Amoeblog

With Funding Support, SF Punk Renaissance 2015 Will Celebrate 40th Anniversary of Punk

Posted by Billyjam, June 24, 2015 03:23pm | Post a Comment

While it might seem like you can't check your inbox or social media these days without being asked to contribute to yet another crowd funding project - some which may not seem quite worthy of your hard earned cash - there are some really excellent and needy projects out there that could only happen with grassroots-level crowdfunding support. Such is the case with the recently launched GoFundMe drive for SF Punk Renaissance 2015 (Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Punk) that happens in San Francisco in late September.

The event is overseen by the The Punk Rock Sewing Circlea volunteer group comprised of artists, musicians, and activists from the early days of punk rock in the Bay who organize art and music-based events to promote early punk culture and raise funds for social justice causes. Scheduled for a full week, September 20th to 27th, the SF Punk Renaissance 2015 is shaping up to be an eclectic week of "old school punk pop-up events celebrating the catalytic revolution of the first wave" and will incorporate concerts, spoken word shows, panel discussions, punk film screenings, and iconic punk art and photo gallery exhibits. While no bands have been named, "seminal bands of the era" that are promised to play during the week. There are so many incredible bands from that era, even if the lineups have changed, to draw from including The Mutants (whose music is featured in the GoFundMe video below) and The Avengers who, along with Jello Biafra, were among those at last week's the SF City Hall 100 Year anniversary.

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Zeke Thomas' "Blackness" featuring Chuck D and Jasiri X Addresses Key Issue of The Day

Posted by Billyjam, June 23, 2015 04:49pm | Post a Comment

Zeke Thomas "Blackness (feat. Chuck D & Jasiri X)" (2015)

If you ever despair that comedy seems to have eclipsed music's once key role as the lead thought-provoking voice, offering insights into the news making social and political issues of the day, Zeke Thomas's vibrant new track "Blackness" featuring Chuck D and Jasiri X will dispell that feeling. The song and its accompanying Charlie Zwick directed video above prove that popular music can still be political and central to the national dialog.  And right now that national dialog seems to be squarely focused on the topic of race in America. It is the also the one addressed by EDM producer Zeke Thomas — the club DJ / producer / son of NBA Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas on the track "Blackness" whose release could not have been more perfectly timed with its publication over the past week. On "Blackness" Thomas is joined by the always politically outspoken hip-hop voices of veteran rap revolutionary Public Enemy's Chuck D, along with contemporary political rapper (self-described "Raptivist") with some  in-your-face, social commentary. Reportedly it was longtime political activist Harry Belafonte who introduced the Thomas to both Chuck D and Jasiri X. The introduction came from his organization Sankofa that encourages "artists and performers of color to actively create art that may serve as a catalyst for positive cultural evolution" for the single that was released by Tommy Boy. My hope is that Thomas will release a hip-hop mix too. My other hope is that a new wave of political rap like when PE were at their peak 25 + years ago, with powereful outspoken songs like "Black Steel In The Hour of Chaos" off the album It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back (video below), will make a re-emergence in popularity.

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up: Top 5 Chart, Killer Mike's Political Career Postponed, New Oakland Party "Wax Poetic"

Posted by Billyjam, June 20, 2015 08:14pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Top 5 Chart: Week End 06:19:15


1) Run The Jewels Run The Jewels 2  (LP) (Mass Appeal)

2) Czarface Every Hero Needs A Villain (also in LP) Brick Records)

3) Kendrick Lamar To Pimp A Butterfly (Aftermath)

4) Slum Village Yes! (also in LP) (Nestra Music Group)

5) A$AP Rocky  At.Long.Last.A$AP (RCA)


Thanks to Daniel at the Amoeba Hollywood store for the current week's top five hip-hop album chart (CD and vinyl) that includes the brand new anticipated releases from A$AP Rocky (At.Long.Last.A$AP), and the second comic book-inspired Inspectah Deck and 7L & Esoteric project Czarface's new Every Hero Needs A Villain, which features the sick lead single "Ka-Bang!" with MF DOOM and "The Great" (see new music video below). Also under new hip-hop releases is the just released eighth studio album from late J Dilla's group Slum Village. Entitled Yes!' and available in both CD and LP, this recommended guest-heavy album from the Detroit group features such collaborators as De La Soul and Phife Dawg. The latest hip-hop top five chart also includes two not-so-new albums that are still in demand at Amoeba Hollywood. These are Kendrick Lamar's much heralded album To Pimp A Butterfly that's been out since March and Run The Jewels' Run The Jewels 2  that first arrived in Amoeba back in November, when El-P and Killer Mike dropped their long awaited second collaborative full-length. It's timely too that Run The Jewels 2 is back in the number one slot since one of its creators has been in the news this past week due to his near official entry into politics. 
 
