Amoeblog

Shopping At Amoeba For That Hip-Hop Fan On Your Holiday Gift List

Posted by Billyjam, December 8, 2014 02:05pm | Post a Comment

While at Amoeba San Francisco over the weekend, I realized that one could easily take care of their holiday shopping for that hip-hop fan in their life merely by focusing on the wonderful Featured Hip-Hop Releases display (found at end of the section's aisle) that is currently stocked with a variety of perfect gift choices. These include Brian Coleman's excellent, exhaustively researched new book Check The Technique Vol. 2 (for which he recently chatted with the Amoeblog about the making of), a killer '90's hip-hop mix cassette (with digital download card included) laced up by DJ Spinna and J-Rocc descriptively entitled The Best of 90's Hip-Hop Flavors Mix Cassette, and a Souls Of Mischief picture disc album (with liner notes) of their latest new studio recording There Is Only Now  - a collaboration with Adrian Younge

You'll also find on this display the classic 1987 Profile Records hip-hop Christmas Rap compilation on vinyl that boasts Run DMC's classic Christmas rap track "Christmas In Hollis" (recently reissued as a limited run 7" single for Black Friday/Record Store Day) along with other holiday themed hip-hop tracks from such other old school acts as Sweet Tee, Dana Dane, and Spyder D. Also on the same rack is a must-have for any hip-hop junkie - the Wu-Tang Clan's first album, Enter the Wu-Tang: 36-Chamber ,in yellow black swirl vinyl. Don't miss the instrumental version (on vinyl) of the 2011 release Fela Soul, which is Fela Kuti vs. De La Soul and is, as you would imagine, a unique and pleasing meld of golden era hip-hop with afrobeat rhythms and funky horn riffs.

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up: Wu-Tang Clan, E-40, Run The Jewels, Trademark Da Skydiver, Rick Ross

Posted by Billyjam, December 5, 2014 12:30pm | Post a Comment

If it seems like an awful lot of tight new hip-hop releases are dropping right now or are about to drop, that's because there are. This is the time of the year - leading up to the holidays - when labels, especially major labels, traditionally unleash new albums, with hip-hop making up a good percentage of said releases. New, recent, and upcoming 2014 hip-hop albums include Trademark Da Skydiver's Return Of The Super Villain (Ihiphopdist); the Wu-Tang Clan's much-heralded return album A Better Tomorrow, which includes all living members the legendary Staten Island hip-hop crew; and Rick Ross' Hood Billionaire, which has been a major seller at Amoeba since its release late last month. Another recent release that continues to sell briskly at Amoeba Music is the highly-recommended second outing from El-P and Killer Mike (aka Run The Jewels), Run The Jewels 2. They just released a video for "Oh My Darling (Don't Cry)," which is the second single and the best track on the album. The video appears below along with ones from the aforementioned Rick Ross, Trademark Da Skydiver ("Keep It 100"), and the Wu-Tang Clan's spanking new video for "A Better Tomorrow," which contains visuals created by Wu-Tang Clan "in the hopes of inspiring change and promoting unity throughout the world." Also below is the video for E-40's "Red Cup," which is the first single off the Bay Area legend's upcoming three-album set Sharp On All 4 Corners -(subtitled: Corner 1, Corner 2 and the Deluxe Edition). The popular party track features guests Kid Ink, T-Pain, and B.O.B.

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Nick Talbot, aka Warp artist Gravenhurst, Dead At Age 37

Posted by Billyjam, December 4, 2014 01:34pm | Post a Comment

As reported by his record label Warp on their website earlier today, Nick Talbot - better known as Gravenhurst - has passed away. So far no cause of death of the English artist has been announced anywhere. The multi-talented 37-year-old musician/ journalist was about to unleash three new releases of older material via Warp on December 15th. The recently-uncovered collection of basement tape recordingsmade a decade ago are Offerings: Lost Songs 2000-2004, the ten track LP Flashlight Seasons, and the 3 disc  Flashlight Seasons / Black Holes In The Sand / Offerings that includes all three titles (note that Black Holes was originally released in 2004). 

"We are shocked and saddened to share the news that Nick Talbot, aka Gravenhurst, has passed away aged 37. An immensely talented singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer and journalist, he will be hugely missed. Nick's family and friends request privacy at this difficult time," posted Warp Records to their website this morning.

Meanwhile, Gravenhust's longtime manager/friend Michelle Hilborne wrote that Talbot was, "The finest, most extraordinary and inspirational songwriter, singer and performer, and a remarkable producer and journalist, Nick’s work has deeply affected so many people all over the world. Outstandingly intelligent, compassionate, fascinating and witty, Nick was the dearest friend and his absence brings indescribable sorrow."

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Top Ten "I Don't Wanna" Songs

Posted by Billyjam, December 3, 2014 10:20am | Post a Comment

While walking through the subway station tunnel at 59th Street station here in New York, I heard someone across the platform loudly and repeatedly singing the refrain "I don't wanna, I don't wanna, I don't wanna..." until the increasingly distant voice trailed off completely as I climbed the steps to the street at Central Park South. The song kept echoing in my head as I tried to figure out what it was. I couldn't pinpoint it, but then I realized that it could be one of countless songs that have those same three words. "I don't wanna" is something people say a lot and naturally spin into song lyrics, hence this Amoeblog post. Here are the Top Ten "I Don't Wanna" songs with those words in its title or lyrics.

This list includes heavy hits such as Minor Threat's "I Don't Wanna Hear It" (my favorite of them all, and a song that has been covered by many other artists, including Slayer). Then there's The Ramones' song "I Don't Wanna Grow Up" from their !Adios Amigos! album and the Descendents' title track I Don't Want To Grow Up, both of which are included. The Ramones recorded several other "I Don't Wanna" songs, including "I Don't Wanna Go Down To The Basement," "Don't Wanna Be Learned/Don't Wanna Be Tamed," and "I Don't Walk Around With You." However they did "Wanna Sniff Some Glue" - all four of these Ramones songs (some in demo format) can be found on the wonderful 2001 collection entitled The Ramones.

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Is The Zombies "Odessey And Oracle" The Best Album at Amoeba?

Posted by Billyjam, December 2, 2014 03:40pm | Post a Comment

The best album in the store? Maybe. Well, that's what the sign above the 1968 Zombies classic Odessey And Oracle clearly reads, so it must be true. I spotted the sign and the accompanying classic '60's psychedelic rock album while roaming the aisles of music in the cavernous Amoeba Hollywood store yesterday. Seeing the album, which is the only proper album recorded by the short-lived supergroup, and its claim prompted me to dig up my own copy of the album once I got home and to throw it on the turntable to see if it lives up to the advertising. Maybe it is and maybe it isn't - for that's subjective and ever changing - but one thing is for sure; the album, which was overlooked upon its initial release but would years later become critically acclaimed, is one helluva rock album. I was glad to hear it again after not listening to it for several years.

The 12-track album, which includes the "surprise hit" single "Time Of The Season," has been released in over 30 versions over the years since 1968. The original album, recorded in a rushed fashion due to budget restrictions, was recorded in mono but had to be redone in stereo for the US release on Date Records - a CBS subsidiary label that released "Butcher's Tale" as the first single off the album in the US (“Care of Cell 44” was the first UK single off the album). Below are YouTube versions of the album tracks "Time of the Season," Beechwood Park," and a recent era rendition of the track "A Rose For Emily." Buy the Zombies' Odessey And Oracle at Amoeba's three stores or find it on Amoeba.com in various versions.

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