Happy Halloween!

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, October 31, 2009 01:35pm | Post a Comment


Posted by Billyjam, October 31, 2009 09:00am | Post a Comment

Forget MySpace and check out MyFace, or, rather, the art that gifted face paint artist/illusionist James Kuhn does, displayed on both his Flickr page and his Face Paint In Motion YouTube channel. The self-described James Kuhn"Artist, Face paint illusionist, Drag Queen, Performance Artist, and full time Christian" has been uploading videos of his face paint art, such as the Rocky Horror "Sweet Transvestite" themed clip above which he posted two days ago, or the brilliant Golden Girls clip (below) that he produced and uploaded six months ago.

Ever the perfectionist, Kuhn said of the Golden Girls piece at the time, "I planned on painting Sophia on my forehead! but ran out of room... I need a bigger head! I am not too happy with this one, I should have searched for better pics to use as my models. The ones I pulled up were too small and Bea was in black and white. I should not try such a big project on a weeknight! Better for Saturdays when I can play all day long and am usually more rested. I gotta get some new glasses too."

On the Three Oaks, Michigan artist's YouTube channel, which is subtitled BibleArtWork, Kuhn has an impressive 234 different videos of various face paint illusions uploaded, usually with a cool accompanying soundtrack, ranging from Bettie Page Pin Up Girl to Miss Piggy & Kermit to Dracula and many, many more.

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Posted by Billyjam, October 30, 2009 06:57am | Post a Comment
 World Series Game 2 Jay-Z & Alicia Keys "Empire State of Mind"

Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five: 10:30:09
sean price
1) Jay-Z Blueprint 3 (Roc Nation/Atlantic)

2) Fashawn Boy Meets World (Loud)

3) Sean Price Kimbo Price (Vision Mktg)

4) Del the Funky Homosapien & Tame One Parallel Uni-Verses (Gold Dust Media)

5) Sene & Blu A Day Late & A Dollar Short (Shaman Work)

Clearly Jay-Z is the king of the world, or at least of hip-hop right now. Not only is the phenomenally successful and popular artist number one (still) on the Amoeba Music chart with Blueprint 3, an album that came out almost two full months ago, and one that is doing equally well elsewhere, but last night Jay-Z along with Alicia Keys wowed the baseball world with a moving four minute performance of "Empire State Of Mind" (video above) during the World Series at Yankee Stadium. As a diehard, decades long fan & supporter of hip-hop music and culture from back when the genre was still being dismissed as a "passing fad," I found last night's well received performance another wonderful bit of validation and endorsement of a music form that I love and respect so much. In fact, so moving was last night's performance that it no doubt inspired the Yankees achieve their 3-1 win against the Phillies, which puts them at a tie, in this second game of the Series, which shifts to Philadelphia over the next three games, starting tomorrow, Saturday.

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Posted by Billyjam, October 29, 2009 04:00pm | Post a Comment
Pleasant Vallley State Prison

The Creative Process in Prison
by Aneraé "X-Raided" Brow

I am entering my fourteenth year of imprisonment in the California Department of Corrections and (so-called) Rehabilitation. The entire time, I have written songs for myself and others, as well as short stories and essays, and even a column for Murder Dog magazine and a blog on my MySpace X-Raided behind barspage. The thing that stands out in my mind, in terms of what it's like trying to be creative in this environment, is that the opportunity to do so just may be more available than in other settings. There can be a lot of solitude and isolation in prison, and for someone who knows how to utilize the lack of distractions it can be fertile ground for creativity.
I once joked to a friend that when Moses needed to think, he went up Mount Sinai and came back down with the Ten Commandments. Jesus went out to the desert and was tempted, then returned stronger. When Muhammad was stressed from the things he was seeing in his environment, he went into a cave where the Qur'an was revealed to him. All of them received their messages or strength at a time of trial and difficulty in their lives and the common denominator is that they had solitude with which to better hear the voice when it spoke to them. I joked to my friend, maybe we can utilize our solitude in order to better hear the voice as well. The voice of creativity, that is. It's all the same. All ideas come from somewhere. How do we explain that an idea just pops into our heads out of the blue?

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Posted by Billyjam, October 29, 2009 01:00am | Post a Comment
                  Betty Davis "F.U.N.K." (remastered and reissued by Light In The Attic Records)
The Black Angels
At this past weekend's WFMU Record Fair in Manhattan I ran into Josh Wright, who along with Matt Sullivan co-owns the amazing Light In The Attic Records (LITA). The music fanatical duo had trekked out from their Seattle base to set up a table to sell some of the latest releases from LITA's impressive catalog (lots of lovely vinyl) and also to give away cool freebie sample CDs.

Scroll down to see the Amoeblog interview with Josh in which he talks about some of the new and upcoming releases from the unique label known for its lovingly compiled catalog of reissues of forgotten music by such greats as Rodriguez, funk goddess Betty Davis (above), and pop-psych outfit The Free Design. LITA were featured on the Amoeblog back in May of this year when they undertook their West Coast Road Trip that included stops at Amoeba. The label also releases new music from contemporary acts, including an EP and LP from the Seattle/Tacoma pop/rock/rap outfit The Saturday Knights', Mingle, that featured the great opening track and single "45" (see video below). Another contemporary act on LITA is Austin, Texas psychedelic rock group The Black Angels.
Rodriguez cold fact
As Josh mentioned in the Amoeblog video interview below, some of the exciting new releases include the aforementioned Betty Davis and the Black Angels, seventies reggae artist Noel Ellis, keyboard/xylophone artist Emil Viklicky, 60's/70's Czech female vocalist Marta Kubisova, and the various artists release Reggae to Toronto: Soul Funk & Reggae: 1967 - 1974

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50% Off House 12"s @ Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, October 28, 2009 04:55pm | Post a Comment

The Employee Interview Pt XXII: Tarin

Posted by Miss Ess, October 28, 2009 04:12pm | Post a Comment
1.5 yrs employment
Promotions Gal

MIss Ess: What was the moment you really got into music? What were you listening to? Where were you?

Tarin: The first music memory I have was when I was in a car set in the back of my parents baby blue late 80s Mazda. I remember trying to slap my hands on my knees to the beat of the music, and most likely we were listening to Bonnie Raitt, Elton John, or The Beatles… possibly even The Judds. Those were the tapes that always seemed to be in the car when I was little. Once I figured out how to be on rhythm to a beat there was no stopping me, no one could get me to stop singing or dancing. My toes have been tapping pretty much my entire life.

Miss Ess: Whose posters did you have on your walls when you were growing up?

Tarin: I had so many posters on my walls growing up I don’t even know if I could name them all. But from what I remember; Beatles, Dave Matthews Band, Black Sabbath, Bob Marley, Michael Jackson, Hanson (I thought Zak was such a hunk!... I was also 11), typical teen dream pics, and various years of Monterey Jazz Festival posters.  

Miss Ess: What brought you to Amoeba?

Tarin: I was living in LA, going to Musicians Institute and I kept hearing about this magical place where you could find anything you wanted. And even though it was only about 6 blocks from where I was living, it took me a year and a half to finally make it in. When I walked in the first time I felt so overwhelmed and so excited I thought I was at an amusement park… but for music. I ended up spending 4 hours and way too much money but I was instantly in love.

What have you been listening to lately?

I’ve been trying to catch up on my roots, and put the bad music of the teen years behind me, and play it off as a bad social experiment gone wrong. But mostly I’ve been listening to: Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, The Cars, Mississippi John Hurt, JJ Johnson, Tommy Dorsey, Frank Sinatra, The Clash, Nick Drake, The Smiths, The Stooges, Ramblin Jack Elliott, Billie Holiday, Al Green, Van Morrison… I’ve also been mixing in some “newer” stuff like, John Legend, Fiona Apple, Damien Rice, Ray Lamontagne, and so on and so forth. No particular genre but good stuff all around.

Do you have a daily musical ritual? What is it, and what purpose does it serve?

When I wake up I like to put on either Dave Matthews Band or any soul album I’m feeling. This helps me get out of bed, and I normally end up dancing while I brush my teeth… soul should always go with the morning coffee. Then 70’s rock or anything that’s up beat while I’m on my way to work, and then I tend to slow it down with some jazz or folk when I’m on my way home… or as I like to call it “turning off the brain” after spending 8 hours replying to emails and dealing with self obsessed performers. This is pretty much my daily musical routine.

What song best describes your life right now?

Well, right now I would have to go with Fiona Apple’s “Better Version of Me,” but Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl” has always been my song.

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

Eartha Kitt’s Purr-Fect: Greatest Hits and Ray Lamontagne Till The Sun Turns Black.

Who is your favorite Beatle and why?

Ringo, the underdog.

What's the best live show you've ever seen? 

Actually it was No Doubt, Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View on July 25th, 2009. It brought me back to a good part of my teen music years. They played all the hits that made me sing out loud with my sister when we were doing the dishes after dinner growing up, and using a big wooden spoon as a microphone. It was just one of those perfect concerts where you couldn’t stop dancing for 2 hours, the band was totally together (and really seemed to be having a blast as well), and you gotta give props to any woman who can push out two babies and still jump around on stage, and do one handed pushups while singing perfectly on key.
What's been your favorite Amoeba instore?

It was Chris Isaak, hands down. He and Kenney Dale Johnson were just so nice and such a pleasure to work with. It was a fantastic show, and Chris said to me “Tarin, you are a wonderful human being,” as I snuck him out the side door … that was AWESOME!

What is the best part about working at Amoeba?

The people, and getting to do something I love every day. I mean, how many people get to do exactly what they went to school for, and be in an environment they are truly passionate about? It’s not an easy job, and it has its pros and cons, but what job doesn’t?… and Amoeba Music is a part of record store history and I get to be a part of that. It's like being a kid in a candy shop every single day.

Thanks for your time!

Horror, The Universal Language 2: The Body in Videodrome (1983) & In My Skin (2002)

Posted by Charles Reece, October 27, 2009 11:51pm | Post a Comment

Karen Conterio, founder of the in-patient "A Safe Alternative Program for the Treatment of Self-Injury" at University Hospital in Chicago, describes the average self-mutilator as intelligent and sensitive. She has low self-esteem, comes from a middle- to upper-class economic background, and began injuring herself as a preteen. Her parents are generally high-achievers who have trouble effectively communicating their feelings and often neglect their daughter's needs. -- Teen Magazine

My body is a journal in a way. It's like what sailors used to do, where every tattoo meant something, a specific time in your life when you make a mark on yourself, whether you do it yourself with a knife or with a professional tattoo artist. -- Johnny "not the face" Depp

When it comes to dealing with depersonalization disorders, David Cronenberg was ahead of the curve. He's the undisputed master of the Cartesian horror film, where the self is never wholly integrated with the body. Even his recent crime film, Eastern Promises, shows such a detachment where the Russian mob doesn't trust memory, relying instead on tattoos to signify their identity. Unfortunately for them, anyone with money can get a tattoo, Megan Fox, suburban mall punks, or an undercover cop. Therein lies the problem with trusting the body: it's too easily manipulated and controlled by external forces. As any self-flagellating monk could tell you, the surest way to sin is in reducing self to the earthly constraints of body, the locus of empty spectacle.

Where once vivisection was performed on animals just to see the parts move -- having no soul, their pain was dismissed as illusory -- Marina de Van's In My Skin vividly details the same experimental procedure when logically applied to one's own body. The film is ambiguous regarding the causes for its protagonist's condition, and instead asks if there's anything in bourgeois existence that might help her reconnect. The answer isn't positive, but there's some great, verisimilitudinous use of CGI.

Pornography is a good metaphor for this disjunct as it takes the most primal unison of mind and body, namely coitus, and reduces it to mere physical excretion. In Cronenberg's Videodrome, the ontology of self is supplanted by a porn video simulation, rendering the individuated act of sex a reproducible commodity. In one of the most memorable scenes, James Woods' body becomes a gooey VCR into which the new mass identity is inserted. Where cyberpunk suggested a lossless transference of consciousness into an immaterial, digital realm, Cronenberg shows something more horrific, the body as pure machinery being controlled by the fading analog input of a corporation -- "new flesh," as it's called in the film, or newspeak for manufactured consciousness. Even the cutter's use of self-mutilation to return some proprioceptive sense of the body is rendered ineffective by reducing pain to images in a snuff film. That's transubstantiation under capitalism.

Videodrome is available on a swell dvd by Criterion and In My Skin's dvd contains a really good short by de Van.

Next up, the other half, identity.

Part 1


Posted by Billyjam, October 27, 2009 07:40pm | Post a Comment

The bi-monthly Wax Poetics may only be up to issue number 37, but ever since it first arrived earlier this decade Wax Poetics has fast become one of the most revered music magazines out there. Everything about this magazine, from its top-notch writing and photography to its quality layout on nice glossy paper, makes it instantly clear that Wax Poetics is made out of a true love and passion for the music it reports on -- soul, funk, jazz, and of course, hip-hop from the past several decades as well as in depth reporting on select current music. Wax Poetics is the sort of magazine that never makes its way into the recycling bin like most publications do after they have been read. Instead, the 7" by 10" publication is lovingly placed forever on wax poeticsbookshelves alongside music books like Jeff Chang's Can't Stop Won't Stop or the Ego Trip Book Of Rap Lists; books that take a similarly respectful approach to their subject matter. And in addition to the magazine, Wax Poetics also runs a record label. The label's latest release was the accompanying soundtrack to the very recently released Black Dynamite -- the new spoof blaxploitation movie that was made to look like it was done in the 70's and is described by its producers as such: "African-American action legend Black Dynamite goes after 'The Man' for killing his brother Jimmy, for pumping heroin into local orphanages and for flooding the ghetto with hopped-up malt liquor."

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Posted by Billyjam, October 27, 2009 05:31am | Post a Comment
Jared Lenny Olmsted

I've been attending the amazing WFMU Record Fair for the past four years, ever since I joined the unique freeform New Jersey radio station, and the one thing that is a given at this popular annual event is that you will always spot a ton of Amoeba bags floating around the weekend long event. This should not be too WFMU Record Fair 2009surprising, considering that both the WFMU Record Fair and Amoeba Music attract the same sort of person -- one who is extremely passionate about his/her music, and music collecting.  With hundreds of thousands of records and CDs (plus tons more stuff) being sold by over a hundred vendors at the expansive Metropolitan Pavilion venue in the Chelsea district of New York CIty, the three day WFMU Record Fair attracts people from all over the States and overseas who will travel to New York City just to attend this event. Many of these same folks will travel all the way to LA or the Bay to shop at Amoeba.

This time last year I reported here on the Amoeblog about the 2008 WFMU Record Fair, where Amoeba logo wearing music collecting fanatics included Nakajima, who had flown all the way to New York City from Japan specifically for the WFMU event. And at this year's event (Oct 23, 24, 25), which was "a success" according to WFMU Station Manager Ken Freedman, the instantly recognizable black record 100% cotton tote bags with the bright yellow & red Amoeba Music logos and store of origin's name were sighted all over the place.

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Night Of The Hunter / Cape Fear Double @ The Egyptian

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, October 27, 2009 12:05am | Post a Comment

I, for one, am very excited about this particular double feature; both films feature roles that are amongst  Robert Mitchum's finest and most intense. Night Of The Hunter took me a while to warm up to, as it carries such a massive reputation that I was a bit let down upon first viewing. A couple years later I caught it on late night TV and wondered what kind of funk I must have been in the first time. The film is a true oddity and quite beautifully directed by Charles Laughton. The original version of Cape Fear is pretty gripping from the get go and I'm sure that the swamp scenes will look gorgeous on the Egyptian's huge screen. Gregory Peck gives a great performance as the tortured father and the adaptation of John D. MacDonald's novel The Executioners is none too shabby. I'd say that no one does justice to the inherent menace of the swamplands like MacDonald. Also, author Preston Neal Jones will be on hand signing his book Heaven and Hell to Play With: The Filming of Night of the Hunter.

Wednesday October 28th
Night Of The Hunter / Cape Fear
Egyptian Theatre
6712 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028-4605
(323) 461-2020

Cape Fear

Night Of The Hunter
boat scene

Massive Music Showcase

Posted by Smiles Davis, October 26, 2009 12:38am | Post a Comment

Greetings from New York, New York! CMJ kicked off at the beginning of this week and NY became a mammoth showcase for new music. I love autumn in New York -- it's ridiculously beautiful. Walking is of course the greatest pastime while in the city. The weather was nice, so nice, for the first couple nights, which made it easy to get around and still look half way put together by the time you got to your final destination.

Unfortunately, by Friday night, it was cloudy with a chance of matzo balls, which meant an extra change of clothes was imperative. Luckily, it was short lived. OMG, there was so much going on. I was overwhelmed with work, with a lot on my plate, and didn’t get to see nearly as many acts as I would have liked to, but I made notes of the little I was able to soak in.

Green Label Sound hosted a party sponsored by Cornerstone at The Brooklyn Bowl with Chromeo, Thelophilus London, Amazing Baby and Solid Gold that was off the chain. DFA's Holy Ghost provided a dj set. This new bowling/concert venue is ginormous, 1,000 capacity at least, and it was packed wall to wall. An eclectic mix of industry folk, unbigoted music-minded individuals, people dressed like hipsters, aspiring and established artists roamed the joint. The night's festivities lasted well into the night, but time just seemed to fly by. I enjoyed great food, had a couple rounds on the lanes with friends, enjoyed the live acts in a concert setting, and danced till I broke a sweat all under one roof. If you get the chance to go check out this spot, do, and order the cajun catfish, it's scrumptious!

Gaming guru Activision hired mixtape and remix extraordinaire J.Period along with myself to open up for America’s #1 dj, Z-Trip, for the NY launch party of DJ Hero. The event took place in Soho outside on the corner of Spring and Wooster. There were several kiosks set up for patrons to come down and sample the game. Gamers were more interested in standing in line to play then they were in hearing the music. When Z-Trip got on the decks the focus shifted to him. I’ve never witnessed a dj garner undivided attention like that before. It was almost instantaneous, like someone had just flipped on a light switch. Loners, senior citizens, children, lovers, and almost every other passer-by-err ended up in that tent. I think I saw some females stop shopping and come out of the Chanel store across the street just to see what the ruckus was about. His set was exasperatingly entertaining and wickedly eclectic; he played everything from Led Zeppelin to the Camp Lo, from Outkast to the Janis Joplin. Legendary Fab 5 Freddy, the host of the event, was mesmerized. Between the oohs and ahhhs he just kept saying “Oh my God!” Guess that’s why Z is the #1 dj in America. What a treat. It was sincerely and utterly pleasure!

Shortly after the DJ Hero event wrapped my roadie and I made our way to The Ace Hotel a couple blocks from Korea Town. A friend was kind enough to inform us about a group called Chauffeur. I wasn't familiar with them but was told "They're good!" They were performing as the headliner at a showcase sponsored by Fader, Levi’s and Converse. We showed up to the posh spot promptly at 5pm. After a short elevator ride and a brisk walk up a narrow corridor we reached the main suite, appropriately entitled “Levi's Fader Fort,” where the event was taking place. We were slapped in the face by a heat wave almost instantaneously. It was a sweatbox down there. The ceiling was low and the stage took up about a fourth of the space. The rest of the space was left for a satellite bar and about 150 sweaty tweens just as eager as the next to get as close to the stage as humanly possible. According to my watch the main attraction should have taken stage 20 minutes earlier. After asking around a little I learned things were running behind schedule and that the Swedish bohemian chick rockin' out on stage was multi instrumentalist Jenny Wilson. What a riot! She was beating a tambourine one minute then strumming a guitar the next. Her sophisticated yelping reminded me at times of Fiest, and often the accented vocals called to mind Yael Naim. I was having trouble hearing her speak in between jams but overheard her say something to the extent that she and her band had the misfortune of losing some luggage that contained some of their prized instruments, so they’d be improvising a bit. Impromptu or not, her upbeat modern folk talk, with its idiosyncratic lyrics and foot stomping beats was impressive to say the least. She made an instant fan out of me. She left the stage after a few more delightful songs and the stage crew immediately took over to begin setting up for the final act.

The crowd scattered for restroom breaks and bar runs. We used this time to creep a little closer to the stage, where the temperature was about 10 degrees warmer. The accumulated sweat from the busy stage crew made it feel warmer—I’m sorry, the stage lights made it unbearably hotter. Ages passed, my feet began to swell, my back began to ache, my throat began to dry and all of a sudden I felt like a 90 year old pregnant woman. Cheering erupted as four dapper gentlemen took the stage. The guy in a tight v-neck 80s print sweater looked a whole lot like Mark Ronson. Then I thought, wait, that IS Mark Ronson. I searched the stage for more familiar faces to find Thelophilus London and "Black & Gold" hit maker Sam Sparro approaching the mic. Forget the heat, things just got interesting. The fourth gentleman, the keyboardist, was unbeknownst to me. Thelopious introduced everyone and informed the crowd they’d just started the group two weeks ago and would only be performing two songs. Fine by me. The show started and my jaw dropped and remained in that position for who knows how long. The trio is 80's revamped, new wave hip-hop, everything from Ronson’s sweater to Sparro's mic handle, Thelopious’ dance moves, the  synthesizers, and the catchy lyrics, to the epoch vocoder. This was the real deal; the sound and image these guys created had the stamp of authenticity. This was one well oiled machine for a new act. I couldn't expect less from three already established artists. It's kind of like when Skittles reinvented themselves and came out with Tropical flavors. Genius!! The second song was a cover of Sheila E’s “Glamorous Life,” which always puts the crowd in a good mood. Chauffeur’s rendition of the song super exceeded my expectations. Sam Sparro’s charming vocals blew a spark plug in the joint. Everyone was hyped, super hyped. I thought the girl up front stage right was going to give herself a heart attack she was gyrating so hard. The feeling was mutual all over the joint; girls, especially, were going nuts. They finished quicker than the time it took them to get started, but the high lasted the rest of the evening. Bravo Chauffeur, Bravo!

Next was the Puma presents The Elitaste + Nue Agency showcase at the famous SOB's where headliner Mike Posner, singer / songwriter / producer, played to a packed house. He's heavy on the college circuit. Ever heard of rapper Big Sean? He's Kanye's newest signing. Well, Posner produced a few tracks and was heavily featured on his first mixtape Finally Famous. Even more astonishing, he sat up in his dorm room and wrote, produced and recorded every track on his very own debut mixtape, A Matter of Time and recently signed to J Records and nabbed a big publishig deal with EMI. He's about to graduate from Duke University and he's only 21. His show was highly energetic; he's got mad flow on the mic, charisma with the crowd and he had everyone—male and female—enthusiastically singing along and he doesn’t even have an album out yet. Impressive!

The following evening I had to make a radio appearance in Brooklyn and decided since I was out there to stop by the newly located Knitting Factory for the Daptones Revue. The Budos Band, in Halloween costumes, was just wrapping up a set. I think I saw Neal Sugarman in a hooded cape and mask on stage with the funk band playing the flute. Neal Sugarman is the man running things over at Daptone Records. He's also one of the founder members of The Dap-Kings and the band leader for Sugarman 3. He also plays like every instrument... well, he's a master saxophonist & flautist and I wouldn't doubt pianist. Neal Sugarman, you're my idol. Up next Soul singer Lee Fields, who I’d only read about in Wax Poetics, performed with the Menahan Street Band. Speaking of Wax Poetics, I stopped by an event at Spur on the Lower East Side they were co-hosting with VP Records. There were no performances, but the rotating dj’s were spinning only the best reggae. I actually stayed until the lights came on; my incentive was good music and a red, boy-cut Jamaica t-shirt I’ve since refused to part with. Just thought I’d share. Now back to Lee Fields at the Daptones Revue. That perpetual feeling that I’d been born in the wrong era for music instantly subsided when he took the stage as his vintage voice deeply penetrated my veins, enhancing my senses, generating goose bumps. It was bittersweet when the brief moment ended. But, time quickly passed and before we knew it Sharon Jones had made her way to the stage with the Dap-Kings and reminded everyone just whose house it was. As if it were possible, their show continually gets better. What a phenomenal concert!

Earlier on this week, before the rain drenched the streets, I went to a spot called 92 Y Tribeca to see Noisemakers with Hot 97’s Peter Rosenberg host a night of music and conversation with legendary rap artist Talib Kweli. Once again J.Period was on the wheels serving up some golden era hip-hop, the dopest house band ever soon followed, and then came the host of the evening. Rosenberg did a phenomenal job at getting Talib to really open up and talk history behind his work. Every pivotal moment in his career was discussed in great detail from his inception into the hip-hop game to his upcoming Reflection Eternal II release. Over the course of about an hour and forty-five minutes the two spoke on Kweli's prolific catalog, Kanye, Mos Def, Lauryn Hill, Jay-Z, family, and collaborations with some of the most recognizable producers in the game.

