Amoeblog

The Queen Of Soul Returns To The Bay Area For First Time In 30 Years

Posted by Billyjam, March 9, 2015 05:45pm | Post a Comment
Quiz fans of soul/RnB or check any top 100 Best Soul Female Vocalists lists and odds are that Aretha Franklin will be either number one or at least ranking in the top two or three picks. Rolling Stone magazine ranked her #1 on their "100 Greatest Singers of All Time" list - and that is not just female singers or soul/rnb but all. Hence it is a very big deal that the 18 time Grammy Award winning "Queen of Soul" will be returning to the Bay Area this summer for her first concert in the San Francisco Bay Area in 30 years! Just announced today, in time for Women's History Month, the concert tickets will go on sale this Friday, March 13th at all Ticketmaster outlets for the scheduled Monday August 10th concert at the Oracle Arena on a bill that she will be joined by special guest Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds. Franklin, who will celebrate her 73rd birthday in two weeks, released her latest album last year - a tribute collection to a selection of her personal fellow female vocalists spanning several decades. Descriptively titled Aretha Franklin Sings The Great Diva Classics, it includes her interpreation of Gladys Knight's "Midnight Train To Georgia," Barbra Streisand's "People," Alicia Keys' "No One" and Destiny's Child's "I'm A Survivor." The album's five producers include André 3000, Harvey Mason, Jr., Terry Hunter, Eric Kupper, and the aforementioned Kenny 'Babyface' Edmonds (hence why he is her special guest on this tour). Along with doing many of the songs from this new album of hers Franklin is expected to (she has to!) include in her set such classics of hers as the Otis Redding penned "Respect," "Rock Steady," "Chain Of Fools," "I Say A Little Prayer For You," and "Think" - three of which appear below in video format, including Aretha in the Bay Area in 1971 at the Fillmore in San Francisco (one of the earlier times she performed in the Bay) doing an inspired and energetic version of "Respect." Peep these videos as a reminder to why Aretha earned the title of the "Queen of Soul." 

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Reverend Billy Vows To "Not Be Silent" In Fight For #BlackLivesMatter As He Heads To Court in NYC

Posted by Billyjam, March 9, 2015 05:01am | Post a Comment

Earlier this year tireless longtime fighter for justice and equality for all the Reverend Billy Talen (of the Stop Shopping Gospel Choir), who had adopted the Black Lives Matter cause after being outraged over the treatment by police of African Americans in incidents such as Mike Brown in Ferguson, and Eric Garner in Staten Island, NY, organized a peaceful protest in Grand Central Station. There the longtime NYC based Talen, who spent earlier years of his life in Northern California, was midway into his #BlackLivesMatter speech/sermon he got arrested by the NYC MTA police. The arrest came in hour 18 of the planned 24 hour vigil / peaceful protest in the iconic train station in central Manhattan. You can see this January 5th 2015 arrest take place in a play by play recording in the revelatory video clip shown below (left is a screen shot still from the same video). In the clip you can clearly hear the police say 'stop resisting arrest' while simultaneously clearly see Talen not resisting one iota. Then you see him get hauled off to jail where he spent that night. The next morning, upon release from jail, he found out that the charges against him by the MTA police division were that he "physically attacked" a police officer. "I did not touch anybody. I am trained in non-violence. I was simply arrested while I was speaking and taken away," he said later adding that, "They think that they can just say anything about anybody and get away with it."

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up: #1 DJ Lazyboy, Fashawn & Nas, Cannibal Ox, Fundrboogie/Mr. Complex, Tuxedo's Jake One & Mayer Hawthorne + more

Posted by Billyjam, March 5, 2015 12:51pm | Post a Comment

New releases to arrive at Amoeba this week include the technically soul - but with a hip-hop flavor - brand new album from prolific and diverse Seattle hip-hop producer Jake One along with blue-eyed soul singer Mayer Hawthorne entitled Tuxedo via Stones Throw Records. Tuxedo is also the band name of these two collaborating talents' alter egos who, as Aquarius (Mayer Hawthorne) and Taurus (Jake One) are dressed up in tuxedos - looking somewhat reminiscent of Dan the Automator and Prince Paul as the Handsome Boy Modeling School – and presented by the label headed by Peanut Butter Wolf (a man known to dress up himself) as descendants of the one- word moniker family of funk, where you will find groups such as Chic, Shalamar, Plush, and Zapp. For a better idea of Tuxedo's infectious retro dance grooves peep their video for the album track "Do It" (scroll down) and pick up their album available in CD, vinyl, and digital download formats.

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"It's Hard Out Here For A Gimp" - Kalyn Heffernan of WheelGrabbers

Posted by Billyjam, March 4, 2015 11:00am | Post a Comment

On the powerful new track "It's Hard Out Here For A Gimp" - found on the just released WheelGrabbers self-titled album - Denver emcee and front-person of Wheelchair Sports Camp, Kalyn Heffernan holds no punches. Over the song's head-nodding beats she unleashes a litany of  witty reactionary rhymes to a lifetime of being treated like some freak. This she ably does via enlightening engaging lyrics that, while consistently hard-hitting, are all good humored and never mean-spirited. "No matter where I go, all eyes on me. Everyone stop what you're doing; the human's movin'" - raps the wheelchair using, three and a half foot tall woman, who has the brittle-bone disability Osteogenesis Imperfecta - three factors of her life that total strangers will unabashedly  bring up upon crossing paths with her. "They're God blessin' me and I didn't even sneeze. On their knees questioning me excessively. Wanna know my life expectancy. Like it doesn't get to me?" she rhymes while exposing the less than tactful questions posed by the parade of patronizing people that she encounters on a daily basis out in public.

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Hip-Hop History Tuesday: 1986, The Year Run-D.M.C. Raised Hell And Helped Rap Crossover

Posted by Billyjam, March 3, 2015 03:03am | Post a Comment

When they arrived on the hip-hop scene in the early 1980's Run-D.M.C. distinguished themselves as the leaders of the new school of rap music. This claim by the Hollis, Queens, NY trio comprised of Joseph "Run" Simmons, Darryl "D.M.C." McDaniels, and Jason "Jam-Master Jay" Mizell was truly justified by the unique group who would be perhaps the most influential group of the genre with their hardcore rap sound. With 1984's self-titled debut on Profile Records and its follow-up; 1985's King of Rock, Run DMC were already hugely popular with fans of the then still burgeoning hip-hop music genre but it was 1986's Raising Hell  their third album that proved to be their breakthrough, crossover release. Raising Hell won them a whole wave of new fans - many of whom up until this point had dismissed rap as mere novelty and  passing fad in pop music. Run DMC's updated rock/rap version of Aerosmith's "Walk This Way" deserves  much of the credit for breaking Run DMC (and rap/hip-hop along with it) into the mainstream. The conversion of the average mid eighties hard rock fan, who up to this stage was still resistant to rap because they saw it as a derivative of the then stigmatized genre of disco, went to Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith who joined on them on both the record and in the influential music video of "Walk This Way." The result was an inspired updated rap rendition of an already great rock song.

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