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Summer Music Documentary Series at SF's Balboa Theatre

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, May 13, 2014 11:23am | Post a Comment

Starting June 12th, your Thursday nights are spoken for. San Francisco's historic Balboa Theatre brings you a summer full of exciting music documentaries, each selected for its depth-of-coverage about music crafted by strong, independent artists.

Balboa Theatre's Summer Music Documentary Series opens on Thursday, June 12th at 7:30pm with Don’t Follow Me (I’m Lost), a fly-on-the-wall documentary that does indeed follow Bobby Bare Jr., son of country music legend Bobby Bare, through the sometimes lonely and disconnected turns of life on the road.

From then on, each Thursday night will bring a new film, covering a distinct vista of the global musical landscape. Many of the films are considerable in their scope, tackling the history of entire movements or genres of music. A few are more narrowly focused, giving the viewers a glimpse of one important band or musician. The selection ranges from histories of reggae and punk rock to a portrait of a globe-striding klezmer band.

Check out the full line-up and get your tickets HERE:

Don’t Follow Me (I’m Lost)
Thur 6/12: 7:30pm

5 Sides of a Coin
Thur 6/19: 7:30pm

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'Beware of Mr. Baker' Celebrates One of Rock's Greatest (And Wildest) Drummers

Posted by Billy Gil, January 22, 2013 04:03pm | Post a Comment

At the beginning of documentary Beware of Mr. Baker, we’re introduced to the titular character when the misanthropic elderly man bashes his biographer in the face with a cane. Filmmaker Jay Bulger gets out of the car to show us his bloody nose, and from there we’re whisked back through not only the story of Ginger Baker, famed drummer for Cream, but also the story behind the creation of the film.

Bulger bills himself as a writer for Rolling Stone in order to get an interview with the reclusive Baker — this is a lie. However, the article Bulger comes up with once he meets with Baker in his South Africa compound does get published in Rolling Stone, providing the catalyst for the film. The brash Bulger, and his interactions with Baker, become a hilarious side story to that of Baker, the red-headed wild man who helped pioneer rock drumming as a member of Cream, with Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce. Baker’s unique, African and jazz-influenced style would go on to be widely used in hard rock and heavy metal in years to come. But Baker’s personal life is beset by drugs, family issues, several wives and money problems.

However, Beware of Mr. Baker is no predictable “VH1 Behind the Music” story, nor is it a sob story. It’s more a celebration of a life thoroughly lived, and of a character whose lust for life and for drumming supersedes his ability to live normally and care for anyone else. It’s riveting viewing, even (and perhaps especially) for those unfamiliar with Baker. The film’s editing, full of animated bits, stock footage and interview footage, jump-cutting and fading with psychedelic aesthetic, is nothing short of brilliant. It also includes enlightening, often funny interviews with the likes of Clapton, Steve Winwood, Carlos Santana, Lars Ulrich and Neil Peart.

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Green Patriot Posters: Your Chance to Promote Climate Change Awareness Through Art

Posted by Eric Brightwell, August 28, 2011 01:42pm | Post a Comment
 



Silver Lake-based filmmaker and social activist Susannah Tantemsapya is the founder and executive director of Creative Migration, an inspiring non-profit organization that produces documentaries that promote various art projects which relate to social activism and change.

 
Right now Susannah is raising funds for her latest project, Green Patriot Posters, a documentary about… Green Patriot Posters - an art project that employs progressive poster art to raise environmental awareness. It you live in San Francisco or visited it in the winter of 2010, you may've noticed these striking posters adorning bus shelters around town. They've also graced billboards, museums and appeared in various media.

The project was initiated by Edward Morris, co-founder of the Canary Project and Green Patriot Posters, and Dmitri Siegel, director of marketing for Urban Outfitters. They partnered with Loudsauce, the first crowd-funded media buying platform that allows art and social causes to take their messages to the streets, replacing the normal slew of soul-crushing advertising with something both interesting and societally beneficial.

 
 

The film includes interviews with Shepard Fairey in Los Angeles, DJ Spooky and Michael Bierut in New York City, Mathilde Fallot in Paris, as well as people who encounter the posters on the streets. Green Patriot Posters is  the only American film that's been invited to participate in Project Green, held in Stockholm, Sweden in October 2011. Help do us proud by contributing to this inspiring project. The deadline is is 11pm PST on Monday, August 29th. (Click here to contribute).

 

All kinds of cool rewards including film credits, cool stickers, posters, copies of the Green Patriot Poster book, autographed copies of the book, signed prints from Shepard Fairey and more! Seriously, as a human being, protecting the environment is the MOST patriotic action you can take.
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Eric Brightwell is an adventurer, essayist, rambler, explorer, cartographer, and guerrilla gardener who is always seeking paid writing, speaking, traveling, and art opportunities. He is not interested in generating advertorials, cranking out clickbait, or laboring away in a listicle mill “for exposure.”
Brightwell has written for Angels Walk LAAmoeblogBoom: A Journal of CaliforniadiaCRITICSHidden Los Angeles, and KCET Departures. His art has been featured by the American Institute of Architects, the Architecture & Design Museum, the Craft ContemporaryForm Follows FunctionLos Angeles County Store, the book SidewalkingSkid Row Housing Trust, and 1650 Gallery. Brightwell has been featured as subject in The Los Angeles TimesHuffington PostLos Angeles MagazineLAistCurbedLAEastsider LABoing BoingLos Angeles, I’m Yours, and on Notebook on Cities and Culture. He has been a guest speaker on KCRWWhich Way, LA?, at Emerson College, and the University of Southern California.
Brightwell is currently writing a book about Los Angeles and you can follow him on AmebaDuolingoFacebookGoodreadsInstagramMubiand Twitter.

