels by William Matheson, Wagner's Parsifal, Ali Farka Toure and Toumani Diabate... etc.

What song describes your life right now?

"It's the World's Gone Crazy (Cotillion)" by Waylon Jennings. My own new song "Scandal and Trance," which treats of the current global economic meltdown.

What is an album that you love that you think more people should hear?

Bris by Nils Okland. The Noah's Ark Trap by Nic Jones.

What has been your best record store find?

Double Shirley Bassey live LP in my local charity shop.

Thanks for taking the time to do this. Come to San Francisco sometime soon!

Would love to come back!


The Late, Great David Carradine

Posted by Charles Reece, June 4, 2009 10:07am | Post a Comment
The pebble has been snatched from our hands. He hung himself with a curtain cord in a
Bangkok hotel. Dead at 72. Go
here for more info.

New Electronic CD Releases 6/4/09

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, June 4, 2009 09:46am | Post a Comment

Holger Zilske
Holz
Playhouse

This is the debut full-length release by Berlin's Holger Zilske (aka Smash TV) for the Playhouse label. A leading proponent in the ascendancy of the BPitch Control label and the greater electronic landscape, Holger has cultivated his reputation as a techno visionary under the moniker Smash TV with over 8 years and nearly 30 releases to his name. Since then, Holger's distinct blend of complex arrangements and gargantuan bass lines has been refined incrementally. With ten productions laden with bubbling textures, sweat-fueled percussion and tropical artwork, Holz navigates us into summer climates with moist palms and deep, deep eyes. "Lichterfelde" transforms remote boroughs of Berlin into ecstatic wildernesses populated by looming insectoid tones and gusts of humid pad textures. Punctuated by stabbed Eastern melodies, bouncing bass drops and ritual drum patterns, the opener sets the climate perfectly. "Mes Yeux" pulses amidst decompressing pads and reverberant mechanical samples in a deep house descent, while the hazy beginnings of "Roter Rausch" swarm around steadily enveloping synth and bass progressions in an intoxicating techno mirage. Deep and penetrating synth tones define "Druckraum," which probes meticulously with lazy, clicked percussion and the distant chatter of echoing beats. "Work" commands your obedience with mesmerizing melodic passages and dystopian, metallic percussive accents. "Golden" builds a lazy pop lullaby with decaying samples, trickled percussion and the dulcet vocal contributions of Swedish artist August Landelius. "Metrodancer" builds a formidable house strut with poked bass and melodic punches of 8-bit synth. In a similar vein, "Olho Gordo" plunges into dark waters with ghostly pads, dry, percussive tones and enveloping beats to test your after-hour stamina. Under the pseudonym One Chef, August Landelius returns to team up with Holger on "Have A Cup Of This," which disorients with clattering percussion and certifiably dizzy synth lines that dance around plunging bass tones and ringing symbol rotations. Counting to close with resonant, clocked percussion, August reintroduces his intimate vocal reflections in another downbeat pop arrangement, "To Them To Me," providing the perfect soundtrack to the end of an evening, and an appropriate end to an album that signals a new dawn for Holger Zilske.

BLUES QUEEN KOKO TAYLOR DIES

Posted by Billyjam, June 4, 2009 09:13am | Post a Comment
Koko Taylor
As reported today by the Associated Press and other news outlets, blues "Queen" Koko Taylor died yesterday, Wednesday June 3rd, resulting from complications following surgery she underwent recently for gastrointestinal bleeding. She was 80 years old.

A sharecropper's daughter who grew up listening to B.B. King on the radio (he was a DJ) playing the blues, it was her powerful voice that won her the name "Queen of the Blues." The Tennessee-born Taylor first entered the music world in 1962, after Willie Dixon got her a recording contract with legendary blues label Chess Records.

Three years later she would score a mega hit with the single "Wang Dang Doodle" which would help catapult her career and ensure her longevity. Check out the video below of her with Little Walter back in 1967 performing this song and witness how the woman just belted the blues. What a voice!

