Amoeblog

AMOEBA LOVE: BEST RECORD STORE

Posted by Billyjam, July 8, 2008 06:32pm | Post a Comment
Since its inception Amoeba Music has received numerous awards for its three locations, Berkeley, San Francisco, and Hollywood, with the latest award going to the Berkeley Amoeba store which was voted "Best Record Store" by the East Bay Express in their recent annual "Best of the East Bay" edition.

"There is NO place like Amoeba, not even in New York," wrote the accompanying text for this award, which was all the more significant since it was in the "Readers' Choice" section & hence was based on what a wide cross-section of Express readers sincerely think about Amoeba Music.

To help celebrate this latest award for the store, Amoeba will be part of the big party this Friday (July 11th) from 7PM until midnight at the Oakland Museum of California at 1000 Oak Street, where all of the winners in the East Bay Express'  recent "best of the East Bay" awards will be honored. If you go - and you should - be sure to stop by the Amoeba Music booth where you can say wassup and register to win free prizes,

The actual theme of this party is "Old School" and hence such classic acts from from back in the day as Flipper and The Uptones -- the longtime East Bay ska outfit who formed back in 1981 when most of its members were still attending Berkeley High School. Below is a video clip of the Uptones nowadays with them performing "Skanking Fool"  a year ago at the Metro in Oakland - a location currently closed.  Others performing at this big mixed arts event include Dyloot (Deep Voices) and Destroyer.


Brandi Shearer - Amoeba artist
Others on the bill for Friday's big and FREE event (meaning get there early, as it will likely be mobbed) include The Shoreshoes, Monarchs, and talented longtime Oakland hip-hop DJ Malachi.

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BILLY JAM'S WEEKLY HIP-HOP ROUND UP: 7:06:08

Posted by Billyjam, July 7, 2008 03:04am | Post a Comment
 Little Brother's new album "...and justus for all"
Juan
in the hip-hop department at Amoeba Music Berkeley reports that two of the hottest selling new albums at the East Bay store this past week were Little Brother's ...and justus for all and The 3rd Degree by Immortal Technique, which includes cameos from Chino XL, Ras Kass, and Crooked I and production courtesy of  Green Lantern, plus Buckwild (DITC), Scram Jones, and Southpaw.

North Carolina's Phonte and Rapper Big Pooh are reportedly releasing a total of five albums between them this year, both collaboratively and solo, including just one jointly under their group name, Little Brother.

The tight new album ...and justus for all is actually a kind of re-release since it came out last year with the same title in a (slightly different) mixtape format, which was overseen by DJ Mick Boogie. Released on Hall Of Justus, the new version of ...and justus for all has been cleaned up to a crispy clean sound via re-mastering. It also includes five new Little Brother songs that were not on the 2007 mixtape version of ...and justus for all.

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IAN CURTIS' HEADSTONE STOLEN

Posted by Billyjam, July 2, 2008 04:53pm | Post a Comment

In a creepy crime similar to an incident that happened to the late Mac Dre's resting place three years ago when the slain Vallejo rapper's headstone was stolen, the gravestone of former Joy Division front man Ian Curtis was stolen sometime between yesterday and this morning from the Macclesfield Cemetery in Cheshire, England.

As reported earlier today by the BBC, "Detectives said the stone, which has the inscription "Ian Curtis 18 -5 -80" and the words "Love Will Tear Us Apart" was taken...There is no CCTV in the area and there are no apparent leads as to who is responsible for the theft."

The local authorities went on to speculate that the recent surge in interest in the singer might have led to the unusual theft. Last year's biopic on the singer, Control, and the documentary, Joy Division, which was released earlier this year, have both undoubtedly led to an increase in interest in the talented Curtis, who hung himself in the kitchen of his nearby Macclesfield home back in May 1980 when he was 23. Cheshire police have pleaded with anyone who has information to contact them.

This incident brings to mind both the theft of Jim Morrison's headstone from P’re Lachaise Cemetery in Paris in 1990, and the aforementioned Andre (Mac Dre) Hicks graveside robbery from Oakland's Mountain View Cemetery in 2005.  Despite the fact that a large reward was posted for the recovery of Mac Dre's headstone (and a beat-down promised if the perp was ever caught), the headstone was never recovered. Eventually it was replaced with a new one that was tightly secured.

EMPHASIS ON "CELEBRATION" AT 2008 SF LGBT PRIDE PARTY

Posted by Billyjam, July 2, 2008 03:00pm | Post a Comment
      

Not only was Sunday's incredibly fun, huge rave-scale 2008 San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration & Parade the best party of the year so far but it was also a landmark historic event: one that marked the California Supreme Court very recently making it legal (second to Massachusetts) for same-sex couples to marry. And this significant step forward (in a long uphill battle) for human rights clearly was prominently on the minds of the revelers who descended upon San Francisco this past weekend.

Sunday afternoon's giant celebration was essentially a really, really large wedding party since so many in attendance had just gotten hitched in the days leading up to the event. Included were the happy couple pictured left in front of City Hall where, they cheerfully informed me, they had gotten married two days before.

The first part of Sunday's mega-event was the long colorful parade that slowly snaked down Market and left onto Eighth Street, and along whose route Mayor Gavin Newsom got numerous ovations for his role in pushing the envelope in the same-sex marriage issue, starting four years ago shortly after he took office.

The parade was immediately followed by the "celebration" portion of the long fun afternoon. This giant party kicked into gear from the get-go and the energy didn't let up all day. The sprawling celebration extended for blocks in every direction and featured over twenty different stages in addition to countless spaces and booths that took over all the streets around the Civic Center area of downtown San Francisco.

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DOES CALIFORNIA'S NEW HANDHELD CELL PHONE BAN MAKE SENSE?

Posted by Billyjam, July 1, 2008 07:29am | Post a Comment

As you no doubt already know, today (July 1st) is the first day of a new law in California: the law banning the use of handheld wireless phones while driving. Drivers caught breaking this new law can be fined $20 for the first offense and $50 for subsequent times.

Note that It is okay to use cell phones with a hands-free device, such as a Blue Tooth, while talking, although both ears cannot be covered at any time. Using a handheld telephone’s speaker function is also allowed, but dialing while driving is not allowed.

And if you are under 18 then you may not use any phone (or any other electronic device, period) while driving. Below, courtesy of California's DMV, are answers to the most commonly asked questions about this new law.

But does this law actually make any sense? I think not, because a phone is a phone, and the danger to driving lies not in the type of communication device (handheld or ear-piece) that you are using but rather in the distraction of having a phone conversation while driving.

Instead of a handheld phone, a driver's hands could as easily be holding a map or an apple or a cup of coffee or adjusting the radio volume etc., rather than holding the steering wheel. The distracting thing about phone use while driving isn't so much about holding the thing in your hand, but rather how being caught up in a deep phone conversation can be so consuming that it momentarily takes your mind elsewhere and away from the road in front of you.

So I say either let everyone talk on the phone (handheld or other) while driving, or else ban car phone use altogether. And don't discriminate against under 18 year olds: treat everyone you allow to drive equally. Do you agree or disagree? Add your opinion in the "comments" box  down below the DMV's answers to the most commonly asked questions regarding this new law.

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