Amoeblog

New York State of Mind Amoeblog #93: Jeff Koons, Shadow & Cut Chemist, Museum of Jewish Heritage, Subway Token Sucking +

Posted by Billyjam, August 13, 2014 12:13pm | Post a Comment


People seem to either love him or hate him (or are jealous of all the money he makes) but they all know who he is; American artist Jeff Koons whose instantly identifiable, simple-yet expensive, balloon-animal like, large scale sculptures made of stainless steel sell in the tens of millions of dollars. One of his pieces sold at a NYC auction last year for $58.4 million!  For a lot less money, now thru October October 19th, you can get to see his art up and close and personal and judge its value for itself for the ongoing Jeff Koons: A Retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art. With a total of 120 works by Koons on display this Whitney exhibit, which opened in late June, is the most comprehensive retrospective curated of the living artist to date (in fact there hasn't been a full show on his overall body of work in two decades) and as such is well worth visiting.  Spanning various mediums - not just sculpture - Koons work on exhibit includes such iconic works by the pop artist as the gaudy yet popular Michael Jackson and Bubbles (right), Balloon Dog, as well as the premiere exhibition of such new Koons pieces as the unveiling of his large scale Play-Doh that he's reportedly been busy working on for over twenty years. The Whitney Museum is open Wednesdays through Sundays from 11am to 6pm and is located at 945 Madison Avenue at 75th Street, New York, NY 10021. For general info click here. And for info on free tours here.

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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: History of DJ (The DMC Story Part 2)

Posted by Billyjam, August 12, 2014 10:34am | Post a Comment
           
The History of DJ Part 2: The DMC Story (2014)

Just finished in production and finally published yesterday is the above anticipated second part/sequel to the excellent premiere in the The History of DJ and the continued story of the UK founded DMC as told by DMC founder Tony Prince - the former Radio Luxembourg DJ/founder of the British company that would become synonymous hip-hop DJ/turntablist battles - even if DMC initially (and still does) stand for Disco Mix Club. It was so named since initially it was all about the mixing end of the DJ but soon morphed into the scratch area of the DJ as is outlined in this second part of the documentary above when some participants in the contest took offense to the (then) new direction in the latter 80's that the battle was taken - upon its cue from the scratch-themed Superman battles at the annual New York City convention the New Music Seminar.  Tony Prince formed the "Disco Mix Club" in 1986 as an offshoot of his Disco Mix Club Show radio program that he began in 1981. The above second part is a great history lesson that covers a lot of ground in the history of both the DMC and of the DJ. It returns to some memorable moments such as Philly DJ Cash Money traveling to the UK in 1988 to reign supreme in the competition, 1989 DMC World champ Cutmaster Swift doing a live routine on the high profile Terry Wogan television program, and Germany's DJ David winning the world title in 1991 when, in the final dramatic 15 seconds of his six-minute routine, he wowed the judges with the ultimate body trick of palm-spinning his entire body around on top of one of his turntables. However many (justly) argued at the time that the judgement was unfair and based on his purely eye-catching, visual body trick rather than on his turntablist skills and that runner up DJ Qbert should have in fact won. But such are the debates surrounding any competition that carries as much weight as the DMC does. Upcoming in this year's DMC battles are the 2014 DMC US Finals taking place in NYC at Webster Hall on August 23rd (look for a full review of that battle here on the Amoeblog shortly after that date), followed by the 2014 DMC World Championships in London at the Forum on October 5th. Below is the video of the winning routine by last year's champion - DJ Fly from France.

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Remembering The Late Great Robin Williams

Posted by Billyjam, August 11, 2014 04:56pm | Post a Comment

RIP Robin Williams

With the sad, sudden, and shocking news that the 63-year-old comedic actor Robin Williams was discovered dead of an apparent suicide (LA Times report) at his Tiburon home this morning, we present these clips of him at his best over the years. The first, produced care of WatchMojo, is a reprise of what they consider ten of his best acting roles including, of course, such classics as Good Morning Vietnam and Good Will Hunting. The second is an excerpt of his alcohol and marijuana bit from his famous A Night At The Met performance.

Robin Williams A Night at the MetScheduled for a December 2014 release in theaters, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb  will be Robin Williams' posthumous release in which he (once again in the three part film series) plays the role of Teddy Roosevelt.

Rest in peace Robin Williams!

 



Robin Williams "Live At The Met - Alcohol/Marijuana"
 
 

Deconstructing the Perfect Mashup with Adrian (A Plus D, Bootie SF) and Remixer/Producer Shahar Varshal

Posted by Billyjam, August 9, 2014 08:00pm | Post a Comment

"Timber Party" Pitbull ft Kesha vs Rihanna vs RedNex vs Garbage (Shahar Varshal Mashup) (2014)

Last weekend at the weekly Bootie SF party in San Francisco when DJ Mysterious D dropped the above mashup track into her mix the already packed and energized DNA Lounge dancefloor revved into full-on party mode dancing with wild abandon to the mashup that pitch-perfectly blends elements of '90's hits by both Garbage and RedNex with the current era hits by Pitbull featuring Ke$ha ("Timber") and Rihanna  ("What Now"). It was no wonder the Saturday night club goers responded so well to the Shahar Varshal produced "Timber Party" since the remix qualifies as the perfect mashup - one that expertly builds upon each of its elements so that the whole is even greater than the sum of its already spectacular parts.

In the case of the "Timber Party" mashup, producer Varshal takes two already great contemporary pop songs ("Timber" released late last year as a single off Pitbull's 2013 release Global Warming: Meltdown and Rihanna's hugely popular 2013 single "What Now") but elevates both to new heights by melding the best of the two together (the Rihanna vocal only here) and adding in perfectly chosen parts of both RedNex (usually fun but kinda cheesy, guilty pleasure) 1994 hit single "Cotton Eye Joe," and the vocals from 90's alt rock, female fronted band Garbage's breakout 1995 hit single "I'm Only Happy When It Rains"  - making Shirley Manson's sultry vocals sound even better than on the original by giving her a whole new instrumental backdrop thanks to the Pitbull track and matching her up with Rihanna - the most unlikely yet perfect pairing of voices - and all the while anchoring the song with the Ke$ha "I'm yelling timber" chorus vocal as the song's main hook.

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The Music Of Prince and Michael Jackson Continues To Draw New Generations Of Fans, Dave Paul Confirms

Posted by Billyjam, August 9, 2014 08:14am | Post a Comment
           
                                                            Prince "Anotherloverholenyohead" (1986)


Prince Current Top Five Favorites:

  "Anotherloverholenyohead"
  "17 Days"
  "When You Were Mine"


Michael Jackson Current Top Five Favorites:

  "Leave Me Alone"
     "Will You Be There"
   "Rock With You

The above are the top three personal favorite Prince and top three favorite Michael Jackson songs from the current playlist of longtime Bay Area DJ Dave Paul's non-stop/traveling Prince & Michael Experience party. The busy interstate commuting DJ, who brings his ever popular homage to the King of Pop and the Purple Prince to some different US city most weekend nights (last night he was at the Howard Theater in Washington DC, tonight he's at DROM in New York City) messaged me these  picks between flights over the past 24 hours. Yesterday morning back in the Bay Area he had his  suitcase packed and his alarm set for 4am for what has become a typical hectic weekend schedule for the music renaissance man who started out as a DJ thirty years ago spinning records by, amongst other artists, his two favorite artists: Prince and Michael Jackson.

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