Amoeblog

I no longer live, but was raised in, a Yellow Submarine.

Posted by Job O Brother, August 31, 2009 05:49pm | Post a Comment

I have seen the movie Yellow Submarine more than any other film. This is because, as a child, I had a BETA copy of the film that had been taped off our TV. Without exaggeration, I’ve seen the movie over 200 times. Unfortunately, my taped copy also contained the commercials that played on TV when they showed it, which means I have also seen this…


…over 200 times. (If I, in the future, ever do anything absolutely crazy that lands me in trouble with the law, please remember this fact and use it in my defense.)

It’s also because of this movie that I was acutely aware of who The Beatles were. While most of my 1st grade friends were learning the hard way that Strawberry Shortcake dolls do not taste as good as they smell, I was phoning local radio stations and pleading with them to play songs off of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.


I was six when John Lennon was shot, and remember the moment when I found out. I was channel surfing (back then it was “switching the dial”) when I happened upon the news. I heard that Lennon was dead and starting sobbing. It was all so confusing. My primary association with him was as a cartoon character, and on some level I didn’t understand how that piece of animation had been murdered. It was all so complicated and awful. And probably why I genuinely feared for Scooby’s well-being from then on.

Seeing Yellow Submarine on a weekly, sometimes daily, basis as an impressionable youngster left an indelible mark on my mind and eventual artistic output. And speech choices. For my whole life, and to this day, if someone asks me a “how much” or “how many” themed question, I will at least think, if not say, “Enough to fill the Albert Hall!” in a squeaky, Liverpudlian accent. If I do not know the answer to a question, I will often answer, “Rimsky-Korsakov?” in a sheepish, groveling tone and, if the asker doesn’t say anything in response, I will follow up with, “Guy Lombardo?” (My friends almost never ask why I’m saying these things. What does it say about me that most people don’t think twice that these are my answers?)


Nothing can really be written about The Beatles that hasn’t been written before. Unless you were to write an article about how they saved the Moon from exploding and how Ringo was actually a made out of penne pasta & zinc/Eiffel Tower sauce, but that’s because those things are not true, and exceedingly silly.

So I eschew a more intellectual blog about the Fab Four in lieu of the above mentioned childhood experiences. I hope that’s okay with you, dear reader.

Also, I wanted to mention that Yoko Ono’s made some really neat albums, you guys. Particularly Approximately Infinite Universe and Feeling the Space. I’d like to think that we younger generations could start to give this broad her due. I’m just sayin’.

I still love The Beatles and am happy that technology now allows me to enjoy Yellow Submarine on DVD. It’s out of print as of this writing, but used copies often pop-up in the film depot of Amoeba Music. Although I must say, I do miss little vignettes like these…

New 12" Electronic Releases at Amoeba Hollywood - 09/04/09

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, August 31, 2009 03:58pm | Post a Comment
 

New Electro/Techno 12"s Coming This Weekend:


Julien Chaptal

COLLIDER-LAUHAUS RMX 12"
VIS184 

This must-see on the live techno circuit in Holland makes his debut on 2020 VISION, with a LAUHAUS remix on the flip. Also includes the song "JOEL STARR." This should be big, following his TOKENS album released this year on key Dutch label REMOTE AREA.




erol alkan waves & death suite
Erol Alkan
WAVES & DEATH SUITE 12"
BNR036

EROL ALKAN & BOYS NOIZE team up for these two tracks, & deliver an electro disco storm alongside an abstract, cut 'n paste techno/acid rollercoaster. First designed to be battle weapons, but the response was so huge they decided to release them!
 
 

Aura REMIXES D12" ZZZUS120034
Bahama Soul Club SERIOUS SOUL 7" BU004VL
Black Dog TUNNELS OV SET-AUTECHRE RX 12" SOMA267

Bliss 
NO ONE BUILT THIS MOMENT #1 12" ZZZUS120037A

Dusty AN EXOTIC BREED 12" JM009

Flashtraxx JACK OF ALL TRADE 12" BFP016

Pitch & Scratch HAMBURG HUSTLE LP+CD LEGO015LP

Rebel Crew LAST TANGO IN TEXAS EP 12" STRX004

Various 
JAZZ & MILK BREAKS 3 12" EP JM0010  

Delphic 
THIS MOMENTARY 12" KITSUNE101

Drummatic Twins 
DEEP THROAT EP 12" FLR098

Gilles Peterson BRAZILIKA #4 DLP FARO142LP   

Prodigy 
TAKE ME TO THE HOSPITAL RMX 12" HOSPT05     



New House/Disco 12"s Coming This Weekend:

ray mang

Mudd
54B RAY MANG REMIX 12"
LENG001

The RONG classic "54B" by MUDD gets a stellar 9 minute long remix from RAY MANG on the debut 12" from new label LENG (a CLAREMONT 56 spin-off). Slick and stylish nu disco. B/w the "ACID REFLUX" mix and "BONUS BEATS." Tough beats aimed at the dancefloor. Support from DAN IDJUT & BILL BREWSTER.
    




Frank Booker
PAPER CUTS 12"
UT009

"PAPER CUTS" is kaleidoscopic sun-dappled house music, with production worthy of a METRO AREA record. "GET ON" is a heavy hitting 3am disco cut with a drop that it...total finesse. Strictly limited and pressed on 180 vinyl!
 
  

Sumo MYSTIC DRUM 12" LMNKV39

Watch TV & Allstars Wild Safari 12" LMNKV36

Bjak 
REALDEEP EP EGC4012

Claude Vonstroke GREASY BEAT-BOOTSY 12" DBIRD027

Defected In The House AMSTERDAM #1 12" ITH30EP1

Defected In The House AMSTERDAM #2 12" ITH30EP2

Horace Andy WHEN THE RAIN RMXS LTD. 10" BITCH015

Ian Carey Project 
GET SHAKY-REMIXES 12" 3BLUE022

Io 
CABARET EP 12" DIYNAMIC029

M.in 
FRAUEN UND BLUMEN-DJ SNEAK RMX 12" IF14

Manuscript 
ANTIDEEPRESSANT 1 12" MANU001

Mr. Raoul K 
WIND OF GOREE 12" MULE040

Shimmy Sham Sham 
SHIMMY SHAM SHAM 12" SSS001

Subway 
SUBWAY II DLP SJRLP202

Various 
THOUGHTS FROM CHICAGO VOL 2 12" EGC4010



New Dubstep/Jungle 12"s coming This Weekend:

Jakes
JUSTICE 12"
SINS002

Disgusting bass, sinister vibes as cold as ice, and pounding beats combine for a monster of a track. On the flip is "PUMP ACTION" by CHIMPO, with a menacing dancefloor slayer with its instantly recognizable sample of "pump, pump, pump"!

Example
WATCH THE SUN...(JOKER RMX) 12"
DATA221P3 

One-sided limited deal with the synthed-out dubstep wonderkid, JOKER. This is slinky as hell, with fuzzy synths, crisp percussion, and the vocal gets cleverly chopped.
 
 

Data DOORS OF PERCEPTION 12" TEMPA044

Distinction FLY EYES 12" ARG026

Giant 
DRUMSTICK 12" HENCH010

I.D. & Skinnz 
THE BLUES 12" EAR011

Noah D 
KILLING TIME 12" BASSHEAD003

Pinch 
SPACED INVADER 12" DDEMON002

Rufige Kru 
MEMOIRS OF AN AFTERLIPE DLP METH011LP

Sub Focus 
ROCK IT 12" RAMM78

Tempa T 
THE NEXT HYPE (REMIXES) 12" NHNH007

Turboweekend 
SOMETHING (2000F REMIX) 12" KRKN009

Various 
BERWICK STREET SAMPLER 12" BSR029

Zomby 
DIGITAL FLORA 10" MATH02    
 

The situation in Ngulu Mapu intensifies

Posted by Eric Brightwell, August 31, 2009 01:16pm | Post a Comment
Although it's received little-to-no coverage in most mainstream media, clashes between Mapuche activists and the Chilean government have intensified as of late. Two days ago, thousands of Mapuche and other Chileans gathered around the country to protest plans for damming many of the country's rivers. This was only the latest round in a growing protest movement over land rights issues in Ngulu Mapu, the Mapuche homeland.


Just two weeks ago, a young Mapuche, Jaime Mendoza Collío, was shot in the back and killed by a Chilean police officer. The police were attempting to evict a group of about eighty Mapuche who were occuypying the San Sebastián farm. Following Collío's death, many Mapuche took to the streets of Temuco demanding direct talks with the Chilean president, Michelle Bachelet. The killing of Collío was only the latest death of a Mapuche at the hands of Chilean police. On January 3, 2008, 22-year-old Mapuche student Matias Catrileo was shot and killed by police. 17-year-old Alex Lemun was similarly shot and killed in November of 2002.


The Mapuche, whose claims to Ngulu Mapu stem from thousands of years of continuous presence, routinely clash with the Chilean governments as it sells off more and more of the Mapuche homelands to foreign mining companies which wreak considerable environmental destruction whilst reaping considerable profits. Meanwhile, large timber firms (most state-owned) continue to deforest the countryside. Most of the timber ends up in the US, at an annual profit of about $600 million. After the forests are destroyed, the timber firms replant the area with thirsty, non-native trees like eucalyptus. Those who speak out against what they call environmental racism are frequently arrested under the banner of counter-terrorism. The government regularly applies laws enacted during the Pinochet dictatorship to imprison activists, especially those belonging to Mapuche organizations like Coordinadora Arauco-Malleco (CAM).


In 1993, the government passed a law that recognizes Mapuche and Chile's other indigenous peoples and allows for Mapudungun, their language, to be taught in schools. For many, much more needs to be done. In addition to seeking the ownership of their ancestral homeland, the Mapuche seek constitutional recognition of their tribal identity, rights and culture. Toward that aim, a delegation of Mapuche leaders recently traveled to Geneva to appear before the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), where they hoped to gain condemnation of the Chilean goverment's alleged environmental racism.


Susana Abgélica y Los Peñis

The Mapuche's origins aren't agreed upon and their languaage, Mapudungun, is variously classified as relating to other Andean languages, Carribean Arawak, Mayan and even North American Penutian. Recent DNA analysis has shown that the Mapuche's Araucana chicken is native to Polynesia and was a staple of their diet before the European colonization of the Americas, suggesting that there was trade between Pacific Islanders and Native Americans (Rapa Nui is off the Chilean coast). The Mapuche also succesfully resisted several attempts by the mighty Inca empire to subjugate them. Although the Spaniards first claimed the lands in the 16th century, the Mapuche proved so effective in driving them away that it wasn't until 1862 that any permanent Chilean presence was established. It was the longest indigenous resistance struggle in the western hempisphere and, as recent tensions reveal, for many Mapuche, it continues.


Nancy San Martín
For those interested in Mapuche in film, there are several movies that focus on Mapuche issues, including Mapuche (1972), La Nave de Los Locos (1995) and the documentary Huinchan. There are also, of course, many CDs representing the music of Mapuche people, ranging from traditional to, inevitably, hip-hop. In addition to the artists featured above, Mapuzungun, Groupe Kalfucanelo, Tino La Guitarra Mapuche, Beatriz Pichi Malen and many other examples of music representing the voice of the Mapuche are available.


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FESTIVAL EXPRESS FREE SCREENING AT AMOEBA'S MONDAY MOVIES

Posted by Billyjam, August 31, 2009 11:04am | Post a Comment
Grateful Dead "Don't Ease Me In" from Festival Express, Toronto, June 1970

Last week kicked off the highly recommended free Amoeba's Monday Movies series in Hollywood, CA at Space15twenty with a screening of the Hurricane Katrina themed film Trouble the Water -- a Festival Expresswonderfully produced documentary, albeit with an unsettling subject matter. In contrast, tonight's screening of the fun, must-see music documentary Festival Express, which captures a magical slice of time and rock history from almost forty years ago, is much lighter in its content.

The film was shot in the summer of 1970 over a period of five days on a cool custom made train with some very talented passengers on board, including Janis Joplin, The Band, the Grateful Dead, Flying Burrito Brothers, Buddy Guy, and Sha Na Na. The train trekked its way across Canada from Toronto, to Calgary and to Winnipeg, with its crew stopping to perform concerts along the route.

What makes this film so unique and so endearing is just how candid everyone comes across in their intimate portrayals. I love this film and was so moved when I first saw it six months ago, especially by Janis Joplin's role. Her great performances  tragically would be some of her very last, since she died within a few months of this trans Canadian tour. I wrote an Amoeblog about Festival Express and Joplin back when I first watched the film.

Continue reading...

Amoeba Hollywood World Music Charts For August

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, August 31, 2009 01:10am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Hollywood World Music Top Ten
For The Week Of August 24-31st
:

1. V/A-Sound Of Wonder!
2. Chico Sonido-S/T
3. V/A- Black Rio Vol. 2
4. Bebe-Y.
5. Lila Downs-La Cantina
6. Natalia Lafourcade-Hu Hu Hu
7. Los Amigos Invisible-Commercial
8. Merche-Cal Y Arena
9. V/A-Panama Vol.2
10. Serge Gainsbourg- Initials SG-Best Of Serge Gainsbourg

The Sound of Wonder compilation just edged out Chico Sonido’s self-titled release to take the top spot of the week. At number five was Lila DownsLa Cantina, a release that dates back to 2006. Why, you ask? Perhaps because Lila landed in the hospital last week with a case of appendicitis and had to cancel all her shows in California, including a free show at The Santa Monica Pier last Thursday. I’m guessing that people came to Amoeba to get their Lila fix. To Lila, we wish a speedy recovery and we look forward to her next show at The Hollywood Forever Cemetery on October 24th for the Dia De Los Muertos Festival.

At number six is Natalia Lafourcade's latest, Hu Hu Hu. Released in Mexico in May (and yes, of course, not domestically) this is Natalia’s best release to date. Her songwriting has matured yet still retaines that youthful edge, especially lyrically. Much like Juan Son’s Mermaid Sashimi, Natalia’s release also reveals that she is a recent graduate of The Brian Wilson School of Songwriting, sans Juan Son’s flair for the dramatic. Despite obvious influences, Natalia still marches to the beat of her own drum. I can see a whole new generation of Latin American singer/songwriters using Hu Hu Hu as a template for their future work, much like they did with her past releases.

Let’s look into what was hot in August in Amoeba Hollywood World Music section, besides the weather…and fires!



Amoeba Hollywood World Music Top Ten For The Month Of August

1. V/A-Sound Of Wonder!
2. V/A- Black Rio Vol. 2
3. Chico Sonido-S/T
4. V/A-Legends Of Benin     
5. V/A- A String of Pearls: Jewels of the 78 RPM Era 1918-1951
6.
Aventura-Last
7. Oumou Sangare-Seya
8. Bebe-Y.
9. V/A-Panama Vol.2
10. Mulatu Astatke/Heliocentrics-Inspiration Information

Five of the top World Music sellers are compilations. At number five was a vinyl only release: A String of Pearls: Jewels of the 78 RPM Era 1918-1951. Compiled by Ian Nagoski, who also compiled the Black Mirror CD on the Dust To Digital label, it is a collection of World Music 78’s featuring Native American, Caribbean, Indian and Jewish recordings from a bygone era. It’s the next phase in beard-centric hipsterdom! From the Victrola Favourites release to Black Mirror to The Honest Jon series of 78 recordings, the trend continues of looking to the past for inspiration today…and of course, strictly on vinyl.

I’m not trying to dismiss the recordings of the past, for they truly posses much soul. But I see a trend of people are willing to celebrate a culture’s past yet completely ignore what that same culture contributes today, mostly without any regard or exploration of the genre. I only wonder if the same people who think that way are the same type of people who might have dismissed those 78’s when they first came out?

Who really knows... perhaps in 2020, if we are all still alive, the new hipsters will break out the Soca and Reggaeton compilations and “discover” their true soul? Of course, only if it is on limited edition vinyl with liner notes by some music ethnologist from England.


August 30, 2009

Posted by phil blankenship, August 30, 2009 10:25pm | Post a Comment





I really disliked The Goods. Afterwards I watched Julie & Julia:


America Gets a Post-Racial: The Legacy of Lee Atwater

Posted by Charles Reece, August 30, 2009 10:03am | Post a Comment
The latest issue of The London Review of Books has an excellent essay, "What Matters," by Walter Benn Michaels (author of The Trouble with Diversity). In analyzing the recent arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Michaels answers my fellow blogger Eric's question of "who's black?" with another, more telling question: "who's poor?." To wit:

Gates, as one of his Harvard colleagues said, is ‘a famous, wealthy and important black man’, a point Gates himself tried to make to the arresting officer – the way he put it was: ‘You don’t know who you’re messing with.’ But, despite the helpful hint, the cop failed to recognise an essential truth about neoliberal America: it’s no longer enough to kowtow to rich white people; now you have to kowtow to rich black people too.

[...]

In the US, one of the great uses of racism was (and is) to induce poor white people to feel a crucial and entirely specious fellowship with rich white people; one of the great uses of anti-racism is to make poor black people feel a crucial and equally specious fellowship with rich black people. Furthermore, in the form of the celebration of ‘identity’ and ‘ethnic diversity’, it seeks to create a bond between poor black people and rich white ones. So the African-American woman who cleans my office is supposed to feel not so bad about the fact that I make almost ten times as much money as she does because she can be confident that I’m not racist or sexist and that I respect her culture. And she’s also supposed to feel pride because the dean of our college, who makes much more than ten times what she does, is African-American, like her. And since the chancellor of our university, who makes more than 15 times what she does, is not only African-American but a woman too (the fruits of both anti-racism and anti-sexism!), she can feel doubly good about her.

In the words of our first "post-racial" president's speechwriters, it's the economy, stupid (or, rather, the racially stupid economy -- even its staunchest proponents this side of Ayn Rand will tell you that capitalism is amoral). As the harbinger of racial peace through commercial success, a prescient Arsenio Hall managed to signify our current climate through one particular performance that bridged the old racial divide in popular culture, that of the poor black's blues and the poor white's country:


Randy Travis is what the corporate media like to call an "independent thinker," that is, neither strictly Republican, nor Democrat. Why, back in 1991, when Linda Accurso complained to the Federal Election Commission that Travis' televised performance of "Point of Light" was an unfair advertisement for George Bush, Sr., the FEC essentially ruled that, nope, the singer was operating on his own. This was despite the song being written at Bush's request, its sharing a poetic phrase with a popular speech of Bush's, and its video being produced by Bush's media consultant, Roger Eugene Ailes (now the American president of Fox News Channel). Surely, the song was just about promoting the everyman (and -woman) in our armed services. "If that ain't country ...."

And just like any good capitalist would recommend, B.B. King has always been more concerned with promoting the blues than any particular ideology. As told in Charles Sawyer's apologia, back in 1968, King responded to the question "What do you think of Ronald Reagan and what do you think of the Black Panthers?" with, "Well, I hear the Panthers feed breakfast to poor children and anyone who does that can't be as bad as they are made out to be [and] I think that Reagan was a pretty good movie actor." It was this sort of ideological independence that would result in King's celebration of his friend, the recently deceased Lee Atwater, aka the Boogie Man, at the Republican convention in 1991 (coincidentally the same year as the Travis fracas).


Atwater was the campaign adviser for Bush's 1988 successful bid for the presidency and he knew something about the kind of abstraction that could make anyone a fan of the blues (or country). Divorce it from its context, thereby making it an appealing product to anyone, regardless of ideology. Consider his take on the Southern Strategy:

You start out in 1954 by saying, “nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can't say “nigger” -- that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me—because obviously sitting around saying, “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “nigger, nigger.” -- from here

But never mind that, nor his use of the Willie Horton scandal, nor his help in devising the Revolving Door ad, Atwater was a big fan and promoter of the blues and black music in general and, most importantly, in abstracto (to which the above album with whom could be called "some of his best friends" attested). One might say he was our first post-racial politico, his racist campaign strategies having little effect on his aesthetics or the friends he kept. Is it cynical to suggest King (as well as Aretha Franklin, Isaac Hayes and the others lending their talents and credibility to Atwater's album) had more in common through his wealth and success with Atwater than with the people affected by the man's propaganda? Back in the early part of the 20th century, in the openly racist South, Hank Williams learned guitar from Tee Tot, a poor bluesman who played on the street. Then, at the beginning of our post-racial era, the blues and country came back together to appear on The Arsenio Hall Show, only this time represented by wealthy proponents of both genres. Since Atwater, even the Republicans have become more diverse, but along with Michaels, I ask, what does this progress really m

Solid Gold! Interview with David Lynch

Posted by Charles Reece, August 29, 2009 07:18pm | Post a Comment
My pal Kyle and I had a chance to interview the best living director. Here 'tis:


Stick around for the credits; the Amoeba film crew did a beautiful job making it.

One Last Thing About August ...

Posted by Whitmore, August 29, 2009 02:14pm | Post a Comment

Now that August is basically over, here is my last chance to mention that it’s been National Catfish Month across this great, chowing-down, eater’s paradise of ours. Back in the late 1980s, the month of August was officially designated by mysterious entities as National Catfish Month. Today, seafood consumption in the United States exceeds 4.9 billion pounds annually and more catfish is now produced on a yearly basis in the United States than all other farmed fish combined. Personally, I’ll eat Catfish any way you serve it: blackened, broiled, grilled, poached or pan fried. At one time catfish was regarded as only a Southern staple. Times have changed. Diners nationwide have doubled their waistlines and their per capita consumption of Catfish since 1986, becoming the fourth most popular fish served in the United States.
 
Another thing, ninety-four percent of all Farm-Raised Catfish harvested in this country is from family-owned farms; many of these growers are second or third generation farmers. Today, the farm-raised Catfish industry employs more than 13,000 people and contributes more than $4 billion to the economy of states like Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and Louisiana.
 
Catfish is also a lean fish and is an excellent source of protein, low in saturated fat and is a moderate source of polyunsaturated (the good) fat and omega-3 fatty acids. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, moderate fish consumption -- one to two meals a week -- may cut the risk of sudden cardiac death in half.
 
Anyway, why am I writing about catfish? Sometimes between art and movies and music you have to eat, and it might as well be something that isn’t absolute crap. Here is a great recipe from The Catfish Institute. So, throw on some good music (personally I’d go more old-school, maybe some Clifton Chenier), open up the right bottle of beer, maybe an Abita Amber, and enjoy some Catfish with a spicy fireworks rub. Bon Appetit!
 
Catfish with Spicy Fireworks Rub
Serves 4, this recipe makes enough spice rub to keep in your pantry and use many more times throughout the grilling season. (Sidenote: You can store the fireworks rub in a dark cupboard, away from heat; it will keep for two to three months.)
 
¼ cup (50 mL) chili powder
¼ cup (50 mL) ground cumin
¼ cup (50 mL) ground coriander
2 tbsp (30 mL) packed brown sugar
1 tbsp (15 mL) salt
1 tbsp (15 mL) red pepper flakes
2 tbsp (30 mL) freshly ground black pepper
4 U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish fillets, 6 to 8 oz (180 to 250 g) each
 
Preheat grill or broiler to high.
 
To make fireworks rub, mix spices in a bowl and spoon into a glass jar with tight-fitting lid.
 
Spray both sides of each catfish fillet lightly with vegetable oil.
 
Sprinkle 1 teaspoon (5 mL) of fireworks rub (or adjust to your taste) on each lightly oiled catfish fillet. Grill or broil over high heat for 3 ½ to 4 minutes per side or until the fish begins to flake when tested with a fork in the thickest part.
 
By the way, here’s some Skip James, “Catfish Blues,” and the great Clifton Chenier.


MICHAEL JACKSON'S BIRTHDAY INSPIRES MANY TRIBUTE PARTIES

Posted by Billyjam, August 29, 2009 01:24pm | Post a Comment
Napalm Clique: Unity & Trevor "Shining (Michael Jackson Hip Hop Tribute)" (2009)

Today, August 29th 2009, marks what would have been Michael Jackson's 51st birthday. To celebrate the date and the legacy of MJ and the King of Pop's music there are numerous parties planned for this day in various cities, including San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles.

In LA tonight QuestLove of the mighty Roots (who killed it the one time I saw them play live at Amoeba Hollywood two years ago -- see pics here) is overseeing the Remember the TIme special MJ birthday party tonight with a three hour set along with DJs Vikter Duplaix, Rashida and Loslito at The Church in downtown LA. The party starts at 10pm and goes til 4am. 21+ $20 admission or $15 if you send an RSVP message here by 6pm. The Church is located at 606 E. 6th St. at the corner of Crocker, and one block east of San Pedro.

In San Francisco tonight at Yoshi's A-List Musiq Circle & Mohogany Events are presenting what they have dubbed "The Official Bay Area Michael Jackson Birthday Celebration" with music by Rick & Russ Show. The event is an after party for the sold out Mint Condition show also at Yoshi's.   Those with ticket stubs from that show get a $5 discount on the $10 admission tag. Doors 9:30pm. Party til 2am. Yoshi's is located at 1330 Fillmore Street. Also tonight at 9pm at The Madrone at 500 Divisidero in San Francisco there will be a screening of the new MJ tribute video above by Naplam Clique's Unity and Trevor that was directed and edited by Trevor Parham for Eklectyk Creative Media and includes the MJ eulogy speech by the Rev. Al Sharpton.

Continue reading...

La Belle Rouge: Japanese pop merveilleuse Kanon Wakeshima casts a spell on Amoeba SF...

Posted by Kells, August 29, 2009 01:04pm | Post a Comment

 

Japanese pop cellist and chanteuse Kanon Wakeshima's instore appearance at Amoeba San Francisco was anything but typical. Performing a short set that included a few moments in which she explained her interests in preciously accented English and a dance prelude where she impersonated a mechanical doll come to life, Wakeshima graced the stage, flanked by a enraptured frenzy of devoted admirers, clad in an ensemble that suggested, or rather enhanced, the overall vibe of her music: a black kimono with puffed sleeves (the likes of which Anne "of Green Gables" Shirley would have frothed jealously over) topped with a raised, Elizabethan-esque ruffled collar, detailed at the hem with a volcanic red pattern-play à la Nipponisme. From beneath this romantic, east-meets-west hybrid of a cloak spilled a crimson confection of a cinched waist giving way to flowing skirts trimmed in endless ruffles and princess frills. One could see among the many avid onlooker's faces varied swooning expressions of delight, esteem and joy for miss Wakeshima as she danced, coaxed song after song from her cello-friend and sang enthusiastically from her frame of burnt caramel-colored ringlet curls. It was, in a word, very Disney in feeling, albeit Disney after dark.

Judging by the inspired fashion choices showcased by many of her fans at her instore show, Wakeshima, and her maker --- mysterious and reclusive musician/producer/fashion-designer/rockstar
Mana, are lending a rather substantial hand in popularizing the Gothic Lolita fashion movement, a phenomenon that is said to have been started by Mana here in the states. (In fact, last week one of Japan's most famous houses of GothLoli fashions, "Baby, the Stars Shine Bright," opened a flagship store here in San Francisco's Japantown ~sugoi!) Add to that the current trend of Vampire-centric fantasy fictions and the long-standing popularity of anime, in this case a very popular with the ladies anime series entitled Vampire Knight, which features Wakeshima's single "Still Doll" as the closing theme, and voila! You've got yourself a pop culture force to be reckoned with. 

But the fascination is more than just skin deep. I spoke with many of her fans before the show, you know, to see what all the fuss was about, and I was amazed to find so many avid young cellists in attendance. Of course, there were more than enough anime fans, 
otaku types and what-not, but classically trained musicians? Fabulous! Another girl in particular struck a chord with me because she was quietly drawing in her sketchbook while waiting for the show to begin. When I asked her what she likes about Kanon Wakeshima she explained that she loved

Kanon's artistic drawings

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DJ AM FOUND DEAD OF SUSPECTED O.D.

Posted by Billyjam, August 28, 2009 07:53pm | Post a Comment
DJ AM

Coming almost exactly a year after he was almost killed in a South Carolina plane crash in which he and Travis Barker survived but four others died, Adam Goldstein (aka DJ AM) was found dead in his SoHo apartment late this afternoon. According to news reports from New York it was a friend of Goldstein's,  concerned when the celebrity DJ hadn't been heard from for a couple of days and then didn't answer his door this afternoon, who alerted authorites to check up on Goldstein.

Reportedly when the police arrived inside the 36 year old DJ's downtown Manhattan apartment his dead body was found face down on his bed and he was surrounded by prescription drugs. Reportedly since the plance crash last September Goldstein had suffered a lot of pain and had been prescribed pain killers. 

Dramatically, his last contact with the world was on Twitter on Tuesday in which he tweeted the 1983 lyrics from Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, "New York, New York. BIg city of dreams. But everything in New York ain't always what it seems." 

Britpop band Oasis splits in Paris

Posted by Whitmore, August 28, 2009 07:25pm | Post a Comment

The Brothers Gallagher are at it again; but perhaps this time their long turbulent relationship may be finally over.
 
Reports from London state that guitarist Noel Gallagher has left Britpop pioneers Oasis for once and for all, saying he "simply could not go on working with Liam a day longer," and adding he is leaving the group "with some sadness and great relief."
 
Oasis was due to perform at the Rock-en-Seine Festival near Paris on Friday, August 28th, but a message flashed to the crowd shortly before the band was to take the stage saying as a result of an altercation within the band, the Oasis gig has been canceled. Many in the audience initially thought that the announcement was a joke. First reports from the backstage scene, of course by way of Twitter, said that "Liam smashed Noel’s guitar."
 
