Amoeblog

Sissy Spacek @ No Fun Fest 2007

Posted by phil blankenship, May 21, 2007 04:52pm | Post a Comment
my roommate's band performed this weekend at the No Fun Fest in NYC.

here was their set:

TEACHING

Posted by Billyjam, May 21, 2007 10:39am | Post a Comment
Juan (AKA Wonway Posibul), who joined Amoeba Berkeley two and a half years ago, lives and breathes hip-hop. At the East Bay music store his title is hip-hop buyer. Outside, he is emcee Wonway Posibul with Berkeley hip-hop crew the Secluded Journalists. Additionally, the always busy artist has, over time, collaborated with many other artists on projects including the acclaimed A Tribe Called Quest tribute he recorded with Oakland Faders DJ and fellow Amoeba Berkeley employee DJ Platurn. He is also an in-demand DJ and currently spins at East Bay spots, including Kitty's and Easy Lounge. But it is the unique class that this qualified educator teaches once a week at Cell Space in San Francisco that he finds most rewarding. "Def Ed" is the exact title of the progressive course he teaches on the art of emceeing. As well as schooling his young students on how to effectively write rhymes, Juan also carefully mentors them on how to present their rhymes properly -- how to flow.

AMOEBLOG: How does teaching kids to emcee benefit you as an artist and as a person?
JUAN: I was raised by a community that consisted of family, friends, artists, activists, and teachers. I wouldn't have progressed as an emcee without them. So it's only natural I give back to the community that raised me -- especially with Hip Hop nowadays and the consolidation of images and ideas that's being presented to the youth. I feel like teaching is one little way of fighting the bullshit, and trying to establish a balance. This is my first year teaching, so just making these lesson plans, and breaking down what I feel is important to be an emcee, and for the first time critically looking at what I'm doing, I'm learning a lot and becoming a stronger writer and emcee because of it. The kids also bring an energy along with some new styles that I think are very exciting and inspirational.

Continue reading...

(In which Job becomes a star!)

Posted by Job O Brother, May 21, 2007 08:35am | Post a Comment
So, a couple days ago, I clocked in at work and noticed a flyer attached to the time-clock, informing my fellow Amoebites and I that, early Monday morning, there was going to be a film crew outside the store, shooting crowd scenes for the new film featuring Alvin and the Chipmunks.


(Insert tire screeching sounds here… or, in Great Britain, tyre screeching sounds.)

Whereas I’m sure this notice was met with emotions ranging from ambivalence to eye-rolling annoyance by many, as you know from reading my previous blogs (which you have subsequently committed to memory in preparation for the quiz at the end of this term – you do realize it counts as a third of your grade, right?) I (insert the “f word” here, adding the suffix “ing” as a gerund) love the Chipmunks (insert exclamation point here, so as to emphasize the radness of it all)

I immediately e-mailed the lovely and efficient Kara, the puppet-master of such events and told her that I was the biggest Chipmunk fan and that I simply had to attend, even if it was only to hide in the corner and watch. She responded and said she’s ask the filmmakers if I could hang.

I waited with the patience of Job, which in my case always applies even if I’m not very patient at all. It’s one of the perks of having said name. Like people who’s names are, like, Yourhairlookgreatoday – they will always be told nice things about their coiffure, even if it looks bad. Or bald. Even if they have dead rats and popped eyeballs crusting in their curls and the mucus of twenty diseased boars dripping from beneath their berets, they still get told their hair looks great.

I suppose, if someone who had a name like Justkiddingyouaresouglyandewgrosstheresdeadrodentsandboogersatopthyscalp was actually embebbed in Yourhairlooksgreatoday’s bouffant, then the compliment could be discounted, but really, how realistic is it that someone’s going to cuddle in the cowlicks of animal-rennet rinsed roots?

Um.

Okay… I don’t know where that tangent came from, but I’m going to pretend it didn’t happen and move on. Hopefully you will, too.

Fast-forward to six o’clock Monday morning. I had been up the bulk of the night working on climate-change disaster-film concepts to pitch (just the kind of homework one incurs living in Hollywood), when my phone rings. It’s Kara. The film people finally responded about my request, and it was a “go”.

