Amoeblog

Rob Hatch-Miller Discusses His Documentary "Syl Johnson: Any Way The Wind Blows" [California Premiere During Noise Pop 2016]

Posted by Billyjam, February 17, 2016 06:29pm | Post a Comment

"A lot of people may not know the name of this man, Syl Johnson, but they know his music," accurately notes RZA in the engaging documentary on the highly influential and widely sampled, yet little known, soul legend. Syl Johnson: Any Way The Wind Blows is the new Rob Hatch-Miller-directed film that makes its California premiere this weekend as part of the Noise Pop 2016 festival's Film Series, co-presented by Amoeba and the SF IndieFest, when it screens at the Roxie Theater. Tickets for the Saturday, Feb 20th, 7pm screening, that is followed by a Q+A with the film's subject and its director, are available here.

The  Wu-Tang Clan's RZA, who's sampled the artist's records for the various Wu tracks, is among the many Syl Johnson devotees interviewed in the film. Others include Prince Paul, Peanut Butter Wolf, Jazzy Jay, and (45s king) DJ BreakBeat Lou, each of whom have nothing but the highest admiration for this prolific yet largely slept-on musical great.

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Homeboy Sandman At Amoeba Berkeley Feb 4th 2016

Posted by Billyjam, February 3, 2016 05:48pm | Post a Comment

Hip-hop fans in the Bay Area have an opportunity to catch one of contemporary hip-hop's most innovative emcees when Homeboy Sandman stops by Amoeba Berkeley Thursday, February 4th at 4pm. The in-store will be the Queens, NY emcee's first ever visit to the East Bay Amoeba Music store. The always down-to-earth hip-hop-loving emcee who breaks all negative stereotypes of rappers will perform a few songs from his deep back catalog. That set will be followed by an informal meet and greet with fans.

"With hip-hop they think you can only rap about horrible criminality and misogyny, or else rap about how you don't rap about that, when the truth is you can rap about anything. I have always loved making songs about stuff that people haven't made songs about," Homeboy Sandman said in one of his previous Amoeblog interviews. That quote was from an interview the school teacher turned full-time emcee did back in June 2010 around the time he had just released his album The Good Sun on High Water/Fat Beats before he signed with Stones Throw Records. Since signing with Peanut Butter Wolf's famed record label, he's released a string of solo recordings including his Subject: Matter EP, the Hallways LP, and the First of A Living Breed album.

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up: Hiero Day 4 Review, Seagram Biopic, RIP Kool DJ AJ, Digg Tribute Compilation + more

Posted by Billyjam, September 14, 2015 11:51pm | Post a Comment

"I live in the Town now. My son goes to school here," LA born emcee Bambu (pictured above) told the early afternoon audience at Hiero Day 4 this past Monday (September 7th) between songs by his political rap group Native Guns from the Imperium Stage - one of several
performance stages simultaneously featuring a rich diverse array of mostly local or Left Coast hip-hop acts. The recently relocated SoCal artist was making the point of how important Oakland had become to him personally as well as how incredibly impressive was this independent and unique urban event that he and his hip-hop group were invited to be a part of.

"No negativity," stressed Bambu gesturing out across the large scale, violence free, annual festival that would again prove the naysayers wrong in that Oakland (aka The Town) can indeed produce a peaceful,  positive, uplifting hip-hop festival with no negativity, just positivity! While the credit for this accomplishment goes to all of the participants - both on stage and off - it primarily goes to the Hieros themselves. As the event's producers, they have crafted something quite amazing out of their combined love of the culture that gave them their careers and the city that gave them their start. Indeed Hiero Day is the ultimate celebration of all things positive about Oakland, CA with the Hieroglyphics collective embodying and embracing the very essence of Oakland in 2015. Not too surprisingly then that former Mayor Jean Quan formally recognized September 3rd (9/3) as Hiero Day two years ago. However the Hieros themselves have done more to uplift The Town than any politician with a skewed agenda ever could!

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Show Recap: Diva at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, September 9, 2015 06:51pm | Post a Comment

diva amoeba hollywoodPhotos by Furn Zavala

Dubbed an "inter-dimensional pop star," Diva has long been one of the most intriguing figures in the L.A. post-punk and minimal wave scene. She showed up at Amoeba Hollywood Sept. 8 to perform songs from her latest release, Divinity in Thee, which is full of imaginitive D.I.Y.-style electro pop gems and was just released on Peanut Butter Wolf's Stones Throw imprint Circle Star

Everything about the performance was transportative. She emerged with a bevy of dancers draped in pastel veils that made them seem like spectral brides, or a neu-age version of the fairies from Sleeping Beauty. She engaged the audience in a legit meditation session, using the correct lingo and everything. To my knowledge, that was an Amoeba first. I have to admit I didn't participate or I would've ended up drooling all over the rock clearance section.  

diva divinity in thee lpAfter getting the audience in touch with their "inner divinity," as she calls it, Diva launched into a track with Indian-inspired dance and vocals, stringing together wonderful phrases like "celestial shrapnel" and "cherubim chakras" (I think) over a minimal electronic backbeat. The dancers' movements revealed shimmer in the dancers' dresses, their otherworldly appearances combining with the airy music to give off a feeling that was both alien and strangely soothing.

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Hiero Day 2015 Lineup To Include Alkaholiks, Domo Genesis, Aceyalone, The Coup, Cali Agents, Luniz, CMW, HBK, Zion I, & Equipto

Posted by Billyjam, August 25, 2015 07:50am | Post a Comment


The folks at Oakland's Hieroglyphics hip-hop collective have announced the anticipated lineup for this year's Hiero Day that does not disappoint and happens on Monday, September 7th at 3rd and Chestnut Streets in Oakland. In addition to headlining act the Hieros, whose membership boasts members such as Souls of Mischief, Del the Funky Homosapien, Casual, and DJ Toure, this year's amazing Hiero Day 2015 lineup will feature 45 diverse acts across three stages that covers various eras and subgenres of hip-hop. This impressive lineup will include Tha Alkaholiks, who arrived on the hip-hop scene the same time as the Hieros; Odd Future's Domo Genesis; Cali Agents (Rasco and Planet Asia); Stones Throw founder DJ/producer Peanut Butter Wolf; Boots Riley's legendary Oakland political hip-hop soldiers The Coup; Freestyle Fellowship's super-gifted emcee Aceyalonelegendary Oakland rap duo the Luniz; Raashan Ahmad's group formerly known as The Mission - Crown City RockersMC Eiht's legendary '90s SoCal rap group Compton's Most Wanted; hometown hip-hop heroes Foreign Legion; Rhymesayers' female emcee talent Psalm One (who changed her name for a minute in recent years); Zion I, Phat Kat & Guilty Simpson; Equipto & Otayo Dubb; HBK members Kool John, P-Lo, and Jay Ant in separate sets; and hyphy era stars The Team

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