Talib and Mos Def are like brothers, their mothers hang out, like fam. The “Ms. Fat Booty” hit maker—who was said to have been often late or a no show—was the reason Kanye West and Talib met. Talib was in the studio waiting on Mos Def to arrive, like usual, to finish a track. Kanye showed and said he was there looking for Mos. The two chopped it up for a while and somewhere into the night Kanye played Kweli the beat that would later be used for “Get By.” Now this may have been hype on Kanye's part, but get this: the track was originally meant for Mariah Carey. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking: there is a God! After talking her and apparently Pharaoh Monch out of it, Talib finally got his way. Mos Def never showed up that night. It was something Talib said he learned to get used to. Talented people are not always easily understood, but you appreciate them for what they do. When asked about the MTV Awards and the Taylor Swift incident, Talib contested, “Kanye used to interrupt my show.” Back before Kanye was a million dollar hit maker he toured as the opening act for Talib. His narcissistic antics were occasionally too theatrical, forcing Kweli, on one occasion or another involving the use of a wheel chair and a neck brace, to pull the plug mid song or before he even got the chance to get started. “This is my show… you can do what you want to do on the ‘Kanye Show,’” Kweli protested. In light of it all, Kweli holds much respect for Kanye and his immaculate talent despite his frequent ruthless, squandering behavior and wishes we all did the same. Jay-Z got mad props for his rare combination of great talent and business acumen and Lauryn Hill remains enigmatic. J Dilla was as passionate about making beats as we are addicted to listing to them. He was unimpressed by accolades and once declined an invitation to attend or watch the Grammy’s when three of his tracks were up for awards to keep to his studio and put in work.

Sometime mid week—everything's one big blur—The XX performed at 30 Rockefeller Center. With time to spare I decided to roll through. It was a live taping upstairs above the NBC paraphernalia shop on the mezzanine. To be honest, I was slightly out of breath by the time I reached the top of the stairs and was majorly bummed to find no empty seats. Time is of the essence over at 30 Rock; XX went on when they were supposed to, thank goodness. I don’t know all their songs but unquestionably know the sound: sweet, seductive electro/rock. The group was comprised of three guitarists, two of whom were lead vocalists and one guy on keyboards, a drummer, minus the drum set, operating a drum kit like a true pro. The relegated instrument could have easily been set in place because of limited space, don’t know for sure. He played that drum kit like it was the real thing incorporating all the elements: snare, kick, hi-hat, and bass. His hands were moving at full speed. “Basic Space” is my jam, and I happily sang along. Hunger eventually set in and my tightly cramped space almost became too much for me to bear, but through all my discomfort the show made for some great entertainment. It's been fun but can't wait to get back to LA. Till next time...chew the corners off!

Horror, The Universal Language 1: Insanity in Repulsion (1965) & Clean, Shaven (1993)

Posted by Charles Reece, October 25, 2009 11:43pm | Post a Comment
In terms of movies, horror is the most philosophically rich of the various genres, generally giving a more truthful commentary on us humans than any of its generic brethren (science fiction is equally compelling as a literary genre, but it just hasn't lived up to its potential in film -- cf. Tarkovsky's religious mockery of one the great atheistic novels, Solaris, to catch my drift). Since my only costume for Halloween is a wet blanket, why not offer a series of double-feature suggestions as a way of getting into the spirit? I'm going to stay away from the ones everyone should've already seen (yes, Kubrick's The Shining is the greatest horror film ever made, end of discussion) and none by directors with the initials D.L. I plan on doing one a day, ending either with Halloween, or until I run out of categories, or I just get plumb sick of doing this. First up, the fear of the irrational, or, more appropriately, the fear of losing one's grasp on reality.


A common refrain in horror film criticism since the 70s has been that the genre makes us confront the faults in the architecture of reason. This critique usually goes by the name of postmodernism and its big bugaboo by the name of the Cartesianism. René Descartes had some difficulty reconciling how all the immaterial, mental stuff was able to effect changes in all the meaty stuff we call physical, creating the primary Cartesian dichotomy called mind-body dualism. No one's figured a way out of that mess yet, but who cares since we're talking about horror movies. The important point is that Descartes tended to privilege reason over all that biological machinery, so he gets the blame for all the scientistic / instrumentalist / phallocentric / logocentric / patriarchal domination that has supposedly developed since the 17th Century. (I remain skeptical of this demonization of the Rationalists for the simple reason that I'd prefer to live after the Enlightenment than before it.)

As this common critique has it, with the contemporary horror film (from the 60s to the present), the horror affect arises from the suppressed half of the dichotomy returning with a vengeance. Thus, what's scary is when the body, emotions, technology, nature, the feminine or whatever else might've been defined or ignored as the Big Other by the rationalist hegemony -- serving as its structuring absence -- begin to make themselves terrifyingly present (the so-called "return of the repressed" that was popularized in film criticism by Robin Wood's take on Romero's zombie films). A relevant feminist spin on the critique is offered by Isabel Cristina Pinedo:

[P]ostmodern horror defies the Cartesian construction of reason that reduces it to instrumental rationality and pits it against emotion and intuition. According to the Cartesian construction of reason, rationality is masculine, associated with mastery, and requires the domestication of irrationality, which is feminine and associated with the body and disorder. This limited conception of reason disparages the feminine. Postmodern horror combines, in the (often female) figure of the hero, instrumental rationality and intuition. -- p. 96, The Horror Film

It was this quote that gave me the idea for the first double-feature. Note that as a supposed feminist, Pinedo doesn't defend the feminine as capable of belonging to the rationalist enterprise, but mostly agrees with the old patriarchal view that women just ain't good at math, being from Venus and all. Instead, she chooses to degrade the value of reason, suggesting what the postmodern horror film teaches us is that we need to rely more on our "gut instincts" or "intuition" -- that is, "femininity" qua feelings. I prefer the kind of feminism that suggests women are just as capable as men at being rational and good at science, and not this "lowering the standards." In other words, reason, logic and the like aren't patriarchal, but the cultural support for the hard thinking disciplines which rely on them has been. It is reason, after all, that is the best base for arguing about the mental and social equality of the sexes. Thus, women, just as much as men, have something to fear in losing rational control.

More often than not, horror films are fantasies relying on the supernatural, so giving into irrational forces tends to make sense. As I argued here, defining rationality in such a diegesis by our world's reality isn't particularly rational when there's a psychotic leprechaun or sentient Jell-O roaming about. In such worlds, someone like Gandalf is actually a rational agent. He has a proven experimental track record that demonstrates the reliability of his magic, which in the real world would be nothing more than the hucksterism of an Aleister Crowley. (Also, I note that women aren't any more likely to be wizards -- particularly of the good variety -- in fantasies than scientists in the real world, suggesting that feminist critique should target the qualifications of being in control, rather than reason per se.) Anyway, what's most important to me about Roman Polanski's Repulsion and Lodge Kerrigan's Clean, Shaven is that they're both effective horror films, eliciting the necessary reflexes of the genre, but that do so by rooting the affect in the real world, not a fantastic one. As such, there doesn't exist a fantastically derived justification for the critique of reason that mucks up so many analyses of the genre. The horror comes from feeling along with the protagonists the loss of control over reality. That the insanity is just as terrifying for Catherine Deneuve (in Repulsion) as it is for Peter Greene (in Clean, Shaven) indicates that rationality isn't a masculine versus feminine issue. Both films are exceptional in the postmodern age of horror (as Pinedo and the like call it) by going against the grain and using the genre to argue for reason over gut instinct, where the latter only pulls the protagonists further into a solipsistic abyss. 

Both films are available in beautiful Criterion editions (Repulsion can be had on blu-ray, even).

Next up, body horror.

October 25, 2009

Posted by phil blankenship, October 25, 2009 10:58pm | Post a Comment


Posted by Mr. Chadwick, October 25, 2009 11:50am | Post a Comment

Imagine having your own Michael Des Barres or Stevie Wonder mask for Halloween this year! You have to click on the images to see the masks on couple of these covers, but it's worth the effort...

The Art and Dotty Todd cover is my favorite of the bunch. The LP is great too, with echo laden & double tracked vocals and a very stylized, almost spooky production sense. It seems that their shows were all the rage back in the glory days of Vegas and Palm Springs.

Art & Dotty Todd on American Bandstand

Conan The Destroyer TONIGHT at the New Beverly

Posted by phil blankenship, October 24, 2009 11:48am | 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 October 24

25th Anniversary!

Conan The Destroyer

Beautiful 35mm archive print from Universal!

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

October 31 A Demonic Triple Feature!
Special Halloween Show! All Tickets $10

Night of the Demons (1988) 7:30pm
Director Kevin Tenney IN PERSON! Angela is having a party, Jason and Freddy are too scared to come. But You'll have a hell of a time.

Demons (1985) 9:30pm
They will make cemeteries their cathedrals & the cities will be your tombs.

Demons 2 (1986) 11:30pm
The Nightmare Returns!

Continue reading...

Major Vinyl Action In Hollywood!!!

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, October 23, 2009 04:45pm | Post a Comment

Vinyl lovers rejoice! After careful consideration and restructuring of the store's layout, Amoeba Music Hollywood has added 16 rows to the Rock section! That means space for more than 2000 more pieces of musical history for your perusing pleasure. We've also changed out the entire southern wall in the main room, the main Rock vinyl collectibles wall, that is. That's 100+ new items for those of you on a more intense hunt for records...


Posted by Billyjam, October 23, 2009 08:08am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five: 10:23:09
1) Fashawn Boy Meets World (Loud)

2) Jay Z Blueprint 3 Roc Nation/Atlantic

3) Royce Da 5'9' Street Hop (Mic One/TVT)

4) Cormega Born And Raised (Traffic Ent.)

5) Drake So Far Gone (Cash Money)

5) Raekwon Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, Pt. 2 (ICEAL)

In the number one hip-hop sales slot at the Hollywood Amoeba Music this week is the brand new, rightfully anticiapted album from West Coast newcomer Fashawn, who both released his debut album, Boy Meets World, and turned 21 this week. Congrats to him on both accomplishments. Fashawn is a Fresno, California emcee, whose album is produced entirely by Exile (of Blu & Exile) and who already has about seven mixtapes to his name. He may be young, but he is deservedly getting major props from critics, fans and bloggers, who have all been anxiously awaiting this debut. Some are even going so far as to say that with this release Fashawn willl help rescue West Coast rap and put it back on top again. With a flow that has a distinctive nod to some of rap's best bygone years, the album's fifteen tracks include such standouts as "Our Way," featuring a guest spot by Evidence; “Samsonite Man;” "Bo Jackson," featuring producer Exile on the mic as well as behind the mixing board; and "Sunny CA," featuring Coss & Mistah Fab. The video for "Sunny CA" is below.

Continue reading...

Soupy Sales 1926 – 2009

Posted by Whitmore, October 22, 2009 11:11pm | Post a Comment

Soupy Sales
has died. After some 25,000 pies to the face and more than 5,000 live TV appearances over the past six decades, the comedian, actor, kids show host, author and raconteur passed away at 9:51pm, Thursday at Calvary Hospice in the Bronx, New York. Sales had been having health problems and entered the hospice last week. He was 83.
Best known for his long-running local and network kids television shows like Lunch with Soupy Sales, he was the king during the 1950s and '60s. Known as the man who would do almost anything for a laugh including bad puns and cheap gags, his trademark was his pie-throwing and his style was improvisational; kids of all ages loved his manic zaniness and slightly blue antics and innuendos. A-list celebrities like Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Tony Curtis and Shirley MacLaine would stop by and seldom left pie free. A friend of mine tonight commented that Sales was like a “cool, hilarious big brother.”
The name Soupy Sales originates from a childhood nickname, "Soupy” and "Sales" was the suggested by a television station executive who knew another comic named Chic Sale. Born Milton Supman on January 8, 1926, in Franklinton, North Carolina, Soupy was the youngest of three sons and his parents ran a dry-goods store; according to legend his family, the only Jewish family in town, sold sheets to the Klu Klux Klan. Sales grew up in Huntington, West Virginia, and received his B.A. in Journalism from Marshall University. During the Second World War he served in the Navy in the South Pacific, and it was there he created some of his strange characters he would use years later, such as “White Fang, the meanest dog in all the United States.”
Sales began his Television career in 1950 on WKRC-TV in Cincinnati, hosting America's first teen dance show, Soupy's Soda Shop. In 1951 in a skit on his late night comedy series Soupy's On!, he got his first pie in the face on television. Two years later he moved to Detroit and WXYZ-TV, where his kids show Lunch with Soupy Sales was a huge success. After seven years on the air in Michigan he moved to Los Angeles in 1961.
He really hit his stride in 1964 when he moved the show to WNEW-TV in New York. The Soupy Sales Show, had amazing ratings and was syndicated throughout the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand during its two year run. When the series ended, Sales had appeared on 5,370 live television programs, the most in the TV history.
In the mid sixties Sales recorded two albums and had a Top Ten single in 1965 with "Do the Mouse;" Sales even performed "The Mouse" on the Ed Sullivan Show. Eventually his single in New York City alone sold 250,000 copies.
His most notorious stunt took place in New York on New Year's Day, 1965 when he ended his live broadcast by telling his viewers to “take some of those green pieces of paper with pictures of George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Lincoln and Jefferson from their parents’ wallets and send them to him and he would send them a postcard from Puerto Rico.” Unfortunately the bit worked a little too well and money started rolling in, and though the money was returned, he was still suspended by WNEW for a two weeks. Of course, kids showed up picketing Channel 5 over Sales’ suspension and his popularity went through the roof.
During the 1970’s and 80’s Soupy was a regular on game shows like What's My Line, To Tell the Truth, The $10,000 Pyramid and Match Game. In 1985 he joined WNBC-AM as a disc jockey, and is perhaps best remembered as having the show between the two shock jocks, Don Imus and Howard Stern.
Over the last ten years Sales turned to writing. In 2003 he published his autobiography, Soupy Sez!: My Zany Life and Times, and a collection of his humor, Stop Me If You've Heard It!: Soupy Sales' Greatest Jokes. Finally in 2005, Soupy Sales received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Soupy Sales is survived by his wife, Trudy, and two sons, Hunt and Tony, famous in their own right as musicians who have worked with the likes of David Bowie, Todd Rundgren and Iggy Pop.
"Be true to your teeth and they won't be false to you."

October 21, 2009

Posted by phil blankenship, October 22, 2009 10:56pm | Post a Comment

California Fool's Gold -- Exploring The Arts District

Posted by Eric Brightwell, October 22, 2009 09:22pm | Post a Comment

This edition of the neighborhood blog is about The Arts District... or The Artist District... or is it The Artist-In-Residence District... or perhaps The Artists' District? This, and other issues, will be sorted out by blog's end to everyone's satisfaction.


Pendersleigh & Sons' Official Map of the Arts District

To vote for another Los Angeles neighborhood to be the subject of a neighborhood blog, go here. To vote for one of the communities in Los Angeles County other than in Los Angeles, go here. To vote for Orange County neighborhoods, vote here.

            William Wolfskill                                                                      La Grande Station

The area along the western bank of Los Angeles River currently designated The Arts District in Los Angeles has gone through many changes in identity and name over the years. It passed from the hands of the Tongva to the Spaniards to the Mexicans and, most recently, to the Yankees. One of the latter, a Kentuckian named William Wolfskill, planted the land (or had it planted) with citrus trees to sell to scurvy-prone miners who swarmed the area following the California Gold Rush of 1849.

Central City East in 1909


By the 1870s, trains began arriving in the area both to transport the citrus to far off locales and to bring in migrant workers to work in the groves. The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad opened the Moorish-style La Grande Station in 1893. Thirteen years later, a new depot opened at 3rd and Santa Fe.


Following the arrival of trains and the immigrant laborers they brought, the area began to rapidly industrialize. Much of the work in Los Angeles, based as it was on agriculture, was seasonal. To cater to the workers between jobs, many bars and flophouses sprang up between downtown proper and the growing industrial district which gradually became known alternately as Skid Row and the Nickel -- because it’s centered on 5th St.

Nate Starkman & Son   

                                                                                  Industrial Street after sunset


Between San Pedro and the Los Angeles River, Central City East was soon covered with large factories and warehouses. By 1950, Los Angeles was an industrial powerhouse where more cars were assembled than in any American city besides Detroit. The city’s tire production was only exceeded by that of Akron. Los Angeles also outranked all American cities in garment production except for New York City.

One famous warehouses was owned by George Shima, the first Japanese-American millionaire. Shima was born ???? in Kurume in 1864 and lived in Berkeley (when he bought a house the newspaper headline read "Yellow Peril in College Town." His base of operation was out of a warehouse on 1275 E. 6th Street. After beginning his career as a domestic servant and later becoming a migrant worker, he nonetheless managed to amass a fortune of about $18 million (about $200 million adjusted for inflation) due to his Shima Fancy potatoes commanding 85% of the potato market.

As the population of the city swelled, much of the industry and especially the residential population center moved away from the city center, leaving behind many massive empty buildings.

Looking west near Wholesale and Mill


In the late ‘60s, many returning emotionally-disturbed and drug-addicted Viet Nam vets joined the older, by then permanent population of alcoholic ex-hobos, tramps and bums. Many missions had long serviced the indigent area and the mostly abandoned industrial area became a hotbed for those both dropping out of society and those expelled from it. Not all of the industrial core was abandoned and as different areas took on different characteristics are still organized around smaller districts, including The Wholesale District (an area where most of the produce, seafood and flowers pass into the city), Skid Row (an area where most of the county’s 10,000 or so homeless pass through), The Fashion District (formerly known as The Garment District), The Toy District and -- on the eastern edge -- The Arts District.

Economy Supply (with large chess pieces on the roof)   

Looking east down 5th St from Alameda


Not all of the district's borders have been accepted by all parties. Since it became a highly desirable area, developers have continually attempted to stretch its borders so that they can convert and sell more properties. The western border has always been accepted as Alameda. The eastern border has always been accepted as the L.A. River. Though the northern border is defined in city documents as 1st Street, both Temple and the 101 have also been described as the border and even appear as such in some unofficial maps. Confusingly, the only "Arts District" signs in the area are located at Hewitt & Traction and at 3rd & Santa Fe, intersections within anyone's definition but not marking a border. In 2000, the Central City North Community Plan officially set “Artists-in-Residence District’s” southern boundary at 6th street. Then, in 2007, the southern boundary was officially extended several blocks further to Violet St.

It is bordered by the Civic Center to the north, Boyle Heights to to east, the Wholesale District to the south, the Downtown Industrial District to the southwest, and Little Tokyo to the northwest.



The area began to take shape as the Arts District around 1976 when artists began to come to the area to inhabit the by-then often vacant buildings, attracted in part by the ample space and average rent of thirty cents-per-square-foot. Since the empty warehouses weren’t zoned for residences, there were occasional raids by the fire department and it was all a bit lawless.


In 1979, the storied Al’s Bar opened on the ground floor of The American Hotel when Marc Kreisel bought the property from the titular Al. Over the years, the club hosted many underground and then-obscure acts like The Fall, Gun Club, The Jesus Lizard, The Residents, The Misfits, Mudhoney, Nirvana, Red Kross, Sonic Youth and The Red Hot Chili Peppers. Even acts that would never likely play there were attracted by its "cred" and so poppier acts like Bad Religion, Coolio and Pennywise all filmed videos there.

 A massive Iron Mountain warehouse   

Mesquit under 6th St Bridge


In 1981, the Artists-In-Residence (AIR) ordinance was passed, allowing artists to live in their work spaces as long as the residences conformed to building and safety standards. After the neighborhood began to build up a bit of Bohemian cache, some enterprising individuals began buying the buildings and the rents began to climb, at first fairly slowly. The area came to be known by a variety of names, including The Lofts District and more often The Arts District.


Gorky's (image source: Vespa Vamanos)

Gorky's Cafe opened at 536 E. 8th Street in 1981 by a former librarian, Judith Markoff, and originally catered to local homeless and artists. Fred Powers bought the cafe in 1985, and added a microbrewery, nightly live music, neon and security guards -- promising "Foodski, Funski, Brewski" athe venue, renamed Gorky's Cafeteria & Russian Brewery. It got trendier and Powers opened a second location in Hollywood. The Hollywood location soon closed and a patron, Candace Choi, took over the Arts District location in 1992 before permanently closing the doors in 1993. The building has since been absorbed by the growing Flower District and is home to a flower shop with googly-eye dogs made out of poms and crosses made of flowers. 

In 1982, multimedia artist Stephen Seemayer finished his rough cut of an 8mm film titled Young Turks. Its setting was the area around and including the Arts District between 1977 and 1981, when few of the wealthy loft dwellers would've likely even risked a drive through the area. The stars include artists Bob & Bob, Coleen Sterritt, Richard Newton, Woods Davy, and Al's Bar owner, Marc Kreisel.


Bloom's General Store  

                                                                               Acme Modern Supplies

As is normally the case in industrial areas, there was a distinct lack of greenery aside from vegetation springing up in hard to access nooks and crannies until some of the locals began planting trees. As the area grew, the distinct lack of nearby services for residents became an issue until Joel Bloom opened Bloom’s General Store. Bloom, along with other community activists, lobbied the city to make The Arts District official. Recognizing the by-then thriving scene, the city began actively encouraging people to move to the district and many of the warehouses were re-zoned and converted into Artist in Residence dwellings. They also installed signs declaring it The Artist District. Even today there are official signs referring to it thusly, or in other cases as, “The Artists' District” but it has long been known primarily as The Arts District, which is what the signs now say. For a while, there was one of the old signs mounted on the exterior of Bloom's store.

Looking east on Conway 

Newly restored building on 6th St.

Jim Fittipaldi started a speakeasy/art space and magazine of the same name located in the warehouse that is now Molino Street Lofts around 1994. It briefly moved  to Los Feliz in 2000 for a bit before returning to the Arts District, making its home on E. 6th Street (in the Potato King's old warehouse). It closed in 2006.

In a predictable narrative, after the artists begin reversing the long decline of an area with their efforts, gentrification followed. Aiding the speed of the shift were clauses in AIR that exempted the building owners from rent control, so massive developers began to price out and evict long-time residents, converting the buildings in the process into appealing, if less affordable, condos. As the old timers were forced out and the buildings transformed, not surprisingly the character of the Arts District once again began to transform. The American Hotel was sold to Magnum Properties and in 2001, Al’s Bar closed its doors. In 2007, Joel Bloom passed away and his famed store closed its doors after struggling for two years in 2009. Though the intersection of 3rd and Bloom is named Joel Bloom Square, for better or worse (or both), the Arts District has quite a different character than it used to in its heyday as an arts colony.

 Between Barker Block and Molino     

 Former train depot, now SCI-Arc

As with Historic Filipinotown, the Arts District's name now applies largely to an historic population, as most artists can't afford to live in the expensive neighborhood. No longer is the area populated primarily by practicing, struggling artists, but rather by wealthy loft owners attracted by the concept of "artist" as a lifestyle rather than an actual creative pursuit. Although slumming will always hold an attraction for those from a privileged background and realtors bounce around words like “gritty,” “funky,” and “hip” like a hacky-sack in a college dormitory courtyard, in reality the big lofts, including Barker Block, Molino, Toy Factory, Biscuit Company, 2121 and the proposed AMP, are squeaky clean, posh and only affordable to established, celebrity artists or dabbling trustafarians.

The lofts are at least tastefully done (although it would be nice if part of the conversion process had included installing green roofs or walls!) and residents of the neighborhoods busily crowd their ground floor businesses whilst expertly leaving the non-loft areas surprisingly desolate and empty except for the homeless.

There are now a handful of restaurants, stores and bars in the area. I've been known to knock back a few (OK, more than a few) at
Royal Clayton's English Pub in the Toy Factory Lofts. Across the street are The Biscuit Lofts, where Sandra Oh's character lives in Grey's Anatomy. I believe that show takes place somewhere in the northwest which is why, when filming down there, they routinely wet the street.

  The Biscuit Lofts

Looking south at Mateo and 6th
To be fair, there is still art being produced in the neighborhood, although much of it has a controlled, prescribed and commodified vibe. Perhaps no space embodies the well-mannered, inorganic and sanctioned "edginess" more than the Barker Block's private, enclosed (and therefore off limits to non-residents) “Artists' Alley.” Most of the rest of the public art in the neighborhood is run-of-the-mill graffiti of the sort favored by the backpack-and-hoodies crowd whose notions of gritty street culture more likely come from Urban Outfitters than firsthand urban experience.

There’s also fair amount of theater in the neighborhood (which I haven't checked out) and several art galleries where you’ll hear terms like “outsider art” and “new ideas” bandied, even though most of what’s being discussed (and most modern art in general) seems to me ironically to be highly uniform, generic and excessively rule-bound. Ironically, much of the online discourse from new residents of the neighborhood revolves around complaining about the twin nuisances of the homeless population, on the one hand, and industrial activity on the other. Sure, Andres Serrano, Chris Ofli and Survival Research Labs type stuff is apparently fine-and-dandy as long as they’re on display in galleries -- but not when the same "media" are on the sidewalks where you walk your tiny dogs on your way to an upscale coffee shop. While I agree that homelessness and pollution are enormous problems in Los Angeles, if you hate water you probably shouldn't move to the coast and then complain that the ocean won't dry up.

