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Arizona Illustrated Episode 602


(Spanish guitar music) – [Tom] This week on Arizona Illustrated, a Parisian in Tucson, Naim Amor. – So for me, playing
music has an acquaintance with gathering, sharing, and do something that’s gonna be great! – [Tom] Casa Video. – [Gala] I didn’t really take off until people started realizing
that we were different, and we were carrying
these different titles. – [Tom] Bells on campus. (bells ring) – Ah, dun, dun, dun. – [Tom] And, Far Afield
with Birds and Arrows. (Spanish guitar music) – Welcome, to Arizona
Illustrated, I’m Tom McNamara. Naim Amor is a French
native, who grew up in Paris. But in many ways he’s
quintessentially Tucson. His first love, is music. Producer Vanessa Barchfield spent time with this Arizona transplant, to find out more about
what makes him tick, and why he is so loved. (Naim humming) – That’s what I want, basically. I told myself, as a 16, 17 years old, I remember I was like, “You
know it’s gonna be difficult, “but you promised something to yourself. “You will never give up.” So, sometimes there’s been
moments when you’re like, “I can’t do this any more.” And I was like, “Ah, it’s
that bad bell ringing! “You heard it,
(camera clicking) “and you knew it would come sometimes,” it’s like, “No, just keep going at it.” So, I’m here, and that’s what I’m doing! (guitar music) My full name is Gabriel Naim
Amor, and I’m a musician. (upbeat music) I have to say, a name like Amor never got me a negative experience. I get a smile at the
grocery store sometimes, when they see my name, especially in Tucson
where it’s very Hispanic. So Amor is, it means love! (laughs) (soft music) (projector whirs) I grew up in Paris, in
the 18th arrondissement, which is known for, the
main tourist attraction, is Montmartre, you know,
Sacre-Coeur, Pigalle. I had a really great childhood. Growing in Paris, you learn
how to be pretty independent, because our parents left us just to go and play in the streets. Every single corner reminds
me of something experienced, but it’s also all those corners, they’re in paintings, they’re in films. So, there’s something
that’s kinda magic for me, just to walk in Paris. (soothing music) (projector whirs) My grandfather was a musician. He played the violin and the saxophone. He had his own orchestra in
the ’30s, ’40s to early ’50s. Every time we would go in the family, everybody was playing music. So, after a lunch, you
know, in the summer… It went like this. (guitar music)
The people would just gather instruments and
start playing some music. For no audience whatsoever,
but just for yourself. And so for me, playing
music has an acquaintance with gathering, sharing, and do something that’s gonna be great! (slow guitar music) I started playing violin
when I was six years old. I know that I quit when I was like 13, I wanted to do something else. But sure enough, six months
later I started playing guitar. I love practicing the instrument. (exhale) (jazz guitar music) I hope everybody gets something, not necessarily an instrument, a guitar, but you have something
you can go to every day. It’s a… It grows, and it feeds you. (jazz guitar music) What brought me to Tucson? Really, love. Like, I met a woman
then, we were very young and she was living here. But, what kept me in
Tucson though, is music. (slow guitar music) The first time I visited
Tucson was in ’95. And, the downtown was
very, very quiet, you know? I remember clearly the Hotel Congress.
