Amoeblog

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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Hip-Hop Rap Up 07:30:10: Amoeba Hollywood Top 5 with Marques, KRS-One Amoeba Instore Review, Shing02 Interview + Live Music Guide

Posted by Billyjam, July 30, 2010 03:40pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Hollywood Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 07:30:10

Big Boi OutKast
1) Rick Ross Teflon Don (Def Jam)

2) Eminem Recovery (Aftermath, Interscope, Shady)

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

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

5) Drake Thank Me Later (Cash Money Records)

Special thanks to Marques at the Hollywood Amoeba Music store for this week's in-person Top Five Hip-Hop Chart (scroll down to see video clip) from the Sunset Blvd. store where I spent much of Wednesday and Thursday this week soaking in all the loveliness of being surrounded by so much music Damn but the huge, cavernous two-level Hollywood Amoeba is just so vast that you seriously need to pace yourself if you go shopping there. The hip-hop section alone, where I stumbled upon records and DVDs that I had never even seen before, is worth the trip.

Besides crate digging and talking music with a slew of impressively knowledgeable Hollywood Amoebites, I also had the honor of moderating Wednesday evening's Q&A session with The Teacha himself, Hip Hop KRS ONE + General Jefflegend KRS ONE, who, in support of his latest book, The Gospel of Hip Hop, came for an exclusive Amoeba Hollywood instore that involved him talking about his unique hip-hop history-meets- life- manual publication, and also responding to questions from myself and some Amoeba customers who had bought the KRS book. One such customer was General Jeff (pictured above with KRS) from the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council, who had a great question about homeless youth -- something that KRS, as a former homeless youth himself, enthusiastically responded to in enlightening detail.

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The Gospel of Hip Hop According to KRS ONE, Part VI -- Hip Hop as World's Savior, The Gospel & KRS in the Year 2040

Posted by Billyjam, July 28, 2010 09:00am | Post a Comment

At 6pm today (July 28th), KRS One (aka The Teacha & longtime ambassador of all things Hip Hop) will celebrate the publication of his in-depth book, The Gospel of Hip Hop: First Instrument presented by KRS One for the Temple of Hip Hop (Powerhouse Books), with a special Amoeba Music Hollywood appearance. Unlike most Amoeba instores, which tend to be music concerts followed by a meet and greet/CD signing, today's standing room only KRS  instore event, to be held in the SoCal store's cozy Jazz Room, will involve the veteran Hip Hop artist, activist, educator, author giving a lecture related to The Gospel of Hip Hop, taking some questions from the audience, and signing copies of his book. It is still possible to get in on today's special event. For full information & exact details click here. And if you are unable to attend today's event but would like to purchase a copy of the book online from Amoeba you can do so by clicking here. If you have any questions that you would like KRS to answer please write them in the comments below, and, as moderator of today's KRS lecture, I will do my best to have the man answer your question.

Today's KRS One Amoeblog is the sixth and final part in the series leading up to his instore and includes another audio excerpt from the recent Amoeblog exclusive KRS phone interview. After spending even a short time in the company of KRS you quickly realize that to say he does not take Hip Hop lightly is quite an understatement. The man lives and breathes it. His famous line, "rap is something you do, Hip Hop is something to live," are truly words that he lives by. In conversation he mentions Hip Hop continually and clearly never stops thinking about it and its ramifications. "I think Hip Hop is the savior of American KRS ONEsociety; Hip Hop itself brings cultures together because it gives people a chance to talk and to really see what the other guy is thinking and in a peaceful way," he told me when I asked about the real meaning of Hip Hop as a culture and a lifestyle.

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The Gospel of Hip Hop According to KRS ONE, Part V -- On His "Divine Intelligence," Dealing with Detractors, and Satanists & Hip Hop

Posted by Billyjam, July 27, 2010 04:05pm | Post a Comment

In celebration of Hip Hop legend KRS One's recently unleashed 800 + page book, The Gospel of Hip Hop: First Instrument presented by KRS ONE for the Temple of Hip Hop published by Powerhouse Books, the Teacha himself will make a special exclusive Amoeba Music Hollywood appearance tomorrow (Wednesday, July 28th) at 6pm. He will present a lecture, Q+A session, and book signing for those lucky to gain access to the standing room only Jazz Room section of the Southern California Amoeba store.

For more information on how you can still attend this unique Amoeba instore appearance by the man who literally wrote the good book on Hip Hop, click here. And if you cannot attend this one off event but would like to purchase a copy of the book online from Amoeba and have KRS sign it for you, you can do so by clicking here. Also, should you have any questions that you would like presented to KRS, please write them in the comments below and, as moderator of his lecture at Amoeba Hollywood, I will do my best to have him answer your question.

Meantime, this is the fifth in the six part KRS One Amoeblog interview, with each installment leading up to the KRS instore on July 28th. On the topic of the Gospel of Hip Hop, KRS One insists, "If we are going to create a kulture, an international kulture, then we are going to have to dig a little deeper than rap music CDs and Wild Style movie watching. We're gonna have to actually know, to the deepest aspect of our being, who we are and what we mean. And this is done in mathematics. This is done through language. This is done through gnostic knowledge, dreams, visions, miracles. And to live that even you have to live a dangerous life. You have to live on the edge. You might get arrested. Your friend may die. And people don't want to go that path. They don't want to investigate anything that deep. So for me there is no debate. I have delved deep into Hip Hop for my own survival by the way, love of craft, and my own survival."

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