After the Chess label folded, she signed with Alligator Records and remained a busy, hard working artist throughout her long, prolific career, performing an average of a hundred concerts each year. She performed up until about seven years ago. Nominated seven times for Grammy awards, Taylor won one in 1984. Look for Taylor's back catalog in the "blues" section of Amoeba Music.

Koko Taylor ft. Little Walter "Wang Dang Doodle" (1967)

NOBODY DOES IT QUITE LIKE THE BIZ

Posted by Billyjam, June 3, 2009 08:39am | Post a Comment
Biz Markie
Biz Markie
, who came to fame during hip-hop's golden era as the beatboxing rapper with a sharp wit & comedic streak, initially won fans with such records as "Just A Friend," "Vapors," Pickin' Boogers," and "Make The Music WIth Your Mouth, Biz." But these days he is better known for his movie and TV roles, including playing the beatboxing alien in Men In Black II or his ongoing entertaining part in the Nickelodeon TV kids show Yo Gabba Gabba! where he does his short but fun "Beat of The Day" segment.

Along with the Fat Boys and Doug E Fresh, Biz Markie ranks as one of the early ambassadors of beatboxing, credited with bringing the hip-hop art form to the masses. In the music history books the Biz will also be immortalized in the early 1990's landmark sampling court case with Gilbert O'Sullivan which would forever alter (read: stifle) the direction that hip-hop production would thereafter take.

Born Marcel Hall in Harlem, and later living in Long Island, Biz Markie started out beatboxing and rhyming in the early eighties while just barely into his teens. But it would be his beatboxing skills specifically that would first get him noticed. Thanks to crossing paths with then up-and-coming producer Marley Marl in the mid-eighties, he got a break doing his human beatbox routine for Marl related Juice Crew acts like MC Shan and Roxanne Shante, with whom he would make his rap world debut, appearing on her 1986 record "Def Fresh Crew." That same year he released his debut 12", the EP "Make The Music With Your Mouth, Biz" on Prism Records. Two years later this Marley Marl produced record would be followed by his debut (and best) album, 1988's Goin' Off. His consequent three albums, 1989's The Biz Never Sleeps, 1991's I Need a Haircut, and 1993's All Samples Cleared! were not produced by Marley Marl and consequently never reached the pinnacle of greatness that his debut did.

DJ ICEWATER INTERVIEW

Posted by Billyjam, June 2, 2009 01:08pm | Post a Comment
DJ Icewater

Some may have just recently come to know of DJ Icewater as the tour DJ for the reunited Pharcyde. Others may long know the skilled Los Angeles born, Bay Area based DJ from his countless, always amazing mixtape CDs, which earned him, along with DJ Cobra, the "Mixtape DJ Of The Year" title at the Tech.nitions Conference in 2003. Some might remember him from his time as a Bay Area college radio DJ, be aware of him from his affiliation with the Solesides/Quannum or the Living Legends crews or maybe from his collaboration with such acts as the Bash Brothers, or from having been the live DJ for Shing02.

Some might even know him from the numerous acts he worked with in an audio engineer's capacity, including Lyrics Born, Jern Eye, and Keelay & Zaire. In sum, odds are that if you are a hip-hop fan, you've most likely stumbled up this talented DJ/producer's work somewhere along the way. He has been putting it down since 1995 and nowadays also does video live mixing. Busy juggling several projects, DJ Icewater recently took time out to chop it up with the Amoeblog.
DJ Icewater Shing02 Mix CD
Amoeblog:
How and when exactly did you first get into DJing?

New 12" Electronic Releases at Amoeba Hollywood - 06/06/09

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, June 1, 2009 04:01pm | Post a Comment
 

New Electro/Techno 12"s Coming this Weekend:

Buraka Som Sistema  

IC19 (MAD DECENT RECENT REMIX)
12” MAD098

In your face bass jams straight from Mad Decent. Remixes from TOY SELECTAH, TOTALLY KROSSED OUT, and DJ SEGA will fill the floor with cabooses getting loose. 



