Amoeblog

Neil Young, Equipto, Chill E.B., A Tribe Called Red, & Kalyn Heffernan Among Protesters of Controversial Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL)

Posted by Billyjam, November 18, 2016 04:35am | Post a Comment

With the increasingly frequent number of organized protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline (#NoDAPL) taking place across the nation, the number of outspoken protesters adopting the cause and taking it to the streets, online, and/or to North Dakota has similarly multiplied. Among this steadily swelling number of protesters, that culminated earlier this week with a national day of action at 300 different protests across the US, many are musicians. Hailing from varied genres and generations these include such artists as Neil Young, A Tribe Called Red, Equipto, Joan Baez, Trevor Hall, Michael Franti, Chill E.B., Buffy Saint Marie, Wheelchair Sports Camp, Indigo Girls, Dregs One, The Zotigh Singers, Raye Zaragoza, Jackson Browne, and DJ Troubleman. These are musicians who've either protested and or recorded protest music against the controversial pipeline. One high profile protester who could be added to this musician's list, considering that three decades ago he recorded a protest folk album, is Vermont senator Bernie Sanders who made a surprise appearance and speech in Washington DC during this week's (Nov 15th) national day of action.

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Amoeba Music Berkeley Among Premier Bay Area Destinations For New Golden State Warriors Star Kevin Durant

Posted by Billyjam, October 24, 2016 03:30pm | Post a Comment
New Bay Area resident and recently signed Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant spent the weekend exploring (and seemingly loving) the Bay with premier destinations including a visit to Amoeba Music in Berkeley. See pictures from KD's adventures around the Bay.

Online posts to Reddit and Twitter last week asking for tips on what to do in his newly adapted Bay Area home, including suggestions on "dope record stores," resulted in the NBA star doing some crate digging at the East Bay Amoeba store on Telegraph Ave. where he was joined by popular Bay Area hip-hop artist Sage The Gemini. Both are pictured in a photo Durant posted to his Twitter account over the weekend. And last night the music loving/BART-riding basketball star, who is on the cover of the new (Nov. 3) issue of Rolling Stone, was up front in the mosh pit at the Kanye West concert in Oakland where he got mobbed by fans and shouted-out by Yeezy from onstage.

In July the 28-year old MVP award winner made headlines when he announced he would leave Oklahoma City Thunder to sign a lucrative $54.3 million 2 year contract with the Warriors, with a player option after the first year. His signing to join the Oakland based team with fellow NBA superstar Steph Curry gave the Golden State Warriors one of the greatest starting lineups in NBA history. With the new 2016-17 NBA season kicking off this week, KD has finally fully relocated to the Bay Area and begun to familiarize himself with the area, with a little help from his fans.  On Thursday he went on Reddit posting,  "Its KD. New to the area, still tryin' to get my feet wet and want to know what places in The Bay to check out...." In a separate post he noted how he's into music shopping, asking about,  "Any dope record stores … you would suggest?" A few days earlier he had sent out a similar request via his Twitter account when he Tweeted, "Getting familiar with my new city. Tell me what I’m going to love most about The Bay." Both requests resulted in him being inundated with suggestions, many of them mentioning Amoeba Music in San Francisco and Berkeley. "If you haven't been to Amoeba Music it's a great spot for diggin' vinyl of all genres," suggested one fan while another suggested SFMOMA, the Museum of African Diaspora, and checking out visiting Chicago artist Chance The Rapper's Bay Area appearances over the weekend.
 

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Interview with Longtime SF Hip-Hop Artist/Activist Equipto about Frisco Day (4/15)

Posted by Billyjam, April 14, 2016 10:30pm | Post a Comment
 
Not to be confused with other important dates in the hectic week ahead such as Tax Day (Note: 4/18 this year) or 4/16 (Record Store Day) or 4/20 (Dank Day), 4/15 is the newly assigned annual date to celebrate Frisco Day. That's 4/15 as in April 15th symbolizing the numerals of the 4-1-5 area code of San Francisco (aka Frisco). But 4/15 Frisco Day is more than simply being a day for residents to celebrate pride in their City by the Bay. It's more about solidarity among poor blue collar / working class San Franciscans who've been marginalized and endangered by the influx in recent years of high paid tech workers to their city. That's according to veteran San Francisco hip-hop artist and activist Equipto who is one of the organizers of Friday's 4/15 Frisco Day event. This week the Amoeblog caught up with the passionate and always politically outspoken emcee to ask him about 4/15 Frisco Day, and about life in general and hip-hop in particular in San Francisco in these gentrified times.