In 2000, The Southern California Institute of Architecture moved to the former train depot on Santa Fe. In 2006, Gideon Kotzer opened the last Crazy Gideon’s in the Arts District. His son Daniel runs Café Studio nearby, on Palmetto. The elder Kotzer is trying to get out of the electronics game and now trying to get the approval to convert his property into a truly hideous series of ugly corrugated box residences lined stupidly by palm trees. Given the high standards on display throughout the neighborhood, I doubt the final version will look much like the Crazy One's warped vision.

Currently the Arts District is one of the most unique and physically attractive urban sections of Los Angeles. Not surprisingly, it’s been featured in several films. La Grande Station used to contain a Harvey House, was the subject of (and featured in) The Harvey Girls. In The Limey, Terence Stamp’s character utters his most memorable line before menacingly crossing Willow St. after shooting some pests in a factory there. I'm sure there've been other filmss, (I think Repo  Man), videos and TV shows filmed in part or in whole down there. If you know of any, let me know.


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



Posted by Billyjam, October 22, 2009 05:00pm | Post a Comment

One of the greatest cultural tragedies in the history of Bay Area music is the way an entire musical scene or movement was literally wiped out, and all ironically in the name of "development" and "progress." The music was the blues and the (once very vibrant) place was West Oakland, in the area on and surrounding 7th Street. Now simply known as the area where the main Oakland Post Office and the West Oakland BART station, along with its overhead tracks and its extended parking lot sit, this was once ground zero for the blues on the West Coast. But tragically, from the 1960's into the 1970's "developers" bought out and displaced nearly all of the clubs, venues and homes to build the BART and the area's vibrant music scene was put to sleep forever. Above is the Amoeblog interview with longtime Oakland resident and blues and r&b fan Buck on this tragic topic, that at its core was a function of racism in that it displaced a minority community who at the time had little political power to help fight to save their cultural scene.

A little reported on part of Bay Area history, one of the few places that you can read about the death of the blues in Oakland is in Ishmael Reed's recommended Blues City publication from five years ago in the Crown Journey published series where authors walk their city and report on its streets and inhabitants, weaving in its history en route. Toward the end of Reed's wonderful book he encounters Ronnie Stewart of the Bay Area Blues Society and allows him to vent and educate on this tragic slice of Bay Area history. Among the many nuggets of history emparted by Stewart, "Seventh Street between Wood and Center Streets, Pine Street, Henry Street, and Campbell Street were full of blues. You had the Reno Club and Miss Essie's Place, a very popular club on Wood and Seventh Streets. Essie had hamburgers and a jukebox and every now and then she'd put a band in there. They had black and white clubs, segregated, but lined up one next to the other. Then they had Pearl Harbor Liquor, which had a jukebox. See, back in those days, there was a whole culture of jukeboxes. They played nothing but blues. One outstanding musician was Saunders King. He played guitar, and he was raised on Seventh Street. He had his first hit back in 1942 and his daughter Deborah [was married to Carlos Santana for 34 years]. He was extremely important in the development of the Oakland blues; the reason the Oakland scene was so popular was because [of] people like Saunders King and Bob Geddins [a songwriter, producer, and arranger]. Geddins owned three or four record labels and was the first African-American to own one. He owned Big Town Records and Uptown Records. He recorded Jimmy McCracklin, Johnny Hartsman, Lowell Fulson, Roy Hawkins. He even recorded 'The Thrill Is Gone' but Modern Records ripped him off for that. It ended up being the biggest hit of B.B. King's career. That came out of Oakland in 1949."

Continue reading...

Electronic New CD Release 10/23/09

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, October 22, 2009 04:21pm | Post a Comment


Highgrade CD

After Todd's recent LA performance we've been anticipating the release of his third studio album, and it was well worth the wait...

Forms is perhaps the most complex and mature album to date from Berlin producer and DJ Todd Bodine. As a DJ playing around the world and as a producer in the highest ranks of consistency, Todd Bodine has constantly developed as an artist. Releases and remixes on respected labels, and collaborations with various artists have made him an internationally popular electronic musician. In 2007, he finally began to perform as a live act, and, as Todd shows with Forms, his innate knowledge of the two sides of electronic dance music has only exponentially increased. This is a meeting of peak-time euphoria with the relaxing bliss of the hazy morning light. A meeting of hypnotic natural rhythms and driving, cut-up sounds. Todd can impress you with dancefloor bombs and also with his sophisticated sound visions. The sound of Detroit would probably be the best comparison. All of the tracks are cleverly designed to work without being overly intellectual. Everything flows and is filled with a subtle density of character that is well-known to those familiar with Todd Bodine. This album speaks its own language -- a rare and unique form of communication that very few other producers are able to replicate. Minimal tech-house at its most severely pumping and addictive.


Ay Ay Ay

This is Matias Aguayo's second full-length for Kompakt. Chilean born, German raised Matias Aguayo is one of those rare talents you come across that genuinely works in music for the sake of loving music. Kompakt's long love affair with Matias Aguayo runs all the way back to his first official act (together with Dirk Leyers) as Closer Musik back in 2000. Though short lived, their releases were foundation builders for the label and still stand as relevant as the day the songs were recorded. Following their demise, Matias felt the urge to abandon the rules that he felt techno imposed on him and moved toward a more organic approach to making music. His first foray into this would be with his 2005 debut solo album Are You Really Lost (KOM 044CD). Matias returned to Kompakt in 2008 with 2 12" bombs -- the club anthems "Minimal" and "Walter Neff." Feeling refreshed and inspired from travelling throughout Latin America, Aguayo was back to end the cycle of boredom that was permeating dance music! That brings us to his sophomore full length Ay Ay Ay. Recorded in Buenos Aires, Santiago de Chile and Paris together with Vicente Sanfuentes (Original Hamster), Matias has conjured an impossibly unclassifiable full-length that is certain to surprise and elate anyone that should come across this true breakthrough of a recording. Take opener "Menta Latte" -- countless layers of his voice revel in a psychedelic dream park together with a simple xylophone chord. The chorus of Matias' unpretentious first single "Rollerskate" is damned to stay on auto repeat in your head for days. His leanings to traditional African music resonate with the beautiful crooner "Koro Koro." Fans of his recent singles will rejoice to the rhythm of songs "Me Vuelvo Loca" and "Juanita" -- Latin harmonies embraced with Matias coaxing you to get up and dance. To call Ay Ay Ay ambitious would be an understatement -- Matias Aguayo has managed to come up with a recording that is undeniably all his own and a landmark release for Kompakt.

Tuesday's Dead: Cat Stevens

Posted by Miss Ess, October 22, 2009 11:43am | Post a Comment

I hate to admit a commercial's had an affect on me, but "suddenly" I find myself in the mood to listen to some Cat Stevens. The fact that something that's blatantly created merely to sell something to me is backed by a song by one of the more anti-capitalism, anti-authority, anti-everything artists ever to play music is quite twisted. The irony is not lost on me, nor any of Cat's fans I am sure.

Nonetheless, so many of my earliest memories are of listening to his music on the record player at my childhood home or on long car trips with my family. It provides a feeling of comfort to me. He's one of the artists whose impact is indelibly carved into my psyche; my connection to his music was formed practically in the womb. Maybe it sounds weird to say, but his songs effected me deeply and taught me some important things about how to both contemplate and live life even in a time before I'd either lived much or had much to contemplate. They also taught me about what great music can have at its best: integrity, melody, message, rhythm, compassion.

Later in life I reached for Cat right after September 11, I remember. It's funny, the universality of the lyrics is as interesting to me as it ever was, even when I was a small child considering, "If I ever lose my mouth, all my teeth, north and south..." Quite a shocking thought to a kid! He's very much the talented, if a bit overly serious, song writer. Not that we've all forgotten this, it's just sometimes maybe a "reminder" in the form of a horrid bit of merchandising is at least good for something anyway...Even though it feels sorta shameful all around, the music still stands.


Posted by Billyjam, October 21, 2009 06:31pm | Post a Comment

Last night fellow Bay Area to New York transplant & former KALX  DJ Pal 58 and I were pleasantly surprised attending the Future is Frank Frank Radio CMJ Music Marathon showcase at Southpaw in Brooklyn. We caught an unannounced set by the original line up of legendary hip-hop crew Brand Nubian! Original member Grand Puba was announced in advance as one of the night's performers, along with an already impressive line-up that included Wu-Tang's U-God, Wiz Khalifa, and DJ/MC Jasmine Solano. Another surprise last minute performer was Baltimore's Spank Rock. But it was New Rochelle, NY hip-hop legends Brand Nubian -- rounded out by the other two original members Sadat X and Lord Jamar -- who stole the show with a set that included many of their hits and was nicely wrapped up with Grand Puba stopping to make a wonderful heartfelt speech about how much hip-hop means to him, and has always meant to him. He warned the audience to not become complacent now that Barack Obama is in office. The struggle, especially for African Americans, is still very much alive and well, he stressed. He also noted how hip-hop music has always been a vehicle for inspiring positve change in his community, rather than merely a tool to acquire fame and riches. Refreshing stuff to hear and witness during this annual New York music conBrand Nubianference overflowing with acts, generally speaking, whose hunger for fame far outweighs anything else.
Brand Nubian arrived during hip-hop's so-called "golden age" (late 80's/early 90's) and pretty much personified that oft-romanticized era in hip-hop. It was the period immediately before gangsta-rap had fully crossed over to dominate the pop-rap landscape and a time when conscious, thought-provoking and at times politically controversial, but generally well-intentioned and uplifting lyrics, all delivered over head-bobbing, funky beats & grooves, were the norm. DJ Alamo was their fourth member and when Grand Puba split the group early on the two left together. Twelve years ago Brand Nubian's original members got back together, and two years ago the three emcees began doing a series of select dates in support of their long-shelved, decade old album Time's Runnin' Out, which finally saw the light of day.

Continue reading...

Duran Duran Sandwich, or why I love "What's in My Bag?"

Posted by Kells, October 21, 2009 06:29pm | Post a Comment
You never know who you'll run into at Amoeba. For example, I've seen all kinds of people from my childhood in Virginia, old co-workers, classmates, circus performers, models, ballers, family members and even witnessed one wedding proposal. Within the last five years I've caught sight of, personally helped, or conversed pleasantly with many a celebrity customer and I have to say it always brings me a quiet thrill. No matter how many times I've been surprised by the variety of people I've bumped into while working at Amoeba, nothing prepared me for the reality of being held in the arms of a man that at one time was nothing to me but a glossy poster on my pre-teen bedroom wall. It's just the sort of situation that I never thought I'd find myself in, but there I was in between Simon Le Bon and John Taylor, flashing my best "cherry ice cream smile" in a momentary Duran Duran sandwich. 

The only thing better than experiencing the nostalgic high that my brief, friendly encounter with John and Simon provided is the on- the-spot "What's in My Bag?" interview they both consented to. Part of what makes rubbing elbows with all walks of life at Amoeba so special is that, generally speaking, everyone who comes to the store treads a common ground built from a mass appreciation of the arts. Meeting all kinds of folks is one thing, but being in a position to peruse and discuss music, cinema, and the enjoyment of both with virtually anyone you run into at Amoeba is something of a special indulgence of mine. I like to look at the ever-expanding array of "What's in My Bag?" interviews featured on the Amoeba website as an open window for world to experience the kind of social satisfaction we, the often misjudged record store employees, encounter day after day. Please check out this excellent vignette:

out today 10/6 and 10/13...a place to bury strangers...dead man's bones...built to heart procession...

Posted by Brad Schelden, October 21, 2009 05:57pm | Post a Comment

I have been anxiously awaiting the return of A Place to Bury Strangers since I first heard their first album a couple of years ago. I deeply fell in love with that self titled album and it still remains one of my favorites. I picked it as my favorite album of 2007 and I firmly stand by that decision. So of course, I could not wait to hear this new album. I sometimes go see a movie and am already thinking about buying the DVD before the movie is already over. That is just how my mind works, and this is how I feel about A Place to Bury Strangers. I was thinking about getting the new album years before it was even out. And it turns out, I do love the new album just as much as I expected to. It is currently in competition for that number one spot on my top albums of 2009. It is really hard to follow an amazing debut album -- so many artists fail at this. But it is often not even their fault. You will never ever be able to capture that feeling you had when you first fell in love with an album or new band. It just can't happen, so the follow up album often ends up never sounding as good as the first. But I think these second albums are sometimes just as good -- try to imagine if you had never heard that first album and were introduced to the band for the first time with their second album. You then get super obsessed with that second album. Then you go back and listen to that first album as if it was their second. I bet you might find that "first" album not as good as the "second" album, which was your first. This experiment would not work for every band, but it has been the case with certain bands for me. Regardless of any of this, I do love this second album by A Place To Bury Strangers. This is their first album for Mute Records, and it is called Exploding Head. There are a couple of fantastic songs on this album and everything else is also pretty great. I am in love with "In Your Heart," "Keep Slipping Away," and "Exploding Head," but really, the whole album is fantastic.

A Place to Bury Strangers does not hide their influences. It is obvious the band is directly influenced by a place to bury strangers exploding headJesus & Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine, The Cure and Spiritualized, but they pull it off brilliantly. I was always hoping some new band would be able to pull off that loud shoegaze sound, and that's exactly what they do! It doesn't sound like they are trying to copy some old album but is also not like they are trying to reinvent a genre. I went and finally saw them for the first time last week at the Echoplex. For some reason missed the tour for the first album -- I must have had a good excuse at the time! I knew it would be hard to pull off the full sound of the album live, but they managed to do a pretty good job. I feel like they still need a bit of work but I just love the albums so much that maybe I was expecting too much. I had lots of fun at the show and enjoyed every minute of it. I don't know what I really expected but I did enjoy listening to both albums the next day even more than I had before. I think I had actually gone this whole time without even looking up a picture of the band -- both albums have really been just all about the music. You really need to hear this band If you have not yet. You can try out my experiment and listen to the second album first and then go back and listen to the first as if it was their second. I think you will be blown away with how great they are...or maybe you will hate them. But I don't see how that is even possible! I am now going to enjoy both these albums for years to come and anxiously await that third album. I hope this band is around for a long, long time.

Here is the video for "In Your Heart" from the new album Exploding Head by A Place to Bury Strangers...

and here is the video for "I Know I'll See You" from their first self titled album...

dead man's bones
One of my other favorites out 10/6 is the new album by Dead Man's Bones. I was not really expecting much when I first heard that Ryan Gosling was in a band and putting out an album. I really do like him a lot and loved him in Half Nelson and Lars and the Real Girl. I know not eveyone was a fan of Lars, but that movie remains one of my favorites. It was brilliant and he really somehow made that movie believable. It doesn't always work out when film stars decide they want to be rock stars -- it didn't work out so great for Eddie Murphy or Bruce Willis. I don't think I have actually ever listened to Keanu Reeves' Dogstar or Russell Crowe's bands...I really have not ever heard anything good about them. Sometimes it does work-- Zooey Deschanel really won me over with her She And Him album. However, my expectations were still low for Ryan Gosling and the Dead Man's Bones -- and I was really pleasantly surprised. Dead Man's Bones is made up of Ryan Gosling and Zach Shields. The album also features L.A.'s Silverlake Conservatory Children's Choir. I really love the story of how this project came to be. They met when they were dating each others' girlfriend's sisters. They then both discovered their love of ghosts and the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland. Initially they had planned to write a sort of musical but endhaunted mansion disneylanded up creating a band and then an album. The album really does capture the feeling of the Haunted Mansion; it is a bit folky and a bit spooky, sort of goth indie folk. "Lose Your Soul" and "Pa Pa Power" are two of the best tracks on the album. I find myself going back to both those songs over and over again. The use of a children's choir can often be too cute and end up annoying, but it does work perfectly with these songs. They are weird but really catchy. I really have fallen in love with this album, and it is perfect for the month of October. Incidentally, I also recommend the newly reissued album from Disney's Haunted Mansion. It is called Story & Song From the Haunted Mansion. The album includes the original record and story that was released in 1969. It features the voice of Ron Howard, who is one of the kids who visits the Haunted Mansion. It is the perfect companion for the Dead Man's Bones record.

There don't seem to be any videos for Dead Man's Bones yet, but here you can listen to "Pa Pa Power."
It will get you hooked...

...and here is a video of Dead Man's Bones performing "Name In Stone" at a cemetery...

and here is a video somebody made of the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland...

also out 10/6...

Love 2 by Air

Six by Black Heart Procession

Goodnight Unknown by Lou Barlow

Power by Boys Noize

There Is No Enemy by Built To Spill

Bonfires on the Heath by The Clientele

Ask the Night by Orenda Fink

Music For Men by The Gossip

Gay Singles by Hunx & his Punx

Kraftwerk Reissues

Expressions by Music Go Music

Childish Prodigy by Kurt Vile

also out 10/13...

Embryonic by Flaming Lips

Do What You Want Box Set by Hall & Oates

Ovations by Piano Magic

Vic Mizzy 1916 - 2009

Posted by Whitmore, October 21, 2009 10:22am | Post a Comment

American composer Vic Mizzy, best known for his absolutely note perfect theme songs for such iconic 1960’s television shows as The Addams Family and Green Acres, died of heart failure this past weekend at his home in Bel-Air. He was 93.
Mizzy’s brilliance has been indelibly etched in television history with his ability to accentuate the quirkiness of those shows with his own offbeat, clever sensibility. "They're creepy and they're kooky, mysterious and spooky, they're altogether ooky: the Addams family."
Born in Brooklyn on Jan. 9, 1916, Mizzy’s first instrument was a toy accordion, later he learned to play a real one along with the piano. When he was 14, he met fellow Brooklyn native Irving Taylor, the two began a successful writing partnership that continued while Mizzy attended New York University and through the Second World War when both Mizzy and Taylor served in the Navy. They co-wrote a number of hits, including "Three Little Sisters," There's a Faraway Look in Your Eye," and "Pretty Kitty Blue Eyes," and "Take It Easy." After the war, with another songwriting partner, Mann Curtis, Mizzy wrote more hits like "My Dreams Are Getting Better All the Time," "The Whole World Is Singing My Song," "Choo'n Gum" and "The Jones Boy." His songs were recorded by celebrated pop vocalists like the Andrews Sisters, the Mills Brothers, Doris Day, Dean Martin, Perry Como and Billie Holiday.
However, he found his greatest success in his television work. Mizzy first wrote themes for the Shirley Temple Storybook, “The Enchanted Melody,” and The Richard Boone Show, but it was his ghoulishly fun theme song for the television classic The Addams Family that won him lasting fame. Based on Charles Addams' macabre New Yorker cartoons, it starred John Astin as the twistedly dapper Gomez Addams and Carolyn Jones as his sexy and devastatingly beautiful wife Morticia Addams. Mizzy chose to play a harpsichord to help conjure up the bizarrely unconventional air; he also punctuated the rhythm with some cool proto-beatnik finger-snapping which helped to define the peculiar humor of the show. When Filmways, the production company, refused to pay for vocalists, Mizzy simply overdubbed himself singing and looped in actor Ted Cassidy, who portrayed the butler Lurch, for the "neat, sweet, petite" section. Mizzy’s underscores were as comical as his themes; he had a knack for enhancing the lunacy of the characters and the situations with just the right instrumentation, just the right melody.

The following year Mizzy composed the title song for Green Acres, the 1965-71 comedy starring Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor. For the Green Acres theme, Mizzy used the unique combination of a bass harmonica and a little fuzz laden guitar and an electric bass clarinet to create the loopy hoedown vibe. He also flawlessly explained the entire back story in the lyrics -- definitely a lost art! -- of the wealthy Oliver and Lisa Douglas chucking away their New York penthouse lifestyle so that Oliver could live out his fresh air dreams and be a farmer. One of Mizzy’s most brilliant moves, financially speaking, was retaining the publishing rights to Green Acres and The Addams Family themes. Not only have they both been in constant reruns for over four decades, but ownership enabled him to license them for use in commercials (like the recent M&Ms ads that featured the Addams Family theme). As he always joked, a couple of finger snaps paid for a real good life in Bel-Air.

Mizzy's other television credits include the themes for the shows Klondike (1960-61), Kentucky Jones (1964-65) starring Dennis Weaver, Phyllis Diller's sitcom The Pruitts of Southampton (1966-67) and The Don Rickles Show (1968-69). Among his film soundtrack credits are the Don Knotts comedies The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966), The Reluctant Astronaut (1967), and The Shakiest Gun in the West (1968). He never retired from the biz; in the last few years he reportedly worked with Sam Raimi composing the outtake music of both Spider-Man 2 and Spider-Man 3.

Mizzy had two children with his first wife, Mary Small, who was a 1930s kid singer better known as "The Little Girl with the Big Voice." One of their daughters, Patty Keeler, a singer and songwriter in her own right, worked with the legendary Doc Pomus. She died in 1995.
Vic Mizzy is survived by his other daughter Lynn Mizzy Jonas, his brother Sol, and two grandchildren.


Posted by Billyjam, October 20, 2009 06:22pm | Post a Comment
Pleasant Valley State Prison in Coalinga

Back in February of this year when the Amoeblog, in celebration of Black History Month, featured a series of blogs about various aspects of black culture, I invited long incarcerated rapper Anerae “X-Raided” Brown to participate in the series. Brown, who has been behind bars for over half his lifetime, did this in two parts: in both the form of an Amoeblog interview and also via an in depth essay he wrote under the title Black History Month: A Convict's Perspective.

Like everything else Brown writes, from his lyrics to his still to be published autobiography to the guest articles he has penned for Murder Dog rap magazine, X-Raided's writing is always articulate and X-Raidedinformative. Furthermore, it provides an insight into a world that most of us, thankfully, will never have to enter. Brown has been incarcerated since age 17 on a charge of conspiracy to commit murder -- he never killed anyone but was young and foolish enough, he readily admits, to have been caught up in the gang lifestyle, and to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I have known the 34 year old Brown since he was first incarcerated. Initially I got to know him as a journalist reporting on him and his rap career, something he incredibly has managed to maintain from behind bars over the years (he just released his latest, The Unforgiven Vol. 2, three weeks ago). But as the years progressed he has become a friend and someone I admire for maintaining both his sanity and creativity all the while being locked in the pen. If you have ever been behind bars or if you have ever visited anyone in jail or prison you have an idea of how horrible it is to be incarcerated.

Continue reading...

(In which Job interviews Neal Morgan...)

Posted by Job O Brother, October 20, 2009 02:22pm | Post a Comment
Due to some unfortunate miscommunications between the staff here at the Amoeblog, two of us ended up interviewing the same musician, Neal Morgan, about his solo debut.

Fortunately, the interviews are vastly different, due to my professional and honed skill as a journalist devoted to hard-hitting storytelling and dedication to factual analysis, and the other interviewer, Miss Ess, who prefers a more “whimsical” and, shall we say, lying-er approach to writing.

You can read this other "interview" by clicking on this link right here.

Due to his tight schedule of touring and promoting the new album,
To The Breathing World, Neal was under the weather and frequently distracted during the following interview, which resulted in many of his answers being garbled and unintelligible. (Confidentially, I think alcohol may have been a contributing factor to this. That’ll teach me to get drunk before an interview!) I therefore had to rely on memory and occasional paraphrasing in transcribing the following Q & A. Even so, I was able to capture the spirit of our conversation, from Neal's obsession with "crushing" to the revelation of his suicidal fantasies. Read on…

Neal Morgan before the plastic surgery

How did you pick up playing the drums? What is it that drew you to them so strongly - so much so that any other attempts to follow other dreams were crushed?

That’s an excellent question, Mr. Brother. I am impressed with your professional and honed skill as a journalist. And, might I add, your pectoral muscles are rad.

Who are your favorite drummers and how will you crush them in the inevitable drum wars?

I don't think I'll have to crush them. I think the drum wars will be humans versus drums, ala humans versus robots in Terminator. There will be a small drummer resistance led by Ginger Baker, who by then will have machine guns for arms.

This record is a gutsy idea – what made you want to create a drum and voice album instead of making a piping hot plate of delicious waffles? ‘Cause – and maybe you didn’t know this, Neal – waffles are not only easy to make, but less likely to attract snarky criticism from a cynical music press.

I'm not super big into waffles.

You know what? Let’s continue this interview at the Waffle House.



When and how did you begin writing these songs? Like, did you go with a pen and lined paper? Or are you one of those people who writes better curled up in the corner of a coffee house with a worn journal and a thin-tiped Sharpie©, somberly writing lines of poetry while casting sly glances at whoever walks in the door, each time hoping it wiil be a super-cute girl whose taste in post-grunge, neo-folk garb is matched only by her ability to hold her own in a conversation about 1970’s rock ‘n’ roll and thinks Tim & Eric’s Awesome Show (Great Job) is funny, not annoying, and who’s passive enough to wait backstage at shows for you to not only finish your set but help strike the stage AND gracefully endure the endless, awkward post-show conversation with the opening act (and their girlfriends) and visiting pseudo-celebrities (and their girlfriends) and friends (and their girlfriends) as you all aimlessly try to figure out where to go for a late-night dinner “in this town” but TOUGH enough – when the two of you are behind closed doors – to make you forget your sensitive, artist ways and make you feel like a virile, passionate, carnal MAN. Or do you just use a laptop?

