R.I.P. Ben E. King

Posted by Billy Gil, May 1, 2015 12:45pm | Post a Comment

ben e. king obituaryBen E. King, legendary soul singer behind such hits as “Stand By Me,” has died at the age of 76.

The Telegraph reports he died of natural causes on Thursday. King hadn’t be publicly reported to be battling illness and was playing shows as recently as last year.

King was born Benjamin Earl Nelson in 1938 in North Carolina and grew up in Harlem. He originally sang for The Drifters, scoring numerous Top 10 hits such as “This Magic Moment” but left that band in 1960 over a contract dispute, changed his name to the more marketable Ben E. King and went on to have more than 20 hits chart on the Billboard Top 100 as a solo artist, including “Spanish Harlem,” co-written by Phil Spector, and “Stand By Me,” which King co-composed and was been named one of the RIAA’s top 25 songs of the century.

King is survived by his wife, Betty, three children and six grandchildren. Below is a selection of King’s hits:

Weekly Roundup: Chelsea Wolfe, De Lux, Cayucas, Crocodiles, Talk in Tongues, Foxygen

Posted by Billy Gil, May 1, 2015 11:59am | Post a Comment

Chelsea Wolfe – “Iron Moon”

chelsea wolfe amoebaChelsea Wolfe has talked of the influence of black metal on her music, but until now, that was more in spirit than in sound. “Iron Moon,” the first single from her new album, Abyss (due Aug. 7 on Sargent House), lives up to its metallic name with crushing chourses of heavy detuned guitar, while the song’s verses are sparely orchestrated and ethereal. As to those extreme dynamics, Wolfe told Rolling Stone the record is supposed to evoke “the feeling of when you're dreaming, and you briefly wake up, but then fall back asleep into the same dream, diving quickly into your own subconscious.” You can see live Amoeba videos with Wolfe here and read an interview I did with her here.


De Lux – “Someday Now”

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up: Hip Hop In The Park, Souls of Mischief in NYC, Top 5, E-Lit's New Releases, Amoeba Converse Exhibit + more

Posted by Billyjam, May 1, 2015 09:05am | Post a Comment

This weekend marks the nineteenth year of Hip Hop In The Park - Berkeley's annual free, all ages, all elements inclusive, hip-hop event in the park located behind Amoeba Berkeley - Peoples Park where since 1997 the Students For Hop Hop @ Cal have been presenting this always fun full afternoon celebration of hip-hop culture and this year will be no different with headliner Fashawn whose been winning over a whole wave of fans since connecting with Nas and the Queensbridge rapper's new label Mass Appeal on which he released the critically acclaimed The Ecology two months ago. And just in the past week the Fresno rapper unleashed the album's second single and accompanying video (see below) for "Higher."

The Souls of Mischief along with their childhood friend / director of the engaging documentary on the Hiero crew 'Til Infinity Shomari Smith are all in New York City right now for the screening of the film tonight at the Helen Mills Theater on West 26th Street as part of the New York City International Film Festival (NYCIFF 2015). So far the veteran Oakland hip-hop crew have included doing an interview with Birthplace magazine, and stopping by a hometown old friend's radio show.  "We were fortunate to pay a visit to the Sway in the Morning show to promote the film and spread the word about the New York screening," Shomari told the Amoeblog last night from New York, noting how. "Sway has been a huge supporter of the film since day one and he has a large amount of knowledge and respect regarding the journey of the Souls of Mischief and the Hieroglyphics crew." Shomari called tonight's NYCIFF screening in the birthplace of hip-hop,  "an opportunity to invite out the large amount of supporters in the industry that participated or helped out in creating 'Til Infinity such as Sophia Chang, Bobbito Garcia, DJ Stretch Armstrong, Dante Ross, Rob Reef Telow, Thembisa Mshaka, Amber & CC Sabathia, Sway, Kenny Parker, DJ Elcipse, Martha Diaz and many others."  Tonight's screening is at 8pm following a 6pm meet and greet at the same West 26th Street location. More info. Below is the Amoeblog interview from two years ago with Shomari Smith on his film - that had just screened for first time at the New Parkway in Oakland.

