Amoeblog

today is 10/16 and this is what is coming out...

Posted by Brad Schelden, October 15, 2007 10:29pm | Post a Comment

After a couple of crazy new release weeks, today is a bit slower. Beirut came out on top last week. At least for us at Amoeba. I am still thinking Jens Lekman has the best album out this year. But I know its now a new week. And the Christmas releases are continuing to come out. The Michael Buble "Let it Snow" EP is finally out at retail stores. I know most people really hate the Christmas music. But I sort of get a sick pleasure out of it. I may not be excited by Michael Buble but there are plenty of great christmas albums. I am actually getting excited that we will soon be putting out our Christmas section. I am not really sure what is wrong with me. But don't worry. I'll be doing some Christmas blogs in December. But my plan was to do all sorts of Halloween blogs as well. But somehow it is already the 16th of October. But I still have a couple of weeks to go. The Halloween sections are up at all the Amoebas right now. So go buy all your favorite Halloween music soon. I really do love October. When I think about October, I think about horror movies and the magical Elvira. Unfortunately, it is a rare treat for an artist to do a whole Halloween album. It is just not the same as Christmas. Try to imagine how great it would be to hear a whole album of The Carpenters singing Halloween classics. Or how about Aretha Franklin or Dolly Parton. Almost everybody does a Christmas album at some point in their career. Even Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand have Christmas albums. But who besides the great Elvira puts out a whole album of Halloween songs. You really need to check out some of those great B movies hosted by Elvira that have been coming out on DVD. Amazing stuff. Her jokes are still hilarious. But I guess if you never liked her then you still will not like her. I grew up watching those Elvira movies and really thought that she was the coolest thing ever. She actually still is. Her reality show "The Search for the Next Elvira" just started a couple of days ago. I have not had time to watch it yet. But all I know is that it is a four part series and I will be watching and talking about it very soon. It on the special Fox Reality network. If you live in the Bay Area and have Comcast cable, that is channel 159. I seriously had no idea that this channel even existed until I was searching for her new show to record.

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Julius Henry "Groucho" Marx

Posted by Whitmore, October 2, 2007 06:25pm | Post a Comment

Several years back I went to a Halloween party dressed as Groucho Marx, specifically as his character Quincy Adams Wagstaff, the eccentric and barmy president of Huxley College from the classic 1932 film “Horse Feathers.”  I wore the cap and gown, a pair of baggy trousers, an ill fitted shirt, worn leather shoes; I painted on the moustache and the eyebrows. I did it up right. When I arrived at the party I found myself milling around the bar looking for some whiskey. Nearby was a crowd in their late 20’s or early 30’s dressed to the absolute nines. I suspect “glamorous perfection"  (rented perfection?) was the concept behind their costumes, whatever it was, they hit it right. I sort of knew them from another party; I also knew they worked as grammar school teachers. I said hey and hello, they said hey and asked me about my costume.  

“Are you a professor of some sort?” one of them asked.
“I’m dressed as Groucho Marx” I replied, cigar in hand.
They all blinked and dimly asked, ‘Who’s Groucho Marx?”

One of the saddest and most preposterous nights of my life, right at that moment I knew there wasn’t going to be enough whiskey or conversation or beautiful women to keep me at this shindig for long, or this pin-brained world. Soon I said my adieus and I wandered back home dazed, stunned by it all … and I wonder why I’m depressed sometimes!

Anyway, today, October 2nd, is the birthday to a comic cultural icon, and the inspiration behind those novelty glasses, Julius Henry "Groucho" Marx.  Happy 117th birthday Groucho!

rob zombie's halloween

Posted by Brad Schelden, September 6, 2007 06:45pm | Post a Comment
I have been obsessed with Halloween and the Halloween movies for as long as I can remember. This holiday and the original 1978 film will forever be intertwined together in my memory. John Carpenter is absolutely without a doubt a genius. He created the most successful independent film of all time with his original Halloween. This movies remains brilliant to this day and still manages to be scary. It really reinvented the horror movie and sort of set up the rules for the horror movies of the 80's. The second Halloween film was almost as good but the following sequels became worse as time went on. I saw every one and quickly realized the franchise was getting ridiculous with the last couple films. I remained loyal but it was really time for the series to be reinvented. They needed to go back and start all over again. But before the original even started. Similar things have been happening with other film franchises lately. Both the Batman and Superman movies had become ridiculous. Really only the first couple of both were good. Both Batman and Superman were reinvented in the last couple years. It worked amazingly well with the Batman franchise and "Batman Begins." The film gave a completely new look to the series with a great new storyline. It kept what was good about the story and just built on that. This did not work so well for "Superman Returns." I am still waiting for the deluxe version of the entire Halloween series to be released on DVD like they did with Nightmare On Elm Street and Friday the 13th. There is a box available as an import but nothing yet domestically.

