Amoeblog

Oscar’s Case of ADD—Why the Academy Awards Sort of Suck Now

Posted by Chuck, January 31, 2011 04:00pm | Post a Comment


I just watched Restrepo, the documentary film from Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington about soldiers in Afghanistan. It was an engrossing and remarkable film. It’s nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature. It’s available on DVD.

I love film, all kinds, and I see a lot of movies in a year . . . but still, I probably won’t watch the Oscars. Why not? I sort of just don’t feel invited.

Look at this year’s Best Picture Nominees:

Black Swan
The Fighter
Inception
The Kids Are All Right
The King's Speech
127 Hours
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winter's Bone

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(In which we swing down, sweet chariot stop and, let me ride.)

Posted by Job O Brother, January 31, 2011 12:42pm | Post a Comment
Note her cheerful, colorful clothing!

I take the bus to and from work at Amoeba Music, and rarely do I disembark without witnessing something story-worthy. Unfortunately, these stories usually fall under the “horror” genre. Occasionally I tell them to the boyfriend, but usually I tell no one, because even remarkable things become forgettable when they happen constantly.

The above filmed snippet occurred on my way home after working a recent Friday. The elderly woman in the seat in front of me is flipping-off the many people, both locals and tourists, men, women and children, that swarm the sidewalks of Hollywood Boulevard at night. What everyone did that so riled the wrinkly rider remains a mystery. Later on in our journey, when the bus stopped in front of an assisted living establishment, she began gesticulating again, only this time she waved (to no-one – there was no-one standing outside the building) and crossed herself like a good Catholic. In-between these two fits of cursing/blessing, she simply sat and sniffled into her small stash of tissue, kept clutched in her claw. Aww.

If I was a smarter writer, I would simply ride these buses daily and record the many scenes I see. As it is, I stuff my Skullcandy earbuds Eustachian tube deep (often vainly), trying to block out all external noise with sweeter sounds such as these:

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James Bond Film Composer John Barry Dead

Posted by Billyjam, January 31, 2011 10:06am | Post a Comment

As reported by Reuters and ITN (below), this morning British composer John Barry, known for creating a dozen James Bond film soundtracks, died yesterday at age 77. Barry won five Academy Awards and four Grammys over his successful career that included composing the soundtracks to such James Bond films as The Living Daylights (1987), The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), Diamonds Are Forever (1971), You Only Live Twice (1967), Thunderball (1965), Goldfinger (1964), and From Russia With Love (1963).
.

Sofrito: Tropical Discotheque Reviewed By Gomez Comes Alive

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, January 31, 2011 08:56am | Post a Comment

Over the years I made it a habit to dig through all the used Electronica 12”s to perhaps find a lost worldly gem. I’ll usually take a gamble on any used 12” that usually flirts with some sort of World Music theme. I look for key words such as “Afro,” “Brazilian” and “Latin” if I don’t already know the artist. A few years back I found a 12” from a label called Sofrito Discothèque. It looked cool so I bought it even though I had never heard of the label. The single was called Music Is The Word. It was a mixture of Latin, Afrobeat and Caribbean rhythms. I am so glad I took a chance on that single! I became a fan of the label and it became another go-to label along with Bastard Jazz, Freestyle and Raw Fusion in finding World Music edits and jams.

2011 finds a great pairing of two labels -- Strut Records, which has been releasing World Music heat for over a decade, has paired up with the Sofrito crew (Hugo Mendez, Frankie Francis and The Mighty Crime Minister) in releasing Tropical Discotheque. What I like about this compilation is that it mixes both vintage World music tracks and tracks made recently by newer artists. Vintage bangers from Banda Los Hijos De La Niña Luz and Mighty Shadow are joined by newer tracks from Frente Cumbiero and Quantic Y Su Conjunto Los Miticos Del Ritmo. On top of that, a few of the Sofrito edits are thrown in for good measure. The flow of African, Latin and Caribbean jams works together quite nicely, like a meal at a fusion restaurant that doesn’t take the grittiness away from the original dish when combining it with another culture’s flavor. In other words, it doesn't suck.

Unlike many of the recent World Music compilations out now, the Sofrito crew doesn’t bank on rare as much as they do on good. It serves as a calling card to buy a plane ticket to London to go dance your ass off at one of their parties.

The CD version of Sofrito: Tropical Discotheque is out now and the vinyl versions, which are the full length LP and a special 12”, will be out on February 1st.

Frente Cumbiero - "Pitchito"



Gnonnas Pedro - "Yiri Yiri Boum"

California Fool's Gold -- Exploring Long Beach, The International City

Posted by Eric Brightwell, January 29, 2011 01:36pm | Post a Comment

LONG BEACH


Long Beach
is the largest city in The Harbor region and the second largest in LA County. Its old nicknames, "Iowa by the Sea" and "Iowa under Palm Trees" came from the large numbers of white middlewesterners who moved there in the middle of the 20th century. Depending on opinions, it's also nicknamed "Wrong Beach" and "Strong Beach." A popular acronym for the city is "LBC," which originally stood for Long Beach Crips (as well as Luton Borough Council, Lakeside Bible Camp, Lymphoid Blastic Crisis, Linux Based Cluster, Loose Bladder Construction and many other things). Now, most people use it to mean "Long Beach City" or "Long Beach, Cali."


The lighthouse in the distance
 

To vote for other Los Angeles County communities to be covered on the blog, vote here. To vote for Los Angeles neighborhoods, vote here. To vote vote for Orange County neighborhoods and communities, vote here.

For this episode I was accompanied and hosted by Long Beach residents Diana "D$" Barraza, singer in The Sweater Girls, her fiancé, Brian "Strongford Gambledorf" Meehan and Inkoo Kang. Invaluable information was also provided by illustrator Justine Szeto.




THE HARBOR

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The Art of the LP Cover- Feelin' It!

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, January 29, 2011 11:30am | Post a Comment
Impassioned and, as Van the Man says, "into the music," these artists show us their dedication through strained and/or inspired facial gestures. The Amy Grant LP in this collection was originally released with four different "feelin' it" themed covers; I guess it took four images to radiate all the "it" she was feeling back in 1985.

Sins Invalid's Resident Alien Asks Audiences To Question Who Is Left Out of Art, Performance & Community

Posted by Billyjam, January 28, 2011 05:40pm | Post a Comment
 Sins Invalid Resident Alien
Now in its fifth year, the unique Bay Area based non-profit arts organization Sins Invalid is building momentum and garnering a following, both within the disabled community and in the mainstream, as it presents its message that people with disabilities are sexual beings too. The disabled are a minority who remain widely misunderstood by the general population. Since 2006, when the performance project Sins Invalid was founded by Patty Berne and Leroy Moore along with Todd Herman & Amanda Coslor as a platform for artists with disabilities to present their own sexual identities (rather than a misinformed mainstream media), the pioneering group has produced a series of works such as acclaimed mixed-media production An Unshamed Claim To Beauty at San Francisco's Brava Theater in 2006. This year planned events include the Sins Invalid Showcase, April 8 -10 at Z Space in San Francisco, and this weekend's Resident Alien: The Sins Invalid Artists In Residence Show tonight (Friday, Jan 28) at 8pm and tomorrow at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts in San Francisco.
 

As co-founders and persons of color with a disability, both Moore and Berne are quick to make the analogy between people with disabilities and other ethnic minorities and members of the LGBT community. They note that all share that sense of exclusion and misunderstanding from an often well-meaning but generally ill informed mainstream who lack true insight into this "other" world which is "alien" to them -- hence the title of this weekend's Sins Invalid Artists In Residence Show: Resident Alien. "The idea of 'alien' came up a number of times. Lateef McLeod wrote a poem called "Not of This World" that explores that kind of othering, talking about the perception of disabled people as kind of monstrous or alien," said Nomy Lamm, the Artist In Residents' director. "Then, there are two artists, Fayza Bundalli and Redwolf Painter, who are culling a family history around colonization and the impact of colonization on their bodies, which led to their disabilities. The show is about the ways that so many of us in this culture are treated as aliens and not given the same kinds of rights. And yet, it is not about being victims; it's about how we come into our power in that context."

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Hip-Hop Rap Up 01:28:11: True Skool, Verbal Kent, Talib, JayLib, $hort & 40, Azeem + More

Posted by Billyjam, January 28, 2011 09:00am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Hollywood Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 01:28:11


1) Madlib Medicine Show #11: Low-Budget Hi-Fi Music (Stones Throw)

2) Kanye West My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam)
 
3) Nicki Minaj Pink Friday (Cash Money/Universal)

4) Ghostface Killah Apollo Kids (Def Jam)

5) Cee Lo Green The Lady Killer (Elektra Records)
 
This week's Hip-Hop Top Five Chart from the Hollywood Amoeba store comes to you at this generally quiet time in the music business right before all the new year's first crop of releases drop. Hence, we have many of the same titles from the past few weeks represented here, including the unstoppable Kanye West, Nicki Minaj (whose new video "Moment 4 Life (feat Drake)" premiered yesterday, Wu-Tang Clan's super-gifted Ghostface Killah, and Cee Lo Green. Cee Lo Green had a most successful and high profile past year and it looks like 2011 will repeat that pattern for the artist, who first rose to fame as a member of the Goodie Mob and then as one half of Gnarls Barkley (with Danger Mouse), and who enjoyed phenomenal global success in 2010 with the song "Fuck You" from his current album The Lady Killer. Cee Lo has been busy performing and recording including, as reported in the past week, a duet with controversial UK singer Amy Winehouse. The track will likely will appear on her comeback album slated for release later this year. According to the UK magazine NME, "The two recorded the song when Green visited Winehouse's house in St. Lucia."

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Sleigh Bells Ringing Through Your Town with Vintage Shades and a Machete

Posted by Smiles Davis, January 27, 2011 01:43pm | Post a Comment

N.E.E.T. Records
recording artists Sleigh Bells just dropped a bomb on the music industry with the premiere of their video "Rill Rill." If I had to pick favorites with tracks from their critically acclaimed debut album Treats, my money would definitely be on "Rill Rill," so thank you to the powers that be for granting us with visual accompaniment to a perfect soundtrack. NERD ALERT: "Rill Rill" samples Funkadelic's "Can You Get to That" from their game changing Maggot Brain album.

Chatter's quieted down a smidgen in the 8 months since Treats' release. Derek E. Miller (songwriter, guitarist, producer) and Alexis Krauss (vocals) seem to be bent on keeping the whispers going, successfully executing one hell of a tactic is a great way to do that; being totally awesome helps too. The video, absorbing and disturbing, was directed by Jon Watts. It features the Fantastic Brooklyn duo cruising through the desert in a car made for James Dean, wrecking havoc like protagonists in a Quentin Tarantino flick or something. Oh, ya know, as you do!! In other good news: they released tour dates this week. Check Sleigh Bells do what they do in a town near you.


La Premier

Sleigh Bells - New Music - More Music Videos

Till next time, chew the corners off!

When White Flags Won’t Do, Red Flags

Posted by Chuck, January 27, 2011 01:30pm | Post a Comment

 

Excess leads to the palace of wisdom; how many recreational drug users have rolled out that William Blake quote to warm their hands after a little binge? I’ve known a few bunch. There’s justification for that last fat rail, if you squint good and hard with an open mind. “It’s not the high dude,” one can infer, “it’s that we’re road-tripping to the palace of fucking wisdom!” Anyway, excess also leads to West Jordan, Utah.

Did you hear about the high school girl’s basketball team in Utah, the West Ridge Academy Lady Eagles, that got thumped 108-3? That’s almost unfathomable on at least three levels—how does a team manage only three points in a 40-minute game? How does a team manage 108 points in a 40-minute game? And were the St. Joseph’s Crusaders—the squad that hung all those points on the home team like perfect Lady Machiavelli’s—essentially having what boils down to one of those John Lennon “lost weekends?” Were they snorting Lady Eagles through a straw and blaring the Scissor Sisters and basically having an orgy on the hardwood? It seems that way. There was a wild hair up somebody’s ass for sure. A 105-point thrashing ranks up there with out-of-hand frosh hazing rituals and Glenn Danzig’s old grave-robbing days. It’s just sort of piling on against feeble (or dead) things.

But not according to the coach of St. Joseph’s coach, Rob McGill. He said that if his team of “at risk” students let up any that they’d be essentially taunting and embarrassing the Lady Eagles by implication. So, in a show of good sportsmanship for the integrity of the game, he went about embarrassing them more directly.

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This Week At The New Beverly: THE WRIGHT STUFF II

Posted by phil blankenship, January 27, 2011 11:19am | Post a Comment
This Week At The New Beverly

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



January 14 - 31:
 

Edgar Wright presents THE WRIGHT STUFF II


Prepare yourself Los Angeles for the return of filmmaker Edgar Wright as he descends on The New Beverly with his epic screening series The Wright Stuff II. Mark your calendars because Mr. Wright will be delivering a double dose of features, special guests, and more surprises starting January 14th and continuing through January 31st, 2011. 


Thursday, January 27


THE WRIGHT STUFF II


The Thursday show is now SOLD OUT. Any tickets that become available will be sold on a first come first served basis to those waiting in a stand by line the night of the event.

Wild At Heart

Best Light News Story of the Week: Abandoned Piano In Florida Bay

Posted by Billyjam, January 27, 2011 09:54am | Post a Comment

Even more engaging than this quirky AP news report of the appearance of an abandoned piano in a Florida bay from a couple of days ago were the amusing comments posted by viewers who weighed in on the mysterious grand piano. These ranged from "Kanye West did it," "Jack Sparrow did it," and "Aquaman did it" to "What happened after end of Bruno Mars' 'Grenade,'" "They say it's the newest Florida Keys," and "Shit, that's where my mom hides my presents!"

Wilco Starts Own Label

Posted by Amoebite, January 27, 2011 09:30am | Post a Comment

Wilco has created its own label, called dBpm Records, to release future albums by the band. The label's product will be distributed by ANTI. According to this statement from the band, the first release will be Wilco's new album in late 2011. More info here.

wilco

PJ Harvey Announces Exclusive SF Show

Posted by Miss Ess, January 26, 2011 03:17pm | Post a Comment

I can still feel the thrum in my chest from the heavy hitting vibe of the PJ Harvey show I saw at the Great American Music Hall years back. Good news for fans in San Francisco -- not only is PJ releasing a new album, Let England Shake, on Feb 15, she's also just announced a very exclusive date here in our fair city, April 14 at the Warfield! (It's then just a hop, skip and a jump down our lovely state to her next stop at Coachella -- her only other show in the US!)

Tickets for the April 14 show go on sale this Sunday and are sure to sell out in a virtual snap. Catch 'er while you can!

Noise Pop Film Screenings 2011

Posted by Miss Ess, January 26, 2011 12:24pm | Post a Comment

Beyond the live music lineup, Noise Pop 2011 boasts a great line up of film screenings and related events this year!

 

First will be the world premiere of This is Noise Pop on Feb 23, a documentary about indie rock via bands' Noise Pop appearances, followed by a Q&A with the director, editor and Noise Pop glitterati.

Also screening is a documentary about the ever-popular Jose Gonzalez called The Extraordinary Ordinary Life of Jose Gonzalez on Feb 23 and Look at What the Light Did Now, a film about Feist on Feb 24. Little Wings, the original author of the song "Look at What the Light Did Now," will perform after that film.

The much-anticipatedFamily Jams, a film by Kevin Barker about the 2004 tour of (formerly) San Francisco's own Devendra Banhart, Joanna Newsom and Vetiver will also screen on Febuary 24.

Other films on the docket include Pool Party, a documentary about shows at the unique McCarren Pool in Brooklyn, a film about Tom Ze called Tom Ze: Astronauta Libertado, and a fictional film called Ivory Tower starring Peaches, Feist, Chilly Gonzalez and Tiga.

The final film included in this year's Noise Pop will be Miroir Noir - Neon Bible Archives, the much talked about behind-the-scenes look at the making of Arcade Fire's acclaimed Neon Bible.

Get the full scoop as well as access to tickets right here!

And here's the trailer for The Family Jams:


Death Touring California For First Time Ever

Posted by Amoebite, January 26, 2011 11:29am | Post a Comment

death

When Drag City issued long defunct Detroit band Death's recorded-in-'74 album .. For the Whole World To See, we couldn't keep 'em on the shelves here at Amoeba. Seriously, they were flying outta here like proverbial hotcakes! Thanks to the epic popularity of the first release, for your listening pleasure a set of demos from '74-'76 called Spiritual Mental Physical, is also out now.

And now, for the first time ever, Death will be rocking California -- they have two dates scheduled: Feb 25 at Slim's in San Francisco with Zolar X and Feb 26 at Echoplex in Los Angeles with Sic Alps and RTX! All killer, no filler!

