Amoeblog

PUBLIC ENEMY BRINGS THE NOISE TO IRELAND: PAUL LOWE REPORTS

Posted by Billyjam, June 10, 2008 09:41am | Post a Comment

In 1988 Public Enemy released their groundbreaking album It Takes A Nation of Millions To Us Back (Def Jam). 

In celebration of the twentieth anniversary of this historic hip-hop album (considered  by many to be the greatest hip-hop album ever), Public Enemy did some concerts in Europe as part of the Don't Look Back concert series, playing the entire album.

Don't Look Back is the concert series produced by All Tomorrow's Parties in which established artists perform in concert an album of theirs (generally an agreed-on classic release) from start to finish in its original sequence. Sonic Youth partook in the series when they performed their seminal Daydream Nation and Girls Against Boys did the Don't Look Back series last year when they performed their Venus Luxure No. 1 Baby, for which Johnny Temple of the group was interviewed for the Amoeblog.

For the recent Public Enemy Don't Look Back performances of It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, they did a short series of shows, including stops in Manchester, England and in Dublin, Ireland.  Tall Paul Lowe, today's special guest Amoeblogger, attended the group's Dublin, Ireland performance two weeks ago (5/25), which was at the Tripod in the Irish capitol. Paul's report follows, below the track listing to the classic 1988 LP. Note that the photo above and the photos below of Public Enemy in Dublin two weeks ago were all taken by Tall Paul Lowe.

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JAZZ ARTIST ESPERANZA SPALDING ON HER WAY TO THE TOP

Posted by Billyjam, June 9, 2008 04:41pm | Post a Comment

Jazz artist Esperanza Spalding is one of those rare talents that comes along every once in a while: an artist that when you first see and hear, you immediately sense is destined for bigger things, and deservedly so. 

The acoustic bassist/vocalist's recommended latest album Esperanza on Heads Up International, which dropped five weeks ago and is available at Amoeba Music, displays the impressive chops of this vocalist who sounds like someone far more mature in years.

Her music, while rightfully labeled jazz (she does a lot of standards including "Body and Soul"), sometimes subtly melds elements of soul and hip-hop, hence widening her appeal. And of course the fact that she is also a most beautiful woman doesn't hurt either.  Over the weekend she won over the crowd when she played at The Roots Picnic in Philly and likewise when she performed on David Letterman last week. 

Also below is a great clip of Esperanza and her band live in concert in Copenhagen (courtesy of STV) performing a variety of songs including "I Adore You," and "She Got To You." There is also a short interview with the New Jersey resident in this Danish TV video clip. Over the next two nights Esperanza will be in Los Angeles. Tomorrow (Tuesday, June 10th) she will be doing a show at the Catalina Bar & Grill and on Wednesday she is scheduled to perform on The Jimmy Kimmel Show.  On Thursday (6/12) she will be in the Bay Area when she performs at Oakland jazz club Yoshis down by Jack London Square.

For more information visit Eperanza Spalding's MySpace page and/ or check back here on the Amoeblog for an interview with the artist sometime over the next two weeks.

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BILLY JAM'S WEEKLY HIP-HOP ROUND UP: 6-6-08

Posted by Billyjam, June 6, 2008 08:30am | Post a Comment

Sadness struck both Amoeba and the local Bay Area hip-hop community this week with the tragic passing of the much-loved Anthony Marin (aka Big Ant) who, at the young age of 37, died of heart failure last weekend. 

A DJ/producer and multi-instrumentalist, not to mention an incredibly knowledgeable musicologist, Big Ant had been a fixture on the local hip-hop scene for many years -- ever since he moved north from LA in the nineties. Before working at Amoeba SF he had worked at Tower Records in the South Bay and Cue's in Daly City.

If you were into the local DJ or hip-hop scene you would have seen Big Ant over the years at countless events. A large framed man with a warm hug and a winning smile, plus an unbridled knowledge of all types of music (far beyond hip-hop), he had DJ'ed all over, played damn near every instrument it seemed (including guitar/drums/keyboards in Black Fiction - the experimental rock band he was a member of along with fellow Amoebites Jason Chavez and Tim Cohen), and was a ham at Karaoke.  This evening, Friday June 6th, from 5PM to 9PM, those who knew this great man will gather in his honor at Milk, which is directly across the street from Amoeba on Haight St.

