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Hispanic Heritage Month - Latinos in American Cinema

Posted by Eric Brightwell, September 26, 2009 01:51pm | Post a Comment

Aside from a brief fetish for Latin Lovers in the silent era, roles for Hispanics and Latinos in American silent film were few, far between and generally quite minor. In the sound era, images of Hispanics and Latinos in Hollywood began to increase in number, although Latino characters were at first usually portrayed by non-Latinos in brownface whilst real Latinos were frequently used as all-purpose ethnic types.

Ramon Novarro and Lupe Velez in The Laughing Boy  Duncan Renaldo and Leo Carrillo
          Ramon Novarro and Lupe Velez (as Navaho) in Laughing Boy                                Leo Carrillo and Duncan Renaldo

1930s-
In the first decade of sound, there weren't many roles for Hispanics or Latinos aside from in popular, long-running series like Zorro, The Cisco Kid and The Mexican Spitfire series, the latter a vehicle for Lupe Velez. Pedro Armendáriz mostly starred in Mexican films; when cast in American ones, he invariably had to exaggerate his accent sufficiently. Throughout the '30s and the following decade, Arizona-born Chris Pin-Martin appeared in almost eighty films, invariably as a heavily-accented, broken English-speaking Mexican in small roles and as sidekicks, like Pancho in the Cisco Kid movies and as Gordito in the Zorro series. The Zorro franchise, begun in the 20s, continued to be popular throughout the era. The Cisco Kid series dated back to the teens. In them, unlike with Zorro, Hispanic actors like Leo Carrillo, Duncan Ronaldo and Cesar Romero were usually cast in the lead. Hispanic actress Rita Hayworth (born Margarita Cansino) was initially billed as Rita Cansino in a series of unrelated B-movies. In them, she usually played a variation on the fiery Mexican maiden in need of an honorable Anglo's protection and love.

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Where The Action Is! Los Angeles Nuggets Release Party

Posted by Amoebite, September 25, 2009 05:41pm | Post a Comment
We celebrated the release of Rhino's new box set Los Angeles Nuggets: Where the Action Is! with an in-store performance and signing at Amoeba Hollywood on September 22, 2009 featuring a number of the acts from the box set, including: Jackie DeShannon, Keith Allison, Danny Hutton, The Peanut Butter Conspiracy, The Standells, and P.F. Sloan! Compilation co-producer Andrew Sandoval was also there, spinning garage, sunshine pop, and singer-songwriter gems from the box set.

PF Sloan


Prolific LA songwriter (and performer in his own right) P.F. Sloan delivers his box set inclusion "Halloween Mary"...Sloan had his biggest hits with "Secret Agent Man" by Johnny Rivers and "Eve of Destruction" by Barry McGuire...his backing band included locals the Wondermints.




Wondermints Guitar








Wondermints guitarist wields his minty fresh axe.

Fantastic Baggys



P.F. Sloan (2nd left) penned hundreds of songs and performed in many guises...this album, put together with longtime associate Steve Barri (2nd right) is an amazing simulation of circa '64 Beach Boys...the song "Surfin' Craze" was featured in an episode of the Flintstones. 

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>Examine text adventure - Ask will Generation Text revive the popularity of text-based adventures?

Posted by Eric Brightwell, September 6, 2009 02:37pm | Post a Comment
TRS-80

Like silent films, old time radio, male grooming and slide shows, the text-based game is a largely dead art form. Like the other examples, it's uniquely enjoyable and was snuffed out by its flashier, less imaginative offspring in the pursuit of realism and technology. (Don't get me wrong, I think GUIs are la mamá de Tarzán and I even crossed the security line at Xerox PARC on a nerd's tour of historic Silicon Valley to drink from the fountain where the Xerox Alto was born back in 1973.) But the quiet pleasures of text games are enjoyable in their own right and with a whole generation almost incapable of communicating through any means except texting, the text game seems ripe for a comeback.

Eamon screen shot  Zork

Instead of using graphics, text-based games use prose to tell the story. Players type specific commands to such as "go north" to play. A lot of the fun (and frustration) comes from having to type them precisely. For example, if you type "omg go north lol!!!," the computer will reply, "You used the word north in a way I don't understand." It may be frustrating at first to not punctuate every command with "lol," but once you get the hang of it, you'll find text games can be highly addictive. Besides, frustration puts hair on your chest.

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"Rain"/"Paperback Writer" Mystery Solved!

Posted by Miss Ess, September 2, 2009 11:29am | Post a Comment
compleat beatlesUnlike some bloggers, I don't welcome or dream of dental surgery and/or visits to the dentist...

When I was a child, I was also particularly sensitive to teeth and their appearance. Chipping my teeth was up there as one of my worst fears for myself, and I'd often (for no real reason) vividly imagine the feeling of the moment of impact as my tooth hit something and broke (crazy, I know). It's still up there as far as things I'd like to avoid, to tell the truth...

Anyway, back then I was also an avid, constant viewer of the documentary The Compleat Beatles, in which clips of the videos for "Rain" and "Paperback Writer" are shown.




Seem like great videos, right? Cutting edge for 1966 too! But did you notice a little something amiss??
beatles rain
Imagine my trauma when watching these videos as a kid: My hero, Paul McCartney showed up missing a sizeable chunk of his front left tooth! It was awful. I had seen footage of him beyond the year 1966 and knew it had been fixed somewhere down the line, but I was gripped by curiosity and the need to know what had caused this most famous man to lose a good bit of his tooth in the heightened midst of his fame! It kept me up nights in my young life! I was about 8 years old (and the internet was a long ways off).

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The Beatles Part 4

Posted by Amoebite, September 2, 2009 10:41am | Post a Comment
We are kicking off the celebration in honor of the digitally remastered Beatles reissues set to hit Amoeba September 9! We present to you today the final segment of The Beatles' biography. Also, this week will be marked here on the blog with a number of Beatles related posts with a huge variety of topics! You can begin with Part One of the fabled band's history if you missed it by clicking right here; then check out Part Two right here; and finally, Part Three. Now, without further ado, Part Four:

beatles maharishi mahesh yogi

DISORDER, FINAL TRIUMPHS, AND DISSOLUTION
magical mystery tour
In the late summer of 1967, at the behest of George Harrison, The Beatles traveled to Bangor, Wales, for a retreat sponsored by the Spiritual Regeneration Movement, an organization founded by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, an India-born self-styled guru and teacher of the spiritual discipline of transcendental meditation. It was there, on Aug. 27, that the musicians received a phone call from London: Brian Epstein – who had grown increasingly uncertain about The Beatles’ future and unhappy in his closeted gay lifestyle -- had died, at the age of 32, from an accidental overdose of sleeping pills mixed with alcohol.

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