Amoeblog

Bay Area 420 Guide: Get Blunted with Cypress Hill, Burn One For Bernie, Berner, Pep Love, Z-Man, Shortkut, Deuce Eclipse, Lazyboy +

Posted by Billyjam, April 20, 2016 11:59am | Post a Comment


4/20
may not be an officially recognized national holiday (yet) but that matters little to the legions of pot enthusiasts, especially in the Bay Area, who will gather at various venues and events throughout today to celebrate the annual hemp holiday. Think of 4/20 as the Record Store Day for cannabis connoisseurs. It's a day when new strains are unveiled, when clubs do giveaways and specials, and musical acts including lots of hip-hoppers perform to celebrate the beloved date. Assigned to the 20th day of the fourth month, which is derived from the daily 4:20pm designated dank time, 4/20 is a relatively recent phenomenon.  While it has only been around for a couple of decades, 4/20 day celebrations have exponentially grown in popularity over time, especially in the past few years.

Fueling this noticeable national increase in public celebrating of cannabis consumption, are the steps been taken by many states across the US toward legalizing or non-criminalizing cannabis for either medical or recreational use. While Colorado may have legalized weed and California just okayed it for medical use, from travels throughout both states, my experience is that California is much more open and free minded about cannabis consumption (not to mention way more affordable!). Consequently some of the best 4/20 celebrations are taking place in the Golden State today, especially in the Bay Area where Cypress Hill are among the many artists performing. Below is a rough guide to 4/20 events in the Bay.

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Post Record Store Day Hip-Hop Rap Up: J Dilla, J. Rawls, Roots Manuva, Mr. Lif, Homeboy Sandman, Madchild + more

Posted by Billyjam, April 18, 2016 09:58pm | Post a Comment

Record Store Day 2016 (April 16th) was another popular crowd-drawing event at record stores all over the country.  Even hours before opening time Saturday morning, outside the three Amoeba locations (LA, SF & Berkeley) there were long lines of folks fiending for the doors to open to the many great RSD exclusives. All those articles we've been reading about the ever increasing number of record collectors out there proved to be true, based on the numbers that swarmed to record stores on Saturday. By 7am outside the Hollywood Amoeba on Sunset Blvd. vinyl collectors and music fans of all ages had formed a long line that snaked down Ivar Avenue and around the back parking lot, as reported here on the Amoeblog.

Similarly up in the Bay Area collectors swarmed to both Amoeba stores early in the day, as well as throughout Record Store Day. Even at 8pm Saturday evening when I stopped into the Berkeley Amoeba
store, there were still a lot of RSD shoppers crate digging in the store's various genre sections including hip-hop vinyl. Because of the fact that the DJ and records are such a central component of hip-hop music and culture, understandably Record Store Day is a very special day for hip-hop fans.  Both DJs and casual collectors of hip-hop earmark the annual date and plan ahead . As for all the hip-hop RSD 2016 releases, the most (deserved) attention-grabbing release this year was J Dilla's The Diary. The past few days I've been listening non-stop to this highly recommended sixth posthumous release from the (now) iconic Detroit hip-hop producer/emcee, and can attest that it deserves all the hype.

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4 Turntable Set by DJ Shortkut & Maseo Tonight At Mighty SF Marks End of An Era

Posted by Billyjam, April 15, 2016 07:03pm | Post a Comment

Longtime San Francisco nightclub Mighty has been recently sold and in the coming months will be temporarily shuttered when the popular 6000 square foot venue located between the Mission and Potrero Hill, that opened 13 years ago, will undergo a total makeover and remodeling of its current simple, warehouse like design. Then at a later still to be determined future date, it will reopen under a new name as a more upscale nightlife destination, one that reportedly will not likely not feature much or any hip-hop. In fact already it is phasing out its hip-hop themed events with tonight, April 15th 2016, being one of the very final ones (Warren G is booked for four weeks) at Mighty. And tonight's show will be a good one: one that will feature a grand finale 2 DJ / 4 turntable performance by DJ Shortkut (Invisibl Skratch Piklz / Beat Junkies / Triple Threat DJs) with Maseo of De La Soul that promises to be off the hook. The pair have shared a stage many times before. Back in 2011, along with Ali Shaheed Muhammad of A Tribe Called Quest, they teamed up to perform the Heavy Boogie produced Adidas Originals Breathe & Stop Tour of Asia. [see photo below, courtesy of Joey Too Fresh, of all three on stage in Manilla]

