Amoeblog

Show me the Mo Movies!!! - Missouri in Film and TV

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 30, 2010 10:00pm | Post a Comment
Some folk that know me know I have to see dang near err movie that's filmed in, set in or tied to Missouri (whurr I grew up). With the Bourne Trilogy, those ties were somewhat tenuous... Badass Jason Bourne is merely informed that his real name is David Webb and he's from Nixa. No wonder he joined the military. Needless to say, people are sick of hearing me talk about my home state, but most of yins are strangers so it will hopefully be only a fraction as annoying as what they put up wither pritnear err time I sip on somethin'.


I just sawl Winter's Bone the other day. What can I say? The boyz (and gulz) in the woodz is always hard! Wisely, they actually filmed in the Ozarks rather than in Canada or some other pale stand-in. Not much in the way of distracting celebrities either. Perfect music by Tindersticks' Dickon Hinchliffe. Real recognize real, ya heard? Anywho, hurr's my pretty complete timeline of Mo Films.


MO MOVIES IN THE SILENT ERA

  

Silent Movies were ideal for the people who made "Show Me" thurr motto. With outlaws from Missouri including Tom Horn, and badass cowgirls Belle Star and Calamity Jane, it's kind of surprising how many Missouri-set Westerns overwhelmingly favor popular Missourian Jesse James. Apparently, the most Missouri silent movie would have Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer joining the James Gang. Just consider the following silent films set in the state:

The James Boys in Missouri (1908), Coals of Fire (1911), In Mizzoura (1914), Tom Sawyer (1917), In Mizzoura and Shepherd of the Hills (both 1919), Huckleberry Finn (1920), Jesse James as the Outlaw (1921) and Jesse James (1927).

MO MOVIES IN THE EARLY SOUND ERA


People have always love songs about Missourians wildin' out. Just consider "Frankie and Johnnie," about Frankie Baker, who rubbed out her man in 1899 after she found him with another woman. It inspired the films Her Man (1930) and Frankie and Johnnie (1936).

Then thurr's Lee "Stagger Lee" Shelton, a Mack who killed William Lyons in 1895 after he made the mistake of touching his pimp hat. "St. Louis Blues" is relatively peaceful by comparison, and was in essence, one of the first music videos.

There were more movies about the creations of Mark Twain and Robert and Zerelda James too. Interestingly, thurr seems to've been a short-lived vogue for movies about people ('specially dames) from Missouri, probably in part due to the popularity of Missourian actress Jean Harlow. Consider the following:

 Meanwhile, the events of her famous lovers quarrel inspired films, including Her Man (1930) and She Done Him Wrong (1935). After that, her legend spread nationally and people hounded her for autographs and prank called her. Frankie and Johnnie (1936) followed.

St. Louis Blues (1929), Tom Sawyer (1930), Huckleberry Finn , Kitty from Kansas City (both 1931), The St. Louis Kid, The Girl From Missouri and Kansas City Princess (all 1934), St. Louis Woman (1935), The Voice of Bugle Ann (1936), The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1938), I’m From Missouri,  Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer – Detective, Jesse James and Days of Jesse James (all 1939).

Huckleberry Finn 1931Voice of Bugle Ann

Adventures of Tom Sawyer 1938           

MO MOVIES IN THE '40s

The '40s were pritnear a continuation of the previous decade as the nation remained obsessed with popular, racist murderer who stole from everyone and gave to himself (Jesse James). Just look at these'n's:

In Old Missouri and The Return of Frank James (1940) Bad Men of Missouri, Belle Starr, Jesse James at Bay, and Shepherd of the Hills (all 1941), A Missouri Outlaw (1942), Meet Me in St. Louis and Kansas City Kitty (both 1944), Down Missouri Way (1946), Adventures of Frank and Jesse James (1948) and Calamity Jane and Sam Bass and I Shot Jesse James (both 1949).

    

 

TV AGE MO

Finally, movies about Missouri started to get a little more interesting in the 1950s, focusing often on modern crimes and juvenile delinquents, and not just outlaws from the Old West. Consider the following:

The Great Missouri Raid, Return of Jesse James and The Missourians (all 1950), Pete Kelly's Blues (1951), The Pride of St. Louis and Kansas City Confidential (both 1952), Calamity Jane and The Great Jesse James Raid (1953), The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Jesse James’ Women (both 1954), The Delinquents (1955), The True Story of Jesse James (1956), The Pride of St. Louis (1957), The Cool and the Crazy (1958) and The Great St. Louis Bank Robbery (1959).

     True Story of Jesse James



MO MOVIES IN THE '60s

After nearly half a century, Americans seemed to have finally had enough of films about Tom Sawyer and Jesse James. As a result, movies taking place in Missouri became fewer and farther between; consider:
Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (both 1960), Hoodlum Priest (1961),  Beetle Bailey and Hottenanny Hoot (both 1963), and Ride a Wild Stud (1969).




MISSOURI IN THE '70s

After a decade away from screens, a new generation of film-goers clamored for cinematic representations of Tom Sawyer and Hollywood obliged. Missouri-loving audiences were also blessed with many new characters.

Huckleberry Finn and Kansas City Bomber (both 1972),Tom Sawyer (dir. Don Taylor), Tom Sawyer (dir. James Neilson) and Paper Moon (all 1973), Huckleberry Finn and Lucas Tanner (1974), Huckleberry Finn, Bucktown, Linda Lovelace for President and Kansas City Massacre (all 1975), The Student Body (1976), The Baxters (1977) and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1979).

 
   

MISSOURI IN THE '80s

When most people think of '80s cinema, teen sex comedies often come to mind. Not in Missouri, thank you. For Hollywood, Missouri in the '80s meant a revival of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn films... and Mama's Family. Things began, finally, to change toward the end of the decade.

Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn (all 1981), After MASH, The Day After and Mama’s Family (all 1983), Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer (all 1984), The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1985), The Last Days of Frank and Jesse James (1986), Huckleberry Finn and Bird (both 1988) and Miss Missouri, Parenthood and Road House (all 1989).
After MASH 


MISSOURI IN THE '90s

For whatever reason, in the '90s it became somewhat popular to set things seemingly randomly in the Show Me state... that, and the subject matter began to expand in odd directions. Look the these:

The Josephine Baker Story, Mr. & Mrs. Bridge, White Palace (all 1990), Child’s Play 3 (1991), Sniz and Fondue and Article 99 (all 1992), King of the Hill, Adventures of Huck Finn, Huck and the King of Hearts, The John Larroquette Show and What’s Love Got to Do With It? (all 1993), On Our Own (1994), Casino (1995), Malcolm and Eddie and Kansas City (both 1996), The "Airport" episode of Newsradio and Waiting For Guffman (both 1998) and Ride With the Devil (1999).

Josephine Baker Story        


 Article 99King of the Hill


THE NEW MO-LLENNIUM

For some reason, the new millennium brought a decrease in Missouri's star turns. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and The Lookout were both obviously filmed in Canada and the latter film was a steaming piece of horse pockey.

 



Living in Missouri
(2001), The Games of Their Lives (2003), Jesus Camp (2006), The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and The Lookout (both 2007), Albino Farm (2009).


MO IN THE 2010s

I haven't been home in a while but Winter's Bone made me nostalgic; so far it's the only MO Movie of the decade that I know of. Update: The Pruitt-Igoe Myth was great too. 

Winter's Bone (2010)



The Pruitt-Igoe Myth (2012)


 
Masters of Sex

*****

To read about Missouri and music, click here

******

Current 93 Celebrates Its 28th Year with a New Album and Three Box Sets

Posted by Aaron Detroit, June 30, 2010 06:00pm | Post a Comment

Current 93
began a new revitalized era with the release of last year’s quite exceptional Aleph at Hallucinatory Mountain. The long running project helmed by the forever impish David Tibet introduced dark swirling pools of amped-to-11 guitars to its starry-eyed mix of esoteric tripping and psychedelic visions alongside Tibet’s more recent languid and typically pensive compositions. Mountain also marked a new C93 era in that it is the first full-length release to fully delve into Tibet’s most recent obsession: apocryphal Christian texts written in Coptic. Tibet used his inspiration from these ancient texts to write his fever dream poetry that is, as with most C93 albums, the focus of Mountain. This month welcomed the release of Aleph’s follow-up, Baalstorm, Sing Omega. Baalstorm sees the happy return of Mountain collaborators and Tibet’s post-Michael Cashmore wingmen James Blackshaw and Andrew Liles (as well as many other co-conspirators). The heavier elements on Aleph are replaced here by some light Eastern percussion, creepy-yet-playful outbursts of children’s voices (either real or made to sound childlike via a pitched-up Tibet), and Liles’ atmospheric electronics. Like its predecessor, Baalstorm is a journey best taken all at once, but unlike Mountain it is a journey much more easily traveled courtesy of its majestic and less oppressive atmosphere.


Listen: Current 93 "Baalstorm! Baalstorm!"
 
Also (finally) released this month is C93’s long-delayed Like Swallowing Eclipses, a 6-LP vinyl-only box set featuring remixes and reconstructions by Liles of the first five Current 93 LPs: Nature Unveiled, Dogs Blood Rising, In Menstrual Night, Dawn and Live at Bar Maldoror. Exclusive to the set is also a 6th LP, Haunt Invocation (Apadno), which features Liles remixing Tibet’s interpretations of Count Eric Stenbock’s Faust and text by Horror author Thomas Ligotti.

As if that were not enough to feed your need for Current 93, German label Vinyl-on-Demand is releasing TWO 4-LP eponymous box sets of early C93 material in July. The first features completely unreleased (!!!) material from the years 1982-95, while box set #2 features the albums Christ and the Pale Queens, The Red Face of God, As the World Disappears, and Emblems. This release is particularly exciting, as both Emblems and As The World Disappears see their first vinyl release here. Both sets are packaged in sturdy wooden boxes with 28-page booklets and other ephemera, including a C93 metal pin. The super-geek collector fever doesn’t stop there either; available separately is a limited quantity of deluxe embossed fine linen folders to complete and protect the 2 wooden boxes. All three box sets are extremely limited.

Amoeba Music Hollywood will have quantity of Baalstorm, Sing Omega likely on Friday, July 2nd and Like Swallowing Eclipses will be available in limited quantity as of early next week. The Vinyl-on-Demand boxes will be available in late July.

Sandy Babes: The Sandwitches play Duck Duck Goose!

Posted by Kells, June 30, 2010 03:50pm | Post a Comment
 
There are many things to love about The Sandwitches and their latest release, the Duck Duck Goose! EP (on Empty Cellar/Secret Seven Records), serves as further proof that these ladies are not only gilding a most devastatingly alluring and emotional totem pole of a discography, but they are also among the very sagest of storytellers, which is, when you think about it, just about as artistically primal as witch's tit in a brass bra. It takes courage to create an album this dark for kids, yet it's not clear if the wee ones are really who the Sandwitches are lulling here. If storytelling, besides being the earliest of mediums in that it's the way cultural and familial values are communicated, parent to child, grants us a means by which we may overcome and deal with overpowering fears --- fear of the dark, fear of the unknown --- then there is nothing cowardly or immature about the eerie compositions that permeate this limited run, one-sided vinyl 12". Clearly the Sandwitches are not about to soften their punches, no matter how bewitchingly thrown.

Duck Duck Goose! begins with the cooing, protracted "Stardust" --- a lush and dreamy original number that at once lives up to the descriptive "heartbreaking acoustic lullabies" label affixed to the record sleeve. In fact, it is a lullaby so heartbreaking that it seems meant to comfort a terminally ill child fearlessly into eternal sleep: "nothing to fear going into darkness/ we'll be nearer to each other." What follows is the first of two aural vignettes (the reprise closing out the recording, accordingly) wherein the echos of ghostly rounds of duck duck goose are played against the sound of nursery rhymes tapped hastily on a distant spectral piano, thus upping the spook-factor enshrouding the sessions captured for this EP, achieving an overall don't-even-think-of-exploring-that-abandoned-school-house vibe. Then "Rock of Gibraltar," a haunting cover of a Tim Cohen song that appeared as a bonus track to the excellent Two Sides of Tim Cohen album, segues into a impressionistic rendition of the bravest little Disney tear-jerker of all time, the Oscar nominated "Baby Mine" (check out the video below) . If you haven't settled down snugly into the darkness by now, or at least stopped the record to call your mom for love's sake, the Sandwitches' own "Song of Songs," another sweet 'n' simple ballad (yet less heavy than the preceding pieces), lights the night with its own slow burning wax and wick. It's enough to remind one of what it feels like to be a child, a young person guided though his or her terror by comforting voices and lilting melody. And when the ghosts appear again the heart is less anxious, the mind less afraid.

Duck Duck Goose! is a far cry from the jaunty shoreline jams "Back to the Sea" and "Relax at the Beach" that shine on the Sandwitches' How to Make Ambient Sadcake LP. Little similarity can be drawn from these recent forlorn lullabies to the delightful weirdness of "Beatle Screams;" the b-side on the "Back to the Sea" 7" single; or the more girly, coy or downright romantic strains of "Tarantula Arms," "Kiss You Feet," or "Crabman" that make the aforementioned debut record so essential and addictive, worthy of repeated listening in all kinds of weather. However, Duck Duck Goose! seems to be made up of more intimate and saturated textures than any previous Sandwitches record, like the watercolor artwork depicted on the album's sleeve --- a medium more inherently allusive than the rigor and realism of oils; the brush and the stoke may be the same but the wash this time is rich enough to drown in, willingly.

Duck Duck Goose! was recorded and produced by Wymond Miles (Fresh & Onlys) and the initial pressing is limited to 500 copies, available now at Amoeba Music San Francisco.

Continue reading...

NYC Summer 2010 Pt. II - SummerStage Brings New York City's Parks to Life with Free Concerts

Posted by Billyjam, June 30, 2010 03:11pm | Post a Comment
DJ Kool Herc
Considering hip-hop got its start during the 1970's in block parties and in various parks in the Bronx, it is more than fitting that the man credited with creating the genre, Jamaican transplant DJ Kool Herc, will be headlining this evening's free concert in Crotona Park in the Bronx. During the 70's and 80's many pioneering hip-hop figures performed at informal hip-hop jams and several scenes for the seminal hip-hop film Wild Style were filmed back at the park in the day. Tonight's show in the "Boogie Down" Bronx park is just one countless (mostly free) outdoor concerts in the wonderful SummerStage concert series produced by New York's City Parks Foundation. Each year in June, July, & August the foundation stages an impressive 100+ musically diverse concerts plus theater and dance performances in various parks in NYC's five boroughs: Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. Many days there are two or three events happening simultaneously in different parks & boroughs, so it is impossible to catch everything, but there are still oodles to choose from. This summer shows include acts such as The Specials, Public Enemy, EPMD, The Metropolitan Opera, Gil Scott Heron, The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Jimmy Cliff, Pharoahe Monch, Doug E Fresh, and the two-day Charlie Parker Jazz Festival featuring such acts as James Moody, Jimmy Scott, and McCoy Tyner.

A few days ago I talked with DJ Kool Herc, who said that it is "a nice feeling" to be DJ'ing in Crotona Park in the Bronx again all these years later. And as for the music he will be spinning? "I'm playing music to reminisce [about] then and now, extremely then and extremely now." Herc emigrated to America from Jamaica and took the Jamaican sound system style of DJing with him to the Bronx, where essentially created hip-hop itself by being the first DJ to isolate the "breaks" parts of records and play two versions back to back to extend these "breaks." Of this pioneering act he says, "I'm like a shepherd. I'm watching my flock. I'm watching my audience, and I like to dance and I would notice that people who liked to dance would wait for particular parts of the record to come up and play before they would start to dance and I am always observing. So one day I thought I would put all these parts, these breaks, that I have together and I am going to call it the merry go round. All the good parts -- get right to the yolk and everybody just ranMcCoy Tyner with it."

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Hip-Hop History: 10 Dates that Helped Define Hip Hop in 1996

Posted by Billyjam, June 28, 2010 07:24pm | Post a Comment
Mr Cee (RBL Posse)
There were numerous hip hop albums released in the year 1996, countless rap concerts & related events, plus many news worthy incidents in the genre that occurred. Here are just ten hip hop dates/events that helped shape the genre in that twelve month period fourteen years ago, and from a Bay Area perspective.

