Amoeblog

BILLY JAM'S HIP-HOP ROUND UP OF THE WEEK: FROM A to Z-MAN

Posted by Billyjam, April 16, 2008 06:30am | Post a Comment

Super unique & talented, albeit generally slept-on, longtime San Francisco emcee  Z-Man flew out to New York City last week to do a couple of gigs including opening for the Alkaholiks at the Knitting Factory last Thursday (4/10) when the Gurp City former 99th Demention emcee, down with the Hieros, totally wrecked it on the mic (pictured left), much to the delight of the numerous San Fran transplants in the NYC audience that night, proudly representing in their SF Giants gear (no doubt they showed up to see both Z-Man and the other SF rapper on the bill Starski who is on the current LIKS tour).

 Z-Man, as well as pleasing fans, managed to convert many East Coast-ers unfamiliar to Z-Dazzle's fluency in the Bay Area spun Gurp City** slanguage (word billy) for a tight set that included his song "OJ Simpson & Courtney Love."  A great set, with DJ Thanksgiving Brown ably backing up the MC, from a true lyrical talent who I rate up there with E40 and the late Mac Dre when it comes to being a truly creative wordsmith, creating new words and always telling stories in a most engaging way -- a far cry from the usual tired clichés that pass as rap/hop-hop these days. For proof, pick up his CD "Dope or Dog Food" (Refill/Hiero - 2002) or any of the other releases of his available at Amoeba including his "Z-Mutiny" 12" vinyl release.  Z-Man never disappoints.

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REVISITING ROBERT TOWNSEND'S HOLLYWOOD SHUFFLE

Posted by Billyjam, April 15, 2008 01:23pm | Post a Comment


Released 21 years ago, Robert Townsend's breakout movie Hollywood Shuffle stands the test of time, as witnessed by these hilarious but poignant clips from the 1987 comedy.  What made Hollywood Shuffle -- which was directed & produced by Robert Townsend and written by Robert Townsend and Keenan Ivory Wayans -- so great was the perfect balance of satire and  comedy it possessed as it accurately portrayed the rampant stereotyping of African Americans in film and television roles.  And it was never far off the mark either. (Examples of stereotyping in popular American film and TV productions were not hard to find, offering Townsend lots of material to draw from.  For an example of stereotyping in 70's TV, just rewatch an episode of Starsky and Hutch with the comic book jive-talking Huggy Bear character played by Antonio Fargas in it.)

Hollywood Shuffle is one of those rare really funny comedies that actually has a strong message and says something of worth. Recently re-watching Hollywood Shuffle, which is available at Amoeba Music on DVD (ask for it if you cannot locate it in the store), I was reminded of all the great actors that were in it including the aforementioned Townsend and Wayans plus Damon Wayans, Dom Irrera, Don Reed, and John Witherspoon.

The gang fight clip (above) is where the Stereotypes battle with Townsend playing Jimmy, leader of the Afros.  The movie is just chock-a-block with great scenes, including the black actors school scene (below), and the spoof on Siskel & Ebert, "Sneakin in at the Movies" (also below).

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DAEDELUS LECTURES & PERFORMS IN LIMERICK, IRELAND

Posted by Billyjam, April 14, 2008 09:39am | Post a Comment

As one can imagine, guest lectures from Californian electronic producers who dress in Victorian garb is not a daily occurrence here at the University of Limerick in Ireland.  Gigs in this Irish city by Californian electronic producers are equally close to the ground. 

Hence, the intense local media focus on one Alfred Darlington, better known as Daedelus, regarding his mini-tour of Ireland.  The man's lamb-chop sideburns have been a staple image in both regional and national newspapers for the last few weeks, the anticipation around the city and university morphing into something so pronounced that you could feel the interest tingling in that cold April air. 

I guess Irish weather has quite a lot in common with the music of Daedelus, given that both are unpredictable and dramatic – sometimes calm, sometimes wild.  Despite this similarity, Friday (April 11) saw sunshine all the way for the Limerick leg of the tour, following his annihilation of ClubHeadBangBang in Kerry the night before. 

