Posted by Billyjam, June 10, 2009 04:26pm | Post a Comment

This year marks the 60 year anniversary of the seven inch single, the 45rpm record that was originally introduced by RCA Records back in 1949 with the release of Eddy Arnold's double sided mono record, "Texarkana Baby" b/w "Bouquet of Roses."

The then new format, at first treated by many with a degree of suspicion, was embraced by RCA as a more compact and more durable replacement for the heavy 78rpm shellac-based records -- the ones known as wax records that would break into many pieces if dropped on the ground.

After witnessing the success of this new format for RCA, Columbia Records followed suit two years later in 1951 and from there demand just snowballed into the sixties and seventies and eighties by which time the format began to lose momentum. There have been several interesting articles written about the 45rpm's 60th birthday, including a wonderful piece written by Robert Benson published on the website JustPressPlay this week which traced the format's history and also noted how, "British trade journals have been reporting that single song 45rpm records are now outselling their CD counterparts and how many American bands are now releasing music via this historic audio medium."

A visit to Amoeba Music in Berkeley, San Francisco, or Hollywood, where there are boxes and boxes and wall displays of 45's (new and old), will also quickly confirm that the once seen as deceased 45rpm is very much alive and well. As you know, vinyl in general (45rpm's, 10" records, 12" singles, and vinyl albums) has been going through a renaissance in recent years.

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Posted by Billyjam, June 9, 2009 07:44pm | Post a Comment
Los Angeles'  Troublemaker is one hardworking & talented producer/DJ. Born Josh Kouzomis, the artist has been honing his skills since the early 1990s when he started out as a college radio DJ and music director while at school in Ohio. After leaving college and returning to LA, he got an internship at punk label Epitaph Records where he gained invaluable inside music business and production experience.

This led to him co-founding the hip-hop/drum'n'bass label Celestial Recordings in 1998. Fast forward into the beginning of this decade and Troublemaker joined forces with fellow producer/DJ talent E. Moss to form the Backyard Bangers, whose eponymous debut track was a collaboration with Z-Trip on the Constant Elevation compilation from 2002 on Astralwerks. The Backyard Bangers released several wonderful recordings, including the CDs Get That Shit Outta Here, Pardon My French, and Spunkbubble, all through the Hollyrock label. Their great song “Road of Good Intentions” appeared on the Amoeba Music Compilation Vol. V.

As a solo recording artist & performer Troublemaker has remained incredibly prolific. He's toured with Z-Trip, recorded lots of original tracks, and done many more remixes of music by a wide variety of artists including Bonde do Role, Justice, Johnny Cash, Linkin Park, and Peter Bjorn & John. Download his inspired remix of their infectious hit "Nothing to Worry About" featuring Adam Tensta, U-N-I and The 87 Stick Up Kids on his website. Also there  you can check out Troublemaker's impressive discography including tons of remix projects. 

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Posted by Billyjam, June 6, 2009 05:46am | Post a Comment
Richard Thompson
There's an impressive line-up for this weekend's first ever LA Acoustic Music Festival on the Santa Monica Pier, today (Saturday, June 6th) and tomorrow (Sunday, June 7th) and it looks like it will guarantee that this will be just the first of many annual LA Acoustic Music Festivals to come.  Sponsored in part by Amoeba Music and a benefit for the California Acoustic Music Project (CAMP), the artist line-up for the two day festival includes Richard Thompson, Nanci Griffith and the Blue Moon Orchestra, Bruce Cockburn, The Kingston Trio, David Lindley, Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion.

Santa Monica's pier is currently celebrating its 100 year anniversary & includes such attractions as its historic 1922 carousel and its interactive aquarium. Seems like a great place to host this two day festival, a must for all fans of Americana and folk music. In fact, catching critically acclaimed singer/songwriter/guitarist Richard Thompson alone, who performs later today, is enough of a reason to attend this event.

