Amoeblog

Def Jux Legend Mr. Lif Discusses His First Solo Album In Seven Years: "Don't Look Down" on Mello Music Group

Posted by Billyjam, June 30, 2016 08:45pm | Post a Comment


After a seven year span with no new Mr. Lif solo album, 2016 marked the triumphant return of the revered Boston emcee, who plays the Elbo Room in San Francisco July 7th, with the powerful album Don’t Look Down. The new ten track release's many guests include Del The Funky Homosapien and the group the artist born Jeffrey Haynes is a longtime member of, The Perceptionists. Released by Mello Music Group in CD, cassette, and vinyl formats, Don't Look Down finds the former Def Jux artist in top form and full of creative energy. As he says himself, he is more like a hungry young artist starting out than one who's been in the hip-hop game since the mid nineties. In short he is far from jaded. "I feel like I just started" not "the older guy" but "I feel brand new," he told me by phone recently. "For me, my career begins now," he stated. But that is not to say that he has been idle for the past seven years. Between  Don’t Look Down and his previous album, 2009's I Heard It Before, Mr. Lif has been busy, among other things, working on his home studio and performing and recording with Thievery Corporation. And a year ago he worked on the collaborative project Terra Bella with the Polish Ambassador and Ayla Nereo.

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New Zion I Song "Tech $" Tackles Tech Fueled Gentrification of Oakland and the Bay Area

Posted by Billyjam, June 28, 2016 11:57pm | Post a Comment

In September Zion I will release the album the Labyrinth featuring the new preview track "Tech $"  (Anthony Cole directed music video below). "Tech $" is about the impact of gentrification in Oakland as a result of the Bay Area tech boom.  Zumbi has lived in the Bay Area since the nineties and has seen a lot of changes. In the ZIon I hit of a decade ago, "The Bay," he rapped of all the diverse things that made the Bay great on the anthem like track. The new song is not as uplifting.  On the post AmpLive, Mikos da Gawd produced track he recalls how, "In the nineties it was the dot com" but now it is full scale gentrification, an unavoidable scenario that's been noticed (and noted) by other Oakland hip-hoppers.

Prozack Turner
of Foreign Legion fame, who lives in East Oakland and runs the Oakland bar/club The Legionnaire Saloon on Telegraph Ave. near Grand Ave., addresses the topic of gentrification in the song "HIgh Enough." The brand new track, that features mic guest Brother Ali, is from a forthcoming solo album by the Oakland artist. Meanwhile another Oakland artist, Elujay, has themed his entire forthcoming album on the topic with the title Jentrify.

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Honoring The Late Musical Great, Pioneering Funk Keyboardist Bernie Worrell (1944 - 2016)

Posted by Billyjam, June 24, 2016 07:30pm | Post a Comment

As if 2016 cannot bring any more sad news of musical greats passing, this afternoon confirmed reports began circulating that influential keyboardist/musical great Bernie Worrell (Parliament-Funkadelic, Talking Heads etc.) died at noon today from stage four lung cancer at age 72. Both master and pioneer of the Moog synthesizer and the Minimoog, the New Jersey born George Clinton collaborator, who relocated with Clinton and The Parliaments to Detroit in the 70's, was the backbone of Clinton's various named/themed ensembles. But it was namely the trailblazing Parliament-Funkadelic funk / soul / rock ensemble that garnered Worrell (aka Dr. Woo) the most attention initially. Among his many fans were the members of Talking Heads who invited him to join them in the early 80's as a side project to his P-Funk gig. This he did and continued to do throughout that decade. As a member of both P-Funk and Talking Heads,  Worrell was inducted twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in 1997 and 2002 respectively. In addition to P-Funk and Talking Heads and the dozen solo albums he released over the years including 1978's All The Woo In The World and 1990's Funk of Ages, Worrell collaborated with numerous other artists including Fela Kuti, Jack Bruce, Steve Jordan, Buckethead, and Les Claypool. Just recently the vinyl version of the 2016 career look-back, Retrospectives on Purple Woo, arrived in Amoeba following the CD version. Worrell, who was featured in last year's movie Ricki and The Flash  as member of Meryl Streep’s band in the 2015 film, performed with Clinton and P-Funk as recently as two months ago. See footage below along with a series of other tracks/concert pieces featuring the musical great.
                           Rest in peace "The Wizard of Woo" Bernie Worrell.

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of Montreal's Fall 2016 US Tour, in support of band's fourteenth album "Innocence Reaches," To Include Three California Dates

Posted by Billyjam, June 22, 2016 08:50pm | Post a Comment


of Montreal today announced the dates for their Fall 2016 US tour that will include three California dates in late October. The tour will be in support the group's recently announced, forthcoming album Innocence Reaches. That album, that features such tracks as "It's Different For Girls" (audio preview below), is scheduled to arrive in Amoeba on August 12th in CD and vinyl formats via the Athens, GA group's longtime label Polyvinyl. Last month the label released the group's double-A sided 7" single "Chinese Rocks" / "Either Way I Lose."  And last year Polyvinyl released of Montreal's Aureate Gloom (also in LP) in March. Then in April 2015, for Record Store Day, they unleashed the vinyl release of Snare Lustrous Doomings. Six months later in October they again released Snare Lustrous Doomings on CD and on LP formats in wider release numbers.

In
nocence Reaches will be the fourteenth album from the Kevin Barnes band of two full decades and can be filed under such categories as contemporary electronica, indie pop, and EDM. As for how the album differs from other ones by his group, said Barnes: "I got into this bubble of only being in some other time period. I came up picking apart the Beach Boys, the Beatles, and symphonic pieces. But last year, I was hearing Jack Ü, Chairlift, Arca, and others, thinking about low end and sound collage. It was an extra layer to geek out on." 

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Hip-Hop Rap Up: Blu & Nottz, REKS, Headnodic & Raashan Ahmad, Lucky Dice, 2Pac Biopic, 2Mex Fund-Drive, Sellassie

Posted by Billyjam, June 20, 2016 07:39pm | Post a Comment


Releases to arrive in Amoeba this past week include the vinyl version of Headnodic and Raashan Ahmad's Low Fidelity, High Quality Vol. 2  on the Vinyl Digital label that was initially released back in September as a digital version. The excellent release by the talented beatmaker and emcee duo from Crown City Rockers, featuring tracks such as "Seasons" (audio below), is a must-have for any collection.
Another recent Amoeba arrival in vinyl is the LP version of the latest Domo Genesis album Genesis that was initially released back in March in CD format, also on the Odd Future label. Both versions pack the same dozen tight tracks with such high profile acts providing cameos as Anderson .Paak, Mac Miller, Wiz Khalifa , Juicy J, and fellow Odd Future crew member Tyler, The Creator.  Note that, as with all Amoeba online store purchases, both the CD and vinyl versions ship free anywhere in the USA. 

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