Amoeblog

Thizzler On The Roof Further Expands Its Support of Bay Area Hip-Hop With Its Own Music Festival, The First Annual Thizzler Jam

Posted by Billyjam, August 7, 2015 07:07am | Post a Comment

"With the end of the Bay Area Freshmen 10, we wanted to do something big to put a spotlight on the local scene. So we came up with Thizzler Jam as something that could showcase up-and-coming and established Bay Area artists that we believe in, while bringing the community together in one place," said Thizzler On The Roof's Matt Werner (aka Em Dub) late last night. The hard-working, founding member of the rapidly growing multi-media Bay Area hip-hop promotional organization, that he launched just five years ago in an attempt to fill the vacuum left in the wake of the hyphy wave in Bay rap, was talking to the Amoeblog as he took a much needed break from all the planning details for this weekend's ambitious Bay Area hip-hop festival. For a young organization born out of a blog written by Werner, Thizzler On The Roof (a play on the famed musical and a Mac Dre phrase) has been doing incredibly well lately. 

Besides its many accolades such as presenting the aforementioned now defunct Bay Area Freshmen 10 (a respected tastemaker series for pinpointing future Bay rap stars begun by collaborator DJ Amen in 2010), the Oakland-based organization that finds and promotes Bay Area hip-hop artists via its website and other outlets recently celebrated its popular video channel reaching a landmark 100 million views!  Hot on the heels of that announcement comes this weekend's first (hopefully of many) annual Thizzler Jam music festival.

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of Montreal Publish New Stop Motion Animation Video For Song off "Aureate Gloom"

Posted by Billyjam, August 6, 2015 12:13pm | Post a Comment

Eclectic alt/rock band of Montreal today published the brand new stop-motion animated video (see below) for their song "Last Rites At The Jane Hotel" that is the second track found on their latest ten-song album Aureate Gloom [Note technically their most recent release would be their limited edition, Record Store Day only LP release Snare Lustrous Doomings]. Released a few months back on Polyvinyl Records the latest studio album is the Athens, GA band's thirteenth full-length to date and is currently available from Amoeba in both CD and LP formats.

For the unique new video, that was  directed by Matthew Cooper with graphics/art contributions from Michiko Suzuki, Samuel Pepys and Tom Moglu, the director reportedly carefully constructed it by spending a few months in production, and tediously working on its components that are entirely done in stop-motion animation.  He animated in 2D format first. Meanwhile the pieces in the video are all painted on wood and meticulously cut out to make the resulting video which is a bright sunny series of visuals that perfectly juxtapose the dark lyrical content of the Kevin Barnes penned song.

Record Release for New Z-Man Album "Flea Circus" - A Collaboration with Tahaj The First

Posted by Billyjam, August 5, 2015 06:58pm | Post a Comment

As most hip-hop heads in the Bay (and beyond) already know, San Francisco emcee Z-Man is one of the most talented and unique wordsmiths out there; albeit an underrated artist who ranks up there talent-wise with E-40 when it comes to channeling a brilliant mind into clever wordplay of the English language along with a generous dash of his own slanguage.  Z-Man possesses a gift for unleashing a non-stop flow of clever wordplay that is typically fun, party themed on the surface, but deep on the outset - the kind that demands repeated listens.  The artist is simultaneously a very gifted painter/artist who does most of his own album artwork dating back almost two full decades when he laced up the cover art for his nineties crew 99th Demention's debut tape and such other releases as the cover for 2003's Dope Or Dog Food. which was released via the Hieroglyphics label.    

"Z-Man is definitely one of the Bay Area's most underrated artists," concurred E-Lit at Amoeba Berkeley where whenever Z-Mainey (as he is also known) drops a new release it is in big demand for those who are hip to Z-Man's mic skills, many via his membership of the Gurp City crew or the many other Bay Area hip-hop entities he is down with including One League and Solidarity Records. In fact it is via the Bored Stiff (Equipto, White Mic, etc.) associated label that Z-Man is releasing his brand album with a record release party tonight at the (soon to close) Elbo Room in San Francisco. Entitled Flea Circus the album is a joint collaboration with gifted Bay Area producer Tahaj The First who produced the new GoodWord (of BPos) track that was featured here on the Amoeblog last week and who has showcased his diverse production skills working with such other artists as Otayo Dub and young mic spitter Gigio. For tonight's record release  (so new it has yet to arrive in Amoeba) Tahaj and Z-Man will celebrate with a live set performing tracks from the new album on a bill hosted by the aforementioned Equipto with live performances by Aukwin, Xiomara & the Headband, The People's Tree, and  Murk Sauce (that's Gurp City's Brycon and Eddie K), with Troubleman on the turntables. More info on the Elbo Room show here. And below is Z-Man's video for the track "Cupcakin" from with five years ago and featuring Eddie Def on the cuts.

