Amoeblog

Oh, Crap, Another Earthquake

Posted by Rachael McGovern, March 29, 2014 08:26am | Post a Comment

I feel the earth move under my feet

We had another earthquake last night in Los Angeles, this time a 5.1, and it came less than two weeks after a 4.4 earthquake. I don't mind the little earthquakes, but when we start getting up into 5s, I get a litlte nervous. (Side note: I held the belief that the smaller earthquakes relieve the tension along a fault line and reduce the likelihood of a larger event. The super useful and sometimes perception shattering earthquake.usgs.gov just told me that was untrue.) I actually didn't feel the 5.1 earthquake last night, but I jumped out of bed for the 4.4 and ran to a doorway. Then I thought, "Am I supposed to be standing in a doorway?"

Turns out, no, not so much. Doorways in modern buildings are generally not built super strongly, so unless you know it is a load-bearing doorway (and I would have no clue which doorway that was), standing under one isn't going to offer you much protection. The best thing to do is drop, cover, and hold on wherever you are.

If you can get under a heavy desk or table, make yourself as small as you can under that sturdy piece of furniture. Or you can crouch in an inside corner, covering your face and head with your arms. If you're outside, get into an open area, making sure to stay away from power lines, trees, streetlights, and buildings. If you're in a high-rise building, stay away from windows and elevators. If you're driving, as I was last night, stop as soon as you can without causing an accident, and stay in your car until the shaking stops. Do your best to stop in an area free of power lines, overpasses, trees, etc  - basically, keep clear of anything that might fall on you if it were to collapse in an earthquake.

Continue reading...

This Sunday Join in the Aftermath - An SF JPunk Showcase for Japan Relief!

Posted by Kells, April 23, 2011 01:20am | Post a Comment

Another great opportunity to donate much needed funds to the people of catastrophe-stricken northeastern Japan presents itself at Thee Parkside this Sunday in the form of Aftermath - A Citizen to Citizen Tsunami Rescue and Relief Benefit featuring various Bay Area Japanese punk and avant garde performers. Wonka once said, "a little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men," and I cannot think of anyone who embodies that sentiment better than my friend Bob Nozawa (pictured below in ommpa-loompa orange) of Aftermath headlining act Ass Baboons of Venus. I caught up with him recently and asked briefly about the upcoming show, his band and their recent fund raising events for Japan.

This isn't the first benefit for Japan the Ass Baboons has played, no? Any idea on how much you've raised for the relief efforts collaboratively?

Bob Nozawa: It's the second show. The first was beyond anything we expected! Tthe final tally (including donations at the door, art and beer sales) ended up totaling around $25,000! There were so many people involved in getting that event together that it would be impossible to list them all, but I would never do that anyway because I hate lists.

What organization(s) will this benefit be donating to?


BN: This one is for Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California's Northern Japan Earthquake Relief Fund.

Will there be any art or merch available for purchase to contribute to the funds raised at the show?

There will be some stuff, not exactly sure yet, as the guy who is organizing, Joselito Sering, is still collecting donations; he is doing an amazing job.

What are you most excited about regarding this Sunday's line up? Is there a performer in particular you are looking forward to?

Tiger Honey Pot's drummer has to play with one arm because of surgery --- they are a blast! The Basements are gonna get me sweaty; the Thunders I have never seen, but the stuff I've heard from them sounds rockin'.

I'm super excited to be finally seeing the Ass Baboons in the flesh, for the first time --- what can a long time appreciator of ABV recordings like me expect from your live show?

Don't expect anything! Our band members have all been deported! But when we started out it was just [famed Japanese comedienne] Naoko and me, so in a sense, we're getting back to where we started, except now we're old and could die at any given moment...really!

Will you be performing in the orange (orange you glad i asked?), or?

I will tie you up...

Yowza! Lastly, and this is for Japan, is there a message in the madness? What do you wish to express to those affected by the catastrophe via your performance?

It has been inspiring to see people helping each other out, anything that anyone could do is simply a gesture of support. It's less about the money than about letting people know that there are people that care and in times of great sorrow, it's always therapeutic to go bat shit crazy!
 
Thanks Bob, I couldn't agree more! Check out the Ass Baboons' "Naked Lady Wrestler vs. Mango Man" video below and event info following --- hope to see you there!
 

Do come play with madness and contribute to the support and solidarity of local artists and musicians in the on-going humanitarian aid for our fellow men, women, children, and animals in Japan coping with the aftermath of the country's most catastrophic earthquake and tsunami in recorded history.
 
Aftermath - A Citizen to Citizen Tsunami Rescue and Relief Benefit:
$7-$10 sliding scale cover / 8pm-2am / 21+OVER
«LIVE BANDS»
ASS BABOONS OF VENUS
THE THUNDERS SF
TIGER HONEY POT
THE BASEMENTS

«DJ»
NAKO
SABATINI
LIL JOE

Help Northeastern Japan: Let Your Donation Take You to the Movies!

