Amoeblog

Music History Monday: February 9

Posted by Jeff Harris, February 9, 2015 10:00am | Post a Comment

To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com.

Born on this day: February 9, 1942 - Legendary singer, songwriter, and musician Carole King (born Carol Klein in New York, NY). Happy 73rd Birthday, Carole!
 


On this day in music history: February 9, 1957 - "Too Much" by Elvis Presley hits #1 on the Billboard Best Sellers chart for three weeks, also peaking at #3 on the Rhythm & Blues and Hot Country Singles charts on the same date. Written by Lee Rosenberg and Bernard Weisman, it is the fifth chart-topping single for the Tupelo, MS born rock & roll singer. Presley will record "Too Much" on September 2, 1956 at Radio Recorders in Hollywood during the same round of sessions that produce his previous #1 single "Love Me Tender." The original version was recorded by co-writer Weisman two years earlier in 1954 and released on Republic Records. Presley will perform the song publicly for the first time on The Ed Sullivan Show on January 6, 1957. Released just two days before the Sullivan appearance on January 4, 1957, the single will take off immediately. "Too Much" will enter the Best Seller chart at #16 on January 19, 1957, rocketing to the top two weeks later. It is the first of four songs to top the charts for Presley in 1957, and it will spend a combined total of 25 weeks at number one during the year. This will be the second time Elvis achieves this remarkable chart feat, having held down the top spot on the pop chart for 25 weeks in 1956 as well. "Too Much" is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
 

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Black Hillbilly - or - What you really know about the Upper South?

Posted by Eric Brightwell, February 9, 2015 09:08am | Post a Comment
The first non-Native American settlers of Appalachia and later, the Ozarks, were of primarily of three ethnicities: Scots-Irish, English, and German. These hard-working farmers and craftsmen created a distinct culture which in the 19th Century came to be named “hillbilly.” Although the Northern European roots of hillbilly are routinely acknowledged, even scholars on the culture are far less likely to recognize hillbilly’s other significant place of ancestral origin, West Africa.

19th century black music ensemble

Hillbilly music’s biracial parentage should be immediately evident to anyone with any knowledge of the music’s primary instruments, the fiddle and the banjo. The modern fiddle (or violin) may have originated in 16th Century Italy but similar bowed instruments preceded its development by several centuries and the violin made its way to the Americas thanks to English colonists. The banjo, descended from the numerous plucked instruments of West Africa such as the akonting, ngoni, and xalam, was introduced to the Americas by African slaves.

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Bridging The Gap Between Artist And Consumer of Art

Posted by Billyjam, February 7, 2015 01:56pm | Post a Comment

Proof that the SF IndieFest, (aka San Francisco Independent Film Festival) that steadfastly began seventeen years ago as a small but focused alternative  film festival with a mission statement of presenting "strong, innovative, challenging yet entertaining cinema," has steadily grown and blossomed into a full-scale, internationally recognized and locally beloved annual cinema event was evident on Thursday evening's packed opening event in San Francisco's Mission District. There at the Brava Theatre on 24th (beautiful theater space that was formerly home to the York Theater) the full house clearly enjoyed the entire evening including screening of the fun David Cross written and directed feature film Hits (followed by his meet and greet) and the concert that followed with musical performances including from Leonard Cohen acapella tribute ensemble Conspiracy Of Beards (pictured above). The David Cross film is just one of 40+ diverse engaging films that will play at SF IndieFest between now and the festival's closing on February 19th when screenings will take place at Brava, the Roxie on 16th, and Humanist Hall across the Bay in Oakland.

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New CD and Vinyl releases at Amoeba 2/6/15 - Quiet Village, DJ Sotofett, Armando and more!

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, February 6, 2015 06:15pm | Post a Comment
Quiet Village - Social Music
Quiet Village
 
 
Phonica Records
 
Revered London vinyl outpost Phonica hosts the return of Matt Edwards and Joel Martin's Quiet Village project. There's a formula at work here, take a hypnotic house groove and then drop insane sample after insane sample on top, pan the thing left and right and let it run for just a little less than ten minutes. This is a simple recipe for a spun audience and it's working here.
 
 
 
Armando - Land Of ConfusionArmando
 
 
Westbrook
 
The acid ur-track, one of the best examples of a form that people are still obsessing over 30 years in. Loose, jacking drums, a randomized TB-303 line that still feels right. No pads, no sexy vocal samples, no bells and whistles, just a couple ways to make you jack.
 
