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SF's Balboa & Vogue Theaters Celebrate Music Documentaries This May

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 30, 2015 01:48pm | Post a Comment

This May, it's all about music documentaries at the historic Balboa Theatre and Vogue Theatre and we think that rocks.

Vogue Theatre is honoring the late, great director Albert Maysles (1926 - 2015) with a festival of his films May 8 - 14. Two of the 17 films featured are his rock doc classics Gimme Shelter and Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out. These are a MUST for any Rolling Stones fan and aficionado of concert films. Get your tickets and find out more about the Albert Maysles Memorial Film Festival here!

Gimme ShelterGimme Shelter
Saturday, May 9. 12:30pm, 3:30pm, 7:00pm
Gimme Shelter is the landmark documentary about the Rolling Stones US tour of 1969 that ended tragically at the ill-fated free concert at Altamont Speedway on December 6, 1969.

Get Yer Ya-Yas Out!
Saturday, May 9. 10:30pm
Thursday, May 14. 9:30pm
A rarely-seen chronicle of The Rolling Stones’ epic performance at Madison Square Garden in November 1969. Albert Maysles has put together never-before seen archive footage that shows the band at its height, wowing New York audiences.

Balboa Theatre screens two soon-to-be classic documentaries with Her Aim Is True, Karen Whitehead's look into the life of rock photographer Jini Dellaccio, on May 6th and John Pirozzi's celebration of the incredible rock and roll that came from Cambodia, Don't Think I've Forgotten: Cambodia's Lost Rock and Roll, May 8 - 14. Get your tickets now!

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Amoeba Hollywood World Music Best Sellers For February 2010

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, March 3, 2010 04:21pm | Post a Comment

1. Charlotte Gainsbourg-IRM
2. Charlotte Gainsbourg-IRM (LP version)
3. Huun Huur Tu/ Carmen Rizzo - Eternal
4. Dengue Fever Presents: Electric Cambodia
5. Tinariwen - Imidiwan: Companions
6. Basseko KouyateI Speak Fula
7. V/A - Pomegranates (LP version)
8. Ali Faurka Toure/Toumani Diabete - Ali & Toumani
9. Mulatu Astatke - New York-Addis-London
10. Shakira - She Wolf

So far 2010 has been shaping up to be the year of the women. Amoeba’s three biggest releases this year have been from the likes of Sade, Joanna Newsom, and Charlotte Gainsbourg. Ms. Gainsbourg tops the Amoeba Hollywood World Music chart once again in February and shows no signs of slowing down. The LP version of IRM also landed the second spot. At number three was Huun Huur Tu from Tuva, who had an amazing instore performance back on February 7th (Super Bowl Sunday). I managed to catch Huun Huur Tu once again a few weeks later opening for Tinariwen at Royce Hall at UCLA. The two groups combined were three and a half hours of musical bliss. I hope that perhaps both these groups would consider going on the road together. Tinariwen’s Imidiwan: Companions was at number five in the charts, up a few notches from last month.

Two compilations that came out last month both featured a music scene that was thriving during a modernization era that ended with entry of a new regime. Pomegranates (number seven) was compiled by our own Amoeba Hollywood’s Mahssa Taghinia (whose mix CD Oyun Havasi! Volume 1 is still one of Amoeba Hollywood’s best sellers). Pomegranates is a collection of pop music from Iran before the Ayatollah Khomeini. It is a blend of Persian and Western culture that culminated in some of the best sixties and seventies pop, rock and psyche. Most of this music was lost for a period of time, as Khomeini banned the broadcasting of any music other than martial or religious on Iranian radio and television in July 1979. It’s a great collection of songs sung in Farsi about love, sex and longing that most of the world has never heard outside of Iran.

Electric Cambodia (number four) is a collection of Cambodian rock from the sixties and early seventies. The members of Dengue Fever put this compilation together from their collection of rare Cambodian cassettes. During the period most of this music was recorded, Cambodia was going through major modernization, which brought on an artistic renaissance that not only included music, but architecture, art and cinema. This period ended when the Khmer Rouge took over Cambodia in 1975. It was noted that most of the musicians included in this collection were killed during this period in the cleansing of Cambodia’s intellectuals and western sympathizers. However, the cassettes of the music from that era continued to be copied and their music lived on.

At number six is Basseko Kouyate's brilliant I Speak Fula.  The Malian musician will be performing at Amoeba Hollywood on Sunday March 21st at 7 pm. I would advise you not to miss it. Basseko Kouyate plays the Ngoni, which sounds like a mix of the banjo, guitar and Kora. To top it off, he jams on his instrument. Although I love the album, it will be his live show that will impress you. So don’t miss out!