For more about Death, stay tuned to the blog in February, when our Kelly will have a more in-depth post about the band as we celebrate Black History Month!

"Freakin' Out"

Jeff Mangum Planning Shows in Fall 2011

Posted by Miss Ess, January 26, 2011 09:59am | Post a Comment

This is a "holy shit" kind of announcement": Seems one Jeff Mangum, of such brain busting works as Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, a man who has been pretty much homebound for the past 10+ years, will be playing ATP this year in Asbury Park! According to friend Ben Goldberg, he is considering many more shows both in the US and Europe in the fall! Can I get a hallelujah?

Halle-lou!!

Country Legend Charlie Louvin Gone But Not Forgotten

Posted by Billyjam, January 26, 2011 09:39am | Post a Comment
Louvin Brothers "I Don't Believe You've Met My Baby"

Charlie Louvin passed earlier today (Jan 26th) of complications stemming from an ongoing bout with pancreatic cancer. He was 83. Charlie Louvin is best remembered as one half of the famous Louvin Brothers alonLouvin Brothersg with brother Ira Louvin (above video is of the two Alabama-born brothers doing "I Don't Believe You've Met My Baby"). Once famously cited as Elvis Presley's favorite musical duo and widely revered for their impeccable harmonizing, these country music artists started out their career playing on the radio in Tennessee in the early 1940's, initially singing traditional gospel harmony style. They later moved to Nashville and joined the Grand Old Opry in the mid 1950's. At that same time they signed a record deal with Capitol Records and churned out a series of popular singles and albums. Their albums included Satan Is Real (the 1959 album with songs like "Are You Afraid to Die" and "The Kneeling Drunkard's Plea." The album has much talked about, unintentionally comical cover art -- see below right) and 1960's My Baby's Gone. The sibling band broke up over personal differences in 1963 (two years later Ira would be killed in an auto accident) and Charlie began his long solo career shortly after.

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Charlie Louvin Passes at 83

Posted by Miss Ess, January 26, 2011 09:19am | Post a Comment

One of our favorites here at Amoeba, Charlie Louvin, has sadly passed away of pancreatic cancer complications very early this morning. Charlie, you were a true Southern gentleman and will never be forgotten.



OMG! Look What the Cat Dragged In!

Posted by Kells, January 26, 2011 01:08am | Post a Comment
I don't know about you but when I was thirteen years old this is what I thought rock 'n' roll looked like:
Hardly petal fresh but definitely party pretty! Poison celebrates their 25th anniversary this year and rumor mills are a-spinnin' that Bret Michaels is intent on putting together a commemorative tour with a reluctant Mötley Crüe who, at 30 years of "togetherness," accuse Michaels of "trying to will" the bill into being. And why not? It's a dreamy match up of iconic glam-rockery and bitchy cocksureness the likes of which RuPaul's Drag Race can only boast, and don't we know Ru can put on a show! But I digress..

Even if the Crüe doesn't fit, I hope Poison still moves ahead with their tour and, if they have any imagination what-so-ever as to what their audience of once-thirteen-year-old girlies want, they had better play right through all thirty-eight glorious minutes of their recently reissued (on 180 gram vinyl housed in deluxe gatefold, no less) debut LP Look What the Cat Dragged In. The record once described by Michaels as a "glorifed demo" spawned four singles (and, after almost a year of climbing, peaked at #3 on the Billboard charts in 1987, how lucky! Like Mötley Crüe, Poison originally formed under a crap name (Paris; in Mötley Crüe's case, Christmas) and changed it to a lesser crap name after moving from Pennsylvania to Hollywood, where they met their future ("reality") star guitarist, Brooklyn native C.C. DeVille (who apparently won out over Slash in auditions due to personal preferences concerning wardrobe; you know, stilettos over moccasins). Though possibly best known for the sleazy, erectual frustration of songs like "Talk Dirty To Me," "I Want Action" and "Want Some, Need Some," not forgetting the corny "I Won't Forget You" slow jam, Look What the Cat Dragged In serves up more than just a teased tumbleweed of ambition which, given their swift success, surely pissed off a lot of the competition. To revisit Ru, I believe this record to be a portrait of the charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent a certain kind of musician had to harness --- however desperate, ripped-off or closeted --- in their quest to make a name for themselves in the unforgiving 1980's Hollywood rock scene, namely "glam." The video for Poison's debut single from Look What the Cat Dragged In, "Cry Tough," is a slice of Hollywood glam zeigeist unparalleled in every aspect -- check it out (p.s. did these guys love Van Halen or what?!):
 

January 25, 2011: The Little Mermaid

Posted by phil blankenship, January 25, 2011 10:08pm | Post a Comment

New 12" Releases 1/29 @ Amoeba Hollywood - Moritz Von Oswald, Arthurs Landing, DMX Krew, Rush Hour + more

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, January 25, 2011 04:26pm | Post a Comment

Moritz Von Oswald Trio / Digital Mystikz

Restructure/Rebuild
Honest Jons

Musically, this new stepper appears to swell out of thin air. Immense and minimal, the propulsive groove of this monstrous child of Krautrock is overlain with the blues abstraction of Tikiman's guitar, the swing and effects of Marc Muellbauer's double bass, Delay's digressive steel percussion, and the otherworldly keys of Loderbauer and von Oswald. Mala's rebuild ratchets up the drama and dread. A barrage of bleeps rains down on a clopping drum pattern and steely synths. An immensely powerful record.

Listen to "Restructure 2" by the Moritz Von Oswald Trio here:





Arthur’s Landing

Arthur's Landing
Strut

Debut album comprising new versions of Arthur Russell songs, some known, some previously never heard. Produced and mixed by Brennan Green and the band’s Peter Zummo. New versions of Loose Joint’s “It's All Over My Face” and “In the Light Of the Miracle." Hot!

Listen to "Miracle 2" here:




DMX Krew

The Game
Permanent Vacation

Permanent Vacation is very proud to present a four track EP with new material from DMX Krew. "The Game" is a great synth pop/new wave track in the best DMX Krew tradition with a massive Chicago bass line and Ed's distinctive vocals. In the "Dance Mix" the original gets "electronicized" by Ed himself for heavy dancefloor action. The flipside sees two analog boogie disco house tunes of the highest order.


Listen to "The Game" here:




Tom Trago

Voyage Direct (FS Green Remixes)
Rush Hour

This is a solid remix EP of tracks taken from Tom Trago's Voyage Direct (RH 025CD/LP). Man of the moment Motor City Drum Ensemble cooks up a solid house remix of "Passion" that is very classy! On the flip, Yuro & Trago toughen up "Brothers Of String" into a hypnotic house builder. Lastly, Actress transforms "Lost In The Streets Of NYC" into a classic Detroit workout, reminiscent of Infiniti or Anthony "Shake" Shakir.

Listen to "Voyage Direct (FS Green Remix)" here:








Freak Seven

Nano Kids
Rush Hour

Rush Hour presents two tracks from Freak Seven, in both vox versions and instrumental versions.







Steve Poindexter

The State Of Shock
Mathematics

More quality acid house and techno from the MATHEMATICS label. The A is an extended version of "MANIAC" originally done in 1988 and released on the infamous TRAX label. Flip it over for new remixes by Chicago producers AREA and NOLEIAN REUSSE plus Belgium's DIMITRI PIKE.






Tete

Rotor
Innervisions

Top of Form 2 days in Karlsruhe - ½ Château Flight - ½ Âme - 2 accents circonflexes - 1 Roland Jupiter-6 - 1 Roland MC-202 - 1 Roland TB-303 - 1 Roland TR-808 - 1 Yamaha YC-45D - 1 pseudonym - 2 new tracks - I:Cube and Frank Wiedemann are Tête.




Listen to "Rotor" here:






V/A

Philpot Records 50
Philpot

The Philpot label's 50th release is dedicated to all of their artists, friends and supporters who have helped them to gain their reputation as a proper freestyle label over the years. This double vinyl-only compilation features Philpot artists, present and future, and covers every musical aspect that has encapsulated the label. Tim Toh and IKE had impressive debut releases on Philpot, so they share the A-side. Starting with "Floral," Tim sets the tone for the whole side. Raw, ruff piano riffs counterpoint a banging rhythm while the background shimmers. IKE strips it down to the basics with a dirty little piece of old school house music aptly titled "Throwbackmusic '94." On the B-side, Philpot's future artists Roman Rauch and Tom Ellis both funk up the whole thing. Roman starts with "Lemme Get There," a tune full of discoid-acid, a great chorus and an even bigger bass line. Tom Ellis increases the funk level even further. Breaks, guitar licks and a fat bass, plus some great vocals on top. The C-Side hosts the expressive pairing of The Reboot Joy Confession and Juju & Jordash. RJC's "O" is a claustrophobic storm of electric jazz, saw-toothed bass and a fucking message! Juju & Jordash charge into deep space with "Tanglefoot" -- strong textures fly into oblivion just barely held in check by a stubborn piano and a very vital bass line -- future classic! The D-side belongs to Move D alone for his blueprint of deepest electro called "Untitled Detroit." The classic instrumentation and the flawless arrangement makes for a very strong charmer.


David Labiej – Feels Like T
Alexi Delano – Un Do Me
Mumbai Science – Gold
Redhead – Disco Me
Dapayk Solo – Schwarz & Kaden Remixes
Steve Rachmand presents Ignacio – Virton Upgraded
Siriusmo – Feromonikon / Signal
Paco Osuna – Amigos
2000 and One & Madskillz – Sleepwalker
The Zohar – The Rogue EP
VA Raw Tracks For Smooth People
David Labeij & Onno – Heart Street
Anthony Shakir – Frictionalism remixes Part 1 / 2
Guy Gerber – Time For Change
Motorcitysoul – Ushuaia
STL – Flying Objects
Tiefschwarz – Melted Chocolate 3
Sorry Entertainers – New Age
Kellerkind – Swiss Edition
William Kouam Djoko – Jammin’ All Over Europe
Scientistist – Scientist Launches Dubstep Into Outer Space
Future Beat Alliance – Mourning
Marco Ressmann – Drop Outz
Ian O’Donovan – En Verano
James Teej / Lany – WPH Red
DOP – No More Daddy
Ana Helder – Complicado
Jatoma – Little Houseboat Remixes
Alex Danilov – Pool EP
Kaiserdisco – In No One’s Shadow Remixes
Tom Trago – Shutters
Phaela – Falling
GuGu – Afro Cuban
V/A Mosaic Vol. 1 Sampler
George Fitzgerald – Don’t You
Wiz – Extra Inches
Freeland – Morning Sun (Prins Thomas / Garth remixes)
Hieroglyphic Being – Calling ++++ EP #7
Roane Namuh – Okhandsignal LP
Hackman – Made Up My Mind
Sis – Gallian

Bethany Cosentino and Nathan Williams Interviewed Together

Posted by Amoebite, January 25, 2011 03:12pm | Post a Comment

Beloved hipster power couple (check out the shades!) Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast and Nathan Williams of Wavves have come together for their first ever co-interview over at the LA Times website! Check it out here.

nathan williams bethany cosentino

Thank Heavens for Heathens—Aggronautix “Throbblehead” Toys

Posted by Chuck, January 25, 2011 03:01pm | Post a Comment


By the early-1990s, eating your own feces was as in as it was ever going to get in civilized circles. Why? Because of GG Allin. He put that dining option (a.k.a. in the insect world as coprophagia) on the menu. Today the practice is nearly unheard of but the fact that so many of us swerved off course and found extreme behavior sort of refreshing is because of The Murder Junkies’ Allin—who not only smeared himself in excrement, blood and other bodily emissions and ceremoniously flung it on his audiences, but was also convicted of rape in 1989 (it was mutual debasement, he contended) and inhaled drugs like a hundred Lizard Kings—either didn’t give a damn or gave too much of one. When he wasn’t befriending John Wayne Gacy or writing manifestoes he made music with about 900 underground punk bands, most of it barely listenable unless you enjoy being audibly pissed on. In other words: the music was synonymous with the man. It’s no wonder “Suck My Ass It Smells” remains a cult hit some 18 years after Allin’s death of a heroin overdose in 1993. GG Allin was an exercise in vicariism, particularly for the prudish at heart (which he made damn sure was all of us).

A legacy like that, of course, calls for commemoration.

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Flavor Flav's 99 cent Chicken Wings!

Posted by Amoebite, January 25, 2011 12:15pm | Post a Comment
I was still beating myself up for not getting a photo of the Obama Chicken Wing place when I drove by this sign in Las Vegas last November. Once I got back to LA and started a google search to see what additional info I could find. I was hoping for some sort of Kenny Rogers / Flavor Flav rivalry but alas, there was NOTHINGGGGGGG.

Flava Flav's Chiken

cookinFast forward a few months and the mystery has been solved.
Flav's Fried Chicken Offically Opens! I'm completely baffled as to why he set up shop in Clinton, Iowa of all places, but their wikipedia page already boasts his restaurant under the sub-head 'culture and institutions'. HAHAHA! Awesome.

(Wherein the author reviews the author.)

Posted by Job O Brother, January 24, 2011 04:33pm | Post a Comment
Smile.

Don’t take this personally, but I totally don’t feel like writing this paragraph you’re reading. As grateful as I am to have a slot on the illustrious Amoeblog, and even though I have a great big crush on you, dear reader, there are times (they’re rare, but there) when I feel like I have nothing to give, and this is one of those times.
 
A week ago I was sick, and this week I had a brief but intense emotional breakdown; I cried so hard I dry-heaved, and gave voice to deeply personal and vulnerable psychological wounds in a tone not unlike Mary Tyler Moore when she got very upset with Rob Petrie or Lou Grant.


I mean really... what's the point of anything, anyhow?

As if all this wasn’t enough to render me limp, I discovered today that our young cat, Maybe, has a taste for new, unused garbage bags…

I am not a strong man. Well, physically I’m totally strong and could absolutely beat up your dad, but my heart is tender and prone to aching. This world often feels too cruel and complicated for the likes of me. Usually I can fake it, but every once in a while the stress and fear and sadness fills my holding tank to capacity, and there’s spillage.

A breakdown can come unexpectedly. For example, yesterday’s meltdown all started with a conversation with the boyfriend about why I didn’t want to order Indian food on my cell phone while I was en route from Amoeba Music, after working my shift, to our home in the Miracle Mile, via bus. Cut to me sitting on the kitchen floor with my back against the washing machine and wailing about how “I can’t understand why I don’t do the things I want to do” – a very vague thing to be upset about, but which makes more sense if you’ve been in a romantic relationship with me for four years (which I highly recommend!).

Saluting The Early Kinks (1964 - 1966) - The British Band That Could Do No Wrong

Posted by Billyjam, January 24, 2011 04:24pm | Post a Comment
The Kinks
My friend Scobey swears that the Kinks are the best band of all time -- and he just might be right. In terms of 60's British bands, and ones associated with the so-called British Invasion, they rank among my personal top favorites -- which is why I picked out the six wonderful, circa mid-sixties Kinks music videos below.

Highly influential, with a direct influence heard in countless bands in the years/decades since, The Kinks were formed by North London brothers Ray Davies (lead vocals, rhythm guitar) and Dave Davies (lead guitar, vocals) in 1963. Both men remained with the group up until they officially disbanded in '96.

They had several different other members over the years, but the original sixties Kinks bassist & vocalist was Pete Quaife, while the original drummer (up until '69) was Mick Avory. This is the lineup and Kinks that I love the most and for some reason have been going back and re-listening to and enjoying even more than when I first heard all these songs. The videos below are all Kinks songs from the years 1964 to 1966.

What I love most about the Kinks is how they effortlessly incorporated so many styles yet melded them all into their own distinct sound. Like most of the sixties British bands, they drew directly from American blues (in some songs you can hear the Howlin Wolf influence), but they didn't stop there. Their sound was also r&B, rock n' roll, psychedelia, pop, and even folk and country. But they also mined the British music hall school and of all the British Invasion bands were decidedly the most British in sheer style. Check out the video below for their very British working class, Dickens like "Dead End Street" -- with its dark humor and depressing social observations. Years later Oasis, a band who loved to tap into previous era Brit pop, drew inspiration from from this short Kinks film piece for their "The Importance of Being Idle" music video. Another second wave Brit pop band, Blur, has also cited the Kinks as a major influence.

