Amoeblog

FIVE THINGS KANYE WEST COULD HAVE SAID INSTEAD AT THE VMA'S

Posted by Billyjam, September 15, 2009 03:18pm | Post a Comment
Kayne West vs Taylor Swift
Kanye West
's well publicized little outburst at Sunday night's MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs), in which he bum-rushed the stage during country singing teen Taylor Swift's acceptance speech to grab her mic and offer his uninvited opinion on how unfair he felt it was that Beyonce didn't win in the Best Female Video category, gave the media some fodder complete with a good headline for their report on the otherwise ho-hum awards show. And the fact that there suspiciously was no security whatsoever to stop West from storming the stage merely proved what many have long speculated: that MTV's producers secretly encourage any kind of controversy to spice up and give some edge to their show.

But by now Kanye's attention grabbing stunts are beyond tired. On Sunday night, even Beyonce, whose honor he somehow believed he was defending, wasn't impressed by his rude gesture. Neither was anyone else it seemed. And why should they be? Beyond the disrespectful act itself, it's not like he was sticking up for some totally underrated, slept-on artist. It was Beyonce -- one of the world's biggest stars, who a little bit later on in the same show would be bestowed with the Video Of The Year award. If Kanye is going to bum rush the stage and grab someone's mic, he should use the opportunity to say something of substance or worth.  Here are five suggestions for Kanye of what he could have said instead:

1) Talk about something really important or of social/political relevance like he did four years ago in his infamous post-Katrina "George Bush doesn't care about black people" comment (see video below). Or take Beyoncethe opportunity to comment on the growing thinly veiled tide of racism towards Barack Obama, or question why a FOX News host is getting away with calling the president "a racist." Or how about offering some opinion on health care? Note that even the host of the evening, Russell Brand, addressed this issue. However, like everything else that this English host-with-an-acquired-taste uttered throughout the long evening, it simply didn't register with the VMA audience.

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POET, PUNKER JIM CARROLL (Basketball Diaries) DIES AT AGE 60

Posted by Billyjam, September 14, 2009 01:13pm | Post a Comment

Jim Carroll "People Who Died" 

At the relatively young age of 60, Jim Carroll, the poet and punk rocker best known for his book adapted into the Leonardo DiCaprio-starring movie The Basketball Diaries, and whose most famous song is "People Who Died" (above), himself died a few days ago from a heart attack in his NYC home.
basketball diaries
A key part of the legendary downtown New York art scene in the 1970s, Carroll was known for associating with the likes of Patti Smith, Andy Warhol, and Robert Mapplethorpe. Carroll was also known for his drug use/abuse, never keeping it a secret but rather drawing from it extensively in his writing. First he was a poet and then a musician, on the urging of Patti Smith reportedly. His poems effortlessly morphed into songs such as the aforementioned "People Who Died," which was a poem first and then adapted to music on his much revered 1980 album, Catholic Boy.

The Basketball Diaries was Carroll's autobiographical tale of life as a sports star at an elite Manhattan private high school. He attended on a scholarship. Initially it began as the artist's own personal diary but it soon shaped into a book. The finished novel was first published in 1978 and has remained popular ever since. It became even more widely known after the 1995 film adaptation.

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PiL TO BE CHANNELED AT AMOEBAPALOOZA HOLLYWOOD

Posted by Billyjam, September 12, 2009 07:08am | Post a Comment
   PiL "Careering" + "Poptones" on American Bandstand, May 1980

The Guardian UK announced this week that the recently reformed John Lydon-led Public Image Limited (PiL) will be performing five announced UK only dates in the coming months. For those who can't make the trip over the pond, the short but exciting planned set by Studio 154 at tomorrow night's (September 13th) Amoebapalooza Hollywood '09 should somewhat satisfy the need to hear the music of the post Sex Pistols Lydon band, whose almost surreal performance (as in "performance" art) on American Bandstand from 1980 is excerpted in the video above. 
As in the PiL TV clip above, Studio 154 will also be performing (not lip syncing) the song "Poptones" as well as music by two other bands in their all too brief 10 minute set scheduled for after 11pm. Comprised of Bob Weider on vocals, Bill Tutton on bass, and Amoebites Greg Griffith on guitar and vocals,, Rick Frystak on  guitar & efx, Rick Frystak, and Marc Weinstein on drums, the band's 3 song set will, in addition to PiL, also include the music of Gang of Four ("Not Great Men") and Wire ("Blessed State"). 
"The Wire song is off the 154 album, so, [it's] a play on words with Studio 54," said Weinstein, adding, "We feel as if this era of minimalist post-punk art rock has been generally under-represented at Amoebapalooza in the past."
As for the actual post-punk band PiL, the newly reformed lineup by Lydon, who you'll recall also regrouped the Sex Pistols in years past, will not include original PiL members Jah Wobble and Keith Levene. Instead it will be made up of late-1980s PiL members Lu Edmonds and Bruce Smith, in addition to Scott Firth, who has played with various pop/rock acts over the years. Read the Guardian UK article linked above for more insights on this reunion.

