Amoeblog

Five Year Anniversary of Passing of Pioneering DJ Grand Master Roc Raida

Posted by Billyjam, September 19, 2014 12:04pm | Post a Comment
On this date, September 19th, five years ago the hip-hop world was shocked to learn the tragic news that super-talented DJ Grand Master Roc Raida had died from cardiac arrest at age 37. The totally unexpected death, following a week of being hospitalized, was due to medical complications relating to an accident that the DJ encountered a few weeks previously while training in the contact combat self-defense system known as Krav Maga. Later today on my weekly hip-hop radio show on WFMU I will be honoring the legacy of the DMC world champion DJ who most got to know via his membership of the X-Men/X-Ecutioners but who, over his illustrious prolific career, worked with a wide array of artists that included MF Grimm, Big Pun, Pink, Linkin Park, Jungle Brothers, Nelly, Opio, The Beatnuts, Mike Patton, and Dilated Peoples.

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"Kendrick Lamar Burton" Mixes 70's & 80's TV Show Themes With Kendrick Lamar Vocals

Posted by Billyjam, September 17, 2014 05:02pm | Post a Comment
Tired of sitting around waiting around for Kendrick Lamar to release the long overdue follow up to his universally acclaimed, monumentally successful 2012 album good kid, m.A.A.d city on Dr. Dre's Aftermath Records? Well fret no more since, even though there is a follow-up album from the Compton artist promised sometime in the near future with a lead single ("i") scheduled for release in a week, there is now a full-length Kendrick Lamar sequel of sorts from Oakland based Hiero Imperium producer Unjust who has taken the LA hip-hop artist's vocals and melded them with golden era TV soundtracks.

The prolific producer known for his work with Chosen Few, Opio and Pep Love, The Hieroglyphics, as well as his own instrumental album/movie Full Melt, has taken a break of sorts (well, a fun detour at least) with his just unveiled project: the free mixtape Kendrick Lamar Burton that innovatively mashes up the vocals of Kendrick Lamar with the instrumentals of familiar 1970's and 1980's TV show themes. 
Among the ten tracks included on Kendrick Lamar Burton are "Sing About MeGyver," "Trek It To You," "Kojak Lamar" and the lead single/video "She Reads Me" (see/hear below) which juxtaposes Lamar's "She Needs Me" with a reworked version of the Reading Rainbow theme.

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New York State Of Mind Amoeblog #97 of 100

Posted by Billyjam, September 17, 2014 06:47am | Post a Comment

Among the numerous music related events ongoing in New York City this week is the photo exhibit Grooving Years: The Photography of Josh Cheuse that opens Friday (Sep 19th) at the Morrison Hotel Gallery in SoHo. The mostly black and white photography exhibit by the New York City born and raised music photographer includes shots of The Clash (including the photo of the late great Joe Strummer above), Run DMC, Madonna, Lady Gaga, The Beastie Boys, Oasis, and The Black Crowes.  An avid photographer since age sixteen Cheuse, who has worked as art director at SONY Music for the past two decades, formed a lasting relationship with the Clash from early on in his career - a relationship that began back in 1981 as a teen when he famously used the payphone at his NYC high school to call The Clash at Electric Ladyland Studios in Manhattan and asked permission to photograph the band. To his surprise they happily complied with his wish. This introduction was instrumental in kick starting his career that included photographing the Clash, the band's Mick Jones' spinoff band Big Audio Dynamite, as well as  Joe Strummer solo on several occasions. And following Strummer’s sudden 2002 death Cheuse also directed a video tribute for the Strummer's version of Bob Marley's “Redemption Song.” Photo exhibit takes place at the Morrison Hotel Gallery located on the second floor at 106 Prince Street. All ages. Free admission. More info. And tomorrow (September 18th) in advance of the opening the photographer will be at the nearby SoHo Apple store (103 Prince Street) from 7pm to 8pm discussing his photo exhibit - free all ages event.

As if to make the point that, like vinyl records, books are still very much alive and well the annual Brooklyn Book Festival takes place this weekend at Brooklyn Borough Hall and Plaza for what will be its biggest ever event in its nine year history. Taking place on Sunday September 21st from 10am to 6pm the outdoor (rain or shine) festival will boast over one hundred panel discussions, readings, and other literary activities with authors to appear including Salman Rushdie, Lev Grossman, and Naomi Klein. In addition to novelists and non-fiction writers the festival will also include numerous poets, and also many graphic novelists including Paul Pope, Roz Chast and Julia Wertz. A free event, thanks to sponsorship by a phone company, the stated goal of the annual event is "spreading literacy and the joy of reading across the five boroughs and beyond." Just across from lower Manhattan the Brooklyn Borough Hall and Plaza (reachable by numerous trains) is located at 209 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn NY 11201. Sept 21 10am to 6pm. All ages. Free event. More info.

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Top Ten List From When Bruce Willis Had Hair - by Azeem (Band of Broken Puppets)

Posted by Billyjam, September 16, 2014 08:08am | Post a Comment

Upon hearing the excellent new Band of Broken Puppets track "When Bruce Willis Had Hair" and viewing its accompanying video (see below) - both published last week - I invited Azeem, who along with Ancient Astronauts makes up the Band of Broken Puppets, to draw up an Amoeblog Top Ten List From When Bruce Willis Had Hair. The talented NJ born, NY based, former Oakland resident poet/emcee happily complied with the top ten list below, several items of which cross reference the song's engaging lyrics that take a look back at the not too distant yet very different decade - a seemingly simpler time in retrospect.

When asked how and when the song came about, Azeem answered, "When a subconscious burst of clarity lands like a cement block and announces itself as a superior truth from beyond, one must be prepared. This was no ordinary moment. I burst into the barbershop and asked for a pen then ripped off a piece of an old tattered New York Post and wrote When Bruce Willis Had Hair, the world made A LOT more sense. I knew I was onto something." Below are ten examples by the consistently socially and politically conscious emcee followed by the video for the song that can be downloaded for free here.

Azeem's Top 10 From When Bruce Willis Had Hair


#10
- Most albums were by groups. These groups inspired people and showed a coolness in unity.They worked hard and paid their dues while the world watched them make mistakes and grow. Today the mainstream is filled by only solo artist media manipulations serving as temporary stars and idols.

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New Zealand Indie Rock Icon Peter Gutteridge (The Clean, The Chills) Has Died

Posted by Billyjam, September 15, 2014 09:45am | Post a Comment

Sad news for fans of legendary and influential Kiwi rock bands The Chills and The Clean: as reported yesterday by New Zealand music blog Off the Tracks, the founding member of both bands Peter Gutteridge died over the weekend. No cause of death has been reported so far. According to Flying Nun, he was in his early fifties. In addition to being instrumental in creating of the unique sound of The Clean and The Chills, the guitarist/singer/songwriter was also a force behind the NZ bands SnapperThe Great Unwashed, and The Puddle. All were a part of the Flying Nun Records label family. The prolific Gutteridge, who coincidentally just in the past month made his first visit to the US for a concert in Brooklyn, only recorded one solo album, Pure, which was initially released in 1989 by Xpressway as a cassette tape but was re-released late last year by 540 Records on vinyl and CD. It was this album that he drew extensively from during his recent US concert. Both The Chills and The Clean were among the top ten artists included in the recently published Billy Gil Amoeblog 10 Classic New Zealand Albums post. Below is a track off Gutteridge's sole solo album Pure.

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