Gallagher's statement also sent "apologies to all the people who bought tickets" for the remaining shows on their European tour in France, Italy, and Germany saying group "does not exist anymore."
 
Speculation has been growing about the band’s future. Liam revealed just a couple of weeks ago that he and Noel were no longer on speaking terms and while on tour traveled separately, only seeing each other on stage.

Oasis had sold more than 50 million records worldwide. They have had eight #1 singles in the UK and have amassed fifteen NME Awards, five BRIT Awards, nine Q Awards and four MTV Europe Music Awards.

Amoeba Music Weekly Hip-Hop Round Up: 08:28:09

Posted by Billyjam, August 28, 2009 11:38am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five: 08:28:09
Mr. Capone-E
1) Black Eyed Peas
The E.N.D. (Interscope)

2) Slaughterhouse
self-titled (E1 Entertainment)

3) Mos Def
Ecstatic (Downtown)

4) Dudley Perkins
Holy Smokes (1 AM APPROACH)

5) Mr Capone-E
Diary of a G (Hi Power Entertainment/KOCH)

Los Angeles rapper Mr. Capone-E's brand new release Diary of a G on his own indie HiPower Entertainment record label through KOCH is a hot new seller at the Hollywood Amoeba Music store this week, joining already popular summer releases from the Black Eyed Peas, Mos Def, Dudley Perkins, and the hip-hop emcee supergroup Slaughterhouse featuring Joe Budden, Royce Da 5' 9, Crooked I, and Joell Ortiz. Mr. Capone-E's new release is bound to further broaden his fanbase, especially with such radio & club ready songs as "Light My Fire." Scroll down a bit to peep the video for this Auto-Tune assisted track that features Snoop Dogg.


Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five: 08:28:09

1) Mos Def Ecstatic (Downtown)

2) K'Naan Troubadour  (A&M/Octone)

Ellie Greenwich 1940 - 2009

Posted by Whitmore, August 28, 2009 11:20am | Post a Comment

Ellie Greenwich
, who penned dozens of classic songs in collaboration with producer Phil Spector and Jeff Barry for acts like The Ronettes, The Crystals, The Shangri-Las, Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans, The Jelly Beans and The Dixie Cups -- the “girl group” sound, died this week of a heart attack in New York’s St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital; she had been admitted for pneumonia a few days earlier. She was 68.
 
In her 50-year career, Greenwich, a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, was awarded some 25 gold and platinum discs. BMI Publishing lists more than 200 songs Greenwich wrote or co-wrote, including such classics as “Leader Of The Pack,” “Chapel of Love,” “River Deep, Mountain High,” “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),” “Be My Baby,” “Da Doo Ron Ron,” “Do Wah Diddy Diddy,” “Look of Love,” “Then He Kissed Me,” “I Can Hear Music,” and "Hanky Panky.”
 
Born Eleanor Louise Greenwich on Oct. 23, 1940 in Brooklyn, N.Y., she was 11 when she began studying accordion before switching to piano. As a teen she started her own group called The Jivettes. She got her first break as a songwriter working for Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, who had written dozens of classic 1950’s rock tunes. Her first chart success was "This Is It" with the Jay and the Americans, which she co-wrote with Doc Pomus and Tony Powers.

Greenwich became part of the mythical Brill Building stable of songwriters where she teamed up with her husband Jeff Barry. Other Brill writers included Hal David and Burt Bacharach, Carole King and Gerry Goffin, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil plus the likes of Neil Sedaka, Neil Diamond and Paul Simon.
 
Greenwich and Barry also recorded a few sides as The Raindrops; their biggest hit was “The Kind of Boy You Can't Forget.” In 1964 alone, the two song writers were responsible for some 17 different singles reaching the Billboard Hot 100 chart. However the following year, 1965, she and Barry divorced, and Greenwich suffered a nervous breakdown.
 
She went on to produce songs for artists like Frank Sinatra, Dusty Springfield, The Definitive Rock Choral and Ella Fitzgerald, but she really hit her stride working with Neil Diamond, producing his early hits “Cherry Cherry,” “Solitary Man” and “Kentucky Woman.”  In 1968, Greenwich released her first solo album, Ellie Greenwich Composes, Produces and Sings, and included two charting singles, "Niki Hoeky" (a #1 hit in Japan) and "I Want You To Be My Baby."
 
In the 1980s she created a musical based on her life entitled Leader of the Pack, from the song co-written with her former husband Barry. The Broadway musical included many of her hits and told the story of her rise and fall. It scored several Tony and Grammy Award nominations.

This past week the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson was quoted by the L.A.Times, saying, “She was the greatest melody writer of all time.”



This Week At The New Beverly: August 28 - September 3

Posted by phil blankenship, August 28, 2009 10:20am | Post a Comment
This Week At The New Beverly

Our September / October calendar is now online at
http://newbevcinema.com/calendar.cfm


Friday & Saturday August 28 & 29

Evil Dead Triple Feature
All Tickets $10 For This Special Event
One Ticket Admits You To All Three Films!


The Evil Dead
1981, USA, 85 minutes
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0083907/
dir. Sam Raimi, starring Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Richard DeManincor, Betsy Baker, Theresa Tilly
Friday / Saturday: 7:30pm, Watch The Trailer!

Evil Dead Marathon at the New Beverly!

Posted by phil blankenship, August 27, 2009 07:26pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music and Phil Blankenship are proud to present some of our film favorites at Los Angeles’ last full-time revival movie theater. See movies the way they're meant to be seen - on the big screen and with an audience!
Two Nights Only!
Friday & Saturday August 28 & 29


Evil Dead Marathon
All Tickets $10. One Ticket Admits You To All Three Films!
New Beverly Cinema 7165 W Beverly Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90036

The Evil Dead (1981) 7:30pm

Evil Dead 2 (1987) 9:30pm

Army Of Darkness (1992) 11:30pm



Saturday September 5

Ron Silver &
Barbara Hershey in

The Entity


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


September
September 12 Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo
If you can't beat the system...break it! 25th Anniversary!

out this week 7/28 & 8/4 & 8/11...pictureplane...blur...modest mouse...patrick wolf...

Posted by Brad Schelden, August 27, 2009 12:20pm | Post a Comment

I spend most of my weeks looking for new albums to fall in love with. I try to listen to most albums at least once. This is a big quest since there are still a ton of albums out every week. I just wait and hope for those special little albums that get me excited and keep me looking for my new favorite. It keeps me going knowing that there are new fantastic albums out every month just waiting to be discovered. There are the obvious albums to get excited about. In a couple of weeks the Where the Wild Things Are soundtrack comes out. The movie looks amazingly fantastic. The trailer for the movie already made me cry. Spike Jonze is the perfect director to create a live action film out of this great children's book. And just when I didn't think it could get any better, I find out that Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs did the soundtrack. I mean, really! How could it possibly get any better? I am dying of anticipation to see the movie and hear the soundtrack! I have not even tried to listen to any tracks online. I just want to wait and hear the whole thing when it comes out. But I honestly think that I might just have to wait and experience the soundtrack for the first time while watching the movie. That is always the problem with getting a soundtrack before you see the movie. I think it is best to experience it in the theater for the first time. Then you can go back and relive it and listen to the soundtrack. I seriously can't wait!

I am also very excited about the new Place to Bury Strangers. The new album called Exploding Head is not out for a couple of months. I know it will be one of my favorites. And it really is hard to compete with their excellent, amazing debut a couple of years ago. It was my favorite of the year back in 2007. This new album will easily be in competition for the number one spot this year. It is easy to get excited about the new albums from your favorite bands. But even more exciting is the new bands that seem to come from nowhere to deilver you their fantastic debut albums. Or the bands and artists that have been working for years that finally make it into your life somehow.black box dreamland

I didn't really have any expectations when I listenened to the new album by Pictureplane. I was somewhat intrigued by the name and the artwork, but figured I would quickly move on after the first listen. But I was wrong. It quickly became one of my favorite albums of the month. I just can't put it down. It is one of those albums you will either love or hate, like Patrick Wolf or The Teenagers, Crystal Castles, Blank Dogs or Health, or even No Bra or Lo-Fi-Fnk. These bands are easy to hate, but also so easy to fall in love with...at least for me. They combine the fun of 90's dance music with more modern indie pop music and make some fantastic albums. Pictureplane is Travis Egedy. His music is often described as trance meets dark wave meets 90s r&b and dance. He combines them all together to somehow make sense. Most people would run away from something that was a mix of Taylor Dayne, Deee-Lite, Soul II Soul, Terence Trent D'arby, Stereo MC's, C & C Music Factory, La Bouche, Snap!, and Black Box. But he makes it work! Just try to imagine every 90's dance track all mixed up together and filtered through the mind of a kid from Arizona who was only 5 years old in 1990. He lived through the 90's like I lived through the 80's. I was too young in the 80's to go to dance clubs and shows but I still managed to become obsessed with the music of the 80's through school dances and MTV. I was just old enough to get it and the perfect age for it to have a lasting impression. We take most of the music of the 90's for granted and most of us want to forget it and move on, but there were some really great dance tracks that came out of the 90's. They are songs that will stay with us forever. I hated a lot of them at the time. Most of them were overplayed on the radio, in clubs, at bars, and on MTV but they still have a special place in my heart. I still get excited every time I hear them on the radio or see a late night informercial advertising the latest 90's dance compilation. I have heard most of these songs performed at drag shows as well. I guess that is why they have a special place in my heart. I also heard them all over and over again when I first started going to gay bars and clubs in the 90s. I think I hated them at the time but now they have become nostalgic and make me happy remembering the good times.
pictureplane dark rift
I could not have really imagined this album by Pictureplane before I actually heard it. A 25 year old dude singing songs in the style of Ce Ce Peniston and Crystal Waters doesn't really get me excited. Well, actually I guess it kind of does. But I still didn't really know what to expect until I actually heard it. But the album is not satire. It is not making fun of a genre. He recreates and reinterprets the dance music of the 90's and creates something refreshing and completely different sounding. I did fall in love with the record. It grows on you. The album is called Dark Rift. It is actually his second album, but his first to be released on CD.

One of my favorite tracks is "Goth Star." The name alone is perfect. But "Trance Doll" is probably my favorite -- also a perfectly named song. The song doesn't really make much sense and seems all mixed up and thrown together, but at the same time it is also this perfect little pop song with a great chorus mixed underneath the mess. "Gang Signs" and "New Mind" are also fantastic songs on the album. It would be a fun game to try to match each song on the album to a dance track from the 90's. But each song would have more than one corresponding song. For instance, "New Mind" seems to be a mix of "Vogue" by Madonna, "Good Vibrations" by Marky Mark, and "Rhythm is a Dancer" by Snap! But the next time I listen to the song I will have a diffrent idea of what it sounds like. The album seems to change each time I listen to it. Maybe he is so brilliant that he is able to mix about 20 or so songs into each song so you can never really figure out where the exact influence each song came from. I imagine he just has all these songs mixed up in his memory and somehow managed to filter them into his own new songs. The album is great fun and I recommend you try it out! However, if you were frightened or offended by dance music in the 90's, you might want to stay far away from this album. There is a chance that you might even be able to enjoy the whole album without thinking of the 90s once. But I doubt it. I love it. And I thank Mr. Pictureplane for giving me this album. It is just what I needed! I am off to go relive the 90's and watch videos of "Finally," "Rhythm is a Dancer," and "Strike It Up." I am just not sure that I can stop there. I might be trapped in the 90's all day long!

Here is the video for "Trance Doll" by Pictureplane...




And here are some 90's dance videos to help you remember the 90's just in case you forgot...

"Rhythm is a Dancer" by Snap!...



"Be My Lover" by La Bouche...



"3 AM Eternal" by The KLF...


"Show Me Love" by Robin S...



"Strike It Up" by Black Box...




also out 7/28...






Midlife: Beginner's Guide by Blur











Love Comes Close by Cold Cave











Golden Beds EP by Octopus Project










David by Radio Dept.







also out 8/4...






True Romance by Golden Silvers











Tribute to George Harrison by Yim Yames











No One's First, and You're Next by Modest Mouse











Julian Plenti by Julian Plenti








also out 8/11...






Bachelor by Patrick Wolf


BOB DYLAN'S CHRISTMAS IN THE HEART ALBUM

Posted by Billyjam, August 27, 2009 12:10pm | Post a Comment
Bob Dylan christmas in the heart
As he announced in the news page on his official website a couple of days ago, Bob Dylan has recorded a Christmas music album that he has scheduled to release this coming holliday season. To be titled Christmas In The Heart and released on Columbia Records, it will be availabe at Amoeba Music and other stores on October 13th.

The release, which will be the 47th album by the legendary musician born Robert Allen Zimmerman, will be Dylan's first Christmas themed release and will likely surprise some fans who never expected the artist, who came to fame as a protest singer, to cover such songs as "Winter Wonderland." Other songs to be featured on the album include “Little Drummer Boy” and “Must Be Santa.”

The album will not be the first time the 68 year old artist has done traditional Christmas fare though. Three years ago on his radio show, Theme Time Radio Hour series 1, episode 34, he did a reading of "Twas The Night Before Christmas" (video clip below). Dylan's Christmas In The Heart will be a benefit for various hunger-relief charities including the wonderful Feeding America organization.



The Beatles Part 3

Posted by Amoebite, August 26, 2009 01:00pm | Post a Comment

We are kicking off the celebration in honor of the digitally remastered Beatles reissues set to hit Amoeba September 9! Each Wednesday until September 2, we will present a segment of The Beatles' biography. Then, the week of September 2-9 will be marked here on the blog with a number of Beatles related posts with a huge variety of topics! You can begin with Part One of the fabled band's history if you missed it by clicking right here; then check out last week's Part Two right here. Now, we are on to Part Three:
 

beatles 1964

BEATLEMANIA HITS THE US

It was now Brian Epstein’s job to break The Beatles in America, the world’s largest music market. To date, it had beenintroducing the beatles vee jay a frustrating task. Capitol Records, EMI’s American arm, had declined to release the group’s records, pointing to US listeners’ historic indifference to English acts. The band’s material had instead been licensed to American independent labels – Vee-Jay, Swan, and Tollie – without any measurable sales.

But Epstein’s acumen and a propitious confluence of events reversed the band’s stateside fortunes. In November 1963, Epstein convinced Ed Sullivan, host of the top-rated TV variety show in the US, to book The Beatles for four appearances in early 1964, after Sullivan had witnessed a frenzied mob of Beatlemaniacs at London’s Heathrow Airport during a overseas trip.

FRIEND OF AMOEBA ELVIS COSTELLO CELEBRATES BIRTHDAY

Posted by Billyjam, August 25, 2009 03:00pm | Post a Comment

Happy birthday to friend of Amoeba Elvis Costello -- born Declan Patrick MacManus on August 25th 1954 -- who celebrates his 55th birthday today. A renowned, longtime crate digging music collector with most diverse tastes, Elvis is not surprisingly a big fan of shopping at Amoeba Music.

"One of the things that makes Amoeba a stop for me is that you are going to go in there with the intention of buying one record and come out with an armfull of other things because you know you want to go into the area where the jazz artists are. But at the same time they're sitting next to the hillbilly records, or the opera records, or the show tune records, or the new groups that are coming up and the old groups that are still there," Elvis told Ameoba's Josh Pollock at the Haight Street store on June 22nd when the artist played packed houses at both the San Francisco and the Hollywood Amoeba Music stores on that same day.

Above is the full Elvis Amoeba interview, interspersed with some music, which includes Elvis talking with Josh Pollock about such topics as his new TV show Spectacle on the Sundance channel (where his guests have included Smokey Robinson, Diana Krall, Herbielvis costello secret, profane & sugarcanee Hancock, and Bill Clinton), and also how certain fans just want him to remain 22 forever and be making the same music that he was over three decades ago. Meantime, below is the Amoeba Music concert segment featuring Elvis and band doing the songs "Complicated Shadows," "Down Among The Wines &..," "Blame It On Cain," "Red Cotton," and "My All-Time Doll." Click here to purchase Elvis Costello's new album Secret, Profane & Sugarcane: Note that these videos are different from the famous Elvis Costello - Live at Amoeba YouTube video, which was culled from these videos. That video has racked up a quarter of a million YouTube hits since it was posted on there three weeks ago.
 

The roots of jazz - ragtime

Posted by Eric Brightwell, August 24, 2009 04:48pm | Post a Comment
Although for most people the strains of "The Entertainer" and other rags now primarily evoke quaint, scratchy images of silent films projected at the wrong speed, when ragtime first appeared around the 1870s, it was the soundtrack of Missouri's whorehouses, parlors and gambling clubs.

St. Louis in the 1870s

Ragtime was also one of the first truly and distinctly American musical forms. After cakewalk, ragtime was one of the first global music crazes. That Ragtime's cradle was the river towns of the Missouri Valley shouldn't be a surprise. Missouri, located at the center of the country, has long been and remains a crossroads of cultural exchanges. No state borders more than Missouri and noted ragtime musicians came from all the neighbors and spread to them (except Nebraska and Iowa, states whose people are known to be deaf to the joys of melody and dance). The character of ragtime -- drawing from folk, European and American marches, minstrelsy, spirituals and other forms -- connects Europe, Africa and North America, town and country, classical and popular, black and white.

Though ragtime is primarily written for the piano, it was also played on other instruments, notably the banjo. Although its syncopation is generally discussed as a defining characteristic, not all ragtime truly is and the term "syncopated" was applied much as “swing” was later, as a sort of shorthand for an indescribable feeling. Scott Joplin even wrote, “Play slowly until you catch the swing,” and described the effect as “weird and intoxicating.”

As insisted upon by "The King of Ragtime," Scott Joplin, ragtime was meant to be played exactly as written. Although discouraging improvisation, James P. Johnson stated that he and other New York pianists would routinely appropriate sections of ragtime and improvise, unaware even of the song's authorship, giving birth to a style known as stride.


THE BIRTH OF RAGTIME

Ragtime is usually said to have first appeared in the 1890s (when it first was published) and 1897 is usually named as the year of ragtime's emergence. However, E.A. Phelps’s "The Darkies’ Patrol," published in 1892, is a rag -- a fact noted on the sheet music by the publisher. Ragtime had, in fact, been around many years before it was commited to paper. Scott Joplin heard ragtime when he first arrived in St. Louis in 1885. Blind Boone, skipping school in the mid-1870s, did as well. The place they both heard it was St. Louis's famed Chestnut Valley tenderloin/red light district, where sporting houses employed pianists to provide a score for their client's various activities. Chesnut Valley had a reputation for being so hot that supposedly cops wouldn't set foot in it. It was in Chesnut Valley, on Targee St. in 1899, where Allen (Johnny) Britt got killed by Frankie Baker a lover's quarrel, a crime immortalized in the song "Frankie & Johnny."

ST. LOUIS'S CHESTNUT VALLEY

       
               Artie Matthews                                  Joe Jordan                                         Charles Hunter

    
      Louis Chauvin                     Tom Turpin                      Charley Thompson                Ralph Sutton

Georgia-born Thomas Million John Turpin, aka Tom Turpin, had strong ties to Chestnut Valley. Turpin's father, Honest John Turpin, ran the Silver Dollar Saloon. Turpin the younger opened two of the most famous venues for ragtime when, in 1900 (the same year he met Scott Joplin), he opened the Rosebud Bar, an enormous venue (with rented rooms upstairs) which featured many of the city's best ragtime musicians. The Rosebud also played host to many traveling musicians and was the sight of cutting contests between pianists from various locales. His other venue was the nearby Hurrah Sporting Club.

For his patronage, work as a publisher, and as a ragtime composer himself, Turpin earned the nickname "The Father of Ragtime." Other venues for ragtime in the district existed too. Arthur Marshall was employed at The Spanish Café. Madam Betty Rae ran a bawdy house that employed Louis "Bird Face" Chauvin and Sam Patterson. The Magic Horshoe was yet another venue.

 
                                        The Rosebud Bar                                                                       Chestnut Valley

As ragtime's popularity grew, the district attracted composers from nearby states. Artie Charles Hunter came from Tennessee and gained fame there. Charlie Warfield came in 1897 when he was just fourteen. Artie Matthews came from across the river in Illinois. Joe Jordan came from Ohio. Charlie Matthews moved there from Illinois in 1905.

Other musicians associated with the city over the years, including natives and transplants, are Sonny Anderson, Paul “Can-Can” Sedric, George Reynolds, Walker Farrington, Owen Marshall, Conway Casey, Rob Hampton, Gertrude “Sweety” Bell, Louella Anderson, Thehodosia Hutchison, Lucian Porter Gibson and Harry Belding. In response to the influx of musicians and composers, publishers like Jos. F. Hunleth Music Co., Buck and Lowney and Placht and Son soon appeared.
 

THE SEDALIA SCENE

   
                     Scott Joplin                                       Arthur Marshall                                       Scott Hayden

No city is as closely associated with ragtime as the tiny Missouri town of Sedalia. It may seem odd that a place with only a few thousand residents could claim primary parentage of so large a phenomenon but several factors made that possible.


First, the George R. Smith School of Music was founded there to provide a respectable education for blacks and soon attracted many aspiring composers and musicians from around the south and midwest, including Texas-born Joplin, Indiana-born Etilmon Justus Stark and Arthur Marshall, of nearby Saline County. Marshall and Joplin, after receiving a musical education, themselves turned to teaching. Without a doubt, their most celebrated pupil was a local Sedalian, Scott Hayden.

Downtown Sedalia

Another factor allowing for the tiny town's contribution to ragtime was the surprisingly vibrant nightlife.  East Main Street was the location of Sedalia's sporting district, where townies and railroad workers alike went after the sun went down in search of sport at bars and clubs like the Williams BrothersThe Maple Leaf Club, Tony Williams's The 400 Dance Club, and Hustlers' Hall and guest houses run by Nellie Hall and Mrs. L. WrightAt these venues, the aforementionEd respectable and talented ragtime pianists (and others, like Otis Saunders) found employment, earning up to $1.50 a night (plus tips).

      

In 1885, John Stark came to town with his publishing company, John Stark & Son. Soon after his arrival, he and Scott Joplin would sell over one million copies of the sheet music for "Maple Leaf Rag" -- the first million-selling instrumental piece in American history. So strong was the pull of the ragtime scene that, at just fifteen, S. Brunson Campbell (Brun Campbell) wisely left Kansas in search of Joplin and Saunders. He found them and they nicknamed the precocious teenager "The Ragtime Kid."

Sedalia's ragtime scene came to a screeching halt with the arrival of reform. Totalitarian teetotalers soon completely succeeded in destroying the town's culture and ragtime musicians responded by heading for greener pastures. Not surprisingly, John Stark & Sons and most of the local musicians headed downriver to Chestnut Valley. Soon after, in 1901, Hustler's Hall closed. By 1909, the sporting belt was dead and all vestiges of culture disappeared. Today, KMOS Channel 6 (the local PBS affiliate for Central Missouri) is the only sign of cultural life.


KANSAS CITY'S 18TH AND VINE

    
        Charles L. Johnson                   Euday Louis Bowman                                  Calvin Lee Woolsey

Though less-widely recognized, Kansas City, Missouri's 18th & Vine district, in Downtown East, is of equal importance as more famed music-associated streets like Basin St., 52nd St., Beale St, and Central Ave. It was there that ragtime flourished, with ragtimers like Ed Kuhn, E. Harry Kelly, Irene Cozad, Maude Gilmore and Mamie Williams all representing Kansas City.

Later, 18th & Vine would be the center of Kansas City's vibrant and more commonly-celebrated jazz scene, but it was ragtime that first took hold, a fact not lost on locals. In the 1930s, "Kansas City’s finest outdoor theater for colored people,” the Highland Garden Theater was enclosed and renamed the Boone Theater after the pioneering ragtime musician.

Though he lived in Fort Worth, Texas, Euday Louis Bowman routinely journied to Kansas City to promote and sell his compositions, including songs like "Fort Worth Blues," "Kansas City Blues" and "Twelfth Street Rag," which became popular with early jazz performers like Bennie Moten and Louis Armstrong. Calvin Lee Woosley was drawn to Kansas City from nearby Tinney's Point.

18th & Vine

Kansas City was an early center of ragtime publishing too. Local ragtime composer/publisher Charles Neil Daniels bought Joplin’s 1898 “Original Rags” and arranged it for Carl Hoffman Music Co. of Kansas City. With ragtime's exploding popularity and the resulting emergence of Tin Pan Alley in New York, there was a talent drain on Kansas City and local composers such as Daniels moved to New York. According to Jelly Roll Morton, by 1911 there were no decent pianists in the city. However, some composers stayed, such as Charles L. Johnson, who preferred KC to NYC. He owned his own publishing company (Charles L. Johnson & Co.) and was so prolific he also published under the alias Raymond Birch. Ethel May Earnist and Fannie Bell Woods were long thought to be other aliases of his but recent discoveries have suggested that both women were quite real. Earnist was a Nebraska-born composer and Woods was from Louisville. Other local publishers included JW Jenkins’ Sons Music Co. and Will L. Livernash.


CENTRAL MISSOURI - LITTLE DIXIE

  
                                  Blind Boone                                                              Wilbur Sweatman

Perhaps more than any other musical figure in the 19th century, John William “Blind” Boone bridged the gap between black and white music. Like Gottschalk and Big Tom before him, he wrote and performed music that drew from both musical traditions and synthesized a uniquely American sound. Born in Saline County, Blind Boone had been sent to a school for the blind in St. Louis where his mother hoped he'd gain a musical education. At first he did, but when the school changed hands and he was instead taught the more practical skill of broom-making, he frequently ditched, prefering to hang out in Chesnut Valley.

Boone's truancy led to his expulsion and the blind musician ended up held captive by an unscrupulous gambler. After a group from his hometown secured his freedom, he moved to Columbia's Sharp End neighborhood. In 1880, Sharp End hosted a cutting contest between Blind Boone and the famed early black musical sensation Blind Tom. There, local publisher Allen Music Co. published several of his works.

Downtown Columbia

Wilbur C. Sweatman hailed from nearby Brunswick and moved to Minneapolis in 1902. However, he retained his ties to ragtime, recording and composing many hits. His wax cylinder recording of Joplin's "Maple Leaf Rag" was supposedly the first of the song. He also had strong ties to a then new style, jazz, and was the first black musician to record songs with "Jass" and "Jazz" in the titles.


THE OZARKS - THE CARTHAGE SCENE

    
         James Scott                      Clarence Woods                 Percy  Wenrich               Theron Catlen Bennett

Though today the Ozarks are more recognized for their hillbillies, back in the day, the small town of Carthage boasted a ragtime scene hot enough in its time to attract composers from outside the state.

 
Happening Carthage

Though Carthage is now best known as the home of the Precious Moments Inspiration Park, at the turn of the century, Dumar Music Co. and the local ragtime scene lured the likes of Clarence "Ragtime Wonder of the South" Woods from neighboring states to the town of around only 10,000 inhabitants. Percy "The Joplin Kid" Wenrich, as his name suggests, was from nearby Joplin. Theron Catlen Bennett hailed from nearby Pierce City. The most famous ragtime composer, the celebrated James Scott, originally of nearby Neosho, traveled to St. Louis to meet Scott Joplin but stayed in Carthage until 1914, when he moved to Kansas City to teach piano. 


THE SPREAD OF RAGTIME'S POPULARITY

Ragtime quickly spread around the lower middle west and upper south, first by itinerant musicians and then sheet music and piano rolls. At the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, pianists from nearby states gathered outside to seek money entertaining the crowds and in the process exposed and exchanged the syncopated style. Soon ragtime struck a chord in the major cities of the area such as Indianapolis, Chicago, Louisville and Cincinnati.

1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition

In the 1890s, ragtime spread down river to New Orleans where it took root in the storied Storyville neighborhood. Had that not happened, jazz would've probably never happened. After the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition (aka St. Louis World's Fair), visitors from around the country and the world were exposed to rags and the music quickly spread. In Europe, not yet recovered from the throes of an obsession with cakewalk, ragtime became the new thing.


RAGTIME BEYOND THE SHOW ME

Other composers from outside Missouri were soon publishing rags over the following years, including A. Shaw, Abe Holzmann, Adeline Shepherd, Ben Harney, Cecil Duane Crabb, Charley Straight, Charlotte Blake, Clarence C. Wiley, Ernest Reuben Crowders, Felix Arndt, Gene Greene, George Botsford, George Botsford, George L. Cobb, Harry Jentes, Harry P. Guy, Harry Tierney, J. Russell Robinson, Jacob Henry Ellis, Jelly Roll Morton, Johann C. Schmid (under the pseudonym "Marie Louka"), Joseph Lamb, Joseph Russel Robinson, Julia Lee Niebergall, Kerry Mills, Les C. Copeland, Luckey Roberts, May Frances Aufderheide, Muriel Pollock, Paul Pratt, Paul Sarebresole, R.J. Hamilton, Robert Hampton, Roy Fredrick Bargy, Russell Smith, Sadie Koninsky, Theodore H. Northrup, Thomas E. Broady, Thomas Henry Lodge, Tony Jackson, and William Beebe.


HYSTERICAL HISTORICAL QUOTES ON RAGTIME

As with all musical developments, conservatives reacted with reactionary panic to what, over time, seems completely harmless. With ragtime's seduction of America's youth, there was predictable concern among wide numbers of both black and white Americans, albeit for different reasons. Blacks often expressed that it was the worst sort of primitive expression that impeded their collective progress as a people. Whites, on the other hand, usually worried that it was corrupting music and white morality. In some ways, the reaction against ragtime helped unite blacks and whites, just as the appreciation of it did.

