Amoeblog

EAST BAY EXPRESS' HELLA FUN BEST OF THE EAST BAY PARTY

Posted by Billyjam, July 14, 2008 06:28pm | Post a Comment
The Uptones @ Oakland Museum, East Bay Express party
"I thought there would be maybe a couple of hundred people here and that it would be a pretty good event but, damn, I didn't think there would be this many people here and that it would this great a party. Hell yeah!," exclaimed Dan K -- one of the many attendees at last Friday's East Bay Express party.

The Oakland biker/hip-hop artist (who a few years back had a feature on him in the East Bay Express) was excitedly shouting over the music coming from the main stage at the Oakland Museum of California, where the independent East Bay weekly was hosting its "Old School" themed "Best of the East Bay" free party. Meanwhile, behind him, one of the hella fun night's many performers, longtime Berkeley ska group The Uptones (pictured above), ripped into their appropriately old school hit "Out to Sea."   

"Crazy....in a good way," laughed Amoeba Music's Naomi about the scene. She and fellow Amoebite Rachael were kept extremely busy tending to the long line of music fans who patiently waited for their turn to Amoeba Music spin-to-win @ East Bay Express 2008 Best-of party spin-to-win prizes including CDs, DVDs, and lots of Amoeba swag, including bags, hoodies, and turntable slip mats. (Amoeba was one of the main sponsors of the event.) A little later, headlining act Flipper was scheduled to sign autographs at the Amoeba table.

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FRIDA FOR FREE IN DA SFC + OTHER BAY AREA FREEBIES

Posted by Billyjam, July 13, 2008 11:19am | Post a Comment

The best things in life are free and the free things in life are the best -- especially if you're broke as a joke or just hate wasting money.  The Bay Area is a wonderfully resourceful place to find free things to do. Today, Sunday July 13th, you can go check out the new Frida Kahlo exhibit at San Francisco's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) for free, and it is just one of the many wonderful free things to do in the Bay Area this summer.

First Tuesdays of the month are when most (not all -- so always check in advance) major SF museums host free days. On July 1st, the most recent free first Tuesday at MoMA, I headed over in the hopes of catching both the general museum exhibits (which are highly recommended) and the recently opened one of Frida Kahlo's work (thru Sep 28), which spans the famed Mexican artist's career and also includes her own collection of photographs, most of which have never been displayed before.

When I arrived at the main entrance on 3rd Street, there was no cover charge and no line to get in to the general part of MoMA but the much (justifiably) hyped new Kahlo show had attracted an additional wallop of eager art fans who both had to line up (it moved fast) and pay an additional $5 (still good value) to see the Frida Kahlo exhibit. I inquired about seeing Frida for free and was informed by Jean Halverson at MoMA that July 13th would be the only completely free day to see that exhibit. But be forewarned: free often comes with some kind a price, usually standing in line for a bit -- so arrive prepared, and bring a book to read or snacks to share with your friends in line. At one ridiculously long wait for a one-time only exhibit in New York, a bunch of us in the slow long line had pizza delivered.

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KRIP-HOP PROJECT'S LEROY F MOORE ON BEING BLACK & DISABLED

Posted by Billyjam, July 11, 2008 07:40pm | Post a Comment
Leroy Franklin Moore Jr.
My name is Leroy Franklin Moore Jr.  I was born in New York in 1967 and was born with a physical disability (cerebral palsy). Being both Black and disabled, I’ve always had questions about race and disability. 

I grew up in an activist family and became active in issues that faced my Black and disabled communities. At an early age I realized that both of my communities, Black and disabled, did not recognize each other and because of this fact I continued to search for some kind of balance with my two identities.
 
In school I found out that very few professors or students knew about Black disabled people in history -- from slavery, to the music industry, to activism. Outside of the educational system and my communities, I started to educate myself on the rich history of Black disabled people. 

