Amoeblog

California Fool's Gold -- A South County Primer

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 31, 2013 04:44pm | Post a Comment
YES, THE STEREOTYPES, THERE MUST BE MORE TO LIFE

Most of us know the stereotypes and are familiar with the frequent characterizations of Orange County. It’s supposedly culture-less and even somehow history-less. Anyone who’s spent any time in Los Angeles has no doubt heard the same hollow, bafflingly ignorant observations made of about that richly cultured city yet sadly, many Angelenos (who ought to no better) still nevertheless cling to the dated, and increasingly disconnected stereotypes about their neighbors to the south.



Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's map of South Orange County

Of course anyone who’s spent any time in Orange County knows that the popular images of that County have as little in common with reality as the prevailing stereotypes of Los Angeles do. I'll acknowledge that there’s a degree of truth to some of them but as Orange County grows more urban, more diverse, more liberal, and more interesting, spreading them reveals more about the vastness of the spreader's ignorance than their insight or knowledge about the subject.


As of 2012 roughly 31% of Orange Countians were registered Democrats whereas 42% were registered Republicans so neither corporate political party can claim the majority (for now although the percentage of the former grows whilst the latter declines). Of all Orange Countians, 45% speak a language other than English at home. With a population that is 44% white*, 34% Latino**, 18% Asian, 2% black, and 1% Native American, there is no racial or ethnic majority. Forbes magazine recently placed Orange County above Los Angeles County in its list of the most diverse communities. Orange also has the third largest county population in California, just behind that of San Diego. But Orange’s population density is contained much higher. 1,472.3/km2 versus San Diego’s is 260/km2,making it more than five times as dense as the second biggest county in the state and therefore hardly a big, sleepy suburb.


I suspect that part of the Orange County's continuing image problem stems from the fact that whereas Los Angeles has an army of intelligent, informed academic, intellectual, and literary boosters, many of Orange County’s enthusiasts are rather less convincing. In my view, The OC Weekly is now superior to the LA Weekly in almost every regard. However, when it comes to their annual "Best of Orange County" lists, a disproportionate amount of winners are puzzlingly in Long Beach – the bustling Los Angeles County (not Orange) Medina to Los Angeles’s Mecca. Saying that the best things about one's county are located outside of it isn't exactly a ringing endorsement and seems to betray a disappointing sense of inferiority. I, for one, would love to see a "best of" list that only includes Orange County. 


NORTH ORANGE COUNTY

In my North Orange County primer I pointed out that Orange County that North Orange County is home to the largest population of Vietnamese outside of Vietnam as well as home to the vibrant ethnic enclaves of Little Saigon, Little Arabia, and Little Seoul. Most of the great Italo and Euro Disco performers (and their fans) bypass Los Angeles to play and dance in venues like Avec Nightclub, Bleu, the Observatory, and Shark Club. There’s lots of great architecture – the City of Orange includes three Eichler Tracts (three times as many as are located in Los Angeles) in addition to its many, lovely Craftsman homes. Costa Mesa’s Segerstrom Center for the Arts is a major hub of high culture. It’s also, of course, home to the popular Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm theme parks.


“What about South County?” you may well be asking at this point. Well, admittedly I know a lot less about South County than North (and still have loads to experience in the North). There certainly seem to quite a few more (frequently gated) master-planned communities in South County than in North County. Many of the towns seem only to have incorporated in the last couple of decades -- although their histories could be said to begin with the earliest human habitation thousands of years ago.


Even within clusters of red tile uniformity there are surprises and delights, sometimes all the more enjoyable because they're unexpected. Exploring Tustin I was surprised to find two enormous World War II era blimp hangars – two of the largest freestanding wooden structures on the planet -- and a surrounding, abandoned military base. Irvine’s prescribed and managed normalcy is clearly the work of a unique brand of madness that I enjoyed trying to wrap my head around. And most recently I rediscovered Laguna Beach -- a left-leaning arts colony full of rich hippies and gays (as well as stunning natural scenery). So to encourage more votes (and therefore more explorations by me of South County), here’s a primer to introduce you to the essentials about the region’s communities to entice you to vote.


VISITING AND EXPLORING SOUTH COUNTY


The great Missourian Mark Twain famously said that “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” He was right, of course, and I suggest that anyone eager to characterize Orange County explore it first -- preferably on foot. The worst way to see Orange County is probably from a car speeding down the freeway, which will limit one's experience to views of architecturally impressive freeway interchanges, freeway walls, and tree tops. If you're not up for walking or biking, there are also several public rail options including Metrolink'91Orange County, and Inland Empire/Orange County lines. It's also traversed by Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner. The dominant bus system is the OCTA (Orange County Transit Authority), the 78 lines of which access every city in the county. Smaller bus lines include Irvine's iShuttle and Laguna Beach Transit. If you're taking a boat from Catalina Island, you can take a Catalina Express boat.


ROCK THE VOTE 

Of all communities in the South County, right now Balboa Island (in Newport Beach) and San Clemente in are tied for second place and representing South County. To vote vote for Orange County neighborhoods and communities, vote here. To vote for other Los Angeles County communities to be covered on the blog, vote here. To vote for Los Angeles neighborhoods, vote here.  


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A BRIEF HISTORY OF SOUTH ORANGE COUNTY

For thousands of years before the Spanish Conquest, what’s now South Orange County was home to the Acagchemem nation. All of California was claimed for Spain in 1769 and the conquerors called the indigenous people Juaneños. In 1822, what's now South County became part of the newly-independent country of Mexico. Orange County remained part of Mexico until 1848, when the US defeated Mexico in war. In 1850, when California became a state, what’s now Orange County was made part of Los Angeles County. Orange County remained part of the County of Los Angeles for almost half a century, until 11 March, 1889 when Orange County seceded.

In 1900 there were still fewer than 20,000 residents spread across the then-new, mostly agricultural county. The 1920s saw significant growth and the region’s population first surpassed 100,000. In the 1950s and ‘60s Orange County grew incredibly quickly. Since then, every decade has seen further growth although most of the stereotypes seem to be trapped in this era from half a century ago. The South County region is bordered by Riverside County to the northeast, San Diego County to the southwest, North Orange County to the northwest, and the Pacific Ocean to the southwest. And now for the communities... 

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ALISO VIEJO


City of Aliso Viejo Theatre Complex

Aliso Viejo had been an unincorporated community since around 1990, and incorporated as a city in 2001, making it the newest city in the county. As of 2010 the demographic breakdown was roughly 62% white, 20% Asian, 17% Latino, and 2% black. Its primary attractions are the Aliso Viejo Town Center and Renaissance ClubSport. In 2006 the community gained widespread attention when the principal of Aliso Niguel High School banned school dances in a Footloose-like situation covered by the BBC and Geraldo at Large.


COTO DE CAZA


Image source: At Home in Coto

Coto de Caza is a guard-gated community founded in 1968, one of Orange County's oldest and most expensive master-planned communities. As of 2010 the population was 82% white, 8% Latino, 6% Asian, and 1% black. Coto de Caza (meaning "game preserve") was envisioned as a hunting lodge. It’s currently home to two eighteen-hole golf courses and two clubhouses as well as the Thomas F. Riley Wilderness Park.


DANA POINT


Dana Point harbor as seen from the end of Blue Lantern St.

Dana Point is named after the headland of Dana Point, a popular port for ships involved with the hide trade with nearby Mission San Juan Capistrano. It was in turn named after Richard Henry Dana, Jr., author of Two Years Before the Mast. The harbor contains a replica of his ship, The Pilgrim. The hide trade reached its peak in the 1830s and 1840s and nowadays people are more likely to visit to attend the Festival of Whales, which has taken place annually since 1972. The Tall Ships Festival is also held annually, in September. The population is roughly 76% white, 17% Latino of any race, 3% Asian, and 1% black.


IRVINE


Irvine Business Complex (image source: Irvine Chamber)

Irvine is a master planned community mostly developed by the Irvine Company after the 1960s. It incorporated as a city in 1971. The layout was designed by the great architect William Pereira and Irvine Company employee Raymond Watson and is nominally divided into housing developments euphemistically referred to as townships. Although one of the safest cities in the country, it’s also one of the most disparaged for its sterile and managed Utopian aspirations. To read more about Irvine, click here.


LADERA RANCH 


Ladera Ranch (image source: DMB)


Ladera Ranch is a planned, unincorporated master-planned community. Construction of the community began in 1999 on portions of the Rancho Mission Viejo cattle ranch, at that time the largest remaining working ranch in Orange County. Like Irvine it consists of neighborhood "villages" includingOak Knoll Village, Bridgepark, Flintridge Village, Township, Wycliffe Village, Echo Ridge Village, Avendale Village, Terramor Village, and Covenant Hills Village. As of 2010 the population was 69% white, 13% Latino of any race, 12% Asian, and 2% black. 


LAGUNA BEACH


View from Crescent Bay Point Park

Laguna Beach is a quirky, affluent community in South Orange County. It is widely known for its vibrant arts scene and environmental treasures. It has far more registered Democrats than Republicans and is home to an well-established gay scene. It's quite possibly the most beautiful spot in the county. To read more about it, click here.


LAGUNA HILLS


Taj Mahal Medical Center

Laguna Hills incorporated in 1991. It annexed North Laguna Hills in 1996 and the Westside Annex (including Sheep Hills Park) in 2000. For several decades before incorporation the Taj Mahal Medical Center has been a local landmark (since 1964). As of 2010 the population was 73% white, 21% Latino of any race, 13% Asian, and 1% black.


LAGUNA NIGUEL


The Chet Holifield Federal Building 

Laguna Niguel is a master planned community. In 1959, Boston’s Cabot, Cabot & ForbesLaguna Niguel Corporation established Laguna Niguel one of the first master planned communities in California. In 1973, Laguna Niguel Regional Park opened. A one-million square-foot ziggurat built for Rockwell International and designed by William Pereira was featured in the films Death Race 2000 (1975), Deal of the Century (1983), and Outbreak (1995). The city incorporated in 1989. As of 2010 its population was 73% white, 14% Latino of any race, 9% Asian, and 1% black.


LAGUNA WOODS


Laguna Woods 76 - 1966

About 90% of the city of Laguna Woods consists of Laguna Woods Village, a retirement community formerly known as Leisure World. Construction of Leisure World began in 1963. The city’s median population is 78 years old. The city of Laguna Woods incorporated in 1999. As of 2010 the population was 84% white, 10% Asian, 4% Latino, and 1% black.


LAKE FOREST


Serrano Adobe - Lake Forest

Lake Forest grew out of the community of El Toro, which was established in the 1880s. It’s named after two artificial, condo-lined lakes. Lake Forest incorporated as a city in 1991. Since incorporation, Lake Forest has expanded its limits to include the communities of Foothill Ranch and Portola Hills, two master planned developments. One of its parks, Heritage Hill, is home to some of the oldest buildings in the county including the Serrano Adobe, the old El Toro School House, and St. Georges Episcopal Church. As of 2010 the population was 57% white, 25% Latino, 13% Asian, 2% black, and 1% Native American.


LAS FLORES


Las Flores (image source: OC Real Estate Voice)

Las Flores is a small, unincorporated community with a population that in 2010 was about 65% white, 17% Latino, 13% Asian, and 2% black. It’s home to the Rancho Santa Margarita dog/skate park and Cosmo's Italian Kitchen.


MISSION VIEJO


Mission Viejo Lake (image source: Kelly Law Office)

Mission Viejo is located in Orange County’s Saddleback Valley, and was developed by Donald Bren, current president of the Irvine Company. The master-planned community is the second largest in the country, exceeded in size only by Highlands Ranch, Colorado. By several measures it’s one of the safest communities of its size in the country. It was for much of its existence undeveloped grazing land. The population as of 2010 was roughly 69% white, 17% Latino, 9% Asian, and 1% black. In entertainment it was the birthplace of actor/musician Noah Munck , actor/writer/producer David Henrie, actor Kristy Swanson, and drummer Matt Sorum (Guns N' Roses, The Cultand Velvet Revolver).


MODJESKA CANYON


Madame Modjeska in the garden of "Arden"

Modjeska Canyon is an unincorporated suburban community on the western slope of the Santa Ana Mountains. Most of the canyon is bordered by the Cleveland National Forest and it’s home of the Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary. Modjeska is named after Polish stage actress Helena Modjeska, who between 1888 and 1906, made her home, "Arden" (now a National Historic Landmark) there. Later, in 1966, the Brotherhood of Eternal Love was incorporated in Modjeska before moving to Laguna Beach.


NEWPORT BEACH


Newport Beach Skyline at Night  (image source: Fine Art America)


Newport Beach began after Captain Samuel S. Dunnells defied naysayers by successfully navigating a 105-ton steamer named The Vaquero into a then-unnamed harbor. This prompted San Franciscan Robert Irvine to buy a large ranch that included the port. Newport Beach incorporated in 1906, a year after the Pacific Electric Railway arrived from Los Angeles making it the oldest city in South County. In 1923 it annexed Corona del Mar. In 2002 it annexed Newport Coast (which has Orange County's highest per capita income), East Santa Ana Heights, and San Joaquin Hills. In 2008 it annexed annexed West Santa Ana Heights. Completed in 1970, Newport Beach’s 17-story 620 Tower is the oldest skyscraper in Orange County. The population today is roughly 82% white, 7% Latino, 7% Asian, and 1% black. The TV show The OC was set in Newport Beach (although mostly filmed in Los Angeles's South Bay). On the other hand, much of Arrested Development was actually filmed there.


NORTH TUSTIN


Cowan Heights in North Tustin (image source: Jansen Team)

Unincorporated North Tustin is Orange County’s largest Census Designated Place (CDP). Its population is roughly 75% white, 13% Latino, 8% Asian, and 1% black. Communities within the North Tustin CDP also include Cowan Heights, East Tustin, Lemon Heights, Panorama Heights, and Red Hill.


RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA


Rancho Santa Margarita (image source: OC Book)

Rancho Santa Margarita is a master planned community named after Rancho Santa Margarita y Las Flores, in San Diego County. The city is located on lands formerly owned (along with Rancho Trabuco and Rancho Mission Viejo) by James L. Flood and his partner Jerome O’Neill, who purchased the ranchos in 1882. Despite its relatively long history, it only incorporated as a city in 2000, at which point it took the “Longest City Name in California” title from La Cañada Flintridge in the Verdugos. The population today is roughly 67% white, 19% Latino, 9% Asian, and 2% black. Supposedly it is the most frequent filming location for a television series titled The Real Housewives of Orange County.


SAN CLEMENTE


San Clemente in the 1950s

San Clemente is the most southern city in Orange County, located more than 200 kilometers from the furthest reaches of Northwest Los Angeles County, and is considerably closer to San Diego. It’s named after San Clemente Island, one of the California Channel Islands. It is mostly the result of the vision of Ole Hanson, a former Seattle mayor who purchased 8.1 km2 which he wanted to resemble a Spanish resort town. Indeed, its slogan is “Spanish Village by the Sea.” It was the setting of the film Brick (2005) and the MTV series, Life of Ryan. It’s also the birthplace of actress Clara Fawn (aka Cheyenne Silver) and musician Annie Hardy (Giant Drag). The population is roughly 76% white, 17% Latino, 4% Asian, 1% black, and 1% Native American. To read more about it, click here.


SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO



Mission San Juan Capistrano

San Juan Capistrano is centered around Mission San Juan Capistrano, founded in 1776. As with San Clemente, many of the strip malls and homes are built in the Spanish revival style. It was until recently the famed, springtime home of an iconic population of American Cliff Swallows (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) that wintered in Goya, Argentina. Leon René’s song “When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano” was recorded by The Ink Spots, Fred Waring, Guy Lombardo, Glenn Miller, The Five Satins, and Pat Boone.


SANTIAGO CANYON 



Cook's Corner in Santiago Canyon (image source: The Hamblogger)

Santiago Canyon
is an unincorporated community in Silverado between Trabuco and Modjeska Canyons. Within it are the smaller developments of Santiago Canyon Estates and the Falcon View Estates as well as Cook's Corner, a biker bar built in 1884.


SILVERADO


Silverado, California (image source: Captured By Mark)

Unincorporated Silverado was founded in 1878, at the edge of Cleveland National Forest. As its name suggests, it was located near several silver mines. In the 1940s it became a popular vacation retreat for the area’s hot springs. 


TRABUCO CANYON


Trabuco Canyon (image source: Shawn Barry)

Unincorporated Trabuco Canyon is a small community located in the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains and partly within the Cleveland National Forest. "Trabuco” is Spanish for “blunderbuss.” Legend has it that it’s named after one such firearm that was lost in the canyon by one of Gaspar de Portolà’s expedition’s party in 1769.


TUSTIN


Tustin blimp hangars

Tustin includes the neighborhoods of Old Town, planned community Tustin Legacy, and upscale, golf-centric Tustin Ranch. Tustin’s Old Town arose in the 1880s and still contains several buildings from the era as well as some lovely Victorian and Craftsman homes nearby. One well-known house, The Rock House, was built in 1950 by a civil engineer who collected the rocks on various job sites in the Rocky Mountains. The most impressive structures, however, are the aforementioned 29,000 square meter, 59 meter high blimp hangars which were used as Starfleet’s Hangar 1 in Star Trek (2009). To read more about Tustin, click here.

*For the purpose of this blog entry, “white” refers to non-Latino whites only
** For the purpose of this blog entry, “Latino” refers to Latinos of any race and ethnicity


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

New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Two DJ Legends, Jazzy Jeff & Z-Trip

Posted by Amoebite, July 31, 2013 04:37pm | Post a Comment

Jazzy Jeff and Z-Trip at Amoeba

Only at Amoeba Hollywood would you find two iconic turntablists digging for records. From producing platinum and gold selling albums to acting alongside music cohort Will Smith in Fresh Prince of Bel-Air to touring the world making people dance, DJ Jazzy Jeff has done it all! 

Z-Trip is easily the Jimi Hendrix of turntbles. Widely known as the "godfather of mashups," he practically invented the genre and brought it to the world. Z-Trip has remixed some of music's biggest stars including Michael Jackson, Nirvana, Bob Marley, Daft Punk and the Beastie Boys, just to name a few. Not only has Z-Trip designed his own signature Rane mixer (Rane Sixty Two), but he was also voted "America's Best DJ" in 2009.  

What's In My Bag? caught up with Z-Trip and DJ Jazzy Jeff when they were in Los Angeles for the Red Bull Thre3Style national competition and dance party. The two, along with DJ A-Trak are judges for the competition. They took time to dig for records and tell us all about their findings. From Soul 45 box sets, to early '80s rap twelve singles, Z-Trip and Jeff find some really cool stuff. Take note of the disco break Z-Trip points out on 'the 70s blue eyed soul record.

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New 12"/LP/CD Releases at Amoeba Hollywood 7/31 - Todd Terje, Vakula, Fred P, Split Secs and more!

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, July 31, 2013 04:27pm | Post a Comment

Todd Terje - StrandbarTodd Terje

Strandbar 12"

Olsen 

Todd's first solo release since the world-beating Inspector Norse . This set, a friendly volley to a music critic's dismissal of Inspector as "Strand" or "Beach" bar music, starts with an a-side length Samba version, buoying an insistent piano house progression with nuanced live percussion. When the progression changes to a sublime four-chord vamp it's just as massive a moment as anything on Inspector Norse - this time relying on pure musicianship rather than Arp 2600 acrobatics.

Buy Strandbar 12"

 

Vakula - Bandura 002Vakula

Bandura 002 12"

Bandura

Excellent new material from the prolific producer, the second white label release on his own Bandura. Vakula channels jazz influences here, with opener "D The Man" playing two relatively ornate piano/rhodes lines against each other. "Evening Breeze" is similarly busy, this time relying on cosmic synth interplay for a boogie-prog sound. "Fifth Experiment" is more traditional, by Vakula's standards that is, it's excellent underwater deep house. "4 G Lady" once again leans on heavily processed jazz chords and even an accomplished vibes solo. All winners, move quick.

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Say Hello to Amoeba at the LA Weekly Pancake Breakfast

Posted by Billy Gil, July 31, 2013 02:45pm | Post a Comment

What if you were just surrounded by people giving you pancakes? What if they were all the best pancakes, selected by someone who really knows their stuff?

That dream is a reality! LA Weekly celebrates its third annual Pancake Breakfast Aug. 11 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. The event will be held at former cathedral church Vibiana, in Downtown L.A., and is curated by Evan Kleiman of KCRW’s “Good Food.”

Amoeba will be on hand with a booth handing out goodies (non-edible goodies, we’ll leave that to the experts).

For $30, you get unlimited beverages from the bar (including alcoholic beverages for the 21+ crowd), samplings from more than 20 restaurants, entertainment and a free coffee cup! Tickets are on sale here.

Vibiana is located at 214 South Main St.

New York State of Mind Amoeblog #42: Ultimate DJ Battle Weekend (DMC + Gong Battles), Free Outdoor Movies + more

Posted by Billyjam, July 31, 2013 02:00pm | Post a Comment

        Brooklyn Bridge, with tarps covering sections, from East Side of Manhattan this week

With July winding to a close today we are now approximately around the half way mark of summer in the city. And as anyone who visits here will tell you New York City is so abuzz with summer activity everyday of the week: so much so that there is physically no way any one person could take advantage of all the entertainment on tap throughout the city - and most of it is free too! As usual for this New York State of Mind Amoeblog (#42 in the ongoing weekly series) I will merely scratch the surface but still present a decent amount of choices out there in the Big Apple with a focus on free outdoor movies in New York City.
Free outdoor movies are a staple of most major cities every summer (EG the Bay Area has many wonderful series to chose from) but New York City has an incredible amount that range in genre of film as well as type of screening location: parks, plazas, beaches, and rooftops. On Tuesday (Aug 6th) on the rooftop of The Roosevelt Hotel on 46th Street Manhattan the classic gangster movie Goodfellas (a movie you can re-watch hundreds of times) screens as part of the ongoing Summer Movie Nights at mad46 series. More info.  Going for many years and truly a NYC tradition are the HBO sponsored free Monday night Bryant Park Summer Film Festival series. This coming Monday (August 5th) at dusk on the parks lush lawn will be a screening of the 1979 film Norma Rae starring Sally Field about a young single mother / textile worker who, in the face of adversity, helps  unionize her mill. Bryant Park is located at 42nd and Sixth Ave. More info here. That same night over in Brooklyn and down on the beach at Coney Island as part of the Coney Island Flicks On The Beach summer series last year's superhero/action film starring Robert Downey Jr., The Avengers, will screen at sundown. More info here.