...A laptop.
How did you make the arrangements? Were they all there in your mind, with all their many parts, waiting to get out? And have you considered seeking medical attention for this? ‘Cause you’re probably a paranoid schizophrenic.

Broccoli is Satan spelled backwards.

High in vitamins C, K, and A

What kind of technology did you use to record the album? How did you shape the various sounds? Actually, nevermind. Miss Ess will probably ask you those questions ‘cause she’s such a nut about those technical details. Like, she’ll ask a guy that on a first date. It’s weird. Pass the syrup, please.

I’m uncomfortable.


[Neal passes the syrup.]

Thank you. I feel the influence of Nevada City in your words (I've experienced those salamanders!) and creativity. What affect do you feel growing up there had on you and your work, and have you forgiven the townspeople for it?

Why is this the hardest question? I think I gave Miss Ess a very so-so answer, now that I'm thinking back. I don't know what to say about the creative process or the result of the creative process in terms of having come from Nevada City.

Just say what we’re all thinking: It’s the reefer.

That’s not what I was thinking.

I didn’t say it was. I said it’s what we are all thinking. This Boysenberry syrup tastes like sugary cow blood.

Now on to your new town: What affect do you feel Papua New Guinea has on your work and creative output.

I brought all these sea shells down there, packed inside the drums in their cases, only to find I can't pay for anything. WHAT? So I'm broke and in a really dry spell, creatively.

Tell me about your tour plans and how you are going to bring this record to life on stage! You have a female singer who will be joining you? Tell us something secret about her that no one’s supposed to know! Something dark we could use against her if she crossed us.

Damaris Peterson, who’s performing with me – she’s a man, plain and simple. And my great grandfather.

Are you messing with me?

No. I’m taking this interview seriously.

Then that’s fantastic.

What have you been listening to lately? Besides music, I mean.

The roar of the road, my man, the roar of the road.

Wow. I never noticed how exactly you sound like Bob Seger, Neal.

I get that a lot.

It’s eerie. God rest his soul.

Bob Seger isn’t dead.


[Long, awkward silence.]

What is your most prized piece of double helical gear?


What song best describes your life right now, if you had to choose between “Suicide” by Suzi Quatro or “My Suicide” by Michael Gira?

Uh, Suzi, I guess? ...Why do I have to choose between those two songs?

Name a record you love that you think more people should listen to and explain why you think it’s important to be so bossy about it.

Zach Hill's Astrological Straits. I'm bossy for your own good.

What's next for you to "crush?"

I don't do a lot of crushing. I'm starting to think maybe I should crush a lot more. Wasn't there a rap song about crushing a lot?

What's been your best find at Amoeba to "crush?"

OK, I'm going to crush something at Amoeba. I promise you I will. It starts here.

Can I finish your waffles?

Knock yourself out.

Neal's album To The Breathing World comes out today, October 20, 2009, and will be available at Amoeba Music. As an added incentive, any customer who purchases the album at Amoeba Music will also receive a free handshake from me, while supplies last.

Neal Morgan Chats

Posted by Miss Ess, October 20, 2009 02:13pm | Post a Comment
Drummer Neal Morgan's bold, multi-layered record, To the Breathing World, with songs created from vocals and drums only, comes out today, October 20! An entire album consisting of drums and vocals may sound simple, but Neal has created something that's complex, layered and not short on melody to boot!

You may know Neal from his status as a member of the Ys Street Band -- he was on the road with Joanna Newsom for Ys playing drums and singing backing vocals. His first solo release is something new and creative to behold -- the tracks are kind of like tiny symphonies of vocal layering, and the lyrics often reference the natural surroundings Neal grew up around in his hometown of Nevada City/Grass Valley.

Read on for our chat about the creative crock pot that is Nevada City, his new album, touring with Joanna Newsom, and more, and check out Neal's other chat with our own, ever-so-witty Job O Brother; the two are long time friends.

Miss Ess: How did you pick up playing the drums? What is it that drew you to them so strongly?

Neal Morgan: I began playing when I was 9; my dad had a cover band called Sons of Boogie that would practice in the garage. I think I must have sat down at the drumkit and something clicked. I can't say why I was drawn strongly -- I was a cautious kind of kid, so maybe banging on drums was a good contrast. I don't know.

ME: Who are your favorite drummers?

NM: Two close friends of mine stand out:

Zach Hill - he's mind-blowingly exciting as a drummer, of course, but he's an endlessly inspiring artist. No one works harder and very few people have the kind of dedication and commitment to really exploring what's possible in musical expression in the way Zach does.

John Niekrasz - of all the incredible drummers in Portland, I feel like I have the most to learn from John. He's in my favorite Portland band, Why I Must Be Careful, who I try to play with as much as I can.

ME: This record is a gutsy idea -- what made you want to create a drum and voice album?

NM: That's all I do artistically. Drumming and singing is what I love. That's how I want to express myself. So, it's the most natural record in the world for me to make. I guess, like everyone else, I always wanted to make a record that was mine; where it felt like my own territory. It took a while for me to realize that this was the kind of music-making -- and the kind of record -- that would be that for me. It had to be exclusively drumming and singing, it just took a long time for me to see it. Once I got a glimpse that this would be possible, it was the most freeing experience I've ever felt. This is a special debut for me.

ME: When and how did you begin writing these songs?

NM: In early 2007, I was making recordings back home in Grass Valley in between Joanna tours that were almost entirely drumming and singing, just hints of other instruments. Then Joanna opened two shows for Bjork in May. I hadn't listened to Bjork's music before, so I got all her albums and fell in love. I had very selective hearing with those records, because of where my head was regarding my own music, so I heard her music almost solely for the interplay between the percussion and her voice. Her albums gave me confidence. Then in June, I opened a show for Marnie Stern just singing from behind the drumkit for the first time. By July I was writing "Love Me World."

How did you make the arrangements? Were they all there in your mind, with all their many parts, waiting to get out?

No, not at all. The vast majority of the performances you hear on this record are first-take first impulses. I built and sculpted those impulses and re-recorded accordingly as the piece took shape and revealed where it wanted to go. It was almost like I remember paintings being made when I was making visual art: start somewhere, add something, gauge what that does to the whole and the other things around it -- subtract, add, push, pull, etc.

What kind of technology did you use to record the album? How did you shape the various sounds?

"Love Me World" was recorded on a cassette 8-track. "Salamanders" was recorded using the internal mic on my laptop into Garageband. Other songs are mixtures of those two methods. Beyond that, the shaping of the sounds is just how close I would stand to the mic or how far away from the drumkit I'd put the computer and the acoustics of the living room I was in. There's no EQ or post-production work or anything. I don't know how to do any of that stuff and I don't want to know.

I feel the influence of Nevada City in your words and creativity. What affect do you feel growing up there had on you and your work?

I'm fortunate in that I've had an incredible community of musician friends from very early on. Many of my friends have worked very hard and pushed themselves to be really expansive, adventurous musicians. We inspire and support each other. It's a beautiful place as well -- certainly many of the lyrics on this record are inspired by my home: friends, family, the river.

Now on to your new town: What affect do you feel Portland has on your work and creative output?

I'm just starting on the next drum and voice record in the basement, so we'll see! I'm inspired by many of the good bands here, and get to see a good show almost any night of the week, so being a part of this community is an honor. I moved to Portland in part because I've always wanted to hang out with other drummers but it seemed like all my good drummer friends lived in other states or other countries. But I have such a great group of drummer friends in Portland. One of those friends, Jose Medeles (The Breeders), opened Revival Drum Shop, which has been like Cheers for drummers, basically. We have drummer BBQs and go see each other play and hang out at the shop all the time. Bless him.

Tell me about your tour plans and how you are going to bring this record to life on stage! You have a female singer who will be joining you?

The immediate tour plan is to do one west coast tour each of the next three months. I do have a female singer, Damaris Peterson, performing with me. We perform reductions of the vocal arrangements live -- there is something very exciting about paring things down to two voices. But the larger goal is to add three more female singers and perform the record live proper. I start looking for singers next month.

What have you been listening to lately?

My sister gave me a Michachu album and a Fleet Foxes album; I've been listening to those. A little Kate Bush. Karl Blau's new album Zebra. Them Hills have made a cool new album. White Hinterland is working on new music and it's great.

What is your most prized piece of musical gear?

I have an old tambourine -- 8" in diameter, double-row of cymbals -- that my friend Joe Meade gave me in late 2006. It's a beautiful instrument. And I've used it during every Joanna show I've played -- it feels like an old friend or something. It's gained heirloom status, I think.

What song best describes your life right now?

A song on the record called "I Want So Many Things Now" describes things rather well.

Name a record you love that you think more people should listen to.

Zach Hill's solo record Astrological Straits.

What's next for you?

Work on the next drum and voice record. Find three female singers who want to perform these songs with Damaris and I.

What's been your best find at Amoeba?

I've had some great finds, but I want to use this opportunity to prime the pump. I always go straight to the Moore Brothers section, hoping to grab Thumb of the Maid or Spitting Songs, but I'm foiled every time. I hope to get lucky on my next trip.

Thank you for your time!

Occult Inspired Covers

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

I am very pleased with this gallery, it's my favorite post this year. The Beny More Lp alone is top notch!

The Hal Mooney cover above is truly gorgeous in real life. Thick cover, heavy laminate and a pristine print job. Below, TSOL plays my favorite childhood card game-- Gypsy Witch fortune telling cards! I remember many an afternoon at my grandmother's house watching Scooby DooBewitched and messing around with the GW deck.

October 18, 2009

Posted by phil blankenship, October 19, 2009 10:54pm | Post a Comment

New 12" Electronic Releases at Amoeba Hollywood - 10/23/09

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, October 19, 2009 03:38pm | Post a Comment
New Techno/Electronic 12"s Coming This Week:

DJ Koze

White label remix 12" from GET PHYSICAL's DJ KOZE. One side is his minimal smokey remix of ELVIS PRESLEY's cover of "FEVER" -- techno meets cafe jazz. The other side is a chopped up minimal remix of MICHAEL JACKSON's "BAD."

Aphex Twin

1-sided remix of "ANALOGUE BUBBLEBATH" done by DUMB DAN (who also remixed JUSTICE vs NEW ORDER and DAFT PUNK recently). As an added bonus it's pressed on clear vinyl!    



Flying Lotus 

Fever Ray 

Fever Ray 

THROW IT BACK 12" 26BC      

New House/Disco 12"s Coming This Weekend:

Ronny & Renzo

The latest 12" from Belgium's KING KUNG FOO. Limited one time only pressing of 1000. Slow-mo Balaeric disco with a 9 min original mix on one side and a trippy "VOODOO RITUAL DUB" mix from QUIET VILLAGE on the flip. A song and 12" dedicated to the plight of the silverback gorilla. Full pic sleeve.

Idjut Boys 
DROID #3 12" 

Another deadly duo of cuts, taking basic raw drum track elements & twisting them into FX laden new shapes. Their patented dub ethic is woven into these club friendly tunes, hypnotizing and sporadic. Limited pressing, no repress on these, folks!

Art Of Tones CALL THE SHOTS 12" VIS189

Holger Czukay ODE TO PERFUME LTD. 10" C56014

Silicone Soul LANGUAGE OF THE SOUL 12" SOMA272

Smith & Mudd HVALA & ENOS 12" C56015


DJ Sneak


Daniel Wang

Eddie C MAKE A CHANGE 12" FB003

Jackpot RVNG OF THE NRDS #9 12" NRDS09




Spencer Parker YOU GOT ME 12" NRK153






New Jungle/Dubstep 12"s Coming This Weekend:

Moody Boyz

MOODY BOYZ (aka TONY THORPE) team up with soulful vocalist PETE SIMPSON for a bumpin' UK funky meets dubstep workout, with the dubwise mix on the flip.

Chasing Shadows
ILL 12"

Twisted beats, a punishing bassline,and sweeping atmospherics on this intensely nosiy dubstep effort from the HENCH label. B-side "AMIRAH" is equally dark & intense as well.



Cluekid & LD

Digital & Outrage



Goldie & Commix

Junior Murvin 

Mungos Hi Fi 



Posted by Billyjam, October 19, 2009 03:24pm | Post a Comment
Kind of Bloop
Done out of pure reverence for the great late Miles Davis,  musician Andy Baio  recorded an inspired 8-Bit reinterpretation of Davis' jazz classic Kind of Blue, in recent months. Aptly titled Kind Of Bloop, journalist/musician Baio writes of the inspired composition on his blog, "I've always wondered what chiptune jazz covers would sound like. What would the jazz masters sound like on a Nintendo Entertainment System? Coltrane on a C-64? Mingus on Amiga?"

Baio says that in his extensive research of such jazz classic 8-Bit covers he was only able to find four jazz covers ever released: ast0r's version of Coltrane's Giant Steps and Charlie Parker's Confirmation, Sergeeo's own Giant Steps cover, and Bun's version of Coltrane's My Favorite Things.

Portland, OR based Baio, who describes himself as a journalist/programmer and the CTO of Kickstarter, then invited the aforementioned Ast0r and Sergeeo, along with the chiptune artists Virt, Shnabubula, and Disasterpeace, to collaborate with him on a track-by-track remake of the classic Miles Davis album. The Amoeblog recently caught up with Baio to ask him about the project and the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter.kind of blue

Amoeblog: How did you first get the idea to reinterpret Kind of Blue?

Continue reading...

A Rumpus Orange: Where The Wild Things Are & Bronson (2009)

Posted by Charles Reece, October 18, 2009 10:28pm | Post a Comment

I dreamt that it was night and that I was lying in bed. (My bed stood with its foot towards the window; in front of the window there was a row of old walnut trees. I know it was winter when I had the dream, and night-time.) Suddenly the window opened of its own accord, and I was terrified to see that some white wolves were sitting on the big walnut tree in front of the window. There were six or seven of them. The wolves were quite white, and looked more like foxes or sheep-dogs, for they had big tails like foxes and they had their ears pricked like dogs when they pay attention to something. In great terror, evidently of being eaten up by the wolves, I screamed and woke up. My nurse hurried to my bed, to see what had happened to me. It took quite a long while before I was convinced that it had only been a dream; I had had such a clear and life-like picture of the window opening and the wolves sitting on the tree. At last I grew quieter, felt as though I had escaped from some danger, and went to sleep again.
-- Sergei Pankejeff, the Wolf Man


I caught what might be called a double-feature of the Id this weekend: Spike Jonze's long-awaited adaptation of Where The Wild Things Are (co-written with Dave Eggers) and Nicholas Refn's adaptation of the long-waiting life of Michael Peterson, Bronson (co-written with Brock Norman Brock). If little Max hadn't eventually come back to the comforting constraints of familial order, then he would've found out as Peterson (aka Charlie Bronson) did that society is always ready to force that order on him.

Maurice Sendak's tale is about as perfect as could be imagined, and Jonze hews closely to the book's essential truth, while detailing more of Max's home life, adding neurotic personalities to each of his mental chimeras and marketing his despair towards the type who's always pushing the bangs from the eyes and wearing a hood indoors (the hoodie being a more socially acceptable way of getting a few more years out of that wolf suit). Sendak probably did as much for making Freudians of us all as Freud himself, but we needn't consult Herr Doktor to get his point. As Jonze has it, Max drifts off to Lidsville after trying to eat his mother up by literally biting her. Seeing mom make googly eyes at her boyfriend was more than Max could stand. This event comes at the end of an already shitty day which began with his sister siding with her friends when they accidentally destroyed an igloo that he had built. Loneliness here results from feeling cut-off from the locus of control, of feeling ineffectual in his ability to curry favor with those more (emotionally) powerful than he (in desperation he jumps on a counter and cries, "feed me, woman!"). His mother calls him wild, so off he escapes to a land of feral desires. If the movie does anything more effectively than the book, it's in making the Puffinstuff menagerie grotesquely cuddly and fearsome, like keeping a panther for a loving pet provided you can throw it a leg of lamb fast enough. Max is king of the fuzzy-wuzzies so long as he can provide for their emotional needs -- not all that different from the maternal order he fled. Going wild turns out to be pretty similar to desiring absolute control -- a childish / bureaucratic / fascistic fantasy, take your pick. As he loses control over his wild things, Max comes to the adult realization that power is everywhere and nowhere, and begins to miss his mom. With a tearful goodbye to his imaginary friends, back he sails to his family where he can become a productive member of society. 

And daddy doesn’t understand it
He always said she was good as gold
And he can see no reasons
'Cos there are no reasons
What reason do you need to be shown?
-- Bob Geldof


At age 22, Britain's "most violent criminal" Charles Bronson (who initially took the name for his short-lived boxing career and then had it legally changed) began serving a 7-year sentence for armed robbery. The year was 1974, less than 2 years after Stanley Kubrick pulled his movie Clockwork Orange from the theaters due to death threats. With the exception of just over 4 months, Bronson has spent the last 35 years as a ward of the state, all but 4 of them in solitary confinement. This extended sentence has to do with his seeming love of violence for violence's sake, something like the performance art of an evil Andy Kaufman. As such, he's a child of Alex de Large, or an Agent Orange, that is, one whose real life lends itself to Kubrick's satire. Or, at least, that's how Bronson's director Refn takes it (some of Bronson's victims tend to approach his nature a little less abstractly). Therefore, Refn gives us Clockwork Orange's malevolent juxtapositions of barbarity and high-toned culture, gravitas and cornball pop tunes, with a comic book color palette and told through the wide-angled, symmetrical perspective of a demented narrator in clown makeup. Not exactly original, but like Cape Fear was to Hitchcock, livelier than most other films that don't steal from only one source. In fact, there are enough parallels between Alex and Bronson that telling the latter's life as a remake of Kubrick's film becomes an artistic statement: they share a vocation for ultraviolence; they come from solid, conservative and loving middle class parents; the State has tried penal, psychiatric and even artistic means to correct their moral deficiency; they both show a fondness for art, Alex with his beloved Ludwig van, and Bronson with his writing and drawing; and they were released back into civilian life despite the questionable success of those corrective procedures only to rediscover their true calling.

Kubrick's adaptation ends on a downer that Anthony Burgess' original does not because Chapter 21 was excised from the American version that the former had read, the age of 21 being that of adulthood in which Alex was to have sought redemption for his youthful sins. That doesn't sound like an ending the cynical Kubrick would've used even had he known about it, and it finds a counterexample in Refn's protagonist. Despite his size, Bronson never reaches Max's realization, much less Chapter 21. In demanding complete freedom for his base desires, he achieves it internally (as he periodically demonstrates to a mental audience) while being socially isolated through the most punitive means society can offer, a smaller and smaller box. Thus, his repeated demands for harsher imprisonment are shown to be paradoxically a dream of absolute power, a radicalization that doesn't look all that different from complete submission to authoritarian control. Imagine that.


Posted by Mr. Chadwick, October 17, 2009 07:20pm | Post a Comment

Album art designers had a serious infatuation with mini-blinds during the 80's and here's a batch of LPs to prove it. These albums feature well placed mini's as well as larger, classic 2" 40's style blinds. Both the Billy Ocean and Patti Austin LPs have been included due to their blindlike imagery.


Posted by Billyjam, October 17, 2009 02:09pm | Post a Comment
Slanted and Enchanted Kaya Oakes
Oakland author Kaya Oakes' book Slanted and Enchanted: The Evolution of Indie Culture was recently published by Holt Books.  Oakes was the co-founder of the respected magazine Kitchen Sink, and her accolades include winning the Utne Independent Press Award for "Best New Magazine" in 2002. Since her book hit shelves, Kaya has been quite active doing readings up and down the West Coast. Tonight, October 17th, as part of Litquake Litcrawl reading series with Small Press Distribution, she will be reading at The Marsh cafe on Valencia between 21st and 22nd in San Francisco, from 8:30-9:30pm. The Amoeblog caught up with the author to talk about indie culture and her new book.

Amoeblog: Why did you decide to write Slanted and Enchanted: The Evolution of Indie Culture?

Kaya Oakes: The book came together for a number of different reasons. I was  approached by an agent right when the final issue of the magazine I helped found (Kitchen Sink) was coming out, and she asked if I was interested in writing a book about underground music, which is the topic of one of my courses at UC Berkeley. I came up with the idea of doing a broader overview of indie culture, since in my experience it means a lot more than just music. Plus, I felt like indie had given me so much that I wanted to give something back in turn, and I had time on my hands for a big project for the first time in five years. It was a strange coincidence to have one thing ending and another beginning, but I’m glad it happened.

Amoeblog: For those who haven't yet read your book, how do you define "indie culture," and if you were to stamp a date and place on it, when exactly did "indie" start and where?

Continue reading...

This Week At The New Beverly: October 16 - 22

Posted by phil blankenship, October 17, 2009 09:27am | Post a Comment
This Week At The New Beverly

Our full October calendar is online at

Friday & Saturday October 16 & 17

Two Directed By Pietro Germi

Recently Made Prints Of Both From Janus Films

Divorce Italian Style
1961, Italy, 105 minutes
dir. Pietro Germi, starring Marcello Mastroianni, Daniela Rocca, Stefania Sandrelli, Leopoldo Trieste
Fri: 7:30; Sat: 3:10 & 7:30

Skillfully written, with a penetrating, almost brutal glimpse of Sicily and its antiquated way of life, it has been directed by Pietro Germi with lagless pace and consistent incisiveness, evoking constant chuckles rather than isolated guffaws. - Variety

Evolution of the undead - zombie movies

Posted by Eric Brightwell, October 16, 2009 01:42pm | Post a Comment
As vampires are increasingly depicted as little more than be-fanged, neutered teenage emos; the popularity of zombies has risen to the point, according to some sources, that surpasses that of the traditional king of the undead. Zombies are certainly more popular than most of their undead peers, including re-animated skeletonsghosts, mummies or the Crow.

Although zombies rule right now, their reign may prove short. After all, no individual zombie has risen to the level of familiarity of a Dracula, Frankenstein's monster or Mac Tonight. What zombies possess in ability to strike fear into the hearts of living, they lack in the personality department. Their mythology is simple, borrowing from ghouls, vampires and mummies whilst adding few touches of their own. That may be why zombies still don’t have their own musical subculture like vampires do with Goth -- just a handful of musically dissimilar bands like The Zombies, White Zombie, and Fela Kuti and The Cranberries' songs, "Zombie.” Zombies can't be said to have truly arrived in the pantheon of monsters until one appears on General Mills' line of monster-themed cereal.
In real life, zombies are entranced or betwitched servants or thralls of a Vodou/Voodoo/Vodun bokor... or, sorcerer. They can be living or dead. In movies, however, zombies have gradually taken on a variety of aspects borrowed from other undead, mainly the aforementioned vampires and ghouls.
Ghouls were originally from Arabia and are an evil sort of desert-dwelling, shapeshifting Djinn that eat children and the dead, afterward taking on the meal’s appearance, thus proving the truth behind the old adage, “You are what you eat.” In films, there had been relatively few attempts to depict ghouls. The British film The Ghoul (1933) concerned an undead Egyptologist’s (played by Boris Karloff) attempt to attain immortality and to kill his former servant. It had more in common with the previous year's Boris Karloff vehicle, The Mummy. Other ghoul movies, like The Mad Ghoul (1943), Nobody’s Ghoul (1962), Boy Meets Ghoul (1965), The Ghoul (1975), Ghoul School (1990), Ghoul Panic (2000) and The Ghouls (2003) are unlikely to ring many bells.


In the 1930s, an Indian film, Chalta Purza, may be the only silent zombie film, which is sort of a shame since zombies, with their taciturn natures, would seemingly be naturals. White Zombie, like most zombie films for several years to come, would depict Zombies within the Voudon context as not necessarily dead, but mind controlled slaves. The concept of zombies was first introduced to most Americans in the 1929 novel, The Magic Island, about zombies in Haiti.

Chalta Purza, White Zombie (both 1932) Ouanga (aka The Love Wanga) and Revolt of the Zombies (both 1936)
In the 1940s, the zombie-horror-comedy lumbered onto the scene with Zombies on Broadway.

King of the Zombies (1941), Zombies on Broadway (1942), I Walked With a Zombie and Revenge of the Zombies (both 1943)
The 1950s - despite its title, 1952's Zombies of the Stratosphere had nothing to do with zombies and therefore did not introduce the now-common idea of zombification resulting from extraterrestrial events. Instead, it was noted pioneer Ed Wood with Plan 9 From Outer Space that introduced that concept.