Thompson is one of the greatest guitarists of our time (Rolling Stone placed him in the Top 20 of the magazine's list of The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time) and has been making incredible music since his early musical days in the legendary British folk-rock group Fairport Convention. Thompson, who penned such classic early Fairport songs as "Meet On The Ledge" and "Crazy Man Michael," was a member of Fairport Convention from 1967 to 1971. He still occassionally performs with Fairport -- usually at their annual Fairport's Cropredy Convention. Soon after splitting from the group he released his first solo album on which Linda Peters (soon to be wife Linda Thompson) sang. The two married in 1972 and officially became a musical team for the years 1973 to 1982 (a little longer than their personal relationship lasted), releasing a total of six albums together including I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight and Hokey Pokey, which the song "A Heart Needs A Home" (video below) comes from.


Posted by Billyjam, June 5, 2009 04:20am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music San Francisco Hip-Hop Top Five: 06:05:09
J Dilla
1) J Dilla Jay Stay Paid (Nature Sounds)

2) Eminem Relapse (Shady/Aftemath/Interscope)

3) Method Man & Redman Blackout! 2 (Def Jam)

4) Marco Polo & Torae Double Barrel (Duck Down)

5) Tiye Phoenix Half Woman/Half Amazing (Babygrande)

The number one album on this week's Amoeba Music hip-hop chart is from the late great J Dilla, aka Jay Dee,  the Detroit producer and hip-hop talent who tragically died from Lupus three years ago. The new album Jay Stay Paid on Nature Sounds was produced by J Dilla's mother, Maureen Yancey (also suffering from Lupus) wtih Pete Rock acting as music supervisor of the project. The 28 track record is rich in beats of various styles and tempos and additionally features cameos from various emcees, including (his brother) Illa J, Mobb Deep, and Raekwon -- all guaranteed to appease the ever swelling base of Dilla fans.

And as seems to be the case with so many other deceased hip-hop acts, J Dilla continues to release a string of new albums posthumously. In addition to Jay Stay Paid, expect another J Dilla release coming soon. It is the second volume in the Dillanthology series on Rapster Records. Titled Dillanthology 2: Dilla's Remixes for Various Artists, the twelve track remix compilation, which will arrive in Amoeba on Marco Polo + ToraeTuesday, June 23rd, will feature Dilla's remixes for such artists De La Soul - "Stakes Is High" ft. Mos Def & Truth Enola (Remix), Busta Rhymes - "Whoo Ha" (Jay Dee Remix), The Pharcyde - "Y? (Be Like That)," Slum Village - "Fall In Love (Remix)," and Spacek as well as hard to find versions of tracks from The Artifacts and Masta Ace. For more info, click here.

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Posted by Billyjam, June 4, 2009 09:13am | Post a Comment
Koko Taylor
As reported today by the Associated Press and other news outlets, blues "Queen" Koko Taylor died yesterday, Wednesday June 3rd, resulting from complications following surgery she underwent recently for gastrointestinal bleeding. She was 80 years old.

A sharecropper's daughter who grew up listening to B.B. King on the radio (he was a DJ) playing the blues, it was her powerful voice that won her the name "Queen of the Blues." The Tennessee-born Taylor first entered the music world in 1962, after Willie Dixon got her a recording contract with legendary blues label Chess Records.

Three years later she would score a mega hit with the single "Wang Dang Doodle" which would help catapult her career and ensure her longevity. Check out the video below of her with Little Walter back in 1967 performing this song and witness how the woman just belted the blues. What a voice!

After the Chess label folded, she signed with Alligator Records and remained a busy, hard working artist throughout her long, prolific career, performing an average of a hundred concerts each year. She performed up until about seven years ago. Nominated seven times for Grammy awards, Taylor won one in 1984. Look for Taylor's back catalog in the "blues" section of Amoeba Music.

Koko Taylor ft. Little Walter "Wang Dang Doodle" (1967)
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