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Amoeba Holds Depeche Mode VIP Contest, Attends Depeche Mode Convention

Posted by Billy Gil, July 31, 2013 11:00am | Post a Comment

Lots of news for Depeche Mode fans. The classic new wave band is appearing Sept. 29 at Staples Center, and you can win a pair of VIP tickets through Amoeba. Enter at our contest page starting Aug. 6! You can also buy tickets for that show here.

But there’s more, Depeche-heads. On Aug. 11 there will be a Depeche Mode Convention at The Avalon in Hollywood. The all-ages event takes place from 7 p.m.-2 a.m. Famed new wave DJ Richard Blade hosts, and the event will feature live music from DM tribute band Strangelove and guest DJs, in addition to collectibles, videos, contests, prizes and dancing. The Avalon’s restaurant, Honey, also will be open for the event, and the venue has six full bars and bottle service.

Amoeba will be on hand from 7 p.m. to midnight with lots of items for sale. Amoeba Hollywood also has tickets on sale to the event for $20 (plus a $2 service fee).

Don’t forget to check out the band’s excellent, recently released Delta Machine, as well.

See you there, strangelovers!

 

 

 

Depeche Mode Contest

July 30, 2013: Stranded

Posted by phil blankenship, July 30, 2013 10:15pm | Post a Comment

Ashes To Vinyl, Dust To Discs, and Other Interesting Ways to Recycle Human Ashes

Posted by Billyjam, July 30, 2013 02:01pm | Post a Comment

I have long been aware of records, especially 12" vinyl, being transformed into other things  including a lot of artists using them as the basis of their work, and have even written about some of vinyl artists on the Amoeblog (here and here). I have also been well aware of many innovative folks who use other materials besides vinyl, such as wood or cardboard, to make a record with grooves on it to spin and play sounds. However taking ashes - as in the ashes of human remains - and flipping them as material for pressing up records was a total surprise to me. But, as reported last month by BloombergBusinessweek in the Lifestyle section and consequently picked up by such other sites as The Strut, there is a company over in the UK called Vinyly that for the past four years have been making records out of the ashes of human remains mixed in with vinyl. This they do sprinkling a deceased person's ashes into raw vinyl at the record pressing plant - the vinyl ratio has to outweigh the ashes for practical purposes. Then they press up a record with music/sounds either from supplied audio tracks or this unique record making company will bring in session musicians to record a customized track as specified by a client. Noteworthy though is the high cost in comparison to regular vinyl pressing. It's kind of costly at a tag of approx $5000 for a run of 30 copies of one record. Then  original artwork by the company is not cheap either amounting to an extra $4000 or more. But Vinyly is no ordinary record company. In fact they even offer product distribution to select “reputable vinyl stores worldwide.” From visiting the Vinyly website, where they sell some related merch, I saw that they will also recycle your pet's ashes into records. Read the full report from Bloomberg here  and find out more or to contact the UK's Vinyly click here.

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Album Picks: Hiatus Kaiyote, Alela Diane, Raw Geronimo

Posted by Billy Gil, July 30, 2013 10:51am | Post a Comment

Hiatus Kaiyote - Tawk Tomahawk

You'd be forgiven for scratching your head upon first listen of Hiatus Kaiyote's Tawk Tomahawk. The Australian band doesn't really sound like anyone else, although there are signposts — the vocal swoops and glitched-out organic sounds of Bjork; the the otherworldly soul of Erykah Badu; the atmospherics and layering of Radiohead; and the psychedelic beatwork of J Dilla. Yet Hiatus Kaiyote take what could be a coiled mess of influences and stretch them into something unique and memorable on Tawk Tomahawk. Though things are largely pleasant and ethereal on songs like the stunning "Mobius Streak," frontwoman Nai Palm gets jazzy and raspy on "The World It Softly Lulls" and goes deep and dark on "Malika," while the beats get distorted and aggressive on "Ocelot." Lounges of the future may be spinning Tawk Tomahawk and calling it a classic of forward-thinking soul.

Hiatus Kaiyote Tawk Tomahawk CD $10.98

Hiatus Kaiyote Tawk Tomahawk LP $16.98 [out 9/17; preorder here]

 

 

Alela Diane - About Farewell

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SPRiNG BREAKERS: Spring Break 4 Ever!!!

Posted by Kells, July 29, 2013 01:02pm | Post a Comment

Spring Breakers, the name says it all. For all intents and purposes it is the what, when, why, where, and who of Harmoy Korine's latest youth culture thesis -- a 94 minute non-stop Girls Gone Wild-esque Dubstep rager that prudently substitutes a copiousness of style for a seemingly decided lack of dramatic substance, inter-cut with super slo-mo beach bosoms and bottom biscuits jiggling at a hypnotizing rate of frames per second. it doesn't make a much sense, but whatever. It's summertime and this movie rules!


It seems to me that the real juice of the Spring Breakers fruit has little to do with cautionary tales, innocence lost or questionable actions, but rather it has everything to do with James Franco's cornrows. That is, soaking up the the overall look of the film, which seems to be inspired if not full-on endorsed by Vice Magazine sponsored American Apparel type fad-mongering marketing strategies, is as good as this movie gets.

It shouldn't go without mentioning, however, that that highly skilled costume designer Heidi Bivens'  hot-neon, day-glo accented beach wear, DTF sweatpants, and pink unicorn ski masks really transport viewers into the hyper-surreal world of Spring Breakers to the point of outmoding the efforts of the aforementioned houses of haute hipsterwares for the trending-now crowd. Indeed, the joint efforts of Bivens and Korine, not to mention the talents of cinematographer Benoît Debie, seem to signify an extremely creatively driven approach to fully realizing this project, but the commercial element Spring Breakers presents is most definitely a fashion force to be reckoned with, whether the message translates as what to buy or what not to buy. For me, I couldn't suppress the urge to indulge in a cinematic marathon of summer fashion features after practically gagging on Spring Breakers.


For example, Earth Girls Are Easy most definitely shares the Spring Breakers affinity for hot pink bikinis (and aliens for that matter):


And I couldn't help but think of Overboard when I saw those super-fly pink tiger swimsuits:

I also couldn't help but recall the Runaways film, perhaps owing to Benoît Debie's role as cinematographer for both The Runaways and Spring Breakers (I've got to see more of this guy's work).


Then there's that whole "good girls gone bad" vibe Spring Breakers, well, exploits:

Not only did that aspect of Spring Breakers (forever) make me want to watch Desperately Seeking Susan, but it kind of made me feel like Madonna in that famous Cheetos overdose scene:

Similarly on the good little bad girls on vacation tip, there were many moments that reminded me of the many times I've watched Dirty Dancing in my life. I wonder if Spring Breakers will age as well as DD has.

I also thought of that other film made by the team behind Dirty Dancing (but nowhere near as successful as their Swayze craze), Shag -- the story of four Southern girls looking for one last wild 'n crazy getaway before succumbing to the rigors of boring, normal adult life. Similar premise, and yet...

The look is different. But the late 60s beach parties of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina are just as ridiculous and offensive as those of the South Florida "Spring Break Forever" fever-dreams of today apparently...

A  N  Y  W  A  Y . . .

Want to channel your inner Vanessa Hudgens in your very own Spring Breakers inspired photo shoot?

All the photos that follow hence are taken from an impromptu Spring Breakers inspired photo shoot created by my good friend and fellow Amoebite Gabriel Wheeler after he hosted a Spring Breakers viewing party at his home (sadly, much like Selena Gomez's Breakers character, Faith, I left before the fun happened). Without further ado, here's how to ham it up Spring Breakers style:
You're gonna want to need some cash, lots of cash.

Also, be sure to don swimsuits or any other sort of beach wear you can rustle up, the brighter the better. Don't forget the ski mask! For men Hawaiian prints are a plus.


You don't want your models to dry up under those lights so be sure to stock plenty of beverages.


Also, don't be shy about dipping into your cache of original formula Four Loko.



Of course, ladies, you'll want to get your guns out for this one.


...and don't forget to relish those greens.


Make it rain.


And remember: "SPRiNG BREAK 4EVAH!"


BiTCHZ

Author, Musician & Lifelong Anarchist Mick Farren Died Onstage During Deviants Concert

Posted by Billyjam, July 29, 2013 07:40am | Post a Comment

Over the weekend British author, political observer, career anarchist, party animal, journalist, and musician Mick Farren - best known as the leader of the '60's counterculture rock band The Deviants - died on Saturday night (7/27) after collapsing onstage during a concert with his longtime band at London's Borderline club. He was 69 years of age. Pre-dating the British punk movement by a decade, The Deviants have been accurately described as the first true anarchist rock band. Following close in their footsteps were The Pink Fairies - the band that The Deviants spawned when formed by three other members in 1970. The Deviants, who first formed in 1967 and broke up in 1969, would get back together intermittently over the decades. There is a great quote by Mick Farren that has been circulating online since news of his passing surfaced in which he famously told an audience, "This is British amphetamine psychosis music and if you don’t like it you can fuck off and listen to your Iron Butterfly albums!"

Always a master of words Farren turned most of his energies to writing about music and culture back in the early '70s sometime after releasing his solo album Mona – The Carnivorous Circus, which included his version of "Summertime Blues" (below). He never gave up music completely but focused on writing primarily, contributing to such British underground, counterculture publications as The International Times, as well as (later) for such music mags as the NME and The Trouser Press. He has written dozens of books over the years including both fiction (fantasy lit been his forte) and non-fiction, including several books on Elvis Presley and his entertaining autobiography Give The Anarchist A Cigarette.  Up until recently Farren had lived in Los Angeles, where he wrote for the Los Angeles CityBeat from 2003 to 2008, before returning back to his English homeland a few years ago.

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Aceyalone Lives For His Art As Proven By Last Night's Brooklyn Concert By The LA Hip-Hop Legend

Posted by Billyjam, July 28, 2013 02:45pm | Post a Comment
"I feel like I'm at the Good Life," the clearly happy Aceyalone complimented his audience during last night's fun concert at Brooklyn's Knitting Factory. Despite the fact that most in attendance at the Saturday night Williamsburg show would have been only toddlers or pre-teens when the legendary West Coast emcee and Project Blowed co-founder was putting it down at the short-lived but influential Good Life Cafe in South Central Los Angeles didn't seem to matter one bit. They all obviously understood the reference made by this revered hip-hop lyrical force known for his pivotal role in the early LA underground hip-hop scene, his membership of the hip-hop groups Freestyle Fellowship, Haiku D'Etat and The A-Team, and the prolific artist's impressive solo catalog of recordings including the brand new album Leanin' On Slick (Decon Records on both CD and LP) that he and album producer BIONIK, who backed him on stage last night, included some songs from in their all-too-short but energetic set that featured mostly abbreviated versions of songs.

In addition to the title track of Leanin' On Slick Aceyalone and BIONIK, who drummed live as well as dropping beats and sound effects and providing backing vocals, ran through some other select album tracks from this soulful funky new album including "Workin' Man's Blues" (that features Cee Lo Green) plus a variety of other songs. These included treating the New York audience to a couple of brand new, unreleased, never performed live tracks that were atypical of Ace's work to date: more on the contemporary bass-heavy tip with more simplified lyrics, and complete with trap-style drum patterns and booty-shaking rhythms. Of Leanin' On Slick (the great cover of which above was photographed on a recent trip to Cuba where the video for the title track - below - was filmed) the artist said, "It is a part of a series that I am continuing throughout my career." Aceyalone told me this when I met him the day before the concert at WFMU radio in New Jersey where we chatted both on the air and off about such things as his beginnings in hip-hop in LA at a time when gangsta rap was the predominant flavor of the genre. "Heavy gang culture in the 80's" influenced a lot of the LA rap around the time," he told me of the early days of Freestyle Fellowship and Project Blowed. "But we always tried to keep it artistic with the jazz and reggae influence and of course the funk. That was a part of our focus; to not be so cliche as to be what everyone expects of West Coast - at the time"

As for The Good Life Cafe Aceyalone enthused, "Oh man the intensity there just climaxed from the moment it started all the way up to the top when it kinda exploded." Of the legendary open mic sessions he recalled how, "We started there the first week and it just kinda went on and on and on. It got better and better. The competition got better. And before you knew it record execs started coming down there. Hundreds of people were packing the place. And it only last for three and a half, maybe four years. And if you really want to see a history of it, there's a movie out called This Is The Life" he said recommending the Ava DuVernay directed 2008 documentary.

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July 27, 2013: Only God Forgives

Posted by phil blankenship, July 27, 2013 10:19pm | Post a Comment

Summer Jams: Turnstyle's "Riding A Wave"

Posted by Kells, July 26, 2013 11:59pm | Post a Comment
I don't know about you, but I'm not back on my quest for fresh cuts to flesh out my latest Summer Jams digest, I'm still on it! Though, "fresh" might be a less-than-ideal descriptive word for this latest discovery as it was very much exhumed from Amoeba's oldies bin during a protracted dig. Nevertheless, Turnstyle's "Riding A Wave" has become a favorite of mine over the last week, with many thanks to British music journalist John Reed -- a man I hold in high esteem for the compilations he has produced, namely Hot Smoke and Sassafras: Psychedelic Pstones Vol. I. I highly recommend this collection, but I digress...

There's not a lot of information out there about the Turnstyle but that probably has everything to do with the fact that this act didn't last long at all. The band formed in 1968 by 17-year-old drummer and songwriter Mark Ashton and went on to record the somewhat edgy, average pop-psych single "Riding A Wave" (b/w "Trot") for Pye Records. Within six months after the release of the 45, Turnstyle supported the Nice for a few live dates before calling it quits without issuing any further recordings. Ashton, his wave riding days behind him as it were, took to the sky with progressive rock unit Rare Bird.
But wait, there's more!

As with my last Summer Jams post, spotlighting Nick Nicely's "On The Beach", some awesome kindred spirit in the universe has created a music video utilising some gnarly vintage film footage of surf, beaches, and bad boy surfers to accompany Turnstyle's "Ridging A Wave" in a such a way that I cannot help but fall in love with this addition to my Summer Jams 2013 mixtape all over again.

Show Recap: Raw Geronimo at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, July 26, 2013 05:40pm | Post a Comment

L.A.'s Raw Geronimo began their July 25 set at Amoeba Hollywood with a stampede of drums as frontwoman Laena Geronimo cooed breathily over spacey guitar. That quickly ended as the bad went full bore into a heavy post-punk jam. Geronimo whipped her hair and flailed around between belting, eventually landing on the floor during the song's dreamy outro.

The three-girl, three-guy band's next song roared right out of the gate, its two drummer set-up eliciting tribal moves and its other members offering B-52's style backups. For their next number, the guitarist played a looping Arabic riff while Geronimo intoned overhead, calling to mind Siouxsie and the Banshees circa "Arabian Nights."

Their next song had a dark surf jangle, highlighting a full-band assault of over Geronimo's theatrical presence, though her huge vocal swoops came in at exactly the right times, just as the band was letting loose. At no point did any of the six members seem to sit very still, but the band still made it seem effortless, clearly showing mastery as a live band — they casually changed out a keyboard when it malfunctioned, saying they had a backup. Geronimo's voice backed up for a moodier song, which was punctuated by Asiatic melodies. They turned it back up for a loud and jangly one and let out into a wild groove on the following song, probably the most intoxicating one on a purely musical basis. On their last song, single "Magnetic Love," they slowed down for a '50s style ballad made more powerful through huge drums and volcanic guitar work. It proved the band capable of whisking together various genres and eras of inspiration yet still coming out sounding like its own band.

See more photos from the show here. Pick up Dream Fever on LP now!

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 07.26.13: U-God, La Femme Deadly Venoms, Lady Fingaz, Chill Moody, Hieros, Young Gully

Posted by Billyjam, July 26, 2013 10:10am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Hollywood Top Five Week Ending 07: 26:13

1) Jay-Z Magna Carta Holy Grail (Def Jam)

2) Kanye West Yeezus (Def Jam)

3) U-God Keynote Speaker (Soul Temple)

4) Dr Dre The Chronic (Interscope)

5) MF Doom  Mm. Food? (Rhymesayers Ent)

As well as the universally popular new joints from Jay-Z and Kanye West  (Magna Carta Holy Grail and Yeezus respectively), popular sellers at Amoeba Hollywood this past week have included some older, classic releases including Dr Dre's two decade old and still going strong, landmark, influential album The Chronic and MF Doom's ever amazing almost full decade old recording Mm. Food? which never gets old. Meantime the brand new addition to the top five above from the LA store is U-God's Keynote Speaker.  Most fans agree that U-God may not be the strongest member of the Clan known as Wu-Tang that he co-founded but the artist born Lamont Jody Hawkins is still most definitely a very talented artist with more depth than many often give him credit for. And Keynote Speaker, released this week on RZA's Soul Temple Records, instantly proves this point with a sound that is sure to satisfy longtime fans of the Wu-Tang who fiend for something new from the Staten Island hip-hop legends. This thirst is further satisfied with album guest shots from Wu members Method Man and Inspectah Deck. Other U-God album guests include Elzhi and Styles P. But for the best idea of what Keynote Speaker sounds like check out the brand new video below of the album track "Skyscraper" that includes lots of great aerial and street shots of New York City from Times Square down to the still under construction Freedom Tower. Also below is the brand new video from Chill Moody for his song "Chains."

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July 25, 2013: The To Do List and The Purge

Posted by phil blankenship, July 26, 2013 12:52am | Post a Comment

Help Produce Magical Chanteuse Jill Tracy's Haunting New Video

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, July 25, 2013 07:30pm | Post a Comment

We here at the Amoeblog are big fans of the San Francisco-based noir cabaret singer/pianist/storyteller and jill tracyone-time featured Amoeba Music Homegrown Artist Jill Tracy. Her beautifully chilling cinematic music, sophisticated lyrics, old-world glamour, and curious passion for strange tales has garnered her much attention and many awards over the years. With six albums to her name, Tracy’s music has appeared on CBS, NBC, PBS, numerous independent and feature films (including Jeremy Carr's surreal thriller Ice Cream Ants), and her song "Evil Night Together" was used to promote the last season of Dexter! What a delightfully macabre match!

Now this "femme fatale for the thinking man” (said the San Francisco Chronicle) who has elegantly carved her trademark style of glam noir music is raising funds via Kickstarter to finish a beautiful video for her song "Pulling Your Insides Out," directed by Jeremy Carr. Shot on location in Red Hook, Brooklyn (once home to legendary horror icon H.P. Lovecraft), the video features eerie cobblestone alleys, and an authentic NYC thunder and lightning storm which happened suddenly in the midst of shooting! See some sneak-peek footage from this lush video below and donate to the cause HERE!

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Weekly Roundup: Youth Code, Chelsea Wolfe, Crystal Antlers and More

Posted by Billy Gil, July 25, 2013 04:44pm | Post a Comment

Youth Code – “Carried Mask”

L.A. dark synth music duo Youth Code has unveiled another song from their upcoming self-titled debut album, which will be released Sept. 3 on Dais. It’s a throbbing number reminiscent of industrial/EBM music pioneers like Ministry and Skinny Puppy, with a taut dance beat to match its grind and screeched vocals. It makes me want to go to Das Bunker and dance to darkwave all night. Can’t wait for this album!

 

Boardwalk – “I’m to Blame” video

Nostalgic, dreamy stuff from new L.A. duo Boardwalk. Fans of Beach House and Mazzy Star should feel right at home within the folds of this organ-fueled blanket of lo-fi dream pop. Surprisingly, their debut album will find a home on L.A.-based Stones Throw Records, which has grown and diversified from its beats-driven roots. Boardwalk is due Oct. 15.

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Amoeba Helps Pay Tribute to Elliott Smith

Posted by Billy Gil, July 25, 2013 03:15pm | Post a Comment
Elliott Smith performing live at Amoeba SF, 1998

In commemoration of what would have been his 44th birthday on August 6th, several of Elliott Smith's musician friends are coming together for a series of benefit shows for various organizations. Amoeba is proud to take part in the event through donations to nonprofit organization Free Arts For Abused Children.

During the month of August, Amoeba will be donating a portion of the proceeds from sales of any of Elliott Smith’s catalogue (including digital) to Free Arts.

Amoeba has Elliott Smith's entire catalog available, including every album and rare singles available as a download. See our stock of Smith albums below:

Albums:

Roman Candle (1994)

Elliott Smith (1995)

Either/Or (1997)

XO (1998)

Figure 8 (2000)

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Mistah FAB & Honor Roll's Tap.10 Play Free SF Concert @ GAMH Tonight With Open Bar

Posted by Billyjam, July 25, 2013 10:43am | Post a Comment

Mistah F.A.B. "Ghost Ride It" (2007)

Bay Area folks can check out Oakland rapper Mistah FAB (aka Mistah F.A.B. - the Yellow Bus Ridah) plus a DJ set by Tap.10 of the Honor Roll Crew playing a free show tonight (Thursday July 25th) as part of the MGD Get Fresh Tour at the Great American Music Hall on O'Farrell Street in San Francisco - thanks to the sponsorship of an American beer company who are offering tickets to those to RSVP in advance (I.E. right now) by visiting MGD.com/getfreshtour and logging to Facebook and saying you like their beer. You can tell a lie too about liking the beer or, if by chance you never tasted it, you can at the accompanying open bar with free booze all night at tonight's event. While North Oakland rapper Mistah FAB, who was one of the key players in the Bay Area hyphy movement some years back, may not be near as hot a commodity as he once was back in the mid to late 2000's (many blame the delay in his major label national release to his fall from popularity), he is still a talented artist with a fat back-catalog of songs to draw from such as "Ghost Ride It" above or the Traxamillion produced hit he made with Too $hort "Sideshow" (below) from that same period - at the peak of the short-lived Bay Area hyphy movement. Insiders have also been tipped FAB to make a bit of a comeback with his music being included in the soundtrack to the new movie Fruitvale Station about the killing of Oscar Grant. Doors for tonight's show are 8:30pm but show up early as a line is expected to form before then. The Great American Music Hall is located at 859 O Farrell Street (near Polk) in San Francisco, CA 94109. More club info here. And to ensure admission to tonight's show RSVP here now.

