For Ringo Starr's annual "Peace and Love" themed birthday celebration (something he's been doing each for the past seven years when every July 7th at noon he invites everybody everywhere to put their fingers up in a peace sign and go, ‘Peace and love’) the surviving Beatle, born July 7th 1940, has chosen LA as the place to celebrate his 74th birthday today. Today at noon, within walking distance from Amoeba Hollywood where he celebrated the publication of his Photograph book back in October, in front of the Capitol Records building where inside the main entrance of the landmark Hollywood building the walls are lined with Beatles gold and platinum records, Ringo invites everyone everywhere round the world (locally and globally) to join him at noon, their local time in the annual Peace & Love celebration and throw up the peace sign. According to his website those in LA should be over at the Capital Records building (1750 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90028) by noon today. It doesn't say when the event ends but am guessing will be approx half an hour. If you attend, a fun thing to do afterwards might be to go check out the 50 year celebration screening of The Beatles 1964 movie classic A Hard Day's Night - playing at such theaters as the Laemmie Playhouse.
Were he still alive Bay Area rap legend Mac Dre would be celebrating his 44th birthday today. Born Andre Louis Hicks on July 5, 1970 in Oakland, CA - but raised in the North Bay town of Vallejo in the infamous Crest Side so often referenced in his music, the endlessly talented rapper was tragically killed ten years ago in Kansas City. But even now, a full decade later, the much loved the world over Bay Area rap artist's legacy - along with the Thizz Entertainment empire that he kick-started - continues to grow and fans (both new and old) continue to track the countless releases from Mac Dre's ever prolific career. That career can be clearly divided into two distinct eras - before and after his five year 1990's incarceration for a crime he never committed (check video below of a 1992 interview I did with him for more on that). Personally I divide Mac Dre's two-part career into the Thizz half and the earlier Khayree (producer) half. For releases from both parts of Mac Dre's rich back-catalog check out the bins at the three Amoeba Music retail outlets, or the Mac Dre section of the Amoeba Music online store where you will find such Mac Dre releases as Stupid Doo Doo Dumb, The Game Is Thick Vol 2, and Musical Life of Mac Dre Vol. 1. Meanwhile below are a few videos from the rapper's illustrious career. Rest in Thizz, Mac Dre!
G-Eazy "These Things Happen" (2014)
Amoeba Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: Week Ending 06:20:14
1) G-Eazy These Things Happen (BPG)
2) Riff Raff Neon Icon (Mad Decent)
3) Sapient Eaters vol. 2: Light Tiger (Sapient Kills)
4) Open Mike Eagle Dark Comedy (Mello Music Group)
5) Sadistik "Ultraviolet" (Fake Four Inc)
This week's number one album at the East Bay Amoeba Music store is from Oakland raised rapper G-Eazy, who relentlessly paved the way to success via relentless uploading of tracks online plus tireless concerts and touring (including Warped Tour and opening for Lil Wayne, and Drake), with his third album/first major label release These Things Happen via SONY. Although he's been making music for many years G-Eazy's real break came 3 years ago with the release of his mixtape The Endless Summer that included a reworking of Dion's "Runaround Sue" that featured collaborations with Greg Banks, Erika Flowers, and Devon Baldwin and became a viral video sensation - paving the way for his current success or impending success. Devon Baldwin returns on this new album on the popular pre-album single/video released track "Let's Get Lost" (see video below). Elsewhere throughout his new major label debut, which is selling extremely well across the country, G-Eazy addresses his impeding major success on songs such as the title track, “Almost Famous,” and “Opportunity Cost.”
Following five consecutive July Fourth holidays with the big NYC fireworks display over the Hudson River on the West Side of Manhattan, this year's New York City Fourth of July fireworks display is returning to the other, East River, side of Manhattan where three large barges will be docked near the Brooklyn Bridge and scheduled Friday evening/night (approx 9:20pm) to fire off an estimated 40,000 firework shells to celebrate Independence Day - Big Apple style. That may be bad news for folks over in New Jersey and along the West Side of Manhattan who got used to having a great vantage point of the annual fireworks display but good news for those on the East Side including all along the FDR Drive as well as in as well as in parts of Queens and Brooklyn (including Brooklyn Bridge Park) who will have a great view. For those not in NY or unable to attend the entire event - officially known as the Macy's 4th of July Fireworks® Spectacular - can be watched nationally on NBC-TV as a live two-hour 8pm-10pm special that will feature performances by Ariana Grande, Hunter Hayes, Miranda Lambert, and Lionel Richieand hosted by Nick Cannon.
Dolly Parton "Benny Hill Show Theme"
England's annual outdoor Glastonbury Festival ended on Sunday and was reportedly a lot of fun this year. Thanks to YouTube and BBC TV, we here in the US who couldn't make it to Somerset (140 miles south east of London) can enjoy via video replay. Above and below is a video sampling of some of the 2014 highlights including Metallica, The Black Keys, Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band featuring Yo La Tengo, Lily Allen, and the crowd favorite Dolly Parton who closed the festival playing to an estimated 100,000 delighted fans in the Pyramid Arena area of the fest. Parton's set included such hits as "9 To 5," "Blue Smoke," a slightly updated version of "Jolene," plus - when she broke out a small saxophone - an extremely well-received version (two versions actually - one backwards) of "Yakety Sax" - aka The Benny Hill Show theme song.