Amoeblog

DJ Earworm's 2014 Mix, Another Accurate Representation of The Past Year In Pop Music

Posted by Billyjam, December 29, 2014 08:48am | Post a Comment
    

Once again as the year comes to a close DJ Earworm has unveiled his annual year-end/best-of megamix, better known as the renowned San Francisco based mashup DJ/producer's annual United State of Pop that he's been diligently producing (audio and video) for the past six years which he uploads at the beginning of each December - hence his one year period generally begins the twelfth or eleventh month of the previous calendar year. This year's mix includes such 2013 released songs as "Am I Wrong" by Nico & Vinz, "Timber" by Pitbull featuring Ke$ha,"Happy" by Pharrell, "Story of My Life" by One Direction, and "Let her Go" by Passenger. Titled United State of Pop 2014 (Do What You Wanna Do) Earworm's latest annual mega-mix mashup is another pitch perfect production that incorporates "25 of the biggest hits during 2014 in the US" and hence are as good/bad as one thought the year's pop music to be. Included are such ubiquitous songs of the year as Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass," Ariana Grande's "Problem" featuring Iggy Azalea (one of three song's the Australian born artist has in this 2014 mix), and Sam Smith's hauntingly beautiful "Stay With Me" off the soulful UK singer's album In The Lonely Hour. Other artists featured in the mix include Hozier ("Take Me to Church"), John Legend ("All Of Me"), Lorde ("Team"), Maroon 5 ("Animals"), and Taylor Swift ("Shake It Off").

Jesse Luscious' 13th Annual Joe Strummer KALX Radio Special

Posted by Billyjam, December 23, 2014 07:13pm | Post a Comment

For the past dozen years longtime KALX DJ Jesse Luscious has been programming his annual Joe Strummer Show radio special and tomorrow morning (Christmas Eve, Wednesday 12/24 from 6AM to noon Pacific time) the DJ/musician/politician, who was profiled here on the Amoeblog six years ago, will roll out The 13th Annual Joe Strummer Show for which he promises to play well-known and rare Joe Strummer tracks from his recordings  with The Clash, The 101ers, and the Mescaleros and others. Additionally this year's special will include a recently unearthed thirty year old Joe Strummer interview  on KALX. Aired live in 1984 on the UC Berkeley radio station it was conducted by DJ Bikini Babs, aka Mindela Ruby, who herself recently published a novel about punk entitled Mosh It Up.

Tomorrow's six hour Strummer special will be broadcast live on KALX and can be heard at 90.7 FM in the Bay Area and at this online link everywhere via live streaming. However there will be no archive so tune in live. It will be well worth it. I've caught previous specials and really enjoyed them. Today I caught up with the KALX DJ to ask him about the KALX special and about the great late Joe Strummer who unexpectedly died almost exactly twelve years ago on December 22nd, 2002 from an undiagnosed congenital heart defect at age 50.

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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Revisiting Short Lived 1990's Slammin' Rap Video Magazine

Posted by Billyjam, December 23, 2014 11:52am | Post a Comment

24 long hip-hop years ago, way back in the year of 1990 (a time before the Internet with its instant access to everything) there were relatively few ways to hear rap news and new hip-hop music. Back then there was  Source magazine and a few other hip-hop print publications such as RapMasters or the UK published Hip Hop Connection monthly mag. Compared to nowadays when a news item can be published worldwide within seconds of it taking place, things sure moved slowly back in 1990. In that bygone print age, the turnaround from when a national monthly's contents were written and photographed and ready for publication then finally hit the newsstands was typically a two month period. That rendered much of the "news"  old by the time it was read - although rap fans back then didn't seem to care. Besides, they had few options to get their hip-hop fix.

A little more timely back at the beginning of the '90s were the weekly rap radio shows around the country, aircheck cassette tapes of which were often dubbed and re-dubbed and shared. Then there were the select weekly or monthly rap video shows on TV that ranged from small regional ones playing national rap music videos and showcasing local talent to the big national Yo! MTV Raps, which was then two years strong and a lifeline of hip-hop music and news to those in areas outside of big cities.

