Amoeblog

AMERICAN LIFE: THE BAY TO NYC, EXHIBIT/BROADCAST ON SATURDAY

Posted by Billyjam, April 17, 2008 02:07pm | Post a Comment

As recently Amoeblogged about, the Upper East Side of New York City a has a new micro-powered radio station; one that originates from the Bay Area but is temporarily broadcasting for a three month engagement in NYC. The radio station (broadcast & streamed online) is the Bay Area's Neighborhood Public Radio (aka NPR), who feel that the real  NPR is failing at what they are supposed to be doing -- providing community radio for the American public.

Click here to read the Amoeblog interview with Neighborhood Public Radio's Lee Montgomery (pic below) and Jon Brumit, which talks about the current temporary radio station set up in storefront studios at 941 Madison Ave -- a space (formerly an upscale women's shoe shop) owned by the Whitney Museum who (after curators visited one of their SF installations last year) commissioned the Bay Area traveling broadcast audio arts collective and their current piece, "American Life," to be a part of the ongoing Whitney Biennial 2008.

Since running that blog I did a broadcast on NPR and am doing another one -- with a bunch of other       folks -- again this Saturday (4/19) from 2-6PM, which is 11AM to 3PM PST. So if you are not attending the big Record Store Day at one of the Amoeba branches, tune in online or better still, if you happen to be in NYC, stop by. Everyone's welcome to get on the mic and on the air.  This collaboration with NPR will be about fourth or fifth one I will have done, since myself and my (Hip Hop Slam) crew have been down with NPR since they formed four years ago.  We've done installments back in SF at spots such as ATA on Valencia and Southern Exposure Gallery in the Mission.  At that latter one we had an art exhibit too, while in the radio part we had scratch DJs on a line of turntables, plus I was mixing in sound samples and also -- off a scanner -- live police-radio signal broadcasts from SFPD's nearby Mission District station.

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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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