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D.I.T.C.'s Multi-Talented Lord Finesse Discusses Big L, The Music Industry, "Accident Music," His Future Book + more

Posted by Billyjam, August 4, 2015 12:17pm | Post a Comment

Unlike most hip-hop artists, who tend to excel in just one area of the genre, D.I.T.C. (Diggin In The Crates) founding member Lord Finesse is an equally amazing MC, DJ, and producer. Add to that a hella funny guy with a career in stand-up waiting for him if he ever wants it as proven by the funny sharp wit he displays when hosting DMC battles. Recently I caught up with the longtime Bronx born multi-talented hip-hop artist, at one of the Crotona Park Jams where he was just kicking back and enjoying the rich cultural vibe of park jam produced by Tools of War. He would perform at the same event two weeks later.

Being in the Bronx  park brought it all back for Finesse, as it was there as a kid that he got his sharp wit and quick comebacks he says. "Ah man all that comes from snappin' in the park when we were younger, and joking and snappin' all the time. So it's natural for me to just come up off the top. That's why the rhymes, the punchlines, they're designed that way," he said. On the hot topic of hip-hop as a culture with an important history versus rap as merely a commodity, Lord Finesse feels quite strongly. "All that stuff you hear on the radio when they say you could be great at rap and hip-hop without knowing the culture is like you trying to be a doctor without getting a degree," he said. 

In this digital age Lord Finesse contends that too many young artists rely solely on the Internet as their outlet when they need to go out on tour and "be ready to roll up your sleeves" meet the fans and connect with them. "If you think that you are going to throw up your little video on YouTube or put out your mixtape and think you are gonna be straight" that is too limited an approach he stressed. "Then you're not covering all bases." One of those bases traditionally has been   radio airplay but its importance has shifted over the decades compared with when Lord Finesse officially started his career in 1989.

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Iconic UK Singer/TV Personality Cilla Black Has Died

Posted by Billyjam, August 2, 2015 10:53pm | Post a Comment

Cilla Black's "Anyone Who Had Heart" (1964) is best selling UK record of all time by a female artist

While the average American may only know of Cilla Black, who died today at age 72, as a 1960's British pop star who was associated with the Beatles, in her native Britain she was a national treasure whose career as popular singer and TV personality spanned five full decades. Upon the announcement of her death today, British prime minister David Cameron joined countless others in paying tribute to the OBE recipient for her "significant contribution to public life." Just last year the beloved public figure, known for her easy going ways, constant smile, and natural manner, was the subject of a popular UK TV drama mini series entitled Cilla that focused on her early years as a singer. Those years were when the Liverpool native, born Priscilla White, started out working as a coat check attendant at her famous hometown Cavern Club that is closely associated with fellow Merseyside musicians The Beatles who she was close to.

In fact, it was John Lennon who introduced her to Brian Epstein and convinced the Beatles' manager to audition the young singer. That audition, nicely detailed in the ITV drama series in which the singer was played to perfection by Sheridan Smith, went horribly wrong but did not stop the determined young singer from her goals. The Beatles connection continued with Lennon/McCartney penning her first single "Love Of The Loved" in 1963, which was produced by George Martin. The track did well, entering the top 40, but it would be her next single, 1964's cover of Burt Bacharach and Hal David's "Anyone Who Had a Heart" (a hit in the US for Dionne Warwick), that became a number one hit single and the biggest selling record for a UK female artist of all time. The single would be the first of many Top 10 hits for Cilla Black that included "It's For You," "Alfie" (from the movie Alfie and recorded at Abbey Road Studios), and her cover of "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" that went to number 2 on the UK pop charts in 1965.

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