To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com.
On this day in music history: March 3, 1972 - Music of My Mind, the fourteenth studio album by Stevie Wonder is released. Produced by Stevie Wonder, Bob Margouleff, and Malcolm Cecil, it is recorded Media Sound Studios and Electric Lady Studios in New York City, and Crystal Industries in Los Angeles from mid 1971 - early 1972. After recording for Motown since the age of 12, Stevie Wonder's contract with the label expires when he turns 21 years old on May 13, 1971. In spite of millions in record sales and earnings generated, he will find that there is only $1 million held in trust for him. Instead of renewing his contract with Motown, he'll move to New York and begin working with Bob Margouleff and Malcolm Cecil of Tonto's Expanding Head Band who will assist him in taking his music to the next level. Experimenting with synthesizers, Wonder will block book studio time and record for several months before re-emerging with a new sound and career direction. Having fielded several offers from rival record companies, he will re-sign with Motown Records but strictly on his own terms. He will negotiate a deal that gives him complete artistic control, his own music publishing company, and one of the highest royalty rates in the music business. Released as the first album under his new deal, Music of My Mind will be a major turning point for Stevie Wonder, beginning an era that will produce some of his most critically acclaimed and commercially successful work. Spinning off two singles including "Superwoman (Where Were You When I Needed You)" (#13 R&B, #33 Pop), and "Keep On Running" (#36 R&B, #90 Pop), Music Of My Mind will peak at #6 on the Billboard R&B album chart and #21 on the Top 200.
To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com.
Childish Gambino "3005" (from Because the Internet - his number one album at Amoeba)
1) Childish Gambino Because the Internet (Glassnote)
2) Dam-Funk & Snoopzilla 7 Days of Funk (Stones Throw)
3) Eminem The Marshall Mathers LP2 (Interscope)
4) Dom Kennedy Get Home Safely (The Other Peoples Money Co.)
5) Earl Sweatshirt Doris (Columbia)
Shout out to Ervin at Amoeba Hollywood for this week's hip-hop chart that reflects the best sellers at the SoCal store and pretty much repeats last week's chart from the store. Meanwhile a brand new release not on this chart but selling well and likely to be on next week's chart is the The Step Brothers' Lord Steppington on Rhymesayers Entertainment (CD & 2 LP vinyl) that is really an amazing album. I have listened to it repeatedly over the past week and each listen hear some new part due to its intricately layered production - thanks to the endlessly talented duo of The Alchemist and Evidence who make up the Step Brothers and are joined by a excellently chosen group of guest emcees throughout the 14 tracks including Oh No ("Draw Something") and Styles P ("No Hesitation").
Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five: Week Ending 06:28:13
1) Kanye West Yeezus (Def Jam)
2) Dessa The Parts of Speech (Doomtree)
3) Wale The Gifted (Atlantic)
4) The White Mandingos The Ghetto Is Tryna Kill Me (Ingrooves/Fat Beats)
5) Quasimoto Yessir, Whatever (Stones Throw)
Thanks again this week go out to my man E-Lit at Amoeba Berkeley for both providing the new Top Five Hip-Hop chart for Amoeba Berkeley and the video breakdown (also above) of the latest hip-hop releases (CD and vinyl) to arrive into Amoeba over the past week. Scroll down to see accompanying/corresponding videos for many of these new chart entries and new releases referenced by E-Lit including Dessa ("Call Off Your Ghost" from The Parts of Speech on Doomtree), Quasimoto ("Youngblood" off of Yessir, Whatever on Stones Throw), Wale's "Bad" featuring Tiara Thomas from The Gifted on Atlantic), and The White Mandingos' "Mandingo Rally" off The Ghetto Is Tryna Kill Me on Ingrooves/Fat Beats. Also below is brand new video from Skrip for the new song "Stop It" of which the artist said, “Music was made for more than perpetuating negativity, and if you’ve got the gift you don’t need to try to copy anyone else; give people a breath of fresh air," adding that, "Music with a meaning is what lacks in popular Hip Hop, and “Stop It” is bound to step on some toes-deservedly.” Yes indeedy! Scroll down to see this and the other new music videos - plus the EPK (electronic press kit) for the classic from De La Soul taken off their (recently reissued on double vinyl) Prince Paul produced golden era hip-hop album 3 Feet High & Rising. (also re-reissued on CD)