Jan 1st: Mr. Cee of popular San Francisco rap group RBL Posse was brutally shot and killed  on Harbor Road in the Bayview / Hunters Point district. He was only 22 years of age. The tragic incident marked the unfortunate  beginning of a year where  Rap = Violence became the all-too-convenient equation for the mainstream media's sensationalist portrayal of an entire genre. Unfortunately the one event that overshadowed everything else in 1996, the death of Tupac Shakur, merely reinforced this stereotype.

Feb. 27th: Death Row Records released the first of two 2Pac albums for the year, the rush-recorded double CD set All Eyez On Me, which debuted at number one on the Billboard pop charts, sold five million copies in its first three months alone, and cemented the ever controversial ShDr Dreakur as the poster boy of 'gangsta rap.' Even before his tragic death, the rapper/actor's ever newsworthy life and times blurred that fine line in reality rap between life and art. 

March 20th: Dr. Dre, the veteran LA producer with the Midas touch who both shaped NWA's sound and mainstreamed 'gangsta rap' with his 1992 multi-platinum album The Chronic, made headlines by exiting Death Row Records. Reportedly he was sick and tired of the Suge Knight dominated record company's all-gangsta format. "Then Tupac coming to the label was the straw that broke the camel's back," partner RBX told Vibe in the October issue that year. As if to prove the point, soon after his departure Dr. Dre declared "gangsta rap dead" and went about setting up his own label, Aftermath Records, releasing "East Coast West Coast Killas" as its first single, which called for an end to the then still very prominent East versus West coast rivalry.

Continue reading...

Mannequins

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, June 25, 2010 09:35pm | Post a Comment
Mannequins, parts of mannequins & women who look like mannequins.

Hip-Hop Rap Up - Week Ending 06:25:10: Eminem, Jay-Z, The Roots, QuestFest, Tupac Shakur

Posted by Billyjam, June 25, 2010 06:04pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Hollywood Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 06:25:10

Eminem
1) Eminem Recovery (Aftermath, Interscope, Shady)

2) The Roots How I Got Over (Def Jam)

3) Drake Thank Me Later (Cash Money Records)

4) Nas + Damian Marley Distant Relatives  (Republic)

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

This week's number one with a bullet at Amoeba Hollywood is the new Eminem album Recovery which many, including the artist himself, say is way better than his previous full-length release, last year's Relapse. In fact, on the new album track "Cinderella Man" the rapper goes so far as to label Relapse "trash." He goes even further on the new album track "Talkin 2 Myself," rapping, "Them last two albums didn't count," in reference to Relapse and its predecessor, 2004's Encore. "Encore, I was on drugs, Relapse, I was flushin' em out. I've come to make it up to you now," he promises of Recovery. The album finds the artist in full confessional mode, admitting his past pill addiction and also the weight he gained. "I'm hatin' my reflection, I walk around the house tryin' to fight mirrors / I can't stand what I look like yeah / I look fat," he raps on the song "Going Through Changes." Production wise, noticeably absent this time out is his longtime studio partner Dr Dre, who only produces Jay-Z + Eminemthe one track, "So Bad," which is one of Recovery's most instantly accessible songs. The rest of the production credit is split between a crew of producers, including Just Blaze, Jim Jonsin, and Boi-1da.

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Trash Humpers 7" Vinyl & CD Soundtrack

Posted by Amoebite, June 25, 2010 01:49pm | Post a Comment
Untitled Document
Trash Humpers 45 Cover
Trash Humpers - 45
Trash Humpers CD
Trash Humpers - CD

Today, Amoeba Music Hollywood received a batch of Trash Humpers soundtracks. If you've seen the film, you'd agree that Harmony Korine nailed this release perfectly.

45s come in a handnumbered edition of 500, each with its own custom cover and varying degrees of trash (one of which had a live worm).

The CD release also appears to be custom. An appropriated major label CD jewel case (and booklet) with a hand-labeled CD-R. Edition size on the CDs is currently unknown.

Make it, make it, don't fake it, indeed.

moving worm
BONUS! - Live Worm
Trash Humpers CD-R
Hand-Written CD-R
Trash Humpers A Side
45 A-Side
Trash Humpers  B Side
45 B-Side

This Week At The New Bev: Vampire-Con, Richard Fleischer, Fiddler on the Roof, Grindhouse Film Fest, Meatballs II & More!

Posted by phil blankenship, June 25, 2010 10:05am | Post a Comment
This Week At The New Beverly

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



Friday, June 25

Vampire-Con Film Fest

For more information, please visit www.vampire-con.com

Drácula (Spanish Version)
1931, USA, 104 minutes
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0021815/
dir. George Melford, starring Carlos Villarías, Lupita Tovar, Barry Norton, Pablo Álvarez Rubio, Eduardo Arozamena
7:30

On this One Year Anniversary of his Death, All Things Are Michael Jackson Today, Especially on TV

Posted by Billyjam, June 25, 2010 07:12am | Post a Comment
Michael Jackson
Today -- the one year anniversary of Michael Jackson's death -- there is no shortage of scheduled tributes to the King of Pop, especially on TV, with ABC, NBC, CNN, VH1, MTV, BET, E!, Fuse, and even the TV Guide Network all airing MJ related specials today, as well as over the weekend. There are also some new MJ themed books published today or this week. And today, diehard fans of MJ around the globe are planning a simultaneous vigil called World Cry 2010. For this ambitious global event, which is synchronized for between 2:30pm and 3pm (PST), organizers hope to have over a million MJ fans, with candles and the lyrics to MJ's song "Cry" in hand, "Lighting up the world in honor of Michael Jackson's visions and memory!" Each major city is planning certain meeting points for MJ fans to congregate, sing, and honor their hero. For more World Cry 2010 info click here.

Today the new MJ book Thriller: The Musical Life of Michael Jackson, published by De Capo and penned by Nelson George, arrives on bookshelves. Michael Jackson: The Magic, the Madness, the Whole Story by J. Randy Taraborrelli (Grand Central Publishing), which is for now only available in hardcover, is another example of a brand new book about MJ. You can also pick up the recently revised version of Taraborrelli’s 2004 Michael Jackson biography, now including details of Jackson’s final years and the aftermath of his death. Then there is the new satirical book about MJ, Simon Crump's Neverland: The Unreal Michael Jackson Story from Old Street Publishing. Yet another new MJ book published this week is Katherine Jackson's Never Can Say Goodbye which features photos and text by the woman named the guardian of the King of Pop’s three children after his death last summer.

out this week 6/15 and 6/22...showgirls...the foals...devo...the drums...uffie...

Posted by Brad Schelden, June 24, 2010 04:07pm | Post a Comment

I wish I could tell you exactly how many times I have seen the movie Showgirls. I would guess it has topped 100 times, making it the movie that I have watched more than any other! I am not sure this film really deserves this spot on my list of most watched movies. I saw it originally 15 years ago on opening weekend in downtown Santa Barbara -- around September 22nd 1995. I tried to find my original movie stub -- I know I have it somewhere! I assume it opened up in Los Angeles a week or so before Santa Barbara but I do know that I saw it before I had read any reviews. This was way before I had a cell phone, way before myspace and facebook, and I didn't even have my own computer with the internet at this point, so I hadn't even heard my friends' reactions to the movie before I went and saw it for myself. I went to see it with my friend Stephanie. We both had a healthy love of irony and loved to make fun of just about anything. I didn't really have high hopes for the movie, but I had loved Basic Instinct. This was the next movie with the powerhouse pairing of director Paul Verhoeven and screenwriter Joe Eszterhas. The screenplay cost $2 million, which is hard to believe after watching the movie even just once! It is possibly one of the worst scripts ever made into a big budget film! But after the huge success of Basic Instinct, I am sure the producers were expecting to have another huge hit on their hands. Eszterhas had also written Jade, released the same year as Showgirls and Sliver, which was released 2 years earlier. I would not consider any of these scripts amazing pieces of literature but they all worked to a certain extent as entertaining movies. For some reason everything just went perfectly wrong to make Showgirls one of the best worst movies of all time. Most of my favorite cult films were made in the 1970s and 1980s. Showgirls sort of goes into its own category. I think most of the cult movies that I like are actually well made movies. I would never say that a movie made by John Waters is actually bad -- I think they are all amazing films, although I am sure many people consider them to be bad. But I think almost everyone can agree that Showgirls is simply a very bad movie. Still, there is something about that that is endearing -- something that makes us all fall in love with Nomi and Cristal and the rest of the cast. I still can't get enough of this movie!

I saw Showgirls twice during its original theatrical run. I bought the movie when it was released on VHS and have probably watched it a minimum of 3 to 4 times a year for the last 15 years. It was the kind of movie that I would even watch when it showed up on cable TV even though I already owned a copy! I did try to avoid the edited version on regular TV or VH1, because although I could live without ever having to watch the rape scene again, I did like to watch the regular NC-17 version, the way the movie was meant to be seen. Showgirls does remain the highest grossing NC-17 movie, but it was not a success at the box office and was obviously hated by the critics. Through word of mouth though, it ended up being very successful as a rental and for puchase on VHS. The VH1 version edited out some of the more sexually graphic scenes and placed digitally enhanced black bras and panties over the scenes with nudity. They even dubbed many of Nomi's lines in the movies. Elizabeth Berkley refused to dub the edited version so another voice actress is heard in the edited version. There were a couple of years when I watched the movie about once a week. One of my roommates in 1998 and 1999 was just as obsessed with the movie as I was. We sort of used the movie as our therapy. Whenever we were a bit sad or depressed we turned to Showgirls for help. We often said to each other something like, "Tonight is a Showgirls kind of night." We would often cancel our plans to just stay home and watch Showgirls. Sometimes we would watch the movie while we were getting ready to go out. Basically, it was a rare occasion when the movie was not in one of our VCRs. I upgraded to the DVD when the VIP Edition was released in 2004. The deluxe box set came with shot glasses, playing cards and a play along with the movie drinking game. The deluxe DVD also came with some fancy bonus features -- a pop up video style trivia track and an audio commentary with David Schmader. The DVD was released without the box in 2007. I managed to catch the movie 3 more times in the theater over the years. I went to a couple of the Peaches Christ Midnight Mass performances over the years and I even went and saw it at the Metreon in San Francisco for a special re-release. I normally don't like to hear somebody talking who is sitting behind me in the theater, but for this movie I love it. During the re-release some guy behind me basically had a comment for every single scene in the movie. He was basically having a conversation with the cast and had every line memorized, and I loved it! I kind of wish MGM had tracked him down to do the audio commentary.

And now, in 2010, we get what we have all been waiting for: The Blu-ray edition! And yes, it is also the 15th Anniversary edition! This new edition comes with both the regular DVD and the Blu-ray, so if you have not yet upgraded to a Blu-ray player, it might still be worth it for you to invest in this edition. I do like the fact that I can watch it both in my bedroom on my regular DVD player and on my Blu-ray with my bigger TV, and the movie does look good in Hi Definition. This new edition includes all the bonus features from the last release; however, the DVD menu has been updated. You can even mark your favorite scenes using the bookmark feature. I also highly recommend watching the movie in French and Spanish -- it puts a new spin on the movie for sure! Might even help you learn a new language. The audio commentary is not one of the best, though. I recommend the trivia track instead. It is actually much funnier than the audio commentary, and you can also watch it with both on at the same time. I tried to watch it in Spanish with the audio commentary and the trivia track but I think this is just too much for the DVD to handle at once. The "Showgirls Diary" feature is also not to be missed. It shows some behind the scenes direction and also shows a script to screen comparison that might shed a little light and how the movie go to be so bad.

We all have our favorite scenes in the movie and I definitely have many -- I love the big choreographed performances of the Goddess show, but my favorite is the motorcycle fetish routine. Most of my favorite scenes take place at the Stardust. I love the behind the scenes stuff before the shows. I love when Nomi first gets to watch the Goddess performance and realizes that this is what she needs to do with her life. I also love when Nomi first gets to perform and Gay and Molly are backstage cheering her on. There really is a whole lot to love about this movie! Any scene with Elizabeth Berkley acting is of course amazing -- and she is in every single scene. I love Henrietta "Mama" Bazoom and the scenes at the Cheetah. One of my favorite scenes is when Cristal and Nomi go to lunch at Spago. It is amazing. Absolutely amazing! They talk about doggy chow and call champagne "holy water." They make a toast with chips! It is just brilliant! I also can't get enough of the pool scene with Nomi and Zack. And I love any of the scenes with the monkeys in the dressing room. Another couple of my favorite scenes are the hamburger scenes -- the opening scene when Nomi first meets Molly and they go to eat french fries and soda is cinematic genius! Nomi's acting in this scene is breathtaking. She stabs her soda with the straw. She later eats a hamburger in a car with James. She is so excited to be eating the hamburger that she throws the wrapper in the air as if it's a feather boa and lets it fall away from the car. I have never seen someone so joyous to be littering! She doesn't have a care in the world. She later has an amazing scene on top of one of the hotels eating a hamburger by herself. She has really succeeded at this point and can now afford her own hamburgers! This scene could really be one of those gross commercials for Carl's Jr. with Padma from Top Chef. I really wish they would use it. I have never seen somebody so happy to be eating a hamburger. And she is just so content and satisfied with her life at this point. I really get proud of her at this moment. I could watch this scene over and over again...and I have! There are some horrible lines in this movie but I think the worst lines all seem to go to James or Penny. James is the choreographer who creates his own dance show at the Crave club. Penny takes Nomi's place in the production when Nomi gets too famous with Goddess. It is actually kind of unbelievable... I also love anything to do with Penny's past. She desperately tries to hide her past as a prostitute. I love the scene where Tony Moss calls her Pollyanna and she freaks out because she thinks he knows her real name is Polly. She also has to cover up her past when meeting with human resources for her new job at the Stardust. The woman who works in human resources is also the maid in Basic Instinct. I love that Paul Verhoeven keeps some of the small actors throughout his movies. Jack McGee plays both a stagehand in Showgirls and a sheriff in Basic Instinct. He is the one who finds the jewels that made the dancer fall and break her leg. I only really know who he is because he came and talked to my high school drama class. This is my connection to Showgirls! But he really is the hardest working small part actor in Hollywood. I have seen him show up in probably 10 different movies or TV shows every year.

This movie still holds up. It is just as bad as you remember, and it has been fun to revisit the movie once again! I recommend you watch it with some friends who have never seen it before. There are amazingly still some people out there who have not yet seen this movie! I had my Showgirls Blu-ray release party last week. I invited some pals who had never seen the movie in its entirety. One of them had only seen the crappy edited version on VH1! It was amazing to see them watch some scenes for the first time. I really hope that this movie continues to entertain people for the next 100 years. I still have never seen a movie this amazingly brilliantly bad! I will now be waiting for some of my other 90's favorites to come out on Blu-ray, although I don't think the Amy Fisher story with Drew Barrymore will be released anytime soon... But I will be having a big party if it does!

Here is the brilliant teaser trailer for Showgirls...



Here is the amazing interview with Elizabeth Berkley on David Letterman from 1995....
David Letterman is super creepy in this interview...but I love that Elizabeth has no idea how bad the movie is and how it was about to become a cult movie and remembered as one of the worst movies ever...


and here is the review of the film on Siskel & Ebert...two thumbs down...




Buy
the deluxe 15th anniversary Blu-ray/DVD combo!!!







also out 6/15...






Caddyshack Original Soundtrack reissue












Something For Everybody by Devo












The Drums by The Drums












Total Life Forever by the Foals












Lustre by Ed Harcourt












Time Flies: 1994-2009 by Oasis












Sister Kinderhook by Rasputina












Barbara by We Are Scientists







also out 6/22...






