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JAMOEBLOG TOP TEN: WEEK OF 08:27:08

Posted by Billyjam, August 27, 2008 06:55am | Post a Comment
                                       JAMOEBLOG HIP-HOP TOP TEN: 08:27:08                                             

1) Homeboy Sandman "Opium" (Homeboy Sandman)

2) NaS feat Eban Thomas "You Can't Stop Me Now" (Def Jam)

3) Lee "Scratch" Perry  "$hine" (Narnack Records)

4) The High Decibels "Miss Cindy" (Rolling Jack)

5) Paris "Don't Stop the Movement" (Guerrila Funk)

6) Murs "Can It Be" (Warner)

7) Double Dee & Steinski "Lesson 3" (Illegal Art)

8) Foreign Legion "Come To The City" (Hunger Strike)

9) DJ Spinna "The Spirit of '94" (Colt 45)

10) The Bug "Freak Freak" (Ninja Tune)

The number one on this week's Jamoeblog Hip-Hop Top Ten (a subjective song-based chart) is from up-and-coming Queens, NY emcee talent Homeboy Sandman, whose totally unique flow and style is a breath of fresh air in an otherwise overcrowded sea of cookie cutter rappers. So far only available through his website, as well as at a few select East Coast record stores, Homeboy Sandman's self-released debut CD Actual Factual Pterodactyl offers up hip-hop like you've never heard before, with great songs such as the slow-mo flow of "Opium" or the funny uptempo rapid fire delivery of "Food Glorious Food" which draws its hook from the Oliver! soundtrack.

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HITLER PLANS BURNING MAN, TIX UPDATE, REMINDER TO PISS CLEAR

Posted by Billyjam, August 25, 2008 04:15pm | Post a Comment

I first saw the above video a few months ago but figured that today -- the official first day of the 2008  burning manBurning Man Festival, which runs through Sunday, September 1st -- would be the appropriate time to post this very funny clip.
Burning Man started 22 years ago on Baker Beach in San Francisco. As Burning Man gets more widely known with each passing year, it seems more important for the organizers of the event to reiterate the goals of this unique participatory arts event/mass party. This time round they pose the following to folks planning on attending the event in the desert: "Leave narrow and exclusive ideologies at home and carefully consider your immediate experience. What has America achieved that you admire? What has it done or failed to do that fills you with dismay? What is laudable? What is ludicrous? Put blame aside, let humor thrive, and dare to contemplate a larger question: What can America contribute to the world?"

Note that for this year's Burning Man the ticket sales timeline has been extended and it is possible to buy tix online through midnight tomorrow (Tuesday, August 26th) at this link. Advance tix are always required. You can't just roll up on the event at Black Rock City, Nevada and expect admission without having your tickets arranged beforehand. Nor is it ever advisable to attempt to sneak in (as some try each year) to avoid paying the pricey admission.

The Bay Area and Sacramento walk-in ticket outlets stopped selling tickets yesterday but the Reno ticket outlet is selling tix through the end of the business day tomorrow.  Also, those with will call tix must collect them by noon on Saturday at the latest. Click here for last minute ticket info. And if you are one of the tens of thousands expected to descend upon the world renowned festival, remember to be safe and most importantly, drink lots of water (i.e., piss clear) and read over the essential official 2008 Burning Man Survival Guide.


A BIKER'S DREAM: INNER CITY STREETS FREE OF CARS

Posted by Billyjam, August 25, 2008 12:15pm | Post a Comment

Cycling down a completely traffic-free Park Avenue in the heart of New York City over the weekend, I was reminded of the numerous futuristic or Sci-Fi movies in which the Big Apple is abandoned after some major disaster.

Last year's I Am Legend (available on DVD at Amoeba) -- in which Will Smith and his canine companion wandered a deserted midtown Manhattan -- specifically sprung to mind as myself and other cyclists, hikers, and skaters, unhindered by any autos, passed by the raised street level outside Grand Central Terminal at Park and 42nd Street, heeding the city's invitation to "Play. Run. Walk. Bike. Breathe." 

