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of Montreal's New Video from Aureate Gloom, Upcoming RSD Release, + Select Tour Dates

Posted by Billyjam, March 12, 2015 04:53am | Post a Comment

Hot on the heels of the release last week of of Montreal's brand new album Aureate Gloom care of Polyvinyl (also available in vinyl format) the prolific Athens, GA indie band have unleashed a music video for the ten song album's opening track/lead single "Bassem Sabry" (named for the Egyptian journalist who tragically died in the spring of 2014). The stream of consciousness, photo-montage styled video clip (below) that was shot mostly on Super 8 film was directed by Ben Rouse who, in a statement about his approach to its production, said that "I tend to peg myself as a photographer, so in many ways this project was a really beautiful boot camp into an entirely new medium. It's my first music video...so it was a massive learning experience and chance to make something exciting and meaningful with our friends. I felt very inspired by Věra Chytilová's Daisies, Stan Brakhage's Mothlight, and Jean Cocteau's Le Sang d'un Poète."

Aureate Gloom, which is of Montreal's thirteenth full-length album, was recorded at Sonic Ranch studio which is just across the border from Juarez, Mexico in the Texan desert where the album recording was done old school style: recorded directly to tape. There, with the help of engineer Drew Vandenberg, Aureate Gloom was recorded by Clayton Rychlik (drums), Bob Parins (bass), Bennett Lewis (guitar), JoJo Glidewell (keys), and of course Kevin Barnes (guitar, vocals). Of the album's revelatory lyrics main writer Barnes, who founded the band in 1996 and pictured above c/o Chad Kamenshine, admitted that it indeed might be a case of TMI. "I might be guilty of sharing or exposing too much of my private life, but to me the best albums are those that help people connect with an artist on a deep, human level and that do so without too much artifice or evasiveness," he said in a statement noting that, "I was going through a very stormy period in my life and felt like I was just completely trashed."

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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: 1988, The Year Considered By Many As Hip-Hop's Greatest

Posted by Billyjam, March 10, 2015 03:00pm | Post a Comment

For this week's Hip-Hop History installment we rewind back to wonderfully vibrant year of 1988. It was a time when hip-hop still constantly growing, with exciting sounding new artists constantly unfurling new lyrical and musical sounds. To me '88 was part of the third wave of hip-hop - with the first wave being the (original) old school artists of the 70's/early 80's, who were eclipsed earlier in the 80's by Run-D.M.C. who ushered in the "new school" - but who themselves in turn were eclipsed by this newer third wave of hip-hop. It often seemed (and more so in retrospect) that every record released in '88 was a good record. Of course, as with any music in any time period, there were hip-hop duds released in '88 too. However overall it is fair to say that 1988 had a larger percentage of quality, diverse-sounding, influential, and timeless hip-hop releases than many other years in the genre's four-decade history. And no wonder; it was part of the time frame known as the "golden era" of hip-hop that is widely considered to be the artistic pinnacle of the art form.   I think part of the reason for this, along with the lyrical aspect of the artform still being relatively young and still being explored by new emcees like Rakim, was the fact that sampling was at its creative peak. Remember this was in the period before the infamous 1991 landmark Gilbert O Sullivan vs Biz Markie copyright case that essentially brought an end to free range sampling, and would end up in hip-hop being a little less adventurous sounding due to all the restrictions placed on it regarding sampling.

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The Queen Of Soul Returns To The Bay Area For First Time In 30 Years

