Amoeblog

Irish Music Ambassador Ray Wingnut Archives His Nation's Thriving Indie Music Scene Via His Unique Record/CD/Tape Retail Business

Posted by Billyjam, April 13, 2015 06:25pm | Post a Comment


Since his teens growing up in Co. Cork, Ireland, Ray Wingnut has been an avid fan of all types of contemporary music, especially music made by artists from his native Ireland.  Consequently Ray Wingnut's destiny seemed set from the beginning - that he would end up working, in some capacity, with Irish-made music. However in what capacity precisely was the mystery. Five years ago that mystery was solved when the Galway based music fan was making one of his regular crate digging visits to his favorite hometown independent music store - Bell, Book, and Candle in the heart of the historic city where, along with selling books and candles, since the early 90's owner Paul Deacy has been selling albums and CDs with a focus on releases from the neighboring, musically rich West Of Ireland.

Ray recalls how he was hanging out, talking music and the failing music retail business - something that took a double wallop in Ireland where the financial crisis around the world was felt twice as severely in the post Celtic Tiger, economic collapse of the Emerald Isle. But while others saw despair, the innovative mind of Wingnut saw opportunity; an opportunity to push homegrown Irish music at a retail level - at a time when music shops around the country were closing at an even more rapid rate than their counterparts in the States or even over in nearby England.

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Mr. Fine Wine's Top 10 Soul/Funk 45's From This Week's Play Box

Posted by Billyjam, April 10, 2015 03:09pm | Post a Comment

Mr. Fine Wine is someone who knows his music so whenever he shares a Top Ten one takes note - as with his latest Top Ten from his current crate/play-box. Whether on the radio, spinning at clubs, or curating soul compilations Mr. Fine Wine always presents a killer selection of records - most of which you've never heard before but will like instantly. His latest Top Ten below (all in audio only video format) include Eugene Blacknell and The New Breed's 1960's single "The Trip" that was released as a seven inch by bygone era Oakland record label Boola-Boola Records (formerly located at 4721 Telegraph Ave. in the space currently occupied by popular Burmese restaurant Burma Superstar) and is just one of the records in Mr Fine Wine's very deep and much coveted 7" singles crates. The Detroit raised/Brooklyn, New York based DJ is a leading soul/funk 45's aficionado who, with two plus decades as a relentless crate digger, has accumulated an enviable collection lost soul and funk (plus gospel and RnB) treasures. No wonder then that he is frequently being invited to curate rare soul compilations such as the ongoing Vampi Soul compilation series.  To date he's curated five rare 45s collections with a sixth compilation dropping in the coming months.

His acclaimed weekly radio show Downtown Soulville on WFMU, on the air since June 1994, is a must hear show (Podcast here) with never a bad record .With most old 60's and 70's singles clocking in at 2 + minutes, each week he fits in 20 to 25 different records including his opening theme ("Downtown Soulville" by Chuck Edwards) which after two decades of playing every week has gotten worn out and he has had to replace. In addition to his radio show Mr Fine Wine DJs at clubs including his longtime weekly at Botanica where since 1996 he's been  playing soul and funk records in this fun dive bar (and no cover!). There he'll often be joined by guest DJs/fellow soul music lovers. His sets are deep and rarely seem to repeat themselves - not surprising for someone with a collection of 15,000 45 singles plus a couple thousand LPs. At this past Wednesday night session at Botanica Mr Fine Wine he played a lot of funk, by digging deep into his 45's crates to spin,"records I haven't played in years for a 100 percent funky good time." Expect more of the same on his WFMU show tonight - tune in live at 7pm / 4pm Pacific time to WFMU

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Hip Hop Rap Up: Action Bronson, Death Grips, J-Live, Your Old Droog, Greg Grease + more

Posted by Billyjam, April 9, 2015 10:20am | Post a Comment
                         Amoeba Music Berkeley Top Five Hip-Hop Chart April 09, 2015

1) Death Grips The Powers That B (Third Worlds) also avail in vinyl

2) Action Bronson Mr. Wonderful (Atlantic)

3) Greg Grease Born to Lurk x Forced to Work (Sound Verite)

4) Your Old Droog Your Old Droog (Your Old Droog)

5) J-Live His Own Self (Mortier)