For more in depth tributes to Big Ant, visit 4AM/Jason Chavez's MySpace or the text/photo dedication to him on the homepage of the Amoeba website, where Jason Chavez, his best friend, wrote so poignantly: "The best lesson he taught me is the lesson that every loved one that passes teaches us, that we are all still alive and we need to live, love and find our purpose and passions for ourselves and our passed loved ones who are watching us and guiding us towards our destinies. Everyone stay up, he'd want us to."   R.I.P. BIG ANT.

AMOEBA MUSIC SAN FRANCISCO HIP-HOP TOP FIVE (6.6.08)

1) J-Live Then What Happened? (BBE)
2) TOPR The Marathon of Shame (Gurp City)
3) Giant Panda Electric Laser (Tres Records)
4) Subtle Exiting Arm (Lex)
5) The Cool Kids The Bake Sale (Chocolate Industries/A&M)

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AMOEBA MUSIC HOLLYWOOD HIP-HOP TOP FIVE: JUNE 5, 2008

Posted by Billyjam, June 5, 2008 08:00pm | Post a Comment

AMOEBA MUSIC HOLLYWOOD
HIP-HOP TOP FIVE (6.5.08)


1)  J-Live
    Then What Happened?
(BBE)

2) Atmosphere
   When Life Gives You Lemons, You  
   Turn That Shit Into Gold
(Rhymesayers)

3) Gnarls Barkley
    The Odd Couple (Atlantic)

4) Flobots
    Fight With Tools (Universal Republic)

5) Lil Wayne
    Lil Weezy-Ana Vol. 1 (Noiseland)

If ever a hip-hop release deserved to do well it is the highly recommended new J-Live album, Then What Happened? on BBE, which is this week's number one release on the Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five Chart (thanks Marques Newson). The album, the artist's fourth and featuring some guest shots including Chali 2na and Posdanous, is also doing well this week at the Berkeley and San Francisco Amoeba Music stores.
 


What is most amazing about this under-appreciated hip-hop artist is that he is not just a great emcee but he is also a gifted producer and DJ. See the clip of him above, live in Amsterdam, simultaneously rapping on the mic and cutting up on the
ones and twos. Impressive stuff! J-Live's rich style is both respectful and inspired by the genre's golden-era past while still sounding new and  pushing forward. Just back from some shows in Europe, he currently is in Atlanta, with East Coast shows lined up but unfortunately no Cali dates locked down in the immediate future. You can expect an Amoeblog interview with J-Live sometime over the next couple of weeks.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? STEINSKI: THE AMOEBLOG INTERVIEW

Posted by Billyjam, June 2, 2008 11:22pm | Post a Comment

Last week the label Illegal Art did the world a great favor and released a nicely packaged comprehensive retrospective of the best of hip-hop cut-n-paste pioneer Steinski -- something that has never been easily available before, and not all nicely presented together like this.

But this great collection beautifully showcases the legendary producer who, both along with studio partner Double Dee and as a solo artist, directly influenced so many artists, including most notably DJ Shadow, Cut Chemist and Coldcut

Steinski: What Does It All Mean? 1983-2006 Retrospective is something that belongs in every music collection.  The 2 CD set comes with a nice booklet and liner notes by Hua Hsu that include Steve "Steinski" Stein's comments on each of CD 1's fourteen tracks. Included are the three legendary "Lessons" with Doug DiFranco (Double Dee) -- the first one originating as an 1983 entry in a Tommy Boy Records remix contest -- plus the artist's most important solo outings and remixes including the JFK assassination-themed "The Motorcade Sped On," recorded under the name Steinski & The Mass Media that came as a track on a free 7" EP compilation given away with UK mag NME in 1987.

The second CD is the artist's relatively recent Nothing To Fear mix made for BBC London's Solid Steel radio show a few years ago, with song titles for all 28 tracks in the CD booklet.

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