Notice there aren't many Latin music releases in the top ten? That's because all the biggies are coming out in March. More on that later.

May Is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

Posted by Eric Brightwell, April 28, 2008 04:19pm | Post a Comment
ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH

Even in a multicultural, polyglot city like Los Angeles (which has the largest population of Asian-Americans (1.4 million) in the country and where the percentage of the population which is Asian-American is roughly twice that which is black) most discussions of race appear continue to be framed in the outmoded, bipolar terms of  black and white.  For example, whereas a lot of people and many organizations honor Black History Month, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is by comparison almost completely unrecognized except by some Asian-American organization and individuals.

The centuries-long struggle and strife of blacks in America is well-documented and worth honoring -- many have suggested that Black Americans invented the Civil Rights Movement (some Native Americans might take issue with that). Asians, like other non-whites, have also been subjected to legal segregation, racist violence, widespread discrimination and harassment. So why is it that the Asian-American experience is so... obscure? I hadn't even heard of its existence until I was hipped to it by reknowned Asian-American rights activist, Ngoc-thu Thi Nguyen.


CONTINUED PREJUDICE AGAINST ASIAN-AMERICANS

According to polls, 23% of Americans are admittedly "uncomfortable" voting for an Asian-American to be President of the United States. This is in contrast to 15% compared with an African-American candidate and 14% compared with a (presumably non-Asian) female candidate. Just as many Americans used to fear that Catholics ultimate allegiance was to the pope, a lot of Asians are suspected and viewed of holding allegiances the Asian countries of their ancestors, a view which fuels the "perpetual foreigner" stereotype.


PERPETUAL FOREIGNERS

Asian-Americans are typically descended from more recent immigrants than the white or black population. Last year, coming up with movies to showcase for APA Heritage Month resulted in the suggestion of Chinese Kung Fu movies the distinction between Asians in Asia and Asians in America remains a lot harder for non-Asians than distinguishing African-Americans from Africans or white people from Europeans partly because America loves imported Asian movies and Korean dramas but Hollywood continues to be incredibly uncomfortable with Asian-American leads or ensembles. To date there've only been a handful of Asian-American television series. Even more troubling to me is the fact that many Asian-Americans born in America speak of "American food" and "Americans" as something separate and exclusive of themselves.


BIPOLAR DISCUSSIONS OF RACE 

America's understanding and discussion of racial issues has almost always been overwhelmingly and frustratingly bipolar.  Look at the focus of most conversations about the current Democratic Party elections despite the fact that Asian-Americans are second only to Jews in their per capita political donations. This simple and distorted view exists despite the fact that other groups, such as Asians and Native Americans, have always been central to our country's history. The conversation has always been and remains, still, "black and white."


THE MODEL MINORITY

Asians are often paternalistically referred to as the "model minority" -- a special minority position that seems to involve the allowance of systematic marginalization. It's like saying "here's a gold star for not rocking the boat. We wish all minorities were so well-behaved." It suggests that (even though Asian immigration is growing at the highest percentage of any racial group) the fact that Asian-Americans are the least likely racial group to report crimes against themselves is to be commended. And even though rare modern instances of blackface provoke outrage, yellowface (whether literal or metaphorically practiced by Asian-American actors reduced to playing into stereotypes) is still not a big deal.


NON-MODEL MINORITY ASIANS

I have to assume that the term "model minority" doesn't  apply to all Asian-Americans, right? As a whole, Southeast Asian people including Vietnamese, Cambodians, Laotians, Filipinos and Hmong in the United States are, socio-economically speaking, much more aligned with Native Americans, Blacks, and Latinos. Anecdotally speaking, they seem less likely to be fetishized by both pop culture (appearing in advertisments, films and TV less often than East Asians) and non-Asian exoticists struck with so-called "Yellow Fever." And what of South Asians? For whatever reason, if one speaks of Asian-Americans of South Asian ancestral origin as being Asian-Americans (which they, of course, are), many non-Asians will react with confusion or even attempt to correct you. Anyway, enough of my musings on race... here's a brief history of Asian-American Immigration to the Americas.


*****

TIMELINE OF ASIANS IN THE AMERICAS




CIRCA 15000 BCE

A group of proto-Asian hunters walks from Northern Asia to the Americas on a land bridge.


   
Inupiaq dancer                    Yupik girl                      Inuit girls                   Alutiiq dancer                  Aleut boy

CIRCA 5000 BCE

The last great wave of prehistoric migration from northern Asia to the Americas. These settlers go on to develop into the Inupiaq, Yupik, Inuit, Alutiiq, and Aleut peoples (among others).