Amoeblog: So this is the first official 4/15  Frisco Day but it has been around for a minute already, right?

Equipto: Frisco Day, April 15th is a special day for certain Frisco die hards that I know. My friend Barry, who has the clothing company SFOG, has thrown dope intimate shows on 4/15 for some years now with performers like San Quinn, RBL, myself and more. But this year, this Friday 4/15, will be the first official Frisco Day for the public

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Park Blvd. Records and Tapes

Posted by Billyjam, November 29, 2015 02:30pm | Post a Comment


Bucking the trend of record stores closing up shop, Oakland's Park Blvd. Records and Tapes opened up shop at the start of this past summer. In the five plus months since that opening business has been brisk for the specialized record store that is part of a new music retail business model that seeks out a small but dedicated customer base. They've found their niche and, in turn, fans of that musical niche have found them and their new retail space. While the small record store carries several genres of popular music and mostly older era (examples include 80's hardcore punk 45's) Park Blvd. Records and Tapes' main focus is hip-hop/rap records and tapes. Those records and tapes (plus some CDs, DVDs, and books) feature quite a concentration of older classic hip-hop material including a good size ratio of Bay Area rap/hip-hop from the 90's.  Stocked with some select new hip-hop releases their customers, who travel from all over, are more interested in those specialty items that normally they might only find online or at well stocked stores like Amoeba Music. A quick glance around the store's vinyl display bins and cassette and CD shelves provides ample proof. The selection includes ample amount of classic early era Bay rap and hip-hop releases by such artists as Too $hort, IMP, Hugh E. MC, E-40, Mac Mall, C-BO, Mac Dre, Dre Dog / Andre Nickatina, Celly Cel, Digital Underground, Spice 1, 2Pac, Chunk, 11/5, 415, Souls of Mischief, RBL Posse, and Bored Stiff.  Stocking releases in various formats of bygone eras along with brand new nationally popular hip-hop releases from artists like Drake or Mac Miller, it is the speciality items that attract customers to their store. The 2014 Park Blvd., Oakland CA shop, whose name outside simply reads "Records and Tapes," was vacant for three years before its latest incarnation. Before that it was a fortune teller's place of business.  That was back when the old Parkway Theatre was still down the block a bit, and before relocating crosstown to 24th Street off Telegraph.

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Gifted & Prolific San Francisco Hip-Hop Artist Z-Man Both Raps And Paints, Creating All His Own Original Album Art Work

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


"There was a time when I asked myself should I draw all the album covers?" said Z-Man, quickly answering his own question. "Fuck it man! I'll do all the album covers - and others too! Yeah, it's a lot of work but it is so gratifying,"  grinned the longtime San Francisco hip-hop artist recently in an Amoeblog interview, while referring back to a previous period in his long, colorful, illustrious and richly varied and prolific career as both a painter and a hip-hop artist.

Some multi-talented rappers such as Lord Finesse or J-Live also DJ and produce their own albums but uniquely talented, but Z-Man has the distinction of painting all of his own album cover art too. And he has been doing so since day one when he hand drew the cassette cover art for his old Daly City based hip-hop crew 99th Demention's album release in 1996.

And ever since that premiere release, that will celebrate its 20 year anniversary next year, Z-Man he has been consistently doing both the music and cover art for his albums (and others) with the most recent examples being for 2014's The Opening Act (with Elon on Gurp City) and his brand new Solidarity Records release "Flea Circus" with producer Tahaj Edwards. In the photo on top  up above Z-Man is seen holding up the album cover's original art that he painted, like most of his work, at his cramped but creative Western Addition district San Francisco home studio in the home where he grew up. I recently stopped by Z-Man's home, in the building where he grew up as a child and has seen the area around him become gentrified.

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