Posted by Billyjam, October 29, 2009 01:00am | Post a Comment
                  Betty Davis "F.U.N.K." (remastered and reissued by Light In The Attic Records)
The Black Angels
At this past weekend's WFMU Record Fair in Manhattan I ran into Josh Wright, who along with Matt Sullivan co-owns the amazing Light In The Attic Records (LITA). The music fanatical duo had trekked out from their Seattle base to set up a table to sell some of the latest releases from LITA's impressive catalog (lots of lovely vinyl) and also to give away cool freebie sample CDs.

Scroll down to see the Amoeblog interview with Josh in which he talks about some of the new and upcoming releases from the unique label known for its lovingly compiled catalog of reissues of forgotten music by such greats as Rodriguez, funk goddess Betty Davis (above), and pop-psych outfit The Free Design. LITA were featured on the Amoeblog back in May of this year when they undertook their West Coast Road Trip that included stops at Amoeba. The label also releases new music from contemporary acts, including an EP and LP from the Seattle/Tacoma pop/rock/rap outfit The Saturday Knights', Mingle, that featured the great opening track and single "45" (see video below). Another contemporary act on LITA is Austin, Texas psychedelic rock group The Black Angels.
Rodriguez cold fact
As Josh mentioned in the Amoeblog video interview below, some of the exciting new releases include the aforementioned Betty Davis and the Black Angels, seventies reggae artist Noel Ellis, keyboard/xylophone artist Emil Viklicky, 60's/70's Czech female vocalist Marta Kubisova, and the various artists release Reggae to Toronto: Soul Funk & Reggae: 1967 - 1974

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Posted by Billyjam, October 27, 2009 07:40pm | Post a Comment

The bi-monthly Wax Poetics may only be up to issue number 37, but ever since it first arrived earlier this decade Wax Poetics has fast become one of the most revered music magazines out there. Everything about this magazine, from its top-notch writing and photography to its quality layout on nice glossy paper, makes it instantly clear that Wax Poetics is made out of a true love and passion for the music it reports on -- soul, funk, jazz, and of course, hip-hop from the past several decades as well as in depth reporting on select current music. Wax Poetics is the sort of magazine that never makes its way into the recycling bin like most publications do after they have been read. Instead, the 7" by 10" publication is lovingly placed forever on wax poeticsbookshelves alongside music books like Jeff Chang's Can't Stop Won't Stop or the Ego Trip Book Of Rap Lists; books that take a similarly respectful approach to their subject matter. And in addition to the magazine, Wax Poetics also runs a record label. The label's latest release was the accompanying soundtrack to the very recently released Black Dynamite -- the new spoof blaxploitation movie that was made to look like it was done in the 70's and is described by its producers as such: "African-American action legend Black Dynamite goes after 'The Man' for killing his brother Jimmy, for pumping heroin into local orphanages and for flooding the ghetto with hopped-up malt liquor."

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Posted by Billyjam, October 27, 2009 05:31am | Post a Comment
Jared Lenny Olmsted

I've been attending the amazing WFMU Record Fair for the past four years, ever since I joined the unique freeform New Jersey radio station, and the one thing that is a given at this popular annual event is that you will always spot a ton of Amoeba bags floating around the weekend long event. This should not be too WFMU Record Fair 2009surprising, considering that both the WFMU Record Fair and Amoeba Music attract the same sort of person -- one who is extremely passionate about his/her music, and music collecting.  With hundreds of thousands of records and CDs (plus tons more stuff) being sold by over a hundred vendors at the expansive Metropolitan Pavilion venue in the Chelsea district of New York CIty, the three day WFMU Record Fair attracts people from all over the States and overseas who will travel to New York City just to attend this event. Many of these same folks will travel all the way to LA or the Bay to shop at Amoeba.

This time last year I reported here on the Amoeblog about the 2008 WFMU Record Fair, where Amoeba logo wearing music collecting fanatics included Nakajima, who had flown all the way to New York City from Japan specifically for the WFMU event. And at this year's event (Oct 23, 24, 25), which was "a success" according to WFMU Station Manager Ken Freedman, the instantly recognizable black record 100% cotton tote bags with the bright yellow & red Amoeba Music logos and store of origin's name were sighted all over the place.

