Amoeblog

THE HIGH DECIBELS' NEW HIGH PROFILE C/O SUPER BOWL AD

Posted by Billyjam, February 3, 2009 12:39pm | Post a Comment

Pop quiz: what Oakland rap act was featured prominently in a television commercial spot during Sunday's big Super Bowl event? If you answered MC Hammer, you would be partially correct, as indeed the long fallen-from-grace (and riches) bygone Oakland pop-rap star was featured along with another former big baller, Ed McMahon, in the funny (but in a sad/tragic way) Cash4Gold commercial in which Hammer and high decibalsMcMahon are seen selling off their worldly possessions to get some needed cash.

But also on Sunday there was another Oakland rap act featured, or rather their music was featured, in the new series of always anticipated Super Bowl commercials.

New up-and-coming Oakland hip-hop group The High Decibels' song "That Dude" was prominently featured in the "Sphere of Summer" Super Bowl Commercial spot for Budweiser's new Bud Light Lime line of beer. The commercial, which aired in the game's exciting final quarter, was one of many anticipated new TV commercials unveiled during Super Bowl and which famously cost advertisers $3 million per 30 second spot to run on NBC but are viewed by tens of millions of potential customers.

Considering that the High Decibels are a relatively little-known group with only one album out on a small indie local label, I was curious as to how they landed their music on such a major TV spot. So yesterday I caught up in person with the group's mainman/guitarist KC, who I hadn't seen since I did an Amoeblog profile on the High Decibels back in October when they had just put out their debut album HD on Rolling Jack Records and were doing a record release party in SF. In addition to putting together the hip-hop band, whose two emcees are Duke and Chief, KC also oversees the management and business of the group. high decibels

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867-5309 FOR SALE ON EBAY AND FETCHING BIG BIDS

Posted by Billyjam, February 2, 2009 06:52pm | Post a Comment
tommy tutone 867-5309 jenny
Anyone who watches VH1 Classics, lived through the eighties or has listened to any bit of retro 1980's radio hits will already be quite familiar with the phone number 867 53 09 as enunciated by Tommy Tutone in his infectious pop-rock hit single "867 5309/Jenny" from 1982 which reached number 4 on the pop singles chart. But news is that five years ago, as a bit of a joke, someone in New Jersey actually requested that phone number  from their phone company. To their surprise, they were granted the seven digit number. They also got inundated with phone calls from fans of the song and of the ficticious Jenny.

According to the Associated Press, in the five years since the person who had the phone in his name, Spencer Potter, who is a music fan and mobile disc jockey in Weehawken, NJ, and his  housemates have been "fielding thousands of calls to one of rock 'n' roll's most celebrated phone numbers. Potter and his roommates requested the number on a lark for their home phone in northern New Jersey. They got it, along with about 30 to 40 calls a day."

The phone number, which doubled as Potter's mobile DJ business number, is currently up for sale on eBay along with the DJ business itself. The 28 year old has it listed as "Selling my DJ company with the most famous phone numbers in HISTORY....  867-5309!" But get this: at the time of posting this Amoeblog, it had received 104 bids with the latest one at $158,100.00, which seems ridiculously high. And who knows how much higher it will go and what might happen in the bidding process between now and when the auction closes in 6 days, 17 hours, and 8 minutes (as of posting this) and counting.

BOOTS RILEY OF THE COUP TELLS IT AS HE SEES IT

Posted by Billyjam, February 2, 2009 10:00am | Post a Comment
boots riley
In 1993 when Boots Riley and The Coup (Pam the Funkstress and former member E-Roc) first caught the attention of the hip-hop world with their socially & politically charged debut Kill My Landlord (Wild Pitch), hip-hop had already passed its political Afro-centric wave. 

It was when gangsta rap, with Dr. Dre and The Chronic leading the way, was fast becoming the prevalant hip-hop flavor, remaining so ever since. But none of that bothered the ever-outspoken, individually minded Raymond "Boots" Riley one bit, not then nor in the 16 years since. Boots as both an artist and acitvist has remained a refreshingly consistent voice of rebelliion; one constantly questioning authority, in particular the capitalist system of the country in which he lives.

