Amoeblog

#TBT To Earlier Era San Francisco Gentrification/Tech Invasion Backlash

Posted by Billyjam, July 23, 2015 01:19pm | Post a Comment

In keeping with the day's #tbt theme I flashback to late 1990's San Francisco -- an earlier era of the still-ongoing, unrelenting gentrification and tech invasion of the city by the Bay that has resulted in record high rents and driven out so many longtime SF residents (including lots of musicians and budget-conscious artists) who no longer can afford to live in a city that rivals Manhattan in cost of living.  In comparison to today, the late '90s version of San Francisco was still relatively affordable, albeit still a far cry from the inexpensive city of previous decades that attracted so many artists to relocate to the Bay. In 2015 it may be tech giants like Twitter and Google who are seen as among the main culprits of gentrification in San Francisco. Back in the late '90s it was seen by most as the "dot com" invasion of areas South Of Market, particularly the Mission District.

"I don't wanna be a slave to no dot com…Ain't no parking around my residence. I don't like the candidates running for president. All these dot coms make me depressed…I'm more concerned about paying my rent," rapped veteran San Francisco underground hip-hop artist Crack Emcee on his song "Babylon.com." This earlier era SF tech revolt anthem (hear below) was the opening track that set the tone for the Amoeba Music Compilation Vol. II. This compilation of indie artists (many in San Francisco) was subtitled "Just Payin' The Rent" because at the time of its release - late '90s into early 2000's - San Francisco neighborhoods like The Mission were experiencing first hand the negative fallout of the dot com boom including driving up housing costs and hence out-pricing long time residents including artists with little money to begin with.

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The Great Rock N Roll Swindle: Version 2015

Posted by Billyjam, July 22, 2015 10:20am | Post a Comment


Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?
A bunch of musicians in New York did, and not in the tradition of Johnny Rotten's statement and abrupt farewell of the Sex Pistols at Winterland. These musicians were taken in a carefully planned ruse that dates back a year but only got solved yesterday upon the arrest of Peter McMahon, the corrupt Brooklyn-based "concert promoter" who bilked 36 groups (mostly hard working up-and-coming rock bands such as Huxster from Boston) into forking over pay-to-play deposits of up to $240 to be on stage at the non-existent "North-East Music Festival" on Staten Island.

McMahon's fictional festival, which was supposed to take place last August, was no ordinary rock fest. It would be the "Woodstock of this generation" he convinced band members anxious to be a part of this supposedly prestigious four-day, music festival. As reported by the Staten Island Live website this week, who ran the Tennessee mug shot of the Brooklyn man whose current charges are for fraud and larceny, bands forked over anywhere between $50 and $240 as a "registration fee."

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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Digital Underground Spin-off Acts

Posted by Billyjam, July 21, 2015 06:14pm | Post a Comment


From when they first formed in the East Bay in the late 1980s, the funk/rap/hip-hop ensemble Digital Underground (DU) was as much a collective of creative-minded artists as simply a singular rap group. As such, these young P-Funk disciples tended to have an ever-rotating stable of members and associated artists. Digital Underground, whose consistent core members over their two-decade timeline were Shock G (aka Humpty Hump, aka M.C. Blowfish) and Money B, spawned several spinoff acts in their prime years (circa '88 - '93) that included most notably a dancer and roadie turned actor and rap superstar Tupac Shakur or 2Pac, Raw Fusion (DJ Fuze and Money B), Gold Money (who were also signed to Tommy Boy for a minute, but long enough to do the cool money-themed promo items pictured below), Saafir (f/k/a The Saucy Nomad), female emcee/singer Mystic (who was also down with Conscious Daughters), and Pee Wee. Pee Wee, who was part of the aforementioned Gold Money along with Bigg Money Odis, would go on to produce for 2Pac as well as being a member of another Bay Area collective, Too $hort's extended Dangerous Crew rap family.

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First Annual Bay Area Reggae Festival Cancelled At Last Minute

Posted by Billyjam, July 19, 2015 10:20am | Post a Comment


It was being billed as the First Annual Bay Area Reggae Festival and was to take place over this weekend at the cavernous Craneway Pavilion in Richmond. Scheduled performers were to include big names of the genre such as Junior ReidGyptian, Marcia Griffiths, Freddie McGregor, Sister Carol, Barrington Levy, and Lady Saw. Tickets for the ambitious East Bay three-day event (July 17-19) were $200 or $75 per day, which, most agreed, was pricey but worth it to see some of the reggae legends booked. However, in the final lead-up days to the reggae festival, rumors had been circulating that advance ticket sales were not good.  As with any first-time festival event of this scale, those financially invested in it were getting a little anxious in the days leading up to the festival and those fears were well founded it would turn out.

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Top 10 Hip-Hop Acts At Ice-T's Art of Rap Festival

Posted by Billyjam, July 18, 2015 12:55pm | Post a Comment

This Amoeblog, which includes music videos by ten of the numerous talented acts that will perform at this weekend's Art Of Rap Festival, is geared to act as a primer for the Ice-T-curated,  two-day, two-location (SoCal and NorCal) event that includes some of the best MC names in the history of hip-hop, such as Rakim, Melle Mel, Big Daddy Kane, Slick Rick, and the Cold Crush Brothers featuring Grandmaster Caz. Taking place today (Saturday, July 18th) in SoCal at Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre and then tomorrow up at the Shoreline Amphiteather in Mountain View, the ambitious project is an outgrowth of the documentary film Something From Nothing: The Art Of Rap from a few years ago. The documentary features many of the same acts in the film, which is now available from Amoeba on DVD as well as the accompanying soundtrack on CD and LP that features lots of the freestyle and live versions of songs featured throughout the documentary).

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