Amoeblog

Bay Area Rapper, Cannabis Activist / Entrepreneur Berner Unveils First Episode In New "Marijuana Mania" Series [Video Version]

Posted by Billyjam, February 25, 2016 08:35pm | Post a Comment

Berner "Come On" from his 2014 Bern One Ent album Drugstore Cowboy


That old adage "do what you love" is perfectly applicable to the weed loving, nationally acclaimed prolific Bay Area rapper Berner. For the past decade plus this rap artist, weed activist/entrepreneur born Gilbert Anthony Mano has crafted a unique and phenomenally lucrative and fun career, all the while balancing his two main life passions of weed and rap music. Having built a strong rep as rap recording and performing artist, to date Berner's rich back catalog boasts 14 albums including his most recent full-length release found at Amoeba,  Drought Season 3, which is just one of many dropped on his own prolific Bern One Ent. record label. Equally respected by rap fans and peers, Berner's countless studio collaborations over the years include full length releases with such fellow Bay Area artists as Messy Marv, Equipto and the late great rapper The Jacka with whom he recorded the three part aforementioned Drought Season trilogy. Others in the really long list of Berner collabs include B-Real, Snoop Dogg, Nipsey Hussle, Young Thug, and Too $hort. Perhaps even more widely known in hip-hop is his longstanding relationship and collaborative work with Wiz Khalifa. Having been down since day one with the Pittsburgh, PA based, fellow weed loving hip-hop star Wiz Khalifa, the Bay Area artist counts himself as among those part of Khalifa's elite Taylor Gang Ent. label crew along with such others as Project Pat, Chevy Woods, Ty Dolla $ign, and Tuki Carter.

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Countdown To Sale of Prince Concert Tix @ Paramount Oakland (Feb 28) - US Kick Off of Piano & A Microphone Tour

Posted by Billyjam, February 24, 2016 11:31am | Post a Comment

Ever since last night's last minute announcement of Prince's two back to back (7pm & 10pm) concerts at Oakland's Paramount Theater this coming Sunday evening (Feb 28th), fans have been anxiously awaiting the moment to cop coveted tix to see the Purple One. That countdown is in its final half hour now for the paperless-only Prince concert tickets (reportedly no hard tix to limit counterfeiting) that go on sale at 12 noon today, Wednesday February 24th, only through Ticketmaster (so don't go to Paramount box office on Broadway).

Ticket prices range from $99 to $275 for the two "intimate solo setting" Oakland concerts by Prince, who in previous years has played last minute shows at Bay Area venues such as the DNA Lounge, kicking off the artist's North American Piano & A Microphone tour. That new tour coincides with the 57-year-old singer's latest/39th studio album HITnRUN Phase II (the sequel to the September 2015 CD released album HITnRUN Phase One). Famously disgruntled with the music industry for many years now, this latest Prince album is being released digitally only via Jay Z's Tidal music platform. While no one knows (likely even Prince himself) exactly what songs he will perform in Oakland this weekend, odds are they will include a tribute to his Bay Area-based former collaborator Vanity, who recently died at age 57, as well as such Prince classics as “Little Red Corvette” (see video below of song from his 1999 album), “Let’s Go Crazy,” “Raspberry Beret,” and “Controversy.” The artist performed all of these songs at a recent Australian concert as well as a  cover of (another Bay Area act) Sly & the Family Stone’s “Stand.”

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New York City's Beloved The Magic Shop Studios, Where Bowie Recorded His Final Album, Forced To Close After 3 Decades

Posted by Billyjam, February 22, 2016 11:31pm | Post a Comment

Beloved longtime New York City recording studios The Magic Shop, where David Bowie's final album Blackstar was among the many projects recorded over the past three decades, will be closing up shop in a few weeks. The latest music / arts victim of the out-of-control Manhattan real estate market, the announcement was made a couple of hours ago via Facebook by saddened studio owner Steve Rosenthal. "After an amazing 28 year run, I will have to close The Magic Shop Recording Studio. March 16, 2016 will be our last day open. Everyone knows why I have to close, so there is little point in rehashing my story," posted Rosenthal to the studio's Facebook page tonight under the heading "CLOSING TIME." 

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Author Christian Farrad's Tips on How to "Protect Ya Neck!" from "Vampires" in The Cut-Throat Music Business

Posted by Billyjam, February 20, 2016 11:51pm | Post a Comment

No doubt hip-hop artists and aspiring artists of any genre will find interest in Protect Ya Neck!  [A Music Industry Survival Guide]. To be published in late March, the Christian Farrad authored non-fiction book promises to reveal "tips to survive (and thrive) in the cut-throat world of entertainment." 

A New York City-based business manager specializing in music and entertainment, Farrad's background includes being GM of Miami independent rap label Slip N Slide Records. While by no means the first tome to tackle the topic of the snake-filled music industry (Fredric Dannen's 1990 book Hit Men remains one of the best in that genre), it does put a contemporary (as in digital age) and hip-hop generation themed spin on its subject matter. This it does via the scenarios cited in its many what-not-to-do tales of the music industry like why Eminem had to sue his record label for miscalculating digital sales of his music or Lil Wayne filing a $51 Million lawsuit against his label over unpaid royalties. Beyonce firing her manager for stealing money from her tour and Rihanna suing her accountant for mismanaging her money are among the other cautionary tales examined in the book that promises to teach, among other things, "defensive strategies to protect ya neck!"

Books like Farrad's offer invaluable tools to navigate the pitfalls of the tricky music business. And there are many, from the importance of management to the ins-and-outs of publishing, and the unforeseen challenges of long term music distribution in the digital age. Unfortunately, it seems, most young artists starting out in their careers (i.e., those who need to read books like this the most) likely will not read them, at least not until after the fact. Typically they'll be too preoccupied with jumping headfirst into their music careers to stop, read, study, and take a sober look at the big picture of what lies ahead. This week I reached out to author Farrad to ask him about this and other topics related to his forthcoming publication.

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Rob Hatch-Miller Discusses His Documentary "Syl Johnson: Any Way The Wind Blows" [California Premiere During Noise Pop 2016]

Posted by Billyjam, February 17, 2016 06:29pm | Post a Comment

"A lot of people may not know the name of this man, Syl Johnson, but they know his music," accurately notes RZA in the engaging documentary on the highly influential and widely sampled, yet little known, soul legend. Syl Johnson: Any Way The Wind Blows is the new Rob Hatch-Miller-directed film that makes its California premiere this weekend as part of the Noise Pop 2016 festival's Film Series, co-presented by Amoeba and the SF IndieFest, when it screens at the Roxie Theater. Tickets for the Saturday, Feb 20th, 7pm screening, that is followed by a Q+A with the film's subject and its director, are available here.

The  Wu-Tang Clan's RZA, who's sampled the artist's records for the various Wu tracks, is among the many Syl Johnson devotees interviewed in the film. Others include Prince Paul, Peanut Butter Wolf, Jazzy Jay, and (45s king) DJ BreakBeat Lou, each of whom have nothing but the highest admiration for this prolific yet largely slept-on musical great.

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