I had 20 minutes to go from grizzled and sleepy old man to fresh and capable young whip, and arrive at Amoeba Music Hollywood at 6.30 am. Which I did.

Kara was already on the scene, all smiles and caution as she watched teamsters turn the face of our beloved store into a façade for a huge and glamorous event that would never actually happen. “UPCOMING INSTORE: ALVIN & THE CHIPMUNKS” the marquee read, and colorful signs were framed by every portion of wall. Hired extras were assembling in place, made to look as though they had been camped out all night, waiting to be first inside to see the show.

It was surreal, to say the least. I ended up meeting one of the fellows in charge of the whole thing (I don’t know what his official title was, but people seemed to listen to him when he bossed them around) and he told Kara and I about some of the people who were going to be starring in the film. I never asked, nor got clearance to reveal who these actors were, (how was he to know he was in the presence of an Amoeblogger, the cutting-edge of news media) so I’m not certain if I’m even allowed to say what I learned. Instead, allow me to entertain you with random pictures of some people who I’M NOT SAYING ARE GOING TO BE INVOLVED IN THIS MOVIE.


Anyway, boss-man and I bonded over our mutual pasts in Holland (it all started with a shared awareness and love of koffie verkeerd). Before I knew it, I was cast as an “Amoeba employee” in charge of manning the doors of our store and making sure no one got in before it was time.

This became increasingly disorienting as opening time neared, and real customers and employees began arriving, mixing with paid actors pretending to be waiting to get it. Because I was stationed at the front door, I ended up doing what I had been instructed to pretend to be doing.

Our time-clock is always littered with announcements; everything from plaintive requests for sofas to crash on, advertisements for music shows and art openings, or calls for volunteers to help distribute homes to the foodless – things like that. You can’t expect an employee to soak in all that information, so it was no surprise that many of my as-yet-uncaffeinated co-workers greeted the spectacle with confusion, astonishment and yes, a little fear.

It really did look like we were about to host a packed, high-profile in-store featuring a band consisting of fictional, animated singers. In a world of rockers rendered cynical and unshockable after the suicide of Kurt Cobain and emergence of 90’s retro (huh?) it was a rare moment of genuine shock. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that it became the most gratifying aspect of my morning – seeing their befuddled faces as they neared the building.

It was a few hours of rushed and energetic standing around and doing nothing; a description that reads like an oxymoron but absolutely applies in the world of the movie extra, a job I soon realized I could never commit myself to. I’m too anxious to stand around “acting” like I’m standing around. And my existentialist self got kind of grossed out by the irony of it all.

It came time for the store to open and Kara and Jim (one of the people who claim to be my “boss” at Amoeba, though I’ve never seen any papers to prove it) made certain that the film industry was vanished in time to be replaced by real people, really waiting to get into the real in-store.

I was asked to sign a waiver and informed that I would get paid for the work I did (Really? Paid to stand around and do nothing? So this is what it’s like to be a security guard!*) I stumbled home and crawled back in bed, glad to be a part of Chipmunk history and relieved that I had something new to blog about.


That's me in the Amoeba T-shirt. Eat your heart out, Monty Clift.

*I kid. Our security guards are the hardest working people I know, and I’m not just saying so because they could blend me up in a protein shake and drink me.

Lights! Cameras! Murder!

Posted by phil blankenship, May 20, 2007 12:45pm | Post a Comment
 








Where is this film in the IMDb ???

Atlas Entertainment Corporation 5011

bjork live!

Posted by Brad Schelden, May 20, 2007 12:36pm | Post a Comment
So yesterday started off really good. My old friend from Long Beach Poly High School dropped by Amoeba. I had not seen Melissa in like 14 years. But of course we recognized each other and it seemed like it had only been a couple months. I didn't really realize that I miss her until we hung out a little.  The rest of the day I had little memories of all the important events I experienced with her. We had to talk about Cameron Diaz a bit. I still can't believe she has not talked about her formative years in high school drama. So I dedicate this blog to my friend Melissa. It's crazy its been so long.