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California Fool's Gold -- Exploring East Pasadena

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 24, 2013 09:29pm | Post a Comment
TO SEE MY HOME IN EAST PASADENA



This neighborhood exploration is about tiny East Pasadena. Despite its name, East Pasadena is an independent community and no more a part of the city of Pasadena than are South Pasadena or Altadena. Historically it was a much larger community but through many annexations it has shrunk to a small area that also includes the neighborhoods of Michillinda Park, a portion of Chapman Woods, and several numbered tracts.



Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's map of East Pasadena


South Pasadena is neighbored by Pasadena to the north and west, San Marino to the west, East San Gabriel to the south, and Arcadia to the east. Though an independent community, many of its businesses have Pasadena addresses.  East Pasadena is a small but diverse As of the 2010 census, the population was just 6,144 and 52% white, 35% Latino of any race (mostly Mexican), 23% Asian (mostly Chinese and Filipino), 3% black, and 1% Native American. Though the fastest growing population in the last ten years was Asian-American, it still has a ways to before it reaches a plurality and thus joins its neighbors in "The Far Eastside." Whatever East Pasadenans' ancestral origins, it is heavy on the American Flags... and USMC flags... and one Colombian one.


*****

EARLY HISTORY OF THE AREA


Eaton Wash looking north toward the San Gabriel Mountains


Present day East Pasadena is located near the Tongva village of Sisitcanonga (also spelled Sisitkanonga), which was located near the banks of Eaton Creek. Eaton Creek is a small, seasonal stream, the headwaters of which are in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. The lower, channelized version is referred to today as Eaton Wash and flows into the Rio Hondo.


SPANISH AND MEXICAN ERAS


Spaniards first arrived off the coast of Southern California 1542 although it wasn’t until 1771 that they built a nearby mission at which many of the Tongva were enslaved. With Mexican independence achieved in 1821, the land again changed hands. The missions were secularized in 1834 and the 54 km2 Rancho Santa Anita (which includes modern day East Pasadena as well as all or portions of Arcadia, Monrovia, Pasadena, San Marino, and Sierra Madre) was granted to Perfecto Hugo Reid, a Mexican of Scottish origin.


AMERICAN ERA

In 1848, after Mexico’s defeat in the Mexican-American War, California became part of the US but the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo required that the pre-existing Mexican land grants be honored by the conqueror. After that the land changed hands many times before being purchased in 1875 by Elias Jackson “Lucky” Baldwin. Baldwin was a stockholder in the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe and in 1885 the railway arrived on his ranch in then-new town of Arcadia. To the west, the rail line reached Pasadena in 1887.


THE RISE AND GROWTH OF PASADENA

Pasadena was incorporated in 1886, the second town to do so in the county after Los Angeles. It quickly grew through annexations in all directions. South Pasadena incorporated in 1888 but Pasadena continued to annex the unincorporated lands of Altadena and East Pasadena. From 1906’s East Pasadena Annex to 1971’s Foothill Freeway Annex No. 71-2, nearly all of unincorporated East Pasadena was eventually annexed by Pasadena and today just 3.39 km2 remains.


SUNNY SLOPE 


Sunny Slope Water Company

In the 19th Century, Leonard Rose’s Sunny Slope property included 2,000 acres of orange groves and vineyards comprised of 35 varieties of grapes. It employed 150 workers and produced Rose’s Sunny Slope Brandy. In 1887, Rose created the Lamanda Park subdivision on his property and sold his company to a British firm. I'm not sure if Sunny Slope Vineyard was directly connected to East Pasadena’s Sunny Slope Water Company or whether it's merely named after Rose's Sunny Slope tract but it does date back to 1895, when it was established, and still operates today.


LAMANDA PARK

Lamanda Park station, served by the Pacific Electric Railway’s Sierra Madre Line and the Southern Pacific Railroad, opened in 1903 and the community further emerged as the industrial center of East Pasadena – namely around Nina Street and Rose Avenue (now San Gabriel Boulevard). It was annexed by Pasadena in 1920’s East Side Lamanda Park Annex.


CHAPMAN WOODS




Chapman Woods was purchased in 1869 by Albert (or Alfred, depending on the source) and Katherine Champan. It was later subdivided and true to its name, much of it retains an actual woodsy character. Part of it was annexed by Pasadena in the Eaton Annex of 1927 and part remains within East Pasadena.


MICHILLINDA TRACT


The Michillinda Tract was subdivided around 1910. According to a 1916 edition of Out West magazine:

There is a little village near Pasadena called “Michillinda,” which is not a Spanish nor an Indian name, nor is it taken from an automobile tire, or a chill cure. It is simply the work of an original real estate lord who joined the names of three states – Mich., Ill,. And Ind., to appeal to prospective purchasers from these states. So on these rainy days he fuses the names of different states into on name, and dreams of opening new tracts and calling on “Minn-al-ar-ky,” for Minn., Ala., Ark., and Ky.: another “Wisgawyo,” for Wis., Ga., and Wyo.: still another “Mopanebore,” for Mo., Pa., Neb., and Ore.: and still another “Flamisskansla,” for Fla., Miss., Kans., and La.

The tract, bordered by Michillinda to the east, Foothill to the south, Rosemead to the west, and Cole Avenue to the north, is now known as the Michillinda Park neighborhood.


MICHILLINDA PARK


A park, a playground, and a lovely window-less van

There’s a small park as old as the community in East Pasadena’s southeast corner, Michillinda Park. On the day that I visited there was a homeless man sleeping in the shade and a playground crowed with screeching children whose parents were congregated at a nearby picnic table. One of the children quoted Titanic, crying “I’m king of the world,” although more likely referencing some Dreamworks cartoon rather than the source film.





Extending north from the park are Woodward Boulevard and Michigan Boulevard, two streets with wide medians that are home to large evergreens that look older than most of the homes alongside them. When I the park live avenues, both were being pecked and shat upon by several peafowl, probably visiting from Arcadia’s Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden.


EAST PASADENA WATER COMPANY

The East Pasadena Water Company was established in 1930 and still operates. It grew out of California-Michigan Land and Water Company (aka “Cal-Mich”), which was established in 1910 alongside the Michillinda Tract. In 1913 the company began functioning as a public water utility.


EAST PASADENA HERALD AND OTHER EP CLUBS AND INSTITUTIONS




From around 1930 until 1950, East Pasadena was served by its own newspaper, the East Pasadena Herald. There also used to be an East Pasadena Kiwanis Club (c. 1949 – c.1975) and the East Pasadena Boys’ Club (founded in 1951 and operated at least until 1977 and may have evolved into the Boys & Girls Club of the Foothills, one of whose buses I saw on California as I explored). The East Pasadena Rotary Foundation, founded in 1963, still exists and there’s an East Pasadena Knights of Columbus branch. A club of different sorts is the APA League that meets and plays at Crown City Billiards.


HASTINGS RANCH


By 1927, nearly bit of land up to the north-south Sierra Madre Villa Avenue had been annexed by Pasadena, leaving modern day East Pasadena and one other large area, Hastings Ranch, located to the north. The ranch’s owner, Charles H. Hastings, died in 1942 and his 1,000 acre ranch was sold in 1945 and quickly developed into an industrial, retail and residential neighborhood. It was duly annexed by Pasadena between 1946 and 1954. 


HASTINGS DRIVE-IN AND EAST PASADENA’S FILM SCENE


Hastings Drive-In (image source: Jalopy Journal)

Across the street from its then-northern border on Foothill Boulevard, Hastings Drive-In opened in 1950. It had a 1,315 car capacity. Unfortunately for drive-in fans, it was demolished in 1968 and was replaced with the Pacific Hastings Theatre in 1972, when it showed The Poseidon Adventure. Subdivided and renamed the Pacific Hastings 8, it eventually closed in 2007. This would be the part where I’d normally mention any films shot in East Pasadena or filmmakers and/or actors from there but I haven’t been able to find any so please hit me up with any additions that you may have. I suppose that I could mention that I saw a girl driving a car with a Totoro air freshner on her dashboard. 


GETTING THERE AND STAYING THERE





Colorado Boulevard (renamed from Colorado Street in 1958) was part of the famed Route 66 and home to Pasadena’s Rose Parade, which is probably something most people had in mind that opened most of East Pasadena’s lodging along it. For overnight visitors to East Pasadena there currently exists Best Western Pasadena Inn, Best Western Pasadena Royale, Days Inn Pasadena, El Rancho Motel, Hi-Way Host MotelHoliday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Pasadena, and Pasada Motel. El Rancho Motel opened in 1950 and has a pleasantly mid-century vibe. The Hi-Way Host opened in 1956 and has a nice neon sign. I can’t vouch for their quality as guest accommodations, however, as both have an average rating of one star on Yelp.

If you’d like to use public transportation to visit East Pasadena it’s served by the Los Angeles Metro 79264, 266, 267, and 268 bus lines as well as the superior Foothill Transit 187 line and Pasadena ARTS. About 117 meters outside the community is Pasadena’s Sierra Madre Villa Station, served by the Metro’s light rail Gold Line. On a related note, East Pasadena’s DMV office is the last one I renewed my registration at before ridding myself of my last automobile.


ARCHITECTURE & APPEARANCE


Craftsman home with an Ent (left)

Despite its small size, East Pasadena is home to a wide variety of architectural styles. The low-profile businesses along Colorado Boulevard with their slender bricks, iron ornaments, and fleurs-de-lis motifs are clearly products of a mid-20th century aesthetic.


Flinstonian architecture from 1956

Much of the eastern part of the community is characterized by nondescript ranch homes situated atop thirsty lawns decorated by dusty lawn ornaments and dry fountains. The southern edge along Huntington Drive is more obviously oriented toward the San Gabriel Valley’s growing Asian-American population, faced by billboards in Chinese from the East San Gabriel side of the street and home to tea houses and Chinese-speaking ESL schools.



The Outrigger Apartments (1961) -- now inanely re-named "The Aparments at Huntington"

The western area near Pasadena is home to private communities and stately mansions. There are beautiful Craftsman homes sprinkled here and there and a dismaying number of pebto abysmal Spanish Revival McMansions due in large part to the fact that the unincorporated county community is un-served by even a basic preservation ordinance.


EP EATS



Elizabeth Carneceria (she's pushing the cart apparently) and Sprout's Market with Sprout street art

There are a handful of dining options within East Pasadena including B-Man’s Teriyaki & Burgers, Chiquita Bonita...


... Cynthia Brooks Distinctive Catering, El Super Burrito, Gin Sushi, Golden Palace Mongolian BBQ, Half & Half Tea Express, Mama’s Brick Oven Pizza & Pasta, Nikki C’s Restaurant, President Thai, Sprouts Farmers Market, Yang Chow, and Yes Sushi.





The most popular judging by crowd size during my visit would have to be either El Super Burrito or The Original Tops. The Original Tops began in 1952, when Greek immigrant Steve Bicos started it as a diner with an uncle. The current restaurant was built in 1978 and is run by Bicos’s son, Chris.


Gin Sushi used to house an all-you-can-eat sushi buffet. The building dates back to 1946 and seems to have been a winery, according to an old directory.




President Thai wins points from me for almost looking like a wat as does Mama’s Brick Oven Pizza & Pasta for having a replica of the 93 meter tall Statue of Liberty in New York (or El Monte’s seven meter version).





There are two bars as well: Esquire Bar and Lounge (formerly a gay club called Club 3772, I think) and R Place, which opens at noon and is by all accounts more of a neighborhood dive.


MUSIC AND ART



 

Normally I would mention any bands or musicians from East Pasadena but I have thus far been unable to discover any. There is music being made, however, in a music studio on Rosemead, RedZone Guitar Works, and Lee Music School. Art is hopefully being made at Pasadena Art School.


WORSHIP


For religious sorts there are a few options. On outward appearances alone I’d have to go with St. Anthony Greek Orthodox Church, built in 1965.


New Hope Presbyterian Church
, built in 1963, is a fairly typical church of the era. It used to be Michillinda Presbyterian Church, whose story was told in David Rohrer’s book, The Sacred Wilderness of Pastoral Ministry. Most of its signage now is in Korean. The windowless Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall looks like a military barracks.


The Pasadena Hindu Temple looks rather like a house, albeit one with a large “om.” I’m so used to seeing those hanging on the necklaces of spiritual bros that I almost forget that it has a religious meaning. There’s also Iglesia del Nazareno, Impact Harvest Church, and Life Church.


CRIME

I don’t normally get too into neighborhood crime statistics as I think it might make people unnecessarily afraid of exploring and personally I don’t think that any neighborhood in Southern California has struck me as dangerous enough to warrant a travel advisory. However, I will mention crime statistics here primarily out of the hope that it will challenge stereotypes. To wit, of all the communities reporting crime statistics, East Pasadena has the highest violent crime rate in the SGV (much of which, to be fair, doesn’t report crime statistics). Its crime rate is higher than that of Cypress Park, Koreatown, Boyle Heights, Lincoln Heights, Van Nuys, San Pedro, and many other communities that are with unfair but numbing regularity characterized as being “gang plagued,” “ghetto,” “the hood,” “sketchy,” having “gone to the dogs” &c (often coded shorthand for becoming less white).


Military relics

As I expected, I never once felt even remotely threatened in East Pasadena in the hours that I was there. Sure there was a dog that barked at me and I suppose the sidewalk sign-twirlers arrow could’ve gone awry and poked one of my eyes out but most of the menace occurs either behind McMansion walls or near East San Gabriel’s Clairbourn School and San Marino’s KL Carver Elementary, at least.


An orange 1980 Scout and van/pick-up with horns on the hood for sale

That being said, there was a high profile crime that took place (four years ago) that rocked a community perhaps used to the occasional aggravated assaults and robberies but not murder. On 26 July, 2009, then 85-year-old James Che Ming Lu murdered his wife of nine years, Michelle Lu – then 55 – by striking her nineteen times in the head with a hand ax at the couple’s Rosemead Boulevard home in East Pasadena. He also attacked the victim’s son, Ji Zeng, who escaped and called the police. Lu is currently serving a 42 year sentence.


East Pasadena shopportunities 

Not to end on a dour note, my experiences (excepting that with the DMV) were absolutely pleasant aside from a bit of high temperature-induced heavy sweating. I hope to come back and check out some of the restaurants and R Place in the future. And please politely contribute any additions or corrections in the comments, thank you.


Peacocks in East Pasadena (one just off camera to the left was doing its business)

*****

To vote for Los Angeles County communities  to be the subject of future blog entries, vote here. To vote for other Los Angeles neighborhoods, vote here. To vote for Los Angeles County communities, vote here. To vote for Orange County communities and neighborhoods, vote here

*****

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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #41: A Night At The Museum, Beats On The Water, Bam's Record Collection, Free Movies + more

Posted by Billyjam, July 24, 2013 03:00pm | Post a Comment

The above photo of the fountain in Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village was taken mid-afternoon this past weekend when New York City temperatures reached around 100 degrees which, combined with high humidity levels, made for unbearably hot weather. Hence why many jumped into the fountain to cool off and obtain some respite from the NYC weather that this week has leveled out and returned to a relatively cooler state with temps hovering around 80 degrees today and humidity at only about 50%. This is outdoor weather for sure and NYC in the summertime offers an abundance of things to do out in the street, in the parks, and by and on the water. This New York State of Mind Amoeblog #41 will take a look at some of these events and happenings, including one of the many great boat parties that take place off Manhattan. On any given summer evening/night along the Hudson waterfront - especially from midtown down to lower Manhattan - you will inevitably hear the strains of electronic, hip-hop, reggae, salsa, rock or other music wafting in over the water from one of the countless boat parties that slowly drift by with booming speakers out on the waterways on weekends and week nights too. These are a great way to catch some music (live bands or DJs) and do some sightseeing at the same time.

This Friday (July 26th) is a recommended dance music boat party that sets sail from midtown on the West Side. It's the WAVs Hudson River Tour with an impressive lineup of DJs including UK producer Switch (formerly of Major Lazer), Grandmaster Flash, Octo Octa, Neon Indian (DJ set), Cousin Cole, and Roxy CottontailAdvance tickets available here are just $30 to $40 depending on how soon you cop them - not bad for a 4 hour cruise with good music. Boarding starts at 7pm for 8pm departure from 7pm from Pier 81 at West 42nd Street @ 12th Ave.

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New "What's In My Bag?" with Death Waltz Recording Company Founder Spencer Hickman

Posted by Amoebite, July 24, 2013 11:27am | Post a Comment

Spencer Hickman is the founder of Death Waltz Recording Company, a soundtrack label specializing in horror and cult films. A longtime record store veteran, Hickman is a former manager of Rough Trade Records in East London and is the Record Store Day UK coordinator. Spencer Hickman Hickman is also passionate about film and art, which is especially evident in the exclusive artwork and insert prints the label commissions for each release. The first two Death Waltz releases were classic cinema scores, John Carpenter’s Escape From New York and Fabio Frizzi’s Zombie Flesh Eaters. Originally intending to release soundtrack reissues, Death Waltz has moved into current films including Donnie Darko and Let the Right One In.

Spencer recently visited Amoeba Hollywood to feed his love for obscure horror film soundtracks and managed to dig up some cool vinyl favorites. Hickman's love for horror sounds goes back to his childhood. He was reminded of haunting neighborhood kids when he dug up vinyl copies of Chilling, Thrilling Sounds Of The Haunted House and Stereo Dynamics! To Scare Hell Out Of Your Neighbors. He reveals an old obsession with Skinny Puppy and admits to having the band tattooed on his leg! Check out what other cool horror films and vinyl Spencer picked up on his visit.

Spencer Hickman - What's In My Bag?
Watch and comment on YouTube

Cyberpunk Action Film The Matrix Live With The Don Davis Conducted SF Symphony

Posted by Billyjam, July 23, 2013 03:40pm | Post a Comment

Bay Area fans of the cyberpunk action film The Matrix are in for a treat this Saturday (July 27th) evening in San Francisco there will be a unique presentation of the acclaimed 1999 Sci-Fi film when Don Davis - the musical score composer of the film (and the others in The Matrix series including The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions) - will conduct  the San Francisco Symphony in  a live accompaniment of a screening of the popular film starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano, and Hugo Weaving on a giant screen at Davies Symphony Hall.  Reportedly it is an incredibly engaging new way to experience the film as composer Davis guides the SF Symphony through his carefully crafted score. Known for its atonality Davis has said in interviews of the composing The Matrix film score that he based a lot of the musical structure on directors The Wachowski Brothers' frequent use of reflected, mirrored images throughout the film, such as the reflections of the blue and red pills seen in Morpheus's (Laurence Fishburne) glasses, combining full orchestrated sweeps of music with electronic synth components plus vocal choral elements. Note that Davis' score is separate from The Matrix soundtrack that features music from such artists as Rage Against the Machine, Ministry, Meat Beat Manifesto, and Marilyn Manson.

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Album Picks: Weekend, Hunx and His Punx, Fuck Buttons

Posted by Billy Gil, July 23, 2013 10:02am | Post a Comment

Weekend - Jinx

Weekend’s second album of neo-shoegazing rock ‘n’ roll seems to hit every right note. From the get-go, on “Mirror,” we’re thrust into a dark tunnel of dreamy and distorted sounds, with a killer bass line. While their first album, Sports, was a cool update of Jesus & Mary Chain-style noise, the San Franciscans up the breathy, atmospheric beauty on songs like “Oubilette,” as well as the hookiness, as on the industrial pulse of “It’s Alright,” which sounds like the marriage of classic Nine Inch Nails with shoegaze titans Ride. They still have a bit of a ways to go before establishing an identity all their own, but for now, Weekend are perhaps the best band around at doing what they do. No sophomore album “jinx” here — Weekend’s latest is killer.

 

Weekend Jinx CD $12.98

Weekend Jinx LP $20.98

 

 

Hunx & His PunxStreet Punk

Hunx once wrote ’50s-style laments for the lonely rock ‘n’ roll-loving gay guy. Now he and his crew, including Shannon Shaw of Shannon and the Clams, are tearing it up hardcore style on Street Punk, which bears all of the sass of its predecessors with added sneer and fuzz. It’s a kick to hear Hunx scream “I feel really fucked up!” at the album’s outset, or to hear Shannon tell everyone to fuck off on the brief “Everyone’s a Pussy (Fuck You).” Whereas Hunx previously traded in scrappy, candy-coated odes to heartbreak, his songs here are more self-possessed — the title track is a great Stooges-style song about being a square peg, while Shannon has a great time decrying the “fabulousness” attributed to so many gays on “Don’t Call Me Fabulous.” However, Hunx can’t help but keep things tuneful, as on “Born Blonde,” a funny jam about embracing your inner airhead. Hey cutie in the Crass shirt — Hunx wants your number.

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'Z' for Zionist? The Horror in World War Z (2013)

Posted by Charles Reece, July 22, 2013 09:30am | Post a Comment

To me, about the only interesting aspect of the latest zombie film, World War Z, is how it dealt with a certain notion that it shares with all post-apocalyptic narratives, namely that the politics we (many liberals and leftists, at least) find iniquitous in the real world might find a moral purchase in the dystopian fantasy. (The film itself is arranged like a video game, where Brad Pitt goes from scenario to scenario, completing each mission, only to be told by the Side Character Who Knows that the possible solution lies at the end of another mission set in another context with its own set of possible actions.) That actions can produce different moral outcomes depending on context shouldn't be all that surprising, though, since most everyone is surely familiar with the adage about how even the most heinous of political systems might at least keep the trains running on time. That is, if you simplify the public good enough, like the purpose a junkie finds in addiction, one can find an advantage to any system. In the context of a zombie apocalypse, the desideratum is, of course, surviving one more day from the undead plague.

So, one thing a totalitarian regime like North Korea is ably suited for is to marshall all of its forces into closing off its borders and making sure none of its citizens is able to spread the disease should he or she become infected. Ideally, the advantage to martial law is to circumvent time-consuming debate during an emergency. This automatically gives an advantage to a totalitarian regime over a democracy, since only the latter has to bother calling for martial law, the former having already been operating under a military state preceding the emergency. Likewise, because North Korea recognizes no inalienable rights to selfhood, current Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un can put his state apparatus to efficient use by removing all the teeth from his entire citizenry. Not that infection was all that probable, since the country was living in a bubble at the time of the outbreak.

