Amoeblog

SLEEVEFACE: BE THE VINYL PUTS NEW SPIN ON ALBUM COVER ART

Posted by Billyjam, December 23, 2008 06:30am | Post a Comment

Over the last few decades there have been many fine books publsihed that present album cover art but, good as they are, they have all typically been presented in a one dimensional fashion, showing the front sleeveface: be the vinyl(sometimes the back too) of the record album cover art with maybe some data on the cover artist and the recording artist within the cover. But the recently published hella fun book of album art Sleeveface: Be The Vinyl by Carl Morris & John Rostron (Artisan) breaks the mold by presenting album covers in sight gags in which music fans pose with their fave album covers (like the ones below), with the covers covering their faces (hence: "be the vinyl" subtitle).

The art contained in Sleeveface: Be The Vinyl, which just about any music collector will find irresistable, is one of those things that many of us have done at some time with one or more album covers, but no one (until now) had thought of presenting in a nicely packaged book form. In fact, since the book was published last month it has inspired countless individuals to do their own "Sleeveface" and forward them to the official Sleeveface website to be posted, including the Christmas themed one above and the ones below. Also on the site is the how-to-sleeveface guide (see video immediately below) which informs curious readers about how to blur the line between album sleeve and reality. The 192 page book, which contains over 200 sleeveface images of mostly album covers you are already familiar with, sells for approx $13.00.

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JESSE LUSCIOUS TOWNLEY'S PUNK ROAD TO POLITICAL OFFICE

Posted by Billyjam, December 22, 2008 06:40am | Post a Comment
Last Monday (Dec 15) was an important day for both Jesse "Luscious" Townley and the City of Berkeley. It was the date when, immediately before the first Rent Board meeting since the November 4th election in which Townley got elected to office, that the punk rocker-turned-politician got sworn in to his new position as City of Berkeley Rent Board Commissioner. One of five elected to this position, Townley stands out because of his rich and colorful background and unprecedented deep rooted commitment to Berkeley and its citizens.

Townley, who migrated to Berkeley from Philadelphia back in 1989, initially came out West to attend the San Francisco Anarchist Gatheriing -- but he liked it so much in Berkeley that he never left. From 1989 to 1990 he published the punk zine Berkeley Sucks. Over the years he has volunteered countless hours at 924 Gilman Street. He has also played on the stage at Gilman as a member of such East Bay punk bands as Blatz, The Gr'ups, The Criminals, and most recently The Frisk (who appeared on the Amoeba Music Compilation series). Over the years Jesse has also gained invaluable experience putting in time at local punk labels. He has worked at both Lookout Records and Alternative Tentacles (where he still works) and for a time, along with his partner Kamala, ran his own label Zafio Records.

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CHRISTMAS AT GROUND ZERO + THE POWER OF WORDS

Posted by Billyjam, December 20, 2008 08:31am | Post a Comment

Reading the recent Amoeblogs about new words being incorporated over the past year into the everyday English/American vocabulary got me thinking about a word or expression that got dropped in all but one context, hence losing its original meaning -- those two words together that make up the expression "ground zero," which up until September 11th 2001, simply referred to the scene of a nuclear explosion or a place where some disaster of some kind took place. But after 9/11/01 everything changed.

Back in 1986 when Weird Al Yankovic recorded the above song "Christmas At Ground Zero" it did not have the same connotation it has post 9/11. In fact, so powerful a punch does the term "ground zero" pack (summoning images in most media-fed minds of the smoldering World Trade Center) that the song above -- once a staple at radio stations during Christmas time -- got abruptly dropped from playlists forever. Likewise, the song that Weird Al loosely based this song on, Fishbone's "Party At Ground Zero," also got dropped like a hot potato.


AMOEBA MUSIC WEEKLY HIP-HOP ROUND UP 12:19:08

Posted by Billyjam, December 19, 2008 12:14pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five: 12:19:08

scarface emeritus
1) Kanye West 808s & Heartbreak (Roc-A-Fella Records)

2) Evidence The Layover EP (Decon)

3) Q-Tip The Renaissance (Motown/Universal)

4) Ludacris Theater of the Mind (Disturbing tha Peace/Def Jam)

5) Scarface Emeritus (Rap-A-Lot/Asylum)

Special thanks to Ray for the top five selling hip-hop albums chart in the Hollywood Amoeba Music store this week, with new albums from the ever popular artists Kanye West, Ludacris, and Q-Tip all holding strong after been out for a number of weeks. New entries to the chart include the recent recommended CD The Leftover EP from rapper/producer Evidence (aka EV) of solo and Dilated Peoples fame, which may only have ten tracks but all are excellent. The other new release on this chart is Emeritus from Houston rap legend Scarface who first came to fame twenty years ago as part of the Geto Boys. This new album is Scarface's ninth (and supposedly last) solo album. He says he is going to retire from the rap game. But who knows? A lot of rappers have trouble quitting when they are still popular and Scarface has a dedicated fan base who appreciate his raw delivery, and tell-it-like-it style. He don't pull no punches when it comes to talking about the cops or his rivals. The video below of the new album song "High Powered" is directed at his rival Lil Troy who he implies is a snitch. In the interest of fairness, in interviews, Lil Troy claims that Scarface is a snitch. Of course in rap all of this heated rivalry and controversy only makes for good music.

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1979 UK DISCO DANCE FINALS

Posted by Billyjam, December 18, 2008 10:10am | Post a Comment

For this final Dance of the Day is the excerpt from the 1979 UK Disco Dance Finals, which is pretty impressive for several reasons. For starters all the dancing is really good. And even though it was a "disco" contest note all of the breakin' (also known as break dancing) moves used, especially by the first contestant. What is noteworthy about this is that hip-hop dance and music still came under the broad disco umbrella back in '79. At that time in the late seventies although hip-hop was most definitely in existence the truth is that no one used the term "hip-hop" to describe it.

Another interesting historical point about this clip is that at this same time over in the states disco was already suffereing the thinly veiled macho, racist, homophopic backlash of the disco-sucks movement, something that would soon follow suit in the UK. And finally of note about this clip is that the second contestent in it is a young 20 year old (Downtown) Julie Brown from Wales who would later migrate to the US to get hired as a VJ by the fledgling MTV.
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