Oscar Nomination Predictions 2011

Posted by Amoebite, January 24, 2011 10:17am | Post a Comment
Well, it's finally Awards Season, and three of our most fervent Oscar fans have major opinions about who will be nominated, who should be nominated, and who desperately needs a hair cut before the big day! Read on for Oscar Nomination Predictions from Amoeba employees and admitted Oscar nerds Sally, Brad and Jackie.anne hathaway james franco

Sally: Like last year, this year's hosts are somewhat controversial: Anne Hathaway and James Franco. What do you two think -- how will they do? I am not sure what to think, but I am guessing there will be some musical numbers involved! It'll be interesting for sure, and I'm all for the Academy skewing young. After his Golden Globes hosting/razzing, I am sure the Academy is breathing a sigh of relief they didn't pick Ricky Gervais!

Brad: I love both James Franco and Anne Hathaway so I am pretty excited. It sure is much different then the years of Steve Martin or Billy Crystal. It was very common for them to have 2 or 3 hosts in the 50's & 70's. I am excited they are going back to that format. There really is nobody like Bob Hope or Billy Crystal that can really do what they did, and Franco and Hathaway are not comics so it will be interesting, but they are funny. It will be interesting to see how they play off each other and how it all works out. I do love Ricky Gervais but he was a bit too mean for an awards show. It is ok to make fun of Tom Cruise but you shouldn't make fun of Johnny Depp & Angelina Jolie. But everything he said [while hosting the Golden Globes] was basically true! It was a bit ridiculous to have The Tourist nominated as best comedy! I am hoping for a Freaks and oscarsGeeks reunion on stage at the Oscars. I would love to see Linda Cardellini, Jason Segel, Seth Rogen, Martin Starr, & Busy Phillips all on stage!
 
Jackie: I’m a fan of the two-host arrangement, and prefer they be of the opposite sex. Did you know last year’s ceremony was supposed to be Tina Fey with Steve Martin? Anne Hathaway & James Franco—I feel they’re respected actors who don’t take themselves too seriously. I don’t expect them to improvise, so the Oscar show writers better have some great stuff.

Sally: Tina Fey would be such a great hostess for the show. Maybe they will get her to do it eventually. What 10 films do you guys think will be nominated for Best Picture for sure? I am guessing Black Swan, Social Network, King's Speech, The Kids Are Alright, The Fighter, Inception, Toy Story 3, maybe Somewhere? What else am I forgetting?

Brad: Yes, I think all the Golden Globe nominated dramas will get an Oscar nomination for Best black swan movie posterPicture for sure. Those would be Social Network, Black Swan, King's Speech, Inception, & The Fighter. And I think those would probably be the 5 if there were still only 5. Although I can't imagine they wouldn't nominate True Grit. That would probably take the spot of The Fighter if there were only 5. So I think 3 of the last 5 will be True Grit, The Kids Are All Right, Toy Story 3, for sure. The others I am not so sure about. I would like to see Blue Valentine and Winter's Bone included in the 10. But I am betting it will be The Town & 127 Hours, unless Rabbit Hole and Ghost Writer somehow sneak in there!
 
Jackie: Here are my predictions:
(1)Animal Kingdom    
(2)Another Year    
(3)Barney’s Version            
(4)Black Swan      
(5)The Fighter      
(6)Inception      
(7)The King’s Speech      
(8)The Social Network    
(9)Toy Story 3    
(10)True Grit 

Another Year or Barney’s Version could be replaced by any of these: The Town, Winter’s Bone, The Kids Are All Right, Rabbit Hole, or The Way Back.

Sally: Now that we've had a year of having 10 films nominated for Best Picture, what do you guys think about it? Is it a move for the better?
blue valentine
 
Brad: I think it is a move for the better. I loved that movies like District 9 & Serious Man got to be in the Best Picture race last year. It is interesting that there is no movie like The Blindside that will probably be in the 10 -- no movie for everyone to complain about! Unless something like The Tourist or Burlesque sneaks in there. But that won't happen. I think it probably helps with the ratings and it might help some smaller movies get some more exposure. It would be great for Blue Valentine or Rabbit Hole and Winter's Bone or Animal Kingdom to get in to the group of 10 and get some more exposure.
 
Jackie: I am still a fan of the ten-nominee system. It’s a boost for all--film box office & telecast ratings.  I say, keep it going!

DJ Gazooo's "Beats And Pieces" Mix Cassette Out Now!

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, January 24, 2011 09:00am | Post a Comment

With the recent revival of cassette releases comes a Hip-Hop mix tape that is actually on cassette. DJ Gazoo has been on a tear of late. You can catch him almost any night in L.A., manhandling the turntables, playing anything from Soul to Punta, Reggae to Batucada and so on. But after one listen to Beats And Pieces, it’s hard to deny that Gazoo’s first love is Hip-Hop. Beats And Pieces is a throwback to those classic 90’s mix tapes that had every original song that beat makers were turning into monster hits. It's one of those mixes where you go,”Oh, so that’s where Black Star got that sample!” For any young digger, Gazoo’s mix is an essential tool to finding those records to beef up your collection. If your car still has a cassette player, throw it on and soon you'll find yourself rapping over the tracks. I’m so glad that my car still has a cassette player. I've only had the car for a few years and I think it was the first time I actually used it!

I remember many years ago giving a record to an ex-girlfriend and she didn’t know what to do with it because she grew up in the CD generation. So what happens now if you give a cassette to someone who only grew up with CDs and MP3’s? Will they try to shove the cassette into their computer?

Beats And Pieces is available at Amoeba Hollywood and at all of Gazoo’s DJ gigs. Like I mentioned earlier, he is always playing around town but you can catch Gazoo at some of these spots for sure!

Every 2nd and 3rd Sunday at Carbon for Pa’Gozar
Every Friday at The Little Temple for Resident Fridays
Every First Saturday at Mal’s Bar for Anda!
Every second Saturday at La Fonda for La Boa

Or go to:
djgazoo.blogspot.com

Best and Worst Films of 2010 Addenda

Posted by Charles Reece, January 24, 2011 02:11am | Post a Comment
I just saw these on video, but each should go on my respective lists.

Best of 2010:


Debra Granik's Winter's Bone more or less takes Raymond Chandler's basic story structure for his Philip Marlowe books but sets it in the Ozarks with a teenaged girl as the detective. Ree Dolly goes hunting for her missing father, who's put their house up for his bond. If he doesn't show up for his hearing, the family will be homeless. As with Marlowe, Ree gets the shit kicked out of her, discovers a much more involved plot and it all ends with the initial mystery not being so important. There's plenty of haggard femme fatales, I guess, but Granik doesn't do much with shadows, so I wouldn't exactly call this hillbilly noir. Instead, Granik subtly uses the hardboiled template to tell the story without becoming postmodern pastiche -- i.e., without the winking of, say, Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang or Brick. So this unfortunately knocks Jackass 3D off of my list of 11 films.

Crud:


Jay and Mark Duplass are known for their mumblecore style and are favorites of Sundance, so that should've warned me off from watching this shit, but I gave Cyrus a chance. John is a lonely lump of a man who's been masturbating for the past 7 years since his divorce. His best and only friend is his ex, who makes him come to a party where he gets drunk and acts like an ass. Molly is a chubby-chasing MILF who finds this oaf's idiocy appealing for its authenticity. Granted, its authentic in the sense that the story takes place in L.A., where drunken, loud-mouthed narcissists who want to talk about themselves to anyone standing around are a dime a dozen. But why is this appealing to Molly? Well, because she's got an Oedipal thing going on with her obese, asshole son, Cyrus, so maybe John reminds her of him. If the fantastic message had been if you're not blessed with a beautiful face, you might be lucky enough to have Marisa Tomei as a doting mom, the film might've moved past the low bar set by the standards of Sundance, but the brothers Duplass aren't perverse enough for that. Instead of exploring incest (which is always interesting), they provide wish fulfillment for cloddish types who can't rely on an interesting personality or wit to get them through life. This is, of course, the same terrain mined by Judd Apatow, only with intentionally dull lines and a constantly moving camera to give a patina of realism. Authenticity by rote.

January 23, 2011: Unstoppable

Posted by phil blankenship, January 23, 2011 06:42pm | Post a Comment

The Art of the LP Cover- Shades

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, January 22, 2011 02:35pm | Post a Comment
The past week I've needed my sunglasses here in LA
Here's a batch of LP covers featuring well placed, shaded specs.

Animal Collective Playing Big Sur April 14

Posted by Amoebite, January 21, 2011 01:57pm | Post a Comment
Those (((FolkYEAH))) kids always have the hottest shows hidden up their sleeves...This promises to be epic and exclusive:
 
animal collective big sur
 
More info to follow here!

Show Me State of Mind—Winter's Bone

Posted by Chuck, January 21, 2011 01:29pm | Post a Comment


Was it really almost 13 years ago that Bill Clinton came clean about all that randy behavior in the White House with Monica? Time flies in a land of dropped flies. I don’t remember what I was doing at the moment—as people are wont to do in times of cataclysm—but I’ll never forget the lesson: Politicians have libidos. I could have learned it a hundred different times (Gary Hart tried to inform me), but it’s the type of thing that doesn’t easily register. I remember thinking that it’s not all powdered wigs and sturgeon roe; there were stiffies going on under big official desks. Even still, it doesn’t seem all that possible.

Anyway, this obviously got me to thinking about Winter’s Bone. The movie, not the Daniel Woodrell book. Pardon the Freudian pun, but the film is set in the Ozark Mountain range, which extends right through the heart of Arkansas, with the slick gray dourness of Clinton’s hair. The austerity of the setting and small budget no-nonsense comes off like an Oscar caught in the headlights (one assumes purposefully). The casting—aside from maybe Jennifer Lawrence, who is the unmade-up, unsmiling teen heroine of sorts—is realistic to the point of distraction. Many of the cast members just have that look of a dog’s chewed-up ear. Many of them aren’t actors at all, but real people in their real way of going about life in shotgun dwellings. There’s plenty of good fancy hatred in their eyes, too, the kind that comes from smalltown distrustfulness and aggravating proximity.

Continue reading...

Hip-Hop Rap Up 01:21:11: Madlib, Eligh, KUSF, Buckshot, The Jacka, Zion I, Dub Esquire + More

Posted by Billyjam, January 21, 2011 07:50am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Berkeley Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 01:21:11


1) Cee Lo Green The Lady Killer (Elektra Records)

2) Eligh Grey Crow (Legendary Music/ Alpha Pup)

3) Kanye West My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam)
 
4) Andre Nickatina & Tha Jacka My Middle Name Is Crime EP (I-Khan Distribution)

5) Madlib Medicine Show #11: Low-Budget Hi-Fi Music (Stones Throw)

Special thanks to Amoeba Berkeley's DJ Inti for the latest hip-hop top five chart. You can catch Inti's DJ sets at Radio at 435 13th St near Broadway in Oakland every Thursday! This week he notes how the popular Medicine Show series from super-talented LA producer Madlib is back after taking a short two month break, not quite delivering the 12 releases promised in the twelve months of 2010. Not a problem, though, since the series is back with a bang with the guest-heavy Medicine Show #11: Low-Budget Hi-Fi Music on Stones Throw. This full-length hip-hop release makes up for the delay with amazing production plus guest spots from such talents as Guilty Simpson, MED, Oh No, AG, Strong Arm Steady, and Karriem Eligh Grey CrowRiggins. Premiering on this 28 track release is a Jaylib-era track taken from Madlib and J-Dilla's never-realized second album. The final part in the Medicine Show series is expected to drop within the next month.

Vinyl Addiction

Posted by Joe Goldmark, January 20, 2011 05:17pm | Post a Comment
To check out extensive LP label and price guides, head to the Vinyl Beat website!
 
 anna king neighborhood childrn
 
“You’re spending that much on records?” she gasped, as I plunked down $75 after my employee discount. 
rolling stones greatest hits
 
She had discovered a few knickknacks on her shopping expedition, but she’d been far more frugal than I. Of course if I hadn’t dawdled in the dollar vinyl section on the way out, I could have waited for her outside and bluffed my way through the expenditures conversation. The big treasure I found was an original 1966 Dutch Rolling Stones Greatest Hits LP with a unique cover -- only $35! I’d never seen it before in my life, how cool is that? It needed to come home with me. That’s one of my collecting adages -- “if you’ve never seen it before, BUY IT; you might never see it again.” It wasn’t in great shape, and of course I had all the music already, but with an item like that, it’s more about the gestalt.
 
Everyone has vices. I don’t smoke, do drugs, drink excessively, chase women or buy clothes. But, guilty as charged, I do spend too much money on records. Amoeba sells an “I bought too many records at Amoeba Music” bumper sticker. But that’s untrue, because as all collectors know, you can’t have too many records. Each new find leads to exciting new musical directions. One of my latest passions is 60s garage rock from around the world, which is mostlyyardbirds greatest hits uncharted territory – aside from the excellent Pekora books, which only show the rarest items. So, it’s basically a treasure hunt.
 
Every record collector starts with a great love for the music. At some point you start buying records, innocently enough. Soon you’ve got a lot of them, then a lot more. Then a whole lot more. Once the collector gene kicks in, it’s hard to turn back. Suddenly you’re buying records not for the music, but simply because they fit in the collection. If you own the first five Yardbirds albums, you need the Greatest Hits, just because it fits. Besides, it’s an original yellow label Epic, and wonder of wonders, it’s even mono! This phenomena isn’t so strange. Most hobbies are all about being a completest, with dabs of beauty and esthetics thrown in for good measure. Think stamp collecting, baseball cards, etc. The wonderful thing about record collecting is that we can be just as nerdy as any other collector, but we can also HEAR our collections, as well as see and categorize them. Try listening to your stamp collection, buddy.
 
This blog is here to chat about everything under the sun related to collecting vinyl. Thanks for reading. If you’re a vinyl collector please check out VinylBeat.com for price and label guides.
 
 laura nyro todd rundgren

Shing02 Reports on NAMM 2011 Show @ Anaheim Convention Center, Jan 13-16

Posted by Billyjam, January 20, 2011 01:45pm | Post a Comment

NAMM 2011 Digest for the Amoeblog by Shing02 with Yamato Kaneko

Special to the Amoeblog by Shing02: Last week's four day NAMM 2011 Show at the Anaheim Convention Center in SoCal provided yet another fresh experience for attendees. Most of the new equipment from DJ-related brands had improvements based on last year's trend, compact digital control surfaces via MIDI for laptop software. It seems most of the software glitches are smoothed out, while more brands are gearing to encourage visual performances, such as innovative interfaces and video / mp4 mixers. There was a dazzling number of iPad apps / controllers on display, which I spared the viewer in the above video.

Personally, the most exciting surprise this year came from first-time participants downstairs in the sprawling convention center's Hall H. One was Reactable, a Barcelona -based company who has made significant upgrades to the interactive instrument, also popularized by Björk. The sophisticated design and intuitive interface welcomes users of all ages to be captivated for hours. (See video demo below from NAMM of this new technology that is billed as "the instrument that has changed the way we create and perform electronic music").

Another company was Emulator, who introduced a semi-translucent control surface for its Reaktor-based DJ software. The two companies both use a projector and smart capture techniques to detect movement. The Reactable projects the information from a laptop from underneath the table on to a plastic board,fader japan
then interprets the commands from fingers and blocks. The Emulator uses a digital screen that senses the projection and touches on a grid, much like a tablet. In the video below you'll see the demonstrator switch to a writing board while DJing, thus rendering shouting, "last call for alcohol!" into the mic obsolete in 2011.

In the near future, we can expect more infrared 3D movement capture and projection, for an experience like Minority Report.

Brochella, Alternate to Coachella 2011

Posted by Billyjam, January 19, 2011 08:40pm | Post a Comment

An alternate to Coachella 2011 is the above (fictional) Brochella festival, courtesy of The Daily What.

California Fool's Gold -- Exploring Venice

Posted by Eric Brightwell, January 19, 2011 07:20pm | Post a Comment
SIDEWALK CROUCHES AT HER FEET -- VENICE

 
Venice is a neighborhood in Los Angeles' Westside neighbored by Santa Monica to the north, Mar Vista to the east, Culver City and Del Rey to the southeast, Marina del Rey to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It's famous for its canals, Muscle Beach, Venice Beach and Ocean Front Walk  -- "the Boardwalk." To vote for other Los Angeles neighborhoods to be the subject of future blog entries, vote here. To vote for Los Angeles County communities, vote here. To vote for Orange County communities and neighborhoods, vote here

 

  Pendersleigh & Sons' Official Map of Venice

7" Fix: The Sandwitches "Summer of Love"

Posted by Kells, January 19, 2011 03:57pm | Post a Comment
Of all my band crushes, I feel an attachment to the Sandwitches that's way beyond the point of smitten at first listen: I'm hopelessly devoted. There's something about their sound that suggests a beautiful thing broken down, makes me long to don a once beloved party dress dredged from a dumpster or follow up their tunes with a worn out "girl group" record, damaged from repetitious play. Their latest 7", Summer of Love, flaunts two fresh yet yellow-edged pop oddities from the Sandwitches' curio cabinet and is limited to 500 copies on 1234Go! Records, so please, don't miss! And catch the girls live at Slim's on Tuesday, January 25th, if you can, and support our (SF) local, shamefully under-appreciated "female Creedence."