 
 
 
 
TX Connect - Trixxter
TX Connect
 
 
Dixon Avenue Basement Jams
 
Might as well stick with the theme, and jump to a 2015 example of a producer tweaking the acid box, in this case, texas freak TX Connect. This is dark stuff with a bit of a New Beat influence, fits in well with other DABJ releases like Jared Wilson's awesome "Unknown Desires". Some dystopic, delayed synths amp up the post-apocalyptic feel.
 
 
 
 
Omar S. I Wanna KnowOmar S.
 
 
FXHE
 
Omar S is back with a big, audacious vocal track. Musically, this maintains some of the chord-heavy optimism of the Romancing The Stone double-pack as well as the Thank You For Letting Me… LP. What's different here is Garcia's vocals, an elongated, lurid come not unlike most mainstream rap verses. It's a fun, sensual track from the most consistent producer in the game. Instrumental on the B.
 
 
 
Garrett David
 
 
Gramaphone Records
 
Chicago, birthplace of house, still boasts one of the most tightknit scenes in the US. Promising locals DJ at the intimate Smart Bar, buy their records at Gramaphone, and generally carry on the city's amazing dance music tradition. It was only a matter of time, then, that the Gramaphone record store began to share its homegrown talent with the world. Here with have employee Garrett David' with the second release on the label, though you may remember him from his release on The Queen as well as his participation in the excellent Bell Boys project. Just good, inventive house music here, I'm partial to the piano stabs and hypnotic pads on Tunnels as well as the dreamy, chill-out B2 "Morning Mantra". Chi-town stand up!
 
 
 
Jamie Paton EP #2Jamie Paton 
 
 
Emotional Especial
 
Plenty of people hunt for forgotten disco not disco jams from the early '80s, but very few people attempt to actually make them. Jamie Paton makes it look easy. The opening track, "Mad Obsession" is a bouncy bit of tropical house, with a tom loop and some synth washes before some insouciant vocals come in. "Time After Time" is a dancefloor version of some daytime detective show funk, "Drole Model" is cool rainforest dub house. Scott Fraser and Timothy J. Fairplay on the production assist, so you know it sounds right.
 
 
 
DJ Sotofett - Drippin' For A TripDJ Sotofett
 
 
Honest Jon's
 
Fans of the bizarre Sex Tags triangle have had a lot to be excited about this year, with Sex Tags Mania, Wania and Sex Tags UFO firing on all cylinders. Now, Sotofett drops it on us, the collab motherload with an album's full of material running the gamut from ambient to afrohouse. It's killer, as expected. Talented producer Phillip Lauer provides some of the highlights. "JEKS: Space Dub" is a knackered ambient jam, while "JEKS: Nimbus Mix" (no relation to The Orb) is maybe the album's best dance track, with the various mixes of "Nondo" coming in close behind. The whole thing bubbles and scrapes, the most definitive statement to date from one of dance music's true characters.
 

 

Hip-Hop Rap-Up: RIP Dot-A-Rock & The Jacka, Flip with Phat Kat & Elzhi, DJ Rob A with Masta Ace + more

Posted by Billyjam, February 6, 2015 11:34am | Post a Comment
Tragic news for Bay Area rap fans this week when they learned that popular longtime Bay Area rapper Dominic "The Jacka" Newton was shot and killed in East Oakland on Monday night (Feb 2nd) - the result of a bullet wound to the head. 

According to reports the 37 year old, Oakland based, Pittsburg, CA born hip-hop artist died doing what he loved most: rapping and freestyling with a group of seven hip-hop friends of his sitting in a van - The Jacka was standing outside beside the van when the shooting took  place. A very prolific artist, who has released numerous solo projects and collaborative projects (he's worked with everyone), The Jacka was a constant best-seller at the two Bay Area Amoeba Music stores including such releases as his 2009 Freeway collaboration Highway Robbery and his 2009 album Tear Gas which remains his best selling album to date (the video for the Traxamillion produced album track "Glamorous Lifestyle" appears below).

  
  
Andre Nickatina (featured in the above "Glamorous Lifestyle") was just one of countless fellow Bay Area artists that The Jacka collaborated with over the years. Others  include Berner, E-40, Guce, Keak da Sneak, and Friscasso The Jeweler (recently profiled on the Amoeblog) while on a national level he's worked with such artists as NYC emcee Cormega, Southern rapper Paul Wall, and Philly rapper Freeway. (Highway Robbery cover right). Ever since the news broke on Tuesday of The Jacka's shooting murder many online commenters have cynically suggested that being a gangsta rapper that he had he had it coming to him (IE: live by the sword die by the sword). However the truth is that while he rapped about the street "lifestyle" and all that went with it - he did so in a non glamorizing way - but in a real observant way.  Those who knew him all describe him a good person and an artist first and foremost. And what a prolific one too!

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