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Author Christian Farrad's Tips on How to "Protect Ya Neck!" from "Vampires" in The Cut-Throat Music Business

Posted by Billyjam, February 20, 2016 11:51pm | Post a Comment

No doubt hip-hop artists and aspiring artists of any genre will find interest in Protect Ya Neck!  [A Music Industry Survival Guide]. To be published in late March, the Christian Farrad authored non-fiction book promises to reveal "tips to survive (and thrive) in the cut-throat world of entertainment." 

A New York City-based business manager specializing in music and entertainment, Farrad's background includes being GM of Miami independent rap label Slip N Slide Records. While by no means the first tome to tackle the topic of the snake-filled music industry (Fredric Dannen's 1990 book Hit Men remains one of the best in that genre), it does put a contemporary (as in digital age) and hip-hop generation themed spin on its subject matter. This it does via the scenarios cited in its many what-not-to-do tales of the music industry like why Eminem had to sue his record label for miscalculating digital sales of his music or Lil Wayne filing a $51 Million lawsuit against his label over unpaid royalties. Beyonce firing her manager for stealing money from her tour and Rihanna suing her accountant for mismanaging her money are among the other cautionary tales examined in the book that promises to teach, among other things, "defensive strategies to protect ya neck!"

Books like Farrad's offer invaluable tools to navigate the pitfalls of the tricky music business. And there are many, from the importance of management to the ins-and-outs of publishing, and the unforeseen challenges of long term music distribution in the digital age. Unfortunately, it seems, most young artists starting out in their careers (i.e., those who need to read books like this the most) likely will not read them, at least not until after the fact. Typically they'll be too preoccupied with jumping headfirst into their music careers to stop, read, study, and take a sober look at the big picture of what lies ahead. This week I reached out to author Farrad to ask him about this and other topics related to his forthcoming publication.

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Rob Hatch-Miller Discusses His Documentary "Syl Johnson: Any Way The Wind Blows" [California Premiere During Noise Pop 2016]

Posted by Billyjam, February 17, 2016 06:29pm | Post a Comment

"A lot of people may not know the name of this man, Syl Johnson, but they know his music," accurately notes RZA in the engaging documentary on the highly influential and widely sampled, yet little known, soul legend. Syl Johnson: Any Way The Wind Blows is the new Rob Hatch-Miller-directed film that makes its California premiere this weekend as part of the Noise Pop 2016 festival's Film Series, co-presented by Amoeba and the SF IndieFest, when it screens at the Roxie Theater. Tickets for the Saturday, Feb 20th, 7pm screening, that is followed by a Q+A with the film's subject and its director, are available here.

The  Wu-Tang Clan's RZA, who's sampled the artist's records for the various Wu tracks, is among the many Syl Johnson devotees interviewed in the film. Others include Prince Paul, Peanut Butter Wolf, Jazzy Jay, and (45s king) DJ BreakBeat Lou, each of whom have nothing but the highest admiration for this prolific yet largely slept-on musical great.

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Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp A Butterfly" Wins Grammy in Best Rap Album Category (Video)

Posted by Billyjam, February 15, 2016 05:47pm | Post a Comment

Congrats to Kendrick Lamar for winning a Grammy for Best Rap Album of the year in the ongoing (started at 5pm PST) 2016 Grammys for his album To Pimp A Butterfly (also avail on explicit CD version and 180 gram vinyl LP version). See video clip below in which Ice Cube announces the win for the fellow Compton, CA rapper who also won Grammy Awards for rap performance, rap song, and rap sung/collaboration categories.

Presented by the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, the 58th Grammy Awards saw the gifted hip-hop artist receive eleven nominations, bypassing such other big music stars as The Weeknd and Taylor Swift (both of whom got seven nominations each). In the Best Rap Album category Kendrick Lamar beat out other nominees J.Cole (2014 Forest Hills Drive), Dr. Dre (Compton), Drake (If You're Reading This It's Too Late), and Nicki Minaj (The Pinkprint).


Hip-Hop Rap Up: Amoeba Top Five, K-Def, San Quinn, Saul Williams, Kevin Gates, K-Def

Posted by Billyjam, February 15, 2016 03:07pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five: 02:15:16
 


1) K-Def The Way It Was / The Unpredictable Gemini (Redefinition/Fat Beats)
 
2) Kevin Gates Islah (Atlantic)

3) J. Cole Forest Hills Drive Live (Roc Nation)

4) Saul Williams MartyrLoserKing (Fader) - also on LP

5) San Quinn The Fillmore Lion (Legacy Mafia)

Shout-out to E-Lit at Amoeba Berkeley for supplying the latest top five chart that features in the top slot longtime NJ-based hip-hop producer K-Def with the two album, 33 track (on one CD disc) set The Way It Was / The Unpredictable Gemini on Redefinition/Fat Beats.  As seen in the accompanying video below of E-Lit running down these five and other new/recent releases, there is also a single album vinyl version by K-Def.  Other popular new releases at the East Bay Amoeba store include longtime Fillmore district of San Francisco rapper San Quinn's latest full length The Fillmore Lion on Legacy Mafia, and Louisanna rapper (previously prolific mix tape producer) Kevin Gates' official major label debut Islah on Atlantic Records

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The Lowest Form of Music: Los Angeles Free Music Society's "How Low Can You Go"

Posted by Billyjam, February 14, 2016 11:49am | Post a Comment




Following recent select screenings of How Low Can You Go, the new short documentary film on the long-running Los Angeles Free Music Society (LAFMS), it has now been posted online. The Holly Thompson and Mark "Frosty" McNeill-produced and edited film, posted above, includes music by the Society's Le Forte FourTom Recchion, Airway, and Dennis Duck. Founded in 1973 by Tom Recchion, Chip Chapman, Joe Potts, and Rick Potts, the pioneering avant-rock artist-musician collective published the magazine Light Bulb in addition to music and concert production and events. Over the years the LA underground collective has built a dedicated following of fans of weird/outsider music, as well as influencing many artists. Among those artists directly influenced by LAFMS are Sun City Girls, Caroliner Rainbow, and Hijokaidan.  Last year during KFJC's annual Mayhem programming month, the Los Altos radio station's DJ Naysayer produced an indepth special on LAFMS culling music from the 11 CD various artists LAFMS collection, The Lowest Form of Music. In 2009 WFMU's Brian Turner featured another LAFMS special with studio guests including the collective's Tom Recchion, Dennis Duck, Rick Potts, Joe Potts, and Vetza Trussell. The film features these members as well as LAFMS members Ace Farren Ford, Fredrik Nilsen, Joseph Hammer, and Mitchell Brown.

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