Last week I caught up with Boots by telephone to talk with him about Black History Month, Barack Obama being in the White House, the relationship between police & minorities in the aftermath of the Oscar Grant case, and of course music, among other things. Riley was in LA in the studio sitting in on the finishing stages of mixing an album for a forthcoming release of an exciting-sthe coup kill my landlordounding side project by The Coup frontman, which is detailed further in the conversation that follows.

Amoeblog: So what is this new album side-project you are finishing up right now?

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AMOEBA MUSIC WEEKLY HIP-HOP ROUND UP 01:31:09

Posted by Billyjam, January 31, 2009 08:30am | Post a Comment
AMOEBA MUSIC SAN FRANCISCO HIP-HOP TOP FIVE: 01:31:09
sweet lord by murs and 9th wonder
1) Murs/9th Wonder Sweet Lord
(Record Collection)

2) Atmosphere God Loves Ugly (Rhymesayers)

3) Dälek Gutter Tactics (Ipecac)

4) X-Clan Mainstream Outlawz
(Suburban Noize)

5) Cappadonna Slang Prostitution
(ChamberMusik Records)

Thanks to Luis at Amoeba Music San Francisco for supplying this week's Hip-Hop Top FIve chart of the best selling albums of the week at the Haight Street store where the new number one is the album Sweet Lord by Murs and 9th Wonder. It was recorded about two years ago by the Los Angeles emcee and the North Carolina producer but not first released until a few months when it was made available as a digital download only; the album is only just now available to buy on CD. 9th Wonder, who is one of the best and most in-demand hip-hop producers today, and Murs, who is among the brightest and most gifted lyricists in the genre, have worked together before. Most recently they collaborated on a few tracks off of Murs' major label debut Murs For President, released on Warner in late September. In the studio they have a wonderful chemistry. As Murs raps on the Sweet Lord track "Are You Ready?" -- "Welcome ye'all to the 9th Wonder, Murs' dream. Ghetto music with a purpose..two of the world's most respected musicians are now at work. I suggest you listen."

The rest of the ten track album is really, really good (you wouldn't expect less from the talented duo) and features such other standout songs as "Free," "It's For Real," and "Nina Ross." "Nina Ross," which is a very clever song, is one of those great hip-hop tracks that draws you in thinking it is (yet) another tale of a hip-hop guy scamming on girls or (in this case) on the one girl, Nina Ross. Instead Murs flips things up in this engaging tale. And as the story unfolds it turns out that Nina is the one in control of the situation and that the guy is the one been taken advantage of -- or rather being taught a lesson for his past sexist & explloitive attitudes & deeds towards women.dalek gutter tactics

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AARON COMETBUS ON WRITING & MUSIC (INC. THORNS OF LIFE)

Posted by Billyjam, January 30, 2009 08:46am | Post a Comment

aaron cometbus
Somehow longtime author, punk rock drummer, and self-described "punk anthropologist" Aaron Cometbus (born Aaron Elliot) has managed to stay relatively under the mainstream radar while simultaneously gaining great notoriety and deserved respect among underground punk circles for close to three full decades now -- ever since the beginning of the eighties when, barely a teenager, the highly intelligent and gifted Berkeley youth began writing his seminal punk fanzine Cometbus.

He also played music in many bands from a young age. His second band Crimpshrine, in which he played drums, was the pioneering East Bay punk band which had a major impact on the burgeoning East Bay punk scene, up until their demise in '89. Since then Aaron has continued to consistently make music as a member of, literally, dozens of different bands -- most of them short lived groups. Some, such as Pinhead Gunpowder, which he formed with Billie Joe Armstrong and others in the early nineties, still play occasionally. His most recent band is the Thorns of Life which formed a few months ago in Brooklyn and features Blake Schwarzenbach (of Jets to Brazil & Jawbreaker fame) and bassist Daniela Sea (known for her former membership of the Gr'ups and Cypher in the Snow as well as her acting role in the TV show The L Word). The band, who played their first club date ever on Monday at the Hemlock in SF followed a few days later on Thursday last by a "secret show" at Thrillhouse Records with a reported 100 folks squeezed into the small Mission Street retail space., play 924 Gilman tomorrow (Sat. Jan 31st).

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