Amoeblog

New York State of Mind Amoeblog #94: AfroPunk Festival, DMC US Finals, Charlie Parker Jazz Fest, Outdoor Movie Screenings

Posted by Billyjam, August 20, 2014 12:38pm | Post a Comment

Back in 2007, I interviewed James Spooner, maker of the 2003 documentary Afro-Punk, about the  AFROPUNK Festival, which was directly inspired by his film. The director/producer told me that he never dreamed that his passionately produced, low-budget documentary would go on to  jump-start a burgeoning cultural movement, inspire the BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) annual arts festival, and name him as its co-curator.

"Afro-Punk was a film about being a black punk rocker in a white world. And we had a really good few screenings at BAM.... that escalated into doing a series with a bunch of other films that evoked the same feeling of black thinking or black rebellion all telling the 'other' black story," Spooner told me at the time, adding that the folks at BAM had the idea of building a whole festival out of it. Now in its tenth year, AFROPUNK Festival has grown exponentially into a much bigger and broader event with a lineup that is off the hook and transcends the subgenre that gave it its name.  





James Spooner's "Afro-Punk" 2003 documentary that inspired the AFROPUNK Festival


Among the myriad of diverse acts scheduled for this year's festival, are Bad Brains and Fishbone - both of whom were in Spooner's documentary - along with such others as  Meshell Ndegeocello, The Internet, Body Count, the Cro-Mags, CX KiDTRONiK, D'Angelo, The Bots, Trash Talk, SZA, Alice Smith, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings King Britt, and tons more. The newly-expanded AFROPUNK festival includes, in addition to punk, lots of DJs and producers performing. This year presents a special Tribute to DJ Rashad - the  influential late Chicago footwork producer who died back in April. Performing will be members of Rashad's Teklife crew, Chicago footwork pioneer RP Boo, Dance Mania ghetto-house originator DJ Deeon, Lit City Trax founder DJ J-Crush, and The Era dance crew from Chicago.  Another sign of the expanding festival is the newly added AFROPUNK AFTER DARK, which organizers say, aims to transform the neighborhoods of Brooklyn into a captivating playground of music and culture events in venues starting at 10:00pm and including the Black Weirdo party and King Britt's celebration of Sun Ra's centennial, The Beautiful Noise.  The AFROPUNK Festival 2014 happens this Saturday and Sunday (August 23rd & 24th) at Brooklyn's Commodore Barry Park and other locations. For full listings and ticket information click here.

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Roses Chat With the Amoeblog Before Show at Sayers Club

Posted by Billy Gil, August 20, 2014 11:37am | Post a Comment

rosesL.A. trio Roses spin out gorgeous tunes that blur the line between dreamy introspection and new-wave pop abandon on their debut EP, Dreamlover. The band, which features ex-Abe Vigoda member Juan Velasquez on guitar with Marc Steinberg on vocals/keyboards and Victor Herrera on bass, will be at Sayers Club tonight for the next Red Bull Sound Select show, along with Tanlines and SISU, who we caught up with yesterday. The show is only $3 with an RSVP and starts at 8 p.m.; hope to see you there!

We spoke with Velasquez a bit about his new band and the recently released Dreamlover before the show.

You guys were friends for a while before becoming a band. Tell me a little bit about how you guys formed.

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The War on Drugs Release "Under the Pressure" Video

Posted by Billy Gil, August 20, 2014 10:53am | Post a Comment

the war on drugsThe War on Drugs have released a video for their song “Under the Pressure” that somehow visually conveys exactly what it feels like to listen to the band’s music. You can’t help but picture being driven through soft-focus sleepy Middle American towns and suburbs passing by as the band’s dream-pop version of AM radio jams filter through the speaker and you drift in and out of consciousness. I also love the shots of the band quietly playing in a room, as if capturing the moment when a song comes through from some unknown place and lands on your guitar.

“Under the Pressure” comes from Lost in the Dream, which has already been called one of the best albums of the year by a lot of people.

 

Los Angeles: Jet Li in Fist Of Legend (20th Anniversary!)

Posted by phil blankenship, August 20, 2014 10:04am | Post a Comment
Let Li in Fist of Legend

Attention Amoebites & Amoebloggers: I'm putting on a show!

FIST OF LEGEND

Saturday, August 23, 2014 // Midnite

Widely regarded as the greatest film of two legendary careers, Fist of Legend teams international superstar Jet Li with martial arts choreographer Yuen Wo-ping (Drunken Master, Kill Bill 1 & 2, The Matrix trilogy) for some of the most awe-inspiring fight sequences you’ll ever see. In this tribute to Bruce Lee’s classic The Chinese Connection (aka Fist of Fury), Li radiates sheer power and coolness as folk legend Chen Zen: a kung fu phenom living abroad who returns home to avenge the death of his master, and save his martial arts school. Shifting effortlessly among diverse fighting styles, Li battles blindfolded, wields his belt as a lethal weapon and more, as each action set piece raises the bar to unbelievable heights of art, beauty and precision. It’s a deadly ballet of skill, speed and agility; your jaw will hit the floor watching cinema’s pre-eminent kung fu badasses working at the pinnacle of human ability!
Dir. Gordon Chan, 1994, 35mm, 103 min.

New "What's In My Bag?" Episode With Hip Hop Icon Chuck D.

Posted by Amoebite, August 19, 2014 02:49pm | Post a Comment

Chuck D.

Before Tupac, before Notorious B.I.G., before Jay-Z or Lil Wayne, there was Chuck D! In the mid '80s, Chuck D and his group, Public Enemy, signed with the rap label Def Jam. You know, that bedroom record label that discovered little groups like the Beastie Boys, LL Cool J and some thrash metal band Public Enemy It Takes a Millionsnamed Slayer. Ring a bell? With Def Jam's support and Chuck D at the helm, Public Enemy championed socially conscious rap music in America. With politically charged albums like It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back and Fear of a Black Planet  (the latter selling 1 million copies week of release), Public Enemy remains one of the most important rap groups in history. 

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