Disco2 by Health












Boxer by Kele












Memphis Blues by Cyndi Lauper












Scream by Ozzy Osbourne











Learning by Perfume Genius












Five Ghosts by Stars











Sex Dreams & Denim Jeans by Uffie












Threshingfloor by Wovenhand






What Do Paul McCartney, Game, and Justin Bieber Have In Common? They've All Been Victims of Death Hoaxes

Posted by Billyjam, June 24, 2010 10:53am | Post a Comment
The Game
Paul McCartney, Justin Bieber,
and Game each share the experience of having been the targets of fake death hoaxes. Early this Monday morning rumors began circulating on various websites that rap star Game (pictured left & formerly known as The Game) had been shot and killed. In actuality, he hadn't, but these false rumors spread so rapidly that within hours the rapper's management had to issue a statement to dispel the untrue report. So, too, did the very much alive and well rap artist, who was in Sacramento Monday, when he tweeted, "If u gone [sic] spread rumors, b more creative. Say, I had a fight wit the Toy Story cast or sumn & it turned fatal ha ha.." But the ever shrewd rapper took it a step further by utilizing the incident as a prime opportunity to promote his forthcoming album. "My funeral is 8-24-10 @ da nearest Best Buy," he tweeted @ihategame.

While Game had one rumor of his apparent death, pop star Justin Bieber has been plagued by them. The sixteen year old Canadian singing sensation has been falsely pronounced dead a total of five times in the past year (all internet generated hoaxes), most recently on June 10th. 

The famous, urban legend scale "Paul is dead" celebrity death hoax about the supposed passing of Paul McCartney, began in 1969 with a claim that the Beatle had died a few years earlier in a car crash and had been replaced by a sound-alike/look-alike. Proof of his passing supposedly could be found by playing certain Beatles records backwards or analyzing various Beatles album art. "Paul is dead" was not only one of the most well constructed death hoaxes but also one of the most widely repeated (and believed) hoaxes in pop history.

June 23, 2010: The A-Team

Posted by phil blankenship, June 24, 2010 10:52am | Post a Comment

New Electronic 12" releases at Amoeba LA- Holger Czukay, Conforce, A Made Up Sound, Dj Koze, Mano Le Tough & More

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, June 23, 2010 10:47am | Post a Comment




Holger Czukay
Let’s Get Cool
Claremont 56

CAN's HOLGER CZUKAY releases this 2 track 10" with tracks based on "COOL IN THE POOL," recorded in his home studio in 1979. Quirky with a touch of free jazz horn work. Pressed as a strictly limited 10" on transparent vinyl.













Conforce
Black Stroke EP
Modelisme

The original is a hymnic Detroit-ish tune with a swingy groove and the right strings. KINK & NEVILLE WATSON work out an old school acid house mix in the Chicago vein, and "PRETTY FAR FROM HERE" closes out the record with old school deep funky sounds that are raw.













A Made Up Sound
Alarm
A Made Up Sound

A MADE UP SOUND brings 2 tracks of bangin' beats! "ALARM" is a punchy tune with synth stabs, moody pads and a swaggering rhythm. "CRISIS" on the flip is all about restraint. Thick house-not-house beats and a thumping acid bassline. This is a killer 12".

Listen to "Crisis" here:








Aera
Infinite Space EP
Aleph

INFINITE SPACE is the first release on the label set up by AERA aka RALF SCHMIDT to put out his own music. The EP's opening tune is "FLOWERS ON FIRE," which is a bubbling stomper of spacey synths & atmosphere. The flip holds "ELEVATOR PITCH," a dope 4/4 groove.














Mano Le Tough
Oblique
Internasjonal

MANO LE TOUGH's "OBLIQUE" boasts a perfect melody that rises out of a layer of thick chords before turning into its deep acid finale. On the flip is a remix by French gentlemen CHATEAU FLIGHT that toughens up the beat and adds some psychedelic dub effects to the track.












Mark E
Special
Merc

Here on this great 12" from MARK E, "SPECIAL FX" weaves bits of mid 80s magic into a lengthy groove-out with that patented "throb." On the flip, "CHRISTO" drives down a Detroit bound freeway, sounding like CARL CRAIG remixing PRINCE.












The Gathering
In My System
Silver Network

CHEZ DAMIER, JEF K, and CHRIS CARRIER are THE GATHERING. "IN MY SYSTEM" is a deep underground track with raw keys & vocal samples. Here on part one of this release are JEF K's mix along with a dub version. This is a red vinyl limited edition release with no repress. For the second part of the IN MY SYSTEM release from THE GATHERING, we see versions of the track by ADULT ONLY RECORDS' CHRIS CARRIER on one side. On the flip, we get a dope CHEZ DAMIER version that continues with the deepness. Limited red vinyl release.

Listen to "In My System" (Original):


Listen to "In My System" (Chez Damier's Edit):






I:Cube
Merovingienne
Versatile

French producer I:CUBE drops MEROVINGIENNE, a three track EP influenced by the resurgence of VERSATILE's studio hardware, mental tech and creepy funk. Along with the title track, the high quality tunes "BIONIC EARS" and "GRANDES ORGUES" are included. Support from DIXON, OSUNLADE, TRUS'ME.

Listen to "Bionic Ears" here:








DJ Koze
Rue Burnout
Pampa

DJ KOZE's RUE BURNOUT EP shows his finesse and sophistication, leading from dreamy and restrained parts to a noisy frenzy at the end. "BLUME DER NACHT" starts with a looped piano solo laced with high pitched strings and sharp rhythms while the title track is precisely crafted.

Listen to "Rue Burnout" here:





Bottin
Artifact
Artifact

BOTTIN, one of the most active new disco producers, drops ARTIFACT 1 -- a 200 copy private pressing containing 2 tracks. "SAGE OIL" is a sweet and sexy track while the flip's "HOT LIZARD" is a rawer piece from the typical Italian police series & horror movie scores from the late 70s & 80s.

Listen to "Hot Lizard" here:






Gerd
1 In The Morning
Philpot

GERD aka DELGUI from Rotterdam drops "1 IN THE MORNING (AT THE CLUB)," which delivers a funked up groove of blips and beeps. On the flip, the great DJ KOZE gives his fantastic treatment to the track and twists it up another notch. Solid release from Philpot.














Oracy
Bass Mood
Mojuba

ORACY's "BASS MOOD" is his follow up to his classics "FAMILY DAY" and "MIND DANCE". The title track is a disco break styled beat with an ultra fat acid bassline. On the flip, "FUNK ADVICE" chills things out a bit and takes the release into true MOJUBA fashion. Quality.











Ost & Kjex
Continental Lover
Diynamic

Norway's OST & KJEX bring "CONTINENTAL LOVER," the first single taken from the album, that demonstrates the duo's fresh dancefloor focus. Wonderfully soulful vocals over powerful synth chords. The remix package includes mixes from PAWAS, UNER, and STIMMING, who all do bang up jobs.

Listen to "Continental Lover" here:






Patrick Specke
The Antman
Hello Repeat

Rising producer PATRICK SPECKE unleashes THE ANTMAN EP,  a solid, minimal style 2 tracker including "ANTMAN" and the opposite, "ANTWOMAN." As an added bonus, MR. DELANO SMITH takes things way deep for his remix full of lush chords, pads, and a sampled vocal.

Listen to "The Antman" (Delano Smith Remix):








Ron Hardy
Edits Vol. 3
Ron Hardy

Here are three more RON HARDY edits supposedly straight from reel to reels. Nonetheless, they're good! First is RON's version of a JAMIE PRINCIPLE cut properly called "WAITING ON RON'S ANGEL." Also includes an edit of PLASTIC BERTRAND's "STOP OU ENCORE" and a cut by MR. HARDY & JESSE SAUNDERS.











Todd Terje
Remaster Of The Universe
Permanent Vacation

Three track sampler from TODD's "REMASTER OF THE UNIVERSE" CD. Here he reworks the new wave dance classic "POP MUZIK" by M, "ALL THAT SHE WANTS" by ACE OF BASS, and the massive Chicago house hit "PERCULATOR" by CAJMERE.

Listen to Lindstrom's "Another Station" (Todd Terje Edit):

June 21, 2010: Cielito Lindo

Posted by phil blankenship, June 22, 2010 10:49am | Post a Comment

Saluting Old School San Francisco Rap Group I.M.P.'s Back in the Days

Posted by Billyjam, June 21, 2010 02:00pm | Post a Comment

Exactly 17 years ago San Francisco’s Lakeview district rap crew I.M.P. (Ill Mannered Posse) released their long overdue official debut album Back in the Days on In-A-Minute Records. Three years later, on the same now-defunct Oakland independent label, they would release their only other full length album Ill Mannered Playas. Regionally popular, and to a lesser degree nationally, I.M.P. never really got the level of fame that they so deserved, which is too bad because they were such a talented, distinctive sounding hardcore rap group. That sound was defined by the raspy voiced rapper Cougnut, who tragically died in an auto accident in 2001.

I.M.P. began in San Francisco in 1989 when DJ/producer Rob V, along with fellow DJ/producer and longtime friend and musical collaborater Stingy, had the idea to form a rap group. Shortly afterward, Rob V’s cousin, rapper Cougnut, was enlisted, with rappers C-Fresh and Lou-E-Lou joining the fold next. Within months they had recorded and released their acclaimed debut, the EP No Prisoners. After that, in 1990, they released the six track EP IMP Dogs on Sucka Free Records. Soon word traveled about this talented new Frisco rap group and the requests for concert and radio appearances started pouring in. 

A busy period for I.M.P. followed that included appearing in Digital Underground’s “Doowutchyalike” video. The 17 track Back in the Days showcased the combined talents of the group; C-Fresh's engaging gangsta rap flow, Cougnut's distinctive gravely voiced delivery and clever wordplay, plus the ever-entertaining Lou-E-Lou (“the Flavor Flav of the group”). In one song (“Nigga Rays”) Lou-E-Lou became a total of five different characters, including Willy The Wino, Salamander Fred, and Sick Tos. The album also featured production assistance from prolific 1990's San Francisco producer TC, plus some microphone cameos from local SF rap talents Dre Dog, Totally Insane, Cellski, RBL Posse, Chewy-C, and 2.2

Father's Day (contains spoilers)

Posted by Job O Brother, June 20, 2010 09:16pm | Post a Comment


It's a Hallmark card not yet writ

Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, or Post-Human, All Too Post-Human

Posted by Charles Reece, June 20, 2010 08:34pm | Post a Comment

The eyes of Joan Rivers.

I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don't want to do that. -- Lloyd Dobler

There aren't too many comedians who were working Vegas back in the 60s who can make me laugh. Don Rickles is one and Joan Rivers the other. Rickles was featured in a decent documentary paying tribute to his talents a few years ago called Mr. Warmth (directed by John Landis); now it's Rivers' turn in Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg's A Piece of Work. The film makes much of her feminist importance in comedy, but how she doesn't get the recognition she deserves as a (non-gendered) writer or (according to Rivers herself) as an actress. As to the last claim, the film doesn't provide good evidence, namely some saccharine nonsense that became a TV movie about the effects of Rivers' husband's suicide on her and her coattail-riding daughter's relationship (Tears and Laughter: The Joan and Melissa Rivers Story). Mostly, though, she's good at playing herself, or "Joan" -- the difference being imperceptible to an outsider. The opposite to Say Anything's Lloyd, Rivers will sell anything, appear in anything, use anything and do anything to get her name out there, including, most notoriously, having her face restructured piece by piece. And, during an interview in which she's defending her extensive use of plastic surgery, it becomes doubtful that there is even a line between her public and private personas. "Who's the real me?" she asks the interviewer. As she puts it, the one mountain she can't cross is age, so as an industry unto herself, selling one product, Joan, she does whatever needs to be done to stay current, to remain commercially desirable. The one thing she fears is a blank page on her calendar.


On the joy of sodomy: it allows her to do other things.

Those with a leftist slant might find Rivers' embodiment of the Protestant work ethic in a laissez-faire, product-placement-ready form immoral (I vaguely remember Janeane Garofolo making some remarks to that effect), but what makes her such a great comedian is that no one is a better critic of her choices in life than she is. Unfortunately, it's the subject of her comedy that's tended to overshadow her talent as a critic and writer. In some ways, the doc only reinforces this misprision, spending more time on Rivers' lame shilling for fame (e.g., Celebrity Apprentice) than on any attempt to situate her within the comedy pantheon. Other than the aforementioned Rickles, the only comedian the filmmakers get on camera to talk about her is Kathy Griffin, a lame imitation who's adopted the lifestyle without discernment. I'm no expert on comedy's history, but I'd instead place Rivers in the tradition of Richard Pryor and Doug Stanhope, the likes of whom combine the confessional (particularly personal failings) with ideo-sociological insight. For example, in a filmed onstage bit, she discusses how her daughter, Melissa, had proudly turned down $400,000 to appear topless in Playboy. Rivers points out how, at 75, she's currently having to perform in a some dirty little New York comedy club that's provided her with a taped up stool to sit on. She praises Melissa's decency, but then admonishes her for not asking for more to show everything. That's a precise analysis of what seeking fame and a life of luxury requires. This isn't the Joan that we get on TV.

Best movie poster of the year by Kellerhouse, Inc..

Summer Solstice 2010

Posted by Whitmore, June 20, 2010 05:03pm | Post a Comment

Vinyl Confidential, 4.2 – The Damned Odd Order of Oblong Boxes

Posted by Whitmore, June 19, 2010 08:14pm | Post a Comment
“When I got home I mixed a tall stiff one and stood on my balcony, leaned heavy against the railing, looking over and down five stories. Standing, sipping, I listened to the groundswell of cars and trucks and the banshee cry of sirens blasting down Los Feliz Boulevard and beyond. The curve of the hills flushes the boulevard down onto Western, past Hollywood and Sunset Blvds. Twenty four hours a day, eight days a week, most everybody is running, gunning, trying to catch-up with the intangible, the impossible. Hollywood lives live. The traffic’s din drowns out the Ye-ye 45’s dropping and spinning on the turntable inside, that’s Okay, the taste of the Scotch lingers, deliciously with every gulp as I squint down at the glower of a pissed off population begging for a little traffic love, one more time on a Friday night.
 
Rock is dead, I read the other day. After being maimed by massive dog food/fast food/oily crude/pre-chewed corporations, new music has given up the ghost under the obese crassness of money theocracy. What is served up routinely by the big boys is about as gratifying as being beaten, robbed, strangled, drawn and quartered to a soundtrack of “We Built this City on Rock and Roll” as performed by Insane Clown Posse.
 
People are hungry for soul, for adventure, anything that doesn’t leave them sick and bored and desperate. People aren’t lonely; they just feel angry and cruel. In a city no worse than most, a city rich and vital and oddly beautiful, a love affair has been lost and scattered. A city sinks into the void. Well, I guess, it all depends on where you’re standing, and how high your balcony sits above the sidewalk. I claim I no longer care. I finished my drink, went inside and crawled under the covers.”

Art of the 12 Inch Die Cut #3

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, June 19, 2010 07:40pm | Post a Comment
Another round of 12" die cut sleeves. Please check out my previous galleries here and here.

South(ern) Africa's Indigenous People and their Culture Presented in Music and Film

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 19, 2010 12:16pm | Post a Comment


Dusty Bushmen toddlers

I'm not a big spectator of sports (or player of them, for that matter) but it seems that events like The World Cup and The Olympics are often used to spotlight various aspects of the host country's culture. I did read one such article about South Africa in National Geographic but I haven't seen anything during the current cup about the indigenous population. OK, so maybe there aren't any bushmen on the pitch or in the stands but... well, I don't care... I started the blog entry a while ago and I'm just trying to make it relevant whilst South Africa's on our collective minds -- especially since Bafana Bafana appear to be on their way out of the cup (except as hosts) unless something miraculous happens.

 

A BIT ABOUT TERMINOLOGY

Many object to the use of the term "Bushmen," which I understand. Saying Bushmen women certainly seems odd. It's imperfect but widely accepted and used among the people it describes, just like black, white, Asian or Indian (for Native Americans). The ancient common culture of all Bushmen groups is retroactively known as Sangoan, although we have no idea what they called themselves. Capoid is a term used by some... chiefly people who throw around words like Negroid, Caucasoid and Mongoloid in polite conversation. Khoisan is often used but "san" means "outsider" in the Khoi language and is therefore considered offensive by the very people it's meant to describe. Khoi Khoi is literally, "People People." The Dutch called the Khoi "Hottentots," meaning "stutterer" or "stammerer" -- a reference to the array of clicks in their language. The so-called San were generally distinguished by whites as bushmen, although now "Bushmen" is the most commonly used generic term for the entire group, so for lack of a better word, Bushmen it is.          