The Sandwitches - "Summer of Love" [side A]


The Sandwitches - "My Teddy" [side B]

Coachella 2011 Lineup Announced

Posted by Amoebite, January 19, 2011 10:57am | Post a Comment
It's that time of year again already! Time for that time-tested, sweat your balls off tradition, Coachella! Here's the lineup, including (gotta love 'er) "Ms. Lauryn Hill":
 
coachella 2011
 
Click here for the Coachella website!

Sebadoh's Bakesale To Be Reissued This April

Posted by Miss Ess, January 19, 2011 10:47am | Post a Comment
 
Musically loud and appealingly sloppy while lyrically quite sentimental and soft, Bakesale by Sebadoh is one of the best records of the 90s. It will be reissed by Domino in early April with a full disc of singles, EP tracks and rarities, which includes the beloved Rebound EP I clung to so dearly back in those hazy college days...
 
Bakesale Bonus Disc Tracklisting

1 MOR backlash
2 Not a friend
3 Foreground
4 40203
5 Mystery Man
6 Drumstick Jumble
7 Lime kiln
8 Fancy-ass / Destitute
9 Perfect Way
10 Give The Drummer Some
11 Cementville
12 Social Medicine
13 On Fire (acoustic)
14 Magnet's Coil (acoustic)
15 Rebound (acoustic)
16 Punching Myself In The Face Repeatedly, Publicly
17 Sing Something / Plate Of Hatred
18 III Screams (wet synth mix)
19 Monsoon
20 Rainbow Farm
21 Hank Williams
22 Careful
23 Dramamine
24 Not Too Amused
25 Shit Soup

"Magnet's Coil" from the o.g. version of Bakesale:

Bob Dylan Signs Whopping 6 Book Deal

Posted by Miss Ess, January 19, 2011 10:45am | Post a Comment
 
This just in: Good news for those of us who enjoyed Bob Dylan's fascinating Chronicles: Volume 1! The Guardian UK is reporting that Dylan has signed a massive six book deal with Simon & Schuster!
 
At least two of the books will be further Chronicles, and potentially some of the others will be "a collection of Dylan's musings from the Theme Time Radio Hour show he presents on the Sirius XM satellite channel."
 
That Dylan, he just gets more and more bard-like with age! He's unstoppable.

Short-Lived 70's Glam Rock Teen Magazine STAR Revived With New Website

Posted by Billyjam, January 19, 2011 09:19am | Post a Comment

Web designer Ryan Richardson kicked off 2011 in retro style by taking it back to the glam rock year of 1973! On January 1st, 2011, he launched the website STAR 1973, a lovingly constructed homage to the short-lived controversial 1970's teen magazine STAR (not to be confused with the similarly titled current-day celebrity  news/gossip magazine) which lasted only five issues back in '73. With a web design whereby you can digitally turn the pages of the magazine, Richardson has painstakingly archived every square inch of each issue of the ill-fated monthly on his new site.

"The first issue of STAR hit the stands in February 1973. With its over-the-top advice and irreverent coverage of LA's teenage groupie scene, it wasn't long before Petersen Publishing was feeling the heat from "concerned citizens." Five issues and five months later, publication ceased,' writes Richardson on the site's introduction, further explaining,  "Such controversy along with coverage of'"new breed' Sunset Strip groupies (Shray Mecham, Sable Starr, Lori Lightning, Queenie Glam) and glam venues like Rodney Bingenheimer's English Disco cemented the mag's later cult status among fans and collectors."

The magazine, which makes ample use of the words "fox" and "foxy," sold for 50 cents, had no advertising in its five published issues, and is reputed to have had its sixth issue all ready to go when the plug was pulled in mid 1973. Last week I caught up with the Austin, TX based Richardson, who had not quite reached his first birthday when STAR was being published, to ask him how he first discovered the magazine and what qualities attracted him to it.

Gladiators as Heat Radiators—Spartacus: Blood and Sand

Posted by Chuck, January 19, 2011 08:49am | Post a Comment

After the holidays I always find myself watching things I can’t easily explain, like The Sinful Dwarf or the British show As Time Goes By. I’d like to say I came to Spartacus: Blood and Sand on some high-wing of original thought, because I enjoyed creator Steven S. DeKnight’s previous work on Smallville or that I dug the metaphors of maces and swords or some cool shit like that. But the truth is, I don’t care about no Spartacus. I read an interview with New Zealand’s Lesley-Anne Brandt where she was talking about being a sex slave in a Roman ludus wearing little more than cloth drippings and that she was used to fondling co-star Lucy Lawless (Xena) by now because that’s what they do as sex slaves and . . . and I thought, that sounds totally gripping. I know I’m late the party. I often am.

The show, which was the flagship original program on Starz, as prefaced, had a strong sexual component for sure. But there were other stylish nuances that kind of made it enjoyable beyond fetish intrigue. For instance, the lighting—pale golds, bronzes, cerulean blues and the purple of caked blood from nobody having worshed—has the comic book feeling of ancient times. Smart. The dialogue is excellent, though ladled indelicately with “fucks” and “cocks” as to keep young audiences in high spirits. Come to think of it, there’s surely a drinking game to be had whenever the gladiator ringleader Batiatus (John Hannah – nobody says “fuck” like a Scotsman) goes into a tantrum and starts slanging modern day dirty words—which is every episode, several times per. The arena battles are slow-motion gorefests, with slashing sounds, flapping open wounds with exaggerated blood-spray and comical power-chords pushing it all along. Sometimes the blood hits the lens. It’s a ridiculous effect not meant for 3-D—just meant to soak your screen for the fun of it. And the Spartacus character (played by lucid-eyed Andy Whitfield) can’t fight too well at first unless he’s up against something as tricky as death. Then he roars and slashes throats or decapitates 1000-1 favorites like Theokoles. Later he does this without complaint, like good chattel. Everybody glistens either way. Everyone, it is imagined, has a stench and a pent-up libido. There’s a lot of grape eating. Two-timing. Deceit. Diabolica. Domina and Dominus in lording airs with vertical camera angles to give you that sense.

KUSF 90.3FM (1977 - 2011)

Posted by Billyjam, January 18, 2011 07:18pm | Post a Comment
Since late morning today, Facebook, Twitter, texts, and phone calls have been abuzz with the shocking news that San Francisco radio station KUSF 90.3FM is no longer. "They pulled the plug in the middle of my show. Took the transmitter off the air. They sold the radio station behind our backs without telling us a thing," said shocked Tuesday morning (9am to noon shift) DJ Schmeejay this afternoon, as he was leaving a message on the voicemail of one of his  many regular listeners, Bill Uhlir, in Oakland, in a last minute bid to save his FM station. "I am a faithful KUSF listener and I am in total disbelief. I can't believe it," said Uhlir, echoing the sentiments of all the other KUSF fans who were caught off guard by the sudden announcement that the Jesuit owned University of San Francisco radio station was no longer. After reliably broadcasting on 90.3 since 1977, this felt so sudden! It was announced by the university that KUSF would continue as an online only outlet. As of late morning the 90.3FM signal was blank with just the bleeding over of audio from nearby frequencies.

"Come to the protest meeting tomorrow," said KUSF DJ Schmeejay, before hanging up and making his next call, another plea for help. The last minute meeting is planned for 7pm tomorrow (Wednesday) at Fromm Hall behind Saint Ignatious Church on the USF campus. Many are expected to show up. Unfortunately however, knowing how these things go, I doubt the meeting will have any effect. It is probable that KUSF will not return in its beloved FM broadcast format. "This has become really common, colleges selling their FM licenses to NPR stations for millions and keeping the student station as web-only," said Ken Freedman, the general manager at non-commercial, freeform radio station WFMU. "Last week, same thing happened to Duquesne University's WDUQ, and a few months back to Rice University's KTRU. Both KUSF and KTRU were really good stations."

Wanda Jackson Covers Dylan's Thunder on the Mountain

Posted by Miss Ess, January 18, 2011 03:08pm | Post a Comment
One of my most anticipated records of this year is the Jack White produced Wanda Jackson album The Party Ain't Over, coming January 25th. The first video is here, a cover of Bob Dylan's (hand picked by Dylan for Jackson) "Thunder on the Mountain."
 

Help Get Katey Red Into the Black, ya Heard Me‽

Posted by Eric Brightwell, January 18, 2011 12:00pm | Post a Comment

Katey and new fan Andy Schwartz at SXSW 2010 (photo courtesy of Andy Schwartz)

If you're a fan of bounce music or sissy rappers in particular, then you almost certainly know who Katey Red is. Born Kenyon Carter in 1981, Katey came up in the notorious Melph. Katey dropped Melpomene Block Party on Take Fo' in 1999 and made history as the first openly gay rap star. Now's your chance to make history by helping to fund Katey's first music video. Click here to visit the Kickstarter page. There are a variety of incentives to give in addition to helping rectify the great wrong that there are no Katey Red videos up till now.

Big Freedia and Katey Red

The director is David White. According to the page, "David S. White is the primary videographer for Preservation Hall Jazz Band in New Orleans and recently completed shooting and directing a music video for Shamarr Allen. He is currently the Director of Photography for Bayou Maharajah, a feature-length video documentary on the life and music of New Orleans piano legend James Booker. He has also shot Dr. John, Allen Toussaint, Tim Robbins, Soul Rebels Brass Band, Del McCoury, Charles Neville, Cosimo Matassa, Harry Connick Sr, Bunny Matthews, and many others. His most recent short film, Cell Phone Psycho, has been making the rounds at film festivals across the United States, including the New Orleans Film Festival." [bold text is my emphasis]

*****

The Late, Great Susannah York

Posted by Charles Reece, January 18, 2011 09:24am | Post a Comment

Who's the master and who's the slave? Susannah York in one of my favorites, Robert Aldrich's
The Killing of Sister George. She died on Saturday.

out this week 1/11 & 1/18...the decemberists...puro instinct...pains of being pure at heart...

Posted by Brad Schelden, January 17, 2011 03:05pm | Post a Comment
the decemberistsHappy New Year! The music new releases are finally starting to come out again. We all need some new music in our life! I can't wait. A couple of good albums came out last week: new albums from Broken Records, British Sea Power, Tapes 'N Tapes, & Wire. But it really is all about this week, and from now on the new releases keep on coming all year long. They never stop! There is plenty for everyone to get excited about. The new album from The Decemberists comes out tomorrow. The King is Dead is their sixth album and their third album on Capitol. Their last album was the Hazards of Love from 2009 andThe Crane Wife was before that in 2006. They had 3 albums before that: Castaways & Cutouts, Her Majesty The Decemberists, & Picaresque. These first three are their best and albums that I never get sick of but I will admit I have not given much time to The Decemberists since their last album came out. I have had too many other albums to keep me busy. Still, I always like to revisit the old albums when a new one is about to come out. The Decemberists are one of those bands that I didn't fall in love with until after seeing them live for the first time. I saw them at the Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco many years ago and was hooked for life and I can't wait to see them again touring for this new record. I have not had a chance to hear the entire album yet but I love what I have heard so far. I do like the single "January Man," which came out as a 7" last month. We actually had a special little promotion at Amoeba with the 7". Those who bought the 7" also got a coupon to come back and use towards the new album out tomorrow, January 18th. The album is a bit more country than normal but I am fine with that. I can't wait to take the album home and give it the time it deserves and hopefully fall in love with them all over again.

There are also new albums out tomorrow from White Lies, Tennis, & The Disappears, and so many new albums right around the corner! Slumberland put out the new 7" from Pains of Being Pure At Heart last month. Heart in Your Heartbreak is a fantastic little preview of what we can expect from the new album. The new album is called Belong and it's being released by Slumberland some time in February or March. This band released one of my favorite albums of 2009. I am obviously more than excited about this one, their second album -- more catchy twee pop for you and me. One of my other recent favorite bands from last year also has an album coming out this year. The debut full length from Puro Instinct will be put out by Mexican Summer on February 22nd. This is the band formerly known as Pearl Harbour. I have been obsessed with them since I saw them open up for Ariel Pink last year at the Echoplex. They are like a shoegazey version of Fleetwood Mac. And yes, they are that good. I am so excited about this album and I am really hoping it will not let me down. I am thinking it just might be one of my favorites of this year. Puro Instinct just released their new 7" a couple of weeks ago, called Stilyagi and I love it. I hope that you will too. You can listen to both the new Pains of Being Pure at Heart and Puro Instinct songs below. You can also purchase the 7"s from amoeba.com.


pains of being pure at heart heart in your heart break




Buy the Heart In Your Heartbreak 7" by
Pains of Being Pure At Heart






puro instinct stilyagi




Buy the Stilyagi 7" by Puro Instinct







also out 1/11...






Valhalla Dancehall by British Sea Power



 
 





Let Me Come Home by The Broken Records


 
 







Outside by Tapes 'N Tapes











Red Barked Tree by Wire






also out 1/18...






The King is Dead by The Decemberists











Guider by The Disappears











Cape Dory by Tennis






white lies ritual




Ritual by White Lies






And coming soon...so many more albums that I am so excited about. Some of the ones I am most excited about include P.J. Harvey, Mogwai, The Strokes, Okkervil River, A Place To Bury Strangers, Explosions In the Sky, Fleet Foxes, Aphex Twin, Radiohead.....they all have new albums out this year....get ready!...


january 25th
iron & wine-kiss each other clean (warner brothers)

february 8th
hercules & love affair-blue songs (moshi moshi)

the streets-computers & blues (import)
esben & the witch-violet cries (matador)
james blake-james blake (atlas)
cut copy-zonoscope (mod records)
silk flowers-ltd. form (ppm)

february 15
bright eyes-people's key (saddle creek)
pj harvey-let england shake (vagrant)
mogwai-hardcore will never die but you will (subpop)
la sera-la sera (hardly art)
sonic youth-lights out soundtrack (sonic youth records)
tim hecker-ravedeath 1972 (kranky)
twilight singers-dynamite steps (subpop)
deaf center-owl splinters

february 22
adele-21 (columbia)
julianna barwick-magic place (asthmatic kitty)
toro y moi-underneath the pine (carpark)
puro instinct-headbangers in ecstacy (mexican summer)
cult of youth-cult of youth (sacred bones)

march 1st
catwalk-idle labor (captured tracks)
cosmetics-cosmetics (captured tracks)

march 8th
kurt vile-smoke ring for my halo (matador)

march 22nd
the strokes-angles (rca)
adventure-lesser known (carpark)

march 29th
hunx & his punx-too young to be in love (hardly art)
craft spells-craft spells (captured tracks)
mountain goats-all eternals deck (merge)

april 5th
holy ghost!-holy ghost! (dfa)
the kills-blood pressures (domino)

april 12th
crystal stilts-in love with oblivion (slumberland)
jonny-jonny (merge)

april 19th
the head & the heart-s/t (subpob)

panda bear-tomboy (paw tracks)

april 26th
explosions in the sky-take care, take care, take care (temporary residence)

may 3rd
hooray for earth-true loves (dovecote)

may 10th
okkervil river-i am very far (jagjaguwar)




And these bands are rumored to have new albums out this year hopefully!!!...

pains of being pure at heart
light asylum
place to bury strangers
austra
wild flag
aphex twin
m83
fleet foxes
patrick wolf
beck
beastie boys
the shins
radiohead
jens lekman
mars volta
the cars
beck

 

So How Do I Get Amoeba To Sell My CD?

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, January 17, 2011 10:05am | Post a Comment
 
I get asked by local bands all the time, “So how do I get Amoeba to sell my CD?” Often, when I explain the process to them, I see their little eyes glaze over and I can imagine my voice turns into voice of the teacher from the Peanuts cartoon (whaa whaa whaa whaaaaaaa…). Truth is, with many musicians, if the process is not instantaneous, it is not worth it, and that’s a shame. Getting a release sold at Amoeba is a pretty easy process. I wrote something on one of my first blogs that Amoeba is the great equalizer; It’s a place where a Ska-Punk group from South Gate could outsell some big name pop star with thousands of dollars of promotion behind them. All you have to do is take that chance.

There are two ways we get CDs from local artists. The first is on consignment. Consignment means that we take anywhere from one to a few copies of your release and give it a three month trial. We do not pay up front. We issue a contract that stipulates that after the term is done, we pay you for what we sold and return the copies that haven’t sold. If all the CDs that we consign are sold before the term, we will call you before the term is up and pay you for what we sold and order more. It’s a way to take a chance on a group that maybe is not as known.

