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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode With Reggae Band SOJA

Posted by Amoebite, August 6, 2014 11:52am | Post a Comment

No one ever thinks to connect Arlington, Virginia to the dreadlocked, rastafarian, blunt smoking genre of SOJAreggae. That is, of course, unless we're talking about SOJA. The eight-piece reggae/dub group has been releasing records for over a decade and touring relentlessley the entire time. The Virginia natives are now amongst the elite reggae bands in the world and have collaborated with the likes of Damian "Junior Gong" Marley, Collie Buddz and Michael Franti. SOJA will release Amid The Noise And Haste (ATO Records) on August 12, 2014, followed by a tour of the United States and Europe. You can pre-order it on CD or LP at amoeba.com now and it'll ship FREE to the U.S.   

Singer Jacob Hemphill, guitarist Trevor Young and sax player Hellman Escorcia shopped around Amoeba Hollywood for some records recently. The guys dig up some really cool finds, grabbing everything from jazz to world and rock music. Trevor starts off with the new Jack White LP, Lazaretto, a definite must have for White fans and vinyl collectors. The LP features dual groove technologies, hidden tracks that play at 78 and 45 rpm, making it a three speed LP! A huge Paul Simon fan, Jacob finds a 25th Anniversary edition of Graceland and shares a cool story about his childhood connection to the record. Hellman digs for some jazz classics, including Dexter Gordon's GO  off the iconic Blue Note label. They also tell a story about paying tribute to Jimi Hendrix at a concert in Monterey, burning a replica guitar on the exact spot on stage that he did.

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Breadbaskets and head gaskets -- Exploring Glassell Park

Posted by Eric Brightwell, August 5, 2014 03:42pm | Post a Comment
INTRODUCTION

Glassell Park neighborhood sign

This entry of California Fool's Gold is about the Los Angeles neighborhood of Glassell Park, a working class neighborhood in Northeast Los Angeles. Glassell Park's neighbors are the neighborhoods of Eagle Rock to the east, Mount Washington to the southeast, Cypress Park to the south, Elysian Valley to the southwest, Atwater Village to the west, and the Glendale neighborhoods of Adams Hill, Somerset, and Tropico to the north. 

Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's map of Northeast Los Angeles Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's map of Glassell Park
Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's maps (prints available from 1650 Gallery)

Sometime around the 1970s, a distinct Northeast Los Angeles began to emerge. Back then, the NELA 13 gang coined an acronym that their members couldn't have known would turn into a hip branding tool used to market luxury (yet freeway-adjacent) townhomes promising "modern living" in the form of a private dog park and two-car garages. Elsewhere in the neighborhood today, incongruous McMansions are improbably squeezed into tiny lots formerly occupied by tasteful Craftsman homes. 

Still, perhaps more than any other neighborhood of Northeast Los Angeles (barring Cypress Park), Glassell Park feels largely untouched by the obliterating force of gentrification. Instead it remains a mostly quiet neighborhood (aside from the roosters and heavy rail) of quiet charms -- many of which you'll almost assuredly never discover if you only travel by automobile.

Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Gang Starr's 1991 Classic LP Step In The Arena featuring "Just To Get A Rep"

Posted by Billyjam, August 5, 2014 01:05pm | Post a Comment

Gang Starr "Just To Get A Rep" from the album Step Into The Arena (1991)

"Mad brothers know his name" are just a few of the well known (and oft quoted or sampled) Gang Starr lyrics rapped by the late great emcee of the legendary hip-hop duo GURU (Gifts Unlimited Rhymes Universal) over DJ Premier's killer track on "Just To Get A Rep." The song was released in February 1991 by Chrysalis/EMI as the lead single (with "Who's Gonna Take The Weight" on the filp side of the 12" single) from the duo's hip-hop classic full-length Step In The Arena that was released a few weeks earlier. Like that album the single "Just To Get A Rep" remains a hip-hop classic. And now 23 full years later it is even clearer what an important role this particular song plays in its part of hip-hop's legacy, with each phrase and rhyme from the song known by heart by every true hip-hop fan and DJs/producers who like to take snippets of it and throw it in the mix. See full song lyrics listed below along with the videos for the other Step In The Arena album tracks as the mellow, chilled out "Lovesick" whose numerous samples include Digital Underground's best known song "The Humpty Dance," the heavily politicized "Who's Gonna Take The Weight?" (my personal fave album track with "Check The Technique" in close second), and the title track itself from the album Step In The Arena that while it was technically the group's second album it was their main introduction to most hip-hop audiences at the time. 

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Weekly Wednesday Steal: tUnE-yArDs' 'Nikki Nack' on Red Vinyl for $10

Posted by Billy Gil, August 5, 2014 11:23am | Post a Comment

tune-yards nikki nack red vinylAmoeba's new Weekly Wednesday Steal continues this Wednesday Aug. 6 with tUnE-yArDs' acclaimed new album, Nikki Nack, for only $10 (normally $19.98) on Amoeba.com.

The Wednesday Steal sees some awesome piece go on sale for only $10 on Amoeba.com every Wednesday (while supplies last). As always, there’s free shipping on all music and movies you buy on Amoeba.com throughout the United States. The offer is only online, not in stores.

On Nikki Nack, tUnE-yArDs’ Merrill Garbus take her highwire vocals and playful experimentation to more palatable pop songs. Check out the playground chants of "Water Fountain" below:

Can Reissues Headed Our Way Starting in September

Posted by Billy Gil, August 5, 2014 10:44am | Post a Comment

can bandCan you believe it??

Krautrock titans Can will reissue 14 catalog albums on vinyl for the first time in more than a decade, starting with the classics Ege Bamyasi, Tago Mago, Monster Movie and Soundtracks. Those are out Sept. 2 on Mute.

Oct. 7 brings Future Days, Soon Over Babaluma, Landed, Flow Motion amd Saw Delight (the latter of which includes a CD).

Oct. 21 we have Can, Delay, Out Of Reach (including the album for the first time on CD), Rite Time and Unlimited Edition.

On Nov. 4 the band will release The Lost Tapes as five individual LPs. Previously it was only available as a box set.

Can was formed in 1968, releasing their debut album, Monster Movie, in 1969 with Malcolm Mooney on vocals, first introducing their sense of experimentation and layering that would go on to be perfected on the band’s masterpieces, 1971’s Tago Mago and 1972’s Ege Bamyasi. Soundtracks, released in 1970, marked the beginning of Damo Suzuki as the band’s vocalist and compiled tracks written for various films.

Can’s influence would of course go on to be felt immediately, creating the so-called “krautrock” sound alongside loosely associated German bands of the late '60s and early '70s like Neu! and Faust with driving 4/4 beats and layers of sound built around simple structures, as well as later, influencing acts such as Radiohead, Stereolab, Portishead, New Order, Kanye West and countless others. If it’s your first time to the band, these Sept. 2 releases are a good place to start.

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