Adam Mars
hall 
 

OWLS WON'T-S.TROXLER
12" SIMPLE0939

KID606 UPDATES 4HERO CLASSIC ON HIS KILLER NEW ALBUM

Posted by Billyjam, June 1, 2009 03:16pm | Post a Comment
Kid606 "Mr Wobble's Nightmare" (2009)

The video above of Kid606's new Shout at the Döner (Tigerbeat6) album track and lead single "Mr Wobble's Nightare" is directed by Joel Trussell. The dp & editor is Michael Samstag, animators are Anna & Mike Hollingsworth and Joel Trussell, camera by Matthew Rogers, and lighting by Jeff Reed. This skilled music video Kid606production crew did total justice to Kid606's inspired update of 4hero's "Mr Kirk's Nightmare" -- the 1990 rave hit by the London, England drum'n'bass/jungle pioneers which, over a sped up sample of the "Give the Drummer Some" break, tells the story of a British police constable knocking on a certain Mr. Kirk's door to give him the bad news that his 17 year old son Robert "is dead. You better come down to the station house...he died of an overdose."  The Dead Kirks also did an interpretation of the song, one of many over the years, titled "Mr. Kirk, Your Son Is Dead" in 1991 on Midtown Records.

For the 2009 updated "Mr Wobble's Nightmare," with tongue firmly in cheek, Kid606 retells the story with a slight twist and injects ten times more energy into the already dope track. Equally as good is the entire new album, the usually quirky artist's most accessible to date. Over the past decade Kid606 has earned a rep for pushing the envelope in hardcore techno, glitch, IDM, and breakcore via a myriad of timeless releases on such labels as Vinyl Communications, Violent Turd, Ipecac, Mille Plateaux, and of course Tigerbeat6 -- the San Francisco label that the artist runs himself and that always displays his obsession with cats (check the cool feline image on the new album cover above). The Venezuelan born electronic artist, who has been on the vanguard of digital music since he began, has never resigned himself to just one subgenre of electronic music but instead has embraced and experiemented with em all. He was raised in San Diego but moved to San Franicsco and more recently to Berlin. Kid606, whose given name is Miguel Trost Depedro, formed Tigerbeat6 in 2000 and since then has overseen the prolific label, cranking out countless releases. The latest is Kid606's Shout at the Döner, which is among the very best electronic releases of 2009 to date -- and one you should buy at Amoeba Music.

(In which Job engages in back-breaking work.)

Posted by Job O Brother, June 1, 2009 01:55pm | Post a Comment

Does the glowing spine make me look fat?

The crippling pain hasn’t exactly ruined my week. My new toy has, after all, given new life to my hobby: collecting all music in the world… except for maybe Van Halen. Let me back up a bit…

Ha! “Back up.” You see, five days ago my back gave out while I was in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, battling La Alianza Triángulo de Oro – more specifically, I was in the middle of a back-alley shoot-out with that rascal, V.C. Fuentes (or, as I like to call him El Caca Bigote, which just drives him nuts!).

As we all know, you never want to fire your M4 carbine with your weaker arm, but it was past lunch time, I hadn’t eaten, and an orphaned child I had just rescued from the local orfanato offered me a fresh sopaipilla which I wasn’t about to let go stale; so I was mackin' on that with my right arm, shooting with my left and, just as I was about to send Fuentes to see his own fatal plastic surgeon, I felt a spring go loose in my back.

“Uh-oh,” I thought, and I was right.

So, for the last half-week I’ve been popping Advil like they were Skittles and walking like I was 99. My boyfriend, sensitive care-giver that he is, has taken it upon himself to make endless jokes about my situation, just to make sure I keep laughing. At least, I think that’s why he does it.


Does this statue of Æthelswith make me look fat?

