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Brooklyn DJ Esquire Took US Title In Heated, High Caliber 2013 US DMC Finals DJ Battle

Posted by Billyjam, August 5, 2013 11:06pm | Post a Comment

DJ Esquire took the 2013 US DMC Finals title over the weekend in New York at a packed Stage 48  nightclub with DJs Spare Change and Ease taking second and third places respectively in an entertaining evening that featured inspired six minute sets by each of the 13 US contestants, event host Kool DJ Red Alert providing funny banter, great sets by the special guest performer DJs Rockin Rob, Johnny Juice, and DJ Izoh, plus a surprise moment of true turntablist romance when New Mexico contestant OHM proposed to his girlfriend.

New York City DJ Esquire became a hometown hero Saturday night at the Hells Kitchen district club when garnered the most votes to take the new title at the 2013 US DMC Finals following a heated, high caliber DJ battle featuring 13 turntable talents from all across the country,. This achievement, that he earned despite his needle breaking toward the end of his intense six minute routine, means that the Brooklyn DJ will travel to London, England to represent the US in the DMC World DJ Championship 2013 finals on October 5th. Saturday night's talent-packed battle presented somewhat of a dilemma for all the judges, myself included, since the talent was so great that it was incredibly tough in making that final decision of narrowing it down to just three DJs. Truth is that each of the other ten DJ contestants also delivered incredibly impressive sets and, it could be argued, that any one of them deserved to have ranked in the final three. I was not alone in this summation since, after the battle, talking to such fellow judges as Roli Rho, DJ Cheese, DJ Shiftee, and Snayk Eyez - all of whom had chosen different top threes - the consensus was that it was too challenging task to narrow it down to a top three. Snayk Eyez summed the battle and the content of the competitors up best when he noted how each competitor was 100% on their game with their skills down to perfection meaning that then, "It all came down to delivery, presentation, showmanship," said the visiting Bay Area DJ/judge. 

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The Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne and Run DMC's Darryl "DMC" McDaniels Both Get Into Making Comic Books

Posted by Billyjam, July 15, 2013 05:53pm | Post a Comment
The Flaming Lip's frontman Wayne Coyne will be among those comic book creators contributing to  Comic-Com 2013 later this week. Coyne's new adult-themed comic book The Sun Is Sick will be unveiled at the ever popular annual event that takes place at the San Diego Convention Center Thursday through Sunday this week (July 18th - 21st). The Sun Is Sick, which is the multi-media artist's first ever comic book, is a forty-page, limited print run edition, adult comic that is sized 6 ½" x 8 ½" in "full-color psychedelic fantasy in classic comic book form" according to its maker. Before it goes on sale Thursday at Comic Con it will be previewed online by  Paste Magazine who will sneak preview it a day earlier (July 17th) on their site with a feature by Coyne on the making of his work. After Comic Con the comic book will be sold exclusively on the Lips' website. Coyne and his band are currently on tour in support of their recommended new album The Terror that arrived in Amoeba in mid April. Tonight (7/15) they play Wallingford, CT at the Oakdale Theatre and tomorrow they play Pittsburgh, PA's Stage AE with Spiritualized as support act for both shows. Their next advertised California date is July 31st when the Flaming Lips play Costa Mesa's Pacific Amphitheatre. However their website and their label promise "additional West Coast tour dates" to be announced shortly and advise keeping an eye on the Flaming Lips website for future details on this.

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DJ Traps Wins 2013 SF Regional DMC Battle

Posted by Billyjam, April 29, 2013 12:00pm | Post a Comment

DJ Traps working his winning routine @ last night's 2013 San Franciso Regional DMC DJ Battle

Proving that you really can make lemonade out of lemons DJ Traps - last night's winner of the  2013 San Francisco Regional DMC DJ Battle - shared during his acceptance speech that his personal life had not been going so good lately but that, via his craft, he had managed to turn all that negativity into something positive. "I been through a lot of shit recently," admitted the winner of the prestigious DJ battle without going into detail. "But I took it all out here," he said gesturing towards the two turntable and mixer set up on which he had just done his stunning six minute winning routine of the heated, high caliber DJ battle.

