Posted by Billyjam, September 19, 2009 01:29pm | Post a Comment

It has been reported by several sources that New York turntablist Roc Raida of X-Men/X-Ecutioners fame has died earlier today. The DMC and ITF DJ battle champ was 37 years of age. The artist had reportedly been hospitalized for a serious spinal injury following a recent accident while kick-boxing training. Along with Rob Swift, Total Eclipse, and Mista Sinista, Roc Raida rounded out the best known line-up of the X-Ecutioners (formerly the X-Men), whose other members had included Steve Dee, DJ Boogie Blind and DJ Precision.

In addition to performing and recording with his DJ crew (in 2002 the X-Ecutioners dropped Built From Scratch on Loud), he also collaborated with numerous hip-hop artists over the years, including Big Pun, Immortal Technique, O.C., Buckshot Lefonque, and Smif N' Wessun. Above is one of Raida's great turntable routines from the 1995 DMC battle that he won in which he displays his typical playful, fun approach to the art of scratching, incorporating ample use of body tricks. Note that at this time his crew was still named X-Men (they eventually were forced to change it due to Marvel Comics sending a cease and desist) and the DJ was known as Roc Raider (with an "R" at the end). I knew Roc Raida for many years and last interviewed him about two years ago. I will try to find that interview to transcribe for a future Amoeblog. R.I.P. Roc Raida.


Posted by Billyjam, September 19, 2009 09:05am | Post a Comment

Origins of the Moonwalk

Michael JackMichael Jacksonson was known not just for his music, but also for his dancing abilities. There are many recorded instances of the moonwalk, originally known as the backslide or "walking on your toes," being used before Michael Jackson did it.

Similar steps are reported as far back as 1932, used by Cab "Minnie the Moocher" Calloway. It was first recorded in 1955 in a performance (in the film that same year Showtime At The Apollo) by tap dancer Bill Bailey.

Jeffrey Daniel brought "the backslide" to the tv show Soul Train. In 1980, Jackson asked Daniel (together with dance partners Geron Candidate and Cooley Jackson) to teach him the dance. Michael first performed this move during his "Billie Jean" performance on Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever on March 25, 1983.

Jeffrey Daniel's Influence on Michael Jackson

I remember also seeing this move performed by Mr. Freeze (of the Rock Steady Crew) in the movie Flashdance, released April 15th, 1983. See Flashdance clip below.

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South Pasadena Sat. Afternoon Organ Concert & Silent Film

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, September 18, 2009 03:50pm | Post a Comment

Tomorrow the Los Angeles Theatre Organ Society is hosting an afternoon of silent film w/ pipe organ accompaniment. The event will be held at the South Pasadena High School campus, which is stunning and features an amazing auditorium-- a New Deal era PWA masterpiece that houses a fully functioning Wurlitzer pipe organ. Join John Rinaudo and his hand cranked silent film projections along with Dean Mora on the Mighty Wurlitzer organ.

Saturday September 19th, 1:30 PM
South Pasadena High School Auditorium
1401 Fremont Ave.
South Pasadena, Ca
$20 at the door
Charley Chase


Posted by Billyjam, September 18, 2009 01:38pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba Music San Francisco Weekly Hip-Hop Top Ten: 09:18:09  (c/o Luis)

Kid Cudi
1) Kid Cudi Man On The Moon: The End of Day (Motown / Pgd)

2) KRS-ONE & Buckshot Survival Skills (Duck Down)

3) Drake So Far Gone (Cash Money)

4) M.O.P. The Foundation (E1 Entertainment)

5) Q-Tip Kamaal the Abstract (Battery Records)

6) Nicolay City Lights 2 - Shibuya (Hard Boiled Records)

7) New Boyz Skinny Jeanz & A Mic (Asylum Records)

DJ Fresh8) DJ Fresh The Tonite Show (The Album) (Town Thizzness)

9) DJ Shadow Diminishing Returns (Reconstruction Productions)

10) Young Cellski/aka 2Took Mr Predicter (Inner City 2000)

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In Treatment - Byrne vs. Hamm Smackdown!

Posted by Miss Ess, September 17, 2009 06:37pm | Post a Comment
When I was watching the Golden Globes last year, I eagerly anticipated the Best Actor in a TV Series - Drama category. I had tuned in pretty much just for this moment: to see Mad Men's Jon Hamm get up there and make an acceptance speech. After gorging myself on two season's worth of the delicious Mad Men in record time, I was 100% sure that he was a shoe-in to win.

Surprise! The Golden Globe went to Gabriel Byrne for In Treatment.

in treatment

From that moment on, I knew I had to check out In Treatment...I mean, if you can beat Jon Hamm's tortured, pefectly reined in depiction of Don Draper as far as acting goes...somethin's up.

In Treatment Season 1 is finally out on DVD and I've been watching it here and there for the past fewin treatment weeks. The reason I've been moving so slowly on it is there's a whole lotta in, one half hour, five nights a week...9 discs worth of show! Is that some kind of record or something?

Anyway, the show is great. I have to say though, if you don't enjoy slow moving character studies, this is not the show for you. It's simply about a therapist and his patients, one patient per half hour episode, five nights a week, with the fifth night reserved for Paul (Byrne)'s own session with the fabulous Dianne Weist as Gina, his therapist.

What's so good about this show to me is that it is all about details and slow reveals. You might think a show that is this seemingly simplistic would be dull as tombs, but for me at least, there is great pleasure in the writing and the layers to each character that slip off weekly like the skin of an onion. I applaud its creator, writers and directors for working so deftly and interestingly within such spareness.
in treatment
So, after having a good gander, do I think the Emmy is deserved? Well, yes, because the show really allows Byrne to act subtly, to keep a great deal of emotion boiling just below the surface -- moments are registered much more in his expression than verbally, and that takes en pointe skill and precision, particularly to keep such a conceptionally bare show interesting. He also is the only actor who is in every single episode of this epically produced series, so he's got a whole lot of material to get through and does so with ease. But do I think he should have won over Jon Hamm's tour de force as Don Draper...? Nah. I think Hamm's performance is one of my favorites in TV history. But both Mad Men and In Treatment are finely acted, worthwhile and compelling television.

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