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Hip-Hop Rap Up 07:16:10: Big Boi Bashes Jive, Black C Keeps RBL Posse Legacy Alive, Die Antwoord Sells Out Rickshaw Stop, Lineage's New Video, Dopestyle's Afro Themed Video Shoot, Big L Reissue + Much More

Posted by Billyjam, July 16, 2010 02:16pm | Post a Comment
Luis @ Amoeba San Francisco with run-down of new & noteworthy hip-hop, mid July 2010

Special thanks to my man Luis (above video) at the San Francisco Amoeba Music store for doing a nice in-depth run-down of the new and noteworthy hip-hop CDs and vinyl releases, including reissues, at the Big BoiHaight Street store this week. As the ever knowledgeable hip-hop buyer (and DJ) notes, right now is a perfect time to stop by Amoeba SF and dig for vinyl in the vast hip-hop section of the store.

As with the Hollywood and Berkeley Amoebas, the new releases from Big Boi, Eminem, Drake, Nas + Damian Marley, Madlib, and The Roots are all in demand in San Francisco. And as noted by Luis, Phonte, who guests on the new Roots album How I Got Over, will be at the San Francisco Amoeba in one week when his group Foreign Exchange plays a free instore next Friday, July 23rd at 6pm.The critically acclaimed group (rapper/singer/songwriter Phonte + producer Nicolay), whose still in-production third album Authenticity is scheduled for an October release, play Yoshis SF later that night as well as the previous night (July 22nd) when they are billed to play with YahZarah, Darien Brockington, Zo! and live band.

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Recommended Reggae Compilations

Posted by Billyjam, July 15, 2010 02:22pm | Post a Comment
Rita Marley
Digging in the crates of my reggae albums today I came across some really good various-artist collections from the early nineties. This was a time when reggae music, particularly dancehall, was making a big impact in the US thanks in large part to the proliferation of hip-hop that was dancehall fused. Of these collections I have singled out three that are still available at Amoeba Music and are well worth tracking down. Compilations are always a great way to get a nice jump into any style of music, reggae included!

Classic Reggae Vol. 1 (Profile) was originally released in 1992 but the reggae on this compilation dates back from the mid 70's to the early 80's. This all killer, no filler collection is jam packed with classic selections ranging from the sweet voice of Sugar Minott on “We’ve Got a Good Thing Going” to the ragga stylings of Johnny Osborne on the bass heavy track “Buddy Bye," and Beres Hammond's timeless “What One Dance Can Do.” Other reggae classics on the CD are Barringtion Levy’s thrilling “Murderer,” Rita Marley’s 420 themed “One Draw,” Dillinger's timeless "Cocaine In My Brain," the lovers-rock classic’ “Cottage In Negril” by Tyrone Taylor, and one of reggae music's all time anthems, “Greetings” by Half Pint.

Also released in '92 on the same label was the then contemporary dancehall collection Dancehall Stylee (The Best Of Reggae Dancehall Music Vol. 3). This twelve track comp offers a sampling of some of the top dancehall artists from the vibrant scene, including Cutty Ranks, Frankie Paul, Louie Rankin, Shabba Ranks and Barrington Levy. The powerful Ninjaman and Florigan track “Zig It Up” is in this collection, as is the head-bobbing Lady Patra track "Ambition," which lyrically offers a little overview on her philosophy of life. Note that both this comp and the previous one mentioned were released Profile Records, who have built a name for their hip-hop catalog but have also put out some great reggae music! Additionally Profile released a series of wonderful house and techno compilations from the late 80's to early/mid 90's.

Finally, on Heartbeat Records (a label that specializes in Jamaican music) is Steely & Clevie's Plays Studio One Vintage. As reggae fanatics will be quick to tell you, Clement “Coxsone” Dodd, who was considered the Berry Gordy of Jamaica, owned Studio One and his renowned studio was responsible for launching the careers of countless Jamaican artists. Artists who recorded at Studio One include Bob Marley and the Wailers, Burning Spear, Dennis Brown and Marcia Griffiths.

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Oakland Group The Hot Toddies' Infectious Sound Wins Over Amoeba Berkeley Audience

Posted by Billyjam, July 14, 2010 01:20am | Post a Comment
The Hot Toddies
In the comments section below one of The Hot Toddies' numerous YouTube video posts one fan wrote, "This is my favorite band, and if it is not yours, the only possible explanation is that you are hopelessly insane." Another fanatic of the indie rock female quartet enthused, "I fuckin' love this band!" Such is the effect that this Oakland group, who played a charged instore set at Amoeba Berkeley last evening (Tuesday, July 13th), has on people. And no wonder. Their hook-laden songs are the sort that The Hot Toddiesslowly seep into your brain and have you still humming the melodies days later. The Hot Toddies' music is catchy and infectious, as evidenced by the ten songs that pack their recommended new album Get Your Heart On (Asian Man Records), which was released yesterday.