Individual rights, open borders and democracy are, it might be concluded, not the best way to stave off the zombie horde. That's a trade off I'd have no problem making. Better to have a respect for individual rights and be ill prepared for zombies than live under a dictator until the zombies arrive. I bring this up because most of the film's critics ignore whether World War Z is promoting the North Korean regime, which, by the end of the film (as far as the audience knows), is the only truly successful defense against zombie infection. Critics are more concerned with the other near success story, Israel:

For a solid 10-minute stretch, World War Z is the greatest piece of cinematic propaganda for Israel since Otto Preminger’s Exodus. While the rest of the world has fallen to cinders, Israel survives. After Pitt’s plane narrowly escapes doom during a bloody action set piece, he touches down at Atarot Airport. The Israeli flag, shown in glorifying closeup, ripples proudly in a sun-dappled halo. -- Jordan Hoffmann

Not only is Israel’s fanatical Wall Building proven to be justified, against the hordes of undead invaders, and not only are Jewish victimizations paraded to justify the aggrandizement of Israeli military prowess, but it’s Israel’s supposed humanism, and multicultural inclusiveness, which in the end weakens the fragile post-apocalyptic state and allows the zombies to overrun everything. -- Jesse Benjamin supporting Hoffman's spin

It went from being an action film into Zionism pornography an hour into the film. The film even justifies the Apartheid Wall and the institution of checkpoints which treat people like cattle as saving the world from zombies! -- a representative negative interpretation from those critical of Israeli policies towards the Palestinians, quoted by Al Jazeera

World War Z is the most pro-Israel movie ever made. Or at the very least the most pro-Israel zombie movie ever made. -- Jeffrey Goldberg, a staunch defender of Israeli policies, ibid.

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Hard French Presents Rye Rye on August 3rd in SF!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, July 21, 2013 07:57pm | Post a Comment

Our favorite party people over at Hard French welcome Baltimore’s 22-year old emcee Rye Rye to Public rye ryeWorks on Saturday, August 3rd!

According to the 2013 BET Awards, Rye Rye is one of the reigning queens of hip-hop. Rye Rye’s Bmore beats and sharp lyrical stylings have attracted collaborators like MIA, Drake, Robyn, and the Scissor Sisters. Her BET nomination came in the middle of a stint (following in the footsteps of fellow rap diva heavyweight Lil Kim) making the A-list queer party circuit. Her recent gigs have included LA’s Mustache Mondays and New York’s Westgay.

For her opening act on August 3rd, Hard French has tapped Bay Area queer rapper Micahtron, who has held down party cyphers for years on the strength of her dope, lyrics-forward stage presence. The two are joined by DJ sets from Hard French (Carnita, Brown Amy), queer hip-hop monthly up-and-comers Swagger Like Us (Boyfriend, davO), and long-running dance party Mango’s Olga T.

Get your tickets HERE!
 

Noise Pop's Musical Pursuit Night, Tuesday July 23rd in SF

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, July 21, 2013 06:16pm | Post a Comment
noise pop musical pursuit

Ready to show off your mad music trivia skills? Join Noise Pop and Amoeba Music this Tuesday, July 23rd at 1772 Market Street for the launch Musical Pursuit, a night of music trivia -- both contemporary and vintage. This free monthly event, sponsored by Drambuie, will challenge music nerds, industry professionals, and anyone who wants to explore their musical knowledge while enjoying some great food, drinks, and music.

Come early and make it a music-fueled evening! Enjoy dinner starting at 6pm, with trivia starting at 8pm hosted by SF impresario Parker GibbsMusic for the evening will be provided by Jamie Jams of DEBASER and Last Nite.

Music knowledge is rewarded handsomely at Musical Pursuit! Check out these prizes for July's event:

GRAND PRIZE 
Two-day GA tickets to Treasure Island Music Festival (October 19-20). The winning team will receive one ticket per team member, up to 8 tickets total.

RUNNER UP
$10 WillCall credit for each team member (up to 8 credits)

Your team will also have the chance to win concert tickets, rounds of drinks and shots, and food! Oh, and bragging rights, tons of bragging rights.

Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 07.19.13: E-Lit, Slum Village, Murs, Ugly Heroes, Hieros, Rav.P feat Skyzoo, Radioinactive + more

Posted by Billyjam, July 19, 2013 10:50pm | Post a Comment


Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five Week Ending 07:19:13


1) Hieroglyphics The Kitchen (Hiero Imperium)

2) Slum Village Evolution (Ne'Astra Music)

3) Jay-Z Magna Carta Holy Grail (Def Jam)

4) Radioinactive The Akashic Record (Flying Carpet Studios)

5) Billy Woods & Blockhead Dour Candy  (Backwoodz Studioz)

Thanks to E-Lit at the Berkeley Amoeba store for his latest video report on new hip-hop releases and the accompanying new top five hip-hop chart (both above) for this special video-only weekly hip-hop rap-up for the Amoeblog that, as well as corresponding videos for some of the new releases referenced by E-Lit, are new hip-hop videos from such artists as  Rav.P featuring Skyzoo, Murs' audio track to accompany new comic book project, - the sequel to the first chapter of the comic book featured here two weeks ago, Ugly Heroes' (featuring Apollo Brown, Verbal Kent, and Red Pill) new video for "Desperate," and new Bay rap from The Jacka & Dubble-OO with a feature from J.Stalin on the new track “Time Standing Still.”

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Show Recap: Pretty Lights at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, July 19, 2013 11:45am | Post a Comment
The kids came out in full force to see Pretty Lights at Amoeba Hollywood July 18. A decidedly young crowd enthusiastic about the rising EDM star lined every row of the store. It was tough to even get around the kids dancing in every empty space available to them.

Pretty Lights aka Derek Vincent Smith started out by playing “Yellow Bird,” the prettiest and mellowest of songs from his latest album, A Color Map of the Sun. From there, the energy to his nearly hourlong show seemed to grow exponentially.

Though his music squelches and booms like Skrillex, the methods he employs to get there are anything but simple. He composed each part to the new record and had them recorded before sampling and manipulating those sounds. Live, he played with a laptop and series of samplers, not going too crazy on them like Flying Lotus but instead focusing on getting the audience pumped, dancing and encouraging fans to raise their hands, employing judicious breaks to call out to the audience and get them riled up.

A variety of sounds hit listeners, as Smith layed Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five’s hip-hop classic “The Message” over a sun-soaked backdrop, later pushing the sound limits of the place with a hyperspeed-beat song with heavily treated R&B samples, and ending the set with a reggae-fueled jam. Throughout, Smith looked like he was having a blast, bro-ing out with the crowd and keeping things hyped for one of the biggest, most energetic shows at Amoeba in recent memory.

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Amoeba Presents Haunted Summer Live at the Satellite Aug. 1

Posted by Billy Gil, July 19, 2013 08:20am | Post a Comment

L.A.’s Haunted Summer make intoxicatingly beautiful music. The duo of John Seasons and Bridgette Eliza Moody craft music that waltzes and sways in the summer sun, as Moody’s lilt and soft orchestration carries you through unfolding dreamscapes. Fans of Beach House, Mazzy Star and Twin Sister will find themselves getting lost in the band’s upcoming Something in the Water EP, due in September.

Amoeba Hollywood is proud to sponsor the band’s music video premiere show at The Satellite Aug. 1. Amoeba has a free ticket to the show to the first 10 people that buy their self-titled EP at the store while supplies last. The show starts at 9 p.m. and also features Tashaki Miyaki, yOya and The Eagle Rock Gospel Singers. You can grab the first single from their EP, "All Around," as a free download from Amoeba.

I sat down with John Seasons and Bridgette Eliza Moody to discuss their exciting new project.

PST: How did the two of you start playing together?

Seasons: Bridgette and I were friends for eight years, I admired her as a fellow musician and friend for that period. We fell in true love last year and started making music together shortly after.

PST: Did you guys talk about what you wanted Haunted Summer to sound like beforehand, or did you just let it happen? Did you agree upon bands or artists that could serve as inspiration?

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Weekly Roundup: Earl Sweatshirt, Lawrence Rothman, Raw Geronimo and More

Posted by Billy Gil, July 18, 2013 03:27pm | Post a Comment

Lots of new videos this week!

Earl Sweatshirt – “Hive (featuring Vince Staples & Casey Veggies)” video

The third single from Odd Future member Earl Sweatshirt’s upcoming debut LP, Doris (out Aug. 20 on Tan Cressida/Columbia), is another winner, full of woozy, spacey effects, and a slowed-down beat to match Sweatshirt’s laid-back flow. It’s not as flashy as “Whoa” or “Chum,” but it’s no less hypnotic.

 

Lawrence Rothman – “Montauk Fling” video

Maybe it’s because I just rewatched Mulholland Dr. for like the fifth time, but this new video from L.A.’s Lawrence Rothman is really doing it for me. The song is a kind of electro-symphonic ode to yearning, and the video’s decayed Hollywood mythologizing feels like a drag-performance-art version of Sunset Boulevard. Rothman appears decked out like a young Elizabeth Taylor, cooing “can I be your boyfriend?” while mirror-imaged women writhe around in leotards and 1950s-style underwear. The occasional creepy footage of an L.A. freeway or the Hollywood Tower (I think?) makes the video by Floria Sigismondi (David Bowie, The White Stripes, Marilyn Manson) an expertly crafted example of how subtly unsettling Hollywood imagery can be. The single’s out digitally and on 7” Aug. 6 from Mamaroma, Sigismondi’s label.

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode With FIDLAR

Posted by Amoebite, July 18, 2013 02:44pm | Post a Comment

FIDLAR

What's more punk rock than living by the mantra, "Fuck it Dog, Life's a Risk?" That's exactly what the acronym FIDLAR stands for. FIDLAR, a hardcore, surf rock and pop-punk band from Los Angeles, is made up of Zac Carper (vocals, guitar), Brandon Schwartzel (bass), and brothers Elvis Kuehn (vocals, guitar) and Max Kuehn (drums). Max and Elvis' father is Greg Kuehn, guitar player for Long Beach punk legends T.S.O.L.

FIDLAR CD

Earlier this year, FIDLAR played to a packed house at Amoeba Hollywood in support of their full length, self titled debut. Watch their full performance. The band's message comes across very loud and very clear on songs like "Max Can't Surf" and "Cheap Beer." FIDLAR is packed with 16 tracks that stay true to the band's "Fuck it Dog, Life's a Risk" mantra. Our own reviewer called it a "Pabst-soaked party record with strong songwriting anchoring its punk attitude." 

We caught up with FIDLAR for another awesome What's In My Bag? episode. From classic Violent Femmes to '70s iconic soul man Curtis Mayfield to '80s film soundtrack Repo Man, these guys are strictly vinyl. Check out some of their other favorite punk and rock records they found while digging at Amoeba!

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3rd Annual San Frandelic Summerfest With Vincent Gallo, August 3rd

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, July 18, 2013 12:16pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba Music is proud to co-present the 3rd annual San Frandelic Summerfest on August 3rd at Thee Parkside in San Francisco! Summers in SF may be notoriously foggy, but this all-day rawk revival is sure to melt the fog and more.

This year, the San Frandelic Summerfest welcomes actor, director, and musician Vincent Gallo in what will be his first show in five years, as well as bands Spindrift, OUTLAW, Djin Aquarian (of Ya Ho Wa 13), Greg Ashley, The Groggs, Wild Honey, Meat Market, Cool Ghouls, Virgin Hymns, and MoonFox.

But that's not all! There will be great DJs too with Joel Gion of The Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Duke of Windsor, and Smile's Neil Martinson.

Get your tickets NOW as this is sure to sell out!vincent gallo san frandelic

 

New 12"/LP/CD Releases at Amoeba Hollywood 7/17 - Cliff Lothar, Azymuth, Claudio PRC, Black Deer and more!

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, July 17, 2013 02:20pm | Post a Comment

Cliff Lothar  

White Savage 12"

Viewlexx  

Mysterious emanations from the Hague. The four tracks hear are heavy on Boss-drum machines, meandering live basslines, odd samples and Detroit-electro influence. Despite the reliance on classic analog modules, the material sounds fresh and will be of equal interest to the working dj and studio hermit. 

Buy White Savage 12"

 

 

Gerd - Luv ThangAlden Tyrell  

Luv Thang 12"

4Lux

Nice late night bomb from 4Lux proprietor Gerd and Alden Tyrell. The duo recruited Jessy Allen to lend "Luv Thang" her insouciant lyrics. The instrumental version draws attention to the track's adroit 909 workout.  "Girls Can't Swim" is a harder big room techno-tool

Buy Luv Thang 12"

 

 

Hiver - Blue AconiteHiver  

Blue Aconite 12"

Curle

Deep analogue techno from Italy. "Eglantine" bides it's time, using a dubby stab, crisp snare and subtle piano to lay the ground for a nostalgic three-chord pad. Tobias. handles remix duties, turning "Teasal" into a engrossing piece of autobahn techno. The original follows, full of clever hi-hat panning and modulation of a skyward set of chords. 

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"Fruitvale Station" Is A Must-See Movie, Especially For Those In The Bay Area

Posted by Billyjam, July 17, 2013 01:54pm | Post a Comment


Fruitvale Station
- the award winning film about Oscar Grant that opened over the past weekend in select US city theaters and opens nationwide next week - is a highly recommended, really well made movie that anyone anywhere should enjoy viewing. But for those from the Oakland/Bay Area where the film's storyline is set (and filmed) the Ryan Coogler written and directed independent film will be particularly enjoyable, albeit sad and emotionally charged, since the storyline strikes so close to home. "Based on a true story" and capturing the final 24 + hours of the ill-fated life of the 22 year old African American, Hayward resident, who was famously shot and killed by BART police officer Johannes Mehserle in the early hours of New Year's Day 2009 in the BART station that carries the film's title, Fruitvale Station needs no spoiler alert. Unless you were living under a rock for the past four and a half years you know exactly what went down on that fateful day. Besides the film both opens and closes with the fatal shooting of Oscar Grant - the beginning done in that hand held phone/video style that most round the world saw on YouTube and the end in film style.  Like any really good film where you already know the outcome of its storyline Fruitvale Station is such a well written, acted, and perfectly paced film that even knowing exactly how the story will unfold audiences were still silently glued to the screen - truly a testament to the skill of first time director/Richmond CA resident Ryan Coogler.

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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #40: Free Kayaking, Met's Opera Summer Recital Series, Brooklyn Bridge Park + more

Posted by Billyjam, July 17, 2013 07:15am | Post a Comment
     


In addition to a rundown on free kayaking in New York City (video interview above and text overview down below) this 40th New York State of Mind Amoeblog weekly report from the Big Apple will take a look at some of the many events and concerts happening in New York City this mid July where the weather has been extremely hot and muggy of late. Considering that then a good place to be on these hot New York summer evenings is out in the park down by the river such as the Brooklyn Bridge Park where this week the fun summertime Syfy Movies with a View series, that kicked off last week and runs through late August on each Thursday night, continues tomorrow with a free sreening of the Bruce Lee classic  Enter the Dragon. There is also an opening short film, Catnip: Egress to Oblivion by Jason Willis, plus music spun by DJ Hahn Solo earlier in the evening to get the mood going as folks gather before dusk at the Brooklyn Heights district park. No cover. All ages. DJ starts spinning at 6:00pm and the movies begin at sundown. Bring a blanket and a picnic. More info here.

This week the annual Metropolitan Summer Opera Recital Series kicked off last night in Central Park and will continue over the next couple of weeks with a total of six concerts that will take place in each of the five boroughs. The second concert will be on Friday, July 19th at 7pm, in  Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn where the recital will feature  Erin Morley (soprano), Isabel Leonard (mezzo-soprano), Stephen Costello (tenor), and Bradley Moore (pianist). Next week the series will travel up to Crotona Park in the Bronx  on Tuesday and over to Clove Lakes Park in Staten Island on Thursday where, on both dates, the performers will be Ying Fang (soprano), Mario Chang (tenor), Brandon Cedel (bass-baritone), and Bradley Moore (pianist). Free. All ages. For full details on these and the other upcoming Met Summer Recital Series visit the Metro Opera website.  Also outdoors and free in New York City this week is Arriba! - the series of community dance parties with locally themed Latin music, that begins on Friday July 19th, on the High Line. More info.  Large scale rock, rap, and pop concerts in NYC this week include the big Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z concert show at Yankee Stadium on Friday and Saturday (July 19 + 20th). Tickets range in price from $49 up to $279.50. More info here. On Monday and Tuesday (July 22nd and 23rd) friends of Amoeba Tegan and Sara perform at Hudson River Park's Pier 26. Tickets are $42.50.

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Charity Auction at Amoeba Hollywood for Smile Train, August 3rd

Posted by Amoebite, July 16, 2013 05:00pm | Post a Comment

Join us at Amoeba Hollywood on Saturday, August 3rd as our special guest host, comedian Jimmy Pardo, auctions items including concert tickets, gift certificates, collectibles, and so much more!

Proceeds from this auction go to Smile Train, an international charity that provides free cleft surgery to children from desperately poor families, giving them not just a new smile, but a new life. To date, Smile Train has performed over 850,000 surgeries. Amoeba matches all winning bids up to $1,000.

Jimmy Pardo is the host of the top-rated podcast "Never Not Funny" and "The jimmy pardoPardo Patrol" on TeamCoco.com, has his own half-hour "Comedy Central Presents" special, hosts monthly nights at the Upright Citizen's Brigade Theatre, and tons more cool stuff. Jimmy stands at the very center of the comedy world. That's not only because he's the ultimate "comic's comic," (as he's often called), but also because he represents where comedy is going, and everybody wants to come along.

"He can be brutally honest and he's not afraid to make fun of me. For that, I both love and despise him.” – Conan O’Brien

Follow Jimmy on twitter @NeverNotFunny.

Album Picks: Soft Metals, Guantlet Hair, Pet Shop Boys, Tig Notaro

Posted by Billy Gil, July 16, 2013 09:54am | Post a Comment

Soft MetalsLenses

CD $11.98

LP $17.98

Download $9.98

L.A. duo Soft Metals continue to turn out excellent, icy synth-pop on their second album. Single “Tell Me” starts out minimally and coolly, featuring Patricia Hall’s ethereal, melancholy vocals and an ever-so-slightly menacing beat before a meaty synth hook comes in and makes it a great dark party jam. Similarly, the sexy tension of a track like “Hourglass” should find fans of likeminded, italo disco-influenced music like Chromatics and Glass Candy. Great for post-midnight dance parties.

Watch the unofficial video for "Tell Me" below, with footage from Killer Clowns From Outer Space!

Soft Metals - Tell Me from Violent Success on Vimeo.

 

Gauntlet Hair - Stills

CD $11.98

LP $15.98

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July 15, 2013: Pacific Rim

Posted by phil blankenship, July 15, 2013 10:12pm | Post a Comment

Toy Love Song

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, July 15, 2013 07:25pm | Post a Comment

A 1980 interview with a bunch of new bands based in Auckland by the old New Zealand rock mag Rip It toy loveUp posed the question, "How would you most like the audience to react to your music?"

All the bands interviewed answered that they liked it best when the punters hit the dancefloor...except Chris Knox, the peripatetic vocalist for Toy Love. His response? "We'd rather stun them..."

Done and done. Over their all too brief two-year life, the South Island band were the best in the country by a long shot, packing pubs and slaying the hundreds of people who packed in to see them.

The band put out three singles and one LP before splitting up in late 1980. Their impact was monstrous in NZ, directly influencing the formative years of the country's premier indie label in the '80s, Flying Nun.

Brooklyn label Captured Tracks has just released a vinyl document of Toy Love's recorded output, toy lovean eponymously titled double LP comprising the best of the LPs and singles, along with other recorded material and demos. Your writer was an unabashed fanatic; I saw all but one Toy Love show in Christchurch, and a bunch at other places around the country.

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The Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne and Run DMC's Darryl "DMC" McDaniels Both Get Into Making Comic Books

Posted by Billyjam, July 15, 2013 05:53pm | Post a Comment
The Flaming Lip's frontman Wayne Coyne will be among those comic book creators contributing to  Comic-Com 2013 later this week. Coyne's new adult-themed comic book The Sun Is Sick will be unveiled at the ever popular annual event that takes place at the San Diego Convention Center Thursday through Sunday this week (July 18th - 21st). The Sun Is Sick, which is the multi-media artist's first ever comic book, is a forty-page, limited print run edition, adult comic that is sized 6 ½" x 8 ½" in "full-color psychedelic fantasy in classic comic book form" according to its maker. Before it goes on sale Thursday at Comic Con it will be previewed online by  Paste Magazine who will sneak preview it a day earlier (July 17th) on their site with a feature by Coyne on the making of his work. After Comic Con the comic book will be sold exclusively on the Lips' website. Coyne and his band are currently on tour in support of their recommended new album The Terror that arrived in Amoeba in mid April. Tonight (7/15) they play Wallingford, CT at the Oakdale Theatre and tomorrow they play Pittsburgh, PA's Stage AE with Spiritualized as support act for both shows. Their next advertised California date is July 31st when the Flaming Lips play Costa Mesa's Pacific Amphitheatre. However their website and their label promise "additional West Coast tour dates" to be announced shortly and advise keeping an eye on the Flaming Lips website for future details on this.

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California Fool's Gold -- Exploring Laguna Beach

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 15, 2013 02:45pm | Post a Comment
A WEARY ROVER'S DREAM




INTRODUCTION 


Laguna Beach is an quirky, affluent community in South Orange County. The city is the third oldest in Orange County, after San Juan Capistrano and Anaheim. It is widely known for its vibrant arts scene and environmental treasures.

It's long seemed to me that dated and inaccurate stereotypes of Los Angeles often get transferred by Angelenos who should know better to Orange County, particularly South County. Perhaps as a whole they apply more accurately to the overall suburban, right wing-leaning and WASPy southern end of the county but Laguna Beach is a lesson in why we should only make broad generalizations with caution (or not at all). In Laguna Beach there are more registered Democrats there than Republicans. By the largest majority in the county, Laguna Beach residents voted for marriage equality. There seems to be a consensus that Laguna Beach, especially South Laguna Beach, is Orange County's gay mecca. Its hilly neighborhoods look almost nothing like those in, say, Irvine. And even though I think that there's a lot more culture in Orange County than haters give it credit for, even the most stubborn denier would have to except Laguna Beach.

I've visited Laguna Beach a few times in the past, mainly for the food and the beaches. Driving through Laguna Canyon has inspired dreams of living in the chaparral-covered hillside like some Mediterranean strain of Hobbit. On another note, the trip to Laguna Beach that led to this piece was more about going to the beach than blogging, so if it seems as though I didn't spend as much time exploring on foot as I usually do, that's because I didn't. It was a friend's birthday to go (frequent travelling companion Tim Shimbles) and I didn't want to completely hijack his and his girlfriend's day with my agenda.


