Posted by Billyjam, July 25, 2007 09:56am | Post a Comment

If you are a regular at Amoeba Music you may have already seen the silk screened poster art of Forest Stearns, who has done several pieces specifically for Amoeba events. Or maybe you've been lucky enough to catch Forest doing his art live at one of the interactive music-and-art Amoeba instores he has been a part of over the past year.

Instores Forest has been involved with include one with DJ Shadow (San Francisco Ameoba instore) and two with Cut Chemist (San Francisco and Hollywood Amoebas). He has also done live interactive art with hip-hoppers such as Z-Man and at other events such as Reggae On The River.

Additionally, the NorCal artist designed the poster for the Noisettes instore at Amoeba San Francisco, which reportedly everyone loved, including Universal. Forest says the label wants to take the poster and flesh it out to make an animated versions of the band based on the illustration for clothing and more. I recently caught up with the artist to chop it up about life and art, and art and life. For more information visit his website: draweverywheredotcom.

What inspires you to make art?

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Posted by Billyjam, July 24, 2007 08:08am | Post a Comment

Fifteen years ago SoCal hip-hop group the Pharcyde dropped their debut album, Bizzare Ride II, which has long been one of my favorite albums, not just from hip-hop, but of any genre. But as you know, sometimes our minds and our memories play tricks on us and what we remember from our past as being great doesn't always stand the test of time. And since I hadn't actually listened to this J-Swift produced album in a long while, last week I went digging in the crates to locate the Pharcyde debut, which was originally released in late November 1992 by Delicious Vinyl, and I played it from start to finish -- twice. And you know what? To me, it is still as amazing an album as that day all those years ago when I first heard it.

With the exception of the overplayed and admittedly gimmicky "Ya Mama" track (the hit single that dropped the year before the album did), I can listen to the musically diverse album repeatedly and never tire of it. Another album single ("Passin Me By") is one of those songs that I will probably never get tired of hearing for the rest of my life. It is one of those perfect songs! Other standout tracks on this consistently fun and upbeat album include "Officer" (about not outsmarting the po-pos), "Otha Fish" (another single), the no-holds-barred "I'm That Type of Nigga," "Pack the Pipe" (a hip-hop dank anthem), and the bouncy ol skool flavored "Return of the B-Boy." Below (after you hit "continue reading") is the video for "Passin Me By." Do me a favor, and in the COMMENTS box below list your favorite one, two, or three albums of all time -- whether they are hip-hop or another genre. Thanks!

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what is coming out today 7/24...U.N.K.L.E...

Posted by Brad Schelden, July 23, 2007 10:47pm | Post a Comment
I had almost forgotten about Unkle. It seems so long ago that "Psyence Fiction" came out. I guess 1998 was almost 10 years ago. If you remember correctly, this album was huge. These were the years when Electronica was breaking through to the mainstream. This was one of the albums that really put the genre on the map and made people start noticing electronica acts as artists. One of the reasons they got so popular is because they combined all these different genres into one album. With the help of DJ Shadow they incorporated sounds of hip hop with dance. Trip Hop had already been created and this had been done before. But Unkle also brought in major popular rock vocalists such as Thom Yorke from Radiohead and RIchard Ashcroft from The Verve. Like many new fans, this is what first made me check out the album. I was obsessed with Radiohead and The Verve. So I was obviously going to check out anything that they were attached to. I did not pay much attention to their second album out in 2003. But I am again finding myself listening to Unkle.

The new album is "War Stories." There is also a larger special version that comes in vacuum sealed plastic. I think they made it with one of those vacuum sealers that they advertise on infomercials. This time, we have vocals by Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age, Autolux, Gavin Clark, 3D of Massive Attack, the Duke Spirit, and Ian Astbury of The Cult. Ian Astbury is actually on two tracks. "Burn My Shadow" and "When Things Explode." So far they seem to be my two favorite tracks. Maybe this is because I have been a big Cult fan for a very long time. I sort of keep it a bit of a secret. But I really do love myself some Southern Death Cult, Death Cult, and Cult. His vocals, especially here, sound a lot like Jim Morrison. He has one of those voices that is very recognizable. I could not really imagine these songs working until I actually heard them. It ends up working beautifully. His voice fits in nicely with the orchestrated electronics on the album.

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I'm ready if you are! Tuesday, here we come!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, July 23, 2007 04:12pm | Post a Comment

That is some hot stuff, Baby!


Posted by Billyjam, July 23, 2007 11:45am | Post a Comment

Talk about hitting two senses at once! That's exactly what the new line of graffiti themed, rich chocolate bars do. And nothing could be more tempting to this graffiti fan with a sweet tooth than the colorfully eye-catching, decadently yummy tasting new line of "graffiti" chocolate candy bars unveiled recently by downtown New York City's Chocolate Bar company -- the award-winning chocolate maker with an eye for style and originality.

The ten individually flavored chocolate bars are each beautifully presented in graffiti-tagged wrappers, each specially designed by such legendary graffiti artists as Crash, Dondi, Blade, Crime 79, Lady Pink, Dr. Revolt, Iz the Wiz, Voice of the Ghetto, and Spar One. The confection creation, with proceeds benefitting the NYC children's arts' All Stars Project (which benefits New York City high school kids' arts programs) was the idea of Chocolate Bar's Alison Nelson, who said that the reaction from the longtime graf artists was "positive, if not a little suspicious" when first approached to be a part of the candy-wrapper project. But, she said, once the graffiti artists got involved, they had fun with the unique collaboration, even getting to "choose the flavor they wanted to design."

Lady Pink chose Banana Milk, which is described as Milk chocolate filled with banana cream ganache, while Crash chose Dark Rum (dark chocolate with rum infused ganache). Blade's flavor/design is Milk Caffeto, milk chocolate with ground espresso, and Dondi White's is S'mores (milk chocolate with marshmallow and graham bits). The gourmet chocolate bars weigh 2.25 ounces each and are priced at $4 per chocolate bar or $40 for the nicely boxed "graffiti bar set" of all ten, which, while pricey for chocolate, is cheap for art -- provided, unlike this weak AMOEBLOGGER, you can resist eating the art!
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