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Five Supernatural-Supreme Flicks for All Hallows' Eve

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, October 28, 2016 04:55pm | Post a Comment

7 Faces of Dr. Lao

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


Tis’ the season for kicking your feet up on the thrift store ottoman, sipping a small glass of slightly chilled port, and sniffing the pumpkin seeds burning in the oven while watching a spooky-mooky old flick on the tube. Here are my humble suggestions of five “fine” viewing pleasures that one may acquire in the glorious horror movie aisle of your favorite music store.

The Gorgon (1964), Directed by Terence Fisher
The GorgonHey, wait…those aren’t green dreadlocks?!
Set in the year 1910, a Gorgon decides to take a lil’ vacation from Greece and hangs out in an abandoned castle of a small German village where she gets her kicks getting the locals “stoned.” Can the Scooby Doo super-duo of Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing defeat this reptilian-haired problem? I mean really, these guys can pretty much defeat anything…including each other.

Here is a quote from the film that I plan on using the next time my Uncle Fred (who practices astral-projection in Mexico) pokes fun at me for my love of collecting Bigfoot tracks and ghost hunting...

Dr. Namaroff (aka my Uncle Fred): “We are men of science. I don't believe in ghosts or evil spirits, and I don't think you do either.” 

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A Super Shangri-La Show Spectacular Halloween Double Feature, October 28

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, October 26, 2016 06:34pm | Post a Comment

William Castle, 13 Ghosts

-- By Brett Stillo

Halloween weekend is upon us, and what better way to start things off than with a cinematic ghost hunt in an old, haunted San Francisco theater.

The Super Shangri-La Show, hosted by the intrepid Kai Wada Roath, is more than a movie night atHouse your neighborhood theater. It is an exploration of the uncanny through the medium of cinema. Week after week, Roath takes his audience on a quest for myths, monsters, witchcraft, and lost civilizations inside a haunted movie theater -- the historic Balboa Theatre in the Outer Richmond. The Super Shangri-La Show is like a live-action version of the old Leonard Nimoy television program In Search Of, with Roath acting as a paranormal guide through a lost world of Drive-In and B-Movie monstrosities such as The Legend of Bogey Creek, The Devil’s Rain, Atlantis: The Lost Continent, and The Legend of Hell House, just to name a few.

Friday night’s double feature offers an ectoplasmic spectrum of haunted house stories. 13 Ghosts is a classic 1950’s spook show courtesy of legendary showman William Castle. Castle was notorious for the outrageously wacky gimmicks he built into his movies and 13 Ghosts is no exception. When the film was released in 1960, audience members were issued special filtered “ghost goggles” to view the cinematic poltergeists on the big screen thanks to a Castle-contrived process called “Illusion-O!”

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October Events at Amoeba SF & Berkeley

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, October 2, 2016 02:25pm | Post a Comment

It's a proven scientific fact that October is the best month of the year, especially in the Bay Area. Costumes, candy, tricks and treats...and that's just for the adults. Make sure you celebrate with us all month long at Amoeba SF & Berkeley with our free and all-ages in-store shows, special sales, and events!

Amoeba San Francisco, Amoeba Berkeley, October

10 Spooky Musical Pieces for Halloween

Posted by Eric Brightwell, October 26, 2015 03:33pm | Post a Comment



At one of the several jobs at which I work we’ve started listening to a Halloween playlist from Spotify or Pandora and like all of those pre-fab playlists it sucks. There aren’t that many explicitly Halloween songs so whomever programed it resorted to tossing in things like Duran Duran’s “Hungry Like the Wolf" because what's scarier than a hungry Brummie? The Searchers’ “Love Potion No. 9” is not scary and although it's a bit mad, neither is Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’s “I Put a Spell on You” -- both apparently chosen because, you know, potions and spells and such. That sort of thinking is also why David Seville’s deeply annoying (but not scary) “Witch Doctor” now haunts every facet of my brain. Basically this playlist is 90% the kind of stuff collected by Dr. Retarded, novelty record collector and chief head of surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital.

I like spooky music and horror films (although they're sadly almost never scary) so this kind of lazy mix-making gets no “squeaks” from me. There is so much more appropriate music out there. The other night some friends and I went to the Million Dollar Theatre to see Dawn of the Dead and before the show former Amoebite Jimmy Hey DJed a set which drew from film scores by Goblin, naturally, and some more unlikely picks, such as Scott Walker’s “The Electrician.” Of course this inspired me to write the following listicle for your enjoyment.

Alban Berg - Lulu (1937)




Alban Berg has always gotten under my skin -- in a good way. His first opera, Wozzeck, is based on Georg Büchner’s nightmarish, disorienting drama, Woyzeck. Lulu was Berg’s second and last opera, after being bitten by an insect on Christmas Eve, he died. Lulu, inspired by Frank Wedekind's plays Erdgeist (Earth Spirit, 1895) and Die Büchse der Pandora (Pandora's Box, 1904), remains unfinished... and disturbing. 




Bernard Herrmann - The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951)



The other day as I was going to my friend’s birthday I put this on to get in the Halloween season mood and it’s perfect. Even the suburban streets of Eagle Rock were suddenly pervaded with unease, thanks especially to the liberal use of theremin (played by Samuel Hoffman and Paul Shure). "Klaatu barada nikto," indeed!


