Amoeblog

THE BOOK OF ELI & OTHER MOVIES OPENING THIS MONTH

Posted by Billyjam, January 4, 2010 12:07pm | Post a Comment
The Book Of Eli
When I first glanced at a version of the poster, left, advertising the new movie The Book of Eli, it was plastered on the side of a bus that whizzed by me on the street. Not knowing anything about the film, due to its layout, I wrongly assumed that it was an ad for some religious group and that Gary Oldman the actor must have become a born again Christian or something like that and was lending his name to this religious group.

Of course, soon after, I discovered that was not the case and that the movie (one of many opening this month), which also stars Denzel Washington in the lead role, is the latest film from the Hughes Brothers, Albert and Allen. Their past films include Menace II Society, Dead Presidents, American Pimp, and From Hell.  As you will gather from the trailer below for this movie, which was filmed in New Mexico, it is the story of a lone hero named Eli (Washington), who battles his way across the wasteland of a post apocalyptic America (circa 2043) in an effort to save a sacred book "that might hold the key to saving the future of humanity." Gary Oldman's character Carnegie -- as the tyrannical ruler of a small makeshift town -- is there to stop him from doing so. The Book Of Eli, which also stars Mila Kunis, opens Friday of next week, Jan 15th, 2010.

The Book Of Eli is just one of many new movies opening this month, and judging from the descriptions and/or the trailers advertising them, it looks like one of the best out of the new bunch. Below, along with the trailer for Eli, is a sampling of some of the other films opening this month that no doubt the Amoeblog's Phil Blankenship will be checking out the weekend they arrive in theaters. Some, such as Bitch Slap, which wisely is only opening in a limited number of theaters and is described as "three bad girls (a down-and-out stripper, a drug-running killer and a corporate powerbroker) as they arrive at a remote desert hideaway to extort and steal $200 Million in diamonds from a ruthless underworld kingpin," looks so, so bad (complete with really bad acting) that it's not even so bad it's good. Just plain awful. But you be the judge. Other trailers below include the futuristic vampire movie Daybreakers starring Ethan Hawke (no doubt Hollywood will run the vampire theme into the ground this year); the "emotionally charged thriller set at the intersection of politics and big business" starring Mel Gibson, Edge of Darkness; the drama Extraordinary Measures starring Harrison Ford, Brendan Fraser, and Keri Russell; and Youth In Revolt starring Michael Cera along with Steve BuscemiRay Liotta, which seems like one of the better of the new crop of mainstream movies opening this month. Not included, because even the trailer is painful to watch, is Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's Tooth Fairy, opening Jan 22nd.

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AMOEBA MUSIC WEEKLY HIP-HOP ROUND UP: 12:31:09

Posted by Billyjam, December 31, 2009 10:15am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Berkeley Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five: 12:31:09

The Grouch
1) The Grouch Three Eyes Off the Time (Legendary Music)

2) Clipse Til the Casket Drops (SONY)

3) Souls of Mischief Montezuma's Revenge (Clear Label)

4) FELT FELT 3: A Tribute to Rosie Perez (Rhymesayers)

5) Gucci Mane The State vs. Radric Davis (Warner Bros/Asylum)

Last week longtime Living Legends emcee and friend of Amoeba The Grouch was the number one chart entry at the San Francisco store with his latest album, Three Eyes Off the Time (Legendary Music). And this week, the prolific artist repeats that feat at the East Bay Amoeba Music, where fans, eager for this short (only ten tracks) but quality CD, have pushed it to number one. Even though The Grouch released his last solo album (Show You The World) last year and his collaboration album with fellow Living Legends emcee Eligh (Say G&E!) just eight months ago, he still manages to come up with fresh and original material.

Less than six degrees of seperation from The Grouch is the number four entry on this week's Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top FIve: FELT, which features Slug of Atmosphere, who collaborated with The Grouch & Eligh on their collaborative album this year, and MURS, who is another fellow Living Legends member. Aesop Rock does production on this third and latest installment in the FELT series of tributes to B-movie actresses, FELT 3: A Tribute to Rosie Perez, which appears on the record label that seemingly can do no wrong, Rhymesayers Entertainment.

