Amoeblog

Private/Vanity Press/Small Label Collection At Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, May 31, 2010 01:40pm | Post a Comment
We recently purchased an amazing batch of private press LPs -- synth, glam, folk, country, pop, jazz and more! There's even a picture disc shaped like a batch of fries! Check them out on the main wall between the classic rock & world collectibles at the Hollywood Amoeba.

Lost Their Way? "The End"

Posted by Charles Reece, May 30, 2010 11:07pm | Post a Comment
If much in the world were mystery the limits of that world were not, for it was without measure or bound and there were contained within it creatures more horrible yet and men of other colors and beings which no man has looked upon and yet not alien none of it more than were their own hearts alien in them, whatever wilderness contained there and whatever beasts.
-- Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian, p. 138



Let's start off with something positive. I'm hard-pressed to think of a better filmed death than Jack's. As someone who's experienced the passing of a loved one after a arduous, painful struggle, I found the serenity in his letting go pitch perfect. Undoubtedly, it's one of Lost's best scenes, sharing a similar timbre with my other favorite death scene, that of Twin Peaks' Leland. Going back to their comment on one of the early blu-ray extras, the showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse knew exactly how they wanted to end their story. According to actor Matthew Fox, they told him the fate of his character during the first season. Unfortunately, what wasn't so planned out was how Jack would get there. "The End" leaves us with five seasons of dangling plot threads that don't add up to much. Instead of having all of that leading to Jack's death, this sequence is constantly interrupted with a bunch of treacle involving almost all the main characters, both alive and dead, meeting up in a church in the alternative "sideways" world to head off into cliché, the afterlife's white light. Evidently, the finale needed an extra half hour just to include a bunch of flashbacks (previous seasons instead relied on audience intelligence) and all the hugging and smiling that goes on in the church. Thus, through parallel editing, the best and worst are presented simultaneously.

The apologia began well before the finale aired, with the showrunners preparing the line of argument by which the most ardent fanboys could defend the ad hoc denouement. Somewhere along the way Lindelof and Cuse must've realized what a non sequitur the sideways timeline was going to be, so they created a preemptive defense that went something like this: This was their story, and they were going to end it the way the saw fit, namely by focusing on the main character arcs and answering only those questions that pertained to this goal. It wasn't their job to spoon-feed us all the solutions to the narrative riddles they'd created. (From what I hear, those wishing to be babied will have to buy the box set, which will include an explanatory extra disc.) And this condescension is pretty well followed in Jeff Jensen's blog, propaganda central for the show. I also heard something similar from friends who were more fulfilled by the ending than I. Isn't that what I was wanting, for an air of mystery to remain?

Well, let's get something cleared up: mystery and plot resolution are not mutually exclusive within a narrative. Fallaciously assuming the contrary is exactly the basis on which Lindelof and Cuse attempt to rest their defense. It's helpful here to consider Noam Chomsky's distinction between a problem and a mystery. The former is a question to which we have a reasonable expectation of an answer somewhere down the road (e.g., who killed Sally?), whereas the latter exceeds all current constraints on our thinking, inviting speculation and/or faith (e.g., why is there something rather than nothing?). Fiction isn't scientific experimentation, so a writer can, of course, play about with what's a narrative problem or mystery. A major problem with Battlestar Galactica was the reduction of all of its mysteries to a jerry-built deus ex machina explanation. To its credit, Lost doesn't have an episode of a talking head revealing the grand design. But its creators, not wanting to do that kind of story, seem to believe mystery alone freed them from basic plot construction.

It served the show well to keep the nature of the island and its properties a mystery (ontologically ambiguous between scientistic explanations of electromagnetism and pure magic, the more muddled attempt at questioning the distinction between free will and determinism, as well as the island's ambivalent status as an allegory for the foundation of morality). In finally committing his life to this mysterious island, Jack provides an example of what's at stake in fidelity to a cause, where there is no clear cut contract with numerous contingencies laid out in fine print. His conversion is a far more convincing case for the need of faith as revealed through grace than you'll ever see coming from stories told by conservative Christians (e.g., The Passion of the Christ). This arc alone is, to me, justification enough for watching the entire series, but it doesn't excuse the faulty construction of the final season. 


If one introduces a narrative element, regardless of whether it's a place, character/group, or even motif, and regardless of whether any of those is supernatural or natural, the audience has a reasonable expectation that it'll serve some purpose to the story unfolding. That is to say, its function is as a problem, not a mystery. And I'm not talking about certain stylistic choices, such as film's shot construction, color palette, or the look of actors (although they can and do have narrative implications), but plot elements (and by 'plot', I mean what the formalists call fabula, an element's status in the cause and effect chain, if you're the type who considers such things). So, when season after season, the fate of Lost's characters is interwoven with the shadowy organization known as DHARMA, or what's left of their presence on the island, expecting some payoff to that isn't a case of wanting to be spoonfed a conclusive interpretation of what it all means. Similarly, when a major character like Juliet is introduced via her role in attempting to solve why babies can't be conceived on the island and that element is tied into numerous other subplots (such as the kidnapping of Claire's child), the audience has a reasonable expectation that all this baby stuff is somehow more significant than just giving the writers a baroque technique for introducing a character. Instead, those threads were cut in favor of introducing the sideways timeline, which then became the primary plot to be resolved in the finale. Obviously, the creators didn't consider wrapping that up as crass demystification.  

Continued ...

May 30, 2010: The Runaways

Posted by phil blankenship, May 30, 2010 08:58pm | Post a Comment

(In which the author returns from the hospital.)

Posted by Job O Brother, May 30, 2010 01:53pm | Post a Comment

I'm too sexy for my Intravenous therapy.

Well, dear readers, I have returned to you after an opposite-of-glamorous stay at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where I was hospitalized for five days. In the words of French philosopher Ferdinand de Saussure, “Je n'ai pas aimé cela.”

Obscure and Unrecognized South Asia & Indian Ocean

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 30, 2010 11:30am | Post a Comment


South Asia
is the most populous and densely populated region in the planet's most populous continent. Not surprisingly, therefore, it's home to many culturally rich nationalities who still struggle in the post-Colonial world for recognition, equality and self-determination.

******

(If interested, there are similar entries about Caucasia, Eastern Europe and North Asia.)

******

 
Assam


Assamese dancers (photo by Ramesh Lalwani)

The earliest known settlers in Assam are believed to be the Khasi and Synteng people of southeast Asia. The were later marginalized by the arrival of the Tibeto-Burman language speaking Monpas, Sherdukpens, Bhutan, Mishings, Deuris and Bodo-Kachari. The last major wave of immigrants seems to have been the Hindus around 500 BCE, although small numbers of many other groups have arrived since. As such, Assam today is a highly hybridized place that nonetheless is struggling for autonomy.


Assamese Music
Ankiya Nat
(Onkeeya Naat) is a traditional Vaishnav musical theatre dating back to the 1400s. Borgeet are popular Vaishnav songs dating back from the same era. There's also a significant folk music tradition that shares many characteristics with Burmese, Chinese and Thai music and is a significant influence on the popular music of artists like Anima Choudhury, Bhupen Hazarika, Javanta Hazarika, Jitul Sonowal, Khagen Mahanta, Luit Konwar Rudra Baruah, Nirmalendu Choudhury, Parvati Prasad Baruva, Utpalendu Choudhury and Zubeen Garg.

*****


Balochistan


The Dravidian-speaking Brahui of Balochistan are thought to be a remnant of the Dravidian migration to India thousands of years earlier. After the area was ruled by several people, the Iranian Baloch people first settled the arid desert of Balochistan about 1,000 years ago after fleeing the Seljuq Turks. Today, Balochi are widely believed to have assimilated varying degrees of Arab, Greek and Turkish ancestry. Today Balochistan is a member of UNPO.


Music of Balochistan
The music of Balochistan incorporates various influences from Iran and Pakistan and includes Sepad, Shabtagi and Vazbad (various types of hymns), and melancholic Zayirak. Famous performers and composers include Ali Reza Askani, Aref Baloch, Asim Baloch, Bakshi Baloch, Saeed Borhanzahi, Shah Jaan Dawoodi and Abdul Sattar Baloch.

*****


Bangabhumi


Human rights activist and Hindu Bangladeshi Taslima Nasreen

The Hindu Republic of Bangabhumi declared independence from Bangladesh in 2003. The movement was founded in 1973 in India soon after Bangladeshi independence to support the Hindu refugees from Bangladesh, who were targeted by the Pakistani army in the 1971 Bangladesh atrocities.


Music of Hindus in Bangladesh
Many Hindus in Bangladesh have achieved fame either as musicians (Subir Nandi, Tapan Chowdhury, Shuvro Dev, Rathindranath Roy, Aroti Dhar and Shefali Gosh) or composers (Ajit Roy, Subal Das and Subhash Datta). However, with the dwindling, persecuted Hindu minority spread throughout the country, there's no reason to think all of these artists identify with Bangabhumi.

*****


Bodoland


Bodo dancers

The early history of Bodos is largely unknown. Cultural assimilation with Assamese was not productive. By the end of 70's it became clear that Bodos had a little or no influence in the Indian political process. The official Bodoland Movement[1] for an independent state of Bodoland started on March 2, 1987 under the leadership of Upendranath Brahma of the All Bodo Students' Union (ABSU).


Music of Bodoland
The Bodos traditionally dance the Bagurumba. Their traditional music is played on local instruments including the Siphung, the Serja, the Tarkha, the Kham and the Khawang.

*****


Gilgit Baltistan


First mentioned by the Chinese in the 700s, according to the GBUM, the region enjoyed a brief period of independence between November 1, 1947, when the suzerainty of the Dogra rulers of the Kashmir princely state ceased to exist, and November 16, 1947, when the local inhabitants liberated their region and opted to join Pakistan. The territory is part of the larger disputed territory of Kashmir and has been in dispute between India, Pakistan, and China since 1947. On 29 August 2009, the Gilgit-Baltistan Empowerment and Self-Governance Order 2009 was passed by the Pakistani cabinet and later signed by the President. They are a member of UNPO.


*****


Chagos Archipelago


The Chagos Archipelago is a group of seven atolls comprising more than 60 individual tropical islands roughly in the centre of the Indian Ocean. The Chagossian people's ancestry is mostly of African heritage, particularly coming from Madagascar, Mozambique and Mauritius. There is also a significant proportion of Indian ancestry. The French brought them over as slaves from Mauritius in 1786. The Chagos were home to the Chagossians for more than a century and a half until the United Kingdom and the United States expelled them in the 1960s in order to allow the US to build a military base on Diego Garcia, the largest of the Chagos Islands. Many have fought for their right to return, only to be stymied by the British government.



*****


Chittagong Hill Tracts


The indigenous peoples, collectively known as the Jumma, include the Chakma, Marma, Tripura, Tenchungya, Chak, Pankho, Mru, Murung, Bawm, Lushai, Khyang, Gurkha, Assam, Santal and Khumi. The early history of the Chittagong Hill Tracts is a record of constantly recurring raids on the part of the eastern hill tribes, and of the operations undertaken to repress them. The earliest mention of these raids is to be found in a letter from the Chief of Chittagong to Warren Hastings, the Governor-General, dated April 1777, in which he complains of the violence and aggressions of a mountaineer named Ramu Khan, the leader of a band of Kukis or Lushais. The Chittagong Hill Tracts, combining three hilly districts of Bangladesh, were once known as Korpos Mohol, the name used until 1860. In 1860 it was annexed by the British and was made an administrative district of Bangladesh and a member of UNPO.



*****

Dimasaland


Dimasa women sorting snails

In the Mahabharata there is mention of the foothill dwellers of the Great Himalayas called Kiratas, which some suspect is a reference to the Kacharis. One of the tribes of the Kacharis is the Dimasa.
Originally established in the Brahmaputra valley, the Dimasa resettled in Sadiya and Assam and established the Dimapur Kingdom in the thirteenth century. In 2009, after years of fighting to regain independence, the Dima Halim Daoga stopped fighting.


Music of the Dimasa
The traditional dance forms of the Dimasa Kacharis are largely instrumental and played on the khram (drum) and muri (a wind blown instrument).

*****


Garo

 

Garo musicians

The Garo are a people who call themselves A·chik Mande ("hill people"). They appeared in Meghalaya, according to tradition, from Tibet, around 400 BCE. Originally they settled in the valleys but other groups persecuted them until the headed for the hills. In 1872, the British army, armed with guns and cannons, subjugated the Garo, who relied on swords and spears in their attempted defense.

Music of Garo
There are several traditional musical forms among the Garo, including Nangorere, Serejing, Pandu Dolong. Instruments include Kakwa, Nanggilsi, Guridomik, Kamaljakmora, gongs, Rangkilding, Rangbong, Nogri, Adil, Singga, Sanai, Kal, Bolbijak, Illep (or Illip), Olongna, Tarabeng, Imbanggi, Akok (or Dakok), Bangsi rosi, Tilara or Taragaku, Bangsi mande, Otekra, Wa·pepe or Wa·pek, Dotrong, Sarenda, Chigring, Dimchrang (or Kimjim), Gongmima (or Gonggina), Am·beng Dama, Chisak Dama, Atong Dama, Garaganching Dama, Ruga and Chibok Dama, Dual-Matchi Dama, Nagra and the popular Kram... to name a few.
*****

Gondwana


(photo by Ramesh Lalwani)

Gondwana is homeland of the Gondi people. Numerous kingdoms were established there in the past, including in 1398, when Narsingh Rai, is said by Ferishta to have ruled all the hills of Gondwana. Between the 14th and the 18th centuries, three main Gond kingdoms flourished: Garha-Mandla, Deogarh-Nagpur and Chanda-Sirpur. They were conquered by the Maratha and subsequently, the British and now, India. The Gondi's main voice of change is the Gondwana Ganatantra Party, founded in 1991 in Madhya Pradesh.

*****


Gorkhaland


Gurkha dancers

The Nepali-speaking Gurkha claim descent from the Hindu Rajputs of Northern India, who entered modern Nepal from the west. They were long used, after the subjugation of South Asia, by the British to do their military dirty work. Since 2007, some of the Nepali-speaking Gurkha (led by  Bimal Gurung) have struggled for independence. The political arm of the movement is Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJMM).



*****


Jharkhand

During the Mughal period, Jharkhand was known as Kukara. The principle peoples of Kukara were the Asur, Baiga, Banjara, Bathudi, Bedia, Binjhia, Birhor, Birjia, Chero, Chick-Baraik, Gond, Gorait, Ho, Karmali, Kharia, Kharwar, Khond, Kisan, Kora, Korwa, Lohra, Mahli, Mal-Paharia, Munda, Oraon, Parhaiya, Santal, Sauria-Paharia, Savar, Bhumij, Kol and Kanwar. In 1765 it was conquered by the British and renamed Jharkhand. Revolts against the colonizer were common until 1900. Finally, in 2000, the disenchanted Jharkhandi were given a modicum of recognition.


Music of Jharkhand
I'm sure there's an indigenous musical tradition in Jharkhand but it seems that Jhumar, a dance/music form from Balochistan, is the most popular.

*****


Kashmir


In the ninth century, Kashmir Shaivism arose, replacing the previously popular Buddhism and Hinduism. In 1349, Shah Mir introduced Islam to the region. Muslims ruled until 1751 until they were toppled by the Afghan Durrani Empire, whose reign ended when Ranjit Singh conquered it for the Sikhs. Today, it's still hotly contested by rival parties including India, China and Pakistan.


Music of Kashmir
The traditional music of Kashmir reflects its cultural and geographic location at the crossroads of Central, East and South Asia. Chakri is one of the most popular forms. Sufiana Kalam is the local classical form, having arrived from Persia in the 1400s.

*****
Kamatapur


Kamatapur is the ancient name of the Koch-ruled kingdom, whose lands included parts of Assam, Biher, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh. The Kamatapuri have claimed persecution at the hands of India and Kamtapur Peoples Party (KPP) was founded in January 1996 by Atul Roy.

*****


Karbi-Anglong


The Karbis are a people who speak a Tibeto-Burman language and who were among the first to settle the hills of Assam long ago. Karbi Anglong is currently an autonomous state within Assam although some residents are campaigning for full independence.

 

*****


Khālistān


Khālistān is a proposed Punjabi Sikh state, meant to revive the Sikh Empire of the 1700s. The movement to establish the nation peaked in 1970s and 1980s and has since grown much quieter.


Well known Punjabi Sikh performers include Kuldeep Manak, Daler Mehndi, Jaspinder Narula, Shingara Singh and Sukhbir.

Dennis Hopper 1936 - 2010

Posted by Billyjam, May 29, 2010 11:50am | Post a Comment
Dennis Hopper

We lost another great today. Actor/director/artist Dennis Hopper died earlier today (May 29th) at his home of complications from prostate cancer after battling it since last fall. He was 74. Hopper came to fame as the director, co-writer and costar (opposite Peter Fonda) of the 1969 low-budget, drug-fueled film Easy Rider, that was a landmdennis hopperark for the counterculture and a surprise hit. He made his screen acting debut over a decade earlier in 1955's Rebel Without A Cause playing a rival high-school gang member opposite James Dean.

Hopper didn't only play a hard drinking, drug imbibing individual on film. The actor, whose hard partying alcohol and drug reputation preceded him for many years, had his ups-and-downs in Hollywood as a direct result. Not surprising considering that, by his own admission, for one long extended lost weekend that lasted five years, he was consuming on average three grams of coke, a half a gallon of rum, plus a case of beer every day.

But after getting his life back on track his career enjoyed a resurgence. Following being out of the Hollywood spotlight, a newly sobered up Hopper returned to his former glory in 1986 for his Oscar nominated role in Hoosiers, followed that same year by his amazing role as the twisted & deranged character Frank Booth in David Lynch's Blue Velvet (check out the brilliant yet disturbing clip below).

In all, Hopper appeared in well over a hundred different films, including (in no particular order) Apocalypse Now, Giant, True Romance, Cool Hand Luke, Hang 'Em High, True Grit, The American Friend, Rumble Fish, Speed, and River's Edge. Look for these and other Hopper films on DVD at Amoeba Music. Below are some select Hopper movie clips. And check the nice career-long photo dedication to Dennis Hopper on the Washington Post's website.

Continue reading...

California Fool's Gold -- Exploring Rowland Heights, Los Angeles County's Little Taipei

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 28, 2010 08:30pm | Post a Comment
ROWLAND HEIGHTS


A view of lower Rowland Heights from the hills

Little Taipei is a nickname for Rowland Heights, a city in the San Gabriel Valley. To vote for more Los Angeles County communities to be the subject of a future entry, click here. To vote for Los Angeles neighborhoods, click here. Rowland Heights is a community neighbored by City of Industry to the north, Diamond Bar to the northeast, Chino Hills to the east, unincorporated Orange County to the south, La Habra Heights to the southwest, and Hacienda Heights to the west.


Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's map of Rowland Heights -- made without aesthetic consideration for my eyes only




World Journal, International Daily News, Sing Tao, the Epoch Times, the China Press or the Zhong Guo Daily at a bus stop

THE RANCHO PERIOD

Rowland Heights' location in the southeastern corner of the SGV was earlier part of the Mexican Rancho La Puente. In 1842, shortly before the Mexican-American War, the land was sold to John Rowland and William Workman. In 1868, they divided it and established the Workman Temple Homestead near what's now the corner of Gale and Nogales. Much of what became Rowland Heights was covered with hog lots and later orange groves until nearly a century later, when postwar prosperity, the extension of the 60 Freeway and a greater trend toward suburbanization led Angelenos eastward into the area.


A BRIEF HISTORY OF TAIWAN IMMIGRATION TO THE US

In 1949, after the defeat of the Nationalist Kuomintang army by the Communist Party of China, approximately two million mainland Chinese refugees (waishengren or 49ers) moved to Taiwan, joining the population of indigenous Austronesians (a group which also includes the Malagasy of Madagascar, Filipinos, Indonesians and Polynesians), who'd lived there from some four to eight thousand years as well as Mainland Chinese descendants who'd lived there for centuries. Following Mao Zedong's death in 1979, a power struggle erupted between the Gang of Four, Hua Guofeng and Deng Xiaoping. The political uncertainty that ensued over the next four years provided the impetus for some relatively wealthy residents in Taiwan and Hong Kong to pack their bags and move to the San Gabriel Valley, especially in Monterey Park, which was advertised in China as "The Asian Beverly Hills."

Soon, Monterey Park acquired to new nicknames, "Mandarin Park" and "Little Taipei." Those appellations were soon dropped after many ethnically Chinese (Hoa) left Vietnam after experiencing anti-Chinese persecution there. After a moratorium against development of new shopping centers in Monterey Park went into effect, Chinese-Americans began to move to neighboring Alhambra.  Meanwhile, given the growing wealth of mainland Chinese and Monterey Park's reputation abroad, many mainlanders began to move to the San Gabriel Valley as well. In 1990, Monterey Park became the first Asian majority city in the US, albeit one where Vietnamese and Cantonese were by then heard as often as Mandarin.


