Amoeblog

Spill a Little on the Curb for Law & Order, Canceled After 20 Seasons

Posted by Billyjam, May 18, 2010 10:42am | Post a Comment
Law and Order
Spill a little on the curb for the passing of the long-running TV show Law & Order, which, after 20 solid years/seasons on the air, plus giving birth to several spin-offs, had the plug abruptly pulled on it by NBC last Friday. Admittedly, the passing of a TV series may not be nearly as seriously tragic as the recent real life passings of musicians Ronnie James Dio or Lena Horne, but for both the dedicated fans and the actors and others employed by the long-running show (matched only by Gunsmoke in terms of being TV's longest running dramas), it is sad news. But at least we have re-runs and the various seasons of Law and Order on DVD -- available at Amoeba Music.

The Dick Wolf created show, with its instantly recognizable theme music by Mike Post, in its current season stars Anthony Anderson, Jeremy Sisto, and Linus RoacheLaw & Order has also featured S. Epatha Merkerson for 391 episodes and Sam Waterston for 368, with a grand total of 453 episodes. Perhaps most beloved on the show was the late Jerry Orbach, who played Detective Lennie Briscoe from 1992 to 2004. In fact, he even made cameos on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and the short lived Law & Order: Trial By Jury -- three spin-offs of the influential Law and Order franchise that each employed the trademark "doink doink" sound effect (hear it below) to bridge scenes. There is also a spinoff British version, Law & Order: UK.

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AZ's Regressive SB 1070 Triggers Return To Politicized Rap of Public Enemy's "By The Time I Get To Arizona"

Posted by Billyjam, May 17, 2010 11:44am | Post a Comment
Arizona Hip-Hop Artists "Back To Arizona" (2010)

The regressive Senate Bill 1070, or, SB 1070, as it is widely referred to, is the new law in Arizona that makes the failure to carry immigration documents a crime, and it has spurred similar proposals in other states. Public EnemyOn the other side of things, the bill has not only triggered nationwide outrage and protests, but it has also sparked a solidarity among many hip-hop artists, and kick-started a renaissance of sorts of the type of politicized militant hip-hop that was prevalent back in the early nineties when Public Enemy (PE) released their commentary on Arizona at that time in the song "By The Time I Get To Arizona."

At the forefront of the anti SB 1070 protest rap movement are the thirteen different Arizona hip-hop artists who recently found cause to join forces and record the powerful song (and video above) "Back To Arizona" that lyrically decries the bill (rightfully seen as legalized
racial profiling) that was signed last month by their state's Gov. Jan Brewer. The mostly unknown but talented Arizona artists that contributed to this posse cut include Queen YoNasDa, DJ John Blaze, Tajji Sharp, Yung Face, Mr. Miranda, Ocean, Da'aron Anthony, Atllas, Chino D, Nyhtee, Pennywise, Rich Rico, and Da Beast

Luis' Top 5 + Picks, Sage Francis, Roc Marciano, Megakut Tapes, NWA movie, Blacastan, Declaime, DJ Quest @ Amoeba, Dres of Black Sheep, DMC DJ Battle, Black Dynamite + more: Amoeba Music Weekly Hip-Hop Round Up: 05:14:10

Posted by Billyjam, May 14, 2010 09:45am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music San Francisco Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 05:14:10

Sage Francis
1) Sage Francis Li(F)e (Strange Famous Records)

2) Roc Marciano Marcberg (Fat Beats)

3) Declaime Fonk (E1/Koch)

4) Blacastan Blac Sabbath (Brick)

5) Grand Invincible Cold Hand In The Dice Game (Zero Friends)

Luis' two bonus picks of the week:

-Gurp City's Own Yole Boys
Self titled (Megakuts Tapes) (cassette)
-CX Kidtronik Wild Kingdom (vinyl + CD pack) (Stones Throw)

