Happy 46th Birthday Jay Z + "December 4th" The Grey Album vs. The Black Album versions

Posted by Billyjam, December 4, 2015 09:09am | Post a Comment

Certain dates just stick in your head: birthdays, anniversaries, favorite album release dates, and songs about specific dates. "December 4th" by Jay Z is a good example for me. Titled after the rapper-turned-super-successful-entrepreneur's 1969 birth date (Happy 46th birthday, Hov!) today's date, December 4th,  for me is forever intertwined with that Jay Z song.  But it is not the original version of "December 4th" off the artist's 2003 release, The Black Album (avail in CD and LP, formats) that comes to mind. That track, which was understandably overshadowed by such other album cuts as "99 Problems," "Dirt Off Your Shoulder," and "Change Clothes (feat. Pharrell)," is totally eclipsed by the far superior remix of the song that Danger Mouse unleashed the following year off his bootleg hit album The Grey Album. 

As you may recall, that universally popular 2004 album expertly melded Jay Z's Black Album A-Capella version with sampled and looped portions of The Beatles 1969 self-titled double LP commonly known as The White Album. The Grey Album, although never legal because of all the unauthorized samples, would win fans the world over and go on to top countless critics' year-end best album lists for 2004. Indeed the album was a game changer for both the (until then) virtually unknown hip-hop producer as well as for the mash-up genre itself. Danger Mouse accomplished what some of Jay Z's own producers could not in bringing out the very best in the emcee's lyrics and rhyme flow. The Just Blaze-produced "December 4th" was a perfect example. Danger Mouse's totally different production of the song, while simpler and musically much sparser, elevated it from a throwaway, forgettable track to immediately commanding one. It made listeners want to hang onto every word uttered by Jay Z (and his mom who is featured talking in the song) in the engaging autobiographical tale.

Continue reading...

Over Ten Years Bootie SF Has Grown From Small Monthly Party Into The "Mecca Of The Mashup World"

Posted by Billyjam, August 17, 2013 04:50pm | Post a Comment

A lot has changed since San Francisco based promoters/DJs/remixers Adrian and Mysterious D (aka A Plus D) began their mashup party Bootie SF a decade ago as an intimate low-key monthly midweek gathering at the (now closed SoMa disctrict bike messenger-turned-lesbian bar) Cherry Bar in SF - a place for friends and fellow fans (plus those curious) of the then burgeoning mashup scene/culture to get together and dance to the latest mashups (melds of two or more songs together - often from disparate genres - and born out of the hip-hop production style of sampling and mixing). For starters most people didn't know what a "mashup" was. Another thing different back then was that people still bought a lot more CDs than they do nowadays (it was more troublesome to download mp3 files then too) - and hence were most appreciative of the free mashup mix CDs that  A Plus D generously handed out at every party back then, and still do to this day.

Another major difference between now and then was that back in 2003 and for two more years there was no YouTube - a place synonymous with remixers, from young aspiring bedroom producers to established major club DJs, showcasing their latest mashup productions. "You've got a whole new generation of kids coming up who aren't even aware that there was a time when "mashing up" songs or videos was looked at as something unique or weird. It's simply another way to consume music, and a way to put your own stamp on pop culture," A Plus D told the Amoeblog this week taking a break in their busy week from prepping for tonight's (August 17th, 2013) big 10 year anniversary show at the DNA Lounge in San Francisco, coordinating with the numerous Bootie satellite clubs in cities all around the world, updating their heavily trafficked website, plus getting ready for Bootie's upcoming annual trip out to Burning Man (it was at Burning Man in 2004 where the inseparable pair got married).  

Continue reading...

Now Entering Ninth Year of Their Successful Mashup Party, Bootie SF's Tireless Duo of A+D Show No Signs Of Slowing Down

Posted by Billyjam, August 20, 2011 01:54pm | Post a Comment

Last Saturday night at the DNA Lounge in San Francisco, the tirelessly hard-working duo of A+D (a.k.a. Adrian and Mysterious D - the DJs / promoters / remixers and producers of the ever-popular weekly mashup club Bootie SF and the myriad of similarly themed Bootie parties they oversee in numerous cities including New York and Los Angeles) celebrated their 8th year anniversary with a mega blow out party at the packed-to-capacity SF club.

In true tradition, the hardworking pair didn't simply play music for people to dance to at last weekend's party, but instead went above and beyond the typical duties of club promoters by putting on a huge production -- one that filled the club with festive streamersand NYE style balloons ready to drop, a full concert by their spinoff live mash up band Smash Up Derby (a bad ass six-piece featuring Adrian on lead vocals) whose mixedmedia set included an informative history of the mashup projected onto a largescreen, and600complimentary mashup compilation CDs pressed especially for the occasion. They also gave away pairs of their Bootie brand headphones.

Their DJ sets featured many mashups they produced themselves, including their inspired "Girl Power" mashup of Kreayshawn's "Gucci Gucci," which cleverly blends in Toni Basil, The Go Go's, Le TIgre, The Ting Tings, and The Trashwomen (Kreayshawn's mom's old band).  And when they dropped it into the mix at 1am, the new track set the packed dancefloor into a screaming frenzy. 
"Gucci Gucci Girl Power"  Kreayshawn vs Toni Basil vs Le TIgre vs The Ting Tings vs The Trashwomen  vs The Go Go's (A+D production)

Continue reading...