BEYOND MANDARIN PARK

A few years earlier, as Monterey Park and Alhambra had begun to grow increasingly crowded, wealthier, established Taiwanese-Americans began to eye other nearby cities like San Gabriel, Rosemead, Arcadia, Temple City, Artesia, Irvine, Cerritos, Hacienda Heights and Rowland Heights. Although Monterey Park was marketed as "The Asian Beverly Hills," if anything that nickname seems more appropriate for Hacienda Heights and Rowland Heights (or Arcasia or Chan Marino... fine!). If anyone wants to film a reality show in the vein of MTV's The Hills and BET's Baldwin Hills, I highly recommend that someone pitch The Heights to the good folks at LA-18. The city is characterized by green, rolling hills with sprawling (if not especially attractive) hillside McMansions in the south, and the Asian-American shopping district along Colima in the north.


RELOCATING LITTLE TAIPEI

Up until the mid-1980s, Rowland Heights had been predominantly Anglo and Latino. Now they make up the minorities, with Latinos making up 27% and whites making up 17%. Although Taiwanese make up the largest ethnic group in the neighborhood, monied Korean-Americans, mainland Chinese, Hong Kongers and Hoa have followed the Taiwnese-American wave, creating something of a wealthy, pan-East Asian fusion suburb where Koreans and Mainland Chinese often serve Japanese or Taiwanese food and Hoa run foot massage parlors, hair and nail salons. There are also quite a few spas, come to think of it.


NEW GOLDEN TOFU SEAFOOD PHO NOODLE HOUSE GARDEN CHINA KING PALACE

Rowland Heights' main draw is its many restaurants. Every April, Pathfinder Park hosts the Taste of the Heights festival. Thankfully, chains are mostly eschewed. Not long ago a Taco Bell became a pho restaurant. On the day Tim and I were exploring, we popped into New Garden, a Mandarin Restaurant. I was first intrigued by the blue roof tiles, which I associate with Koreans. Inside the TVs were tuned to KBS. They started us off with onions, jjajang sauce and kim chi. The customers and employees engaged one another in Korean. It was slightly unexpected but, more importantly, it was delicious!

The most represented cuisine in Rowland Heights is Taiwanese, but as this not even comprehensive list hopefully shows, there are many Korean, Mandarin, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese and Mexican joints too... not to mention an above average number of yogurt places, tea bars, bakeries and even two Cajun restaurants. The first time I ate in Rowland Heights was a chilly winter night at a Macaroni Grill. Behold the variety!

#1 Pho, #1 Sun, 5 Minute Bowl/VNS Chicken, A Taco Pub 2, Abarca's Taco Pub, Ajisen, Aoyama, Apo Apo, BCD Tofu House, Baimon, Banana Bay, Banana Cafe, Banana Split Garden, Beef Noodle King, Beer Station, Berri Yogurt, Bin Bin Konjac, Boston Kitchen, Cake House Richmond, Cannan, Capital Seafood, Casa Alvarez, Casa Blanca, Cham Sut Gol, Chef's China Kitchen, China Gate, Chu Ga, Class 302, Coconut Bay, Coconut Station, Country Bistro, Country Chicken, Diamond Bakery, Ding's Garden, Dolphin Bay, Eastern Express, FFY Noodle House, Feedable BBQ Buffet, Flavor of Beijing, Food to Go, Four Seasons Steak House, Ga Ju Soon, Gaju Soft Tofu Restaurant, Genie's Donuts, Genki Living, Go Hyang, Golden China Restaurant, Golden Noodle & Grill, Good Morning Bakery, Good Time Cafe, Graziano's, Green Tea Terrace, Gungjung Sulruntang, Hainan Tasty Chicken, Hanashima Noodle House, Hang Out Tea House, Happy Dolphin Bay, Happy Harbor, Happy Sheep, Happy Veggie Garden, Hong Kong Fishball House, Hong Kong Palace, Howondang, Hsin Hsin Shao Mei, Hsin Hsin Shau Mei, Hunan, Ichi Ichi Fusion Shabu & Tempura, JJ Bakery, JMP, Jang Gun, Jang Mo Jip, Java Cafe, Java Spice, Jin Mae, Joe's Crab Shack, Jungle Teabar, Kanpai, Kee Wah, Kiki Baker, King's Bakery, King's Palace, Kingswood Teppan Steak House, Korea House, Korean Garden, Lee's, Leung Kee, Little Bean, Lollicup, Long Choa Shou, Lucky Panda, MJ Cafe, Manie's, Maxim Cafe, Michael's Cajun Seafood, Miga, Misong Sushi, Momo, Mountain, New Capital Seafood, New Garden, New Golden City, Newport Seafood, Niko Niko, Nini Bakery, No 1 Noodle House, Nodaji, Noodle House, Ong Ga Nae, Ong Go Jib, Ono, Pan Kitchen, Pho 2007, Pho Ha, Pho Mani, Pho Noodle House, Pho Rowland, Phoenix Food Bootique, Pizza & Chicken Love Letter, Plaza Deli, President Thai, Q Noodle House, Qoo Tea Stand, Red Ant Caft, Rockstar Noodle House & Tea Bar, Rolling Wok, Rowland Garden, Royal Spring, Ruby Palace, Sam Han, Sapporo Ya, Sato, Sea Harbour Seafood, Seafood Village Rowland Heights, Seo Ho Don Katsu, Shufeng, Simbala, Splash Corner, Supreme Dragon, Taipei Golden Garden Pork Chop Noodle and Rice, Tanbi, Taoyuan Small Eatery, Tea Station, Ten Ren, The Boiling Crab, The Brochette, The Hot Pots, The Noodle Island, The Shack, Three Family Village, Tianjin Goubuli, To Ten Ko, Tofu King, Tofu Village, Toku, Tokyo Shabu Shabu, Tous Les Jours, Tutti Frutti Yogurt, Vanille De Patissierie, Vietnam Restaurant, Vip China, Wonderful Japanese Cuisine, Yang-Pyun Shin Nae, Yei San Jib, Yogurtland, Yu Chun, Yuki Sushi and Yummy House.

If you're a chef, there are also several large markets targeted toward Asian-Americans: 99 Ranch Market, Shun Fat Supermarket (which replaced a Vons), Do Re Mi Market (formerly known as Han Gook Market), Greenland Market, Galleria Market, T S Emporium and HK2 Food District. Tim pointed out what he thought was a supermarket just selling varieties of mushroom. On inspection I surmised that these "mushrooms" were dried sea cucumbers.


STUFF TO DO FOR UNDERAGERS

Being thoroughly suburban means most of the things to do are typically suburban. There are many shopping plazas to hang out in.


Diamond Plaza on a slow night

The center of nightlife in the city is Diamond Plaza. On weekends, the plaza and the businesses are descended upon by young, mostly Chinese, Korean, Taiwanese and Vietnamese, who cruise the parking lot, hang out, play cards, etc.




Hong Kong Plaza is another popular destination, albeit tending to draw a somewhat older crowd.





Yes Plaza is home of Cue Studio, a popular photo/sticker joint and some of the buildings have fake, multi-story facades with shimmering lights behind them at night that give it a kind of Disney simulacrum effect. In fact, Plazas are so popular that at least two restaurants, Life Plaza and Dynasty Plaza are named after... plazas. Other plazas include Colima Plaza, Kumar Plaza, Eagle Plaza, Rowland Heights Plaza, Pacific Plaza, Golden Square and the alleys between plazas.


Colima Plaza

Rowland Heights Plaza

Golden Square

Pacific Plaza


NIGHTLIFE

There are few bars (not counting Tea Bars) - 9PM, Stubby's, Lucky 101, Beer Station and Whitney's, a hostess bar. JJ Music Studio is a popular noraebang (song room) where you can sing karaoke with a private audience. There's a pool halls - Man-Wha Billiard. There are some top notch arcades as well: Arcade Infinity, Tilt and MVP Shooters Club.


MOVIES & MUSIC & GAMES

I couldn't find any movies that were filmed in Rowland Heights other than a couple of shorts, The Reclamation of David Simms and Escape. I'm sure there are some budding musicians, too. Rowland Heights, not surprisingly, has several piano stores. Amoeba has a very healthy Asian Cinema section, although one that tends to favor artier fare. There are a few really good DVD/VCD/VHS/Video Games/Music stores with a wide array of more popular stuff. Video 94 rents films and video games. Amax has a variety of music, movies and knick-knacks from China, Taiwan, Korea and Japan as well as English-singing acts favored by Asians such as Air Supply and The Carpenters. Jade focuses mostly on Chinese music and movies. Sunrize Video mostly specializes in rental of K-Dramas. There's also KJ Video.



Amax Music House
Jade Entertainment


Sunrize Video

*****

Special thanks to filmmaker and musician Tiffany Huang, who, as a former Hacienda Heights resident had helpful tips about Rowland Heights, where her doctor's office was, and where she studied for her SATs.

*****

Like the Far Eastside on Facebook

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

Moe Green, Mystik Journeymen, 2010 DMC Battles, Frisco Legends, Nas + Damian Marley, Reflection Eternal: Amoeba Music Weekly Hip-Hop Round Up: 05:28:10

Posted by Billyjam, May 28, 2010 03:08pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music San Francisco Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 05:28:10

Nas Damien Marley
1) Nas + Damian Marley Distant Relatives  (Republic)

2) Reflection Eternal Revolutions Per Minute (Blacksmith/Rawkus/Warner Brothers)

3) Madlib Madlib Medicine Show #5-History of the Loop Digga-1990-2000 (Stones Throw)

4) Guilty Simpson OJ Simpson (Stones Throw)

5) Mystik Journeymen Return 2 The Love (Outhouse)

Thanks to Luis at Amoeba Music San Francisco for the above hip-hop chart that features the brand new duet album from Nas and Damian Marley, Distant Relatives, in the number one slot. According to Nas, this successful full length collaboration goes deeper than just music. It is about hope and empowerment and education. “We tryin' to build some schools in Africa… and trying to build empowerment,” the Queensbrige emcee recently told MTV News about the album, whose proceeds go to building a school in the Congo. Distant Relatives, which was mostly produced by Damian “JR Gong” Marley and his brother Stephen Marley, addresses the ongoing unrest in the continent of Africa on such songs as "Count Your Blessings." The song "Africa Must Wake Up," the album's closing track that fittingly features Africa's best known hip-hopper, K'Naan, spitting verse in his native tongue, is a powerful message song about the need for positive change across the continent of Africa.

Continue reading...

This Week At The New Bev: Derrick Comedy & Ghost Busters, Frankenheimer, Leone, Peckinpah, Tarantino, Jarman & More!

Posted by phil blankenship, May 28, 2010 02:51pm | Post a Comment
This Week At The New Beverly

Our June schedule is available online:
www.newbevcinema.com/calendar.cfm



Friday & Saturday, May 28 & 29

Special Derrick Comedy Guests In Person!

Mystery Team
2009, USA, 105 minutes
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1237838/
dir. Dan Eckman, starring Donald Glover, D.C. Pierson, Dominic Dierkes, Aubrey Plaza, Matt Walsh
Fri: 7:30; Sat: 3:20 & 7:30, Watch The Trailer!

May 27, 2010: Popatopolis

Posted by phil blankenship, May 28, 2010 11:17am | Post a Comment

7" Fix: The Cairo Gang "Holy Clover"

Posted by Kells, May 28, 2010 10:08am | Post a Comment

Will Oldham, or Bonnie "Prince" Billy, as he often styles himself onstage and on wax, seems to have naturally great taste when it comes to singer-songwriter types native to or otherwise rambling through the backwoods and beachheads of Northern California. Of his latest collaborations I've taken a shine to the Cairo Gang or, more specifically, the vocals and guitar styling of one Emmett Kelly & co. --- lending a little of this and that to a handful of recent BPB albums as well as offering gentle listeners something on the side with the release of their 7" EP Holy Clover (out now on Empty Cellar Records).

Each of the four songs captured here recall proper feelings of seasonal impermanence and the sort of wisdom-beyond-one's-years that many modern singer-songwriters attempt to brew but seem to have trouble getting just right. Kelly (besides having a fabulous name) is blessed with a voice that not only pairs remarkably well with Oldham's wood-smoked yet crystal-fragile vocals but suits the well-crafted folk/rock vibes his band lays down (I've always thought Oldham's voice, while folksy, was more country than rock), especially when he lets loose in "Get's Me Back" on side B --- a jam with stellar guitars (Kelly is joined here by Chris Rodahaffer) sounding something like America high-fiving Neil Young with an echo of Kyle Field's (a.k.a. Little Wings) sentimental Soft Pow'r glowing 'round the edges. On the whole this little gem plays languid and pale in a light what shines one of the best of Bonnie Billy's partners in crime. Below is a little clip of Emmet Kelly and Will Oldham performing "Midday" (the A side to the 7" that accompanies the Bonnie "Prince" Billy & the Cairo Gang Wonder Show of the World CD and LP) --- their "Afternoon Delight," as it were --- in a Brooklyn basement.

out this week 5/18 & 5/25...crystal castles...black keys...depreciation guild...duran duran...david cross...

Posted by Brad Schelden, May 27, 2010 03:56pm | Post a Comment
I have a confession to make...I am just now watching Arrested Development for the first time! I know you might find it hard to believe. How could I have gone all these years without watching this amazing television show? How did I even get through each day without the Bluth family? I feel somewhat personally responsible for getting it canceled. Maybe it would still be on TV if I had actually watched it when it originally aired. But three seasons might be the perfect length for this show -- I don't know how it could have possibly remained as hilarious this many years later. Arrested Development is just one of those absolutely perfect shows. I just can't imagine a better script and I can't imagine more perfect casting! The set up of the show is brilliant. It is seriously the funniest thing I have ever seen! I am just so glad that is is finally in my life. I am currently in the middle of Season 3 and I am actually trying to spread it out and make it last. I know that some of my friends are jealous of me that I am watching it for the first time -- they wish they could go back and have that experience again! I will most definitely be watching the entire series over again at some point in the future but there is just nothing like that first time. I am also sort of amazed how I didn't even really know that much about the show. I knew Jason Bateman was the star. I knew it had something to do with some rich father getting sent to prison and how his family dealt with it. I knew Ellen's girlfriend was on the show. I knew at some point Justine Bateman shows up on the show (which I am still patiently waiting for). But I had no idea that Michael Cera was on AD! I had no idea that Alia Shawkat plays the daughter Maybe! She is by far one of my favorite characters. Just absolutely brilliant! Liza Minnelli also pops in some of the best episodes as the neighbor. I had no idea the show was narrated by Ron Howard either! One of my other favorite characters is Buster. I didn't even know who Tony Hale was before the show but he is just plain perfect and hilarious as Buster. I guess I didn't even ever check out their IMDB page. I just didn't know. I am a bit mad nobody told me how brilliant this show was. Maybe I just wasn't listening. I had heard it was funny but I really needed somebody to sit me down and look me straight in the eye and say, "No, really, this show is simply the most brilliant and hilarious thing ever on television." So I am telling you now -- if you have not seen this show, you simply must watch it! Put down your True Blood and Dexter! Put aside your Glee, 30 Rock and The Office! Take a break from your Housewives and reality shows! You must watch this show!

I don't want to give away too much more about AD. It is best to just jump right into it without knowing everything about it. At the heart of the show is David Cross. Everyone probably has their favorite character. I guess I actually love them all -- but I think David Cross might be just barely at the top of the list. But Jessica Walter is actually brilliant as well as the mother of the show. Hopefully you have seen her in the Clint Eastwood film Play Misty For Me. It is one of my favorite movies ever! David Cross plays the husband of the daughter on the show. His name is Tobias Funke. Brilliant. David Cross has a career outside of Arrested Development, of course. He has just put out his newest comedy album on Sub Pop -- Bigger and Blackerer is out on both CD and DVD. I still have not had a chance to watch the DVD yet, but the album is, of course, hilarious! I love listening to comedy albums when I am driving. I have been listening to the new Brian Posehn album a lot lately too, but now I am happy to have something else to check out. It does make me look crazy when I am driving and cracking up, but I don't care! Try it on your headphones as well! Laughing is good for you. David Cross is good for you. David Cross is hilarious!


Buy the new album Bigger & Blackerer by David Cross

I really wish that Crystal Castles would have consulted me about this new album of theirs. It sounds fantastic and the artwork is amazing and easily my pick for favorite album cover of the year...but the title is not so great. Crystal Castles is the unimaginative title. Again. This was the name of the first album. Coming up with an album title seems like such a fun thing to do -- it really is just about matching up words into phrases that have not yet existed, or there are always the one word titles as well, but it is harder to find that one word that has not been used yet. I do like the phrase Crystal Castles. It hadn't been used yet as far as I know and I like the way the words sound together and I have no problem with naming your first album the same name as your band name. When you come up with a great name you want to use it twice, I get it. And it is easy for fans to remember. You can say "Have you heard the new Crystal Castles album?" or "Did you get the Crystal Castles album?" And you could be referring to the artist or the album. But at that point there is only one album and it's all the same thing. When you put out your second album, however, it really is your time to shine. If you are too lazy or just keep fighting over the album title, then just go with one of the song titles. "Celestica," "Fainting Spells," or even "Pap Smear" would have all been great album titles. Or they even could have named the album Crystal Castles 2 or Album II or just 2. Or how about Crystal Castles...One More Time? There is also always the option of naming your album a 20 word sentence, something you know will not fit on record store computer screens -- a title that will not even fit on the spine of the CD. A title that will inevitably have to end with "..." But not the Crystal Castles. They have just decided to name their second album Crystal Castles once again. I am sure they had their reasons. They probably just did it to piss off their label and record stores and bloggers. I am sure they just don't really care, although if I had an interview with them this is the first question that I would ask them. And I am sure they hate that question -- but really, all you had to do was actually give your album a name and crystal castles albumthat problem would not have occurred! I am almost positive their third album will also be called Crystal Castles! Regardless of all this nonsense, the album is great. It's weird and dancey just like it should be, and they have matured a bit. Just like on the first album, there are some songs here that you are going to want to listen to over and over again. I sort of think of them as future music. They sound like what I would have imagined this type of music to sound like today 10 years ago, if that makes sense. I can't get enough of this album. Crystal Castles are a weirder and more intense version of Ladytron. I like to think of them as a cross between Aphex Twin and Kylie Minogue. I am renaming the album Pap Smear, on my computer at least -- it's one of my favorite songs on the album! They should have just left the album name blank with a spot to write in your own choice for the album name. Has anybody done that before? Maybe the next one...



Buy the new album Crystal Castles by Crystal Castles


also out 5/18...






Infinite Arms by Band of Horses












Brothers by Black Keys












People's Record by Club 8












Spirit Youth by Depreciation Guild












New Traditionalists reissue by Devo












Duran Duran: Special Edition by Duran Duran












Seven & the Ragged Tiger: Special Edition by Duran Duran












This Is Happening by LCD Soundsystem












Arachandroid by Janelle Monae












Exile On Main Street: Deluxe Edition by The Rolling Stones












Amsterdam Throwdown by Solex Vs Cristina Martinez












Controversial Negro reissue by Jon Spencer Blues Explosion












Now I Got Worry reissue by Jon Spencer Blues Explosion










Love & Its Opposite by Tracey Thorn







also out 5/25...







Ghost Who Walks by Karen Elson












Soft Return by Grovesnor












Splash by Jeremy Jay












Interpretations by Bettye Lavette












Macgruber Soundtrack












Family Jewels by Marina & the Diamonds












Micmacs Original Score












Soundtrack by Modern English












Angelic Swells by Neverever












Melted by Ty Segall












Teargarden Vol. 1 by Smashing Pumpkins












Subject to Shift by Solvent












Great Western Laymen by Rudi Zygadlo





"Baby Please Don't Go" Has Remained Popular with Artists Over the 75 Years Since It Was Written By Big Joe Williams

Posted by Billyjam, May 27, 2010 06:51am | Post a Comment
Big Joe Williams "Baby Please Don't Go"

Written, recorded, and released back in 1935 by the great delta blues musician and songwriter Big Joe Williams, the sBig Joe Williamsong "Baby Please Don't Go" has been popular with countless artists in the seventy five years since, having been covered by dozens upon dozens of different musicians to the point that it ranks among the top ten most recorded blues songs in music's history. 

Perhaps the most famous or recognizable cover version of "Baby Please Don't Go" is the 1964 recording/release by Them -- the Belfast, Northern Ireland blues-rock ensemble featuring Van Morrison. Them's cover (with "Gloria" on the B side), which was a top ten single in the UK in 1965 and a US AOR radio staple in consequent years, injected a whole rock n roll energy into the classic blues song. 

themSo influential was Van & co's version that nearly all of the versions of the song recorded or just played after 1965 (including by fellow Irish blues-rockers Taste featuring Rory Gallagher) are rock inflected covers a la Them rather than the original blues version by Williams. Another Irish rocker to cover the song was guitarist / vocalist Eric Bell, who was an original member of Thin Lizzy. 