Back from the Dead and Zombies of Mora Tau (both 1957), Plan 9 From Outer SpaceGu wu jiang shi and Teenage Zombies (both 1959)
The 1960s - 1968's Night of the Living Dead is, it's fairly safe to say, the first important, modern zombie film. It's also still the most influential. Interestingly, the undead creatures are only referred to as ghouls within the film. As with ghouls, they shared their taste for human flesh, something most zombies are assumed to like now but had never been an aspect of their culture previously. Furthermore, unlike  traditional zombies, the creatures weren't under the control of a wizard, alien or other agent. About the only thing they had in common with traditional/real-life zombies was the lumbering gait that characterized them for decades to follow.

A few years earlier, The Last Man on Earth appeared, a film adapted from the 1954 book I Am Legend. Though it isn't strictly concerned with zombies, it's also proven very influential (including on Night of the Living Dead). After the film appeared, many zombies thereafter depicted the transformation into a zombie as a disease spread through contact from the zombie to victim, as with vampires before (and werewolves in Hollywood as well). And it blurred the lines between re-animated corpses and the merely infected living who take on similar characteristics and the singleminded hunger for flesh.

The Dead One (1961), Santo Contra los Zombies (1962), The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies and The Last Man on Earth, Zombies (1964), 5 tombe per un medium (1965), Plague of the Zombies (1966) Night of the Living Dead, Mad Doctor of Blood Island and The Astro-Zombies (all 1968)

Zombies in the 1970s carried on pretty much as those in Night of the Living Dead, although they were much more likely to unlive in Italy or Spain and enjoyed a bit more flesh and blood in their continental breakfast. Sugar Hill is notable for being one of the first zombie films to return to zombies' voudon roots, something rarely done since.

Escape, Christina, princesse de l'érotisme, La noche del terror ciego, La notte che Evelyn uscì dalla tomba and Let's Scare Jessica to Death (all 1971), Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things, Messiah of Evil and La rebelión de las muertas (all 1972), Les démoniaques, La orgía de los muertos, The Hidan of Maukbeiangjow, Horror Express, House of the Living Dead and El ataque de los muertos sin ojos (all 1973), Corpse Eaters, Dead of Night, Garden of the Dead, El buque maldito, Non si deve profanare il sonno dei morti, Nightmare Circus and Sugar Hill (all 1974), La noche de las gaviotas (1975), Bakterion and Gou hun jiang tou (both 1976), The Child and Shock Waves (both 1977), Dawn of the Dead (1978) and Zombi II (1979)
In the 1980s, the 1985 film Return of the Living Dead added something to zombie lore that's now widely considered canon; that is the preference for human brains over other cuts. Also, Zombies started showing up in martial arts films, beginning with Kung Fu Zombie Vs Tigerkralle.

Alien Dead, Bloodeaters, The Children, Paura nella città dei morti viventi, Le notti erotiche dei morti viventi and Zombie Holocaust (all 1980), Dead & Buried, Heavy Metal ("B-17"), The House by the Cemetery, Kiss Daddy Goodbye, Kung Fu Zombie Vs Tigerkralle, Night of the Wehrmacht Zombies, Virus and Le lac des morts vivants (all 1981), The Aftermath, ...E tu vivrai nel terrore! L'aldilà, Le notti del terrore, The Curse of the Screaming Dead, I Was a Zombie for the F.B.I., Wu long tian shi zhao ji gui (all 1982), L'abîme des morts vivants, La tumba de los muertos vivientes, Hysterical, and Thriller (all 1983), C.H.U.D., Night of the Comet, Zombie Island Massacre and Zombie vs. Ninja, (all 1984), Attack of the Beast Creatures and Day of the Dead, Hard Rock Zombies, La mansión de los muertos vivientes, Re-Animator and Return of the Living Dead (all 1985), Gore-Met, Zombie Chef from Hell, Night of the Creeps, Raiders of the Living Dead, The Rape After, The Supernaturals, Zombie Brigade and Zombie Nightmare (all 1986), I Was a Teenage Zombie, Night of the Living Babes, Redneck Zombies, La revanche des mortes vivantes, Video Dead, Death House and Zombie High (all 1987), After Death (Oltre la morte), Dead Heat, The Dead Next Door, FleshEater, Flesh Eating Mothers, Return of the Living Dead Part II, Serpent and the Rainbow, Waxwork and Zombi III (all 1988), Oigyeingwa kongkong gangshi, C.H.U.D. II: Bud the C.H.U.D., Curse of the Zombi, The Dead Pit, Hellgate, Night Life, Pet Sematary, Jiang shi da nao xi men ding, Working Stiffs and Zombie Rampage (all 1989)
The sheer number of zombie films in the 1990s suggested there was no stopping them. Lots of retro-tongue-in-cheek-zombie comedies, though...

Bride of Re-Animator, Linnea Quigley's Horror Workout, Night of the Living Dead and Zombie Attack! (all 1990), The Boneyard, Chopper Chicks in Zombie Town, Dead Dudes in the House, Demoni 3, Killing Birds, Night of the Day of the Dawn of the Son of the Bride of the Return of the Terror, Night of the Day of the Dawn of the Son of the Bride...In Shocking 2-D, Nudist Colony of the Dead, Zombie and the Ghost Train, The Zombie Army!, Zombie Cop and Zombie '90: Extreme Pestilence (all 1991), Braindead, Dead is Dead, Pet Sematary II, Urban Scumbags vs. Countryside Zombies, Vågn op! - en religiøs zombie parody, Waxwork II: Lost in Time and Zombie Rampage 2 (all 1992), Ghost Brigade, My Boyfriend's Back, Ozone, Return of the Living Dead 3, Space Zombie Bingo, Zombie Bloodbath and Zombie Genocide (all 1993), Dellamorte Dellamore, Flesheater and Shatter Dead (1994), Female Mercenaries on Zombie Island, Legion of the Night, Living Dead in Denmark and Zombie Bloodbath 2: Rage of the Undead (all 1995), Living a Zombie Dream (1996), Death Metal Zombies, Back from the Dead, The Necro Files, Plaga Zombie, Premutos - Lord of the Living Dead, Zombie - The Resurrection and Zombie Ninja Gangbangers (all 1997), Attack of the Flesh Devouring Space Worms from Outer Space, Bio Zombie, I, Zombie, Laughing Dead, Natural Born Zombie Killers, Zombie Cult Massacre, Zombie – Regulators and Zombie Toxin (all 1998), Crossclub: The Legend of the Living Dead, Hot Wax Zombies on Wheels, Junk: Resident Zombies, Mutation, Raw Zombie 11, Violent Shit III: Infantry of Doom, Wild Zero and Zombie! vs. Mardi Gras (all 1999)
By the 2000s the size of the zombie horde became ridiculous. 28 Days Later, though some will argue it isn’t a zombie movie, asked "Why can't zombies run?" which influenced many films that followed. The filmmakers responsible for Shaun of the Dead asked, "What if a zombie-horror-comedies were actually funny?" Other filmmakers turned to shoot-em-up video games for creative inspiration.

The Dead Hate the Living!, Flesh Freaks, Shiryô-gari, Machine Head, Meat Market, Teenage Zombie House Massacre, Vāsasu, Wild Zero Zombie Bloodbath 3: Zombie Armageddon, Zombie Snake (all 2000)

All You Zombies, Biohazardous, Children of the Living, Dead Tor, Meat Market 2, Mulva: Zombie Ass Kicker!, Mutation 2 - Generation Dead, The Resurrection Game, Route 666, Stacy
and The Zombie Chronicles (all 2001)

Dead/Undead, The Last Days of Humanity, Mutation 3 - Century of the Dead, Necropolis Awakened, Resident Evil, 28 Days Later and Zombie Campout (all 2002)

Battlefield Baseball, Beyond Re-Animator, Blood of the Beast, Boot Hill Blind Dead, The Bunker, Corpses Are Forever, Daddy, Kiss Me, Dead Clowns, Deadhunter: Sevillian Zombies, Exhumed, Gory Gory Hallelujah, I'll See You in My Dreams, Living Dead Girl, The Mental Dead, The Naked and the Living Dead, The Necro Files 2, Noctem, The Revolting Dead, Undead, Wiseguys vs. Zombies, Zombie Night and Zombiegeddon (all 2003)

Angry and Moist: An Undead Chronicle, Bad Friend, Bone Sickness, Choking Hazard, Corpses, Dawn of the Dead, Dawn of the Living Dead, Dead & Breakfast, Dead Meat, Dead Roses, Feeding the Masses, Fuck Norge, Ghost Lake, Graveyard Alive: A Zombie Nurse in Love, Hide and Creep, Hunting Creatures, Lord of the Undead, Museum of the Dead, Die Nacht der lebenden Loser, Oh! My Zombie Mermaid, Punk Rock Zombie Kung Fu Catfight, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Rotten Shaolin Zombies, SARS, Shadows of the Dead, Shaolin Vs. Evil Dead, Shaun of the Dead, Tele-Zombie, They Came Back, Vampires vs. Zombies, Walk Like a Zombie, Zombie Honeymoon, Zombie King and the Legion of Doom, Zombie Nation and Zombie Vegetarians (all 2004)

All Souls Day, Beneath Still Water, Boy Eats Girl, Bubba's Chili, Day of the Dead 2: Contagium, Day X, Dead at the Box Office, Dead Creek, Dead Life, Dead Men Walking, Dead Things, Die You Zombie Bastards!, Die Zombiejäger, Le Divan vert, Doom, The Drunken Dead Guy, Evil Grave: Curse of the Maya, Το Κακό, Hood of the Living Dead, House of the Dead 2, Knight of the Living Dead, Land of the Dead, Livelihood, Living Dead Lock Up , The Lost Way of the Zombies, Night of the Day of the Dawn of the Son of the Bride…Part 3, Pot Zombies, Raiders of the Damned, Return of the Living Dead 4: Necropolis, Return of the Living Dead 5: Rave to the Grave, Rise of the Undead, The Roost, Severed,The Stink of Flesh, Swamp Zombies, Tokyo Zombie, Z: A Zombie Musical, Zombie Hunter, Zombie Planet 2: Adam's Revenge and Zombiez (all 2005)

After Sundown, Automaton Transfusion, City of Rott, Dead and Deader, Dead in the Water, The Dead Live, Deadlands: The Rising, Die and Let Live, Doomed to Consume, Dorm of the Dead, Electric Zombies, Enter the Zombie, Fido, Gangs of the Dead, Island of the Living Dead, Last Rites of the Dead, Meat Market 3, Mortuary, Mulberry Street, Night of the Living Dead 3-D, Pathogen, Plaga Zombie: Zona, The Plague, Porn of the Dead, Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead, Shadow: Dead Riot, The Slaughter, Slither, Storm of the Dead, Stoned Dead, War of the Dead, War of the Zombies, War of the Living Dead, Wicked Little Things, Zombie Commando, The Zombie Diaries, Night 2: Awakening, Night of the Dead: Leben Tod, Special Dead Zombie Self Defense Force, Zombie Wars, ZombieWestern: It Came from the West and Zombies by Design (all 2006)

American Zombie, Awaken the Dead, Beneath the Surface, Brain Blockers, Brain Dead, Days of Darkness, Dead Heist, The Dead Undead, Evil Keg, Flight of the Living Dead: Outbreak on a Plane, Fog² - Revenge of the Executed, Forest of the Dead, Forever Dead, I Am Legend, Living Dead Lock Up 2: March of the Dead, The Mad, Motocross Zombies from Hell, Mutation -Annihilation, Otto, or Up With Dead People, Planet Terror, Evil: Extinction, The Quick and the Undead, The Rage, REC , Rise of the Dead, Risen, The Rising Dead, Team Massacre, Trailer Park of Terror, 28 Weeks Later, Undead or Alive, Undead Ted, Urban Decay, Wasting Away, Yûrei zonbi, Zibahkhana, Zombie Cheerleader Camp, Zombie Farm, Zombie Hunters, Zombie Outbreak, Zombie Town, Zombie Warrior, Zombies Gone Wild, Zombies: The Beginning and Zombies! Zombies! Zombies! (all 2007)

Bachelor Party in the Bungalow of the Damned, The Brass Ring, Colin, Curse of the Anasazi, Dance of the Dead, Day of the Dead, Dead Snow, Dead Space: Downfall, Deadgirl, Descendents, Diary of the Dead, Edges of Darkness, Evilution, Fast Zombies with Guns, Flick, Graveyard of the Living Dead, House of the Damned, House of the Dead, King Zombie, Mutant Vampire Zombies from the 'Hood!, Ninjas vs. Zombies, O.C. Babes and the Slasher of Zombietown , Onechanbara: Zombie Bikini Squad, Outpost, Pig Hunt - Don't Be Scared, Quarantine, Reel Zombies, Resident Evil: Degeneration, RetarDEAD, Rika: The Zombie Killer, Sabbath, Samurai Zombie, Sexykiller, Slime City Massacre, Stag Night of the Dead, The Undead, The Vanguard , The Veil, Virus Undead, Yoroi: The Samurai Zombie, Zombie Apocalypse Now!, Zombie Hunter Rika and Zombie Strippers (all 2008)

All You Need is Brains, Autumn of the Living Dead, Bio Dead, Blood Moon Rising, Bong of the Dead, The Book of Zombies, Carriers, The Crypt, Dark Floors, Dead Air, Dead Moon Rising, Dead Past - Rache aus dem Jenseits, The Dead, Deadlands 2: Trapped, Die-ner (Get It?), Doghouse, Drive-In Horrorshow, Ed and His Dead Mother, Evil - In the Time of Heroes, FVZA: Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency, Gallowwalker, George A. Romero's: Survival of the Dead, Haunting Kira, Hell on Earth, La Horde, House of Re-Animator, Joshua Breed, The Living Corpse Mutants, Night of the Living Dead goes 3D, Night of the Living Dead: Reanimated, Paris By Night of the Living Dead, Plan 9, Pontypool, REC, The Revenant, Romeo & Juliet vs. The Living Dead, School of the Dead, Silent Night, Urban Scumbags vs. Countryside Zombies Reanimated, Zombie Night, Song of the Dead, Stone's War, Tormented, Uniform Sabaigaru, Walking Dead, Woke Up Dead, Worst Case Scenario, Xombie, ZMD: Zombies of Mass Destruction, Zombies of the Night, Zombie Reanimation, Zombie Women of Satan, Zombieland and Zone of the Dead (all 2009)


Posted by Billyjam, October 16, 2009 08:40am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music San Francisco Hip-Hop Weekly Chart Top Ten: 10:16:09
carried away
1) People Under The Stairs Carried Away (OM)

2) Ghostface Killah Ghostdini: The Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City (Def Jam)

3) Crown CIty Rockers The Day After Forever (Gold Dust Media)

4) Del the Funky Homosapien & Tame One Parallel Uni-Verses (Gold Dust Media)

5) Jern Eye Vision MYX

6) BK-One with Benzilla Radio Do Canibal (Rhymesayers)

7) Skyzoo The Salvation (Duck Down)

8 Antipop Consortium Fluorescent Black (Big Dada)

9 Jay Are (J Rawls & John Robinson) The 1960's Jazz Revolution Again (Groove Attack)

10) Nump Student Ov Da Game (30-30 Sic Wid It Records)

People Under The Stairs (PUTS) are both back on San Francisco label OM Records for their latest album Carried Away, and back on top of the new San Francisco Amoeba Music Top Ten chart, which comes courtesy of Luis at the Haight Street store. "It's a real good album," enthused Luis of the new Thes One + Double K (PUTS) release, which is album number seven from the ever popular pair, who have been busy the past several months performing many large scale shows, including several festivals such as Coachella and Bonnaroo (where Spin magazine dubbed their set “Best Performance. Period.”). To keep that ol skool hip-hop feel, PUTS deliberatley recorded the new album entirely on reel to reel, sampling lots of classic bits, including numerous rock samples. Note that the first pressing (now at Amoeba) of the CD is wrapped around a die cut O-card and a fold out “PUTS Party Safety Guide” poster. Each album also comes with a special VIP (Very Important Partier) lanyard that will allow fans to acquire exclusive material at the ongoing People Under the Stairs World Tour.

Hey its Global Handwashing Day!

Posted by Whitmore, October 15, 2009 04:55pm | Post a Comment
This morning I was reminded by my second grader son that today is a holiday with an actual message and purpose-- it’s Global Handwashing Day. Simply, it’s a day to educate and motivate people around the world to wash their hands with soap on a regular basis. The campaign is dedicated to raising awareness of the fact that handwashing with soap is a key element in preventing disease.
Last year Global Handwashing Day was initiated as part of the annual World Water Week. According to the official site, the focus for Global Handwashing Day, like last year, is on school children. And with the inevitable flu season just around the corner, handwashing with soap is the single most effective and inexpensive way to prevent flu, diarrhea and acute respiratory infections like pneumonia, which is the number one cause of death among children under five years old. Diarrhea and pneumonia together account for almost 3.5 million child deaths annually. Regular handwashing with soap before eating and after using the toilet is projected to save more lives than any single vaccine or medical intervention, cutting deaths from diarrhea by almost half and deaths from acute respiratory infections by one-quarter.
And needless to say there are a bevy of kids songs just about handwashing, and these songs are destined to get stuck in the old noggin for several days to come. Unfortunately, washing your hands with soap and hot water will not prevent what Dr. Oliver Sack calls amusia; the disorder in which impaired musical processing prevents the ear from recognizing musical tones or rhythms, beautiful music may very well sound like the clattering of a toddler in the kitchen with a couple of large ladles and a floor full of pots and pans. Some of these songs I have cued up may just have that effect on the adult brain. Then again, if you’re lucky you’ll just be subject to earworms; the maddening condition where musical fragments repeat incessantly.
Anyway, here are some musical odds and ends about handwashing from the likes of Handwashing with Soapy, a Beatles parody, a weirdly paranoid Henry the Hand spreading fear and cleanliness, and of course, a selection from the most successful musical act in the world-- the Wiggles.


Posted by Billyjam, October 15, 2009 01:46pm | Post a Comment
         Trailer for Fight Club

"Man, I see in Fight Club the strongest and smartest men who've ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see squandering. Goddamn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need. We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great fight clubDepression. Our Great War's a spiritual war... our Great Depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off," says Fight Club's Tyler Durden -- played to perfection by Brad Pitt  -- who is the dark alter ego of the nameless narrator/protagonist played brilliantly by Edward Norton. Equally powerful is the actress Helena Bonham Carter in the supporting rolel of Marla Singer. Meat Loaf and Jared Leto also play secondary characters in the film.

Today, October 15th, 2009, is the ten year anniversary of the date the David Fincher directed movie first arrived in cinemas.  Based on the 1996 novel of the same name by Chuck Palahniuk, the engaging dark tale, with its underlying theme of consumerism and the ptifalls of materialsim, is about the nameless Edward Norton character who, in his struggle with insomnia and lack of medication to treat it, ends up in support groups, which he soon becomes addicted to attending. And then by some twists of fate he gets drawn into the web of the dark violent psychē of Tyler Durden, ending up living in his large dilapidated house where the fight club is formed. The violent and provocative film, which has a really dark humor to it, is the sort of film you can go back and watch repeatedly. The movie's great soundtrack by the Dust Brothers also includes The Pixies ("Where Is My Mind"), Marlene Dietrich ("No Love, No Nothin"), and Tom Waits ("Goin' Out West")... Look for both the Fight Club CD and DVD at each Amoeba Music store. Below is the scene with the eight rules of Fight Club.

Farewell, Mr. Williams

Posted by Amoebite, October 15, 2009 01:26pm | Post a Comment
leslie williams

Our much adored customer and friend Mr. Williams passed away yesterday, October 14, 2009. Here, we, the staff of Amoeba, celebrate his life and our lasting bond with this special man.

Mr. Williams was the quintessential Amoeba presence. Not just a customer (although he was our favorite), but also a spirit-lifting, gift-giving friend.

Mr Williams loved music. He loved Soul Music, from classic to current, from Ray Charles and Etta James to Gerald Levert and Mary J. Blige. He would find out about the newest independent release by a Johnnie Taylor or a Blue Magic, and let us know that we needed to have them.

Mr. Williams was incredibly generous, known to buy popsicles and drumsticks and ice cream sandwiches for the entire staff on particularly warm days. He was also known to give copies of a CD or loan a DVD of classic Sly Stone or James Brown performances.

He always had a good word for you, always made you smile, made you feel like you were in the right business.

His first name was Leslie, and he will be missed.
leslie williams
--David James

"Mr. Williams" was in Amoeba the day we opened in Berkeley, in November 1990, and almost every day for 7 years, until we opened our San Francisco store, which, conveniently, happened to be RIGHT BEHIND his home!!! From that point on, his daily visits were mainly at that store, though he still somehow continued to visit us in Berkeley and continued to add to his already amazing collection of music... as our #1 BEST CUSTOMER, we invited him down to help us celebrate the opening of our new Hollywood store on November 17th, 2001. HE CUT THE RIBBON FOR US, as thousands of new customers poured in!! Quite an honor for him, but even more so for us....This beautiful man brought so much joy to our workplace; we are forever deeply grateful for his presence in our lives. Wherever you are now, Mr. Williams, please know that we will NEVER forget you, and will always be inspired by your love for music and your beautiful spirit.

October 14, 2009

Posted by phil blankenship, October 15, 2009 12:13am | Post a Comment

After Whip It we watched Capitalism: A Love Story.


Posted by Mr. Chadwick, October 14, 2009 11:59pm | Post a Comment


Posted by Billyjam, October 13, 2009 07:47pm | Post a Comment
"Flashback" by Del & Tame One off the new album Parallel Uni-Verses (in Amoeba today)

Of the numerous new releases to arrive onto the hip-hop shelves at Amoeba Music today (Tuesday, Oct 13th), my personal fave new joint is the latest from the ever prolific Del The Funky Homosapien. On the new CD the longtime Oakland Hieroglyphics emcee teams up with the equally talented Jersey guy Tame One -- formerly of legendary hip-hop duo The Artifacts (with El Da Sensei) and member of the East Coast hip-hop super-group The Weathermen (Aesop Rock, Cage Kennylz, Yak Ballz, El-P, Breeze Brewin, etc.).

Parallel Uni-Verses is the title of the new album featuring this bi-coastal power duo, released on Gold Dust Media. The collaboration comes as a surprise to many hip-hop fans (myself included), since you would never expect these two artists to join forces. But the good news is it works, and really well, too, on songs such as "Flashback," featured above in the new video directed by Alex Ghassan. The vid was recorded two months ago at the East River State Park on the Williamsburg Waterfront outdoor show in Brooklyn and at various other NYC spots including (what looks like) Fat Beats record store on Sixth Ave. in the West Village.

License to Confuse: Lou Barlow

Posted by Miss Ess, October 13, 2009 05:24pm | Post a Comment

Lou Barlow
's songs were the background music to my college experience. Actually, they were more than the background music...they were more like little saviors, tiny gems that made life a bit more bearable when things got complicated and rough. Barlow's music both described and assuaged situations I found myself surrounded with and confronting back then.

These were also my days of extreme lo-fi appreciation, and Lou was one of the musicians at the apex of my admiration. His songs were so naked. They felt real. His openness was so plain, both in music and words. Those songs were soft and hard at the same time, gentle yet defiant, the perfect combination of sweet melody and roughness -- the way so much of the best music is. I spent a lot of time with my Sebadoh records on repeat in those days, and Lou's contributions were the ones that resounded the most.

A few years ago, I met him here at Amoeba, back when Dinosaur Jr had an (awesome) instore. It was a memorable day, but my sudden nerves around him are something I kinda want to forget! Despite the fact that it'd been years since I'd even listened to those Sebadoh records, it all was still right there and fresh in my mind. Though I was directly involved with getting the band set up and onstage, I barely spoke to or even looked at Lou (which I actually think he appreciated), and in no way even attempted to even engage him in regular conversation, let alone pass on how much his music had meant to me at an important time in my life. Instead, I gabbed away with J Mascis about cereal. Yup.

Sometimes I think things are better left unsaid, and when it comes to these things, that is truly always the case. Better to talk to someone else about breakfast food and enjoy the music.

Back in the day, in my nerdiest moments, I thought Lou had the most perfect indie rock boy times change! Thank goodness I've moved on in my hair style preferences, but I have not forgotten how simply great his songs are.

I had never seen these videos till today...

