I almost forgot about this funny YouTube clip originally posted about nine months back, before I had started AMOEBLOGGING and which now seems even funnier. It's only about two minutes in length and worth watching:
If you are in the Bay Area right now (noon, Saturday, September 8th), there is still time to head out to enjoy most of today's big free event in San Francisco, the Michael Franti overseen 9th Annual 911 Power to the Peaceful Festival, celebrating music and arts and taking place at Speedway Meadow til 5PM-ish today today in Golden Gate Park. Scheduled to have started earlier this morning (9AM), the big festival, which is expected to draw up to 70,000 people, will include free music (including Michael Franti and his band Spearhead and the Indigo Girls on the main stage and DJ Spooky along with other spinmasters in the DJ tent), as well as an open-air art gallery, a healing arts tent, kids zone, bike coalition, eco village, environmental and political organizations disseminating information, and vendors selling food and drink.
Performers for the rest of the day include Quannum label hip-hoppers Lifesavas (who are scheduled to perform until 1:20PM), DJ Spooky at 2PM spinning for an hour, followed by Bassnectar in the DJ tent, the Indigo Girls on the main stage at approx 3PM followed by Franti and Spearhead.
Started in 1998, the free, outdoor 911 Power to the Peaceful Festival has been steadily growing. That first year, which took place in a neighborhood park, drew an estimated 6,000 people but has grown to draw in excess of 60,000 people to Golden Gate Park's Speedway Meadow. Past performers and spokespersons have included KRS-One, Digital Underground, Woody Harrelson, Angela Davis, Blackalicious, The Coup, Saul WIlliams, Alice Walker, and Talib Kweli.
Rap & Rock Stars More likely to die Prematurely
You ever notice how everytime you open a paper or read this AMOEBLOG that it seems that yet another famous celebrity you
grew up listening to has passed on? And how it seems like the
ratio of rockers or rappers compared to regular folk
dropping off the face of the earth is much greater? Well, it
doesn't just appear that way. It is that way. According to a
newly published British based study, according to Reuters,
rap and rock music stars -- "already notorious for their
so-called 'crash and burn' lifestyles really are more likely
than other [regular everyday] people to die before reaching old age."
All of this is proven by the study of more than a thousand mainly British and
American artists, spanning the time from Elvis Presley's era up until two years ago (the years 1956 to 2005) in which the
study found these musician stars were "two to three times more
likely to suffer a premature death than the general population."
The study's results showed that between
1956 and two years ago there
were a hundred deaths among the
1,064 musicians examined by researchers
at the Centre for Public Health at Liverpool
John Moores University.
I found it surprising that, despite the $5 toll each car is charged to cross its span from Marin into San Francisco, that the Golden Gate Bridge is still financially strapped and is currently facing a projected deficit of a whopping $80 million. But even more surprising to me was the news, following an August 24th meeting, that the operators of this national landmark (one of the top five attractions in the United States) are seriously considering getting corporate sponsorship to cover the historic bridge's overwhelming bills. What this means is that like SBC Park or Pacific Bell Park or AT&T Park (or whatever name it happens to go by) that likely soon the Bay's most famous attraction may be renamed something like the Verizon Span, or the Google Gate Bridge, or perhaps something like "the Golden Gate Bridge brought to you by Pepsi." Now according to the overseers of the bridge, who will meet again this month to make the final decision on the matter, they are assuring all concerned that they will not do anything "tacky" like the aforementioned renaming in their handling of this proposed "corporate partnership." But frankly I have my doubts and I worry that this type of proposed sponsorship may set an unhealthy precedent with US national monuments and landmarks, and that soon Mount Rushmore, the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and even the White House will be up for corporate partnership. (If you have any funny or ironic ideas of what sponsors might be matched with what national landmarks please add them in the COMMENTS box below. And if you wish to voice your concerns about the proposal for the GG Bridge email email@example.com).
Like a lot of longtime, old school fans of the genre, I am pretty much disgusted with what passes as "hip-hop" these days. You know, that boringly predictable, cliched crap that is dumbed-down, bling & sexist heavy lyrical fodder delivered over a carefully researched radio & club ready beat. Fortunately though, there still are many good producers and emcees making new music today. It's just that you have to dig for them. And while most are underground or indie artists, just because an artist is some underground indie hip-hop loving emcee doesn't always guarantee that he or she will shine. Below are several of the recent or about to drop releases that, as a DJ, I have been really feeling and playing. All should be available at Amoeba Music. Just ask if you can't find them.
Madlib Beatkonducta Vol. 3-4: India (Stones Throw)
Like 2006's Beatkonducta Vol 1-2 CD release, this collection was also originally released on vinyl only -- now offering many a chance to catch up on the brilliance that is the production of Madlib. For this collection he effortlessly melds Bollywood soundtracks (mostly instrumental, but about 15% with vocals and spoken word soundbites mixed in, usually at beginning) with hip-hop beats -- generally looped into hypnotic patterns. The 34 tracks are mostly short (2 minutes or less) in length.
Z-Trip All-Pro Soundtrack (Decon)
Like its series predecessor -- Dan The Automator presents 2K7 on Decon for 2K Sports, which was also a DJ produced collection featuring guest emcees and turntablists -- this is another video game soundtrack. And it rocks, thanks to Z-Trip's perfect choice of collaborators (mostly West Coast), including Chali 2na, Aceyalone, Quannum's Lateef and Gift of Gab, Hiero's Pep Love and Casual, plus LA turntablist duo Backyard Bangers. Also includes a track from longtime collaborator of Z-Trip's DJ Faust (of Faust & Shortee fame), plus Z-Trip's inspired turntable remix of Rush's "Tom Sawyer."