Louis Blumberg noted, “It can not be denied that the lower types of 'rag-time' and the bulk of it – has done much to lower the musical taste and standard of the whole musical public, irrespective of color."

The New York Herald warned "Can it be said that America is falling prey to the collective soul of the negro through the influence of what is popularly known as ragtime music? If there is any tendency towards such a national disaster, it should be definitely pointed out and extreme measures taken to inhibit the influence and avert the increasing danger if it has not gone too far. American ragtime music is symbolic of the primative immorality and perceptible moral limitations of the negro type." 

Composer Edward Baxter Perry warned, "Ragtime is syncopation gone mad and its victims can be treated successfully, in my opinion, like the dog with rabies, with a dose of lead. Whether it is simply a passing phase of our decadent art culture or an infectous disease that has come to stay, like leprosy, time alone can tell."

Other composers were more pragmatic. Arthur Farwell said, “I often catch my foot in the act of appreciating it [ragtime] when my higher nature is caught off guard.”


RAGTIME'S CO-OPTION AND DECLINE

As with every black American musical development, ragtime was quickly co-opted and in many cases perverted by whites. And, as with all musical crazes (from cakewalk and ragtime then, to alternative and indie today) the term "ragtime" was eventually applied to almost any new composition, in an effort to cash in on the craze.


COON SONGS

Coon songs arose when composers applied ragtime's syncopated rhythms to the tired old minstrel stereotypes of the pre-Civil War era. Coon songs became so popular in the late nineteenth century that both white and black composers wrote them. Though offensive, the songs nonetheless helped open doors for black composers and black-derived music such as cakewalk and ragtime. Nonetheless, with many coon songs being misleadingly labeled as ragtime, many of the criticisms of ragtime began to come from progressives who were incapable of distinguishing coon songs from the genuine article.

Scott Joplin himself jumped to ragtime's defense, arguing "What is scurrilously called ragtime is an invention that is here to stay. That is now conceded by all classes of musicians... All publications masquerading under the name of ragtime are not the genuine article... That real ragtime of the higher class is rather difficult to play is a painful truth which most pianists have discovered."


LATER DEVELOPMENTS

As it declined in popularity, ragtime at the same time began incorporating and mixing with other genres to interesting effect. In 1912, W.C. Handy's "Memphis Blues" was advertised as "A Southern Rag." However, even this shot in the arm couldn't keep ragtime vital forever. Whereas in 1899, 124 rags had been released, in 1919 there were only seven and ragtime was deposed by its offspring, jazz.


RAGTIME'S REVIVAL

Many years later, in 1951, interest in ragtime was renewed. Again, in 1973, the film The Sting brought it back to life yet again. That year, Scott Joplin's "The Entertainer," featured in the film's ragtime soundtrack, almost unthinkably reached number three on the pop charts. Seems like we're long overdue for another'n.

*****

New 12" Electronic Releases at Amoeba Hollywood - 08/28/09

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, August 24, 2009 03:13pm | Post a Comment
 

New Electro/Techno 12"s Coming This Weekend:

Dorian Concept
TRILINGUAL DANCE... 12"
AFF003

Two club bangers from the Austrian producer. Sounds like "DC microwaved his MicroKorg" on the bumpy, electronic A-side. B/w "TROPICAL HANDS" which has similar Detroit styled synths mixed with glitchy efx but at a more laidback down tempo.



Rob Glennon
NIGHT FREAKS REMIXED 12"
DB3014T 

Here we see techno maestro ORLANDO VOORN and London's PAUL MAC (STIMULUS) tweak out "BASS SHIFTER," whilst the original version of "RATIO" appears alongside the devastating remix by THE PARALLEL. Already charted by DAVE CLARKE, DETROIT GRAND PUBAS, CHYMERA, and more.


Hanzo Steel KILL BILL MIXES VOL. 1 LP HANZOSTEELLP

Hanzo Steel 
KILL BILL MIXES VOL. 2 LP HANZOSTEELLP2 

7 Samurai 
FAVELA GYAL W/MC COPPA 7" PCR049

Boy 8-Bit 
BALTIC PINE EP 12" THISIM016

Doves 
COMPULSION-ANDREW WEATHERALL 12" HVN19212P3

Doves 
JETSTREAM-LINDSTROM REMIX HVN19212P2

Doves 
JETSTREAM-SASHA REMIXES 12" HVN19212P1

Fulgeance 
SMARTBANGING-J.EDGAR RMX 12" HAND12004

Kazey & Bulldog 
RIDIN' HIGH VOL.1 12" DTS010

Laura Vane 
ROOF OFF-DIESLER REMIX 12" UNIQ164

Lee Coombs & Uberzone 
RIGHT NOW 12" LOT49048

Lily Allen
 22 (PIC DISC) 7" REG154

Matt White 
BEAT THE HEAT 12" RI001

Miike Snow 
ANIMAL REMIXES-CROOKERS 12" 88697565531

Mono-poly 
THE GEORGE MACHINE EP 12" FACES1201 

Pollyester 
ROUND CLOCKS EP 12" PERMVAC036

Siriusmo 
THE UNINVITED GUEST 12" MONKEYTOWN001  

Time & Space Machine 
VOLUME ONE LP 5D001

Various 
MY CREW BE UNRULY (ORANGE) LP FHZ017LP  
 


New House/Disco 12"s Coming This Weekend:
spectral empire
Spectral Empire
BLACK SHARK 12"
TINAE014 

"BLACK SHARK" showcases a more driving, insistent disco feel, with the hit "INNERFEARENCE" surfacing on the b-side remixed by French deep house stars CHATEAU FLIGHT. Also has a SPECTRAL ASSAULT remix of "KM-50." Plays from AEROPLANE, JD TWITCH (OPTIMO) & more.    


Nadastrom
THE SAVED EP 12"
DSD024

We've got our hands on a limited amount of upfront copies of this rip roaring, club ready EP of future sample house, fidget, and pure craziness. NADASTROM offers up "SAVE US," "SQUAREZ," and "GHETTO PASS."


Fake Blood FIX YOUR ACCENT EP 12" CHEAP012X

Masirah 
FIND A WAY 12" FM015

Various 
BALTIC SOUL WEEKENDER VOL. 2 LP UNIQ162

Various 
HIBERNATION ALBUM SAMPLER EP 12" BFK041

Various 
SUNSETSPLIT EP 12" SUN03

Another Chance 
I CAN'T WAIT 12" PH40

Beyonce 
EGO & HUMAN (REDSOUL MIXES) 12" KILLBEY001

Cosmic Boogie
 ASHLEY BEEDLE EDITS 12" CB02

DaM Edits 
VOLUME 1 (EDDIE KENDRICKS) 12" DAM001

Dimi Angelis 
OUR LIFE WITH THE WAVE 12" SMALLVILLE14

Fernando 
SCARECROWS EP-I.RUDIMAN RMX 12" REDUX009

Freestyle Man 
VIBIN EP 12" HC014

Hugo Van Dyck 
GIVE ME LOVE A TRY 12" DISQUE001

Jackson Conspiracy 
DIRTY FREEK MIXES 12" DF02

Mark Du Mosch 
DREAMS EP 12" LDR003

Nathan Haines 
RIGHT NOW FANATIX RMX 12" FSR076

Night Plane 
CHINESE SHADOWS 12" TINAE021

Roska 
TWC EP 12" MR007

Slam 
ONE NOTE SAMBA 12" PARAGRAPH003

Solotempo 
CHAMBER 12" SM031EP011  

Solotempo 
NEW EARS 12" SM030EP010

TJ Kong 
COMPOST BLACK LABEL #51 12" COMP327

Tribute Edits 
#1-WE LOVE MONDAYS 12" TRIBUTE01

Various 
TIMELESS CHICAGO EP 12" SYNAPSIS003

Wah-Chu-Ku 
T TIMES TOO EP 12" DPC026  

 

New Dubstep/Jungle 12"s Coming This Weekend:
contagious chimpo lock off vip
Chimpo
LOCK OFF VIP 12"
CON024

The VIP version that SKREAM has been hammering of late, this is some old skool rave madness shoved through a dubstep meat grinder, while "LIKE NO OTHER" is a plodding barge of bass action with layers of FX and vocal snippets heaped on top.  



noah d hypnotic elements ep
Noah D
HYPNOTIC ELEMENTS EP D12"
SUBWAY011EP 

A 5-track doublepack of some of the best dubstep sounds around at the moment, including the already huge anthem "SEEERIOUSNESSS," the sensual and exotic beauty of "GOT U NOW" and "VIBRATIONZ," and a VIP mix of his classic cut w"UNKNOWN SUSPECT" with NO THING. Dope sh*t!    

Bad Company TORPEDO RUSKO REMIX 12" RUSKO100

Example 
WATCH THE SUN COME UP REMIX 12" DATA221P2

Hatcha vs Lost 
CLASS A 12" AR024

Instra:mental 
WATCHING YOU 12" NONPLUS002

Little Boots 
REMEDY (RUSKO REMIX) 12" 679L167T

Matty G 
ROCK LIKE THIS 12" ARG025

October 
ELEPHANTS 12" IME013

Rustie 
BAD SCIENCE EP 12" WB006    

"It's the MOST... jazziest tiiime of the yeeear...!"

Posted by Job O Brother, August 24, 2009 01:03pm | Post a Comment

I know it’s probably plastered all over your calendar already, but just in case you didn’t know, this is Jazz Week at Amoeba Music Hollywood. This means that, in addition to our normal, totally tubular jazz selection, we’ve squeezed in some additional, choice inventory, plus we’re hosting jazz-spinning DJ’s and such. I think I saw a colorful banner with the word “JAZZ” in bold letters somewhere, too. I mean, people – come with your party hats on!

The back room of Amoeba Music Hollywood is what we call the “jazz room”, though it hosts many other genres of music*, one of which is the Soundtrack section, where I’m most oft found. Some well-meaning employees once tried to get people to nickname the room “jazzical” for the large section of classical music that frames the opposite side from jazz, but it never stuck, partially because people were so accustomed to saying “jazz room” and partially, I’m assuming, because saying “jazzical” makes you feel like an effeminate fat kid, which isn’t a fresh sort of feeling at all.

“Can I have some more toffee and McMuffins? They’re jazzical!”

Within the soundtrack section are some great jazz albums, which will be the focus of this blog entry. So for those of you hoping for a 500 word exposé on actress Edie McClurg, I’m sorry but this isn’t the blog for you.

The first jazzy soundtrack that comes to my mind is the score, composed by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, for the Otto Preminger film, Anatomy of a Murder.


This work is significant, not only because it’s the first Hollywood film-score composed by African-Americans in which the music’s presence isn’t “justified” by the appearance of band-leaders or a combo on the sidelines, but because it’s the first and only music that Duke Ellington composed while living in Antarctica. (Ellington and Strayhorn had moved to the polar continent in an effort to cultivate a stronger following there, after accounting records showed very poor sales among penguins, fur seals, and krill.)


"All jazz sounds the same to me."  The Northern krill (Meganyctiphanes norvegica)

Probably my favorite jazz soundtrack is Miles Davis’ music for the Louis Malle film, Ascenseur pour l'Échafaud [English translation: Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit].


I love to play this album when I’m taking a hot bubble bath. I light candles, sip a glass of wine – really treat myself to some luxury. Maybe I’ll exfoliate my skin with some lavender oil and salt crystals, or sometimes I’ll place slices of cool cucumber over my eyes and let them soak, soak, soak the stress away. Occasionally I’ll get hungry during these baths and I’ll make a delicious cucumber salad with salt and lavender oil dressing. Sometimes I won’t even take a bath – I’ll just live in squalor and filth, huddled in a corner, chomping on cucumbers and sobbing. Sometimes the dog across the street tells me the name of the Devil and it means I have to kill my grandma again. Miles Davis was a genius!

Another fantastic album is Sonny Rollins’ music for the movie Alfie (the 1966 British version starring Michael Caine, not the 2004 Hollywood re-make featuring Marjan Neshat).


Hoo boy, I love me some Sonny Rollins!

A notable mention is the soundtrack to the David Cronenberg film Naked Lunch, an adaptation of the novel by William S. Burroughs. While composer Howard Shore’s work isn’t a jazz score, per se, it does feature some intoxicating horn blowing by free jazz pioneer Ornette Coleman. It’s spooky stuff – perfect for opium dens, rotted whorehouses, or when you’re hosting your next Wiccan blood-letting.


I’d be remiss not to mention Antonio Carlos Jobim’s masterpiece of bossa nova as realized for the film Orfeu Negro (we call it Black Orpheus). Listening to this album is a transportive experience and will flood your mind with rich and hallucinogenic imagery, even if you’ve never seen the film itself. We play it in the jazz room at least once a month. I think it’s law?


There’s other noteworthy recordings on this theme, such as Gato Barbieri’s score for Last Tango in Paris, Herbie Hancock’s score for Blow-Up, or David Amram’s jazz-influenced music for The Manchurian Candidate, plus more besides. I could go on but, fact is, I have to wrap this blog up for now, as I’m practically starving, and I’ve got some cucumber pie cooling in the windowsill. Topped with a little whipped cucumber or a slice of hot, melted cucumber? Yummy yummy yum!

So stop by Amoeba Music Hollywood this week and make a point to embellish your jazz selection at home. Owning Kind of Blue is a good thing, but don’t you think it’s time to delve a little deeper? If you come find me in the soundtrack section, I’ll be happy to help. I’ll be the guy with cucumber skins caked in the corners of his mouth.

Oh, and I’ll be wearing pants.

Happy Jazz Week! ...Oh, and since you've been so well-behaved, here you go:













*To be exact: Blues, New Orleans, Gospel, Contemporary Christian, Pop Vocals, Soundtracks, Lounge, Kids’ LP’s (but not the CD’s – those are upstairs), Experimental, Classical, New Age, Stand-up Comedy, Avant-garde, Opera, Early Music, plus DVD’s for the above genres (excepting Stand-up Comedy, which is upstairs, also) in addition to DVD Audio, SACD, reel-to-reel tapes, cassettes, 8-tracks, mini-discs, and partridges in a pear tree. Did I get everything?

Jay Reatard Amoeba Tour Hits the Bay Area

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, August 24, 2009 12:17pm | Post a Comment
Jay Reatard embarked on a special indie-record store tour in support of his new album, Watch Me Fall. He played all three Amoeba stores, beginning at Amoeba Hollywood on August 18, 2009, and ending with shows at Amoeba San Francisco and Amoeba Berkeley over the weekend. Read our eyewitness recounts of those loud, fast & furious shows:

Let's Get Reatarded In Here!
By Zack Sapunor

Jay Reatard at Amoeba San Francisco 8/22/09:

The stage was set, the crowd was waiting, the lights were bright. Jay Reatard and company were faced with the eternal test: with music best suited for dirt-paved basements and dimly-lit dive bars, could the Jay Reatard at Amoeba SFrockers bring the noise to the daytime in-store appearance? Could the beasts of the night work their magic beneath the fluorescents? Time would tell.

Yeah, time and loud-ass guitars. The power trio lumbered onstage, flipped the switch, and commenced with the aural assault. Implementing some combination of feedback, reverb, and an echo effect which he would turn to throughout the set, Jay Reatard turned to the band and thunder rolled, baby.

Sludgy pounding, birthed in the garage and raised on the street, rattled the record store to its core. When rock fury hits a daytime show there always seems to be that element of "Is this allowed? Is this supposed to be happening?" The well-planned abrasive intro struck the crowd with offensive force. Folks in the first row reeled, eyes wide. A man holding his phone texted awkwardly. It was pretty in-your- face. Jay Reatard Band at SF

TROUBLE THE WATER FILMMAKERS CARL DEAL & TIA LESSIN INTERVIEW

Posted by Billyjam, August 24, 2009 12:16pm | Post a Comment


The most accurately profound observation in the trailer above for Trouble The Water -- the award winning documentary about Hurricane Katrina -- is the statement that the disaster that happened this time four years ago, "is not about a hurricane. It's about America." The movie screens for free in LA at 8pm this evening (Monday 8/24) as the launch of the new series -- Amoeba's Monday Movies @ Space15Twenty. Amoeba will be selling the DVD at the screening tonight, though it is not due in stores till Aug 25! Click here for more info on the screening. It is an important film; as the last subject in the trailer from the Trouble The Waterfilm points out, "Katrina is still going on" in this country's treatment of its poor and underprivaleged.

In the four years since Katrina there have been many portrayals of the this American tragedy both produced for the screen and published as the written word, including Spike Lee's wonderful HBO documentary When The Levees Broke (also available on DVD at Amoeba). But most of the stories told relied on photos or film footage recorded either after the fact or from afar -- including the numerous aerial shots of the devastating hurricane's aftermath. In contrast, Trouble The Water offers footage shot from the inside, from the ground (or water, to be speciific) by two victims of Katrina: the husband and wife team Scott and Kimberly Roberts of New Orleans' Ninth Ward district, who captured their amazing survival tale on video.

The Amoeba Jazz Blowout

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, August 24, 2009 02:04am | Post a Comment

In celebration of the Amoeba Hollywood Jazz Blowout sale, I’ve been spending time on my computer checking out older Jazz videos. In the process, I have rediscovered the many great performances from the Montreux Jazz Festival, which is held in Switzerland during the month of July. The festival, which started in 1967, was originally held at the old Montreux Casino until, of course, it burned down in 1971. The fire was apparently caused by “some stupid with a flare gun” while Frank Zappa was playing. You might heard about it in a little ditty by Deep Purple called “Smoke On The Water.” The casino was rebuilt but due to the enormity of the festival, it is now held at the larger Convention Centre in Montreux with two main stages and several small stages.

Perhaps every legendary jazz artist you can think of has played Montreux. Over the years the festival has become less about jazz and has opened its doors to all kinds of music. Still, for any musician, this is the place to be seen. Over two hundred thousand people attend the festival every year and even more see the performances via television, web casts and through the many DVDs that have been released over the years.

Just watching the highlights of the forty-two year history of the festival on Youtube was overwhelming. There have been thousands of solos of all kinds and excellent musicianship throughout; however, it's the vocalists that provide some of my favorites performances. I picked three videos that feature Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone and Elis Regina.

Aretha Franklin’s “Call Me” was originally released in 1970. It was a number one single on Billboard’s R&B chart. This performance is from the 1971 Montreux Jazz Festival.


You got to love Nina Simone! She takes Morris Albert’s buzz kill of a song, “Feelings,” and just takes it out! Listen to how she mocks the original song in the beginning. The audience must have been in shock that this legend would even attempt to play this shallow song. But in the end, her amazing vocal performance is only matched by her incredible piano playing, and the feelings are indeed unleashed. This performance is from 1976 and you can catch more of it on her Live At Montreux DVD.


During the mid-seventies, the festival began to open its doors to many Brazilian artists. I love this performance by Elis Regina. Not only did she perform a medley of Milton Nascimento songs, but she completely swayed a dull and bored Swiss audience by her sheer will. 


Not to cause confusion (since she's not technically jazz), but you can find Elis Regina releases in Amoeba Hollywood's World Music section, located under Brazil. Also, since Aretha is the Queen of Soul, that is is the section you'll find her in.

Amoeba Jazz Blow-Out Sale continues until August 28th. I have found some true gems for myself dirt cheap!

On Wednesday from 7-10 pm, Amoeba Hollywood's very own Rick Frystak will be doing an all jazz deejay set for your shopping pleasure. Do not sleep on this!

Amoeba Hollywood World Music Top 10

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, August 24, 2009 12:14am | Post a Comment












1. Chico Sonido-S/T
2. V/A-Sound Of Wonder!
3. Oumou Sangare-Seya












4. Manu Chau-Clandestino
5. V/A-Colombia! The Golden Era Of Discos Fuentes
6. Aventura-Last
7. Mulatu Astatke/The Heliocentrics-Inspiration Information













8. V/A -Cazumbi African Sixties Garage Rock Vol. 2
9. V/A- Black Mirror: Reflections in Global Musics 1918-1955
10. Bocafloja- El Manual De La Otra Edad

August 23, 2009

Posted by phil blankenship, August 23, 2009 05:56pm | Post a Comment







BOUQUET OF ROSE

Posted by Charles Reece, August 23, 2009 04:06pm | Post a Comment
Sure, he interrupts too much to reiterate points that are already clear, but Charlie Rose has a solid track record for getting some pretty good interviews on the tube. All of his shows are archived online and can be watched for free. Here's what's been accompanying my suppers [click pic for the show]:


Guillermo del Toro talks about pain, being fat, vampires, The Hobbit, and what makes for good fantasy.


Rose is at his best when he's talking architecture. Here he talks to Philip Johnson about the architect's early days as a fascist and his homosexuality.


One of Rose's favorite guests is Quentin Tarantino who's appeared at least 9 times on the show. If there's a guy who likes to hear himself talk more than Rose, it's Tarantino. Thus, much boisterous conversation about film ensues. Also, it's interesting to compare the above interview with the director at the beginning of his superstardom to the way he sees himself now.


Along with the Johnson interview, this one with writer David Foster Wallace is a favorite of mine. The man is just so genuine in his answers. He critiques the television interview while giving one and has a lot to say about film, particularly David Lynch. Speaking of whom:


Here's Lynch being Lynch.


Rose doesn't have philosophers on too much, but here's a recent interview with Peter Singer on moral obl

August 22, 2009

Posted by phil blankenship, August 23, 2009 12:52pm | Post a Comment



PHOTOSYNTHESIS FESTIVAL 2.0

Posted by Billyjam, August 23, 2009 11:17am | Post a Comment


Photosynthesis Festival 2.0. @ Trout Lake, WA (August 2009)

I always jump at any opportunity to travel and explore new places, and to check out innovative new ideas, especially when music and good friends are involved. So when my crewmates in OkiZoo -- the hip-hop band that I was a member of when living in Japan up til about four years ago and am still a member of even though we are now scattered all over -- invited me to meet them two weekends ago in Seattle, Washington with the purpose of joining them in a performance at the still burgeoning Photosynthesis Festival 2.0. festival at Trout Lake, August 7 - 10, I was on the first plane out west from Maryland.

To be honest, I knew little about this festival, which began last year but my crewmates had told me that the lineup included the headliners Amon Tobin, Daedelus, and Kid Koala and that the festival was pretty unique in a summer filled with music themed festivals all around the US. The organizers behind the event are coming from a strictly DIY philosophy and say that the festival's goal is to "take your dreams, ideas and skills and weave them into nature, music, art, and education. The goal is a sustainable community where everyone is simultaneously the student and teacher." The hope for this second year of the North West fest was to "focus on sustainability through permaculture, renewable energy, water conservation, holistic healing, waste reduction, and wild crafting," and it seemed like they accomplished this, pretty much, although the turnout of about 2000 for such a really wonderful event was less than I thought it deserved.

DJ Quest & DJ Project's students rock Amoeba SF!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, August 22, 2009 02:44pm | Post a Comment
by Tarin

amoeba dj quest

dj quest @ amoeba

Last night at Amoeba San Francisco, Amoeba's DJ series Mandala & DJ Quest presented a very special Mandala with a DJ Project set!
 

dj quest @ amoeba

The DJ Project featured youth DJs from Horizons Unlimited and the Quest School of DJ Arts. The DJ Project is run out of Horizons, and is a safe place for at-risk youth to gain arts education as well as the empoyment and entrepreneurial skills they need to jump start music-related careers. Among other things, they learn about small business management, event production, audio production, DJing, breakdancing and community service.

With a set up of 6 turntables, countless mixers and laptops, the eight youth DJs tore up the stage with their 15-20 minute sets. The DJs played a good mix of Hip-Hop, Top 40, Classic Rock, and R&B, but there was also dancing, live Hip-Hop, and there were two MCs that kept the energy alive in between sets, and gave shout outs to all the performers.

This event was presented more as a showcase then a typical DJ set or in-store performance. These kids have been working so hard throughout the last few months honing their skills, and this was their opportunity to shine and show off their mad talent on the wheels of steel! It was a pleasure to work with this organization and see that our future generations still/will have an appreciation for tangible music, and that spinning vinyl is still an art form. Music education is the key to keeping arts alive for everyone and these students are well on their way to bright futures!

M/R/X Tonite!!!

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, August 22, 2009 01:15pm | Post a Comment


Another nite of Minimal Mahem @ M/R/X! L.A.'s Testicular Manslaughter has developed into a very interesting minimalist outfit-- check out their video below. Houston based Twisted Wires are on the TMU imprint Italians Do It Better, home of Glass Candy. Their tracks definitely have a darkened dance vibe, but there's plenty of oddities weaved in to enrich their sound. An above average bill for sure, and you get to smell all that is Chinatown on your way to and from your dark and dank parking spot.

No valets!
No bluetoothed security forces!
No Melrose Place bit players!

This IS Los Angeles!

Saturday August 22nd
Club M/R/X
@ Roberto's 686 N. Spring St. (at Ord)
2nd Floor
Chinatown



Cass McCombs Chats

Posted by Miss Ess, August 21, 2009 07:29pm | Post a Comment
Currently on tour and one busy guy, Cass McCombs is out there supporting his recently released, gorgeous and critically acclaimed record Catacombs, on Domino Records. You can hear a few tracks from the album on his myspace page. Here, he chats with me about, among other things, that new album and its creation, the rigors of touring and his dream show billing.


Miss Ess: You have a lovely new album -- where was it recorded?

Cass McCombs: Ariel (the producer) subletted an old house in Hollywood he found on craigslist and we recorded in the living room, in addition to various other spots around town.

ME: How did you decide what production moves to make and how to shape its sound? Love the bit of country twang added by the pedal steel sounds.

CM: I don't know much about production, that's not my line. I'm just trying to make it as simple as possible, as delicate as possible, so the personality and emotion of the performance is a straight-shot to and from the heart, direct. Several of the songs on this record were recorded one hundred percent live, including the vocal -- now that's a real test of will power. That was the hardest thing I ever had to do in a recording situation; it takes true endurance. It's no problem for Barbra Streisand, but it's hard work for me.

ME: Where did you write most of the tracks for the album? Did you have anything in particular in mind as you wrote?

CM: Chicago, New York City, Pasadena, Topanga, Sonoma, Las Vegas, New Jersey, Baltimore, on the road, etc. Songs were chosen out of a pool of work written over about four years because they seemed to work well together and play off each other, [and were] diverse enough to tell a story.

ME: Do you tend to write the lyrics first or the music when you are making a song?

CM: It goes back and forth, or at the same time.

ME: Love the video for "Dreams Come True Girl." What was the process of filming it like? It looks like it was a lot of fun. Why did you decide to include skateboarding in it?

CM: It was filmed in Petaluma at the legendary Phoenix Theater. We are extremely appreciative of all those kids and skaters for participating in that video. That's their place, the Phoenix Theater, they own it. It's where they hang out, so they just happened to be there. We were the visitors.

ME: What song best describes your life right now?

CM: "Trying To Get To You" [Elvis Presley] or "Big Red Sun Blues" [Lucinda Williams].

ME: With the recent passing of Michael Jackson, I am curious to hear what kind of influence he had on your music and life!

CM: He is my hero.

ME: You are currently on tour. What's touring like for you? Do you enjoy the rigors of the road?

CM: I like to travel, but who doesn't? As a musician you want to perform your songs and try to make the people dance and put pictures in their mind...and also just have a wild time and drink wine and everything. You want to enjoy yourself and your comrades today because it will all soon be over, especially for the songwriter, [since] the process is exactly the opposite; it is sorrowful and gut-wrenching and just plain hard work.

ME: If you could play with any other bands, regardless of time and space, on the same bill, who would you choose and why?

CM: The Grateful Dead, The Germs, Ritchie Valens and Merle Haggard.

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

CM: I came of age at Amoeba; it's hard to say. Everything, I suppose...

ME: Thanks so much for your time.

AMOEBA MUSIC HIP-HOP WEEKLY ROUND UP: 08:21:09

Posted by Billyjam, August 21, 2009 06:26pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba Music San Francisco Hip-Hop Top Six: 08:21:09 (c/o Luis)
Gas Mask Colony
1) Gas Mask Colony Genuine Masters of Ceremony (Gurp City)

2) The Boy Boy Young Mess Prices On My Head Vol. 2 (Click Clack Records)

3) J-Billion The Beautiful Loser (Risky Bizness Productions)

4) Kaz-Well FIsh Outta Water (Tape Vault Records)

5) Heliocentrics Fallen Angels (Now Again)

6) Slaughterhouse self-titled (E1 Entertainment)

As my man Luis @ Amoeba Music San Francisco points out in his quick run-down of the new hip-hop top six CDs of the week, two thirds are Bay Area homegrown releases, proving the Bay (and SF in particular these days) is in a most healthy and prolific state of rap creativity. In the number one chart position is Gurp City's own Gas Mask Colony with the brand new full-length Genuine Masters of Ceremony. Also repping the Bay is Messy Marv under his alias The Boy Boy Young Mess and his second installment in the mixtape series Prices On My Head (The Money On Yo Family) Vol 2 with an impressive lineup that includes guests Lil Wayne, Gucci Mane, Young Jeezy & Lil Webbie. Meantime, SF rap artist Kaz-Well -- self described “hip-hop geek" -- has a nice retro hip-hop feel to his brand new CD Fish Outta Water which, note, is titled exactly the same as the new release from SoCal hip-hopper Chali 2na. Great minds think alike, I guess.