May 24, 2010: A Nightmare In Las Cruces / The Back-up Plan

Posted by phil blankenship, May 26, 2010 11:16pm | Post a Comment
What I paid to see:



But due to a projection / sound problem, this is what I saw instead:

Amoeba Hollywood's New and Featured Goth / Industrial Releases

Posted by Aaron Detroit, May 26, 2010 05:15pm | Post a Comment

Rome
Nos Chants Perdus[Trisol] CD


Over a series of remarkable concept albums, the Luxembourgish band Rome has developed a totally unique ‘poetry of longing’ which rings out from the dark melancholic mist of rootlessness and which gives expression to a comprehensive feeling of modern forlornness. The protagonists of their music are the unintentional ‘rebels’ of Camus (L’Homme révolté), contemporaries from the turbulent epochs of the 20th century: the banished and the hunted, the despised and the misunderstood – ceaseless enemies of dictatorship. This is what the songs of Rome frontman Jerome Reuter are about, rooted firmly in the tradition of his declared heroes Jacques Brel, Léo Ferré, Tom Waits and Nick Cave. With regard to content, Rome derives inspiration from world literature and an observant listener will be able to detect references to Camus, Proust, Sartre and Jean Genet. Following hot on the heels of their EP L’Assassin, the band assiduously develops its sound further on a minimalistic yet richly textured, simple singer-songwriter album Nos Chants Perdus -- slowly leaving the apocalyptic realms behind them. Catchy melodies impress themselves on the memory and Reuter’s gothic tenor is currently peerless. Apart from the French song titles the lyrics are primarily performed in English, while the music is constructed primarily with acoustic instruments: piano, guitar, touches of strings, accordion. They have largely relinquished electronic elements, which marks Nos Chants Perdus out as a further and remarkable stride in the work of the band. Check out samples of Rome’s previous efforts here and here

Listen: Rome "L'Assassin" from Nos Chants Perdus



TriORE Three Hours [Cold Meat Industry]CD

Christian Erdmann (Triarii) and Tomas Pettersson (Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio) have given birth to a love child they call TriORE. Both participants go beyond themselves and step out of normal character, but TriORE is nonetheless the embodiment of all that which is Triarii, and all that which is Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio. The bombastic touch of Triarii is still there; the string sections, the choirs, the martial drums and much more; alongside the eloquence of Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio, musically, melodically, as well as lyrically. This is what all lovers of both bands have been waiting for, a complete forty minutes of downer-but-gorgeous Art Deco Industrial Pop.

Listen: TriORE "Pleasures & Tortures" from Three Hours

 

Combichrist Noise Collection, Vol. 1 [Out of Line] 2CD

Raw, brutal and forceful! Combichrist burst into the dark Electro scene in 2003 with a massive blend of Techno, Noise, EBM and harsh Industrial sounds that were as fresh as they were brutal. Noise Collection Vol. 1, a comprehensive 2 CD anthology, explores the wild early years of one of the most loved acts in modern dark club music. Disc one contains the now-deleted debut album The Joy Of Gunz, while disc two unites the ultra-rare Halloween release "Kiss The Blade," the long-deleted Sex, Drogen & Industrial EP, two tracks from the collectible Blut Royale 12 inch-single and an exclusive song from the Industrial For The Masses Vol. 2 compilation. Noise Collection Vol. 1 is the ideal opportunity for new fans to complement their Combichrist library and serves as a nearly complete insight into the first phase this most influential band.

Listen: Combichrist  "You Will Be The Bitch Now" from Noise Collection, Vol.1

 

Tying Tiffany
Peoples Temple [Trisol] CD


Italian Electro-Goth-Pop from the perspective of contemporary decadent lifestyles. True to the roots of the Goth-Pop genre, this vampy siren delivers a lesson in Punkish attitude, revolutionary gusto and a lot of electronic reinforcement with Peoples Temple and strengthens her reputation as an exceptional tunesmith and performer.

Listen: Tying Tiffany "Show Me..." from Peoples Temple




Still Fresh…

Thomas Nola et Son Orchestre
Très Pathétique [Disques de Lapin] CD


New release from Thomas Nola featuring rich and moody tracks with a French bent. Très Pathétique comes in a handmade sleeve with lyrics booklet. Each sleeve is made from Indian recycled cotton rag paper with random multi-colored swirls, making them all unique. Bring it to the dancefloor or the funeral parlor.

Ruby Throat Out of A Black Cloud Came A Bird [Sleepslikewolves/ The Lovers’ Will] CD

Black Cloud finds KatieJane Garside's (Queenadreena, Daisy Chainsaw) unsettling and psycho-sexual fairytale-stylings covered in ethereal-psychedelic dream-wrap courtesy of Chris Wittingham's instrumentation. Her voice is equal parts PJ Harvey, Alison Shaw (Cranes), and Hope Sandoval -- though sometimes a bit of Diamanda's babelogue madness creeps in.

David Byrne Sues Florida Gov. Charlie Crist for $1million for Unauthorized Use of Talking Heads' "Road to Nowhere"

Posted by Billyjam, May 25, 2010 04:25pm | Post a Comment
david byrne
Yesterday afternoon in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida in Tampa, artist David Byrne filed a $1million suit against the governor of Florida, Charlie Crist, along with his senatorial campaign, alleging that the governor used the Talking Heads' mid eighties single "Road to Nowhere" (Sire/Warner) without permission or proper licenses.

Gov. Crist, who is also Florida's former Attorney General, used the Talking Heads song, found on the band's 1985 Little Creatures album, earlier this year in a website and YouTube ad directed against his then-Republican primary opponent, Marco Rubio.

According to a report on Billboard's website, Byrne, "became aware of the Crist ad from a friend in New York, where the Talking Heads co-founder resides." Byrne told the music magazine that he "was pretty upset" when he learned about the song's unauthorized use and stressed that the lawsuit, "is not about politics...It's about copyright."

This is not the first time that an American politician has used a famous rock artist's music or likeness without permission. Back in 1984 during his re-election campaign, Ronald Reagan, while giving a speech in Talking Heads Hammonton, New Jersey, appropriated the work of the state's favorite son Bruce Springsteen (referencing the then popular "Born In The USA"). When Springsteen (a liberal & most opposed to Reagan) found out about this, he was pissed and put an immediate stop to it. More recently, John McCain, in his 2008 Republican presidential candidate run, used Jackson Browne's song "Running on Empty." Browne filed a suit and won. His lawyer in the case, Lawrence Iser, is now representing Byrne in the case against the Florida Gov.

California Fool's Gold -- Exploring Cambodia Town, Long Beach's Little Phnom Phen

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 25, 2010 02:30pm | Post a Comment

In recognition of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, this entry is about the Long Beach neighborhood of Cambodia Town. To vote for other Los Angeles neighborhoods to be covered on the blog, click here. To vote for Los Angeles County communities, click here. To vote for Orange County neighborhoods, vote here.



Pendersleigh & Sons' Official Map of Cambodia Town

Cambodia Town is a neighborhood in Long Beach's East Side centered on Anaheim Street between Atlantic and Junipero. To the north is the neighborhood of Signal Hill. To the south is Carroll Park.


Guillermo Avalos's mural, At the Close of Day

The first Khmer Student Association (KSA) in the US was established in 1959, when the population of Cambodia-Americans was limited almost entirely to small numbers of students attending USC, UCLA, Cal State LA, Cal Poly and Cal State Long Beach, most often studying agriculture or engineering. In 1975, one of the KSA’s members, David Viradet Kreng, helped organize assistance for the many refugees fleeing the genocidal Khmer Rouge. The Khmer Solidarity Association, later the Cambodian Association of America (CAA), included many people who helped evacuees and many future leaders of Long Beach's Cambodian community.



Murals and art in (and around) Cambodia Town

After arriving at Camp Pendleton, many Cambodians settled in Long Beach’s de facto red light district, along and around Anaheim St, lured by cheap housing, proximity to Cal State Long Beach and soon, an increasingly Khmer community identity. 1976, the CAA held its first national conference in Long Beach. The following year, the United Cambodian Community established, also in Long Beach. In 1979, a second influx of Cambodians arrived in the wake of Vietnam’s invasion of Cambodia. Today, although the most recent census states that 20,000 Cambodian-Americans live in Long Beach, the actual number is estimated by some to be closer to 50,000.


A house with elephants on the porch (and a Christmas wreath in May)

Litter Free Long Beach

Over the decades, many Cambodian businesses have popped up. In the bad old days, the area was plagued with considerable gang violence between the older, more established Latino gangs like the East Side Longos and newer Cambodian gangs like Tiny Rascal Gang (TRG). Now, though the violence has died down, Cambodia Town still feels pretty... gritty. The flocks of pigeons picking through the shocking amounts of garbage that litter the sleepy side streets does little to change that impression, despite Litter Free Long Beach's English, Khmer and Spanish language banners.


Cambodian American Buddhist Temple  
        

Cambodian Community Center

  Chùa Phật Tổ

As with a lot of Los Angeles neighborhoods, there is little, architecturally speaking, to clue the passerby to the Cambodian nature of the neighborhood and most of the commercial corridor is lined with nondescript, single story shopping centers and the occasional run-down art deco building. But a significant number of Khmer signs, Cambodian and Buddhist flags, and a few examples of Asian-inspired architecture offer clues. And then there’s the nature of the businesses too. How Cambodia Town can support so many auto repair shops and jewelry stores is kind of baffling. There are also gift shops, Cambodian-American associations, pharmacists, restaurants, DVD stores and more markets (e.g. An Dong Market, Lee Hang Market, Riverside Supermarket, Seng Heng Supermarket, Kim Heng Supermarket, Kim Long Market, La Bodega Market, Queen City Meats, La Gaviota Meat Market, Saigon Market, Amigo’s Market, Bayon Market, KMP Market and Top Valu Market) than you can shake an elephant prod at.


Vannak "Angkarak Besdoang"

Because of all this, Cambodia Town is well-known to Cambodian-Americans and most of the tourists hail from Fresno, Oakland, San Diego, San Jose and Stockton’s sizable (but smaller) Khmer communities, and not, for the most part, barang. Back in 2000, there were four officially recognized ethnic enclaves in and around Los Angeles: Chinatown, Koreatown, Little Saigon and Little Tokyo. In the decade that followed, Historic Filipinotown, Little Ethiopia and Thai Town also gained recognition. For years, Khmer had campaigned for a Cambodia Town or Little Phnom Phem but it remained only recognized unofficially, like Kosher Canyon, Little Bangladesh, Little India and Tehrangeles until 2007. That year it became the first officially-recognized Cambodian enclave in the US.


Rithy singing "a Madizon"

Cambodia Town is also home to a large Latino population and most of the bars in the area, like El Sauz, Mexcala Bar, Trojan III and Zacatecas, cater primarily to them. The restaurants evince more variety, including, of course, many Mexican, “Thai Chinese Cambodian,” and others, including Siem Reap, Lily Bakery & Food Express, Bamboo Island, Daily Sandwiches & Battombong, 24 Seven Donut (the only donut shop!?), Kim’s Deli, Fantastic Pizza, Thai Rosmanee, Pho Thanh Lich, Tacos Y Mariscos Puente, Pho Hanh, Cafe Phuong Vy (or Vi), New Panda, Chinese King BBQ and Long-Xuyen Billiards & Coffee.


Lim Molyna singing

The music scene in Cambodia Town is centered around live performance and, although I saw a couple carrying their tro down Anaheim, to catch performers like Lim Molyna, Chaiya, Chhim Sreyneang, Choeun Oudom, Chhom Chhorvin, Coleen Deekan, Darany, Dariya, Hem Vannak, Jolida, King Soriya, Meas Somaly, Phea, Pov Phirun, Rithy, Ram Roeun, Romaly, Sabda, Sok Srey LalinSothy, Un Sophal, or others you should hit go to a venue like Golden Villa, New Paradise, Hak Heang or La Lune. There’s also a local Khmer rap scene, represented by artists like praCH Ly among others (I'm sure -- hit me with additions).




Chhom Nimol  "Bong Korng Deng Kluon"

The 1996 release of the compilation Cambodia Rocks ignited a microfad for kitschy (but good!) Khmer Circle music. In 2001, after returning from a trip to Cambodia, Ethan and Zac Holtzman formed Dengue Fever and recruited their Khmer singer, Chhom Nimol, after catching one of her performances in Cambodia Town.


Khmer Arts Academy "Robam Tevada Daer Suon"

There are several other ways to experience Cambodian culture in and around Cambodia Town. The first Cambodian Arts and Handicrafts Exhibition took place last year and may become an annual event. There is a parade down Anaheim on Cambodian New Year. The Anniversary of Cambodia Town's Designation is recognized in July. There’s also the Khmer Arts Academy and the Kok Thlok dance troupe.














As far as film and Cambodia Town go, the only “movies” I could find shot there were of the Youtube variety -- films like How Cambodians in the LBC Party, Pretty Khmer Girls in Long Beach, Cambodia Town USA and the Real Mad World Cambodia Town. However, although I don’t remember even mentioning Cambodian Cinema when I was in film school (and recall only one Cambodian DVD ever passing through Amoeba's Asian Cinema section), there are several DVD shops that carry thousands of Khmer titles, including Hawaii Video, TDA Video, Mary's Video, Mayura Video, Sarika Entertainment, SSB Video, and Rasmey Hang Mees. I’d guess that none have subtitles, but with some stores offering 22 DVDs for 20 bucks, how can you go wrong?


Darany & Dariya singing 



*****


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

FM Belfast's "Pump" and Stereo Total's "Tour De France" Are More Than Mere Covers of Past Hits:

Posted by Billyjam, May 24, 2010 04:48pm | Post a Comment
FM Belfast
Their economy may be in tatters and the spewing volcanic ash that caused so much disruption to air travel may have strained relations with their mainland European neighbors, who were hardest hit, but Iceland's music scene is still in a very healthy state. From the ever-inventive post-rock sound of Sigur Rós to the turntablist hip-hop sounds of former Amoebite and Icelandic born DJ Platurn, and from the home-made, lo-fi analog sounds of longtime Icelandic duo Slowblow to the warmly produced, retro electronic sounds of FM Belfast, Iceland clearly has much to offer musically.

And of all the recent non hip-hop releases I have been listening to lately, FM Belfast, who hail from Reykjavík, Iceland, are among my top faves.  Their just released eleven track how to make friends album on Kimi Records (which was originally released in 2008 as an import-only on the small Icelandic indie World Champion Records) captures the fun electro-pop/electronicia trio's throwback style on such tracks as "Frequency" and "VHS" (which longs for the bygone days of VHS tapes and other old technology). But the FM Belfast album track that won me over upon first hearing it was the group's inspired cover of Technotronic's "Pump Up The Jam." For their interpretation of this once ubiquitous 1989 upbeat, bouncy, hip-house-y global hit, they totally rework it by bringing it almost to a screeching halt. They transform the song, renamed "Pump," into a hypnotic, DJ Screw (Chopped and Screwed like) slowed-down version that I think is pure brilliance. Check it out below yourself to see what you think. Meantime, all the way down the page is Technotronic themselves with the Belgian outfit's 1989 video for "Pump Up The Jam," which was a worldwide smash hit, including in the US, where it went to number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in late 1989 & early 1990, becoming the first ever house record to go commercial Stateside.

The Lost Weekend: "The Candidate," "Across the Sea," & "What They Died For"

Posted by Charles Reece, May 23, 2010 04:31pm | Post a Comment
 
The scorecard. Note that Desmond wasn't included in this pic, either.

Welp, "The End" is tonight. I've been less than enamored with Lost's final season, not because of unresolved mysteries (which is how I wanted it), but poor story construction. Rather than the forceful movement towards the finale that all the other seasons possessed, there's been too much dicking around, deflating the momentum. It wasn't until the third to last episode that the reason for all the castaways being on the island was revealed through the origin of Jacob and his nemesis, the man in black (MIB), aka his twin brother. 


"Across the Sea"  is one of the season's best episodes, as it takes the old prime mover argument for a god's existence (that everything has to have a beginning, so there must be an ultimate beginning) and narratively plays out the problem with that: the positing of a first cause runs counter to the reason for it's use, that everything has to have a cause. Thus, we find out how Jacob and MIB became who they are, but we don't know squat about the one they call Mother who condemned them to the island -- so goes the most quoted bit from the episode: answers only lead to more questions. Ontologically, that makes me happy. Likewise, I like the way Jacob doesn't have any real possession of the Truth, either. He just chooses to believe the ad hoc mumbo-jumbo of this woman who admittedly killed his real mother, because that's really all he's got. He's learned something over the subsequent 2,000 years about the island's mystical mechanics, but seemingly very little about the what for. That he has to protect the island and keep his brother's smoggy avatar imprisoned are matters of faith. At its core, the show demonstrates the blurry distinction between faith and its seemingly more rational counterpart, inference to the best explanation. Thus, Jacob is following the law of his Mother, a person who believed it necessary to not only kill his real mom, but murder the other people on the island, because they were trying to harness its central power source. Or, then again, derailing the MIB's attempt to get off the island by razing the village was just a ruse to get him pissed off enough to end her eternal drudgery as protector. She even thanks him for killing her. ( And, I could be mishearing, but it sure seems like she calls him José as she lies dying. Being a variant of Joseph, favorite son of Jacob, that would fit this Oedipalized passion play. Joseph's dying wish was to have his bones returned to Israel, the MIB wishes to return home as a disembodied spirit of sorts. The inspiration for the character's names never determine their arc, but just allude to some analogical similarities.) It's all perfectly ambiguous, but it does provide what's at stake for the remaining candidates should they find the faith to make the same decision as Jacob. 


However, the placement of that backstory felt like a drag on the main storyline, coming right after "The Candidate," in which we witnessed the deaths of Sayid, Jin and Sun. (Lapidus is still alive, since his death wasn't shown and his piloting skill is the most logical way off the island for whoever survives.) Why wasn't Jacob's origin story placed somewhere at the beginning of the season, where it would've added some dramatic point to all the characters flailing around in both timelines? Instead, it's been more characters and mysteries introduced with viewers waiting to see what the point of it all is. The dramaturgy behind the sideways timeline has been little more than reminding the viewer what the characters were like at the beginning of the journey with inverted twists on their lot in life -- sometimes surprising, but who cares? Although I admit that the interactions between sideways Locke and Jack deepen their characters (so it definitely hasn't been all bad). Had "Across the Sea" come earlier, the creators could've restructured the narrative so that all the decisions being made had some relevance, were contingent upon, the primal act established therein. When said deaths occurred, it felt haphazard, like a gimmick just to convey that this UnLocke guy, whoever the hell he is, meant business -- whatever business that might be. Which brings me to the problem of rule-following in a fantasy.

It doesn't matter why vampires incinerate in sunlight, only that once it's established that they do, you don't see any tanning on a beach. Earlier in the season, Jack proved his hard-earned faith that he's on the island for a reason by lighting a stick of dynamite in front of Richard and watching it fizzle out. Similarly, in a previous season, Michael couldn't kill himself with a pistol. As the rule goes, the island wasn't done with them yet. Considering this rule, alongside all of the convenient coincidences, is what makes "The Candidate" one of the clumsiest and most poorly told episodes of the season, if not the entire series. 


First, let's take all the contingencies that UnLocke would've had to consider in advance (foreseen?) for his plan to kill the remaining candidates to work: (1) Jack had to change his mind about not leaving the island, an idea he was so committed to that he jumped off a boat in a previous episode, willing to let his friends leave without him. (2) Jack had to take off his backpack at the right moment, so that UnLocke could switch it out with one containing a C4 bomb hooked to a timer. (3) Because UnLocke can't directly kill the candidates (just as he couldn't kill Jacob), the timer going off without anyone's awareness would've have amounted to diddly. Thus, Kate had to be conveniently shot, so that Jack would need the medical supplies in his pack, thereby discovering the bomb. (4) Related to 3, UnLocke had to count on the group not finding any first aid kit in the sub. (5) Sawyer had to be counted on to not trust Jack's faith in not dying should the bomb go off, so that he'd mistakenly try to dismantle the bomb, making him the direct killer of the surviving candidates. Okay, maybe that last one wasn't so hard to predict given Sawyer's opinion of Jack, but it points to the problem of rule-following I mentioned.

Second, why should it matter if one of the group tampers with the bomb? If Michael could be off the island, put a gun to his head and pull the trigger, only to have nothing happen, then Sawyer's pulling the wires should've had the same result. I guess the island could've been done with those that died, but it's unclear why the bomb would've gone off even if true, since at least some of them were still needed (cf. the Richard and Jack scene alluded to above).

Finally, even granting all of that as part of the rule system, why didn't UnLocke allow for the group to get aboard the plane that was wired with C4? Lapidus isn't a candidate, isn't beholden to whatever rules UnLocke, Jacob, Whitmore et al. play by, so if the island was done with the group, his starting up the plane would've accomplished everything the bombing of the sub was supposed to do, but in a simpler, much more efficient and easily predicted manner. Even if UnLocke can't fly far enough to escape the island (he supposedly can't fly over water, although Jack proved he's not harmed by it), he would've had the submarine with which to leave. In other words, all of this was some piss-poor plotting on the writers' part.