My new toy is an external hard-drive with something like 99 hergozapazillogabytes of memory (give or take 2 hurquatzobytes). This will, hopefully, be enough to contain what can only be described as an obscene CD collection. In addition to this, I have recently purchased a portable turn-table (from, eh-hem, Amoeba Music) with a USB component which will allow me to transfer all my vinyl into a digital format, just as soon as I get written permission from any and all applicable copyright owners of the music. (Eh-hem again.)

As most of you know, in addition to lording over the Soundtrack Section of Amoeba Music Hollywood, I work as a freelance writer (hence the blog you are now reading which is enabling you to  procrastinate – but don’t worry, your secret is safe with me). The hope is that someday, someone with money and power recognizes how really, really, really, really, really, good I’m at writing stuff and, you know, things, and stuff and they hire me for some rad TV show or film or simply to sit next to their pool and come up with entertaining stories for their personal lifeguard – whatever. I imagine that, even then, with new-found wealth at my fingertips and enjoying a jet-set lifestyle, I will probably still have to maintain some working hours at Amoeba Music simply because I cannot survive without constant access to its inventory. I am hooked. I have an employee-discounted musical monkey on my back. Where’s my support group?

In transferring my CD collection onto my new hard-drive, I am sometimes struck by certain selections I felt compelled to bring home in the past, and I thought I'd share some of the odder albums with you.
Evita – The Japanese Cast Recording

If you thought Madonna was a far-fetched casting as Argentina’s notorious First Lady, consider 野村玲子. I did. And you know what? Madonna is still more far-fetched.



[untitled demo] – Agnès Mrugalski

I wish I could share this with you, because it’s f-wording brilliant. I plucked this vaguely packaged disc from the library music section of Amoeba. It contains 32 tracks of sample advertisements which serve to showcase actress Agnès Mrugalski’s diverse capabilities for radio commercial work. Boasting such titles as “Fabergé (voix sensuelle, complice)” or “United Airlines (voix hôtesse, fraîche, accueeillante),” each selection is a faux commercial with a description of the “type” of voice she’s using.


Internet research on said actress yielding next to nothing. I did find this one, heavily pixilated photograph. Mme. Mrugalski, if you’re out there, please supply us with more information. Nous t'adorons!

God is a Moog – Gershon Kingsley


This is a 2006 release from Moog pioneer Gershon Kingsley, best known as half the team Perrey & Kingsley, whose 1966 release The In Sound From Way Out, is considered one of the first mainstream electronic albums.

God is a Moog is a compilation of Kingsley’s Jewish music; much of it is sacred. There’s something both spooky and hilarious about the incongruous mix of Hebrew prayer intoned over (antiquated) space age sounds.

I couldn’t find a sample on YouTube, but here’s Kinglsey’s most famous composition, “Popcorn”…


He’s Able – People’s Temple Choir

This is a grisly affair, released in 1973 by Brotherhood Records, which was created by the Peoples Temple, under the directorship of Rev. Jim Jones. Taken out of context, it is a typical, home-grown, 1970’s gospel album. It sounds like most any church’s effort. When considered within the broader scope of the Peoples Temple’s fate, however, it becomes a wince-worthy, chilling listen. The first track features a chorus of children singing:

Welcome, welcome all of you!
Glad you are with us!
Shake hands! No need to be blue!
Welcome all of you!


And so on. Not recommended for cocktail parties. Or bar mitzvahs. Or anything ever.


Into Outer Space with Lucia Pamela – Lucia Pamela

This is a gem – one of those sweet moments when, in ignorant curiosity, I took something home simply because I couldn’t guess what it would be. It turned out to be nothing but sweetness.


Although a rough recording, what you get here is an eccentric blend of swing and early rock ‘n’ roll, led by Lucia Pamela – Miss St. Louis 1926, featured in Ripley's Believe It or Not for memorizing a record 10,000 songs – as she sings songs detailing her trip to the Moon and the adventures she has there.

Fans of Tiny Tim absolutely must check this out, as it features a similar sense of whimsy.


Now then, the Advil is wearing off, and there’s still thousands more albums to transfer, so I’m gonna say goodbye for now. Well, I’m gonna to type it. Well, I already did.