Long Beach Transit Free Shuttle

Most people probably visit Laguna Beach as we did, with a car. For those without cars or unafraid to take public transportation, you can also easily get to Laguna Beach on OCTA's Lines 1 and 89. Within the city, the three Laguna Beach Transit lines will take you just about anywhere a visitor would want to go. Furthermore, from 28 June until 1 September there's a free trolley which we hopped on.


LAGUNA BEACH DEMOGRAPHICS

As of 2010 Laguna Beach's population was 22,723 people. The ethnic makeup of Laguna Beach was 91% white, 7% Latino, 4% Asian, and 1% black. It's one of the wealthiest communities in the county. The oddly shaped city, roughly laid out along three spokes like a three-pronged Glaive, is bordered by Dana Point to the southeast, Aliso Viego and Laguna Niguel to the east, Laguna Woods to the northeast, a large wilderness area to the west and the even larger Pacific Ocean to the southwest.


  
Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's maps of South Orange County and Laguna Beach


Laguna Beach includes the neighborhoods of Aliso Beach, Alta Vista, Arch Beach Heights, Blue Lagoon, Bluebird Canyon, California Cove, Canyon, Canyon Acres, Central Bluff, Civic Arts District, Diamond/Crestview, Crown Royal, Downtown, Emerald Bay, Emerald Terrace, Irvine Cove, Laguna Royale, Laguna Village, Laguna Village North, Lagunita, Lower Bluebird, Main Beach, Mystic Hills, North Laguna, Park Avenue Estates, Portafina, Rancho Laguna, Smithcliffs, South Laguna Bluffs, South Laguna Village, Temple Hills, Top of the World, Treasure Island, Upper Diamond, Upper Victoria Beach, and Victoria Beach.


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EARLY HISTORY


The Old Spanish and Mexican Ranchos of Orange County California

The area around Laguna Beach is estimated to have been continuously inhabited for about 8,000 years. The Tongva arrived to the area as early as 5,000 years ago. To the south, across Aliso Creek, they were neighbored by the small Acagchemem nation, who like them spoke an Uto-Aztecan language. The Spanish arrived in 1769 and named the area La Cañada de Las Lagunas and later conquered the land -- the Laguna Lakes are the county's only natural ones. Mexico achieved independence from Spain in 1821 and thus future Orange County became Mexican. The lands that now include Laguna Beach were divided between Rancho San Joaquin, Rancho Niguel (named after the Native village, Niguili), and public lands.


EARLY AMERICAN ERA


Arch Beach Hotel - 1880 (image credit: LightHeaded)

The US defeated Mexico in 1848 and took over California. The Timber-Culture Act of 1871 encouraged settlement of the west and the first American to arrive, Eugene Salter, claimed part of Aliso Canyon and South Laguna. More families followed. The first permanent homes were built by William and Nathaniel "Nate" Brooks in 1876. A small settlement called Arch Beach was established at the mouth of Bluebird Canyon. Arch Beach got its own post office in 1889. In 1886, Hubbard Goff opened the Arch Beach Hotel.


Laguna Beach c. 1890 (image credit: Orange County Historical Society)



In 1887, a settlement called Lagona was established at the mouth of Laguna Canyon. A book, Laguna Beach of Early Days (1947), was written by one of the first inhabitants, Joseph Thurston. By 1888, Lagona had two schools. Lagona got its own post office in 1891. In 1889, Orange County seceded from Los Angeles County. In 1904 the residents of the community officially renamed their community Laguna Beach -- the community of Three Arches was renamed South Laguna. In 1905, Laguna Cliffs to the north were subdivided by Howard Heiseler, L.C. McKnight, and the Thumb Brothers, and were the first to offer running water to every lot.


HOTEL LAGUNA


Hotel Laguna


Although by 1900 there were only five families of permanent homesteaders farming Laguna Beach, by the 1880s the California Riviera was already attracting many tourists. The Laguna Hotel was built, burned down and rebuilt in 1888. After both it and the Arch Beach Hotel were purchased by the same owner, they were moved to the present site of the Hotel Laguna and rechristened the New Hotel Laguna. After being condemned, it was demolished in 1928 and replaced by another structure in 1930. One of the most iconic structures in town was for decades topped by a beautiful neon sign. However, in 1996 the sign was removed.


Laguna Lumber (image credit: Laguna Historical Society)



Laguna Beach was almost urbanized during the 1890s but a depression and change in the plans of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway spared the town. In 1903 Elmer Jahraus arrived from Santa Ana in and soon after opened a cigar factory. In 1913 he opened Laguna Lumber which allowed for an acceleration in Laguna Beach's growth, albeit at a measured pace, and one oriented toward tourists on stage coaches rather than steam trains.


ARTISTS


Laguna Beach Art Association c. 1925 (image credit: Laguna Art Museum)

Artists were drawn by the beautiful and dramatic landscapes. The first painting done in Laguna Beach was done so in 1878. Some of the earliest painters to come to Laguna Beach included plein air masters Anna Hills, Frank Cuprien (aka the "Dean of Laguna Artists"), Gardner Symonds, William Alexander Griffith, William Daniell, and William Wendt (aka the "Dean of Southern California landscape painters"). In 1913, a group led by Missouri-born muralist Edgar A. Payne established an artist commune. Their first public exhibition, held in 1918, attracted thousands of attendees. Bolstered by this success, Payne later founded the Laguna Beach Art Association.

Wendt later co-founded the California Art Club, and served as its president for six years. In 1961, the Laguna Beach School of Art (now known as the Laguna Beach College of Art + Design) was established.


SILENT FILM IN LAGUNA BEACH

  
  


The beautiful scenery of Laguna Beach attracted not just vacationers and artists but filmmakers, who shot a handful of silent films in the area including Neal of the Navy (1915), The Lash (1916), The Mystery Ship (1917), The Hope Diamond Mystery (1921), The Queen of Sheba (1921), The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1922), and Captain January (1924).


PAGEANT OF THE MASTERS


Recreation of The Last Supper in 1936

The Pageant of the Masters began as an event called Kitshi Manido in 1921. The second Kitshi took place in 1927. The Spirit of the Masters was added to the Festival of Arts in 1933. In 1936 it was renamed Pageant of the Masters. The pageants centered around living artists staging recreations of famous artworks. It still takes place today. 


Aliso Beach 1923 (image credit: Light Headed and the Howard Wilson Collection)


Also in the 1920s, dozens of cabins were built in Crystal Cove Park for the growing number of tourists whilst others opted to sleep in tents on Aliso Beach. The city of Laguna Beach incorporated in 1927.


Fire Station One -- Orange County's oldest operating fire station (since 1931)


HOLLYWOOD COMES TO THE BEACH

By the 1930s Laguna Beach was one of the most popular destinations for Hollywood movie stars. Many silent era and Classic Hollywood era stars made Laguna Beach their home (or one of them), including Bette Davis, Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, Judy Garland, Mary Pickford, Mickey Rooney, Rudolph Valentino, and Victor Mature among others. In James Cain's 1941 novel Mildred Pierce, the heroine opens her third restaurant there. Alongside the Hollywood crowd, a Laguna Beach's gay scene began to emerge with several gay bars operating by toward the end of the 1930s. Gay actor Rock Hudson was first a staple of the Laguna Beach social scene and ultimately bought a home there.


EILER LARSEN -- LAGUNA'S OFFICIAL GREETER


  
The real Larsen, Hello-o-o-o-o-o-o- How Ar-r-re You? (image credit: Joe Orman) and Guy Angelo Wilson's sculpture (image credit: Chris Jepsen of OC History Roundup)
 



Eiler Larsen, aka the Laguna Beach Greeter, was a Dane who settled in Laguna Beach in 1942 after first visiting the Pageant of the Masters in 1938. It seems that then as now, most motorists were miserable and Larsen made it his habit to wave to them and yell "Hello!" "Too many people driving along the highway are frowning and look unhappy. By waving, I make them smile and thousands of people have a happier day before them," he explained. In 1963,  "The Greeter" was released on OBO records, composed by Paul Blaine Henrie, sung by Rochelle Battat and featuring Larsen. In 1964, the cultural icon was proclaimed Laguna's Official Greeter by the mayor. He died at age 84 in 1975. During his life he was depicted in paintings, postcards,  and sculptures. One such sculpture stands in front of The Old Pottery Place and another in front of Greeter's Corner Restaurant.


  
                      Griggs and the Learys                       Flyer and stage at the Laguna Beach Christmas Happening

Loved by and friendly to actors, artists, gays and others; Laguna Beach was firmly established as the epicenter of Orange County Bohemianism by the rise of the counterculture in the 1960s. In 1965, the celebrated Sawdust Art Festival was inaugurated when a group of artists "splintered" from the Festival of Arts. In 1967 a group of artists splintered from them and started the Art-A-Fair Festival.
In 1967, John Griggs led the Brotherhood of Eternal Love relocated there and opened their head shop, Mystic Arts World. In 1968, Timothy Leary was busted for possession in Laguna Beach. The Hare Krishnas arrived the same year (although they didn't open their temple until 1980). In 1970, Laguna Beach hosted the Laguna Beach Christmas Happening.


LAGUNA BEACH PRESERVATION


Seal Rock

Hippies were largely responsible for some of Laguna Beach's passion for preserving and protecting the both Laguna Beach's environment and historic homes. The Pacific Marine Mammal Center was established in 1971 to protect, rescue and rehabilitate marine mammals. Thanks to the efforts of Laguna Beach preservationists there are still Craftsman bungalows from the early 20th Century and large undeveloped wilderness areas. The first Laguna Beach Historic Survey was undertaken in 1980 to determine historic significance of the town's remaining pre-1940 buildings. Old home and architecture fans should consider taking the Village Laguna Charm House Tour


ART SCENE

 
Art-A-Fair Festival (1967) and the Sawdust Festival (1968) (image source: OCInSite)


With art one of Laguna Beach's main draws, it should come as no surprise that it's become a big commodity. Laguna Beach still hosts several art events including the aforementioned the Pageant of the Masters, the Sawdust Art Festival, and Festival of Arts, as well as the Art-A-Fair (founded in 1967), Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational, the First Thursdays Art Walk, Laguna Craft Guild Art Show, Open Artists' Studio, and likely others -- please let me know. There's also the Laguna Art Museum. Laguna Beach is also home to the Southern California Artist Association, Laguna Plein Air Painters Association, and Laguna ART Group.


Laguna Gallery of Contemporary Art

By no means do I want to suggest that I'm terribly knowledgeable about Laguna Beach's huge art scene but it seems to be dominated by two major strains -- the plein air landscapes with which it made its name, and a kitschy strain of of pop surrealism. I have no desire to belittle people for their tastes but I've got to say that it's not my thing. I've seen melting harlequins, ex-presidents playing cards, and rainbow striped elephants but my snickering at the photorealistic depiction of Disney's Ariel in a romantic embrace with a Humpback whale led to my ejection from the Wyland Gallery. I'm sure non-believers like me don't bother the Laguna Beach art establishment too much though. If the prices these pieces command and the proudly-displayed photos of artists with guys like Sting and Dave Matthews suggest anything, it's that these painters are crying all the way to the (to paraphrase Liberace).

This here is my attempt to list all of the current Laguna Beach galleries and shops: Amy Rose Art, Anthropos Gallery, Art Affair, Art Classes & Artist Bobbi Boyd, Art for the Soul, Artist Eye Laguna Gallery, Auster Ken, Aviation Arts Gallery, Avran Art+Design, Bluebird Gallery, Casa Caroni, CES Contemporary, Cheryl Ekstrom Studio, Cheyne Walls Fine Art Photography, Christy Larry Studio Gallery, Clark Little Gallery, Coastal Eddy a Gallery,

Contemporary Chinese Fine Art, Corbett Colleen, Cove Gallery, Davy Liu Studio Gallery, De Franco Studio, DeBilzan Gallery, Deborah Carman Gallery, Delgado Water Colors, Demossa Gallery, DeRu's Fine Art, Diana Ferrone Gallery, Exclusive Collections Gallery, Faux Paw Productions, Fil Mottola Gallery, Fine Art Laguna Beach, Fingerhut Gallery of Laguna Beach, Gallery 1951, Gallery McCollum, Gallery One of Laguna, The George Gallery, H Gallery,

Handmade Hearts Gallery & Art Glass Studio, Hidden Dream Fine Art, How Original, J Kamin Fine Arts, JoAnne Artman Gallery, Joseph Wise Fine Art Gallery, Katie Clark Fine Art, Kuhnert's Art Gallery, Kush Fine Art, Laguna Fine Art, Laguna Gallery of Contemporary Art, Laguna North Gallery, Las Laguna Art Gallery
Len Woods Indian TerritoryLu Martin Galleries, Maki Gallery, Mandarin Fine Art Gallery, Marion Meyer Contemporary Art, Martin Roberts Gallery, McKibben Studios

Melange, Messenger of the Sun, Mian's Art Gallery, Miranda Galleries, Pacific Edge Gallery, Pacific Gallery, Peter Blake Gallery, Pure Color Mike Kelly Photography, Quorum Art Gallery, Redfern Gallery, Richard MacDonald Galleries, Roark Studio Gallery, Rohrer Fine Art, Ruth Mayer Gallery, Salt Fine Art Gallery, Sandstone Gallery, Seven-Degrees, The Signature Gallery, Simard Bilodeau Galerie, Situ Art Gallery, Skylab Modern Art,

Sokolov Vladimir Studio & Gallery, Studio 7 Gallery, Studio Gallery Laguna, Sue Greenwood Fine Art, Surf Gallery, Swenson Fine Art, Townley Gallery, Tracey Moscaritolo Studio Gallery, 225 Forest, Verna Glancy Fine Art, Village Gallery, The Vintage Poster, Viszolay Walter, Wassmann Cliff Fine Arts, The Watercolor Gallery, William Merrill Gallery, Wyland Galleries
, and Xanadu Collections.

More interesting to me are the many examples of public art located throughout the community. There are so many statues and installations that one could spend a whole day just checking them out. Here's a link to a map that covers the more than 65 pieces and provides information about their creators.


MUSIC OF LAGUNA BEACH

Laguna Concert Band performing a suite of John Williams's music from Harry Potter

I'm sure that there are musicians born in and bands formed in Laguna Beach but I haven't been able to locate many. The Laguna Beach Chamber Music Society was founded in 1959 by cellist and Russian émigré Nicolas "Kolia" Levienne. They perform an annual chamber music festival in the winter. I'm not sure when the Laguna Concert Band was founded but it includes several smaller units too: The Bolling League, Brass Ensemble, Third Street Strutters, Laguna Flutes, SwingSet and Laguna Swing Society. Laguna Beach's gay men's chorus, Men Alive, includes over 130 singers and was founded in 2001 by Richard Cook.

Men Alive performing Morten Lauridsen's "O Magnum Mysterium"

Local music events include Bluegrass & BBQ, Fête de la MusiqueJazz Wednesdays, Laguna Beach Live!, Laguna Beach Music Festival, Live! at the Museum, and Live! Music 4 Kids. And music shoppers will find no better store than Sound Spectrum, which opened in 1967 and still sells vinyl, video, and other music paraphernalia.


LAGUNA BEACH PARKS

View from Crescent Bay Point Park

If I haven't made it abundantly clear, Laguna Beach is one of the most naturally beautiful areas in Orange County and its numerous parks are often both lovely themselves and afford stunning views -- as well as places to play baseball, basketball, American football, real football, volleyball or do some grilling. On the day of our visit we enjoyed the amazing view from Crescent Bay Point Park.



Iconic Lifeguard Tower (originally part of a gas station) moved to Main Beach Park in the 1920s

Over in Main Beach Park the tables have chess tables embedded in them. Crystal Cove State Park includes 46 historic cabins, a visitors' center, more than five kilometers of beach, and 2,400 acres of wilderness.


Aliso and Woods Canyon

Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park
has 30 miles of trails spread over 3,900 acres of wilderness. Biggest of all, Laguna Coast Wilderness Park offers 7,000 acres of wilderness.


Other parks include Aliso Beach County Park, Alta Laguna Park, Bluebird Park, Boat Canyon Park, Heisler Park, Jahraus Park, Laguna Beach Dog Park, Lang Park, Moulton Meadows Park, Nita Carman Park, Ruby Street Park, Swanson Park, Top of the World Park, Treasure Island Park, Victoria Beach, and Village Green Park. Not exactly a park but worth a mention is South Laguna Community Garden. And shout outs to the Laguna Canyon Foundation.


LAGUNA BEACH BEACHES


For my money, the beaches in Laguna Beach are the best in Orange County. Visiting Laguna Beach often involves passing through the large green belt that practically surrounds it but one can't ignore the blue belt! The Laguna Beach State Marine Reserve was dedicated in 2012 on every Earth Day the city hosts Kelpfest. Out on the water there are divers, snorklers, body boarders, paddle boarders, skim boarders, kayakers, swimmers, and surfers. Laguna Beach hosts the Spring Fever Surfabout as well as the Victoria Skimboards World Championship. The marine environment is preserved and protected by the non-profit Laguna Ocean Foundation.

In the past I've swum at Main Beach (Laguna Beach). On the day of our visit we hit Crescent Bay Beach for about three hours. Aside from anemones, crabs, small gray fish, gulls, pelicans, and mussels, I didn't see a lot of wildlife although some kids on the shore yelled that there were rays swimming near me. And once at night I walked along the beach and accidentally annoyed a massive seal or sea lion bull that I thought was a rock.


Crescent Bay Beach

Other beaches include Agate Beah, Aliso Beach, Anita Street Beach, Bluebird Canyon Beach, Boat Canyon Cove, Brooks Street Beach, Camel Point Beach, Cleo Street Beach, Cress Street Beach, Diver's Cove, Moss Street Beach, Mountain Road Beach, Oak Street Beach, Pearl Street Beach, Picnic Beach, Rockpile Beach, Shaw's Cove, Sleepy Hollow Beach, St. Ann's Beach, Table Rock Beach, Thalia Street Beach, Thousand Steps Beach, Treasure Island Park Beach, Victoria Beach, West Street Beach, and Woods Cove.


LAGUNA BEACH EATS


Taco Loco

Food is also serious business in Laguna Beach, although the restaurant scene isn't the most diverse, offering as it does mostly fancy New American, Mexican, and Italian food. Thankfully, though, there are very few global chains. I've eaten at a few Laguna Beach restaurants but they all run together in my mind except for Taco Loco, which is where a former roommate of mine was discovered on one of the many pilgrimages one of my Angeleno friends has undertaken to that destination.

Laguna Beach is home to the Laguna Culinary Arts. The town offers the Flavors of Laguna tours, Laguna Beach a la Carte - A Food & Wine Experience, and the Laguna Beach Farmers' Market

Local restaurants include Active Culture, Adolfo's, Adonis Mediterranean Grill, Alessa Laguna, Andree's Patisserie, Broadway by Amar Santana, Asada Laguna, Avila's El Ranchito Mexican Restaurant, Beach House, Breakers by the Beach, Broadway by Amar Santana, Brussels Bistro, C'est La VieCafé AnastasiaCafé HeidelbergCafé Zoolu, Carmelita's, Chapleau Restaurant, China Bistro 1, Chinese Combo, Chocolate Soldier, The Cliff Restaurant,

Coyote Grill, Deb's Deli, The Deck on Laguna Beach, Dizz's As Is, Dolce Gelato, Eva's-A Caribbean Kitchen, 5', Gallo's Laguna Beach, Gauranga's Vegetarian Buffet, Gecko Cookie Company, Gelato Paradiso, GG's Café Bistro, Gina's Alfresco, Gina's Pizza & Pastaria, The Greeter's Corner Restaurant, Hapi Sushi, Hawaiian Charcoal Broiler, House of Big Fish and Ice Cold Beer, Husky Boy Burgers, Johnny's New York Pizza & Sandwiches, K'ya Bisto Bar,

The Koffee Klatch, La Rue du Chocolat, La Sirena Grill, Laguna Feast Authentic Mexican Cuisine, Laguna Subs, Laguna Thai By the Sea, Las Brisas Restaurant, Living Juice, Loft Restaurant, Lumberyard, Madison Square & Garden Café, Mama's Bakery & Lebanese Café, Mandarin King, Mare Culinary Lounge, Maro Wood Grill, Medici Bistro, Mirepoix, Mosaic Bar & Grille, Mozambique Steakhouse, Natraj Cuisine of India, Neapolitan Pizzeria & Birreria,

Nick's Laguna Beach, Nirvana Grille, O Fine Japanese Cuisine, Ocean Avenue, OceanView Bar & Grill, Olamendi's, Orange Café, Orange Inn, Papa's Tacos, Pappou's Den, Penguin Café, Peony Chinese Cuisine, Pizza Lounge, Polina Salerno Italian Restaurant, ReMark's, Ristorante Rumari, Rock'N Fish, Romeo Cucina, Royal Thai Cuisine, San Shi Go, Salerno Italian Restaurant, Saphire Laguna, Selanne Steak Tavern, Splashes, The Stand, Starfish,

Studio Restaurant, Sundried Tomato Café, Sushi Laguna, Tabu Grill, Taco Laguna, Taco Mesa, Taz Asian Fusion, Thai Bros, Thalia Beach 
Café, Three Four Five Restaurant, Three Seventy Common, Ti Amo Ristorante, El Torito Mexican Restaurant & Cantina, 230 Forst Avenue, 242 Café Fusion Sushi, Velvet Yogurt, Watermarc Restaurant, White House, Zeytoon, and Zinc Café & Market.


LAGUNA BEACH DRINKS

There are a few places to grab drinks (and often eats) in Laguna Beach including Bamboo Bar and Grill, Bounce, Hennessey's Tavern, Marine Room Tavern, The Rooftop Lounge (which is perhaps more of a nightclub), The Saloon, The Sandpiper Lounge, Laguna Beach Wine Gallery, Laguna Wine Coffee & Specialty Foods and Serra's Bar & Grill.


