Amoeblog

The San Francisco Black Film Festival (June 11-14) Features Films Like Mtume Gant's "Spit"

Posted by Billyjam, June 4, 2015 05:26pm | Post a Comment
 

San Francisco has been enjoying some great film festivals of late including the excellent 20th San Francisco Silent Film Festival that closed earlier this week, the SF DocFest that opens today and runs over the next two weeks at the Roxie, Brava, and Vogue theaters. The documentary film festival comes under the umbrella of the equally excellent SF Indie Fest whose richly diverse film festival took place in the City by the Bay back in February. Add to these SF film festivals next week's four-day San Francisco Black Film Festival (SFBFF) that will showcase a diverse array of features and shorts from both new and established filmmakers. Now in its seventeenth year the festival was founded so as to present a platform for Black filmmakers, screenwriters, and actors. While much of its focus is on the homegrown talents of Bay Area artists, it also showcases the work of national and international filmmakers and screenwriters who are of African descent, as well as those simply representing the African Diaspora. SFBFF's stated mission is to present Black films that reinforce positive images and dispel negative stereotypes. The four day fest happens Thursday June 11th through Sunday June 14th at various venues across the city including the Sundance Kabuki Theater, The African American Art & Culture Complex (AAACC) on Fulton St, and the Second Act on Haight (near Amoeba SF). Additionally the festival will hold forums addressing such topics as funding, navigating the new digital age as an independent filmmaker, and music's role in film.

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Chaka Khan and Other Reasons To Endure New York City's Long Cold Winters

Posted by Billyjam, June 3, 2015 01:53pm | Post a Comment

Chaka Khan "I Feel For You"


There's a reason why New Yorkers endure those long winters with snow and frigid temps like this past one that never seemed like it was going to end, and that brought an onslaught of snowstorms and temperatures so low  that just make you want to stay inside. And that reason is the reward at the end of it all when summer finally arrives with all the great (mostly outdoor, much of it free) stuff that takes place across New York City for the summer months such as this evening's Prospect Park free concert by Chaka Khan.  The free concert by the Queen of Funk, whose rich back catalog of solo and Rufus hits include "I Feel For You" and "Tell Me Something Good" respectively, kicks off the always excellent Celebrate Brooklyn summer long concert series that will include such other acts as Willie Nelson and Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros (pictured left). It happens through September at the Prospect Park Bandshell at Union St Brooklyn, NY. More info. It is just one of countless 2015 summer series kicking off around New York City where there are so many free park shows going on - many simultaneously and across all five boroughs - that you have to really pick and choose which one you really have to see since so many overlap.

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DJ Battles and Skratch Music Enjoying Peak in Popularity And Creativity As Proven By 2015 DMC NYC Regional At Webster Hall

Posted by Billyjam, June 2, 2015 12:20pm | Post a Comment
2015 DMC NYC Regional winner DJ Dwells photo above and all photos used in this Amoeblog
are by kind permission of
Ignacio Soltero (more pics/info here and here)

 

DJ battles and skratch music are enjoying a peak in both popularity and creativity right now. Age matters less than passion and commitment when it comes to skills and style displayed in turntablism. And Lord Finesse is a hella funny guy! Those are just a few of the things made quite apparent in Manhattan recently at the highly competitive but ever-entertaining 2015 DMC New York City Regional DJ battle where 15-year-old DJ Dwells took the title for the second year in a row, with the Bay Area's DJ Dstrukt coming in second, and As-One in third place. 

Overseen by Christie Z-Pabon (pictured right), the smoothly run, perfectly on schedule four-hour event took place on May 23rd at Webster Hall where the widely diverse and appreciative audience proved the point that the turntable-based art form, which has gone through some highs and lows in popularity over the past couple of decades, is indeed in a most healthy state currently.

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Krip-Hop Artist Fezo May Be Retiring From Music, But Not Activism - by guest Amoeblogger Leroy F Moore Jr.

Posted by Billyjam, May 28, 2015 08:15pm | Post a Comment

Below is the latest in an ongoing series of featured articles, spanning several years, on the topic of Krip-Hop written by guest Amoeblogger Leroy F Moore Jr. Leroy is both a pioneer of that hip-hop sub-genre as well as the founder of Krip-Hop Nation, the umbrella group that links hip-hop artists with disabilities from all over the globe. For this article the artist/activist/author discusses fellow Krip-Hopper Fezo (aka Fezo Da Mad One), his brand new and final album, and retirement from hip-hop. Leroy is currently finishing up his soon to be published book The Black Kripple Delivers Poetry & Lyrics (Poetic Matrix Press).



Fezo "Alter Ego" (2008)

Keith Jones, the artist known as Fezo, and I first met in person at the Democratic National Convention in Boston, MA back in 2004.  The Missouri-born, Sacramento-based Krip-Hop artist and I instantly bonded. That was probably because we have so much in common. We are both Black men with cerebral palsy, and are both of the same age.  At that time, eleven years ago, we were both in our mid-thirties. Furthermore we are both poets, both activists, and we each share a passionate love of music. 

After taking over the Disability Caucus at the DNC by organizing Black disabled advocates to bum rush the Caucus to make sure diverse voices were being heard, Fezo and I made our way to a music studio to drop some songs and to talk more about Krip-Hop Nation. As we got our headphones on Fezo shared some news with me, made all the more dramatic by the fact that, due to his mic being turned on, was amplified throughout the studio. "Leroy, Hip-Hop is not ready to face its ableism so I have two albums left before I retire from Hip-Hop," he announced to my disappointment.  Upon hearing this my mind screamed "NO!" because for once I had met a Black disabled activist/artist whose raps spoke to me, and whom I fully understood because of my own experience as a poet, activist, and founder of Krip-Hop Nation. I could relate firsthand to all the shut doors he had faced.

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Ennio Morricone Feature Documentary In The Works

Posted by Billyjam, May 27, 2015 12:00pm | Post a Comment

Ennio Morricone's score for Sergio Leone's "Once upon a time in the West"

Good, it's about time! That seems to be the general reaction by fans of Ennio Morricone to the news that there will be a feature documentary on the iconic Italian composer whose vast body of work spans writing music for 500 plus films and TV shows, in addition to countless contemporary classical compositions. His Amoeba online store page offers almost 200 titles! There have been pieces done on Morricone, such as the 1995 BBC TV documentary, but never a full feature scale documentry.

As recently reported by Deadline, director Giuseppe Tornatore, who first worked with Morricone on Cinema Paradiso, will begin shooting the documentary on the life of the legendary prolific 86-year-old composer in two months. It will be a unique documentary structured to reportedly, "highlight a side of Morricone that has never been revealed."  

As a fan I cannot wait for this documentary. Amoeba.com's J.Poet so accurately noted; "Ennio Morricone is one of the few musicians to have invented a new genre. His soundtracks for a series of Italian western films by director Sergio Leone, many starring Clint Eastwood, created “spaghetti Western” music by mixing surf guitar, classical, pop, rock, electronic, avant-garde, and Italian music and sprinkling it with samples of birdcalls, gunshots, footsteps, animal noises, and whistling. The sound became as popular as the films they were part of." 

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