Meanwhile, among the other 22 acts scheduled (two more than on the flyer) to perform at Amoebapalooza Hollywood tomorrow night are Ben Ricci, The Sonnets, The Zombie Zombies, and Flathead. Click here for more info on Amoebapalooza Hollywood 09.

AMOEBA MUSIC WEEKLY HIP-HOP ROUND UP: 09:11:09

Posted by Billyjam, September 11, 2009 11:18am | Post a Comment
jay-z blueprint 3
Amoeba Music San Francisco Hip-Hop Top Five: 09:11:09

1) Jay-Z The Blueprint 3 (Roc Nation/Atlantic)

2)  Raekwon Only Built 4 Cuban Links Pt II (ICEAL)

3) Large Professor The LP (Red Line)

4) D. Black Ali'Yah (MYX)

5) Dr Dre The Chronic Re-Lit & From The Vaults (Wideawake/Death Row)

Amoeba SF Soul Pick of Week 
Mayer Hawerthorne A Strange Arrangement (Stones Throw)

Not too surprisingly, the anticipated, brand new, star-studded Jay-Z album The Blueprint 3, (aka TB3), which originally was scheduled to come out last year, is this week's number one release on the new hip-hop chart at Amoeba Music. The album features a slew of guest collaborators, including Young Jeezy, Kanye West (in producer mode mainly), Rihanna, Drake, Kid Cudi, Mr Hudson, Swizz Beatz, Pharrell and Alicia Keys, and is the final release in the Blueprint trilogy that began exactly eight years ago on September 11th, 2001 -- the day the Twin Towers were attacked. In fact, that was why initially Jay-Z had scheduled the release of TB3  for today (Friday, September 11th), but then he changed his mind at the last minute, reverting to the typical Tuesday date release. The fifteen track TB3 is the artist's 11th studio album and his first on his own new label Roc Nation.raekwon only built 4 cuban linx pt ii

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TOM SCHARPLING ON HIS PAUL McCARTNEY RAM ALBUM TRIBUTE

Posted by Billyjam, September 9, 2009 03:35pm | Post a Comment
paul mccartney ram
Everyone loves The Beatles, incuding radio DJ / comedian / televison writer Tom Scharpling, who has long favored Paul McCartney as his favorite of the Fab Four. Scharpling, who hosts the briilliant weekly WFMU 3 hour live radio program The Best Show on WFMU, considers McCartney's post Beatles, May 1971 release RAM (with wife Linda McCartney) to be one of the artists' finest works.

In fact, Scharpling was so into the album, which is often unfairly dismissed by critics, that he had the wonderful idea of producing a RAM covers tribute compilation, inviting his many musician friends to contribute to the project.The final product would be a special WFMU only release made out of love for McCartney, as well as for WFMU, as it helped raise funds (which it did very well) for the New Jersey radio station's annual fundraising pledge drive marathon earlier this year. 

Renamed TOM, and with a cleverly altered cover, the new tribute RAM is a sincere track-by-track reinterpretation of the 38 year old release with such artists as Ted Leo, Death Cab for Cutie, Aimee Mann, Portastatic, Danielson, Dump (Yo La Tengo's James McNew), Spider Bags, Black Hollies, and Stones Throws' James Pants, all pitching in their time and talent to help out the popular radio host and the non-profit independent radio station.
Tom Scharrpling
I recently caught up with Tom Scharpling, whose show really is The Best Show on WFMU and one I never miss! It airs every Tuesday 8pm to 11pm EST on WFMU. I talked with him about the concept for the album, the artists' attitudes towards McCartney, and also his reaction to the similarly themed Ram on L.A. album that was released around the same time as his RAM tribute.

Amoeblog: How did you first get the idea to do this RAM themed compilation?

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