Amoeblog

Essential Records: Portishead's 'Dummy'

Posted by Amoebite, October 27, 2014 04:24pm | Post a Comment

Essential Records Portishead Dummy

During the summer of 1996, I became obsessed with Portishead. Dummy had been released two years earlier, so generally speaking, I was late to the game, but in the suburban town where I was about to start high school, I was definitely way ahead of the game. Because when it came to underground music, culture or film, there was no game.

I was just about to turn fifteen and leave all the friends I'd known for nearly a decade to attend the state's largest high school on my own. It was a deeply mopey time. At the same time, I was starting to realize that the music on Top 40 radio made me feel like something was missing, that musically-speaking, there must be more out there. So, I started tuning into the local alt-rock station after school, alone in my room, and that's where I first encountered Portishead's "Sour Times."


Portishead - Sour Times
Watch and comment on YouTube

 

I hated this song. I thought it was irritating and abrasive. Singer Beth Gibbons would wail "Nobody loves me/it's true/not like you do" with her '60s jazz influenced vocals and I would get pissed off that I'd have to sit through it for the next three or four minutes. (For some reason I never went as far as actually turning the radio off.) Every time I heard it, I would get angry at it, angry that I had to sit through it, angry that the station's Music Director had poisoned the rotation with this grating, slightly terrifying few minutes of song. 

Continue reading...

Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 12:21:12: Yancey Boys, DJ Shadow, DJ Nu-Mark, RBL Posse, Hieros, Guilty Simpson & Apollo Brown + more

Posted by Billyjam, December 21, 2012 08:40pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five: Week Ending 12:21:12

1)   DJ Nu-Mark Broken Sunlight (Hot Plate Records)

After releasing a series of sought after 10” singles, DJ Nu-Mark of Jurassic 5 drops his long-awaited official long-player.  The album pits Nu-Mark’s simple funky production next to a diverse range of soul and hip hop artists, including Charles Bradley, Aloe Blacc, J-Live, Quantic, and Large Professor!  Soul with a twist.  Broken Sunlight on Hot Plate Records is a triple disc release that includes a second disc with instrumentals, acapellas and clean versions and a DVD with a feature film on Nu-Mark’s life on the road.  All in time for the holidays!

2)  S3 Supa Soul Shit (Melting Pot Music)

This new import CD/LP is the brainchild of Kansas City soul singer Miles Bonny and European beat maven Brenk Sinatra.  Miles Bonny croons some smooth soulful tunes over Brenk’s equally buttery production, which mixes dreamy electronic beats with some nice soul samples.  Fans of Frank Ocean will likely lose their shit over this one!

Continue reading...

Catching Up with Lateef the Truthspeaker

Posted by Billyjam, January 4, 2012 05:09am | Post a Comment
Throughout Lateef the Truthspeaker's recently released album FireWire on Quannum Projects the longtime Bay Area emcee / Solesides founding member shows nothing but pride and love for his hometown of Oakland,  CA. 
LiveWIre contains countless shout outs to "The Town" including mentions of Interstate 580, SoulBeat TV, and Skyline High School. In fact the East Oakland born & raised emcee even arranged a Skyline High School rap reunion of sorts on the new album's lead single "Oakland" which features cameos from two fellow alumni of the Oakland high school: Del the Funky Homosapien and The Grouch.

One morning last month I caught up with Lateef at World Ground Coffee cafe on MacArthur in East Oakland's Laurel District where he was grabbing a hot drink before heading out on the road, along with fellow Solesides/Quannum member Lyrics Born, to travel up to the North West to do some shows. The two emcees, who as well as having their own individual careers collaborate together as Latryx, (but had not in a long while) had just done two nights of "reunion" shows at The Independent in San Francisco along with such other local artists as Bayonics, Honor Roll, and Hopie Spitshard. "Awesome" was how Lateef described those two shows. In addition to being one of the founding members of the Solesides crew/hip-hop collective that morphed into Quannum Projects Lateef is also part of The Maroons (with Chief Xcel) and has another side career recording with Fatboy Slim. He told me that he and Lyrics Born were busy working on the long overdue follow up Latryx project - that he and Lyrics Born, along with some help from individuals like DJ Shadow and Chief XCel, began almost two full decades ago - but haven't released anything new in over a dozen years with the exception of a few new bits on a mixtape CD (and now a download for sale on LB's site) Latryical Madness Vol 1 mixed by DJ Zeph .  "We are about six songs into it [new Latryx album] right now with production on there by Amp Live, Cut Chemist, the Bangerz [formerly Finger Bangerz] are on there doing some stuff. And a few other cats as well: DJ Shadow and [Dan the] Automator is supposed to give us some stuff. And Chief Xcel is supposed to give us some stuff. We've got a bunch of stuff," he said.