Tarantino Wows His Fans @ Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Amoebite, August 21, 2009 04:00pm | Post a Comment
tarantino records amoeba records

Thursday night, August 20, Amoeba Hollywood made a miraculous transformation into Tarantino Records, with a banner of Quentin Tarantino's stark black and white image draped over the mural on the Ivar St. side of the building, for the premiere of Tarantino's newest film, Inglourious Basterds. Three hundred lucky fans woke up at the crack of dawn two days earlier, on Tuesday August 18, to secure their place in line to meet the iconic director, and to see the special midnight showing of Inglourious Basterds at the Arclight Cinemas in Hollywood. Tickets quickly sold out Tuesday morning and, on the day of Quentin's appearance, the excitement was palpable.

quentin tarantino inglourious basterds

Fans lined up outside the store, greeted by a bank of “soldiers” standing by the front doors and then escorted into place inside by Amoeba staff. Once inside, fans were treated to blistering jams such as "Pour Some Sugar on Me," courtesy of DJ Charisma from Power 106, as they waited patiently in the signing line, some of them dressed as Vincent Vega, Jules Winnfield, and other characters from Tarantino films. Tarantino was beaming as he fed off the enraptured crowd, posing for pictures with babies, signing records, DVDs, action figures, and books, sending away fan after fan with a huge smile on their face. Showing immense love for his fans, he dubbed them "the true believers" and the "Thursday mother fuckers," to which they roared in approval.

FUN WEEKEND HAPPENINGS IN THE BAY AREA

Posted by Billyjam, August 21, 2009 02:27pm | Post a Comment
Paramount Theater
Once again, this weekend in the Bay Area there is a lot of really great, fun stuff happening; much of it is either quite affordable for any size wallet or else totally free, as in the case of the three recommended Bay Area Amoeba Music always-free instores this weekend, including the DJ Quest & the Horizons Unlimited/DJ Project showcase later tonight in SF and the two Jay Reatard instores at both Bay Amoeba locations, tomorrow and Sunday. 6pm is the start time for all Amoeba shows this weekend.

The historic Paramount Theater on Broadway near 20th in downtown Oakland is the finest preserved art deco building in California, and tonight (Friday, August 21) there will be a screening of the Alfred Hitchcock classic Rear Window. The film is a masterpiece, deserving of being fully appreciated on the big screen. The film tells the tale of wheelchair-bound photographer Jeff Jeffries' (James Stewart) peeking through binoculars into the windows of his Greenwich Village apartment neighbors while his girlfriend, Lisa Fremont, played by Grace Kelly, isn't so sure he should be spying. But then Jeff witnesses a murder -- or has he?

The Hitchcock film is a part of the ongoing but sporadic, budget priced Paramount Movie Classics series. I attended the last one in early July, a screening of the 3D horror flick Creature From The Black Lagoon, and it was so much fun -- especially when you go with a large group of people. Not to mention there's a mere $5 (cash only) entrance fee that includes the live Wurltizer organ serenade plus a raffle with a chance to win free prizes. Plus, there's the classic movie previews and historic newsreels. The turnout for that screening was so large that by about 7:50pm the theater had reached capacity and people were being turned away at the door, so get there with time to spare, especially if you are driving, since parking is scarce. Cycle or take BART to the 19th/Broadway stop one block away. Ticket box opens at 6pm. Doors open at 7pm. More info here.

Sabbath Assembly This Sunday @ The Cinefamily

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, August 21, 2009 01:40pm | Post a Comment


With so much Manson talk this month, post-hippie cult hucksters have been on my mind. I've been revisiting some of my Family, Source and Alamo books & LPs and really steeping in just what a mindfuck of time it was in California back in the 70's. Ellroy's first book, Killer On The Road, does a nice job of getting across the general malaise of the era, although it's a graphic & somewhat tedious read. 

One of the more notorious cults of the time was the Process Church. Formed by "Suppressive Persons" and former Scientologists Robert DeGrimston & Mary Anne Maclean, the Church came from an all-is-one philosophy not too far removed from some of Charlie's shtick. Mixing Satanic & Christian imagery, their rituals made them easy targets, and surely helped investigators link them to the Family and Son of Sam, albeit inacurately. Feral House has a new book out that attempts to piece together the real story of the Process and is presenting a recreation of one of their rituals live at the Silent Movie Theatre.

Sabbat Assembly
Sunday August 23rd
Cinefamily @ the Silent Movie Theatre
611 N. Fairfax Ave LA
6PM  $15


The roots of jazz -- cakewalk -- Amoeba's Jazz Week

Posted by Eric Brightwell, August 21, 2009 08:00am | Post a Comment
A performative, competitive dance known as the chalk line walk first appeared around the 1850s on the plantations along the Gulf Coast. Its origins lay in the African-derived dance known as the bamboula -- also the name of a drum -- and it was performed in New Orleans, where on Sundays slaves were allowed to congregate. In their limited freedom, they not only danced the bamboula, but also dances like the pile, chactas and the carabine in Congo Square and at their masters' homes. Louis Moreau Gottschalk, a local creole composer was inspired by the dances and wrote "Bamboula, dance des nègres, Op.2" in 1848. By the 1850s, the bamboula's popularity had spread to Florida, where it possibly mixed with the dance traditions of the Seminole. It eventually developed into the cakewalk, which quickly became popular throughout the Gulf Coast. 


Whereas the minstrelsy craze of the 1840s-1860s was the first major cross-racial American musical exchange, cakewalk's heyday from the 1850s-1890s was probably the second and importantly, a reversal. Minstrelsy was a product of white musicans seeking to simultaneuosly imitate and mock black customs, but cakewalks were initially produced by black performers imitating and mocking whites. Thus began a long history of back and forth musical and cultural dialogues that have been behind nearly every significant innovation in American music.

The cakewalk was initially a sort of whiteface satire of the slaves' owners and involved mocking their customs with participants adopting the exagerated postures witnessed in the courtship rituals of their toff masters, making it sort of a reverse minstrelsy. Participants doffed hates, bowed exaggeratedly, puffed out their chests, high stepped and twirled their canes alternating with expressive and more obviously acrobatic moves. The performance judged best earned the winners a cake or other prize. The accompanying music, also known as cakewalk, combined the polyrhthmic character of West African music with the various European-derived forms played by brass dance bands. The result was a syncopated music with a swinging rhythm that led to the development first of ragtime and ultimately of jazz.

  

For their curious white masters, the cakewalk could be co-opted in a simultaneous mocking and expression of fascination with black practices, almost as with minstrelsy, then in decline. The first published cakewalk was Rollin Howard's 1871 hit, "Good Enough!" In 1876, cakewalk was demonstrated at the Centennial of the American Independence. Harrigan and Hart's 1877 jam, "Walking For Dat Cake," followed and the popularity of the music and dance quickly spread. Initially, as with all expressions of minstrelsy, the cakewalks would regularly close blackface medicine shows, helping white audiences overcome their fears of blacks by reducing the recently-freed and no doubt ex-slave-owner-hating blacks to cartoonish images of harmless buffoons who loved life as slaves. At the same time, it cautiously opened the door for black musicians and their music, furthering the great cultural dialogue at the center of American art.

     

Over time, as with most appropriations of black American culture, the watered down version was soon judged to be impure and white audiences began to pursue the authentic black expression. Beginning in 1892, The National Cakewalk Jubilee was held anually, going from 11:00 p.m. till 5:00 a.m. the next morning.


In 1893, the famed duo of Johnson and Dean were a featured attraction at the Chicago World Fair. The monacle-wearing Charles Johnson and his partner Dora Dean were another celebrity cakewalk duo.  Famed black entertainers Bert Williams and George Walker incorporated cakewalk into their routine and played for forty consecutive weeks at Koster & Bial's and appeared in advertisements for Philip-Morris.
 
   
       

Caricatures of cakewalk stars were soon collected and traded like baseball or Pokemon cards today (assuming kids still do that). As evinced by the sheet music, caricatures of cakewalkers could be cartoonish and grotesque, but nowhere near as much as coon songs, the spiritual offspring of minstrelsy. In many cases, the images didn't seek to mock their subjects at all. As the popularity of cakewalk spread, it became accepted amongst high society, whose members used the popularity and subsequent semi-respectiblity as an opportunity to unleash their otherwise carefully repressed libidos.

  

Although John Phillip Sousa disliked cakewalk, his Missouri-born trombonist Arthur Pryor often arranged them and Sousa relented in the face of public demand. Sousa's band performed cakewalk at the Paris Exhibition in 1900, and a veritable cakewalk craze was instigated in Europe. Not long afterward, Pryor left Sousa's band to start his own, explaining, "The regulation bands never got over being a little embarassed at syncopating. The stiff-backed old fellows felt it was beneath their dignity and they couldn't or wouldn't give into it."

      

Soon after, the most famous cakewalkers toured England, France and Germany, where even Kaiser Wilhem shook a tailfeather. In Europe, the cakewalking teams were highly paid celebrities and their exploits were covered in newspapers which had previously banned depictions of blacks. In 1903, Edward VII requested cakewalk lessons for the British royal family. By 1905, the peak of cakewalk's popularity had largely passed.


In 1913, Claude Debussy published "Golliwog’s Cakewalk." In 1915 there was a bit of a revival and cakewalk was increasingly viewed nostalgically. However, the revival proved to be short-lived and by the latter part of the decade, the cakewalk had truly declined and far fewer examples were published. To a large extent, the cakewalk dance had transformed into the Charleston and Jazz had begun to completely supplant cakewalk and ragtime music's position as the new, popular black American music.
 
     

August 19, 2009

Posted by phil blankenship, August 19, 2009 11:34pm | Post a Comment

Ray Bradbury Signing & Birthday Party This Sat 22nd

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, August 19, 2009 10:20pm | Post a Comment

One of my favorite spots in L.A. is having a birthday party for the legendary Ray Bradbury. The Mystery and Imagination bookstore is hosting the event for the author of such legendary works as Fahrenheit 451 & The Martian Chronicles as well as many volumes of short stories, Forever And The Earth being my personal favorite. I doubt that the crowd will be as well dressed as the group below though. Any fan of genre fiction that hasn't been to the store HAS to make a trip down there, even if it's not on the 22nd. Their stock of pulp, fantasy & sci-fi is stunning and the owners are true believers who are passionate about their work.  

August 22nd 1PM @  Mystery & Imagination
238 N. Brand Bl. Glendale
(818) 545-0206




James Luther Dickinson 1941 – 2009

Posted by Whitmore, August 19, 2009 05:02pm | Post a Comment

The legendary Memphis musician, producer, and raconteur James Luther Dickinson died this past Saturday in a Memphis hospital after complications following triple bypass heart surgery; he was 67. Dickinson played with the likes of Aretha Franklin, Ry Cooder and The Rolling Stones and helped shape what would be called the Memphis Sound, a gritty blend of gospel, country and southern blues. Though never exactly a household name, Dickinson is one those great cult figures in musical history whose life and stories were bigger than the times themselves.
 
Jim Dickinson was born November 15, 1941 in Little Rock, Arkansas. His family moved to Memphis, Tennessee in 1949. He signed his first recording contract right out of high school with Rubin Cherry's Home of the Blues. Later Dickinson recorded for Sam Phillips' Sun label; he sang lead vocals on the last record ever released on Sun, "Cadillac Man" by The Jesters. Starting in about 1965 he began working as a session player in the Memphis studios, joining Charley Freeman, Tommy McClure, and Sammy Creason in the rhythm section that would become know as the Dixie Flyers. They went on to be the house band at Atlantic Records' Criteria Recording Studio in Miami, Florida in the early '70s, backing artists like Aretha Franklin, Sam & Dave, Jerry Jeff Walker, Ronnie Milsap, Kris Kristofferson, Carmen McCrae and Maria Muldaur.
 
He played piano on the Rolling Stones' classic "Wild Horses" and even appeared in the documentary film of the Stones, Gimme Shelter. Dickinson also played piano on The Flamin' Groovies masterpiece Teenage Head. He went on to be Ry Cooder's sidekick; touring, playing keyboards and co-producing some of Cooder’s soundtracks such as Paris, Texas, The Long Riders, and Crossroads. Dickinson's career as a producer got kick started working with Big Star, the pioneering Memphis power pop band, producing one of the most influential albums from the 1970s, Third/Sister Lovers (NME magazine ranked it #1 as the most heartbreaking album ever recorded). His production work with Big Star led to other gigs, sometimes under the moniker East Memphis Slim. In the 1970’s and 80’s Dickinson produced the likes of The Replacements (Dickinson always said he learned more from them than they learned from him), Jason & the Scorchers, Green on Red, The Radiators, Mojo Nixon, Chris Stamey, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Mudhoney, Alex Chilton, Toots Hibbert (of the Maytals), The Texas Tornados, Steve Forbert, G. Love & Special Sauce, Joe "King" Carrasco, Flat Duo Jets, Tav Falco, and many others. As a session musician, he's worked with Los Lobos, Primal Scream, Poi Dog Pondering, Arlo Guthrie, Willy DeVille, Esther Phillips, Delaney and Bonnie, Petula Clark, Rocket From the Crypt, and Bob Dylan (Dylan acknowledged him as a “brother” while accepting the Grammy award for 1997’s Time Out of Mind, and once said, "If you've got Dickinson, you don't need anybody else.").
 
One of my all-time favorite records is Dickinson's first solo album, released in 1972 on Atlantic and entitled Dixie Fried. This soulful yet wonderfully cockeyed, twisted and loopy album has become a cult classic. He dubbed the genre “world boogie.” Dixie Fried was one of those records that disappeared without a trace upon initial release, only to be rediscovered years later. Originally recorded in 1970, the out there in left-field amalgamation of country, R&B, soul, and rock finds Dickinson mostly covering other artist’s material, but everything he touches shimmers with that cool and greasy Memphis groove -- probably why Atlantic Records saw it unfit for public consumption for a couple of years. By the time it came out, Dickinson was off touring with Ry Cooder and had no time nor desire to promote the album. Dickinson said that by mid 70’s he was seriously hated over at Atlantic records. They tried pushing him out the door, giving him what was referred to as "the Jesse Ed Davis treatment," or to quote Jerry Wexler, "right down the old pipe, baby." For years Dixie Fried circulated around the underground, developing a extraordinary following. But as far as Atlantic was concerned, the album’s notoriety was surely due to some bizarre bayou voodoo; the label kept its distance. Finally in 2002 it was re-released on CD by Sepia Tone Records.
 
Last month, Jim Dickinson was relocated to a rehabilitation facility; doctors had hoped for an eventual recovery. His death comes only a week after a benefit concert and tribute was held in Memphis at The Peabody Skyway to raise money for escalating medical bills. Performers at the benefit included John Hiatt, Jimmy Davis and the Grammy-nominated North Mississippi Allstars, whose members include Dickinson's sons Luther and Cody. Dickinson always understood the enduring power of music and that is mirrored in his epitaph he wrote himself: “I’m just dead, I’m not gone.”
 
James Luther Dickinson is survived by his wife Mary and his two sons.

The Beatles Pt 2

Posted by Amoebite, August 19, 2009 10:54am | Post a Comment
We are kicking off the celebration in honor of the digitally remastered Beatles reissues set to hit Amoeba September 9! Each Wednesday until September 2, we will present a segment of The Beatles' biography. Then, the week of September 2-9 will be marked here on the blog with a number of Beatles related posts with a huge variety of topics! You can begin with last week's Part One of the fabled band's history if you missed it by clicking right here. Otherwise, we are on to Part Two:

HAMBURG APPRENTICESHIP


beatles hamburg

The rechristened group took a major step towards professionalism in 1960 with the acquisition of Liverpool promoter and club owner Allan Williams as their manager. Williams had co-promoted shows with Larry Parnes, the powerful, insidious London-based manager of such unlikely-named teen idols as Billy Fury and Tommy Steele. He arranged an audition for The Silver Beetles (which now included drummer Tommy Moore) before Parnes, who hired the group for a tour of Scotland backing one of Parnes’ lesser charges, the third-tier singer Johnny Gentle. They returned from the chaotic spring trek broke and bedraggled, but schooled in the verities of lifebeatles hamburg on the rock ‘n’ roll motorway.

In the summer of 1960, a chance meeting between Williams and a German club owner opened an opportunity for his group – now permanently known as The Beatles – to play a run of shows at a venue in Hamburg. Then minus a drummer and desperate for the employment, the band quickly drafted the handsome, diffident son of Casbah owner Mona Best, Pete Best, whose band The Blackjacks was in the process of dissolving. In August 1960, the quintet set forth on a fateful ferry voyage to the continent.

August 18, 2009

Posted by phil blankenship, August 19, 2009 10:51am | Post a Comment







THIS AIN'T NO PICNIC VIDEO - MINUTEMEN Vs RONALD REAGAN

Posted by Billyjam, August 19, 2009 10:00am | Post a Comment
      
Minutemen "This Ain't No Picnic" (Double Nickles On The Dime, 1984 SST)

Until the other day when I accidentally stumbled upon the Minutemen's excellent video for their equally excellent song "This Ain't No Picnic," I had forgotten just how great this video was. The song, one of 45 Minutemen Double Nickles On The Dimebrilliant tracks off the SoCal band's flawless, four-sided 1984 release Double Nickles On The Dime (SST) -- an album that remains on my top five desert island discs all these years later -- was written reportedly by the late D. Boon out of frustration with his narrow minded employer at an auto parts store.

According to the recommended Michael Azerrad penned book Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground, 1981-1991 (Little Brown), which borrows its title from a Mike Watt (Minutemen) lyric, Boon, who was working at this Southern Cali auto parts store, had wanted to choose the music to listen to at his workplace and had flipped to an LA area jazz/soul radio station. However, his boss wouldn't allow him to, reportedly  calling the radio station's playlist "nigger shit." "His [Boon's] frustration fueled a Minutemen classic," wrote Azerrad in his 2001 book.

The Randall Jahnson directed video for the song (above) may have only cost a meager $600 to make, but regardless it still got some (albeit limted) airplay on MTV that year and even managed to be featured in the first ever VMAs (VIdeo Music Awards) by MTV the following year. Note that the Ronald Reagan (who was president at the time) war film footage was all copyright free to use since it was free public domain content. To have your own copy of this video, pick up the Minutemen documentary We Jam Econo at Amoeba Music, which features it as one of the DVD's bonus features. And, if you don't already own it, I highly recommend you buy the Minutemen's Double Nickles On The Dime album. It's a classic!
This Ain't No Picnic (D.Boon) lyrics

Villanova Junction

Posted by Whitmore, August 18, 2009 10:05pm | Post a Comment

One of my favorite reads in any blog is the unquantifiable absolute statement ... "this is the consummate, best bla bla bla since the invention of sliced bread and Pepto-Bismol..."; well, 40 years ago today, August 18th 1969, the absolutely greatest blues jam ever captured on celluloid, bar none, absolute fact and sure as shit Sherlock-- Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock and a tiny, minor keyed, mellow and oddly intimate piece, only about three minutes long, so profoundly perfect I don’t think such artistry has been witnessed in western civilization since the days of Johann Sebastian Bach.
 
Hendrix was the headliner at the Woodstock Music & Art Fair but didn’t hit the stage till after the scheduled festival, Monday morning at dawn. The delay was due to the bad weather and an infinite number of logistical problems. By the time he arrived on stage, the audience, which had peaked at over 500,000 people, had dwindled to somewhere between 60,000 to 160,000 people, still a hell of a crowd. Hendrix would play a two hour set, the longest of his career. The official, historic, climax of the set was obviously his rendition of the "The Star-Spangled Banner," probably --and here is one of those absolute statements again -- the greatest musical pyrotechnic blast of the entire crazed decade of the 1960’s, hell, make it the entire second half of the 20th century, life was just never the same after detonation. But as far as I’m concerned the gem of the whole set, and the last song before the encore, is the Hendrix's free form, breathtakingly beautiful, soulful modal blues, "Villanova Junction." And yes, at times the piece has brought me to tears, what can I say, I tear up easily ... watch and listen.

August 17, 2009

Posted by phil blankenship, August 18, 2009 10:46am | Post a Comment

AMOEBA INSTORE SERIES SHOWCASE JAY REATARD'S LOVE OF PUNK

Posted by Billyjam, August 18, 2009 07:30am | Post a Comment
Jay Reatard - "It Ain't Gonna Save Me" off Watch Me Fall (Matador, 2009)

Anyone who rushes to write off Jay Reatard's music as unoriginal or derivative of punk's past is missing the whole point of the supertalented, highly profilic artist with a love of Lo-Fi recordings. His anticipated new record Watch Me Fall on Matador comes out today and at 6pm today Reatard will play Amoeba Music Hollywood in his first of three Amoeba Music free in-stores. The other two Amoeba parts of Reatard's Indie Record Store Tour are Saturday at Amoeba San Francisco and Sunday at Amoeba Berkeley -- both at 6pm.

Born Jimmy Lee Lindsey Jr., Memphis, TN's Jay Reatard has long been a huge fan of punk and post Jay Reatard Watch Me Fallpunk, especially the type with pop driven chord progressions that you can scream at the top of your lungs along with, as you can tell from listening to his numerous recordings under The Reatards and other names he has played under. It's like he totally absorbs punk's rich, robust past and spews it out with reinvigorated delight in stage shows that have have become so legendary they have threatened to overshadow the music itself, as mentioned last week in the wonderful Amoeblog Jay Reatard Amoeba Instore Tour post!

But, getting back to Jay Reatard's music, which at once sounds new yet totally familiar to anyone who has been a fan of punk and power pop punk over the years, the artist has said time and again that he has a deep passion for where music has come from and is merely putting his spin on it. Most recently, in an interview with Mike Rubin published two days ago in the New York Times, Reatard summed it up best when he said, "The whole concept for me behind pop music is to take your influences and filter them through yourself, and then they become something new. I’m not trying to move forward and create territory that hasn’t been mined before, I’m just trying to do my version of something that I like.”

Amoeba Hollywood Latin Rock & Pop Top 10 For August 2009

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, August 18, 2009 01:07am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Hollywood Latin Rock & Pop Top 10 For August 2009 (So Far)

1. Bebe-Y.
2. Chico Sonido- S/T
3. Zoe- Reptilectric
4. Eydie Gorme Y Los Panchos- Cantan En Español
5. Manu Chao- Clandestino
6. Los Amigos Invisibles- Commercial
7. Juan Son- Mermaid Sashimi
8. Fangoria- Absolutamente
9. Hombres G - Los Singles 1985-2005
10. Several artists tied at number 10.

Every week, I look into new release books supplied by the four Latin majors for new releases. Some, like Juan Son and the new Natalia LaFourcade, are currently out in Latin America only. Instead of seeing those aforementioned artists in the new release books, I usually see the same type of releases. It’s either a set of repackaged titles by the same artists, or worse, a cheap two artists on one CD with only ten songs on it. Turn the pages and you see a slew of unknown pop singers who are either the son or daughter of a famous singer, the child of a record industry head or the mistress of a record industry head. I’m telling you, I have smacked my hand against my head in disgust so many times I think I have a permanent palm mark on my forehead.

So, how do I get the new Juan Son to Amoeba Music Hollywood? I had to get someone to smuggle some across the border! Mermaid Sashimi debuts at number seven and in getting the small amount of imports that I got, word is spreading fast. Much like Zoe’s Reptilectric before it was released in the states, Mermaid Sashimi is selling by Internet buzz and plain old word of mouth.

For those who don’t know, this is Juan Son’s first solo outing since his departure with the band, Porter, who were looking like they would become the next big thing out of Mexico before the band ended abruptly. Separated from the restraints of being in a band, Juan Son's debut is a symphonic collage of songs in both English and Spanish. The first thing you’ll notice about Juan Son is his voice. It’s high and shrill like a dolphin or male Bjork, but it also has much character and is quite unique. Musically, the arrangements are sophisticated; capturing the same imagination the likes of Brian Wilson, XTC and Café Tacvba had in the past. To be honest, Mermaid Sashimi leaves me with a bit of a headache, but I also can’t stop listening to it. Mermaid Sashimi is not an album to put in the background. It is, simply put, "art." It commands you to listen in an era where music is either disposable or merely background music.

Also, we have the new release from ZocaloZüe, entitled Mundo Jarocho. Main songwriter Cesar Castro once played with Son Jarocho legends Mono Blanco, before moving to L.A. and joining the band Quetzal. Cesar soon left Quetzal after the release of their classic Die Cowboy Die album to start ZocaloZüe with bassist Juan Perez, (Quetzal, Son De Madera), Requitero Alex Hernandez and percussionist Ramon Vslas. I thought Betto Arcos from 90.7 FM KPFK Global Village put it the best when describing the band a few weeks back on his radio show:

The music of ZocaloZüe could only be created in a city such as Los Angeles. This is music with a foundation in Afro-Caribbean sounds, with strong references to Vera Cruz and Cuba, a confluence of tradition and innovation.

Other releases of interest:

Malacates Trebol Shop- ¿De Qué Sirve Querer?
Guatemala’s biggest Skacore group first album in several years.

Depedro
-S/T
New music project by Jairo Zavala of Spain, produced by Joey Burns of Calexico. Review to follow.

Helado Negro-Awe Owe
This is the debut solo release by producer Roberto Carlos Lange from Ecuador via Miami. Musically, it’s somewhere between Prefuse 73 and El Guincho. It’s a very interesting release to say the least. A full review will come shortly.

Killer Film Noir Double This Wed & Thurs @ New Beverly

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, August 17, 2009 11:30pm | Post a Comment

The Vince Edwards & Marie Windsor pairing in Kubrick's The Killing is one of my favorite low life partnerings in film noir. Both actors play it to the hilt, setting off a serious time bomb by arrogantly smothering cuckold Elisha Cook Jr. with their sleazy and obvious relations. Although they do not star together in these films, Vince is in the first feature and Marie is in the second. I don't think I've seen a noir with either of them in it that I didn't love! Also, the New Bev just replaced all their seats-- no more ass fatigue! Neither title is available on DVD, but keep an eye out in the noir section of our mezzanine late this year, as both are scheduled for release.

New Beverly Cinema
Wed & Thur
August 19th & 20th

Murder By Contract (1958) 7:30

The Sniper

(1952) 9:10

7165 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036-2548
(323) 938-4038




Clip from The Sniper

Miles Davis' Kind Of Blue

Posted by Whitmore, August 17, 2009 11:27pm | Post a Comment

So I use to run this illegal bar, a speakeasy, and the specialty of the house was your traditional Vodka or Gin martini -- straight up, a couple of olives or a tiny pickled onion or a sliver of a lemon peel, no frills but a damn, damn good martini and never, ever a frigging apple pomegranate fusion monstrosity.
 
(H. L. Mencken once said the martini was "the only American invention as perfect as the sonnet," and I’d like to keep it that way. And since I’m on the subject... a martini should be stirred not shaken. Sorry Mr. Bond, but all you are ordering up is some weakass drink, watered down by melting shards of ice. Once and for all, a martini should be stirred, never shaken and served in a painfully cold glass.)
 
Anyway, the best part of the night was always after hours, around 4 or 4:30 in the morning. At that hour it was always quiet, I was relaxed, the patrons were relaxed, folks just sat around -- the trouble of the day or week was behind them, the stress of trying to get laid had more or less strayed, at least momentarily, though sex springs eternal and with the new dawn you knew at least one fresh scheme would soon ascend, prospectively. The soul, body and mind, conceivably worn to the bone, inevitably found a re-energized oomph in a good drunken conversation over one last martini. I loved the pretension almost as much as I loved that time of the day. And the perfect music to play at that hour was always, always Miles DavisKind of Blue.
 
Well, 50 years ago today, August 17, 1959, Kind of Blue was released on Columbia Records, in both mono and stereo, catalogue number CL-1355. The recording sessions took place earlier in the year in New York City, on March 2 and April 22, and featured soon to be legends all: Miles Davis on trumpet, pianists Bill Evans and Wynton Kelly, and John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley on saxophones, with drummer Jimmy Cobb and bassist Paul Chambers.
 
So cool, so beautiful, so perfect, contemplative, sleek and sophisticated. Kind of Blue soars into uncharted space; five decades ago it stretched the boundaries and the very definition of jazz. Davis’, along with arranger Gil Evans’ modal experimentations abandoned the traditional song concept of chord changes to support a melody in favor of musical scales, re-inventing improvisation and a sound that would dominate the form of jazz for rest of the century. And though exact numbers have never quite been formulated, Kind of Blue has been cited as the best-selling jazz record of all time. On October 7, 2008, it was certified quadruple platinum. But beyond numbers, Kind of Blue is regarded by many critics as the greatest jazz album of all time and Miles Davis's masterpiece.


DO THE RIGHT THING, 20 SUMMERS LATER

Posted by Billyjam, August 17, 2009 05:37pm | Post a Comment
Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing ("Race Rant" scene) (1989)

I invite you to rewind two full decades, back twenty summers ago to the summer of 1989 when the hottest movie with the hottest soundtrack was Spike Lee's film Do The Right Thing featuring Public Enemy's "Fight The Power." It debuted in theaters that summer and caused some controversy at the time for its do the right thingno- holds-barred portrayal of ethnic and racial tensions in the multi-ethnic (Black, Puerto Rican, Italian, Korean, white) New York borough in which the film was set.

Do The Right Thing (Lee's fourth movie) was written, produced, and directed by the ATL born, Brooklyn raised filmmaker who also acts in the film (he plays Mookie). The highly recommended film, available on DVD at Amoeba Music, is set on the hottest day of the year (kind of like the weather in NYC this week, with humid highs in the mid 90's) on a street in the Bedford-Stuyvesant (aka Bed-Stuy) section of Brooklyn. That day, the flames of everyone's emotions and prejudices are fanned and fanned until they finally explode into violence. The film makes the strong point that violence -- no matter how tempting to those being oppressed -- really doesn't offer any long term solutions to the problems at hand.