It almost happened! For a minute it looked like Killer Mike might land a job in political office in Georgia’s House of Representatives. Anyone who has read his excellent op-eds or who has heard him speak, including on Real Time with Bill Maher, knows he would have been a refreshingly welcome voice in political office. Exactly what Killer Mike had in his sights was the state rep for Atlanta’s District 55. Guilty of tax, wire, and mail fraud charges, the disgraced and resigned Tyrone Brooks was vacating his seat in a hurry, so Mike saw it and thought to himself, why not go for it. He Instagrammed about it before the June 16th deadline but then afterwards posted a follow up to say he found out that is ineligible for this year's election. He said that he does plan to run for office in the future. He will do it too, I bet, and he is so made for the job. Always informed and engaging on current topics including all angels on race in America, education, the prison complex, militant cops, and the politics behind it all, he's got a good handle on the most important things in need of vital change in America today. I wonder if he had actually landed the political office, would he have found himself getting frustrated with the political system itself? And what about Run The Jewels and his music career?  Hopefully he would become a hip-hop politician by continuing his hip-hop career while assuming his political role.  Meantime, for a refresher on how Killer Mike really feels about Ronald Reagan as president, check out the animated music video for the R.A.P. Music (also avail in vinyl) track "Reagan" off his amazing solo release via Williams Street from 2012.


Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Records From Four Rappers Named "Kid"

Posted by Billyjam, June 16, 2015 08:00am | Post a Comment

Lately I have been digging in my long neglected hip-hop crates and it has been a lot of fun rediscovering a bygone era. Comprised of mostly 12" singles, but some LPs too, that era is made of mostly late-'80's to early-'90's releases. That time is known as the golden era for good reason since so much of this music is truly golden. Under the letter K I stumbled upon a string of rappers named "Kid" including Kid Named Panic, Kid Rock (back when he was rap), and Kid Sensation  as well as (pictured above) Kid Frost, Kid Capri, Kid Flash, and Kid 'N Play. Had I  been including more recent era hip-hoppers named Kid, included would have been Kid Cudi, Kid Ink, and Kid Sister or perhaps turntablist Kid Koala.

But back to those four golden era "Kid" records that I dug out to pop onto the turntable recently. These included three 12" singles and one album: Kid Flash's forgotten 1988 LP He's In Effect, which was released on Tabu via distribution from CBS and featured some great tracks like "Go Jackson" and "I Hate The Bus," as well as the main single and video off the album "Hot Like." (Note that this LP shows up in the used bins at Amoeba from time to time and usually at a nice price.) Kid Flash's career began and ended with this record (he's rumored to have gone on to become a doctor), which was because, I'm guessing, that while he was very good, his sound was nothing new or original. All the He's In Effect album tracks have a distinct mid-'80's hip-hop sound. Hence, from a hip-hop historic perspective, Kid Flash's whole style and sound contributed little to the overall development and growth of the genre.  Compare say Kid Flash to another hip-hop act also releasing an album in 1988 such as Eric B. & Rakim's Follow The Leader and you have two totally different schools of hip-hop artist. While Eric B. & Rakim's sound signalled the beginning of a new era and decade in hip-hop, Kid Flash had the end of the '80's hip-hop sound. Down with the prestigious Cold Chillin' label, Kid Capri was part of what that new hip-hop sound would be like with his 1991 12" "Apollo" release that came in both "Album" and the then popular "Dub" versions, in addition to the "Shout Outs" track.

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In Support of "Wild Nights," UK Female Quartet PINS To Play Free Show At Amoeba SF On June 16

Posted by Billyjam, June 15, 2015 08:21pm | Post a Comment

Following just two dates into their US tour (LA and NY), UK female rock group PINS play a free show and album signing at Amoeba Music San Francisco on Tuesday (June 16) at 6pm in support of their critically acclaimed second album Wild Nights, which arrived at Amoeba last week care of Bella Union.

Comprised of founding member Faith Holgate (vocals and guitar), Lois McDonald (guitar), Anna Donigan (bass), and Sophie Galpin (who replaced original member Lara Williams on drums), PINS hail from the musically rich Northern England city of Manchester. Rooted in garage rock, musically the PINS' guitar-driven, decidedly retro sound is reminiscent at times of many UK indie-pop acts as well as US indie bands Dum Dum Girls and Vivian Girls. When asked who their influences are, they typically cite (American) female artists such as Bikini Kill and Patti Smith, and others  they view as "really strong women."  Furthermore, they recorded their new eleven track album in the US at California's Rancho De La Luna in Joshua Tree.

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