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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Amoeblog Interview With Andre Barefield: Publisher of The Booty Crack magazine (1994 - 2002)

Posted by Billyjam, December 15, 2015 07:07am | Post a Comment

Understandably, the imagery alone of bygone Bay Area-published magazine The Booty Crack scared away some potential readers.That minority of readers mistakenly deemed the envelope-pushing magazine as just too plain "ignant" for their tastes. The rapzine's in-your-face editorial style, raw street language, and no-holds barred content was an affront to their sensibilities, and the expectations of what a hip-hop magazine should be.

Simply put, The Booty Crack was unlike any other hip-hop magazine up until that point in time. It was at the beginning of 1994 when San Jose A&R man-turned-publisher Andre Barefield put out the first issue of the controversial but popular, game-changing magazine. At that time there was a wide choice in the ever-growing field of hip-hop publishing. There were many magazines on newsstands and at record stores that covered hip-hop music as well as various aspects of the culture and interrelated topics too (b-boying, graffiti, sports and sneaker fashion, etc.). There were regional zines like The BOMB hip-hop magazine out of San Francisco and The Flavor out of Seattle. Then, of course, there were the more widely distributed national ones like the Source, Rap Pages, and Rap Sheet. The latter's tabloid newspaper style was a format shared by The Booty Crack. But all similarities between The Booty Crack, Rap Sheet, and those other hip-hop magazines ended there.

While most rap writers and hip-hop magazines at the time fawned over their subjects, The Booty Crack talked shit on them and everyone else they covered in their avidly read pages. In fact, The Booty Crack went beyond just music. It was a hip-hop themed but also about the people and the culture surrounding it - and not always the prettiest parts. Pioneering its own brand of confrontational journalism, The Booty Crack was fearless in what it published. Long before the shaming era of the internet age, The Booty Crack was shaming and calling out people publicly in its Buster of the Month and its Nympho Info columns. As a result they landed in many lawsuits with the unhappy subjects of these columns.  Naturally, those not targeted in these printed attacks loved reading these exposes about others.

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Amoeblog Exclusive: Moogfest Dial Tones LA, Dec 20th with YACHT, Nosaj Thing, & RSVP for limited space Synth Workshop

Posted by Billyjam, December 14, 2015 05:29pm | Post a Comment

In following last week's Amoeblog report on the richly diverse lineup for the Moogfest 2016 happening in Durham, NC in five months, here's an Amoeblog exclusive on the related Moogfest Dial Tones event in LA. Taking place at the Downtown Los Angeles Ace Hotel on Sunday, December 20th, Moogfest Dial Tones LA will be curated by acclaimed LA producer Nosaj Thing and feature a DJ after party on the rooftop curated by YACHT, who are among the 100+ acts scheduled for next May's festival dedicated to creator Dr. Robert Moog. Left is cover art of YACHT's most recent and most ambitious release to date. The album Thought The Future Would Be Cooler (also available in white vinyl) first arrived in Amoeba in October.

A kind of warm-up to the Moogfest 2016, the international Moogfest Dial Tones series began a week ago with a kickoff event in Durham.  In partnership with Ace Hotels, the Dial Tones series is a refreshing balance of creative workshops and performances. Think daytime synth workshops and nighttime synth drone performances.

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The Beach Boys Song "Darlin'" Gets Newfound Attention Thanks to The Big Bang Theory

Posted by Billyjam, December 11, 2015 09:51am | Post a Comment


The Beach Boys
song "Darlin'" has garnered overnight newfound attention after being featured in last evening's  broadcast of The Big Bang Theory.  The Sheldon character (Jim Parsons), who rarely takes an interest in music, hums the melody of the unknown song throughout the latest episode entitled The Earworm Reverberation of TBBT, until finally figuring out that it is a song by The Beach Boys. "Darlin'" was originally a 1967 single (b-side "Here Today") taken from The Beach Boys album Wild Honey  of that same year. It has since been included on such collections as The Very Best of The Beach Boys: Sounds of Summer and The Very Best of The Beach Boys.   [Spoiler Alert!] The Beach Boys song acted the main story arc in the ongoing on-off relationship of Sheldon and Amy (Mayim Bialik).

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Gary Numan, GZA, The Orb, ODESZA, Mad Professor, Sun Ra Arkestra & Laurie Anderson Among Announced Acts At Moogfest 2016

Posted by Billyjam, December 10, 2015 09:26pm | Post a Comment

The lineup for Moogfest 2016 (May 19 - 22) -- the annual tribute to Dr. Robert Moog that brings together music, art, and technology -- promises be a richly diverse one with performers including Gary Numan (whose first three albums are being reissued on vinyl this week) GZA, Mad Professor, and The Orb. Just announced in the video below by synth-loving comedic entertainer (and fest participant) Reggie Watts, Moogfest 2016's lineup of over one hundred musical acts will include ODESZA, Laurie Anderson, Oneohtrix Point Never, Daniel LanoisBlood Orange, Sun Ra Arkestra, DJ Harvey, Explosions in the Sky, sunn O)))Simian Mobile Disco, Ben Frost, Kode9, Lunice, Ryan Hemsworth, and YACHT. In addition to musical performances, Moogfest includes workshops, lectures, and masterclasses such as Reggae Hacker Soundsystem and Radio and the Radiophonic. Meanwhile, speakers and presenters will include former Hollywood Amoebite DJ Lance Rock (reppin' Yo Gabba Gabba!) and author Dave Tompkins (who discussed his book on the evolution of vocoders with the Amoeblog). There will also be art installations and a mini film festival. Moogfest 2016's keynote speakers will be virtual reality pioneer Jaron Lanier and "transhumanist activist/pharma tycoon" Dr. Martine Rothblatt.

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Mad Skillz Picks Favorite 2015 Hip-Hop Albums & Discusses His Popular Annual Year-End "Rap Up" Series

Posted by Billyjam, December 9, 2015 10:25pm | Post a Comment
Mad Skillz' Top Three Favorite Hip-Hop Albums of 2015


1) J. Cole 2014 Forest Hills Drive (Roc Nation) (avail also in vinyl)
  
J. Cole's still quite popular 2014 Forest Hills Drive is titled after the address in Fayetteville that the North Carolina hip-hop artist born Jermaine Lamarr Cole spent the happiest years growing up in, not the year 2014. However technically 2014 was the release of this 13 track full-length (avail in both CD and LP formats) which was released exactly one year ago on December 9th, 2014 via Jay Z's Roc Nation label. But like most popular albums released at year's end, whose sales continue far into the following calendar year, it is considered by many as a 2015 release. Widely lauded as one of contemporary hip-hop's most engaging storytellers, it is not surprising that emcee Mad Skillz would chose this album as his top pick of the past year.
   


2) Kendrick Lamar To Pimp A Butterfly (Aftermath)
 
Executive produced by Dr. Dre and released via his Aftermath label, To Pimp A Butterfly is universally popular Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar’s third studio album and follow up to 2012's breakthrough second full-length good kid, m.A.A.d city, Upon its mid March 2015 release Amoeba.com wrote that the album, "doubles down on the idiosyncracies of good kid, eschewing club-friendly tracks in favor of those that cast a light on Lamar’s pure skills as a rapper and wordsmith—always celebrated, yet perhaps distracted by stellar production and good kid’s concept-album style—as well as his ability to put together a layered and compelling album."

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