Posted by Billyjam, March 9, 2015 05:45pm | Post a Comment
Quiz fans of soul/RnB or check any top 100 Best Soul Female Vocalists lists and odds are that Aretha Franklin will be either number one or at least ranking in the top two or three picks. Rolling Stone magazine ranked her #1 on their "100 Greatest Singers of All Time" list - and that is not just female singers or soul/rnb but all. Hence it is a very big deal that the 18 time Grammy Award winning "Queen of Soul" will be returning to the Bay Area this summer for her first concert in the San Francisco Bay Area in 30 years! Just announced today, in time for Women's History Month, the concert tickets will go on sale this Friday, March 13th at all Ticketmaster outlets for the scheduled Monday August 10th concert at the Oracle Arena on a bill that she will be joined by special guest Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds. Franklin, who will celebrate her 73rd birthday in two weeks, released her latest album last year - a tribute collection to a selection of her personal fellow female vocalists spanning several decades. Descriptively titled Aretha Franklin Sings The Great Diva Classics, it includes her interpreation of Gladys Knight's "Midnight Train To Georgia," Barbra Streisand's "People," Alicia Keys' "No One" and Destiny's Child's "I'm A Survivor." The album's five producers include André 3000, Harvey Mason, Jr., Terry Hunter, Eric Kupper, and the aforementioned Kenny 'Babyface' Edmonds (hence why he is her special guest on this tour). Along with doing many of the songs from this new album of hers Franklin is expected to (she has to!) include in her set such classics of hers as the Otis Redding penned "Respect," "Rock Steady," "Chain Of Fools," "I Say A Little Prayer For You," and "Think" - three of which appear below in video format, including Aretha in the Bay Area in 1971 at the Fillmore in San Francisco (one of the earlier times she performed in the Bay) doing an inspired and energetic version of "Respect." Peep these videos as a reminder to why Aretha earned the title of the "Queen of Soul." 

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Reverend Billy Vows To "Not Be Silent" In Fight For #BlackLivesMatter As He Heads To Court in NYC

Posted by Billyjam, March 9, 2015 05:01am | Post a Comment

Earlier this year tireless longtime fighter for justice and equality for all the Reverend Billy Talen (of the Stop Shopping Gospel Choir), who had adopted the Black Lives Matter cause after being outraged over the treatment by police of African Americans in incidents such as Mike Brown in Ferguson, and Eric Garner in Staten Island, NY, organized a peaceful protest in Grand Central Station. There the longtime NYC based Talen, who spent earlier years of his life in Northern California, was midway into his #BlackLivesMatter speech/sermon he got arrested by the NYC MTA police. The arrest came in hour 18 of the planned 24 hour vigil / peaceful protest in the iconic train station in central Manhattan. You can see this January 5th 2015 arrest take place in a play by play recording in the revelatory video clip shown below (left is a screen shot still from the same video). In the clip you can clearly hear the police say 'stop resisting arrest' while simultaneously clearly see Talen not resisting one iota. Then you see him get hauled off to jail where he spent that night. The next morning, upon release from jail, he found out that the charges against him by the MTA police division were that he "physically attacked" a police officer. "I did not touch anybody. I am trained in non-violence. I was simply arrested while I was speaking and taken away," he said later adding that, "They think that they can just say anything about anybody and get away with it."

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up: #1 DJ Lazyboy, Fashawn & Nas, Cannibal Ox, Fundrboogie/Mr. Complex, Tuxedo's Jake One & Mayer Hawthorne + more

Posted by Billyjam, March 5, 2015 12:51pm | Post a Comment

New releases to arrive at Amoeba this week include the technically soul - but with a hip-hop flavor - brand new album from prolific and diverse Seattle hip-hop producer Jake One along with blue-eyed soul singer Mayer Hawthorne entitled Tuxedo via Stones Throw Records. Tuxedo is also the band name of these two collaborating talents' alter egos who, as Aquarius (Mayer Hawthorne) and Taurus (Jake One) are dressed up in tuxedos - looking somewhat reminiscent of Dan the Automator and Prince Paul as the Handsome Boy Modeling School – and presented by the label headed by Peanut Butter Wolf (a man known to dress up himself) as descendants of the one- word moniker family of funk, where you will find groups such as Chic, Shalamar, Plush, and Zapp. For a better idea of Tuxedo's infectious retro dance grooves peep their video for the album track "Do It" (scroll down) and pick up their album available in CD, vinyl, and digital download formats.

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