The second is usually for known artists. We call it OTC, short for “over the counter.” These are artists that have an established sales history or have a tremendous buzz and that our buyers know will sell, so we buy their products direct. Artists such as Matisyahu and Zoe sold their independent releases direct to the store before they were signed. Amoeba has done well in the past with international artists such as Inspector, Celso Pina, Ceci Bastida, Bocafloja, Troker, Tita Lima, Ricardo Lemvo and the artists on the ZZK label out of Argentina, all which have come into the store while on tour to sell their releases direct.

Local artists such as Quetzal, Chico Sonido, Chicano Batman, Very Be Careful, Chencha Berrinches and La Resistencia may not be household names, but they have all sold better than most major label Latin artists. Many of these artists listed above may not even be the biggest artists in their genre, but they were the ones who came to the store and took a chance.
 
It helps to do your research. If you come into the store often, you probably know who the buyer of your favorite genre is. If you don’t, it doesn’t hurt to ask. Some of the best surprises in my case have come from people who made the effort to seek me out and simply left me a sample CD to check out. Music usually speaks for itself when and if it’s great, there will be no denying it.
 
There is no need to over sell oneself. Just because you are on consignment doesn’t mean your CD won’t sell. What you want to do is establish a sales history and show that you have fans out there that want your music. Turning into a used car salesman to get the buyer to order more units won’t work. In fact, it just may just turn the buyer off. I once had a band call me up to bring their CD in, only to tell me their minimum order was 500 units! I couldn’t help myself. I laughed and said to them, “What’s wrong with you?” Eventually I got their CD through a distributor and couldn’t even sell the four copies that I ordered.

Be realistic. If you are a band with no buzz and a single CD on consignment, the chances of getting an instore at Amoeba is probably…nil. That doesn’t mean you won’t sell your CD. You just may have to work harder at it. If you are a band that never plays live or doesn’t do any promotion, don’t expect that your CD is going to sell. We have almost 2 million releases in the store and that's not counting the endless amounts of used product that we carry. If you don’t put the effort in, your release will be guaranteed to get lost amongst the many CDs we stock.

Also, be aware that certain things only work regionally. For instance, some bands from the Bay Area may pack clubs in San Francisco and Oakland, but no one has heard of them in L.A. Fuga was a band from Oakland that didn’t sell well at first but soon after their third or forth time in L.A., people started asking for them. For them, it was a building process. Some bands feel like they should have the same success on the road as they have at home and that is not always the case. It takes lots of work to achieve what others feel should come to them automatically.

Lastly, put your best effort out there. It’s not enough just to release a CD; it’s got to be great. There is just too much music to choose from to release something mediocre. If you aren’t feeling it, chances are no one else is going to feel it either, and no number of Facebook friends or publicists' buzz will be able to spin that. In the end, its better not to release something mediocre than to spend money pressing up a bunch of CDs. Most likely, you’ll be sitting on most of them, still in boxes and carrying them around every time you move.

A lot of the bands listed above were once on major labels or major independent labels with distribution and now are doing everything themselves. If there were artists that I thought should feel privileged and seek someone to do their work for them it would be some of the artists listed above. If they are selling CD's direct to Amoeba, why wouldn't any local band that can pack a club not do the same thing? There really isn't any valid excuse. Effort is all you need.
 

Betty White, Who Celebrates Her 89th Birthday Today, Shows No Signs of Slowing Down

Posted by Billyjam, January 17, 2011 09:52am | Post a Comment
Betty White
 
Everyone loves Betty White, and for good reason. The actress/comedian/author, who celebrates her 89th birthday today (Jan 17th), is a cool, no-nonsense lady with a sharp sense of humor and a work ethic that would be admirable for someone half her age, or even a quarter her age. White, who had an incredibly busy & productive past year (including her Emmy winning hosting of SNL, starring on Hot in Cleveland, and her hilarious cameo on Community -- see video below), is a role model to all and a reminder that age should not slow anyone down one bit. It sure ain't nothing but a number to White! This year, between select acting projects, she will be working on two autobiographical books that will recount her illustrious career.

And what a career the seven time Emmy award winner (20 time nominated) has had; from playing such memorable roles as Rose Nylund on The Golden Girls and Sue Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, to being a game show host, to too many cameo & recurring roles in other TV shows to include here, plus all of her recent era accolades! Oh, and the books she's written! White's two forthcoming books, following a deal she inked with G.P. Putnam's Sons in August, follow several earlier career books she's penned. The new books reportedly will include what White has learned over her decades-long Hollywood career including life, love, sex and celebrity, and will also spend more time on her recent career accomplishments. 
Betty White

White's busy 2010 would fill a book all by itself. In the past year she starred as Elka Ostrovsky in the TV Land sitcom Hot in Cleveland, turned in such an amazing guest-hosting role for SNL last May that she both boosted ratings for the show and won herself a Primetime Emmy Award, made appearances on a slew of talk shows, and launched her own clothing line with all profits going to animal charities. But my favorite of all Betty White moments of the past  year was in September when she starred on the first episode of the second-season of NBC's already brilliant comedy Community as an anthropology professor. Below is the closing credits clip from that episode with her along with Troy (Donald Glover) and Abed (Danny Pudi), doing their hilarious "Anthropology Rap" in a reworking of the 1983 hit "Africa" by Toto.

LA Punk Rock Supergroup OFF!'s First Four EPs 7 inch Box-Set Is a Must-Get

Posted by Billyjam, January 15, 2011 08:14pm | Post a Comment
OFF!With great attention to detail and an obvious respect for the music, the lovingly assembled OFF! First Four EPs seven-inch box set, recently released by Vice Recordings, is a must get collectable set (featuring Raymond Pettibon art + booklet). But even more importantly, OFF!'s music kicks some serious ass. "Pure punk rock" is how the band was accurately described by Karen P at Amoeba Hollywood, where OFF! had a most memorable instore a few months back. Drop the needle on any of this box set's eight sides and OFF! will instantly remind you of all the reasons you loved punk rock in the first place; provided, like me, you appreciate that loud, raw, fast, angry manic punk that harks back to the original hardcore SoCal sound. And no wonder -- that is where and when the core of OFF! hails from.

"The collective history of this band equals the power packed in Einstein's E=mc theory," wrote Thrasher of OFF! who are literally a "supergroup." Comprised of Keith Morris (Black Flag/Circle Jerks), Dimitri Coats (Burning Bridges), Steven McDonald (Redd Kross) and Mario Rubalcaba (Earthless/Hot Snakes/Rocket From The Crypt), this LA punk rock group, whose impressive individual histories you can read about on their website as well as in the booklet that comes with the box-set, have somehow managed to sustain the wild aggressive, confrontational energy all these years later, as they continue (in the true original punk aesthetic) to crank out short, simple-but powerful, rebellion & alienation themed punk rock masterpieces.

Celebrate MLK Day

Posted by Amoebite, January 15, 2011 04:28pm | Post a Comment
For a comprehensive list of ways to spend this year's Martin Luther King Day in Los Angeles, San Francisco and the East Bay, please click here!
 
martin luther king jr

People Power in the Maghreb - Celebrating the Culture of the Maghreb and the Possible Awakening of Democracy

Posted by Eric Brightwell, January 15, 2011 01:00pm | Post a Comment


Pendersleigh & Sons' Official Map of the Maghreb

The term Maghreb comes from Arabic المغرب العربي (meaning "place of sunset") and, as a foreign term is disliked by some of the region's indigenous Berbers, many who prefer "Tamazgha." However, as "Maghreb" is much more widely used internationally, I'm using it here, without meaning to offend. On the same note, many Berbers also don't like the term "Berber," as it comes from the Greek bárbaros or "barbarian." Many prefer a variant of "Imazighen" but no one term is agreed upon by the the Tuareg, Moors, and other Berber people so, similarly, I'll use "Berber" in this entry for the sake of familiarity.


 

In the Maghreb, press freedom is almost nonexistent. Mauritania, which enjoys the highest Press Freedom rating, comes in at 95 out of 178 according to Reporters sans frontières. State-sanctioned coverage of political unrest in the region is usually restricted to demonstrations against Israeli apartheid or the occupation's supporters. But recently, a wave of protests against Maghrebi's own corrupt governments threatens to bring progressive political change to the region, one of the least democratic on Earth. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, Mauritania is also the most democratic state in the region, scoring 3.86 on a scale of 1 to 10 (115th out of 167 countries). By comparison, the United States scores 8.18 and ranks 17th. 

 Almohad Empire

 

The Art of the LP Cover- The Power Part 2

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, January 15, 2011 01:00pm | Post a Comment
Another batch of musicians with the hi-pro glow. Since most of these are from the late 70's and early 80's, I think it's safe to say that in many cases the "power" may have been fueled by cocaine. Check out my original gallery in 2009 here. Amazingly, back covers from Night Ranger LPs appear in both of my posts.

Hip-Hop Rap Up 01:14:11: T.I., Saigon, J-Live, Steinski, Beans, Cypress Hill, NAMM + More

Posted by Billyjam, January 14, 2011 08:19pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Hollywood Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 01:14:11


1) Kanye West My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam)
 
2) Diddy-Dirty Money Last Train To Paris (Bad Boy Records / Interscope)

3) Nicki Minaj Pink Friday (Cash Money/Universal)

4) Cee Lo Green The Lady Killer (Elektra Records)

5) T.I. No Mercy (Grand Hustle/Atlantic)
  
Thanks to my man Burgess (of Healamonster & Tarsier fame) for this week's Hip-Hop Top Five Chart from the Hollywood Amoeba store that includes many of the already high-profile major releases of the past month or more. Kanye West, Cee Lo Green, Nicki Minaj, and Diddy (with his in-demand new dancefloor driven project Dirty Money) are all once again included here, as is the latest release from T.I., No Mercy on Grand Hustle via Atlantic Records,

Released on December 7th, the long overdue No Mercy is T.I.'s seventh album and his first new release T.I.since 2008's popular Paper Trail. For this release he pulled out all the stops, with guest appearances from some of today's hottest names, including Kanye, Eminem, The-Dream, Christina Aguilera, and Chris Brown, who is featured on the single "Get Back Up." Meanwhile, production duties are spread out among studio masters such as Danja, who produced "My Love" & "Knock You Down;" Dr. Luke, who produced "Magic" & "Right Round;"  and Jim Jonsin, who worked his magic on "Whatever You Like" & "Lollipop." Note that in addition to the regular version of this CD there is also a Deluxe version that offers two bonus tracks as well as special packaging.

SF Giants to Have Own Reality Show

Posted by Miss Ess, January 14, 2011 06:29pm | Post a Comment
Could I get any more obsessed with those World Series Champions, the San Francisco Giants?
 
 
The answer is a resounding YES, not just from me, I am sure, but from practically everyone in the Bay Area -- it was reported today that the 2011 team is in talks to get what is being billed as its very own docuseries on...Showtime (eh.), covering the whole season, from Spring Training through the (hopefully) triumphant end, no doubt with some tantalizing appearances by The Machine somewhere in there.

'Once' To Become a Broadway Musical

Posted by Miss Ess, January 14, 2011 06:04pm | Post a Comment
 
The Irish movie Once, starring Amoeba faves Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, will become a stage musical, with a fall opening set for Broadway! If you have yet to see this beautiful film, you've gotta check it out! Click here to read my interview with Glen.
 
Glen and Marketa have hit the Amoeba stage several times, and the Oscar winners even took time out a while back to tell us What's in Their Bag:

David Berman, Blogger

Posted by Miss Ess, January 14, 2011 05:11pm | Post a Comment
Author, musician, and former Silver Jews' frontman David Berman may have retired from music back in 2009, but he's showcasing his writing in a new format: he now has a blog. Hipsters, unite! You just can't keep a good poet down.
 

Enter to Win Tix to Cat Power's Anticipated Feb 6 Hollywood Show

Posted by Billyjam, January 13, 2011 11:47pm | Post a Comment
 
Below is some fan footage of Cat Power performing a blend of Jackson Browne's "These Days" and her own "Song to Bobby" (off her otherwise mostly covers album Jukebox from 2008) in Las Vegas in October at the big Matator at 21 event which celebrated Matador Records' 21 years in the record industry. Since she is always full of surprises, who knows if Chan Marshall will perform these two songs (which she also did at last summer's Outside Lands fest in SF) in a few weeks when she plays the Music Box in Hollywood. Anticipation is high for the concert, since she is expected to be playing songs off her much delayed, still in the making, new solo album. Titled Sun, it will be her first album of all original material since 2006’s The Greatest.

Already written and ready to go a few years ago, the artist switched up the playlist for Sun in the meantime and stalled on releasing it. Initially the album was going to be recordings of these older songs she had written some years back but now it reportedly will include all newer material by the artist. Before the Hollywood show she will do a short tour of Australia starting in a week. Tickets for her Australian dates sold out fast, so you would be advised to buy tickets for her Feb 6 Hollywood Music Box show asap. Better yet, win tickets to the show courtesy of Amoeba Music. Click here to register to win, and visit the Hollywood Music Box site for full info on the show!
 

My Best of 2010: Music Picks by Kelly

Posted by Kells, January 13, 2011 08:45pm | Post a Comment
Howdy and Happy New Year, one and all. I've spent about a week and half, that is the first week and a half of 2011, listening only to the music I purchased last year and I've come up with a list of stuff that I am not only not sick of but ready to live happily ever after with. Here's what I love the most, my best picks for music released in 2010, and you know it's gotta be firm 'cause it's all I've been living on. Let's go:

Sun City Girls - Funeral Mariachi (Abduction)

This is the kind of record that you listen to repeatedly, one side at a time. I think I must have replayed side one at least five times before moving on to play side two again and again --- it's just a mesmerizing and solid piece of work, enchanting and haunted by an astounding breadth of world music influences (no doubt culled from field recordings, transmissions and the like Sun City Girls has gifted to the public via their Sublime Frequencies label, which pretty much makes them, alongside Mississippi Records, the Smithsonian Folkways of our generation). This release is held even more dear by the fact that it is the last Sun City Girls record due to the death of drummer and vocalist Charles Gocher Jr. in 2007. It's also a limited release, so get it while you can. In fact, it's the "get it while you can" of 2010.

Sun City Girls - "Blue West" from Funeral Mariachi



Tim Cohen - Laugh Tracks (Captured Tracks)

A decidedly "summer" record released in a year overflowing with "sounds of summer" records, but this one is different. I hadn't listened to this record since the weather turned brisk, but listening to it again now I recognize a pleasant nostalgia for these songs that secure its place in my treasure chest collection of "staying in" records. It also makes me wish I lived in a place with a screened in porch and wooden floors. Not as rockin' as Cohen's Fresh & Onlys, but janky and deft as anything Tim's ever fixed his broadly informed musical influences on, even if this time it sounds like a crazy quilt and a Legend in a rockin' chair. A++

Tim Cohen - "Oh, Oh, Oh" from Laugh Tracks


Joanna Newsom - Have One On Me (Drag City)

Okay, here we go: what is there to say that hasn't already been said about this record? Surely you know by now whether or not this fills your cup, and if it is your poison, well, you don't need me to reiterate how essential this record is because we agree already: it's the bee's knees. If you, like so many others, can't get past this or that to enjoy Ms. Newsom's polyrhythmic instrumental skills or her penchant for weaving rich verbal tapestries with threads of lyrical gold like "I regret / when I said to you honey just open your heart when I have trouble even opening a honey jar" highlighting compositions that clock in at an average of seven to ten minutes, then that's your problem. Funny, that same description could be applied to Iron Maiden's 2010 release, Final Frontier, excepting the sample lyric of course, which just goes to show that music is more alike than different, you know, just like you and me. Anyway, final answer, Have One On Me: masterpiece of the year. [boom, roasted!]

Joanna Newsom - "In California" from Have One On Me
 

Joanna Newsom - "Good Intentions Paving Company" from Have One On Me


Joanna Newsom - "'81" from Have One On Me



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jeff Eubank - A Street Called Straight (Drag City)

Speaking of Drag City, this is another one of their fine, fine reissues. I'd feel hesitant to include a 1983 reissue on a list of 2010 year end music picks, but I just cannot not count this record in, as it has become so very precious to me. I had no idea how much I needed this LP until I happened to randomly pick it up one day and perceive that eerie, unexplainable gut feeling that enables patient diggers to calmly pull a title that seems to be psychically super-smizing at them. This record is one of those lost 80's soft/"yacht" rock sessions that determined artists end up mortgaging their houses to afford making, perhaps owing to its existence as Eubank's sole recording, thus increasing the preciousness index. The fact that most of A Street Called Straight sounds like better, lusher songs like those America wrote for the Last Unicorn soundtrack confirms my esteem for him, ranking Jeff right up there with my other singer-songwriter boyfriends Jeff Lynne and Todd Rundgren. If only I could include a sample of "For Your Return..." or "Feels Like Me," but I guess "Kamikaze Pilot" will have to suffice.
 