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Bay Area's Foothill College Radio Station KFJC Kicks off Its Annual Month of Mayhem

Posted by Billyjam, May 1, 2015 01:30am | Post a Comment

Nestled in the Los Altos Hills of the South Bay is one of the best radio stations not just in the Bay Area but anywhere, KFJC who have been serving a rich and most diverse musical presentation at 89.7FM for the better part of the past six decades - including many legendary live sessions from the Foothill College campus radio station's in-studio live performance space the "Pit." The Foothill College campus radio station has been broadcasting since 1959. For over half its lifespan KFJC has been dedicating their airwaves each fifth month of the year to become the month of Mayhem. What that means is an entertainment packed month - referred to as Mayhem (never "May") throughout the next 31 days - of special programming features every day throughout the month such as today's, May 1st, kickoff specials; The Mini Detest-A-Thon: A Survey of the Musical Obsession of Loathing Part 2, and A Brief Introduction to John Tejada, Part 1, Monday's (Mayhem 4) May the Fourth Be With You: A Star Wars Mayhem Special, Mayhem 5's early morning International Psychedelia (Part 1) special, Bright Spots featuring Light In The Attic Records on Mayhem 10th, Ms. Tiza and Cadillac Margarita's Pants Off Dance Off on Mayhem 16th, and John Cage's 4'33" on Mayhem 14. Hosted by Billie Joe Tolliver it will feature John Cage's famous four minutes and 33 seconds piece. "I will talk about Cage's intentions, the philosophy behind the work, the reception of the piece, and play recordings and interpretations by other artists," said Tolliver of his two-hour Mayhem special. Then towards the end of the month on Mayhem 28th, KFJC's Naysayer hosts Los Angeles Free Music Society: The Lowest Form of Music for four hours starting at 10pm. The special takes listeners back to Los Angeles in the 1970s when a collective of DIY driven artists started to create music, sound, performance and film based on their own "anti-rules," according to Naysayer who, with so much to chose from, will be challenged to narrow it down to his relatively short time slot in an attempt to give a taste of sounds from the enormous catalogue while sharing background and history of the forty plus year old LAFMS. KFJC DJ Ms. Tiza has been a participant of the station's month of Mayhem since she joined the station 14 years ago so I reached out to her for more on the topic. All photos of KFJC are by permission of James Mak (Joysco Photos) who took them on one of my many visits to the great radio Bay Area station over the years.

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode With Cattle Decapitation

Posted by Amoebite, April 30, 2015 03:57pm | Post a Comment

Cattle Decapitation

San Diego deathgrind band Cattle Decapitation is known for their songs Cattle Decapprotesting the mistreatment of animals and enviornmental abuse. Since forming in 1996, they have released seven studio albums and just teased a follow up to 2014's Monolith Of Inhumanity, which is slated for release later this year (more details to be announced May 20th).

Vocalist Travis Ryan and bassist Derek Engemann visited Amoeba Hollywood recently to do some record shopping. The two picked up an eclectic mix of music, including a few albums fans might not expect. Travis kicks things off with A Tribute To Bethlehem, the German metal band. Derek shows off a Dark Funeral tatoo to go with his new copy of The Secrets Of The Black Arts (Century Media) and we learn a little secret about why he loves this record so much. Travis finds two psychedelic gems from Turkish folk-rocker Selda Bagcan and gets his hands on a copy of Beck's Morning Phase (Capitol) pressed on 180 gram vinyl. In true record shopping fashion, Derek spots an album by Pagan-metal band Bornholm and picks the album solely based on its cover art. From psychedelic folk to experimental noise to pop vocal and metal, Travis and Derek dig for it all. Watch the full episode below to see all their finds:

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