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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Mercury Records '93 & '94 Promo-Only Jeep Tape Compilations

Posted by Billyjam, July 1, 2015 01:13am | Post a Comment


Back in 1993 and 1994 Mercury Records put out promotional-only, cassette compilations featuring most of the hip-hop artists on their label at the time. These various artist tape collections assisted the label in their quest to try and get heard by as wide an audience as possible. Entitled Mercury: Jeep Tape '93 featuring [mixtape master] Ron G and Mercury: Jeep Tape '94 these various artists collections were given out at national music conventions like the Gavin Convention in San Francisco and the New Music Seminar in New York City where they would be included in registrants "swag bags." They'd also be handed out to industry folk, as well as mailed to record stores, radio DJs, and journalists.  

The Jeep Tape cassette collections got their name because jeeps, where people would typically bump mixes like this, were popular with hip-hop fans to ride round in at the time. If you listen to hip-hop from that ere you often will hear references to jeeps such as in the popular 1994 single "Boomin' In Your Jeep" by Kenny Dope feat Screechy Dan that featured A Tribe Called Quest sample that gave the song its refrain, culled from the ATCQ song "Jazz." These Jeep Tape cassette compilations featured artists on their Mercury Records or smaller labels being distributed by them that included Diamond and The Psychotic Neurotics, Ed OG & The Bulldogs, Lighter Shade of Brown, Proper Dos, Ill Featuring Al Skratch, Dougie Dee, and Threat. In addition to regular versions of songs by these artists there were also some remixes included too such as the remix version of Yaggfu Front's "Slappin' Suckas Silly (Remix)." Above and below are the front and back covers of these two-decade old tape compilations that show up at Amoeba from time to time. Also below is the video for one of the tracks included on the 93 Jeep Tape, Diamond and The Psychotic Neurotics' "!! What U Heard" off the classic, five star album Stunts, Blunts, And Hip Hop.

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Ultra Rare Bob Dylan 'Blood on the Tracks' Test Pressing For Sale at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Amoebite, June 30, 2015 04:33pm | Post a Comment

bob dylan blood on the tracks test pressing

Our recent purchase of a large record collection from the New Jersey area of more than 4,000 LPs from an iconic industry family had a lot of great, rare and one-of-a-kind items. But one piece in particular that stands out from the rest.

One of only five test pressings known to exist of an early version of Bob Dylan’s classic album Blood on the Tracks now sits on the shelves of Amoeba Hollywood. The pressing includes four previously unreleased takes of songs from the album (“Lily, Rosemary & The Jack Of Hearts,” “Idiot Wind,” “If You See Her, Say Hello” and “Tangled Up In Blue”), plus an alternate take of “You’re a Big Girl Now” that was released on 1985’s Biograph box set.

bob dylanThe story goes that in the fall of 1974, Bob Dylan went home for the holidays with a copy of his newly recorded album Blood on the Tracks, which was set to release in weeks. The album had been written after touring with The Band and becoming estranged from his wife, Sara, and though the resulting album delves deeply into troubled relationships, Dylan himself has denied that the album is autobiographical.

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Album Picks: Vince Staples, The Internet, Miguel, Jaill

Posted by Billy Gil, June 30, 2015 10:55am | Post a Comment

Vince Staples - Summertime 06

vince staples summertime 06 cdOn his gutsy, double-disc debut studio album, Long Beach rapper Vince Staples introduces the world at large to a tough, world-weary persona who at only 22 has seemingly been through enough drama to fill a book. “My pain is never over, pills ‘n’ potions pick me up” he declares on the gnarled beats of “Pick Me Up.” Atonal sound wails in the background of “Norf Norf” as Staples offers slice-of-life tales of growing up in gritty North Long Beach (“I ain’t never run from nothin’ but the police,” he says tellingly). There’s a nihilistic slant to everything Staples puts to tape, which extends even to more decadent party jams like “Loca” and “Dopeman” and love songs like “Lemme Know,” pairing lyrics like “I’ll be fightin’ for you” with “I love to see you cry.” Everything in Summertime ’06 sounds strangely disembodied and cynical, yet it’s not lacking in energy, as with single “Senorita,” on which No I.D.’s creeping production offers the ideal space for Staples’ grim verses and Future’s motoring chorus before morphing into an ’80s horror film-style breakdown. The album’s second disc is mellower, reveling in No I.D. and Clams Casinos immersive production work; “Get Paid” and “Hang N’ Bang” are lively highlights. Though it’s a double-disc, Summertime ’06 doesn’t feel the slightest bit overstuffed, and we never lose sight of the man behind the rhymes.

