Amoeblog

BOOTS RILEY OF THE COUP TELLS IT AS HE SEES IT

Posted by Billyjam, February 2, 2009 10:00am | Post a Comment
boots riley
In 1993 when Boots Riley and The Coup (Pam the Funkstress and former member E-Roc) first caught the attention of the hip-hop world with their socially & politically charged debut Kill My Landlord (Wild Pitch), hip-hop had already passed its political Afro-centric wave. 

It was when gangsta rap, with Dr. Dre and The Chronic leading the way, was fast becoming the prevalant hip-hop flavor, remaining so ever since. But none of that bothered the ever-outspoken, individually minded Raymond "Boots" Riley one bit, not then nor in the 16 years since. Boots as both an artist and acitvist has remained a refreshingly consistent voice of rebelliion; one constantly questioning authority, in particular the capitalist system of the country in which he lives.

Last week I caught up with Boots by telephone to talk with him about Black History Month, Barack Obama being in the White House, the relationship between police & minorities in the aftermath of the Oscar Grant case, and of course music, among other things. Riley was in LA in the studio sitting in on the finishing stages of mixing an album for a forthcoming release of an exciting-sthe coup kill my landlordounding side project by The Coup frontman, which is detailed further in the conversation that follows.

Amoeblog: So what is this new album side-project you are finishing up right now?

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AMOEBA MUSIC WEEKLY HIP-HOP ROUND UP 01:31:09

Posted by Billyjam, January 31, 2009 08:30am | Post a Comment
AMOEBA MUSIC SAN FRANCISCO HIP-HOP TOP FIVE: 01:31:09
sweet lord by murs and 9th wonder
1) Murs/9th Wonder Sweet Lord
(Record Collection)

2) Atmosphere God Loves Ugly (Rhymesayers)

3) Dälek Gutter Tactics (Ipecac)

4) X-Clan Mainstream Outlawz
(Suburban Noize)

5) Cappadonna Slang Prostitution
(ChamberMusik Records)

Thanks to Luis at Amoeba Music San Francisco for supplying this week's Hip-Hop Top FIve chart of the best selling albums of the week at the Haight Street store where the new number one is the album Sweet Lord by Murs and 9th Wonder. It was recorded about two years ago by the Los Angeles emcee and the North Carolina producer but not first released until a few months when it was made available as a digital download only; the album is only just now available to buy on CD. 9th Wonder, who is one of the best and most in-demand hip-hop producers today, and Murs, who is among the brightest and most gifted lyricists in the genre, have worked together before. Most recently they collaborated on a few tracks off of Murs' major label debut Murs For President, released on Warner in late September. In the studio they have a wonderful chemistry. As Murs raps on the Sweet Lord track "Are You Ready?" -- "Welcome ye'all to the 9th Wonder, Murs' dream. Ghetto music with a purpose..two of the world's most respected musicians are now at work. I suggest you listen."

The rest of the ten track album is really, really good (you wouldn't expect less from the talented duo) and features such other standout songs as "Free," "It's For Real," and "Nina Ross." "Nina Ross," which is a very clever song, is one of those great hip-hop tracks that draws you in thinking it is (yet) another tale of a hip-hop guy scamming on girls or (in this case) on the one girl, Nina Ross. Instead Murs flips things up in this engaging tale. And as the story unfolds it turns out that Nina is the one in control of the situation and that the guy is the one been taken advantage of -- or rather being taught a lesson for his past sexist & explloitive attitudes & deeds towards women.dalek gutter tactics

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AARON COMETBUS ON WRITING & MUSIC (INC. THORNS OF LIFE)

Posted by Billyjam, January 30, 2009 08:46am | Post a Comment

aaron cometbus
Somehow longtime author, punk rock drummer, and self-described "punk anthropologist" Aaron Cometbus (born Aaron Elliot) has managed to stay relatively under the mainstream radar while simultaneously gaining great notoriety and deserved respect among underground punk circles for close to three full decades now -- ever since the beginning of the eighties when, barely a teenager, the highly intelligent and gifted Berkeley youth began writing his seminal punk fanzine Cometbus.

