Amoeblog

MEL CHEREN, THE GODFATHER OF DISCO, DIES

Posted by Billyjam, December 11, 2007 07:14pm | Post a Comment

As reported by the Daily Swarm, longtime entertainment figure and major player in the disco movement Mel Cheren, who co-founded West End Records and was the man behind launching the Paradise Garage club, recently died of complications to HIV/AIDS. According to reports Cheren learned suddenly and years too late that he had HIV and that  it was too late to treat it. 

Cheren leaves behind quite a legacy, as outlined in the following bio care of the Daily Swarm and other sources including West End Records' Mel's World website page. In 1959 he began his career in the music business at ABC-Paramount Records. As head of production for Scepter Records, Cheren forged new territory. He was instrumental in creating the first 12” single for DJs, in forming the first record pool (The New York Record Pool-- later to become For The Record Record Pool) and the first to release an instrumental mix on a 12” B-side (“We’re On The Right Track” by Ultra High Frequency). This innovation earned Cheren and Scepter a Billboard Trendsetter Award and soon set the standard for an industry-wide practice. In 1976, Mel co-founded West End Records and soon after signed Karen Young, whose single “Hot Shot” sold 800,000 copies, making it one of the biggest selling 12s” in history. And if you forgot what that song sounds like check out the video of Karen Young below in a live performance from 1978.

Continue reading...

TIME FOR SOME ACTION AT OAKLAND DANCE STUDIO

Posted by Billyjam, December 10, 2007 04:25pm | Post a Comment

"Dancing helps you heal"

                     - Corey Action

In North Oakland's Rockridge district, on a stretch of College Avenue nearby Diesel Books, Pegasus Books, George & Walt's, not far from new hip clothing store Dapper and scores of other mom & pops; in the 5400 block sandwiched in between The Rockrigde Masonic Center and the new eclectic Atomic Garden is the vibrant New Style Motherlode Dance Studio where, for the past seven years, Corey Action and his stable of able dance instructors have been teaching various forms of hip-hop based dance (including a Bay Area Style class) along with a healthy, positive outlook on life.

"Time For Some Action" boldly reads one poster in the window at 5451 College Ave. Inside, on one recent early evening, the place was packed with many urging the call to take action: dancing bodies, brimming with energy, all vibing to the pulsating music's groove that fused it all together. Owner, instructor, and recording artist Corey Action recently took time out to talk to AMOEBLOG about his studio and his passion, dance.

AMOEBLOG: Seven years for any small business, especially a teaching facility located in an expensive high rent area like you are in, means you have beaten the odds. To what do you attribute your success?

Continue reading...

Beware of the Chicken Little President

Posted by Billyjam, December 9, 2007 05:36pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba Marc sent me the link to the must-see above video of a recent editorial (Special Comment) by MSNBC's Keith Olbermann on December 6th. Olbermann tells it like it is with no sugar coating.  Everyone who is seriously concerned about the future of this nation and of the world and whether or not we all end up caught in the crossfire of an unwanted World War III needs to spend eight and a half minutes and view this direct and sobering commentary.

           

Lowriding: Auto Americana Part Three

Posted by Billyjam, December 9, 2007 01:26am | Post a Comment

"In our Lowrider Section there are a lot of compilations series, new and old, like Thump Records' Old School series and their Latin Oldies series and East Side Records' East Side Story series," said Orion, who works in the Soul & Hip-Hop section of Amoeba Music Hollywood, where the demand for lowrider music is so great that it gets its own section.

Lowrider music includes classic soul, funk, oldies, rNb, and Latin oldies, plus other types of music too, like rap and hip-hop and including lots of Latin rap, which is generally filed in the hip-hop section. There too you'll find the rap flavored lowrider DVDs, said Orion, noting that there are additional lowrider DVDs to be found upstairs in the Hollywood store's impressive vast DVD department. There are DVDs galore on the subject of cars which is "a pretty big portion within the Sports and Special Interests section," said Maryann, who works in that section of Amoeba Hollywood. And of the topics included in the car section?  "Street racing, monster trucks, drifting, racing (NASCAR, IndyCar races etc), customizing, classic/antique, and of course lowriding," she said. There are approximately 20 lowrider DVD titles currently in stock.  

Lowriding, for the uninitiated, is when you take a car a or truck (often classic American cars from sixties or fifties but other decades too) and modify its suspension system (often with hydraulics) -- the ultimate goal being that the auto will ride as low to the ground as physically possible. These lowrider vehicles often have user controlled height adjustable suspension -- as witnessed by the videos above and below -- which allow them to pull off some amazing antics. And while it is cool to look at video footage, there is nothing like seeing these rides up close in action. The sites below usually have info on car shows but one site called OneBadPup specializes in SoCal car shows and has been posting pics of them for the past two years (that's one of their their great shots below).

Continue reading...

STAN THE BIRD MAN OF CALIFORNIA: RAPTOR CAPTOR

Posted by Billyjam, December 7, 2007 07:00am | Post a Comment

Before I met Stan the bird man of California (my name for him) I had no idea that there were so many different breeds of raptors (birds of prey). Neither did I realize that there were dedicated individuals like Stan, who lives in Sonoma, CA, and whose spare time is consumed with these beautiful creatures that most of us just never notice or take time to discover.

So I had a lot to ask Stan about raptors and banding them and I had a lot to learn from him. Here is the AMOEBLOG interview -- followed by links if you want to learn more about raptors.

AMOEBLOG:
What is your title and what specifically do you do?

STAN:
I am a licensed raptor bander and I band birds of prey for research purposes, monitor banded raptors and their nests. 

AMOEBLOG: How did raptors become your passion and have you always been interested in birds of prey or birds in general?

STAN:
I think I can trace my fascination with raptors back to visits to the Texas Renaissance Faire as a teenager where I saw a falconry display where a falconer sent a trained hawk out over the audience and then called it back. I thought that seeing the bird land on the guy's glove was the coolest thing. Later I also became a falconer, but that is subsidiary to my research on wild birds of prey. 

AMOEBLOG: How long does it take to capture a bird of prey? And what is the longest time you have spent in trying to do so?

STAN:
If a bird of prey is motivated by hunger or some other motivation it can take just a few seconds or at most a few minutes to capture it. Usually if I do not capture an individual bird within ten or fifteen minutes, I move on and look for another. If a particular bird is a priority bird for some reason I may work all day to capture it, but that is rare. If a bird is not responsive pretty quickly, usually it is best to try to capture it at a different time.

Continue reading...
BACK  <<  343  344  345  346  347  348  349  350  351  352  353  354  >>  NEXT