Amoeblog

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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HOW MANY "F" WORDS IN THE BIG LEBOWSKI?

Posted by Billyjam, May 21, 2008 11:01pm | Post a Comment

I hadn't seen the movie The Big Lebowski since it came out in theaters ten years ago and hence only vaguely recalled how the "F" word and other cuss words were uttered so very liberally throughout the comedy.  But upon recently watching the short but entertaining The Big Lebowski -- The Fucking Short Version clip above by YouTuber BunnieLebowski I realized just how frequently the F word was actually worked into the 1998 Coen Brothers film script.  A lot!  Count them if you can manage to keep up with such characters as Jeffrey "The Dude" Lebowski (played by Jeff Bridges) dropping the "F" word..  And look for the DVD of this great movie at Amoeba Music.

 And speaking of the "F" word, check out the short English lesson on the word in the clip below.

INTERVIEW WITH RAASHAN AHMAD WHO IS @ AMOEBA SF TODAY

Posted by Billyjam, May 20, 2008 09:00am | Post a Comment

Raashan Ahmad
of Crown City Rockers fame, who today releases the new 13 track album The Push on OM Records, will celebrate the release of this fine debut solo of his with an in-store performance @ 6PM this evening (May 20th) at the San Francisco Amoeba Music.

If you can possibly make it I strongly recommend that you attend this free, all-ages show, as this emcee (and sometimes DJ and breaker) is not just an amazingly gifted hip-hop artist but also a truly great live performer -- someone who lives and breathes hip-hop and understands the true meaning of rocking the house, y'all.

In addition to his work with the Bay Area live hip-hop band Crown City Rockers (who had to change their original name from Mission because of the UK band The Mission) the ever prolific Raashan Ahmad has collaborated with a ton of artists. I must have close to ten different records or CDs by other artists that he pops up on, including the DJ Zeph single "Floor Wax" (Wide Hive) and Zion I's Break A Dawn, and I know there are many more that he guests on. 

Personally what I always like about Raashan is how he maintains that old school, golden era hip-hop   vibe in his style while simultaneously somehow always managing to sound new and fresh. Yesterday I caught up with the busy artist to ask him some questions about how he accidentally got started as an emcee, the difference between SoCal and the Bay (two places he has lived in), and his new album, which was born out of a lot personal emotions, including the tragedy of his mother dying of cancer.  

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MUTO: A WALL PAINTED ANIMATION BY BLU

Posted by Billyjam, May 19, 2008 01:01pm | Post a Comment
MUTO :  A wall-painted animation by BLU on Vimeo.

Thanks to Amoeba Marc for finding MOTO -- the above cool wall painted animation by BLU, an ambiguous animation painted on public walls in Buenos Aires and beyond.
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