Amoeblog

Sketch Comedy & Stand-Up Comedy Alive and Well in The Bay Area

Posted by Billyjam, January 18, 2016 06:30pm | Post a Comment

Sketch comedy and stand-up comedy are enjoying a healthy renaissance all over including in the Bay Area. With an already rich history for stand-up comedy, more Bay Area venues have begun accommodating comedy nights in recent years. Most of these are not the traditional two-drink minimum styled styled comedy club. A good example is tonight's (and every Monday night's) popular weekly East Bay event Move Along, Nothing to See Here at The Night Light at 311 Broadway near Jack London Square (8pm, no cover). Tonight's lineup includes Joey Devine, Cameron Vanini, Ben Kolina, and Gabby O'Poccia. Night Light co-owner Johnny "Scobey" Nackley said that with the East Bay's vibrant comedy scene it's important to include comedy shows alongside music nights.

Meanwhile, tonight in San Francisco Nato Green (SF Sketchfest / Iron Comic) will be at Doc's Lab at 124 Columbus Ave. (8pm, $8 - $10) - the former site of the famed Purple Onion.  Presented by local NPR station KALW, tonight's show features Janine Brito, Chris Thayer, David Gborie, Trevor Hill, Matt Lieb, Kurt Weitzmann, and Emily Epstein White. Another show in SF tonight is the monthly comedy night “Am I Rite?” with Torio Van Grol headlining at the Rite Spot Cafe  at 2099 Folsom St. (near 17th) (9pm, no cover).

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76-Year-Old Clarence "Blowfly" Reid Is Cancer's Latest Victim

Posted by Billyjam, January 17, 2016 06:50pm | Post a Comment

Yet another lost to cancer! Today Clarence Reid, the man known to music fans as Blowfly (aka the original dirty rapper), passed away from terminal liver cancer and multiple organ failure. He had been diagnosed a few years ago but not too many people knew about it until this past week when his musical collaborator Tom Bowker announced how Reid had just entered hospice care in Lauderdale Lakes, Florida and that he was not expected to survive much longer in his battle against cancer.

Again today it was Bowker, via social media, who announced Blowfly's death, writing how "Clarence Reid, the genius known both by his given name and as Blowfly, the Master of Class, passed peacefully today, January 17th, in his hospice room."  In his original message to the late artist's fans, he thanked those who in 2014 had rallied their financial support and helped save Blowfly from losing his house and by so doing "kept his last days comfortable." He also noted how Blowfly had been making one final album ("his best album since the early 80s") that he called "a fitting epitaph for one of the great performers of all time." Entitled 77 Rusty Trombones, it is scheduled to be released next month and will be the artist's follow-up to 2012's Black In The Sack.

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Mic Checking, Not Reserve Army Training at ROTC - San Francisco's Return of The Cypher

Posted by Billyjam, January 16, 2016 06:45pm | Post a Comment

Don't let the name ROTC fool you. San Francisco's weekly session at the Boom Boom Room, fondly referred to as ROTC by regulars, is no Reserve Officer Training Corps. Rather it's the popular Bay Area hip-hop improv session Return Of The Cypher that takes place every Sunday night at the Fillmore District club that is traditionally a blues spot. ROTC is one of the Bay Area's best long-running hip-hop weeklies. It's also one of its most unpredictable. And that's a good thing!  With the cypher's ever rotating lineup of emcees and beatboxers, no two weeks are ever the same. And it is the total spontaneity of hip-hop events like this that make them so fun and true to hip-hop's roots, and ROTC's roots run deep. Long-time Bay Area club and radio DJ Kevvy Kev is the musical curator and turntable manipulator each week. Meanwhile, live beats are  provided by the Gemstone Band. Guest musicians have been known to stop by and jump into the freestyle mix, while b-boys and b-girls might spontaneously break out some moves on the dance floor. Some weeks feature special guests including next Sunday, January 24th, when local multi-talented artist Taharka Chango will present his conscious hip-hop piece entitled "The Sermon."

As far an ongoing Bay Area event that stays true to hip-hop's elements, ROTC regular mic-wrecker GiGiO says it's the best.  "Every Sunday night they keep the spirit of live hip-hop music high. I would say it's the dopest hip-hop event in the Bay right now. Lot of dope cats on the come up," said the emcee who is a member of the Oakland-based crew Smooth Beast along with fellow emcees Mike Fish, Karen Less, and Monolyth who will release their debut album in 2016. GiGiO noted how Smooth Beast first connected via the ROTC sessions -- a place he contends is central to a new Bay Area hip-hop wave. "The Bay is going through some kind of [hip-hop] renaissance right now. Feels good to be apart of it!" 
 

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David Bowie [1947 - 2016]

Posted by Billyjam, January 11, 2016 04:49am | Post a Comment
David Bowie, who turned 69 on Friday, died yesterday from cancer. "David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18-month battle with cancer," said a statement released late last night via social media that requested privacy for his family during their time of grief. His death came as a shock to fans far and wide who had no idea of his battle with cancer.
 
"The nearly 70-year-old artist is showing no signs of slowing down. Far from it," the Amoeblog's own Billy Gil wrote on his 69th birthday, just two days before his passing, when he released his 25th studio album Blackstar (also available on vinyl). With the release of the new album, Bowie had been getting a lot of mainstream and social media attention over the past few days so when the totally unexpected news of his death first began to circulate late last night the general reaction was one of disbelief, many thinking it to be a hoax. Sadly it is not, although so far the type of cancer he died from is not known.
 
Bowie has always been one of my favorite artists and his was the very first rock concert I ever attended as a young kid (Southampton Civic Centre, England, June 1972, Ziggy Stardust tour). He was many others' favorite too, and today tributes are being paid to Bowie all over the world including at the Hollywood Walk of Fame where he is immortalized with his own star. Below is a ten music video tribute (newest to oldest) to the incredibly talented and highly influential British artist who defied categorization and whose musical (and fashion) styles were constantly evolving and changing. Rest in peace David Bowie!


Lemmy Kilmeister's (Live Streamed) Memorial Service Reminder To Live Life To The Fullest

Posted by Billyjam, January 9, 2016 01:49pm | Post a Comment

Rest in Peace Ian Fraser "Lemmy" Kilmister 1945-2015

When the above video of Ian Fraser "Lemmy" Kilmister memorial service took place, fans worldwide of the beloved Motorhead front-man made a final toast to the ultimate rock and roller whose life was a constant reminder to fully embrace and live life to the fullest -- and fastest.  Guinness World Records ranked Motorhead the fastest and loudest band of all time. Live Fast, Die Old is the aptly titled documentary below on the rock icon who died December 28th at age 70 from an aggressive form of cancer. 

Part of the reason for today's funeral being streamed live is out of concern for crowd control. There's justified fear that too many Lemmy fans might plan to descend upon on the Hollywood cemetery today. So from earlier this week via social media bandmates have requested fans to not attend the funeral but tune in online instead. Fans were also invited to make a charitable donation under Lemmy’s name to Ronnie James Dio's Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund.

"Watch with fellow Motorheadbangers and friends. GO to your favorite bar, or your favorite club, make sure they have access to an internet connection and toast along with us. Or simply invite your pals around and celebrate Lemm’s life at home.”

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