(person whistling) And then, maybe a couple
places open at night. (jazzy western music) Most of the streets were
just a no man’s land. But, it was very magical,
because it was very dense in a certain crowd of people
that I met immediately. And, it was kind of like
a playground for people who were just looking
for something different. And, it clicked with me immediately. I got to play as soon as I came here with amazing musicians. (jazzy country music) Maybe I found what I grew
up with, with my family. It’s just like you get
together and play some music. It doesn’t have to be a representation, and being perfect and everything. No, it’s just you do what you’re
doing right at this moment. And that element of spontaneity is part of maybe what’s precious. And, if there’s people and a place where you can capture that,
for me, Tucson was the place. (jazzy country music) (sighs) What do I do besides music? Well, I have a family. I raise my son, with Crystal, my partner. Take care of the house, a bit of cleaning up in the backyard. (upbeat guitar music) Take care of my car, that I love so much! (car engine rumbling) I like doing little
artworks, stop motion things, and that’s pretty much it. (camera clicks) (upbeat guitar music) How do I describe my music? I cannot say I play rock
‘n’ roll, that’s not true. I can’t say I play jazz,
it’s absolutely not true. So, I don’t know what way I play. (upbeat guitar music) Rituals are important to create music, and I think, for me, it’s very important, even if it’s a small gig, I’m like, “I’m gonna play this guitar,”
but along with the guitar… It sounds very funny,
but I love the shoes, and I wanna put the shoes on. It sounds very shallow, it’s not. It’s very important. It’s definitely not the end of the world, but it’s important. By the way, a lotta people get addictions because you gotta get up in the mood. So, I prefer the addiction of shoes, and cool clothes. (instruments tuning) Test. If you wanna make a song…
(jazz guitar music) you have to find genuinely what is truly satisfying for you, not
for marketing reasons, not for some other people,
or something like this. I think, when I make a record, I hope it’s gonna be beautiful
and people are gonna say, “That’s so beautiful!” But, what I hope is
they find it beautiful, because I find it beautiful. But Picasso said that,
“I’m not searching… “I find.” (sings in foreign language)
(jazz music) There’s something about accepting, or recognizing what you find. A lot of people find some great stuff, but they don’t see it, because they think, “Oh, it’s not good!” It’s like, “It’s really good!
(clicks fingers) “You don’t see it?” (sings in a foreign language)
(jazz music) To me, the moment when you get something, it’s like the feeling that
you truly own something. Not something you buy,
but you truly own it. And you’re like, “That’s me, right there.” That’s… (slaps hands) (jazz music) It feeds your soul. (audience applauding) – In this day and age of streaming video, Netflix, HBO GO and Hulu, you might think the video
rental store was dead. Well, think again. Casa Video, as one of
the largest video stores left in the country, is both staying the course and reinventing itself by providing a community-oriented movie
experience to Tucson. (video whining) (chimes clinking) (upbeat music) (cars passing) – Well, it was in the ’80s, that was the explosion of VHS, and there was all sorts of
independent video stores that were popping up all over. (tool grinding) (light switches clicking) We were going to these stores
and not finding the movies that we were necessarily interested in, ’cause we’re big fans of classic movies and foreign films and
documentaries and things like that. We thought there was a
niche that we could fill. We had a little store in Granton Campbell, and we started that in ’83. Two years later, we were
looking for more space, and my brother actually saw that this location was available. (popcorn machine whirring)
(slow jazz music) (computer beeping) There was a distributor
that was in Phoenix that we would go to, they’re no longer in business, but they had a huge warehouse. And you would go there and you would just get a shopping cart,
(scanner beeping) and we would go down the aisles. We’d spend all day and
we’d go down the aisles and just grab movies
and fill up this cart, “Oh, this is great, we gotta…” And, it just sort of blossomed like that. It didn’t really take off
until people started realizing that we were different
and we were carrying these different titles. And then, DVDs came in,
I think in the ’90s. (popcorn popping) (slow jazz music) – I guess what I really enjoy
most about movies, in general, is just storytelling, I
just love a good story. Pretty much a lifelong obsession. The moment I moved out here,
