Amoeblog

The Town Part IV: The Layover's Prozack Turner Talks About His Popular New Downtown Oakland Bar

Posted by Billyjam, August 23, 2010 05:46pm | Post a Comment

Seven years later, listening back to Oakland (aka The Town) hip-hop artist Prozack Turner's funky-infectious, Oakland party rap anthem "Feelin' My Steelo" (DreamWorks, 2003), it would seem that the mic-wrecker turned bar-owner clearly envisioned himself one day running a popular music themed bar in Oakland -- something he does today at The Layover, which opened earlier this year.

"Make some noise! Let me know where The Town at. Hold up your drink now. Let me see you pound that. Home of the Silver and Black, killin' the track," enthusiastically rapped the talented East Bay emcee on the single (from the album Death, Taxes, and Prozack). He was "possessed by the ghost of Bukowski" as if penning the later soundtrack for his popular new downtown Oakland music bar which earlier this month got honored by the East Bay Express when it won the Best of the East Bay Awards for Best New Bar.    

Born Zachary Turner, Prozack has been a familiar figure for many years on both the local and international underground hip-hop scenes. A successful solo artist (producing as well as emceeing), he is perhaps best All That Glitters Isn't Platinumknown as a member of the super-talented but way underrated Bay Area hip-hop crew Foreign Legion along with his partner-in-rhyme Marc Stretch. Originally a trio, Foreign Legion formed back in the nineties along with DJ/producer DJ Design. Their impassioned ode to hip-hop, "Full Time B-Boy," released as a single by ABB Records, was also the opening track on the first Amoeba Music Compilation series, with their lyrics "All That Glitters Isn't Platinum" even lending the various artists Amoeba collection its title. 

Hip-Hop Rap Up 08:20:10: Camu Tao, Spinderellla, Concrete Dreams Bay Compilation, Wu-Tang Clan Documentary, Rock The Bells, Ray Ricky Rivera, The 45 Sessions, MC Hammer and More

Posted by Billyjam, August 20, 2010 08:04pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Hollywood Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 08:20:10

Big Boi OutKast
1) Eminem Recovery (Aftermath, Interscope, Shady)

2) Big Boi Sir Lucious Left Foot... The Son of Chico Dusty (Def Jam)

3) Rick Ross Teflon Don (Def Jam)

4) The Roots How I Got Over (Def Jam)

5) Drake Thank Me Later (Cash Money Records)

Thanks to Marques at the Hollywood Amoeba Music for this week's hip-hop top five chart which, as he notes, "has a lot of the same releases from the past few weeks" still holding it down, including Drake, Eminem, The Roots, Big Boi, and Rick Ross. But by next week expect some changes when, no doubt, the just released and already much hyped Camu Tao debut album King of Hearts takes over.

The album is already one of Amoeba SF's Luis' hot picks. The posthumously released album is the debut from this talented Brooklyn-via-Ohio emcee, singer, & producer, who died two years ago after a protracted battle with lung cancer. The late artist's CD, which could as easily be filed Camu Taounder rock as rap, is an effective blend of hip-hop sensibilities with melodic pop/rock & electropunk and may even remind some of a grittier version of B.O.B. and (longtime fan) Kid Cudi. Had King of Hearts been released when it was first recorded it would have been ahead of the curve. Knowing that these recordings, which executive producer El-P deliberately kept in their raw original form, date back many years only adds to their greatness.

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Hip-Hop Rap Up 08:06:10: Madlib's Medicine Show, The Mighty Underdogs, Oakland Faders, Foreign Legion, Blitz the Ambassador, Dana Leong, J-Dilla, APG Crew, Nappy Roots, DJ Inti + More

Posted by Billyjam, August 6, 2010 08:00am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Berkeley Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 08:06:10

1) The Roots How I Got Over (Def Jam)

2) Big Boi Sir Lucious Left Foot... The Son of Chico Dusty (Def Jam)

3) Madlib Medicine Show #7: High Jazz (Stones Throw)

4) Curren$y Pilot Talk (Blu Roc, Def Jam)

5) Eminem Recovery (Aftermath, Interscope, Shady)