With a solid story line and a strong cast that includes Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Richard Edson, Giancarlo Esposito, Bill Nunn, John Turturro, Samuel L Jackson (he plays the DJ at end of the "race rant" scene in clip above), Robin Harris, Martin Lawrence, and Rosie Perez (the latter two making their big screen debuts), the film struck a nerve with both critics and film-goers. It was a box office success and remains one of Lee's best movies to date. Ten years ago the United States Library of Congress deemed the film to be "culturally significant" and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry.

12" Electronic Releases at Amoeba Hollywood - 08/21/09

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, August 17, 2009 01:17pm | Post a Comment
 

Electro/Techno 12"s Coming This Weekend:

Jeff Samuel
New Age Mold 12"
EMOT009

New from EMOTICON, JEFF SAMUEL drops the BPM to make some laid back beats that fall neatly between IDM and downtempo. Crisp, metallic infused beats hold it down next to intricate strands of melody.    


Darko
DANOTE 12"
UV1204

DANOTE is beautiful, lush electronic music with floaty synths and a wicked bassline. Perfect for an early morning set when the sun is rising.

12 Fingers REIS E PIRATAS 12" SSD-ICP144 

2 Wikked BREAKZ 12" FGW002  

Am-Ko HOUSE PARTY 12" STILOVE4MUSI   

Aromabar THINGS GOT TO CHANGE 12" IC144 

(In which... POOF!)

Posted by Job O Brother, August 17, 2009 12:41pm | Post a Comment

I realize that I, all too often, leave you feeling jealous and unfulfilled after reading my blogs. You learn about my glamorous, jet-set, Hollywood lifestyle and come away asking yourself:

“Why can’t my life be more like Job’s?”

“How come the Gyllenhaals always attend his Scrabble night, but never mine?”

“What’s that claw-like black thing headed towards my face?”


IT’S A MONKEY’S PAW AND IT’S CURSED SO
DUCK!!!


Phew! Well, now that I’ve saved your life from an eternal damnation of sorts, maybe now you’ll be a little forgiving that I once again have a story of rad proportions to share with you.

One of my fellow Amoebites* – we’ll call him Erik Estrada from the TV show Chips in order to protect his identity – is currently a pupil at the world-famous Magic Castle, located in the heart of Hollywood.


Ta-dah!

For those of you who’ve never heard of the Magic Castle, here’s a brief history lesson. (If you already know this material, feel free to skip ahead to the part where Courtney Love threatens to slit my throat open with a ventriloquist dummy.)

The Magic Castle opened as a private club for magicians in January of 1963, after an extensive renovation of what was once a glorious mansion at the turn of the century, but had since then become a dilapidated apartment complex. Today it hosts a nightly variety of magic acts for guests to enjoy in-between drinks at one of its plush bars or restaurant.

It is not open to the public – one must either be a member or a guest of one. Formal attire is required and you cannot bring in burning tires (or, for those in the United Kingdom, burning tyres).

Thanks to Erik Estrada from the TV show Chips, I gained entrance into the illustrious Magic Castle, along with the boyfriend, and another co-worker and friend, Smithy.

We arrived in our fancy dress and waited to be met by Erik Estrada from the TV show Chips. Smithy and I eagerly discussed what cocktails we would first order. She settled on a sidecar (see above) while I opted for my new love, Campari with a splash of soda. The boyfriend stuck to his standard, slightly dirty Grey Goose martini.

Great. Now I’m thirsty. Is 11:30 AM too early for a mint julep?

LOL! Alcoholism is funny. Anyway…

Upon first entering the Magic Castle, you are faced with a lobby of walls filled with books, but no doors. Perched atop a [noun TK] is a stuffed owl, for whom you must recite the correct “magic words.” I won’t tell you what they are and spoil it for you, but I will say I got it right the first time! (Hint: it’s not “Houdini deserved it.”)

Next, you are led into the first lounge. In the course of our evening, there were often magicians sitting at tables, casually performing card tricks for on-lookers. This casualness made for a chummy atmosphere, and I loved the magicians’ passion for their craft. We got our drinks. The booze made for a chummy atmosphere, and I loved the bartender’s passion for their craft.


In one lounge sits a piano, next to a huge framed painting of a Victorian girl-child. This painting is said to be Irma, the ghost which haunts and plays the piano. For a tip, Irma will take requests. The delightful but awkward ritual goes like this:

Step up to the piano, insert a bill into the golden birdcage, and say something like, “Hi, Irma. Would you play ‘Every Time We Say Goodbye’ for me, please?”

And the piano starts playing your request!


That is, unless you’re me. I did, in fact, request the above mentioned jazz standard by Cole Porter. For the boyfriend and I, it’s “our song." Hardly an obscure number, it’s been played and sung by hundreds of musicians and singers, so we were shocked and – yes, I’ll say it – miffed, when Irma didn’t play “Every Time We Say Goodbye” and instead began performing “Every Time You Go Away,” the one-hit wonder, circa 1985.


Now, I love Paul Young as much as the next guy – which is to say, I hate Paul Young with a passion beyond my years. Smithy and I desperately explained to Irma in heightened tones that she was playing the wrong song and to please, please stop!

She finally did and we patiently tried to educate her on what song I wanted, which must have made for a funny scene: Two people emphatically detailing the history of a song to a vacant piano.

But Irma remained silent and we became disheartened. Corey returned with a round of drinks and blithely asked Irma to play “Total Eclipse of the Heart” – without even tipping Irma – and she started performing it!


At this point, Smithy and I lost our cool and outright shouted at Irma to STOP and to NOT PLAY ANY MORE HITS FROM THE 80’S! The boyfriend didn’t understand what the fuss was about, but then, he actually likes to listen to music that was recorded by people who are still alive. Gross.

It wasn’t losing the dollar that bothered me so much as it was that this Victorian ghost seemed well-versed in all things VH-1 but remained ignorant of ditties more appropriate for the environment we were enjoying. I mean, we’re sitting in a well-appointed lounge plucked from the time of great-grandparents; meanwhile, this cheeky spook seems to be just waiting for an excuse to break-out into a perky rendition of “The Safety Dance.” Irma my ass – this piano was obviously haunted by Ferrante & Teicher!


Irma’s short-comings notwithstanding, the three of us went on to have a lovely time. We saw two shows, each in different but equally charming performance spaces, and Erik Estrada from the TV show Chips gave us a tour of the mansion, which winds seemingly endlessly, constantly revealing another lounge, another hallway, another treasure trove of spooky artifacts (we’re talking W.C. Fields’ pool table, kids!). The atmosphere was sumptuous and kick-ass, and Smithy and I frequently remarked that it was a shame we couldn’t make the Magic Castle our regular hang-out.


It came time to go. So we went. Not much story there.

If you ever get the chance to go to The Magic Castle, be the opposite of a dork-faced loser and go. And try a sidecar – Smithy’s right about them – they’re delicious!

(For those of you who just wasted their time looking for the sensational Courtney Love drama, shame on you for 'skipping ahead'! I spend days... well, okay - not days... I spend minutes writing these blogs for you. The least you can do is read them in their entirety.)

*This is what we at Amoeba call co-workers. It’s cute, it’s affectionate, and it’s a lot easier to say than “Co-moeba-ccupationalists.”

Depeche Mode @ Hollywood Bowl August 16th 2009

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, August 17, 2009 09:56am | Post a Comment

No Atheists in the Afterlife? Thirst (2009)

Posted by Charles Reece, August 16, 2009 11:30pm | Post a Comment


A fantastic adaptation of Émile Zola's Thérèse Raquin. Not that I've ever read any Zola, mind you, but I've read about him. Maybe after I've finished working my way through the entire output of the 19th century Russian realists, I'll be ready. If only Zola had featured more vampires in his stories .... Well, Chan-Wook Park knows how to get me interested in realism, at least -- same as the Russians -- with ideological discussions of atheism.

Sang-hyeon is a Catholic priest with a martyr complex or strong death drive (amounts to the same thing, I suppose), who plays guinea pig in a macabre experiment to help doctors find a cure for a virus that's particularly dangerous to Korean men. He's the only one to survive the voluntary infection, due to a  transfusion using vampire blood. The catch is that he now needs to feed on normal human blood to keep from sweating his own and breaking out in disfiguring boils. Initially, he's racked by guilt over his bodily urges, which leads to his sucking on a comatose patient's IV and a fellow priest, Noh, who has a more sanguine attitude about the vampire virus. Sang-hyeon sees vampirism as a loss of humanity, whereas Noh sees it as a gift, and a potential cure for his blindness. Due to his miracle cure, the vampire picks up a religious following of Catholics who see him as another messiah, parallel to that other popular tale of transfiguration. Is he a vampire who walks like a man, or man who acts like a vampire?

 

Despite the similarities, Thirst doesn't belong to the "vegetarian" vampirism that Buffy made popular and can now be seen in Twilight. It was easy to sympathize with Buffy's beau, because when Angel did evil deeds, it was as the soulless Angelus, who constituted a separate identity (even if the two entities shared the same body and memories, they certainly had no control over what the other did). There's no identity switcheroo in Twilight, but the good vampire Edward is able to survive on animal blood (see 'carouche'). Angel was capable of that, too, having lived on rats for many years after regaining his soul. Furthermore, the two diegeses share a supernaturally enforced Victorian restraint, since the vampires get real thirsty for their lovers when sex is involved. Taking blood and sex out of the equation pretty much makes hash out of vampires, since they're reduced to a more pathetic version of us, but with superpowers. Instead, Park's film is closer in its themes to another vampire show that sometimes gets lumped into the vegetarian subgenre, True Blood.


Maybe because it's on HBO or because it's not written by a Mormon, but True Blood manages to defang the mythology without violating it (although the hamfisted erotic dialog comes close). Here vampires keep their sanguinary sexual desires, are responsible for previous slaughters, and have to choose to live off of synthetic human blood (like only shopping the frozen food aisle). Making a somewhat analogous case to Peter Singer's animal rights argument, Southern gentleman/-vampire Bill Compton has come to view humans as deserving of the same rights as his own kind, since we're capable of the same feelings as he, if not moreso. Whereas True Blood's moral questioning is basically utilitarian, Thirst's is faith-based. The divine image has been transmogrified into a distorted mirror, so is Sang-hyeon still obligated to God's favored creature? If the vampire is nothing more than pure carnality, then its moral status is that of all the other animals not given the lead in the story of Eden. Scorpions aren't being immoral when they strike.


Thirst's vampiric version of the 19th century nihilist is Tae-joo, an orphaned girl who came under the care of the domineering Lady Ra and her spoiled, sickly boy, Kang-woo. Rather than being raised as the boy's adopted sister, Tae-joo became his caretaker and wife. Sang-hyeon was a childhood friend to the family and, post-transformation, meets up with them again when Ra comes begging for a miracle to cure her son. Between games of mah-jongg with the family and friends, the priest and the wife begin to slip away for bouts of hedonism that's erotic in a way the metalhead couple making out in a mall could appreciate. Based on how she grew up, Tae-joo doesn't see much that's special in humanity, so wants nothing more than to leave it all behind by being turned. After a series of sinful events, including the plan to kill Kang-woo, Sang-hyeon grants her the salvation she desires. That's when he discovers that some vampires are more Darwinian than others. She's pure survival-of-the-fittest with nothing filling up the hole of faith. Humans are reduced to the status of actors -- that is, cattle -- and she's the only director that matters. Feeling himself drawn to the abyss, with his monstrous status of being nothing but an animal, only with the ungodly power to upset the divine heirarchy, Sang-hyeon can see no other moral choice than self-immolation -- and, thus, the movie's central conflict. Obviously, the couple hasn't read much utilitarianism or other atheistic moral philosophies. They might've discovered with Bill that there's more of a connection to humanity than the forced choice between nihilism and theistic middle-management allows.

August 16, 2009

Posted by phil blankenship, August 16, 2009 09:35pm | Post a Comment





District 9 Movie Review

Posted by Eric Brightwell, August 16, 2009 08:53pm | Post a Comment


I will admit, I was very wary of seeing District 9 for a variety of reasons. For one, my exposure to South African films had led me to the conclusion that the South African film industry is the worst in Africa. Armed with relatively large budgets, South African films seemed technically solid but at best, soulless and at worst, odious. On a continent where countries like Senegal, Burkina Faso and Mali make amazing, artistic and entertaining films with a uniquely African voice, why would I want to see another glossy piece of crap from what seems like an ersatz Hollywood? Critical Assignment was one long and comically awful Guinness ad, Boesman and Lena an unwatchable minstrel show, Stander stultifying bland, Wooden Camera a ponderous examination of racial politics, and The Gods Must Be Crazy (I & II) ponderously racist. When Tsotsi was praised by the Academy, I wrote it off without giving it a chance. Only Richard Stanley's Hardware and Dust Devil did much for me. Also, I find South African accents (and all non-rhotic accents) rather unpleasant.


What's more, the premise of aliens living in townships sounded like a thinly veiled excuse for some heavy-handed sermonizing. Were District 9 to follow Hollywood rules, the film would inevitably follow the valiant effort of one member of the oppressors who, following a change of heart, would lead the helpless "Others" to victory after gaining their trust whilst the villains would embody absolute evil, therein allowing the members of the audience to feel good about themselves by making sure that they couldn't identify at all with the antagonists. Simultaneously it would allow them to feel down due to their acceptance by the authentic victims; a genre I call "Through Blue Eyes" (e.g. Dances with Wolves, Schindler's List, The Last Samurai, The Mission, Ghosts of Mississippi, The New World, Mississippi Burning and on and on). A human and an alien would come to love each other, profess to have one another's backs, and probably stand back-to-back with guns drawn on the opposition. If I want to hear shallow discussions about racial politics, I don't watch buddy films, I have a beer at the white house.


Fifteen years after the fact, a film telling me that apartheid was bad, I thought, would be pointless and annoying. Even the Israeli government can agree that South Africa's apartheid system was unjust. Do we need a sci-fi, a genre at often its best when examining our own failings, to tell us that discrimination is wrong? Furthermore, the message, if applied in District 9, wouldn't even seem very analogous. After all, the aliens in the film came to South Africa and are forced into townships. In South Africa, it was the pre-existing black population (who, it should be noted, had largely displaced and destroyed the indigenous one) who were rounded up by the new arrivals. If the film was going to draw simple parallels to South Africa, the aliens would be forcing the South Africans into concentration camps, not the other way around.


Then there was the Peter Jackson issue. Although just the producer, after the leaden, hokey and abjectly awful King Kong, I worried that his involvement might be a detriment (despite having never made a less than excellent film before).

Fortunately, District 9 is a thoroughly enjoyable film that works both as entertainment and thoughtful art. It does contain lessons about prejudice, but does so by creating an interesting scenario and then intelligently expounding upon it. And, with a paltry $40 million cost, it's a lesson in how sci-fi/action films should be and thus a towering middle finger to Michael Bay and Stephen Sommers. Even with its relatively meager budget, it serves up consistently amazing special effects and the result is the most enjoyable sci-fi film since 28 Days Later.


To start, Sharlto Copley as Wikus van der Merwe is pretty much perfect. He plays the protagonist as neither a sexy, roguish anti-hero nor a ethically spotless do-gooder. Rather, he's an unfailingly chipper, by-the-books bureaucrat who's devoted to his wife but at the same time, not completely likeable. He has a pronounced yellow streak and he doesn't, unlike say Matt Dillon's character in Crash, magically transform over the course of the film into a good person. In fact, no one in the film, with the exception of the alien, Christopher Johnson, is a shining avatar. In many ways, Wilkus reminded me of David Brent, an association re-inforced by the faux-documentary set-up that thankfully falls by the wayside after a methodically paced and protracted opening act. And even Christopher Johnson is so damned physically repulsive that the viewer's sympathetic connection to him is rather challenged. Even an intergalactic sex tourist like Captain Kirk would probably require a case of Romulan Ale before going there. One of the many clever and innovative (by Hollywood standards) aspects of the film is that the audience isn't let off the hook for its/our seemingly insurmountable prejudices. For example, when we're informed that there's a considerable demand for interspecies prostitution, it's hard not to wince at the thought, despite our valiant attempts to remain open minded. 


In doing so and in other ways, the film also suggests that discrimination and prejudice aren't the sole province of white people -- something so obviously true and yet still treated as controversial by the Kool-aid-drinking PC cult. It's rather laughable that more than one reviewer has knee-jerkily attacked the film for daring to depict Nigerian criminals as opportunistic villains, since we're only used to accepting black Africans as victims. In one of the only straightforward analogies in the film, the depiction of their cannibalism of the aliens is rather similar to the very real issue of some Africans' cannibalism of albinos for their supposed magical properties. District 9 is refreshingly and nearly completely devoid of simple, spoon-fed, race-based moralizing. It points fingers at all people complicit with concentration camps, occupations, townships, reservations, security fences and apartheid walls, regardless of skin color or hair type, instead equally implicating all humans for discrimination, xenophobia, tribalism and intolerance.


Filmically-speaking, director/co-writer Neill Blomkamp's sensibility is very African. The film is in no rush to get going. It doesn't use slow-motion or Matrix-style effects. It doesn't underestimate the audience's intelligence, explaining every aspect of the story which, for some viewers so used to Hollywood, may be misinterpreted as a technical failing. We are never told why the aliens came, why they chose Jo-Berg, how they have sex, why they like cat food, how many hours they sleep, what their favorite color is, &c. The film requires that the audience assume that a government figure specializing in alien affairs will, after a 28-year presence, learn their language, without showing us him buying and using Rosetta Stone software. Its only glaringly non-African concession to foreign audiences is in the use of subtitles to reveal information about the date and time of the proceedings.


As with all films, District 9 isn't flawless and viewers determined to find fault will invariably find enough in the film to justify their need to offer a voice of dissent against the overwhelmingly positive opinions of the masses. The two main standbys for these determined contrarians are usually bad acting and predictability. The acting is uniformly good, so only the most poorly reasoned wag will choose it as a criticism. Predictability, on the other hand, is a reality of all films. Yes, it's of a typical length, it tells a story, and there's a beginning and end. Just as Saturday predictably follows Friday, the ability to predict the inevitable isn't a sign of a reviewer's insight. As with all films, nor is District 9 completely original. The film echoes in varying degrees Enemy Mine, Alien Nation, The Fly, Iron Man and the Get a Life episode "Spewey and Me." It's also much better than any of them... except for, maybe, the under-recognizedly brilliant Get a Life. And it's not just because of lowered expectations stemming from Hollywood's near complete reliance on video games, pre-existing franchises, and old TV shows. District 9 is a breath of fresh air-- a fun, gorey, loud, gross, inventive and rousing mix of space opera and more speculative sort of sci-fi that examines issues that in many cases don't always have clear cut, real-world parallels. As such, I highly recommend it.

LEMME GUESS: "I'M A CLIENT"

Posted by Charles Reece, August 16, 2009 09:34am | Post a Comment
The trailer for Martin Scorsese's new film reminds me of the "twist" contained in the one for Sixth Sense:


I hope he's just leading those of us who see too many movies down the garden path, but Goodfellas was a long time ago. Still, I can watch Mark Ruffalo in just about anything; he's the cat's pajamas!

REST IN POWER MIKE DREAM FRANCISCO - 40th BIRTHDAY

Posted by Billyjam, August 15, 2009 03:55pm | Post a Comment
Mike "DREAM" Francisco 1993 interview @ No Justice, No Peace art opening

Exactly forty years ago today, August 15th 1969, Mike "DREAM" Francisco was born. But instead of what should have been a landmark birthday celebration today, this August 15th is just another sad reminder to those loved ones and friends and fans of the late, great Bay Area graffiti artist of how Mike "DREAM" Francisco's life was prematurely, senselessly halted nine years ago. On February 17th, 2000 on San Pablo Avenue in Oakland, DREAM was gunned down and killed, the victim of a random street robbery.  Mike DREAM Francisco

Not only was DREAM (or "King Dream," as he is referred to by many) a gifted and prolific artist, with a passion for hip-hop -- having collaborated with countless hip-hoppers, including Hobo Junction over the years -- but he was also a most outspoken individual, one concerned about his community, and one never afraid to speak out against the ills of society.

Had DREAM been allowed to live today, you can bet he would have been at the front of the protests against the murder of Oscar Grant by BART police earlier this year. In fact, in 1993 he was one of the featured artists in the anti police brutality show No Justice, No Peace at downtown Oakland's Pro Arts Gallery. Above is a rare interview with DREAM at the opening of that show by A Debonair Affair's Melinda Bell which, despite the poor audio quality, gives you a great insight into the kind of person DREAM was: down-to-earth, fun, & witty, but also most passionate about his beliefs. I first met DREAM around 1990 and was instantly struck by what a genuinely good spirited and generous person he was, always upbeat and interested in what others had to say. But what is perhaps most profound about the DREAM interview above is how he defines what "reality" means to some people, like himself, as  "to brothers like us reality is watching people die on the streets everyday!"

Bollywood Cover Gallery 2

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, August 15, 2009 02:40pm | Post a Comment


A continuation of yesterday's theme, I've decided to include a clip from the film Kranti, as the movie deals with the beginnings of the Indian struggle for independence from colonial rule. Yeah, nationalism is a main theme in Bollywood film, but Kranti is especially inspired. Enjoy!













Kranti (1981)
 
 
 

New Electronic CD Releases 8/14/09

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, August 14, 2009 05:47pm | Post a Comment

DREHER & SMART
Wandertag
3000 GRAD RECORDS (GERMANY)

"There is for sure no lack of electronic music producers in the German capital, but in contrast to most of their colleagues, Dreher & Smart were really born in Berlin, which becomes obvious already after the first verbal exchange. In the beginning of February they left their urban sphere and headed towards day. Through snow-covered forests and past frozen lakes, they finally arrived at the cozy Dacha on the ground of Fusion festival where the Fortschritt3000 crew welcomed them very heartily. Little by little, more and more guests arrived and the evening became more and more frisky and social. And so, Dreher & Smart soon unpacked their music machines and serenaded the audience. They set all the experiences from their eventful day to music and so also the recording became very entertaining and exciting. On a continuously forcing groove, varied sound constructions unfold, which lead from trippy-minimal deepness over hypnotic melodies and through huge reverb rooms to distinctive percussive take offs. The unobtrusive reactions from the dance floor mixed into confer Wandertag its authentic live atmosphere and increase the anyhow very strong pressure of this recording." - 3000˚


IAN SIMMONDS
The Burgenland Dubs
MUSIK KRAUSE (GERMANY)

Relocated from Wales to Jena, Germany, Ian Simmonds (aka Juryman) is responsible for pure innovation on the electronic scene. He left London in 2005 and began a new chapter in the East German province of scenic Jena in Thuringia, recording The Burgenland Dubs in the old Castle Wendelstein in the middle of the vineyard region in Unstrut Valley in Burgenland Saxony-Anhalt. Working in an environment with faulty heating, rotting old windows, and two hard winters that set ice crystals in his beard, Simmonds toiled in his castle like a sorcerer in his spiritual craft, revealing an album filled with maritime dimensions, rhythmic, lyrical moments, dramatic beat wizardry, and orchestral presence. This album also demonstrates a swinging, acoustic flight of traditional instrumentation paired with modern electric sonic culture. He also doesn't shy away from soul and jazz, and possesses a smooth British breakstep sense and even the depths and straight lines from Detroit. His sound began on the bass with the extraordinary combo, Sandals (1992-1994), whose proliferation anticipated British-isle club innovation. As Juryman, Simmonds began to merge modern music with traditional. From there came unbeatable productions in the form of 12" remixes, albums on renowned labels like SSR, Ntone, Studio-K7!, Pussyfoot, G-Stone, Compost, and more. The Burgenland Dubs is pure beat-fiddling sound research plus orchestral radiance and moving, warm peak-time brush-strokes for the home or club.

Jay Reatard Amoeba Instore Tour!

Posted by Amoebite, August 14, 2009 02:29pm | Post a Comment
jay reatard

Join us for Jay Reatard's Indie Record Store Tour! He will be appearing at all THREE Amoeba stores next week!

Hollywood - Tuesday, August 18 6pm
San Francisco - Saturday, August 22 6pm
Berkeley - Sunday, August 23 6pm

These appearances are in support of his new record Watch Me Fall, out August 18th! Also, get a limited edition silkscreen poster designed by Jay with purchase of Watch Me Fall, on the day of the in-store onlywatch me fall jay reatard and while supplies last!

“It takes ten times longer to get rid of your reputation than it does to make it.”  - Jay Reatard

As we approach the August 18, 2009 release of Watch Me Fall, Jay Reatard’s 90-somethingeth release since dropping out of 8th grade to pursue this game, you might ask, who is this guy?

In the late 90s, 15-year-old Jay Lindsey, living right outside Memphis, played all of the instruments on a demo tape by his newly-minted performing moniker of “The Reatards.” This cassette was sent to Eric Friedl of the Oblivians, who had used the “Goner Records” imprint on a couple of releases. His next would be a 7” by The Reatards, followed shortly by a full-length LP, Teenage Hate (Goner, 1998). Remembers Jay:

“I read an article in Spin about ‘The Lo-Fi Revolution’ in the mid-90s, and I kept seeing ‘Four-Track’ ‘Four-Track’ ‘Four-Track’….and I didn’t know what one was, but I figured out that it was what all of those bands, Sebadoh, Guided By Voices, used to record their records. Before the internet, it was really hard trying to figure out what one cost, or how to find one in the first place, but I finally got one for Christmas. Before that, I recorded by using a karaoke machine with two tape decks hooked up to it.”reatards get up fucked up

Bollywood Cover Gallery 1

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, August 14, 2009 01:50pm | Post a Comment
I've been sitting on this collection of Bollywood soundtrack covers for some time now and I figured that India's Independence Day would be a great time to launch the gallery. Bollywood soundtracks are always a great listen; my experience is that even the more average LP will have moments of brillance. The cover art is usually quite intriguing, even if on some it's just the fontage used for the titles. I've included some stellar youtube footage from a few of the featured movies.
















AMOEBA MUSIC WEEKLY HIP-HOP ROUND UP: 08:14:09

Posted by Billyjam, August 14, 2009 10:34am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five: 08:14:09
DOOM

1) Mos Def The Ecstatic (Downtown)

2) Chali 2na Fish Outta Water (Decon)

3) DOOM Born Like This (Lex Records)

4) Cage Depart From Me (Def Jux)

5) Wu Tang Chamber Music (KR Urban/KOCH)

At the Berkeley Amoeba Music store this week the top selling albums are all ones that have been out for a few weeks or more but that are proving to be staples for the Summer of '09. Charting records include the latest releases from Mos Def, Wu-Tang, and Chali 2na, as well as DOOM's (aka MF Doom) recent Born Like This and Cage's Depart From Me, both of which are incidentally on Definitive Jux (aka Def Jux), the label co-founded by El-P that seemingly can do no wrong as it steadily builds a catalog of quality, lasting hip-hop in an era of the genre when there is so much clutter elsewhere.
we all we got
The OM 15 party is tonight! San Francisco based OM Records will be celebrating 15 successful years with a big show at the Mezzanine this eve (Friday, August 14) with Mark Farina, J Boogie, Whooligan and others. I just caught The Whooligan at the same venue a week ago when he was performing with 40 Love during the wonderful Amoebapalooza 2009.

Ghostbusters at 25

Posted by Whitmore, August 13, 2009 11:23pm | Post a Comment

How the hell can Ghostbusters be 25 years old? I remember the first time I watched it, and I don’t think I was in grammar school ... shit, I’m getting old ...
 
Starting today, in honor of its silver anniversary, YouTube is hosting a weeklong showing of Sony's spooky comedy classic, Ghostbusters, starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver, Rick Moranis, and Annie Potts.
 
The weirdest thing about this whole showing, is that even though the film will be playing for seven days on Youtube, technically it will be not be in your YouTube player. It will instead be deposited by way of Sony's Crackle player, which will then be embedded on Youtube. Sounds like a publicity stunt to me-- somebody’s making some cash off of this unholy union. Oddly enough, I might just be right for a change; rumor has it that Sony is currently developing a Ghostbusters 3 for a 2012 release. Spengler, Stantz, Venkman, and Zeddemore! ... I just hope it's better than the sequel, and I hope to hell all the original actors return. Who are you going to call but the original crew ... in fact I’ll take it a step further, I want Larry King, Joe Franklin and Casey Kasem making cameos again.
 
Ghostbusters on YouTube will appear in a 16x9 aspect ratio at "high quality" resolution (as opposed to YouTube's HD player) and it will feature as many as eight in-stream commercials. Enjoy!

Halloween II (1981) Saturday at the New Beverly

Posted by phil blankenship, August 13, 2009 10:37pm | 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!

Ryan Rotten & Phil Blankenship present Midnight Shock!
For more information, please visit www.shocktillyoudrop.com


Saturday August 15

The Original (1981)

Halloween II


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

Director Rick Rosenthal, actress Gloria Gifford and composer Alan Howarth will appear IN PERSON, schedules permitting, to discuss the film!


August
August 28 & 29 Evil Dead Marathon
All Tickets $10. One Ticket Admits You To All Three Films!

The Evil Dead (1981) 7:30pm

Evil Dead 2 (1987) 9:30pm

Army Of Darkness (1992) 11:30pm

R.I.P. LES PAUL

Posted by Billyjam, August 13, 2009 09:50am | Post a Comment
Les Paul with Chet Atkins

Guitar legend Les Paul died today at age 94, the result of complications of severe pneumonia, according to several sources, including the New York Times and Associated Press. Read AP's full obit here of the artist who gave his name to the Gibson manufactured Les Paul guitar. According to one source, the artist, who had been playing regularly up to the time of his death, was until recently holding down a standing gig, despite the fact he was in his nineties, at New York's Iridium Jazz Club. Now that's dedication to music! Below and above are some video clips of the guitar legend. R.I.P. Les Paul.

