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TOPR INTERVIEW (AT AMOEBA SF TODAY) & OTHER BAY HIP-HOP HAPS

Posted by Billyjam, May 30, 2008 02:30am | Post a Comment

As usual, there's lots of great indie hip-hop jumping off round the Bay Area this weekend, starting later today (May 30th) at Amoeba Music San Francisco where longtime local hip-hop artist TOPR, in celebration of his latest (fifth) solo album The Marathon of Shame, will be performing for free at 6PM.

Joining the Gurp City member onstage at the Haight Street store will DJ Quest, who incidentally celebrated his own new album (Questolous) release on the same stage not too long ago.

For some more background information on TOPR, who appeared on the Amoeba Music Compilation Vol. V with a song whose lyrics mentioned Amoeba Music, read his bio on the Amoeba Music website and/or scroll down a bit to the Amoeblog interview recently conducted with the hip-hop artist who is known for his homeless couch-surfing past, his gift  for graffiti art (see a piece he did with Lews of LORDS crew below), and of course his love for booze and partying.

Meanwhile some other Bay Area hip-hop shows happening this weekend include a great DJ throwdown tonight featuring two of the Bay's best turntablists, the world famous DJ Apollo (Triple Threat DJs etc.) vs. Goldenchyld of San Jose's Finger Bangerz fame at Vessel, 85 Camptan Place (near Union Sq., SF). Tomorrow night the ever busy DJ Apollo will join forces with his fellow Triple Threat DJs, Shortkut and Vin Roc and throw down a mix of hip-hop, breaks, and reggae at Berkeley's Shattuck Downlow, where tonight (Friday, May 30th) the reggae legend Eek-A-Mouse will be performing.

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BRANDI SHEARER & BAND FINE TUNE NEXT ALBUM ON CURRENT TOUR

Posted by Billyjam, May 28, 2008 01:47pm | Post a Comment

"The main problem is that generally when you make an album, you record it first and then (afterwards) you tour. So by the end of the tour the songs are incredible because they are so practiced," said Brandi Shearer, pictured left earlier this week onstage in New York.

"I wanted to do this the right way; to tour first and record the album after....This tour is basically the pre- production."  The Amoeba Records recording artist was speaking two nights ago in New York City, moments after getting off stage to rousing applause at Manhattan's Mercury Lounge where along with current two-piece band -- drummer Ramy Antoun and guitarist Chris Bruce (the musicians on her soon to be recorded next album, and who just got off tour with Seal) -- sounded like they've already honed their sound on all the new tracks enough to go into the studio and record that next album right away.

The studio recording dates won't be for several more weeks, sometime this summer when Craig Street (Cassandra Wilson, Norah Jones,Me'Shell NdegéOcello, John Legend, k.d. lang, Manhattan Transfer etc.) produces the anticipated new album -- the follow up to last year's Close to DarkCurrently Shearer & band are still in the midst of their hectic cross-country tour with another busy week of shows to go, all part of a coast-to-coast Amoeba Music Presents tour that also features Quincy Coleman and Kate Walsh.

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LAMPOONING LOHAN, DINA THE "STAY AT CLUB MOM"

Posted by Billyjam, May 26, 2008 04:11pm | Post a Comment

Since the new over-hyped celebreality TV show Living Lohan (starring Lindsay's mom Dina Lohan and the family) premieres tonight,  I thought it a good time to re-watch or check out for the first time, if you haven't seen them already, some of the recent clips of Tracey Ullman lampooning the celebrity's mom/manager.

Taken from Ullman's current American television program Tracey Ullman's State of the Union on  Showtime are three clips below of Ullman as Dina. In the first she is captured on camera out at a nightclub -- a place for the "stay at club moms" -- liberally offering advice on rehab for her celebrity kids.  "You gotta get em in early......You can't O.D. your way in anymore."

