Posted by Billyjam, December 20, 2008 08:31am | Post a Comment

Reading the recent Amoeblogs about new words being incorporated over the past year into the everyday English/American vocabulary got me thinking about a word or expression that got dropped in all but one context, hence losing its original meaning -- those two words together that make up the expression "ground zero," which up until September 11th 2001, simply referred to the scene of a nuclear explosion or a place where some disaster of some kind took place. But after 9/11/01 everything changed.

Back in 1986 when Weird Al Yankovic recorded the above song "Christmas At Ground Zero" it did not have the same connotation it has post 9/11. In fact, so powerful a punch does the term "ground zero" pack (summoning images in most media-fed minds of the smoldering World Trade Center) that the song above -- once a staple at radio stations during Christmas time -- got abruptly dropped from playlists forever. Likewise, the song that Weird Al loosely based this song on, Fishbone's "Party At Ground Zero," also got dropped like a hot potato.

Hear Bonnie Prince Billy and Bros Cover Trad Folk Songs

Posted by Miss Ess, December 19, 2008 03:43pm | Post a Comment
The most exciting thing that's happened to me today so far is the discovery of Bonnie Prince Billy and Captain Anomoanan's 2006 NYC Joe's Pub shows in MP3 form on the Aquarium Drunkard site.

will, ned and paul oldham
Photo by Natasha Tylea

The shows consist of three Oldham brothers: Will (Bonnie Prince Billy) along with Ned and Paul. Ned and Paul were in Palace and Palace Brothers with Will and one or more of them often accowill oldhammpany Will on tour, playing in his band. These two nights at Joe's Pub are fabled in part because they are simply the three brothers together, singing onstage by themselves with acoustic guitars, and also because their sets consist almost completely of traditional folk songs, songs that cannot be heard as done by the Oldhams anywhere else to my knowledge. The backstory here is that the Oldhams' father had very recently died and they dedicated the shows to him and his memory. I'd imagine the set consists of songs they heard at home in their youth. Listening carefully, the songs themselves are touching and well-chosen, and knowing that the Kentucky-born Oldhams are singing to their father makes them all the more so.

The song selections reflect both death and rebirth, sadness and hope, from "We Will Understand It Better By and By" to "Next Tibonnie prince billy is it the seame the Sun Comes Around" and "We Shall All Be Reunited" to "Goodbye Dear Old Stepstone." The singing is all ramshackle harmonies, very Oldham-esque and yet traditional. I really recommend checking these songs out. You can hear them here. Note that one set from the four shows over two days is missing.

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Li'l Bit #7

Posted by Job O Brother, December 19, 2008 02:54pm | Post a Comment


Posted by Billyjam, December 19, 2008 12:14pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five: 12:19:08

scarface emeritus
1) Kanye West 808s & Heartbreak (Roc-A-Fella Records)

2) Evidence The Layover EP (Decon)

3) Q-Tip The Renaissance (Motown/Universal)

4) Ludacris Theater of the Mind (Disturbing tha Peace/Def Jam)

5) Scarface Emeritus (Rap-A-Lot/Asylum)

Special thanks to Ray for the top five selling hip-hop albums chart in the Hollywood Amoeba Music store this week, with new albums from the ever popular artists Kanye West, Ludacris, and Q-Tip all holding strong after been out for a number of weeks. New entries to the chart include the recent recommended CD The Leftover EP from rapper/producer Evidence (aka EV) of solo and Dilated Peoples fame, which may only have ten tracks but all are excellent. The other new release on this chart is Emeritus from Houston rap legend Scarface who first came to fame twenty years ago as part of the Geto Boys. This new album is Scarface's ninth (and supposedly last) solo album. He says he is going to retire from the rap game. But who knows? A lot of rappers have trouble quitting when they are still popular and Scarface has a dedicated fan base who appreciate his raw delivery, and tell-it-like-it style. He don't pull no punches when it comes to talking about the cops or his rivals. The video below of the new album song "High Powered" is directed at his rival Lil Troy who he implies is a snitch. In the interest of fairness, in interviews, Lil Troy claims that Scarface is a snitch. Of course in rap all of this heated rivalry and controversy only makes for good music.

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Posted by Billyjam, December 18, 2008 10:10am | Post a Comment

For this final Dance of the Day is the excerpt from the 1979 UK Disco Dance Finals, which is pretty impressive for several reasons. For starters all the dancing is really good. And even though it was a "disco" contest note all of the breakin' (also known as break dancing) moves used, especially by the first contestant. What is noteworthy about this is that hip-hop dance and music still came under the broad disco umbrella back in '79. At that time in the late seventies although hip-hop was most definitely in existence the truth is that no one used the term "hip-hop" to describe it.

Another interesting historical point about this clip is that at this same time over in the states disco was already suffereing the thinly veiled macho, racist, homophopic backlash of the disco-sucks movement, something that would soon follow suit in the UK. And finally of note about this clip is that the second contestent in it is a young 20 year old (Downtown) Julie Brown from Wales who would later migrate to the US to get hired as a VJ by the fledgling MTV.
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