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Sharon Jones of The Dap-Kings Dead At Age 60, Following Battle With Pancreatic Cancer

Posted by Billyjam, November 18, 2016 06:55pm | Post a Comment

As if this past week (not to mention the rest of 2016) had not brought us enough tragic news of the passing of so many musical greats (Leon Russell, Leonard Cohen, Mose Allison, & Norton RecordsBilly Miller) now news arrives that 60 year old,  soul singer Sharon Jones died today. As reported a short time ago on her Facebook page: "We are deeply saddened to announce Sharon Jones passed away today after a heroic battle against pancreatic cancer. She was surrounded by her loved ones, including the Dap-Kings. Thank you for your prayers and thoughts during this difficult time" read the Facebook status update that suggested in lieu of flowers, for folks to make donations to such organizations as
Cure Pancreatic Cancer - The Lustgarten Foundation, James Brown Family Foundation, and Little Kids Rock. So far no memorial plans have been made for the widely loved Brooklyn artist.

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Neil Young, Equipto, Chill E.B., A Tribe Called Red, & Kalyn Heffernan Among Protesters of Controversial Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL)

Posted by Billyjam, November 18, 2016 04:35am | Post a Comment

With the increasingly frequent number of organized protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline (#NoDAPL) taking place across the nation, the number of outspoken protesters adopting the cause and taking it to the streets, online, and/or to North Dakota has similarly multiplied. Among this steadily swelling number of protesters, that culminated earlier this week with a national day of action at 300 different protests across the US, many are musicians. Hailing from varied genres and generations these include such artists as Neil Young, A Tribe Called Red, Equipto, Joan Baez, Trevor Hall, Michael Franti, Chill E.B., Buffy Saint Marie, Wheelchair Sports Camp, Indigo Girls, Dregs One, The Zotigh Singers, Raye Zaragoza, Jackson Browne, and DJ Troubleman. These are musicians who've either protested and or recorded protest music against the controversial pipeline. One high profile protester who could be added to this musician's list, considering that three decades ago he recorded a protest folk album, is Vermont senator Bernie Sanders who made a surprise appearance and speech in Washington DC during this week's (Nov 15th) national day of action.

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Hip-Hop Rap Up: Top 5 Charts, Music Videos, A Tribe Called Quest, KRS-One, 2Pac, Dinco D, DuBBle-OO, Baby Bash, Lex The Hex Master

Posted by Billyjam, November 15, 2016 07:23pm | Post a Comment
Top 5 New Hip-Hop Albums (New CDs + Vinyl Reissues)


1: Baby Bash  Don't Panic It's Organic (Bashtown Records)

2: Lex The Hex Master Contact (Majik Ninja)

3: DuBBle-OO Next Level (Space Age Entertainment)  

4: 2Pac 2Pacalypse Now 2LP (Interscope Records)

5: The Roots Illadelph Halflife 2LP (Geffen)

 
                [NOTE: Amoeba SHIPS FREE anywhere  in USA]



Top Five Upcoming Nov 18th Hip-Hop [Pre-Order] Releases


1: A Tribe Called Quest We Got It From Here, Thank You for Your Service (Epic Records)

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Saluting Leonard Cohen [1934 - 2016]

Posted by Billyjam, November 11, 2016 12:39pm | Post a Comment

This past Monday (Nov. 7, 2016) influential and widely loved longtime poet/author/singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen passed away, as announced last night via the Canadian artist's Facebook page. Cohen, who enjoyed a rich six decade career ending with the new You Want It Darker, was 82 years old. As of yet no exact cause of death has been issued. However a memorial at a to be announced date will take place in Los Angeles where, should the choir sing his most famous/covered song "Hallelujah," things will get most emotional. According to his family, up until the time of his death Cohen had been busy writing, and up until three years ago he had been touring/performing with his final concert in Australia in December 2013. In the time since he has done interviews, in one with the New Yorker he had said he was ready to die. In his final interview four weeks ago at a listening party for You Want It Darker at the Canadian Consulate in Los Angeles with KCRW's Chris Douridas he corrected that by saying, "I intend to live forever."

You Want It Darker (Columbia/Legacy) is the perfect sign off from an amazing artist, a brilliant beatuiful poet who began as a writer, was told by some his voice sucked so maybe not sing, but he did, and people loved him from the get go, and all the way up to his just released swan song, You Want It Darker. His fourteenth album, it was released three weeks ago, Amoeba reviewers called it  "a soulful exploration of life and death." In two weeks was the vinly/LP version of You Want It Darker scheduled for a Record Store Day 2016 release in two weeks time, Nov. 25th. As further noted in the review on the Amoeba page for You Want It Darker, Cohen "intones through his throaty spoken word delivery on the title track, adding, over church-choir backups and stately organ" and continuing that, "If it truly is Cohen’s last album, as he has hinted, he’s gone out on a breathtaking note with You Want it Darker." Although officially 14 albums mark Cohen's discography, his back catalog is way deeper than than, as proven by the 5 pages of Leonard Cohen releases available from Amoeba. Honoring the legacy of the great Leonard Cohen, below are a handful of music videos from his long illustrious career, one that also included many books of poetry and fiction he published before and after his music career began (still have my beat-up, well worn but treasured paperback copy of his second novel, Beautiful Losers).


A Tribe Called Quest's New (Sixth & Final) Album Arrives At The Perfect Time

Posted by Billyjam, November 11, 2016 10:25am | Post a Comment
In the wake of the emotionally draining presidential election, this week more than ever music offers the stressed citizens of this nation a much needed escape / distraction. Hence the timing of the release today of the hotly anticipated new A Tribe Called Quest album, We Got It From Here, Thank You for Your Service (Epic Records) could not be more perfect.

Besides the fact that the group, who once recorded the soothing "Stressed Out," are known for their relaxing jazzy brand of hip-hop (hence the perfect music to chill and escape to) this album [pre-order physical from Amoeba] is a landmark hip-hop release. It is the final album from a group that many believed would never record together again. We Got It From Here, Thank You for Your Service is A Tribe Called Quest's sixth studio album over a 26 year period dating back to their 1990 debut People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm. Note, despite ATCQ's continued chill vibe on the new album, lyrically it does not shy from addressing current affairs. Most notable is the new album song "We The People" (scroll all the way down to see the just released accompanying official lyric music video) with such lyrics as Q-Tip's paraphrasing of the president elect's campaign message: "You Black folks, you must go. All you Mexicans, you must go And all you poor folks, you must go Muslims and gays, boy, we hate your ways So all you bad folks, you must go."

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