Five-Beer Mission to Explore Strange New Worlds

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, May 23, 2017 07:42pm | Post a Comment

Star Trek & Beers

By Kai Wada Roath
Ambassador of Confusion Hill and host of the Super Shangri-La Show

Turkish Star Trek"Human beings do not survive on bread alone, you poor, soulless creature, but on the nourishments of liberty. For what indeed is a man without freedom, naught but a mechanism, trapped in the cogwheels of eternity."

~ Harcourt “Harry” Fenton Mudd

Just as Manchego cheese is paired with Pinot Noir, five beers should be paired with watching the 1973 Turkish cult-classic Omer the Tourist in Star Trek (known simply to most as Turkish Star Trek), where the Enterprise picks up a goofy Turkish hobo and then must deal with a salt-sucking vampire. Despite being filmed six years before the official Star Trek motion picture, this mind-boggling movie is not shown at many sci-fi or foreign film festivals, but it has been known to teleport to Amoeba’s used movie section from time to time, or, as Cyndi Lauper would say, time after time.

Five beers also go very nicely with listening to Star Trek themed bands in the garage with your friends. Bands such as Thee Shatners (with an amazing B side on the LP), The Encounters, Warp 11, Stovokor, No Kill I, and The Vulcaneers (with their hit record Beat Me Off Scotty) are guaranteed to entertain guests for hours and non-Trek loving friends for at least a half an hour.

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Pour one out for the Cat & Fiddle -- another pub lost in the Southland

Posted by Eric Brightwell, October 20, 2014 03:54pm | Post a Comment
Somewhere I don't want to be

If in the bar of your dreams every centimeter of wall (and ceiling) space is covered with banks of televisions flashing seizure-inducing commercials unblinkingly stared at by backwards-capped man-children guzzling plastic pitchers of thin macrobrew between failed attempts to scream over the top of deafening sports commentary, then you’re in luck because there are still about 2,000 places that fit that bill in Hollywood alone. If you enjoy waiting 45 minutes for a man dressed as a 19th century Canadian lumberjack to rub a mason jar with the entire contents of a spice rack then you're similarly set. 

Ooohhh, Ladyboys!

On the other hand, if the happy haze of your drunken hour involves sitting in a cozy corner, enjoying a round of ladyboys and perhaps playing a game of darts (or pool, skittles, dominoes, cards, or trivia) --  then you’re going to have to either broaden your horizons or let your dream die because sadly, The Cat & Fiddle is closing on 15 December after 32 years in business -- and English pubs in the Southland are becoming rarer than rain during a superdrought.

If you're able to travel, you can visit pubs not just in the UK and Ireland but (I'm told, because I'm not able to travel) Australia, Canada, New England, New Zealand, and South Africa. Sadly, pub culture has never really taken root in the semi-arid soil of SoCal even though we generally welcome all non-natives. Sometimes you'll see a name like Pig N’ Whistle and wrongly assume that it belongs to a pub.  If you're less cautious, you might find yourself in a place like Dillon’s Irish Pub, where being a green-schemed Hooters rip-off with chilled Guinness on tap has apparently made the owners think that they're running a public house. 

Meanwhile, bikini bars, hostess clubs, izakayaspijiu wu and bodegas (not to mention coffee bars, lingerie cafes, and teahouses) all seem to be flourishing and I’ve enjoyed drinking at all of them (actually, I still find the hostess experience somewhat unnerving). I, for one, would rather be in a bar (with my head on the bar) and if it's at all possible, in a place where air smells of malt vinegar and scotch and the ambiance makes me feel like it’s raining outside -- since that's the next best thing to actual precipitation.  

Pubs aren’t the only drinking establishment that is threatened, it should be noted. Gay piano bars, saloons, and tiki bars, once covered the land but are now threatened. Pubs though are critically endangered -- just one notch above “extinct in the wild” and watching them close isn’t easy. Until 2011, I regularly passed afternoons inside Royal Claytons. They promised to re-open soon three years is as long as I hold my breath. Tom Bergin's in Miracle Mile closed in 2013 but thankfully re-opened. If you know Santa Monica you might assume that it’s a safe place for pubs but skyrocketing rents have driven much of that city’s English-American minority into exile. When they leave, Anglo-catering businesses do to, like Tudor House which closed in 2012 after 50 years in business. 

The Birds in The Deadly Bees (dir. Freddie Francis, 1967)

Hopefully the Cat & Fiddle will find a new home. The current location, after all, is not its first. When it opened in it was located up the hill in Laurel Canyon, near the Canyon Country Store. It was there opened in 1982 by Paula and Kim Gardner, who met one another in New Orleans where Paula was working at a clothing store called The Cocky Fox. Kim Gardner was a musician who played in Ashton, Gardner & Dyke, Badger, The Creation, Garwood Pickjon, and my favorites, The Birds. Sadly, he passed away in 2001 but Paula and her daughter Ashlee have continued to operate it mostly unchanged since for the thirteen years since and it was always a popular spot for Amoeba employees to find solace or even employment in at least one instance. 

