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AMOEBA MUSIC WEEKLY HIP-HOP ROUND UP 01:29:10

Posted by Billyjam, January 29, 2010 07:00am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Hollywood Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 01:29:10

BlakRoc
1) BlakRoc Blakroc (V2/Cooperative)

2) Black Eyed Peas The E.N.D. (Interscope)

3) Jay Z Blueprint 3 (Roc Nation/Atlantic)

4) Fashawn Boy Meets World (Loud)

5) Oh No Dr. No's Ethiopium (Stones Throw)

If the newest Amoeba Music Hollywood hip-hop chart above looks similar to the SoCal store's chart from three weeks ago, well, that's because it is exactly the same. All the top selling hip-hop releases from the past few weeks' weekly charts at the Hollywood store have been consistently selling well and hence holding steady in their respective chart slots at the Sunset Blvd. store. Both Jay-Z and the Black Eyed Peas' now months-old 2009 releases continue to sell phenomenally well, and not just at Amoeba but across the nation also. They are still simultaneously holding down spots on the Billboard Top 200 albums chart, ranking at #9 and #31 respectively on the national sales based chart. Meantime, instrumental versions of seven of the great tracks off the recommended self-titled BlakRoc album, composed and performed by The Black Keys for the emcees Mos Def, Raekwon, Pharoahe Monch, Ludacris, etc etc, were unveiled this week on the website The Black Keys Fan Lounge.

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THE SOFT PACK & OTHER GREAT AMOEBA IN-STORES THIS WEEK

Posted by Billyjam, January 27, 2010 11:20am | Post a Comment
  The Soft Pack 'Answer to Yourself' live on 91X (2009)

Formerly known as The Muslims, San Diego indie rock outfit The Soft Pack will play for free at Amoeba Music Berkeley this evening at 6pm. The band has an amazingly catchy sound that they unleash on their about to drop (The Soft Packnext Tuesday) self-titled debut on Kemado Records (and on Heavenly Records in the UK). What I personally love about these guys' sound, especially the new album track "Answer To Yourself," which has been stuck in my head for the past two days straight, is how much it reminds me of one of my favorite eras of music: Belfast Northern Ireland punk circa 1979/1980 on the Good Vibrations label. I love it and the rest of the head nodding, retro-sounding tracks that I have heard off the new album (recorded with Eli Janney of Girls Against Boys). At today's Amoeba Berkeley in-store, you can pre-order it, in addition to getting an autographed CD booklet along with a limited-edition 7" Wayne Hancockfrom the band (while supplies last at the Telegraph Ave. Amoeba today only).

Above is the band playing live on radio station 91X a few months ago and below is a clip of them doing an instore at the Hollywood Amoeba on October 29th, 2008. 

INTERVIEW WITH BLOCKHEAD ABOUT NEW ALBUM, THE MUSIC SCENE

Posted by Billyjam, January 25, 2010 01:26pm | Post a Comment
Blockhead The Music Scene
Back in the second half of the nineties, following a short-lived, unsuccessful turn at being a rapper, New York City native Blockhead turned his creative focus to producing hip-hop music. At first he worked for emcee Aesop Rock, and later for many other artists. He simultaneously began producing and releasing his own music as a solo artist for such labels as Mush and Ninja Tune.

Just recently the artist released his fourth album on Ninja Tune, The Music Scene, which he half jokingly describes on his MySpace as "the tears that fall from your emo face on to your laptop. or nordic flute music with a hip hop edge...either or... "but which is actually a recommended rich and engaging collage of sounds that utilizes literally hundreds of sound sources. I caught up with Blockhead to talk about his new album, what went into making it, and the meaning behind its title.

Amoeblog: The cover art of the new album The Music Scene, done by your friend & fellow producer Omega One, shows a futuristic deserted New York City overrun by wild animals. Is there a distinct correlation between that specific imagery and the album's theme?

Blockhead: Yeah, it just shows New York as this barren wasteland being overrun by animals. And that is kind of how I view the music scene at this point. It's a very simple metaphor. Like if you think about New York City and what it once was. I am a native New Yorker. I grew up downtown and to see what has happened to my neighborhood, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it's just become something different. And the music scene is pretty much in the same boat. It was once this thriving place where people could be creative. But now if you are creative it is really not for you because it is not going to happen for you on a level like it used to. There was a time when ugly singers could be famous, when people would just get by on their talent but now it's like you have to have a market plan and it's depressing.
Blockhead
Amoeblog: Listening to the layers of sounds and samples and beat changes and overall intricate production that went into The Music Scene, it sounds like you put a lot of time and energy into producing this album. Did you?

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AMOEBA MUSIC WEEKLY HIP-HOP ROUND UP: 01:22:10

Posted by Billyjam, January 22, 2010 10:19am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Berkeley Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five: 01:22:10

J. Stalin
1) J-Stalin Prenuptial Agreement (Town Thizzness/SMC/Fontana)

2) Souls Of Mischief Montezuma's Revenge (Clear)

3) Mos Def The Ecstatic (Downtown)

4) Black Eyed Peas The E.N.D. (Interscope)

5) Sene & Blu A Day Late & A Dollar Short (SW Records)

Last week the Bay Area's own J-Stalin was number one at the San Francisco Amoeba store and this week he repeats that accomplishment by topping the hip-hop chart at the Berkeley Amoeba Music with his latest official release (as distinct from his series of mixtape CDs), Prenuptial Agreement (Town Thizzness/SMC/Fontana). On this latest album the cover shows the rapper from the Cypress Village housing projects in West Oakland looking very sharply dressed. J-Stalin delivers what his fans fiend for: good quality Bay rap with catchy hooks and featuring many well known guests. The 22 track CD, which includes the two singles “Rock Day” and “Everyday My Birthday,” features such guests as E-40 (who appears on the song "Get Me Off" that also offers a cameo from E-Da Sanga), Messy Marv ("H.N.I.C."), Too $hort & Mistah F.A.B (together on "Neighborhood Stars"), San Quinn ("Posted"), The Jacka ("Red And Blue Lights"), and Shady Nate, who collaborates on two album tracks.

DISNEYLAND FOR MUSIC GEEKS: NAMM 2010 REPORT BY SHING02

Posted by Billyjam, January 20, 2010 01:00pm | Post a Comment

Shing02's NAMM 2010 report (Video Version)

The winter NAMM is an international music products event held annually at the Anaheim Convention Center. The event showcases thousands of exhibitors featuring new instruments and gadgets. Although it is not open to the general public without Vestax's president Mr. Nakamainvitation, tens of thousands gather from all over the world every January to check out the latest trends. Basically, the four-day experience is Guitar Center on 'roids, or, to be more appropriate, a Disneyland for music geeks (coincidentally, the real Disneyland is right across the street from the convention center).

I've been coming to the NAMM show for over ten years, both as an exhibitor (for Vestax) and as an attendee. Surely the main attractions are the new products by your favorite brands. You can forecast trends before they happen, as most exhibitors debut product lines at the show, and engineers on-site are eager to hear critical feedback from musicians. It's quite impressive when you observe the long process of how products are conceived, designed, and manufactured from innovative ideas. Equally motivational as far as getting people to show up at the trade show is the camaraderie factor. In this open and crazy atmosphere, you bump into many DJs and producers, so you can chop it up with them and trade contacts. Sometimes mega-stars (Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, Bootsy Collins, Snoop Dogg, to name a few) come around and show face as well.

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