In the second, even funnier scene, Ullman again channels Dina Lohan out in da club on a night when the young Ali Lohan falls down from partying too hard.  "Give her some red bull and vodka" is the caring mother's advice too late. Ali drops dead in this no-holds-barred comedy sketch. In the third clip, Ullman as the mommy Lohan is (again) out clubbing with her pals in a scenario where she confronts Britney's mom Lynne Spears who she feels is patronizing her.

The fourth and final clip below is a promo for the original Dina Lohan in the new reality show Living Lohan that premieres tonight on E!, apparently as a vehicle to launch the career of her next in line celebrity child, 14 year old Ali. I predict tonight's ratings for E!, which strategically also is launching another hot celebrity reality show today -- Denise Richards: It's Complicated -- will have the highest ratings of the cable network's history.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY PAUL WELLER: THE MODFATHER TURNS 50

Posted by Billyjam, May 25, 2008 08:30pm | Post a Comment

Paul Weller,
accomplished solo artist and former leader and founder of both The Jam and The Style Council, turns 50 today. Weller, who has been dubbed "the Modfather" because of his being the key figure in the UK mod revivalist movement of the seventies, was born John William Weller on May 25th, 1958. He began making music in his early teens and in fact was still only a teenager when The Jam scored their first UK hit ("In The City") in '77.  The Jam, whose mod revivalist sound lay somewhere in between punk and new wave and were huge in Britain but never equally so Stateside, scored eighteen British Top 40 singles (four of them number one pop hits). After The Jam disbanded in 1982, Weller formed Style Council in 1983 and experienced continued major success. In the nineties he went solo, at first calling himself and his backing band the Paul Weller Movement -- later dropping the "Movement" part and just going by his own name.

In celebration of his birthday, below are a selection of videos from the artist's illustrious career that has spanned 30 + years. I've Included a few from from way back in the day with The Jam (how young he looks then!), such as a 1977 live version of their first hit single "In The City," and a TV studio (lip synched) version of "Down In The Tube Station" on UK TV circa 1978, and also "This Is The Modern World" live in concert. There are three songs/two video clips of the Style Council: the video of "Speak Like A Child" off their first album, 1983's Introducing and a live concert excerpt from two years later of them performing 'Internationalist' and 'Walls Come Tumbling" in 1985 to a huge audience at Wembley Stadium and on TV around the world as part of  Live Aid.  Then there is a video of "From the Floorboards Up" being performed live on Jools Holland's TV show in 2005, as well as a live acoustic guitar/vocal duo with Noel Gallagher doing a great rendition of The Jam's "That's Entertainment." Happy birthday Paul Weller!

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BILLY JAM'S WEEKLY HIP-HOP ROUND UP: MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND

Posted by Billyjam, May 23, 2008 09:09am | Post a Comment

Memorial Day Weekend already? Almost June!  Damn, this year is really flying along. But already there are tons of great new hip-hop albums, including several that will no doubt be making this Amoeblogger's 2008 Best Of list: some of which are included in the three new Amoeba Music Hip-Hop Top Five Charts kindly submitted this week by Tunde (Amoeba Berkeley), Luis (Amoeba SF), and Kate Shantar (Amoeba Hollywood). 

Still holding strong, several weeks after its release, is The Roots' ninth album Rising Down which continues to sell briskly in both Berkeley and Los Angeles. Also still popular with fans is the Bay Area's Lyrics Born's latest Quannum joint Everywhere At Once as well as The Coup's older Wild Pitch albums being reissued by Universal (Genocide and Juice + Kill My Landlord).

A new entry on the Berkeley Top Five chart this week comes from Naledge and Double O who make up The Kidz In The Hall.  The duo have certainly stepped to the plate with this, their second album The In Crowd, which is all that and more and features appearances from such talents as Guilty Simpson, Buckshot, The Cool Kids, Phonte, Sean Price, Pusha T, Black Milk, and Bun B. Speaking of Bun B, this half of the former group UGK (spill a lil on the curb for his late partner in rhyme Pimp C) just dropped his new album this week II Trill on Rap-A-Lot.

BERKELEY AMOEBA MUSIC HIP-HOP TOP FIVE


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