Amoeblog

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?

Continue reading...

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.

Continue reading...

FOLK SINGER KATE MCGARRIGLE HAS DIED AT AGE 63

Posted by Billyjam, January 19, 2010 08:56am | Post a Comment
Kate & Anna McGarrigle
The Canadian folk artist Kate McGarrigle, best known for her work with her sister Anna McGarrigle, died last night (Jan 18th) following a battle with a rare form of cancer. She was 63. Her musical career (songwriter/vocals/piano/guitar) began with sister Anna in the mid seventies. They recorded ten albums together. Additionally, she was also known to many as the mother of musicians Martha Wainwright and Rufus Wainwright from her marriage to musician Loudon Wainwright III. In fact, when reports that the artist was critically ill surfaced over the weekend, son Rufus reportedly canceled his tour of Australia and New Zealand, scheduled to begin in two weeks, to be by his mother's side. 

The McGarrigle Sisters debuted in 1976 with the critically acclaimed album Kate & Anna McGarrigle, which was even named "album of the year" by UK music magazine Melody Maker. Over the years tracks from the sisters' repertoire, which included songs such as "Heart Like a Wheel," "Goin' Back to Harlan," "Heartbeats Accelerating," "Talk to Me of Mendocino," and "On My Way to Town," have been covered by many artists, including Billy Bragg, Linda Ronstadt, and Emmylou Harris. Below is a video of the McGarrigle Sisters performing their beautiful song "Heart Like A Wheel" in 1990. And below that is an amateur video of Kate, Martha, and Rufus Wainwright all together onstage two years ago at Radio City Music Hall in NYC performing "Talk to Me of Mendocino." Rest in peace, Kate McGarrigle!

Continue reading...

RECOMMENDED BAY AREA HAITI BENEFIT TONIGHT

Posted by Billyjam, January 18, 2010 06:01pm | Post a Comment

If you only go to one benefit concert event this year it should be one to benefit the unfortunate victims of the recent devastating earthquake in Haiti. And if you are in the Bay Area tonight there is such an event taking place. Rebound in downtown San Francisco tonight will be featuring none other than Rob Garza of Thievery Corporation fame, along with several local artists / DJs, including J-Boogie. The benefit starts at 7pm this evening (Monday, January 18th) at Vessel in San Francisco. The goal of the event is to raise as much money as possible for the World Food Programme to go directly to Haiti.

What is significant about this evening's appearance by Thievery Corp's Garza is that as a part of that popular group he is used to playing large venues (I saw them in a sold-out show at the Greek Theater in Berkeley two summers ago). But to do his part to benefit the Haitian earthquake victims, he has volunteered his time to play at an intimate SF venue. All the performers are also donating their time for this very worthy cause. Others on the bill tonight include J Bowman, Chris Clouse, Gordon Waze, and David Harness, who will not be DJing but instead will be the host of the evening. At 930pm Haiti quake survivor Angelo Viard is scheduled to speak.

Vessal is located at 85 Campton Place, San Francisco, CA 94108. More info here.

BACK  <<  288  289  290  291  292  293  294  295  296  297  298  299  >>  NEXT