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SoCal DJ EtRoNiK Wins 2010 US DMC Championship in a Night of Cutting & Scratching, Nunchucks & Handcuffs, Mixing & Beat-Juggling, and Booing & Cheering

Posted by Billyjam, August 10, 2010 05:10pm | Post a Comment
DJ Etronik

Southern California DJ EtRoNiK took the 2010 US DMC DJ Championship title Saturday night in New York at an entertaining DJ event that included not just scratching, beat-juggling, body-tricks and mixing, but also nunchucks & handcuffs, plus laughter & booing. By becoming the new US DMC Champion, DJ EtRoNiK, who hails from Pico Rivera in Southeastern Los Angeles County, is the first DJ in the US to represent the World in all 3 DMC World Battle Categories. The skilled and seasoned DJ was the DMC US Supremacy Champion 2006, DMC US Team co-Champion (The Angry Exs) 2008, and DMC West Coast Champion 2010. The runner up in Saturday's US Finals was Lakewood NJ DJ Steel, who is part of the Brick Bandits Crew and whose battle titles include the 2009 DMC New Orleans Champion, and the 2010 DMC San Antonio TX Champion. In third place was tireless veteran battle DJ Grandmaster Supreme, who back in 1991 took the NMS (New Music Seminar) DJ champion title (the year before Mixmaster Mike won the title in the legendary & long defunct NYC based annual NMS battles) and whose impressive battle routine Saturday night included a lot of dramatics and body tricks, including flipping a pair of nunchucks as he simultaneously worked the turntables.

Rockin Rob

Running from 5pm to 10pm at Santos Party House (the downtown Manhattan club co-owned by Andrew WK), the fun-packed five hour event included, in addition to the actual DJ battle, several impressive DJ Conceptshowcases. One was a jaw-dropping opening set by Rockin Rob. This old school hip-hop DJ, who plays 45s exclusively and all rare funk and breaks seven inches, is a sight to see as he effortlessly cuts and juggles (lots of quick mixes) without ever missing a beat. Everyone in the house loved his set, including the host (and unofficial star) of the night, the ever entertaining Kool DJ Red Alert. The pioneering hip-hop DJ, who used to host the DJ battles way back in the day and thankfully is back doing it again, is the perfect fit as host of the big DJ battle. He is both funny-as-hell and knowledgeable in the art of hip-hop battle DJ'ing, but more importantly, he's well able to good-humoredly deal with the contestants and the audience if and when either need to be kept in check.

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2010 DMC US Finals DJ Battle at Santos Party House in NYC Today

Posted by Billyjam, August 7, 2010 02:30pm | Post a Comment
DJ Shiftee
Just an hour and a half from now (4pm until 10pm EST) this year's DMC US Finals - National DJ Battle competition will take place at Santos Party House in New York City. DJs from all over the country will be competing for the prestigious title and a grand prize that includes flying them over to London in October to compete in the DMC World DJ Battle. Last year US DJ Shiftee won the title and went on to the UK for the World Finals and won, becoming the reigning DMC World Champion DJ. With that title his life has changed dramatically. "My life as a DJ has been catapulted into overdrive since winning the 2009 DMC World Championship. I have way more gig offers, way more press, way more props/respect, and a much bigger platform to put forth my projects and personality," the talented and quick-witted DJ told me recently, adding, "I also now have probably the best coffee table in the world. All in all, I think it's a good thing I won."

Today's DMC DJ battle will determine who will be the 2010 DMC US Champion and the 2010 DMC US Vice Champion (runner up). Contestants include Florida's DJ Concept; Denver, Colorado's DJ Notch; California's DJ Etronik; Colorado DJ Cysko RokwelSteel from New Jersey; South Carolina's DJ Swift; Colorado DJs Skip Ripkin, B'Money, & Jeff C; Cali DJs Juyadek DJ Image; and self-described "Center of the Universe" DJ, Grandmaster Supreme. And for this battle each DJ has put in ridiculous amounts of time practicing for their few moments at a chance to take the title. "I practice six hours a day," DJ Swift told me yesterday during a WFMU pre-DMC Finals radio special.

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Hip-Hop Rap Up 08:06:10: Madlib's Medicine Show, The Mighty Underdogs, Oakland Faders, Foreign Legion, Blitz the Ambassador, Dana Leong, J-Dilla, APG Crew, Nappy Roots, DJ Inti + More

Posted by Billyjam, August 6, 2010 08:00am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Berkeley Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 08:06:10

1) The Roots How I Got Over (Def Jam)

2) Big Boi Sir Lucious Left Foot... The Son of Chico Dusty (Def Jam)

3) Madlib Medicine Show #7: High Jazz (Stones Throw)

4) Curren$y Pilot Talk (Blu Roc, Def Jam)

5) Eminem Recovery (Aftermath, Interscope, Shady)

