Posted by Billyjam, July 4, 2009 11:58am | Post a Comment

This is the kick-off post in a seven-week summer series of Graffiti Amoeblogs, focusing on the art of graffiti and running every Saturday from now, July 4th, until Saturday, August 15th, 2009 -- the date that will mark what would have been the 40th birthday of Mike DREAM Francisco, the legendary Bay Area graffiti artist who was tragically murdered nine years ago on the streets of Oakland. Rest in peace, DREAM. Your legacy will live forever.

Included in the numerous blogs in this series will be an interview with DEMER of the longtime NYC Wallnuts crew, who decades later is still making graffiti art, and who currently runs the store Graffiti Comix in Belleville, New Jersey, where he combines his two life-long passions/hobbies -- graffiti and comic books. There will also be an interview with OB, who runs the graffiti supply (and record) store All City in Dublin, Ireland. That same Graffiti Amoeblomiami graffitig will also take a look at the Irish graffiti scene.

James & Karla Murray, the hard working and prolific graffiti photo-journalists (Broken Windows, Burning New York, Store Front, Miami Graffiti), will also be interviewed here and high-quality images of their best New York City and Miami graffiti shots will also be included. Future Amoeblogs will also focus on Cali graffiti and its makers, and of course there will be a whole blog dedicated to DREAM, who was an amazing artist. 

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Posted by Billyjam, July 3, 2009 11:30am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music San Francisco Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 07:03:09
The Jacka
1) The Jacka Tear Gas (SMC)

2) Big Rich Heart of the City (3 Story Muzik)

3) Raashan Amhad Soul Power (Crown City Rockers)

4) Wu Tang Chamber Music (KR Urban/KOCH)

5) Dead Prez + DJ Green Lantern Pulse Of The People (Turn Off The Radio Vol. 3) (IMG)

Thanks to Luis at the San Francisco Amoeba Music for this week's Hip-Hop Top Five Chart, which is  60% homegrown Bay Area talent this week, including the number this week at the Haight Street store: The Jacka and his latest full-length, Tear Gas. The album from the Mob Figaz member is doing well on the Billboard charts too. It debuted at #4 on the music trade magazine's Rap Charts, #12 on the R&B Charts, #13 on the Indie Charts, and at #93 on the Top 200 albums chart, 

With studio assistance from a dozen different producers, this follow up to The Jacka's popular 2008 mixtape, The Street Album, is the hard working Oakland-born/Pittsburg-raised rap artist's most diverse sounding release to date. Tear Gas features mic guests from far beyond the Bay, including Houston's Devin The Dude and Philly's Freeway. Of course, the Mob Figaz member is also joined by some of his Raashan AhmadYay Area peeps such as Mistah F.A.B., Andre Nickatina, and Zion I. Converted to Islam, The Jacka lets his faith be known on the album via lyrics such as "in Allah we trust, I try to purify my heart, because I’m a slave to my thoughts. I’m a monster out here, because I change when it’s dark" in the song "They Don't Know," on which he is joined by Freeway, who is a fellow Muslim.

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Posted by Billyjam, July 2, 2009 03:30pm | Post a Comment
The Second Annual Temescal Street Cinema, the unique grassroots Oakland outdoor film festival that began last summer to an extremely positive community response, is currently underway, with locally produced films being screened for free each Thursday evening after dark at 49th and Telegraph (behind the Temescal Street CinemaBank of the West Building). The North Oakland film festival's 2009 six-week summer season, which kicked off on Thursday, June 11th, distinguishes itself from most other US summer outdoor film screening events in that it specializes in showing locally made and produced films exclusively -- often films made within a short distance of the outdoor screening space. Tonight, starting around 8:30pm or a little after, as it gets dark, will be the screening of the two local films: Drylongso by Cauleen Smith and Smitten by Nancy Kelly and Kenji Yamamoto.

Darleen Drapkin, director of the Temescal Telegraph Business District, who has been doing a stellar job of developing the North Oakland area in recent years, told the Amoeblog, "The concept behind the film festival is part of our overall concept of shopping locally and trying to be independent and local whenever possible. It's easy to run Shrek and movies like that, but we try to stay local and independent and we sincerely take pride in the community here and what it has to offer." Arne Johnson, the producer and co-director of Girls Rock, which screened at the premiere Temescal Street Cinema festival last year, is the curator for this year's festival and he has chosen some excellent local films, from shorts to full-length features.


Posted by Billyjam, July 1, 2009 01:34pm | Post a Comment

Academy Award winning "everyman" actor Karl Malden died earlier today at his home in Los Angeles. He was 97 years of age. During his long acting career, Malden played roles in TV, movies, and theater, but is probably most often identified for his role as Lt. Mike Stone (opposite Michael Douglas) in the popular seventies TV series The Streets Of San Francisco (clip above) as well as for being the spokesperson for American Express travelers checks in a series of TV commercials in that same decade. Read the full obit here.

FIillmore SF Artist Big Rich Drops Heart Of The City Today: Livin' large and Independent Big Rich Raps

Posted by Billyjam, June 30, 2009 11:20am | Post a Comment
Big Rich
Today, June 30th 2009, Fillmore San Francisco rapper Big Rich releases his latest album Heart Of The City on his own local independently owned & operated label 3 Story Muzik/Street Cred Music Group. Available at Amoeba Music San Francisco today, Luis in the hip-hop department at the Haight Street store commented, "We're very excited to have a new project by Fillmore's finest. We always sell out of everything he does."

Three years ago the hometown hero burst on the scene with the critically acclaimed, E40 presented debut Block Tested Hood Approved released on the New York based KOCH Records. Last year he followed up with both the album San Francisco Anthem as part of the All City crew, and the underground slim-jewel case CD release Get Down Or Lay Down Vol 2. And now today he unleashes the album Heart Of The City which sticks close to the script that the Bay Area artist developed on those previous releases.

Of the lyrical content of the new 17 track Heart Of The City (see exact tracking below) Big Rich says that, "I'm talking about issues happening in every city on a daily basis. I'm trying to capture the mood of rolling through your city and seeing different things going on in your everyday life. I'm telling my story through the eyes of a hustler's lifestyle: not a gangsta, a drug dealer, a politician, but a person who once struggled and now enjoys the journey after the fact,"  Heart Of The City features some of the finest local acts making cameos including Glasses Malone, The Jacka, Dem Hoodstarz, and 3 Story Gang. Meanwhile production is handled by 3 Story's own in-house producer D-Animals, Automattik and M.A..

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