The reason there were no cars two days ago, and also on two previous Saturdays this month, was because it was the third and final weekend day in the first ever city initiated Summer Streets program. From 7AM to 1PM, all autos were banned on Park Avenue from 72nd on the Upper East Side all the way downtown, essentially connecting Central Park to the Brooklyn Bridge -- a seven mile long distance, all traffic free!

But what made this whole cycling experience so special is that it is normally impossible to do a bike ride like that, at least in such a stress-free way.  Like most major cities, the best way to see New York is by bike, but the problem is that cycling round Manhattan is far from safe. Typically you take your life in your hands, maneuvering your bike through New York's congested auto-dominated streets, on weekdays especially, with erratic drivers (including lots of yellow cabs & buses) unpredictably accelerating and cutting you off or worse. And as for the few bike lanes on Manhattan's major thoroughfares: drivers notoriously ignore them and cut off cyclists all the time. I personally know of several NYC cyclists sent to the hospital due to negligent drivers.

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AMOEBA MUSIC WEEKLY HIP-HOP ROUND UP: 08:22:08

Posted by Billyjam, August 22, 2008 10:15am | Post a Comment

AMOEBA SAN FRANCISCO HIP-HOP TOP FIVE:

1) GZA Pro Tools (Babygrande Records)
2) Immortal Technique The 3rd World (Viper)
3) Messy Marv Cake & Ice Cream (Siccness.net)
4) Ice Cube Raw Footage (Lench Mob)
5) Stacy Epps The Awakening (JapanNubianMuzzik) 

Thanks to Luis at Amoeba Music San Francisco for this week's hip-hop top five album chart. In the number one chart slot is Pro Tools, the latest from Wu-Tang's GZA, aka The Genius. Note that this is the fifth solo release from one of the founding members of the almighty Wu-Tang Clan, who dropped their groundbreaking debut Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) fifteen long hip-hop years ago. 

Although Pro Tools was originally slated to be a compilation overseen by GZA or a "GZA presents WU" type album (and it essentially still is, due to the numerous collaborators) it is officially listed as a GZA solo release. Taking its name from the production software popular with music producers, Pro Tools       features many contributing talents, including production from RZA, True Master, Mathematics, Black Milk, Bronze Nazareth, Arabian Knight, and Dreddy Kruger, as well as guest vocal appearances from RZA, Masta Killa, Sean Price, and GZA's son, Young Justice (Kareem), who joins his pops on the tracks "Groundbreaking" and "Cinema." The Pro Tools track that most hip-hop fans have already heard is the advance leaked track, the 50 Cent diss rap, "Paper Plate," which continues the artist's beef with the G-Unit main man.

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Saluting Hip-Hop Greats: Gang Starr

Posted by Billyjam, August 21, 2008 01:57pm | Post a Comment
gang starr
(Update: 04/20/10 Guru died at age 43)

Gang Starr, formed back in 1986 and comprised of DJ Premier and emcee Guru, are no longer officially a group -- at least according to Guru in an interview a little while back. But then, who knows if they ever will perform or record together again? A Tribe Called Quest have gotten back together -- more than once -- so maybe Gang Starr will too.

Regardless, the hip-hop duo's rich back catalog is enough to satisfy this hip-hop fan for hours on end. If you don't already have any of the incredible duo's six albums (plus two greatest hits compilations), I suggest you pick up the double CD retrospective Full Clip: A Decade of Gang Starr (originally released in '99) at any of the Amoeba Music stores.

Full Clip is a great starting point, as it  includes all but one ("Arena") of the songs in the six Gang Starr videos begang starr full cliplow, including "Words I Manifest,"  "Step in the Arena," "Mass Appeal," "Who's Gonna Take The Weight?," "Take It Personal," and "DWYCK" featuring Nice & Smooth. Listening back the other day to this 2 CD set from start to finish made me realize not just how amazing Gang Starr's music is, but also how influential their work has been on hip-hop.

And are the videos/songs below a comprehensive best-of Gang Starr? Hells no! Just enough to whet a hip-hopper's appetite.

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