So, back to what's this all about, or, as the penultimate episode puts it, "What They Died For." As it turns out, not much that we didn't already know. A whole episode pretty much wasted on explaining to the four remaining main characters that they're candidates for Jacob's job. (These are the same characters who were selected by the Others in exchange for Walt back in season 2: Hurley, Kate, Sawyer and Jack). Why did he select them? Because they were like him, alone. He fails to mention the fact that he's been with them at various times in their life. How did he know back then that they'd always be alone? This line only works if the show remains committed to determinism. That is, how could Jacob have known to have picked them otherwise? This leads to another question (big surprise): why not just select the guy you know is going to work out, rather than having all those other deaths on your hands? Perhaps Jacob's prescience is limited in the same was as Desmond's, seeing different possible futures. But that doesn't really work, since metaphysics according to what Desmond learned is that all possible paths lead to a single predetermined outcome. He knew Charlie was going to die, just not exactly how or when. So, applying that to Jack as the new protector means that it was a foregone conclusion that he'd "choose" and all the others who died are pretty much meaningless casualties. It's possible that Jacob is simply following orders, taking whomever the island sends his way without seeing anything himself, but that goes against his statement that he was the one who chose them. And Jacob, according to Mother, isn't capable of lying. My guess for how the writers will attempt to get out of this depressing worldview, or at least its miserable effects, is to let UnLocke blow up the island, shifting all the original timeline consciousnesses into the parallel bodies on sideways Earth. But who knows? I'm rooting for miserablism.

I still don't trust Jacob. He might not lie, but sure does leave out a lot of crucial information (much like this season's writers). He's seen walking with Mother right after the village was destroyed. He was there when Locke was thrown out of an eighth story window. He distracted Sayid just before Natya (the latter's wife) was hit by a car. And, although he wasn't present, his right-hand man, Richard, had a big part to play in Ben's slaughtering all the DHARMA members back in the early 90s. (Speaking of which, was all that DHARMA stuff nothing more than the world's most elaborate MacGuffin, something that just kept us watching for a few seasons until the real narrative point is finally revealed?) Jacob has sensitive eyes, but he's a real bastard.

I've rambled enough. I'll be back after the finale to see if my skepticism was justified. I do still have hope that all the piddling about turns out to be more significant than the show's let on so far. 

Animal Label Gallery

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, May 22, 2010 09:25pm | Post a Comment

Roommate wanted - an interview with Roommate's Kento-chan Lambert

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 22, 2010 01:00pm | Post a Comment
For this Asian Pacific American Heritage Month I asked Asian-Americans involved in the arts to get at me. The first to do so was Kent Lambert, an experimental pop guy who lives in Chicago and is the front man for Roommate.


Eric: How is your Asian Pacific American Heritage Month going?

Kent Lambert: It's going swimmingly, thank you.

 

Eric: Have you done anything to honor or celebrate APA Month?

KL: I consider this interview the official kick-off to my APA Month festivities. Next week I just might whip up an old-fashioned Japanese meal of miso soup with brown rice and "tofu steaks," and I'll be posting some labels of old Enka 45s I swiped from my mom to Collector Not Completist. Perhaps some bi bim bop and bánh mì before the month is through. Sake and/or sh?ch?.

Nas + Damien Marley, Sage Francis, Reflection Eternal Play Amoeba, New Andre Nickatina Skatedecks, Amoeba Hollywood Top Five, + More: Amoeba Music Weekly Hip-Hop Round Up: 05:21:10

Posted by Billyjam, May 21, 2010 08:22am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Hollywood Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 05:21:10

Sage Francis
1) Sage Francis Li(F)e (Strange Famous Records)

2) B.o.B. presents The Adventures Of Bobby Ray (Rebel Rock/Grand Hustle/Atlantic)

3) Madlib Madlib Medicine Show #4: 420 Chalice All-Stars (Stones Throw)

4) Roc Marciano Marcberg (Fat Beats)

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

Amoeba Hollywood's hip-hop chart features the new album from Sage Francis Li(F)e on the artist's own Strange Famous label in the number one position. The record is also doing extremely well at both the San Francisco and the Berkeley Amoeba stores. Peep last week's Amoeba Music Hip-Hop Weekly Round Up for more background info on this recommended new release from the alternative rap act, as well as upcoming California dates/venues on the ongoing Sage Francis tour, which reportedly is selling advance tickets at a rapid rate. All the other chart entries this week at the SoCal Amoeba, including B.o.B. presents The Adventures Of Bobby Ray, Madlib's Madlib Medicine Show #4: 420 Chalice All-Stars (Stones Throw), and Long Island, NY emcee Roc Marciano's Marcberg on Fat Beats, have also been best sellers lately at Amoeba Berkeley and San Francisco. Meantime, the Black Eyed Peas' The E.N.D. (Interscope), which is coming up on the one year anniversary of its release date in a few weeks, is like the Energizer bunny. It just keeps on going and going and selling and selling -- thanks in great part to the group touring and the hook-laden hit singles it keeps spinning off.

out this week...5/4 & 5/11...delorean...the national...joy formidable...dead weather...

Posted by Brad Schelden, May 20, 2010 01:18pm | Post a Comment

I know very little about car models and brands. It is just something that I was never interested in. I never really enjoyed playing with model car kits or with hot wheels. Like most boys of the 80's though, I owned my share of toy cars. I didn't really choose my toys and I sort of just used my imagination. I much preferred the spaceships to cars, actually, and I really thought we would all be driving some sort of spaceship by now anyway. It is 2010! Remember when that seemed so far away? I guess it just seemed like the year you would turn 20 if you were born in 1990!...which is a bit crazy to me still. The children of the 90's are growing up too. Movies obviously played a big part of the way I thought about the future. They influenced us all, and often more than what we learned in the textbooks, although I do remember learning about the future in school a bit. I remember having to write an essay in elementary school about what I thought the future would be like. I had to "invent" something that would be commonplace in the future. I would kill somebody to get a hold of that essay! I still have most of my high school and college papers but I think in high school I decided I wasn't ever gonna need to read my papers on Harriet Tubman or the Challenger shuttle disaster that were from middle and elementary school. I think they have been recycled back into other paper products at this point. My essay on the future might have been influenced by the movie Back to the Future more than anything I had been taught in the classroom, but I do remember having a good imagination -- or maybe I just combined the movies Tron and Back To the Future in my mind. Back To The Future came out in 1985. Tron came out in 1982. I would like to think I wrote this paper in 1981, but it may have been a couple of years after that. Maybe my teacher actually took my paper and sold it to Hollywood and made off with a million bucks! I really need to find that paper. I was talking to one of my friends the other day about my first movie memory. Both Tron and Back To The Future are early movie memories. I can still remember the theater I saw E.T. in and where I was sitting. I can also remeber Empire Strikes Back, which I think is my first movie theater memory. Back to the paper... I wrote about these highways that were all tracks. You would just get in your car and tell it where you wanted to go and it would drive there for you. My invention was great because I remember that I claimed, "No more car accidents!" I think I drew pictures and everything. The cars looked more like miniature limos and they came with their own cassette tape boom box, of course. I guess I was not smart enough to invent the mp3 or the Ipod. Or maybe I did and I just don't remember. It was a long time ago.
delorean band
You are probably wondering how I got to be talking about all this if you are still reading along with my journey through my memories. I will relate it all to a new album I love very soon, don't you worry. I loved the Delorean in Back To The Future. And the car doors in my future highway that I designed opened up much like the Delorean in Back To The Future. So of course I was excited about a band named Delorean! It could have been some lame metal emo band that got to the name first, but I'm glad it was this Delorean, a band with a new album out on True Panther. The album is called Subiza. And yes, it does
sound like the future...or maybe some version of the future that I imagined in the 80's. It sounds a bit like a fun beachy Miami Vice soundtrack at times. Or what the hip grandchildren of the Golden Girls would have been listening to. It is also spacey and dreamy. Beachgaze dream pop! I love the new music coming out from bands like Washed Out, Best Coast, Surfer Blood, and The Drums. It's getting me excited for a new generation of musicians. I love the shoegaze so I am of course excited about all the nugaze coming out this last decade, but this band is not nugaze. They are more influenced or at least sound like 90's house and pop dance. They sound more like Pictureplane than Beach House. It's Marky Mark meets the Beach Boys. It's the KLF meets OMD. It's just good. They don't really need a category.  This is my first time hearing Delorean but this is actually this Spanish band's third album. It's a fun dancey album! You should love it. I am already in love!


the joy formidable free download
Another one of my favorites is the brilliant Joy Formidable. However, I have been loving this album for a long time now. I am so happy that it has finally made its way out domestically and with a much larger pressing on CD and vinyl. A Balloon Called Moaning came out originally in a very limited box set. I am proud to be the owner of one of the 500 boxes put out by a great little record store in England. However, I was worried that this band would disappear before they could be heard by everyone. I wantedeveryone to love them as much as I do. The album is just brilliant! It is short and perfect. It reminds me of the first time I heard Elastica or PJ Harvey. It really is that good. Led by a female singer, it is a more punk version of Brit pop. But they could have come out right along with Echobelly and Sleeper. And mix in some Throwing Muses and you might get a sense of what they sound like! I could not stop listening to this record -- I had to give it a break for a while but it is now gladly back in my rotation. It was in my top albums list of the year last year and I might just have to put it in my top albums list of this year too for its domestic release. Get it and love it! You really can't not fall in love with the Joy Formidable.


Buy
the new album A Balloon Called Moaning by The Joy Formidable!


the national high violet cd
The National
just released their new album last week. It is called High Violet. The National has been around since 1999 but this, their fifth album, might turn out to be their biggest album yet! Their first two albums were released on Brassland. Alligator came out in 2005 and The Boxer was released in 2007, both on Beggars Banquet. The Boxer was a really fantastic album. Many of us loved it and had high expectations for this new album, but I knew it would not just be another Boxer. It is just as good, it just takes some time to love. You've got to give the album a couple listens and let it get inside you. I have always love the dark and brooding men of indie rock -- the Tindersticks, Smog, and The Black Heart Procession are all some of my favorites, as well as the older Magnetic Fields albums, Arab Strap. All good stuff! I do love these guys and am happy to have them back in my life. This new album is on 4AD, which is a perfect home for them. I like the album packaging. I like the violet. I like the National. The songs are dark and there is no denying it. Some of the songs on this album are titled "Terrible Love," "Sorrow," Runaway," and "Afraid of Everyone." These are not happy songs, but everyone needs some music like this every once in a while. This band might help you explore the darker side of life, but hopefully it will help you through those dark times. Thank you, National.


Buy
the new album High Violet by The National!


also out 5/4...






More! by Booka Shade












Forgiveness Rock by Broken Social Scene











MCMLXXX by Lazer Crystal












Together by The New Pornographers












Optimist by The New Young Pony Club












Baby Ouh! by Stereo Total












At Echo Lake by Woods







also out 5/11...






Sea of Cowards by Dead Weather












Relayted by Gayngs












Latin by Holy Fuck











No Singles by Japandroids












Nothing Hurts by Male Bonding













Warm Slime by Thee Oh Sees


Christ Vs. Warhol's Impressive Debut Disc

Posted by Aaron Detroit, May 20, 2010 01:15pm | Post a Comment

Although the members of Los Angeles-based Christ vs. Warhol all sport mohawks and/or various body modifications, there’s nothing scrappy about the quartet’s debut full-length disc, Dissent. Instead, one will find this well-oiled 4-headed beast firing on all cylinders on 13 solidly produced and politically-minded tracks.

There has been a glut of silly, style-focused and, frankly, dumb Deathrock bands vying for attention for the last few years and for a genre that isn’t all that crowded, that’s a pretty sad state. Christ vs. Warhol avoids these pitfalls by mostly avoiding navel-gazing and instead delivering incendiary, topical and thoughtful lyrics bathed in cascading riffs and wet bass lines. Vocalist and lyricist Eveghost (formerly of Scarlet’s Remains) aims her firing sights at a multitude of topics, like blind consumerism, media-manufactured beauty standards, talk radio windbags and their corporate bosses as well as those
“tossing tea into the harbor/…masquerading as the voice of the working man.” 
Her voice alters between a witchy affected howl to an occasional but impressive Liz Fraser-esque swoop.

Dissent was produced by Faith & The Muse’s William Faith, which probably explains some of the shimmer and gleam the album carries. His presence is certainly felt on the opening track, “A New Model of the Universe,” a dirtied Dream Pop instrumental, all tribal drums and soaring guitar effects bookended by chiming finger cymbals. “And If You Forget,” one of the few tracks concerning personal issues (here it’s a damaged lover) has a similar dreamy-lean with a swirling arrangement and Eveghost hitting the notes in her lovely upper register. The band excels on these airier tracks; it’d be interesting to see the band focus on and hone these elements for future efforts.

Classic Deathrock albums are not complete without an anthem, and Dissent has one. “Fool’s Gold” captures the urgency of O.G. Gothic Rock Anthems like the Skeletal Family’s “Promised Land” and JuJu-era Siouxsie. Christ Vs. Warhol is a cult band in the making for sure.


Amoeba Music Hollywood has quantity of Christ Vs. Warhol’s Dissent and it is a featured pick in our Gothic / Industrial section this month.


This Week At The New Bev: David Carradine Tribute, Fantastic Mr. Fox & A Town Called Panic, the Grindhouse Film Fest, 1950s Film Noirs & More!

Posted by phil blankenship, May 20, 2010 09:38am | Post a Comment
This Week At The New Beverly

Our May / June schedule is available online:
www.newbevcinema.com/calendar.cfm



May 20 - 23

Quentin Tarantino presents a
David Carradine Tribute in Association with Cinefamily

We celebrate the life of one of our favorite actor / filmmakers, the late David Carradine (1936-2009), with a festival that highlights the best, weirdest and brightest films in David's epic filmography.  At the New Bev on Thursday the rarely-seen AMERICANA kicks off the series; Friday showcases a triple feature of David's work with legendary directors Hal Ashby, Ingmar Bergman & Martin Scorsese and on Saturday we present two of David's most iconic roles. The weekend concludes with a 4 film marathon (including CIRCLE OF IRON & SONNY BOY) plus bbq at Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre! See www.cinefamily.org for their full schedule.

Mas Exitos On The Move!

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, May 19, 2010 11:33pm | Post a Comment

One of my favorite nights in Los Angeles for the last few years has been Mas Exitos. Every visit ensures that I will hear a gem that only a devoted digger would find or a lost classic that most wouldn’t think to drop. I dare you to find another pachanga that marries dirty Cumbias with East Los backyard freestyle jams, 60’s Mexican Beat, lost Chicano rockers and driving Boogaloos. My personal favorites jams are what the Mas Exitos crew, DJ Lengua, Ganas and Enorbito, call “paisadelic-psychedelic freak outs,” usually a single cut from a Regional Mexican LP that dipped into the psychedelic sounds of the time. You would never guess these nuggets would have come from guys that look like a wedding band from the 70’s, but it just goes to show you how important it is to dig!

Thursday, Mas Exitos will have their first night at a new location. Mas Exitos will now be a monthly at Footsie’s Bar in Highland Park. They have also moved from their Tuesday slot to a Thursday. Footsie’s also houses another great night in Rani D’s excellent Soul In The Park, which happens every other Wednesday. Between those two nights, you might as well camp out in the HP! They also get a pretty good selection of guest deejays that come through to drop some deep cuts. Guests in the past have included Cut Chemist, Quantic, Roger Mas, Tropicaza and countless others. If you haven't been in a while, come on down and dig the new scene. If you have never been, you are in for a treat.

Here are some gems I’ve heard the Mas Exitos crew drop. Some of them you can find in Amoeba Hollywood’s ever-growing LP sections.

Los Yorks- "El Psicodelico"



Cumbia En Moog-"Cumbia Del Sal"



Mellow Man Ace-"Mentirosa"



Perez Prado-"Mexico 70"



Banda Los Hijos De La Nina Luz-"Dejale Corre"

Recently Refurbished Oakland Museum of California Has Created A New Model That Is More In Conversation With Its Attendees

Posted by Billyjam, May 19, 2010 09:47am | Post a Comment

The first thing that struck me upon entering the recently reopened, remodeled & restructured Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) is how much more hands-on and visitor friendly it is now as compared to before it closed its doors to the public eight months ago to undergo its first major makeover since the museum first opened back in 1969. On re-opening day earlier this month everywhere I looked throughout the museum's many exhibits I saw people of all ages getting hands-on involvement from museum-headphone wearing folks voting via "Yes" or "No" tickets in the "What is Art?" exhibit, and other participants scribbling down personal histories on post-its to add to the exhibit wall that asks museum-goers, "What events in recent history will have the biggest impact on our future?"

This radical move away from the staid traditional model of museum-goer as non-participant observer and toward becoming encouraged active participant is a deliberate one by the downtown Oakland museum, which invested $58-million into its recent refurbishing. "Interactivity is so important and that is one of the challenges for museums," noted OMCA curator Rene de Guzman in the Amoeblog interview (video below). "Museums traditionally have been talking at people. And you really have to create a new model where you are in conversation with people," said the curator, whose rich Bay Area gallery/museum background includes influential positions at such respected San Francisco arts entities as Intersection for the Arts, Southern Exposure (as artist committee member), and Yerba Buena Center for The Arts (YBCA), where he was the visual arts director (along with Renny Pritikin, de Guzman curated the progressive & popular Hip-Hop Nation exhibit in 2001). de Guzman, who joined OMCA in time for this renovation, pinpoints "community" and "culture" as the two key elements of the East Bay institution, which he put plainly-but-profoundly as, "People telling their point of view."

The B Side Live Waves Bye Bye

Posted by Whitmore, May 18, 2010 08:48pm | Post a Comment

Ok, so Alyssa Milano wasn’t tweeting back and our resident rock-star-who-we-can’t-name was too busy doing rock star things elsewhere to be in attendance, but there was a tall, thin gentleman looking a helluva lot like my former conspirator in the Amoeba Hollywood 45 room, son of Texas, Brently Heilbron, in the audience eating pretzels and keeping his distance from the enormous 77 pound chocolate cake which was parallel parked alongside the couch so that the large live studio audience -- triple the regular crowd size, which explains why security showed up -- could dance and binge on food and booze, all to celebrate the end of season one of Eguiders.com’s webcast The B Side Live.
 
The B Side Live is a webcast tailor-made for record geeks who have a taste for blathering, dusty singles, top shelf whisky, terrible green-screen effects and who don’t mind waves of pandemonium and chaos. The theme for this week’s episode was cover-songs. Some of the 7 inch records slapped on the turntable included Della Reese’s absolutely perfect version of the Sinatra standard “It Was a Very Good Year” (1966), Big Maybelle’s “96 Tears” (1967), Brothers and Sisters featuring Merry Clayton doing Bob Dylan’s “The Mighty Quinn,” Joey Covington’s (the future drummer for the Jefferson Starship) garagey version of The Who’s “Boris the Spider” (1967) and the show stopper of the evening, from 1969, Wilson Pickett’s incredible, wickedly possessed, mind blowing single version of “Hey Joe” -- featuring Duane Allman’s nervously ecstatic guitar lines, plus of course tracks from the likes of Tina Turner, Sharon Jones, Jimmy Smith, Otis Clay, Nina Simone, the Mighty Tom Cats, the sly vocal gymnastics of the late, great, Peter Sellers and many more.
 
After a summer hiatus, The B Side Live will return, optimistically rested and tanned and with a whole new stack of great seven inch classics. Hopefully we will have found a secret thriftstore Shangri-La, laden with vinyl dubloons or hit big in Vegas, “seven come eleven, baby needs new northern soul,” or we will have won epic battles on eBay against all deep pocketed comers, and even if my taste for such a good life leads me down the road from champagne to whiskey, from whiskey to wine, and from wine to sterno and denatured alcohol. It is simply the price you pay to play good records, so be it...

Spill a Little on the Curb for Law & Order, Canceled After 20 Seasons

Posted by Billyjam, May 18, 2010 10:42am | Post a Comment
Law and Order
Spill a little on the curb for the passing of the long-running TV show Law & Order, which, after 20 solid years/seasons on the air, plus giving birth to several spin-offs, had the plug abruptly pulled on it by NBC last Friday. Admittedly, the passing of a TV series may not be nearly as seriously tragic as the recent real life passings of musicians Ronnie James Dio or Lena Horne, but for both the dedicated fans and the actors and others employed by the long-running show (matched only by Gunsmoke in terms of being TV's longest running dramas), it is sad news. But at least we have re-runs and the various seasons of Law and Order on DVD -- available at Amoeba Music.

The Dick Wolf created show, with its instantly recognizable theme music by Mike Post, in its current season stars Anthony Anderson, Jeremy Sisto, and Linus RoacheLaw & Order has also featured S. Epatha Merkerson for 391 episodes and Sam Waterston for 368, with a grand total of 453 episodes. Perhaps most beloved on the show was the late Jerry Orbach, who played Detective Lennie Briscoe from 1992 to 2004. In fact, he even made cameos on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and the short lived Law & Order: Trial By Jury -- three spin-offs of the influential Law and Order franchise that each employed the trademark "doink doink" sound effect (hear it below) to bridge scenes. There is also a spinoff British version, Law & Order: UK.

Amoeba Hollywood World Music Best Sellers For April 2010

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, May 17, 2010 09:39pm | Post a Comment

I thought I posted this up a week ago..oops..sorry it is so late!

I did something different this month. Since we sold a grip of LP's during Record Store Day, I made a separate chart for vinyl releases. I also expanded the chart from a top ten to a top twenty and added the section the releases are filed in.