Because my father was into Black music, I started my research on Black disabled people in music and found out that most of the early blues artists were Black and blind or had other types of disabilities that forced them to make a living from singing on street corners all over the South and North: artists like Cripple Clarence Lofton who had polio but used to dance and was known as one of the creators of boogie-woogie piano. 
                                                                                                                                                                                  Cortella Clark
A lot of these Black disabled musicians didn’t get their dues and were discriminated against. The story of Cortelia Clark, who was a blind blues singer, singing on the streets of Nashville, is one of many true stories of Black blind/disabled artists in the early stages of the development of the music industry. Although Clark won a Grammy for his 1967 song, the appropriately titled "Blues in the Streets," he couldn’t attend the ceremony because he couldn’t afford to buy a ticket. The following day he was back on the streets trying to earn money to pay rent.

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BAY AREA HIP-HOP ARCHIVES: APRIL 1996

Posted by Billyjam, July 10, 2008 11:32am | Post a Comment

Lately I've been digging in my archives, specifically my Bay Area Hip-Hop archives, and it has been fun going back over all of this great music which, as is often the case, is hard to completely absorb and fully appreciate the significance of right as it is all happening around you. This Bay Area hip-hop archival from a dozen years ago, including the video above for Mac Mall's great single from that time, "Get Right," is the first in a series of hip-hop flashbacks from the Bay Area hip-hop archives that I have accumulated since the mid-eighties. This specific time-encapsulated slice of Bay Area hip-hop is from the the week of April 6th, 1996.
Tupac Shakur
It includes a Bay Area Top 50 chart (singles & albums & demo tapes -- all subjectively chosen) and a Bay Area Rap News headlines report -- both taken from the Hip Hop Slam produced radio show ("Pirate Fuckin Radio") I did at the time that was broadcast on a bunch of small micro-powered radio stations (aka pirate radio) including Free Radio Berkeley, Steal This Radio in New York City,  San Francisco Liberation Radio, Free Radio Santa Cruz, KBUD Mendocino, 89.1FM Seattle, Flavor 919 and 909 The Bomb in Miami, and Black Magic Radio in Fresno. 

Also included are certain album covers and videos. But what is most interesting about this chart from a dozen years ago is that it captures the roots of the current hyphy movement and other contemporary Yay Area rap styles. Note that Master P, his TRU (The Real Untouchables) crew and No Limit Records (later to blow up back down in New Orleans) were still a Bay Area outfit. Then, as now, women were in the minority in the local rap game. However, those that did represent, including Suga T, Conscious Daughters (see video for "Gamers" below), and Sh'Killa (self-described "gangstrez from da Bay") were all respected, empowered women artists who didn't feel the need to flaunt their sexuality in exchange for fame in the rap game.

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AMOEBA LOVE: BEST RECORD STORE

Posted by Billyjam, July 8, 2008 06:32pm | Post a Comment
Since its inception Amoeba Music has received numerous awards for its three locations, Berkeley, San Francisco, and Hollywood, with the latest award going to the Berkeley Amoeba store which was voted "Best Record Store" by the East Bay Express in their recent annual "Best of the East Bay" edition.

"There is NO place like Amoeba, not even in New York," wrote the accompanying text for this award, which was all the more significant since it was in the "Readers' Choice" section & hence was based on what a wide cross-section of Express readers sincerely think about Amoeba Music.

To help celebrate this latest award for the store, Amoeba will be part of the big party this Friday (July 11th) from 7PM until midnight at the Oakland Museum of California at 1000 Oak Street, where all of the winners in the East Bay Express'  recent "best of the East Bay" awards will be honored. If you go - and you should - be sure to stop by the Amoeba Music booth where you can say wassup and register to win free prizes,

The actual theme of this party is "Old School" and hence such classic acts from from back in the day as Flipper and The Uptones -- the longtime East Bay ska outfit who formed back in 1981 when most of its members were still attending Berkeley High School. Below is a video clip of the Uptones nowadays with them performing "Skanking Fool"  a year ago at the Metro in Oakland - a location currently closed.  Others performing at this big mixed arts event include Dyloot (Deep Voices) and Destroyer.


Brandi Shearer - Amoeba artist
Others on the bill for Friday's big and FREE event (meaning get there early, as it will likely be mobbed) include The Shoreshoes, Monarchs, and talented longtime Oakland hip-hop DJ Malachi.

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