Many horror films have also been remade in the last couple years. It seems to never work. These original films, The Omen, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Wax Museum, etc., hold such importance in our eyes as horror movie fans. We grew up with these films and have every detail about them memorized. It is a hard task for a director to go into such sacred ground and try and update and reinterpret these original films. Horror movies have never been the same lately. Never as good. Never as scary as they once were. So when I heard that Halloween was getting remade this year, I was very excited but also very worried. I thought Rob Zombie was the perfect director to try and reinterpret this brilliant original film. But I was also worried for him and the response he would get from those crazy dedicated horror fans. The movie opened over labor day weekend as the most successful movie for that weekend ever. But of course many fans are really upset that Rob Zombie has ruined their Halloween. But I wonder how many of these people have actually seen the movie. I saw it on Monday and I was more than impressed. And it was scarier than anything I have seen in the theater in a long while.

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the best movies of the 70's

Posted by Brad Schelden, August 26, 2007 09:36pm | Post a Comment
In continuing my best of lists, here is my list of the best films of the 70s. In case you missed my list of 80s films, you can go back here and check it out. Since I was born half way through the 70s, I did not see most of these films in the theater. But through the magic of cable TV and the VCR, I watched and fell in love with these movies. The 70s still remains my favorite time for film. The style and sound of these films is something that could only be captured in the 70s. Many of these movies have been remade or are in the process of being remade. But they never live up to the 70s originals. Dawn of the Dead, Stepford Wives, The Omen, Superman, Assault on Precinct 13, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, King Kong, Poseidon Adventure, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Black Christmas, The Amityville Horror and The Hills Have Eyes have all been remade. There is obviously something magical about this period in cinema that Hollywood tries to recreate. I am really hoping that Rob Zombie creates a brilliant reinterpretation of Halloween. I know that versions of Logan's Run and The Warriors are already being worked on as well. Nothing can really come close to what these films are and the memories that they have created in all of us.

top 100 movies of the 70s



The Exorcist (73)
William Friedkin



                                                                                             Alien (79)
                               Ridley Scott
                                  

OCTOBER: SF HALLOWEEN-HATER MONTH

Posted by Billyjam, August 10, 2007 12:38pm | Post a Comment
gavin newsomTrick or Treat?
Apparently San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom, seen here trying on his new Halloween costume, didn't get the memo from his own office that the City of San Francisco had canceled all public Halloween celebrations in the city, including the traditional Halloween in the Castro party. As announced Wednesday by San Francisco City officials, there will be "no official Halloween celebration anywhere in San Francisco in October" (including at the downtown AT&T parking lot, which was rumored as a possible alternative party spot to the Castro). This decision is no doubt due to violence at previous Halloweens in the Castro -- notably last year when a shooting incident left nine people injured. Therefore, the normally celebratory Mayor Newsom, who just over the past few days named August "Barry Bonds Month" and named Wednesday "Virgin America Day" (as in the Richard Branson airline), could easily have named October "SF Halloween-Hater Month."

While I do not wish to see anyone hurt anywhere at any time, I think that this move by the city of SF is BULLSHIT and it reminds me of when you are a kid in school and some clown in the class would do something wrong and instead of punishing the perpetrator the teacher would, unfairly, punish the entire class. And just like in those school days, when the teacher's actions merely frustrated and aggravated the law-abiding majority, so too will this action by the city officials of SF merely frustrate the average Bay Area resident who wants to enjoy a San Francisco tradition -- Halloween in the Castro. It is also not unlike the move several years ago by the leaders of the city across the Bay, who voted to shut down Oakland's famed traditional Festival at the Lake (Lake Merritt) due to many young black males "cruising" in their cars and incidents of violence in the surrounding neighborhoods (not even at the Lake).  And did the Oakland police action curb violence in the East Bay city? Not at allbarry bonds

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