Hip-Hop Rap Up - Week Ending 06:18:10: Quest Fest, Amp Live, Bored Stiff, The Grouch, Jamie Lidell, Propaganda Anonymous, Ice Cube + The Roots, The Jacka, Messy Marv, and More

Posted by Billyjam, June 18, 2010 07:07am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music San Francisco Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 06:18:10

Amp Live
1) Chali 2na Fishmarket Part 2 (Decon Records)

2) Amp Live Murder at the Discotech (Child's Play Records/OM)

3) Drake Thank Me Later (Cash Money Records)

4) The Jacka & Lee Majors The Gobots 2 D-Boy Era (The Artist Records)

5) Messy Marv Millionaire Gangsta (Prominent House Records)

Thanks to Luis at the San Francisco Amoeba Music for this week's Hip-Hop Top Five Chart, which features lots of West Coast flava (including SoCal's Chali 2na) and a bit of the Dirty South from the Canadian born, former kids TV show (Degrassi) star turned Cash Money Records (and Lil Wayne protege) rap sensation Drake (who did a good job at the recent VH1 Hip-Hop Honors The Dirty South) with his highly anticipated full length rap/RnB debut Thank Me Later on Lil Wayne’s Young Hot TubMoney imprint through Cash Money/Universal. The Bay Area is well represented with the latest from the ever prolific Messy Marv (Millionaire Gangsta on Prominent House Records), the new joint from popular rapper The Jacka teaming up with Lee Majors (The Gobots 2 D-Boy Era on The Artist Records), plus the anticipated release from Amp Live, Murder at the Discotech on Child's Play Records/OM Hip-Hop.

Aux Catacombes: Documenting Art in the Belly of Paris

Posted by Kells, June 17, 2010 08:20pm | Post a Comment

If it can be said that the freshest of the fresh artistic creations bubble up from "underground," then it should come as no surprise that the vast network of tunnels that comprise the coiled entrails of Paris' infamous catacombs has long served as a place where creative Parisians bent on escaping the trappings of society, hemmed in by signs and signifiers girding the city's surface, retreat to the "freedom" of the damp and hard-cut, cramped lawlessness that thrives beneath the streets, expressing themselves with dim-lit abandon. Veteran graffiti artist Psyckoze has spent more than 25 years traversing, tagging, sculpting and mapping the catacombs beneath Paris, a perilous proclivity that makes the documentary Dead Space infinitely watchable.


The Parisian catacombs have always held a certain fascination, whether it be a fear of the dark-generated late night creepshow vibe (must be because of all those skulls 'n' things down in there) or a more sensationalist ghost-hunters of "reality" television programming feel, the mere mention of the mysterious, bone littered underworld beneath the French capitol always stirs the imagination. In following Psyckoze on several adventures throughout the underground maze, documentary film-makers Marielle Quesney and Jean Labourdette nearly destroy their camera (they claim it was held together by duct tape by the end of shooting) and find themselves lost on more than one occasion while Pyschoze, or Psy, encounters graffiti and scrawls of years (sometimes hundreds of years) gone by, often stopping to update his own tags with the fresh designs of his evolved artistic style, and discovers a myriad of threats and claims laid by various catacomb clans, gangs (like the Rats, who were prominent in the eighties) and wanderers who have at one time or another called the catacombs home. There is even a faction of preservationist catacombers who seek to stop taggers like Psy, arguing that the tunnels should be cleaned and restored to their natural sandstone tones (which is not unreasonable, really, when you consider the quarry origins of the catacombs, which were once used to mine and transport building materials as far back as 1000 years).

Shot on a shoestring budget over the course of two years, Dead Space follows Psy as he conducts a surprisingly cohesive tour of the catacombs below Paris (clad in his habitual rubber boots and mining helmet catacomb gear), stopping here and there to highlight several of the more famous subterranean hang-outs like "the Beach" (a large, sandy chamber with a huge painting of a wave --- styled after Hokusai's famous woodblock print --- where parties often rage underground for days) and revealing Psy's personal secret hideaways, including his "castle" --- a sprawling freehand relief sculpture of breasts, faces, battlements and turrets comprising what has to be Psy's ultimate psychedelic masterpiece, laden with personal significance (example: Psy carved a turret in the castle for every year his good friend and fellow catacomber spent locked up in a Thai jail, nine altogether). However, it is clear that most folks who venture down into the catacombs have something other than artistic creation and personal reflection in mind.
It would seem that those crazy enough to descend to navigate the dank and muddy tunnels of the catacombs have serious partying in mind and, apparently, those who do go down there to indulge in dark and lawless soirees get so completely wrecked that they usually lose track of when and where they are. In one room Psy laughs gleefully when he discovers a block of severely dried hash, speculating, while he makes ready to smoke it, how completely high and disoriented the owner who left it behind must have been. After all, there are but a few maps of the catacombs and it would seem that the ones that exist aren't that reliable. Perhaps that accounts for Psy creating his own map, or Plan des Catacombes. Even still, Psy himself often gets turned around and has, in his longest stint underground, spent over 72 hours in the maze.
It was really lucky for Psy to find a thick, if aged, stash of weed in his underground haunt, because there are so many more unsavory things to be found in the vast blackness of the Parisian catacombs. The makers of Dead Space discovered and captured on film Psy encountering all manner of human elements from lost, sleeping and partying catacombers (and subsequent piles of puke) to tunnels riddled with the tea-stained remains of Parisians of years gone by. The "bone room" sequences of Dead Space are so jaw-dropping that this viewer could barely keep her trap shut. The image of Psy as he crawls carefully, stopping every six feet or so to light a candle and plant it in a skull or fixture of bones, through a tunnel way so stacked with human remains that he can barely fit though the open spaces is burned into my brain forever. This may look like Goonies, kids, but this is the real shit.

 
 

out this week 6/1 & 6/8...ariel pink...the cure...wild nothing...

Posted by Brad Schelden, June 17, 2010 01:08pm | Post a Comment
Every once in while an album comes along that just absolutely blows your mind. It seems to be happening more often than not this year! I am talking about the kind of album that you just can't stop listening to...the kind of album you want to live inside of...the kind of album you want to call in sick for so you can listen to it over and over again...the kind of album I have in my car, on my turntable and in my cd player all at the same time! I am seriously considering making a cassette tape of this album so I can carry it around with me everywhere I go...I did just say cassette, because the album I am talking about does not really make sense as a digital file. It would make more sense on a cassette or 8-track. I am talking about the new album by Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti! Ariel Pink has found a new home with 4AD records and has put out one of the best albums of the year. I just don't think any other album is gonna be able to compete with it this year. The new
album is called Before Today. I will be the first to admit that I don't own any other Ariel Pink albums. I obviously know who he is and have been hearing things about him for years, but I just always figured he was a bit too weird for me. I sort of put him with the whole Devendra Banhart genre and thought it was best to stay away. I'd like to think that Ariel Pink got sick of me ignoring his albums and made this album just for me. He made the exact kind of album that I was going to fall in love with -- the kind that seems like it came directly out of the 70s, like it was 1975 all over again and you just happened to turn on the radio and hear this amazing album. Think about your favorite songs from Hall & Oates, Asia, Bread, Ambrosia, Todd Rundgren, Chicago, The Carpenters, Michael McDonald, Billy Joel, The Climax Blues Band, 10CC, Al Stewart, and Manfred Mann's Earth Band; and then imagine them all mixed up together and then the best things about them created into new amazing songs. This is sort of what you get with this new album!
ariel pink's haunted graffiti before today
Ariel Pink was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, which makes me love him even more. I know that there are a lot of us born in LA. but it seems that very few of the artists that I fall in love with end up coming from LA. He has been putting out music since 1996, it just took him this long to get into my life. I know I am not alone in my recent discovery of the genius of Ariel Pink. This album is for sure a bit more accessible and well-produced. He has a full real band playing with him now also! This is some seriously good stuff. You need to go pick up this album and discover it for yourself. But don't worry if you're already a fan -- there's still some weird stuff. The songs often get a bit crazy and end up going places you would never find a normal pop song exploring. This album is full of fantastic songs and as it plays out they just keep gettin better! One of my favorites is "Bright Light Blue Skies." "Fright Night" is amazing! "Can't Hear My Eyes" is probably my favorite of them all, though. Thank you, Ariel PInk! This album is full of the perfect summer jams -- what a great start to the summer! Perfect for those warm Los Angeles Summer nights. I will be exploring some old Ariel PInk albums for sure as well, but I have a felling that they will all be leading me back to this amazing new album. It just can't really get any better than this!

Buy
the new album Before Today by Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti

I was also happy to learn that Ariel Pink is a big fan of The Cure. It all makes sense. I, too, am a huge fan of The Cure. How can you not be? Here is my sort of recent blog from almost two years ago about my love of The Cure. They have been one of my favorite bands since I can remember really liking music. If you add up all the hours that I have spent listening to music in my life I am sure that The Cure takes up a pretty good chunk of that time. They are for sure the albums that I have listened to the most, and Disintegration is at the top of the list of the albums that I have listened to the most. It is hard to believe that it has been 21 years since it was released in 1989, but it's true! Along with Music for the Masses by Depeche Mode, this has to be one of my favorite albums ever. I owned them both on cassette and ended up wearing them both out -- I had to actually replace the cassettes. I, of course, now own them on CD and Vinyl as well. I can't the cure disintegration reissuereally even begin to describe what this album meant to me but I think it is equally important to most of us of that generation. The album was nothing short of brilliant. It was really something that had never existed before. This was our Dark Side of the Moon, our Exile On Main Street or Revolver. "Fascination Street," "Lullaby," "Prayers for Rain," and the title track remain some of my all time favorite songs. I really can't get enough of the whole thing though -- it is just nice for The Cure reissues to finally make it up to this album. The new reissue is a 3 disc set and it is magical. I now await the Wish reissue. I know that the Cure catalog really ends for a lot of people at Disintegration, but take "Friday I'm in Love" off of Wish and it really is an amazing record. For a more detailed review of this reissue check out Aaron's blog right here. I am listening to the new reissue on vinyl right now and it really does sound amazing. This album is dark and intense just like you remember but I don't know why people always think this album is depressing. I for sure listened to it many times when I was depressed but I think it always made me feel better. It always made me think that everything was going to be OK. I love it still just as much after 21 years!

Buy
the new reissue of Disintegration by The Cure


Another one of my recent favorites is the new album from Wild Nothing. The new album is called Gemini and was released a couple of weeks ago on Captured Tracks. It is really nothing short of amazing and is breaking my heart every day that I listen to it. Phenomenal! It is sort of lo-fi shoegaze dreampop fantastic. Just please do me a favor and give it a listen. It is currently fighting it out with Ariel Pink for album of the year on my list, and I know it is only June -- still six more months to go in 2010 -- but I really do think I have found my two favorite albums of the year already.




Buy
the new album Gemini by Wild Nothing


also out 6/1...






Chaos by The Futureheads












Bride Screamed Murder by The Melvins












Other Two & You reissue by The Other Two












Treats by Sleigh Bells












Memory Is Better Than Nothing by Television Personalities











Wake Up the Nation by Paul Weller







also out 6/8...






Force by A Certain Ratio












Non Stop by Andy Bell












Destroyer of the Void by Blitzen Trapper













Some Friendly reissue by The Charlatans UK











Cats & Mice by Kristin Hersh












LP4 by Ratatat










Shape of Punk To Come reissue by Refused












Shadows by Teenage Fanclub












No Snare by Tender Forever












Champ by Tokyo Police Club


June 17 - 24 at the New Beverly!

Posted by phil blankenship, June 17, 2010 11:40am | Post a Comment
This Week At The New Beverly

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



Thursday June 17

Two by Chan-wook Park

Oldboy
2003, South Korea, 120 minutes
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0364569/
dir. Chan-wook Park, starring Min-sik Choi, Ji-tae Yu, Hye-jeong Kang, Dae-han Ji, Dal-su Oh, Byeong-ok Kim
7:30, Watch The Trailer!

June 16, 2010: The Karate Kid

Posted by phil blankenship, June 17, 2010 10:47am | Post a Comment

Rest In P, Garry Shider: P-Funk All Stars Musical Director Dies from Cancer at 56

Posted by Billyjam, June 17, 2010 08:00am | Post a Comment

Garry "Diaperman" Shider,
musician and band leader of George Clinton's P-Funk All Stars who earned his nickname for his habit of wearing diapers onstage, died yesterday following complications arising from brain and lung cancer. He was only 56. Also nicknamed "Starchild," Shider had been an official member of Clnton's funk ensemble since 1972. 

A Rock & Roll Hall of Famer, the Plainfield, New Jersey native began performing music in church but it was his introduction in the late 1960's to George Clinton in the NJ barbershop that Clinton owned, and that acted as the funk master's office, that would shape the rest of Shider's musical career, but not immediately. 

It was after the teenaged Shider left to go pursue his musical dreams in Canada, where he formed the funk-rock group United Soul (aka U.S.), that he heard from Clinton again. In 1971 Clinton produced tracks for a one-off single on Westbound (recently reissued on CD) by the band that Shider had formed with his NJ childhood friend Cordell "Boogie" Mosson.  A year later Shider joined Clinton's musical ensemble.

Once a member, Shider became a key vocalist, guitarist, writer and arranger for Parliament Funkadeliic and P-Funk All Stars for near four full decades. As such he toured the world with Clinton's freeform funk ensemble numerous times. I was fortunate enough to catch many P-Funk shows over the years, which, like Grateful Dead shows, could morph into long extended jams, but the brilliance of these hypnotic funk jams, which were like organized chaos, was how bandleader Shider would always eventually rein them back in musically.

The Cure Celebrate 20 Years of Disintegration

Posted by Aaron Detroit, June 16, 2010 05:45pm | Post a Comment

“[On
Disintegration] they thought I was being 'willfully obscure', which was an actual quote from the letter [received from the band’s label at the time, Elektra]. Ever since then I’ve realized that record companies don't have a fucking clue what The Cure does and what The Cure means."
- Robert Smith, from the book Never Enough: The Story of the Cure by Jeff Apter

Twenty (and some change) years later we know that The Cure’s label bosses were indeed wrong; Disintegration is celebrating its 20th anniversary (a year late actually – the album was released in May 1989) with the release of a remastered 3-CD deluxe edition and remastered 2LP. Today, the album remains in the unique position of being both widely considered the group’s masterpiece among fans as well as their most commercially successful LP (containing their biggest US hit, “Love Song," which peaked at #2 on the Billboard chart).

There haven’t been a multitude of complaints over the years about the mastering of the album, so no surprise here that the main disc is just a bit louder than the original. The real appeal of the 3-CD set is the bonus material…and there is a lot of it! The second disc of rarities is compiled by Robert Smith himself (who was the only original member left in the band by the time Disintegration was released --Lol Tolhurst having been booted by group consensus before its completion) and is largely made up of his instrumental home demos and band rehearsals for the album. It seems like a superfan-only venture with these lo-fi takes sans vocals, but these tracks reveal themselves to be a cohesive and seamless vision even in their infancy; The vocal-free band demo for the title track reveals an even more urgent forward flow than the album cut, with drops of synth gently shimmering in an ocean of flanged-out bass. “Esten,” a previously unissued demo of a never-before-released song (of which there are 4 here), is a bit more lively and feral than its siblings that eventually found a home on the album, perhaps a bit more like their 'willfully poppy' tracks from the Head on the Door-era. The absolute stand-out from the Rarities disc, however, is a solo home demo by Smith covering Wendy Waldman’s “Pirate Ships.” It is a gorgeous lilting sea shanty-like lullaby with ocean sound effects, harmonium and a lovely understated vocal from Smith. With the refrain of “Far away/Far away child,” the track could be culled from one of the several rumored-but-never-surfaced children’s albums Smith has allegedly recorded.

