Amoeblog

Massive Music Showcase

Posted by Smiles Davis, October 26, 2009 12:38am | Post a Comment

Greetings from New York, New York! CMJ kicked off at the beginning of this week and NY became a mammoth showcase for new music. I love autumn in New York -- it's ridiculously beautiful. Walking is of course the greatest pastime while in the city. The weather was nice, so nice, for the first couple nights, which made it easy to get around and still look half way put together by the time you got to your final destination.

Unfortunately, by Friday night, it was cloudy with a chance of matzo balls, which meant an extra change of clothes was imperative. Luckily, it was short lived. OMG, there was so much going on. I was overwhelmed with work, with a lot on my plate, and didn’t get to see nearly as many acts as I would have liked to, but I made notes of the little I was able to soak in.

Green Label Sound hosted a party sponsored by Cornerstone at The Brooklyn Bowl with Chromeo, Thelophilus London, Amazing Baby and Solid Gold that was off the chain. DFA's Holy Ghost provided a dj set. This new bowling/concert venue is ginormous, 1,000 capacity at least, and it was packed wall to wall. An eclectic mix of industry folk, unbigoted music-minded individuals, people dressed like hipsters, aspiring and established artists roamed the joint. The night's festivities lasted well into the night, but time just seemed to fly by. I enjoyed great food, had a couple rounds on the lanes with friends, enjoyed the live acts in a concert setting, and danced till I broke a sweat all under one roof. If you get the chance to go check out this spot, do, and order the cajun catfish, it's scrumptious!

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Dance Music All Night Long

Posted by Smiles Davis, July 8, 2009 03:43pm | Post a Comment
Music, good music, is popping up everywhere and I’m loving every minute of it. Dance music in particular is really having the best year ever. I’m not just talking about house and techno, I’m talking about music that makes you wanna boogie, music that really makes you wanna get down with the get down and forget all your worries. I don't exactly know who to give credit to for putting the fun back in music but one thing is absolute: everything eventually comes full circle.

Back in the day—we’re talking the 70’s—there was disco, a little bit of hip-hop, some more disco, what was left of modern jazz, rock-n-roll, and a little more disco. The best thing about urban nightlife at that time was disco. And you didn’t hear none of that A.D.D. DJ we hear so frequently today, where the music selector changes songs every thirty seconds (thanks a lot DJ AM). No, none of that. The DJ’s at the discotheques usually played the long versions of songs, nearly in their entirety, to keep the feet on the dance floor all night long. Oh, how things have changed.

At that time, people weren’t up on hip-hop like that quite yet; it was still pretty underground. You had to know where to go to find a DJ spinning hip-hop. And chances are, if you knew about it, you knew it was the only spot in town where you could go to hear that type of music. Not to mention the fact that that one and only spot was probably members only. You had to be affiliated with a crew to gain access. If you weren’t a part of a tagging crew, a breaking crew, or one of the emcees or DJs, chances were you didn’t even know about it. But, back to disco. It started mainly on the east coast in the late 60’s. By the early 70’s disco had cross-pollinated and spread like wild fire all over the globe. Most popular soul and funk acts like Earth, Wind & Fire and The Bar-kays soon jumped ship and found themselves chin deep in the disco trend. Unfortunately, like most fads, disco was finished quicker than morning coffee and soon disappeared from the radar. For the most part, I think the public wanted it that way. Disco Demolition Night, a promotional event that took place on Thursday, July 12, 1979, at Comiskey Park in Chicago, Illinois, was in part to blame for the end of an era. However, industry folk and even many consumers talked about the decline of the genre long before this event took place.  

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Let's Make it a Movie Night: Part II

Posted by Smiles Davis, July 1, 2009 02:22pm | Post a Comment
I’ve been sick in bed with worst pathogen known to man for the past – feels like years – week and half. I haven’t had the energy to do more than fluff my pillow and change my position every hour or so to prevent from getting bed sores. Well, it’s not that serious, but telling myself that helps me feel better about putting my significant other through brutal torture – you’d swear with the extra load I’ve put on him, he was training for a maid marathon at the Holiday Inn. With all this down time on my hands, the only thing to do to occupy my time and prevent insanity from fully setting in is watch movies. And boy, do I have plenty. Yesterday alone I think I watched some 12 flicks. Most of them were documentaries; some were hit, some were miss.

When it comes to movies, a person can tell whether a flick is going to be of interest to them or not within the first couple of minutes or so. On several occasions, I pressed the eject button before I got past the opening credits. Then, on the flip side, some of the flicks were worth another watch, a tour through the special features, and a word with the director and/or cast members. Well, I’ve made a list of the ones that were most entertaining to watch and that forced me to take a second look. So, here (in no particular order) are my top 5 documentaries, for now:
 Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser
Directed by Charlotte Zwerin
One reason to love this film other than Thelonious Monk is the exceptional footage quality.
 
The Kid Stays in the Picture
Directed by Nanette Burstein and Brett Morgen
I don't know how much of this story is actually true, but Robert Evans is one heck of a story teller.


Ten Questions For Amanda Diva

Posted by Smiles Davis, June 17, 2009 09:52am | Post a Comment

The first roommate I had here in LA was completely out of her mind. We’re talking a real nut. I won’t go too far into details, but I will say skydiving without a parachute would have been more pleasurable than living with that woman. Her little sister, on the other hand, who used to frequently visit from NY, was the polar opposite; she was well read, sociable, easy to please, giggled perpetually, she didn’t steal my stuff, and she found enjoyment in sharing things. One thing she shared with me was here love for a local emcee from her hometown, Amanda Diva. I was unaware of her at the time, but completely open to discovering new music. She played this track for me called “40 Emcees,” and my head spun.


It was like seeing a unicorn for the first time. It was such a breath of fresh air, since, for the most part, female emcees -- female performers, period -- at that time, had been reduced to floss, glitter and stilettos, to say the least. Not exactly my meat and potatoes. But, I digress. Amanda Diva is the TRUTH, and she comes fully equipped with a Master’s degree, bubbling personality, mad lyrical flow, wit, charm, the gift of gab and crazy talent.

Now, nearly three years after my first encounter, I see and hear Amanda Diva almost everywhere, from her show on her YouTube spot, Diva Speak TV, to here guest appearance on Q-tip’s album, to her blog, to The Roots, to Floetry. I tracked Miss Diva down to chat her up about female emcees, the First family, the Internet and her new EP Spandex, Rhymes, & Soul.

What is a diva to you?


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Beat Swap Meet | Los Angeles

Posted by Smiles Davis, June 11, 2009 10:49pm | Post a Comment
Beat-Swap-Meet: A Record swap meet consisting of over 20 invited vendors & collectors from the LA and surrounding areas vending music genres of a wide array, but more-so focusing on Blues, Funk, Hip-Hop, Jazz, Punk, Reggae, Rock, Soul, and World 12" and 45 Records. An event considered to be the 1st of its kind in the LA area, The Beat Swapmeet hopes to reunify LA in a way that is long overdue. Come through, listen to Beats, Swap records & Meet new people.

Source: beatswapmeet.com
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