Jeff Eubank - "Kamikaze Pilot" from A Street Called Straight

 
Lloyd Miller & the Heliocentrics - S/T

I like jazz, jazz is nice. Stir in a little eastern influence 'n instruments and I could jazz all night. Every track on this joint smolders but none more so in my opinion than those incorporating Indonesian elements and Gamelan scale. Also, the latest Lou Harrison, released in December, Scenes From Cavafy (New World Records), is pretty amazing, especially the tracks that feature the Gamelan Pacifica Chorus --- total swoon --- I die, it's so good!

Lloyd Miller & the Heliocentrics - "Fantasy Pt. 1"

 
Agent Ribbons - Chateau Crone (Antenna Farm)

A long time fan of the Missus Ribbons, I was delighted to get their new full length LP (!) in my clutches in 2010 at long last. Though their recordings may be only a token of their love compared to the orgy of their frank and frenzied live performances (ahem, do yourself a favor, already) I've played this gem to no end and can but come to the conclusion that Agent Ribbons are one of the best lady bands in the U.S.A. We love them: check out Amoeba's Agent Ribbons video featurette here, Chateau Crone review here and band interview (posted just before the trio became a duo, once again) here.

Agent Ribbons - "Dada Girlfriend" from Chateau Crone



 
 
 
 
Oni - Sunwave Heart (ハヤシライスレコード) & Afrirampo - We Are Uchu No Ko (Rock Action)

While Agent Ribbons has got me on the subject of awesome lady-rocker duos, Afrirampo released their final album in 2010 which may or mayn't have anything to do with the future of Oni's solo work as a folk artist. Regardless, the point is Afrirampo has broken up [*sniffle*] and delivered a double-disc swan song like none other. Though Oni's preshy earth songs provide some comfort, I'm gonna miss them あふり-red painted ladies and the total chaos of their live shows (reference the video below for a taste). お疲れ, ladies, さようなら。

Oni - "Ajisai" from Sunwave Heart


Afrirampo - "ヤーヤーエー" from We Are Uchu No Ko


Afrirampo's video for "Miracle Lucky Girls" from We Are Uchu No Ko


 

 
 
Beachcomber Trio - Live at Kahiki 1965 (Dionysus)

All Exotica releases should come packaged with a cocktail recipe, am I wrong? This LP only, hand numbered edition of 500 is not a reissue, mind you, but a lost recording of an exotic evening at Columbus, Ohio's Kahiki Supper Club, a legendary though now defunct "Tiki Temple," and includes not only a recipe for the classic Port Light tiki cocktail, but also comes packaged with a digital download coupon --- crazy, eh? Featuring house band The Beachcomber Trio, this record packs the sort of quiet, environmental excitement other live restaurant recordings released in the 60's present: the sound of the bar's waterfall, the tinkling of glasses and muffled voices sometimes offering discernible words like the man with the Jimmy Stewart voice stating "oh, that's 'Yellow Bird'" as the band begins to play Arthur Lyman's "Yellow Bird." An absolute must have for Exotica enthusiasts and theme restaurant lovers alike. And, while you're at it, pick up a copy of that Exotic Dreamers 2-on-1 reissue of Ethel Azama's Exotic Dream and Tak Shindo's Mganga! --- both worth the price of a painkiller #9.
 
Blonde Redhead - Penny Sparkle (4AD)

I was a little down on this at first listen (I was pining for early BR sounds), but it grew on me slowly, finally overtaking my senses at their live show at the Warfield theater last November. They've rummaged around, re-creating their musical style time after time, but they still manage to sound as beautiful and damaged as ever. The song they opened their show with, "Black Guitar," is proof of that, and, looking back to songs like "Pink Love" from Misery Is A Butterfly, it seems that Blonde Redhead still pull from their tarnished prison-house of a well, no matter how they endeavor to redecorate it. They ought to cover "Pain Cave" someday; I know they could do it right.

Blonde Redhead - "Black Guitar" from Penny Sparkle

 


 


Sandwitches - Duck Duck Goose! (Secret Seven)

So dark 'n lovely, this hardly-for-kids, wyrd-pop record continues to take my breath away; there's just no wearing it out. Here's my review of Duck Duck Goose! from June 2010, and please note the Sandwitches will be headlining (!) at Slim's on January 25th as a part of an evening presented by (((folk YEAH!))) and playing a benefit for the Coalition on Homelessness with Thee Oh Sees and Sic Alps at Great American Music Hall on February 9th.

The Sandwitches - "Stardust" from Duck Duck Goose!

 

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - Before Today (4AD)

I think most folks agree that this record is tops, so I'll sa
ve the drawn out, glowing review and say that when I first heard Ariel Pink was to release a record on 4AD I wasn't expecting it to be this good. I mean, it's so good that it, in the words of John Mellencamp, hurts sooo good. If his show at Bimbo's last summer taught me anything it's that Ariel Pink is the wizard spilling caesar salad all over himself behind the curtain and his Haunted Graffiti band is, well, band of the year as far as I'm concerned; they killed it,  picked it up when Ariel was putting it all down. Record of the year? Yeah, and why not? It's locked in from here to eternity as the solid shades-on, roof-off, #1 summer jam of 2010, so there you go, put that in your Discman and spin it.

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - "Bright Lit Blue Skies" from Before Today


Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - "Fright Night (Nevermore)" from Before Today


Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - "Can't Hear My Eyes" from Before Today
 

Tamaryn - Waves (Mexican Summer)

Back in Virginia we used to hang out at this once a week goth night called "1708" at club 1708. It was fun, but middling though there were a lot of guys dressed like Trent Reznor. Recently I heard buzzing among fellow Amoeba peeps about a band called Tamaryn; seems they'd made quite the impression with their live show, and everyone was remarking upon their certain success and notoriety. I confess, I rushed to get a listen and found a properly elevated "1708" sound so atmospheric I could almost feel the tense softness of spilled candlewax cooling on velvet cushions. I recognized Tamaryn, the girl and the band, at a local karaoke joint about two weeks after hearing Waves for the first time. As far as I can remember she sang "Killing Moon" in the style of Echo and the Bunnymen, "Silver Spring" in the style of Fleetwood Mac and "Life on Mars" in the style of David Bowie, so her influences certainly check out. It's a shame "Love Will Tear Us Apart" wasn't in the songbook.

Tanaryn - "The Waves" from Waves


The video for Tamaryn's "Love Fade" from Waves
 
Grass Widow - Past Time (Kill Rock Stars)

Amazing music, amazing art, amazing women, amazing band. What more do you want? (Watch this...)

Grass Widow's video for "Fried Egg" from Past Time

Leland - Feel the Pain (Contempt)

This is a weird one, weird deluxe. A heap of these ended up in Amoeba San Francisco's clearance bins and many of us pounced on them like cats on nip because a.) who is Leland? and b.) how is it that he cooks so chilled? Still on the prowl for more info about Berkeley man of mystery Leland Yoshitsu, who is, it seems, sadly no longer with us but enjoys a flattering afterlife thanks to artists like Puro Instinct and Ariel Pink. Far fucking out, man.

Leland - "I've Got Some Happiness"

 
Sword - Warp Riders (Kemado)

I don't know if this would have made this list if it weren't for the most triumphant cover artwork and the buzz about this record being a science fantasy concept album inspired by Queensryche's Operation: Mindcrime bearing influences from heavy predecessors like Thin Lizzy, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden and Nazareth. It's a killer, throwing punches that'll hit L.A.R.P.ers, Trekkies and headbangers alike right between the eyes.

The Sword - "(The Night The Sky Cried) Tears of Fire" from Warp Riders

Die Antwoord - $O$ (Interscope)

I almost forgot to include this one since most of it has technically been around since 2009, but Die freakin' Antwoord's debut received proper release in 2010! I could gush for days about how cool these people are and how folks perplexed by their act need to just chill and take it all in. And if you can, take in a live Die Antwoord show. True, you won't be any closer to understanding what the heck "Wat Kyk Jy?" is all about, but I'd wager a B.P.P. you'll be more than pleased to find yourself fist-pumping with the Ninja and Yo-Landi Vi$$er. Check out the "What's In My Bag?" interview with with Die Antwoord at Amoeba Music Hollywood here, photos from their bombastic live performance at Amoeba Music San Francisco here, and keep an eye out for the upcoming video interview piece to accompany them in-store photos. By far the best in house performance of the year!!! Die Antwoord: yes, please!

Die Antwoord - "In Your Face"


Die Antwoord - "Zef Side" video thingy

Of course there was a ton of other great stuff I could include, but it's 2011 already and I'm excited about new, newer and the newest things too. So, I'm gonna stop here. Except to say how about that R. Kelly, is he classing up his act or what? King of soul 2010: R. Kelly, bitches!
 

 

Jennifer Herrema Appearing at...Volcom Store?

Posted by Miss Ess, January 13, 2011 04:55pm | Post a Comment
 
Jennifer Herrema, musician, producer, legend and fashion icon to many, from Royal Trux and RTX, will be making an appearance at the Volcom shop on La Brea in Los Angeles tomorrow. She will be performing with St. Vitus' Wino and playing Stones tunes, according to the info on Drag City's website! Eh? Eh!
 
Apparently she's collaborating on jeans with and starring in a series of videos for the brand.
 

Etta James Diagnosed with Leukemia

Posted by Miss Ess, January 13, 2011 04:39pm | Post a Comment
 
Spinner reported today that, sadly, 72 year old legend Etta James has been diagnosed with leukemia. James apparently suffers from dementia as well. Click here for more info. We're sending good thoughts her way by listening to her mesmerizing voice.
 
"Sunday Kind of Love"

Arcade Fire To Perform at the Grammys

Posted by Amoebite, January 13, 2011 09:39am | Post a Comment
Potentially giving you a reason to tune in to the bloated and grandiose tribute to the music industry that is the Grammys, indie band and Amoeba best-seller Arcade Fire will be performing at this year's show, February 13th on CBS. They are up for Album of the Year, the oddly titled Best Alternative Music Album and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group for The Suburbs and "Ready to Start," respectively.
 
arcade fire

January 12, 2011: Due Date

Posted by phil blankenship, January 12, 2011 11:09pm | Post a Comment

SF Sketchfest's 10th Anniversary

Posted by Amoebite, January 12, 2011 12:44pm | Post a Comment

san francisco sketchfest

San Francisco’s Sketchfest comedy festival celebrates its 10th Anniversary with Dan Aykroyd, Candice Bergen, James L. Brooks, David Byrne, Diane English, Neil Patrick Harris, Brian Henson, Cloris Leachman, Moby, Maya Rudolph, Garry Shandling, Fred Willard, the creators of Airplane!, the Viva Variety reunion show, improv masters Upright Citizens Brigade, and many more! Amoeba is proud to help sponsor the festival running January 13 - February 5. Get your tickets now! More info here.
 

Noir City at the Castro Theater

Posted by Amoebite, January 12, 2011 12:43pm | Post a Comment

gaslight

NOIR CITY 9 returns to San Francisco's majestic Castro Theatre January 21-30 with Who's Crazy Now?. The lineup of 24 Tales of Madness ranges from the legendary Oscar-winning performance by Ingrid Bergman (Gaslight) and Ronald Colman (A Double Life)—to obscure rarities, some rescued from extinction by the Film Noir Foundation. All films will be presented as originally intended in glorious 35mm celluloid and all proceeds from the festival directly fund film preservation efforts. More info here.

Jazz and Democracy Project

Posted by Amoebite, January 12, 2011 12:33pm | Post a Comment


 

The Jazz & Democracy Project® (J&D) is a music integrated curriculum linking the arts (music) and the humanities (history/government). Through literary, aural, and visual content, as well as kinesthetic activities, students 10 years and up learn about the process that creates Jazz and how this mirrors the democratic process. Without needing any previous musical experience, all J&D students understand what musicians must know and be able to do in order to create Jazz, and how these same elements form the foundation of The U.S. Constitution, American democracy, and civic engagement in the 21st Century. For more info, click here.

Bay Area Artist Mochipet Will Make Dinner for Winner of Unique Cover Art Contest

Posted by Billyjam, January 12, 2011 12:00pm | Post a Comment


Mochipet,
the always innovative San Francisco electronic music artist and head of prolific Bay Area indie label Daly City Records, came up with a novel idea for getting the cover art for his next single "Whompa-Saurus-Sex." He is holding a Have Mochipet Make you Dinner! contest in which whomever makes the artwork chosen for the new single (listen to it here) can either have the artist come over and cook them dinner or lunch, or have Mochipet go to their house and DJ their party, or else have the artist send them a purple custom made dino suit (his trademark outfit to perform in) so that they can make their own Mochi themed Dino Party!

Earlier this week I caught up with Mochipet, who was interviewed on the Amoeblog a few years ago, to ask him about this contest, which he just launched in conjunction with the small netlabel Peppermill.  "I've always wanted to do a cover contest but never really knew how until I came up with this concept," he told me. "I wanted to do something different. I wanted to do something fun. And I wanted to do something personal. And what's more personal than cooking for someone? Right? I honestly love to cook but never get a chance to so this is a good chance for me to get out the utensils and go to town!"

"If the winner chooses to have me DJ their house party I will not take requests. If what they want are requests then I will happily hand them an iPod and tell em to go to town. They don't need me for that," he said with a laugh. Note that the DJing and dinner making part of the contest are only available if Mochipet comes to the winner's town on tour or is based in the Bay Area. Listen to the song that the cover art will be for here. For complete contest details click here and then you can click here to get officially registered via Peppermill.

Band of Horses Extravaganza With Free Download, Interview, News and More

Posted by Amoebite, January 12, 2011 08:40am | Post a Comment
band of horses amoeba
Band of Horses Live at Amoeba SF - 5.29.10 - For more pics, click here!

If you're a fan of Band of Horses, or have always wanted to check them out, you've come to the right place! The band has played several instores at Amoeba over the years and below you will find 7" news, and, culled from their appearances here, a performance video, full audio from their most recent instore, an audio interview and a free downloadable track!

The band is releasing a free download of "Infinite Arms." Band of Horses is asking for your email address before you download the song, and you will be signed up for the Amoeba newsletter if you aren't already. You can buy their Grammy nominated album, also titled Infinite Arms, from Amoeba right here!



Check out the band's full set from this past May:

Also, you can listen to Ben Bridwell's interview with Amoeba from Band of Horses' latest SF instore:

January 11, 2011: Season of the Witch

Posted by phil blankenship, January 11, 2011 11:10pm | Post a Comment

Portlandia

Posted by Miss Ess, January 11, 2011 03:28pm | Post a Comment


Portlandia: Now this is the kind of television I can get behind! Carrie Brownstein, one of my all time biggest girl crushes, in a velour tracksuit and Uggs learning about the promised land up north? And Fred Armisen (still kinda on my shit list for screwing over Peggy Olson, but this clip is helping) singing the praises of a fantastical place where the dream of the 90s is still available to the pierced and tattooed? This rules. Wish I got IFC. Starts January 21 at 10:30pm.

Tiny Tim: Lost and Found Out Today! Check Out Our Interview with Tiny Tim Expert Justin Martell

Posted by Amoebite, January 11, 2011 02:29pm | Post a Comment

Today, local SF label Secret Seven Records releases Tiny Tim: Lost and Found, a collection of rarities! To celebrate, we've got an interview with one of the country's foremost experts on Mr. Tiny Tim, Justin Martell, who is in the process of writing an authorized biography of the musician, which will hopefully be out by Christmas, 2011. He has also been a consultant on and contributed liner notes to two posthumous Tiny Tim releases, I've Never Seen a Straight Banana (Collector's Choice Records, 2009) and this latest release to be discussed in the interview below. Basically, when it comes to Tiny Tim, he's the man.

Read on to learn much more about Tiny Tim's life and career, as well as the special stuff on Tiny Tim: Lost and Found!

Also, you can hear "If I Had a Talking Picture of You" from the new release right here!

lost and found tiny tim

How did Lost & Found come about?

Continue reading...

Neil Young Tribute in NYC Feb 10

Posted by Miss Ess, January 11, 2011 11:10am | Post a Comment

If you are lucky enough to live in the New York area, there's gonna be a massive Neil Young tribute at no less than Carnegie Hall on Feb 10! Scheduled artists include Patti Smith, The Roots, J Mascis, Bettye LaVette, Bebel Gilberto and many more, and all the proceeds go to various charities. Tickets here.

