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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #84: Janelle Monae, Duck Down BBQ, Puerto Rican Day Parade, All-City Graffiti Archive + more

Posted by Billyjam, June 4, 2014 04:00pm | Post a Comment

Boot Camp Clik "Trading Places" - The legendary BK crew throw a free BBQ/concert tomorrow

Yesterday (June 3rd) was the official launch of this season's annual citywide park concert series SummerStage with a free show by Ty Dolla $ign at Red Hook Park in Brooklyn. The series continues this evening at the same location where Mark McGuire, Marissa Nadler, and Delicate Steve all perform (again for free) at 7:00pm. An excellent triple bill this show is worth it just to check out Mark McGuire alone who plays an array of instruments and musical styles that include mandolin, drum machines, guitars (electric and acoustic), and a Talkbox as witnessed on the former Emeralds member's latest solo album Along the Way whose sound Amoeba.com likened to "early New Age—think Tangerine Dream and Brian Eno." More info.

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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: History of the DMC DJ Battle Organization

Posted by Billyjam, June 3, 2014 10:50am | Post a Comment

      

Above is part one of the recently published documentary on the DMC, which is the DJ battle organization that began in 1986 in the UK by famed Radio Luxembourg DJ Tony Prince who formed the "Disco Mix Club" or DMC as an offshoot of the Disco Mix Club Show radio program that he began five years earlier. His first spawned remixes that were then released on tape and  vinyl, which then in turn led to the actual DJ competition. Initially the battles were more themed towards (as the name implied) "disco" party DJ mixing, but then (after noting the turntablist style of the US Superman/New Music Seminar (NMS) battles) changed up their focus from purely DJ mixing to the more intricate scratch/turntablist hip-hop DJ styles and techniques. Nowadays a respected worldwide organization with battles in countless countries that lead up to an annual worldwide championship battle, its most recent years' developments (which some love and some hate) have been mostly digital era related. These include ones such as allowing DJs to utilize laptops with programs like Serato and Traktor, and also well as hosting online DJ competitions whereby DJs record at their homes their own battle routines and upload them online to be judged by the DMC. To check out the numerous DJ contestants in the DMC Online DJ Championship 2014 click here.
 

Gary Numan's 1979 "Cars" Is A Synth Pop Classic

Posted by Billyjam, June 2, 2014 06:16am | Post a Comment
     
     Gary Numan "Cars" (1979)


"Here in my car, I feel safest of all. I can lock all my doors. It's the only way to live, in cars" sang Gary Numan in his dark seductive, synth-pop hit single "Cars" off his 1979 solo album The Pleasure Principle which was released just months after  his (and band Tubeway Army's) album Replicas which spawned the artist's other  hit of that same year "Are Friends Electric." See video above for "Cars" which was a  big hit for Numan in both his native United Kingdom upon its release and the following year in the States. "Cars" is one of those classic electronic synth pop songs that just never seems to age.  When Numan arrived on the charts at the time many rightfully noted how his vocal style was somewhat derivative of Bowie and some other artists but it didn't really matter because he was so good at what he did and since he added his own robotic style to it. Plus he put his own unique stamp on the track and the album it came from in terms of instrumentation. For the Pleasure Principle there were no guitars at all unlike the first two Tubeway Army albums that preceded it. For the album Numan utilized for the synth sound a Polymoog.  And with "Cars" Numan became synthesizer pop's first big star. Human League's "Don't You Want Me" wouldn't be released until a two full years later. So big a hit was "Cars" for Numan, who has been busy performing and recording recently, that it remains the one song that, beyond his diehard cult following, the average fan will associate him with - despite the fact that he has consistently releasing albums over the years totaling twenty studio albums (and many additional reissues and live releases) including last year's  Splinter (Songs from a Broken Mind). Not only was "Cars" a hit for Numan in 1979, 1980 but would go on to become a hit again in both 1987 and 1996.

Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 05.30.14: The Roots, PUTS, Atmosphere, Dre's Pay Day, Innocent?, Chynna, Buckshot & P-Money

Posted by Billyjam, May 30, 2014 08:20am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: Week Ending 05:30:14


1) The Roots ...And Then You Shoot Your Cousin (Def Jam)
  (also available in LP)

2) Blu Good To Be Home (Nature Sounds/Universal)

3) People Under The Stairs 12 Step Program (also avail in LP) (Piecelock 70)

4) The Fugees Score (Music On Vinyl)

5) Atmosphere Southsiders (also avail in LP) (Rhymesayers Entertainment)

In addition to the two new albums on last week's chart - 12 Step Program (also avail in LP) from longtime LA rap duo People Under the Stairs (PUTS) and fellow longtime indie hip-hop duo Atmosphere's Southsiders (also avail in LP) - new hip-hop albums this week include both Blu's Good To Be Home and this week's number one; The Roots ...And Then You Shoot Your Cousin. This new album, also available in LP format, is the eleventh studio album in 21 years from the Philly formed crew who in more recent years gained mainstream acceptance as Jimmy Fallon's Tonight Show band.  The on point Amoeba review of.... Shoot Your Cousin suggests that the new album, the first since 2011's Undun,  comes at a much needed point in the Roots' highly public profile to "the band, once more often noted for their musicianship, emcee skills and social consciousness rather than for being Jimmy Fallon’s house band," to help them reestablish their street cred, and concluding that, "We’ll let The Roots keep their day job, as long as they come back every so often with an album as cool as this one." Clocking in a modest 33 minutes, the ten (technically eleven) track album opens with a song from the late great Nina Simone ("Theme From The Middle Of The Night") and includes such tracks as the lead single "When the People Cheer" (scroll down to see video below). The other chart entry this week is the recently reissued on vinyl from The Fugees Score.

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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #83: CitiBike One Year Anniversary, World Science Festival, WFMU Record Fair, NYC Film Festivals + more

Posted by Billyjam, May 28, 2014 11:53am | Post a Comment


Greetings from New York City where right now am in the Chelsea District on 25th Street down the block from where the production crew trucks from Law & Order are setting up for a shoot that will run through tonight. As I walked by the shoot, I half-expected to hear that L&O signature doom doom sound effect emit from the set.  According to one tech guy I talked to briefly, the television show's film crew are "hoping it won't rain again." That's a valid concern since, over the past week here in NYC, we've been enduring a series of thunderstorms (plus humidity). In fact, the heavy rainstorms over the Memorial Day weekend disrupted a lot of planned outdoor events, which was a bummer for New Yorkers and visitors, including the 1500 sailors in town for Fleet Week. But weather forecasters predict good weather to arrive with June, just round the corner. 

Otherwise, things are pretty good in NYC: a recently released report says that NYPD's stop and frisk incidents under the new mayor are down a whopping 89%. This is good, but from what I've seen round town, random stops of cyclists seems to be on the increase. Alex Baldwin's recent national news-grabbing arrest for riding his bike the wrong way on a one-way street was just one of many citations and arrests made by busy NYPD on cyclists in the past month. Meanwhile CitiBike - the Manhattan bicyle sharing program that boasts 6,000 blue bikes at 330 docking stations from 59th Street all the way downtown - just celebrated its one year anniversary yesterday and, despite a few problems that are all being worked on including budgetary ones and keeping up with demand, is doing real well.

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