The competition - the second annual Bay Area DMC Regional in a row after a noticeable six year gap of any DMC battles in the Bay - was a fun and talent-packed turntable competition that was as much a DJ battle as it was a reunion and gathering of Bay Area hip-hop DJs of the past few decades. In addition to young DJ cats like Santa Rosa competitor DJ Lazy Boy (aka Gregory The Great) there were OG Bay Area DJs like DJ Apollo, Pos Red, DJ Quest, and QBert who all started out in the 80's as well as next generation DJs like Teeko, Snayk Eyez, and Golden Chyld who arrived on the scene in the 90's. The whole event, that ran from mid afternoon into the evening at Neck of The Woods on Clement St. in San Francisco, exuded good vibes and a shared love by all in the house for hip-hop DJ'ing and scratch music. DJ Lazy Boy, who placed third in the competition, said during his acceptance speech onstage with DJ Apollo - the MC of the night - that he had grown up listening to the Triple Threat DJ crew (the Bay Area supergroup featuring Apollo along with Shortkut and Vin Roc - another one of the night's judges) and that he used to practice his DJing to, using routines done by Apollo as his template, noting that "it was an honor" to now be onstage alongside his turntable hero.
 
Following a great warm up set by Mista B, who dug deep in his crates to spin lots of old school and golden era classics (Grandmaster Flash + Furious Five featuring Melle Mel, Run DMC, Audio Two, etc.) plus a bunch of throwbacks from the Bay Area including IMP/Cougnut and Rated X/C-Funk, the SF DMC battle started with the first round of each of eight DJs doing two minute routines.

Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 04.26.13: Ghostface Killah, Apollo The Great, Los Rakas, Hieros, DMC, Medusa, Streets of Rap + more

Posted by Billyjam, April 26, 2013 01:39pm | Post a Comment
        

Amoeba Berkeley Hip Hop Top Five Week Ending April 26: 2013



1) Ghostface Killah Twelve Reasons To Die (Soul Temple)

2) Kid Cudi Indicud (Dreamworks)

3) Trek Life Hometown Foreigner (Mello Music)

4) DJ Neil Armstrong Sweet: 10 Year Anniversary Box Set (Turntable Lab)

5) Kev Brown Songs Without Words Vols 1 + 2 (Green)

Special thanks to E-Lit at Amoeba Berkeley  for taking time to record video above and run down the latest new hip-hop arrivals at Amoeba which include goodies such as Mello Music's Trek Life  (Hometown Foreigner) and Kev Brown (Songs Without Words Vols 1 + 2). Then of special interest to DJ/turntablist fans are both the Beat Junkies Record Store Day leftover vinyl release plus the beautifully done box set by DJ Neil Armstrong (Sweet: 10 Year Anniversary Box Set). Speaking of the craziness of Record Store Day last Saturday, E-Lit reports that two of the hottest hip-hop RSD 2013 exclusive items at the Berkeley Amoeba were the Notorious B.I.G. vinyl reissue of Ready To Die and the GZA chess set - both of which were snapped up and sold out in record time. Continuing to sell well at Amoeba Berkeley and the other two Amoeba stores this week are both the new Kid Cudi (Indicud on Dreamworks) and Ghostface Killah's Twelve Reasons To Die (Soul Temple). And below is a video from this hot new collab with Adrian Younge.

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"A Community Event" - DJ Cue on Sunday's 2013 San Francisco DMC Regional DJ Battle

Posted by Billyjam, April 25, 2013 11:45am | Post a Comment
The renaissance in the turntable arts and all it entails, including skratch music and hip-hop DJ battles, that began in the past couple of years - following a bit of a lull for close to a decade - continues its resurgence in San Francisco this weekend when, for the second year in a row after a noticeable six year absence, the prestigious DMC (now celebrating 30 years) DJ battle returns for a Bay Area regional battle. And considering that the Bay Area has long been viewed as one of the main epicenters of turntable culture and battle-DJing this is a most welcome return.

"We're excited for this one," said veteran San Francisco DJ/producer DJ Cue who as well as working behind the scenes will also be a special performer at the event. The 2013 DMC San Francisco Regional Battle takes place on Sunday afternoon/evening (April 28th) at Neck Of The Woods on Clement Street in The City. For his anticipated performance DJ Cue will be joined onstage by his longtime turntable crew partner DJ Quest who two decades ago, along with Eddie Def, formed the legendary San Francisco turntablist crew the Bullet Proof Scratch Hamsters (BPSH). At that time the BPSH crew made history by releasing the first DJ battle record, Hamster Breaks, something no doubt that will be on DJ Cue's mind on Sunday.
"I would say that this year marks a good twenty one years now that the Bay DJ's have been really solidly in the battle scene. Hamster Breaks came out twenty years ago. Invisbl Skratch Piklz won DMC twenty one years ago. And the DJ's from here have been strong ever since. Our history is strong here and we are together supporting the event and forward movement of the battle scene and to wherever it goes," said the Bay Area proud DJ Cue who is also one of the organizers of this weekend's event which he describes as a true group/community effort.

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