Posted by Billyjam, July 17, 2009 05:46pm | Post a Comment

Walter Cronkite
, the iconic anchorman, is dead at age 92. Above is one of the former CBS newsman's most famous announcements, breaking news of the shooting death of JFK in November 1963.


Posted by Billyjam, July 17, 2009 01:05pm | Post a Comment
Mista B
Recently ran into Mista B at Amoeba Music San Francisco (as pictured left) as the famed turntablist and member of SF's 4OneFunk crew (with Teeko, B.Cause, Max Kane) was dropping off copies of his tight new independently released CD SonicSoulSpace.

This latest production by  Mista B comes hot on the heels of his collaborative mix CD with fellow 4OneFunk'er B.Cause titled Record Haterz. That ol skool Bay Area rap mix dug deep in the vinyl crates to deliver a flawless mix punctuated by forgotten gems by such bygone Bay rap greats as Totally  Insane, 415 (feat. RIchie RIch), and 11/5.

Mista B will be flying out to New York in a couple of weeks to represent the Bay Area in the 2009 DMC US Finals Battle - the legendary DJ battle where skilled turntablists from all over, usually with endless hours upon hours of practice, converge in a heated battle that only last minutes but whose results go down in the history books forever. This will be Mista B's fifth time to enter a DMC battle.  "I have mixed feelings upon competing again. Usually, DJs compete just once and [then] they're done.  For me, it's not just about the competition but it's about sharing this so called art of turntabilism," he told me. "I feel that DJ battles are one of very few platforms to showcase the art.  So with me, I still practice because I like to work on my craft, my skill if you will.  Specifically beat juggling for me.  I don't do it to be better than the next guy, but to be better than what I was yesterday and to show how graceful sounding this art is" Always pushing himself to improve and to innovate the SF who has been honing his diligently DJ'ng since 1993, told me that.  "I took a class in college and a professor came up with the concept, "sound art." That concept stuck with me since so I like to consider what I do "turntable sound art."  So now I just look for a medium to showcase the art.  So here I am again, competing on a high level versus the country's best DJs, The DMC USA Finals again."

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Posted by Billyjam, July 17, 2009 01:46am | Post a Comment

Agent Orange "Voices In The Night" live
All The Rebels Productions
Legendary longtime SoCal punk outfit Agent Orange play Blakes on Telegraph -- a couple of blocks down from Amoeba Music Berkeley -- tonight, Friday July 17th. This highly recommended surf-punk, skate-rock show, put together by longtime Bay Area underground music ambassador/music promoter Peps of All The Rebels Productions, also features the two tight Bay Area bands Jack Killed Jill and Gutwrench.

Tonight's show, which is being co-promoted by Amoeba (look for the Amoeba banner near the stage area tonight), promises to be a rockin', hella fun night for all, with all three bands perfectly complimenting one another's sound. Oakland's Jack Killed Jill effortessly mine that classic Cali punk sound with power-punk guitar progressions and infectious choruses that beg to sung along with. Meantime, San Francisco's Gutwrench, not to be confused with the New Jersey metal band of the same name, also serve up a classic punk sound, albeit a little more on the heavier guitar sound, that pays homage to both classic Cali punk and classic UK punk rock.
Agent Orange
And to top it all off is veteran Orange County act Agent Orange, who decades ago pioneered melding punk rock with their regional traditional surf guitar music (reinterpreting classic surf songs like "Miserlou") and who consequently have been hugely influential within the skate-punk/skate-core scene. And somehow the band have managed to maintain their sharp edge even 30 years since first forming -- as witnessed by the recent live video footage both above and below of the band.


Posted by Billyjam, July 16, 2009 10:00pm | Post a Comment
ali g indahouse
So last night I finally got to see the much hyped new Sacha Baron Cohen box-office hit Bruno, which, as a diehard Baron Cohen/Ali G/Borat/Bruno fan from ever since Da Ali G Show first premiered on Channel 4, I was really looking forward to seeing. But, boy, was I let down. To paraphrase Baron Cohen's flamboyantly gay Austrian TV fashionista character, this new movie "ist aus," as in, opposite of "in." And it wasn't that I was shocked in any way, or that I found it offensive to gays, or to redneck Americans, for that matter. I just found it offensive to my sense of humor. I expected a lot more from the great Baron Cohen.

Where was the quick witted Bruno from Da Ali G Show? The one whose hilarious skits included brilliantly manipulating fashion tastemakers into totally contradicting themselves without realizing how ridiculous they looked? Replacing genuine wit and biting satire, post Borat Bruno was merely a barrage of slapstick penis jokes with no real substance or humor to back them up. Even Bruno's encounter with Ron Paul, which could have been the screen magic of such past Ali G interviews with Newt Gingrinch,  Andy Rooney, and Pat Buchanan, fell totally flat in comparision.

Of course, the new Bruno isn't a total waste. The movie offered occasional belly laugh moments such as the Paula Abdul encounter. But my advice is don't rush out to theaters to see it. Wait until it comes out on da ali g showDVD. And speaking of DVDs you should get at Amoeba, I would recommend going back and checking out Da Ali G Show for the far superior Bruno appearances from that missed TV series. Also go back to check out the totally slept on (especially Stateside) pre-Borat 2002 Ali G Indahouse: The Movie about the unlikely rise to fame and political power by the jungle/hip-hop goon from the suburb of Staines that Baron Cohen plays so brilliantly.

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Posted by Billyjam, July 15, 2009 01:54pm | Post a Comment
Joy Division
I think Ian Curtis, the late, great lead singer of Joy Division, would have approved of this Caribbean steel band cover of Joy Division's classic song "Transmission." It's by Steel Harmony and was part of Jeremy Deller's Procession from a couple of Sunday afternoons ago in Ian Curtis' hometown of Manchester England. Although, judging by the reaction, or lack thereof, by most of the crowd, I would say that this inspired cover went mostly underappreciated. 

To compare this instrumental steel band version with the original version, below is the band performing it live 33 years ago in Salford, Greater Manchester. "Transmission" was played onstage in the film 24 Hour Party People (available on DVD at Amoeba) in a scene where Curtis suffers an epileptic fit. Orginally a single, the studio version of the song can be found at Amoeba on several Joy Division releases, including the JD collections Substance and The Best of Joy Division. There are also several live versions out there, including one on Joy Division: The Peel Sessions, recorded in 1979. Over the years numerous other artists have covered the song, including UK electropop stars Hot Chip, the Minnesota slowcore group Low, and of course, most recently Steel Harmony.

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