"Rebound" -- a resounding anthem for collegiate romance:

This vid and song are particularly amazing! It's "Ocean":

Finally, rot-your-teeth-sweet "Willing To Wait":

Happy Birthday Arthur Tatum Jr., October 13th, 1909

Posted by Whitmore, October 13, 2009 12:25pm | Post a Comment
Art Tatum is acknowledged by anyone who knows anything as one of the greatest and most influential jazz pianists of all time. A child prodigy born with perfect pitch, Tatum was picking up church hymns and tunes off the radio by ear at the age of three. As a teenager, the nearly blind Tatum started at the Columbus School for the Blind where he studied music and learned Braille. His first musical heroes were his contemporaries like the stride pianists James P. Johnson, Fats Waller, and Earl Hines. Within a few years he was playing in New York settling at the Onyx Club where he recorded his first sides for Brunswick. Tatum developed an incredibly fast improvisational style, and though he rarely ventured far from the original melodic lines of a song, his technique and ideas are a direct line to the bebop revolution of the late 1940’s. One of Tatum’s great quotes was “There is no such thing as a wrong note.”
Though I’m often dubious of many opinions laid out by jazz critic Leonard Feather, I have to more or less agree with him when he called Tatum "the greatest soloist in jazz history, regardless of instrument." Legendary French writer and artist Jean Cocteau called Tatum "a crazed Chopin." Count Basie called him the eighth wonder of the world. Classical composer Sergei Rachmaninoff once said, "he has better technique than any other living pianist, and may be the greatest ever." Dizzy Gillespie said, "First you speak of Art Tatum, then take a long deep breath, and you speak of the other pianists." Charlie Parker, who briefly worked as a dishwasher at Jimmie's Chicken Shack in Manhattan, where Tatum regularly performed, once said, “I wish I could play like Tatum’s right hand!” One of the most famous quotes about Art Tatum was by Fats Waller, whose introduction one night announced, "I only play the piano, but tonight God is in the house." Waller also once said, "When that man turns on the powerhouse, don't no one play him down. He sounds like a brass band."
Art Tatum died in Los Angeles on March 12, 1955 at Queen of Angels Medical Center from the complications of kidney failure. He was originally interred at Angelus Rosedale Cemetery, but in 1991 he was moved to the Great Mausoleum of Glendale's Forest Lawn Cemetery.

In the Spirit Of Brendan Mullen

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, October 13, 2009 01:47am | Post a Comment

It’s been a while since I’ve written about the city I love, even though the name of this blog is called Los Angeles Me. Originally, I wanted to write about Los Angeles and the music and cultural scene of the city that you don’t hear about in most Los Angeles publications. Los Angeles has been my home for forty years now and I love it now as much as I ever have. I have been blessed to live and be a part of many communities, geographically and culturally. I’ve met some great people in L.A.; some are still here, some have moved to other cities and some have unfortunately passed on too soon.

The sudden passing of Brendan Mullen over the weekend has much of L.A.’s music community in shock. Brendan, who started The Masque in the late 70’s, was, as Paul Tollett of Goldenvoice said, "The first promoter of punk rock in this town, everything started with him." I couldn’t even begin to imagine a Los Angeles without bands such as X, The Germs, The Go-Go’s, The Weirdos and The Plugz, just to name a few that played at The Masque. The bands that played there influenced many others to not only play music, but to create art and expand their horizons. It could be said that Brendan wasn’t just valuable as far as helping music in Los Angeles grow, but that he helped the entire city grow as well. 

I met Brendan while performing at the L.A. Weekly Music Awards back in 2001. I remember he said some very complimentary things about the band I had at the time and how honored I was that he did. This was a man who not only championed the punk scene, but also all music that had the same rebellious spirit. He had a way of making you feel good about yourself, which is probably why he was such a great promoter of music.

So in the spirit of Brendan Mullen, I give you my humble suggestions of some shows to check out this week. The music ranges from Metal, brass bands, Latin Reggae, Cumbia, Afro-Beat to good old Rock and soul, but it all has that rebellious spirit that I hope someone like Brendan would have appreciated. R.I.P. Brendan, you will be missed by more than you will ever know.

TUESDAY 10.13 10PM

Mas Exitos w/ special guest deejay Tropicaza (Mex DF)

Tropicaza has a knack for pulling out the perfect jam like a magician pulls a rabbit out of hat. Expect the unexpected from one of Mexico’s best diggers. Rare Mexican 45’s all night with resident selectors
(and no slouches either):




Colombia to Africa, Brasil to the Balkans.

Rani D’s Wednesday night World soul sessions bring another stellar guest, the world renowned DJ Nu-Mark, formerly of Jurassic 5, playing cuts from Colombia to Africa, Brasil to the Balkans.

FREE / 21+ / 10pm-2am
Footsie's Bar
2640 N. Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, CA 90065

THURSDAY 10.15 9pm


Help celebrate the birthday of a legend, not only of East L.A. music, but the entire world-- the one and only Ruben Guevara! As he said, you only turn 101 once! Ruben’s Rock & Soul punch has never been sweeter and with a crack band filled with great musicians [including a rhythm section of John Avila (Oingo Boingo) on the bass and Ramon Banda on the drums]. You can’t go wrong!

FREE / 21+ / 10pm-2am
Los Angeles (Boyle Heights), CA

FRIDAY 10.16 9pm

Funk Aid for Africa" CD release party + NextAid Benefit
Faeturing deejays ObaH (Dubspot/Giant Step/NYC) J-BOOGIE (OM Records/SF)
JEREMY SOLE (Afro Funké | KCRW | Musaics)  GLENN RED (Afro Funké)

Funk Aid for Africa will benefit Los Angeles-based humanitarian organization NextAid. 100% of the proceeds from the sale of this compilation are going directly to charity. Funds will be going toward the construction of a “green” sports facility at a community center in Dennilton. The sports facility will be in addition to the 10 structures already completed in the eco-friendly center.
Dakota Live Music Lounge (formerly the Temple Bar)   
1026 Wilshire Blvd.   
Santa Monica, CA

SATURDAY 10.17 9pm

B-Side Players
(San Diego 2009 World Music Champs)
W/ Dj Sloepoke (Little Temple/Rhythm Lounge/Root Down)
The B-Side Players haven’t been to L.A. in a while and Sloepoke plays better when supporting them. Cumbia/Reggae at some of its finest.

The Mint   
6010 West Pico Blvd   
Los Angeles, CA

SUNDAY 10.18 8pm

Aztlan Underground, Geronimo and Kilsonic @ The Troubadour

This is the official record release party for Aztlan Underground. It’s been eight years since their last release, 2001’s Sub-Verses, and with the addition of Ignacio “Caxo” Lopez (drums) and Alonzo Beas (guitar, keyboard, synth) to the band, they have only become more intense over the years, giving new blood to a band that original members Yaotl and bassist/flutes Joe “Peps” have been doing for almost twenty years. Also on the bill is Geronimo, an insane journey through the forest of Swans, Goblin and The Locust. Kilsonic's sometimes twenty piece orchestra sounds like a trip to The Balkans via Sun Ra. See three of the best "out" bands in L.A. all in one night.

The Troubadour
9081 Santa Monica Blvd   
West Hollywood, CA

New 12" Electronic Releases at Amoeba Hollywood - 10/16/09

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, October 12, 2009 02:54pm | Post a Comment

New Techno/Electro 12"s Coming This Weekend:

Etienne Jaumet

1st 12" from the ZOMBIE ZOMBIE keyboard player's album prod by CARL CRAIG!! "ENTROPY" is a meeting between ASHRA TEMPLE, CAN, LIAISONS DANGEREUSES, a TR808 & more vintage gear. Also included is a mental techno ride provided by way of a remix of "FOR FALLING ASLEEP" by CHRISTIAN VANCE.  

joakim watermelon bubblicious ep


After some heavy remixes, JOAKIM is back with his own productions. "NEBULA LAUGHTER" is an epic journey influenced by italo & disco played live by his band THE DISCO. "WATERMELON BUBBLICIOUS" is the bangin electro cut for the dancefloors that rounds off his EP.

Beatfanatic ROBOTS & GUIDE EP 12" SCR018

Breakbeat Junkie 

Breakbeat Junkie 

Da Wiesel 


Parker vs P-Zilla 






Cru Jonez 

Detroit Grand Pubahs 


Lazer Sword 


2009 REMIXES 12" H2BDJS6P 

Who Made Who 

New House/Disco 12"s Coming This Weekend:

Sven Tasnadi

"WHAT WE DO" is a classic house track, very deep and peppered with vocal cuts that hold the tension. On the flip is "AMOUR FOU," a track with a very compact rhythm, tied together by a reduced bassline & driving drum patterns that surprise.

Eddie C

Groove Dis Exclusive! More copies back in stock. JISCO delivers the goods again with this three-tracker of smoked out disco edits from Canada based EDDIE C. Includes "YOU'RE WELCOME," "LET YOUR MIND BE FREE," and "MAKE IT BETTER."

2020 Soundsystem CAN'T STOP..REMIX 12" VIS14


Posted by Billyjam, October 12, 2009 10:30am | Post a Comment
As a kind of promotion for the recently published, long-titled new book Gimme Something Better: The Profound, Progressive, and Occasionally Pointless History of Bay Area Punk from Dead Kennedys to Green Day there will be a night of "punk rock storytelling" this evening at the  Broadway Studios featuring numerous contributors to the book, including the Avengers' Penelope Houston, Tribe 8's Lynn Breedlove, Jesse Luscious (Blatz, the Gr’ups), Johnny Strike and Hank Rank (Crime), Anna Joy Springer (Sister Spit, Cypher in the Snow), Bucky Sinister (Gilman spoken-word), Oran Canfield (the Farm), Rozz Rezabek (Negative Trend), John Geek (Fleshies, Triclops!), Chicken John (Circus Redickuless), and Kareim McKnight (Barrington/Cloyne). Following the storytelling there will be a live performance by Penelope Houston and her band.

Tonight's venue, the Broadway Studios (formerly the On Broadway), is the perfect location -- The Broadway Studios and the long gone Fab Mab (Mabuhay Gardens) downstairs from it on Broadway in San Francisco were the settings of so many legendary and memorable Bay Area punk rock concerts and events in bygone years. All those nights will be relived tonight via spoken word. Note that tonight's event is just one of a half dozen in the highly recommended series of readings to tie in with the new book, including another one on Saturday (Oct 17th) night at Gilman Street. The book, which is published by Penguin, was penned by Jack Boulware and Silke Tudor, whose many published credits include both having being contributors to the SF Weekly.


Posted by Billyjam, October 12, 2009 09:10am | Post a Comment

Amoeba Hollywood's World Music Charts For Oct 2009 (So Far)

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, October 12, 2009 01:19am | Post a Comment

1. Poncho Sanchez-Psychedelic Blues
2. Rodrigo Y Gabriela-11:11
3. Nelly Furtado-Mi Plan
4. Bebel Gilberto-All In One
5. Gustavo Cerati-Fuerza Natural
6. Mercedes Sosa-Cantora
7. V/A-Mata La Pena
8. Mahssa-Oyun Havasi Vol.1
9. Aventura-Last
10. V/A-
Panama! 2

Poncho Sanchez tops the September chart, in part due to another successful in-store performance on Sunday. Poncho’s latest release, Psychedelic Blues, may not truly “psychedelic,” but then again, neither was The Lebron Brothers' classic album Psychedelic Goes Latin, or, for that matter, Ray Barretto’s Acid. What these three releases have in common is the marriage of soul music and Latin music, which many Latinos growing up in the U.S. during the sixties were influenced by. Psychedelic Blues contains a Willie Bobo medley, a version of Herbie Hancock’s “Cantaloupe Island” and Freddie Hubbard's "Crisis."

Rodrigo Y Gabrielas 11:11 keeps on moving and will probably be on of our year's best sellers, while Nelly Furtado’s first all Spanish release, Mi Plan comes in third. Nelly has a few collaborations on this disc with Julieta Venegas, who is scheduled to have a new album out some time next year. Bebel Gilberto latest release, All In One, lands at number four. I got to hear a few of the songs during her recent show at the Hollywood Bowl with Seu Jorge. I have to admit I’m not the hugest fan of Bebel, but I really enjoyed her short and sweet (and trampy) set that night.

Fuerza Natural is Gustavo Cerati's first solo album in almost four years. During that time he reunited with his former band, the legendary Argentine rock trio Soda Stereo, for a worldwide tour. Perhaps the energy of the tour was funneled into Fuerza, as the album reminds me more of earlier Soda Stereo days than some of his previous solo releases. At number six is Cantora by Mercedes Sosa, released a week before her passing. I have to say I never enjoy seeing an artist’s sales increase due to death, but in this case, I hope people who are new to Mercedes Sosa’s music will enjoy what many in Latin America have been inspired by for years.

Mata La Pena (number seven on the chart) is another in the series of LPs by Mississippi Records, which releases rare World Music 78's on one LP For your enjoyment. Mahssa's collection of Psychedelic Middle Eastern music, Oyun Havasi Vol.1 returns to the chart at number eight. Speaking of LP’s and Psychedelic Middle Eastern music, we have some great new vinyl releases that have arrived over the last month. Among the new vinyl release are LPs by Turkish rocker Baris Manco (looking very Derek Smalls-like on the cover), the African Pearls Electric Mali 70 compilation, Serge Gainsbourg's classic Historie De Melody Nelson, (back in stock) the Legend of Benin compilation and lastly, the return of Sistema Local’s Cumbia Mash-ups. Sistema Local was a collaboration between King Ruly (now known as Chico Sonido) and Toy Selectah. It was the first official Electro-Cumbia release, a few years before ZZK and Bersa started releasing their mixes. It was a limited release (only 300 pressed) and we managed to get a few in the store. If you heard the classic “Cumbia From The Bronx,” this is where it came from.

Coming up, watch out for that She Wolf! Shakira is coming and so is the the new Tinariwen! Ahhhoooowwww!!!!



rhyme or reason not necessary

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

This past week in Great Britain, in honor of their National Poetry Day, the BBC commissioned a poll to name Britain’s favorite poet. And oddly enough they chose the great American writer T.S. Eliot, best known for his landmark poems The Wasteland and The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. The 1948 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, Eliot was born in St. Louis, Missouri, but moved to England in his mid twenties where eventually he became a British citizen.
According to the BBC, more than 18,000 people voted online. Eliot won by a narrow margin, just ahead of John Donne, the 16th and 17th Century metaphysical poet, with Benjamin Zephaniah coming in third. Zephaniah was the only living poet on the list. Born in 1958, he is a Rastafarian dub poet who last year was included in The Times' list of Britain's top 50 post-war writers. Coming in fourth was Wilfred Owen, the First World War poet who was killed in action at the Battle of the Sambre just a week before the war ended, and rounding out the Top Five was Philip Larkin, who was also renowned as a novelist and a jazz critic.
Many in academia’s hierarchy were a bit perturbed by the lack of rhyme or reason to the top ten finishers. No John Milton or W. H. Auden (maybe because he became an American citizen) or Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney or Ted Hughes or even this old guy named Shakespeare. Most of the great Romantic poets were also shut out: William Wordsworth, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Lord Byron, Robert Browning, Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Carol Ann Duffy, the current Poet Laureate of Britain, didn’t make the top ten, nor did Rudyard Kipling, who back in 1995 was named Britain’s favorite poet.
The rest in the exclusively male top ten include William Blake, William Butler Yeats, John Betjeman, John Keats and Dylan Thomas.
According to those carrying out the BBC poll, for several months Wilfred Owen led in the voting, most likely reflecting the concerns over the rise of UK soldiers killed in Afghanistan this past summer. But very surprisingly, in the last few weeks, Eliot and The Wasteland pulled it out in the end.
While the results of the poll demonstrated a growing interest in contemporary poetry and that classic poetry still seems to have a strange hold on reader’s affections, the National Poetry Day event and Top Ten list comes on the heels of a survey conducted by the UK Literacy Association that found more than half of primary school teachers could name no more than two poets.

Hit The Deck

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, October 10, 2009 08:30pm | Post a Comment

Happy Birthday Thelonious Sphere Monk

Posted by Whitmore, October 10, 2009 12:37pm | Post a Comment

 “I'm famous. Ain't that a bitch?”
“Wrong is right.”
“Sometimes it's to your advantage for people to think you're crazy.”
“If someone wants to play music you do not have to get a ruler or whips to make them practice.”
“Be-bop wasn't developed in any deliberate way.”
“All musicians are subconsciously mathematicians.”
“All musicians stimulate each other. The vibrations get scattered around.”
“If you really understand the meaning of be-bop, you understand the meaning of freedom.”
“Man, that cat is nuts.” (Monk’s comment about Ornette Coleman.)
“Jazz is my adventure. I'm after new chords, new ways of syncopating, new figures, new runs. How to use notes differently. That's it. Just using notes differently.”
“Talking about music is like dancing about architecture.”
“I don't have a definition of jazz... You're just supposed to know it when you hear it.”
“I say, play your own way. Don’t play what the public wants -- you play what you want and let the public pick up on what you doing -- even if it does take them fifteen, twenty years.”
“Miles’d got killed if he hit me.”
“Where’s jazz going? I don’t know? Maybe it’s going to hell. You can’t make anything go anywhere. It just happens.”
“Those who want to know what sound goes into my music should come to New York and open their ears.”
“I like to sleep. There is no set time of day for sleep. You sleep when you’re tired, that’s all there is to it.”
“I don’t consider myself a musician who has achieved perfection and can’t develop any further. But I compose my pieces with a formula that I created myself. Take a musician like John Coltrane. He is a perfect musician, who can give expression to all the possibilities of his instrument. But he seems to have difficulty expressing original ideas on it. That is why he keeps looking for ideas in exotic places. At least I don’t have that problem, because, like I say, I find my inspiration in myself.”
“At this time the fashion is to bring something to jazz that I reject. They speak of freedom. But one has no right, under pretext of freeing yourself, to be illogical and incoherent by getting rid of structure and simply piling a lot of notes one on top of the other. There’s no beat anymore. You can’t keep time with your foot. I believe that what is happening to jazz with people like Ornette Coleman, for instance, is bad. There’s a new idea that consists in destroying everything and find what’s shocking and unexpected; whereas jazz must first of all tell a story that anyone can understand.”
“Well, I enjoy doing it. That’s all I wanted to do anyway. I guess, you know, if I didn’t make it with the piano, I guess I would have been the biggest bum.”
Thelonious Monk was once asked what he thought of Downbeats jazz polls, he thought for a moment and replied, “I have a lot of respect for the Polish people, especially the way they can drink vodka.”

The Boys Are Back In Town: it's Fleet Week again and the Blue Angels are settin' it off!

Posted by Kells, October 10, 2009 01:34am | Post a Comment

I cannot explain exactly why I get such a rush when I hear them Blue Angels roaring overhead, but
it's definitely something of a peeking at the bounty-beneath "The Tree" on Christmas morning kind of exhilarating tingling --- so full of promise and excitement! Ahh, to be thrust again into that "danger zone" Loggins croons so passionately about, and on my doorstep to boot. This weekend, what with its parade of military might (hardly), its bevy of boisterous sailors (verily) and high-flying boys in blue pulling all the G's they please (yes, please!), is definitely one of the most fun weekends us San Francisco residents can boast of. Plus, it's an excuse to put together a mix of songs you'll only listen to for all of five days or so (again, like Christmas). From Saxon's cover of Christopher Cross's "Ride Like the Wind" to something a little more random like MARRS's "Pump Up The Volume," the sky's the limit when it comes to compiling this year's Fleet Week festive "Need For Speed" mixtape. Check it out:

However, I know that the four days of the Angels stay will be fraught with voices groaning complaints about "the noise," peppered with prolonged soapbox-top denunciations of their "unnecessary" showmanship, waste of resources, etc. And to that I say, place the blame on them fraternal Buckeye bicycle repairmen who, once upon a North Carolina coastline with sense keen enough to follow their curious ideas through countless scientific experimentation and innovation, set the wings soaring on those royal blue F-18 Hornets that ruffled your feathers this afternoon. Blame science. I agree that maybe it's just plain not right for man to travel at the speed of sound, but it sure is amazing to see what 700 miles per hour looks like, even if it sounds like hell's seams ripping. But I feel that we humans, animals that we are, will forever push the limits of our existance to satisfy our needs. As for me, I fantasize that the Blue Angels need the devotion of captivated fans like me, just as much as I need their yearly testosterone-drenched exhibition to remind me that their magic is real. And as any other sailor of serviceman can tell you, being needed feels good.

Happy Birthday John Winston Lennon!

Posted by Whitmore, October 9, 2009 09:31pm | Post a Comment

About the Awful

I was bored on the 9th of Octover 1940 when, I believe, the Nasties were still booming us led by Madalf Heatlump (Who had only one). Anyway, they didn't get me. I attended to varicous schools in Liddypol. And still didn't pass-much to my Aunties supplies. As a memebr of the most publified Beatles me and (P, G, and R's) records might seem funnier to some of you than this book, but as far as I'm conceived this correction of short writty is the most wonderfoul larf I've ever ready.
God help and breed you all.
A Reason for Breathing

I pictured myself on a boat on a river with tangerine trees and nervous dysplasia. This was to be the final chapter in my life savings. I pulled the plug and boarded an Amtrak to nowhere. I had suffered insomnia all my life, but, like Isaac Newton, had put it down to apples. It was hereditary (so was my forehead). I wished to remain anonymous in a world of Philadelphians. I ticked myself off and put myself in my place, a two-bedroomed brownstone of ill repute. I was convinced I'd been here before. Call it what you will, I call it daft. Had I walked these same dusty springfields before? Or was I just a victim of circumnavigation? Yea, tho' I walk thru Rudy Valle, I will fear no Evel Knievel. Junk food made me silly; fast food slowed me down; I had to get off at the next stop. I alighted to the sound of a military bandit.

"Do you take this woman anywhere in particular?" the voice rang out. I panicked slowly and continued to exercise my discretion.

Question: How do you write your books?
Lennon: I put things down on sheets of paper and stuff them in me pockets. When I have enough, I have a book.
Question: Why do you kill people off in your books?
Lennon: That's a good way to end them. I suppose they were manifestations of hidden cruelties. They were very Alice in Wonderland and Winnie-the-Pooh. I was very hung up then. I got rid of a lot of that. It was my version of what was happening then. It was just the usual criticisms, as some critic put it.
Question: What were you really trying to say in your book? Why don't people understand it?
Lennon: I understand it. If I wrote in normal spelling there would be no point. I'm not saying anything. There is no message.

Letter to Stuart Sutcliffe, 1961
I can't remember anything without a sadness
So deep that it hardly becomes known to me
So deep that its tears leave me a spectator of my own stupidity.


Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, October 9, 2009 08:16pm | Post a Comment

New Batch Of Soul Collectibles Hits Hollywood

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, October 9, 2009 08:15pm | Post a Comment

This week the Amoeba Hollywood Soul LP collectible wall got a serious overhaul. Recent collections featuring sealed Motown/Tamla classics along with Northern Soul rarities, Private Press oddities, Disco gems, Modern & Boogie monsters as well as chunks of Zapp and Prince. All the LPs featured in this posting will be hitting the walls soon-- keep checking back, as new items will be trickling out all month!

It's Autumn, Therefore We Have Joanna Newsom's "Only Skin"

Posted by Miss Ess, October 9, 2009 02:40pm | Post a Comment
"Only Skin" is but one track off of Joanna Newsom's truly epic album Ys, but this single song is a real doozy. At 16 minutes+ in length, it's probably one of the longer pop songs around, if it could even really be referred to as "pop." It's really much more complicated and layered than the vast majority of what passes for pop.

Anyway, it's one long, fairy-tale like poetic parable for the perennial confusion of romantic relationships, the vast pleasures and joy, pain and strife, storms and sunshine, abundance and lack, with rich descriptions and allusions including references to antiquated and fantastical forms such as "fire breathers," a "toothless hound dog," a weeping sea gull and a "hairless and blind cavalry," among many others.

It feels like there are several distinct musical movements through the length of the song, the music deftly winding and dancing around multiple emotions, much like the "twisting and braiding" river, the "lazy cinder smoking" and the "estuaries of wax-white" that wend through its lyrics.

This song is incomperable, a stunner.

If you haven't heard it or all of Ys yet, now is the time, when the leaves are falling, the air is full of woodsmoke and the change of seasons makes the earth and its brethren, described so beautifully here, feel that much closer.

And P.S.: Please check out two special interviews with Joanna's touring drummer, Neal Morgan, about his new record To the Breathing World. To get in the mood, check out his masterful work on the EP Joanna Newsom and the Ys Street Band!

Here's a performance of "Only Skin" broken into two parts to accommodate its length:


Posted by Billyjam, October 9, 2009 07:07am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Weekly Top Five: 10:09:09
ghostalini ghostface killah
1) Ghostface Killah Ghostdini: The Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City (Def Jam)

2) Crown CIty Rockers The Day After Forever (Gold Dust Media)

3) Jay-Z The Blueprint 3 (Roc Nation/Atlantic)

4) Raekwon Only Built 4 Cuban Links Pt II (ICEAL)

5) Brother Ali Us (Rhymesayers)

Thanks for this week's Amoeba Music Hip-Hop Top Five chart go out to Tom at the Berkeley store where, in addition to updating the Amoeblog on the top selling new hip-hop albums, he reports that, as of yesterday,  the Telegraph Ave. store has, "got all the Halloween decorations up and it looks mighty spooky." What's spooky to me is how quickly the summer just flew by and the fact that it's almost Halloween again. Dang! Time really does fly. Case in point is Ghostface Killah -- it seems like it's only been a few years since the Wu-Tang Clan rapper dropped his first solo release, Ironman, but actually that release came out thirteen long hip-hop years Ghostface Killahago, in 1996! His latest album, Ghostdini: The Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City on Def Jam, which is this week's number hip-hop release at Amoeba, is actually the eighth solo release from the Wu rapper, who took his name from the 1979 kung fu film Mystery of Chessboxing.