In addition to these media outlets was the novel hip-hop video magazine,  Slammin' Rap Video Magazine, which was a one-hour VHS videocassette tape published by BMG that retailed for $12.98. Often billing itself as material you would "not seen on MTV," the one-hour video production was hosted by Alex Winter (actor then famous for his role alongside a young Keanu Reeves in 1989's silly-but-fun comedy Sci-Fi Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure). Slammin' was an ambitious, well-executed production that presented engaging artist interviews and showed music clips with the best hip-hop acts of the day. The premiere Vol. 1 1990 edition (see below in full) included KRS-One, MC Hammer, Queen Latifah, Tone-Loc, Special Ed, Public Enemy's Chuck D, Ice-T and his extended Rhyme Syndicate crew that included a young pre House of Pain Everlast, Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock, Lakim Shabazz, Salt 'N' Pepa, Kid 'N' Play, and Roxanne Shanté among others. That's a pretty darn impressive line-up for a video magazine! But for whatever reason, the shortlived Slammin' video magazine series never took off in a huge way and only lasted for a handful of editions produced and published between 1990 and 1991. Along with Vol. 1 you can also see in full Vol. 3 of Slammin', which starred such hip-hop artists as LL Cool J, Too $hort, Schoolly D, Eric B & Rakim, D-Nice, and  Big Daddy Kane below. Both are really entertaining and educational in my opinion. And look in the used VHS bins at Amoeba for the occasional copy of the Slammin' video magazine series that shows up from time to time.

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Hip-Hop Rap Up: YG & Nicki Minaj's new movie shorts, Ghostface Killah, J.Cole, Phryme

Posted by Billyjam, December 22, 2014 01:15pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five Week End 12:22:14


1) YG  Blame It On The Streets (Def Jam)

2) J. Cole 2014 Forest Hills Drive (Roc Nation)

3) Nicki Minaj The Pinkprint [Deluxe Edition] (Cash Money)

4) Ghostface Killah 36 Seasons (Tommy Boy)

5) Prhyme Prhyme (Prhyme)

In the latest Amoeba Music hip-hop chart's number one slot with a bullet is YG's brand new Blame It On The Streets on Def Jam that was released one week ago to coincide with the online release on that same day of the film of the same name. The Blame It On The Streets soundtrack CD is an EP length, nine track release that's a nice follow up to his March 2014 hit debut album My Krazy Life. It even includes a few tracks off My Krazy Life including a remix of "Bicken Back Being Bool" and a live in the Bay version of "BPT."  Meantime the movie version of Blame It On The Streets (which you can see in full below) is directed by Lucky Rodgers and Alex Nazari. It is a ghetto gangsta tale that, while not totally original, is well made with good acting and production values. In fact it could have even run a bit longer than its well paced but tad too short thirty minutes. And likely there'll be a sequel in the works since the overall response by fans to the film has been overwhelmingly positive. Not to mention that it acts as a nice promotion tool for the new release. Similarly Nicki Minaj, whose brand new The Pinkprint [Deluxe Edition] c/o Cash Money is this week's number three chart entry, has just released a corresponding movie short. Also featured below Minaj's movie runs about a quarter hour and is a co-promote of both her album and Beats By Dre who bankrolled/produced the project that is technically actually a long form music video of four songs than a movie. As for the album it promotes - the The Pinkprint [Deluxe Edition] explicit version CD that arrived into Amoeba this past week care of Cash Money Records - it boasts 19 tracks including the unavoidable current pop hit "Only" that features guest shots from Drake, Lil Wayne, and Chris Brown. The album features other big name guests too including Beyoncé (on "Feeling Myself"), Ariana Grande ("Get On Your Knees"), Meek Mill ("Buy A Heart"), and Skylar Gray ("Bed of Lies").

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"Jingle Bell Rocks!" Documentary - Screening in LA Today & Avail on DVD - Features Scene At Amoeba Music

Posted by Billyjam, December 21, 2014 09:30am | Post a Comment
  

In time for the holidays is this weekend's Los Angeles screening of the acclaimed documentary about some of the world’s most diehard alternative Christmas music fanatics Jingle Bell Rocks! in which film director Mitchell Kezin poses the question “Why, when Christmas rolls around, are we still stuck cozying up with Bing Crosby under a blanket of snow?"  Then Kezin, with a cast of fellow Christmas music fanatics including John Waters and Joseph "Rev Run" Simmons, proceeds to fully and entertainingly answer his own question in the must-see 94 minute film which was first released to festivals last year but was just released recently on Black Friday on DVD as well as being screened this week in select cinemas around the  country including in Los Angeles this weekend including later today.  Coincidentally the LA screening takes place at the Arena on N. Las Palmas in Hollywood (screening today, Sunday December 21st, at 4pm) which is only a little over half a mile away from the Hollywood Amoeba Music store where the opening scene of the documentary was shot.

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