Amoeblog

"Jingle Bell Rocks!" Documentary - Screening in LA Today & Avail on DVD - Features Scene At Amoeba Music

Posted by Billyjam, December 21, 2014 09:30am | Post a Comment
  

In time for the holidays is this weekend's Los Angeles screening of the acclaimed documentary about some of the world’s most diehard alternative Christmas music fanatics Jingle Bell Rocks! in which film director Mitchell Kezin poses the question “Why, when Christmas rolls around, are we still stuck cozying up with Bing Crosby under a blanket of snow?"  Then Kezin, with a cast of fellow Christmas music fanatics including John Waters and Joseph "Rev Run" Simmons, proceeds to fully and entertainingly answer his own question in the must-see 94 minute film which was first released to festivals last year but was just released recently on Black Friday on DVD as well as being screened this week in select cinemas around the  country including in Los Angeles this weekend including later today.  Coincidentally the LA screening takes place at the Arena on N. Las Palmas in Hollywood (screening today, Sunday December 21st, at 4pm) which is only a little over half a mile away from the Hollywood Amoeba Music store where the opening scene of the documentary was shot.

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Tony! Toni! Tone! Kick Off 8-Show Hometown Concert Series Tonight At Yoshi's Oakland

Posted by Billyjam, December 19, 2014 01:04pm | Post a Comment

It's only fitting that Tony! Toni! Toné!, who back in the day along with En Vogue and MC Hammer led Oakland's thriving urban music scene, would hold down a eight concert, four-night residency at their hometown club of Yoshi's Oakland - starting tonight, December 19th, through Monday December 22nd. The internationally successful neo soul RnB group scored such hits as "Little Walter" off their 1988 debut album Who? and a string of hits of their hugely successful follow-up album, 1990's The Revival that spawned the hits including "Feels Good," "It Never Rains (In Southern California)," "Whatever You Want," and "The Blues." As group members pursued individual projects - most notably Raphael Saadiq and the hard working D’Wayne Wiggins who has collaborated with countless artists over the years - the group's popularity as a whole slowly waned and they stopped working together as a group.  But then a decade ago the Tonys regrouped sans Raphael Saadiq when Wiggins and Timothy Christian Riley, along with their cousin Amar Khalil performing lead vocals, got the group back together and started touring. In addition to excitement to shows such as their hometown series that kicks off tonight at Yoshi's Oakland there is also much anticipation for the new Tony! Toni! Toné album (the first since 2011's Icon) getting ready to drop that features collaborations with such stars as Beyonce Knowles, Keyshia Cole, Rhymefest, and Slick Rick.   

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The Sacramento / European Hip-Hop Connection: JR & PH7 X Chuuwee

Posted by Billyjam, December 18, 2014 11:51am | Post a Comment

JR & PH7 X Chuuwee - ''Meanwhile Off Mack''(2014)

Call it a Euro-Sacto mix. The brand new video release above of the hip-hop track "Meanwhile Off Mack," that was published yesterday with a full album to follow in the new year and a single track free download available now, showcases the combined talents of Sacremento's Chuuwee with the studio skills of the two European producers JR & PH7 - who hail from Germany and Denmark respectively.

In comparison to the Euro beatsmith duo who've been putting it down for a few years now and whose track record includes working with such other US emcess as Sean Price, Ras Kass, Skyzoo, and Saigon, the South Sacramento rapper Chuuwee (whose voice/flow reminds me a bit of Mac Mall's) is a relative newcomer to the hip-hop world but odds are that will all change with the forthcoming full-length release of this Euro-Sacto collaboration to be entitled The South Sac Mack and to be released by Below System Records. It's scheduled to arrive in Amoeba in early 2015. Watch this space for more details at that time.

Amoeblog Interview With True Skool's Ren The Vinyl Archaeologist

Posted by Billyjam, December 17, 2014 11:13pm | Post a Comment
Ren The Vinyl Archaeologist has long been part and parcel of the fabric that makes up the Bay Area's vibrant hip-hop scene - even though he's not originally from California. An East Coast transplant, with a stop en route to Cali in Colorado, Ren is not only a skilled DJ with two decades of turntable experience coupled with a deep diverse knowledge of music, but he is also a revered club/concert promoter whose True Skool parties are legendary. Additionally, via his online magazine / newsletter True Skool website and its affiliated social network links - notably Twitter and Facebook, he provides a unique and invaluable source of information on Bay Area hip-hop and nightlife happenings as well as general hip-hop news and cultural/political updates - all of which demonstrate how well connected and passionate the man born Renoir Salgado is about hip-hop culture and the Bay Area at large. In addition to his own productions Ren is also in big demand at other folks' events too such opening for Wu-Tang Clan at Ruby Skye in San Francisco (photo above) in 2007, or over the summer at the Amoeba Music sponsored Vinyl: The Sound and Culture of Records at the Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) at where he was among the carefully chosen curators and also a guest lecturer. Then last month at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts' (YBCA) cool retro hip-hop event Clas/sick Hip-Hop: 1993 Edition he was an integral part of the two-day event when, among other things, he curated/DJ'ed the official CD mix of event - an excellent mix of hip-hop music from the year of '93. This week I caught up with the always busy Ren to ask him about True Skool - its history, ongoing projects, and future plans. 


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Top Ten Essential Hip-Hop Albums of 2014

Posted by Billyjam, December 16, 2014 11:13am | Post a Comment

10 Essential Hip Hop Albums of 2014

1) DJ Qbert Extraterrestria + GalaXXXian (Galactic Butt Hair Records)


Although only released digitally in 2014 following a successful Kickstarter campaign (vinyl to arrive at Amoeba in 2015), this instrumental album (Extraresstria) and its rap/emcee counterpart album (GalaXXXian) rate as my top pick(s) for the best hip-hop released in 2014. Apparently I'm not alone in thinking so; Extraterrestia is up for a possible Grammy award. The stated goal of DJ Qbert's new album, which the artist considers as a Wave Twisters Part II, is to present the sound of skratch music in the future as he sees it, or - as he said upon the release of the new project - "the time capsule response and interstellar transmission to any galactic civilization, alien or far-future human." The "Jimi Hendrix of the turntables" ably accomplishes both solo as producer/DJ as well as with such album collaborators as Kool Keith, Del the Funky Homosapien, Mr Lif, Dana Leong, and Chad Hugo, who (along with Tipsy) co-produce the album's best track - the soothing, dreamy, ethereal "Ascender (Agartha)."

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