CD Top 20

1. Ozomatli-Fire Away (Latin Rock & Pop)
2. V/A-Pomegranates (Middle East/Iran)
3. Charlotte Gainsbourg-IRM (France)
4. Julieta Venegas-Otra Cosa (Latin Rock & Pop)
5. Mulatu Astatke-Steps Ahead (Africa)
6. Enrique Bunbury-Las Consecuencias (Latin Rock & Pop)
7. Aventura-Last (Bachata)
8. Tinariwen-Imidiwan: Companions (Africa)
9. El Gran Combo-Sin Salsa No Hay Paraiso (Salsa)
10. V/A-Dengue Fever Presents: Electric Cambodia (Asia/Cambodia)
11. V/A-Absolute Belter (Spain)
12. Maldita Vecindad-Circular Colectivo (Latin Rock & Pop)
13. Ali Farka Toure& Toumani Diabate-Ali & Toumani (Africa)
14. Angelique Kidjo-Oyo (Africa)
15. Rodrigo Y Gabriela-11:11 (Latin Rock & Pop)
16. Sandro-30 Aniversario (Latin Rock & Pop)
17. Manu Chao-Clandestino (Latin Rock & Pop)
18. Clorofila-Corrido Urbanos (Latin Rock & Pop)
19. V/A-Nigerian Afrobeat Special (Africa)
20. Caetano Veloso-Zii E Zie (Brazil)



Vinyl Top Twenty

1. Fela Kuti-Fela Kuti 10” (Record Store Day item & sold out!)
2. Omar Khoshid-Guitar El Chark (sold out as well!)
3. V/A-Pomegranates (Middle East/Iran)
4. V/A-Lagos Disco Inferno (Africa)
5. Mulatu Astatke-Steps Ahead (Africa)
6. Arthur Verocai-S/T (Brazil)
7. Ozomatli-Fire Away (Latin Rock & Pop)
8. Charlotte Gainsbourg-IRM (France)
9. Serge Gainsbourg-Historie De Melody Nelson
10. V/A-Sitar Beat Vol.2
11. V/A-Si Para Usted Vol.1(Cuba/Salsa)
12. V/A-Psyche Funk 101(World Psychedelic)
13. V/A-Afro Rock Vol.1(Africa)
14. V/A-Nigeria Afrobeat Special (Africa)
15. V/A-Si Para Usted Vol.2 (Cuba/Salsa)
16. Serge Gainsbourg-Anna (France)
17. V/A-Black Man’s Cry: Inspiration Of Fela (Africa)
18. Mulatu Astatke-Mulatu Of Ethiopia (Africa)
19. Ahmed Jan Nabay-Bubu King (Africa)
20. Tie: Buena Vista Social Club (Cuba/Salsa)
& V/A-Sound Of Wonder (India/Pakistan)


California Fool's Gold -- Exploring Koreatown

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 17, 2010 03:00pm | Post a Comment
K-TOWN STAY DOWN!

NB: Since the initial publication of this blog entry, Koreatown's borders have been expanded and made official by the city. A new map reflects this but the text of the blog entry does not. 


This blog entry is about the Los Angeles neighborhood of Koreatown. To vote for more LA neighborhoods to be the subject of future blog entries, click here. To vote for Los Angeles County communities, click here. To vote for Orange County neighborhoods, vote here.

In recognition of you, the blog readers' votes, and in recognition of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, I headed to Koreatown for answers. While Palisades Park, New Jersey has the highest concentration of Korean-Americans in the United States and Georgia is home to the fastest-growing Korean-American population (in the US), Los Angeles is home to the largest population of Koreans and our Koreatown destroys the competition.
 

Cycle Psychos & Other Two Wheeled Models

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, May 17, 2010 12:00pm | Post a Comment

AZ's Regressive SB 1070 Triggers Return To Politicized Rap of Public Enemy's "By The Time I Get To Arizona"

Posted by Billyjam, May 17, 2010 11:44am | Post a Comment
Arizona Hip-Hop Artists "Back To Arizona" (2010)

The regressive Senate Bill 1070, or, SB 1070, as it is widely referred to, is the new law in Arizona that makes the failure to carry immigration documents a crime, and it has spurred similar proposals in other states. Public EnemyOn the other side of things, the bill has not only triggered nationwide outrage and protests, but it has also sparked a solidarity among many hip-hop artists, and kick-started a renaissance of sorts of the type of politicized militant hip-hop that was prevalent back in the early nineties when Public Enemy (PE) released their commentary on Arizona at that time in the song "By The Time I Get To Arizona."

At the forefront of the anti SB 1070 protest rap movement are the thirteen different Arizona hip-hop artists who recently found cause to join forces and record the powerful song (and video above) "Back To Arizona" that lyrically decries the bill (rightfully seen as legalized
racial profiling) that was signed last month by their state's Gov. Jan Brewer. The mostly unknown but talented Arizona artists that contributed to this posse cut include Queen YoNasDa, DJ John Blaze, Tajji Sharp, Yung Face, Mr. Miranda, Ocean, Da'aron Anthony, Atllas, Chino D, Nyhtee, Pennywise, Rich Rico, and Da Beast

California Fool's Gold -- Exploring Little Bangladesh

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 17, 2010 11:15am | Post a Comment

THE LITTLE BANG



The Heart of Little Bangladesh


This blog entry is about the Midtown Los Angeles neighborhood of Little Bangladesh. To vote for more neighborhoods to be the subject of future blog entries, click here. To vote for Los Angeles County communities, click here. To vote for Orange County neighborhoods, vote here.


Pendersleigh & Sons' Official Map of Midtown


My Life with Ronnie James Dio

Posted by Charles Reece, May 16, 2010 11:45pm | Post a Comment

My first experience with Ronnie James Dio was when my mom took me to see Heavy Metal. "Mob Rules" plays while an evil horde kills the pneumatic heroine's people. After acquiring a magic sword, she dons a chainmail bikini and, sitting astride a flying dragon, exacts her revenge. Justify that with some philosophy, and you pretty much have my taste in cinema today. I got a walkman for the following Christmas with what was my first album, Prince's 1999. But the first cassette I bought myself was the Heavy Metal soundtrack. Like many budding metalheads of the time, the soundtrack proved a huge disappointment, as there wasn't anything else on it like the Sabbath song. That didn't matter much, though, since it was strong enough to determine my musical preferences for the next 5 or so years. This was back in the good ol' days when genres meant something, were ideologically pure. Punks hated metalheads, and vice versa, but neither was hated as much as the accursed New Wave kids. I was never very good at being a purist: I hated solos even back then and spent a lot of time privately listening to oldies on the radio. However, I wouldn't publicly break rank -- like Maoism, metal gave me a sense of belonging to a greater good. Hell if I'd ever show weakness in front of my enemies. 


I was a committed comrade the first time I saw Dio play on November 17, 1985, at Dallas' Reunion Arena during his Sacred Heart tour. Rough Cutt opened, but I don't remember anything about them. In fact, I don't remember much about this show except my buddy Mitch and I had balcony seats and were determined to get to the floor, where we wouldn't be able to see anything. Watching from the rafters just never had the same appeal as being part of the big, sweaty, headbanging collective by the stage. So, as Dio began "Rainbow in the Dark" for the encore, we dropped about 12 feet and made a dash to the front where we banged out the rest of the show. Hardly the October Revolution, but what do you expect from the Reagan-era suburban youth? At least I wasn't listening to Minor Threat.


The next time I saw Dio was on his Dream Evil tour. This was February 2nd, 1988, and once again at Reunion Arena. By then, thrash had made his style seem passé. The generic divisions were no longer so clear or socially meaningful. It was around then, when walking downtown, a skinhead approached me to tell me how much he liked my Motörhead t-shirt -- truly the beginning of the end. And, truthfully, I only went to the show to see Megadeth, but did get to witness Dio using a broadsword almost as tall as he to slay a dragon shooting lasers from its eyes (Dallas laws prohibited pyrotechnics). Shortly thereafter, I discovered The Velvet Underground and Zappa, effectively ending my metal days.

Reasons I Dig Ronnie James Dio...

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, May 16, 2010 07:10pm | Post a Comment

The fact that a singer could get someone like me, who hates the whole Dungeons & Dragons/Lord Of The Rings culture, so pumped up with lyrics like “Circles and rings, Dragons and kings, Weaving a shock and a spell...”

Sure, there were other Metal vocalists who had powerful voices, but they were either too shrill (Bruce Dickinson) or way too operatic (Rob Halford) for my taste. Dio’s voice had the power of an opera singer but with a style that you would find in soul & rockabilly singers. It’s no surprise to me that his first releases were soul singles as Ronnie Dio & The Prophets back in the early sixties.

Ronnie Dio & The Prophets- "Everybody's Got A Dance"


Dio’s music got me through some very long drives across the U.S. and Mexico. I played his solo albums and his albums with Black Sabbath (Heaven & Hell and Mob Rules) and Rainbow (Rising and Long Live Rock & Roll). Dio turned out to be the ultimate co-pilot; he never fell asleep, never let me down and occasionally yelled, "Look out!"

Dio was always the source of late night drunken arguments with my friends about who was better: Ozzy-Era Sabbath or Dio-Era Sabbath? Yes, Dio was a better singer. The band played better with him and Dio wrote his own lyrics (Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler wrote most the lyrics of the songs from the classic Ozzy-Era). Yet, it was always a losing battle for anyone on Dio's side. Why? Because HE'S freakin' Ozzy Osbourne! Everyone loves him, faults and all. That's why there was a television show called The Osbournes and not "The Dios!" Sorry, Ronnie.

Still, dude was five foot four and rocked out until he was 67 years old!

When Metal was on the downturn after the grunge years, Dio never quit performing. He performed in Asia, Latin America and parts of Europe that were still loyal to Metal, unlike the the fickle American audiences. When he did tour the states, he played in smaller venues until Metal made a comeback. Most metal acts quit performing during that time and only got back together when it was safe and nostalgic.

Jack Black made a whole career of imitating Ronnie James Dio singing and stage antics.

Dio introduced Metal and most of the world to the “devil horns.” He got the gesture from his Italian grandmother, who used what was called the "malocchio" to ward off evil spirits. He started doing it during his Sabbath years to distinguish himself from Ozzy Osbourne, who often raised his hand with the peace symbol.

I hate to play the same song over twice, but I have known to put “Stargazer” and “Neon Nights” on repeat.

Greg Burke, formerly of the L.A. Weekly and who now writes for his own website, Metaljazz.com, pretty much summed up what was so great about Ronnie James Dio in an article he wrote back in 1997:

Was Dio any more melodramatic than Mick Jagger or Johnny Rotten? He was an entertainer, but he fucking rocked! His lyrics went to the wall. And, possibly, musicianship wasn’t an automatic disqualification…Punk rock has debouched into the mainstream, getting ever more polluted in the process. Johnny Rotten’s rebellion has devolved into a self-acknowledged joke. But Ronnie James Dio is more radical than ever, and more sophisticated.

Long Live Rock & Roll, Long Live Ronnie James Dio!



(In which... cough, cough!... hack... uh, what's... where am I?)

Posted by Job O Brother, May 16, 2010 11:29am | Post a Comment


I found this piece of work on La Brea. Question is: what is "lovre"?
I mean, maybe this person could find what they're looking for if we only knew what lovre was...

New Bev Noir: Jan Sterling Double Bill- Ace In The Hole / Harder They Fall

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, May 14, 2010 02:15pm | Post a Comment


I'm truly saddened that there are too many musical events this weekend for me to make it out to the New Bev for this double. Ace in the Hole is a Billy Wilder flick that has evaded me for some time now. It's noted as one of his most cynical films (that's saying a lot!!) and Jan Sterling's performance is noted to be spectacularly wicked. The Harder They Fall is a classic boxing noir based on a story by Budd Shulberg, he of What Makes Sammy Run?, A Face In The Crowd & On the Waterfront fame. Although I could care less about sports, boxing themed noirs always seem to deliver heavy doses of blackhearted personal reality that stick with me much more deeply than the average cops and robbers story. The Harder They Fall also happens to be Humphrey Bogart's final role. It's among my favorite Bogey pieces; his physical deterioration is apparent and adds to his broken and desperate character. Rod Steiger is at his ruthless best and Max Baer spars with some of his real life demons as the brutal champion Buddy Brannen. Truly a dark double feature and well worth your $7. Damn it, after writing this post I now think I have to squeeze this double into a very busy weekend...

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

Ace In The Hole  Friday 7:30  Sat 3:10 & 7:30
The Harder They Fall  Friday 9:40  Sat 5:20 & 9:40

Persepolis - Nothing As It Seems

Posted by Miss Ess, May 14, 2010 12:34pm | Post a Comment
Persepolis is the most affecting animated picture I've ever seen. (Yeah, it beats Bambi.)


It's about the life of a young woman (and co-director and writer of the film), Marjane Satrapi, growing up in Iran during the revolution, and about the price one must pay for freedom. Sure, it does what it sets out to do and what is generically expected of a film of this subject matter, showing the (presumably Western) viewer that at the core the divide between our lives and that of those living in Iran isn't as great as it's perceived to be, and that we all crave the same basic things, but it does this in a genuinely innovative and moving way.

Persepolis takes a disorienting, complex event in history and makes it personal. The deaths, explosions, loss of dignity, loss of basic human rights -- we see each of these happen individually to members of Marjane's family, her friends, herself, and through that, both the impact and understanding of what happened is heightened.

It's a serious topic, but the filmmakers allow for the inclusion humor and lightness often as well, especially around the universal adolescent experience of rebellion. Despite the Western cultural ban in Iran, Marjane writes "Punk is not ded [sic]" on the back of her jacket and buys contraband Iron Maiden tapes, picking up her tennis racket and headbanging around her room. 

The animated format packs a great and specific amount of detail into each frame, and also allows for an at times realistic and at times fantastical graphic focus on both Marjane's real life and what she imagines (chats with god and Bruce Lee-esque martial arts skills!). Using drawings instead of real shots enables Persepolis' creators to take a scary, overwhelming time and make it less difficult to watch as well as bring in a touch of whimsy where appropriate -- from simply a hand peeking out from rubble after a missile launch to jasmine flowers floating across the screen via Marjane's grandma's bra (yup).

Though her home country discourages it, Marjane has spunk and talks back when she feels she's been mistreated, and this, like the rest of the film, and to Persepolis' great credit, always feels perfectly authentic. Her grandmother and mother teach her to be a strong young woman of integrity, despite the limitations and obstacles that surround her. They want Marjane to have a freedom they once knew in their younger lives, the freedom to truly be herself. This kind of life is no longer possible in the Iran they are living in. Watching the pain of a family realizing their daughter will not have it better than they did unless she leaves is extremely poignant.

All this said, the film is not heavy handed whatsoever. I never felt like it was hitting me over the head with a carefully packaged "message" about human rights or world peace or anything like that. It was no Miss America pageant. Instead, Persepolis feels like an honest portrayal of a life, a life that just happens to include chaos, war and major sacrifice. It definitely made me think about the lines that separate the Western World from the Muslim World and the great cost of keeping those hard lines drawn.


Luis' Top 5 + Picks, Sage Francis, Roc Marciano, Megakut Tapes, NWA movie, Blacastan, Declaime, DJ Quest @ Amoeba, Dres of Black Sheep, DMC DJ Battle, Black Dynamite + more: Amoeba Music Weekly Hip-Hop Round Up: 05:14:10

Posted by Billyjam, May 14, 2010 09:45am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music San Francisco Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 05:14:10

Sage Francis
1) Sage Francis Li(F)e (Strange Famous Records)

2) Roc Marciano Marcberg (Fat Beats)

3) Declaime Fonk (E1/Koch)

4) Blacastan Blac Sabbath (Brick)

5) Grand Invincible Cold Hand In The Dice Game (Zero Friends)

Luis' two bonus picks of the week:

-Gurp City's Own Yole Boys
Self titled (Megakuts Tapes) (cassette)
-CX Kidtronik Wild Kingdom (vinyl + CD pack) (Stones Throw)

Thanks to Luis at Amoeba Music San Francisco for supplying the latest hip-hop top five chart, in both text and video formats (above & below respectively), for this week's Amoeba Music Hip-Hop Top Five chart + two bonus picks for the week. In the number one slot with the brand new album Li(F)e on the artist's Strange Famous label, is longtime alt hip-hop artist Sage Francis, who headlines the Fillmore in San Francisco June 4th, the Catalyst in Santa Cruz June 5th, and the Music Box @ the Fonda in LA June 6th. Like such other alt rap acts as Cage or POS, who have always straddled that line between rap and alternative rock, Francis, whose last two albums appeared on the predominantly punk label Epitaph Records, has pretty much made the full transition from hip-hop over to the rock side of the equation on this new release (the artist's fourth album since his 2002 debut on Anticon Personal Journals). With backing from a live rock band featuring members of Califone, plus various other collaborators, including Chris Walla, the 12-track album finds Francis in fine form, singing & rapping in his distinct, grave vocal style on tracks such as the hard-rocking singalong "Three Sheets To The Wind," the country-rock tinged "Slow Man" (below), the head banging "London Bridge," with its commentary on the US health care system, and the stripped-down instrumental and new age-y "The Best of Times (featuring Yann Tierson)," which is available for free download on the artist's site. You can also preview it on the homepage of this website and buy the CD directly here at Amoeba.com for $10.99.

Incarcerated rapper X-Raided Stabbed by Fellow Inmates Over Refusal to Produce Their Rap CD

Posted by Billyjam, May 13, 2010 06:25pm | Post a Comment

X-Raided
A group of inmates on the "A" Facility Sensitive Needs yard area at Pleasant Valley State Prison in Coalinga, CA  are now facing attempted murder charges after they recently tried to kill imprisoned Sacramento rapper & regular Amoeblog contributor Anerae "X-Raided" Brown (aka CDC # K-17737). According to the prison's recently released incident report, Brown was stabbed and sliced a total of seven times in the prison yard melee that escalated into a riot between a group of black and Mexican inmates. He was attacked near the basketball court on the recreation yard by a group of inmates, identified by R. Rodriguez (Search and Escort Officer #1), as a "known Northern Rider affiliates." Northern Riders are former members of the notorious Northern Mexican prison gang XIV,  who reportedly have been kicked out of the Norte and were removed from the mainline of the general population for their own protection. 

According to the prison's Lt. Lantz, it was determined that Brown, who is fast recovering from the recent stabbing (carried out with a State issued toothbrush that had eight razor blades taped and tied to it) but is in solitary confinement awaiting transfer, was the victim in this case and will not be facing disciplinary action or criminal charges. But what is most bizarre about this incident, according to Brown's attorney, is that his attackers had, "attempted to extort" the longtime incarcerated Sacramento rapper. "They wanted him to produce and release their rap album," he said of two of the accused inmates (identified simply as "inmates R. Werth and Gonzales"), who are each serving life without the possibility of parole. Apparently, when X-Raided, who oversees the running of the Bloc Star Entertainment rap music label from behind bars, refused to have anything to do with their music, the attackers' plans for the prison yard attack, that happened in late March but is only now being reported on, were hatched.

This Week At The New Bev: Ace in the Hole, Pulp Fiction, Alice in Wonderland (1933), Eric Rohmer & More!

Posted by phil blankenship, May 13, 2010 04:27pm | Post a Comment
This Week At The New Beverly

Our May / June schedule is available online:
www.newbevcinema.com/calendar.cfm



Thursday May 13


Two Directed By Alfred Hitchcock

Rear Window
1954, USA, 112 minutes
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0047396/
dir. Alfred Hitchcock, starring James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey, Thelma Ritter, Raymond Burr
7:30, Watch The Trailer!

out today 4/20 and 4/27...radio dept...trans am...hole...avi buffalo...ceremony...

Posted by Brad Schelden, May 13, 2010 12:00pm | Post a Comment
I love Avi Buffalo! I love when a new band seems to come out of nowhere! They just suddenly jump into my life, changing it forever. I do tend to be a bit dramatic with my love of certain bands, but I do really love this band. I can't imagine my year without this album. I felt like I was destined to fall in love with this band months before I even heard the album. They are from Long Beach, California and on Sub Pop Records. What more did I need to know?! I grew up in the fantastic little big town of Long Beach and I have been patiently waiting for a really good band to make me proud. I got super sick of everyone talking about Sublime. I will
always love Warren G and Snoop Dogg, but I needed more. Melissa Etheridge lived in Long Beach for a while. We have our share of actors coming from Long Beach, too. The great Brice Beckham from Mr. Belvedere, Tiffani-Amber Thiessen from Saved By the Bell and Beverly Hills 90210, Sally Kellerman and Cameron Diaz. But I needed a Shins or Band of Horses type band to come from Long Beach. Everybody wants at least one great indie band to come from their hometown.Avi Buffalo might just be that band.
avi buffalo sub pop

This album has really blown me away. So great! Really beautiful and fun! Avi met the rest of his band at Millikan High School in Long Beach. These guys are barely out of high school but sound like they have been playing together for 10 years. The record seriously sounds so much better than I could have ever expected. I give some credit to its producer, but at its heart are Avi and his bandmates. He has got one of those weird little voices that you wouldn't really expect to come out of him just by looking at him, sort of like Silversun Pickups. The album really is a big record full of awesome little songs. It is actually pretty short, but I mean big in the way it feels. I was out of town and missed their most recent show but I will be seeing them the next time I get a chance, I hope. My favorite songs are "What's In It For" and "Jessica." They do sort of remind me of MGMT a bit, maybe without the nostalgia retro feeling of that first album. Sub Pop is for sure the perfect home for these guys. The songs all sort of have a melancholy feel to them. I would have believed the band members were all approaching their mid 30's, but once I found out they were so young I tried to figure out if I could even notice it in the album. The lyrics might be a bit younger than I first noticed them to be...but it doesn't really matter. Like the XX, the music is mature way beyond their years. It makes me hopeful for the future of music. Not everything is going to sound like Justin Bieber and Hannah Montana, thank god! Get some Avi Buffalo in your life. You will not regret it.

