Amoeblog

(In which we... Wait... Did you hear that? Hold on and AAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!)

Posted by Job O Brother, October 30, 2012 01:10pm | Post a Comment


"What you should be scared of is Romney's plan for those of us in the working class!"


It’s been just long enough since last year’s Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup hangover to allow me to look forward to another Halloween. Assuming I will have learned nothing from previous celebrations, I’ll undoubtedly be purchasing an extra big bag of candy under the pretence of preparing for trick-or-treaters, knowing full well that, in the five years I’ve lived here, I’ve gotten exactly one caller.

Let me tell you though – that one trick-or-treater made me so excited I gave him three huge handfuls of candy; enough that both he and his mother looked a little concerned; there was almost certainly an after-hours comb-through to search for pins and poison in the hoard I’d bestowed.

I’m digressing here, but why hasn’t anyone invented candy pins? Am I alone in thinking that would be neat?


Still better than Necco Wafers!

Every year I assemble folks to watch horror films and eat candy. I don’t yet know what we’ll be watching (last year it was Susperia) but I am ready with a playlist of atmospheric Halloween music, some of which I’ll share with you…

First, nothing fills out a Halloween playlist better than a hearty dose of organ music by the baddest mutterficker of baroque: Johann Sebastian Bach.

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List: 10 Creepy Recent Albums

Posted by Billy Gil, October 26, 2012 02:12pm | Post a Comment

OMG you guys, it’s Halloween! Kind of. Halloween is next Wednesday — read all about the puppy antics Amoeba Hollywood has in store here — which means it’s kind of like it’s Halloween for the next six days. Besides your requisite scary movies, here are some recent creepy albums to get you through the next week, and a few upcoming ones to look out for.

Godspeed AllelujahGodspeed You! Black EmperorAllelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! (CD or LP)

This one’s kind of obvious. This is a band that made an album ostensibly about the end of the world, and the post-rock outfit’s latest release starts with a 20-minute opus of crashing sound named after a war criminal. But Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! pairs its noisy parts with moments of unnerving beauty, as in the spectral “We Drift Like Worried Fire.”

 

 

 


Swans The SeerSwansThe Seer (CD, Deluxe CD, LP or Download)

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(On the advent of Halloween.)

Posted by Job O Brother, October 24, 2011 02:16pm | Post a Comment




Worst... lollipops... ever.

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! It’s almost time for Halloween! And you know what that means? Stressing out about costumes, making the Sophie’s Choice over which parties to attend (basically an exercise in letting your friends know who you like most) and experiencing undue suspicion of apples. (Is an apple stuck with hidden pins healthier if it’s organic? And do child-killers have a preference between Braeburns or a Cox’s Orange Pippin?)

Halloween: the scary holiday. You know what’s scary? How my body can turn two, tiny Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups into a week’s worth of adult acne.

If it sounds like I’m anti-Halloween, know that I’m not. It’s just that, unlike Walrus Day, this holiday bears with it certain responsibilities, just like all the other more pious celebrations. Granted, one usually isn’t pressured to hang out with family members on Halloween (I actually like my family, but a lot of people have to settle for loving theirs), and no-one’s expected to cook lavish feasts (unless you count opening a fun-size Snickers “cooking”), but you are expected to have a lot of fun. This presents someone like me with real challenges.

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(Wherein we weigh which warble wears weather well.)

Posted by Job O Brother, June 8, 2009 03:11pm | Post a Comment

The last few days in LA have been kind of gloomy – gloomy by LA standards anyway. I mean, it’s still no place for Ian Brady and Myra Hindley to stage a killing spree, but the clouds have been thick, grey and low, and wet, cool swirls of breeze pour through my window as I write this.

This is a good thing. This is a great thing! I did not move to LA for the weather. My idea of perfect weather is something akin to a cemetery scene in [insert gothic horror film here].

Recently, I found myself at yet another pool party where Industry types multi-tasked by schmoozing while sunbathing, enjoying tropical cocktails and posing atop Danish-designed chaise lounges as the desert sun baked their copper hides; the air perfumed with herbal ointments, oils and extractions, occasionally flavored with dissipating puffs of cigarette smoke – sex was in the air and everyone was hoping to be noticed by someone they were pretending not to notice – and all I could think was, “I wish it would rain.”

Inspired as I am by the titillating tenebrous of today, what follows is some of the music I save for a rainy day. These ditties are safely tucked in a specific playlist for whenever the Sun’s obscured and the scent of moisture’s all around.

Siouxsie & The Banshees – "Dazzle
"


This song takes me back to the appropriately dark days of the 1980’s. I had just dropped out of high school my sophomore year and the world was a new and wonderful playground of drugs and whimsical fashion choices.

