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BILLY JAM'S WEEKLY HIP-HOP ROUND UP: 6-6-08

Posted by Billyjam, June 6, 2008 08:30am | Post a Comment

Sadness struck both Amoeba and the local Bay Area hip-hop community this week with the tragic passing of the much-loved Anthony Marin (aka Big Ant) who, at the young age of 37, died of heart failure last weekend. 

A DJ/producer and multi-instrumentalist, not to mention an incredibly knowledgeable musicologist, Big Ant had been a fixture on the local hip-hop scene for many years -- ever since he moved north from LA in the nineties. Before working at Amoeba SF he had worked at Tower Records in the South Bay and Cue's in Daly City.

If you were into the local DJ or hip-hop scene you would have seen Big Ant over the years at countless events. A large framed man with a warm hug and a winning smile, plus an unbridled knowledge of all types of music (far beyond hip-hop), he had DJ'ed all over, played damn near every instrument it seemed (including guitar/drums/keyboards in Black Fiction - the experimental rock band he was a member of along with fellow Amoebites Jason Chavez and Tim Cohen), and was a ham at Karaoke.  This evening, Friday June 6th, from 5PM to 9PM, those who knew this great man will gather in his honor at Milk, which is directly across the street from Amoeba on Haight St.

For more in depth tributes to Big Ant, visit 4AM/Jason Chavez's MySpace or the text/photo dedication to him on the homepage of the Amoeba website, where Jason Chavez, his best friend, wrote so poignantly: "The best lesson he taught me is the lesson that every loved one that passes teaches us, that we are all still alive and we need to live, love and find our purpose and passions for ourselves and our passed loved ones who are watching us and guiding us towards our destinies. Everyone stay up, he'd want us to."   R.I.P. BIG ANT.

AMOEBA MUSIC SAN FRANCISCO HIP-HOP TOP FIVE (6.6.08)

1) J-Live Then What Happened? (BBE)
2) TOPR The Marathon of Shame (Gurp City)
3) Giant Panda Electric Laser (Tres Records)
4) Subtle Exiting Arm (Lex)
5) The Cool Kids The Bake Sale (Chocolate Industries/A&M)

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AMOEBA MUSIC HOLLYWOOD HIP-HOP TOP FIVE: JUNE 5, 2008

Posted by Billyjam, June 5, 2008 08:00pm | Post a Comment

AMOEBA MUSIC HOLLYWOOD
HIP-HOP TOP FIVE (6.5.08)


1)  J-Live
    Then What Happened?
(BBE)

2) Atmosphere
   When Life Gives You Lemons, You  
   Turn That Shit Into Gold
(Rhymesayers)

3) Gnarls Barkley
    The Odd Couple (Atlantic)

4) Flobots
    Fight With Tools (Universal Republic)

5) Lil Wayne
    Lil Weezy-Ana Vol. 1 (Noiseland)

If ever a hip-hop release deserved to do well it is the highly recommended new J-Live album, Then What Happened? on BBE, which is this week's number one release on the Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five Chart (thanks Marques Newson). The album, the artist's fourth and featuring some guest shots including Chali 2na and Posdanous, is also doing well this week at the Berkeley and San Francisco Amoeba Music stores.
 


What is most amazing about this under-appreciated hip-hop artist is that he is not just a great emcee but he is also a gifted producer and DJ. See the clip of him above, live in Amsterdam, simultaneously rapping on the mic and cutting up on the
ones and twos. Impressive stuff! J-Live's rich style is both respectful and inspired by the genre's golden-era past while still sounding new and  pushing forward. Just back from some shows in Europe, he currently is in Atlanta, with East Coast shows lined up but unfortunately no Cali dates locked down in the immediate future. You can expect an Amoeblog interview with J-Live sometime over the next couple of weeks.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? STEINSKI: THE AMOEBLOG INTERVIEW

Posted by Billyjam, June 2, 2008 11:22pm | Post a Comment

Last week the label Illegal Art did the world a great favor and released a nicely packaged comprehensive retrospective of the best of hip-hop cut-n-paste pioneer Steinski -- something that has never been easily available before, and not all nicely presented together like this.

But this great collection beautifully showcases the legendary producer who, both along with studio partner Double Dee and as a solo artist, directly influenced so many artists, including most notably DJ Shadow, Cut Chemist and Coldcut

Steinski: What Does It All Mean? 1983-2006 Retrospective is something that belongs in every music collection.  The 2 CD set comes with a nice booklet and liner notes by Hua Hsu that include Steve "Steinski" Stein's comments on each of CD 1's fourteen tracks. Included are the three legendary "Lessons" with Doug DiFranco (Double Dee) -- the first one originating as an 1983 entry in a Tommy Boy Records remix contest -- plus the artist's most important solo outings and remixes including the JFK assassination-themed "The Motorcade Sped On," recorded under the name Steinski & The Mass Media that came as a track on a free 7" EP compilation given away with UK mag NME in 1987.

The second CD is the artist's relatively recent Nothing To Fear mix made for BBC London's Solid Steel radio show a few years ago, with song titles for all 28 tracks in the CD booklet.

ROCK 'N' ROLL PIONEER BO DIDDLEY DIES AT AGE 79

Posted by Billyjam, June 2, 2008 11:22am | Post a Comment

A rock n' roll musical pioneer, guitarist Bo Diddley, died earlier today (June 1st) in Archer, Florida as a result of heart failure. He was 79 years of age.  Known for such pioneering rock n roll songs as "Who Do You Love?" and "Bo Diddley," Diddley influenced legions of guitarists for generations to come.  In fact his uniquely distinctive sound became known as the "Bo Diddley beat."  You can read the obit/full report on CNN.com. R.I.P., Bo Diddley.

MY LIFE WITH THE THRILL KILL KULT

Posted by Billyjam, June 1, 2008 03:02pm | Post a Comment

The music of My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult, who are back touring and scheduled to play the DNA Lounge in San Francisco tonight, stands the test of time two decades later -- as proven by the videos to three of their songs below.  While labeled "industrial" music, even helping push the genre to popularity and being one of the most popular acts on Wax Trax! (the label known for industrial music, with such other acts of the genre as KMFDM, Ministry, and Front 242), My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult actually transcended the genre as they continually evolved.

As well as being industrial music, the duo (Buzz and Groovie -- pictured left back in the day & below with their ensemble in more recent years) were equally heavy metal, electronic, goth, dance, and cut n paste in musical styles. Meanwhile their imagery was consistently deeply rooted in the occult and Satanism -- something that led to them causing controversy and being targets of various religious and parental watch dog groups. Unpopular with these groups were the songs and videos for "This Is What The Devil Does" and "Kooler Than Jesus" -- both below.  Also below is one of two video versions of their song "Sex On Wheelz" (off their 1991 album Sexplosion!). This version is directed by Ralph Bakshi and features parts from his semi-animated movie Cool World, which featured the group's music.

The current tour by the group, which stopped last night in Hollywood (Bar Sinister) and will be in San Diego (Beauty Bar) on Tuesday, is being billed as a 20th Anniversary Tour and "reminiscent of their 1989 Inferno Xpress Tour," so expect to hear all the old classics including the ones below and such others as "The Devil Does Drugs" and "The Days of Swine & Roses." My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult, who played the Folsom Street Fair two years ago, play the DNA Lounge, 375 11th Street in San Francisco tonight (June 1st).  9PM doors. Tix $13. More info.
 


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