Buy the new album Avi Buffalo by Avi Buffalo


Another band that sort of came out of nowhere is Ceremony. But I guess not really...before there was A Place To Bury Strangers there was Skywave, and Skywave sort of turned into A Place To Bury Strangers and Ceremony. I love those APTBS albums more than anything, so you can imagine, I was very excited to hear this album by Ceremony! It is brought to us by the great label Killer Pimp that put out the first APTBS album. Killer Pimp has also just released the amazing album from Soundpool. Soundpool is like the female cousin of Ceremony; it hasceremony rocket fire female vocals and is a bit more ethereal but still is in the shoegaze genre. This new album by Ceremony is called Rocket Fire. If you were a bit scared by APTBS then this might be the album for you -- not that it isn't just as good, it is just a bit more accessible and easy to digest. This is not the Chaz Bono band with the same name. There actually seem to be about 4 other bands named Ceremony...not exactly sure how that happened. You'd think somebody would have noticed before now! But this is for sure my favorite incarnation. Rocket Fire is everything I love in an album -- it's loud shoegaze, it's dark and brooding, it sounds British even though it's not, it sounds like it was made in 1991 but it's not, and it has been one of my favorites of this month. I will probably wear it out soon, so I am trying not to listen to it every day, but it is that good!

'Out of a Black Cloud' Comes a Great Album: Ruby Throat's Sophmore Triumph

Posted by Aaron Detroit, May 12, 2010 08:15pm | Post a Comment

Last week, I posted details
about the new limited deluxe vinyl edition of Folk-Noir duo Ruby Throat’s cult-classic debut, The Ventriloquist. This week , Amoeba Hollywood has just received quantity of Ruby Throat's sophomore full-length recording, Out of a Black Cloud Came a Bird. The album was released in a limited Special Edition CD run in November 2009, but has now been issued in this standard digipak CD edition.

Ruby Throat vocalist KatieJane Garside became quite prolific this past decade with three separate musical projects running in tandem  with each other (as well as a one-off LP with Hector Zazou - R.I.P); the long-running Queenadreena with former Daisy Chainsaw cohort Crispin Gray, her solo project Lalleshwari, and Ruby Throat with guitarist Chris Wittingham. While Queenadreena is a bombastic, cathartic and lustfully-charged rush bemoaning innocence lost, Lalleshwari revealed a more rudimentary, internal and transitive process of the artist. With Ruby Throat, Garside draws the characters in her songs as reflective, self-aware and with a sense to the nature of their struggles, though still very much struggling.

Black Cloud finds Garside's unsettling fairytale-stylings firmly rooted in her usual but always powerful psychosexual minefield of hushed lullabye, bluesy belting and bat-shit babelouge. Wittingham's psychedelic soundscapes and dreamy dark Americana-influenced arrangements are richer and fuller here but with the same minimalist bent and care as on the group’s debut.

The album opens with quiet murmurs over angelic harmonies and chimy picking that sets the tone and fully captures the warm yet unnerving atmosphere that most Ruby Throat songs exist inside of and which fans are now very familiar with. “Shark” lyrically suggests a solace in the feeling of being cared for, even when danger is very much present. Wittingham’s foreboding rhythm guitar adeptly mimics this feeling, while Garside’s voice slightly cracks with a knowing fear. The search for solace, wellness and stability each appear as strong veins within Black Cloud. However, Garside also paints her characters as pessimistic and as their own worst enemies. On “Beneath My Undress” she purrs:

“Same time I escape the rope / So I put it back about my throat /
Blunt, Cold, hard hit /  On angels feet beneath I slip”



And on “Bolt The Horse”:

“When someone breaks you / The terrible truth is /
You want no mending /
…I bolt the horse / I grip the gate /
I split the meat /I take the bait”


The album’s centerpiece comes in the form of a striking, if not surprising, reading of Townes Van Zandt’s classic lament “Nothin,’” which stands strongly next to the original with a shadowy blues arrangement by Wittingham. Garside’s voice clings pensively to the song’s final lines:

“Sorrow and solitude / these are the precious things
And the only words  / that are worth rememberin'”

But as the album title suggests, during great struggle is when one may find their wings– beauty, art, and love – all the things that make life worth living. On the album’s final and title track Garside’s subject finds a bird of love and hope emerging from the Black Cloud of self-doubt and emotional baggage.
"Out of a black cloud /
Came a bird / Out of a black cloud / Came a bird..."


Amoeba Hollywood has quantity of the Out of a Black Cloud Came a Bird import digipak CD featuring hand-drawing artwork by KatieJane Garside at a very fetching domestic price of $10.98. The vinyl release is being planned for winter via The Lovers’ Will imprint.

May 12, 2010: Exit Through The Gift Shop

Posted by phil blankenship, May 12, 2010 04:51pm | Post a Comment

The Dickies' "Banana Splits" Theme & Other Reasons to Love Kick-Ass, The Movie & Its Soundtrack

Posted by Billyjam, May 12, 2010 11:10am | Post a Comment

There are many memorable scenes in the wonderful recently released film Kick-Ass, but the two that stick in my mind most are the first big fight scene featuring the young superhero Hit Girl with its kick-ass accompanying music (the "Banana Splits" theme), and the scene in which the wanna-be superheroes Kick Ass and Red Mist are riding in their souped-up super-ride enjoying their fave song on the car's booming sound system ("Crazy").

At surface the latter scene, which comes just past the half-way mark in the 110 minute movie, looks like it is simply regurgitating that well worn Hollywood scenario in which, typically, two or more guys are in their ride singing along at the top of their lungs to that song (the song that makers hope defines the movie). We've seen it in Wayne's World and million other movies since. But in the refreshingly unique Kick Ass this scene is subtly different.

For starters, Red Mist (played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse) is doing something a superhero is never seen doing; he is smoking a joint, and while driving ("A little weed takes the edge off things when I'm on patrol," he assures his abstaining fellow costumed wanna be superhero riding shotgun). And soon after, as Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" starts playing, the two "costumed vigilantes," looking at once ridiculous and hilarious, do a stupid but highly entertaining seat dance, grooving their heads and upper torsos in unison to the 2006 hit.

The power of this scene, like the rest of this comic-book comedy-action flick, is that it lets the viewer in on the joke, and the strength of Kick Ass is how it allows us in on all the shortcomings of its characters. For example, as we follow the Kick Ass character (played by Aaron Johnson) we clearly see that when he is, in all earnestness, patrolling the dangerous streets of New York, he is just a harmless teen in a costume who could get beaten up at any moment. Of course, the only real superhero in this flick is the tween Hit Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz, just 11 when the film was shot), who steals the film.

May 10, 2010: Dreamkiller

Posted by phil blankenship, May 11, 2010 04:55pm | Post a Comment



Ghost World - Walking Amongst the Living Dead

Posted by Miss Ess, May 11, 2010 04:01pm | Post a Comment
I had completely forgotten how good a movie Ghost World is, and I also can't believe it's been almost 10 years since it first came out in 2001!


I don't think I had seen it again since then, and watching this film again with 9 years more life experience under my belt was enlightening in a way. I kinda can't believe this film ever got made, with its explicitly outsider view of the world and brash bitterness.

That said, Ghost World, based on the graphic novel by Daniel Clowes, is hilarious and accurate when it comes to commentary on our ever-more conglomerated modern world and the rough task of even attempting to remain an individual within it. Enid (Thora Birch) and her best friend Becky (Scarlett Johansson) have just graduated from high school -- free at last to blossom further into the budding creative types they already are! But is it possible to grow up and not sell out? I love Enid and Becky's dry, honest take on the people and places that surround them, and how the film portrays adolescent boredom and minutiae in all its pathetic, short-sighted and unabashedly self-assured glory.

When they meet 78 collector Seymour (fully embodied by Steve Buscemi), Enid's world opens up further. She learns about integrity and idiosyncrasy in a way that the surrounding city itself can't teach, with its hip hop jukeboxed "50's" diners and "sell up" policy-laden multiplexes...

My favorite character in the film is Enid's caftan-ensconced, spiky haired art teacher, who has a background in performance art (of course!), played to consummate perfection by Illeana Douglas. In fact, anyone who has sat through a high school art class will no doubt twitter in recognition of and amusement with its particular players, portrayed flawlessly here.

Ghost World has something so many films these days lack: subtlety. It's up to the viewer to gauge a scene as hilarious, obscene, truthful, confusing, tragic, whatever it may be. Director and San Francisco local Terry Zwigoff presents Enid's world to us, and through that shows, to those of us who are willing to see, anyway, the increasing difficulties of living an authentic life in a world where everything is a corporate lie. Looking in on Enid's experiences for around two hours at the very least left me feeling less alone in that particular challenge.

New Electronic LP Releases at Amoeba Hollywood - Thomas Felhman, Ikonika, Bonobo, Caribou and More

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, May 10, 2010 03:43pm | Post a Comment
Dial 2010 Various Artists Album Cover
Dial 2010

Various Artists

German sophisticates DIAL round up their star-studded ensemble cast for their annual musical yearbook snapshots. Artists like Isolee have been given honorary DIAL status as well, alongside Carsten Jost, Pantha Du Prince, and Efdemin -- with DIAL'S diverse sounds in full effect. Ranging from neo-classical to sumptuous, deep tribal house, and, of course, four-to-the-floor greatness!








Oneman Rinse 11 Album CoverOneman

Rinse 11

Rinse FM have reached their 11th installment, and quality prevails with cutting edge presentations of all things mutant, funky, and dubstep. Oneman shows off his quick-fire mixing skills and ear for blending sweetened old skool garage faves into money-shot boom-brrrap hits. The Rinse FM DJ mix series is where its at, repping the fresh UK sound to its fullest.








Thomas Felhman Gute Luft Album Cover

Thomas Fehlmann

Gute Luft

Fehlmann's sixth studio album also doubles as a soundtrack to the historical 24HR Berlin documentary. Mr. Fehlmann has succeeded in finding that sweet spot between euphoria and tempered melancholy: Fans of Kompakt's Pop Ambient series should definitely make some time for this.

(In which Job honors his Mother.)

Posted by Job O Brother, May 10, 2010 12:27pm | Post a Comment
 


An actual picture of my Mother (not pictured here).

In honor of this week’s Mother’s Day, I’m dedicating this entry to my Mammy.

 

I remember Mom liked the house kept quiet so she could concentrate on reading her scripts. It also allowed her to track the progress of the housekeepers; she could hear if they were spending their time talking, how much time they spent scouring the living room tile, etc. It was kind of intense, but not as bad as when she stopped getting decent movie roles and her alcoholism worsened. That’s when she started beating me with coat hangers and…

Lena Horne 1917 - 2010

Posted by Whitmore, May 10, 2010 12:05pm | Post a Comment
 
Lena Horne, the legendary jazz singer, icon of American popular music and award winning actress -- and as far as I’m concerned, one of the most captivating women ever to walk this planet -- died yesterday, Sunday, at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. She was 92. Called "one of the incomparable performers of our time," she was best known for her plaintive signature song "Stormy Weather" from the film of the same name and her starring roles in such pictures as Cabin in the Sky, Panama Hattie, and The Wiz.
 
Horne had an easy, sultry singing voice, insanely beautiful, and her compelling sex appeal may have at first overshadowed her talents, but she wasn’t just another pretty face. When she signed with MGM Pictures, she was among the handful of black actors to have a contract with a major Hollywood studio, though it was never easy. Her life long battle against bigotry took its psychic toll; Horne was perpetually frustrated with the public humiliation of racism. A pivotal moment took place in 1945 as she entertained at an Army base in Europe and saw that German prisoners of war were seated up front while black American soldiers were relegated to the back. She worked with Eleanor Roosevelt to pass anti-lynching laws. Her involvement in various social and political organizations and her friendship with Paul Robeson, who was just as well known as a singer as for his communist leanings, had Horne’s name placed on the era’s blacklists during the red scare witch hunts of the early 1950’s and the age of Joseph McCarthy.
 
Born Lena Mary Calhoun Horne in Brooklyn on June 30, 1917, she dropped out of school at 16 to help support her family. She joined the chorus line at the Cotton Club, the mythical Harlem night spot where the entertainers were black and the clientele white. By the spring of 1934, she had a featured role in the Cotton Club Parade. She left the club in 1935 to tour with Noble Sissle's orchestra, then billed as Helena Horne. Horne was also one of the first black performers hired to sing with a major white band when she joined Charlie Barnet's orchestra in 1940. She was the first black performer to play the Copacabana nightclub in New York City.
 
In 1943, MGM Studios loaned her to 20th Century-Fox to play the role of Selina Rogers in the all-black movie musical Stormy Weather. Her rendition of the title song became a major hit and put her name center stage for the next several decades.
 
Horne became one of the most visible celebrities in the civil rights movement of the late 50’s and 1960’s. She made headlines for once throwing a lamp, an ashtray and several glasses at a customer who made a racial slur in a Beverly Hills restaurant, bloodying the man's forehead. In 1963 Horne joined with some 250,000 others in the March on Washington, D.C. when Martin Luther King Jr. gave his "I Have a Dream" speech. That same year Horne spoke at a NAACP rally with another civil rights leader, Medgar Evers, just the weekend before his assassination.
 
In the early 1970’s Horne went into seclusion. In a period of just over a year, her father, son and husband all died. She became too grief-stricken to perform or even see anyone but her closest friends. Oddly enough, comedian Alan King was the one who convinced her to return to the stage and public life.
 
Horne had her first big Broadway success as the star of  Jamaica in 1957, but in 1981, for her one-woman Broadway show, Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music, she won a special Tony Award and the 333 performances still hold the record for the longest-running solo performance in Broadway history. In it, she sang two versions -- one straight and the other gut-wrenching -- of "Stormy Weather" to give audiences a glimpse of the spiritual odyssey she had taken in of her five-plus decade long career. In 1984 she was Kennedy Center Honors recipient for extraordinary talent, creativity, and perseverance. And of her four Grammy Awards, the one she received in 1989 was the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.



Three is a Magic Number: The Human Centipede (First Sequence)

Posted by Charles Reece, May 10, 2010 02:51am | Post a Comment
 

I am required to award stars to movies I review. This time, I refuse to do it. The star rating system is unsuited to this film. Is the movie good? Is it bad? Does it matter? It is what it is and occupies a world where the stars don't shine. -- Roger Ebert

That quote makes me laugh every time I read it. Ebert's disgust helped make the reputation of I Spit On Your Grave, and I'm sure it won't exactly hurt Tom Six's The Human Centipede, either. With the exception of some blood, pus, teeth removal and the European fascination with coprophagia, the film rarely gets much more visually repellent than the shot above. In fact, the feces remain internal to the newly created tripartite body, not shown. But suggestion is enough for creating effective horror. And Six gets a lot of mileage off what his morbid conceit suggests. This is a high (some would say low) concept film that does little more than logically follow the initial premise to its terminal conclusion. Aesthetically, the film is edited along the dialog and looks like DV porn downloaded from the Web, i.e., strictly amateurish. However, the idea of linking people along their gastrointestinal tract is inspired. It combines fear of cosmetic (unnecessary, commercial) surgery with the existential problem of being a mere organ in the social body (to the point of altering one's body to fit the organizational ideal).

    

The primal horror here isn't like losing one's sense of self to the Borg or alien body snatchers, but retaining a full sense of individuality while having to consciously suppress it in order to make the composite body work. It's the bureaucratic evil that Kafka's heroes always failed in struggling against, with the metaphor being physically realized. Dr. Heiter (Dieter Laser, playing the Bond villain par excellence) is a self-admitted misanthrope who's a mad scientist version of Fordist industrialism. When the individual units in his creation keep him up at night by making too much noise (think Union organizers), he makes plans to remove their vocal chords (think efficiency expert). He loathes the individual. As he explains to Lindsay (Ashley Williams), the victim closest to escaping, the most willful pit bull became the center piece in his dog centipede. As a sick joke, the frontal position goes to a Japanese tourist (Akihiro Kitamura) who can't speak a word of English (or German) to his conjoined American companions (the tail is played by Ashlynn Yennie).



Why does Heiter perform such a macabre experiment? Because he's evil. Regardless of whether there's any socio-ideological significance to the horror (I contend there's always such significance to any horror that works) or how inept the filmmaking, he's a great cinematic creation. The way Laser delivers American colloquialisms ("hey, man") in a queasy German accent is dark comedic perfection, achieving the lunacy of Udo Kier, Klaus Kinski and maybe even Peter Lorre. Pace Ebert, there's at least one star shining. Laser has my highest recommendation.

Now This is an Introduction! Enter The Void's Title Sequence

Posted by Charles Reece, May 8, 2010 07:20pm | Post a Comment

Designed by Gaspar Noé and Tom Kam

California Fool's Gold -- Exploring Gardena, the South Bay's City of Opportunity

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 8, 2010 01:00pm | Post a Comment

A typical street in Gardena with strong Japanese character

This here entry’s about Gardena. To vote for other Los Angeles County communities to be the subject of future entries, click here. To vote for Los Angeles neighborhoods, click here. To vote for Orange County neighborhoods, vote here.

 

Gardena (in Japanese, ガーデナ; in Korean, 가데나 ) is located in the South Bay or South LA region, depending on your definition. It's a bit odd to consider it South Bay, since it's not on the water. However, there's a perception that it's unlike the rest of South LA, which is erroneously thought of as being much more homogenous than it is.



Pendersleigh & Sons' Official Map of Gardena

surrounded by the slender Harbor Gateway to the east and south, Torrance to the southwest, Hawthorne to the northwest, West Athens to the north, and Alondra Park to the west. In recognition of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (and on account of it being voted for by readers), I took the CARDIS on a trip, joined by first time traveling companions Matt and Cheryl. We got some eats (‘n’ drinks) at Azuma and Furaibo, some groceries and goods at Marukai, and deeply inhaled the strawberry scented (and hot) air in Sanrio Surprises.

  
                                    Rancho San Pedro                                                          William Starke Rosecrans

In 1784, a Spaniard, Juan José Dominguez, was given a portion of land in reward for his military service which was named Rancho San Pedro in what was formerly a Tongva hunting and fishing area. Anyway, it passed into the hands of the Mexicans afterward, and ultimately was taken by the US. The first Anglo settler was mostly a Civil War veteran, Ohioan William Starke Rosecrans, who established Rosecrans Rancho there in 1869. In 1887, he was followed by another veteran, Kentuckian Spencer R. Thorpe. The name "Gardena" is said to have been proposed by Thorpe's daugher, Nettie.

  

That year, a railway line to Gardena was established and over the next couple of years, many more Anglos came to ranch and farm in the area.


Los Angeles and Redondo Railway

In 1904, Englishman John Bodger established Sweet Pea Farm in the town, then home to 1,000 residents. Another large portion of the farmers and gardeners were Japanese who'd mostly arrived from Hawaii.


Due to the acres of berry farms, the city was nicknamed "Berryland" and there used to be an annual Strawberry Day Festival and Parade. Although the Laguna Dominguez slough and channel fed the area and gave it its green character, it was filled in in the 1920s. Nonetheless, Gardena today still boasts several nurseries and parks that reflect its past. Gardena [along with the neighboring communities of Strawberry Park (to the northwest) and Moneta (to the south)] was incorporated into the City of Gardena in 1930.


Japanese-Americans have long been integral to the fabric of Los Angeles. J-Towns have sprung up around the Southland in Torrance, Boyle Heights, Monterey ParkPasadena, San Pedro, Terminal Island, Compton, Long Beach and Sawtelle, and Gardena (although, as far as I know, only two have acquired nicknames that reflect their Japanese-ness, Little Tokyo and Little Ōsaka).


Gardena Buddhist Church

In 1911, the Japanese Association founded the Moneta Japanese Institute. After the end of Japanese internment, many J-towns disappeared, but in Gardena, many Japanese-Americans returned to their former home after regaining their freedom. In the 1970s and '80s, Gardena saw a massive influx of even more Japanese. Today, at over 60,000 residents, Gardena still has a strong Japanese and Pacific Islander presence, making up roughly 27% of the population. Gardena is also approximately 25% black, 12% white and 32% Latino. Mexican and Japanese are the main ethnicities.


Tozai Shopping Center

Gardena is widely known for its Japanese food but, as this list of Gardena eateries suggests, there is a variety to be found at joints and there are a lot of Korean eateries, Hawaiian joints and BBQ places. Some of the better known restaurants and other food-related places include Azuma, Hakata Ramen Shinsengumi, Ahsah, Ana's La Gran Fonda, California Fish Grill, Jay-Bee's House of Fine Bar-B-Que, Kanpachi, Rascals Teriyaki Grill, Kau Kau Korner, Sushi Boy, Kiraku Ramen, El Rocoto, California 90, Pho Gardena, Pho So 1, Pho Long, Sakuraya, Meiji Tofu, Chikara Mochi, Giuliano's, Sakae Sushi, Polla a la Brasa, MamMoth Bakery, Jade's Bakery, La Villa, Bruddah's, Spoonhouse Bakery, Otafuku, Sea Empress, California Rice Center, Umemura, Daruma Izakaya, Akane Chaya, Kotohira, Classic Burger, Old Time Noodle House, Furaibo, Burnt Tortilla, Rainbow Donuts, A Taste of Jamaica, Fish City, Big Star Cafe, Tokyo Grill, Tottino's, La Perla and the Murakai Supermarket.


