Hip-Hop Rap-Up: Amoeba Hip-Hop Top 5 Chart, Hiero Day 4 Preview, New Paris Video/Single From Forthcoming "Pistol Politics"

Posted by Billyjam, September 7, 2015 08:09am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Berkeley Hip-Hop Top 5 Chart: Week Ending 09:05:15

1. Dr. Dre Compton (Aftermath/Interscope)

2. Eligh 80HRTZ (Legendary/Crowsnest)

3. The Foreign Exchange Tales From the Land of Milk and Honey (Foreign Exchange Music)

4. Z-Man & Tahaj the 1rst "Flea Circus" (Solidarity)

5. Method Man The Meth Lab (Tommy Boy) (avail in LP)

Riding high off the buzz surrounding the new N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton, Dr. Dre's new album Compton  which has been selling extremely well despite some mixed reviews on the long awaited solo album (with many mic guest spots including Kendrick Lamar) from the high profile producer/ entrepreneur who first came to fame via N.W.A all those years ago.  Among the other top five chart entries from Amoeba's Berkeley store above include The Foreign Exchange Tales From the Land of Milk and Honey, Living Legends star Eligh's newest release 80HRTZ, Wu-Tang Clan member Method Man's The Meth Lab that is available from Amoeba in both CD and LP/vinyl formats, and Bay Area power duo of longtime unique emcee Z-Man (recently profiled on the Amoeblog) and producer Tahaj the First. These two Bay talents joined forces on Flea Circus that is available at the San Francisco and Berkeley Amoeba stores and is released via legendary underground San Francisco hip-hop crew Bored Stiff's prolific label Solidarity Records. Note that the SF group's main star Equipto (along with Otayo Dubb) will be among the performers at Hiero Day today - read on for more details. 

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The Song Is The Thing: New Jazz Recommendations From Donnell

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, September 6, 2015 04:26pm | Post a Comment

By Donnell Hilton

The song is the thing, at least for me. I seek them out, they are treasure. Not all of them, of course, but Duke Ellington, Black Brown And Beigethere are indeed enough to last a lifetime. I’ve always looked to music to bring color to the world when it didn’t seem to have much and also to accompany its brightest moments, hopefully making them that much more luminous. The search for these Bright Moments (thank you Rahsaan Roland Kirk) continues to be a most worthwhile endeavor. Just recently, whilst listening to an album I love -- Duke Ellington’s Black, Brown and Beige (Columbia/Legacy), I found myself drawn to the fifth song on the album and not the fourth. The fourth is one of Ellington’s seminal compositions, “Come Sunday” sung by legendary gospel singer Mahalia Jackson. The fifth song is the same composition with a shorter arrangement and instead of vocals it features one of best Jazz violinists of the ‘40s, Ray Nance. The performance is subtle, beautiful, and yearning…yet another reminder that multiple plays of an album can reveal more over time.

Some songs and albums are so good that they need sharing, especially if I know of someone who would Benjamin Clementine, At Least For Nowenjoy it as much as I. Recently while trolling the internets for music, I stumbled across Benjamin Clementine, a British-born singer, songwriter, poet, and pianist whose voice drew me in immediately. His album At Least for Now (Capitol Records) is all that I hoped it would be and more. After hearing the first single, “Condolence,” I hoped it would be as good and it is. Clementine’s piano playing and vocals, peppered with some strings and percussion, make for a remarkable first outing. The album is populated with line upon line of a poetic sensibility that is passionate, urgent, and revealing, such as “London” with the lyric, “Though my preferred ways are not happening, I won’t under estimate who I am capable of becoming." There are so many good songs: “Adios,” “Nemesis,” “Cornerstone,” “Quiver a Little.” The follow up can’t come soon enough. I’d love to hear him do a rendition of Weill’s “Pirate Jenny.”

