George Clinton, Who Celebrates 75th Birthday, Defines Funk and more in Rare 1985 Interview

Posted by Billyjam, July 22, 2016 08:20pm | Post a Comment

Today funk innovator, captain of the mothership, nucleus of Parliament, Funkadelic, P-Funk All Stars and other spin off bands, George Clinton celebrates his 75th birthday. The artist is an historic key figure in shaping not just funk music but also a lot of hip-hop too. A hard working musician who, even in his mid 70's, is currently on tour. The man is truly a living legend. Hence if you have never seen him and P-Funk in concert you owe it to yourself to go see him play. Luckily there's ample opportunities to do so. Currently on tour in Euorpe, tonight he celebrates his birthday playing the Paradiso in Amsterdam. Tomorrow night he brings P-Funk to the Tramlines Festival in Sheffield, England. The artist returns to California in September when  he will play the Fox Theater in Oakland on Sept. 15th and at the Santa Cruz Mountains Sol Festival September 18. In honor of this funk musical pioneer and his 75th birthday, I have a rare recently uncovered May 1985 interview with George Clinton that I conducted for KALX radio back in the day. Clinton, who was 44 years of age at the time, was enjoying a rich recent solo career. Just three years earlier in 1982 he unleashed his solo debut album Computer Games that featured the funk smash hit single "Atomic Dog." The following year he followed up with solo album number two You Shouldn't-Nuf Bit Fish.  At the time of this interview he'd already finished up working on his third solo album, Some Of My Best Jokes Are Friends and was onto his next project: producing The Red Hot Chili Peppers. In fact he was in the studio in Detroit with the Chili Peppers working on their album Freaky Styley when he took time out to conduct this phone interview.

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Bay Area Vibez Festival Featuring Bassnectar, Nas, Aloe Blacc & More, September 26-27

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, August 23, 2015 05:00pm | Post a Comment

On September 26th and 27th, Oakland's Middle Harbor Shoreline Park will be transformed into a mecca of Bay Area Vibez, Oaklandmusic, art, and food by the inaugural Bay Area Vibez Festival, an urban lifestyle event that celebrates diversity through live music and the arts. Supporting regional youth and music programs, Bay Area Vibez is endorsing (HHSL) as the festival's charity partner. HHSL works in conjunction with (a non-profit founded by Harry Belafonte) to better spread social justice, through youth and music, with a plan to bring portable music studios to community centers in both San Francisco and Oakland.

With over 25 bands and DJs on multiple stages, we know this is just the beginning for this ambitious festival. On Saturday, September 26, Aloe Blacc performs with Sankofa Sound (a collection of musicians that align themselves with a-list artists who gather through, along with the festival headliners, multiple Grammy winners Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley and Stephen “Ragga” Marley. Also performing Saturday are Morgan Heritage, The Grouch & Eligh, Tarrus Riley, Fishbone, Cut Chemist, Mod Sun, Queen Omega, I-Live, Skip Marley, Forrest Day, I-Wayne, and Black Am-I.

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RIP Pop Culture Icon Annette Funicello

Posted by Billyjam, April 8, 2013 11:40am | Post a Comment

Bikini Beach trailer (1964)

As reported by several news outlets including the LA Times, Annette Funicello died earlier today (Monday April 8th) at the Mercy Southwest Hospital in Bakersfield. She was 70. 25 years ago Funicello had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Funicello enjoyed major success in both the fifties and sixties, first as original Mousketeer star of television's The Mickey Mouse Club from when it premiered for several years, and in the latter decade as co-star of the phenomenally popular series of "beach movies" she made with Frankie Avalon. Above and below are a few video clips featuring Annette Funicello, including the trailer for 1964's Bikini Beach, a classic 50's clip from The Mickey Mouse Club featuring the Mousketeers that includes Annette looking back in a later decade, and Annette Funicello singing "Jamaican Ska" from 1987's Back To The Beach alongside Fishbone. In Back to the Beach, the grown-up Frankie and Annette go back to the SoCal beach to visit their daughter only to discover there's still fun to be had back on the beach. Also below is the trailer for the original "beach" movie (1963's Beach Party) that kick-started the popular sixties movie series.