Pacific Garden Mall  


...and yes, the Pacific Garden Hotel for the overnight shopper

Today, much of Gardena's character remains, not surprisingly, green and Japanese, as evinced by Sanrio Surprise, Hide's Shiatsu, Pacific Square Shopping Center, Tozai Shopping Center, Masfukai Park and the Gardena Buddhist Church (established in 1926).

Nightlife in evidence takes place mostly at bars like Club Momo, Gaku, Moa, Wild Card, Yes, The Desert Room, Club Diva, The Aloha Room, Celeb, Ray's Place, Marty's and A Sung. Of course, there's karaoke at 501 Music Studio, Suzuran, Donna's, Fantasia, Daruma Izakaya and Sing Sing, for those interested in checking out the local music scene.


The most famous musician born in Gardena is not an aspiring karaoke singer, but rather noted jazz saxophonist Art Pepper. In other Jazz-in-Gardena news, in August the city hosts The Gardena Jazz Festival. The only rock band that I know of from Gardena is The Pretty Kittens, an all-girl rock band in the 1960s.


And although Bookoff is mostly about books (with a huge Manga section), they also had a pretty impressive selection of Japanese Dramas and film, as well as a bafflingly organized music selection. Even Matt, a librarian by trade, could not figure out the system, but we did eventually find the Judy and Mary CD we were looking for. As Cheryl was rung up, the cashier put her money in bowl and said something in Japanese. Cheryl nodded although none of us understood what was going on.






Amoeba Hollywood boasts a pretty impressive collection of Japanese Cinema but nothing compared to the rental store Video Japan. As Cheryl perused the horror films (note to Cheryl: High School Killer), Matt waxed philosophical about Japanese actress Sora Aoi.


Gardena’s been a shooting location for several films. For the years it existed, The Ascot Park Speedway was featured in films quite often, appearing in Roar of the Crowd; the Bowery Boys film, Jalopy; the Elvis film, Spinout; as well as the Jack Hill film, Pit Stop; Gone in 60 Seconds; A Very Brady Christmas; and an episode of CHiPs. Ascot was also the site of the annual USAC Turkey Night Grand Prix midget race on Thanksgiving. It was closed in the 1990s and fewer films have been shot in Gardena ever since.


Gardena Boulevard back in the day

Other film locations include the Marine/Redondo Green Line station, which was seen in Heat, and The Pet Haven Cemetary & Crematory served as The Happier Hunting Grounds in The Loved One. H.B. Halicki was obviously a fan of Gardena. He premiered Gone in 60 Seconds and also filmed portions of The Junkman there. Gardena was also featured in Ed Wood, Mulholland Dr., Run if You Can, Money to Burn, The Abominable..., Fragments (aka Winged Creatures), the Deborah Gibson vehicle Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus, The Grind, Flossin and Palmer Chandler's Kitchen Catastrophes. Actor Toby Holguin was born in Gardena. Gardena has been featured on TV a couple of times, once an episode of Hot Rod TV and once on the Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, which featured Jay-Bee's in the episode "Real Deal BBQ." One of the radio station call-ins in CB4 was from a listener in Gardena too.



*****


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

May 7, 2010: Acts of Violence

Posted by phil blankenship, May 7, 2010 11:27pm | Post a Comment







Amoeba Berkeley's Top 5 with Inti, Madlib's 420 Themed Medicine Show, J-Rocc v J-Man, Damu the Fudgemunk, Del's Funk for Free, New E40 Video + More: Amoeba Music Weekly Hip-Hop Round Up: 05:07:10

Posted by Billyjam, May 7, 2010 09:12am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Berkeley Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 05:07:10

Madlib
1) Madlib Madlib Medicine Show #4: 420 Chalice All-Stars (Stones Throw)

2) B.o.B. presents The Adventures Of Bobby Ray (Rebel Rock/Grand Hustle/Atlantic)

3) E40 Revenue Retrievin'- Day Shift (Heavy on the Grind Ent.)

    E40 Revenue Retrievin'- Night Shift (Heavy on the Grind Ent.)
                        [Tie for #3]

4) Andre Nickatina Khan! The Me Generation (I-Khan Dist)

5) J-Rocc J-Rocc v J-Man (Jazzman)

Inti's Bonus Two Pick Hits of the Week:

 
I) Hulk Hodn & Twit One + Suff Daddy Hi-Hat Club Vol. 1: Testiculo Y Uno + Hi-Hat Club Vol. 2: Suff Draft (Melting Pot Music)

II) Damu The Fudgemunk How It Should Sound Vol 1 & 2 (Redefinition Records)

Big ups to Inti at Amoeba Music Berkeley for this week's Hip-Hop Top Five Chart, appearing here in both text and video form. Sitting atop the latest chart is the fourth and latest installment in the ever diverse twelve part monthly Medicine Show series from the prolific producer Madlib. For Madlib Medicine Show #4: 420 Chalice All-Stars the mad-busy LA producer serves a mix of roots reggae beats and grooves, keeping it strictly in the ganja mode. In fact, Madlib, known for his love of the sticky icky, not only worked "420" into the title but also deliberately released this CD on the 20th day of the fourth month (aka J-Rocc v J-Man4/20) to keep in theme with a non-stop aural assault of roots rock reggae. Furthermore, Madlib oversaw the CD's accompanying 12-page booklet that includes a special supplement listing every medicinal marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles (and there are a lot!). Those who are following/collecting this Madlib Medicine Show series already know that the even-month releases (2,4,6 etc.) are mixtapes like this one while the odd numbers (1,3,5 etc.) are all original material like the Guilty Simpson (Before The Verdict) release that kick-started the series back in January and the next one, Madlib Medicine Show #5: History Of The Loop Digga, 1990-2000, which will drop later this month.

May 6, 2010: Effects

Posted by phil blankenship, May 6, 2010 11:21pm | Post a Comment

Soul Wall Remodeled

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, May 6, 2010 01:05pm | Post a Comment
Where do I start? At the Hollywood store, the entire soul LP collectible wall is being overhauled and we've got a ton of killer titles. Sealed classics, modern soul rarities, boogie monsters, disco divas, gospel crossovers as well Prince, Michael Jackson & Jackson 5 rarities. It really is sick...

Flying Lotus, Whose Amoeba Hollywood Instore Happens Today (Thursday), is Flying All the Way to the Top With Cosmogramma!

Posted by Billyjam, May 6, 2010 12:01pm | Post a Comment

Flying Lotus
What an amazing and well-deserved rise to fame and recognition it has been for the super-gifted Los Angeles producer/musician Flying Lotus, who performs for free at 7pm tonight (May 6th) at Amoeba Music Hollywood in support of his highly recommended brand new album Cosmogramma.

Only a matter of years ago the now globally respected FlyLo (as he is fondly known by fans, but was born  Steven Ellison 26 years ago) was clocking hours as an intern at Stones Throw Records and, in between doing mundane mail room chores, was just trying to get people to listen to his demo instrumental hip-hop productions.

Fast forward to 2010 and he has just completed a US tour (that culminated in a celebrated Coachella set) opening for Thom Yorke's Atoms For Peace. Yorke, a major fan, personally chose FlyLo for the much coveted opening act slot just as he had hand-picked another California producer, DJ Shadow, to open for Radiohead many years back. Not only that, but Yorke also supplies guest vocals on Cosmogramma on one of the album's many jaw-droppingly brilliant tracks. The album, the artist's fourth release and his third for the respected Warp Records label (following 2008's Los Angeles & the previous year's the Reset EP -- his 2006 debut full-length was 1983 on Plug Research), was released on Tuesday this week Stateside (Monday in the UK). And if you don't already have it, go cop it right now at Amoeba. Better still, if you are in Southern Cali today, head over to the Amoeba on Sunset for the instore so that a year and more from now you can gloat to friends, "Oh yeah. I seen em play at Amoeba for free back in the day!"

This Week At The New Bev: Francois Truffaut, Douglas Sirk, Alfred Hitchcock & More!

Posted by phil blankenship, May 5, 2010 11:18pm | Post a Comment
This Week At The New Beverly

Our May / June schedule is available online:
www.newbevcinema.com/calendar.cfm



Thursday May 6

A Kathryn Bigelow double feature

Actors Bill Paxton & Jenette Goldstein will appear IN PERSON, schedule permitting, to introduce Near Dark!



The Hurt Locker
2009, USA, 131 minutes
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0887912/
directed by Kathryn Bigelow, written by Mark Boal
starring Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty
7:30, Watch The Trailer!

Amoeba Hollywood's Featured and Upcoming Goth / Industrial Vinyl Releases

Posted by Aaron Detroit, May 5, 2010 06:00pm | Post a Comment
With a new boom of appreciation for long-playing vinyl in full swing, our cozy dark corner of Amoeba Music Hollywood where the Goth /Industrial section lies is seeing lots of great titles come through. We’ve hand-picked some recent wax new releases and reissues and are featuring them in our section this month, so crank up your turntable for some of our highlighted dark wonders.

Sturmpercht Schattenlieder (Ahnstern)
3-sided double-LP in gatefold-cover with etched vinyl on the 4th side. The masters of Pagan Folk are back with their new album Schattenlieder - eine kleine Nachtmusik für Waldteufel und Berggeister. The album features 20 diverse and unique songs full of alpine mysticism, heathen legends and tales about strange fairies and pagan rites. Schattenlieder entrains you into deep forests, arcane mountains and dark chasms and guides you to hidden places in the depth of the central European forests, where hunters meet strange creatures from dusk til dawn. The album varies between gnarled songs about creepy fairies, catchy folk hymns and dark songs dealing with alpine myths, forest tales and hunter sagas. Schattenlieder is the perfect soundtrack for misty autumn evenings as well as for dark winter nights. The album features a large variety of instruments and sounds -- obscure, strange, folky, psychedelic, but always original and weird, in Sturmpercht's very unique way. Schattenlieder is completely unpredictable -- each track a standalone, but contributing to the overall ambiance of this new benchmark within the Pagan Folk genre. Not for everyone, but a truly bizarre and wonderful release!



Ruby Throat The Ventriloquist (The Lovers' Will)
The deluxe double vinyl LP edition of the classic Folk-Noir recording The Ventriloquist by Ruby Throat. Limited to 300 hand-numbered copies in a reverse-board gatefold sleeve and including a full colour insert, this is the first time this gorgeous recording– originally self-released on CD in 2007– has been issued on vinyl by Los Angeles-based label The Lovers' Will Records & Press! Ruby Throat is a bewitching duo from London, UK and is compromised of vocalist KatieJane Garside (Daisy Chainsaw, Queenadreena) and guitarist Chris Wittingham. Garside’s voice is much like The Ventriloquist’s subject matter – riding on a dark line between the ethereal and the visceral. The album is made up of psychosexual musings, spectral visions, stark murder balladry and other transgressive tales delicately surrounded by the Psychedelic dream-wrap and pastoral strumming of Wittingham. It also holds a high spot on our previously-posted list of the 20 Best Dark Music Albums of The '00's. Recommended if you like PJ Harvey, Current 93, Mazzy Star, and WIll Oldham.



Baby Dee A Book Of Songs For Anne Marie  (Drag City)
After seeing an overwhelming response to Safe Inside The Day in February 2008, the peerless Baby Dee (a 57-year-old transgendered musician and artist from Ohio) returns with A Book Of Songs For Anne Marie. What was overwhelming about the response was the instant reaction to the purity of expression in her music. That dizzying sense of self is again an essential feature of this new music. While the last album was lit with the production fire of Will Oldham and Matt Sweeney producing, A Book Of Songs For Anne Marie glows softly with the calming presence of Maxim Moston (arranger of some standing and part of Antony And The Johnsons' touring band). In essence, this album is a prequel to Safe Inside The Day. The songs here were released in a different set of recordings and in a limited-edition book form (150 copies!) on David Tibet's Durtro label back in 2004. For most listeners, this is its first outing.


Allerseelen Cruor
The first CD-album by Allerseelen from 1993 in a brilliantly remastered version on highest-quality double-Allerseelenvinyl, with additional material! Fascinating organic Ritual-Industrial music about the blood-rituals of the Mithras cult.
Allerseelen
Allerseelen Sturmlieder
Re-release of the sold out third CD, containing 6 brand new bonus tracks! Completely remastered and re-edited for this vinyl edition. The quite excellent track, “Wir tragen ein Licht,” is dedicated to John Balance (of Coil), who died on 11.13.04; the original CD has been completely remastered and re-edited for this vinyl edition.




Upcoming NEW Vinyl Releases

current 93
Current 93/Andrew Liles Like Swallowing Eclipses
Box Set (Dirter)
For the first time on vinyl the complete highly acclaimed Andrew Liles remixes of the first five classic Current 93 albums! Andrew Liles has re-imagined Nature Unveiled, Dogs Blood Rising, In Menstrual Night, Dawn and Live at Bar Maldoror. Also exclusive to this set is a sixth LP, Haunt Invocation (Apadno) which is a remixed version of Faust and A Special Plan. These influential albums by Current 93 are regarded by many as groundbreaking and innovative; building upon this Andrew Liles has re-dreamed and re-imagined these pieces with the flare and vision that he is renowned and respected for. All the records in this 6 LP set come in individual covers and a beautiful spot varnished box and are adorned with Cold Cave Life Magazineastounding artwork by David Tibet and photographs by Simona Dalla Valle. Available early June.

Cold Cave Life Magazine Remixes (Matador)
On June 8, Matador will release the second single from Cold Cave’s Love Comes Close LP, “Life Magazine” as a limited vinyl 12″. Features a rare remix from Arthur Baker and a KILLER remix by Cold Cave's own Dominick Fernow under his noise-moniker Prurient.

A1. "Life Magazine" (The Arthur Baker’s Not Going Back Remix)
A2. "Life Magazine" (An Optimo (Espacio) Remix)
B1. "Life Magazine" (Pantha Du Prince First Flash Remix)
B2. "Life Magazine" (Prurient Remix)

True Blood - Southern Gothic on a Whole New Level

Posted by Miss Ess, May 5, 2010 05:06pm | Post a Comment

These days, my latest crush is on True Blood. At the urging of friends, I began with Season One a few weeks ago and am almost the whole way through it now. Seeing as I am starting at the very beginning here and the show's third season begins in a few weeks on HBO, I know I am kind of late to the game on this, but this whole vampire obsession thing that's been going on these days has had me pretty baffled and disinterested up till now, I must admit. Is it that since it feels like our world is going to hell and a handbasket, more and more people are turning to fantasy worlds, however they can get em, something they can really sink their teeth into? I'm not sure.

I do feel quite sure that the vampire trend in particular is not going anywhere anytime soon, and I do know that in particular I love watching True Blood for the same reason I love watching a show like Mad Men: its world is so incredibly detailed and mesmerizing that I find myself lost in it. Total escapism. So for me in this case, that fantasy theory holds, I guess. I just never was into the whole vampire scene really before. I still don't really think I am, actually, I just like this show.

Mostly what I love about True Blood is the incredible intricacy written into both the characters and the scenery they play in. The show brings new meaning to the term Southern Gothic -- and the setting, Bon Temps, Louisiana, is so fully realized that I had a hard time believing the show is shot in the other LA, Los Angeles. Moss hangs heavily from trees and the air always is choked with the sounds of various bugs buzzing. The houses, restaurants, trailers, graveyard, everything about this town and its residents is carefully and lovingly rendered. Bon Temps' locals are for the most part the kind of people who think a hot time would be going to see an Oak Ridge Boys cover band in the next town over.

Then there's Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin). Because Sookie has always been telepathic, she knows what the townspeople are all about and doesn't take too kindly to most. For two years, vampires have been "mainstreaming" into the regular world and are no longer hidden, and mortal relationships with vampires are still somewhat taboo in Bon Temps. When Sookie meets vampire Bill (Stephen Moyer) and can't hear his thoughts, she's intrigued.

If you haven't checked it out yet, just to show you how very steeped in Southern-ness this program is, watch the opening credits to give yourself a little taste:


And I haven't even mentioned Tara (Rutina Wesley), Sam (Sam Trammell) and Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) yet! I think I actually like these "side" characters better than the main two! All the characters -- the humans, anyway, even with their fantastical powers -- feel real. Sam is Sookie's long suffering boss at the road house where she waitresses, who of course is in love with her and also may have some kind of mystical powers going on himself. Tara has been Sookie's best friend since they were kids. I have never seen a better depiction on TV of a child dealing with an addict parent. And then there's Lafayette, who totally steals every scene he is in. He's Tara's cousin and a cook at the road house as well. He also works with Sookie's brother Jason doing construction type work. Oh yeah, and he sells drugs too, on the side. Anyway, check out his particular brand of flawlessness here:


True Blood has all the gratuitous sex and violence of any HBO show these days, yet because its characters are all outsiders in their own way, it maintains a critical outsider's view of the world at large that makes this series particularly amusing and gratifying. (I especially enjoy the spot-on idiot jock depictions -- puka shell necklaces and all!) Basically, everyone who makes TB is whip smart and it shows. Enough chatter; if you haven't seen True Blood yet, get yourself some shrimp and grits and let the vampires in Bon Temps show you a good time!

The Town: Part I: Rent-A-Relic in the Temescal District of Oakland

Posted by Billyjam, May 5, 2010 03:45pm | Post a Comment
Amoeblog interview with Rich Craig + Todd Connors of North Oakland's Rent-A-Relic

This is the first in a new Amoeblog series focusing on businesses and organizations in The Town (aka Oakland, CA) including many small, independently run & operated local businesses that are neighbors of the Amoeba Berkeley store, from steps away and up to a one or two, or three mile radius. Kick-starting this new series is the successful North Oakland car rental company Rent-A-Relic. Located on Telegraph at 45th in the Temescal District, Rent-A-Relic has seen their surrounding neighborhood undergo much development since they opened shop back in 1993, with countless other small independently operated businesses (including lots of restaurants) opening up along Telegraph Avenue. Rent-A-Relic, which also offers notary services, is run by Rich, Todd, and Spencer, and anytime you stop into their small offices, odds are that you will hear good music, from Miles Davis to the Minutemen, playing in the background. I caught up with Rich to interview him about operating a business like Rent-A-Relic and about music and radio, among other things. He supplied his Top 5, while Todd supplied his Top 25 -- all below.


Rent-A-Relic Rich's All Time Top Five Albums:

Meat Puppets Huevos
1) Meat Puppets
Huevos


New 12" Electronic releases at Amoeba LA - Marcel Dettman, Roman Flugel, Kate Simko, T++, Marek Hemmann & More

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, May 5, 2010 10:17am | Post a Comment


MARCEL DETTMANN
Dettmann 3LP
(Ostgut)

This is the debut long-player by Berghain's resident DJ, producer and remixer Marcel Dettmann. Intrinsically tied to the myth that is Berghain by now, the attached label Ostgut Ton and at the same time with the regeneration of no-frills, cleansed and powerful electronic music, Marcel Dettmann managed a daring feat: the production of a truly absorbing and veritable techno album. Spread out over these tracks, Dettmann transports the raw energy, the rough aesthetics and the simple grace of techno. A Berliner-by-choice, the difficult format doesn't bog him down. Neither does he give in to exhausting finger exercises that try to supersede his learned trade, nor does he confront the listener with hasty or brutal tracks that would rather feel at home pressed on a 12" in a DJ-case. Tracks like "Reticle," "Drawing," "Captivate" or "Silex" seem like the convergence of his striking efforts and discography up until now. You get contemplative moments with almost-weightless layers of sound that get used like melodies or chords, rotating with condensed, intensified and sappy snatches. Rigour and austere beauty go hand-in-hand. Surprisingly enough, with a genre that is aware of its own history, Dettmann never falls prey to the dangerous and seductive nature of nostalgia. However, Dettmann sounds as fresh and self-contained as techno nowadays can be. And more so, it once and for all establishes its eponym as a genre mainstay. However described or classified, his music is a successful meditation about the art form we call techno.

Listen to "Captivate" here:



T ++
Wireless LP 
(Honest Jons)

Wireless is the last work Torsten Profrock produced as T++. Long ago snagged by the rhythmic innovations of the post‐jungle underground, Profrock makes explicit his debt to the radical fringe of UK garage. Snapping 2‐step rhythms are at the heart of these tracks; additionally, the release is shot through with the contorted samples of voice and ndingidi from a handful of old East African 78s. The result: a record that sounds both ancient and modern, possessing an almost occult power.

Listen to "Voices No Bodies" here:





ROMAN FLUGEL
Brian Le Bon/N.M.I.S.M.D. 12"
(Robert Johnson)

Live At Robert Johnson presents a 12" by Roman Flügel -- and what a bass-heavy beauty he created! "N.M.I.S.M.D." highlights his use of 808 electrical circuitry in combination with some eccentric vocal bits and irresistible grooves that make even strange bodies move. "Brian Le Bon" leaves such funky analogies behind and aims at the melancholic and epic side of things. This is what the Joy Division dance orchestra would have sounded like.