He also played music in many bands from a young age. His second band Crimpshrine, in which he played drums, was the pioneering East Bay punk band which had a major impact on the burgeoning East Bay punk scene, up until their demise in '89. Since then Aaron has continued to consistently make music as a member of, literally, dozens of different bands -- most of them short lived groups. Some, such as Pinhead Gunpowder, which he formed with Billie Joe Armstrong and others in the early nineties, still play occasionally. His most recent band is the Thorns of Life which formed a few months ago in Brooklyn and features Blake Schwarzenbach (of Jets to Brazil & Jawbreaker fame) and bassist Daniela Sea (known for her former membership of the Gr'ups and Cypher in the Snow as well as her acting role in the TV show The L Word). The band, who played their first club date ever on Monday at the Hemlock in SF followed a few days later on Thursday last by a "secret show" at Thrillhouse Records with a reported 100 folks squeezed into the small Mission Street retail space., play 924 Gilman tomorrow (Sat. Jan 31st).

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LEGENDARY BRITISH FOLK MUSICIAN JOHN MARTYN DEAD AT 60

Posted by Billyjam, January 29, 2009 11:11am | Post a Comment
john martyn
As reported earlier today by both the Guardian UK and Associated Press, famed British folk singer-songwriter John Martyn has died earlier today, of unknown causes, at age 60. Martyn, who was very recently awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) in the 2009 New Year honours list, was best known for melding jazz with his folk musical style.  

Martyn's 1973 album Solid Air, whose title track reportedly was a tribute to singer-songwriter Nick Drake, with whom Martyn was often compared, remains his most acclaimed album. Over his several decades-long career Martyn had collaborated with such high-profile acts as Eric Claptojohn martyn solid airn, Phil Collins, and David Gilmour. Additionally he had collaborated a lot with his former wife Beverley Martyn.

As reported by the Guardian, Martyn, who was known for wholeheartedly living the rock n roll lifestyle (booze and drugs), had struggled in recent years with alcoholism and once told Q Magazine that, "If I could control myself more, I think the music would be much less interesting. I'd probably be a great deal richer but I'd have had far less fun and I'd be making really dull music."

In 2003 his right leg was partially amputated after a large cyst under his knee burst, leading him to spend his latter years in a wheelchair.



1980's CALIFORNIA PUNK SHOW FLYERS

Posted by Billyjam, January 28, 2009 11:35pm | Post a Comment
subhumans
I recently found a bunch of old California punk flyers buried in a box that had been stored for years since back in the 80s when these shows that took place in both the Bay Area (SF and Berkeley) and in SoCal. This Amoeblog focuses on some California punk flyers from the 1980's.

Almost as much as I loved the music itself, I equally loved most of the simple but impassioned flyer designs and the raw energy that went into making them. They were  often created by a band member or one of their extended crew. While the styles ranged a little bit from one flyer to another, they were usually just handdrawn graphics or images or maybe just one simple image cut out of a magazine and slapped on the page.

Sometimes the main information (the band names or club info) might have been handwritten or else typed out, but not like today on a computer. Back then it was usually made on a typewriter, then blown up on a copy machine to match the scale of the flyer.

Compared to now, when everyone has the luxury of a tricked-out computer oozing with graphic programs etc. that can do every type of desired design at the click of a finger, this was an archaic and simple time. It was when cut-and-paste meant literally cutting out an image or graphic with a scissors and pasting it with glue or Scotch tape or sometimes just spit to hold things in place. Having a friend who worked at a local Xerox store or working there yourself was always a plus. Same went for those who did fanzines. I remember many show flyers being so rushed that they would be Xeroxed and all passed out before anyone would catch some glaring typo or ommission such as the date of the event having been left off the flyer! Or sometimes with handwritten flyers it was impossible to make out the name of the venue or the date because it was so badly drawn or so artisitically done that design prevalied over content and legibility.fucked up and photocopied

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