MOVIES


South Coast Theatre in 1940 (image credit: OC Cinema)

Laguna Beach has been home to several movie theaters in the past including Bill Alford's Nickelodeon Theatre (fka The Movie Barn fka The Liberty Theater) which showed silent films in the 1950s and was later demolished. There was also the Lynn Theatre (built around 1915 and long since demolished), the Coast Highway Theatre (opened 1935 and since demolished), and the Ocean Avenue Theatre (later renamed the Laguna Theatre). Today the only remaining movie theater is the two-screen Laguna South Coast Theatre which opened in 1923 as the New Lynn Theatre and was dedicated by Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford. It became the South Coast Theatre in 1937 and was divided in two after being acquired by Edwards Cinema in 1982. Around 2001 it was taken over by Regency Theatres. The Laguna Beach Film Society also hosts the Third Thursday Film Screening at the theater

In the post-silent classic era, several movies were filmed in part or in whole in Laguna Beach including Tanned Legs (1929), All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), A House Divided (1931), Doctor X (1932), Forbidden (1932), Captain Blood (1935), The Life of Emily Zola (1937), The Sea Hawk (1940), Now, Voyager (1942), Lassie Come Home (1943), Sentimental Journey (1946), The Long, Long Trailer (1953), A Star Is Born (1954), The Sand Castle (1961), Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation (1962), Locked In! (1964), and Stop the Wave I Want to Get Off (1965).

More recent Laguna Beach-filmed movies include Adventures into Digital Comics (2006), Anokha (2004), Art Car: The Movie (2012), Beaches (1988), Black Star Canyon (2006), Boxboarders! (2007), Campus Girls of OC (2008), Cat Chaser (1989), Collecting Dust (2011), The Conrad Boys (2006), Crash Artist: Beyond the Red Carpet (2008), Criminal Love (2010), Dark Horizon (2009), Dating Games People Play (2005), A Few Good Men (1992), Gallagher: Stuck in the Sixties (1983), Gettin' It (2006), Hide (2011), Joshua Tree, 1951: A Portrait of James Dean (2012), Kenjutsu: The Art of the Samurai (2005), Leestemaker: Portrait of an Artist (2003), Mamma Mia! (2008), The Mark 666 & the New World Order (2005), The Marriage of a Young Stockbroker (1971), Mirror Image (2012), Murder Inside of Me (2009), Naked Under Leather (2004), Orange Inn (2011), Ornaments (2008), Passionata (1992), Presence (2008), Pygmy Spy Music (2006), Rate It X (1986), Road to Flin Flon (2000), Savages (2012), and Voices of War - WWII (2007).




Life as a House
(2001), whilst set in Laguna Beach but filmed in Los Angeles County.


TELEVISION



After Fox's hit TV series The OC aroused interest in Orange County (despite being filmed mostly in Los Angeles), MTV jumped on the short-lived bandwagon with a reality show, Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County (2004). Other series (none of which I've heard of) that have been filmed in part or in whole in Laguna Beach include Laguna Cafe (2000), MXG Beach Countdown (2000), High Chaparall (2003), Bikini Destinations (2003), The Heartbreak Cafe (1997), Generation 01 (1997), Action Figures (2004), and Inspector America (2011).


OTHER STUFF TO DO


Forest Avenue

If you like live theater there's Laguna Beach Artists' Theater, the Laguna Playhouse, and No Square Theater. Dance fans can enjoy the Laguna Dance Festival. Bookworms are served by a public library, the Dennis and Leslie Power Library (at Laguna College of Art and Design), Laguna Beach Books, and Barnaby Rudge Booksellers (which also sells DVDs). Shop-aholics who like shady eucalyptus-lined lines will find few better matches than Forest Avenue. Golfers might want to check out The Aliso Creek Inn and Golf CourseGamers need to put Official Game Haven on their list. Lawn sports enthusiasts should check the schedule of the Laguna Beach Lawn Bowling Club


Tiny hillside lighthouse? No, a Mediterranean Revival sewage vent from 1935

For further reading look for George Wesley Wilson's From the Ozarks to Aliso (1975) and Claire Marie Vogel's Laguna Beach (2009), part of Arcadia Publishing's wonderful Images of America series. If you'd like more Laguna Beach history, consider supporting or joining the Laguna Beach Historical Society by sending $15 per individual, $25 per household or $50 per business/organization to 278 Ocean Avenue, Laguna Beach CA 92651. Historic photos of Laguna Beach can be enjoyed by clicking here

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Last Day To Win Tix to Rancid and Transplants in SF and LA + Hear new Tim Timebomb & Friends feat. Jesse Michaels

Posted by Billyjam, July 15, 2013 12:29pm | Post a Comment
Today, Monday July 15th, is the last day for a chance to win tickets to see Rancid and The Transplants in concert (care of Amoeba Music) when they play the Palladium in LA (near Amoeba Hollywood) on July 26th (Friday of next week) on a bill with The Interrupters, and at The Warfield on Market in San Francisco on Friday, August 2nd on a bill that also features Harrington Saints. Currently on tour that is this week up in Canada The Transplants and Rancid are bands that each feature Tim Armstrong.
Armstrong recently surprised many longtime fans when news surfaced that he and fellow former Operation Ivy member Jesse Michaels had patched up old differences to record a track together (no one expected this to happen and it is their first collaboration in over 24 years). The song "Living in a Dangerous Land" that is a 7" single for the Hellcat label and was uploaded to YouTube (check below) on Friday (7/12) features Armstrong under his Tim Timebomb moniker and it is the latest in the Tim Timebomb and Friends series.. Meanwhile as a member of The Transplants Armstrong last month released that group's latest album In A Warzone. To win tickets from Amoeba for the Rancid/Transplants show in SF and LA enter here. But do it now as today (7/15) is the last day. Must be 18+ and only one entry per person allowed.

       

July 14, 2013: Killing Season

Posted by phil blankenship, July 14, 2013 08:09pm | Post a Comment

Trannyshack: Michael Vs. Janet Jackson Tribute With Special Guest Jinkx Monsoon! 7/19

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, July 14, 2013 06:22pm | Post a Comment

Trannyshack, San Francisco's biggest drag club night, presents a tribute to Michael & Janet on Friday, July 19th at the DNA LoungePlus, special guest Jinkx Monsoon (season five of RuPaul's Drag Race) joins the fun along with performances by Heklina, Raya Light, Bea Dazzler, Miss Rahni, Holy McGrail, and more!

General admission starts at 10:30pm, but get your tickets now for a special 9pm meet and greet with Jinx Monsoon!
 

trannyshack

Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 07.12.13: Jay Z, Myron & E, Billy Woods, Opio & Equipto, Kanye West, + more

Posted by Billyjam, July 13, 2013 01:40pm | Post a Comment
     


Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: Week ending July 12, 2013


1) Jay-Z Magna Carta Holy Grail (Def Jam)

2) Kanye West Yeezus (Def Jam)

3) Myron & E Broadway (Stones Throw)

4) Opio & Equipto Red X Tapes (Solidarity)

5) Quasimoto Yessir, Whatever (Stones Throw)

Thanks for the above top five chart and accompanying video run-down of all the latest hip-hop releases to E-Lit at Amoeba Music Berkeley who has already chosen his favorite album of the year so far:  Billy Woods' new collaborative project with producer Blockhead Dour Candy that dropped a week ago and features guest spots by Aesop Rock, Moka Only, Open Mike Eagle, and Elucid. In the new hip-hop videos below is the new Billy Woods/Blockhead album track "Cuito Cuanavalenavale." Check it out for a nice taste of the album.  Other videos below of music referenced by E-Lit include Opio and Equipto live at the Ruby Room in San Diego earlier this year doing something off the Bay Area pair's 2011 collaborative effort Red X Tapes on Solidarity. Also featured in the videos below is "On Broadway" by Northern Cali based duo Myron & E recorded live at Bedrock Studios in Echo Park, CA in which they were backed by a full band with brass and strings. Myron & E, whose new Stones Throw album Broadway  is available from Amoeba, play The Legionnaire Saloon in Oakland tonight (the new Oakland club, on Telegraph at 23rd, to be profiled on the Amoeblog next week).  Also below is the audio only video for Jay-Z's controversial new single -  "SOMEWHEREINAMERICA" in which he famously disses Miley Cyrus' recent twerking escapades - taken from the famous rappers brand new album, and number chart entry at Amoeba,  Magna Carta Holy Grail on Def Jam. Elsewhere on the new album in the track "Heaven" Jay Z addresses the rampant Illuminati accusations thrown at him over the past several years. Jay-Z's response is that the accusations were manufactured by those who refuse to believe that black people can be as successful as whites in America and hence deemed to be part of some secret society.

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Weekly Roundup: Widowspeak, Johnathan Rado, FUZZ and More

Posted by Billy Gil, July 12, 2013 10:59am | Post a Comment

Lots of stuff this week!

widowspeak the swampsWidowspeak – “True Believer”

Howdy, pardners! We were big fans of Widowspeak’s dusky, dreamy last album, Almanac, which was released last year. Now they’ve got more goodness on the way in the form of The Swamps EP, with hints of a third album on the way. The EP is out Oct. 29 on Captured Tracks, and you can hear the Mazzy Star-in-a-ghost-town-style “True Believer” now.

 

Johnathan Rado – “Hand in Mine”

More rootin’, tootin’, country-flavored indie pop on the way from Foxygen’s Johnathan Rado. As if his band’s effing fantastic We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic wasn’t enough for one year (one of the best of the year so far, I’d say), California native Rado has a solo album, the awesomely titled Law and Order, due Sept. 3 on Woodsist. “Put your hand in mine, it will excite you” says the Nancy Sinatra counterpart to his Lee Hazlewood. Cute ‘n’ seductive.

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With "Shaka Zulu," Chicago Emcee F.Stokes Compares His City's Southside to "An African Jungle"

Posted by Billyjam, July 11, 2013 06:00pm | Post a Comment

F.Stokes "Shaka Zulu" (2013)

New Chicago emcee F.Stokes, who plays the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival previewed on the Amoeblog yesterday, proves that there's hope for hip-hop with his powerful new song/video "Shaka Zulu" (above). The video for the track that was published today, which is taken from the Windy City wordsmith's recent album Fearless Beauty - produced by Doomtree member Paper Tiger, is set with a grainy, grimy backdrop of the Southside of Chicago deliberately. "Location was everything," said the artist of the video that, "was inspired, physically, by the landscape of my neighborhood, and how aesthetically and habitably the Southside of Chicago relates to an African jungle.  I had to show the world the faces of those babies on the Southside of Chicago. I thought some of the closeups gave a reminder to the globe that even though the cloud of violence lingers, innocent resonates through the eyes of these young soldiers."

Show Recap: Heloise & the Savoir Faire at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, July 11, 2013 01:00pm | Post a Comment

Elijah Wood aka DJ Jamie Starr began the July 10 set at Amoeba Hollywood playing obscure disco and funk beats from the likes of Benis Letin, Kiki Gyan and Betty Padgett (thank god for Shazam), throwing in a little bit of The Jets and ESG to round it out. Heloise came out dressed in head-to-toe leopard print wrapped in a pink sequined fabric, sounding great despite singing along to just a backing track on “Perelandra,” from her excellent alt-pop album Diamond Dust. “Are you wearing comfortable shoes?” she asked before performing to jagged disco song “Dancefloor Destroyer.” “Let the music move you” she sang on the Kylie-ish "Dive In," shimmying around like the alternative diva she is, cooing in exotic ways and then played along on an iPhone-based electric organ — no one rocks an app-based instrument like Heloise! On the last song, “Vibezz,” she whipped around her microphone wire to the song’s slow synth chords and pumped her fist when the beat picked up, belting over the backing track and owning the stage with her one-woman show.

See more photos from the performance here.

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Shop 45s, DVDs, Posters, & More at Amoeba Hollywood's Sidewalk Sale, 7/20

Posted by Amoebite, July 10, 2013 07:39pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba Hollywood's next Sidewalk Sale is Saturday, July 20th from noon - 5pm! We'll have a ton of sale items, including...

  • A new batch of used 45s (all genres) priced at just $1 each!
  • DVDs 3 for $10!
  • DVD Box Sets for $7 or 2 for $10!
  • Clearance CDs buy-one-get-one-free!
  • Posters, both modern and vintage, at $5 or 3 for $10!

and lots more!

All sidewalk sales are final. Store credit cannot be used to purchase items from the sidewalk sale. Prices apply to sidewalk sale stock only and this offer is only while supplies last.

New York State of Mind Amoeblog #39: Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival, Latin Alt. Music Conf., NY Philharmonic Park Series + more

Posted by Billyjam, July 10, 2013 01:35pm | Post a Comment

On any typical week in New York City there's an amazing about of entertainment happenings to choose from but in the summer months that number expands to an almost overwhelmingly number of choices due to all the additional summer only NYC concerts/festivals/events that are typically outdoors during the hot New York summer months. [Note: this week the temps are hitting 90 degrees or more everyday]. In this 39th New York State of Mind (NYSOM) Amoeblog I will give a rough guide to some of the many events happening for the week ahead, including the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival and the Latin Alternative Music Conference, in the Big Apple. The above photo is of the Downtown Boathouse at Manhattan's Pier 40 where you can go kayaking for free. More info here on this wonderful summer resource that I will fully feature with interview in next week's NYSOM.

This evening (Weds July 10th) at 6pm in Central Park Panama by way of Oakland duo Los Rakas (who I interviewed for the Amoeblog in a previous visit they made East) will perform for free  at the Central Park SummerStage on a bill along with NYC rapper Fat Joe, and Cuarto Poder from Venezuela. The concert is one of the many during the Latin Alternative Music Conference (LAMC) that began yesterday and runs through the weekend. Other LAMC concerts include Mima at Joe's Pub tomorrow, and  Astro, Helado Negro, and American Royalty all at SOB's on Sunday (July 14). For more information on the concerts and the actual conference and panels visit the LAMC website.

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Paloma Faith

Posted by Amoebite, July 10, 2013 11:53am | Post a Comment

Paloma

The amamazingly talented Paloma Faith recently visited Amoeba Hollywood to do a little shopping. Faith is known for her polished soulful vocal style and her outlandish stage show. Her exuberant personality and elegant aesthetic has led her to be cast in many film and TV roles. She sings, she performs and she acts! An all around talent who has great taste in music. While shopping at Amoeba, Paloma dug up some of her most favorite influences. She picked up the classic At Last! album by Etta James on vinyl, along with Nina Simone's Pastel Blues, also on vinyl. From '70s Chaka Khan to '80s Prince, Paloma Faith only digs for vinyl. She's a bonafide movie buff with eccentric tastes in directors. She took home Blue Velvet by David Lynch on DVD along with a copy of 2046 by director Won Kar-Wai.

She tells an awesome story about spending a weekend with Prince and performing on stage with Chaka Khan! Paloma also reveals that she owns the exact same record player as seen in Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange. She is serious about her vinyl! Watch this very entertaining episode of  What's In My Bag? with Paloma Faith.

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New 12"/LP/CD/Digital Releases at Amoeba Hollywood 7/10 - Omar-S, James Holden, Metro Area and more!

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, July 10, 2013 10:55am | Post a Comment

Omar-S  

Thank You For Letting Me Be Myself Part 1 (LP)

Thank You For Letting Me Be Myself Part 2 (LP)

FXHE

Vinyl release of the sprawling full-length from Omar-S. The collection of 13 previously unreleased tracks feel suitably epic, the producer flexing his ability to tackle a diversity of styles with a hat tip to the album form. "Be Yoself" emerges as the first in a number of tracks that will be included among past FXHE classics, and has the producer laying thoughtful synth ambience over an massive bass line. "Let It Ride" could be a mission statement for the album - Omar-S is that rare producer who leaves well enough alone, in this instance lacing a tough groove with some virtuosic piano playing for nearly seven minutes. "Helter Shelter" sounds as corroded as a Huerco S. track, while the lack of melody and subtle drums of "Tardigrade's" recall Omar's oft-quoted admonition to lazy djs: "Yeah bitch, that’s all the record do. Yep your lazy ass needs to do some other shit with it."

The title track has Omar-S indulging his sensitive side to stunning effect. A subtle Rhodes chord and brief synth figure bring in a mid-track melodic line of heartbreaking optimism. Closer "It's Money In the D" looks back to the moody piano nostalgia of "Just Ask The Lonely". Another winner.

Buy Thank You For Letting Me Be Myself Part 1 (LP)

Buy Thank You For Letting Me Be Myself Part 2 (LP)

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Sonny Smith Discusses Excellent New Sonny & the Sunsets Record 'Antenna to the Afterworld'

Posted by Billy Gil, July 9, 2013 11:57am | Post a Comment

Sonny & the Sunsets have been releasing awesome, diverse records for some time now. Though they often get lumped in with a generic “garage rock” tag that seems to envelop a number of disparate bands from SF or LA, each Sunsets record is quite a departure from the last, from the ramshackle rock of Tomorrow is Alright to the bubblegum-minded Hit After Hit to last year’s country-rockin’ Longtime Companion.

The latest album from Sonny Smith and his crew is his best yet. Antenna to the Afterworld finds Smith delivering surrealist lyrics about aliens and robots, yet they’re rooted in human emotion. “I come from the planet of dogs … And I walk on your streets ... And I can't wait to find/My little place in your weird world,” he sings in the brilliant opening track “Dark Corners,” over spage-age synths and a post-punky bassline. “Green Blood” finds Smith and bandmate Tahlia Harbour detailing Smith’s affair with an extra-terrestrial who is married to a vengeful cyborg. Even in our wildest imagination, reality creeps in.

That combination of levity and realness is what makes Antenna to the Afterworld a remarkable record. Smith was inspired to ponder life and death after the murder of a close friend, and after a medium brought him into contact with another recently deceased friend (partially documented in the summer jam “Palmreader”). I recently discussed the record with Smith, and all its physical and metaphysical influences. And check out the band July 13 at the Echo!

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Album Picks: Daughn Gibson, Thundercat, Whirr

Posted by Billy Gil, July 9, 2013 10:24am | Post a Comment

Daughn Gibson - Me Moan

CD $12.98

LP $17.98

Daughn Gibson’s truck-drivin’, girlfriend-stealin’ persona comes out in full force on his second album, Me Moan. Carrying with it All Hell’s country-noir ambiance, Me Moan presents Gibson with bigger, brighter production, offering steady electronic beats on “Phantom Rider,” over which spectral guitars, synths and Gibson’s ubermasculine baritone seduce. Gibson’s voice is an unusual instrument, unleashing unrelentingly deep tones through clenched teeth, calling to mind an unholy blend of Nick Cave and Johnny Cash. He curls around consonants and adds even more atmosphere to the proceedings on songs like “The Pisgee Nest” — just the way he says “state trooper’s daughter” elicits a sort of middle-of-nowhere, middle-of-the-night elicit affair, like something out of Twin Peaks. Musically Gibson keeps things fascinating throughout, using warped vocal samples on “You Don’t Fade” and electronic beats that keep a foot in the physical world via snaps and handclaps, while guitarists from Baronness and Brokeback echo rockabilly, horror soundtracks and classic country. Even while pulling from quite disparate genres and eras, Me Moan is a remarkably cohesive listen, as Gibson’s distinctive tone splits the difference between tracks as different as the upbeat, country janglin’ “Kissin’ on the Blacktop” and the black-as-night electrobilly of “The Sound of Law.” It's a great accompaniment for whiskey swirling or night driving.

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Recap: July Charity Auction to Benefit Downtown Women's Center

Posted by Amoebite, July 8, 2013 12:53pm | Post a Comment

Beth Stelling at AmoebaWe were thrilled to have comedian Beth Stelling host our monthly charity auction at Amoeba Hollywood on Saturday, July 6. We were thrilled because she is damn funny! She is right at the top of the list of LA Comedy Acts to Watch in 2013, and she happens to be one of Patton Oswalt's favorite up and coming comics.

Beth was up early at 4PM on a holiday Saturday, so she was amped and ready to drive those bids up! Her deadpan yet sassy delivery proved to motivate people to bid and she helped raise a lot of money for LA's Downtown Women's Center. Nice.

Amoeba's monthly charity auctions happen on the first Saturday of every month. We began hosting charity auctions when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and over the years we've raised a ton of money ($450,000+) for New Orleans musician relief, green charities, animal charities, Doctors Without Borders and many local organizations. Amoeba also matches all winning bids and 100% of all auction bids go straight to the charity. This month's beneficiary, the Downtown Women’s Center, provides permanent, supportive housing, a safe and healthy community fostering dignity, respect, and personal stability, and advocates ending homelessness for women. 

Saturday's auction item highlights include:

  • Queen Latifah with Roy Ayers – Hollywood Bowl tickets -$30.00
  • Belle & Sebastian – Santa Barbara Bowl tickets - $35.00
  • Savages – El Rey tickets - $40.00
  • Amoeba VIP in-store pass to show of choice - $25.00
  • Beatles Special Pack (tote bag, t-shirt, mug, magnets, coasters, McCartney at Amoeba poster) - $35.00
  • Yo Gabba Gabba! signed poster and buttons - $20.00
  • Trader Joe's $50 Gift Certificate + vintage lunchbox - $47.00
  • Urban Outfitters $50 Gift Card - $40.00
  • Four passes to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles - $35.00
  • Amoeba coffee mug and Coffee Bean Gift Cards - $12.00
  • Special wacky, crazy weird and wonderful promo surprise pack (Lady Gaga disco ball keychain anyone? They Might Be Giants fez) - $ 15.00
  • Signed book/CD/DVD from Josepsh Gordon Levitt’s HitRECORD collective - $30.00
  • Warped tour package (custom skate deck, water bottle, t-shirt/tote) - $40.00
  • Signed book and poster from Ric Ocasek (The Cars) - $20.00
  • World War Z movie poster (signed by composer Marco Beltrami) - $21.00
  • Madonna package (rare postcards and mug) - $7.00
  • Eric Andre Poncho - $3.00
  • Wine Tasting package - $53.00
Downtown Women's Center
All together the entranced audience bid $542.00 and with the Amoeba match it means $1,084.00 for the Downtown Women's Center in Los Angeles, an amazing organization.

Beth was quirky and charming, and she charmed the dolla bills right out of the hands of our holiday weekend shoppers. This auction had some awesome prizes and people scored some amazing stuff for a mere fraction. Score! It's great when you get to help a great cause AND score good stuff.

Tales of the Texas Rangers -- Police Procedural with a Lone Star Twist

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 8, 2013 12:42pm | Post a Comment

It took me a while to discover the brilliant radio drama, Tales of the Texas Rangers. I inferred from its name that it was a juvenile Western -- possibly a derivative of The Lone Ranger. Even though The Lone Ranger provided my childhood introduction I have never been a fan of white hat vs. black hat shoot 'em ups. The fact that the Ranger Reid and his taciturn buddy, Tonto, are once again galloping onto the screens of multiplexes does absolutely nothing for me besides lodging Gioachino Rossini's William Tell Overture into my head on a loop.