Last night we had the pleasure of seeing Bjork live. For some reason I have never made it out to see her before. I kind of find it hard to believe myself. But it just has never worked out. Or maybe I've been to so many shows at this point that I am starting to forget who I have  seen.  Although it is kind of a hassle to get all the way out to Shoreline, it is kind of a fun adventure.  It's like a little vacation. Parking is just a bit of a nightmare. Even though they have hundreds of employees directing traffic, it still manages to take way longer than it should. There is also nothing really to do in Mountain  View other than work at Google or go to a show at Shoreline.  But we did manage to find In-N-Out. So did everyone else it seemed. So we ate our meatless hamburger with hundreds of other Bjork fans. I don't ever eat fast food, but In-N-Out is my one exception. Even though the employees seem to be all part of some weird religious cult, they do make good food. And it is nice that nothing is frozen. They also don't look at you weird when you order an animal style grilled cheese!

I always feel like I am at a Lollapalooza show when I go to Shoreline. Its huge and they have tons of bad food and overpriced alcohol. Its also like an outdoor mall with all the stuff they try to market and sell to you. As we were rushing back to our seats with our 8 dollar pabst blue ribbon some lady yelled at us "You already won." I seriously wish I had time to see what great promotional item I had already won, but we were in a hurry. Bjork fans are  almost as cute as the woman herself. I saw many gold and silver shoes and tons of expertly dressed hip kids. I was hoping for more yarn knitted multicolor hippy raver sweater outfits. But nobody wanted to upstage Bjork I guess. Before the show started I was really hoping for some pyrotechnics. My wish came true during the first song.

Opening for Bjork was Ghostigital and  Joanna Newsom.  By the time we parked and found our seats, Joanna was almost done. I have to admit I am not much of a fan. But after watching her and the crowds enthusiastic reaction to her, I kind of get her more now. I still don't like her, but I have now come to an understanding of the relationship she has with her fans. It's hard to explain. But she is a little magical when she is on stage. A perfect opener for the magic that is Bjork live. She was joined by 4 dudes on drums and keyboards and electronics. She also had her 10 Icelandic back up singers/horn section. They were all dressed like colorful puffy teletubbies with flags coming out of their heads. And they were as enthusiastic as the crowd when dancing and jumping around to all the songs.

Bjork is really something else from some other world. She was wearing some crazy gold  shiny quinceanera outfit that only she could pull off. She really commanded the crowd. I kept noticing that I had a big smile on my face the whole show. It is like she put this spell over the whole crowd and made everyone love each other. Is this what happened at Grateful Dead shows. Is Bjork the new Jerry Garcia? It really was a great show. The songs were all reinvigorated live and sounded awesome. She also had these amazing lasers that shot out in the crowds during some of the songs. I really do love lasers. The monitors on the stage and up above the stage did not just feature shots of Bjork jumping around the stage. They focused a lot on the band and the instruments they were playing. It was just a really fun enjoyable show. Everyone was so happy to be there and so was Bjork. My only problem was that the show was a little short. I really expected more than 2 encore songs. It really messed up my plan of leaving early during the last song. I wanted to get out before the crazy traffic jam that I knew we could be expecting. But out of all those thousands of people we ran into my friend Elise outside. Even though it was just a brief hello and goodbye it was the perfect end to the night. I just happened to run into someone I knew out of all those people. Bjork really is a little magical.

The highlights of the night were for sure "Aeroplane" "Unravel" "Hyperballad" and "Pagan Poetry" but here is the whole list of what she played for us...
                                                                 

01.
Earth Intruders                            
02. Aeroplane
03. Unravel
04. Dull Flame Of Desire
05. All Is Full Of Love
06. The Pleasure Is All Mine
07. Pagan Poetry
08. I See Who You Are
09. I Miss You
10. Army Of Me
11. Innocence
12. Wanderlust
13. Mother Heroic
14. Five Years
15. Hyperballad
16. Pluto

encore

17. Oceania
18. Declare Independence
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