LEGENDARY JAZZ DRUMMER RASHIED ALI PASSES

Posted by Billyjam, August 13, 2009 08:53am | Post a Comment
Rashied Ali
According to several sources, including citizenjazz.com, legendary jazz drummer Rashied Ali, who was one of the greatest jazz drummers of all time, died yesterday at age 74. The cause of Ali's death has not yet been announced, but the artist, who did some great recordings with John Coltrane, had been active in his craft up until recently, playing with his own group, the Rashied Ali Quintet. A few years ago they recorded the double CD Judgment Day.

As well as working with Coltrane, the drummer had also recorded or performed with such artists as Pharoah Sanders, Alice Coltrane, Arthur Rhames and James Blood Ulmer. As jazz legend has it, Ali was supposed to be the second drumme on John Coltrane’s 1965 landmark free jazz album Ascension in tandem with drummer Elvin Jones, but at the last minute he dropped out. Coltrane decided to scrap the two drummer scenario and proceeded to record with just Jones on percussion.  meditations coltrane

Soon after, however, Ali began to record with Coltrane. Along with Pharoah Sanders, he is a featured artist on the avant garde Coltrane album Meditations. Ali's other Coltrane collaborations included Interstellar Space in 1967 and The Olatunji Concert -- one of Coltrane's later recordings. 

A few decades ago he ran the club Ali's Alley in New York. He also worked outside of jazz music from time to time, forming the Purple Trap project with Japanese experimental guitarist Keiji Haino and jazz-fusion bassist Bill Laswell. Additionally, he made contributions to experimental, multi-media performances with such groups as The Gift of Eagle Orchestra and Cosmic Legends, and was part of a special tribute to John Cage in Central Park. Below is a video of the late drummer along with Don Cherry (pocket trumpet) and James Blood Ulmer (guitar) in concert along with voiceover commentary on the three great improv jazz artists.

A Horrible Month

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, August 13, 2009 12:40am | Post a Comment
I can't believe what an amazing month it is for horror fans in Los Angeles! Here's a list of the films that the local rep theaters are showing over the next couple of weeks.



New Bev
erly Cinema
7165 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036-2548
(323) 938-4038

-August 14th Count Yorga, Vampire & The Lost Boys
midnite movie- Midnight Son
-August 15th Velvet Vampire & The Hunger
midnite movie-Halloween II ('81 orig)
-August 18th Patrick & Harlequin
-August 28th & 29th Evil Dead trilogy
-Sept 5th midnite movie- the Entity

Art Theatre
2025 E 4th St
Long Beach, CA 90814-1001
(562) 438-5435

-August 14th Sick Girl

Aero Theatre
1328 Montana Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90403-1710
(310) 260-1528

-August 29th Jaws 1-3 triple feature (Jaws 3 NOT in 3D, boo!)

Cinefamily
@ the Silent Movie Theater

-August 15th Troll 2 & Monster Dog



Egyptian
Theatre
6712 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 466-3456

9th Annual Festival of Fantasy, Horror & Sci Fi:
-August 20th Blair Witch Project
-August 21st Terror Creatures From The Grave, Return of Dr. Mabuse & Werewolf In A Girls Dormitory
-August 26th The Devils & Beatrice Cenci
-August 27th Portrait Of Jennie & Ghost And Mrs. Muir
-August 28th Strait-jacket & Mirage
-August 29th The Thing & They Live
-August 30th Seventh Moon

August 12, 2009

Posted by phil blankenship, August 12, 2009 10:04pm | Post a Comment



Remembering Lenny Breau

Posted by Whitmore, August 12, 2009 09:56pm | Post a Comment

As far as I am concerned, Lenny Breau is arguably the greatest guitarist that ever strummed a chord on this goddamned sweet earth, and yet outside the guitar playing world his name remains virtually unknown. Several years ago I was gigging in Vancouver B.C., Canada and someone asked me who were my favorite guitarists. I mentioned Lenny Breau. I obviously answered correctly; for the next couple of days I had my pick of booze and food aplenty. Though Breau was born in Auburn, Maine, in 1941, he was raised in Canada. His family settled in Manitoba in 1957 and he always remained very connected to his adopted home country. His parents, Hal "Lone Pine" Breau and Betty Cody, were country & western performers active as both a touring and a recording act from the mid 1940's into the late 1950's. Breau’s first professional gigs were with the family act until he was about 15 or 16, when one night his father slapped him on stage for improvising.
 
Lenny Breau's phenomenal technique was a combination of his close study of his idol Chet Atkins, adapting Atkins' picking style of playing bass lines with a thumb pick and with his other fingers adding melody lines -- he was able to sound like two guitarists playing simultaneously -- and his harmonic sensibilities, predominantly influenced by legendary pianist Bill Evans. Along with significant classical, modal, and flamenco elements, not to mention his extraordinary right hand independence and his unique use of artificial harmonics, no one sounded like Lenny Breau.
 
25 years ago today, Aug. 12, 1984, Lenny Breau was found dead in the rooftop swimming pool of his apartment building in Los Angeles. He was 43 years old. During his lifetime Lenny Breau had a long struggle with drugs, especially with heroin, amphetamines and alcohol, something left over from his days on the Toronto jazz scene, but at the time of his death Breau had reportedly managed to take some control of his addictions. On that Sunday, his wife, Jewel Breau, an occasional singer born Joanne Glasscock, claimed that he had accidentally drowned, but an autopsy determined that he had actually been strangled and then dumped in the pool. The Los Angeles Police Department never had enough evidence to bring charges against her or anyone else, but in a 1999 Canadian documentary, The Genius Of Lenny Breau, directed by Breau’s daughter Emily Hughes, Detective Richard Aldahl states that Jewel Breau was the prime suspect. Jewel Breau, now remarried as Jewel Flowers, was never charged in the homicide because detectives thought that the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office couldn’t build a strong enough case to bring her to trial. Ironically, it was Chet Atkins who introduced Lenny Breau to Jewel. Breau's murder remains unsolved.
 
Lenny Breau was buried in an unmarked grave in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale. Funeral expenses were covered by a memorial benefit at Nashville's Blue Bird Café.



FROM GILMAN TO THE REP, GREEN DAY KEEP IT BERKELEY

Posted by Billyjam, August 12, 2009 03:00pm | Post a Comment
Green Day
Last week the Berkeley Repertory Theatre announced the full cast for its anticipated upcoming premiere of American Idiot, a production based on the popular Green Day album of the same name, that will run at the downtown Berkeley theater from September 4 through October 11, and feature the music of Green Day and the lyrics of the longtime East Bay band's Billie Joe Armstrong. 

Even before the cast was announced, tickets were already selling briskly, fueled in good part by Green Day fans anxious to see how their fave band's 2004 album is being adapted to the stage. American Idiot is being staged by star director Michael Mayer, who won a Tony Award in 2007 for his direction of the musical adaptation of Spring Awakening, and who collaborated with Armstrong on the story. 

The stage production of American Idiot is decribed by the Berkeley Rep as one that "follows working-class characters from the suburbs to the city to the Middle East. In an exhilarating journey borne along by Green Day's electrifying songs, they seek redemption in a world filled with frustration."

The music driven production will feature not only every song off of American Idiot, which won two Grammys -- Best Rock Album and Record of the Year -- and sold more than 12 million copies worldwide, but also several songs from Green Day's follow up to American Idiot, 21st Century Breakdown, which was released a few months ago and done in a similar style to American Idiot. The team that Mayer has assembled to bring the production to the Berkeley stage includes choreographer Steven Hoggett, composer Tom Kitt, and video designer Darrel Maloney.

The Beatles Pt 1

Posted by Amoebite, August 12, 2009 12:46pm | Post a Comment
We are kicking off the celebration today in honor of the digitally remastered Beatles reissues set to hit Amoeba September 9! Each Wednesday from now until September 2, we will present a segment of The Beatles' biography. Then, the week of September 2-9 will be marked here on the blog with a number of Beatles related posts with a huge variety of topics! We begin now with Part One of the fabled band's history:

the beatles 1962

“This isn’t show business,” John Lennon said at the height of The Beatles’ success. “This is something else.”

Strictly in show business terms, the quartet from Liverpool, England rewrote the book on rock ‘n’ roll, which prior to the group’s 1962 recording debut was considered nothinbeatles for saleg more than disposable music for idle teens. While The Beatles were initially embraced by throngs of young fans (most of them female) -- in a phenomenon dubbed “Beatlemania” by the press -- with the same fervor previously accorded Frank Sinatra in the ‘40s and Elvis Presley in the ‘50s, the depth of their work quickly transcended their teen-idol genesis.

The songs penned by singer-guitarist Lennon and his collaborator, vocalist-bassist Paul McCartney – and, to a lesser extent, those authored by guitarist-vocalist George Harrison – expanded rock’s expressive capabilities, and broadened the audience for the music beyond its youthful base. Their producer George Martin transmuted The Beatles’ bold imaginative leaps in the studio, bringing theretofore unimaginable musical and technical textures to their recorded music. After sensationally announcing themselves with a string of irresistible hit singles that were greeted with unprecedented sales (which persisted until the end of the group’s existence), The Beatles established the long-playing album as the principal commercial format, and as a forum for artistic expression. And their massive popularity on a global scale inaugurated the era of the stadium concert. In sheer magnitude, their achievement remains unrivaled to this day.

August 11, 2009

Posted by phil blankenship, August 12, 2009 12:03pm | Post a Comment

The Second Weekend in August, 1969 ... Part Two

Posted by Whitmore, August 11, 2009 11:05pm | Post a Comment

Some observers see this second weekend in August, the 8th thru the 10th, 1969, as effectively the end of the sixties’ counterculture as seen through rose colored glasses. The Vietnam War (which was never formally declared a war) was grinding on. In 1969 there would be 11,616 US military deaths, the second highest count during the war; almost 22,000 Vietnamese soldiers would be killed that year. This week would see the deaths of 169 US military personnel, over the weekend alone some 84 US soldiers would die. And every night TV newscasts were blanketed with those images. Vietnam is often characterized as the "living-room war" or the "television war." It was the first war to be methodically documented nightly on television, and at a moment when TV was becoming a compelling presence in daily life.
 
Other news that weekend included the discovery of the missing plane, Hawthorne-Nevada Airlines, Flight 708, that crashed just west of Lone Pine on February 18, killing all 35 passengers and crew. It was found on the eastern slope of Mount Whitney at an elevation of approximately 11,770 feet.
 
On August 8, just six days after it was published in the San Francisco Chronicle, the Zodiac Killer’s first unsigned encrypted message was solved by a Salinas, California high school teacher, Donald Harden, and his wife Bettye. The Zodiac Killer was a serial killer who operated in the Bay area in the late 1960’s. His name was coined by a series of taunting letters and cryptograms he sent to police and newspapers until about 1974. The initial 408-symbol cryptogram stated, among other things, that the Zodiac enjoyed "killing people because it is so much fun." Harden was an amateur cryptographer and he reportedly took about 20 hours to break the code. Navy cryptographers had attempted to solve it, but without success. Of course some 40 years later, the identity of the Zodiac Killer still remains unsolved.
 
On the 9th, President Richard Nixon announced the nomination of Helen D. Bentley as a Member of the Federal Maritime Commission. Nixon also addressed the nation about domestic programs and a tax reform bill following its passage by the House of Representatives.
 
That weekend also saw the deaths of Russ Morgan, orchestra leader as well as a long time performer at the Dunes in Las Vegas. Otmar Freiherr von Verschuer, crackpot eugenicist and Nazi physician, died in an automobile accident. Nobel Prize Laureate Cecil Frank Powell died while walking in the foothills of the Alps; he was 66 years of age. A bench with a commemorative plaque can be seen near the site of his death.

On Friday the 8th, Disneyland opened their doors to the new and soon to be classic attraction, the Haunted Mansion. Adorned with wrought iron fencing and surrounded by creepy tombstones, Walt Disney had envisioned the ghoulish Southern-style mansion even before the park opened in the 1954. The Haunted Mansion was originally seen as a walk-through experience, with cast members walking their guests /victims from one scene to the next as the netherworld unfolds. “Welcome fooolish mortals to the Haunted Mansion. I am your host, your ghost host. Ha, ha, ha, ha ...”
 
Meanwhile, in sports, the New York Mets beat the Atlanta Braves behind the eventual 1969 Cy Young winner Tom Seaver. At this point in this, their Cinderella season, the Mets were still in second place, 8 and a half games back. The game on Saturday was 3 hours and 14 minutes long and the Mets won 5 to 3 on 13 hits. Seaver would finish his career with 311 wins, 3,640 strikeouts and a 2.86 era in a 20-year career. In 1992, he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the highest percentage ever (98.8%).
 
As for my LA Dodgers, on Sunday they beat the Chicago Cubs 4 to 2 behind the pitching of Don Sutton winning his 14th game of the year, Pete Mikkelsen got the save. Sutton would also wind up in the Hall of Fame, selected in 1998 with a career won lost mark of 324-256.

The 1969 Pikes Peak Marathon, an annual foot race that begins at the base of Pikes Peak in Manitou Springs, Colorado, and climbs over 7,700 feet to the peak at 14,115 feet, was won by Steve Gachupin, who in his career would win the event 6 times in his 21 tries up the mountain.
 
In professional bike racing news, the World Championship was won by Harm Ottenbros in Zolder, Belgium, edging out the favorite Julien Stevens by just a few centimeters.
 
But of course, the big news, the chilling news that weekend, was the seemingly random and grisly murders in Beverly Hills and the Los Feliz district...
 
On August 9th, a hot, quiet Saturday night -- one of the killers would later comment that you could hear the sound of ice rattling in cocktail shakers up and down the Benedict Canyon -- in a home rented by Roman Polanski and his wife Sharon Tate at 10050 Cielo Drive in Beverly Hills, Wojciech Frykowski, Abigail Folger, Jay Sebring and Steven Parent and a eight and a half months pregnant Tate were murdered in violent blood bath, as bizarre, gruesome and insane slaughter of innocents that might ever occur in any dystopia. Less than two days later another grisly murder occurred in the Los Feliz district -- this time it was supermarket executive Leno LaBianca and his wife Rosemary. Killed in a similarly ghastly manner, this time a fork was used to carve the word WAR on Leno LaBianca’s stomach and left sticking out of his corpse. Authorities would take nearly four months to track down Charles Manson and his Family. And when they were arrested and prosecuted, the world discovered a terrifying mix of a counterculture gone mad and staggering mind-control. Manson, Charles "Tex" Watson, Susan Atkins, and Patricia Krenwinkel's trials ended in 1971; they were all given the death penalty, though later that was over-turned by the state of California, commuting their sentences to life in prison. Another family member, Linda Kasabian, who stood watch at the Tate house, turned states evidence and served no time.
 
Roman Polanski (The Fearless Vampire Killers, Rosemary's Baby, Chinatown, The Pianist), who was out of town, was not Manson’s target. The victims were in the wrong house at the wrong time. Manson, an aspiring singer-songwriter and an occasional friend of Beach Boy Dennis Wilson, chose the Cielo Drive house because he had once tried to get a record deal from a producer who used to live there, Terry Melcher, the son of Doris Day, and Manson knew the layout of the house. Past residents included Cary Grant and his wife Dyan Cannon, Henry Fonda, Mark Lindsay from Paul Revere & the Raiders and Candice Bergen. The final resident of the original Cielo Drive house was Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, who moved into the house in the early 1990s and built a recording studio there. The studio dubbed Pig, or sometimes Le Pig, was an allusion to the fact that Susan Atkins wrote "Pig" in Tate's blood on the front door of the house during the murders. The Nine Inch Nails ep Broken and their classic 1994 album The Downward Spiral were recorded there, as well as Marilyn Manson's debut album Portrait of an American Family. In December 1993 Reznor moved out of the house, taking with him the original front door, explaining that "there was too much history in that house for me to handle." He insists that he didn’t know about the murders when he bought the house, though I thought there was a law on the books requiring brokers to tell buyers about crimes that may have taken place in a home; the real estate term is ‘stigmatized properties.’ Then again, what do I know? In the late 1990’s the house was demolished and replaced with a new mansion and a new street address of 10066 Cielo Drive.


2009 BEST OF THE EAST BAY PARTY WAS A HUGE SUCCESS

Posted by Billyjam, August 11, 2009 02:20pm | Post a Comment
Goapele
Addressing the clearly appreciative audience that packed the outdoor area of the Oakland Museum of California on Friday night (August 7th) for the East Bay Express' (EBX) mega 2009 Best Of The East Bay Party (BOEB), Goapele perfectly summed up the positive vibe of the entire evening.

"It's so good to be in Oakland and to have something positive like this going on," sincerely spoke the hometown soul singer between songs from the Amoeba Music Main Stage, articulating what many people must have been thinking at this huge, culturally diverse and uplifting event.

Accurately subtitled Subcultures and only in its second year, the Oakland Museum staged happening has fast become an important local cultural event, this year attracting 20,000 people -- more than double the expected number, according to Jody Colley, the publisher of the independently owned and operated alternative weekly.

After making her observation, Goapele, along with her tight four piece band, launched into the artist's new song "Milk + Honey" -- a song that incidentally appeared on the 15 track Best Of The East Bay Party 2009 CD Sampler, the free CD that was being handed out at the event that free to the public.

Dais Records Unearths COUM Transmissions

Posted by Aaron Detroit, August 11, 2009 04:00am | Post a Comment

Bicoastal boutique label Dais Records --founded in 2007 by Gibby Miller in L.A. and Ryan Martin in Brooklyn -- has, in its brief history, quickly amassed (with no signs of stopping) an impressive back-catalog of instantly classic releases by artists on the obscure and dark end of the spectrum. The label’s roster of quality limited vinyl pressings includes albums by Cult of Youth and Tor Lundvall as well as the sought-after Cold Cave 12”, The Trees Grew Emotions and Died.  The label has also developed a trusted working relationship with Genesis Breyer P-Orridge which has resulted in the vinyl release of Psychic TV’s recent full-length, Mr. Alien Brain vs. The Skinwalkers, and a haunting, previously unreleased 1968(!) archival recording from P-Orridge entitled Early Worm (now out of print).  

A third upcoming team-up between P-Orridge and Dais is another archival release, entitled The Sound of Porridge Bubbling by the infamous COUM Transmissions. Its release will mark the first time most will hear COUM Transmissions, a transgressive performance art collective and band founded, in part, by P-Orridge in 1967 (whose detailed story can be read in a 1999 illustrated biiography entitled Wreckers of Civilisation by Simon Ford). By the time Sound was recorded in 1971 its members also included Cosey Fanni-Tutti and, by 1976, eventually evolved into the seminal and forever holy/unholy Throbbing Gristle.
 
The recordings went unreleased until now due to the rapid activity of the collective pushing them off as a priority.  However, now that the seal on the vault has been cracked, further COUM archive releases via Dais are also in the works .

The Sound of Porridge Bubbling (complete with  liner notes by Genesis!) will be available very soon from Amoeba Hollywood. The Hollywood store has secured several copies of this already sold-out and landmark release and will have them on hand as soon as the label gets them from the plant!
 
Other Current Dais Records Releases In Stock, Amoeba Hollywood:

Tor Lundvall - Sleeping and Hiding
Dreamy bliss in the vein of Talk Talk’s later stuff and Slowdive’s Pygmalion.

Awen - The Bells Before Dawn
American Dark Ambient/Neofolk.

Psychic TV - Mr. Alien Brain vs. The Skinwalkers
Excellent 2008 return of Genesis P-Orridge and company.

Cult of Youth - A Stick to Bind, A Seed To Grow
One of the ten essential dark music releases of 2008!

 

Amoeba Hollywood’s Goth/Industrial Section Featured New Releases Week of 8/11:



Sprung Aus Den Wolken -
Dub & Die plus CD [Klanggalerie]
Originally released in 1981 as an untitled mini album, this was the first release by the German Avant-garde/Industrial/Post-Puink group that was once a member of the "Geniale Dilettanten" movement. Like a more structured early Einstürzende Neubauten. Expanded deluxe release with a set of bonus tracks.

Les Paradisiers – More Tales From The Garden
LP + Digital Download [Disques de Lapin]
Thomas Nola
and O Paradis collaboration! Dark, uneasy and psychedelic trips through the duo’s exotic and anachronous universe, where humid locales not only house jungle birds and cats, but also early 20th Century European speakeasies hosting American Vaudeville and Spanish Cabaret acts with 1980’s Goth sensibilities.



In Next Week, Amoeba Hollywood:

Clan Of Xymox - In Love We Trust CD [Metropolis]
The classic darkk-wave band celebrates its 25th anniversary with the release of a brand new studio album!

also in next week...
Informatik - Arena CD [Metropolis]

Still Fresh...

Nachtmahr - Alle Lust Will Ewigkeit CD [Trisol]
L'ame Immortelle mastermind Thomas Rainer's industrial project's new album.
 
Cold Cave - Love Comes Close LP/CD [Heartworm]
Brilliant scourged synthpop with heavy currents of Joy Division / New Order in its veins. "Supergroup" featuring Wes Eisold (Give Up The Ghost, Some Girls), Dominick Fernow (Prurient) and Caralee McElroy (Xiu Xiu).

6Comm - Like Stukas Angels Fall: Retrospect 1984 -1990 CD [Kenaz]
Re-recorded album of classic tracks featuring songs from the early 6Comm period and also a few tracks from his previous work in Death in June. Electro - Folk - Classical- Martial- Experimental -- 16 great songs, including new versions of "Torture Garden" and "Carousel" with new vocal sections. Nice gold foil blocked Digipak!

Jessie Evans -
Is It Fire? LIMITED  LP/CD [Fantomette]
Former Subtonix/The Vanishing/Autonervous member finally goes solo. Features appearances by Budgie (Siouxsie & The Banshees, The Creatures) and Toby Dammit (Swans, Iggy Pop).


Coming Up...

Der Blutharsch - Everything is Alright! LP [SOON!]
Death In June - Black Angel Live! Picture Disc LP+CDEP [September 8]
Black Tape For A Blue Girl – 10 Neurotics CD featuring Brian Viglione of The Dresden Dolls [September 22]

(In which we mix up something good.)

Posted by Job O Brother, August 10, 2009 08:28pm | Post a Comment

Yum!

Today I’ve been doing one of my favorite things: making a mix-tape. Of course, I’m not using any tape in this process, but somehow saying “mix cd” feels awkward. Much like saying “dump Coke” and “poop shoulder” – those are also awkward to say.

Anyway, crafting a playlist for a pal is one of my great joys. I don’t have much free time these days, what with my stupid ol’ grown-up lifestyle, but I used to make mix-tapes for people at the drop of a hat. The most casual of relationships could be an excuse.

“What are you doing, Job?”

“Making a mix-tape.”

“For who?”

“A guy from the bakery.”

“What guy?”

“…The baker.”

“Oh. You’re friends with the baker? The old dude? Isn’t he, like, half deaf?”

“Is he? I dunno. I only just met him yesterday. Well, I mean, I saw him. Baking... things. I didn’t really talk to him. But there was music playing in his bakery – some Sarah Vaughn – so I thought I’d make him a mix of cool jazz and vocalists and maybe even throw in some early French cabaret…”

And so it goes.

A good mix-tape isn’t just an assortment of rad songs, though they’re the meat of it. I’m of the opinion that truly neat-o mixes are bound together by little, sonic amuse-bouches; snippets of odd, silly, or even spooky clips. A line from a movie, an excerpted musical flourish, an individual sound effect even – all these things work.

Also – and I’m starting to wish I had instructed you in the beginning of this blog to imagine these words being said by Julia Child, because I love the idea of her giving insights into making mix-tapes… Tell you what, from now on, just imagine her voice as you read, okay?


Wonderful!

Anyhow, one thing I like to include in mix-tapes are novelty songs. By this I mean songs that I don’t necessarily think the listener will love, per se, but marvel at. They might be horrid tunes, or hilarious ones, or maybe just something designed to confound the listener. My dear friend Carrie, for instance, has received many mix-tapes from me, and I always include at least one song from a musician I know she thinks she hates, all in my devoted* attempt to get her to open her heart to the artist.

What follows now is a compilation of tunes or acts that I’ve used in mix-tapes, not for their catchiness, intelligence or beauty, but simply because they add a certain je ne sais quoi. (That’s French for total, home-style radness.)




































*desperate

New 12" Electronic Releases at Amoeba Hollywood 08/14/09

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, August 10, 2009 03:32pm | Post a Comment
 

New Electro/Techno 12"s Coming This Weekend:

Cinderella Ltd
EPHEMERIS EP 12"
ARPIAR006

Fresh off the label headed by RARESH and RHADOO comes this techno chugger EP. The first track hits like a techno track, but is mellowed by an almost lullaby in the background. On the flip is a loopy house cut, begging to be toyed with and layered...a groover!    


Kenny Larkin

SKETCHES EP-SHLOMI ABER 12"
BAO018

KENNY & SHLOMI ABER both drop a mix of "SKETCHES." KENNY's is pure techno, with amazing drum progressions and a hypnotic lead that spans 10 minutes of funk. ABER's version is tougher with a phat bassline, a jazzy rhythm, and a snare infused shuffle.
    

Fort Knox Five RADIO FREE DC RMX #8 12" FKX021

Le Professeur Inlassable AKILEUS 7" IN101  

Lorett Fleur YOUR BEST FRIEND 7" FVR030

Time & Space Machine CHILDREN 7" TIRK047   

Justice THE CROSS DLP BEC5772110

Justice D.A.N.C.E. 12" BEC5772071

Justice D.A.N.C.E. REMIXES 12" BEC5772130

Justice DVNO REMIXES 12" BEC5772317

Justice PHANTOM II 12" BEC5772169

Justice vs Simian WE ARE YOUR REMIX 12" TENTDJ505

New House/Disco 12"s Coming This Weekend:

A Mountain Of One

BONES EP 12"
AMR06

The first single to be lifted from their album INSITUTE OF JOY, this is a groovy indie meets leftfield dance EP with a strong vocal from ZEBEN and two remixes (in addition to the original) from NY's HOUSE OF HOUSE and WAY OF ANCIENTS (aka THOMAS BULLOCK of MAP OF AFRICA, RUB-N-TUG).

Chamboche
IPSO FACTO 12"
UTS001

The debut on JISCO MUSIC spinoff UNDER THE SHADE (releasing original tracks from new and old talent in the disco underground). Funky cosmic disco cuts influenced by TODD TERJE and AME. Along with the original you get a PETE HERBET REMIX and a booty shaking REVENGE remix of "FEVERISH."

Mutron ALONE (RONNY & RENZO RMX) 12" KKFR74004

Ronny & Renzo BIG SMACK AND FLIES 12" KKFR74003

Ronny & Renzo ME, MYSELF, GOOD RMX 12" KKFR74005

Brett Johnson TEMPTATION & LIES RMXS 12" CYN035

Calvin Harris READY..FAKE BLOOD 12" 88697572101

Face NEEDIN U-WADY & DORY REMIXES 12" 12C2Y120

Fusion FUSION ONE-SIDED WHITE VINYL 12" FUSION01

Moguai ZYVOX 12" MAU5019

Oliver Koletzki HYPNOTIZED-FORMAT B 12" SVT034

Richard Grey SUCH A SHAME 12" EGO1796

Sisters Love GIVE ME YOUR LOVE DLP SJRLP133

Tunes Collector GOOD TRY 12" CS04

Uptown Funk Empire EMPIRE STRIKES..LP SOULABLP001    



New Dubstep/Jungle 12"s Coming This Weekend:

El Rakkas
SEAS OF DISEASE 12"
LODUBS1209014 

Two dubwise tunes coming to you from Austria. The title track is a techy, epic track, while B-side "I & I" is a much more chill track (reminiscent of some of STEREOTYP's work) with a rootsical male vocal & snippets of female vox.  


Geiom
CAVE RAVE 12"
BRK012

The Second Weekend in August, 1969 ... Part One

Posted by Whitmore, August 10, 2009 11:38am | Post a Comment
I wonder if anything significant about this past weekend will be remembered in 40 years time, other then Sonia Sotomayor being sworn in as a U.S. Supreme Court Justice and maybe Tiger Woods’ unbelievable play at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. This weekend back in 1969 is definitely remembered for a variety of odd and groovy and trivial and horrifying reasons.
 
In the summer of 1969 I was living carefree at 4200 Franklin Avenue in Los Angeles near Griffith Park, with my parents, grandmother, two sisters, and of course our Siamese cat Pandora and a Great Dane named Dijo who would eventually, later in the year, attack me without provocation. She was a nutty and twisted beast. And typical of August in LA, it was annoyingly hot and smoggy. If you didn’t live here back then you just don’t know smog-- lung scorching air under a sky colored golden toasty brown to the apex. Now that’s pollution! This was also the first summer I really started noticing music. I culled some change from my mom’s purse to buy my first single, which also happened to be #1 on the Billboard charts this weekend in 1969, and would be for six consecutive weeks -- "In the Year 2525 (Exordium and Terminus)" by Zager and Evans. In the UK the #1 song was "Honky Tonk Women" by the Rolling Stones, which has noticeably survived the tastes of time better then “2525.” The #1 album in the US was the self-titled second album by Blood, Sweat & Tears. Earlier in the year in March it was briefly at the top of the charts, but with three successive Top 5 singles, it returned once again to the number one position. In 1970 it would win the Grammy Award for Album of the Year.  
 
