Amoeblog

"Fruitvale Station" Is A Must-See Movie, Especially For Those In The Bay Area

Posted by Billyjam, July 17, 2013 01:54pm | Post a Comment


Fruitvale Station
- the award winning film about Oscar Grant that opened over the past weekend in select US city theaters and opens nationwide next week - is a highly recommended, really well made movie that anyone anywhere should enjoy viewing. But for those from the Oakland/Bay Area where the film's storyline is set (and filmed) the Ryan Coogler written and directed independent film will be particularly enjoyable, albeit sad and emotionally charged, since the storyline strikes so close to home. "Based on a true story" and capturing the final 24 + hours of the ill-fated life of the 22 year old African American, Hayward resident, who was famously shot and killed by BART police officer Johannes Mehserle in the early hours of New Year's Day 2009 in the BART station that carries the film's title, Fruitvale Station needs no spoiler alert. Unless you were living under a rock for the past four and a half years you know exactly what went down on that fateful day. Besides the film both opens and closes with the fatal shooting of Oscar Grant - the beginning done in that hand held phone/video style that most round the world saw on YouTube and the end in film style.  Like any really good film where you already know the outcome of its storyline Fruitvale Station is such a well written, acted, and perfectly paced film that even knowing exactly how the story will unfold audiences were still silently glued to the screen - truly a testament to the skill of first time director/Richmond CA resident Ryan Coogler.

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REL Song/Video "Public Transit" Addresses Violence & Abuse of Power By Police

Posted by Billyjam, August 3, 2011 12:12pm | Post a Comment

REL "Public Transit" (2011)


The brand new video for "Public Transit" by Bay Area producer REL (of the Drums & Ammo collective) revisits the still touchy topic among Bay Area residents of the fatal Oscar Grant shooting by BART police officer Johannes Mehserle on the Fruitvale BART platform in the early hours of New Year's Day, 2009. The instrumental (and sample based) track also addresses other Bay Area & Northern California incidents of fatal attacks on unarmed citizens on public transit by police. These include Ernesto Duenez, Jr. and, according to producer REL, "Charles Hill and Kenneth Harding, [who] have suffered a similar fate at the hands - and weapons - of Bay Police while utilizing the city's public transportation."

"The song and video were made to express the feelings of confusion, hurt, and anger in our community as a result of three police officer-involved shootings that have taken place on Bay Area public transit lines," shared REL who shot and directed the above video himself using just his iPhone while riding the BART; later editing in excerpts of YouTube clips of these recent police attacks. "The hardest part was being able to get across all of these emotions without any words at all," said REL of of the track that will appear on his forthcoming experimental instrumental album On My Way.



MISSION DISTRICT CELEBRATED IN BEN STOKES' ANIMATED AZEEM VID

Posted by Billyjam, March 4, 2009 01:21pm | Post a Comment

The brilliant, Ben Stokes-directed video above for Azeem's Air Cartoons' album track "Latin Revenge" (on Oaklyn Records with music production by DJ Zeph) takes place in the Mission District of San air cartoons azeemFrancisco. Inspired in part by Terry Gilliam's work and also by Azeem's music, the animated piece also puts a spin on the role of how police are perceived in society. In the video Azeem gains popularity as he peruses the streets of the Mission (eventually becoming a King Kong-like menace) as meanwhile a host of local neighborhood characters take notice. The police in the video are described by the maker as "enablers and cheerleaders."

I called up Azeem the other day to ask him what he thought about the new video. "It made me a fan and it's my video," he laughed, adding that, "All I can say about that video is that I can really almost take no credit for it. I just made the song. Like you and anyone else, I am fan of the video and I am amazed at the level of artistry that it incorporates." The video's animation was done by Ben Stokes (the video's producer/director) with additional animation by Patrick Siemer, who drew from the thousands of still photographs they shot, then cut up, mixed and matched, and then painstakenly animated using After effects.

Ben Stokes, also a part of Tino Corps, D.H.S.,, &  Meat Beat Manifesto, has been professionally making music videos for about 20 years. The Mission District, San Francisco-based Stokes started out doing videos back in 1990 in his native Chicago where he began directing & producing a lot of the pioneering hometown WaxTrax industrial music artists' videos such as Ministry and the Revolting Cocks.

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AMOEBA MUSIC WEEKLY HIP-HOP ROUND UP: 01:09:09

Posted by Billyjam, January 9, 2009 06:06am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music San Francisco Hip-Hop Top Five: 01:09:09
keak da sneak and san quinn
1) Keak da Sneak & San Quinn
 
Welcome To Scokland (Ehustl)

2) San Quinn From A Boy To A
Man
(SMC/Fontana)

3) E40 The Ball Street Journal
(Sic Wid It/Warner)

4) Common Universal Mind  Control (Geffen)

5) Messy Marv Draped Up &
Chipped Out 3
(Scalen)
 
Thanks to Luis at Amoeba Music Sam Francisco for not only providing the Amoeblog with this first hip-hop top five of 2009 but also for being instrumental, through his dedication to local music as hip-hop buyer at the Haight St. store, in the healthy representation of Bay Area hip-hop on this weekly chart. Four of the five new album entries, including the king of the Bay E40 and his latest The Ball Street Journal, are homegrown rap recordings. Only Chicago's Common (and his December 9th release Universal Mind Control) hails from beyond the Yay Area. The number one seller is the hands-across-the-bridge (Bay Bridge) collaboration, appropriately titled Welcome To Scokland, between two of the Bay's best longtime rap acts, Oakland's Keak da Sneak (who recently dropped his own new solo album, Defied, and who will be interviewed in an upcoming Amoeblog) and prolific San Francisco rapper San Quinn.

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