Amoeblog

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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Anticipation Further Builds For Third Run The Jewels Album from Killer Mike & El-P

Posted by Billyjam, January 7, 2016 04:59am | Post a Comment
   
 

This week's appearance by Run The Jewels (RTJ) member Killer Mike on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert further builds anticipation for the 2016 release of the third album by the killer hip-hop duo comprised of Mike and El-P.  

If you have not already seen it, peep the video above from Tuesday's appearance on the Late Show by the Bernie Sanders supporter who is always most engaging whenever he appears on talk shows. On the show, they mentioned how it had just been announced that RTJ would be at Coachella 2016 (tix went on sale yesterday), indicating that (hopefully) their anticipated third album will be released by then since they would be promoting it. However, four weeks ago El-P posted an audio clip via Instagram with the caption "RTJ3 is just getting started." In the Colbert clip above Mike said, "We're working on part 3 right now." Bummer as this means that RTJ3 will likely be a 2017 release. Back in October to celebrate the one year anniversary of the release of RTJ2, the group published the video below for "Angel Duster" that they wrote encapsulated the amazing year they've had on the road.

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Amoeblog Interview with DJ Fuze on DJ History, Digital Underground, Raw Fusion, 2Pac, Dave Chappelle + more

Posted by Billyjam, January 6, 2016 10:28pm | Post a Comment


Digital Underground was not merely an amazing funk fueled hip-hop crew out of the Bay. They were also the pranksters of hip-hop. D.U. member DJ Fuze recalls what may have been their best public prank from back in the day on a visit to New York City. It was one of the times they played the famed Apollo Theatre in Harlem. "Hosted by Mark Curry, during the Amateur Night part, we came out with bags over our heads as The Unknown Rappers. We got booed and Sandman started pulling us away. Then the curtains opened revealing Digital Underground band to a huge applause, followed by a great performance of "Kiss You Back" and later "No Nose Job." We basically beat the Apollo crowd at their own game," Fuze told the Amoeblog recently when we caught up with the longtime Bay Area (East Coast transplant) hip-hop producer and turntable artist.

The Syracuse NY DJ born David Elliot is known for a myriad of associations and projects over the past three decades but most notably for his membership of both Digital Underground and related duo Raw Fusion with fellow D.U. member Money B. In addition to his membership of D.U. and Raw Fusion, Fuze, who is a trained chef as well as turntablist, is also known for his production and performance DJ work with such artists as fellow Bay Area hip-hop acts The Luniz, Dru Down, and comedian Dave Chappelle with whom he has done a ton of shows over the years (since Chappelle left his TV show). Fuze just did 15 shows with Chappelle in Chicago. He opens for him at the Punch Line in SF tomorrow (Jan 7).  Bay Area clubbers know DJ Fuze for his eclectic solo DJ sets including his residency at Oakland's SomaR bar in the Uptown district where he spins African amongst other styles. 

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