my brother-in-law insisted that I needed to come see this place. (DVD machine whirring) (mysterious music) – [Movie] Bald Eagle
calling Tippytoe, over. Bald Eagle, calling Tippytoe, over. – I’m the general manager here, I’ve been here 14 and a half years. My first job was in a grocery store, and I did everything I
could, as soon as I could, to move to their video rental department of that grocery store. So, I’ve pretty much been working
in video stores since ’97. A lot of other video
stores would get rid of a lot of their copies of older movies, whereas we always made sure we held onto at least one copy of everything. We do have customers who are like, “Oh, you haven’t seen
everything in this store?” No, I’m only in my 30s, there’s no way. (soft music) – We do have, I would say,
probably hundreds of VHS still in our inventory, and
the reason we hang onto those is because they’re not available on DVD. A lot of people have hung
onto their VHS recorders, but we do rent them, as well. – [Lance] Just our
selection, it’s so far beyond what was available for the
heyday of video stores. (dramatic music) – [Off Camera Man] The adult section? – It exists. (laughs) I honestly don’t know what
to say about that section, other than, it exists. As does the internet. – For a long time, I thought Steven Spielberg
directed everything, and that was just the thing. (laughs) Some of my favorite movies when I was little growing
up was “Serial Mom”, “Hairspray”, “Cry Baby”, and then I realized, wait,
these all kind of have the same vibe to them. And that’s when I first discovered, wow, the director who did
this, this is John Waters.” So, I don’t know, a whole
new world opened up for me. (dramatic music) (scanner beeping) – All right, sir, they’re
due back on Saturday. You have yourself a great week, man. – [Customer] Thank you, you too. – [Clerk] Thank you. – We seem to be a
destination that people go to because they can’t find
that movie anyplace else. I think it’s great, I mean, we’ve really managed to
have quite a film library. I don’t think people realize
really how important that is. (dramatic movie music) I’m still buying a lot
of different titles. What we don’t buy as much
of is the big blockbusters like we used to. We used to get like 70
copies of something. And now, maybe we pick
up maybe 20 of a big hit. – There’s a note on your
account that says, “Groovy.” (scanner beeping)
– What? – All right.
(woman laughing) – That’s cool.
(laughing) – All right, there we
go, $4.35 today, man. – [Gala] You have like,
Netflix and Hulu… – [Clerk] Thank you. – [Gala] And, all these
different platforms. – It’s not so much that we get customers who don’t watch Netflix. I think Netflix is down to maybe a couple thousand different titles on their streaming
service, whereas we have something close to 80,000
different movies here. – Netflix, Hulu, HBO
GO, I have all of them. – [Clerk] Nine pieces of licorice. – And, this place. – [Clerk] Now, how many do I get to have? – I’d better watch it again.
– Okay. (laughs) – I’ve used Netflix and
those type of online or order ’em online services. There’s something to be said
about holding the product in your hand, reading
who’s in the movie, right? – That’s why this place is still around, because old-school people
like us are still interested in having, like Larry said,
having it in his hand. – Yeah. This is much more a whole package deal. – Okay. (children chatting) – [Gala] If you’re paying attention, most video stores are sliding off the map. – When I first started, I
would pass two Blockbusters and a Hollywood everyday to get here. – [Gala] Once these huge libraries go, it will be harder for people
that really love film, if there’s something
particular they’re looking for, they might not be able to locate it. (bar patrons chatting) – There you are. Keep it open, close it out? – [Patron] Close it out. – [Gala] We realized that we had to support this business another way. – There’s Red Seal, all right. (soft music) – [Gala] When craft beer really
kind of took off in town, I was trying to figure out a
way how I could include that. We just sort of started
looking at the store and seeing if we could
actually find a spot for it. (soft jazz music) – [Lance] Sure, the bar has
certainly helped business. It does help bring in new customers. – We come about once a
week, every Thursday, ’cause the Curry Pot food truck is here. (men chatting) – No special occasion, we
just decided to show up on a Thursday night and watch a movie, just have some wine and cheese,
and just have a good time. – Remember how fun it used to be to just walk up and down the aisles and look at all the movies? – [Woman] And, they
have everything, like– – Yeah, literally everything. – Stuff you can’t get
on streaming services, if you want something really obscure, you put a suggestion in the box, and they’ll get it for you. (bar patrons chatting) – We always have a movie