Thanks to Inti at the Amoeba Music Berkeley store for this week's Hip-Hop Top Five countdown (see video below), with many of the same current releases from the past several weeks still holding strong in sales at the Telegraph Ave. store. A prime example is The Roots' widely acclaimed latest How I Got Over (Def Jam), which is number one again this week. A new entry on the top five is the latest installment from eclectic producer Madlib -- CD number seven for month number seven (July 2010) in this unique Stones Throw twelve month Medicine Show series from the prolific LA music man. High Jazz is the name of the CD and it has already sold out at Amoeba Berkeley. The album is described as a tribute to the landmark 1976 jazz-fusion album released by Stanton Davis’s Ghetto Mysticism and as such displays another impressive musical side to the ever eclectic and progressive Madlib. Noteworthy songs on this 15 track release include a collaborative piece with jazz/hip-hop drummer/producer Karriem Riggins, who, along with Madlib, is the group Jahari Masamba Unit. Note that there is also a limited edition 3-disc vinyl version of this Medicine Show installment from Stones Throw which offers an exclusive additional 30 minutes of music. Fans of the Madlib Medicine Show series can look out for release number 8 to drop on August 24th.

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The Town Part III: Remedy Coffee, Oakland and Proud

Posted by Billyjam, August 3, 2010 02:11pm | Post a Comment
Remedy Coffee, Oakland, CA
It may not even have been open a full two months yet but already Oakland's Remedy Coffee at 4316 Telegraph Avenue (between 43rd St & 44th St) in the ever evolving Temescal district has the warm & comfortable feel of a local cafe that has been there a lot longer than just seven weeks. The friendly and attentive Todd Spitzer is the owner of Remedy and I instantly knew I liked the guy and his new business when I first went in and saw him proudly sporting a T-shirt that read Live in Oakland. Love in Oakland. Love Oakland, and, between preparing individual servings of fresh coffee, he was changing the record on the turntable (yes, a vinyl player!) behind the counter.

That was about four weeks ago and in the short time since, business has quadrupled for Remedy -- and for good reason. It's a welcoming, very spacious, well lit environment with a variety of seating options (high stool counter, sofa level, & standard cafe table inside and out), excellent coffee (they specialize in light coffee), free Wi-Fi (unblocked under Remedy Hearts You), great music selection and nice bass-y speakers well positioned up high, excellent art on the wall (artist Cathy Lo currently), plus numerous cool curiosities such as a Pacific Bell phone booth right when you walk in the main door. The back patio is still to open, but it will soon. The clientele (many of whom arrive by bike) is a nice wide mix of people from The Town: musicians, DJs, artists, students, blue collar workers, OPD, young, old, straight and, gay. It's open Monday to Friday 7am to 6pm and weekends 8:30am to 6pm.

Before opening Remedy, which is right next door to Flying Yoga, round the corner from a cluster of Korean restaurants known to many as Little Korea, and down a block from Rent-A-Relic, Todd had a coffee cart set up right outside. With help from friends, he slowly but surely over a period of year worked on getting his business off the ground. He carefully crafted the interior of Remedy, which is modern without being cold or alienating. I recently caught up with Todd to ask him about going from cart to cafe, light roasted versus dark roasted., Oakland as a place to live & work, the meaning of the Remedy logo, and, of course, music -- inviting him and his staff to submit their all time Top Five Albums lists. The staffer descriptions are all Todd's.

Beirut
Taylor King (Almost lead barista and art curator) Top Five:

1) Jethro Tull Thick as a Brick

To Be a Star in Hollywood All You Need is a Sharpie

Posted by Billyjam, August 2, 2010 05:33pm | Post a Comment
Hollywood Walk Of Fame
To be a star in Hollywood all you really need is a Sharpie pen. And since fame and stardom don't always come a-knockin' on your door, sometimes you just gotta go out there and make it happen yourself -- take control of your own destiny, or stardom, so to speak. This you can do armed with a Sharpie, plus a willingness to commit a minor crime, followed by a quick walk down the Hollywood Walk of Fame until you stumble upon one of the blank stars on the sidewalks of Hollywood Blvd. and Vine Street.

There, spread over a combined 18 blocks, sit approximately two and a half thousand five-pointed terrazzo & brass stars brightly embedded in the Hollywood sidewalk, spaced at every six feet. Many of these stars are blank waiting to be officially filled in with the name of some accomplished entertainment Sharpiefigure, typically a movie, TV, or music person. Sometimes these blank stars get unofficially filled in. That is exactly what "Boris P" with his "M" in a circle symbol recently did on Vine in the block just below Hollywood Blvd, where he got busy with his Sharpie pen -- instantly bypassing the typical hard uphill slog to stardom. And with an estimated ten million visitors annually coming to LA specifically to see The Walk, according to a report by NPO/Plog Research, odds are that "Boris P" is a hell of a lot more well known now than he was before he bought that 99 cent Sharpie.

Administrated by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and maintained by the Hollywood Historic Trust, The Hollywood Walk of Fame very recently celebrated its 50th anniversary which I missed by a few days. Held on Sunday, July 25th, the occasion was celebrated with a day-long festival with tours of iconic Hollywood theaters and studios, as well as live music, performances, movie screenings and various other activities including the induction of the late great Louis Prima onto The Walk. I passed his shiny new star -- not too far from Boris P's star.

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