Amoeblog

Tickets on Sale at Amoeba Hollywood to Red Bull Thre3Style: U.S. National Finals DJ Competition

Posted by Billy Gil, April 2, 2013 05:00pm | Post a Comment

Redbull competitionAmoeba Hollywood has tickets to DJ competition the 2013 U.S. National Finals, hosted by Red Bull Thre3Style. The 21+ show takes place Friday, April 5, at Hollywood club LURE, located just around the corner from the store. Tickets are available at Amoeba Hollywood for only $20 (with no service fee).

The competition will feature six acclaimed American DJs, will be judged by DJs Jazzy Jeff, Z-Trip and A-Trak, and will also feature a DJ set from producer and performer Mark Ronson after the competition. The winner of the competition will go on to represent the U.S. in the Red Bull Thre3style World Championship in Toronto, Canada, in November.

The DJs featured in the competition and their city of origin are as follows: Trentino (Chicago), DJ Phish (Philadelphia), Konflikt (Miami), Donnie Dee (Dallas), DJ Scene (Las Vegas) and Aroc (Orlando). Their sets will consist of one 15-minute performance apiece, with a minimum of three genres per set. DJs are judged based on track selection, creativity, mixing skills, stage presence and crowd reaction.

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Two Years After his Death, GURU of Gang Starr's Legacy Lives On

Posted by Billyjam, April 19, 2012 10:39am | Post a Comment

Gang Starr "Code of The Streets" (from
Hard To Earn, 1994)


It was on this date exactly two years ago (April 19, 2010) that hip-hop icon, emcee GURU of hip-hop golden era legendary duo Gang Starr (with DJ Premier) died succumbing to a year long battle with cancer combined with a serious heart attack from a month earlier.  The name of the super-gifted and highly influential MC, born Keith Elam and who was only 43 when he passed in April 2010, appropriately stood for "Gifts Unlimited Rhymes Universal" which perfectly summed up the artist. GURU will always be remembered most for his Gang Starr recordings. Yes he did a lot of other work with artists over the years including the ambitious Jazzmatazz series with Branford Marsalis, Donald Byrd, Roy Ayers and Ronny Jordan but it is his Gang Starr recordings/catalog that will forever remain in the hearts & heads of music fans and the general hip-hop consciousness.

There have been, over the years, countless club nights whose names have been taken directly from GURU lyrics, and/or Gang Starr song/album titles. Dave Paul of BOMB Hip Hop once had a party called Step In The Arena. Additionally GURU's fondness for confrontational, battle style lyrics were tailor-made for DJs to utilize in battle scenarios. As UK DJ/producer Pete Sasqwax so accurately noted today on this sad anniversary, "So many quotables & without him, how different DJ battles would've been over the years. I believe there was a significant period of time whereby it was mandatory to use a Guru dis in your DMC [DJ battle] routine otherwise you would automatically fail to progress." Above and below are videos to some of my personal all time fave Gang Starr cuts. Rest in peace GURU - your music keeps you alive forever!

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Amoeba Music Now Sells A Variety of Turntables! Learn All About 'Em.

Posted by Billyjam, December 13, 2011 04:40pm | Post a Comment
      

As you've no doubt already read, vinyl sales are up so to meet the accompanying increase in demand for turntables Amoeba Music recently began selling various turntable models. As outlined in the excellent recent Amoeblog about buying a turntable at Amoeba Music, the three Amoeba stores each have a really good selection of turntables for sale.  Recently I stopped into the Berkeley Amoeba store to talk a bit with turntable expert Brendan about the variety of turntables to choose from at the Telegraph Avenue store. Note that the San Francisco and Hollywood Amoeba stores may each have a slightly different array of turntables to chose from. Call ahead to your local Amoeba (scroll down for phone numbers) to double check on which models are available. 