playing, we have events, board games and trivia events. It actually kind of worked out better than we even had imagined it working out. – It’s good that you
have worked really hard– – [Off Camera Man] The
whole thing works together. (man laughing) – Having drinks while watching a movie, it’s like having Mystery
Science Theater right here. – [Gala] We love movies,
we love this business. – Thank you, buddy, appreciate that. There you are, dude. – [Gala] We put a lot of
time and effort into it. And, we wanna hang on as long as we can. (soft jazz music) – [Tom] And now, from
our Far Afield series, we bring you Birds and Arrows. (electric guitar playing) (rock music) ♪ In an L.A. town, ♪ ♪ Nobody dresses down ♪ ♪ It’s hard to find a
soul in this ground ♪ ♪ West and Pearl ♪ ♪ Is your vintage girl ♪ ♪ Oh, it’s all wearin’ me out ♪ ♪ Used to livin’ without ♪ ♪ Strange confession ♪ ♪ All soul’s possession sell out ♪ ♪ Here right through ♪ ♪ His sharpest suit ♪ ♪ But I wanted to look good for you ♪ ♪ Our hope is gone ♪ ♪ And my life is gone ♪ ♪ Is why is what you’re doing wrong ♪ ♪ Used to livin’ without ♪ ♪ Strange confession ♪ ♪ All soul’s possession sell out ♪ ♪ Santa Cruz ♪ ♪ To plastic shoes ♪ ♪ We’ve been livin’ without ♪ ♪ Rock and roll ♪ ♪ Got your soul ♪ ♪ We’ve been living without ♪ ♪ Used to livin’ without ♪ ♪ Strange confession ♪ ♪ All soul’s possession sell out ♪ ♪ Whoo! ♪ ♪ Used to livin’ without ♪ ♪ Strange confession ♪ ♪ All soul’s possession sell out ♪ – Well, if you haven’t noticed,
University of Arizona’s students and faculty are back on campus. And getting to class on time is encouraged by the sound of bells that
chime every 15 minutes. Like clockwork. If you’ve been there, you know. (bells ringing) They have their own distinct sound. – The bells ringing? – Nun dun dun? Sorry, I’m not good at singing. – Bum, bum, bum bum. Bum, bum, bum bum. – The bells in the main…
(bells ringing) Administration Building? – Well, it was the chimes for the clock. They tell us what time it is, every 15 minutes and on the hour. – So this is for people without watches? – Ah, dun, dun, dun dun. – Yeah, it is my doorbell at home. (laughing)
I never thought about that. – Dun, dun, dun, dun…
(piano music) – The Westminster Quarters
make up a patter of notes that we hear all the time, if we wanna know what time it is. And it dates back to
the late 18th Century, when, in Cambridge, England,
at Great St. Mary’s Church, there was a new clock. But some musicians,
possibly a law professor with the help of a music
professor and music student, came up with this series of notes that we now hear to mark
time all over the world. Now, at the University of Arizona, we have the same pattern of
notes that we hear at Big Ben. It’s called the Westminster Quarters. The first four notes that we hear, this is for 15 minutes. (piano music) And so, what we get here at the hour is… (piano music) (bells chiming) (upbeat electronic music) – The auditory experience
of hearing these bells is different, depending on where
you happen to be listening. The Mall is set up beautifully to create a lot of
reflections back and forth from the North side to the South side. We picked this particular spot because we’re going to make a recording with the bell sound
passing by our microphone. And it’s going to travel across the Mall, and it will reflect off
of the very flat surface of the Koffler building, and come back. And we’ll also then record the reflection. (electronic music) – Well, I’m looking forward
to talking with Brad about what he found out
about the Westminster chimes and how they sound
different parts of campus. (door knocks) – Hi, Matt.
– Hey, Brad, how are ya, what’s the story? – Come on in, I think we’re
gonna show you some data that we recorded last week. So this is a map of U of A Mall. And the sound source is somewhere on top of the Administration Building. The effect that people experience is that you get extra beats. They pop up, depending on where
you happen to be standing. (bells ringing) So the hypothesis is, that it’s coming from
reflections off buildings. – And we like to think of
music is here’s the score, these are the notes, and we analyze them. But to think, more than 250 years later, it’s still being reinvented
just automatically by our environment. That these pitches are being reinvented. – [Brad] You write the music
but then you launch the music into whatever environment
it happens to be. And it takes on the life of that context. (bells ringing) And if you think about
a typical undergraduate, they’re gonna hear those, somewhere between 15
and 20 thousand times. (gentle music) – Thank you, for joining us
here on Arizona Illustrated. I’m Tom McNamara, see you next week. (gentle music) (orchestral music)

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