Art Prints

(In which Job introduces the character Ryan.)

Posted by Job O Brother, February 21, 2010 06:56pm | Post a Comment

Ryan "Mouth-hole" Cassano

This weekend I played host to a friend of mine, Ryan “Mouth-hole” Cassano, who was visiting from my beloved home town of Nevada City, California. He had come to investigate 1980’s video arcade games and literature concerning it for some future enterprise that I’m not at liberty to divulge but involves alcohol, supermodels, and rooms of plastic balls.

He met me after my hard but spiritually fulfilling shift at Amoeba Music Hollywood, waiting out the last few minutes of my shift by browsing the clearance section of soundtracks, where he found two items that made him squeal like a flame-covered, 500 pound, chocolate gorilla who sounded like a happy little girl: the soundtrack to the film Kill the Moonlight (which features some very early work by Beck), and to the documentary King of Kong: Fistful of Quarters.

The latter was serendipitous, as it was related to his arcade quest. In fact, he was traveling with a copy of that very film and insisted I watch it with him. I told him he wasn’t the boss of me and I can do whatever I want and I hate I hate him I hate him, then we drove back to my place for a home-cooked dinner of gimlets.
Just like Ma used to make!

I introduced him to the refined art of Tom of Finland, who’s work is so lovingly collected in my Taschen art book. He found it deeply educational and oftentimes frightening. Imagine my embarrassment when, half way through flipping through the book, I realized it was a souvenir photo album of my trip to the Anne Frank House! A common mistake, sure, but no less silly.

Puzzler: Can you tell which one is which?

After half an hour of explaining to him the difference between gay sex and the methodical genocide of six million people, we decided to go to bed.

I had a dream in which I was at a garden party and ended up befriending Petula Clark. We casually chatted about mutual interests while noshing on celery sticks and cucumber sandwiches. I woke up feeling refreshed and utterly disappointed by the profound wholesomeness of my subconscious. What happened to my suppressed anxieties of homelessness or the crippling self-doubt that’s sabotaged my sense of worth? Them’s always make for the juiciest dreams.


The next night was swell. We went to see Brett Shady and Golden Shoulders play in Hollywood. Both sets were awesome, and I eagerly await Brett Shady’s debut album, due to come out “in two months,” he said. He didn’t mention what it would be called, but let’s assume the title of it will be Mr. Brother’s a Rad Guy.

Once home, we went to bed again. (We’re totally into that.) Then I had a dream that an FBI agent was pinning me down and slamming coat hangers into my face!!! Way to go subconscious! Welcome back!

The next day we went to the LACMA and perused the Joseph Beuys exhibit, which makes me hungry every time, I guess because he incorporates so much butter into his work.


Just like Ma used to make!

Once home, we cuddled up with my boyfriend and watched King of Kong, which proved to be utterly gratifying. If you like things like that, be sure to check it out.


It came time for Ryan “Mouth-hole” Cassano to leave. We hugged and said goodbye. I mentioned that I would blog about his stay, and he told me to tell you "hi," but I told him it would be better if I assigned him an arbitrary, vaguely disturbing nickname which would hopefully stick. He didn’t like the idea at all, but that’s ol’ “Mouth-hole” for ya.

By now he’s descending into Sacramento International Airport, enjoying a stomach ache from eating a $9.00 Snickers bar from LAX. And isn’t that what family is all about?

No. But it’s a nice way to end a blog, right? And isn’t that what family is all about?

Hispanic Heritage Month - Documentaries covering Latino & Hispanic experiences in the United States

Posted by Eric Brightwell, October 2, 2009 04:00pm | Post a Comment
For Hispanic Heritage Month, if you want to get an interesting and informed look at Latino issues, you could probably do worse than checking out a documentary... Most cover a handful of issues and often from different perspectives. Check the Latino/Spanish Special Interest section at Amoeba for availability.

War - 
There are several documentaries that focus on Latino and Hispanic issues in American wars. From Juan Ponce de León and Hernan de Soto sniffing around the modern day US in search of eternal youth and gold, through aggression between the US, Mexico and Spain, to the disproportionate reliance on Latinos to fight our modern wars, these DVDs cover a lot of territory.

     

Immigration - It shouldn't come as a surprise that the number one topic regarding Latino issues is the subject of immigration, primarily of the undocumented variety. What may come as more of a surprise is that one in five illegal immigrants to the US isn't Latino... something zero documentaries deal with, to my knowledge.

          

Gangs - People love them some gang documentaries. Currently, there are suprisingly few about Latino gangs, whilst every week it seems like there's some new one made about the safely-behind-us, romanticized Cosa Nostra.

  

Artists - Frida Kahlo and Salvador Dali account for nearly every documentary about Latino and Hispanic artists. I realize that neither ever became American citizens, but they worked in, interacted with, and affected the US in deeply felt ways. For example, 4 in 5 dorm residents still has some Dali poster or other, usually next to Bob Marley.

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