Amoeblog

SCRATCHING AWAY HIS US AIR FORCE PRESSURES - DJ ALF INTERVIEW

Posted by Billyjam, May 4, 2009 10:20pm | Post a Comment
dj alf
While every turntablist has their own individual story of exactly how he/she became a hip-hop scratch DJ musician, most seem to share a somewhat similar history. Typically this starts out with them first becoming bedroom DJs, practicing their mixing, cutting, scratching, and beat-juggling, etc., skills for hours on end to prepare them for the typical next step, becoming battle DJs, entering contests and going head to head with other aspiring scratch DJs.

Baltimore, MD area turntablist DJ ALF took a slightly different path, having never entered a DJ battle in his life. A self-taught DJ and producer who is currently putting the finishing touches on his debut album This Way Or That Way, ALF developed his scratching musical path while simultaneously serving as a member of the US armed forces.

In fact, practicing hip-hop scratch music while a member of the US Air Force (which he is no longer a member of) helped maintain ALF's sanity, especially while stationed overseas. He would "scratch away" his "pressures," as he reveals in the interview that follows.

Amoeblog: Pre DJing, did you ever learn to play any musical instruments? If so, how has that influenced your approach to DJing?

DJ ALF: I used to play the clarinet from 4th grade to the 12th grade. I remember some basic music theory, which has helped me some in my DJ career. Since I used to play in a marching band, concert band, and orchestra, I must say that alone has helped me easily figure what fits in terms of doing freestyle turntable orchestration with others.

Amoeblog: When/where was the first time you ever scratched?

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(In which we witness love and marriage and indegestion.)

Posted by Job O Brother, May 4, 2009 01:29pm | Post a Comment
wedding

Howdy!

The boyfriend and I just returned from a weekend in the great country of Texas – Houston, to be exact. We went there to celebrate the marriage of some neat humans.

The boyfriend was Best Man at the wedding, so I spent a lot of time in the chapel entertaining myself as he practiced marching down the aisle, handing over rings, smuggling in tequila shots and body-blocking any attempts the bride might have of going “runaway” – you know, typical Best Man duties.

Having been raised in a church, I know how to find all the best hiding spots, and I felt immediately at home. Curled in a cool, dark alcove between the pipe organ and a wood-carved dove of peace, I listened to music on my iPhone and surfed the World Wide Web – reading The Guardian, watching this and this, and wondering why Facebook suggested I be friends with Bill Murray (who I still haven’t forgiven for dog-earing my copy of Dubliners).

Rice Memorial Chapel, the house of God in question, is tucked centrally on the campus grounds of Rice University. It’s a lovely, small chapel, decorated with gold tile and royal blue carpeting. It is noticeably lacking in denominational iconography – a single, movable, wood cross sat off-stage – which is to be expected, I suppose, from a University that specializes in applied sciences. Stained glass glorifying Dr. Willem Kolff healing the crippled with Jarvik-7’s and panels depicting various stages of the Scopes “Monkey” Trial would not have seemed out of place.

Amoeba Hollywood World Music Top 10 For 2009...So far

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, May 4, 2009 12:29am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Hollywood World Music Top 10 For 2009

1. Zoe-Reptilectric
2. Amadou & Mariam-Welcome To Mali
3. V/A -African Scream Contest
4. Orchestre Poly Ritmo-Vol. 1- The Vodoun Effect: Funk and Sato from Benin's Obscure Label
5. Eydie Gorme Y Los Panchos-Cantan En Espanol
6. V/A-Nigeria 70: Lagos Jump
7. V/A- Vol.1-Nigeria 70
8. Rodrigo Y Gabriela -Live In Japan
9. Manu Chao-Clandestino
10. V/A- 78's From The EMI Archives: Sprigs Of Time

About some of the artists:

Zoe, a rock band from Mexico City, is on the top of Amoeba Hollywood's World Music chart for 2009. I wrote about Zoe in the beginning of this year in a blog entitled, Music Latin Music Majors Don't Want You To Hear, which was about how late in the game U.S. labels are when it comes to releasing popular Spanish rock artists domestically. To avoid being outsold by download sites, we ordered the import version of Reptilectric and sold out of all the imports we bought way before their U.S. release. Their in-store performance at the Hollywood store on 4/24 also fueled sales, far exceeding sale expectations for that evening. In short, Zoe fans came in vast numbers and Amoeba Hollywood was not fully prepared. Hey, it happens sometimes.

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CADBURY'S ELECTRO EYEBROW DANCE TV COMMERCIAL

Posted by Billyjam, May 3, 2009 08:20pm | Post a Comment


You gotta love this current UK TV commerical for Cadbury's chocolate that utilizes the classic electro track (longtime breakdance anthem) "Don't Stop the Rock"' by Freestyle as the perfect soundtrack to its two young stars' eyebrow dance. The 2009 production is by the ever innovative and popular A Glass And A Half Full production company, who last year produced the equally popular in the UK Cadbury's "Gorilla" TV spot that expertly utilized Phil Collins' "In The Air Tonight" as its backtrack, as well as the Cadbury "Trucks" commercial (below) that used Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now" as its soundtrack. So popular was the Cadbury's eyebrow dance with the public that it spawned a JiveBrow 09 contest (see highlights below) held by A Glass And A Half Full production company earlier this year.





Asian-American Cinema Part I - The Silent Era

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 3, 2009 03:00pm | Post a Comment
The first of a nine part series on Asian-Americans in front of and behind the camera

ASIAN-AMERICANS IN SILENT FILM


In the early days of west coast film production, there were few roles for Asian actors except as unflattering stereotypes or anonymous background work. Nonetheless, a small number pursued careers in front of and behind the camera, intersecting and influencing Hollywood's embryonic phase. Although most worked in near complete obscurity, two -- Anna May Wong and Sessue Hayakawa -- became veritable superstars. They still were virtually unable to find roles to their liking, since most of the lead roles (still usually degrading) went to actors in yellowface, a practice that continued long after blackface became taboo. Anna May Wong and Sessue Hayakawa used their earnings to attempt to improve opportunities for less famous Asians by creating more positive depictions, following black cinema's lead. However, with immigration restricted and laws preventing citizenship and property ownership, even the few rich, famous Americanized Asians faced considerable challenges.




ASIAN-AMERICANS IN THE SILENT FILM ERA

In the silent era, most of the APA-related films were low budget, forgettable Chinatown mysteries and crude yellow peril thrillers but they do remain interesting for multiple reasons, including their reflection of changing American attitudes as well as as documents of the efforts of the country's second largest racial minority to break into a system who viewed them as subhuman at worst and as generally as exotic, inscrutable aliens at best.

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