Amoeblog

Interview with Longtime SF Hip-Hop Artist/Activist Equipto about Frisco Day (4/15)

Posted by Billyjam, April 14, 2016 10:30pm | Post a Comment
 
Not to be confused with other important dates in the hectic week ahead such as Tax Day (Note: 4/18 this year) or 4/16 (Record Store Day) or 4/20 (Dank Day), 4/15 is the newly assigned annual date to celebrate Frisco Day. That's 4/15 as in April 15th symbolizing the numerals of the 4-1-5 area code of San Francisco (aka Frisco). But 4/15 Frisco Day is more than simply being a day for residents to celebrate pride in their City by the Bay. It's more about solidarity among poor blue collar / working class San Franciscans who've been marginalized and endangered by the influx in recent years of high paid tech workers to their city. That's according to veteran San Francisco hip-hop artist and activist Equipto who is one of the organizers of Friday's 4/15 Frisco Day event. This week the Amoeblog caught up with the passionate and always politically outspoken emcee to ask him about 4/15 Frisco Day, and about life in general and hip-hop in particular in San Francisco in these gentrified times.


Amoeblog: So this is the first official 4/15  Frisco Day but it has been around for a minute already, right?

Equipto: Frisco Day, April 15th is a special day for certain Frisco die hards that I know. My friend Barry, who has the clothing company SFOG, has thrown dope intimate shows on 4/15 for some years now with performers like San Quinn, RBL, myself and more. But this year, this Friday 4/15, will be the first official Frisco Day for the public

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Sarah Vaughan's New "Commemorative Forever Stamp" Almost Looks Like A Record Store Day Release

Posted by Billyjam, April 13, 2016 12:48pm | Post a Comment

Finally made it to my local post office yesterday to cop a sheet of the lovingly made new Sarah Vaughan (1924 -1990) Commemorative Forever Stamps that are so well put together that they (almost) look like they could be another great Record Store Day release. Unveiled by the USPS a couple of weeks ago (March 29) with a celebratory event at the Sarah Vaughan Concert Hall in the late jazz singer's hometown of Newark NJ, the sheet of sixteen Forever stamps ($7.52) are the latest in the post office's ongoing Music Icon series.  Others have included Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Janis Joplin, Elvis Presley, and Jimi Hendrix whose commemorative stamp was the last one in the series, issued back in March 2014. Like these other Music Icon stamps, Sarah Vaughan's stamp sheet is equally pleasing to the eye of any record collector. Designed with great detail, they perfectly resemble a vintage 45, 7" record picture sleeve on both back and front.

On the back (picture right), where the sixteen peel off stamps are centered, it even looks like the tip of a black vinyl seven inch record peeking out on top. Meanwhile below, just like on some records, is a brief artist bio. Flip it over to the front sleeve art (picture above) and to the right of Vaughan's image is a list of twelve "popular" songs by the artist also known as "The Divine One" and "Dreamy."  These include the Sarah Vaughan standards "Body and Soul,”  “Whatever Lola Wants,” “Misty,” “It’s Magic,” “Thinking of You,”  “If You Could See Me Now,” “I’ve Got a Crush on You,” “Autumn in New York,” “Send in the Clowns,” “Key Largo," "Lover Man," and "It Might as Well Be Spring." Look for these songs on such actual releases by Sarah Vaughan as Sarah Vaughan: Great American Songbook and Sarah Vaughan's Finest Hour.

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Weekly Rap Round Up: Hip-Hop Top 5, J Dilla's Record Store Day LP, New Releases with E-Lit, Open Mike Eagle, Immortal Technique + more

Posted by Billyjam, April 10, 2016 11:45pm | Post a Comment
Hip-Hop Top 5 Amoeba Music Berkeley: Week end 04:10:16

#1: Open Mike Eagle + Paul White Hella Personal Film Festival (also on LP/vinyl) (Mello Music Group)

#2: RJD2    Dame Fortune () (also on LP/vinyl) (RJ's Electrical Connections)

#3: 2 Chainz  Collegrove (Def Jam) 

#4: Domo Genesis  Genesis (Columbia Legacy)

#5: Dday One Gathered Between (The Content Label)