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Amoeba Invites San Diego Sellers to Record Round Up

Posted by Amoebite, September 4, 2015 05:42pm | Post a Comment

amoeba record roundup

Friday to Sunday, Oct. 23-25, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closes at 4 p.m. on Sunday)
At the fabulous KING'S INN at 1333 Hotel Circle South, San Diego, CA 92108

Amoeba Music, the country's biggest and best independent Record Store, is inviting San Diego residents to bring their unwanted LPs, CDs and music collections to our Record Round Up at the King's Inn the weekend of Oct. 23-25.

We're bringing buyers down from our stores in San Francisco and Los Angeles to meet folks in San Diego and create a convenient way for area residents to get top dollar in cash for all resellable items. Sellers may also opt to get even MORE in credit for our stores or shopping on


Sellers may bring in any amount of CDs or VINYL formats (including LP, 12”, 45s and 78s), and buyers will inspect and evaluate each item, add them all up and make a cash offer! Only items in playable condition will be considered for purchase. Prices offered vary widely based on title and condition and the retail value; see below for a list of most sought after genres**. Valid government-issued I.D. is required for all cash transactions.

Sellers can bring us their stuff anytime between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. during the first two days of the event and up until 4 p.m. Sunday, and we will happily help you unload and bring in your used vinyl and CDs. We are also open to buying any original music and concert posters. Our buyers are friendly, fast, efficient and will work hard to keep your experience fun and as quick as possible. 

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Album Picks: Widowspeak, Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats, FIDLAR, Lou Barlow, Dam-Funk, Diane Coffee

Posted by Billy Gil, September 4, 2015 12:19pm | Post a Comment

Widowspeak - All Yours

widowspeak all yours lpWidowspeak’s All Yours is just what we need to cool off during this hot, hot summer. The duo’s tunes are cool and meditative, evoking the feeling of watching a fading sunset over the forested hills of New York’s Hudson Valley, where the band resides. Molly Hamilton’s sweet vocals whisper over Robert Early Thomas’ dusky licks and a touch of organ on the sultry title track. The band mostly keeps things spare and dreamy, but they plug in to give tracks like “Dead Love (So Still)” a little raunch, coming off like the Velvet Underground’s third album reimagined as stoner country music. Elsewhere, Hamilton plays Nancy Sinatra to Thomas’ Lee Hazlewood on the sumptuous “Girls,” generating plenty of heat from a spacious, two-chord jam and Hamilton’s narcotic drawl, while “Borrowed World” sees Thomas take the mic for a spry duet (something the band should consider doing more often). Somehow, All Yours is both Widowspeak’s mellowest album and its most exciting. With a sharp focus on songwriting over ambiance and more room for Hamilton’s vocals to shine, they end up with their best, most distinctive album yet.

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Gifted & Prolific San Francisco Hip-Hop Artist Z-Man Both Raps And Paints, Creating All His Own Original Album Art Work

Posted by Billyjam, September 4, 2015 09:09am | Post a Comment

"There was a time when I asked myself should I draw all the album covers?" said Z-Man, quickly answering his own question. "Fuck it man! I'll do all the album covers - and others too! Yeah, it's a lot of work but it is so gratifying,"  grinned the longtime San Francisco hip-hop artist recently in an Amoeblog interview, while referring back to a previous period in his long, colorful, illustrious and richly varied and prolific career as both a painter and a hip-hop artist.

Some multi-talented rappers such as Lord Finesse or J-Live also DJ and produce their own albums but uniquely talented, but Z-Man has the distinction of painting all of his own album cover art too. And he has been doing so since day one when he hand drew the cassette cover art for his old Daly City based hip-hop crew 99th Demention's album release in 1996.

And ever since that premiere release, that will celebrate its 20 year anniversary next year, Z-Man he has been consistently doing both the music and cover art for his albums (and others) with the most recent examples being for 2014's The Opening Act (with Elon on Gurp City) and his brand new Solidarity Records release "Flea Circus" with producer Tahaj Edwards. In the photo on top  up above Z-Man is seen holding up the album cover's original art that he painted, like most of his work, at his cramped but creative Western Addition district San Francisco home studio in the home where he grew up. I recently stopped by Z-Man's home, in the building where he grew up as a child and has seen the area around him become gentrified.

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