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Posted by Billyjam, October 23, 2009 08:08am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five: 10:23:09
1) Fashawn Boy Meets World (Loud)

2) Jay Z Blueprint 3 Roc Nation/Atlantic

3) Royce Da 5'9' Street Hop (Mic One/TVT)

4) Cormega Born And Raised (Traffic Ent.)

5) Drake So Far Gone (Cash Money)

5) Raekwon Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, Pt. 2 (ICEAL)

In the number one hip-hop sales slot at the Hollywood Amoeba Music this week is the brand new, rightfully anticiapted album from West Coast newcomer Fashawn, who both released his debut album, Boy Meets World, and turned 21 this week. Congrats to him on both accomplishments. Fashawn is a Fresno, California emcee, whose album is produced entirely by Exile (of Blu & Exile) and who already has about seven mixtapes to his name. He may be young, but he is deservedly getting major props from critics, fans and bloggers, who have all been anxiously awaiting this debut. Some are even going so far as to say that with this release Fashawn willl help rescue West Coast rap and put it back on top again. With a flow that has a distinctive nod to some of rap's best bygone years, the album's fifteen tracks include such standouts as "Our Way," featuring a guest spot by Evidence; “Samsonite Man;” "Bo Jackson," featuring producer Exile on the mic as well as behind the mixing board; and "Sunny CA," featuring Coss & Mistah Fab. The video for "Sunny CA" is below.

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Posted by Billyjam, October 22, 2009 05:00pm | Post a Comment

One of the greatest cultural tragedies in the history of Bay Area music is the way an entire musical scene or movement was literally wiped out, and all ironically in the name of "development" and "progress." The music was the blues and the (once very vibrant) place was West Oakland, in the area on and surrounding 7th Street. Now simply known as the area where the main Oakland Post Office and the West Oakland BART station, along with its overhead tracks and its extended parking lot sit, this was once ground zero for the blues on the West Coast. But tragically, from the 1960's into the 1970's "developers" bought out and displaced nearly all of the clubs, venues and homes to build the BART and the area's vibrant music scene was put to sleep forever. Above is the Amoeblog interview with longtime Oakland resident and blues and r&b fan Buck on this tragic topic, that at its core was a function of racism in that it displaced a minority community who at the time had little political power to help fight to save their cultural scene.

A little reported on part of Bay Area history, one of the few places that you can read about the death of the blues in Oakland is in Ishmael Reed's recommended Blues City publication from five years ago in the Crown Journey published series where authors walk their city and report on its streets and inhabitants, weaving in its history en route. Toward the end of Reed's wonderful book he encounters Ronnie Stewart of the Bay Area Blues Society and allows him to vent and educate on this tragic slice of Bay Area history. Among the many nuggets of history emparted by Stewart, "Seventh Street between Wood and Center Streets, Pine Street, Henry Street, and Campbell Street were full of blues. You had the Reno Club and Miss Essie's Place, a very popular club on Wood and Seventh Streets. Essie had hamburgers and a jukebox and every now and then she'd put a band in there. They had black and white clubs, segregated, but lined up one next to the other. Then they had Pearl Harbor Liquor, which had a jukebox. See, back in those days, there was a whole culture of jukeboxes. They played nothing but blues. One outstanding musician was Saunders King. He played guitar, and he was raised on Seventh Street. He had his first hit back in 1942 and his daughter Deborah [was married to Carlos Santana for 34 years]. He was extremely important in the development of the Oakland blues; the reason the Oakland scene was so popular was because [of] people like Saunders King and Bob Geddins [a songwriter, producer, and arranger]. Geddins owned three or four record labels and was the first African-American to own one. He owned Big Town Records and Uptown Records. He recorded Jimmy McCracklin, Johnny Hartsman, Lowell Fulson, Roy Hawkins. He even recorded 'The Thrill Is Gone' but Modern Records ripped him off for that. It ended up being the biggest hit of B.B. King's career. That came out of Oakland in 1949."

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