The third disc of the set is an expanded, remixed and remastered version of Entreat, a live mini-album recorded at Wembley Stadium in July ’89 and features renditions of songs culled from Disintegration. Entreat Plus (as it is titled here) is a very different beast when compared to the original version; the mixes on the 12 track Plus disc reveal a fatter sound with some studio spit-shine, whereas the 1990 8-song release’s mix had more of the brisk, airy quality one might expect from a live stadium show recording. The fan and the completist alike can happily hold onto both releases without any guilt.

The truly most exciting thing about this anniversary re-release is that the album finally has a proper vinyl edition. The original 1989 vinyl LP release had songs excised from the tracklisting  supposedly in order to fit onto one LP, however the running time of the original press still clocked in well over the recommended and standard limit of 19 minutes per side, thus completely ruining the quality of the finished product. Rhino’s 2LP remaster, just released this week, wonderfully restores the full 12 track sequence and stretches the tracks over two LPs for remarkably improved sound.

For the überfans for whom 3 discs is just not enough, Smith has compiled a set of  20 "Alternative Rarities," featuring even more demos and alternate outtakes, that is streaming for free via a special website for the reissue. Now please, in celebration, enjoy all four of the album's singles in video form.










Amoeba Music Hollywood has quantity of both the Disintegration 3-Disc set and 2LP.

Celebrating Kyrgyz Culture Amidst Violence

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 16, 2010 11:55am | Post a Comment

Although I’ve never been to Kyrgyzstan I’ve long wanted to go there. I initially became interested in the Central Asian region due primarily to its sheer obscurity relative to the rest of the continent. When you take an Asian Civ class, you're unlikely to find Tajikistan on the course syllabus.

Ten years ago, when Napster made it possible to expose oneself to music otherwise outside one’s reach, in addition to searching for digitized wax cylinders, I used to often type the names of Central Asian countries and see what treasures I could find. The music of Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan proved very appealing to me but nothing from the region resonates with me more than Kyrgyz music. To my unschooled ears, there’s a musical echo of every people that passed along the silk trail and many of the nation's neighbors. I hear similarities with Turkmen, Kazakh, Mongolian, Russian and European Renaissance music… and even the shamanistic music of some Native Americans, whose ancestors inhabited Central and North Asia thousands of years ago.

 

Happy Dragon Boat Festival Day

Posted by Billyjam, June 16, 2010 06:35am | Post a Comment

At a minute past midnight last night/early this morning (June 16th) in New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles and other cities with large Chinese and other East Asian & Southeast Asian communities, people gathered to celebrate the beginning of the holiday known to most Stateside as Dragon Boat Festival. The 2,000 year old Duanwu Festival (端午節), as it is more officially known, is also called Duānwǔ Jié (Mandarin) and Tuen Ng Jit (Cantonese). It is an official holiday in China but is also recognized in such other countries as Malaysia and Singapore and (to a lesser degree) here in the US.

Numerically based, the Dragon Boat Festival takes place on the fifth day of the fifth month of the lunar calendar on which the Chinese calendar is based. The festival commemorates the patriotic poet Qu Yuan (340-278 BC), who is pictured above, but today's holiday also serves as an opportunity for people to build their bodies and dispel diseases, as well as keep natural disasters away. Much of the Dragon Boat Festival Day celebrations involve food and beverages: specifically, sharing red-bean filled zongzi (rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo) with some wine. And as its name implies, there is also dragon boat racing as well as decorating houses with aromatic herbs. Today, in honor of the holiday, people carry small bags of dried fragrant herbs, and drink wine mixed with spice in an effort, as tradition has it, to keep poisonous insects at bay.

Window Scenes

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, June 15, 2010 08:45pm | Post a Comment

June 15 - New Electronic/ Dance CD Releases

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, June 15, 2010 01:18pm | Post a Comment



Wolfgang Voigt
Freiland Klaviermusik
Kompakt

Wolfgang Voigt returns to stranj for his left-of-center Kompakt label offshoot, Profan. As GAS, Voigt composed ethereal, blue-hued, deep-forest metaphysical techno 'head music', but now under his own name he injects the dance floor with a dose of well tempered madness. If you like your techno birthed out of a slightly crooked disposition, thought provoking and borderline psychotic, please check this out.












Ellen Allien
Dust
BPitch Corp

Berlin's first lady of techno drops a solid release for 2010. Her trademark razor-sharp spooky production is complete with bleeps n bells, throbbing bass house, squidgy electro tech-pop, and even what could be taken as an homage to the Exorcist theme.











Ichisan and Nakova
Yugo Tempo
Nang

Between them, duo Ichisan & Nakova have toured the cream of the new disco stables with releases on Nang, Eskimo and Airtight. They present their debut album together for Nang, collecting thirteen Balkan disco grooves spiked with sparkling spacewise synths, cosmic guitar licks and dubbed basslines for the connoisseurs. Fans of Lindstrom, Ilija Rudman or Todd Terje should have a peek.









Actress
Splazsh
Honest Jons

This album signifies two important points; firstly, the fact that Honest Jon's are putting this out at all acknowledges Mr Cunningham's place in the lineage of potentially classic Afrofuturistic music, from George Clinton through Prince and Shake Shakir; and secondly, a major maturity and cohesion in his sound. If you want music that enhances or removes you from your own reality like the most visceral sci-fi novel or confirms that there is a sprawling future beyond the stasis of too much modern music, this is just absolutely vital listening!






Bottin
Discoursive Diversions
Nang

Nu-disco hero Bottin presents his first mix CD for the Nang corporation. Actually, this is a bit more than your average mix CD, as Bottin has remixed each and every track to his exacting specifications, trimming inches and measuring inside seams like a a proper hands-on Italo tailor.











Michael Mayer
Immer 3
Kompakt

For IMMER #3, Kompakt chairperson Michael Mayer gathers a charming bunch of super hero electronica all-stars for glamour as well as certifiable quality. The mix flows in and out of melodic tech-pop through lush (pop)ambient scenes, deconstructing into the gorgeously discordant and back to the dance floor with trippy house and italo smashers. Highly recommended.











Efdemin
Chicago
Dial

Connoisseurs of quality deep house take note -- Dial maintains a very respectable run of releases from Berlin's most interesting house head, Efdemin. This exquisitely crafted tribute to to the titular city is executed with sophisticated and mature gate, clean, crisp minimal tech house.













Tosca
Pony No Hassle
G-Stone

Tosca is the brainchild of Richard Dorfmeister and Rupert Huber. They combine bass heavy, downbeat music with abstract soundscapes of found sounds, and when this formula is handed over to remixers, everything changes, from texture, dynamics, to structure -- in a really good way. Remixes done by Bottin, Chicken Lips, Kalabrese, and more.









Rusko
OMG
Mad Decent

Dubstep's larger-than-life character hits the next level of his stratospheric rise to intergalactic domination. Whether its true or not that Rusko is producing the next Britney Spears album, we can revel in the ludicrous development of pop music's current championship of the new dance-rock rave-craze and jungle rinse-outs that has us all jacking dirty on the dance floors.










Dimitri From Paris
Get Down With the Philly Sound
BBE

This compilation is the first ever to document the birth of disco in Philadelphia and the work of the unsung musicians who played on the numerous hits that came out of the Philly scene. Featuring Melvin & the Bluenotes, Teddy Pendergrass, The Trammps, and Jackson 5. Curated by Dimitri From Paris.










Rene Hell
Porcelain Opera
Type

Alter dimensional synth trips referencing classic kosmiche drenched in the lustre of nostalgia is the modus operandi of cult noisenik Jeff Witscher. As Rene Hell he reveals a decidedly modern grasp of electronic psychedelia. In breaking down elements of Cluster and Basic Channel and mixing in his own special enzymes he forms an alchemical concoction of tape-chewed cacophony to disconnect, then realign your cerebral hemispheres.









Mathew Jonson
Agents of Time
Wagon Repair

Very first solo album by Canada's finest melodic techno producer and longtime Cobblestone Jazz stalwart, Mathew Jonson. The pace of the album is largely sedate and infused with a late 90s electronica aspect, romantic IDM atmospheres, and Vangelis-like synth washes.








LCD Soundsystem
This is Happening
DFA

Perhaps, arguably, in my humble opinion, the best LCD album to date. A perfect vintage-sounding blast of new wave disco punk a la Talking Heads or A Certain Ratio, with dense percussion, no-wavey chants, sparkling guitar chank and pulsing space bass. James Murphy is the authentic disco-punk dancefloor pop messenger, with his uniquely self-aware post modern scrutinizations of modern hipster culture, and an apparent compulsion to second guess his listeners and outsmart the critics.








Crystal Castles
S/T
Last Gang

The latest greatest from Toronto based electro duo Crystal Castles is reminiscent of the jump from debut albums taken by Deerhunter and Fuck Buttons. Maybe this release will close the door on the blog-house/nu-wave/french-rave-craze with their wayward self-touted "artistic" approach on electro-rock. Check it!












Duke Dumont
Fabric 51
Fabric

Dumont proves himself to be quite the nimble selector, pulling together disparate tracks by Bodycode, Scuba, Green Velvet and Late of the Pier. As he explains: "I'm not trying to promote a genre with this mix; the ethos is simply to make something that I'll still really love in a few years' time... It represents what I play: groove-based, bordering on the techy side and all with a sense of emotion."











James Holden
DJ Kicks
K7

For his DJ KICKS mix, James Holden picks from outsider club music for a set that draws heavily on experimental techno, kraut-rock, ambient and indie sound. Quite good, obscure picks that represent an interesting slice of leftfield dance and indie-pop.












Roska
S/T
Rinse FM

Rinse FM presents this anticipated debut by ROSKA! Not to be confused with Rusko. UK-funky has made some headlines as of late: pair this with that Geeneus long player, King Midas Sound and Marcus Nasty mix, and you're fully schooled. This contains a blend of modern tribal house and garage indebted rudeness, crispy fresh like a new pair of trainers steeped deep into d-step whut whut house muzak n slow burnt grooves.







Manual

Drowned In Light
Darla

Drum machine loops and shimmering guitars (electric, acoustic, 12-string and flamenco) are bathed in analogue synth and modular effects, creating a lush, intoxicating sound that looks back to the 1970s and 1980s without a hint of the usual sleek irony or hip retro-revivalism, whilst simultaneously looking forward to a time when boundaries between programmed and played, and synthetic and organic, have become obsolete. Recommended: Lisa Papineau Solo album by Air and M83 guest vocalist... pretty and lush solo effort in the likes of Mia Doi Todd.








Jamie Lidell
Compass
Warp

Follow the bread crumbs and be prepared for almost anything, especially a more progressive strand of electro-psychedelic soul by everyone's long favorite & Prince-meets-Roy-Orbison; wunder kind Jamie Lidell. Pure molasses. Featuring Feist, Nikka Costa, Beck, and Gonzales.











Future Sound Of London
Environments 3
FSOL

The third in FSOL's ongoing series investigates further planes of abstract, synthesized spaces and places. Contemporary FSOL territory with ruffled digital-concrete textures entwined with plaintive piano, calling at orchestral symphonics, hyperharp scenery, abstracted electronic jazz and resplendant Roedelius-style solo piano and synthscapes.

Junk Science's Latest, A Miraculous Kind of Machine, is the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Duo's Best Album Yet

Posted by Billyjam, June 15, 2010 12:17pm | Post a Comment

Junk Science "Really, Man" video directed by John Ta (2010)

Everything about talented Brooklyn hip-hop duo Junk Science, who very recently released their third album A Miraculous Kind Of Machine, seems to relate back to New York City and also manages to create something new & innovative. Comprised of emcee Baje One and DJ/producer Snafu, Junk Science's last album, 2007's Gran'Dads Nerve Tonic on Embedded/Definitive Jux Records, involved them teaming up with their local Brooklyn brewery Sixpoint Craft Ales, who made a special limited edition promotional beer specifically for the rap duo. And for their latest album, released on Baje One's recently set up, Brooklyn based Modern Shark record label, they plan on releasing a series of limited edition toys to tie in with the label's output -- all made in the basement of Brooklyn emcee Tone Tank, whose next album will be released on Modern Shark in September. Meantime, the engrossing John Ta directed video (above) for the new Junk Science album track "Really, Man" reenacts the tragic interaction between one time famous NYC resident John Lennon and his deranged fan/killer Mark David Chapman. The clip was all filmed in New York City with an innovative and (happily) much less tragic spin on the outcome of that infamous meeting between artist and obsessed fan.

Crispian St. Peters 1939 - 2010

Posted by Whitmore, June 15, 2010 11:38am | Post a Comment

I’ve always had a soft spot for Crispian St. Peters, the 1960’s English pop star with a lilting, lyrical, tenor voice who passed away last week at the age of 71.
 
Born Robin Peter Smith in Swanley, Kent, England, on April 5th, 1939, as a youngster he performed in a variety of local bands such as The Hard Travellers, The Two Tones and The Country Gentlemen. In 1965 after being discovered by David Nicolson, an EMI publicist, he was signed to Decca as a solo recording act. At first his new stage name was to be Crispin Blacke, but after a bit of a tussle, the name Crispian St. Peters was settled upon and simultaneously, five years was deducted from Robin Peter Smith’s age.
 
His first couple of releases however, though good, went nowhere and nowhere fast. But it was his oddly soulful cover of “You Were On My Mind,” a song which had been a million seller in the United States for the We Five, that broke him into the big time and the top ten in England and Europe. But the follow up single in 1966, “The Pied Piper,” became his biggest international hit, soaring into the top five or hitting the number one spot though out Europe, North America and Asia.
 
Originally recorded by The Changin' Times, “The Pied Piper” was written by Steve Duboff and Artie Kornfeld, though the St. Peters’ version modified the lyrics slightly, perhaps helping the groovy, England swings quotient. The line "I'll show you where life's at" was changed to the much hipper "I'll show you where it's at." A slight side note, Artie Kornfeld also wrote the song "Deadman's Curve"(with Brian Wilson & Jan Berry) for Jan & Dean and the 1967 hit by the Cowsills “The Rain, The Park, and Other Things.” Kornfeld, in his early twenties, also became the vice president of Capitol Records, the youngest to hold such a position. But in 1969, Kornfeld left Capitol Records for what he is most known for, creating the Woodstock Music & Arts Festival.
 
In the late sixties John Lennon was quoted as saying that Crispian St. Peters’ “The Pied Piper” was one of his favorite songs.
 
Unfortunately one of the lasting images of Crispian St. Peters, while under the slippery guidance of David Nicolson, will always be his brief transformation into an arrogant arse. The only problem was, really, Crispian St. Peters was just twenty years ahead of his time. He literally scared the hell out of the era’s conservative British music press when he suggested that he’d written some 80 songs better than anything The Beatles could write and that he was greater than Elvis Presley. He even called himself the Cassius Clay of pop, but god forbid, St. Peters probably went too far when he said he was sexier than Dave Berry. Later he said it was all just flippantly done tongue-in-cheek, just some good old rawkin’ fun.
 
After the success of "The Pied Piper” St. Peters only had a couple of other charting singles, mostly skimming the bottom of the charts. Briefly in the early seventies he reinvented himself as a country-and-western performer, but later, St. Peters found constant and continued popularity working on the Sixties nostalgia circuit, while occasionally putting out some new recordings.
 
He had a series of health problems. In January 1995, at the age of 56, he suffered a stroke, which eventually led to him being confined to a wheel chair. Over the years he suffered several nervous breakdowns and battled emphysema. His last major public performance was in 1999 and in 2001 he announced his retirement from the music industry. In 2003 he was hospitalized several times with pneumonia.
 
Like I said, I’ve always liked his work; he was also a great songwriter, though he released very few self penned singles. Crispian St. Peters was divorced and is survived by his son Lee, daughter Samantha and a grandson.
 
 
 
 

June 14, 2010: Marmaduke

Posted by phil blankenship, June 15, 2010 11:20am | Post a Comment

California Fool's Gold -- Orange County Here We Come...

