Amoeblog

STARTIN' SOMETHIN': DEATH STARTS NEW CHAPTER IN MJ's CAREER:

Posted by Billyjam, June 27, 2009 05:40pm | Post a Comment
MIchael Jackson R.I.P.
"What hit me most about hearing the news of Michael Jackson dying was only then I realized just how much he meant to me, how much his music was such a part of my life," confided my friend Eboness from New York by phone on Thursday evening, just hours after the shocking news of the pop star's passing had clogged all channels of communication. 

One of the many friends and acquaintances who seemed compelled to reach out and talk MJ on Thursday and in the days since, Eboness is 38 and lives in Harlem. Like so many people out there, she grew up on Jackson's music.

She said she and her mom had just come from 125th Street, where a growing crowd was gathering en masse outside the Apollo Theater to spontaneously mourn alongside total strangers in the shared sadness. As Jackson's music boomed from speakers up high, the teary eyed crowd below, with sunken shoulders, sang along to every lyric.

Thursday afternoon's shocking news of MJ passing caught everyone off guard it seemed. When I got that first text on my phone sometime after 3pm from my friend Timi D... which read "Michael Jackson just died???" I thought that maybe it was some of kind of prank or inside joke about the oft mocked star. Maybe it had something to do with his string of upcoming UK concert dates, I theorized as my Google search quickly confirmed the tragic news, with reports citing either the LA Times who broke the story or leading gossip news site TMZ that simultaneously reported on the same story. And when I next logged on to my email, my inbox was overflowing with messages with MJ's name in the subject box. I then clicked on the Amoeblog, where I saw that Whitmore had just posted the news. That was about 3:15 or 3:20 pm on Thursday; by then the news had already spread like wildfire via news and gossip sites and of course via Twitter, Facebook, and every other social network. Michael Jackson thriller

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AMOEBA MUSIC HIP-HOP WEEKLY ROUND UP: 06:26:09

Posted by Billyjam, June 26, 2009 07:38pm | Post a Comment
JenRO
JenRO
(pictured left) was among the artists featured in the new hip-hop documentary Pick Up The Mic: The Evolution of Homohop that graced the stage of Amoeba Music San Francisco yesterday (June 25) for a free in-store performance. The instore both marked the release of the critically acclaimed documentary on DVD, and also helped celebrate Pride '09. As you know, the big SF LGBT Pride parade & party is on Sunday, June 28 -- and Amoeba will be present, with our own booth where you can win fabulous prizes! Details here and here.

JenRO's Amoeba performance was tight and captured the emcee's pure Bay rap flavor and gift for lyrical flow. JenRO is not just a good queer hip-hop artist -- she is a talented emcee, period. For more on this San Francisco female rapper, who, as she rapped at Amoeba yesterday "was born the same year that CDs were created," visit her website, or hit up her official info phone line @ 415-692-5695, or check out the video interview with her on Yo!TV included in the Recognize: Bay Area Female Rappers Amoeblog from a year ago.

Longtime Bay Area homo-hop artists Dutchboy and Juba Kalamka were also performing at Amoeba SF yesterday. After the show I caught up with Juba Kalamka, whom I know from his days with now defunct  Bay Area homo-hop crew Deep Dickollective (D/DC). Eight years ago the group's great song "StraightTrippin" (feat. Doug E) was featured on Independent Sounds: Amoeba Music Compilation Vol. III, and two years later fellow D/DC founding member Tim'm T West also appeared on the Amoeba Music Compilation Vol. IV. Check back for an interview here with Juba in an upcoming Amoeblog.

UNADULTERATED, MIDDLE OF THE ROAD PURE POP MUSIC

Posted by Billyjam, June 25, 2009 03:30pm | Post a Comment
Middle Of The Road
The term AOR, as in Album Oriented Rock, was first used in the seventies to describe the then new format of FM rock radio stations that specialized in playing album cuts, digging deeper into a record than merely spinning the singles heard on more pop oriented radio. The AOR format idea, which over the years disintegrated into boring predictable programming by "suits" whose bottom line was profit, not good music, began its days as a somewhat noble idea; one that borrowed the progressive and freeform radio pioneered in the years just before its launch by such adventurous  programmers as the late great Tom Donahue at KMPX and KSAN in San Francisco.