October 7, 2009 part 2

Posted by phil blankenship, October 8, 2009 09:05pm | Post a Comment

California Fool's Gold -- Exploring Wilshire Park, Los Angeles's "Not Koreatown"

Posted by Eric Brightwell, October 8, 2009 08:32pm | Post a Comment

This installment of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Blog concerns Wilshire Park. Vote here to vote in the Neighborhoods of Los Angeles Blog Poll (NLABP) and/or here for the Los Angeles County Community Blog Poll (LACCBP). To vote for Orange County neighborhoods, vote here.

Pendersleigh & Sons' Official Maps of Midtown and Wilshire Park

Wilshire Park is a small, Midtown  neighborhood whose borders are Olympic Blvd on the south, Crenshaw Blvd on the west, Wilshire Blvd on the north and Wilton Place on the east. Its desirable, central location and quaint charm has lead to various parties attempting to claim it for their benefit. Some residential realtors have extended the traditional use of the term “Westside” to the neighborhood, hoping to attach that area’s mostly white and affluent connotations to the neighborhood. Commercial interests have occasionally led to it being described as part of neighboring Koreatown, presumably with an eye on extending the bustling commercial center into the quiet neighborhood.
Wilshire Blvd suddenly gets quiet in Wilshire Park
Wilshire Park is almost completely residential. When entering the neighborhood from Koreatown to the east, one notices an almost complete halt in the Hangul signs, BBQ aroma and crowded shopping centers which immediately give way to several nondescript apartments and only a couple of equally nondescript businesses.

An attractive row of typical Wilshire Park homes
The bulk of the neighborhood is made up of a variety of architectural styles including American Craftsman, California Bungalow, Colonial Revival, Dutch Colonial, Mediterranean, Spanish Colonial and Victorian-Craftsman Transitional styles. The first home built in the neighborhood was in 1908 and most of the rest were built between the ‘10s and ‘30s. A number are listed as Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Landmarks.

Although a few Wilshire Park residents have accepted the realities of California and thus xeriscaped their lawns, many of the homeowners attempted to transplant the appearance of where they’d come from to the area and a large number of the homes still feature rose gardens and lush, green lawns. If not for the palm trees, the large magnolias and oaks, the sycamore-shaded neighborhood could pass for somewhere in the Middle West.

              Doris Eaton                                            Helen Lee Worthing                                              Mildred Harris

Much of the neighborhood looks much as it must’ve in the silent film era, when it was home to many stars. Doris Eaton, Helen Lee Worthing, and Mildred Harris all lived there. In 1925, a chase scene in the Buster Keaton film, Seven Chances, took place at Olympic and Bronson.

Situated three miles south of downtown Hollywood and five miles west of downtown Los Angeles, the Mid-Wilshire area was in a prime position in the 1930s and it was at the peak of its association with the film industry, leading to the area being known as “The Upper East Side of the West Coast.” The Ambassador Hotel, the Brown Derby, the Cocoanut Grove club, Perino's and the Wiltern Theater were/are attractions which no doubt contributed to the association.

              Harry James                                Louise Tobin                         Joseph L. Mankiewicz                   Jules Dassin

In the pre-war era, the neighborhood was also home to bandleader Harry James and his wife, singer Louise Tobin, lived there as well as violinist Jan Rubini and screenwriter Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Following World War II, the southland population largely moved to the suburbs. In the 1940s and '50s, though most of the Hollywood crowd had moved away from the city center, Wilshire Park was still home to several notables. Don McLaughlin, star of old time radio program Counterspy lived on Norton Avenue. Screenwriter/director Jules Dassin lived on Bronson.

In the 1960s, The Douglas Family house in My Three Sons was shot there (837 5th Ave). More recently, the neighborhood was a shooting location in Crossing Over.
Looking toward Olympic
The sometimes histrionic reaction to being lumped in with Koreatown could lead one to believe that the residents of Wilshire Park are living out their own cozy catastrophe, holding out against the widespread Koreanization of the Wilshire region. However, walking around the neighborhood it seems that a vast majority of the neighborhood's residents and businesses are themselves Korean. Olympic Blvd is Wilshire Park’s main commercial corridor and every business is Korean-owned and targeted, including Arirang, Chung Ki Wa, Kang Nam and many others.
                             A Buddhist Temple                                                                  A strange sign
In reality, Koreatown means more than simply Koreans; it means high-density high-rises (it’s the most crowded area in the Southland), LCD JumboTron billboards, traffic, filth and crime. Indeed, the concerns of Wilshire Park residents are hardly unwarranted. The Wilton Place border (where several scenes of 365 Nights In Hollywood were filmed) it shares with Koreatown is noticably more litter-strewn and nearly every crime in the neighborhood (mostly burglaries) takes place within a block of the street. For more on the neighborhood, go to the Wilshire Park Association's website or check their twitter page.


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

October 7, 2009 part 1

Posted by phil blankenship, October 8, 2009 08:03pm | Post a Comment

I was the only person in the theater.


Posted by Job O Brother, October 8, 2009 09:06am | Post a Comment

Heaven For Bay Area Graffiti Fans This Weekend

Posted by Billyjam, October 8, 2009 06:22am | Post a Comment
Style Wars
Bay Area graffiti fans should be in heaven this weekend, with so many amazing events celebrating the urban art form jumping off in both SF and the East Bay starting today, Thursday, and ending on Saturday with The 3rd Annual Estria Invitational Graffiti Battle (EIGB). This evening (Thursday, Oct 8th) kicks things off at the 1:AM Gallery in San Francisco with The Can Film Festival, which will include screenings of the two graf films, Style Wars and Bomb It. The films will be followed by a Q&A session with a panel that will include Kevin Epps, Suzie Lundy, Erin Yoshioka, Estria Miyashiro and will be moderated by hip-hop author Jeff Chang. Screenings start at 7pm but doors open at 6:30pm. Even better, this is a free event, so get there early to ensure admission. 1:AM Gallery is located at 1000 Howard St. (near 6th St.), San Francisco, CA . Click here for more info. Note that tomorrow at 1:AM gallery will be the last day for the exhibit Don't Sweat The Technique - Ode To The Spray Can Art Show, featuring art by judges and contestants involved in Saturday's Estria Invitational Graffiti Battle.

Then tomorrow (Friday, October 9th) is the big event at the Eastside Arts Alliance in East Oakland-- the Pecha Kucha Night Oakland: Don't Sweat The Technique - Graffiti For Social Change, which is being presented in partnership by the Eastside Arts Alliance, Hard Knock Radio, Samurai Graphix and Youth Speaks. The event is happening at 2277 International Blvd., Oakland, CA 94606 from  7:30-10:30pm tomorrow (get there early)! Its ten presenters scheduled include legendary graf archivalist Jim Prigoff (co-author of Spraycan Art, Walls of Heritage Walls of Pride and Graffiti New York), Spie from the mighty Bay Area TDK crew, Steve Grody (author of Graffiti LA), and San Francisco community activist Nancy Hernandez.
According to artist Estria, who is another of the presenters and who was instrumental in bringing this event to Oakland, "Pecha Kucha is a great way to expose your art to many professionals in other fields in one quick-fire burst."

7" Fix: Joseph Childress - The White White Quilt (split)

Posted by Kells, October 8, 2009 03:04am | Post a Comment

This isn't the first time I've experienced water tower envy. Stash your dirty take on that statement and open your mind to the kind of acoustic possibilities an abandoned husk of monolithic metal casing presents; even something so slight as the sound of Autumn's driest, final dead leaf falling inside one of those hulking riveted hulls must echo ever so epically. Coincidentally, the two sides of the Water Tower Sessions split 45 (Empty Cellar Records) reverberate hauntingly of tones both epic and Autumnal. Recorded by the American Opry who, bless them, trespassed inside a three-story behemoth to capture gorgeous field-recordings of two Bay Area folk artists, Joseph Childress and The White White Quilt, performing their sad yet very beautiful songs live inside the old tower, achieving a fullness of sound that seems to suggest a memory of water.

What I like most about these songs is the ghostly feeling that comes from hearing them paired together on this record: Childress' "Leaving the Barren Ground" tells a shadowy tale soaked in vocals that at first flow weighted, heavy with confession, but then ebb into soul-quaking howls by yarns' end, minimal percussion and steady strumming lending eerie tingles and determination to his story. Then in "Papa," The White White Quilt plods along to reluctant acoustic twangs while multiple voices singing low-slung verse suggesting an unwillingness to accept the passing of time. Altogether, the record is quite like two similar spirits willing their abandoned dwelling to sag upright before poetically keeling over; broken-down new folk songs recorded in an old forgotten well fogging the mirror of this dark, nostalgic time of year. Pressed on frosty clear vinyl and limited to 500 copies that include access to downloads of both songs (plus a bonus cut!).


P.S. I have it on good authority that there are some very choice, cavernous water towers on Treasure Island if anyone in San Francisco wants to try drowning in their own sounds. This record here proves that it's certainly worth the effort (and adventure folks! Think of the adventure!).

WALRUS DAY 2009: 1

Posted by Job O Brother, October 7, 2009 05:42pm | Post a Comment


Hey, hey, hey! It's WALRUS DAY EVE!

Carrie and I are starting the celebration NOW, with our official Walrus Day beverage: Campari & soda. Our plans for tomorrow? For the lady, buttermilk pancakes with homemade banana syrup and thick-cut bacon. For yours truly, ICE CREAM -- the best breakfast food EVER. Remember, it's the most important meal of the day, so don't forget to add hot fudge!

We've also chosen our official song for the day...

Following our ridiculous breakfast, Carrie and I can be seen lurking around the darkened halls of the Museum of Jurassic Technology, with an occasional break for Indian sweets at the nearby Indian grocer. Dinner is as yet undecided, though Carrie is championing for some French grub at my favorite place for such things, Café des Artistes.

I just asked Carrie if there's anything more we should say to you. She asked in return:

"Should we have a deep thought they should ponder this Walrus Day?"

What a lovely idea! I think we should!

Anyway, however you celebrate tomorrow, keep in mind: It's not how your celebrate so much as that you do celebrate. Treat yourself whenever and however! Sneak it in! And write us back and let us know how you did. We always like to hear how you marked the occasion.

Happy Walrus Day!


Posted by Billyjam, October 7, 2009 02:22pm | Post a Comment

It seems we take music for granted in our current times, which is easy enough to do since we are so innundated with endless music from a seemingly endless stream of artists. With the way things are these days, it might be difficult to stop and imagine a time or a place where music could be much, much more scarce -- a place where music and the artists who create it are valued and treasured so much more than they are here and now. One of these long lost places has been captured in the great documentary on music fandom The Posters Came From The Walls, in which diehard Depeche Mode (DM) superfans look to their heroes for meaning in their lives. The documentary's subjects are primarily in second world nations, fans who bonded with the music of DM in the midst of political turbulence.

The feature length documentary about DM fans around the world was co-directed by Nick Abrahams and Jeremy Deller. In the documentary, the directors spend some time in the US and UK interviewing DM fans, but the flick is at its best when capturing DM fans in Russia and countries of the former Soviet Union, where DM's music has taken on a whole new meaning since the 1980's, when it was not only hard to find but illegal and only available via much coveted bootleg tapes. From that point DM's music became a sort of freedom soundtrack for many of these fans. DM's Dave Gahan’s birthday falls on May 9th, which is Russia’s National Day. In St. Petersburg DM fans celebrate the date as “Dave Day” every year.

Taking the Lynch Meme Challenge: Canonizing David Lynch

Posted by Charles Reece, October 6, 2009 11:33pm | Post a Comment
No, I haven't given up on talking Inglourious Basterds to death; I'm almost finished, cross my heart. It's just that Dave Fiore distracted me with thinking about how I'd rank Lynch's feature films (The Grandmother and The Alphabet are probably my favorite shorts). Nothing will pull me into a conversation faster than my favorite living director. One thing I've noticed about my enjoyment of his films is that over time it's negatively correlated with my initial reaction: the less I liked them on first viewing, the more I like them with each re-viewing, and vice versa. Another is that I prefer the ratio-narrative Lynch to the one who lets his dreams/"ideas" take him wherever (granted, many, including Fiore, don't much agree that my preferred Lynch even exists). So, in order of my enjoyment/rewatchability/hours of mental masturbation afforded:

I. Lost Highway (1997)

Well, actually, it's the first half and finale with Bill Pullman's Fred Madison that place the film on top. For sure, LH contains some of Lynch's weakest moments: Balthazar Getty's Pete Dayton ("you liked it, hunh?"), music chosen by Trent Reznor (Bowie's "Lost Highway" over Payne's -- really?), and a menacing cameo by Marilyn Manson and Twiggy (about as spooky as W.A.S.P. in Ghoulies 2). Nevertheless, most of Lynch's major themes receive their fullest and most direct expression here: Vertig-inous duality (Renee vs. Alice), repression and oneiric escapism (the hallways, Fred's fugue state as a release from his impotence and murderous deed), and the demands of the always elusive Real (the intrusive mirror, phone calls, video tapes and, of course, Robert Blake's Virgil, the white-faced Mystery Man). Some poor casting and music supervision can't ultimately diminish Lynch and co-writer Barry Gifford's perfect construct.

II. Mulholland Dr. (2001)

Fiore, myself and many others nerded out on the dvd a few years ago and I blogged about my favorite lachrymal scene here (no one makes me cry bucketfuls like Lynch), so I'll just repeat my basic refrain that the most amazing aspect to MD is the way it creates real emotion while fully acknowledging the artifice involved. Lynch is the master of melodrama, and this is his definitive melodramatic statement.

III. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992)

For my money, FWWM contains the scariest shit I've ever seen in film (particularly the first act with Chris Isaak and Keifer Sutherland). This is horror as it should be: ubiquitous and wide-angled. Poor Laura Palmer is trapped out in the open. There's no escape from the droning horror of everyday objects, neighbors and family. Ends with a message of Heideggerian hope: only God can save us. Well, ain't that kind of depressing.

IV. The Straight Story (1999)

I get teary-eyed merely thinking about Alvin Straight reuniting with his brother or sharing his war memories with another veteran in a bar. LH splits, FWWM goes in a circle and SS escapes these entrapments by connecting with others via a straight line. Clearly, Lynch has a multivalent view of humanity.

V. Blue Velvet (1986)

Pick the scab until it bleeds. HIs most surrealistic film. America never looked the same after BV: pop culture, suburbs, teenagers, and fire engines all were revealed to have a great deal of depth. Was there much point in discussing high versus low art after '86?

VI. Eraserhead (1977)

An accurate portrayal of having kids, but other than that I don't see why many consider this a horror picture. To me, it's like trying to focus on some simple task while on your favorite hallucinogen, but you can't stop laughing.

VII. Inland Empire (2006)

Created modularly as inspiration came to him, and it feels modular, never having any real connective tissue to the various segments. This is Lynch pulling his fish from the transcendental pool of Ideas. Anyone who wants to see him as a pure intuitionist will probably find this one a definitive text (along with E and the shorts). Contrariwise, IE makes a good argument for the role of cognition in the films at the top of this list: it ambles on too long, many scenes are repetitious (within the film and of previous films), and none of the really great moments (GRACE!) have the impact of those contained in his more structured works. I'd say he's got the TM blues.

VIII. Wild at Heart (1990)

Probably the greatest of Lynch's films when you're 18, but less so as you get older. That is to say, it's his most quotable.

IX. Elephant Man (1980)

A dialectic of social structure and the individual embodied in the gnarled form of a mutant outcast. Purely as a film, independent of auteurist thinking, this ranks higher than both IE and WAH, but since it's his Rebecca, I'm less likely to go back to it when wanting to watch a Lynch film. A great biopic, making it one of, what, three?

X. Dune (1984)

If you ever wondered why Kubrick didn't have his Starchild shooting lasers from its eyes, Dune provides the answer. After 8 or so attempts at watching this in one setting, I've finally stopped trying. I can't imagine a worse fit than a director who hates explaining anything with science fiction's most prominent example of technobabble. Bad enough that one doesn't even notice Sting's acting.

Oh, and as per the rules, 5 of my favorite non-Lynch films: Touch of Evil, Juliet of The Spirits, Playtime, Deadman and Rear Window<

WALRUS DAY 2009: 2

Posted by Job O Brother, October 6, 2009 06:28pm | Post a Comment
Only 2 more days until


Posted by Billyjam, October 6, 2009 12:50pm | Post a Comment

In the male dominated music world, female DJs are in the minority, especially when it comes to hip-hop. And when it comes to female scratch DJs, aka turntablists, the number of female artists is even smaller. Exceptions include DJ Shortee, Kuttin Kandi, and the Bay Area DJ duo of Deeandroid and Celskiii, who have been busy perfecting their game for over a decade now.

Tonight the Filipino female DJ duo, who were invited on tour by KRS-One a few years back, will be throwing their popular twice-monthly Skratchpad turntablist event (every first and third Tuesday) at The Cellar in San Francisco. The event had been on hiatus for a few years and returned just this May. I caught up with the two Vallejo natives to ask them about their party (including its "funky freestyle jam") and other aspects of the hip-hop DJ music they both so passionately love. They, like many other diehards, spell "skratch" with a K.

Amoeblog: Can you run down the history of Skratchpad -- from the first time out to the revised 2009 version?

Deeandroid: We started Skratchpad at the (old) Sublounge in May 2003. The Resident DJs were Celskiii, Wint-One, Amerriica and myself. We had a desire to organize and start up an open turntable event, since the Bay Area is like a DJ mecca. We loved to skratch and party and really missed the inspiration from when they had night events like the Beat Lounge at Deco. Celskiii and myself
were very influenced by the Beat Lounge weekly party/DJ session that was held at Deco back in 1997, where we [were] exposed to a great selection of rare & original music from DJs that were very talented, guests and rotating DJ residents/turntablists that were making some noise in the DJ scene at that time. The showcases and DJ sets were amazing, from cats like Apollo, Vin Roc, Derrick D, Shortkut, Spydamonkey, Snaykeyes, etc. So when Beat Lounge stopped...years later, Cel, Winst-One and I thought it would be dope if we created our own space for the DJs in the Bay Area to network, come together, and just jam in honor of Beat Lounge and to inspire new heads and practitioners of the DJ arts.

Gustavo Dudamel Wins Over Los Angeles In an Instant

Posted by Amoebite, October 6, 2009 10:47am | Post a Comment
gustavo dudamel

Gustavo! Gustavo! Gustavo!

It’s unlikely that anyone driving around LA lately hasn’t noticed the signs, billboards and banners welcoming famed conductor Gustavo Dudamel to the city. They’re pretty hard to miss. Although I was glad to see them, I did wonder to myself how many other people glancing at them knew who the gustavo dudamel los angeles philharmonichandsome young Venezuelan is, or, for that matter, even cared.

Being a somewhat optimistic classical music fan, and having refused to buy into the current myth (and despite what you’ve heard, it is a myth) that so-called “classical” music is at death’s door, and that the only people still interested in this art form are white-haired eighty-somethings driving motorized wheelchairs equipped with state-of-the-art oxygen tanks, I naturally have welcomed the coming of St. Gustavo with open arms. But I did believe that, despite the press blitz, most of Los Angeles would remain apathetic toward a man who represents (next to Lawrence Welk or Liberace, perhaps) the least hip genre of music imaginable. But now I think I might be wrong. And I’m oh so glad I am.

There hasn’t been a welcome of this nature for a classical musician in this city since, perhaps, the days of Stokowski or Leonard Bernstein. I certainly haven’t seen such a thing in my lifetime (I just turned forty-three). And you may be thinking that it’s all hype. Believe me, it ain’t.

First off, Dudamel, despite his youth (he’s only twenty-eight), is a great musician. He most certainly is not a creation of the press, and the accolades he has received have been well earned. He single-handedlygustavo dudamel turned the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela (of which Dudamel is a native son) into a world class ensemble, with recordings of Mahler’s 5th Symphony and the Tchaikovsky 5th (both released on Deutsche Grammaphon) that are second to none. But beyond that is the energy that Dudamel exudes on the podium – it’s real, it’s palpable, you can taste it. Add to that the mixture his personal charm and magnanimous personality and you have the makings of the perfect ambassador for “classical” music.

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

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, October 5, 2009 03:21pm | Post a Comment

New Techno/Electro 12"s Coming This Weekend:


These guys fuse organic and electric sounds and make them collide with elements of jazz and folk. "TECHNO TOWER" and "CHINESE" are a testament to these roots and will turn some heads on the dancefloor. This isn't your average tech house or techno.

Roland Appel

Deep techno starts the record with "COLD BLOODED." HORSE MEAT DISCO fav "SNOW IN THE SPRINGTIME" gets a full single release, old school disco in every way. DFA darlings RUNAWAY turn it in a slow burning house direction that builds the tension.




Ghetto Battle Weaponz 


Trevor Loveys 

Art Bleek 

Dinner Jazz 

La Roux 




Roland Appel 

Secret Cinema 
JAZZ ME 12" COR12066 

Sweat X 

Tiger Stripes 
EDEN 12" DCR58


New House/Disco 12"s Coming This Weekend:

Crazy P

These edits are for the floor! Includes a rework of RAW SILK's "DO IT TO THE MUSIC," a juicy edit of QUINCY JONES' "BETCHA WOULDN'T HURT ME," live sounding RAUL MIDON's "STATE OF MIND," and a curveball edit of NO DOUBT's "HELLA GOOD." Watch the crowd go...

Zoo Brazil

ZOO BRAZIL takes on the BEATMASTERS classic "ROK DA HOUSE" from 1987, the start of the hip house movement. Super limited pressing of a semi cheeky remix that will rock the pants off the dancefloor. Includes a club edit as well


Colleen & Webb 





Andre Lodemann 

Anthea & Celler 

Basement Soul 
EDITS VOL. 2 EP 12" KAT008

Bok Bok & L-Vis 1990 

Brown Legend 

Club Silencio 

Culoe De Song 

Danny Clark & Jay Benham 




Kanye West 

Lily Allen 

Mr Raoul K 


Petter & Dairmount 


St Etienne 

Super Value 


Teddy Douglas 


Zoo Brazil 

New Dubstep/Jungle 12"s Coming This Weekend:

Matt U

JUMP! 12"

With drum & bass releases on MOVING SHADOW, TIMELESS, & CYLON, he now turns his attentions to dubstep production with this techy, breakbeat heavy cut. "CLOSER" is a similar sound with a slightly revved up take on things.

SPEAK 10" NL004

The London-Berlin axis is in full effect here with a dubstep-meets-techno track that is so deep you could immerse yourself in it. "NEGATIVE" ups the tempo, adds some additional layers of noise & FX, and the occasional dreamy female vocal drifting in and out to nice effect.  

Bachelors of Science SONG FOR LOVERS 12" HZNSGL001R


Posted by Billyjam, October 5, 2009 04:04am | Post a Comment

Ukrainian sand animation artist Ksenya Simonova, who came to fame in her country via an American Idol styled TV show, has been taking her country by storm -- even moving people to tears -- with her unique handmade sand art, which she creates live as a kind of requiem to those who died during the Great Patriotic War. As in the video clip above, her real time public performances of sand animation are typically made up of Simonova swiftly hand crafting various war images, quickly morphing from one tragic image to the next, all to the accompaniment of a somber soundtrack of classical & traditional music plus soundbites of wartime news footage.

Working with a mixture of regular sea sand and volcanic sand, all spread out on a glass pane as canvas, Simonova uses her hands to craft her engaging moving stories. At the end of each dramatic live art performance consisting of tales of death and destruction she blows out a votive candle. Usually at this point audience members are seen tearing up. Surprisingly, Simonova, who is also a part time model, only took up the unusual art form (she is only one of a handful of such artists -- the others are from an older generation) just one year ago after becoming a victim of the credit crunch. Reportedly her next project will be a Michael Jackson themed live art installation piece.

Mercedes Sosa: 1935-2009

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, October 4, 2009 11:08pm | Post a Comment
"Music can't solve problems...Human beings have to resolve their own problems. But music can console people who suffer from problems, and perhaps it can inspire people to try to solve their problems. Singers have to sing whatever they believe in. They have to stay true to themselves. These are the songs I believe in, so I have to keep singing them." --Mercedes Sosa


Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, October 4, 2009 08:08pm | Post a Comment

WALRUS DAY 2009: 4

Posted by Job O Brother, October 4, 2009 04:54pm | Post a Comment
Only 4 more days until


Posted by Billyjam, October 4, 2009 04:00am | Post a Comment

"Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" (from Yellow Submarine)

Lucy O'Donnell, the real-life 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,' who was a childhood friend of John Lucy O Donnell lucy in the sky with diamondsLennon's son Julian, died from lupus this past week. Lucy Vodden (her name after marriage) was 46 years old and had suffered for fifteen years from lupus, the disease of the immune system that has no cure. The treacherous malady, which also took the life of hip-hop producer J-Dilla, causes the body to attack its own cells.

