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NYC Summer 2010 Pt. I - Terry Flaxton's In Other People's Skins Installation Plays with the Virtual and the Real

Posted by Billyjam, June 7, 2010 12:43pm | Post a Comment
Terry Flaxton's In Other People's Skins installation (June 2010, NYC)

At last week's opening of In Other People's Skins (IOPS), the unique, hands-on moving images art exhibit at the cathedral of St John Divine in uptown Manhattan, one attendee found himself sub-consciously reaching out to scoop up a spoonful of food from a virtual bowl of rice and veggies. Of course, there was no actual food as he sat at this lively but deceptively surreal dinner party with a dozen other chatty guests! They all appeared seated around the intimate candlelit wooden dinner table as an overhead film projector (with sounds too) flashed filmed images of hands reaching out Terry Flaxtonfor food with chopsticks or spoons & forks in hand, all apparently eating a tasty meal, or rather, one of five meals.

"I shot five different dinner parties from above and I projected those five different dinner parties down onto a table the same size as the original dinner parties' table," IOPS' creator Terry Flaxton told me afterward. "And the intention is that people come in and sit and they touch the art because in modern art you are not allowed to touch, so one of the most important things to me is that people get to touch the art. The irony of it is that it is a completely virtual installation, so you can't touch it but it plays with the virtual and the real."

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Nas + Damian Marley, Reflection Eternal, Devin The Dude, Andre Nickatina, Madlib, E40 + Cousin Fik, DJ Platurn + more: Amoeba Music Weekly Hip-Hop Round Up: 06:04:10

Posted by Billyjam, June 4, 2010 05:20am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Berkeley Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 06:04:10

Nas Damien Marley
1) Nas + Damian Marley Distant Relatives  (Republic)

2) Reflection Eternal Revolutions Per Minute (Blacksmith/Rawkus/Warner Brothers)

3) Madlib Madlib Medicine Show #5-History of the Loop Digga-1990-2000 (Stones Throw)

4) Andre Nickatina Khan! The Me Generation (I-Khan Dist)

5) Devin The Dude Suite 420 (Koch)

Thanks to Inti at the Berkeley Amoeba Music store for this week's Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart. It picks up where last week's San Francisco Amoeba chart left off, with continued Amoeba love being shown for LA producer extraordinaire Madlib and his ongoing twelve-part Medicine Show series, the hip-hop super-duo Reflection Eternal (producer Hi-Tek and emcee Talib Kweli), who had a memorable instore performance at Amoeba San Francisco May 24th, and the ground-breaking new Distant Relatives project, which is number one for the second straight week on the Amoeba hip-hop charts. Packed with an uplifting message of empowerment and clearly a work of activism through music, the son of Bob Marley, Jamaica's Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley, and the son of jazz musician Olu Dara Jones and hip-hop icon in his own right, Nas, join creative forces with pitch perfect results. Distant Relatives, which can be bought online from Amoeba at a reduced cost, is a reggae meets hip-hop album that never sounds forced. A project that undoubtedly will be raved about for a some time to come, Distant Relatives tackles pertinent issues about the continent of Africa. What is most impressive, though, is that the two artists manage to do so in a forcefully coherent Devin the Dudebut never overbearing way.

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Frank Nitt Talks About New Solo EP Jewels In My Backpack, Delicious Vinyl, Moving to LA, Frank-n-Dank, & J-Dilla

Posted by Billyjam, June 3, 2010 09:00am | Post a Comment
Frank NItt
The name of Frank Nitt’s just released six-song EP on Delicious Vinyl, Jewels In My Backpack, is more than simply some catchy throwaway title. Rather, it accurately sums up the new recording's sound -- one that melds the smooth glossy production of Terrace Martin (Snoop Dogg, Warren G, Talib Kweli, etc.) with the raw & gritty yet instantly engaging Mid West flow of the longtime Detroit emcee, who is known to most rap fans for his membership in Frank-n-Dank and his longtime affiliation with the late great J-Dilla

"I'm considered a backpack emcee, a grimy, underground emcee, while  Terrace Martin, he does records with Snoop and people like DJ Quik, his is a much bigger, shinier sound," said the artist, who was born Frank Bush. "So Terrace kinda represents the jewels while I represent the backpack -- Jewels In My Backpack."