Whether it was holding (legally unrecognized) weddings in the graveyard at night or dropping acid on the banks of the South Yuba River, two things made these occasions sweeter: the rain, and the sound of Siouxsie crooning brooding. This song is taken from the album Hyæna (released 1984) which features Robert Smith from The Cure on guitar and keyboard. No matter what phase of my life I’m in, this album always makes me feel like a teenager again… and gives me an immediate hangover.

Kate Bush – "The Kick Inside"


This song, from the album of the same name, was the debut from English treasure Kate Bush. Because I had dropped out of high school, I would wake up bright and shining at around two o’clock in the afternoon.

My “morning” ritual was this: make a cup of Earl Grey, put on The Kick Inside, smoke clove cigarettes and drink tea until my best friend, Sadie McSweeney, arrived at the garage (I was living in a garage at the time). After she would berate me for waking up just as she was finishing her laborious school day, we would settle in and play a few games of Ace to King, an obscure card game I learned from my maternal grandmother who was once a Las Vegas blackjack dealer and housekeeper for one Frank Sinatra. (Did you get all that?)

But this album was also always played when it rained, which, in Nevada City in the wintertime, is often.

Fats Waller – "Ain’t Misbehavin’"


The fact that this song features in the film Stormy Weather is appropriate, but coincidental. It could be any Fats Waller number and it would sound sweet to me come a gloomy day. There’s something about the playful tickling of his keys that makes me feel all gezellig. Next time storm clouds keep you from jumping hopscotch outside, stay inside, put some Fats on, and drink scotch instead. I do.

Franz Schubert – Piano Quintet in A Major


This is the perfect soundtrack to daylight showers, particularly in spring. It makes everything feel fresh and I swear that this quintet actually deodorizes the air, despite its being known as the “trout” quintet.

In the provided clip, you’ll see one of the most famous recordings of the piece and one I highly recommend. There’s an informative documentary on it, too, which you can watch by clicking on the word altiloquent in this sentence.

Miles Davis – Ascenseur pour l'échafaud


Miles Davis created the soundtrack for this French film about a woman who is very sad because she’s injured herself and, as a result, must now walk very slowly. Things seem like they will improve when she meets and falls in love with a car (who could allow her to travel faster) but they find they have nothing to talk about, so they part. The film ends with the woman discovering her forehead has become greasy, so she contemplates buying some facial wash, which, in French New Wave Cinema, is the equivalent to Sandra Bullock finally finding romance. The end.

You don’t need to see the movie to enjoy the soundtrack, which is romantically depressed and sultry.

Scott Walker – "Plastic Palace People
"


Oh, Scott. Lovely, lovely, Scott Walker. Scott on a rainy day. Nothing more needs be said here.

Anyway, whatever you listen to, stay dry, drive safe, pray for earthworms and don’t over-do the marshmallows on your cocoa. People die from them, you know. Like, all the time. They have too many marshmallows in their cocoa and they f**king die. The end.

Scott Walker: 30 Century Man Documentary Plays in Bay Area

Posted by Miss Ess, January 21, 2009 02:45pm | Post a Comment

Attention all Bay Area Scott Walker fans! There's a documentary that was executive produced by David Bowie himself and has been floating around for a few years called Scott Walker: 30 Century Man, and now it will finally have its proper debut on the big screen this week here in the Bay Area!


For decades now Scott Walker has continually been hipper than hip and within the past few years his cult status has only ballooned. He also has the best album covers of all time, imho, or at least the most dramatic, both the interior photos and exterior. His music tends to produce immense reactions in listeners -- either enthusiastic or otherwise. It leaves no one unmoved one way or the other. His fans are rampant and rabid and they continue to grow in numbers as the years have passed.


Born in America but living in England since the 60s, Walker has enjoyed an illustrious career as one of the most cultishly admired vocalists both in his early group, The Walker Brothers, and especially throughout his fabled solo career, with his acclaimed solo albums Scott, Scott 2, Scott 3 (sensing a pattern here?) and Scott 4 all being released in the late 60s. Scott 4 is highly influenced by Ingmar Bergman and his films and is truly epic. Walker continues to make music, most recently releasing The Drift in 2006.


The film premieres at Shattuck in Berkeley and at Opera Plaza Cinema in San Francisco Friday, January 23.

There will also be a premiere party celebrating 30 Century Man at the Casanova here in San Francisco's Mission District this Friday, January 23. The DJ will be spinning all Scott all the time and there will be ticket and prize giveaways.
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