At the East Bay store yesterday, where the sound mix of vocals and instruments was just the right balance, the Amoeba crew were actively video-taping and photographing The Hot Toddies' fun set so be sure to keep an eye out here on the Amoeba website in the coming days for lots of quality photos and video footage of the group performing.

Much of the four-piece's half-hour plus set, which started just after 6p.m., included a lot of material from the brand new Get Your Heart On, the band's second album, including the upbeat song "Rain or Shine," which starts out kind of soft and acoustic but then nicely builds up as the drums and electric instrumentation kick in and is accentuated, like all the group's songs, by beautiful harmonizing. The Hot Toddies manage to make music that is new-sounding yet simultaneously reminiscent of some of the best power pop/rock of the past several decades, most notably the sixties.

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Harvey Pekar of American Splendor Fame Dead at Age 70

Posted by Billyjam, July 12, 2010 01:39pm | Post a Comment

Harvey Pekar in one of his outspoken appearances on David Letterman's show

Harvey Pekar, the creator of the acclaimed autobiographical comic-book series American Splendor and the subject of the 2003 film of thHarvey Pekar American Splendore same name his work inspired, was found dead by his wife, Joyce Brabner, early this morning in their Cleveland, Ohio home. He was 70 years of age. An autopsy will be conducted to determine the exact cause of death. Pekar and Brabner wrote the book-length comic Our Cancer Year after Pekar was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer in 1990 and consequently underwent an exhausting treatment for the disease.

In addition to his renowned comic book series, Pekar was also a jazz music and book critic, as well as an author of short stories. Pekar won wide exposure in the 1980's for his numerous guest spots on the Late NIght with David Letterman show on NBC, during which he constantly stirred up controversy for speaking his mind and often verbally denouncing the GE corporation, who owned the network Letterman was on. Eventually he was banned (temporarily) from the show. The above Letterman show clip contains some classic Pekar moments with the no-holds-barred Pekar speaking his mind.

But it is for American Splendor that Pekar will be always best remembered. In the brutally honest, autobiographical comic-book series, he portrayed himself, in his mundane everyday trials and tribulations, as a neurotic, anxiety-ridden, obsessive compulsive, far from glamorous, file clerk "from Off the StreeHarvey Pekar RIPts of Cleveland," as the comic's subtitle stated. In real life Pekar worked as a file clerk in the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Cleveland, where he found more than a little inspiration for his work, and continued working there up until his retirement in 2001.

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Hip-Hop Rap Up 07:09:10: Big Boi, The Roots, Drake, Eminem, Nas + Damian Marley, DJ Inti, & DaVinci

Posted by Billyjam, July 9, 2010 08:20am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Berkeley Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 07:09:10

Big Boi OutKast
1) The Roots How I Got Over (Def Jam)

2) Big Boi Sir Lucious Left Foot... The Son of Chico Dusty (Def Jam)

3) Nas + Damian Marley Distant Relatives  (Republic)

4) Eminem Recovery (Aftermath, Interscope, Shady)

5) Drake Thank Me Later (Cash Money Records)

Only released three days ago (July 6th), Big Boi's anticipated new album Sir Lucious Left Foot... The Son of Chico Dusty on Def Jam Recordings, is already at number two on the Amoeba Music Berkeley chart. The 15 track CD also comes in a CD+DVD Deluxe Edition. The Atlanta hip-hop artist is best known as one-half of OutKast and this is his first solo album, so expectations are high. Big Boi has morphed into his Sir Lucious Left Foot alter ego on the new record. As DJ Inti at Amoeba Berkeley accurately points out in the video clip below, generally it is Big Boi's more accessible (and arguably more gifted, lyrically at least) OutKast partner Andre 3000 who gets the most light shed upon him, inevitably upstaging Big Boi's more subtle talents.

Over two years in the making, Sir Lucious was initially slated to come out on Jive Records, but Big Boi was reportedly unhappy with their marketing plan, or rather, lack thereof, and hence he switched to Def Jam. Sir Lucious is by no means a total departure from OutKast -- in fact, not only does Andre 3000 produce a track ("You Ain't No DJ"), but also the overall sound carries that same OutKast vibe and feel, with the Dungeon Family (including the return of Joi) fully representing on the album and featuring Organized Noize (including Sleepy Brown, who also does vocals) & Mr. DJ supplying some production. Others on the record include Salaam Remi (who has worked with such artists as Nas and the Fugees), the Boom Boom Room productions crew, and the hot up-and-coming producer Boi-1da who also lent production to Drake's album Thank Me Later (this week's #5 on the Amoeba chart) on the track "Best I Ever Had" (see video below).

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