Amoeblog

DOUG FIEGER, LEAD SINGER FOR THE KNACK, HAS DIED

Posted by Billyjam, February 14, 2010 07:25pm | Post a Comment

The Knack "My Sharona" (live)

The Knack
Doug Fieger, the lead singer for The Knack, has died after a prolonged battle with cancer, it was confirmed earlier today by The Detroit News and several other sources. The Detroit native was 57. Fieger, who was living in Woodland Hills, CA, was being treated for the cancer at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Fieger and his band will always be best known for their 1979 mega hit single that he co-wrote, "My Sharona," which was the No. 1 Billboard pop record for six weeks straight. Likewise, the album it was culled from, Get The Knack, also spent six weeks atop the album charts.

A Los Angeles memorial service for friends and family of Fieger is being planned. For more information on The Knack visit their official website.


LOVE IS PRESSING A RECORD AS A TOKEN OF ETERNAL COMMITMENT

Posted by Billyjam, February 14, 2010 06:47pm | Post a Comment
Acco + Top Bill
Love is......well, love is many, many things, including, of course, the inspiration for innumerable songs. But perhaps the highest form of love is to make a record for the one you love as a token of your eternal commitment. Amoeblog reader and sometime contributor Acco, who lives in Japan and did the five part Graffiti in Yokohama Amoeblog series, did this when she got married to Top Bill some months back. For their wedding ceremony they had a special hip-hop song recorded and pressed up on 7" vinyl and nicely packaged to give away to guests at their wedding party.

The track, "Coupling Song," was produced by Top Bill, a Japanese hip-hop DJ/producer who lived for a short time in the Bay Area, with vocals by SoCal based Japanese transplant, producer/emcee Shing02, and with the song's hook sung by Emi Meyer. The design for the seven inch record and its packaging was all done by Acco, who told me that the idea for the record ties in with a Japanese tradition called Baumkuchen. "In the Japanese custom, we give Baumkuchen as gift at a marriage party. The Baumkuchen look similar to the rings of a tree. This mean a happiness to eternally." she said. "When I was a child, my mother told me that  'An old vinyl grow into Baumkuchen, it's very delicious.'" As pictured above, at the couple's wedding reception last October they played the "Coupling Song" single, which includes such romantic record-themed lyrics as "Every B needs an A, every B needs an A. Will you be my A? And I can be your B?" The full lyrics for this song appear below along with the audio for the vocal version. They pressed up 300 copies of the record (which has an instrumental version on side B) and saved some copies to give away but never sell.

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WHAT RAPPERS ARE REALLY SAYING

Posted by Billyjam, February 13, 2010 04:19pm | Post a Comment

The above satirical video "Freestyle Rap Battle: Translated," based on footage of a battle between Hydrogen and Boost, is pure genius. I love how the voice over so perfectly captures the essence of so many stereotypical rap battles like this one with interpretative lyircs such as, "The alleged facts you've uncovered in regards to me are unfounded and without merit. My birthplace is not only vastly inferior to yours, but my neighbors were much more resilient. In terms of your claim to my sexuality, Sigmund Freud theorized that in some cases the semi-conscious mind manifests repressed desires, therefore leading me to believe that you, sir, are indeed the homosexual." Brilliant!

AMOEBA MUSIC WEEKLY HIP-HOP ROUND UP 02:12:10

Posted by Billyjam, February 12, 2010 09:41pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Berkeley Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 02:12:10

Strong Arm Steady
1) Slum Village Fan-Tas-Tic Vol. 1 (Barak Records)

2) Slug & Murs + Aesop Rock FELT 3: A Tribute to Rosie Perez (Rhymesayers Entertainment)

3) Strong Arm Steady In Search of Stoney Jackson (Stones Throw)

4) Evil Empire/Drake It's Been A Pleasure (Urbane)

5) Young Lay Black N Dangerous (Atlantic)

That classic newly reissued Slum Village CD, Fan-Tas-Tic Vol. 1 on Barak Records, that has been a popular item at Amoeba San Francisco recently, is similarly doing well at the Berkeley Amoeba Music, where this week it is number one. Other chart entries at the Telegraph Avenue store include the Khaynree-produced 1994 release from Vallejo rapper Young Lay Black N Dangerous (this is the album that includes the killer track "Got 2 Survive" featuring Ray Luv, Mac Mall and 2Pac), the third installment in the FELT series (Slug and Murs, who teamed up with producer Aesop Rock this time out), and the Evil Empire Drake mixtape CD It's Been A Pleasure (with a very impressive guest list that includes Gucci Mane, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne & Young Money, Usher, Young Jeezy, & Rick Ross).

A BRIEF HISTORY OF BLACK HISTORY MONTH

Posted by Billyjam, February 10, 2010 11:34am | Post a Comment
Dr Carter G Woodson
Since a lot is being blogged about Black History Month both here at the Amoeblog and in the blogosphere in general this month, I thought it might be worthwhile to take a moment to briefly examine the history of Black History Month itself, as well as present a general timeline of black history. One thing that amazes me is the short time span that Black History Month has been around, especially considering that African Americans have been a part of the American fabric dating back to the colonial times. Black History Month only officially started a short 34 years ago, even if the practice of observing black history dates back to the 1920's, which is still not that long ago in a historical context.

Originally known as Negro History Week, it was created in 1926 by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, a scholar with a Ph. D from Harvard who was the son of parents who were both formerly slaves. Woodson was so incensed that there was little or no proper written documented history of blacks in this country that he fought hard to initiate change. Up until that point on the rare occasion in which blacks were included in the American history books it was in a negative light -- they were typically portrayed as inferior human beings to the white ruling class.

A decade before initiating Negro History Week, Woodson laid the foundation by establishing the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History which began with careful documenting and writing the history of blacks in this country. The formation of that association led to the creation of the Journal of Negro History which, in turn, led to the launching of Negro History Week 84 years ago for which the second week in February was designated. Black History Week officially began in 1972, and four years later (in 1976) it became Black History Month. Below are a few random select key dates (by no means fully comprehensive) in American black history -- many officially documented by Woodson.

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