Mr. Lif Signs Multi-Album Deal with Mello Music Group But Insists You Don't Call It A Comeback

Posted by Billyjam, October 6, 2015 11:50am | Post a Comment
Legendary Boston emcee talent Mr. Lif, who came to fame last decade via Def Jux with his sharp politically tinged lyrical assault and whom it seems we have not heard from last decade either solo or with his group The Perceptionists (with Afrobatik and DJ Fakts One), has just signed a multi-album deal with  Mello Music Group. The announcement came yesterday from the prestigious, eight year old, Arizona based label whose roster of artists released includes Oddisee, L'Orange, Open Mike Eagle, and Apollo Brown whose very recent album Grandeur is the latest release from the label, who said that the deal will include several albums over the upcoming two years 2016 and 2017.

Meanwhile the artist himself, in reaction to how the average hip-hop fan assumed that he had hung up the mic for good since he had not released anything since 2009's I heard It Today, also made a statement to insist that this should not be called a comeback by the post-millennium underground hip-hop star. "I’ve been very active musically for years but I haven’t been putting records out," the Massachusetts artist born Jeffrey Haynes insisted, adding that, "I’ve been touring the world with Thievery Corporation and otherwise living in the studio, constantly making songs.” Fans, who were introduced to the artist via such now indie hip-hop classics as his 2002 EP on Def Jux I Phantom, can look forward to his first in the Mello Music Group album series in early 2016.  In the meantime the label has announced that it will be reissuing the (long out of print) 14 track, double LP I Phantom on November 27th. That underground classic from El-P's now defunct Defintiive Jux features an impressive array of artists (production and mic) joining the Boston emcee throughout including El-P, Edan, Insight, DJ Fakts One, Aesop Rock, Jean Grae, and Akrobatik. You can find Mr. Lif's previous releases on the Amoeba website. Below is the video for the track "The Sun" off 2009's and another with Thievery Corportion from 2011.

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up 10.02.15: Apollo Brown, TBB 40th, DOOMSTARKS, Homeboy Sandman, TableBeats App, 30th DMC World Finals

Posted by Billyjam, October 2, 2015 01:28pm | Post a Comment

DOOMSTARKS, which is the mythical collaboration between MF DOOM and Ghostface Killah that gave us the "Victory Laps" 12" single via Nature Sounds from few years ago,  are back with the "Lively Hood" single via Cartoon Network’s popular late-night Adult Swim programming as part of its sixth annual "Singles" series, supplying exclusive new music for free digitally from an eclectic array of artists.  This year's series includes the single from DOOMSTARKS (pictured above) on which the two mic-wreckers, over a DOOM produced track, trade hypnotic stream-of-consciousness rhymes. Among the others in the 19 part series for this year are Danny Brown with Clams Casino, Sia, Slayer, and  WOKE which is Flying Lotus, Shabazz Palaces, & Thundercat, featuring George Clinton.

Free Screening of John Waters' "Hairspray" At San Francisco's McCoppin Plaza

Posted by Billyjam, September 30, 2015 05:04pm | Post a Comment

Tomorrow, Thursday October 1st at 8pm, the folks at SF Indie Fest are hosting a free screening of John Waters' classic Hairspray at San Francisco's  McCoppin Plaza (located at Valencia and McCoppin streets). The 1988 romantic musical comedy's story line is accurately summarized by the Amoeba website as, "with huge hair, a big grin, and all the right moves, Tracy Turnblad (Ricki Lake) becomes the queen of Baltimore's number one TV dance party." The movie that stars such other actors or musicians turned actors as Sonny Bono, Debbie Harry, Jerry Stiller, Ruth Brown, Ric Ocasek, and Pia Zadora is available from Amoeba in BluRay and DVD formats, and you can also find the recommended various artists Hairspray soundtrack that features such artists as The Flares, The Ikettes, and The Ray Bryant Combo who do that killer dance track "The Madison Time" (as heard in movie trailer below). 
Renaissance man Waters, whose memorable 2007 Amoeba Hollywood interview can be seen here, earned the tag "the Sultan of Sleaze" for his earlier, far edgier films like Female Trouble and Pink Flamingos (both starring Divine who stars in a total of six Waters films including Hairspray), found mainstream acceptance with his bigger budget 1988 film. Further the movie that introduced to the world to future talk show star Ricki Lake, was turned into the long running Broadway musical Hairspray that in turn was adapted into a second Hairspray film - the 2007 film Hairspray starring John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken and others. Note that the songs from the Broadway musical written by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, that are featured in the 2007 film along with some newer ones by same composers, are featured on the 2007 Hairspray film soundtrack -and are totally different from the 1988 Hairspray movie soundtrack. With food trucks set up the free San Francisco, October 1st screening is at 8pm but people are advised to arrive at least a half hour earlier. More info here.

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Trailer for "Northern Soul" Movie That Opens in US This Week + Soundtrack

Posted by Billyjam, September 28, 2015 09:24pm | Post a Comment

Billed as the story of a youth culture that changed a generation and influenced songwriters, producers, DJs, and designers for decades to come, the new film Northern Soul, made by photographer/director Elaine Constantine and starring Steve Coogan and Lisa Stansfield, will be opening in select US theaters this Friday (October 2nd), including at Los Feliz 13 in Los Angeles,  the Elmwood in Berkeley, Sundance Cinemas in Seattle, and the Empire 25 in New York City. The film's highly recommended 27 track soundtrack features artists such as Edwin Starr, Don Thomas, and The Tomangoes, and is already available for download through Amoeba at this link.

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The Simpsons Parody of Beatles Album Covers Continues Animated Sitcom's Recurring References To The Fab Four

Posted by Billyjam, September 28, 2015 08:29pm | Post a Comment

In continuation of the long-running animation show's sporadic but recurring references to The Beatles, the opening sequence of last night's (27th) season premiere of The Simpsons, in which Homer and Marge have a trial separation, the creators of the animated Fox TV show featured a series of five Beatles album cover parodies. Those mock album covers (see above and below) included Meet The Simpsons (Meet The Beatles), A Hard D'oh's Night (A Hard Day's Night), Rubber Pants (Rubber Soul), Flabby Road (Abbey Road), and The Yellow Album (Sgt. Peppers), with the latter being an actual Simpsons album cover. The long awaited follow-up to 1990's The Simpsons Sing The Blues, 1998's The Yellow Album on Geffen was the second official album by the cartoon TV show characters. Its title was a play on both Yellow Submarine and the Beatles' self titled 1968 double LP known commonly as The White Album, while its cover was an homage to the frequently parodied 1967 Beatles album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which has been copied/parodied dozens upon dozens of times over the years.

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