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Hip-Hop Rap Up 06:10:11: Hail Mary Mallon, Vast Aire, Agerman, T.I.E., Sadat X, Baby Jaymes, Fishbone + more

Posted by Billyjam, June 10, 2011 08:08am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music San Francisco Hip-Hop Top Five Week Ending 06:10:11

1) Blu & Exile Below The Heavens Re-Issue (Sound In Color)

2) Neek The Exotic Still On The Hustle (Fatbeats)

3) Vast Aire OX 2010: A Street Odyssey (Man Bites Dog Records & Fat Beats)

4) Oddisee Odd Seasons (Mello Music Group)

5) Aesop Rock, Rob Sonic & DJ Big Wiz are-Hail Mary Mallon Are You Gonna Eat That? (Rhymesayers Entertainment)

Thanks to Luis at the San Francisco Amoeba for this week's Top Five chart that features Blu & Exile's reissue of Below The Heavens and the new  Neek The Exotic's Still On The Hustle holding down the two top spots. Fans of Def Jux's famed NY hip-hop duo Cannibal Ox are among those snapping up Vast Aire's new OX 2010: A Street Odyssey which is a sort of throwback to his former group even if his former partner in rhyme Vordul Mega only appears on of the album's 15 tracks; the track "Thor's Hammer" that also features Raekwon. Fellow Wu warrior Cappadonna also makes a cameo on this guest heavy release that includes  Double A.B., Kenyattah Black, Guilty Simpson, and Genesis of LXG. OX 2010 may not be quite as great a work as Vast Aire's The Best Damn Rap Show but it is a tight album that displays the lyricist's clever wordplay.    

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CMJ Music Marathon & Film Festival Kicks Off In NYC Today

Posted by Billyjam, October 19, 2010 04:20am | Post a Comment
The kick off of this year's CMJ Music Marathon and Film Festival is today in NYC! The CMJ (College Music Journal) event, now in its 30th year, runs from today (Tuesday, Oct 19th) through Saturday night (Oct 23rd) and features so many different bands and artists and films (and workshops and music panels) playing at countless venues (mostly in Manhattan and Brooklyn) that it is physically impossible to attend all of them. Thus, if you are attending this year's festival, you'd best carefully plan each day ahead of time. Here is the overwhelming list of all the artists to play over the next five days and here is the guide to the films screening.

Films include the documentary Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone, which is directed by Lev Anderson & Chris Metzler. The film tells the story of the unique Cali punk-funk outfit that is Fishbone (who are still around and gigging -- they played the DNA Lounge in SF last Thursday) and also covers the political and racial environment (namely Reagan’s America) during which they rose to fame. With members of Fishbone offering their insights, the documentary is narrated by Laurence Fishburne and also includes figures like Ice T, George Clinton, Flea, Gwen Stefani, Perry Farrell, and Branford Marsalis all offering their thoughts and stories. It screens at 4pm Friday at Norwood Private Club in Manhattan. Another film is the French language L’Enfant Prodige (The Child Prodigy) directed by Canadian Luc Dionne, which tells the true story of six-year-old child prodigy Andre Mathieu. He wowed concert halls in Paris, London, New York, and other major metropolitan centers around the world and was billed as the “Little Canadian Mozart” but when all was going well his story took a tragic turn. Screens at 10pm Thursday at Clear Cinemas on 23rd Street.
As a hip-hop fan I of course tend to gravitate toward the hip-hop shows. Though once not very well represented at this traditionally indie rock themed event, now there are a decent amount of hip-hop events that include Mickey Factz and GZA this year. One of the best all hip-hop shows this year is tonight's big retro (as in mid to late nineties) event with Boot Camp Clik crew's Buckshot, Sean Price, and Smif-N-Wesson, Pete Rock, Jean Grae, 9th Wonder, Pharoahe Monch, Strong Arm Steady, and Skyzoo and Illmind. This guaranteed-to-be-packed showcase is at Le Poisson Rouge in the Village tonight at 10pm.

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