Delia Derbyshire & Barry Bermange - The Dreams (1964)



The Dreams is a five part musical collage of people describing their (invariably creepy) dreams, recorded by poet and dramatist Barry Bermange and with music was composed and performed by the great Delia Derbyshire (and, per BBC's  then-policy, credited upon its broadcast only to the BBC Radiophonic Workshop). It was the first of four Inventions for Radio composed by Derbyshire, who also famously recorded the original Doctor Who theme and many other groundbreaking electronic works. 


Dick Jacobs And His Orchestra - Themes From Horror Movies (1964)



I grew up listening to this record, comprised of Dick Jacobs And His Orchestra performing horror themes written by the likes of Hans J. Salter, Earl Lawrence, Foster Carling, Herman Stein, Paul Dessau, James Bernard, William Lava, and Henry ManciniAll of the tracks are introduced by impressionist and host Bob McFaddenAs a child I’d seen almost none of the films that the scores were composed for and used to stare at the thumbnail reproductions of films like The Mole Men, The Creature Walks Among Us, and The Deadly Mantis. Once I did see them they were almost never as good as I’d imagined or hoped that they would be — or that their scores actually were. 


Krzysztof Komeda - Rosemary's Baby (1968)




Krzysztof Komeda
came from the European jazz world and although jazz might horrify some, it’s rarely characterized as scary. The slightly swinging score for Rosemary's Baby is provides an atmosphere that for me is creepier than the actual film (which I like — but it hardly terrifies me). The year it was released Komeda died at the age of 37, when he was pushed off an escarpment by writer Marek Hłasko during a drinking party and died. Drunken accidents remain more of a mortal threat than Satanic impregnation. 


Coven - Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls (1969)


The members of Coven supposedly signed their contract with Mercury Records in blood. The psychedelic band from ungodly Indianapolis, Indiana were musically in the vein of a Jefferson Airplane albeit with a overtly Satanic outlook. Jinx Dawson's lyrics about satanic ritual, child sacrifice, and witch hunts are still surprisingly frank.


Louise Huebner - Louise Huebner's Seduction Through Witchcraft (1969)


In 1968, Louise Huebner was designated the Official Witch Of Los Angeles County, back when the witchcraft and Satanism were apparently thought of as a total gas! Jim Morrison married a witch, Jimmy Page studied the writings of Aleister Crowley, and Anton LaVey appeared as a guest on The Tonight Show. The album’s tracks consist of Huebner providing instructions on how to cast spells set to electronic music by Bebe and Louis Barron, the then-wife-and-husband duo who’d provided a similar score for the film, Forbidden Planet (1956). 


Lucifer - Black Mass (1971)


Lucifer was the nom de disque of Canadian Moog master, Mort Garson. Black Mass is almost entirely electronic, aside from the odd bit of treated percussion and heavily processed, haunting vocals. It's very much of it's time, which I reckon is a good thing because 1971 remains, in my imagination, a very creepy year.


Paul Giovanni and Magnet - The Wicker Man (1973)


The action of The Wicker Man is set around May Day, at the other end of the year from Halloween, but its Celtic religious aspects and British folk-inspired score seem appropriate as we approach Samhain. Then there's the fact that the disconcerting “Maypole” and “Fire Leap" are sung by children. Creepy!


Taro Iwashiro - Memories of Murder (2003)



Memories of Murder
is based on an unsolved serial murder spree which took place in the Hwaseong area of Korea. Unsolved serial killings are pretty much the only thing guaranteed to creep me out and Bong Joon-ho is a master and simultaneously serving up sadness, mystery, unease, frustration, comedy, and horror -- all at once and to the detriment of none. The score, by Taro Iwashiro, is the perfect counterpart. It also includes a pop song sung by Yoo Jae-Ha which, according to the film at least, was always requested on the radio each night that the killer murdered another victim. 

Also worth consideration: Amon Duul II, Anton Webern, The Birthday PartyThe Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Arzachel, BauhausBlue Oyster Cult, Blue Phantom, Blues Creation, The Cure, DanzigThe Doors, Faust, Fifty Foot Hose, Francis Seyrig, Geto Boys, György Ligeti, Iron Butterfly, Jan Dukes de Grey, Jerry Goldsmith, John Carpenter, Kate BushLokee, Medusa, NicoOlivier Messiaen, The Open Mind, Rune Lindblad, Tod Dockstader, Witold Lutosławski, and Writing On The Wall


*****

Follow me at ericbrightwell.com

Amoeba and Criterion Hold Free Screening of Horror Classic 'The Brood' at Space15Twenty

Posted by Amoebite, October 12, 2015 06:23pm | Post a Comment

the brood screening space15twenty

Just in time for Halloween, Amoeba Music and Criterion Collection are hosting a special free, all-ages screening of David Cronenberg’s 1979 sci-fi horror film The Brood at Space15Twenty Oct. 29 at 6 p.m.

Dress in your scary best as there will be a Halloween costume contest, with prizes given away for the best costumes from Urban Outfitters, Umami Burger, Criterion Collection and Amoeba! There will be complimentary popcorn at the event, and Umami will have a $5 bloody mary special for those who are over 21.

Cult classic The Brood is about the mystery behind the ominous Somafree psychological institute and its connection to a pack of murderous, mutant children. Watch the original trailer below.

Space15Twenty is located across the street from Amoeba Music at 1520 North Cahuenga Boulevard.

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