The new Amoeba hip-hop chart number one album is The Powers That B by one of a kind NorCal group Death Grips.  The new double album (avail in both CD and vinyl formats) is the group's fourth studio album and is essentially a two-in-one LP release since it includes both the previously released June 2014 free digital download full-length Niggas on the Moon, plus the second half of the 2 album set been Jenny Death - aka Disc 2.  Now some protest that Death Grips do not qualify as "hip-hop."  E-Lit, who supplied the above current Berkeley hip-hop chart, does not. And neither do I. My feeling is that this totally unique Sacramento trio do not fall under any already established genre or sub-genre of any music and that hip-hop is as good a descriptive starting point as any other to label the band with or, as Amoeba.com accurately labels the group's aggressive sound and crediting them with, "basically created their own genre of aggressive electro noise, Zach Hill’s wildman drumming and MC Ride’s berserk raps."

Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Remembering Compton's Short-Lived C.P.O.

Posted by Billyjam, April 7, 2015 12:01pm | Post a Comment

In the aftermath of the success of N.W.A.'s Straight Outta Compton, record labels were rushing to sign West Coast SoCal acts in any way related to N.W.A. or even just hailing from their Compton neighborhood. Compton's C.P.O. were such an act. Down with N.W.A. and from Compton, the rap group was comprised of rapper Lil Nation and DJ Train (plus some extended posse members). Formed in 1989, they were signed soon after, thanks to N.W.A.'s MC Ren, by Capitol Records who released their debut album To Hell And Black the following year. However, the major label dropped the rap group from their roster that same year. 

The short-lived Compton-based C.P.O., whose name stood for Capital Punishment Organization, was primarily just its front person - the robust rapper/MC Ren protege Lil Nation (aka 'CPO' or Boss Hogg) who, at 6'2" and 357 pounds, was far from 'lil' back in 1990 when the former gang-banger emerged on Ren Records/MC Ren Productions. To Hell And Black spawned the two funky singles "Ballad Of A Menace" and "The Beat Is Funky" and their accompanying videos.

DJ Train, who added all the turntable scratching and cutting, had previously worked with both J.J. Fad and MC Ren, and had been down with N.W.A. for some time. He was among those included on the album cover photo of 1987's N.W.A. & the Posse.  Meanwhile the C.P.O. entourage was rounded out by The Chip, Donovan, and Young D who co-produced the group's sole album with Ren (who also rapped on the release). Lil Nation, as Boss Hogg, would later appear on N.W.A,'s 1991 Niggaz4life on the track "Findum Fuckum and Flee."  C.P.O. was in the right place at the right time, arriving on the music scene just as gangsta rap, still a relatively new and primarily West Coast phenomenon, was, to the chagrin of many, proving itself to be more than just a passing fad. They were presented alongside the major players of the new hip-hop shock sub-genre of that era.

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2015 SF DMC Battle (April 12 @ Brick & Mortar) Fosters "Accepting Vibe Where Everyone Can Feel Respected And Encouraged"

Posted by Billyjam, April 6, 2015 08:08am | Post a Comment

Three years ago in April of 2012, following a noticeably long six-year absence, the longtime DMC DJ Battle returned to San Francisco with its 2012 DMC Bay Area Regional Battle at 330 Ritch at which DJ Sol Rising won the turntable competition. It was a most welcomed return of the world's longest running, most recognized, and prestigious DJ battle to the epicenter of turntablism/skratch music in the country. Thankfully, each year since then a Bay Area DMC Regional, one that determines who will go on to represent NorCal in the DMC USA national finals in New York, has taken place. The 2015 DMC San Francisco Regional DJ Battle will take place this coming Sunday, April 12th, at Brick and Mortar Music Hall in the Mission District of San Francisco. Tix here.

As well as being the NorCal Regional battle, the event will also encompass the Battle for US Supremacy as part of the six-hour long program. The event is special also in the fact that this year's will be an all-ages event! Note that there is still time to enter for the battle by contacting usa@dmcworld.com. DJs have until exactly 11:59pm on April 11th to register for the battles on April 12th. This year's battle has the backing of the Rane DJ gear company along with the pioneering Bay Area DJ Cue's (co-founder of the Bullet Proof Scratch Hamsters) San Brun-based Special Tech DJ school.

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