As reported a little earlier today by the BBC, beloved British actor/comedian Rik Mayall, best known as one of the four main stars of the alternative offbeat comedy television series The Young Ones, has died at the age of 56 today at his home in London. The exact cause of his death has not been announced but Mayall, who was married with three children, was left seriously ill after a quad bike accident in 1998 that left him in a coma for several days and greatly disabled ever since. Pictured left in recent times, Mayall also appeared in such other television shows as Bottom, Blackadder (he played Lord Flashheart), and The New Statesman plus movies such as Drop Dead Fred and Guest House Paradiso. But it is for his brilliant role as the obnoxious Rick (prone to extreme slapstick humor) in The Young Ones that he will be best remembered for, followed in close second for the show Bottom that he co-wrote with his close friend/Young Ones collaborator Adrian Edmondson. The comedian/actor co-wrote The Young Ones with Lise Mayer and Ben Elton and although it had a cult huge following that continues to this day the TV show only ran for a total of 12 episodes (two six episode series), originally broadcast between the years 1982 and 1985 on BBC2 in the UK and shown late night on MTV (where most Americans first saw the show) in 1985.
During last evening's Bay Area hip-hop themed Talk, Play, and Sip session I hosted at the Oakland Museum of California - as part of OMCA's ongoing Amoeba sponsored VINYL: The Sound and Culture of Records - several participants addressed in their shares the importance of hip-hop as a vehicle for a message of upliftment and/or awareness rather than simply mindless escapism and glorification of consumerism, sexism, and casual violence. Speakers including Bas-One, Adisa Banjoko (below), and Eric Arnold each addressed the topic as did DJ Platurn (pictured above) who observed that to his fellow speakers, who all came up in the era of politicized, positive thinking hip-hop via artists like Public Enemy and the Bay Area's Paris, were all conditioned to view hip-hop as a powerful medium of message and change. DJ Platurn's Talk N Play 45's record selections reflected that too, especially Too $hort's classic 1990 single "The Ghetto" (off Short Dog's In The House) which addresses the poverty and economic disparity of urban areas like Oakland. Also noted at last night's OMCA session was how Bay Area hip-hop has traditionally included many politicized artists. One such current example is Dregs One who, along with host Equipto and a grip of other SF artists and speakers (see flyer for full lineup), take over Slim's tonight in a benefit hip-hop show that will address pressing local community issues such as evictions, gentrification, and police brutality.
Part 3: Freddie Gibbs & Madlib "Deeper" (from Piñata 2014)
Boot Camp Clik "Trading Places" - The legendary BK crew throw a free BBQ/concert tomorrow
Yesterday (June 3rd) was the official launch of this season's annual citywide park concert series SummerStage with a free show by Ty Dolla $ign at Red Hook Park in Brooklyn. The series continues this evening at the same location where Mark McGuire, Marissa Nadler, and Delicate Steve all perform (again for free) at 7:00pm. An excellent triple bill this show is worth it just to check out Mark McGuire alone who plays an array of instruments and musical styles that include mandolin, drum machines, guitars (electric and acoustic), and a Talkbox as witnessed on the former Emeralds member's latest solo album Along the Way whose sound Amoeba.com likened to "early New Age—think Tangerine Dream and Brian Eno." More info.
Above is part one of the recently published documentary on the DMC, which is the DJ battle organization that began in 1986 in the UK by famed Radio Luxembourg DJ Tony Prince who formed the "Disco Mix Club" or DMC as an offshoot of the Disco Mix Club Show radio program that he began five years earlier. His first spawned remixes that were then released on tape and vinyl, which then in turn led to the actual DJ competition. Initially the battles were more themed towards (as the name implied) "disco" party DJ mixing, but then (after noting the turntablist style of the US Superman/New Music Seminar (NMS) battles) changed up their focus from purely DJ mixing to the more intricate scratch/turntablist hip-hop DJ styles and techniques. Nowadays a respected worldwide organization with battles in countless countries that lead up to an annual worldwide championship battle, its most recent years' developments (which some love and some hate) have been mostly digital era related. These include ones such as allowing DJs to utilize laptops with programs like Serato and Traktor, and also well as hosting online DJ competitions whereby DJs record at their homes their own battle routines and upload them online to be judged by the DMC. To check out the numerous DJ contestants in the DMC Online DJ Championship 2014 click here.