Also this weekend 40 years ago, the Beatles posed for one of their most iconic images-- the Abbey Road album cover shot of the George, Paul, Ringo and John at the zebra crossing on Abbey Road. They were mostly done working on their newest album and, having applied the last overdubs that morning to the longest track, "I Want You (She's So Heavy)," photographer Iain Macmillan was given ten minutes to get the cover photo done. At 11:35 am on Friday, August 8, 1969, the image was shot. Of course, when the album was released in September, the cover art only fueled the rumors and speculation that Paul McCartney had indeed died in a car crash in 1966 and all the symbolic references only confirmed the sad fact.

The cover image was said to represent Paul’s funeral procession, with a bare-foot Paul as the corpse and out of step, while the white Volkswagen parked near the walkway with the license plate reading 28 IF meant Paul’s age if he had lived. Of course, McCartney was 27 and the VW Beetle belonged to a neighbor who lived across the street from the studio. After the album came out, the license plate would be swiped several times. Later, in 1986, the VW was sold at an auction for $23,000 and is currently on display at the Volkswagen Museum in Wolfsburg, Germany. By the way, to completely geek out on useless information, the man standing in the background on the right side is Paul Cole (1911- 2008), an American tourist completely unaware of being photographed until he saw the album several months later.
 
Meanwhile, out here on the west coast, the heir apparent to the Beatles as the greatest band in the land, Led Zeppelin, was touring all over Southern California. On the 8th they played in San Bernardino at the Swing Auditorium. Jethro Tull was the tour's main support act, but a local band, The Caretakers, had the opportunity to open the show. Zeppelin’s set list included: "Train Kept a Rollin'," "I Can't Quit You Baby," "Gotta Keep Moving," "Dazed and Confused," "White Summer / Black Mountainside," "You Shook Me," "How Many More Times" and a medley which included "Lemon Song," "Schooldays," "Hideaway," and "Hail Hail Rock 'N' Roll." The next night Led Zeppelin played at the Anaheim Convention Center and on Sunday they played down in San Diego at the Sports Arena.
 
In Las Vegas at the International Hotel, Elvis Presley was playing two shows a night all weekend long, the dinner show at 8:15 and the late show at midnight.
 
On the east coast, performers at the annual Schaefer Music Festival in New York’s Central Park at the Wollman Skating Rink included Gordon Lightfoot with Tom Paxton on Friday night and Herbie Mann on Saturday with Roy Ayers and the brilliant and inimitable guitar genius Sonny Sharrock, who always claimed he was "a horn player with a really fucked up axe."
 
Also in Manhattan, Zorba closed at the Imperial Theater after 305 performances.
 
On television that weekend in 1969, guests on the David Frost Show included actor James Mason, poet Allen Ginsberg, artist Peter Max and The Beach Boys. On Saturday night, The Johnny Cash Show from The Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, and one of the most popular shows on the air, had comedian Soupy Sales along with singers Diana Trask, Pat Boone and Tom T. Hall.
 
On the cover of the August 8th issue of Life Magazine was the classic photograph of the American flag planted on moon; the moon landing had just occurred two weeks earlier. Articles included “Down to the Moon...And the Giant Step” and “A GI's Long Last Month in Vietnam.” 
 
The August 9th edition of Rolling Stone magazine, #39, featured a cover story of the Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones, who died the previous month from what a coroner's report confirmed as "death by misadventure," noting his liver and heart were heavily enlarged by drug and alcohol abuse.
 
In the Sunday Times Magazine for August 10th, the cover and centerfold displayed the famous "mirror" photo of astronaut Buzz Aldrin’s space helmet; the accompanying article was entitled "From Blast-off to Splashdown."
 
More to come, the weekend is only getting started ...

Novelty rap and the harsh realities of adolescence -- Freddy Rap and other strange happenings of 1987

Posted by Eric Brightwell, August 10, 2009 10:44am | Post a Comment
Back in 1987 and '88, before Chucky and the Leprechaun came along and divided the loyalties of urban cineastes along racial lines, Freddy and the hip-hop community were hand in metal-clawed glove. It was the year Nightmare on Elm Street 3 was released. Why did Freddy rap occur then and not sooner? There had been a building sense of unease for several years, as evinced in Rockwell's 1984 hit "Somebody's Watching Me" and Dana Dane's 1985 hit "Nightmares." It was the climax of the Cold War, after all. Nightmare on Elm Street 3 was widely viewed as the best entry in the series and was the most successful until FVJ in 2003. It may've just been me, but I also think 1987 was just a weird, wonderful year.


For me, it was full of confusion and mystery. I'd grown somewhat comfortable with my classmates over the seven years of elementary school, but in 1987, I was off to junior high. The air on the school bus was a gaseous psychotropic cocktail of aquanet and Jheri Curl. When the smoke cleared, I found myself at Jefferson Jr High, in the middle of town. The formerly all-white school, my black Social Studies teacher informed us, had been the domain of the devil and his wife (a witch) when he was growing up during segregation. I later figured out her reasons for creating that myth, but it might as well have been true to me at the time. Junior High, in contrast to the relative peace of elementary school, was a trial by fire where violence could and frequently did break out as the pecking order got sorted out. I quickly learned to never use the restrooms. There was tremendous pressure to adopt a sort of uniform with classmates scrutinizing and passing judgment on hair, jackets, shirts, pants, shoes, musical tastes, &c. Brands and styles of (generally tightrolled) jeans (something I'd honestly never thought about) were cyphers that revealed more about their wearer's personality and background than their cracking voices ever could.


Beyond Jeff's hallowed halls, the larger world also seemed to be full of of violence and mystery, both solved and unsolved. The Unabomber was doing his thing, In Chuvashia, Vladimir Nikolayev was caught by authorities in the act of cooking one of his neighbors, the Moor Murderers helped the cops find the body of someone they'd killed 24 years earlier, Korean Air flight 858 was shot down and, perhaps most disturbingly, the airwaves were briefly highjacked in an incident that became known as the Max Headroom Broadcast Signal Intrusion Incident.

At home, my mother rented Blue Velvet, a film that captured the time. She also turned me onto U2, an Irish group who dressed like they were waiting for Edward Curtis to snap their portrait. However, the band that may've most eloquently captured the bizarre tone of the times was The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu, who cut bluntly to the chase with their single, "1987 (What the Fuck is Going On?)" It's a strange world isn't it? Do you know the Chicken Walk?

Anyway, I present you with the cream of the Freddy Rap revolution of '87/'88:



MC A.D.E. - "Nightmare on ADE Street"





Stevie B - "Nightmare on Freddy Krugger Street"





MC Chill - "Nightmare on Chill Street"





Krushin' MCs - "Nightmare on Rhyme Street"



 Gregory D & DJ Mannie Fresh - "Freddie's Back"


Fat Boys - "Are You Ready for Freddy?"




 DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince - "A Nightmare on My Street"


Gomez & Mari G At Travel Tips For Aztlan

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, August 10, 2009 12:44am | Post a Comment

On Saturday, August 8th, I had the pleasure of guest deejaying on Travel Tips For Aztlan on KPFK 90.7 FM in Los Angeles. Travel Tips is one of L.A.'s longest running Latin Alternative radio programs. My co-host, Mari G., and I filled in for regular hosts Mark Torres and Mariluz Gonzalez, who took a much-needed Saturday night off. Hopefully we will do more fill-in spots for Mark and Mariluz in the future, as Mari G. and I have plenty of music to share. So, what did we play? We played lots of Cumbia, both traditional and remixes. We played a boat load of Toy Selectah remixes and Bersa Discos tracks. We played music from Mexico that is sadly not out in the U.S.

Below is our set list from that night. I marked certain releases that Amoeba Hollywood currently has in stock, just in case you would like to pick up a copy for yourself.

[Hour 1]

1. Das Pop - "Underground" (Busy P Remix)
2. Quantic & his Combo Barbaro - "Un Canto a Mi Tierra" (from the Traditions in Transition CD/LP)
3. Banda de Turistas - "Un Verdadero Cajon de Madera"
4. Quiero Club - "Minutos de Aire"
5. Tontelas - "En Do" (from The Greatest Hits Of G.A.M.M. vol II)
6. Sabo & S.O.S. – "Colegiala Dub" (from the Sol Selectas #7 12”)
7. Los Angeles Azules vs. Sonidero Nacional - "Como Te Voy A Olvidar"
8. Grupo Mojado - "Tonta" (Mexican Dubwiser Remix) btw..."Mexican Dubweiser" -- Mix CD coming soon to Amoeba Hollywood!!!
9. Tzochitl Soundsystem vs. Toy Selectah - "Ay Guey" (from The Bersa Discos #5 12") (background music: Sonido Principe – "Cartagena")
10. Dj Lengua - "Cumbia Squares" (from his self-titled 12”)
11. Henry Castro - "Cumbia Colombiana"
12. Rodger Mas - "Cumbia Bonita" (from his 7” on Club Unicornio Records)
13. Devandra Banhart – "Carmensita" (Toy Selectah Raverton Remix) (background music: Poncho Kingz - "Space Cumbia" (Sonidero Nacional Remix)

[Hour 2: ]

14. Dj Panik - "Te Ves Buena" (From the Bersa Discos #3 12”)
15. Santigold - "Shove It" (Toy Selectah remix)
16. Moonra y su Batallon - "Cumbia Moonra"
17. Alberto Pedraza - "Cumbia Sampuesana"
18. La Cumbia Moderna de Soledad - "Cres que soy sexy?"
19. Wganda Kenya - "Pim Pom" (From the AfroCaribe Dance CD)
20. Pate de Fua - "Triste Historia" (background music: Pate de Fua - "Super Mercado")
21. Pate de Fua - "Recontra Aventurisma en Guanatos"
22. Ginga Snaps – "Lloraras" (from the Bstrd Boots #3 12”)
23. Nortec Panoptica Orchestra feat. Javiera Mena- "Complejo de Amor" (background music: Nortec Panoptica Orchestra - "Meet Again")
24. Villa Diamante - "Juana Molina Vs. Mashup"
25. Adanowsky - "El Idolo"
26. Bam Bam - "Sin las patas traceras"


                                                                          
                                                                                                         Mari G in front of KPFK's entrance
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       



A Few More Thoughts on Technology and Realism: Pac-Man and Surrogates Trailer

Posted by Charles Reece, August 9, 2009 10:16pm | Post a Comment
 

I gave up playing video games when I encountered the second button. I was alright with jumping, but combination moves and shit like that tended to take me out of the formal (as in Platonic) perfection of a Pac-Man or Space Invaders. If I want gritty (as in non-Platonic) realism, I'll read Bukowski, or watch a Cassavetes film. I've since played a few of these realistic "moving" games where one drives through a simulated real city, running into other cars or over innocent bystanders (other variations of this game type have the player as a superhero, vigilante, soldier, or cute creature on some ostensible quest -- e.g., killing zombies -- but they're more about just moving through a virtual environment). The only thing they add to the endless struggle (at least, ideally) of a little round guy eating dots is more detail -- the ontology remains unchanged. Pac Man already had the truth of its and the player's existence written into its elegant design. That is, it said everything that needed to be said: keep playing, desire can now be quantified by the score; the goal never changes, nor will you ever get closer to it, no matter how fast things start moving.

Speaking of existence being reduced to the score, the reknowned junkie William S. Burroughs once narrated a video game based on the writings of Edgar Allen Poe called The Dark Eye. Looks interesting, although I hear it bombed:


But back to the yellow fellow: Speed, color scheme and fruit are pretty much the only differences in its levels. The game's "progression" is a matter of pseudoindividuation: slight variation to keep the player committed to/distracted from/entertained by the standardization. The techno-realism of a Grand Theft Auto only adds more complex layers of novelty to Pac-Man, bogging the player down with data (more places to visit, more visual detail, more complex controls), keeping him or her lost in the details. If Pac Man was sort of an existential map, the purpose of which was to lead us temporarily away from life's troubles, the more realistic derivations seem to be moving us in the direction of cyberpunk dystopias, where the map (virtual reality) is just as convoluted as the mapped (old-fashioned reality), eventually rendering any distinction seemingly useless, like in David Cronenberg's eXistenZ. Most games now have to supply the player with a map, so can the possibility of getting lost "in there" be that far off? And isn't that the fantasy behind realism, to get lost within the simulated reality, to not be able to distinguish the depiction from the depicted? If reality can't be controlled, substitute its image, which (supposedly) can, or, to appropriate Theodor Adorno once again:

Reality becomes its own ideology through the spell cast by its faithful duplication. -- "The Schema of Mass Culture"

I remember a bunch of criticism directed towards the blandness of Cronenberg's design for the gaming environment in his film, that it looked too plain. However, I took his point to be Adorno's: that no matter how much a game (or movie, or any other art) allows us to fantasize about being in control over our surroundings, someone else is doing the programming that sets the rules. The technologically enhanced realism furthers the fantasy, while ultimately decreasing our (the players') control on reality. The endgame of this fantasy -- where reality itself becomes its own simulation for our avatars to play in -- is the conceit of the new Bruce Willis vehicle, Surrogates (adaped from a comic book):


An intriguing idea, even if the execution looks like standard Hollywood sci-fi cheese. I guess what I've been angling for is this: If one of our primary fantasies is being in control, then it would seem that its logical, utlimate, fantastic realm would not look like some weird alien world, or an abstract dimension of colors and shapes (such as Pac-Man or TRON), but exactly like the one we know, only without any of the risks and vicissitudes of the real deal. That's why with all the technological innovations in film production, with a near boundless potential to create increasingly bizarre (ir)realities, the fantasy genre (in which I'd put science fiction, cartoons and whatever else I've been talking about lately) has been getting more realistic. Barring the occasional fetishist, I suspect most people would have sex with a simulated human on Star Trek's holodeck, not some sentient squid creature. Rather than expanding, or questioning, the predisposed ideas wrapped up in our common conception of reality as a good fantastic yarn can do (e.g., pick one of Samuel R. Delany's books), the realistic capabilities of technology are limiting the possibilities of imagination, of counterfactual situations, to think outside the box, when it makes the fantasy look like reality.

Thus, when it comes to diversionary entertainment, Pac-Man remains for me the most virtuous example, its abstract design never letting the player forget the line between simulation and reality. It might distract us from ideological concerns, but at least it doesn't indoctrinate us.

August 9, 2009

Posted by phil blankenship, August 9, 2009 09:01pm | Post a Comment







Graffiti Vet DEMER Combines His Two Loves With New Jersey's Graffiti Comix: Amoeblog Summer Graffiti Series Part V

Posted by Billyjam, August 9, 2009 12:30pm | Post a Comment
DEMER

Amoeblog: DemeRock, or Demer as most address you, can you briefly give your history and a bit about your legendary NYC crew, The Wallnuts, for folks who may not know about you and your rich graffiti legacy?

Demer: Well, I'm originally from New York City. I started writing in the early 80's, hitting NYC subways. Then, after the city won the train wars, I retired for a few years. Then in 2001 I came back and I haven't stopped since.

Amoeblog: So starting out during the New York subway graff days is going back a while, right to the roots of NYC graf history. What year exactly did you start?

Demer: i must have startedDemer around 1982.

Amoeblog: Wow! And you still actively go out and paint! I know one time about two years ago I went out with graffiti photo-journalists Jim and Karla Murray, who were shooting you and your work as you painted on a Sunday, which you told me was a regular day for you to go out and do your art at various spots. How often do you do graffiti now-- every Sunday?

Demer: When I was hitting trains it was an everyday thing. We lived it back then-- from when you got up in the morning until you went to bed. Sunday was, for some reason though, a big graff day for a lot of people.

Gremlins TONIGHT at the New Beverly Cinema!

Posted by phil blankenship, August 8, 2009 08:59am | Post a Comment


Saturday August 8

25th Anniversary!


Joe Dante's
Gremlins


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


August
August 15 Halloween II (1981)
The Nightmare Isn't Over - First screening of a BRAND NEW 35mm print!

August 28 & 29 Evil Dead Marathon
All Tickets $10. One Ticket Admits You To All Three Films!

The Evil Dead (1981) 7:30pm

Evil Dead 2 (1987) 9:30pm

Army Of Darkness (1992) 11:30pm

September
September 5 The Entity (1981)
There is no escape from something you cannot see...

R.I.P. Willy DeVille

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, August 7, 2009 07:50pm | Post a Comment

The former frontman of Mink Deville passed away yesterday from recently found pancreatic cancer; he was 55. Making his initial splash with Mink Deville during the mid/late 70's in the early days of the CBGB's scene. The band, like many of their contemporaries, got lumped in with the then-fashionable punk scene.  For Mink Deville this was especially ridiculous, as their whole schtick was about as far from the Dead Boys as you could get.

Their first LP, produced by Jack Nitzsche and called Cabretta, is an important piece of the late 70's NY puzzle. To me, it gives the listener a real street level glimpse of the time period that few other records from the era can match. Kill City by Iggy & James Williamson and Lou Reed's infamous ranting on Take No Prisoners cover similar bar sleaze territory, but Cabretta tempers all that with soothing background singers, classic pop songwriting and great percussion arrangements. Willie also brought to the mix a true believer's approach to mythmaking and storytelling that keeps songs such as "Venus of Ave. D" from falling into camp territory. I've spent many a drunken evening listening to him spin his street tough yarns on both Cabretta and its follow up, Return To Magenta, but I never acquired a taste for his more polished 80's & 90's work. "Spanish Stroll," featured on Cabretta, was a top 20 UK hit and his song "Miracles," featured in the Rob Reiner film the Princess Bride, was nominated for an Academy Award. Willy even performed it at the awards ceremony.  His live performances were legendary, pleading on his knees and pouring his soul into heartbreaking ballads.

Although his stateside career never broke big, in Europe his career was quite healthy-- even if his decades of heroin abuse weren't. With a reputation second only to Johnny Thunders, Willy indeed lived the life he sang about. Drugs, suicides and broken marriages paved over much of his intense life. In fact, he was the person that had to identify Johnny Thunders' body in New Orleans, as he was the only person in town who knew him. There's some excellent interviews regarding Johnny's death in the Thunders documentary Born To Lose. It seems that life had, in recent years, picked up for Mr. DeVille. But, upon preparations for Hep C treatments, a nasty bit of pancreatic cancer was found and it only took a couple of months to take him out...


AMOEBA MUSIC HIP-HOP WEEKLY ROUND UP: 08:07:09

Posted by Billyjam, August 7, 2009 03:24pm | Post a Comment


Amoeba M
kool keith lost masters collectionusic San Francisco Hip-Hop Top Five: 08:07:09 - c/o Luis


1) Kool Keith Lost Masters Collection (Dmaft Records)

2) Solillaquists of Sound No More Heroes (Anti/Epitaph)

3) Poison Pen The Money Shot (Gold Dust Media)

4) Dorrough Dorrough Music (E1 Entertainment)

5) Dudley Perkins Holy Smokes (1 AM APPROACH)

Classic Hip-Hop Reissue of the Week:
Marley Marl In Control Vol. 1 (Traffic Entertainment)

Thanks to Luis, the hip-hop buyer at Amoeba Music San Francisco, for this week's top five, which includes in the number one slot the brand new triple CD release from Kool Keith, Lost Masters Collection. The record dropped on the Ultramagnetic hip-hop living legend's own Dmaft Records this past Tuesday. This 3 disc set (50 songs in total) is a must get for fans of the veteran, prolific, freaky-minded emcee. Also just released this past Tuesday is the full-length from popular Dallas native Dorrough, who previously scored anti no more heroesa hit with the song "Do Tha Muscle" as a member of the group Prime Time Click. Simply titled Dorrough Music on E1 Entertainment, the new album features the hot summer 2009 radio/club song and riding anthem "Ice Cream Paint Job" (see video below).

Amoeba Berkeley Crosses The Bridge To Rock Your Pants Off!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, August 7, 2009 11:20am | Post a Comment
By Spenser Cooper Russell-Snyder

This year's Amoebapalooza was yet another all out bash, but this year we joined the SF store at The Mezzanine for a gigantic morsel of audible chaos. The Berkeley store brought the rock this year, starting
with the ethereal and revving up the noise with each following act.

amoebapalooza 2009

First up for the Berkeley store was Stormy King and The Mad Switch. Plucking her 12 string acoustic guitar, Stormy and mad-switcher Matt opened the night with a great mix of electro-acoustic soundscapes.
With beautiful and almost eerie vocals, Stormy captivated the crowd and got us ready for the rest of the evening.

amoebapalooza 2009

After a San Franciscan band, B.B. & The Bop Guns hit the stage. The three-piece switched instruments with each song, yet was consistent in their blues-inspired garage rock. Headed up by Amoeba's Brenden, the band flooded the audience with cool attitude and hip songs to match.

amoebapalooza 2009

Next on the Berkeley roster was the group Erica Jong, which featured buyer Marty Dowers and his sister Danielle. With the Dowers siblings locked in, the band freed everyone's mind with odd meters and a combo including violin, keys, guitar, bass and drums.

BEST OF THE EAST BAY 2009 + OTHER BAY AREA WEEKEND EVENTS

Posted by Billyjam, August 7, 2009 11:10am | Post a Comment

Jody Colley (EBX) talks to Amoeblog about today's big event

Once again this summer weekend in the Bay Area there are a wealth of wonderful happenings, many of them free. One of the biggest events is, of course, the mega, must-attend East Bay Express' (EBX) big annual Subcultures souls of mischiefBest Of The East Bay Party at the Oakland Museum of California featuring the Amoeba Music Main Stage with such acts as Goapele, Souls of Mischief, 7th Street Band, C U Next Weekend, Maldroid, Fracas, and Social Unrest. The above video is of Jody Colley, the tireless publisher of the independently owned and operated weekly, taking a break from setting up for this evening's big event to talk briefly with the Amoeblog about what to expect at the event that starts at 5pm sharp today (Friday August 7th).  That's exactly when, on the Amoeba Music Main Stage, The Thrill of it All -- the first of 13 acts scheduled to play on that stage -- will prompty begin. Social Unrest, the closing act, will hit the stage at 11pm for their half-hour punk rock set.

Same as last year's party, Amoeba Music will again have a booth set up (stop by and say "hi" to Naomi S. and the rest of the Amoeba crew) where you can spin the wheel of fortune and win goodies and get free stuff. But that is just the tip of the iceberg at this event, which, as Jody says in the above interview, is expected to draw 10,000 people. The diverse mix of entertainment includes a Kids Zone, Gearhead Garage, Professional Contact Sports, plus much more in the museum's outdoor garden area. Of course, the Oakland Museum's exhibits -- alone worth the trip -- are also all open to the public. As Jody stresses, since a lot of people are expected to be converging on the big, free party (especially after word about how dope last year's party at the same venue was), try to get there earlier rather than later to ensure admission and leave your cars at home (valet bike parking provided).

FILM DIRECTOR JOHN HUGHES DIES SUDDENLY TODAY AT AGE 59

Posted by Billyjam, August 6, 2009 04:30pm | Post a Comment
Trailer for John Hughes' Sixteen Candles starring Molly Ringwald

John Hughes, the filmmaker responsible for (to name but a few) such 1980's films as Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, Weird Science, Some Kind of Wonderful, She's Having a Baby, and Ferris Bueller's Day Off (all available on DVD at Amoeba), died earlier today after suffering a sudden heart attack during a walk this morning in Manhattan. He was only 59. Read the full report here.


Weird Science trailer

Ben Chasny of Six Organs of Admittance Chats

Posted by Miss Ess, August 6, 2009 02:37pm | Post a Comment
Ben Chasny is the man, the myth from Drag City guitar fest Six Organs of Admittance. Sounds like the making of his latest record, Luminous Light, out August 18, was some seriously risky business, what with the Turkish prison-style atmosphere and all! Check out our correspondance below:


Miss Ess: What music did you hear in your house when you were growing up, before you had a choice? Do you think this music had any influence on you?

Ben Chasny: The Rolling Stones - Tattoo You. Well, I have a crazy tribal backplate, so yes.

ME: When did you pick up the guitar?

BC: When I realized it was a lot easier to play like that than when it was lying on the ground (waa waaaa).

ME: When and how did you start writing songs?

BC: When I was 3. I wrote a song called "The Futility of the Rattle" inspired by Sartre. I've tried to simplify things since then.

ME: How has living in Seattle as opposed to the Bay Area influenced your latest batch of songs?

BC: Well, I can still look California here but feel Minnesota. Or is it the other way around?

ME: What made you ready to move away from a mostly guitar-based sound for this album?

BC: I loaned my guitar to an albino 5 year old from El Salvador that used to be my cook and he kept it for 5 months longer than he promised, right when i was supposed to do raging guitar overdubs that sounded like John McLaughlin, so I had to have some folks do them on viola and flute instead.

ME: Where was your new album recorded? Who produced it and what was the concept behind the production style, if any?

BC: Randall Dunn both produced and recorded it. His style is somewhere between Dirty Harry and When Harry Met Sally, but more Turkish prison style. There were always mafioso types coming in and out. None of them had any guitars to borrow.

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

BC: I'm partial to my custom made crazy ass distortion pedal that my friend Bill Skibbe made for me. Bill does sound for Shellac.
     
ME: What song describes your life right now?

BC: "Old And In The Way" by Old And In The Way.

ME: What's an album you love that you think more people should hear?

BC: The Cosmos Soundtrack.

ME: What records have you been listening to lately?

BC: Lots of Cakekitchen, Thomas Khoner, Bruce Springsteen, Flower Corsano Duo and Master Musicians of Bukkake.

ME: Who would you have on a bill with you if you could choose any bands, regardless of time and space?

BC: Moondog, Popul Vuh and Hendrix.
     
ME: What has been your best find at Amoeba?

BC: I'm sure I'm forgetting some, but off the top of my head: This killer Hermann Nitsch 8 cd box set, used, and Bo Hansson's Music Inspired by Watership Down for $1.99. Oh yeah, and A.N.P.s Ultrasonic Action, which I had sold years before and wanted back.

ME: Thank you for your time.

The evolution of the music video, part II (1950s - 1960s)

Posted by Eric Brightwell, August 6, 2009 01:45pm | Post a Comment
As persuasively and incontestably argued in The evolution of the music video, part I  (1890s - 1940s), the music video began not in the '80s, as is often wrongly assumed, but the '90s... the 1890s (if we accept the basic concept of videos being one stand-alone work of one song/one visual). From the humble sound experiments at the dawn of the celluloid age through the artistic flowering of Soundies, many musical promos were created of high historical and artistic importance. In the 1950s and '60s, videos moved from bars and clubs to the living room, as television became the new venue for music promotion.

Cineboxes, Scopitones and Color-Sonics
According to the Quixotic Internet Accuracy Project, the term "music video" was coined by DJ (VJ?) J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson in 1959. That year, the Cinebox hit the scene, essentially following in the footsteps of Soundies by manufacturing videos for what was essentially a jukebox with a visual component. In 1965, the Cinebox was re-branded the Colorama in the US. The following year it was again re-branded, this time as the Cinejukebox.


   









Scopitones followed Cineboxes, hitting the French market in 1960 and making their way to the US in 1964. The similar Color-sonics followed in 1966.

 













 

Canada was a pioneer in moving the music video from various video jukeboxes to the television. Singalong Jubilee debuted in 1961 on the CBC, 23 years before the debut of Much. In addition to featuring musicians playing in the studios, artists were also filmed on location. The show was based in Halifax. Music videos proved an ideal alternative to a punishing journey across the vast, frozen wastelands of the north just to play a song or two before returning home. Sadly, I can't find any videos from the program.

As we've now seen, music videos were around for 61 years before The Beatles got in on the act. And yet, many still insist that they invented the music video. As the Fab Four began to make studio-enhanced psychedelia that was difficult to come anywhere near re-creating on stage, they stopped touring and relied on music videos as the main way of promoting their music, perhaps giving rise to the myth of their having had a hand in the format's creation. Many of their peers followed suit, often engaging in the lighthearted shenanigans apparently so popular with English teenagers of the 1960s. The Doors, including as they did a couple of film students, were generally more dour.





































Australia, like Canada, is characterized by tiny outposts of humanity spread across an enormous, unforgiving countryside. Following the Canadians' lead, Australia did more to establish television as the venue for music videos than any other country. With the UK and US millions of miles away, the Australians ended up regularly making their own videos for songs by bands unwilling to cross the globe. By 1966, Australian bands regularly made videos for their new releases. That year, The Black Diamonds (after encountering bushfires and blizzards in their attempts to tour) became the first "country" band to sign to a major without having set foot in the capital. A year later, The Masters Apprentices made a color video, which was just showing off, because Australia successfully resisted conversion to color TV until 1975.

WHITE STRIPES, CHARLES NELSON REILLY PARODIED BY "WEIRD AL"

Posted by Billyjam, August 6, 2009 08:21am | Post a Comment



Playing the roles of both Jack and Meg White, the prolific king of music parodies, “Weird Al” Yankovic, channels the White Stripes and their song  “Icky Thump” in his latest song/video “CNR,” his tribute to the late Charles Nelson Reilly. The video, posted to YouTube, premiered a couple of days ago on JibJab.com where those interested have an opportunity to do their own basic remix of the "Weird Al" Yankovic video. 

Penderecki's Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima

Posted by Whitmore, August 6, 2009 08:15am | Post a Comment

Taking third prize at the prestigious Grzegorz Fitelberg Composers' Competition in 1960, Krzysztof Penderecki burst onto the international scene with Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima, scored for 52 string instruments. One of the most harrowing pieces of music ever conceived, Threnody is unforgiving and brutal, horrifying and captivating, solemn and catastrophic.
 