(In which I celebrate four years of rad love.)

Posted by Job O Brother, January 10, 2011 03:53pm | Post a Comment
 
Today the boyfriend and I celebrate the fourth anniversary of our first seeing each other’s faces. Upon awakening this morning, we each remarked that it hasn’t felt like four years, but shorter. In part this could be because we have so much fun together, but it also helps that the season-less weather of LA makes everything feel like one, very long year.

It was music that brought us together, which is funny when you consider we often have such different tastes. For instance, he thinks cranking some Tori Amos while taking a hot bubble bath is swell, while I find the very idea akin to suicide; when curling up with a good book, I like to listen to some classical lieder, an past-time he would typically describe as “poop-facey.”

Our first connection was made on Friendster. You young ‘uns won’t know anything about this, but long, long ago – before there was Facebook (yes, it’s true!) – there was a site called Friendster, which amounted to about the same thing: letting you maintain the illusion that you’re “in touch” with everyone you care about and simultaneously allowing you to seek out companionship with strangers based on what movies/music they list as liking.

“He’s a surgeon who looks like a young George Clooney but oh – I could never date a guy who likes 311 and Matrix Reloaded. Our babies would have webbed feet.”

Continue reading...

Bobby Robinson (Enjoy Records), R.I.P.

Posted by Billyjam, January 10, 2011 03:17pm | Post a Comment

Bobby Robinson, the founder of one of the earliest record labels to release hip-hop music, Enjoy Records, died over the weekend at age 93. Robinson, who also ran the famous 125th Street Harlem, NY record store Bobby's Happy House from the late 1940's up until a few years ago, oversaw the Enjoy Records label out of the same upper Manhattan location from the early 60's through to the end of the 80's.

Through this pioneering label, where he initially released music by blues, soul, and R&B artists (he is credited with discovering Gladys Knight & The Pips), he moved into hip-hop by the end of the 70's. Hip-hop artists signed and released by Robinson include such formative-years figures as Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, Funky Four + One More, The Treacherous Three, and Spoonie G (his nephew). In 1979 Enjoy Records released the 12" single by Funky Four + One More, “Rappin’ And Rockin’ The House,” and the classic “Superrappin’" 12" single by Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five who soon after would get scooped up by Sugar Hill Records. And although Enjoy Records closed as a Enjoy Recordslabel in 1987, Robinson kept his famous central Harlem Bobby’s Happy House record store open until three years ago when he got evicted -- to much public outrage -- another victim of the economy.

As Dan Charnas, author of the recently published hip-hop history book, The Big Payback, wrote of Robinson and his famous record store: "Anyone who had been there in the past decade could tell you, [it] had a stream of visitors throughout the day, but nobody ever seemed to buy anything. The display cases were filled with rows of dusty, ancient CDs and cassette tapes. Folks were really coming to see Robinson: tourists from Europe on pilgrimage, neighbors and local characters stopping by between errands, old friends like Paul Winley checking on Bobby. Sometimes, like me, they’d wait for him. Bobby Robinson would usually saunter in mid-day — and what an entrance he would make. At 90, he was always clean, always sharp — usually in a bright-colored suit jacket that contrasted with his long, straight, shock-white hair. He walked slow, turned gradually, and sat tentatively. But when he looked at you, you almost felt zapped. A lot of life and light in those eyes."
 

Continue reading...

Film Crud of 2010

Posted by Charles Reece, January 9, 2011 11:43pm | Post a Comment

Imagine an alien archeologist in the future trying to understand human culture through our only remaining documents, existentialist literature from the 20th century. This alien might not laugh at Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan.

   

I have not seen Sofia Coppola's Somewhere, but did see Tom Hooper's The King's Speech thanks to a free screening. The latter makes King George VI relatable to us commoners by showing the difficulty he had in public speaking (a requisite of kings) due to his stuttering. Being a monarch on the dole isn't as easy as it looks, the film says. Coppola suggested in her last film, Marie Antoinette, that royalty might even like the same indy rock bands as the hoi polloi if given the chance. Poor Marie didn't get that chance; her crippling privilege led to an early beheading. King George couldn't retreat into the background and go face the Nazis on the battlefield. Instead, he had to endure years of speech therapy in order to give a speech to all the boys who were to face death against the Axis. My inner class conflict has trouble finding this story inspirational, but I, along with all the middle aged women who read classic literature, can't deny the charm of Colin Firth. As an example of creative writing's write what you know, Somewhere is about privileged Hollywood types contemplating their up-and-out existence at the Chateau Marmont. Stephen Dorff plays the kind of guy who spends a lot of money on looking dirty and hip. There are a lot of his type in Hollywood, and now they have a movie about their plight. Dorff's not as dreamy as Firth, but has better abs.


That poster kind of says it all, a bleached blonde white queen, i.e., cheap and phony. It's interesting that when a film version of some dark fable comes up, Tim Burton springs to mind. Of course, he had to be the one to direct this film, I heard many people say. Yet, he only fucks them up: Sleepy Hollow, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Sweeney Todd. Sure, he's got a unique design sense, but he's an unimaginative storyteller, turning everything into the most rudimentary action plot. The best he could do with the headless horseman is to treat him as a supervillain. Alice in Wonderland shoehorns Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings into Lewis Carroll's world. Instead of mindgames with perverse creatures, Alice is a warrior who's brought back to Wonderland to face off against the tyranny of the Red Queen and to slay the Jabberwocky. That sounds like a well-worn joke about producer interference from The Player, but it's not.


Peter Bogdanovich likes to retell this bit where, in response to a comment he made about Greta Garbo only making two great films, Orson Welles said, "you only need one." It helps to keep that in mind when watching Martin Scorsese's films of the past 20 years. For example, Shutter Island.


"Charms audiences into a state of enlightenment" -- that's one of the poster's blurbs. If you're a bigot, then you're not going to see a film about two lesbians raising well-adjusted kids. So who's going to be charmed by this film? Liberal types already accepting the message of the film, but who like to be patted on the back for their tolerant attitude. Which renders the point perfunctory, at best, like arguing against spousal abuse in front of Oprah's audience. No, I didn't see The Kids Are All Right, but the trailer gives away the whole story: sperm-donating wastrel dad returns, shakes things up, everyone loves each other a little more by the end. Nothing offends me quite like earnest pablum, congratulating people on not acting like idiots. Can we set the bar any lower? Jonathan Rosenbaum recently commented how sick he is of American revenge plots. I disagree. Think how much better this film would be had the father returned, kidnapped the kids, been hunted down and tortured by the mothers proclaiming masculinity to be an infection in need of a cure. That's the kind of view I don't mind being patted on the back for having.


Should someone object that it's not fair to judge a film based on the trailer (as if blunt empiricism is always preferable to a well-honed rationalism when assessing something like a Star Trek/X-men crossover novel), I watched TRON Legacy, even though the trailer looked terrible. The movie was, indeed, terrible. 

Dishonorable mentions: Iron Man 2, Monsters, anything starring one of the Affleck brothers and whatever Clint Eastwood's last film was.

January 9, 2011: No One Killed Jessica

Posted by phil blankenship, January 9, 2011 10:49pm | Post a Comment

January 9, 2011: Tangled

Posted by phil blankenship, January 9, 2011 06:51pm | Post a Comment

The Art of the LP Cover- Timepieces

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, January 9, 2011 11:40am | Post a Comment
Kicking off my first post of the year, here's a great collection of LPs featuring watches, clocks, hour glasses, a sundial and a human alarm clock.

California Fool's Gold -- Exploring South Pasadena, Where the Past is the Present

Posted by Eric Brightwell, January 8, 2011 05:13pm | Post a Comment
SOUTH PASADENA

Today's blog entry is about the city of South Pasadena. To vote for Los Angeles County communities, vote here. To vote for other Los Angeles neighborhoods to be covered, vote here. To vote for Orange County communities, vote here.


Pendersleigh & Sons' Official Map of South Pasadena


INTRODUCTION TO SOUTH PASADENA

South Pasadena is a small town of roughly 24,000 citizens located at the westernmost edge of the San Gabriel Valley. Situated north of the San Rafael Hills and east of the Arroyo Seco, its neighbors are Pasadena to the north, San Marino to the east, Alhambra to the southeast, Montecito Heights and El Sereno to the southwest, and Highland Park and Hermon to the west. Within its borders are the neighborhoods of Bean Tract, Downtown, Mission Street-East, Mission Street-West, Olga, Ostrich Farm and Raymond Hill, as well as the historic residential districts of El Centro/Indiana/Palm, Oak/Laurel, and Ramona Street. The demographics are roughly 50% white, 26% Asian (mostly Chinese and Korean) and 16% Latino (mostly Mexican).


EARLY HISTORY OF THE REGION

The original inhabitants of modern-day South Pasadena and surrounding areas were members of the Hahamog'na band of Tongva. There were at least two Hahamong’na settlements in the area. Their leader, Hahamog'na, met Gaspar de Portolà on the overland Mexican Expedition of 1770. Upon converting to Christianity, Hahamog'na took the name “Pascual.” After the missions were secularized in 1834, Rancho San Pascual was granted to retired Spanish soldier Juan Mariné. After Mexico surrendered the land to the US in 1848, the Manuel Garfias Adobe was erected on Arroyo Drive in 1853. The adobe was the setting of the first non-aboriginal birth in what’s now South Pasadena. In 1875, landowners in San Pascual voted to rename their association “Pasadena." On March 2nd, 1888, the City of South Pasadena was incorporated, in part to resist their absorption into insatiable Pasadena. The population at the time was around 500.


ORANGES

   
           Ahn Chang Ho aka "Dosan"                                                     The Seal of South Pasadena

The original symbol of the city was an orange tree. Andrew O. Porter, chairman of San Gabriel Orange Grove Association and G. Harold Powell, head of the California Fruit Growers Exchange (now Sunkist), both lived in South Pasadena, at Orange Grove and Marengo, respectively. Both houses still stand. In 1910, Ahn Chang Ho organized fellow Korean-American laborers to lobby for better conditions from Alta Cresta Groves' C.E. Rumsey in Riverside. In 1974, the wooden Orangery Shopping Center was proposed and although ground was broken, the project was aborted. With all the orange groves removed, the city's symbol was changed to a generic tree. In 2002, the city council voted to change the city's flower from orange blossom to tiger lily.  


THE ROYAL RAYMOND


In 1886, travel agent Walter Raymond opened the 200 room Royal Raymond resort hotel on Bacon Hill (now Raymond Hill) for orange-picking tourists. Surrounded by the vast Raymond Flower Fields, it was the first major South Pasadena attraction. Although it burned down on Easter, 1895, it was rebuilt in 1901. Closed during the depression, after Walter's death at 82, the bank again burned it to the ground in 1934.


THE CAWSTON OSTRICH FARM


 
South Pasadena's second big attraction was the Cawston Ostrich Farm. Englishman Edwin Cawston established his first Ostrich Farm in Norwalk, then opened a farm in South Pasadena in 1886. The Ostrich Farm was quite the tourist destination and guests could ride the birds, feed them oranges, and purchase products made from their tanned flesh and feathers produced at the adjacent factory.

OAKLAWN


Oak Lawn Bridge

In 1904, the South Pasadena Realty and Improvement Co. contracted with Greene & Greene to design a pair of entrance-gate portals and an accompanying fence for the Oaklawn residential development. The bridge came in 1906, connecting Oaklawn and Fair Oaks and it has waiting stations at the ends. Maryam said it was closed to cars because it’s structurally unsound. However, we were assured that it was safe for pedestrians.


FAIR OAKS PHARMACY & SODA FOUNTAIN


Fair Oaks Pharmacy

The Fair Oaks Pharmacy and Soda Fountain opened in 1915 as The South Pasadena Pharmacy. In the process of its restoration in the 1990s, many fixtures were brought from Joplin, Missouri’s Me Gee Pharmacy, just down the road on Route 66. It’s my go-to place for Crabtree & Evelyn and Caswell-Massey products and if you ever hanker for a malt or some old-fashioned candy like a Mary Janes, Blackjack gum or a Charleston Chew, they’ve got that too.


MUSIC OF SOUTH PASADENA 


South Pasadena has produced a few musicians including Che Zuro, Dead Ball Era, Erin Alden, LA Font, Sculpted Static and Ricky Parish & The Blues Gypsys. In November, bands battle it out at the South Pasadena Music Center & Conservatory for the Battle of the Bands. Less bellicose is the Eclectic Music Festival & Art Walk in May. The city is also represented musically by the South Pasadena Community Band and the South Pasadena Adult Concert Band.


Battery Books and Music

There's a pretty new store which features live music too, The Battery Books and Music.


SOUTH PASADENA PARKS

Garfield Park

South Pasadena is very green for Southern California, with shady streets lined with large, mature native California trees including ash, redwood, sequoia, sycamore and walnuts. There are also non-natives including sweetgum, and refreshingly few palms. There are also 92.2 acres of parks in the city: Arroyo Seco Park, Eddie Park (and House), Garfield Park, Orange Grove ParkLibrary ParkSan Pasqual Park and War Memorial Park. 


SOUTH PASADENA IN MOVIES

 
It’s partly because of South Pasadena’s relative lack of obvious California identifiers and small town feel that it’s such a popular place to film movies and TV. American Pie, Back to the Future, Beethoven 1 and 2, Beverly Hills 90210, Big Love, Bones, Boston Public, Brothers and Sisters, Bruce Almighty, CSI, Cold Case, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Death at a Funeral, Desperate Housewives, Dog Whisperer, Flags of Our Fathers, Freaky Friday, Gone with the Wind, Indiana Colony, Jack & Bobby, Judging Amy, Landscaper's Challenge, Legally Blonde 1 and 2, License to Wed, Mad Men, Modern Family, Mr. Deeds, National Treasure 1 and 2, Nip/Tuck, Old School, Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, Stepbrothers, The Girl Next Door, The Terminator, The Ugly Truth, 13 Going on 30, Windfall and XXX have all been filmed in part or in whole in the city.


The Myers home from Halloween

Some of the noteworthy homes from films are the Myers home from Halloween (1000 Mission Street),


George McFly's House from Back to the Future

George McFly’s house
(1711 Bushnell Ave), the Beethoven house (1405 Milan Avenue), The OC's Berkely house (1617 Marengo Avenue) and Step By Step’s Lambert-Foster house (2011 Fletcher Ave).

 

Two popular actors are South Pas natives. Joel McCrea, star of the amazing Tales of the Texas Rangers (as well as numerous films), was born there in 1905. Meredith Baxter of Family Ties and many made-for-TV movies fame, was also born there. In the 1970s she acted on the TV series Family, the exteriors of which were shot in South Pasadena too.


The Rialto Theatre 

The 1200-seat Rialto Theatre opened on October 17th, 1925. The opening program included trapeze artists, vaudeville acts and the world premier of Reginal Denny’s What Happened to Jones. The theater, which has Egyptian, Moorish and Spanish elements, was one of the last designed by noted theater architect Lewis A. Smith, who died the following year. In 1978 it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. In 1992 it was featured in Missourian director Robert Altman’s The Player. In 1997 it was featured in Scream 2. In 2001 I saw Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain with Christine, Seth and Stella. It went out of business on August 19, 2007.




South Pasadena supports one DVD rental store, Vidéothèque. Although their movie selection has fewer than half as many film titles as Amoeba, their focus on classics, cult, foreign, independent and rare cinema is impressive as is the sheer number of director and other subsections.

  

In a sad bit of South Pasadena film news, on December 30th, 1996, actor Jack Nance died of a subdural hematoma. The actor, a favorite of David Lynch's, claimed to have been involved in a fight at the Winchell's across the street and died the next morning. He was the subject of the 2002 documentary I Don't Know Jack.


ARTS AND CULTURE

 
The Michael Hollis Fine Art Gallery features work by contemporary artists, California Impressionists, Soviet artists and often features California-centric exhibitions. For theater enthusiasts or fans of British spelling, there‘s the Fremont Centre Theatre. The artistic directors are a wife and husband team, Lisa Layng Reynolds and James ReynoldsDays of Our Lives' “Abe Carver.”


EVENTS

 
Every Thursday in the Mission-West District, South Pasadenans enjoy the South Pasadena Farmer's Market. For athletes, the first Saturday of December every year brings the annual Tiger Run. On the other end of the health spectrum is the annual Parti Gras, which got its start in the Bristol Farms parking lot.