Thanks to Luis at Amoeba Music San Francisco for supplying the latest hip-hop top five chart, in both text and video formats (above & below respectively), for this week's Amoeba Music Hip-Hop Top Five chart + two bonus picks for the week. In the number one slot with the brand new album Li(F)e on the artist's Strange Famous label, is longtime alt hip-hop artist Sage Francis, who headlines the Fillmore in San Francisco June 4th, the Catalyst in Santa Cruz June 5th, and the Music Box @ the Fonda in LA June 6th. Like such other alt rap acts as Cage or POS, who have always straddled that line between rap and alternative rock, Francis, whose last two albums appeared on the predominantly punk label Epitaph Records, has pretty much made the full transition from hip-hop over to the rock side of the equation on this new release (the artist's fourth album since his 2002 debut on Anticon Personal Journals). With backing from a live rock band featuring members of Califone, plus various other collaborators, including Chris Walla, the 12-track album finds Francis in fine form, singing & rapping in his distinct, grave vocal style on tracks such as the hard-rocking singalong "Three Sheets To The Wind," the country-rock tinged "Slow Man" (below), the head banging "London Bridge," with its commentary on the US health care system, and the stripped-down instrumental and new age-y "The Best of Times (featuring Yann Tierson)," which is available for free download on the artist's site. You can also preview it on the homepage of this website and buy the CD directly here at Amoeba.com for $10.99.

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Incarcerated rapper X-Raided Stabbed by Fellow Inmates Over Refusal to Produce Their Rap CD

Posted by Billyjam, May 13, 2010 06:25pm | Post a Comment
X-Raided
A group of inmates on the "A" Facility Sensitive Needs yard area at Pleasant Valley State Prison in Coalinga, CA  are now facing attempted murder charges after they recently tried to kill imprisoned Sacramento rapper & regular Amoeblog contributor Anerae "X-Raided" Brown (aka CDC # K-17737). According to the prison's recently released incident report, Brown was stabbed and sliced a total of seven times in the prison yard melee that escalated into a riot between a group of black and Mexican inmates. He was attacked near the basketball court on the recreation yard by a group of inmates, identified by R. Rodriguez (Search and Escort Officer #1), as a "known Northern Rider affiliates." Northern Riders are former members of the notorious Northern Mexican prison gang XIV,  who reportedly have been kicked out of the Norte and were removed from the mainline of the general population for their own protection. 

According to the prison's Lt. Lantz, it was determined that Brown, who is fast recovering from the recent stabbing (carried out with a State issued toothbrush that had eight razor blades taped and tied to it) but is in solitary confinement awaiting transfer, was the victim in this case and will not be facing disciplinary action or criminal charges. But what is most bizarre about this incident, according to Brown's attorney, is that his attackers had, "attempted to extort" the longtime incarcerated Sacramento rapper. "They wanted him to produce and release their rap album," he said of two of the accused inmates (identified simply as "inmates R. Werth and Gonzales"), who are each serving life without the possibility of parole. Apparently, when X-Raided, who oversees the running of the Bloc Star Entertainment rap music label from behind bars, refused to have anything to do with their music, the attackers' plans for the prison yard attack, that happened in late March but is only now being reported on, were hatched.

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The Dickies' "Banana Splits" Theme & Other Reasons to Love Kick-Ass, The Movie & Its Soundtrack

Posted by Billyjam, May 12, 2010 11:10am | Post a Comment

There are many memorable scenes in the wonderful recently released film Kick-Ass, but the two that stick in my mind most are the first big fight scene featuring the young superhero Hit Girl with its kick-ass accompanying music (the "Banana Splits" theme), and the scene in which the wanna-be superheroes Kick Ass and Red Mist are riding in their souped-up super-ride enjoying their fave song on the car's booming sound system ("Crazy").

At surface the latter scene, which comes just past the half-way mark in the 110 minute movie, looks like it is simply regurgitating that well worn Hollywood scenario in which, typically, two or more guys are in their ride singing along at the top of their lungs to that song (the song that makers hope defines the movie). We've seen it in Wayne's World and million other movies since. But in the refreshingly unique Kick Ass this scene is subtly different.

For starters, Red Mist (played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse) is doing something a superhero is never seen doing; he is smoking a joint, and while driving ("A little weed takes the edge off things when I'm on patrol," he assures his abstaining fellow costumed wanna be superhero riding shotgun). And soon after, as Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" starts playing, the two "costumed vigilantes," looking at once ridiculous and hilarious, do a stupid but highly entertaining seat dance, grooving their heads and upper torsos in unison to the 2006 hit.

The power of this scene, like the rest of this comic-book comedy-action flick, is that it lets the viewer in on the joke, and the strength of Kick Ass is how it allows us in on all the shortcomings of its characters. For example, as we follow the Kick Ass character (played by Aaron Johnson) we clearly see that when he is, in all earnestness, patrolling the dangerous streets of New York, he is just a harmless teen in a costume who could get beaten up at any moment. Of course, the only real superhero in this flick is the tween Hit Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz, just 11 when the film was shot), who steals the film.

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