A MOUNTAIN OF ONE
INSTITUTE..REMIXES 12"
(Mountain)

Remix EP featuring exclusive unreleased remixes from the "INSTITUTE OF JOY" CD on limited edition white vinyl. Tracklisting: "BONES" both TIME AND SPACE MACHINE and TIEDYE remixes, "AHEAD OF THE CURVE" RICHARD NIGHTSTALKER GATEAUX (aka NEIL DUNN) remix, and "HAIL PLEASURE" BAD PASSION remix.










OMAR

THE REMIXES - HENRIK SCHWARZ 12"
(Peppermint Jam)

Finally the great HENRIK SCHWARZ remix of OMAR's "FEELING YOU" gets an official release! Also included on this bangin EP is "LAY IT DOWN" remixed by ANDRE LODEMANN, TRIAD takes a stab at "STYLIN," and SHOW B's acid mix of "YOUR MESS" finishes off this essential record.

Listen to Henrik Schwarz's remix of "Feeling You" here:






KATE SIMKO

LOST IN TIME EP 12"
(Eklo)

Chicago's KATE SIMKO, known for her work on SPECTRAL, drops LOST IN TIME. The title track shows the deep and intense side of her music. Dark grooves led by atmospheric pads, synths, & keys. On the flip is a DOP remix that's a bit more pop & "PASTIS" which is a more organic & analog rhythm Black Dog:


Listen to DOP's remix of "Lost in Time":







MISSING LINKX
GOT A MINUTE 12"
(Philpot)

THE MISSING LINKX (SOULPHICTION & MK) bring their 2nd effort on PHILPOT! Three more live pieces -- the real deal, no edits, no polish, no boundaries. Includes the amazing tracks "GOT A MINUTE," "CAN'T U GET A GRIP!," and "HAD TOO MUCH TO DREAM LAST NIGHT." Really fresh colored vinyl release.










MAREK HEMMANN
Left/Right EP 12"
(Freude am Tanzen)

On this 12" Marek Hemmann is the leader in producing; on point, at the center of the heart of the club. This time, he has marshaled foreign forces for both pieces. Fabian Reichelt intones with an airiness and soul and a guarded intensity on both sides. It is Hemmann's first real vocal record, which will, just as his own discography has already, enrich the dance floors and beyond. Yes to the voice, yes to fresh techno.

Listen to "Left" here:








STL
THINGS FROM THE BASEMENT 12"
(Something)

THINGS FROM THE BASEMENT continues the ongoing STL project w/ remarkable tracks from beginning to end. Old school Chicago-style rawness w/ clear influences from current artists like JAMAL MOSS, THEO PARRISH, FLYLO, etc. The range of sounds on here are dope! Also includes an INTRUSION remix.

Listen to "Vintage Hunter" here:






RIPPERTON
NOCTURNAL REFLECTION #1 12"
(Plak)

A 14-minute epic track with ecstatic keyboards, melancholic strings & raw beats. Call it house, techno or what you want, this is an outstanding, soulful piece of music written by the electronic chameleon Ripperton. From analog to analog, dedicated to wax lovers. One-sided release.








BOO WILLIAMS - Residual EP 12" (Rush Hour)

JAHCOOZI - Barefoot Wanderer Remixes Part 1 12" (B-Pitch)

GLITTERBUG - Privilege 2LP (CSides)

TADEO - Series 02 12" (Cyclical)

VA - 2010 (2) 12" (Dial)

VA - 2010 (3) 12" (Dial)

SOLOMUN - Remix:Session 05 12" (Diynamic)

MAETRIK - So Real 12" (Dumb Unit)

SAN SEBASTIEN - Stellar Winds/Continental 12" (Echocord)

JAMIE LLOYD - Beware Of The Remixes 12" (FCL 041EP)

QUINCE - Noodles 12" (GR 010EP)

RICK WADE - The Craft User 12" (HP 013EP)

MIKAEL STRAVOSTRAND - How To Be 12" (Highgrade)

SNUFF CREW - More Fun 12" (GIGOLO 264EP)

HUNGRY GHOST - Illuminations 12" (International Feel)

DATENZAUBER - Speicher 66 12" (Kompakt)

DAEDELUS - Meanwhile... LP (Laboratory)

ANDRE GALLUZZI & DANA RUH - Freya/Mauersegler 12" (Ostgut)

BIRDS & SOULS - Birds & Souls 12" (Spectral)

PURSUIT GROOVES - Fox Trot Mannerisms 12" (Tectonic)

BADAWI/SHACKLETON - El Topo 12" (Index)

NEUROTIC DRUM BAND - Robotic Hypnotic Adventure Remixes 12”

TOKIMONSTA - Cosmic Intoxication 12" (Ramp)

MUDD & POLLARD - Vincent 12" (Claremont 56)

ANTON ZAP - I Get No Kick From...12" (Ethereal Sound)

GADI MIZRAHI - Joint Custody 12" (Double Standard)

I:CUBE - Falling EP 12" (Versatile)

May 3: Furry Vengeance

Posted by phil blankenship, May 4, 2010 11:28pm | Post a Comment

eGuiders.com Live -- Great Records, Real Good Whiskey, Even Jambalaya ...

Posted by Whitmore, May 4, 2010 11:05pm | Post a Comment

Not to sound like a complete SoCal elitist snob, but I do most of my writing down by the pool, lounging about – in the shade, of course -- often sipping some kind of beverage, sometimes a cappuccino, sometimes a whiskey and soda, Sinatra style. Anyway, this is where I met Marc Ostrick, good neighbor, family man, music aficionado, Scotch connoisseur, raconteur and co-founder of the website eGuiders.com. The site, launched in February of 2009, is in essence your TV Guide to online videos. And starting this past April 1st, Marc began adding original programming to the mix. Shows include eG Live, The Untitled Series, Two Live Jews (featuring Marc and comedian Ed Krasnick) and my favorite show, The B Side Live.
 
The B Side Live combines all the elements dearest to my geeky, fool's paradise kind of life -- great records (and always 45’s), good single malt whiskeys and ridiculous tomfoolery, always augmented with a live audience, dancers and green screens, and on special nights when the moon is high and some immense, slippery funk track greases up the studio, your hosts Marc, Brian Rothe and myself serve up some real good jambalaya.
 
This Thursday, May 6th at 9 pm (Pacific Coast Time), we will be dishing out one last episode before our summer hiatus. Below is last week's extravaganza, here is episode 3 and episode 4 and yeah, on occasion it’s a bit jejune, puerile, brutish, corporeal, feral, and yes even a little ferine, but it’s a helluva good, goddamned time. Tune in.

All About Evil Premiere is a Smashing Success!

Posted by Miss Ess, May 4, 2010 03:49pm | Post a Comment

The Castro Theater premiere of Joshua Grannell (aka Peaches Christ)'s brand new film All About Evil was truly the all-out extravaganza of the year here in San Francisco! The 1400 seat historic Castro Theater sold out in record time, and the line was insane outside before the show -- all the way down Castro Street, down 17th Street, and curving around onto at least half of Hartford Street! The line was jammed full of Peaches Christ fans -- some in drag, some wearing wigs, some gothed up, all beside themselves with excited anticipation to feast their eyes upon Joshua's film, which is about a former librarian turned small theater owner whose mantra at ANY cost, even the lives of others in the name of entertainment, is "The show must go on!"


(photo by Jackie Jay)

Search lights added to the premiere ambiance as the crowd gathered and the huge "rush" line for those who did not already have tickets was stretching along Castro Street as well. Peaches Christ arrived, stepping onto the red carpet with her flawed sidekick Martiny and a host of actors from the movie, including Natasha Lyonne, Thomas Dekker, Mink Stole and more! There were cameras everywhere, capturing the moment for an upcoming documentary of this world premiere event. I ran into the ever-amazing local legend Timmy Spence, who has a small role in the film as the principal of the high school, and he was beyond excited!



When we finally got inside the theater, there was a scramble for seats in the already packed house. Even the balcony was already very nearly full. It wasn't long before the lights went down and people's cheers and wild applause began. Peaches, glittering in a short number created by lovely Tria Connell, serenaded the crowd with a brand new song written by the fabulous Ric Ray (Hugz Bunny) and an assortment of scary ghouls dancing all around her! Check out the performance here:


Sometime San Francisco resident John Waters was in the house and when Peaches drew our attention to his presence, there was a HUGE standing round of applause. All About Evil is definitely right up John Waters' gross-out, hilarious, sly social commentary alley. Fans of Waters' films will also rightly adore it.

Speaking of Mr. Waters, next Peaches brought Miss Mink Stole onstage for a rousing duet rendition of "Female Trouble!" Mink and Peaches have been friends for years and it was so sweet to see them performing together at this special event. Mink plays Evelyn, an unusually loud librarian, in the film.




(all event photos by TZP unless otherwise specified)

One of the film's other stars, Thomas Dekker of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, who plays horror film obsessed Steven, had also prepared a song and performance for the evening! His Adam Lambert-esque number was fully realized with smoke machines, a long, dramatic black cape, wavering high notes and performances by more actors from the film, Ashley Fink (Lolita), Anthony Fitzgerald (Gene) and those evil twins, Jade and Nikita Ramsey (Veda and Vera)!

Finally, after a costume change into some seriously sparkly leggings, Peaches introduced us to "Deborah Tennis" (the film's main character), who came out to perform a flawless song with the "creepy twins" (actually two boys in drag) and creepier "Mr. Twigs!" (also someone in drag to look like the film character). You can watch the performance here:


After being bowled over by the pre-show entertainment, which perfectly set the over the top, creepily hilarious tone for All About Evil, it was on to the main event...the movie itself! The film was received with hoots and hollers, many gasps and even some OMGs! Joshua truly outdid himself in every way -- the movie is a crowd-pleaser on every level. If you missed this special world premiere, you can catch All About Evil perhaps in a town near you soon -- Joshua will be touring with the film, putting on special screenings across America! You can stay updated by signing up for Peaches' mailing list over on her website. The first date is in Austin, and AAE stars Mink Stole and Cassandra Peterson (Elvira) will be there too! Also, here in San Francisco, the film will be coming back for an amazing run where it was actually filmed, and where many of its terrifying events take place -- at the Victoria Theater in the Mission October 21-24! It will be an interactive experience... and you may not come out alive! 

Read my recent interview with Joshua Grannell All About Evil right here!

(There was a Q&A as well after the film, but it was past 1am by then, so I had to duck out and go to sleep!)


Forthcoming Documentary To Have & To Hold Is A Wonderful Homage to Vinyl and Record Collecting

Posted by Billyjam, May 3, 2010 01:15pm | Post a Comment

As proven by the runaway success of the recent Record Store Day, the demand for, and the overall appreciation of, vinyl records is growing at a most impressive rate. It's clear that records ain't going away anytime soon. Both longtime record collectors and new younger vinyl appreciators weened on MP3's, who To Have & To Holdseek a warmer, fuller sounding & more tactile alternative, are keeping vinyl alive. As I like to say, you can't put your arms around an MP3. So considering the healthy renaissance that vinyl is currently enjoying, the timing for the forthcoming Jony Lyle directed homage to vinyl records, To Have & To Hold, could not be better.

Vinyl records carry a very deep & profound meaning for those who collect them, as you can see from the above six minute-clip of excerpts from this forthcoming ninety minute documentary that includes interviews with such vinyl aficionados as Questlove, Danny Krivit, DJ Amir, Chuck D, Bobbito Garcia, Christian Marclay, Bruce Lundvall, and Paul Mawhinney,

To Have & To Hold director Jony Lyle, who has opened record shops in Edinburgh and Barcelona and  is co-founder of Scratch club in London, Edinburgh and Gothenburg, describes his film as “a musicmentory to celebrate the age of vinyl records.” Featuring a nice mix of all things vinyl, including the aforementioned interviews (all conducted amidst the respective aficionado's record collection), archive footage, record pressing plant footage, and such eye candy for vinyl fiends like myself as the segment filmed at PS1 Contemporary Arts Center in Queens, NY of the 12" records as floor tiles exhibit.

Stand By Your Man: High Tension (2003)

Posted by Charles Reece, May 2, 2010 10:08pm | Post a Comment
 

If you're promising "high tension," then you'd better deliver, which is where Alexandre Aja and Grégory Levasseur (director, art director and co-writers) come up short. Whereas a genre film like Martyrs attempts to push the mind somewhere it doesn't want to go, High Tension aims at nothing but pure generic comfort. There are some who never tire of having the same nerves stimulated, but mine just get desensitized. And it's pretty clear that the filmmakers have spent most of their time watching slasher films to the exclusion of most everything else. Incest is no better in art than in biology. Genre insularity produces dumbed down offspring, as can be seen in the work of the Image Comics creators, who never encountered art that wasn't produced by Marvel or DC.  Contrariwise, that's why the likes of Georges Franju and Alan Moore have made memorable art in well-worn genres, by adding fresh blood. But, on the plus side,  Aja and Levasseur's fanboyishness did at least lead them to the ravishing gore of horror make-up maestro, Giannetto De Rossi. The man knows how to apply a saw to the face.

spoiler alert.

The film begins with Marie (Cécile De France) psychotically repeating, "I won't let anyone come between us anymore," until she begins her story for the record. This pretty much telegraphs that what's to follow is a flashback, but many viewers felt either cheated or surprised by the "twist" at the end (see Roger Ebert's thumb down) -- the twist being that the protagonist is really the killer. Marie is a thewy girl with a Caesar cut, who harbors an obsessive attraction to her delicate, promiscuous, and long-haired friend, Alex (Maïwenn Le Besco). Clearly disgusted by Alex's boycraziness, Marie's barely repressed misandry manifests itself as a feminist caricature of the ultimate macho male, what Judith Levine has labeled "the Beast" (brute, pervert, killer, etc.). Played by Philippe Nahon (who's made the Beast role into leading man material), the Killer looks like the average of every movie serial killer. As a hysterical warning against pornography, he first appears masturbating with a woman's decapitated head. In this persona, Marie butchers Alex's family as a way of "rescuing" Alex from monstrous patriarchy. And because psychosis is involved, the story is being told by an unreliable narrator, who confuses herself not only with the Killer, but with Alex (Marie imagines, or dreams, that it was her asking for help from a passing driver, when it was really her friend).

Many of the plot holes and Ebert's "violation of physics" (e.g., in one scene, the killer is shown to be driving two vehicles at once) are accounted for by Marie's schizophrenic state. The real plot problems comes when the narrative shifts out of Marie's deranged perspective to reveal to any in the audience who've yet to catch on that she's the killer. For example, cops are shown watching a video tape of her murdering a gas station attendent (the big reveal). It comes across as derelict storytelling, not the likely fantasy of a girl who's still in denial about her condition. Another example, following that scene, is Marie's flipping back and forth between her own image and that of the killer as she's chasing Alex with a power saw. Given how she continues to repeat the mantra with which the film began, Marie believes herself the protector, not the villain, so why is she remembering Alex as the one who finally stabs her, instead of repressing it, and bringing it in line with her delusional love affair?

The problem in these examples isn't with an implausible diegetic reality (as Ebert thinks), but with a fantasy too weighed down by that reality.  Tension and solipsism don't mix unless you're trapped within the first-person. If objective reality enters, it should only be through the subjective filter of the ego being depicted. That's why Lost Highway maintains dread after repeated re-watchings; you can't get a sure footing. High Tension keeps deflating the fantasy by talking sensibly to its audience, which is the same crap Michael Haneke pulled with Funny Games Ultimately, the filmmakers don't trust themselves or the audience enough to get properly lost within Marie's fugue, so the twist (which should've never been treated as such to begin with, but the narrative core) feels like a cheat cobbled onto the last act of a fairly conventional body-count film.




SOUNDTRACK SERIES #5

Posted by Job O Brother, May 2, 2010 12:46pm | Post a Comment
Directions: Imagine Mr. Brother living another day, as always, with music playing. Whether it’s one of his trusty iPods, or his home stereo, or working the soundtracks section of Amoeba Music Hollywood, Mr. Brother is eating, sonically, with the mouths of his ears.

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

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


The boyfriend and I need a lamp. Not just any lamp – something that can complete his “reading nook” in the prominent corner of our living room. It must be a lamp that won’t be diminished by our awesome Italian chair (roughly the size of my last apartment) which it will stand behind, be powerful enough to provide the boyfriend with the amount of light he likes in order to read (roughly the brightness of two suns) and, in general, should be hella rad.

So, every Sunday for the past month, he and I have set out into the deliciously temperatured* but cruelly trafficked land of Los Angeles. Armed with my trusty iPod, which I plug into his car – a Lexus with a capacity for smarts exceeding most high school students – its music gives me the fortitude to face another shopping day.


We’ve tried most everywhere: trendy boutiques, flea markets, furniture chains, thrift stores, even kept an eye out on the streets of West Hollywood where, for some unexplained reason, you can always find abandoned pieces of living room furniture. Always. It vaguely troubles me.


How can a city with so many interior designers come to this?

Anyway, last week we went to what I once knew as the Fairfax Flea Market but seems to have re-branded itself the Melrose Trading Post – ostensibly because anything with the name "Melrose" in it  attracts swarms of youths with expendable monies.

And I did find a lamp – unfortunately, not for the reading nook, rather, my desk. It was an imitation Art Nouveau affair, with an ornate, glass, tulip bulb atop a Victorian woman in neo-classical gowns actually swinging from a branch in the center of the lamp! Very Maxfield Parrish meets funeral parlor.


"I wonder if they wear clothes on other planets?"
Another smutty painting by playboy of the art-world, Maxfield Parrish

“But you already have a desk lamp!” exclaimed the boyfriend.

“Yes,” I answered, “But it only has a black-light bulb in it, and I’d like to have a little more light at night.”

“Why don’t you just put a normal light-bulb in what you already have?” he asks, his tone betraying knowledge that he’ll regret asking. But I don’t answer directly.

“I need one with a black-light and another with some other color, like red or blue.” And my eyes light up. “It’ll be so spooky!” (It’s important to know that whenever I use the word “spooky” it means for me what most people convey with words like “cozy” and “lovable.”)

After a meal of some Argentinean street food (which seemed to consist of tired spinach dragged through clear oil and dirtied with salt-less scrambled egg whites – ¿Que pasa, Argentina?) we left the flea market – me with a framed, three-dimensional picture of a Greek peasant woman, a 1950’s chip ‘n’ dip, a bullfight advertisement, and yes, a lamp I didn’t truly need – but no lamp for the nook. Back in the car!


Our next stop was the neighborhood of Little Ethiopia, where you can find some swell thrift stores. I love Little Ethiopia because the air always smells of frankincense, sweet tea spices, and exhaust.

The first store we tried had some amazing junk, and I inquired on prices for everything from a metallic etching of a celebrity rabbi (looking like some elder member of the Justice League of America) to a cross-stitched portrait of Shiva (looking like a Playgirl centerfold).


"I like cuddling in front of the fireplace and girls who believe I'm straight."

The boyfriend, seeing I was in danger of spending my rent money on antique ashtrays and politically incorrect lawn-jockeys, dragged me out before I could get a price check on a mounted, electric Jesus head…

“I at least need to find out what it needs electricity for!” I pleaded. I mean, what happens to a mounted Jesus head when you give it the power of voltage? But he showed no mercy, and we entered another shop. One that was playing this on a boom-box:


Okay, now you the reader will probably lose all respect for me, but hear me out: If you saw how awesome the lamp in the window was, you’d stop, too! I pointed it out to the boyfriend.

“Look! Ah! It’s so good!” It was a shepherd boy, sloppily and carefreeily* drinking from a huge jug, his vest and shirt permanently swept up by a summer breeze; his eyelids painted a delicate, pastel blue, his dainty feet almost dancing over a plot of grassy soil. The lamp stood at about 4 feet and looked to weigh about 1½ sea lion**. The boyfriend rolled his eyes.

“There is no way. You can’t seriously think that goes with the living room,” he said.

“No, of course not,” I answered, “But… for the Study…” (The Study is the room where I work. It’s where I keep my desk – the desk that now would have two lamps on it.)

This led to the boyfriend and I having a not-quite-argument about the necessity of having four lamps for the Study. (Did I mention the fourth lamp? It’s on my bookshelf, with the flicker-flame bulb.) For some reason it annoys the boyfriend that I could have so many lamps in one room without a single one equipped with a normal, white bulb. (Did I mention there’s also a string of blue Christmas lights I keep under the couch to provide an otherworldly glow? And two light-up beer signs on the wall?)


It's what appears over my head when I get a brilliant idea.

I will admit that my acquisition of so many light sources did seem to mock our mission of finding a suitable candidate for his reading nook, but we don’t choose who (or what) we fall in love with, and I had feelings for the electric, pastoral dude. So I bought him. That, and, an antique mirror, a Depression-glass candy dish, and a hardcover edition of Poe’s works translated into French by Charles Baudelaire.

“You don’t read or speak French,” commented my boyfriend.

Mon nom est Pierre. Je suis un médecin,” I retorted.

So, we have yet to illuminate his reading nook. But it’s Sunday again, today. I’m in the mood for rockin’ music and I'm feeling optimistic, so I’m insisting we go out shopping yet again. Besides, I have to buy some more extension cords for the Study.



*Not actually a word.
**Not actually an accepted form of measurement.