Public Houses and gentrification have both been around since ancient rome and it is unlikely that either will vanish from this any time soon. Cat & Fiddle is reportedly being pushed out by their landlord (Jesse Shannon of Atlanta-based Branch Properties) who has found a tenant willing to pay thrice as much rent as the pub, which means we’ll probably get a soulless corporate chain or worse -- an urban taco fabricator. My fingers are crossed for something better but I also realize that crossing one’s fingers has never been effective at changing outcomes although I suppose a prayer to Saint Morrissey or the apostle Tim, both of whom I’ve seen relaxing in the beer garden, couldn’t hurt.

Meanwhile, if you like pubs it’s imperative that you donate to your local charity. There are the aforementioned Santa Monica pubs (The Britannia Pub, The Cock ’n’ Bull, The Daily PintO’Brien’s, and Ye Olde King’s Head), The Red Lion (a German gasthaus with pub-like atmosphere which not-coincidentally began as an English pub) in Silver Lake, The Tam O'Shanter in Atwater Village, Irish Times in Palms, The Whale and Ale in San Pedro, Lucky Baldwin's in Pasadena, Casey's in the Financial District. I haven't yet been to them but perhaps a mission to Molly Malone’s in Beverly Grove, The Fox & Hounds in Studio City, The Robin Hood in Sherman OaksTimmy Nolan’s in Toluca Lake, The Auld Dubliner or Murphy’s (both in Long Beach) is in order. Orange County, I'm told, is home to Durty Nelly’s and The Harp Inn in Costa Mesa, Muldoon’s in Newport Beach, Branagan’s in FullertonPatsy’s Irish Pub in Mission Viejo, and The Olde Ship British Pub & Restaurant with locations in both Fullerton and Santa Ana. If there are any decent pubs in the Southland, let me know and don't wait until they're gone to tell them that you love them!


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L.A. Vegan Beer & Food Festival May 17

Posted by Amoebite, April 3, 2014 11:28am | Post a Comment
Vegan Beer Fest

Los Angeles is the mecca for music, a hotbed for food trucks, and home to some of the coolest micro breweries so a festival that showcases all three elements is a no brainer. With the rising popularity of health consciousness in Southern California, it's also no surprise that the Los Angeles Vegan Beer & Food Festival has quickly become a local favorite.

This year's fest marks the 5th annual event and it's getting bigger and bigger each year. Over 40 craft breweries and 35+ food trucks/restaurants will be on hand to fill up your cups and bellies. To enhance your taste-testing delights (and maybe burn a few calories from dancing) festival producers enlisted five of LA's coolest bands, including He's My Brother She's My Sister and Leftover Cuties. It's all going down Saturday, May 17 across from The Roxy (8950 W. Sunset Blvd) in West Hollywood. 

Amoeba Hollywood is a proud sponsor of this amazing fest and we'll have Amoebites on hand to pass out some goodies! 

LA Vegan

The Bay Brewed 2013: Mikal Cronin, Shannon and the Clams, Beer, and More on 12/7!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 18, 2013 06:38pm | Post a Comment

bay brewedOn Saturday, December 7th, Amoeba joins The Bay Bridged and SF Brewers Guild to present The Bay Brewed 2013: A Rock and Roll Beer Festival.

This is San Francisco’s only indie rock beer festival and it's back at Public Works for a third year of great music and beer. Amoeba is thrilled that our favorites Mikal Cronin, Shannon and the Clams, Kelley StoltzGolden Void, French Cassettes, and Magic Fight are playing this beer-tastic event! And as if the rockin' tunes weren't enough, there is also unlimited local beer tasting from these great local breweries: 21st Amendment Brewery, Almanac Beer Company, Anchor Brewing, Beach Chalet Brewery & Restaurant, Cerveceria de MateVeza, Headlands Brewing Company, Magnolia Gastropub & Brewery, Pacific Brewing Laboratory, Pine Street Brewery, Pizza Orgasmica & Brewery, Speakeasy Ales & Lagers, ThirstyBear Brewing Company, and Triple Voodoo Brewing.!

This is a 21+ event (of course!) and goes from 12:30pm - 6:30pm. Get your tickets nowsville HERE!

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Cruise to Mexico: Part 6

Posted by Job O Brother, November 28, 2010 05:20pm | Post a Comment

A monument to early transportation in Puerto Vallarta

Day 5 (Part 1)

Thursday. September 16, 2010


I was awake early and enjoyed my morning coffee looking out over Puerto Vallarta, which was far more clean and money than our previous ports. It kind of looked like San Diego, but with less boring people.* There was even a Costco, which, in the context of the local language, I realized was male.

By this time I was having some World Wide Web withdrawals, and the only thing that kept me from utilizing the Internet lounge was the fee of $826,044 per millisecond they were charging. I realized how addicted I’ve become to researching any little thought that came into my head. Questions such as:

“What’s in gooseberry pie, anyway?” (Hint: not geese.)

“Exactly how many bands has Stephin Merritt been in?” (roughly 826,044)

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