Thanks to E-Lit for the above top five chart. Scroll down to see accompanying video version in which the KALX DJ / Amoeba Berkeley hip-hop staffer runs down the top new hip-hop releases on both CD and vinyl. Immediately below is the just published music video from the #1 album on the new chart, Hella Personal Film Festival (also on LP/vinyl). That's the highly recommended new joint from LA emcee Open Mike Eagle with UK producer Paul White whose resume includes working alongside Mos Def, Danny Brown, and Homeboy Sandman. Also below is the music video for the lead single "DAPPER (feat. Anderson .Paak)" from Odd Future member Domo Genesis' new album Genesis. Other top five entries include 2 Chainz' solid new album Collegrove and Dday One's Gathered Between , and RJD2's  Dame Fortune (also on LP/vinyl) that actually sounds more like 70's prog rock than 2016 hip-hop. As far as new releases dropping in the week ahead on April 15th (the day before Record  Store Day) E-Lit's top three advance picks are the new one from Factor, Elucid's Save Yourself on Backwoodz, and Offwhyte's Dialog  via Galapaplpgs 4.


Domo Genesis "DAPPER (feat. Anderson .Paak) from Genesis (2016)

Tribute to Structural Film & Drone Music Pioneer Tony Conrad (RIP)

Posted by Billyjam, April 9, 2016 02:11pm | Post a Comment
According to confirmed reports, avant garde American music and film pioneer Tony Conrad has died at age 76. A long rich career as sound artist, teacher, and writer Conrad is considered to be a pioneer of both drone music and structural film. Coincidentally just yesterday Superior Viaduct reissued his landmark 1972 recording collaboration with Faust (who are currently in US doing dates) Outside the Dream Syndicate in both CD and vinyl formats. Back in 2002 it was previously reissued to mark the then 30th anniversary. Hear sample of the music in YouTube clip below.

While the average person may not know Conrad's name, his impact on contemporary music and art is profound. "Tony Conrad is a pioneer, as seminal in his way to American music as Johnny Cash or Captain Beefheart or Ornette Coleman, one of those really savvy old guys whom all the kids want to emulate because their ideas, their style, are electric and new and somehow indivisible," wrote The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 1998. The quote opens the excellent Amoeba Tony Conrad Bio that traces this important artist's career who for the past 40 years had been a faculty member in the State University of New York at Buffalo. The bio recalls how since the early 1960s, he has "utilized intense amplification, long duration, and precise pitch to forge an aggressively mesmerizing "Dream Music." Conrad articulated the Big Bang of minimalism and played a pivotal role in the formation of the Velvet Underground; he continues to exert a primal influence over succeeding generations with his ecstatic oscillations and hypnotic drones."

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"Hey, Ho! Let's Go: Ramones and the Birth of Punk" New 2016 Exhibit (NY + LA) Celebrates Legacy of Punk Pioneers

Posted by Billyjam, April 7, 2016 05:07pm | Post a Comment

Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee and Tommy Ramone may be each be sadly gone from this earth, but they are by no means forgotten. These four founding members of The Ramones, whose landmark self-titled debut album (also on LP/vinyl) was released forty years ago back in April 1976, are being honored with a new 2016 bi-coastal exhibit opening in their New York City home borough this weekend, and then later this year in Los Angeles.  "Hey, Ho! Let's Go: Ramones and the Birth of Punk" opens this weekend at the Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows, Corona which coincidentally is just a few miles from the Queens neighborhood of Forest Hills where The Ramones started out their illustrious career. In an introduction to the then new group, wrote the late Tommy Ramone: "The Ramones all originate from Forest Hills and kids who grew up there either became musicians, degenerates or dentists. The Ramones are a little of each." Taken from the legendary group's very first press release, it is among the hundreds of engaging items in this new exhibit that opens Sunday April 10th and runs through August, 7th 2016 in NYC. It will open in California at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles on Sept. 16, 2016, running through March 2017. As well as covering the years of the late great original Ramones members Joey (1951–2001), Johnny (1948–2004), Dee Dee (1951–2002) and Tommy (1949–2014), the new exhibit also includes the later Ramones members Marky, Richie, Elvis and CJ.

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