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 14, 2010 03:32pm | Post a Comment
 
A hand drawn and hand painted map of Orange County from Pendersleigh & Sons

OK, since the Los Angeles neighborhoods (click here to vote) and Los Angeles County communities (click here to vote) polls have gone down a right storm, I'm making a poll for Orange County communities and neighborhoods (conflated). After all, Orange County was just another part of Los Angeles County until March 11, 1889 when it became a separate entity.

Please vote here for as many as you'd like to see become the subject of a future blog entry. Thanks! Oh, and if I've forgotten any, kindly get at me. If'n yins 'r' rude yis'll get treated like a you-know-what. 





*****


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

(In which we wish you were here.)

Posted by Job O Brother, June 14, 2010 11:12am | Post a Comment
 
Yes, please!

It’s an unfortunate reality that not everyone in the Universe can know Jaime Lefcovich. Those of us who do have the pleasure miss her awfully, as she has escaped the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave for the adventure of discovering Thailand, where she can master the art of ayurvedic medicine (which is not Thai in origin, but is what she’s practicing there) while eating all the เนื้อผัดพริก she can fit into her purdy mouth.

June 13, 2010: Get Him To The Greek

Posted by phil blankenship, June 14, 2010 10:55am | Post a Comment

Charanjit Singh- 10 Ragas to a Disco Beat Reviewed by Gomez Comes Alive

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, June 14, 2010 12:55am | Post a Comment

There has been much talk about 10 Ragas to a Disco Beat! People have been debating whether Charanjit Singh’s 1982 release predated Acid House or was influenced by it. There was also talk that perhaps it was a modern group posing as “obscure” Indian artist. (Aphex Twin was rumored to be behind this.) The worst thing I read was from a guy who couldn’t possibly understand how someone from India could possibly could get all those synthesizers and drum machines that he used to create this album. I can answer that: It was simple, he was a successful musician and he bought them…and yes, India has electricity, too!

These are the same arguments the imperialist mindset tends to have about indigenous people -- for instance, the argument that intelligent beings from another planet must have created the pyramids because indigenous people couldn’t possibly done it on their own. The truth is that Indian musicians have always been some of the best musicians and most complex composers. They deal with time signatures, scales and overall talent that the Western world cannot comprehend, so the fact that 10 Ragas To A Disco Beat predates some important firsts in the electronic music world does not surprise me one bit.

Much of what appears on this album are Indian Ragas set to Giorgio Moroder inspired arpeggiated synth lines with the same primitive drum programming that was the norm at the time. Again, one can argue that India’s pop world was behind the West, but perhaps because the Western world is so quick to abandon any musical movement for the next big thing. The disco sounds of Moroder might have exploded on a baseball field in Detroit back in 1979, but to the rest of the world his importance was still being felt. Even Brits such as Duran Duran and The Human League, who in 1981 were considered cutting edge, were still worshiping at the altar of Moroder.

"Raga Bairagi" is one of my favorite tracks on 10 Ragas. It is a cluster of different Indian influences with Singh’s ear for soundtrack music. It's as he imagined Moroder working with Herbie Hancock to create the soundtrack to the Indian version of The Warriors. "Raga Malkauns," complete with the Raga drone in the beginning, quickly breaks into the 130 BPM house beat that begs for a lethal concoction of MDMA and LSD on a sweaty dance floor.

I can't help but imagine how much fun we would be having now if the Western world had embraced Charanjit Singh in the eighties like they did Ravi Shankar in the sixties?


Charanjit Singh-"Raga Bairagi"



Charanjit Singh-"Raga Malkauns"

Lost Their Way? "The End" 2

Posted by Charles Reece, June 13, 2010 11:06pm | Post a Comment

Is not the ultimate American paranoiac fantasy that of an individual living in a small idyllic Californian city, a consumerist paradise, who suddenly starts to suspect that the world he lives in is a fake, a spectacle staged to convince him that he lives in a real world, while all people around him are effectively actors and extras in a gigantic show? [...] Th[e] final shot of The Truman Show may seem to enact the liberating experience of breaking out from the ideological suture of the enclosed universe into its outside, invisible from the ideological inside. However, what if it is precisely this "happy" denouement of the film [...], with the hero breaking out and, as we are led to believe, soon to join his true love (so that we have again the formula of the production of the couple!), that is ideology at its purest? What if ideology resides in the very belief that, outside the closure of the finite universe, there is some "true reality" to be entered?
--  Slavoj Žižek, "The Matrix, or Two Sides of Perversion


The only interpretation I've come across so far of Lost's ending in that church with Christian opening the doors to white light (why never neon violet?) is that the whole sideways timeline (ST) is a purgatory where all the characters are reunited (having died at various times in the original timeline, OT). Passing through those doors, they'll go on to discover the meaning of it all, reality ground zero. Chief apologist Doc Jensen's reading goes something like that: "the castaways moved into the ''afterlife,'' which I have called 'heaven,' [... b]ut upon reflection, [... m]ost likely, the castaways returned to the Source, the hub of life, death, and rebirth, and their energy was recycled back into creation." Contrariwise, I suggest another possibility, that the island functions like Bugs Bunny sitting at the drawing board, constantly manipulating poor Daffy Duck's environment with a pencil and eraser (thus the white light is nothing more than blank paper). As it is with the cocksure rabbit, Jacob's ability to create arbitrary rules for reality ultimately rests on the unknowable fiat of some other creator, opening a potentially infinite regress of stinkers. What this entails is that Jack's sacrifice wasn't grounded -- wasn't guaranteed significance -- through transcendent means as the other interpretation would have it. Instead, if his martyrdom has meaning, it's because of the material effects on his reality, the OT, what's constituted by his relation to the other characters involved in the Gordian plot of the first five seasons.

Among theists, there are those who filter all of reality through the promise of the afterlife, the transcendent Truth, and there are others who are more concerned with how their faith gets the believer to act. For the former, ontology is paramount; their religious belief is a description of the ultimate foundation. For the latter, representationalism isn't important; the value of their faith is grounded in realworld effects. It doesn't matter to the post-ontological theist if he's believing in a fiction, as long as it's a useful fiction. Paraphrasing David Byrne, who was paraphrasing Ludwig Wittgenstein, of that which he has nothing to say, his lips are sealed. Aren't these two positions similar to what we have with Lost's Alexandrian resolution? The existence of a god qua magical island was never much in doubt (theism was the default narrative strategy), so the theme of faith versus skepticism really comes down to: (1) Were the castaways really working towards some great Truth that justified all their struggles and sacrifices, or were they simply side characters in an old family drama? And (2) did that white light give a meaningful closure to what we, the audience, have been following for 6 years, or was it simply that the creators couldn't figure out anything else to put on the page?  



Like Neo in The Matrix, Locke had faith and chose the "red pill," but it turned out to be the Man in Black (MIB or UnLocke)'s game piece. So, nothing was revealed to him, and he died a mere pawn, asking why. At least, that's the skeptical reading, provided by UnLocke himself. The other reading was given by Jack as he pushes UnLocke into the water on his way to the sub ("The Candidate"): 

UnLocke: "Whoever told you that you needed to stay had no idea what they were talking about."
Jack: "John Locke told me I needed to stay."
 
In other words, Locke's death had meaning, at least to someone willing to accept it. As the culmination of his fidelity to the island, it was the event that reconstituted Jack's worldview, putting him on the path of accepting the candidacy. Locke's willingness to die for the island led to the central role reversal instantiating the show's major theme: Jack became the disciple to protect the island against its chief skeptic, MIB, embodied in the form of Locke. This ideo-theoretical division was one about existential purpose, not (as it often is in the real world) the existence of supernatural properties (which are a given in fantasy). And, also as it was with The Matrix, this debate gets reduced to a mano-a-mano fistfight (with Kate's bullet becoming the deciding factor). Where would religion be without violence?

As far as I can tell, MIB was correct in every way. There was no reason he couldn't leave the island other than the controlling demands of his possessive Mother. Jacob could've changed the rules as the island's guardian, making it so that candidates didn't have to be dead for his brother to leave, but he was too much the mama's boy. Candidate after candidate died for 2,000 years just to keep the suffering bastard on the island. Even worse, when the island's cork was pulled by Desmond, shutting down the power source, UnLocke changed into an ordinary mortal. That kind of diminished his ability to wreak havoc on the mainland, so why couldn't Jack (as the new guardian) let him go? Revenge for killing Jin, Sun and Sayid, I suppose. Of course, they wouldn't have been killed if it weren't for Jacob's fucked up rules in the first place. And I guess UnLocke might've had his powers turned back on, once Jack replugged the cork, but like most everything else in the finale, all the audience has to go on are ad hoc speculations, since the show didn't provide any ground rules that it stuck to.[*] All we know for sure is that Jack made a commitment and he died sticking to it -- admirable, in a hate-the-war-but-support-our-troops kind of way.

What I dislike about the onto-theological reading of the ST -- despite granting that it's a valid interpretation -- is that when taken by itself it reduces Lost's entire shambolic story arc to the ideological yearning that  Žižek points to in The Truman Show's conclusion. The mere promise of a transcendent Truth (behind the curtain, outside of the OT) is supposed to free the characters of choices made and acts committed. Similarly, the audience is supposed to forget all the dangling plot threads, finding closure in the characters having finally discovered their purpose, whatever that might be. So, my more skeptical (post-onto-theological) interpretation of the ST is that it's a dying dream granted to Jack by the island for service rendered -- a way of making him feel as if he died for something, even if he didn't. Of course, both Juliet and Desmond tapped into this same dream, but are influenced by the same magical island that can read and influence all the characters' thoughts. Think of it as Matrix-styled A.I. software being implemented in their wetware at different times. The ST is thereby rendered an illusion. However, because "The End" is ambivalent (however imperfectly) between these two interpretations, it doesn't require what Žižek demanded of The Matrix, a third pill to get past the forced choice of pure ideological manipulation (the Matrix) versus the unveiling of base reality (the grimy burned out husk of Earth with humans as they really are, atrophied and plugged in). Instead of the red pill enabling Neo to see the reality behind the illusion, the third pill would enable him to see reality's dependency on its ideological/fictional/fantasmatic support. Is Lost's OT the enabling fiction, or is it the ST? As much as I hated the distraction that was the ST, to its credit, the finale seems to answer, "both."

So I ain't satisfied, but that's the most favorable reading I could think of.

Free at last!

[*Since I was pretty sick of picking apart with friends all this season's problems in plot construction, I left them out here, but a raging geek over at Ain't It Cool News' talkback gives a pretty good stream-of-conscious rant that lists many.]

Remembering Hazel Scott on her 90th birthday

Posted by Whitmore, June 12, 2010 02:40pm | Post a Comment

This past week would have been Hazel Scott’s 90th birthday. She’s probably not as well known today as she was in her lifetime, which is a shame, because Hazel Scott was not only a brilliant and audacious pianist but a woman who spent most of her life bucking the system.
 
A child prodigy, she was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, June 11th, 1920, the only child of R. Thomas Scott, a West African scholar from England and Alma Long Scott, a classically-trained pianist and music teacher. Hazel began playing piano at the age of two. In 1924 her parents divorced, and she and her mother moved to the States, settling in Harlem, where her musical guidance continued with support from local jazz greats like Art Tatum, Lester Young and Fats Waller. Two years later Scott made her formal American performing debut at New York’s Town Hall. In 1929 Scott received several scholarships to Julliard School of Music, but still being too young to attend, the school’s director, Walter Damrosch, offered to teach her privately. At sixteen Hazel Scott had her own radio show on WOR, the Mutual Broadcasting System, and at night she’d perform at the Roseland Dance Hall with the legendary Count Basie Orchestra. She was dubbed the “Darling of Café Society.”

In the late 1930’s, she appeared on Broadway in the musical Singing Out the News, followed by Priorities of 1942. In 1943 Hollywood came knocking, and she appeared in the several films over the next few years including Something to Shout About, Tropicana, The Heat’s On, Broadway Rhythm and Rhapsody in Blue.
 
With the advent of television she became the first African American woman to have her own TV show. The Hazel Scott Show debuted on the DuMont Television Network in 1950. But Scott’s interests, especially her relentless campaign for civil rights, women's rights, and the rights of artists made her an easy target for the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) during the McCarthy Era. Her television show was canceled after just a few months on the air, due to accusations of her being a communist sympathizer.
 
There is an excellent biography, published in 2008, by Karen Chilton -- Hazel Scott: The Pioneering Journey of a Jazz Pianist from Cafe Society to Hollywood to HUAC. It tells the story of how by the age of twenty-five Hazel Scott was an international star, but before reaching her mid thirties, she considered herself a failure, twice attempting suicide. The book also goes into detail about her conflicts with HUAC and Hollywood and her failed marriage to the controversial Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.
 
Subsequent to being blacklisted and divorced after eleven years of marriage, Scott left the States. Along with her son, she joined the burgeoning black expatriate community settling in Paris. She wouldn’t return to America until 1967. Her apartment on the Right Bank would become a popular hangout for other Americans including the likes of James Baldwin, Mary Lou Williams, Lester Young, Dizzy Gillespie, and Max Roach.
 
But most significantly, Hazel Scott was an incredible, world class musician. One of her greatest abilities -- she was brilliantly adept at combining jazz improvisations into classical pieces. Few could come close to her imaginative re-interpretations of pieces by Bach or Chopin or Rachmaninoff. Scott’s recording career lasted some four decades, releasing albums on several labels including Decca, Signature, Tioch, and Columbia. She hit her stride in January 1955 when she went into the Debut recording studios with a rhythm section consisting of two of jazz’s greatest icons -- Charles Mingus on bass and Max Roach, drums. In Relaxed Piano Moods, Scott handles her own compositions and standards, especially J.J. Johnson’s ballad “Lament,” with such incredible depth and confidence, her perfectly gem-like touch swings with incredible sophistication and guile; it is a 20th century masterwork of jazz.
 
Hazel Scott continued to perform until her death, passing away from pancreatic cancer on October 2, 1981 at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.
 
 
 
 

Fancy Dancers

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, June 11, 2010 02:45pm | Post a Comment
For more hoofer related images, check my dancer label blog here.

June 10, 2010: Splice

Posted by phil blankenship, June 11, 2010 11:00am | Post a Comment

Hip-Hop Rap Up - Week Ending 06:11:10: The King of Crunk, Lil Jon, is Back with a Bang! Also Plies, Yukmouth, Chali 2na, Z-Man + More

Posted by Billyjam, June 11, 2010 09:30am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Hollywood Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 06:11:10

Lil Jon
1) Lil Jon Crunk Rock (Lil Jon/Universal Republic)

2) Yukmouth Free At Last (Smoke-A-Lot)

3) Plies Goon Affiliated (Atlantic/Slip N' Slide)

4) Chali 2Nal Fish Market (One Records)

5) Tie between two titles:

Nas + Damian Marley Distant Relatives  (Republic Univesal)
           
Reflection Eternal Revolutions Per Minute (Blacksmith/Rawkus/Warner Brothers)

After being absent from the spotlight for what seems like an eternity, Lil Jon is back with a bang! The rapper/producer and King of Crunk is known for his shouts of "OK" and "YEAH!" (something that comic Dave Chappelle had so much fun imitating back around the time period he released his last album, six years ago). He was omnipresent at the VH1 Hip-Hop Honors The Dirty South broadcast earlier this week and his new album, Crunk Rock, released through Universal Republic on Tuesday, shot to number one on the latest Amoeba Music HIp-Hop Top Five Chart, and no doubt on other charts too.

The Afrofunk Experience and The Berkeley World Music Festival Come To Amoeba Music!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, June 10, 2010 02:51pm | Post a Comment
Words and Pictures by Spenser Russell-Snyder

On Saturday, June 5th, grooves from every part of the world came to Amoeba Music and People's Park for the Berkeley World Music Festival! Amoeba was everywhere at the festival, sponsoring the main stage in Peoples Park, setting up a booth on Haste St. with product, prizes and freebies, and having San Francisco's Afrofunk Experience (featuring SF Amoeba employee David James) play an amazing set inside the Berkeley store itself. Check out some pictures from the day's festivities below!

