Shabazz Palaces 2011 release Black Up is undoubtedly one of the best, most exciting hip-hop releases of the new millennium. So we waited with bated breath for this second release from Ishmael Butler (one of '90s alt hip-hop greats Digable Planets) and Tendai Maraire, and Lese Majesty does not disappoint. The album is a sweltering blur of chilled-out beats, sparkling synthesizer tapestries and spacey rhymes that echo through your head. The 18-track album has a prog-like massivity to it, making it fun to get lost in—you can listen to Lese Majesty three times in a row on repeat and never get sick of it, nor will you fail to discover something new. But if you need a good entry point into their weird, wonderful world, I'd recommend the bizarrely catchy beats that hook you in "They Come in Gold" or the funny and fast-paced "#CAKE," with its layers of vocals and strange diversions. Now all I'm gonna do with the rest of my day is eat cake and listen to Shabazz Palaces. I wish! Back to work ... but honestly, this is one of the best things anyone's put out this year. Shabazz Palaces play Amoeba SF tonight at 6 p.m.!
What is a little unclear is whether Twitter fans are making suggestions for their encores or for their entire set. It may be vague because certain festival shows, particularly in Europe, can't accommodate their generally lengthy encores. But what is clear is that Fan Club members get an additional opportunity to help decide the opening song.
I really love this "Spontaneous Curation Series" idea for a few reasons. For fans who participate, it will make them feel involved in the performance far more than a "passive" attendee and each show will truly be special and unique. (Which may also drive ticket sales for fans looking to experience a different show each night.) From a social media perspective, it will strengthen their audience, certainly in terms of online engagement but also likely in total number of Twitter followers. That's akin to a social media slam dunk - reward and engage your core followers while attracting new ones in the process!
MMJ's "Spontaneous Curation Series" reminds me of a 2012 hi-tech version of Elvis Costello's "Spectacular Spinning Songbook." During his 1986 "Revolver Tour," Costello brought a game show style wheel with him on stage and let fans spin the giant wheel to decide the next song. Costello resurrected the concept in 2011 and recently released the Return of the Spectacular Spinning Songbook CD/DVD recorded over two nights in Los Angeles. Perhaps the MMJ "Spontaneous Curation" shows will lead to a live album as well...
Aaron Detroit, Buyer at Amoeba Hollywood. As you may know, I've worked in Hollywood for 8 years, but started my time with Amoeba - way back in 1998 - at the San Francisco store. This is my extensive list of 2011 releases that I fell in love with or had hot and heavy affairs with this year.
- Wild Beasts Smother
In 2008, Brit quartet Wild Beasts released their shaky-legged -but- stunning debut, Limbo Panto. In the four years since, the band has released two thoroughly dazzling masterpiece full-lengths of deceptively delicate indie rock, lyrically bent towards looking in the dark recesses of the heart and libido, largely sung by co-vocalist Hayden Thorpe in his trademark falsetto. Smother finds the band adding a new restraint to their arrangements that allows the tension in the lyrics to hit with hair-on-end chills. It is a singular LP by a singular band that I expect will eventually reach a Radiohead-level stratosphere.
1. M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
1) Curren$y Weekend at Burnie's (Warner Bros)
2) Shabazz Palaces Black Up (Sub Pop)
3) Pete Rock/Smif-n-Wessun Monumental (DuckDown)
4) Philthy Rich & Messy Marv Neighborhood Superstar Part 3 (Town Thizzness)
5) Matthew Shipp/Beans/William Parker/Hprizm Knives From Heaven (Thirsty Ear)
6) Raashan Ahmad For What You've Lost (PID)
Big ups to Luis at Amoeba San Francisco for this latest hip-hop chart that includes in the number one slot the anticipated new release from one of hip-hop's most buzzed about (albeit under the radar) artists these days, New Orleans's underrated rap talent Curren$y and his sixth studio album, Weekend at Burnie's. The album, which is named after the 1989 comedy movie of the same name, is Curren$y's second full length for Warner since his exit from Def Jam. A fuill decade in the rap game Curren$y has the distinction of being simultaneously incredibly well known by a large segment of the hip-hop community (who've followed his career via the free mixtapes and official releases he's been dilegently cranking out) but relatively unknown on a mainstream level. This could all change with Weekend which packs a lot of crossover ready material.