Its atmospheric dissonance engulfs the listener with tone clusters that are piercing and shrieking at an orchestra’s highest register. Originally entitled 8'37”, Threnody’s score is unorthodox and mostly symbol-based, directing the musicians to play at various vague points on their instruments or to focus on textural effects and extended techniques, like playing on the wrong side of the bridge or slapping the instrument percussively. The piece includes an invisible canon in 36 voices and an overall musical texture that is more important than any individual note. Penderecki sought to heighten the dissonant element of the piece by composing in quarter tones -- hypertonality -- creating a greater reaching elegiac mood than could be found in traditional tonality.

BACK WHEN A POETRY READING SOLD OUT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL

Posted by Billyjam, August 5, 2009 07:56pm | Post a Comment


Thanks to Tom McQuown at Amoeba Music Berkeley for schooling me on the historic night the above clip featuring the late Allen GInsberg is taken from. It was a June 11, 1965 performance at London's Royal Albert Hall and the large venue sold out all of its 7000 seats-- an amazing accomplishment for a spoken word/poetry event. In addition to Ginsberg, the performance, which was billed as the International Poetry Incarnation, attracted a wide variety of important figures at the time, including Lawrence Ferlinghetti, William Burroughs, Michael Horovitz, Tom McGrath and Adrian Mitchell. The performance was recorded by Peter Whitehead, who documented the event on film and released it as Wholly Communion, which is where the above video clip came from. Two years ago the film was released on DVD in the UK under the title Wholly Communion and & The Endless Reinvention of the 1960's, which also includes Whitehead's 1967 documentary Benefit of the Doubt.

As Amoeba's McQuown related, what was most amazing about the night was how it became such a happening, bringing together all these people in London in 1965 who never saw themselves as a collective up til this point. "It was a time when a lot of people who didn't necessarily know each other showed up at this poetry event but they started to recognize each other. They might have seen each other at other art or poetry happenings or at an early Pink Floyd show. But this night kind of solidifed things and people started to realize that they were all connected and all part of a scene," said McQuown. Not surprisingly, a copious amount of mind altering drugs, not to mention a lot of booze, was consumed that evening by those in the audience and on stage and hence some of the performances were a little sloppy. But none of that mattered for the "wholly communion" that took place that night 44 years ago.

August 5, 2009

Posted by phil blankenship, August 5, 2009 03:02pm | Post a Comment









Mad Men Season 2

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, August 5, 2009 12:15pm | Post a Comment
by Scott

mad men season 2

When a cable show starts its 2nd season, there's always a fear that it won't be a worthy successor to the previous one. There's also a hope that, because of the show being given a green light for the 2nd season, mad men season 2the show will push the envelope and try things that they wouldn't have tried in the 1st season.

Mad Men's 2nd season is every bit as good as its 1st -- in some cases, better. AMC has the best show on television: it's halfwayjackie kennedy between a miniseries and a feature film. It's lit and costumed like a feature film, but with the low story arc of a miniseries.

There are many extras in this newly released DVD set of Season 2: do yourself a favor and watch the documentaries first. There are lots of shorts on cultural events of the 60s (Jackie Kennedy's tour of the White House, the Port Huron statement, and Mark Rothko, to name a few). There are longer documentaries on feminism (spread out over 2 discs) and fashion through the entire decade of the 1960s. Commentaries, especially those by the show creator, Matt Weiner, are insightful and entertaining, but should be heard after watching each episode.

Amoebapalooza North -- The SF Bands!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, August 4, 2009 12:13pm | Post a Comment
amoebapalooza 09

Having participated once before in Amoebapalooza, our annual night of musical mayhem, rhythm and revelry, I had some idea of what to expect when I stepped through the doors of The Mezzanine on a San Francisco summer night. Without casting any dispersions on venues of the past, I was immediately impressed by the layout of the theatre, the size, the decor, and, above all, the state of the art sound system. I zipped up my green Adidas track suit and strode boldly in.

amoebapalooza 09
    
While looking forward to the entire evening of revelry, I was personally invested in two particular acts.  One of them had me feeling particularly (I'll admit) apprehensive. The other was scheduled to open the show. Let's start there, shall we?

amoebapalooza 09

After a hearty and enthusiastic welcome from our capable and well dressed hosts, W.C. Von der Berc's Cabaret took the stage with preamble courtesy of one drunken and belligerent clown. I had been enlisted to slap upright bass, a duty which I was happy to perform, doing my best to keep up with the dark carnival maelstrom that is W.C. and his Cabaret. Standards of yesteryear such as "St. Louis Blues" and "I Put A Spell On You" were given a treatment reminiscent of absinthe and anarchy, punk and pandemonium. Quite a sight to see!

Thomas Nola and O Paradis: Supergroup Paradise

Posted by Aaron Detroit, August 4, 2009 04:00am | Post a Comment

Les Paradisiers
is a musical power-marriage between American underground musician, author, and film director Thomas Nola (et Son Orchestre) and Barcelona-based Mediterranean-Neo-folk artist Demian, aka O Paradis. The duo’s first aural offspring, More Tales From The Garden, was recently released on LP with Free Digital Download Card via Nola’s own Disques de Lapin imprint. The LP features a dozen dark, uneasy and psychedelic trips through Thomas and Demian’s exotic and anachronous universe, where humid locales not only house jungle birds and cats, but also early 20th Century European speakeasies hosting American Vaudeville and Spanish Cabaret acts with 1980’s Goth sensibilities.

Tales’ atmosphere is helped along by the fact that it was birthed into one being in two very separate places-- Demian’s parts were recorded in Barcelona and Thomas’s contributions were captured in Boston, MA. Therefore, the album is also a bilingual affair, split between American English and Peninsular Spanish.

However, much like O Paradis’s collaborative efforts with the now-defunct Austrian neo-cabaret act Novy Svet, Nola and Demian are actually a logical pairing. Both artists are popular among fans of the Neofolk genre but neither of them carry or are weighted-down by any of the problematic dogma that exists within it. The pair’s main respective projects seem to strive to weave new surreal worlds out of the pieces and tatters of this one, rather then anchoring their songs in a particular part of real world history. Where many of their peers’ albums are academic in nature, Nola and O Paradis’s output is usually looser and takes itself less seriously. Les Paradisiers doesn’t stop this trend. 

On a Nola-led tune, “Don’t Be Afraid of Paradise,” a near-standard neofolk arrangement of martial drumming and samples suddenly shifts and then glides into an Exotica-swing complete with a croaking bassline and the gentle call of:

“Where are you little birds of paradise?
Doesn’t the moon get bright?
Are you stuck to the ground,
Are you in flight?
Don’t be afraid of paradise.”

By the time the subtle-but-catchy synths kick-in a third of the way into the track, it’s hard to believe Nola isn’t trying to inspire at the very least a wry grin out of the listener, if not an actual laugh.
On “Oui Oui, Je Suis un Paradisier,” Nola dryly declares, “I think I’ll dye my ascot black.” That isn’t to say Les Paradisiers is all playfulness and no bite. There is a languid cover of Death In June’s “Runes and Men” with its purposefully queasy production and uneven harmonies. On “A Little Moonglow,” the bird calls and jungle sounds that seem so impish at the beginning of the album turn ominous and the bird of paradise’s “wings are clipped.” There are also darkly blissful moments, “The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady” has Velvet Underground and Nico-Haze with a vocal melody cribbed from Nick Cave’s “Into My Arms,” whilst the slinky rhythms and sleigh-bells of “Mirame Otra Vez” are accompanied by the closing chant of the album: “We are so happy, we’re already dead.” Paradise Here and Hereafter, indeed.

More Tales From The Garden LP (+Digital Download Card), as well as catalog tiltes by Thomas Nola et Son Orchetre and O Paradis are available now from Amoeba Hollywood.

Video: Les Paradisiers Album Trailer, featuring album outro track "Ornithophilia."



Amoeba Hollywood’s Goth/Industrial Section Featured New Releases:


Cold Cave - Love Comes Close LP/CD [Heartworm] 
Brilliant scourged synthpop with heavy currents of Joy Division / New Order in its veins. "Supergroup" featuring Wes Eisold [Give Up The Ghost, Some Girls], Dominick Fernow [Prurient] and Caralee McElroy [Xiu Xiu].

6Comm - Like Stukas Angels Fall: Retrospect 1984 -1990 CD [Kenaz]
Re-recorded album of classic tracks featuring songs from the early 6comm period and also a few tracks from his previous work in Death in June. Electro - Folk - Classical- Martial- Experimental -- 16 great songs,
including new versions of "Torture Garden" and "Carousel" with new vocal sections. Nice gold foil blocked Digipak!

Black Sun Productions - Somwhere Between Desire & Despair CD [Torurette]
Awesome full-length new collaboration between
Black Sun Productions and Val Denham! Recorded live at the Transformer Festival, Biel, Switzerland, March 31, 2007!

Jessie Evans - Is It Fire? LIMITED  LP/CD [Fantomette]
Former Subtonix/The Vanishing/Autonervous member finally goes solo. Features appearances by Budgie [Siouxsie & The Banshees, The Creatures] and Toby Dammit [Swans, Iggy Pop]



In Next Week, Amoeba Hollywood:

Sprung Aus Den Wolken - Dub & Die plus CD [Klanggalerie]
Originally released in 1981 as an untitled mini album, it was the first release by this German Avant-garde/Industrial group that was once a member of the "Geniale Dilettanten" movement. Like a more structured early Einstürzende Neubauten. Expanded deluxe release with a set of bonus tracks.

Magas - Violent Arp
12" + Digital Download Code [Punch Records]
Transparent Red vinyl in special outfolder/cut cover. Limited edition of 333 hand-numbered copies. Violent Arp is exac
tly what the name implies. 6-song mini LP. Arp riffs, 808s and tough, surreal vocals with a hard rock sensibility. Dark ultra-minimal techno to vintage hard rock., Magas comes barreling toward you! Includes coupon for free mp3 download of entire album!


Still Fresh...

Nachtmahr - Alle Lust Will Ewigkeit CD [Trisol]
L'ame Immortelle mastermind Thomas Rainer's industrial project's new album.


Tor Lundvall
- Sleeping and Hiding Limited vinyl LP [Dais]
Dais is flawless! Not a bad release in the bunch! Dreamy bliss in the vein of Talk Talk’s later stuff and Slowdive’s Pygmalion.

Rome - Flowers fr
om Exile CD [Trisol]
Great New Full-Len
gth at DOMESTIC price!


Coming Up...

Der Blutharsch - Everything's Alright! LP [SOON!]
Clan Of Xymox - In Love We Trust
[August 18 2009]
Informatik - Arena [August 18 2009]
Death In June - Black Angel Live! Picture Disc LP+CDEP [September 8]
Psyclon Nine - We The Fallen [September 8, 2009]
Assemblage 23 - Spark (single) [September 22, 2009]
Suicide Commando - Die Motherfucker Die [September 22, 2009]

 

Eye On L.A And Its Lasting Impressions

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, August 4, 2009 01:10am | Post a Comment
As a youngster growing up in the late 70’s/early 80’s, I had a misconception of L.A. life. Since my reality was based on what I saw on television, Los Angeles was all palm trees with tanned blondes sailing on yachts during the day, then going to the clubs at night, mostly to enjoy female mud wrestling. Why would I have such a skewed vision of Los Angeles? Eye On L.A., of course. Eye on L.A. is Los Angeles’ longest running news segment program, and it is still on today. I feel that Will Ferrell and Adam McKay must have watch many hours of Eye On L.A. as well to have created a movie as twisted as Anchorman. In fact, check out this promo for Eye On L.A. back in 1982, which starts with the startling tale of heiress Patty Hearst, the “Slave Of The SLA,” then ends with female mud wrestling. I can’t make this stuff up.


They used go on and on about the female mud wresting so much that Phranc, former member of Catholic Discipline and All-American Jewish Lesbian Folksinger, once wrote a song about Eye On L.A. called “Female Mud Wresting.” I always remember the line in the song, “Not like Steve and Melody, I do not like female mud wrestling.” The Steve that she referenced in the song is none other than Steve Edwards, who is still in the “light news” game on Fox’s Good Day L.A. Now Phranc has her own Internet show called Phranc Talk. It’s sort of like a Mr. Rogers show, only if an All-American Lesbian Folksinger did it. Maybe she could have Steve Edwards on her show one day. In this episode, she shares her song-writing skills and her bird named Pickles.

Amoeba Hollywood's Latin Rock & Pop Top 10 For July

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, August 3, 2009 11:47pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Hollywood's Latin Rock & Pop Top 10 For July

1. Bebe-Y.



2. Paulina Rubio-Gran City Pop



3. Los Amigos Invisibles-Commercial



4. Chico Sonido-S/T

Chico Sonido Mas Discotheque teaser from Chico Sonido on Vimeo.

5. Zizek-ZZK Sound Vol.2



6. Aventura-The Last



AMOEBAPALOOZA 2009 @ MEZZANINE, SF WAS FUN FUN FUN

Posted by Billyjam, August 3, 2009 11:45pm | Post a Comment

The only regret I had after Sunday night's amazing Amoebapalooza at the Mezzanine in SF was that I hadn't managed to attend any of the previous years Amoebapaloozas. Amoebapalooza is what we call the yearly concert event in which Amoebites (Amoeba staffers) get up on stage and perform their music, some with officially formed bands and others with groups that form primarily for this anticipated annual event.  

Amoebapalooza North '09, which combined Amoebites from both the SF and Berkeley stores, offered amazing musicianship from a richly diverse array of artists who not only killed it on stage but did so in tightly paced, abbreviated sets, and with the quickest set changes between bands that I have ever witnessed.

Be sure to keep an eye on the Amoeba website, including the Amoeblog, and also the Amoeba Flickr site, over the next several days for more reviews and photos of Sunday night's event. Everyone who attended this year's blast was clearly having a really good time! "This year by bringing the two stores together we stepped up our game and it really paid off," commented Amoeba marketing/promotions point person Naomi, who was instrumental in putting on Amoebapalooza, scheduling it at the wonderful downtown San Francisco nightclub. "Having it this year at an excellent venue like Mezzanine, with its top notch sound system really helped showcase the talent that we have at Amoeba," she noted.

(In which Job enjoys a field trip.)

Posted by Job O Brother, August 3, 2009 03:37pm | Post a Comment

Yesterday, the boyfriend decided to surprise me with a spontaneous field trip to The Museum of Jurassic Technology, located in Culver City. It was my first time there, even though I’d been pining to attend for over four years, and it was not a disappointment.

It’s hard to explain how lovable the Museum is to people who’ve never been, because one doesn’t want to spoil its mystique and novelty, and explaining its merit to those who have experienced it is hardly necessary, assuming, as I do, that everyone is charmed by it. (I suppose there could be some whimsy-less, emotional cripples who wouldn’t appreciate it, but I’d like to think they have no interest in either my blog or my company. Humph!)

If your idea of a dream house is The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland...


...if your idea of a fashion magazine is The Delineator...


...or if your shopping choice for bric-a-brac is Necromance on Melrose, then The Museum of Jurassic Technology is your idea of fun day out.

Highlights for me were an appropriately tiny collection of works by Hagop Sandaldjian, the Egyptian-born violinist-turned-microminiaturist, whose sculptures are displayed at the Museum, each situated on the head of a pin (see picture below), with a magnifying glass poised to illuminate for you each impossibly small figure.


Also deeply gratifying was their exhibit of artifacts culled from Los Angeles area mobile homes and trailer parks, replete with gloomy dioramas of various homes-on-wheels set against urban nightscapes. Oddly shaped cases, reminiscent of coffins, showcased vintage perfume bottles, tatting, and other knick-knacks.


I was seduced, too, by the Delani/Sonnabend Halls, which told the stories of operatic singer Madelena Delani, who was (likely) afflicted with Korsakoff's syndrome, a condition which handicapped her short-term memory; how her life touched that of neurophysicist, Geoffrey Sonnabend, is revealed subtly, and we continue to learn more about this man’s work, devoted as it became, to understanding why humans “forget,” culminating in his three volume work: Obliscence - Theories of Forgetting and the Problem of Matter.


Pictured here? Madelena Delani & Geoffrey Sonnabend

That personal research yields little to prove the existence of such people remains moot when considering the delight their tales bring. While it is folly to whole-heartedly trust that everything you witness at the Museum is factual, it does not stop its complex and diverse exhibits from effusing a general radness.

It’s not surprising, sadly, that the Museum is in dire straits, financially speaking, and I encourage all of you who have never been or who love it already to investigate its treasures. And invite me along! I’m ready to go back already.


Yes, please!

Upon leaving, I had a taste for two things: Indian sweets, which I acquired at a shop a mere block away from the museum, and art songs, often called lieder (which is simply German for “songs”).

While there can be no definitive definition of what constitutes an art song, many works within the Romantic-era of classical music qualify. As a general rule of thumb (or in some countries, the forefinger and one-half the pinky) an art song is a composition for voice, usually solo, accompanied most often by piano (but could be another instrument), though in some cases a chamber ensemble is used.


While composers as early as Mozart and Beethoven wrote material in this vein, most consider the golden age of the art song to begin with (and be embodied by) Franz Schubert, who wrote over 600 of the suckers, with its tradition famously continued in the likes of Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms, and Hugo Wolf.

Amazing variations on this craft occurred later when more modern composers such as Richard Strauss (a personal favorite) and Gustav Mahler, among others, wrote songs that were accompanied by a symphony orchestra.


(You David Lynch fans may recognize the above music as being featured in the film Wild At Heart. The piece, entitled Im Abendrot, is by Richard Strauss and totally gives me a boner in my heart.)

Again, compositions similar to this were written throughout time, making defining an art song somewhat elusive. It’s best, I think, more sensible to determine what is an art song rather than what isn’t. I also think it’s more sensible to wear shoes on the outside of the body, rather than inside. I’m a very uptight individual.


As we departed the wondrous Museum of Jurassic Technology, I cranked up a recording of some songs by American composer Amy Beach.


"What up niggaz and niggettes -That crazy-Ass-Beach is back in the motherfuckin' hizzouse!"

Born (perhaps unwisely) in 1867, Beach was a child prodigy, composing music as early as four years old. (I mean, dude – what was I doing at that age? Like, stealing chocolate chips and pretending my sandbox was a “fancy bar” of which I was the owner, overlooking its occupants with the aid of my magic powers, ability to fly, and pet Pegasus. [The bar was doing well until one day, a centipede was spotted in the middle of it, causing myself and the bar’s imaginary occupants to flee, never to return. It languished as wild grasses claimed it and I discovered reruns of Johnny Sokko and his Flying Robot.])



Contrary to the societal norm, Amy Beach was not only a composer, but a woman, and no amount of protest seemed to convince her to change this. In fact, her husband encouraged her to switch her focus from performing piano to composing her own work. She eventually stopped writing in 1944, when her death made it too cumbersome and janky.

I couldn't, unfortunately, find recordings of Beach's art songs online that I felt did them justice. Instead, here's some of her other efforts:






Now then, why not take a trip down to Culver City to see the aforementioned Museum? Why, here’s a link to the Museum’s hours of operation – how convenient! And seriously folks, invite me along!

New 12" Electronic Releases at Amoeba Hollywood - 08/07/09

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, August 3, 2009 02:11pm | Post a Comment
 

New Electro/Techno 12"s Coming This Weekend:

burns ii turbo ep

Burns
TURBO-JOKERS OF THE SCENE RMX 12"
TNT003

Prepare your speakers for this monster. It's rave meets fidget meets gnarly electro grit, like tetris in a blender. JOKERS OF THE SCENE drop their own synth driven remix, and the frenchy guitar laden "HEARTBEATS" finishes off the record. Play it loud! Hot one off MYLO's label 2112.



Simian Mobile Disco

AUDACITY PT.1 12"
WEBB224T 

Indie electro kingpins SMD return with a new single featuring vocals from CHRIS KEATING of YEASAYER. This two tracker features the "SMD SPACE CAVE VERSION" and the "NAUM GABO REMIX." Smashing soundclashs and manic synths are the order of the day!

Junkie XL COSMIC RAVE EP 12" COSMICRAVE001 

N* Grandjean WAKE UP EP 12" ZZZUS120036 

Parker 
ARTIST SERIES 9 12" GG17 

Bangers R Mashed 
PLATE 7 12" BANG08  

Deadstock 33's 
DRIFTING ON A WAVE 12" ISIT007 

Dr. Strafe 
VICE CITY 12" FSR071 

Glass Candy 
GETO BOYS 12” IDIB007  

Invaders, The 
SPACING OUT 7" JM069  

Marvin Gaye 
EDDIE SCISSORS EDITS 12" ES1202 

Normal, The 
TVOD & WARM LEATHERETTE 7" MUTE1 

Simian Mobile Disco 
AUDACITY PT.2 12" WEBB224TR 

Various 
PRODUCER 2 PART 3 7" FC706



New House/Disco 12"s Coming This Weekend:


Bernard Badie
MOVE TO THE BEAT 12"
MOJUBA013  

Serious Chicago house action w/this re-edit of a rare and out of print cut from LARRY HEARD. The flip is fresh from his studio, a jacking track which combines old school flavor w/new school vibes. Let's jack the house!




Cassius
YOUTH SPEED TROUBLE... 12"
CASS001 

New anthem from CASSIUS that will drive the hipsters wild. Rocky electro wonkiness, with a cover of DAVID CROSBY's "ALMOST CUT MY HAIR" and an alternate version of YSTC that lays down a rave funk groove. A-TRACK, BOYS NOIZE, BUSY P, CROOKERS, DIPLO, and JUSTICE all have been droppin this!

Axwell GIMMIE LUV REMIX 12" BYE003

Black Disco 
SOFT ROCKS EP 12" BD004

Guy Robin 
CRY A LITTLE 12" MEMORY001 

High Five 
PARTY LIFE 12" MX020

Manyus & Dario Guida 
STARDUST 12" HYS1802

Michael Jackson 
BROWN BROTHERS EDITS 12" MJAK1201

Reggie Dokes 
SPECTACLE OF DEEPNESS 12" WPH004 

Rick Wade 
INTELLIGENCE 12" LAID01 

Rufdug 
DIRTY REMIXES 12" PPFSPECIALOPS01 

Runaway 
POLTERGEIST 12" OTP001 

Samuel L Session 
BIG BAD DRUM EP 12" BAO019

Stephen Beaupre 
ACHAEMENID EP 12" WAG053 

Various 
AIRTIGHT IN SESSION VOL. 1 12" AIR038 

Various 
SHOTGUN EDITS (LATIN DISCO) 12" SG1001

Various 
ZE 30:ZE RECORDS STORY 79-09 DLP STRUT047LP



New Dubstep/Jungle 12"s Coming This Weekend:


Goth Trad
DARK PATH 12"
MEDI015

An exercise in dub technology, with thick slabs of bass overlaid with Eastern melodies and mad fx, while percussion & snares are treated with heavy delays. The flip is just as involving, with stabbing wind samples and off-kilter high hats over undulating bass.



Martyn
ELECTRIC PURRING 10"
AUS09LTD10  

Limited 10" of "ELECTRIC PURRING" with SIDESHOW's "TELEVISION" w/CORTNEY TIDWELL on the flip. MARTYN pulls at our heartstrings with this potent cut, emotive and melodic dubstep at its best. Things get dreamy and more indie sounding on the flip, w/dreamy vocals over spacey disco-esque sounds.

Jack Sparrow CHASE 12" TEC030 

Lee Perry 
EXERCISING (HORSEPOWER PRO REMIX) 12" ONUDP53

Mount Kimbie 
SKETCH ON GLASS 12" HF023

Dogs & Cats

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, August 3, 2009 10:20am | Post a Comment








2009 US DMC Finals: 1) DJ Shiftee 2) Mista B 3) DJ Shmeeze

Posted by Billyjam, August 2, 2009 01:23pm | Post a Comment
2009 DMC US FINALS: SANTOS HOUSE, NYC AUGUST 1st

dj shiftee
1st - DJ Shiftee

2nd - Mista-B

3rd - DJ Shmeeze

Yesterday's DMC 2009 US Finals at Santos House in New York CIty was a great experience for me. The winner was DJ Shiftee from New York; second place was San Francisco DJ Mista B; and third place was DJ Shmeeze from Fountain Valley in Southern California.

But I must say, beyond these three official winners, all of the DJ's that participated yesterday were winners as far as I am concerned. I really enjoyed everyone's routines. And despite the hiccups that happened such as humming coming out of the sound system, or simply a DJ's needle skipping, the event was a big success. I may have arrived at the battle a little late because of traffic congestion on the wack ass New Jersey Turnpike, but I still got there in time to witness the turntablist heaven that was this year's DMC finals.

And once again DJ Red Alert hosted the battle and Lord Finesse was providing the tunes. It was my first time hearing Lord Finesse on the turns, and he did a pretty damn good job keeping the crowd alive during one of the breaks during the competition.  Red Alert kept the crowd laughing and hyped up just a bit throughout the night. I wonder what's in the "Poo Poo" juice he kept on drinking all night? The crowd turnout was pretty good, as I saw a lot of people from the next generation of Hip Hop heads. There were a few youngsters in their early teens in attendance as well.

Techno-Realism Killed the Videogame Star: TRON Legacy

Posted by Charles Reece, August 2, 2009 11:42am | Post a Comment
Disney premiered a concept trailer for TRON Legacy at the San Diego Comicon (click the link for high-def version). Further evidence of the destructive effect techno-realism has had on the design of fantasy:


I found the little bit of dialog telling: The fallen player yells out, "You won, okay? This is just a game!" To which Quinn (TRON's hero) replies, "Not anymore." Indeed, the game within the movie has started to look more like quotidian reality rather than the beautiful design of the original fantasy.

First, compare the new light cycle crash:


to the old one:


And look how boring a dangling guy is now:


compared to back then:


Note how the cityscape of TRON Legacy:


looks more like the realworld city of TRON:


rather than a digitally enhanced improvement on something like this:


But, then again, the original movie ended on a false note of optimism, where Quinn returned from the authoritarian fantasy world of TRON into a reality that was increasingly becoming that fantasy. Maybe the more mordern-realistic design of TRON Legacy is way of showing how the fantasy and reality are merging. The fantasy becomes duller, more concrete, as reality becomes more of an image, simu

house vinyl blow out @ Amoeba Hollywood!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, August 2, 2009 01:22am | Post a Comment
 
ONLY FIVE DAYS LEFT!
HOUSE VINYL BLOWOUT AT AMOEBA HOLLYWOOD!
90'S AND ON.
GET SOME!
NEXT TO THE MAIN INFO DESK...

Purple People Covers

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, August 1, 2009 07:10pm | Post a Comment








The Dungeonmaster TONIGHT at the New Beverly

Posted by phil blankenship, August 1, 2009 03:39pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music and Phil Blankenship are proud to present some of our film favorites at Los Angeles’ last full-time revival movie theater. See movies the way they're meant to be seen - on the big screen and with an audience!


Saturday August 1

Not On DVD!


The
Dungeon Master



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


August
August 8 Gremlins (1984)
25th Anniversary! Don't get him wet, keep him out of bright light, and never feed him after midnight.

August 15 Halloween II (1981)
The Nightmare Isn't Over - First screening of a BRAND NEW 35mm print!

August 28 & 29 Evil Dead Marathon
All Tickets $10. One Ticket Admits You To All Three Films!

The Evil Dead (1981) 7:30pm

Evil Dead 2 (1987) 9:30pm

INTERVIEW WITH O.B. FROM ALL CITY IN DUBLIN IRELAND

Posted by Billyjam, August 1, 2009 10:23am | Post a Comment
 
All City Jam - Dublin, 2009 c/o Gwame

Amoeblog: How did the concept for your store come about and what is the history of it, for those who may know nothing of All City here in the heart of Dublin, Ireland's capital?
O.B: It just stems from the four elements thing really. It may seem a little dated, played out or even irrelevant to some now -- and perhaps it is -- but there was a time when hip-hop was more than rap, it was a cultural thing and the ethos of hip hop is still very important to us here. Ireland is a small country and we're kind of behind the times! So I guess we are still living in the 80s and what with the recession and doom and gloom, plus the revival of 80s electro, boogie, funk, not to mention fashion sense, it certainly seems like the 80s are back!!


Amoeblog: Having hip-hop records/CDs + graffiti supplies in the same place is the perfect match -- yet there are no others in Ireland who do it, correct? Are there other stores like yours overseas that you know of?

O.B: Right, well we cover Ireland. Like I say, it's a small country. It's not easy for us to stay afloat, so in all reality there wouldn't be much room for competition. Anyone who sets up a record shop now is insane. Overseas there is a great place in LA -- 33Third, which is a carbon copy of us (though we have been around longer!!). Me and Splyce [All City co-owner] were there in 2006 -- it was quite surreal walking into the place. We got a wierd deja vu vibe.

Amoeblog: I would imagine that specializing in vinyl with music and art supplies -- both of which can't be digitally duplicated for free -- must have ensured your longevity as a business. Has it?

O.B: Mmm, it's tough to say. We started out in a pre broadband world. Don't forget, this downloading business is hella new! Taken in context it is a millisecond -- under a decade. If you take that in a historical context, 10 years is nothing, so no one knows how this will pan out. The internet is like the Wild West at the moment but I have no doubt that that will be curtailed. One thing it has hit is CDs -- mixtapes and such -- and magazines, which kids now just don't see the point of buying. In under 5 years we have gone from selling tons of mags and mix CDs to almost none. If you talk to distributors they will tell you that is the same everywhere.