Amoeblog

USA DMC Champ DJ Traps @ DMC World DJ Championship Finals 2016 In London with Bay Area DJ Primed To Take New World Title

Posted by Billyjam, September 23, 2016 03:13pm | Post a Comment

Skilled Bay Area competitive turntable artist DJ Traps, who won last month's 2016 USA DMC Finals at the New Parish in Oakland (scroll down for full review), is now consequently over in London, England for tomorrow's big 2016 DMC World DJ Championship Finals. There he will represent the USA in the prestigious global DJ competition against the national champions from seventeen different countries including Japan, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, China, Brazil, Canada, and the hosting UK. Despite some stiff competition, Traps is considered a favorite. He possesses all the necessary qualities for winning the new DMC World title.

Another California DJ representing the USA, will be LA's Etronik who won the 2016 DMC US Supremacy Champion title. Also in from Cali will be the Invisibl Skratch Piklz' D-Styles, Shortkut, and Qbert. The Bay Area DJ trio will be doing a headlining performance of their new LP The 13th Floor,  like they did at Amoeba Berkeley recently. The Sept 24th day long (2pm - 11pm) event takes place at The Forum on Highgate Road in  Kentish Town where it will be hosted by Inja and Billy Biznizz. Among the day's many performers will be Killa Kela & The Spitkingdom Soundsystem, and ever creative UK DJ Woody who'll be previewing tracks off his upcoming album The Point Of Contact. Woody will also join DJ Fong Fong in teaching a DJ Workshop. Other hip-hop workshops will include a PopMaster Fabel curated one on popping and locking by the visiting Rocksteady Crew legend. More DMC World DJ Championship Finals info here and / or see flyers below.

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Amoeblog Interview With Author Jeff Chang on his Timely New Book "We Gon' Be Alright: Notes On Race and Resegregation"

Posted by Billyjam, September 20, 2016 03:18pm | Post a Comment


The publication of provocative, powerful, prolific, pioneering hip-hop generation author/scholar Jeff Chang's latest book We Gon' Be Alright: Notes On Race and Resegregation is most timely. The book by the author of the award winning hip-hop history book Can't Stop, Won't Stop arrives at a time in America when race clearly matters, and when unfair and unlawful treatment by police against African Americans appears to way beyond out of control.  Just last week in the days since the book's publication (paperback & audiobook read by author) there were two more shocking shootings of black American males by police: 13 year old Tyre King in Columbus Ohio, and 40 year old unarmed Terrence Cruthcer in Tulsa,OK last Friday. The latter, whose police video footage was just released this week, is the most shocking and disturbing of the two because of the footage. In it you see an unarmed, complying black man stopped on freeway by a row of armed cops, been shot down dead in the street. The video footage at every angle includes even an aerial shot from the police chopper above in which one cop is recorded on the police radio for all others to hear just moments before the killing, in a glaring example of racial profiling, that the unarmed victim "looks like a bad dude."
 
Last week Chang began a hectic cross-country tour in support of his new publication. The book tour is a series of readings plus interviews and lively discussions at universities (including Princeton, Stanford, UC Berkeley, and University of Chicago) and varied literary venues across the country.  At many of these readings the widely respected author of  the acclaimed Can't Stop, Won't Stop is joined by a series of scholars, social observers, and fellow hop-hop generation journalists. Scroll down to see listing of book tour dates. "Linking #BlackLivesMatter to #OscarsSoWhite, Ferguson to Washington D.C., the Great Migration to resurgent nativism and exploring "the rise and fall of the idea of “diversity”, the roots of student protest, changing ideas about Asian Americanness, and the impact of a century of racial separation in housing" while arguing that "resegregation is the unexamined condition of our time, the undoing of which is key to moving the nation forward to racial justice and cultural equity" is the activist author's apt summary of his latest book.  This week the Amoeblog caught up with the author from on the road to ask him about his book, the book tour, the social ramifications of his books' subjects and the hip-hop music that best expresses outrage on these topics.