But before there was AOR, there was MOR, a format that never pretended to be hip or alternative or adventurous in any way. Most popular in the sixties and seventies, MOR, as in Middle Of the Road, was, as its name implied, a most mainstream radio format whose playlist offered a mix of non-offensive popular music. Middle Of The Road was not the type of music that a self-respecting "artist" would claim to be but it was also the name that a successful 70's Scottish pop band chose. Although technically more bubble gum pop, Middle of The Road sure managed to appeal to a middle of the road audience and also scored a string of pop hits in the early 70's, including their 1971 debut single, "Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep," which shot to #1 on the UK pop charts that year and went on to sell over 10 million copies. The hit captured Middle Of The Road's pure, unadulterated sugary pop, and their singalong sound. To me, their infectious Europop Abbastyle and the fact that Middle of the Road included male and female pop vocals harmonizing made the group sound similar to Abba's style, whom they predated by a couple of years. Sweden's Abba formed in 1972 and scored their first pop hit ("Ring RIng") in 1973.

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REGIS, KELLY, & DJ JS-1 WRECK SHOP

Posted by Billyjam, June 23, 2009 09:36am | Post a Comment

The above video clip of turntablist DJ JS-1 on Live With Regis And Kelly (originally aired two years ago, but resurfaced today in an updated edit to tie in with the turntable artist's new release) is one of the most entertaining turntablist clips I have seen. I love both JS-1's sharp turntable set, and also when his hosts join him, with Regis cutting up Perry Como and Kelly wrecking the mic in a spot-on rendition of Mims' "This Is Why I'm Hot." The appearance on the show, which was, as Regis said, the first time that they had just a DJ /turntablist on to perform, was re-edited and mixed in HD condtion by the Queens DJ/producer to promote his brand new album, Ground Original 2: No Sell Out (Fat Beats), which arrives in Amoeba Music today, Tuesday June 23rd. Note that DJ JS-1 also appeared on the Amoeba Music Compilation Vol V with the track "Audio Technician" featuring Immortal Technique and Lifelong.

REMEMBERING ED MCMAHON, WHO DIED TODAY AT 86

Posted by Billyjam, June 23, 2009 09:02am | Post a Comment
Ed McMahon + Johnny Carson
Veteran American TV personality Ed McMahon, best known as Johnny Carson's sidekick for almost 30 years on The Tonight Show (1962-1992), died earlier today in Los Angeles, reported NBC. He was 86 years of age. While exact reasons for death were not announced, McMahon had been in extremely poor health since he was admitted to the hospital back in late February -- reportedly with pneumonia.

Best known for his second banana role to Carson, including his trademark "Heeeeeeeeere's Johnny!" intro to the show, McMahon was an all around television personality. A regular on countless TV shows over the decades, he was a game show host, announcer, comedian, and endorser of numerous products. Long before American Idol existed, McMahon hosted the popular talent search TV show Star Search. As an NBC personality regular, he would often be one of the presenters at the annual  Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. For a time he also co-hosted with Jerry Lewis at his fund-raising telethons for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).

Over the years he appeared in many TV ads, including for Budweiser beer, and most recently he was in an ad during this year's Super Bowl along with MC Hammer for Cash4Gold following his well publicized tragic fall into tough financial woes -- his house was foreclosed on in recent times. McMahon also did a series of short parts and walk-on parts in movies and TV shows over the years. And of course, Ed McMahon will also always be remembered as the presenter of American Family Publishers Sweepstakes, which would arrive in TV vans at the homes of winners. Below are a series of video clips from the life of Ed McMahon, including a recent era one for FreeCreditReports.com in which he parodied his old American Family Publishers Sweepstakes days.

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