Posted by Kells, March 17, 2011 08:00pm | Post a Comment
In the wake of a devastating week for Japan, especially the northeastern Touhoku region where seaside towns and villages were washed away by a tsunami last Friday while the world watched in disbelief, many are exploring what they can do to help survivors and evacuees of this extraordinary catastrophe. Well, here is something fabulous happening this Saturday in San Francisco: New People, a specialty gallery/shopping/media complex located in Japantown, will be holding three special screenings of Hula Girls, a wonderfully heart-warming comedy featuring some of my favorite things: dancing, Polynesian pop, head-strong young heroines (coal-miner's daughters!), perseverance in the face of stodgy adversity and, of course, Japan. Based on true events that took place in 1960's Fukushima Prefecture, the same paralyzed zone experiencing a nuclear crisis having been hard hit by the recent natural disasters, this film is being shown as a fundraiser at $10 a ticket with 100% of the proceeds to be donated to NORTHERN JAPAN EARTHQUAKE RELIEF FUNDS by Japantown's JCCCNC. Check out the trailer below:

(In which we consider the mystical & tragic Judee Sill.)

Posted by Job O Brother, July 29, 2008 12:25pm | Post a Comment

Last night I was mugged at gunpoint. The perpetrator not only made off with the $560.00 in cash that I was carrying (which I had intended to deposit today) but he knocked me down to the ground and kicked me hard enough that he left a nasty bruise in my ribs before he made his getaway on a magic, chocolate-colored Pegasus.

None of which is true, but it is a rather exciting way to begin this week’s blog entry, isn’t it? Except that, by lying to you, I have now risked alienating you emotionally, because you will now think twice about trusting what I tell you, even if it’s about how much I like that top you’re wearing and how to sets off the flecks of color in your shimmering eyes.

Speaking of violence and the romantic visage of your enduring beauty, I know some of you haven’t yet heeded my advice and investigated one of my most favorite balladeers of all time: Judee Sill.
 

Judee Sill conducts herself well.

Judee’s story is one of tragic darkness, from which sprung gorgeous and sage songwriting. She was the Billie Holiday of the “Laurel Canyon sound.”

Influenced more by Johann Sebastian Bach than her 1970’s rock ‘n’ blow contemporaries, methodical composition such as fugue-structure, and over-dubbing of her own voice into chorale-style, inform her heart-wrenched post-hymns.

Her father and brother both died when she was a child, and her mother re-married to Kenneth Muse, an animator for one of my least favorite cartoons of all time, Tom & Jerry. (I mean really, the way that mouse antagonizes that poor cat, who very naturally fights back – both by his nature as a felis catus and in defense of Jerry’s cruelty – only to be downtrodden every time. What kind of message does that send to children? BE A BULLY. That’s what it tells ‘em. And then poor, sensitive, fat kids like me get the brunt of it. And all I ever wanted was to love and be loved. Is that so wrong?!)

[Insert sound of Job sobbing here]

Judee left her dysfunctional home (I imagine her stepfather probably lured her head into a mouse-hole and bopped her face with a mallet) and hit the road for a life of free-wheeling druggery and armed robbery. She developed an addiction to that precocious li’l drug we call heroin. In order to pay for the habit, she prostituted herself (which almost certainly prepared her for a life as a professional musician).

She honed her skills as a keyboard player while serving time in jail for fraudulent check writing, and, as she found herself with some soul to spare after kicking smack, she decided to write music.

She had early success selling compositions to other groups, such as The Turtles, who covered her song “Lady-O.”



She was signed by David Geffen, who was then developing his new Asylum Label, and toured as the opening act for Graham Nash and David Crosby. Her self-titled, debut album was produced by her ex-husband, Bob Harris (who also produced Joni Mitchell’s superb effort Ladies of the Canyon).

While critics gushed praise for her work, sales remained low and, after some snarky comments about Geffen and his sexual-orientation (he was not yet out of the closet), Judee was given the bum’s rush, after only producing two albums. (Don’t rush to assume she was homophobic, though, as she was known to fancy the ladies herself.)
 

EEEK!!! I just now experienced my first earthquake ever! That was some ride. Now I understand what all the hub-bub is about. A giant silver crucifix just fell off my shelf and knocked the } ] key out of my laptop. Anyway, friends and family outside LA, Fangs and I are fine, just a little shaken-up (har har har!).

Silver crucifixes are also apropos when pondering Judee Sill, who sports one on the cover of her debut album. She was deeply interested in the occult and Christian mysticism. Some people, considering her lyrics, assume she was Christian, as Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, is a reoccurring theme, but her appreciation was esoteric, not dogmatic. (Though it is worth noting that she was baptized by Pat Boone in his swimming pool.)

"Don't worry - I'll save you!" Christian pop icon, Pat Boone

After losing her ties with Geffen, Judee rode a downward spiral into obscurity. Rumors circulated of her death. So much so, that when she actually did die in 1979 from a cocaine overdose, it surprised people. She had seemed to die twice.
 

Cover art painted by Judee

To our good fortune, in 2005, Water Records produced a two cd compilation of unreleased demos, studio recordings, and live video footage of Judee, titled “Dreams Come True.” Jim O’Rourke provided the mixing.)

Judee’s music holds a place so dear to my heart that, while I’ve often been tempted to blog about her, I’ve never felt up to the task. I simply can’t do justice to the ecstasy she evokes in me. (That’s also why you’ve never read any blogs by me regarding Scott Walker.)

Anyway, check her out if, y’know, you’re into gorgeous, haunting music that makes your heart ache and pierces your soul. Otherwise, check out some Warlock Pinchers. They’re fun.