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Cheers to Our Toast, The Sandwitches' last round

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, June 29, 2015 10:22pm | Post a Comment
the sandwitches san fracnsico band heidi grace sings sludge cooper roxy photography rachel walther empty cellar records our toast review
lovely photo of The Sandwitches by Rachel Walther

It's been many moons since we've been accorded a fresh platter from San Francisco trio The Sandwitches, and this latest release courtesy of Empty Cellar Records, looks to be their last. Since 2008, bandmates Grace Cooper, Heidi Alexander, and Roxy Brodeur have consistently honed a distinct sound that is, simply put, a little bit old-time country and a little bit roadside oddities rock 'n' roll. Their ability to seamlessly blend twisted yet whimsical girl group harmonies with unfiltered, mood-infused heavy Americana has progressed splendidly with each release, making Our Toast, their third LP, arguably their finest effort to date.
the sandwitches our toast LP vinyl record review empty cellar records fresh & onlys sonny and the sunsets san francisco indie rock folk americana grace sings sludge
Before you even get your ears on it, Our Toast is a thing of beauty. Housed in very fine packaging adorned with gold leaf lettering and a cover tribute to unofficial 4th member James Finch (painted by Deirdre White), the record itself (on oxblood wax if you're lucky) is sheathed by a printed inner sleeve featuring lyrics on one side (lyrics, people!) and a sad clown band photo epitaph on the other–a testament to the posthumous-ish work within. That said, there is a twinging finality vibe to this record that moves beyond the commemorative qualities of the tangible presentation. It's a feeling that lends suspicion to the pulse of each song like an omen or memento mori. And yet, regardless of any time the Sandwitches' sound has been described as "haunting", there is nothing ghostly about this energy at all. It's as if seven or eight of these nine songs are contending for the ultimate setting in sequencing crown: the last cut on side B, the swan song's swan song seat.

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Main Attrakionz Promise "A Real Celebration" At Their Amoeba Berkeley In-Store (June 30) In Support Of "808s & Dark Grapes III" (Vapor)

Posted by Billyjam, June 29, 2015 05:51pm | Post a Comment

For Main Attrakionz' anticipated Amoeba Berkeley in-store this week (on Tuesday, June 30th at 5pm) in support of their brand new 808s & Dark Grapes III (out that same day on Vapor), the prolific Oakland hip-hop crew's Squadda B promises a most memorable show that will be "a real celebration of everything we've been through since Carter Middle School." North Oakland's Carter Middle school is where the rapper/producer born Charles Glover is referring to. It was there that he first met up with his partner in rhyme, Damondre Grice (aka rapper Mondre M.A.N.). From that point on, at the young age of 12-years-old no less, it has been quite a ride for the inseparable, prolific, pioneering pair.
 
From the get go, the two go-getters tirelessly entered every local talent shows they could find. Over the following years they would win a lot of them too. But more importantly they learned and grew from their experiences that would help pave the way for a career that, for the artists who are only now 24-years-old, has already been quite accomplished. They've recorded a shitload of music (approx 15 full-length projects, although only two albums, including the new one, are commercially available), worked with such artists as Danny Brown and A$AP Rocky, been credited with being among the chief architects in creating the alt rap psychedelic hip-hop sub-genre of "cloud rap," and landed a deal with Neil Young's Vapor Records, to name but a sampling of their accolades to date.
 

  Main Attrakionz "Ain't No Other Way" (Vapor, 2015)


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