Howlin’ Wolf’s 100th birthday

Posted by Whitmore, June 10, 2010 02:07pm | Post a Comment

He was named after Chester A. Arthur, the 21st President of the United States, and as a kid Chester Arthur Burnett was nicknamed Big Foot Chester or Bull Cow as he grew to stand 6 feet, 6 inches tall and weigh in close to 300 pounds. That was a big man. But we know him as Howlin' Wolf, legendary and incredibly influential blues singer, guitarist, harmonica player and composer, whose songs are as standard today as anything written by Gershwin, Porter, Rodgers and Hart, Carmichael, Leiber and Stoller or McCartney and Lennon. Howlin' Wolf’s compositions include “Killing Floor,” “Sitting on Top of the World,” “Who's Been Talking?,” “Moanin’ at Midnight,” and “Smokestack Lightnin'.”
 
Also, his versions of Willie Dixon’s “Spoonful” and “Back Door Man” are about as perfect a three minutes as you’ll ever hear in any genre, anytime, anyplace. Rough-edged, fearsome and fearless, Howlin' Wolf's booming voice sounds like nothing you’ve ever heard before -- like something in between grinding a knife on a whetstone or a sharpening steel or shears tearing into bone or a monster truck pulling donuts on a gravel road. As the adage goes -- Howlin' Wolf has often been imitated but never duplicated.
 
Chester Burnett died in Hines, Illinois on January 10, 1976 and is buried in the Oak Ridge Cemetery, Hillside, Cook County in Illinois. His gravestone, etched with a guitar and harmonica, and allegedly purchased by Eric Clapton, can be found in Section 18 on the east side of the road.
 
Today would have been his 100th birthday.




SF Hip-Hop Trio BPos, Who Have an Amoeba Berkeley Instore Friday, June 11th, Keep the Music Positive

Posted by Billyjam, June 10, 2010 02:03pm | Post a Comment
BPos "Stay Alive" from the new album The Upside (One League)

With so much popular hip-hop these days veering toward the more negative, mean mugging, and macho posturing end of the rap spectrum, it is BPos The Upsiderefreshing to encounter an alternately positive crew like the San Francisco hip-hop trio BPos, whose name literally stands for "Be Positive" and whose attitude follows suit. Their mantra is, "To be positive is not to miss the facts and see the downside -- not being blind to it, but to work toward a brighter side."

In support of their just released debut album, The Upside (One League), this Bay Area group, comprised of Goodword, D-Wiz, and DJ Johnny Venetti, are performing both tonight (Thursday, June 10th) at Element Lounge in San Francisco and tomorrow for free at 6pm at Amoeba Music Berkeley.

Earlier today I caught up with emcee Goodword of the crew to ask him if he felt that BPos was a kind of reaction to aforementioned negativity so dominant in hip-hop these days? "It's more a reaction to all the negativity in the world," he replied. "It started as a way to keep us, as individuals, grounded and focused on a goal. You know, speaking for myself, every time I see the name it reminds me of what we set out to accomplish and that acts as a guideline for me in my life outside of hip-hop. It's like no matter how much negative shit is going on around me in my everyday life, BPos reminds me that there is always something positive to take from every situation."

It's Cheaper Used: Classic and Out-of-Print Goth & Industrial Titles in Stock at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Aaron Detroit, June 9, 2010 05:03pm | Post a Comment
Looking to stock back up on some dark classics? Maybe looking to try something you overlooked long ago? Well, if you’re a fan of classic Industrial or Goth, or just looking to be adventurous, we’ve got some great deals on some hand-picked, used and out-of-print titles for you in our little dark corner of the Goth/Industrial section at Amoeba Music Hollywood*.

Front 242 Tyranny >For You<
Ten years after the group’s genesis, Front 242 released their most commercially successful album with their 1991 major-label debut, Tyranny >For You<. Though not as solid as the band’s 1988 essential Front by Front , Tyranny is a relentless and charged slab full of EBM bangers including “Moldavia,” “Tyranny (for You),” and the club hit “Rhythm of Time, “ which some may recall from a memorable scene in the 1992 camp classic film Single White Female. The album has surprisingly aged very well and sounds pretty damn great nearly 20 years later -- the slow-burn “Sacrifice,” the minimal pulse and melodic sway of “Soul Manager,” or the chaotic blasts of hidden track “Untitled” (there are 3 unlisted ‘hidden’ tracks here –every bit as intense as the rest of the album). Listening to this album now, really makes me wish some youngins would mine these sounds again. Tyranny >For You< is currently out of print on CD but Amoeba Music Hollywood has it in stock used for just $4.99!*



The Creatures Boomerang
Siouxsie and Budgie returned to The Creatures in 1989 after putting the project on hold 6 years prior as The Banshees' popularity sky-rocketed. Boomerang was the result of sessions in a secluded barn in the capital of Flamenco music– Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. The album was probably The Creatures' most successful and includes some of their most well known songs, such as “Standing There” and “Pluto Drive.” Boomerang sweeps between dark breezy exotica with heavy brass arrangements to minimal bluesy crawls to the more atmospheric and chilly. The CD is out of print, but Amoeba Hollywood has several used copies in stock now for just $9.99*




Skinny Puppy Twelve Inch Anthology
A singles collection of sorts or an early ‘Best Of’, Skinny Puppy’s out of print 1990 compilation Twelve Inch Anthology brings together several tracks from their multiple ‘80’s 12 inch EPs. It includes full extended versions of “Dig It,” “Addiction,” and “Testure.” The jewel of this compilation, however, is the Tom Ellard-assisted remix of “Assimilate,” easily the best version of one of the band’s best songs. The collection highlights my favorite period of Puppy and nobody since has quite as successfully combined the sinister with the psychedelic and the groovy like Puppy. Amoeba Hollywood has several used copies of this now-deleted gem in stock for just $9.99*




Nitzer Ebb That Total Age
Relentless pounding and floor-filling aggression are the sounds to be found on this 1987 classic debut from the DAF-inspired Brit duo Nitzer Ebb. Punkish in attitude, That Total Age features the monster club hit “Join In The Chant,“ as well as the beloved, shouted singles “Let Your Body Learn” and “Murderous.” The band lost their way down the road, but this album remains a strong piece of work over two decades later. Amoeba Hollywood has used quantity of That Total Age in stock for just $7.99*.


*prices listed are valid for a limited time only and quantities are limited.

The Employee Interview Part XXV: Cas

Posted by Miss Ess, June 9, 2010 04:31pm | Post a Comment
Cas
Nearly one year employment
Electronica Wizard

Miss Ess: What's the first music you remember hearing when you were a kid?

Cas: That's tough, mainly because my head is kind of flooded with musical memories, so much so that it's hard to tell where it all started. Both of my parents are music lovers so there was usually some kind of song being played or sung around the house. I've inherited my mom's habit of playing music in the morning to get myself going. She usually played some kind of contemporary R&B music and the occasional gospel album. My dad was in a singing group that performed around New Orleans in the late 70's and early 80's. When the guys in the group weren't having practices at our house, my dad was usually going around singing songs by artists they were influenced by: The Temptations, Luther Vandross, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes. I used to think my dad was Teddy Pendergrass.

My folks split up when I was pretty young but their respective record collections remained integrated with albums that belonged to both of them. After my parents split, my mom, sister and I went to live with my grandmother, aunt and great-great aunt, making me the only boy in a house full of four generations of women. Many of my earliest musical memories are of sifting through the in-house record collection which contained albums that belonged to practically all of the people I just named. A typical browse through the record stack might look something like...here's an album by Anita Baker (my mom), then an Elton John album (my aunt), then Ohio Players (my dad), then the film score to Doctor Zhivago (my grandmother), Switch (my aunt again), Boz Skaggs (back to my mom), Grand Funk Railroad (dad), a Moms Mabley comedy record (grandma), Funkadelic (?), and so on. I kept all of my records separate and cherry-picked from the melange. 


ME: What impact has what your sister listened to growing up had on your listening choices?

Despite Omitting Cash Money and Lil Wayne + Many Other Key Southern Rap Entities, VH1's Hip-Hop Honors The Dirty South Was Still a Most Entertaining Telecast

Posted by Billyjam, June 9, 2010 01:18pm | Post a Comment
Diddy Jermaine Dupri
The problem with having an all inclusive tag like the "Dirty South" prominently featured in the title of a big television tribute production such as the VH1 Hip-Hop Honors The Dirty South, that premiered on the music television network two nights ago & is viewable in full on VH1.com, is that by definition certain expectations accompany such a title. One would expect a "Dirty South" honors show to recognize and represent certain key Dirty South entities such as the successful, influential Cash Money Records and its high profile star Lil Wayne. However, neither the artist nor his label were included in the night's honors. Nor were such other prominent Dirty South acts as Three 6 Mafia or Young Jeezy, to name but two most important contributors to the regional rap sub-genre. Meanwhile, both OutKast and Goodie Mob were recognized (barely), but could have been celebrated a whole lot more.

Of course, I am being picky and, perhaps unrealistic, since there is no way that a mere two-hour TV show, even one the scale of the well choreographed annual VH1 live concert presentation, could possibly include every Dirty South entity. But that's too bad, because otherwise this year's VH1 Hip-Hop Honors The Dirty South, the seventh in the annual event, was truly a top notch production as awards shows go -- especially for rap music awards, which are historically prone to such negatives as awful sounding live performances and outbreaks of violence. Nothing like that marred this fun, extremely well-paced, Silkk the Shockerexcellently executed, nicely mixed & highly entertaining event. Yeah, sure, there were a couple of off moments, like the beginning of the 2 Live Crew's set, which was not quite on beat, or Keri Hilson's cameo, which instantly proved that her voice does not match her good looks. But those were just a couple of hiccups in otherwise stellar rap show.

California Fool's Gold -- Exploring Silver Lake, Los Angeles's Gayborhood

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 8, 2010 09:33pm | Post a Comment


Silver Lake
is a largely gay and hilly neighborhood (one of its nicknames is "The Swish Alps") in LA’s Mideast Side. To vote for more Los Angeles neighborhoods to be featured in a future post, click here. To vote for LA County communities, click here. To vote for Orange County neighborhoods, vote here.

 

INTRODUCTION TO SL

First things first… Silver Lake is two words! Don't believe me? Count 'em! There are fifteen Silver Lakes in the US, thirteen of which are two words (one of the offenders is in Texas, and therefore doesn't really count). It is supposedly the second gayest place in the Southland, after West Hollywood and in front of Broadway Corridor.

 
Pendersleigh & Sons' Official Maps of the Mideast Side and Silver Lake*



Its neighbors are Los Feliz, Franklin Hills, Sunset Junction, Virgil Village, P-Town, Atwater Village, Frogtown, Elysian Heights and Echo Park. For this episode, I was joined by my traveling companion, filmmaker Diana Ward.

Constructing the reservoirs

EARLY HISTORY & THE RESERVOIR

The area that is now Silver Lake was once populated by the ancestors of the Chumash, who arrived around 13,000 years ago. The Tongva/Kizh arrived from the Sonoran Desert to the east some 3,500 years ago. In 1542, whilst exploring on behalf of Spain, Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo claimed all of California for the Empire after having set foot in San Diego Bay, Santa Catalina Island, San Pedro Bay, Santa Monica Bay, and a few other coastal points. Nevertheless, more than two centuries passed before Spain moved to protect their till-then mostly nominal possessions from the possible encroachment from the English and Russians.

Setting the stage for conquest part to secure California, in 1769 Spain sent explorer Gaspar de Portolà de Rovira on an overland exhibition of what’s now California. In 1777 a plan was put into place to establish civic pueblos to support the newly established military presidios. In 1781, El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora de Los Angeles de Porciuncula (Los Angeles) was founded near the banks of the Los Angeles River. Los Angeles was granted four square leagues of territory, the northern border of which corresponded closely to what’s now Fountain Avenue and the western ran along what’s now Hoover Street. 


Detail of an 1887 map showing the Southerly portion of Ivanhoe

In the 19th century, Scotsman Hugo Reid named the area just north of Los Angles's northern border Ivanhoe and many streets still have Scottish names or names taken from Sir Walter Scott's famous novel, including Ben Lomond, Hawick, Herkimer, Kenilworth, Rowena and St. George. In the map above, the future site of the Silver Lake and Ivanhoe Reservoirs is merely designated as the LA City Res Site, which was before its development as a reservoir a seasonal wetland and part of the Ballona Creek Watershed.

Detail of a map from 1894, still showing the area as Ivanhoe

In 1906, the neighborhood’s two reservoirs were named the Ivanhoe Reservoir and the Silver Lake Reservoir, the latter after LA DWP commissioner Herman Silver.


Detail of 1913 Los Angeles map showing Silver Lake - Elza Ave is now Silver Lake Blvd 


Detail of 1945 Los Angeles map showing Silver Lake - Elza Ave was by then Silver Lake

The reservoir was first drained in 1951 and there was no sign of the infamous Sylvie, the Silver Lake Serpent.


The August House  


 The Canfield-Moreno Estate

 
The Burrows Residence


The Garbutt-Hathaway Mansion

THE SILENT FILM ERA

In 1909 William Selig and Francis Boggs established a film studio in Boggs' rented bungalow in Edendale, an historic Los Angeles neighborhood centered in what is now Echo Park and the eastern portion of what’s now Silver Lake. Soon, Edendale was the center of the burgeoning industry. Meanwhile, Monogram, Vitagraph and Walt Disney all established studios in another Silver Lake neighbor, Franklin Hills. Silver Lake, situated between the two, immediately attracted industry figures and creative types. With the silent film industry including many homosexuals, by the 1920s, Silver Lake also supported a thriving gay population which continue to reside in the neighborhood to the the present.

Silver Lake was also, like neighboring Echo Park and Elysian Heights (nicknamed “Red Hill”), a hotbed of Communism. Beginning in the 1920s and continuing into the 1930s, many real estate developers began to build up the neighborhood. One home, The August House, built in 1913, is one of the neighborhood's oldest. Antonio Moreno, was a "Latin Lover" who commissioned the development of the Moreno Highlands as well as his own Canfield-Moreno Estate (co-named after his oil heiress wife, Daisy Canfield, and also known as The Paramour Mansion and The Crestmount). There's also the Gaudi-inspired Burrows Residence, designed in 1921. Cinematographer Frank A. Garbutt had the Garbutt-Hathaway mansion built on top of a hill and it was a frequent shooting location since its completion in 1928.


The Avenel Co-Op 


The Droste House


The John R. Hunt House


A Neutra home


Another Neutra


Diana checking out another Neutra



The O'Neill Duplex   


Silvertop  


The Tierman Home

TIN MAN - Scared LP Out Now + Top 5 Chart

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, June 8, 2010 05:40pm | Post a Comment



Scared comes from the dark, eerie place that is the mind of Johannes Auvinen, better known as Tin Man. Veering away from the pop sensibility of his last offering, Cool Wave, and diving into the murky depths of a dark abyss, Scared features Auvinen's unique soporific voice posing questions which are as deep as the music he makes.

 

One of the great things about a Tin Man release is the sheer variety in his output. From quirky tripped out acid to jazz pop and dark electronic sounds, Tin Man is a name you can always count on for quality.

Listen / Download "Scared"

Listen / Download "Birds"

Listen / Download "Defendents"
 Buy the Scared LP here.


TIN MAN TOP 5

virgo album cover 
Virgo - Virgo

               
Baby Ford - Ford Trax

       
Pansonic - Vakio
   
                             Purpose Maker album cover 
Jeff Mills - Purpose Maker Comp

                 
Gonzales- Solo Piano



MORE FROM TIN MAN



Listen to "Energia":





Listen to "Flip":





Listen to "Giving It To You":




Vinyl Confidential, 4.1 – The Odd Order of Oblong Boxes Returns

Posted by Whitmore, June 8, 2010 04:54pm | Post a Comment
“Because, you know how it is, in this business you can't sleep for trying to imagine all the great records you’re missing out on out there somewhere at a yard sale or a thrift store or at the other end of Amoeba ... And then, you're also the guy behind the turntable, watching the people dancing, getting laid, every night. And then one night, you get to thinking, how do I get laid out there? But to do it smart. That’s the question. You've got those wheels spinning right under your hands, but not necessarily the wheels gyrating in your head.
You may know every groove of every record by heart, but try and figure out the mystery of seduction. And then suddenly last call, closing time. Looking out into the darkness and the whole setup is right there in the room for you. Look, I'm not trying to whitewash anything, paint a pretty picture of decorum or anything. I fought it, only I guess I didn't fight it hard enough. The stakes were too high, and yet not high enough. I’d never done dirt except now; now I’m knee high in mud and muck.”


