According to Billboard, the top artists for 2008 are Chris Brown, Lil Wayne, Rihanna, Alicia Keys, Taylor Swift, Leona Lewis, Miley Cyrus, Jordan Sparks, Jonas Brothers, T.I., Coldplay, Flo-Rida, Carrie Underwood, T-Pain, Josh Groban, Colbie Caillat, Ne-Yo, Kanye West, Katy Perry and Mariah Carey.
At Amoeba, the top sellers were Radiohead, MGMT, Vampire Weekend, Portishead, Coldplay, M.I.A., Fleet Foxes, Beck, Flight of the Conchords, The Raconteurs, Sigur Ros, She & Him, Santogold, Crystal Castles, Black Keys, Lil Wayne, Cat Power, Kings of Leon, Amy Winehouse, Bon Iver.
Haveing not heard of most of the Billboard stuff, I can only assume that it's mostly autotuned, oversung, expendable American Idol/Disney Channel/Nickelodeon R&B/pop/Rap sung by sexualized children -- which gives me hives. I definitely would rather, if forced, take the Amoeba package, although I am surprised that I have never heard of four of the top sellers there either.
My friend Lars, who gave up on new music a long time ago, was surprised to read news about Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails and asked, "Is that what people are still listening to? Bands from when we were in high school?" It is kind of strange. I mean, the Beatles and the Doors weren't dominating the charts in the '80s. So it is kind of strange to see a figure like Mariah Carey on the charts, who I remember as a adult-contemporary VH1 staple whose vocal runs I used tape onto VHS to send myself into fits of laughter when needed. Kanye I've listened to and can, without exaggeration, say it was some of the most unpleasant music I've ever heard. When interviewed about Kanye West for the Defamer, I expressed my dislike and someone commented that, to be fair, asking a white thirty-something music store employee is like asking someone in the inner city about bluegrass. Yeah, because Kanye West is "urban" music. Seriously? If you go to Watts or Compton, the Norteño has a lot more in common with Bluegrass than Kanye. Hollywood nightclubs and the suburbs is where rap flourishes... welcome to the '90s, dude.
Amoeba Music San Francisco Hip-Hop Top Five: 01:09:09
1) Keak da Sneak & San Quinn
Welcome To Scokland (Ehustl)
2) San Quinn From A Boy To A
3) E40 The Ball Street Journal
(Sic Wid It/Warner)
4) Common Universal Mind Control (Geffen)
5) Messy Marv Draped Up &
Chipped Out 3 (Scalen)
Thanks to Luis at Amoeba Music Sam Francisco for not only providing the Amoeblog with this first hip-hop top five of 2009 but also for being instrumental, through his dedication to local music as hip-hop buyer at the Haight St. store, in the healthy representation of Bay Area hip-hop on this weekly chart. Four of the five new album entries, including the king of the Bay E40 and his latest The Ball Street Journal, are homegrown rap recordings. Only Chicago's Common (and his December 9th release Universal Mind Control) hails from beyond the Yay Area. The number one seller is the hands-across-the-bridge (Bay Bridge) collaboration, appropriately titled Welcome To Scokland, between two of the Bay's best longtime rap acts, Oakland's Keak da Sneak (who recently dropped his own new solo album, Defied, and who will be interviewed in an upcoming Amoeblog) and prolific San Francisco rapper San Quinn.
On Tuesday we had a Listening Party at the Knockout here in San Francisco to celebrate the release of Animal Collective's excitedly awaited new record, Merriweather Post Pavilion.
The album came out this week, but only on vinyl. The CD will be out January 20th, but the vinyl is already out of print. We still have a very few copies left here at Amoeba SF, so if you're wanting the new Animal Collective on vinyl, the time is now -- hurry on down to Amoeba SF and grab it OR click here to mail order it from us!
In the meantime, check out some photos from the Listening Party, (mostly) taken by the fabulous DJ Gilmore, who can be seen below modeling the album:
Merriweather Post Pavilion with DJ as your model.
Of all genres of popular music from the 1950's up til the present day, disco is perhaps the most discrimated against and unfairly hated upon Ironically, the hate is oft times spewed by the very same people who will be the first to dance to or sing along with said disco hits. Of course, karaoke nights and wedding DJs have only helped make some songs less enjoyable than perhaps they should be due to over exposure and bad sing alongs. A prime example would be Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive," which is still a great song even 31 years later but might be more enjoyable if we had only heard 3 million fewer times in our lives. The video for that song, along with nine other disco classics, is below.
The videos include Lipps Inc.'s "Funkytown" from 1979, A Taste Of Honey's "Boogie Oogie Oogie" from '78, Anita Ward's "Ring My Bell" from '79 and, from that same year, Sister Sledge's second biggest hit "He's The Greatest Dancer" (their biggest hit was the eternally popular "We Are Family," which was also released that same year).
Also included is what I consider to be the greatest and most influential disco record of all time, the Giorgio Moroder-produced Donna Summer song "I Feel Love" from her 1977 album I Remember Yesterday (Casablanca) and released as a single. So innovative was Moroder's futuristic production on this track, according to the liner notes of his Sound + VIsion box set, that, in 1977 while David Bowie was recording with Brian Eno in Berlin, "Eno came running in and said, 'I have heard the sound of the future'...he puts on 'I Feel Love' by Donna Summer…He said, 'This is it, look no further. This single is going to change the sound of club music for the next fifteen years.'"