Luckily for me, Tales of the Texas Rangers is almost completely unlike The Lone Ranger beyond the fact that the protagonists of both are (or were, in the Lone Ranger's case) members of the Texas Rangers. Tales of the Texas Rangers isn't even a Western, really, any more than Bottle Rocket, Office Space, Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, or any other film that happens to be set in Texas of the present day. Tales of the Texas Rangers is actually a police procedural, having more in common with Dragnet and the similarly-technology-fetishizing CSI franchise than even radio noir adult westerns like Gunsmoke. Like Dragnet, the episodes were supposedly based on actual cases handled by the rangers from the late 1920s to the then present. Also like Dragnet, after the apprehension of the criminal, the announcer would state the outcome of the case -- usually a sentence at Huntsville in place of San Quentin.

The program debuted on 8 July, 1950, on NBC. It was directed and produced by Stacy Keach, Sr, who'd initially tried to develop the idea into a film. Technical assistance was provided by retired ranger Manuel "Lone Wolf" Gonzuallas. Barney Phillips, Ed Begley, Frank Martin, Herb Vigran, Ken Christy, Lurene Tuttle, Parley Baer, Reed Haley, Tony Barrett, and Wilms Herbert frequently appeared in guest roles. The announcer was Hal Gibney, who began each episode by animatedly proclaiming, "Texas! More than 260,000 square miles! And fifty men who make up the most famous and oldest enforcement body in North America!"

The tone was measured and suspenseful and the detailed descriptions of crime scenes and forensics were more lurid than anything on TV at the time. Joel Murcott's (The Adventures of Frank Race, M Squad, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and Bonanza) writing was consistently quite good and Monty Fraser's vivid sound effects are first rate. Of 95 episodes there are at least 92 episodes currently in circulation.

It starred Joel McCrea as Jace Pearson. South Pasadena-born McCrea was both a film actor and actual cowboy who operated three ranches and reportedly viewed acting as a hobby. In films he rode his own horse, Dollar, and chose his own wardrobe, disliking the distressed look favored by wardrobe departments.

McCrea was sometimes criticized for his supposedly limited range due to the fact that he refused not only to play villains or even less-than-perfect heroes. The only shade of gray associated with Jace Pearson was the fact that his horse was named Charcoal. He also refused to act in anything sponsored by cigarette or alcohol companies. For the first two months Tales of the Texas Rangers was sponsored by the suitably wholesome breakfast cereal, Wheaties. After that it was unsponsored.




Only a moderate commercial success, it ended its run on 14 September, 1952. From 1953 till 1959, Dell Comics ran its comic, Jace Pearson's Tales of the Texas Rangers. The series moved to TV (and CBS) where it aired on Saturday mornings from 1955 until 1958. Predictably the TV series was firmly oriented toward a young audience and offered standard cops 'n' robbers thrills. Less predictably it bounced around the Rangers' then roughly twelve decade timeline without explanation. One week Jace and company would find themselves chasing robbers in the 1950s, another week they'd be fighting Native Americans in the 19th century

Although the TV series is probably fine for young or nostalgiac audiences, the radio program holds up for and fan of well-made procedurals. Radio dramas can be found in Amoeba's Spoken Word section. Click here to connect with other Tales of the Texas Rangers fans on Facebook.
 

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MC Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def) Endures Pain of Being Force Fed to Demonstrate Suffering of Guantanamo Bay Hunger Strikers

Posted by Billyjam, July 8, 2013 12:12pm | Post a Comment

Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def) force fed under standard Guantánamo Bay procedure

As seen in the (warning) upsetting and unsettling YouTube video clip above, made by director Asif Kapadia and posted earlier today by the UK Guardian newspaper, MC Yasiin Bey (the hip-hop artist/actor formerly known as Mos Def) put himself into a position of physical pain to demonstrate the suffering that more than forty inmates at Guantánamo Bay currently endure, as part of an ongoing hunger strike, when they are force-fed by authorities there. Bey teamed up with the UK based human rights organization Reprieve to make this demonstration which vividly demonstrates what are standard operating procedures employed currently to force-feed inmates - based on exact practices in a leaked military handbook that shows inmates enduring similar force feeding techniques at Guantánamo.
 

Amoeba and Moheak's Song of the Week: Eleanor Friedberger's 'Stare at the Sun'

Posted by Billy Gil, July 8, 2013 09:00am | Post a Comment

moheakAmoeba has entered into a partnership with L.A.’s Moheak Radio to provide the Amoeba Song of the Week every week for a recorded segment to air on Moheak’s online radio station.

This week it's "Stare at the Sun," from Eleanor Friedberger's new album, Personal Record. The onetime Fiery Furnace indulges in the kind of hyperliterate lyricism she's built a career upon here, but with a rhythmic pulse and rock abandon that makes its verbal assault merely one instrument in her arsenal. Friedberger, who works with John Wesley Harding on this album, through imagery both mundane and mythic details an attempted breakup through the mania that ensues of trying and failing to stay away. Fessing up to fried corneas never sounded so alluring.

A bit about Amoeba’s Song of the Week: Every week we’ll provide a song hand-selected by our own staff to Moheak Radio for a recorded segment that will run four times a day (at around 8 a.m., 1 p.m., 5:45 p.m. and once overnight). Besides hearing what our expert staff is into, you’ll get the chance to win prizes from Amoeba Music. The giveaways will happen once a week with announcements at least once every four hours leading up to the giveaway, which will take place on Moheak’s Facebook page. Check it out, support local/online radio and win some prizes along the way.

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Summer Jams: Nick Nicely's "On The Beach"

Posted by Kells, July 7, 2013 03:45pm | Post a Comment

It's Summer and, as always, I'm looking to add to and expand my cache of Summer Jams. Amoeba Music, being the kind of fertile treasure trove that it is -- a place teeming with immeasurable opportunities for finding the next big thing (speaking from personal, individual perspective rather than that of a taste-maker or trend setter) -- my ears perked up when I overheard an esteemed co-worker passionately waxing poetic about the psychedelic sounds of Nick Nicely (or, rather, nick nicely, always spelled in lowercase letters, a musical alias he adopted in 1973 when then Nickolas Laurien claims "one mate said 'give us a fag you sod', and another said 'why don't you ask Nick nicely?'"). After discussing nicely's conspicuously obvious influence on Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti and other contemporary Chillwave riders (or whatever else the hipster runoff calls it) I set out to further my travels down the rabbit hole with nicely's 1994 track "On the Beach" recommended as my point of departure.

And -- HOLY DIVER! -- what a flawless summer jam it is!

The below video pays proper tribute to the sensory vibes nicely's decidedly beach-y jam exudes, but I think that the ultimate factor qualifying "On the Beach" as an instant classic, timeless, enduring Summer Jam is the fact that this tune jives with the notion of a "beach sound" inhabiting a broad scope of meteorological conditions, a terrarium of ecological characteristics and pelagic spectrum of berm highs the likes of which Ariel Pink approaches on side A of The Doldrums (and perhaps nowhere else). Check it out this video for Nick Nicely's  "On The Beach"as made nicely-er with some weathered surf and sun-drenched film footage courtesy of Imaginary Animal:

SaveSaveSaveSave

Like Church For DJ's: Ego Crushen Interview With Brotha Reese

Posted by Billyjam, July 7, 2013 01:40pm | Post a Comment

On alternate Sunday afternoons the garage of the South San Jose home of longtime Bay Area DJ / music collector Brotha Reese becomes the live broadcast studios for his and his extended  crew's super-enthusiastic DJ oriented music webcast show Ego Crushen. Broadcasting live via audio and video since late 2011 Brotha Reese and his wife Norma Jean (the upbeat show's executive producer) have been opening their large, two car space garage, that is fully equipped with turntable set-ups, video cameras, a deep record collection, plus bright colorful graffiti, to both the Ego Crushen crew (residents DJ Ace, DJ Zoo, co-host/web-designer Mr. Tay, and occasional contributor Venom347) and the non-stop stream of visiting DJs to partake in the two and half hour show "where a DJ gets to be a DJ" - as the Ego Crushen motto proudly states. Today, July 7th from 4pm to 6:30pm, the studio guests will be the talented South Bay DJ trio of the Freshmen Crew with DJs Benofficial, VexOne, and DJ Traps. Since  December 2011 the show's many guests have included such Bay Area turntable talents as DJ Lex, DJ Goldenchyld, DJ Cutso (both of The Bangerz), the San Jose Gigantes crew, and DJ Toure (of the Hieros) - pictured above from a couple of months ago when he stopped by.

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 07.05.13: Quasimoto, Deltron 3030, Pete Rock, Iamsu!, Celsius 7, Knuckle Neck Tribe, Murs + more

Posted by Billyjam, July 5, 2013 03:00pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five: Week Ending 07:05:13


1) Kanye West Yeezus (Def Jam)

2) Quasimoto Yessir, Whatever (Stones Throw)

3) J. Cole Born Sinner (Columbia)

4) Mac Miller Watching Movies With The Sound Off (Rostrum Records)

5) Wale The Gifted (Atlantic)

The above new hip-hop chart from Amoeba Music Hollywood includes five albums that have also been selling well at both the Berkeley and San Francisco Amoebas and (I'm guessing) will likely remain popular albums all summer long. These include DC area rapper Wale's guest heavy new album The Gifted,  Kanye West's much talked about latest full-length Yeezus, J. Cole's Born Sinner (Columbia), Mac Miller's Watching Movies With The Sound Off, and Quasimoto's Yessir, Whatever on Stones Throw which, while not brand new recordings, are new to most ears and well worth getting. As E-Lit at the Berkeley Amoeba store noted last week, the Yessir, Whatever cover was designed as a peel-off sticker design as pictured right.

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Weekly Roundup: Nedelle Torisi, Ras G & the Afrikan Space Program, Chelsea Wolfe, The Mantles

Posted by Billy Gil, July 4, 2013 10:40am | Post a Comment

Nedelle Torisi – “Double Horizon”

This is a great song that needs no introduction, but it has an interesting one anyway — singer/songwriter Torisi, who’s also played with Sufjan Stevens and Chris Cohen’s Cryptacize, was living with Kenny Gilmore of Ariel Pink’s Haunted Grafiti. They could hear each other working on their individual music through the walls and eventually ended up working together. The result is sort of a beautiful, bleary digital polka, with the sorts of synths you’d find in an Ariel record and Torisi’s beautifully yearning vocals, which call to mind Neko Case a bit. Anyway, enough with the name-dropping — just listen and you’ll be digging for more from Torisi. Her self-titled, self-released album is due Sept. 3.

 

Ras G & the Afrikan Space Program – “All Is Well...”

Beautiful, brain-frying stuff from L.A. producer Ras G, who put out a cassette on Leaving already this year and has a new album due Aug. 13 on Brainfeeder called “Back on the Planet.” Nice electronic Sun Ra vibes on this one.

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"Restore The Fourth" Protests Planned For Today By Those Unhappy With Recently Revealed NSA Practices

Posted by Billyjam, July 4, 2013 08:00am | Post a Comment

Variable Unit "Under Surveillance (feat. Azeem and DJ Quest)"

Restore The Fourth is the very recently formed group, created to coincide with the significance (or irony) of today's US Independence Day holiday, who are vocally opposed to the unsettling revelations about the extent of the NSA's invasion of the average American's privacy. "A non-partisan, non-violent assembly of nationwide protests on July 4 demanding an end to the unconstitutional surveillance employed by the US government," is the mission statement and plan for Restore The Fourth who are planning a series of online protests strategically planned for 11am today the Fourth of July, aka Independence Day, when traditionally Americans celebrate their independence from things such as invasion of privacy.  The group, which is spearheaded by the Internet Defense Fund, was formed by members of several websites including Wordpress, Reddit, and Mozilla who were responsible for getting things moving first with the protest group plan after setting up the website StopWatching.us.

Amoeba Hollywood to Hold a Mayer Hawthorne Listening Party July 12

Posted by Billy Gil, July 3, 2013 03:33pm | Post a Comment

mayer hawthorne where does this door goAmoeba Hollywood will be spinning the new album by retro-soul star Mayer Hawthorne, Where Does This Door Go, Friday, July 12, at 7 p.m. The album will be released July 16 by Republic Records.

Amoeba will be giving away posters and holding a giveaway of a signed and framed Where Does This Door Go LP. Come by to listen and enter to win!

Following two successful albums, 2009’s A Strange Arrangement and 2011’s How Do You Do, Where Does This Door Go sees Hawthorne getting production help from Pharrell Williams, who’s on a roll lately, following his inclusion in Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories. The album also features production by Jack Splash (Alicia Keys, Kendrick Lamar) and Oak of Pop & Oak (Nicki Minaj, Kanye West).

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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #38: July 4th in NYC, CitibikeNYC Review by Jason Snyder, Goodbye to The Met Button + More

Posted by Billyjam, July 3, 2013 11:26am | Post a Comment

Pictured above, with removable Amoeba sticker, is one of the much talked about New York City CitiBikes that's part of the recently unveiled NYC bike share program - one of the topics covered in this latest (#38) New York State of Mind Amoeblog, with an in-depth review on the bikes by avid cyclist Jason Snyder. Scroll down to read what Jason had to say about the controversial new bike share program. Meantime, since it is the Fourth of July holiday tomorrow, there are numerous related events happening all around New York City to celebrate the occasion, including two big, free ones: Nathan's Famous Hot Dog-Eating Contest in Coney Island, and Macy's Annual Fourth of July Fireworks show. The Macy's event tomorrow night is THE fireworks show to see with a staggering total of 40,000 fireworks to be set off during the 25-minute show.

New York City Subway TokenLike the once familiar New York City subway token coin - years ago made redundant when it was replaced by the thin plastic MetroCard with now very familiar blue lettering on goldenrod - so too now goes the Metropolitan Museum of Art's (aka The Met) famous buttons. Yes, those instantly recognizable small round metal buttons with a big M on them, which for so long were given upon entry to the world's largest museum, were retired this week by the Met. Consequently, visitors to New York City (or anyone visiting the museum) no longer have an indestructible lasting souvenir of their visit. 

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New 12"/LP/CD Releases at Amoeba Hollywood 7/3 - Tom Trago, Nathaniel X Project, Tin Man, Psychemagik and more!

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, July 3, 2013 08:28am | Post a Comment

Nathaniel X Project 

Supplement Deux 12"

Under Tones

Reliable deepness from Nathaniel X, whose "prequel" First Supplement moved 2,000 copies. More of the same in the best way possible, with two vocal tracks and two instrumentals. "Just A Dance" contains a narrative that will resonate with clubgoers who won't move to just anything. When the track's narrator moves towards the floor the music picks up with an inspired set of chords. Beautiful track. "Station X" and "You F O (Self)" are terrific NYC-style rollers, the former tastefully using a DX7 sax sounds and the latter cutting up a diva vocal to pleasing effect. "Pathematics" is the record's highlight and has Nathaniel X addressing epic themes of economic disparity, dropping the snare in on the 3 and 4 while strings, harp and percussive bass set the tone.

Buy Supplement Deux 12"

 

Neo - Global NetworkNeo  

Global Network LP

Emotional Response

Another bizarre piece of the Kevin Harrison puzzle, lovingly reissued by Soft Rocks' Emotional Response imprint. Global Network was made by Harrison and Peter Every in 1985, and though the My Life In The Bush of Ghosts and YMO comparisons hold water, this thing is deranged in its own way. Corroded dub horns and eastern melodies feature throughout. "Bete Noire" is creeping dub raga over an infernal stopwatch. "Subt(erranean) Culture" sounds like a midi take on the Suspiria soundtrack. Some of the record's most inviting tracks come later, with "Under the Sun" laying gregorian chant over chilled synth arppegiations. Essential listening for the Mutant Sounds set.

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Thundercat

Posted by Amoebite, July 2, 2013 07:50pm | Post a Comment

Thundercat

Stephen “Thundercat” Bruner is an American bassist, singer, songwriter and producer. He is the son of jazz drummer Ronald Bruner, Sr. who played with the Temptations, Diana Ross, Gary Bartz and Gladys Knight, and he's the younger brother of Grammy Award winning drummer Ronald Bruner, Jr.

Bruner's first major gig came when he joined his brother Ronald as part of the L.A.-based punk band Suicidal Tendencies. Bruner, who was only 16 years old at the time, replaced bassist Mike Trujillo, who left the band to join Metallica. Also that year, Bruner toured with Stanley Clarke in Japan. Bruner became one of L.A.'s go to session players, working with Erykah Badu, J*Davey, Sa-Ra Creative Partners, Snoop Dogg and Miguel Atwood-Ferguson.

Thundercat Apocalypse
Thundercat - Apocalyse

In 2011, Bruner released his debut, Golden Age of Apocalypse (Brainfeeder), which was Executive Produced by Flying Lotus. The duo teamed up a second time to record and produce Thundercat's sophomore album, Apocalypse (Brainfeeder, 2013). Apocalypse came in the wake of the passing of Bruner's close friend and collaborator Austin Peralta, a young Brainfeeder musician who was the keyboardist/pianist on many of the songs on Golden Age of the Apocalypse. The new album delves deeper into the free jazz, modern soul/funk that Flying Lotus and Thundercat have been pioneering throughout the Los Angeles music scene, blurring the lines between pop, funk, electronica and prog rock. Thundercat is currently working on another album with Flying Lotus, as well as playing bass, singing, and writing for Wiz Khalifa, Syd (from The Internet), and Mac Miller.

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Somebody Knows and Wanted -- Golden Age Radio's great unsolved mysteries

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 2, 2013 12:31pm | Post a Comment

In the wake of Dragnet's success for NBC (after having been rejected by CBS), radio audiences more and more craved authenticity from their crime dramas. Programs like Gang Busters (1936-1957) and This is Your FBI (1945-1953) claimed to be based on authentic cases, but were less realistic and adult in tone than the true crime series of the 1950s. Most of the scores of earlier hard-boiled detective shows were often utterly implausible, even when enjoyable. As they often did, in the summer of 1950, CBS and NBC went head to head with two similar programs that aimed to up the authenticity stakes, Somebody Knows and Wanted.
 

*****

SOMEBODY KNOWS

Somebody Knows debuted on 6 July, 1950 as that year's summer replacement for Suspense (1942-1962). Through narration and dramatizations, the known facts of unsolved crimes were presented and listeners who provided information leading to the conviction of a criminal in one of the profiled cases would get $5,000 for their effort (more than $47,000 in 2013, adjusted for inflation). Unable to find a sponsor, independent series creator Jimmy Saphier put up $40,000 of his own money. In a promotional interview Sapphier stated, "I don't care if we only have one listener. As long as he's the guy who knows who did it--and will rat on his pals." 

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My 10 Favorite Albums of 2013 So Far

Posted by Billy Gil, July 2, 2013 11:15am | Post a Comment

Plenty of great music has been released in 2013 already. It’s always staggering to look back at the halfway point and realize what has come out, what you need to give another listen to, and so on. This is a list of my personal faves that also have garnered substantial critical acclaim. I know there are lots of other great albums from this year, so why don’t you comment and tell me about them huh?! If you really want to know what else I thought was great for some reason, click through to my album picks for each week’s releases.

 

Kanye WestYeezus

This has to top my list, as I’m sure it does for many others. Despite its numerous problems in the lyrics department, namely a badly used Nina Simone sample, its industrial grind and Kanye’s manic delivery trump all. There’s just no other music like this around — now or ever.

 

 

My Bloody Valentinembv

We can debate all day whether this was worth the wait. But that’s just the thing. I’ve had so many hourlong (well, maybe five-minute or so) debates about this album, that’s already proof enough to me that mbv is a work of art. Would you have wanted My Bloody Valentine to come back with a watered-down, poppier version of Loveless? That would have been the greatest disappointment. Instead, we have this difficult yet rewarding album that challenges your notions of songwriting and listenability — much like Isn’t Anything and Loveless did years back. What now sounds normal to us once sounded alien and still does to fresh ears on those album. This is just readjusting to Kevin Shields once again rewriting the rules of music.

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Burger Boogaloo Festival and Amoeba Berkeley In-Store Pre Festival Warm Up

Posted by Billyjam, July 2, 2013 10:30am | Post a Comment
           

Just days left to go to the July 4th weekend and the anticipated two-day Burger Boogaloo music festival (Saturday and Sunday: July 6 & 7th) at Oakland's Mosswood Park, of which Amoeba Music is a sponsor  and will be hosting/producing the kickoff party the day before (Friday July 5th) with an Amoeba Berkeley free in-store, pre Burger Boogaloo warm-up concert with sets by both awesome, retro sounding Gravy's Drop (an Amoeba Music Home Grown act) and hot new LA pop punk outfit Pangea. Catching these two talented Burger Records acts at Amoeba Friday evening is the perfect way to get in the groove and get a taste of whats to come for the weekend long (noon to 9pm on both Saturday and Sunday) rock oriented music festival that, as well as Pangea and Gravy's Drop, will feature anticipated sets from such others acts as Jonathan Richman, Red Kross, The Oblivions, and LA punk legends The Zeros.

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Album Picks: Kirin J Callinan, Zomby, After Dark 2

Posted by Billy Gil, July 2, 2013 08:33am | Post a Comment

Kirin J Callinan - Embracism

CD $12.98

LP $18.98 [out 7/16]

Download $9.98

Kirin J. Callinan’s music defies easy explanation. It’s hard and corrosive, full of distorted guitars and grinding beats, while his serrated voice consistently sounds on the verge of collapse, on songs like the title track, with lyrics that fuck with gender, sexuality and social norms (“"A man can meet another man in a bar/On the sportsfield/At his place of work/Or in his own apartment/Or on the Internet right now!” he explains in a hilarious verse). It’s also full of towering beauty, as his voice reins in the terror but none of the drama for the glorious “Victoria M.” The Australian native is the rare, charismatic singer/songwriter who can keep us enthralled whether he glowering or swooning, like his Aussie forefather, Nick Cave. While his attempts at more global social commentary don’t always work — “Come On USA’s” jabs are a little hokey, despite the music’s fury, and “Way II War” is effective more for its extremely creepy atmospherics — his personal freakouts are always compelling, as “Love Delay’s” sexual outcry and hairpin turn halfway through will attest. The freewheeling Embracism loudly announces the arrival of a new, singular talent to watch — with any luck, Kirin J. Callinan is just getting fired up.