NYC Summer 2010 Pt. I - Terry Flaxton's In Other People's Skins Installation Plays with the Virtual and the Real

Posted by Billyjam, June 7, 2010 12:43pm | Post a Comment
Terry Flaxton's In Other People's Skins installation (June 2010, NYC)

At last week's opening of In Other People's Skins (IOPS), the unique, hands-on moving images art exhibit at the cathedral of St John Divine in uptown Manhattan, one attendee found himself sub-consciously reaching out to scoop up a spoonful of food from a virtual bowl of rice and veggies. Of course, there was no actual food as he sat at this lively but deceptively surreal dinner party with a dozen other chatty guests! They all appeared seated around the intimate candlelit wooden dinner table as an overhead film projector (with sounds too) flashed filmed images of hands reaching out Terry Flaxtonfor food with chopsticks or spoons & forks in hand, all apparently eating a tasty meal, or rather, one of five meals.

"I shot five different dinner parties from above and I projected those five different dinner parties down onto a table the same size as the original dinner parties' table," IOPS' creator Terry Flaxton told me afterward. "And the intention is that people come in and sit and they touch the art because in modern art you are not allowed to touch, so one of the most important things to me is that people get to touch the art. The irony of it is that it is a completely virtual installation, so you can't touch it but it plays with the virtual and the real."

Game Covers

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, June 6, 2010 09:20pm | Post a Comment

Chat with Britt Govea, Co-Producer of Be Yourself: A Tribute to Graham Nash's Songs for Beginners

Posted by Miss Ess, June 4, 2010 02:25pm | Post a Comment
Songs For Beginners is Graham Nash's first solo album, initially released in 1971. It's a revelatory, universally-themed record that celebrates the betterment of the world through improvement of self. Be yourself, Graham encourages us! And through that truth, the world will flourish around you!

It somehow seems so fitting that just a few weeks ago, Graham's daughter Nile Nash, along with founder and director of all things (((folkYEAH!))), Britt Govea, released Be Yourself: A Tribute to Graham Nash's Songs for Beginners on the always amazing Grass Roots Record Company. The record features covers by Alela Diane, Vetiver, Brendon Benson (Raconteurs), Sleepy Sun, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, Mariee Sioux & Greg Weeks (Espers), Robin Pecknold (Fleet Foxes) and more! You can hear samplings of tracks from the beautiful album below:



Britt was kind enough to answer my questions about the release and how it all came together. Check out the interview below!

June 3, 2010: Just Wright

Posted by phil blankenship, June 4, 2010 11:11am | Post a Comment

June 3, 2010: Date Night

Posted by phil blankenship, June 4, 2010 10:14am | Post a Comment

Nas + Damian Marley, Reflection Eternal, Devin The Dude, Andre Nickatina, Madlib, E40 + Cousin Fik, DJ Platurn + more: Amoeba Music Weekly Hip-Hop Round Up: 06:04:10

Posted by Billyjam, June 4, 2010 05:20am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Berkeley Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 06:04:10

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

5) Devin The Dude Suite 420 (Koch)

Thanks to Inti at the Berkeley Amoeba Music store for this week's Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart. It picks up where last week's San Francisco Amoeba chart left off, with continued Amoeba love being shown for LA producer extraordinaire Madlib and his ongoing twelve-part Medicine Show series, the hip-hop super-duo Reflection Eternal (producer Hi-Tek and emcee Talib Kweli), who had a memorable instore performance at Amoeba San Francisco May 24th, and the ground-breaking new Distant Relatives project, which is number one for the second straight week on the Amoeba hip-hop charts. Packed with an uplifting message of empowerment and clearly a work of activism through music, the son of Bob Marley, Jamaica's Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley, and the son of jazz musician Olu Dara Jones and hip-hop icon in his own right, Nas, join creative forces with pitch perfect results. Distant Relatives, which can be bought online from Amoeba at a reduced cost, is a reggae meets hip-hop album that never sounds forced. A project that undoubtedly will be raved about for a some time to come, Distant Relatives tackles pertinent issues about the continent of Africa. What is most impressive, though, is that the two artists manage to do so in a forcefully coherent Devin the Dudebut never overbearing way.

This Week At The New Bev: Sylvester Stallone, Brian De Palma, Jim Wynorski, 80s Horror & More!

Posted by phil blankenship, June 3, 2010 08:11pm | Post a Comment
This Week At The New Beverly

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



Friday, June 4

Stallone Triple Feature! All Tickets $10
One ticket admits you to all three films.

Cobra
1986, USA, 87 minutes
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0090859/
35mm print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive
dir. George P. Cosmatos, starring Sylvester Stallone, Brigitte Nielsen, Reni Santoni, Andrew Robinson, Brian Thompson
7:30, Watch The Trailer!

Amoeba Hollywood...Illustrated!

Posted by Amoebite, June 3, 2010 05:12pm | Post a Comment
Ivan Aguirre, a local animator and freelance artist, did this amazing painting of Amoeba Hollywood!

Amoeba Hollywood Illustration


Check out his original post and see more of his animation & illustration work here.

Forget Chillwave; Wild Nothing's 'Gemini' is Heartfelt Dream Pop

Posted by Aaron Detroit, June 3, 2010 02:00pm | Post a Comment
Wild Nothing Gemini
Chillwave” in 2010 is as embarassing a genre tag as “Shoegaze” or “Grunge” was in 1991. It sounds more like a vile blue-colored slushy drink from a convenience store than a musical genre. I feel bad for the contemporary Dream Pop bands that have to endure being cast as such. Chillwave is the new Nu-Rave, i.e., nothing more than loosely similar bands being forced into corners by lazy bedroom bloggers. While many young bands, as of late, have been heavily borrowing sonic textures, recording aesthetics, and ideas from those bleary bands of the late ‘80’s and early 90’s, Virginia’s one-man band of Jack Tatum, aka Wild Nothing, has succeeded in making a record that pings the right amount of lilting and forlorn nostalgia via its familiar Dream Pop haze yet is complex enough not to fatigue attentive ears. Gemini, released this week, has all the shimmer of early Cocteau Twins, the bounce of mid-era Cure, and the rough charm of a C86-era mixtape. This is the sort of record I wish Beach House would make.

Gemini’s success as a great Dream Pop album is also highlighted by what it is lacking. Tatum avoids the cloying cutsey tweeness of last year’s retro-darlings The Pains of Being Pure At Heart and instead delivers a breezy melancholy. Sincerity is a breath of fresh air here as well -- while essentially postmodern because of its pastiche, Gemini obviously springs from Tatum’s heart, carefully avoiding the irony so many young bands rely on and hide behind. On the slow-crawl of “Pessimist,” Tatum wears it on his sleeve with the line “Boys Don’t Cry/They Just Die” without a hint of a grin. However, the album is never oppressive or dreary, even when Tatum is bummed out; it truly is a great feat to make a record that plays perfectly on a summer drive to the beach or home alone on a rainy day.


Wild Nothing’s Gemini is available from Amoeba Music Hollywood now on CD, with hopefully some LPs forthcoming. Make sure to pick up Wild Nothing’s 7” single Cloudbusting as well for Tatum’s heartfelt lo-fi rendering of the Kate Bush classic.

June 2, 2010: Diary Of A Wimpy Kid

Posted by phil blankenship, June 3, 2010 11:04am | Post a Comment

Frank Nitt Talks About New Solo EP Jewels In My Backpack, Delicious Vinyl, Moving to LA, Frank-n-Dank, & J-Dilla

Posted by Billyjam, June 3, 2010 09:00am | Post a Comment
Frank NItt
The name of Frank Nitt’s just released six-song EP on Delicious Vinyl, Jewels In My Backpack, is more than simply some catchy throwaway title. Rather, it accurately sums up the new recording's sound -- one that melds the smooth glossy production of Terrace Martin (Snoop Dogg, Warren G, Talib Kweli, etc.) with the raw & gritty yet instantly engaging Mid West flow of the longtime Detroit emcee, who is known to most rap fans for his membership in Frank-n-Dank and his longtime affiliation with the late great J-Dilla

"I'm considered a backpack emcee, a grimy, underground emcee, while  Terrace Martin, he does records with Snoop and people like DJ Quik, his is a much bigger, shinier sound," said the artist, who was born Frank Bush. "So Terrace kinda represents the jewels while I represent the backpack -- Jewels In My Backpack."

In fact, that theme of juxtaposing opposite components but somehow making them effectively co-exist in one recording is what Jewels is all about. Hence, the EP song titled "H.A.T.E." is balanced out by another titled "L.O.V.E." "This whole record is all about balance," stresses Frank. "Like, I got a song called "Go Girl" which is about strong empowered women, but I also have a song called "Psychedelic Freaky Girls," which is about, I guess, the opposite of that. So this record is very balanced." It also has a nice Frank Nittbalance of guest contributors, including J. Black, Problem, Bad Lucc, Kurupt, and DJ Quik.

Anda! 2nd Anniversary with Very Be Careful

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, June 3, 2010 01:43am | Post a Comment

When Juan Lennon and I started Anda two years ago, it was all about fun. We were two guys with an ever-growing vintage Salsa & Cumbia LP collection but with nowhere to play the records! Juan knew a spot called Mal’s Bar. I thought it was in downtown, but it turned out to be in the industrial part of town closer to the campus of USC. I admit, I had reservations about the location, but soon I came around. Mal’s is the last of the true neighborhood spots in Los Angeles. It is a throwback to bars that existed in L.A’s past, full of locals and native Angelinos. It doesn’t have valet parking or V.I.P. lounges. It lacks hipster credibility and it’s not the place to be if you want to be “seen.” It’s a neighborhood bar without pretensions. You drink, you dance, you meet people, you hook up (or don’t) and at Anda you get to hear dope Latin music from our residents DJ’s (Gazoooo, Mando Fever, Juan Lennon and myself) and either a band or guest DJ. It’s that simple. We have been blessed to present some of the best talent L.A. has to offer: La Santa Cecilia, Cava, Quinto Sol, DJ 8bits, Buyepongo, Wil-Dog Y Su Banda Juvenil, Rani D (Soul In The Park), Chico Sonido, Ganas (Mas Exitos), La Santa Maria, Reyes (Eclectica), Agua Dulce (actually from San Diego), Sloe Poke (Sonido/Descarga), Ervin Arana (Root Down), Concepto Tambor and, of course, Very Be Careful, who will be performing at our 2nd Anniversary show on Saturday, June 5th.

Until recently, Very Be Careful was the only Vallenato/Cumbia game in town. Now you have the young upstarts Buyepongo (who played our first Anda ever!), Mr.Vallenato (re-located from Texas) and new up and comers La Chamba, who play Peruvian Chicha music via East Los Angeles. VBC continues to the beat of their own drum. They have half a dozen albums out; they have played to audiences in Japan, Europe and South America and their audience stretches from immigrants to punkers, bike-riding hipsters, tias y moms, Ethnomusicologists, dancers and Soul & Hip-Hop heads. If you have lived in Los Angeles over the last dozen years or so, chances are you have seen these hooligans perform. Sometimes they play drunk or just plain wasted on god knows what, but they are always a good time. Most accordion based Cumbia groups seem to worship at the house of Andres Landero (which is cool, I can’t knock that), but VBC’s love for Alejo Duran shows in their songs, full of romanticism and wit, especially on their most recent release, Escape Room, out on Barbes Records. Tales of regret and heartache are mixed with some real Vallenato burners, as if Nick Cave and Lisandro Meza made a record together. But it’s their live show you have to experience. The sweaty dance floor, the drunkenness and the rawness that is Mal’s, Anda and Very Be Careful…a match made some where between heaven and hell, South and East Los Angeles.

Saturday, June 5th
Anda! 2nd Anniversary
At Mal's Bar
2331 S. Hill Street
Los Angeles, Ca 90007
21 & Older/ $10
9:30 p.m.-2 a.m.


Ah, the Complexities of Sex and the City 2

Posted by Miss Ess, June 2, 2010 03:58pm | Post a Comment

When I went to see Sex and the City 2 this weekend, as a fan of the series, I was expecting the film to be a fun romp, reuniting me with the Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda, their significant gays and others, and including somewhere in there Samantha grotesquely throwing herself on some guy  -- and that's exactly what I got! Bad reviews, be damned -- I enjoyed the heck out of myself watching the ladies and their over the top travels in Abu Dhabi! Plus, the gay wedding just may have been the gayest thing I have ever seen, and I am a proud resident of the Castro!

This show, and thus its subsequent movies, was never gonna be Schindler's List, people! This is Sex and the City! There's not a lot of heavy hitting drama...more like heavy hitting shots of World Cup soccer players in tiny swimwear and heavy on the Manolos too, with maybe some fairly superficial questions about the nature of love and relationships tossed in between. I liken watching any SATC to reading a trashy magazine like Cosmo. It's a bit of a guilty pleasure, a tad racy, and majorly frothy -- plus majorly fun to do once in a while for fairly mindless entertainment and a laugh!

The plot in SATC 2 is just as vapid as the show's were when it was on the air, except with the fabulosity factor upped: the women are sent on a sumptuous, all expenses paid vacation to Abu Dhabi and we are along for the twists and turns of the journey -- most of which involve masses of opulence, scantily clad men, gloriously impractical fashions, and gaping at burkas, with an ex fiance thrown in for good measure. SATC is nothing if not eye candy, and in that regard, the film delivered.

Sure, there were a few cringe worthy moments in the movie (I definitely never want to see the gals do karaoke ever again!) and I would say the writing is not as good as it could be, but overall I got what I paid for and I hope they make another SATC movie!

The show was always plainly superficial and glossy. Why expect anything more of the movie? I'm not saying SATC is great for women overall or that some of the messages in the show are not potentially damaging...I'm just saying, can we get out once in a while and have a little fun without everything having to be so serious and arty?! And am I that much in the minority when I say I can heartily agree with a review like this and yet still enjoy watching the film? Could women be -- gasp! -- so complex??

Furthermore, I honestly do really understand why some people find the show and its characters utterly annoying, but to those people I say: don't go see SATC 2! And if you liked the show, then what are you waiting for??

June 1, 2010: She's Out Of My League

Posted by phil blankenship, June 2, 2010 11:08am | Post a Comment

Homeboy Sandman's Clever Wordplay & Sharp Wit Shine on His New Album The Good Sun

Posted by Billyjam, June 1, 2010 10:10am | Post a Comment
Homeboy Sandman
"With hip-hop they think you can only rap about horrible criminality and misogyny, or else rap about how you don't rap about that, when the truth is you can rap about anything. I have always loved making songs about stuff that people haven't made songs about," offered unique hip-hop artist Homeboy Sandman. Today marks the release of his new 14 track album The Good Sun, and tonight there will be a record release party/concert at S.O.B.'s in the New York City emcee's hometown.

"I like talking about a lot of different stuff that isn't always discussed in hip-hop all the time," said Homeboy Sandman, whose new album finds the ever observant MC tackling a wide variety of topics, ranging from homelessness to an entertaining piece on people (especially rappers) who go around all day wearing a mean mug as a mask. Through clever wordplay in the song "Mean Mug" he ponders why mean muggers go around looking so mean. He wonders if they mean mug at their jobs too, and, if so, how that has affected their promotion possibilities. He suggests that mean mugging might be directly correlated to the music on their iPod or their unhealthy fast food diet. "Peace, son, seems you need hugs. Seems you need love. Why you wanna mean mug me?" raps Homeboy Sandman on the brilliant & refreshingly insightful song. Meanwhile, on the album track "The Essence," he raps, "I ain't hiring no public relations or wardrobe / I'm too busy rapping for the regular Joe's / Than for keepin' up with the Joneses or watching the Dow Jones." Homeboy Sandman