If you've seen the N.W.A. bio-pic titled after their album Straight Outta Compton (CD and LP), the whole "Fuck The Police" controversy played a major role in the 2015 film that arrives at Amoeba on DVD/BluRay upon its January 19th release. "Fuck The Police" also played a major role in the pioneering gangsta rap group's career resulting in a not-too-happy FBI famously contacting the group's record label regarding the inflammatory anti-law enforcement anthem. But in a June 1990 interview, Ice Cube, after he had left the group and just released his debut solo album AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted (in CD and LP), told me that the controversy with the police and the FBI over the song was blown out of proportion. "They just sent us a letter," he said, which put fear into Priority Records - the label headed by Bryan Turner that before N.W.A.'s success had been known for putting out the non-offensive The California Raisins.
Following a one week postponement, this weekend the demolition of part of the old Bay Bridge is back on. Scheduled for this Saturday, November 14th, at approximately 1pm, the segment of the 77-year-old Eastern span of the Bay Bridge known as Pier E3 will be demolished. Via underwater implosion and lasting only six seconds, 400 explosives will be used to demolish a 268-foot concrete slab 165 feet in the Bay mud below. While this planned implosion of the old Bay Bridge, that was replaced back in mid-2013 with that shiny new Bay Bridge that you seem to see in every other new car commercial, may not be as dramatic as say the implosion/demolition in 1999 of San Francisco's Geneva Towers, it is still an anticipated event. Many individuals and groups are planning on viewing Saturday's implosion either in person (the Oakland side near 7th St. in West Oakland is a prime location) or online (CalTrans will stream it all live).
Fans of this upcoming event include those members of the Old Bay Bridge Demolition Facebook event page that was set up by the the San Francisco Bay Area Street Photography group. One member of this group is longtime Bay Bridge fan and former San Francisco resident Aaron Hali who now lives in Sacramento. "I'm up here in Sac because the Bay pushed us out economically so we were not in a position to buy a house in the Bay Area," he told me of his and his wife's relocation reasons, adding that, because of the three hour round trip for a six second event, he will be among those watching the implosion stream online.
Versatile New Orleans-born musician/producer Allen Toussaint died yesterday from a heart attack while in Spain, according to an email confirmation from his daughter today. The 77-year-old pianist, singer, songwriter, and producer, who remained consistently active in a rich and long musical career that began while in his teens, died after he collapsed following a concert in Madrid on Monday. Part of an ongoing European tour, last night's concert, which took place at Madrid's Teatro Lara, was captured on video with portions of it already posted online (see one of the clips below). Toussaint's legacy will forever be entwined with the New Orleans R&B musical scene. Growing up in New Orleans, he loved music from an early age and taught himself the piano.
Toussaint, who originally went by the stage name Tousan, began as a musician before expanding into the role of producer. He worked for a while behind the scenes for the Minit Records label, shaping hits for other artists such as Lee Dorsey and Irma Thomas. As a recording artist he was both influential and prolific with a rich catalog to his name, including a lot of singles. Among the most popular releases by Allen Toussaint found at Amoeba include the recommended collections of his work such as Everything I Do Gonh Be Funky: The Hit Songs & Productions 1957-1978, Toussaint: The Real Thing 1970-1975, and What Is Success: The Scepter and Bell Recordings.
Among my favorite artists of all time is the legendary LA hip-hop electro artist The Egyptian Lover, who has played at Amoeba Music in the past but this week makes a very special return with two separate in-store shows in honor of his new double LP. Entitled 1984, the album is out November 7th now on his Egyptian Empire Records label. Note that 1984 is also available in both download and CD versions. See him at the Hollywood Amoeba today (Friday, November 6th at 7pm) and again tomorrow at Amoeba San Francisco (Saturday, Nov 7th at 4pm) for a Revolutions session following sets by Chungtech and Guillermo.
3 Records Egyptian Lover Will Def Play @ Amoeba:
1) Bambaataa/Soul Sonic Force's "Planet Rock" + "Planet Rock" backwards
2) "Electric Kingdom" by Twilight 22
3) some Kraftwerk
Back at the time of this totally unexpected event communities all over the world, including the Bay Area's deep hip-hop DJ scene, were in a collective state of both remorse and shock. Shocking all these years later is that the 2002 murder still remains unsolved. Over the years suspects have been named and investigated, but 13 years on and no one was ever found responsible for the murder nor convicted.
JMJ lives on through his music that both entertains and influences. Further he influences a new younger generation posthumously through the efforts of the foundation set up in his name. The Jam Master Jay Foundation For Music was created about a year after his death by his widow Terri Corley-Mizell. The non-profit organization was set up to give back to the next generation. Its stated goal is that, "regardless of socio-economic status, every child deserves equal access to the arts. The Foundation supports the idea that social Justice, Arts and Music (J.A.M.) education should be in every school, in every region of the country, giving children the opportunity to expand their world-view through artistic expression." The Foundation's next planned public event is a hip-hop lip sync battle on November 10th, at Subrosa located at 63 Gansevoort St NY, NY. The beats will be provided by TJ Mizell, JMJ's son who is carrying on his father's legacy in various ways including acting as DJ for Run-D.M.C. in concert. For more information on the Foundation happenings visit their website. Meanwhile check out the rare clip from 1984 of JMJ doing he intro to the Run-D.M.C. concert from three decades ago. And browse the Run-D.M.C. records and CDs available from Amoeba.