In Oakland tonight there's a lot of shows and parties happening including the premiere East Bay presentation of (Arizona founded) Blunt Club Oakland at hot new Oakland spot The Legionnaire Saloon (Telegraph near 22nd) with DJs Saurus, Max Kane, Platurn, Teeko, Pickster plus Pep Love (Hieros) and Foreign Legion both performing (FL's Prozack Turner is one of the new club owners). There will also be art on display by Dump La Rock and Griffin and the new East Bay monthly party will be hosted by The Night Clubber Lang. 21+ more info here. Meanwhile about 18 blocks down towards Oakland's Jack London Square on Broadway near 3rd/4th Streets at The Night Light will be Aztlan Nation alum DJ Delgado spinning party music with friends from early evening late into the night. Starting at 5pm and going non-stop until 2am there is no cover for this night of an eclectic mix of hip-hop, various schools of reggae, funk, breaks and beats - all billed as the Fresh Jamz Friday party. 21+ More info here.
Since the NY State of Mind Amoeblog #29, in which I previewed a bunch of the concerts and events (mostly outdoor and mostly free) over the coming months in New York City, was posted a couple of weeks ago, several more concerts and events have been announced for the fun summer season ahead. These include the lineup for the concerts in Prospect Park and the Rooftop Films series, which just kicked off last weekend and runs through August with a non-stop program of great movies screened on rooftops round the city. The mission statement of the oft-lauded non-profit who present the Rooftop Film series is "to engage diverse communities by showing independent movies in outdoor locations" and this they do each weekend to everyone's enjoyment. This weekend, for example, they'll screen the New York premiere of the Reuben Atlas-directed documentary Brothers Hypnotic about the collective lives of the eight members of the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble who will perform a live set following the 9pm screening. This free event happens Friday night (May 17th) at Outdoors at MetroTech Commons, Bridge Street & Johnson Street in Downtown Brooklyn. The following night (also in Brooklyn but only two subway stops from Manhattan) will be New York Mayhem - a series of short underground films by local filmmakers about their city. Unlike the previous night however there is a charge for this one of $13 general admission. Saturday, May 18th between 8pm and 1am at The rooftops of Industry City, 220 36th Street at 3rd Avenue, Sunset Park, Brooklyn, NY 11232. For more information, visit the Rooftop Films website.
Meanwhile, the Prospect Park concerts will include such outdoor shows as Big Boi, Phony Ppl, and D-Nice on June 20th, The Tiger Lillies on July 18th, and The Waterboys on July 19th. Most are 7pm shows and free or charge a minimal (few bucks) entrance fee. More info here. In Prospect Park this weekend, but not part of the aforementioned concert series, is the music, food, and drink weekend festival known as the Great GoogaMooga. The outdoor weekend-long event includes performances from hometown funk/soul heroes Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, The Flaming Lips, De La Soul, The Darkness, Jovanotti, Matt & Kim, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and many more acts who will provide musical entertainment between all the food and drink (beer and wine primarily, but they have whiskey and some other hard liquor too) being served up from the likes of such participating restaurants as Brooklyn's Pork Slope and Manhattan's Pig and Khao. For full eatery information, concert schedules, and tickets click here.
The instantly engaging, brand new, intricately assembled 45-minute, audio visual production is made in "video mixtape" format and, as such, is equally enjoyable to just listen to or watch and listen. Big Phat 90's Mixtape is also the 35 year DJ's salute to his favorite decade: the 1990's - hip-hop and beyond. Fresh back in the UK from some doing some gigs in Russia over the weekend I caught up with the British talent born Lee Woodbine to ask him a few questions on hip-hop in the 90's, and also what went into making this impressive video music mix.