As outlined by Brendan in the video interview clip above, the Audio-Technica model on display is a wonderful hands-on, easy to operate, sturdy model that comes with a good quality, built-in cartridge (so you don't have spend any extra time and money getting the needle cartridge) for only $129.98. This exact same model - including the extra feature of a USB connection that is geared for folks who, as well as listening to their records, want to dub off their vinyl into a digital format to have on the go in their iPod and other mp3 listening devices -- sells for $179.98. A great deal if you plan on doing a lot of digitizing of your vinyl collection is the Numark TTUSB model with USB compatibility, on sale for just $149.98. As Brendan says in the video clip, this belt-driven model is "a really solid design for 150 bucks!" It also comes with pitch control, which is perfect for DJs and anyone who wants to increase or decrease the speed of the record being played.

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Forthcoming Documentary To Have & To Hold Is A Wonderful Homage to Vinyl and Record Collecting

Posted by Billyjam, May 3, 2010 01:15pm | Post a Comment

As proven by the runaway success of the recent Record Store Day, the demand for, and the overall appreciation of, vinyl records is growing at a most impressive rate. It's clear that records ain't going away anytime soon. Both longtime record collectors and new younger vinyl appreciators weened on MP3's, who To Have & To Holdseek a warmer, fuller sounding & more tactile alternative, are keeping vinyl alive. As I like to say, you can't put your arms around an MP3. So considering the healthy renaissance that vinyl is currently enjoying, the timing for the forthcoming Jony Lyle directed homage to vinyl records, To Have & To Hold, could not be better.

Vinyl records carry a very deep & profound meaning for those who collect them, as you can see from the above six minute-clip of excerpts from this forthcoming ninety minute documentary that includes interviews with such vinyl aficionados as Questlove, Danny Krivit, DJ Amir, Chuck D, Bobbito Garcia, Christian Marclay, Bruce Lundvall, and Paul Mawhinney,

To Have & To Hold director Jony Lyle, who has opened record shops in Edinburgh and Barcelona and  is co-founder of Scratch club in London, Edinburgh and Gothenburg, describes his film as “a musicmentory to celebrate the age of vinyl records.” Featuring a nice mix of all things vinyl, including the aforementioned interviews (all conducted amidst the respective aficionado's record collection), archive footage, record pressing plant footage, and such eye candy for vinyl fiends like myself as the segment filmed at PS1 Contemporary Arts Center in Queens, NY of the 12" records as floor tiles exhibit.

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NEW TWIST ON FAMILIAR E-MAIL SCAM TARGETS DJs & MUSICIANS

Posted by Billyjam, October 5, 2007 08:30am | Post a Comment

Last week I received an email which, on the surface, looked like a real sweet deal -- a request for me to do what looked like a well paying DJ gig at which I could play whatever I wanted and get tons of extra expenses covered. It was from a guy who was organizing an upcoming birthday party for his wife. It sure seemed like the ideal party to DJ -- good money, spin whatever music you feel like, plus have free travel expenses for me and my crew for this four hour gig,

It seemed too good to be true. Which, of course, it was. The email I received was similar, almost identical right down to every misspelled word, to one making the rounds right now through many US DJs' (club/radio/mobile) and musicians' email in-boxes over the last couple of months. In fact, you readers may have even received a copy yourself already if you are a musician or DJ. In Colorado recently the Denver Musician Association posted a warning on its website alerting its members "The following (or similar) email messages have been received by several members of Local 20-623 - Denver, Colorado. DO NOT RESPOND to this email should you receive it, as it has proven to be an attempt to draw you into a fraudulent business transaction."  The email that the musicians in Denver had received was almost identical to mine (scroll down to see all versions) with the exception of the party date and location. 

This new email scam is just the latest spin on the stereotypical email scam whereby some wealthy banker or prince in Africa emails you out of the blue with an opportunity to make an easy million dollars. All you have to do is open a bank account and forward him a mere $1000 -- or something along those lines. The basis for any successful con is to win over the mark's CONfidence and then trick them into fronting the con artist a little up front in advance of the million dollars or whatever bait is being offered.

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