Organised by the Music Technology Department along with local event promotors Kerrynini and Cheebah, the seminar took an informal approach in the same vein as the man's music: open, informal, inviting, all underpinned by a sense of chaotic genius.  What was instantly apparent is the fact that Daedelus is truly a friendly chap, addressing the gathered students and beat-heads in a relaxed, modest manner, despite suffering from an acute case of jet-lag.  Luckily, he's had his coffee.  His accounts of his early explorations into digging were both fascinating and funny, relating how his competitive digging-buddies pushed him out of the funk and soul crates and into the altogether stranger world of childrens' recordings and soundtracks.

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INTERVIEW WITH EAST BAY BAND DISGUST OF US

Posted by Billyjam, April 11, 2008 07:02am | Post a Comment

Up-and-coming East Bay group Disgust Of Us (dOu), who headline at Balazo 18 Gallery in San Francisco tonight, Friday 4/11, are an example of a tireless, focused & dedicated group of young Bay Area musicians whose passion for their art overrides everything else in their lives.  They're happy to be making music and playing concerts.

 I recently caught up with the band members Cheryl and PJ to ask them about the trials and tribulations of being a hard working young rock band in the Bay Area these days, the BARR cooperative that they are a part of, and several other things related to Disgust Of Us. The interview begins below, past details on tonight's show.

Tonight, Friday, April 11, 2008 they perform at Balazo 18 Gallery located at 2183 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94110. In addition to Disgust of Us are Sister Grizzly, Project Alpha, and The Union Trade. Admission: $5. 7:00 PM Art show by Marc Tweed and Jon Weiss + 8PM bands start to play. Concert is hosted by Pacific Noise (the online Bay Area TV show), who did an interview with dOu.

AMOEBLOG: First off, for people who may know nothing about Disgust Of Us, can you tell us a little bit about when and how you formed, who is in the band, instrumentation, etc.?

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LA's LOW END THEORY CLUB'S NEW MONTHLY IN NYC IS A HIT

Posted by Billyjam, April 10, 2008 02:00am | Post a Comment

The always innovative and funky LA club Low End Theory -- at The Airliner every Wednesday -- has taken the show on the road to New York City, where in March it began a new monthly at the Knitting Factory there.  It held its second night at the downtown Manhattan club over this past weekend where, judging by both nights' charged performances plus the warm audience reactions, it seems that Low End Theory NYC is a hit.

I attended the two Low End Theory NYC parties, including the first night last month when most of the resident DJs from LA flew east for the night.  Onstage were Daddy Kev, Nobody, Gaslamp Killer, Nocando, Eliot Lipp (resident NYC) Flying Lotus (special guest) and the always amazing D-Styles (who did two skratch sets). This past Saturday (4/5)  Daedelus (pictured left), edIT, DJ Nobody, Nocando, and Eliot Lipp put on another great night's entertainment -- especially Daedelus, who clearly stole the show. What a performer! Check the video from his performance below.  And check this space in the coming days for when Irish guest Amoeblogger Johnny Doobs will write a review of Daedelus's scheduled lecture in Limerick, Ireland on Friday (April 11).

Meantime, I asked Peter Agoston, who among many other things in the music biz, books hip-hop related shows at the Knitting Factory NY, how he came to bring the Low End Theory to the Big Apple?  "Daddy Kev and his squad created and cultivated the Low End event for Wednesdays in L.A. I've been to it a few times and even DJ'ed at it once," said Agoston, who spins under the alias DJ Thanksgiving Brown. "It's a fun atmosphere and the line-ups were always unique and very strong. I've known Kev for a while as a contemporary in the hip-hop game -- when I took the job as Talent Buyer for The Knitting Factory NY one of the first things I did was reach out to Kev to bring Low End to NYC.  It took about six months of planning, but it proved to be a good idea!"

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