Amoeblog

Humboldt County's Potluck Use Weed As A Gateway Message

Posted by Billyjam, May 12, 2009 10:30pm | Post a Comment

Humboldt County's Potluck may have spent the last decade building a rap rep closely associated with their Northern California home county's best known export, but below the surface of this talented, hard-working, hip-hop duo is a lot more than blunts and weed smoke, insists member UnderRated.

"Our first message might appear to be the weed because we are from Humboldt and our name is Potluck," said the rapper/producer backstage at BB Kings in NYC recently as part of the North American End of Days tour with Twiztid, Boondox, and Prozak. "But what we really try to do is spread a message of peace and to show that everyone can get along for real." Proof lies, he says, in the fact that a comparatively small Jewish white guy born in the small town NorCal Humboldt area and his partner in rhyme, the SoCal born African American 1 Ton, who lives up to his name, can get along so well. "We are totally different people but we get along great. We have learned from each other, coming up from completely different backgrounds. He's not from Humboldt. He's from San Diego. So he came up north and learned a different way...a Humboldt way, which is laid back, cool, you know be cool to everybody. And then I learned from him like this world ain't all cool and easy."potluck

Further proving that Potluck is a lot more than just stoner-anthem makers, are several fantastic songs on the new album Pipe Dreams like "Computer Love," a hilarious commentary about the perils of online romantic connections, and the serious, heartfelt "My Dad," which is an ode to the pair's respective fathers. "That's really a very personal song to both of us," said 1 Ton. "You see, my father is really sick right now, so that is why I start my verse with 'Some thoughts that you deserve to hear before you pass away,' because a lot of the reason why I am who I am is because of him. So it's like a tribute song but in the same way a celebration of the relationship we have. I just hope that now with my kids that I can have the same relationship."
 
The two members of Potluck, neither of whom were rappers to begin with, first met at a DJ audition. "We both started out as DJ's," recalled emcee 1 Ton, who, despite his intimidating Suge Knight-like presence, is nothing like the Death Row figure. "We met at a DJ trial for a club and we started DJ'ing [together], four turntables, ya know, rockin' underground house parties and all that stuff and we started making beats. And then reluctantly at the very end we started rhyming, you know just due to potluckpeople flaking and not coming over to rap and stuff like that. So then it just kinda snowballed into what it is today. But we reluctantly got into rap." That was a decade ago. Since then, the pair have worked hard at honing their craft and equally as hard at building their careers, mostly through tireless networking wherever a door opened for them. All of their hard work has paid off.

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EVIDENTLY JOHN COOPER CLARKE - THE BARD OF SALFORD

Posted by Billyjam, May 11, 2009 03:24pm | Post a Comment
In addition to the whole DIY ethic that was instilled, another great gift of both the punk rock movement and the post-punk movement that immediately followed it was how they each helped open people up to embracing a really wide & diverse range of music by artists doing anything from punk derived guitar music to varying styles of electronic, industrial, dub, roots reggae, world, and spoken word, etc. And of the spoken word artists, none matched the brilliant "bard of Salford," punk poet John Cooper Clarke, whose satirical & witty run on rants easily match any of the best hip-hop emcees.

John Cooper Clarke (JCC), who looked a lot like Dylan circa Blonde On Blonde when he first came to fame in the late seventies, hailed from Salford, Greater Manchester, the same area that Joy Division came from -- a group with whom he will forever be associated. As well as opening for such acts as the Sex Pistols, The Fall, The Buzzcocks, and Elvis Costello, JCC also opened for Joy Division. In fact, in one memorable moment from the 2007 Joy Division biopic Control, the artist convincingly recreates, 30 full years later, a performance from a 1977 Joy Division concert where he supported the group. 

Additionally, he can be seen performing his best known poem, "Evidently Chickentown," at the start and end of the video for Joy Division's live performance of "Transmission" (clip below), which features JCC reading the refrain and third verses. And even after Ian Curtis' suicide, when the band morphed into New Order, he continued to open for them, even in 1984 at a Music for Miners benefit at London's Royal Festival Hall.

Truly a poet of the people, his engaging everyman tales, delivered typically as witty, scathing satirical takes on every day, humorously tackled topics such as the British working class's favorite package holiday destination ("Majorca") to people's obsession with health and fitness ("Health Fanatic" + "Bronze Adonis"). "(I Married a) Monster from Outer Space" was as much an absurdist tale as a clever commentary on racism. His poem "The Pest," in which every other word began with the letter P, proved his masterful control of the English language. While he sometimes performed with music accompaniment backing from The Invisible Girls (Pete Shelly was a member), his poetry was at its best when at its rawest: delivered a cappella in a live, rowdy punk club setting. 

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MOTHER: 2PAC, JOHN LENNON, SINEAD O' CONNOR & ROGER WATERS

Posted by Billyjam, May 10, 2009 08:40am | Post a Comment

2Pac - "Dear Mama"


John Lennon performing "Mother" live at Madison Square Garden


Roger Waters & Sinead O' Connor "Mother" (The Wall Live in Berlin concert)


The Pharcyde "Ya Mama"

AMOEBA MUSIC HIP-HOP WEEKLY ROUND UP: 05:08:09

Posted by Billyjam, May 8, 2009 07:07am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five: 05:08:09
grouch and eligh
1) The Grouch & Eligh Go G+E! (Legendary)

2) Mr. Lif I Heard It Today (Bloodbot/Traffic Ent) 

3) DOOM Born Like This (Lex)

4) Rick Ross Deeper Than Rap (Maybach/Poe Boy/Def Jam)

5) Q-Tip The Renaissance (Universal/Motown)

For the third week in a row the Living Legends duo of The Grouch & Eligh are number one at Amoeba Music. The pair's third collaborative album, Say G&E! (Legendary Music), is the number one best selling new hip-hop album this week at Amoeba Berkeley, and has been on top since last week at Amoeba Hollywood and for two weeks already at Amoeba San Francisco (where they also performed last week). And what a diverse hip-hop album it is, with numerous guest contributors including Flying Lotus (who produced "Old Souls"), Mistah F.A.B. (who sounds unlike his usual self on the song "Comin' Up"), Gift of Gab and Pigeon John (who guest on the alt-rock sounding "All In"), and Slug of Atmosphere (who appears on the very Bay sounding, AmpLive-produced riding track "BOOM!").

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WHO NEEDS A DRUMMER WHEN...

Posted by Billyjam, May 7, 2009 04:27am | Post a Comment



Who needs a drummer in the band when you have a reliable idling tractor that keeps time perfectly? In the recent YouTube posting above from member Fschnell in Hungary, his band features the two cylinder diesel engine percussion sounds, which round out their live rendition of "Sweet Georgia Brown," the jazz standard/bygone pop tune whose music was written by Ben Bernie & Maceo Pinkard in 1925. File under jazz standards or industrial!
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