In fact, that theme of juxtaposing opposite components but somehow making them effectively co-exist in one recording is what Jewels is all about. Hence, the EP song titled "H.A.T.E." is balanced out by another titled "L.O.V.E." "This whole record is all about balance," stresses Frank. "Like, I got a song called "Go Girl" which is about strong empowered women, but I also have a song called "Psychedelic Freaky Girls," which is about, I guess, the opposite of that. So this record is very balanced." It also has a nice Frank Nittbalance of guest contributors, including J. Black, Problem, Bad Lucc, Kurupt, and DJ Quik.

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Homeboy Sandman's Clever Wordplay & Sharp Wit Shine on His New Album The Good Sun

Posted by Billyjam, June 1, 2010 10:10am | Post a Comment
Homeboy Sandman
"With hip-hop they think you can only rap about horrible criminality and misogyny, or else rap about how you don't rap about that, when the truth is you can rap about anything. I have always loved making songs about stuff that people haven't made songs about," offered unique hip-hop artist Homeboy Sandman. Today marks the release of his new 14 track album The Good Sun, and tonight there will be a record release party/concert at S.O.B.'s in the New York City emcee's hometown.

"I like talking about a lot of different stuff that isn't always discussed in hip-hop all the time," said Homeboy Sandman, whose new album finds the ever observant MC tackling a wide variety of topics, ranging from homelessness to an entertaining piece on people (especially rappers) who go around all day wearing a mean mug as a mask. Through clever wordplay in the song "Mean Mug" he ponders why mean muggers go around looking so mean. He wonders if they mean mug at their jobs too, and, if so, how that has affected their promotion possibilities. He suggests that mean mugging might be directly correlated to the music on their iPod or their unhealthy fast food diet. "Peace, son, seems you need hugs. Seems you need love. Why you wanna mean mug me?" raps Homeboy Sandman on the brilliant & refreshingly insightful song. Meanwhile, on the album track "The Essence," he raps, "I ain't hiring no public relations or wardrobe / I'm too busy rapping for the regular Joe's / Than for keepin' up with the Joneses or watching the Dow Jones." Homeboy Sandman

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Dennis Hopper 1936 - 2010

Posted by Billyjam, May 29, 2010 11:50am | Post a Comment
Dennis Hopper

We lost another great today. Actor/director/artist Dennis Hopper died earlier today (May 29th) at his home of complications from prostate cancer after battling it since last fall. He was 74. Hopper came to fame as the director, co-writer and costar (opposite Peter Fonda) of the 1969 low-budget, drug-fueled film Easy Rider, that was a landmdennis hopperark for the counterculture and a surprise hit. He made his screen acting debut over a decade earlier in 1955's Rebel Without A Cause playing a rival high-school gang member opposite James Dean.

Hopper didn't only play a hard drinking, drug imbibing individual on film. The actor, whose hard partying alcohol and drug reputation preceded him for many years, had his ups-and-downs in Hollywood as a direct result. Not surprising considering that, by his own admission, for one long extended lost weekend that lasted five years, he was consuming on average three grams of coke, a half a gallon of rum, plus a case of beer every day.

But after getting his life back on track his career enjoyed a resurgence. Following being out of the Hollywood spotlight, a newly sobered up Hopper returned to his former glory in 1986 for his Oscar nominated role in Hoosiers, followed that same year by his amazing role as the twisted & deranged character Frank Booth in David Lynch's Blue Velvet (check out the brilliant yet disturbing clip below).

In all, Hopper appeared in well over a hundred different films, including (in no particular order) Apocalypse Now, Giant, True Romance, Cool Hand Luke, Hang 'Em High, True Grit, The American Friend, Rumble Fish, Speed, and River's Edge. Look for these and other Hopper films on DVD at Amoeba Music. Below are some select Hopper movie clips. And check the nice career-long photo dedication to Dennis Hopper on the Washington Post's website.

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