Amoeblog

New York State of Mind Amoeblog #65: Super Bowl 48, NYC DMC Regionals, Chinese New Year, Black History Month + more

Posted by Billyjam, January 29, 2014 12:00pm | Post a Comment


Even though it is being billed as being held in NYC this weekend's much hyped NFL Super Bowl XLVIII is actually being held over in New Jersey at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ where, kicking off at 6:30pm EST, the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos will battle it out for the champion title.  Nonetheless New York is, as the Times Square billboard (picture right) implies, in a Super Bowl State of Mind
An estimated half a million visitors are expected to descend upon both New York and New Jersey for the Super Bowl and spinoff festivities on Sunday and the days leading up to the big game. Among the attractions will be the Super Bowl Boulevard set up in Times Square from today through Sunday that includes a 60 foot high toboggan run -  perfect for the snow that is forecast for Saturday night/ Sunday - although this could change.  Free to the public Super Bowl Boulevard, runs for 13 blocks of Broadway from 34th to 47th streets, and includes a concert stage, photo ops with the Vince Lombardi Trophy, and an assortment of Super Bowl souvenir booths all catering to, as organizers bill it, "football-themed experiences."  And on 34th Street up atop the Empire State Building through this Sunday there is a light show that is being generated by football fans on Twitter showing support for either  the Seahawks or the Broncos. Meanwhile all round New York City bars and restaurants will be holding Super Bowl 48 viewing parties. Whether it snows or not plan on dressing warm for the inevitable cold weather this Sunday that will reach at highest he mid to upper 30's.

Honoring Pete Seeger's Legacy

Posted by Billyjam, January 28, 2014 08:37am | Post a Comment

In honor of contemporary folk music pioneer Pete Seeger, who died last night at age 94 of natural causes, we present a series of video clips (music and interview) with the influential singer/songwriter whose activist work never ceased and whose career spanned over seven decades. He continued performing up to last year when he sang at Farm Aid 2013 (see below), and speaking out on issues like global warming in recent years (see NY Times interview clip below).

Much more than being simply a musician or a singer/songwriter, Seeger was (as accurately described on his Amoeba website bio) also a folklorist, labor activist, environmentalist, radical leftist, rabble-rouser, and peace advocate. A known left-wing advocate in the 1950's, Seeger was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee. When they accused him of being a Communist, refused to testify. Found guilty of contempt of Congress, he was sentenced to a year in prison. His leftist politics also resulted in him being banned from network TV for more than a decade.

Read his full story here on the Amoeba website, and browse the selection of recordings he left behind as his legacy (his discography includes 100+ albums to his credit) on Amoeba.com, including (a great intro to his work) the 16 track Sony Legacy series release Pete Seeger's Greatest Hits that includes such trademark songs of Seeger's as "Where Have All the Flowers Gone," and "Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season)," and the Smithsonian Folkways 27 song collection American Favorite Ballads, Vol. 2: Pete Seeger.  Other Smithsonian Folkways collections of Seeger's worth checking out include the 26 song CD collection If I Had  Hammer: Songs Of Hope & Struggle, and the 2 CD set live concert recording The Complete Bowdoin College Concert 1960. Another recommended concert recording from around that same period is We Shall Overcome: The Complete Carnegie Hall Concert that is a 2CD set that features 40 songs from that 1963 New York City performance. In the first video clip below, an interview from eight years ago with Seeger at age 86, he discusses the history of the rallying protest anthem, "We Share Overcome." 

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Dr. Maya Angelou: From San Francisco Cable Car Operator to Civil Rights Activist, Poet, Author, Actress

Posted by Billyjam, January 27, 2014 10:40am | Post a Comment

Dr. Maya Angelou at Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco

"A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song " – Maya Angelou

In salute of African American living legends, this tribute to Maya Angelou is the first in a series for the 2014 Amoeblog Black History Month. Maya Angelou, who will turn 86 on April 4th, was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1928. She would go on to live a trailblazing life in which her accolades would include being an activist, author, actress, screenwriter, educator, dancer, singer, poet, and San Francisco cable car operator. In the 1940's during World War II Angelou moved to the city by the bay (she would return to San Francisco a decade later) after winning a scholarship to study dance and acting at the California Labor School. During that time she briefly held a job as a SF cable car operator. Even at that she was a pioneer in her field by being the very first black female cable car conductor. And that would be only one of numerous "firsts" for Angelou during her influential life.

Angelou's 1969 coming-of-age memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, which her friend James Baldwin was instrumental in getting published, made literary history for being the first nonfiction best-seller by an African-American woman. It also broke records by later enjoying a two-year run on The New York Times' paperback nonfiction best-seller list. Angelou was also the first African-American woman to have her screenplay produced when, in 1972, the film screenplay for the film Georgia, Georgia was adapted from her book.

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 01.24.14: Amoeba Hollywood, Evidence & The Alchemist, NAMM, The Doppelgangaz, Invisibl Skratch Piklz +

Posted by Billyjam, January 24, 2014 08:30pm | Post a Comment
      



Amoeba Music Hollywood Top Five Week End Jan 24 2014

 1) Childish Gambino Because the Internet (Glassnote)

2) Dam-Funk & Snoopzilla 7 Days of Funk (Stones Throw)

3)
Eminem The Marshall Mathers LP2 (Interscope)

4) Dom Kennedy Get Home Safely (The Other Peoples Money Co.)

5) Earl Sweatshirt Doris (Columbia)

Album of the week: The Step Brothers Lord Steppington (Rhymesayers Entertainment) 


       
Go Hands On with Lord Steppington


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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #64: The Photo Issue

Posted by Billyjam, January 22, 2014 10:44am | Post a Comment


Above is a recent shot (one of many) that I shot of lower Manhattan from Jersey City. It is just one of a series of photos included in this week's New York State of Mind Amoeblog - call it the "photo issue" with one video. That music video, scroll down to very end to see/hear, is a brand new New York City hip-hop video for the artist Lucky Tatt’s song “Celebrate.” I include it because it is good and that it  that brings back some of that old school NYC flavor hip-hop and even features two NYC hip-hop legends: M.O.P. and DJ Premier appear in track produced by Fizzy Womack. On the topic of hip-hop in NYC two popular rap artists are in town this week: Nipsy Hustle plays the Highline Ballroom on Jan 24 (Friday), and Waka Flocka Flame plays BB King's on 42nd Street on Monday Jan 27th.

The photos below are a hodge podge of pics I snapped over past month or two downtown and uptown Manhattan, and some over in Queens - some during the snow (which is hitting NYC hard this week) and some before the snow arrived in this crazy weather we are experiencing across the US - that includes drought in California. For more details on the actual photos and their respective locations just scroll the mouse icon over them and some text will pop up.

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