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Bob Weir & Bill Frisell Join Wilco For Perfect Closing Set of Mount Tam Music Fest

Posted by Billyjam, September 19, 2016 05:06pm | Post a Comment

Longtime post-Americana alt rock faves Wilco finished their headlining set on Saturday (Sept. 17th) at Mount Tam's Sound Summit festival with an encore set that featured surprise guests Bob Weir and Bill Frisell. Guitar genius Frisell, who had done an earlier afternoon Guitar In The Space Age themed set at the Marin mountaintop festival, joined the headliners for two songs before the Grateful Dead member (who plays Amoeba Hollywood Sept 27) plugged in his guitar and joined all seven other musicians for "California Stars" and an inspired multi-guitar fueled rendition of The Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows." This closing to an already killer set by Wilco, their sixth Bay Area concert in the past two weeks, topped off a perfect day at the third annual music festival that also featured Los Lobos, The Stone Foxes, and Matt Jaffe  Long a hip-hop music fan rather than rock, admittedly I was not familiar with Wilco's music before attending Saturday's all day event at the 2000 foot altitude amphitheater. But en route up the winding Marin mountain drive to the concert I was accurately informed by a colleague that, "Wilco are the sort of band that even if you don't know their music, you'll immediately feel like you do!" Depending on your level of enthusiasm or your level of cynicism, that could be viewed as a good or bad thing. For me it was a good thing. But for Amoeba Wilco bio writer John Schacht not as much. "Churning out the most bland music ever made that people actually like," he wrote of the band but in reference more to their earlier work before they began to explore new musical directions, something I learned all about during Saturday's
satisfying show.

The Chicago based band formed 21 years ago and their current six-member lineup, including founding members Jeff Tweedy and John Stirratt, has remained constant for the past dozen years. The songs in the first part of their concert on Saturday, with the band's lush rich full sound coupled with singer/front man Tweedy's Dylan-ish vocals, reminded me not so much of Zimmerman senior but his son Jakob's band The Wallflowers. But before I could pigeon-hole Wilco's sound, they'd already shifted gears and smoothly morphed into some totally different sound. They went off on experimental musical tangent and did it well, then later they nailed a soaring acid rock guitar jam, and then later drifted off into country rock: a sound I learned that dates back to their Uncle Tupelo roots.

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Atop Mount Tam, "Sound Summit" [Los Lobos, Wilco, Bill Frisell] Proves That Like Bay Property, Best Venues Are All About Location

Posted by Billyjam, September 16, 2016 08:17pm | Post a Comment

Tomorrow's Sound Summit music event in Marin County featuring Los Lobos, Wilco, Bill Frisell's Guitar In The Space Age, The Stone Foxes, and Matt Jaffe is proof that the location of a venue can greatly enhance the enjoyment of an already great music concert. As with housing, it's all about location, location, location! And the Bay Area is blessed with a rich variety of locations for outdoor concerts. Some are better than others. The Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View is generally liked but is not my personal favorite. This is because of fact it was built on reclaimed land (a dump), and consequently has omitted at times  some harsh smells into the air.  Favorable outdoor venue locations in the Bay Area  include the Greek Theater in Berkeley, and Stern Grove in San Francisco. But few outdoor concert spaces in the Bay (or anywhere) can match the majestic location of the annual Sound Summit that takes place in an historic stone amphitheater set high atop Mount Tamalpalis. There, within the high elevation California State Park, the 4000 seater Mountain Theater is surrounded by lush redwoods and has absolutely breathtaking views of the San Francisco Bay. This perfect view provides the perfect backdrop to a concert event like tomorrow's all day music festival.

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Long Overdue His Time In The Spotlight, Art Rap Lyrical Master Open Mike Eagle Forges Ahead With Each Unique New Project

Posted by Billyjam, September 13, 2016 09:44pm | Post a Comment

Open Mike Eagle
, whose latest project with producer Paul White Hella Personal Film Festival (also on LP) was ceremoniously launched earlier this year with an in-store at Amoeba Hollywood is a hip-hop wordsmith who transcends the genre with his clever wordplay. More importantly he is an artist long overdue his rightful time to shine in the spotlight. Yes Open Mike Eagle is well known (and rightfully respected) in underground, alternative hip-hop circles, especially in LA where the Chicago transplant came up in hip-hop over the past decade. But he is not nearly the superstar rapper that he deserves to be. He possesses ten times more lyrical skills than the average pop rapper today.  Many say that he slowly is getting the attention he deserves, especially with the new album collaboration with Danny Brown producer Paul White. His label Mello Music Group (MMG) just recently published the accompanying music video for the pair's album track "Smiling (Quirky Race Doc)."

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