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SOULS OF MISCHIEF's TAJAI ON MONTEZUMA'S REVENGE

Posted by Billyjam, December 30, 2009 05:00am | Post a Comment
souls of mischief
The highly anticipated new Souls of Mischief album, Montezuma's Revenge, on Clear Label is the Hieroglyphics collective's first official studio album in almost a decade. There's a good reason why the long awaited record has been selling extremely well at each of the three Amoeba Music stores since it was released early this month. It's an amazing album; one that recaptures the magic of each stage of the longtime, unique East Oakland hip-hop crew. Souls of Mischief first burst on the scene in 1993 when they captured the attention of the hip-hop world with their stunning debut 93 Til Infinity on Jive/Zomba. And of course, having Prince Paul, one of hip-hop's most gifted producers, at the helm for Montezuma's Revenge only helpted bring out the best in the Souls of Mischief.

I recently caught up with Tajai of the group and asked him why it took such a long time for this new official Souls full-length album to drop.  "We have been traveling and promoting a gang of records, from Hiero Full Circle and Full Circle Live to Power Movement, Triangulation Station and My Last Good Deed, from the crew and individual members," said Tajai. And just how did the Prince Paul collaboration come about? "Opio and Domino were on the Handsome Boy Modeling School (Dan the Automator & Prince Paul) tour a few years back and they tossed the idea of doing an album back and forth. Prince Paul actually followed up and the rest is history," he said, adding, " Working with him {Paul} was incredible. He is a perfectionist and really brought out the best in all of us." 

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WEST AFRICAN MUSICIAN ROKIA TRAORE

Posted by Billyjam, December 29, 2009 05:00am | Post a Comment
Rokia Traoré "Yankadi"
Rokia Traoré
Thanks to Amoeba Marc for directing folks to the music video for the great song "Yankadi" by talented West African artist Rokia Traoré. In the video, one of her accompanying musicians is sporting an Amoeba Music T-shirt. (He first appears at :12 but much clearer at :25.) An accomplished, award-winning singer-songwriter and guitarist, the thirty something Rokia was born in Mali as a member of the Bambara ethnic group. She has toured extensively and recorded four albums over the past dozen years, including Mouneïssa (1997 & 1998), Wanita (2000), Bowmboi (2003), and Tchamantché (2008).

The multi-instrumentalist (she also plays flute and percussion) was fortunate to collaborate early in her career with Ali Farka Touré, which helped get her deserved attention. Over the years since, she has worked with a myriad of artists, including the Kronos Quartet, who collaborated with her on her album Bowmboï, released by Nonesuch six years ago. For more information on this artist (including some more music videos), check out her MySpace. And, of course, look for her CDs at Amoeba Music.

AMOEBA MUSIC WEEKLY HIP-HOP ROUND UP: 12:24:09

Posted by Billyjam, December 24, 2009 03:01pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music San Francisco Weekly Hip-Hop Top Ten: 12:24:09
the grouch three eyes off the time
1) The Grouch Three Eyes Off the Time (Legendary Music)

2) Souls of Mischief Montezuma's Revenge (Clear Label)

3) BlakRoc Blakroc  (V2/Cooperative)

4) Messy Marv & Berner Blow (Bern One Ent.)

5) Clipse Til the Casket Drops (SONY)

6) Messy Marv Highly Aggressive (Click Clack Records)

7) Snoop Dogg Malice N Wonderland (Priority/EMI)

8) Young Money We Are Young Money (Cash Money/Universal)

big boy young mess9) Gucci Mane The State vs. Radric Davis (Warner Bros/Asylum)

10) Timbaland Shock Value II (Blackground Records)

The Grouch from the Living Legends crew is back with a banger that went straight to number one on this week's Hip-Hop Top Ten from the Amoeba Music San Francisco store. Thanks to Luis for the chart. Titled Three Eyes Off The Time on Legendary Music, this latest release from The Grouch talks about a variety of subjects, including love in the digital age, which is explored in "The Dangers Of Online Dating." He also continues topics such as fatherhood, explored previously by the emcee on Show You The World. That album, with The Grouch pictured on the cover with his daughter on his shoulder, was released last year. And the profilic emcee, who a few years ago teamed up with Zion I to record an entire album (2006's Heroes In The City Of Dope) has not been idle. Earlier this year, along with Eligh, he released the great collaborative album Say G&E! Unfortunately, Eligh doesn't appear on Three Eyes Off The Time, but others do. Rankin Scroo and Marty James appear on the tracks "Daddy's Home" and "Make Em Think," respectively. And Fashawn and Mistah FAB both cameo on the track "Already," which is only available on this CD version of the album.

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