Thanks to Inti at the Amoeba Music Berkeley store for this week's Hip-Hop Top Five countdown (see video below), with many of the same current releases from the past several weeks still holding strong in sales at the Telegraph Ave. store. A prime example is The Roots' widely acclaimed latest How I Got Over (Def Jam), which is number one again this week. A new entry on the top five is the latest installment from eclectic producer Madlib -- CD number seven for month number seven (July 2010) in this unique Stones Throw twelve month Medicine Show series from the prolific LA music man. High Jazz is the name of the CD and it has already sold out at Amoeba Berkeley. The album is described as a tribute to the landmark 1976 jazz-fusion album released by Stanton Davis’s Ghetto Mysticism and as such displays another impressive musical side to the ever eclectic and progressive Madlib. Noteworthy songs on this 15 track release include a collaborative piece with jazz/hip-hop drummer/producer Karriem Riggins, who, along with Madlib, is the group Jahari Masamba Unit. Note that there is also a limited edition 3-disc vinyl version of this Medicine Show installment from Stones Throw which offers an exclusive additional 30 minutes of music. Fans of the Madlib Medicine Show series can look out for release number 8 to drop on August 24th.

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FM Belfast's "Pump" and Stereo Total's "Tour De France" Are More Than Mere Covers of Past Hits:

Posted by Billyjam, May 24, 2010 04:48pm | Post a Comment
FM Belfast
Their economy may be in tatters and the spewing volcanic ash that caused so much disruption to air travel may have strained relations with their mainland European neighbors, who were hardest hit, but Iceland's music scene is still in a very healthy state. From the ever-inventive post-rock sound of Sigur Rós to the turntablist hip-hop sounds of former Amoebite and Icelandic born DJ Platurn, and from the home-made, lo-fi analog sounds of longtime Icelandic duo Slowblow to the warmly produced, retro electronic sounds of FM Belfast, Iceland clearly has much to offer musically.

And of all the recent non hip-hop releases I have been listening to lately, FM Belfast, who hail from Reykjavík, Iceland, are among my top faves.  Their just released eleven track how to make friends album on Kimi Records (which was originally released in 2008 as an import-only on the small Icelandic indie World Champion Records) captures the fun electro-pop/electronicia trio's throwback style on such tracks as "Frequency" and "VHS" (which longs for the bygone days of VHS tapes and other old technology). But the FM Belfast album track that won me over upon first hearing it was the group's inspired cover of Technotronic's "Pump Up The Jam." For their interpretation of this once ubiquitous 1989 upbeat, bouncy, hip-house-y global hit, they totally rework it by bringing it almost to a screeching halt. They transform the song, renamed "Pump," into a hypnotic, DJ Screw (Chopped and Screwed like) slowed-down version that I think is pure brilliance. Check it out below yourself to see what you think. Meantime, all the way down the page is Technotronic themselves with the Belgian outfit's 1989 video for "Pump Up The Jam," which was a worldwide smash hit, including in the US, where it went to number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in late 1989 & early 1990, becoming the first ever house record to go commercial Stateside.

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The Town: Part I: Rent-A-Relic in the Temescal District of Oakland

Posted by Billyjam, May 5, 2010 03:45pm | Post a Comment
Amoeblog interview with Rich Craig + Todd Connors of North Oakland's Rent-A-Relic

This is the first in a new Amoeblog series focusing on businesses and organizations in The Town (aka Oakland, CA) including many small, independently run & operated local businesses that are neighbors of the Amoeba Berkeley store, from steps away and up to a one or two, or three mile radius. Kick-starting this new series is the successful North Oakland car rental company Rent-A-Relic. Located on Telegraph at 45th in the Temescal District, Rent-A-Relic has seen their surrounding neighborhood undergo much development since they opened shop back in 1993, with countless other small independently operated businesses (including lots of restaurants) opening up along Telegraph Avenue. Rent-A-Relic, which also offers notary services, is run by Rich, Todd, and Spencer, and anytime you stop into their small offices, odds are that you will hear good music, from Miles Davis to the Minutemen, playing in the background. I caught up with Rich to interview him about operating a business like Rent-A-Relic and about music and radio, among other things. He supplied his Top 5, while Todd supplied his Top 25 -- all below.


Rent-A-Relic Rich's All Time Top Five Albums:

Meat Puppets Huevos
1) Meat Puppets
Huevos


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