SP EATS 


There aren’t too many restaurants in South Pasadena, just Ai Japanese Resaurant, The Barkley, Bistro de la Gare, Cake Sensations, The Cookshack, Carmine's Italian, Firefly Bistro, Golden China, Gus's Barbecue, Hi-Life Burgers, La Fiesta Grande, Mamma's Brick Oven, Mike & Anne's, Munch, Nicole's Gourmet Foods, Nonna's Pizzeria, Patakan Thai, The Raymond, Senor Fish, Shakers, Shiro, Tokoro Japanese and Wild Thyme as far as I can tell. As far as I know, alcohol is legal in South Pasadena but all the bars seem to be of the coffee variety. There’s the Burke Triolo Studio, but it’s only used for filming. There’s Buster's Ice Cream & Coffee Stop, Heirloom Cafe, House of Coffee and Kaldi. Boozehounds may want to follow their nose to surrounding communities (or sit at The Barkley’s bar). On the day of our adventure, we ate at Shakers. I thought the omelet-style potato pancakes were amazing although know beforehand that the service is very “relaxed.” I haven’t been to Mike & Anne’s in a while but I remember it fondly, too. 

Update: I completely missed Mission Wines and my friend Susie rectified that. They're primarily a retail space but do have a bar. The regulars were friendly and afterward we went to Mike & Annes which was delicious!

Until next time!

my top 12 movies of 2010...

Posted by Brad Schelden, January 7, 2011 04:25pm | Post a Comment
I have been trying to get this list together for weeks now, but I had a lot of work to do! Lots of movies to see. I just saw Blue Valentine and The Fighter this week and they both ended up on this list -- I figured they would, but I obviously had to see them first.

Before you get all mad about my list, remember that these are "my" favorite movies of the year. This is not what I believe are your favorite movies of the year. Movies are a very personal thing for me. They can affect us all differently, and some of my favorite people in the world often don't agree with me on what are the best films of the year. Everyone is different. These are the movies that made me cry, the movies that made me think, the movies that I could not get out of my head weeks after seeing them. My favorite place to see a movie is in the theater, and that is where I saw every movie on this list.

There were also movies I like that didn't end up on the list -- for example, I really did like the most recent Harry Potter movie. It was my favorite in the series, but I don't think it necessarily belongs on this list. And I really did like The Social Network -- it's just not something I fell in love with. I have no desire to see it again. When I really love a movie I usually want to watch it again, and I just don't think The Social Network deserves all the attention it is getting. I also really think it was too soon to make a movie about facebook. The King's Speech also missed this list. I love Colin Firth and I did enjoy the movie, but I just don't think it was one of the best of the year. It didn't have a personal effect on me. On the other side of things, Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams were both amazing in Blue Valentine. The movie was tragic and beautiful and I really will never forget it. I can't get it out of my head. Never Let Me Go was similar in that way; Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield and Keira Knightley were all amazing, and it got me all sorts of emotional.

So here it is. This is my list. I love them all and can't wait for more movies to fall in love with this year...


MY TOP TWELVE MOVIES OF THE YEAR...







BLUE VALENTINE













INCEPTION














NEVER LET ME GO











BLACK SWAN










SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD











TRUE GRIT











THE FIGHTER










MESRINE












TOY STORY 3










WINTER'S BONE












THE GHOST WRITER











ANIMAL KINGDOM






McCartney to Play Royal Wedding

Posted by Amoebite, January 7, 2011 11:23am | Post a Comment
Who do these people think they are, the King and Queen of England?

Uh, well, yeah...

mccartney amoebaprince william kate middleton

It is being reported that Prince William and Kate Middleton will have Amoeba pal Paul McCartney play the reception of their April 29 wedding. Luckies! Leaves us wondering: will the reception be telecast, by any chance?

Hip-Hop Rap Up 01:07:11: Ghostface #1, David Banner's Makeover, Madchild Banned in the USA, Louie Skaggs, Sims + More

Posted by Billyjam, January 7, 2011 07:07am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music San Francisco Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 01:07:11


1) Ghostface Killah Apollo Kids (Def Jam)

2) Andre Nickatina & Tha Jacka My Middle Name Is Crime EP (I-Khan Distribution)

3) Kanye West My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam)

4) David Banner & 9th Wonder Death of a Pop Star (b.i.G.f.a.c.e. / Entertainment One Music)

5) Kid Cudi Man On The Moon 2: The Legend of Mr. Rager (Universal/Motown) 

Shout out to Luis at the San Francisco Amoeba store for supplying this week's top five chart. Since it's the first week of the new year, the chart entries are all late 2010 releases, with all but Kid Cudi and Kanye West dropping in December. Both Wu Tang Clan member Ghostface Killah's recommended, classic soul fueled Apollo Kids (Def Jam), which I wrote about in last week's Hip-Hop Rap Up, and David Banner & 9th Wonder's Death of a Pop Star (b.i.G.f.a.c.e. / Entertainment One Music) each dropped on December 21st and despite their release date (a period when typically albums get lost in the holiday madness) fans have managed to discover both wonderful releases.

Ghostface Killah "Drama (feat. Joell Ortiz & The Game)"  

David Banner & 9th Wonder "Slow Down (feat. Heather Victoria)" (2010)

While on the surface the pairing of mainstream rapper/producer David Banner with less mainstream North Carolina producer 9th Wonder might seem like an unlikely match, it is not. Banner's history dates back to Crooked Lettaz, his late nineties group that preceded his major label mainstream successes with such hits as "Play" and "Like A Pimp." And with this release, on which he has wisely fully relinquished all production duties to 9th Wonder, he marks a return to his roots. Deliberately titled Death of a Pop Star, Banner has connected with the smaller scale label Entertainment One (aka e One) -- formerly Koch -- in order to maintain more creative control (something he claims he did not have with the bigger labels).

Continue reading...

Social Distortion Listening Party This Saturday

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, January 6, 2011 06:02pm | Post a Comment
social distortion listening party

More details here!

This Week At The New Beverly: Marlene Dietrich & Joseph von Sternberg, Charles Bronson, Pulp Fiction, Paul Schrader & the Grindhouse Film Fest!

Posted by phil blankenship, January 6, 2011 11:01am | Post a Comment
This Week At The New Beverly

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


Jan. 14 - 31 Edgar Wright presents The Wright Stuff 2

Advance tickets for all films in THE WRIGHT STUFF II series will go on sale this Friday, January 7 at 12:00pm (noon) PST. Links to ticketing for each event is now accessible on the New Bev calendar page or through the Brown Paper Tickets site directly.


Thursday & Friday, January 6 & 7

A Marlene Dietrich/Joseph von Sternberg double bill

The Oscar-winning cinematography of Lee Garmes (with an uncredited assist from a young James Wong Howe) is but only one reason to touch down at the New Beverly January 6-7  for SHANGHAI EXPRESS (1932), director Josef von Sternberg's stylistically influential, visually sensual ode to international intrigue, ill-fated romance and the pleasures of the flesh. All these qualities can be located within the burnished heart and insinuating personality of Marlene Dietrich, whom von Sternberg presented to Hollywood in this popular hit, the third collaboration between director and his muse/object of obsession (after Morocco and Dishonored). Dietrich is Shanghai Lil, a "coaster" living by her wits as she shuttles up and down the China coast on the Shanghai Express.  Along for this voyage is an old flame, a military physician (Clive Brook) whose presence onboard the train makes things thick for Lil when he's taken hostage by Chinese guerillas. Von Sternberg's purple passion for his actress and his gorgeously atmospheric direction make this romantic thriller undulate with kitschy grace and purpose. The script comes courtesy of Morocco's Jules Furthman, whose pen also produced Only Angels Have Wings and Rio Bravo for Howard Hawks and, many years later, Jet Pilot, again for Von Sternberg.

Continue reading...

1979 NYC Gang Culture Documentary 80 Blocks From Tiffany's Offers Rare Insight Into Bygone Era

Posted by Billyjam, January 5, 2011 04:40pm | Post a Comment

Gary Weis
' 1979 film 80 Blocks From Tiffany's, which was just released on DVD, offers a rare and intimate glimpse into a gritty bygone era in New York City's history. This was a time when street gangs (or "clubs," as their members called them) like the notorious Savage Skulls and the Savage Nomads ruled the tough South Bronx section of NYC. 

The engaging documentary may only date back 32 years but, in terms of cultural differences, it seems like an eternity ago -- back when the Bronx was, as Weis told me in a recent telephone interview, "A whole different time and place. It was kind of like Dresden when I filmed there."80 blocks from tiffanys

Indeed, the South Bronx captured in 80 Blocks is the rubble-strewn, bombed out looking, New York City that ranked as one of the poorest areas in the nation back in '79. In fact, it was such a rundown, destitute place that both Presidents Carter and Reagan traveled there for photo ops to exemplify the most striking symbol they could find of urban decay in America. It was also the time and place when the subways were covered in graffiti and when a new music and culture called hip-hop was taking root in the "Boogie Down" Bronx, with hip-hop offering an alternative to gang culture to many in those formative years of the culture.

And it is this aspect of the film that has attracted so many to 80 Blocks From Tiffany's, since the film contains rare footage that has been reused in countless other films about that same period in NYC history such as Shan Nicholson's Rubble Kings and Travis Senger's White Lines and The Fever: The Death of DJ Junebug. "80 Blocks is the best documentation of the Bronx during the late 70's right before the gang culture started to fade away," Senger told me via email. He says the film acted as both an influence and a key source of content for his own film about the early days of a Bronx hip-hop club.

Continue reading...

Amoeba Hollywood Top 50 DVDs of 2010

Posted by Brad Schelden, January 5, 2011 11:18am | Post a Comment
Check it out...here are Amoeba Hollywood's Top 50 Best Selling Dvds and Blu-rays of 2010. These are the Dvds and Blu-rays that you loved this year! DVD and Blu-ray sales were combined to compile this list. Scott Pilgrim is #1!!!

1. SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD



2. LET THE RIGHT ONE IN



3. EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP



4. AVATAR



5. HURT LOCKER



6. THE ROOM



7. BLACK DYNAMITE



8. CRONOS



9. INCEPTION



10. BRONSON



11. INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS



12. HOUSE (HAUSU)



13. FANTASTIC MR. FOX



14. 500 DAYS OF SUMMER



15. CITY OF GOD



16. CLASH OF THE TITANS (1981)

17. MAD MEN SEASON 3

18. FEAR & LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS

19. THIN RED LINE

20. SUPERJAIL SEASON 1

21. DEATH BECOMES HER

22. MOON

23. THE WARRIORS (1979)

24. GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO

25. INTIMATE MOMENTS FOR AZIZ ANSARI

26. CHE

27. KICK-ASS

28. BIG LEBOWSKI

29. WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE

30. PONYO

31. DAVID CROSS BIGGER & BLACKERER

32. UN PROPHETE

33. LA VIE EN ROSE

34. BRUCE LEE ULTIMATE COLLECTION

35. FOOD INC.

36. SUPER MARIO BROTHERS

37. METROPOLIS-COMPLETE

38. DEAD SNOW

39. GIA

40. BREAKING BAD SEASON 1

41. MAD MEN SEASON 1 

42. CRUMB

43. THE HANGOVER

44. EASTBOUND & DOWN SEASON 1

45. DELICATESSEN

46. APOCALYPSE NOW

47. GLEE SEASON 1 VOL. 1

48. BEING THERE

49. RED CLIFF

50. TRICK 'R TREAT (2009)

January 4, 2011: Life As We Know It

Posted by phil blankenship, January 5, 2011 12:20am | Post a Comment

January 4, 2011: Tron Legacy

Posted by phil blankenship, January 4, 2011 10:18pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba Hollywood Top 100 Albums of 2010...

Posted by Brad Schelden, January 4, 2011 05:47pm | Post a Comment

Without further ado, here are the Top Best Sellers at Amoeba Hollywood in 2010!


1. THE BLACK KEYS-BROTHERS

black keys brothers

2. ARCADE FIRE-THE SUBURBS

3. SADE-SOLDIER OF LOVE

sade soldier of love

4. XX-XX

the xx xx

5. VAMPIRE WEEKEND-CONTRA

6. THE NATIONAL-HIGH VIOLET

7. OZZY OSBOURNE-SCREAM

ozzy osbourne scream

8. FLORENCE & THE MACHINE-LUNGS

florence and the machine lungs

Continue reading...

Gerry Rafferty, RIP

Posted by Billyjam, January 4, 2011 01:37pm | Post a Comment

Gerry Rafferty
Scottish born pop/rock singer and songwriter Gerry Rafferty died today (January 4th) following a long illness triggered by a kidney failure. He was 63 and best known for his 1978 international mega hit "Baker Street" (video above) from his album City To City, as well as for the 1972 hit "Stuck in the Middle" (video below) by Stealers Wheel, the folk-rock band he formed with childhood Joe Egan. The band was considered, in the early seventies, to be a UK version of CSNY and their biggest hit ("Stuck") was a staple on AOR radio for many years, its popularity further fueled thanks to Quentin Tarantino's use of it in his movie Reservoir Dogs. In all Rafferty released a total of nine solo albums, his last one being 2000's Life Goes On.

California Fool's Gold -- Exploring Arcadia, The San Gabriel Valley's Community of Homes

Posted by Eric Brightwell, January 4, 2011 11:30am | Post a Comment

ARCADIA

 


Pendersleigh & Sons' Official Map of Arcadia

Arcadia is a Los Angeles County community in the northern part of the San Gabriel Valley surrounded by Sierra Madre, Monrovia, Mayflower Village, Irwindale, El Monte, North El Monte, Temple City, East San Gabriel, East Pasadena and Pasadena. To vote for other Los Angeles neighborhoods to be covered on the blog, vote here. To vote for Los Angeles County communities, vote here. To vote for Orange County communities, vote here.

Continue reading...

January 2, 2011: Little Fockers

Posted by phil blankenship, January 3, 2011 06:16pm | Post a Comment


plus a bonus screening of Casino Jack.

Amoeba Hollywood World Music Best Sellers For 2010 & Stats

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, January 2, 2011 02:00pm | Post a Comment

1.
Charlotte Gainsbourg-IRM (CD+LP)
2.
V/A-Pomegranates (CD+LP)
3.
Ozomatli-Fire Away (CD+LP)
4.
Seu Jorge-Seu Jorge & Almaz (CD+LP)
5.
Afrocubism-S/T
6.
V/A-Dengue Fever Presents: Electric Cambodia (CD+LP)
7.
Serge Gainsbourg-Historie De Melody Nelson (CD+LP)
8.
Eydie Gorme Y Los Panchos- Cantan En Espanol
9.
Arthur Verocai-S/T (CD+LP)
10.
Shakira-Sale El Sol
11. Aventura-Last
12.
Tinariwen-Imidiwan:Compaions (CD+LP)
13.
Julieta Venegas-Otra Cosa
14.
Basseko Kouyate-I Speak Fula (CD+LP)
15.
Manu Chao-Clandestino
16.
V/A-Let’s A Go-Go
17.
V/A-World Ends:Afro Rock & Psyche In 70’s Nigeria (CD+LP)
18.
V/A- Sound Of Wonder (CD+LP)
19.
V/A-Brazilian Guitar Fuzz (CD+LP)
20.
Enrique Iglesias-Euphoria


21.
V/A-Roots Of Chicha Vol.2
22.
Ali Fauka Toure & Toumani Diabate-Ali & Toumani
23. Buika-El Ultimo Trago
24.
Bunbury-Las Consecuencias
25.
V/A-Afrosound Of Colombia (CD+LP)
26.
Jane Birkin & Serge Gainsbourg-S/T (CD+LP)
27.
Manu Chao-Baionarena
28.
Mulatu Astatke-New York-Addis-London (CD+LP)
29.
Shakira-She Wolf
30.
Mahassa-Oyun Havasi Vol. 1
31. Marc Anthony-Iconos
32.
Carla Bruni-Quelqu’Un M’a Dit
33.
Lila Downs-Lila Downs Y La Misteriosa
34.
Rodrigo Y Gabriela-11:11
35.
Buena Vista Social Club-S/T (DVD)
36.
Mulatu Astatke-Steps Ahead
37.
Caifanes-La Historia
38. Zoe-Reptilectric
39.
Camila-Dejarte De Amar
40.
V/A-Sitar Beat Vol.2

Stats:

58% of the top forty releases were released this year. 60% of those were new releases that weren't compilations or reissues.

25% of the top forty releases were compilations

35% of the top forty releases were available on both CD & LP

47.5% of the top forty releases were from the Latin Music section
17.5% of the top forty releases were from the African section
12.5% of the top forty releases were from the European section
10% of the top forty releases were from the Asian/South Asian section
7.5% of the top forty releases were from the Brazilian section
5% of the top forty releases were from the Middle Eastern Section

7.5% of the top forty releases were from the Gainsbourg family: Charlotte Gainsbourg (daughter), Serge Gainsbourg (father) and Jane Birkin (Mother). The reissue of Jane Birkin's Di Do Dah just missed the top forty.