Continue reading...

Bay Area Hip-Hop TV Show "Distortion 2 Static" Calls It Quits After Ten Years

Posted by Billyjam, November 25, 2011 08:08am | Post a Comment
         

For the past decade the Bay Area half-hour, hip-hop TV show Distortion 2 Static (D2S) has been diligently covering the wide world of hip-hop with an emphasis on both homegrown and national hip-hop, from each element of the genre and providing viewers with a steady stream of talent. Additionally, as its website states, it "offers an intimate perspective into a progressive Hip Hop culture by highlighting the current events within the community and profiling those who are committed to advancing its art forms. The D2S brand also extends itself into fashion, music, and nightlife entertainment." But this week, after one long decade, D2S will call it quits (ten years is "the perfect time to move on" they say) and rather than mourn will celebrate the departure of the show that began in 2001 with a big party on Friday night (Black Friday 11/25) at club Mighty, 199 Utah Street in San Francisco in a farewell party that they are dubbing All Black Everything: Celebrating 10 Years of D2S. that will include sets by DJ Neil Armstrong.

What I personally liked about D2S, which aired on the WB channel in SF, whenever I caught it, (and I watched it mainly in the first half of its decade run on TV and online in clips for the second half of its run) was its genuine love of hip-hop culture in all its elements from graffiti to b-boying and DJing and rapping: and how it lovingly covered so many areas from classic underground 1990's hip-hop videos to (then) new hyphy artists - and amazingly managed to squeeze it all into a half hour show with commercial breaks. The impressive list of artists who appeared on the show is so long that it might be easier to list those who did not grace the screen of D2S. Even more impressive to me was how, despite its budget restrictions, the hard working folks behind D2S did a super slick job on editing and graphics etc. etc.  I have talked to many other fans of the show over the years who similarly thought highly of its commitment to hip-hop's legacy with many comparing it to Yo! MTV Raps back in its early days. Clearly the show was a labor of love with its makers going out of their way to make a quality show for little or no profit.

Continue reading...

Hip-Hop Rap Up 10:08:11: Amoeba Hollywood Top 5, DJ Vajra wins DMC World Championship, ?uestlove in the Bay, Jive Records RIP, A-Plus Salutes Chili Peppers, G-Stack, Murs & Ski Beats, J-Boogie, A3C, DJ Shadow, Lupe Fiasco, + more

Posted by Billyjam, October 8, 2011 10:06am | Post a Comment

Ray Ricky Rivera @ Amoeba Hollywood with Hip-Hop Top 5 Week Ending 10/7/11


Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five for Week ending 10: 07: 11

1) J. Cole Cole World: The Sideline Story (Roc Nation)

2) Evidence Cats & Dogs (Rhymesayers Ent.)

3) 9th Wonder The Wonder Years (It's A Wonderful World Music Group)

4) Madlib No.12-Raw Medicine-Madlib Remixes (Stones Throw)

5) Blu Open (Nature Sounds)

Thanks for this week's Amoeba Hollywood hip-hop chart go to hip-hop recording artist & recent dad Ray Ricky Rivera (aka RRR) who really looks quite well rested (as you can see in above video) despite his sleep patterns been drastically altered of late -ever since he and his wife Lily had their young son Diego born a little over two months ago. Again congrats man! As RRR mentions the number one album at Amoeba, which is also the number one top selling album (of all genres) in the country this week, is the brand new J. Cole album Cole World: The Sideline Story on Roc Nation. In close second is supertalented LA hip-hop artist Evidence who came to fame as part of Dilated Peoples and is now down with the revered Rhymesayers crew with whom he was touring recently and who just released his recommended new album Cats And Dogs which also comes in a vinyl format. Another LA hip-hop treasure, Madlib, is among the other entrants in this week's Top Five (with Medicine Show #12) which is rounded out by releases from both 9th Wonder (The Wonder Years) and Blu (Open).

Continue reading...
<<  1  2  3  >>  NEXT