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July 1, 2013: The Heat

Posted by phil blankenship, July 1, 2013 10:35pm | Post a Comment

SOUL SLAM SF 8: Prince & Michael Jackson, July 20

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, July 1, 2013 06:08pm | Post a Comment
soul slam

The Bay Area summer tradition known as SOUL SLAM SF: Prince & Michael Jackson returns for its eight year! Amoeba is proud to join Keistar Productions, fresco, and Massive Selector as a sponsor of this celebration of two musical geniuses on Saturday, July 20th at Mezzanine

All the way from Brooklyn, the legendary DJ SPINNA will rock the best of both Michael Jackson (and his Royal Clan...The Jackson 5, Janet Jackson, Jermaine Jackson, MJ covers, and more) and Prince (and all his Disciples...Sheila E, The Time, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Alexander O’Neal, Vanity 6, Morris Day, and more).

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Only Superman Forgives: Man of Steel (2013)

Posted by Charles Reece, July 1, 2013 12:50pm | Post a Comment

I was recently working my way through Jonathan Hickman's run on Fantastic Four and it struck me how explicit the reference to the destruction of New York was made during the proceeding alien invasion storyline. Sue Storm (the super-mom of the group) demands that her fellow heroes move the battle with the invading Kree from the city's skyline to the ocean (why the ruler of the oceans, Prince Namor, has no problem with this is, I guess, because he's all googly eyed over Sue). And after the battle, the superheroes are shown helping rebuild the damaged city. This kind of real world destruction was so unimportant to superhero comics in the past that it became a central joke for a miniseries made back in the 80s called Damage Control about who actually does all the cleaning up. That's what the terrorists did to us, made it impossible to imagine a fantasy where real people aren't being hurt by collateral fallout from cataclysmic battles between superpowered beings.

Contrariwise, Slavoj Zizek has suggested 9/11 was a soporific, that it placed us in slumberland where American fantasies could take hold once again ("virtualization," he called it). The terrorists gave us real nefarious villains to which we could be safely opposed. The prominent media reaction, as he took it, like that of the typical superhero narrative, dehistoricized the attacks, setting them in the perpetual present of an endless comic book (or Hollywoodian virtual) world, where the action becomes one of pure villainy for villainy's sake, motivated by nothing but pure evil ("they hate our freedom," etc.). As Dan Hassler-Forest puts it in his book, Capitalist Superheroes:

Rather than experiencing the attacks as a sudden resurgence of the Real in an environment that had become increasingly virtual, reality instead came to be defined on the basis of fictional tropes. [p. 28]

And, as he points out, this view is rooted in an approach to postmodernity that many of its theorists share with Zizek, such as Jean-François Lyotard, Fredric Jameson and Jean Baudrillard. That is: 

[P]ostmodern (popular) culture serves first and foremost to sever the public's active connection with history by offering up continuous representations of events that are deliberately made unhistorical. [p. 33]

Despite referencing so many dialectical thinkers, Hassler-Forest applies only a half-assed dialectic approach to the modern superhero film. To him, the the genre only replaces the realistic structural problems with a fantasy of a subjective solution:

Superman is again a case in point, seemingly embodying utopian ideals of a better future for all mankind, while most Superman narratives fail to engage on any level with social or political realities. Instead, Superman and most other superheroes tend to fight the symptoms of crime and injustice while ignoring the causes. [p. 40]

Note that there's no contamination of the fantasy by reality (no "return of the repressed" as Robin Wood used to say of horror films). Despite how much Hassler-Forest emphasizes the importance of 9/11, he basically views it as having little effect on the explicit content of the superhero narrative. It becomes just another part of the Real that needs to be suppressed for the fantasy to function properly. As always, the genre's relation to reality is seen as a one-way street: the dream replaces reality. Hapless victims begin to see the world in superheroic terms, but never the genre on reality's terms -- pure escapism by reshaping historical reality. In other words:

For the superheroes depicted on the page or on the screen provide fantasies that offer the illusion of momentary escape from the powerless nature of the modern subject, but do so in ways that are deined by their fundamental removal from historical reality, and in forms that are grounded in capitalist processes of passive consumerism. [p. 42]

But isn't the current crop of superhero films more complicated than that? If these superpowered fantasies are dreamlike, they're more along the lines of lucid dreaming. The audience continues to walk around in the fantasy, enjoy the escape, but is constantly reminded of reality, namely that they are currently dreaming. Although many saw 9/11 as something along the lines of a Hollywood spectacle, there's also the fact that the spectacle is reflecting reality, bringing into question the hermetic virtuality of the fantasy that the above quoted commentary assumes.

[spoilers follow]

Consider the controversy over the new, more violent Superman in Zac Snyder's Man of Steel. Responding to an article on how producer and co-storyline creator Christopher Nolan disagreed with the finale that has Superman having to make a forced choice to kill General Zod, a commenter posed the following questions:

Why would you make a Superman movie where the villain ended up being right and the heroes ended up being wrong? Not only that but why would you make a Superman movie where earth would have been better off if Superman had never came here?

Those are the right ones to ask, I think. So, when a fanboy is quite clear on the film's subtext, where's the repression or even sublimation that's supposedly taking place in the postmodern/virtualization account? Maybe ... just maybe, films aren't really dreams or psychoanalytic fantasies. A popular purveyor of these fantasies, professional comic book writer Mark Waid also seems to be well aware of what the film was saying when he found the film's violence equally problematic for similar reasons:

The essential part of Superman that got lost in MAN OF STEEL, the fundamental break in trust between the movie and the audience, is that we don’t just want Superman to save us; we want him to protect us. He was okay at the former, but really, really lousy at the latter. 

How is this all a matter of virtualization or unconscious repression of the Real when the fanboy contingent is crying for a return to the good ole days of dehistoricized fantasy? These films of mass destruction are being consciously made and consciously received. There's nothing controlling us from the Freudian unconscious about 9/11. Here's Kyle Buchanan, a pop culture critic who needed neither postmodernism nor psychoanalysis to divine a trend in current action films: 

This weekend’s Man of Steel is only the latest film this year to exploit familiar 9/11 imagery in ways that are far more extreme and blatant than anything we’ve seen on the big screen before, as though Hollywood feels the need to out-9/11 itself. It’s lazy, it’s cheap, it’s deadening, and it needs to stop.

I'm kind of desensitized to cities being destroyed, too, but Man of Steel did finally offer the superpowered fisticuffs I'd been waiting from the filmic interpretation of the genre ever since Alan Moore and John Totleben attempted to portray a more realistic effect of godlike creatures duking it out in Miracleman 15:


Granted, Snyder and his effects team don't render the personalized effects of violence in as much loving detail as Totleben, but the film isn't like those awful action cartoons in the 80s, either, where someone is always shown escaping from the damage and guns don't fire bullets. (Fear of media effects in the 70s and 80s resulted in no one getting hurt by violence in G.I. Joe and other product placement cartoons.) Hundreds of thousands die in Metropolis alone, even if we don't see a river of blood. However, we rarely saw any blood in the reporting on 9/11 while still being made aware that there was death involved. My point is that the closer the movies get to Moore and Totleben's vision of hero worship, the better. Since our species is so inclined towards savior fantasies, I prefer mine with the bloodshed that inevitably follows in reality when people really believe in them. If the PG-13 rating doesn't allow for verisimilitudinous bloodletting, then at least be honest enough about the fantasy to not show people parachuting out of harm's way.

More tiresome than mass destruction is the analogizing of superheroes to religious myths, and Snyder unfortunately loads his film with this allegorical shit: Superman is 33 years old; he's depicted in a Christ pose in outer space; and, if that's not explicit enough, he visits a church to get advice from a priest. But, as Waid demonstrates, being a savior isn't good enough; the fanboy requires from his superheroes more than what he requires from his gods. Snyder's transgression was in making Superman merely Christ-like, a savior by proxy, the one who sets the example par excellence for moral behavior. No, Superman should do more; he's supposed to personally protect everyone on earth from themselves or evil Kryptonians. Max Landis, the screenwriter for Chronicle, says much the same thing as Waid. He wants superhero films to return "the hero" to the super. The point of the Jesus myth isn't that another shall decide for you, but that's pretty clearly the message in most superhero narratives since their inception. It's why so many critics call them fascistic. Platitudinous as it may be, if Snyder adds anything by forcing the Christian analogy, it's a bit of humility to generic expectations: Superman seeks help from one of Christ's representatives, rather than having all the answers.

Pace critics such as Chris Gavaler and the aforementioned Hassler-Forest who have difficulty not making a 9/11 reference when discussing just about any contemporary action film, isn't there always something of a perceptual analogy between any large scale cinematographic destruction set in a city and the one instance of destruction to a city we Americans experienced in reality (mostly through video on the TV)? Is the similarity on which the comparisons rest always ideological? To answer Buchanan's question if it's possible to make a Hollywood blockbuster without evoking 9/11, I'm thinking probably not -- not because everyone of these films is "really about" suppressing the causes of 9/11, or making it into a fantasy, but because the event has become our default source in the analogies we draw from these films. However, if something has significantly changed in the blockbuster, it's the level of the realism in depicting the violence and a bit more depth to the hero and villain's respective rationales, which can be seen in recent superhero films.

As a contrast, take an episode of Fleischer Studio's Superman called "The Bulleteers," in which the eponymous villains terrorize Metropolis with an airplane that turns into a bullet and smashes into skyscrapers, power plants and trains, killing thousands and thousands of people.



Kind of hard not to analogize that to 9/11, even though the cartoon is from 1942. The Bulleteers' rationale was to traumatize the good citizens of Metropolis until their governmental representatives handed over the loot. Stealing is not ideological in the way we now think of terrorism, which has some political goal to the killing, but the methodology is pretty similar: create widespread fear in the populace. The Fleischer cartoons are replete with such destruction, often without even the motive of greed. Thousands die just because the villain is evil. Nevertheless, there's always a happy ending, because Superman saves Lois Lane.

Surely, Man of Steel is a tad more thoughtful than that. Instead of stopping pure evil or an act of theft, Superman is faced with a zero-sum choice between mutually exclusive ways of life, Kryptonian versus human. As Gaveler points out, this is a genocidal battle. Because subjective violence is more emotionally resonant when it's individuals being threatened rather than a building (with who knows how many individuals within), Superman is shown having to kill Zod to prevent his murdering a family in the end. (Superman has killed in the comics, too, namely his battle with Doomsday resulted in both dying in the much promoted "Death of Superman" storyline.) The threat to the family is a way of making Superman's forced choice more personalized and intimate. Some have spun this as the film's ignoring all the mass death up to this one family being threatened (this is Waid's interpretation, and would be a fairly accurate summation of the Fleischer cartoons). But the scene functions as a reminder of Zod's death toll if you weren't dwelling on the inhabitants of the buildings destroyed during the mêlée. It's saying he's going to keep on with mass annihilation if he's not stopped. Hardly subtle, I see it as a stagey, dramatic culmination of Superman trying to stop him from killing humans, not the hero's sudden awareness that someone might die during the fights. (Having said that, as should be clear from above, I'm an advocate of always showing more violent effects in these fantasies, but no one's ever going to make a rated-R-for-blood Superman flick. This is as much realistic concern as the brandname will allow.)


I prefer deflationary approaches to my fantasies. They should say something about reality (which isn't the same as preferring realism). I'm glad that there's an element of doubt that's become more prominent in the heroic fantasy after 9/11, not just with the dependency of the central hero on real world representatives of the system, but in the way the supervillains are presented as being ideologically opposed to that system. Thoughts of terrorism has certainly made the villains more interesting in these films. The recent version of Star Trek's Kahn, like the The Dark Knight's Joker, is used to expose the structural violence on which cultural order rests. No matter what kind of pacifist utopia Roddenberg imagined the Federation to be, the exploratory ships contained photon torpedoes for a reason. Into the Darkness dramatizes the repression of this violence by putting Kahn into suspended animation, while keeping the torpedo technology (one of the movie posters symbolizes the violence surrounding Kahn its relation to the Federation). Internally, the society might be pacifist, but it's going to need weapons to prevent external threats to the utopia. It seems to me that the supervillain is less likely to be a purely evil Otherness nowadays and more likely to reveal questions regarding what the hero signifies when suppressing this threat..

So, although Landis is right, Man of Steel does demote the hero, I'm not seeing why that's a bad thing. If Man of Steel says that we can't trust saviors to save us, then that's surely one of best lessons from any film this year. After all, it's not Superman alone who saves the planet. Rather, it's the sacrifice of Dr. Emil Hamilton and a bunch of soldiers who fly another Kryptonian ship into General Zod's own that sends all his forces back into the Phantom Zone. Lois Lane was willing, too, but falls out of the ship. Once again, her rescue helps us not feel so bad about the final death toll. That Superman has to work with the humans in order to save them seems the intended post-9/11 message here. Something similar was suggested when a bunch of teamsters lined up cranes in The Amazing Spider-Man so that the injured hero could swing to his destination to beat the Lizard. Likewise, Batman proved incapable of defeating the menace of Bane in The Dark Knight Rises without the help of Gotham's finest.

Because of the nature of this help, these recent versions of Superman and Batman, at least, can be seen as agitprop for the military, police, national security forces or whatever else exists to maintain the order of things. The superheroic fantasy is displacing itself, following the media mythologizing of first-responders, with one about realworld heroes. But both characters have always been vigilante fantasies of a moral status quo. They are incorruptible standins for cops and military types, who are idealized as America's true heroes. Someone like Superman lets us imagine what if the agents of order always used violence for justice, i.e., if those with power actually used it for the commonweal. (Superheroes are rarely the opponents of the status quo, usually only if the diegetic order is dystopian to which they can be opposed as a sympathetic terrorist or radical, such as in Alan Moore's V for Vendetta or Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns.) That there's some ugly inferences to be made from this fantasy has been explored in Neil Gaiman's take on Miracleman and, later, Warren Ellis' The Authority, where the superheroes as self-appointed saviors take many cherished enlightened liberal ideas and force them upon the world. In other words, the police state or martial law lurks behind most superhero fantasies.

I agree with the above critics that the superhero fantasies tend toward conservatism. How could they not? Unless being used as auto-critiques by Moore and the like, they offer fantastical support for people putting their trust in an authority figure to return a destabilized system to order. It's just that if you're going to make a conservative fantasy, don't repress what you're fantasizing about. And it does seem that there's less repression in these superhero films than there used to be in Hollywood blockbusters before 9/11. Who knows why the Crimson Jihad wanted to blow up the United States in True Lies? No way could it be a problem with Arnold or what he represents. Post-9/11, probably because it's not exactly a bunch of conservative ideologues who are making these conservative fantasies, Superman is shown to need the American military in the film in the same way he's taken by Hassler-Forest to represent American power. It might remain a fantasy of American superiority, but Man of Steel makes sure we acknowledge it. Like the weapons on which Tony Stark became so rich in Iron Man, the role of the hero has become part of the problematic in these blockbusters, the absolutism isn't as absolute, and we have the terrorists to thank for that.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


The full title of Dan Hassler-Forest's book is Capitalist Superheroes: Caped Crusaders in the Neoliberal Age (2011) for Zero Books. 

Man of Steel poster by Mark Ansin for Mondo.

Note: rather irritatingly, the diacritics in 'Zizek' no longer work for the blog software, so normal Zs will have to do. I'm sure that all my previous references now look like shit. Oh well.

Tickets on Sale at Amoeba Hollywood in July

Posted by Amoebite, July 1, 2013 12:35pm | Post a Comment

Tickets at AmoebaAmoeba Hollywood regularly sells tickets to local shows, with the added bonus of charging low service fees (if you're into saving money and who isn't really?).

All tickets can be purchased at the registers (while supplies last) for a $2 service fee. We take cash and credit cards for all ticket sales. Store credit and coupons cannot be applied to ticket sales.

Please note that on the day of the show, we will stop selling tickets for that show at 5pm.

If you have a question about whether we've sold out of a specific show, please call the store at 323-245-6400.

JUST ADDED SHOWS:

Gogol Bordello at the Fonda

Gogol Bordello
Fonda Theatre
October 7-9

Tom O'Dell at El Rey

Tom O'Dell
El Rey
October 9

 

Here is a full list of tickets we currently have for sale at Amoeba Hollywood:

Show Name Venue Show Date Ticket Price
(fee not included)
The 1975 Fonda Theatre 11/01/2013 $20.00
Acacia Strain Roxy Theatre 08/29/2013 $17.00
Alunageorge El Rey 09/12/2013 $20.00
Anthema & Alcest El Rey 10/03/2013 $22.00
Beats Antique Fonda Theatre 11/15/2013 $25.00
Best Coast El Rey 8/18 & 8/19 $25.00
Blonde Redhead El Rey 09/03/2013 $25.00
Boy Fonda Theatre 10/26/2013 $20.00
Charli XCX El Rey 09/05/2013 $22.00
Cimorelli El Rey 08/06/2013 $17.00
Cocorosie Fonda Theatre 10/29/2013 $25.00
Couer de Pirate El Rey 09/14/2013 $20.00
Crystal Fighters Fonda Theatre 10/24/2013 $20.50
Depeche Mode Convention Avalon Hollywood 08/11/2013 $50.00
(weekend pass)
Desaparecidos Fonda Theatre 11/14/2013 $30.00
Dodos El Rey 10/15/2013 $18.00
Sky Ferreira El Rey 09/29/2013 $20.00
Michael Franti Fonda Theatre 10/12/2013 $35.00
FYF Fest LA State Historic Park 08/24 - 08/25 $102.00
(+ $3 service fee)
Godflesh Fonda Theatre 10/27/2013 $30.00
Godspeed You! Black Emperor Fonda Theatre 09/12/2013 $25.00
Gogol Bordello Fonda Theatre 10/7, 10/8 & 10/9 $29.50
Gold Panda Fonda Theatre 09/20/2013 $20.00
Herbert Groenemeyer Fonda Theatre 09/28/2013 $42.50
HAIM Fonda Theatre 10/16/2013 $22.50
He's My Brother, She's My Sister El Rey 10/26/2013 $18.00
The Heavy Fonda Theatre 08/08/2013 $20.00
Hiatus Kaiyote (18+ show) Bootleg Theater 07/31/2013 $15.00
Peter Hook Fonda Theatre 09/21/2013 $24.00
Icona Pop Fonda Theatre 08/29/2013 $25.00
JJ Grey & Mofro El Rey 08/02/2013 $22.50
Man Man Fonda Theatre 09/29/2013 $17.50
Johnny Marr Fonda Theatre 11/02/2013 $27.50
Minus the Bear Fonda Theatre 09/10/2013 $25.00
Morbid Angel Fonda Theatre 11/29/2013 $22.50
Morgan & Liz El Rey 09/08/2013 $14.00
Morgan Heritage El Rey 07/31/2013 $22.00
Laura Mvula El Rey 09/17/2013 $20.00
Kate Nash Fonda Theatre 11/23/2013 $22.50
Nicholas David El Rey 08/14/2013 $20.00
Tom O'Dell El Rey 10/09/2013 $20.00
The Orb Fonda Theatre 09/19/2013 $25.00
Over the Rhine El Rey 11/21/2013 $27.00
Phosphorescent El Rey 10/01/2013 $20.00
Polica Fonda Theatre 11/20/2013 $22.50
Polyphonic Spree El Rey 08/22/2013 $22.00
Gregory Porter El Rey 09/25/2013 $30.00
Lisa Marie Presley El Rey 09/01/2013 $25.00
Purity Ring Fonda Theatre 08/27 & 08/28 $25.00
Ra Ra Riot Fonda Theatre 09/14/2013 $22.50
Marky Ramone Fonda Theatre 10/15/2013 $25.00
Katey Segal El Rey 09/15/2013 $25.00
Slackers El Rey 09/20/2013 $20.00
Smith Westerns El Rey 08/10/2013 $20.00
Somo El Rey 11/07/2013 $19.00
Souls of Mischief El Rey 08/16/2013 $20.00
Sparks Fonda Theatre 11/11/2013 $35.00
Stars El Rey 09/19/2013 $25.00
Stereophonics Fonda Theatre 10/10/2013 $30.00
Selah Sue El Rey 08/26/2013 $17.00
Superchunk El Rey 09/04/2013 $24.00
Surfer Blood El Rey 10/21/2013 $20.00
Switchfoot Fonda Theatre 11/06/2013 $29.50
Tricky El Rey 10/23/2013 $25.00
Frank Turner Fonda Theatre 10/14/2013 $22.50
Vaccines Mayan Theater 09/22/2013 $27.00
Casey Veggies & Travi$ Scott El Rey 08/01/2013 $23.00
Vintage Trouble El Rey 09/07/2013 $18.00
Yeasayer El Rey 08/11/2013 $25.00
You Me at Six El Rey 10/04/2013 $17.00
Waterboys El Rey 10/07/2013 $27.00
Wax Tailor El Rey 09/21/2013 $20.00
White Lies El Rey 10/10/2013 $25.00
Keller Williams El Rey 11/08/2013 $20.00
Woodkid Fonda Theatre 10/25/2013 $23.00

 

Amoeba and Moheak's Song of the Week: Sigur Ros' 'Brennisteinn'

Posted by Billy Gil, July 1, 2013 09:43am | Post a Comment

moheakAmoeba has entered into a partnership with L.A.’s Moheak Radio to provide the Amoeba Song of the Week every week for a recorded segment to air on Moheak’s online radio station.

This week it's "Brennisteinn," the stunning opener to SIgur Ros' new album, Kveikur. The song presents a re-energized Sigur Ros, as the song explodes with a off-kilter drum beat and distorted noise right out of the gate. Frontman Jonsi sings as expressively as he ever has, singing melodically through the verses and cooing with his otherworldy vulnerability through the song's more atmospheric second half. Throughout, Jonsi's bowed guitars moan in the background while bassist Georg Holm and drummer Orri Pall Dyrason keep the rhythm section huge, ebbing and flowing in and out of the song as needed for maximum emotional impact.

A bit about Amoeba’s Song of the Week: Every week we’ll provide a song hand-selected by our own staff to Moheak Radio for a recorded segment that will run four times a day (at around 8 a.m., 1 p.m., 5:45 p.m. and once overnight). Besides hearing what our expert staff is into, you’ll get the chance to win prizes from Amoeba Music. The giveaways will happen once a week with announcements at least once every four hours leading up to the giveaway, which will take place on Moheak’s Facebook page. Check it out, support local/online radio and win some prizes along the way.

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