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Interview with Longtime SF Hip-Hop Artist/Activist Equipto about Frisco Day (4/15)

Posted by Billyjam, April 14, 2016 10:30pm | Post a Comment
 
Not to be confused with other important dates in the hectic week ahead such as Tax Day (Note: 4/18 this year) or 4/16 (Record Store Day) or 4/20 (Dank Day), 4/15 is the newly assigned annual date to celebrate Frisco Day. That's 4/15 as in April 15th symbolizing the numerals of the 4-1-5 area code of San Francisco (aka Frisco). But 4/15 Frisco Day is more than simply being a day for residents to celebrate pride in their City by the Bay. It's more about solidarity among poor blue collar / working class San Franciscans who've been marginalized and endangered by the influx in recent years of high paid tech workers to their city. That's according to veteran San Francisco hip-hop artist and activist Equipto who is one of the organizers of Friday's 4/15 Frisco Day event. This week the Amoeblog caught up with the passionate and always politically outspoken emcee to ask him about 4/15 Frisco Day, and about life in general and hip-hop in particular in San Francisco in these gentrified times.


Amoeblog: So this is the first official 4/15  Frisco Day but it has been around for a minute already, right?

Equipto: Frisco Day, April 15th is a special day for certain Frisco die hards that I know. My friend Barry, who has the clothing company SFOG, has thrown dope intimate shows on 4/15 for some years now with performers like San Quinn, RBL, myself and more. But this year, this Friday 4/15, will be the first official Frisco Day for the public

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Sarah Vaughan's New "Commemorative Forever Stamp" Almost Looks Like A Record Store Day Release

Posted by Billyjam, April 13, 2016 12:48pm | Post a Comment

Finally made it to my local post office yesterday to cop a sheet of the lovingly made new Sarah Vaughan (1924 -1990) Commemorative Forever Stamps that are so well put together that they (almost) look like they could be another great Record Store Day release. Unveiled by the USPS a couple of weeks ago (March 29) with a celebratory event at the Sarah Vaughan Concert Hall in the late jazz singer's hometown of Newark NJ, the sheet of sixteen Forever stamps ($7.52) are the latest in the post office's ongoing Music Icon series.  Others have included Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Janis Joplin, Elvis Presley, and Jimi Hendrix whose commemorative stamp was the last one in the series, issued back in March 2014. Like these other Music Icon stamps, Sarah Vaughan's stamp sheet is equally pleasing to the eye of any record collector. Designed with great detail, they perfectly resemble a vintage 45, 7" record picture sleeve on both back and front.

On the back (picture right), where the sixteen peel off stamps are centered, it even looks like the tip of a black vinyl seven inch record peeking out on top. Meanwhile below, just like on some records, is a brief artist bio. Flip it over to the front sleeve art (picture above) and to the right of Vaughan's image is a list of twelve "popular" songs by the artist also known as "The Divine One" and "Dreamy."  These include the Sarah Vaughan standards "Body and Soul,”  “Whatever Lola Wants,” “Misty,” “It’s Magic,” “Thinking of You,”  “If You Could See Me Now,” “I’ve Got a Crush on You,” “Autumn in New York,” “Send in the Clowns,” “Key Largo," "Lover Man," and "It Might as Well Be Spring." Look for these songs on such actual releases by Sarah Vaughan as Sarah Vaughan: Great American Songbook and Sarah Vaughan's Finest Hour.

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