The story of Lucy (“the girl with kaleidoscope eyes") becoming the inspiration for The Beatles' 1967 Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album track goes back to when a four year old Lucy, who was a classmate of young Julian Lennon's at the Heath House Nursery in Weybridge, Surrey, had another classmate at the nursery paint a picture of her surrounded by stars and colorful squiggles.The story goes thasgt pepper's lonely hearts club bandt Julian took this picture home and showed it to his dad, telling him, “It’s Lucy in the sky with diamonds..." And the rest is pop music history.

October Is Horror Month In L.A.

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, October 3, 2009 10:10pm | Post a Comment

The sheer volume of classic horror being shown on screens across the L.A. area in October is astonishing...

October 3rd
New Beverly- Shocker (Mid)
Bay- House On Haunted Hill (also showing 4th, 5th & 7th)
Cinefamiy- Mystery Of The Wax Museum / Phantom Of The Opera

October 4th & 5th
New Beverly- Trick 'r Treat / Creepshow

October 6th
New Beverly- Watch Horror Films, Keep America Strong / Nightmare In Blood
Cinefamily-  Jerry Beck Halloween shorts

October 8th-

Cinefamily- Sleepaway Camp / Return To Sleepaway Camp

October 9th
Egyptian Theatre- Alien / Aliens
Bay- The Haunting (also showing 11th, 12th & 14th)
Cinefamily- At Midnight I Will Take Your Soul / This Night I Will Posses Your Corpse

October 10th
New Beverly- 12 hour horror festival- Dog Soldiers, The Burning, House By The Cemetary, Superstition, Fight For Your Life, Galaxy Of Terror & more!
Cinefamily- Dr. X / Dr. Cyclops & Spooky Encounters

October 13th

Cinefamily- Tokyo Gore Night featuring Vampire Girl Vs. Frankenstein Girl

October 15th
Egyptian- Night Of The Creeps
Cinefamily- Slumber Party Massacre, Graduation Day, The Redeemer: Son Of Satan

October 16th-
Cinefamily- Coffin Joe triple feature
Art Theater- Rosemary's Baby (midnight)

October 17th
New Beverly- Inferno (midinight)
Egyptian- Goonies & Lost Boys
Cinefamily- Footsteps In The Fog / Picture Of Dorian Grey / Return Of The Demon

October 18th

New Beverly- Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein / Ghost & Mr. Chicken (also showing on 19th)
Cinefamily- Victims & Don't Go In The House

October 20th
New Beverly- J.D.'s Revenge / Blacula
Cinefamily- American Nightmare aka Combat Shock

October 21st
New Beverly- Abominable Dr. Phibes / Theater Of Blood (also showing 22nd)
Cinefamily- Haxan w/ live score

October 22nd-
Cinefamily- My Bloody Valentine / April Fool's Day / Don't Open Til Christmas

October 23rd-
Cinefamily- Coffin Joe psychedelic night with Awakening Of The Beast / Finis Hominis

October 24th-
Cinefamily- Horror Of Dracula / Revenge Of Frankenstein & Haunted Cop Shop
Alex- The Haunting
Aero- Something Wicked This Way Comes

October 25th-
Cinefamily- Plan 9 From Outer Space / Ed Wood
New Beverly- William Castle Story / 13 Ghosts (also showing the 26th)
Aero- The Stunt Man / Ed Gein
San Gabriel Mission Playhouse - Phantom Of The Opera w/ live pipe organ score

October 27th-
New Beverly- Incredible 2-Headed Transplant / The Thing With Two Heads
Cinefamily- TV horror host night featuring American Scary

October 28th-
New Beverly-Dracula / Bride Of Frankenstein (also showing the 29th)
Egyptian- Night Of The Hunter / Cape Fear

October 29th-
Cinefamily- Chopping Mall / Shakma / Night Of The Demon

October 30th-
Redcat- The Golem w/ live score (also showing the 31st)
New Beverly- Fade To Black / Once Bitten / Teen Wolf
Egyptian- Twilight Zone 50th Anniversary
Aero- House Of Frankenstein / House Of Dracula
Cinefamily- Embodiment Of Evil / Hallucinations Of A Deranged Mind
Art- Night Of The Living Dead (11PM)

October 31st-
New Beverly- Night of The Demons / Demons / Demons 2
Aero- Dusk Til Dawn horror festival featuring: People Under The Stairs, Day Of The Dead, Society, The Brood, Maniac & Terror.

Aero Theater
1328 Montana Ave
Santa Monica, CA

Alex Theater
216 N. Brand Blvd.
Glendale, CA

Art Theater Of Long Beach

2025 E. 4th Street
Long Beach, CA

Bay Theater
340 Main Street
Seal Beach, CA

Cinefamily @ The Silent Movie Theater
611 N. Fairfax Ave.
Los Angeles, CA

Egyptian Theatre
6712 Hollywood Blvd.
Hollywood, CA

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

631 W. 2nd Street
Los Angeles, CA

San Gabriel Mission Playhouse
320 South Mission Drive
San Gabriel, CA

House On Haunted Hill

My Bloody Valentine

Ghost and Mr. Chicken

WALRUS DAY 2009: 5

Posted by Job O Brother, October 3, 2009 08:28pm | Post a Comment
Only 5 more days until

Shocker Tonight At The New Beverly

Posted by phil blankenship, October 3, 2009 02:54pm | Post a Comment

Horror Movie A Day and New Beverly Midnights present

Saturday October 3

No More Mr. Nice Guy
20th Anniversary!


Director Wes Craven and actors Ted Raimi, Richard Brooks & Vincent Guastaferro IN PERSON, schedules permitting, to discuss the film!

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

Buy advance tickets online here!

October 10 All Night Horror Show Part II
The full schedule and advance tickets are now available at

October 17 Dario Argento's Inferno (1980)
Terror that's hotter than hell! Beautiful 20th Century Fox Archive Print!

October 24 Conan The Destroyer (1984)
The Darkest Side of Magic. The Strongest Side of Man. 25th Anniversary!

October 31 A Demonic Triple Feature!
Special Halloween Show! All Tickets $10

WALRUS DAY 2009: 6

Posted by Job O Brother, October 2, 2009 10:14pm | Post a Comment
Only 6 more days until


Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, October 2, 2009 07:48pm | Post a Comment

Happy Birthday Sheriff John!

Posted by Whitmore, October 2, 2009 05:57pm | Post a Comment

If you were a kid growing up here in Southern Californian and your family owned a television set in the 1950’s or 60’s, inevitably you watched Sheriff John's Lunch Brigade, which aired on KTTV-TV Channel 11 from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm, and a late afternoon show, Sheriff John's Cartoon Time. I spent many a day as a sickly child watching Sheriff John and cartoons like Crusader Rabbit, Tennessee Tuxedo (voiced by Get Smart’s Don Adams) and Underdog.
Today the host of those shows and one of the true originators and unsung pioneers in early kids television, John Rovick, is 90 years old. Born in Dayton, Ohio, October 2nd, 1919, he served in the U.S. Army Air Corp in the Second World War, trained as radio operator and gunner on a B25 Bomber -- he survived some 50 combat missions, even a mission when the plane had to ditch at night off the coast of Italy. He started as a staff announcer on KTTV when the station first went on the air in 1949. Starting in 1952 Rovick began portraying the Sheriff for Cartoon Time and in 1953 John Rovick won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Children's Program.
Sheriff John started each show singing as he walked through the door of his Sheriff's office, "Come on now, laugh and be happy, and the world will laugh with you." He then said the Pledge of Allegiance, read a daily safety bulletin, and for good measure threw in some health tips for the youngsters.
But the highlight of the show was always the birthday celebration. Sheriff John would read dozens of kids' names, roll out a cake, and sing the classic kids song "The Birthday Cake Polka." For a certain age group, a telltale sign of a native Angelino is the ability to sing the song, word for word. In 1970 both shows were cancelled, but Rovick continued to work as an announcer for KTTV until his retirement in 1981. For decades he was also a favorite in the Hollywood’s Santa Claus Lane Christmas parade. After retirement he moved to Boise, Idaho where he still resides. In 1998 Sheriff John made one last special appearance on the Emmy’s, being introduced by longtime fan and Culver City native Michael Richards.
Happy birthday, Sheriff John! Now everybody sing along!
Put another candle on my birthday cake
We're gonna bake a birthday cake
Put another candle on my birthday cake
I'm another year old today

I'm gonna have a party with my birthday cake
Come on and take some birthday cake
Put another candle on my birthday cake
I'm another year old today

We'll have some pie and sandwiches
and chocolate ice cream, too
We'll sing and play the day away
and one more thing I'm going to do

I'll blow out the candles on my birthday cake
and when I do, a wish I'll make
Put another candle on my birthday cake
I'm another year old today
Happy birthday to you
I'm another year old today.

Hispanic Heritage Month - Documentaries covering Latino & Hispanic experiences in the United States

Posted by Eric Brightwell, October 2, 2009 04:00pm | Post a Comment
For Hispanic Heritage Month, if you want to get an interesting and informed look at Latino issues, you could probably do worse than checking out a documentary... Most cover a handful of issues and often from different perspectives. Check the Latino/Spanish Special Interest section at Amoeba for availability.

War - 
There are several documentaries that focus on Latino and Hispanic issues in American wars. From Juan Ponce de León and Hernan de Soto sniffing around the modern day US in search of eternal youth and gold, through aggression between the US, Mexico and Spain, to the disproportionate reliance on Latinos to fight our modern wars, these DVDs cover a lot of territory.


Immigration - It shouldn't come as a surprise that the number one topic regarding Latino issues is the subject of immigration, primarily of the undocumented variety. What may come as more of a surprise is that one in five illegal immigrants to the US isn't Latino... something zero documentaries deal with, to my knowledge.


Gangs - People love them some gang documentaries. Currently, there are suprisingly few about Latino gangs, whilst every week it seems like there's some new one made about the safely-behind-us, romanticized Cosa Nostra.


Artists - Frida Kahlo and Salvador Dali account for nearly every documentary about Latino and Hispanic artists. I realize that neither ever became American citizens, but they worked in, interacted with, and affected the US in deeply felt ways. For example, 4 in 5 dorm residents still has some Dali poster or other, usually next to Bob Marley.


Hollywood -
The Latino experience in Hollywood is pretty limited, given the population make-up of the US. Perhaps that's why there are so few documentaries about the subject.

Communities - The US is still a very segregated society and established Latino communities in the US are still often separate, self-contained microcosms.


Cultural Observances -
These documentaries focus on holidays and commemorations... and Walter Mercado, who defies categorization in nearly every way.



Posted by Billyjam, October 2, 2009 11:40am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Weekly Chart: 10:02:09
drake so far gone
1) Jay-Z The Blueprint 3 (Roc Nation/Atlantic)

2) Kid Cudi Man On The Moon: The End of Day (Motown / Pgd)

3) Drake So Far Gone (Cash Money)

4) Brother Ali Us (Rhymesayers)

5) Raekwon Only Built 4 Cuban Links Pt II (ICEAL)

Five of the big hip-hop releases from over the past few weeks are still selling well at Amoeba Music Hollywood this week, including Jay-Z's final installment in his Blueprint trilogy, Kanye West protege Kid Cudi's debut, and Cash Money's newest star Drake. Also doing well are Only Built 4 Cuban Links Pt II by Wu Tang member Raekwon and the new joint from the RhymesayersBrother Ali, which was number one at the San Francisco Amoeba last week. Other tight new hip-hop releases include the brand new The Day After Forever (Gold Dust) by Bay Area crew Crown City Rockers, which has great tracks such as "Clap Your Hands" (feat. Aima) and "That's Life" (featuring Jason Jasper). Tonight there's an album release party for the album at The Independent in San Francisco that will be hosted by Lyrics Born along with DJ D-Sharp and, of course, Crown City Rockers performing. And if that ain't enough, they will be joined by LA’s Breakestra, whose new album Dusk Til Dawn is also just out, and Spaceheater (Blast Furnace is also just out). Tickets $20. Doors 8pm. More info here
Souls of Mischeif
Speaking of undeniably great Bay Area hip-hop talent, the Souls Of Mischief just launched a big worldwide tour and have also just released a track from their forthcoming Prince Paul produced new album, Montezuma's Revenge. The corresponding "Montezuma's Revenge Tour '09" consists of 35 stops in six weeks, including Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Berlin, and LA, where the group played the Troubadour two nights ago. They play Slims in San Francisco on October 20th (with Ghostface) and the Avalon in San Jose the following night. Prince Paul plays on select dates with the longtime Oakland Hiero crew, comprised of emcees A-Plus, Opio, Phesto, and Tajai. So does Swollen Members. Montezuma's Revenge will arrive in Ameoba Music and other stores on November 10th on their Hiero Imperium RecorThemselvesds.

October 1, 2009

Posted by phil blankenship, October 1, 2009 11:09pm | Post a Comment


Posted by Job O Brother, October 1, 2009 08:22pm | Post a Comment

October 8 is Walrus Day. What is Walrus Day and why does it matter to you? Well, it only matters if you enjoy things that you like. Do you fit that type? Are you the sort of person who enjoys things that you like? Then Walrus Day is for you, friend!

Walrus Day is a holiday I invented when I was a kid. I took my favorite animal, favorite number, and favorite month, combining them and voila! (That’s French for ‘that’s how that muthuhfuggin’ happened’.)

Below you’ll find a Walrus Day FAQ. You can read it with your eyes which will magically make thoughts form in your brain! Big fun!

Q: When is Walrus Day?

A: Walrus Day is always celebrated on October 8, regardless of what day of the week it falls on, or whether you’re Jewish, Chinese, or Yusef Lateef. Mark your calendars!

Q: How does one celebrate Walrus Day?

A: Walrus Day is perhaps the easiest holiday on the calendar to celebrate well. The goal is to treat yourself: buy yourself a gift. Want cake for breakfast? Do it. Want to call in sick to work and go to the beach and frolic? This is the day.* Wanna make sweet, sweet love to Beyoncé? I say, if you can, go for it! This is your day, your chance, your excuse to pepper your day with whatever perks and joys you dare. Get creative! Unless you hate getting creative, in which case, Walrus Day is your perfect excuse to stay uncreative the whole day! Very simply: Pamper and splurge as much as possible. Diets be damned!

Q: Does Walrus Day have anything to do with John Lennon or The Beatles?

A: No.

Q: Are you sure? ‘Cause wasn’t John Lennon, like, born or killed on October 8?

A: John Lennon was born on October 9, 1940. He was murdered on December 8, 1980. I understand the confusion, but I am quite, quite certain Walrus Day has nothing to do with John Lennon SINCE I INVENTED THE HOLIDAY MYSELF.

Q: Are presents involved?

A: My family will often buy me Walrus Day presents instead of birthday presents because I prefer that, but no, presents aren’t mandatory or traditional. The most important person to gift is yourself. But if it would thrill you to give someone else a Walrus Day present, have at ye.

Q: I’m a [insert religion here] and I’m totally devout. Can I celebrate Walrus Day without violating the terms of my faith?

A: As far as I know, yes. Put it this way: If you belong to a religion that would be against you taking a day to treat yourself extra special, maybe you should consider changing your religion.

Q: What does this have to do with Ryan Idol and why aren’t there any hot pictures here?

A: This is the Amoeblog, not a porn site. Bookmark accordingly.

Q: I’m gonna buy you a toy walrus for Walrus Day!

A: Okay, not to be a jerk, but – first of all, that’s not a question – second, please, please don’t buy me a stuffed walrus toy or walrus figurine or poster of a walrus. I appreciate the thought, really I do, but walruses stopped being my favorite animal when I was, like, 12. I have a box in storage filled to the brim with walrus trinkets that people have bought me over the years and I don’t need any more! Take the money you would have spent on a walrus-related item and use it to buy yourself something rad. Thank you.

Q: Who’s Ryan Idol?

A: I’m not telling you.

If you have any more questions, feel free to leave them below and I will answer them!

And here’s hoping you have a HAPPY WALRUS DAY!!!

*Does not apply to Amoeba Music employees.

out this week 9/22 & 9/29...hope sandoval...madonna...where the wild things are...big pink...noisettes...

Posted by Brad Schelden, October 1, 2009 04:21pm | Post a Comment

It is sometimes easy for me to get excited about a movie, but there haven't really been a lot of movies to get excited about the last couple of months-- and finally Where the Wild Things Are is right around the corner! I have been extremely excited about this movie ever since I first heard about it, from the first time I saw a poster for it online, and then the first time I saw a teaser trailer. I finally saw a more substantial trailer last week before the movie 9. I didn't think I could get more excited, but I did! And I know I am not alone. Millions of us grew up with this story. It was a pretty simple picture book. Hardly any words at all in the "story." It was mostly just the amazing drawings that captured our imagination and forever made us fall in love with this story. I have probably not looked at the book in at least 10 years or so. I remember looking through the book at a a bookstore a while ago, and at the time I don't think I had seen the book since I owned it as a kid, but somehow the memories were always still there. The feelings I had when I first experienced the story never really went away. That was the power of this story. I remember even being excited about the Where The Wild Things Are themed restaurant that opened up in the Metreon in San Francisco. It closed years ago but maybe they will bring it back now. The Where the Wild Things Are book first came out in 1963. It was written by the brilliant Maurice Sendak. I don't think he ever could have imagined the book would have had such a profound affect on generation after generation. I think the book and story will get an even larger following after the release of this movie, although I have yet to meet anyone who didn't at least read this book when they were young. The story is simple enough. A kid, Max, is banished to his room for bad behavior. He then enters a magical world of big furry monsters, all in his imagination, of course. Similar stories had been told before and they would continue to be reimagined, but something about the drawings really brought me into the story. It was a magical little story that all children could relate to. Max  of course gets lonely and ends up returning to his normal life. But we all had moments like that when we wanted to escape from our families into a magical world of make believe. 

The book was made into an animated short in 1973. An updated version was made in 1988 with new music and narration. Spike Jonze has created the new live action film. Maurice Sendak had been trying to get this film made since the early 90s. Sendak fell in love with Being John Malkovich and then decided he wanted Spike Jonze to direct. It makes sense. So Spike has been working on it for almost 10 years. It has been a long time coming and I am glad the time has finally arrived. I am already in love with the film from the trailer. I am sure that I am not the only one that shed a tear during the trailer. I think it will impress those of us that grew up with the story. And I hope it makes a whole new generation fall in love with the story, although I imagine that parents from my where the wild things are soundtrackgeneration are now raising their kids with the same stories they grew up with -- I know that I would -- so I imagine this book is already in the collections of the young ones of today. The new movie doesn't come out till October 16th. However, the soundtrack comes out this week.

Sometimes I like to wait until after I see the  movie to listen to a soundtrack, but in this case there is no way that I could wait. I can't really think of anyone better than Karen O to do this soundtrack. We of course know and love Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. This is somewhat of a departure for her but it also makes perfect sense. She for sure has something weird and magical about her. I can never quite figure out why I love her and her voice so much. I just do. And she of course does a fantastic job with the soundtrack. Just imagine the Yeah Yeah Yeahs combined with your favorite children's album. I only wish Karen O was making children's albums when I was a kid! It is magical and weird and cute and everything that you could hope for. She also gets some great people to help her out with the album. Bradford Cox from Deerhunter and Atlas Sound helps her out with many of the songs. Both members of the Yeah Yeahs worked on the album, along with members of The Liars, Dead Weather, and The Raconteurs. I am excited to see how the music works within the film. I think it will be beautiful to hear her voice attached to the great imagery of the film. Now I just have to wait a couple more weeks to see the film. I will be counting down the days.

There have been lots of other great albums out lately as well. Please go and get the new album from The XX if you have not yet done so. It is absolutely brilliant. The album by Big Pink is also great. I like to think of them as a more pop version of the Jesus & Mary Chain-- imagine Jarvis Cocker from Pulp singing with the Jesus & Mary Chain. The new album from Girls is also great. I saw these guys open up for The Pains Of Being Pure at Heart. I went from hating to loving them during the course of the show. They reminded me of 90s bands like Jesus Jones and the Happy Mondays, but mostly just cause of how they looked and dressed. They sound so familiar to me but I still can't really figure it out. They remind me a bit of the Lemonheads. Imagine the Lemonheads combined with Jesus Jones and Ween and the Beach Boys and you might get close to what Girls sound like. 

The new Noisettes album is also really really good. Don't know if you got around to listening to their first album yet, but you should if you still haven't -- super fun pop music with big heart and soul. The album that has really been killing me lately is the new album on Kranky by To Kill A Petty Bourgeoisie. It is not for everyone. It's for fans of the dark and disturbing and beautiful. It reminds of the beautiful album by Grouper. I can't listen to it too much cause it kind of gets me down, but I do really love it. Give it a try. I also love the new Rose Melberg. I will forever love her since her days in Tiger Trap, The Softies and Go Sailor. Nobody quite has a voice like hers. And then there is Hope Sandoval, the fantasic Hope Sandoval. I was really ready for another album from her. I loved myself some Mazzy Star and always welcome her return. The new album is beautiful and magical just like Where The WIld Things Are. She should have been on the soundtrack! And then there is Hidden Cameras. I will always love them too! I have not really spent a lot of time with this new album yet, but I do like what I have heard so far! So go listen to some new music already! There are lots of albums out there. And get ready for Where the Wild Things Are. Go read the book if you are one of the 3 people in the entire world who has not yet done so. It will only take you about 2 minutes to "read." And let the countdown begin until the release of the movie...

Here is one of the animated shorts of Where the Wild Things Are...

and here is the trailer for the new Spike Jonze movie...

also out 9/22...

Scars by Basement Jaxx

Brief History of Love by The Big Pink

Texas Rose Thaw the Beasts & by The Castanets

White Lunar by Nick Cave & Warren Ellis

Magic Neighbor by Lisa Germano

Album by The Girls

Truelove's Gutter by Richard Hawley

Origin: Orphan by The Hidden Cameras

45:33 Remixes by LCD Soundsystem

Homemade Ship by Rose Melberg

Monsters of Folk by Conor Oberst,Jim James & M Ward

Sing Along To Songs You Don't Know by Mum

Wild Young Hearts by The Noisettes

Pleasure Principle-30th Anniversary Edition by Gary Numan

Higher Than the Stars by Pains of Being Pure At Heart

Rain Machine by Rain Machine

White Water White Bloom by Sea Wolf

Born Again Revisited by Times New Viking

Marlone by To Kill a Petty Bourgeoisie

Forget the Night Ahead by The Twilight Sad

Unmap by Volcano Choir

Milwaukee at Last!!! by Rufus Wainwright

Where the Action Is! Los Angeles Nuggets

also out 9/29...

Crash Love by A.F.I.

Black Gives Way to Blue by Alice in Chains

I & Love & You by the Avett Brothers

Dethalbum II by Dethklok

La Roux by La Roux

Celebration by Madonna

Chicken Switch by The Melvins

God is Good by Om

Through the Devil Softly by Hope Sandoval

Love is the Answer by Barbra Streisand

Warp 20

Yeah Ghost by Zero 7

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2009

Posted by Miss Ess, October 1, 2009 12:02pm | Post a Comment
It's hard to believe it's already that time of year, but here comes another Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in Golden Gate Park! The all free festival has an incredible lineup, as usual, and will no doubt be extremely crowded, but also so well worth attending.

This year, among the artists you can check out are: John Prine, Lyle Lovett and His Large Band, Steve Martin with the Steep Canyon Rangers, Gillian Welch, Guy Clark, The Flatlanders, Hazel Dickens, Doc Watson, The Knitters, Old Crow Medicine Show, Neko Case, Allen Toussaint, Mavis Staples, Robyn Hitchcock and the Venus Three, Marianne Faithfull, Aimee Mann, Little Feat, and of course, Emmylou Harris! Sheesh, and that's not even everyone!

I, for one, will be there with bells on this Sunday. For the full lineup and more info, click here.


Posted by Billyjam, October 1, 2009 01:20am | Post a Comment
creating rem lezar

Easily the hands down winner in the "so bad it's good" category is the above clip from the ultra cheesy late 80's "children's musical" film Creating Rem Lezar, in which Rem and friends (channeling Godspell?) sing, dance & prance their way through Central Park and other parts of New York City.

This clip and the others from Creating Rem Lezar, including the one in which a mannequin of Rem comes to life and then, donning a blue mullet, sings two kids to sleep, are so bad and so wrong on so many levels, and yet, for some strange reason, they are addictive viewing. 

Written, directed, produced and choreographed by Scott Zakarin and made in 1989, Creating Rem Lezar went straight to video but never made it as far as DVD. Recently rediscovered thanks to YouTube, this hard to find VHS is much coveted and apparently fetches $50 or more online. Meantime you can view numerous clips from it on YouTube, found under titles like "bad 80's video" or "Worse 80's video."