In Advance of 2nd Annual Women's Empowerment Show, CMG of The Conscious Daughters Reflects on Her Pioneering Career

Posted by Billyjam, March 5, 2016 01:51pm | Post a Comment

Presented by and Venus Rising, tonight's 2nd Women's Empowerment Show at Oakland's Starline Social Club promises a "celebration of Women's contributions in Hip Hop" with a showcase of the Bay Area's best talents, including co-headliners DJ Pam The Funkstress and CMG of The Conscious Daughters (TCD). These two pioneering women in Bay Area hip-hop, whose histories date back three decades, will be joined on the bill by a generation of women artists who look to them as role models in a traditionally male-dominated field. Hosted by Breathless and Charity Clay, tonight's show features Ryan Nicole, Yani, Fem Deadly Venoms, and DJ Deeandroid. While the ratio of women to men in hip-hop has always been unbalanced at least today there are more hip-hop artists overall so the number
is larger. Women DJs in hip-hop, from when Pam TheFunkstress started out as DJ in The Coup, have always been a minority group. Same for emcees like Carla "CMG" Green whose history dates back to the mid-eighties when she would stop by the El Cerrito High studios of KECG to hang out with her future TCD partner in rhyme, the late Karryl "Special One" Smith who tragically died in December 2011.

In advance of tonight's Women's Empowerment Show, scheduled during Women's History Month, I caught up with the Bay Area hip-hop pioneer Carla "CMG" Green to reflect back on her long career and her role as a female in a male dominated field, her top favorite female hip-hop artists of all time, and other things too including one that comes to mind during this presidential political season.

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An Interview with Alissa Walker for Women's History Month

Posted by Eric Brightwell, March 30, 2015 08:06pm | Post a Comment
In the past most of my posts for Women's History Month have focused on historical figures. This year I decided to instead focus on living breathing women who're actively contributing to the vibrant cultural landscape of Los Angeles. This week's subject is Alissa Walker. Walker maintains the website, A Walker in LA; has written about design, architecture, cities, and transportation for the Los Angeles Times, Fast Company, Dwell, Slate, Wired, Los Angeles Magazine, Details, GOOD, the LA Weekly (and probably others); and is the urbanism editor at Gizmodo. She also co-created design east of La Brea, an organization that produces events that take place east of La Brea; is an associate produce for the KCRW public radio show DnA: Design and Architecture; is on the steering committee of Los Angeles Walks; and she just had a baby.

Alissa Walker (image source: Zaki Mustafa)
Alissa Walker (image source: Zaki Mustafa)

I first met Alissa at a tour of Dodger Stadium organized by design east of La Brea (deLaB) to which I walked  -- a decision which produced the unexpected result of my being escorted by security. Walker rode her bike. I didn't realize at the time that I'd heard her interviewed on Notebook on Cities and Culture, which had made me want to talk to her about Los Angeles, which I'm only getting around to now. 

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Assata Shakur Celebrated In Womyn's Legacy Program At National Black Theatre

Posted by Billyjam, March 25, 2015 01:12pm | Post a Comment
In their ever continued dedicated display of hip-hop, as a wide cultural movement, that can be utilized as a tool to uplift, educate, and fight against social injustices The Universal Zulu Nation present another program for Women's History Month (or Womyn's Legacy Month as they present it) with a special program tonight that focuses on the controversial figure Assata Shakur. Aptly entitled "Assata Shakur, Cuba, Black August & the role of Womyn in using Hip Hop Culture as a tool for Liberation & Revolutionary Struggle" today's (Weds March 25th) three hour program takes place at the Universal Zulu Nation's NYC chapter's favorite venue; Harlem's National Black Theater. The program will present Shakur in different mediums including a screening of Cuban filmmaker Gloria Rolondo's award winning film Eyes Of The Rainbow - the documentary film with Assata Shakur that is set in Cuba and features music and dance. The program will include guest speaker Sister Monifa S. Perry. There will also be a reading of portions of The Autobiography of Assata Olugbala Shakur, as well as a discussion on Black August and the role of women (womyn) in using the rich cultural movement that is hip-hop as a means to empower and fight for liberation in a revolutionary struggle.

The documentary Eyes of the Rainbow, which appears in full below,  tackles the never dull life of Assata Shakur, the Black Panther and Black Liberation Army leader who in 1973  was involved in a shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike in which she was accused of killing a New Jersey State Trooper, and who escaped from prison and was given political asylum in Cuba. This film views Assata in an Afro Cuban context, including the Yoruba Orisha Oya, goddess of the ancestors, of war, of the cemetery and of the rainbow. Eyes of the Rainbow was dedicated by Rolondo to "all women who struggle for a better world." As such Assata, who is considered a terrorist by some but a hero to others and has famously referenced herself as a "20th century escaped slave," is a prime example of an African American woman leading the struggle in the fight of calling for social justice.

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Female Experimental Filmmakers: A Noncomprehensive A-Z

Posted by Eric Brightwell, March 18, 2015 12:27pm | Post a Comment


There are almost as many types of experimental films as there are experimental filmmakers. Many of them come to film from different directions than conventional filmmakers -- weaving together psychology, painting, dance, poetry, literature, theater, sculpture, and other fields. This being Women's History Month, I thought I'd have a crack at compiling a list of some of the names with which I'm familiar. If you have additions you'd like me to insert, let me know in the comments. 


Amy Greenfield was born 8 July, 1950 in Boston. She is an originator of the cine-dance genre, her namefor her artistic intersection of experimental film and dance. In addition to film she's created holographic moving sculptures, live multimedia pieces, poetry, and video installations.


Bady Minck was born in Ettelbruck, Luxembourg. She studied sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts and experimental film at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. Her debut, 1988's Der Mensch mit den modernen Nerven, was screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 1989. Minck today divides her time between Luxembourg and Vienna.

Irish Female Vocalists

Posted by Billyjam, March 17, 2015 04:04am | Post a Comment

No better time to do an Irish female vocalists Amoeblog post since it is Women's History Month and since I am here in Dublin, Ireland today, where the national St. Patrick's Day Parade will begin at noon. The crowds have already swarmed the city centre while the festivities kicked off here over the weekend with overflowing bars and various events surrounding the four-day I Love My City 2015 Festival that leads up to and includes St. Patrick's Day. Generally, it's a time for both Irish natives and the influx of tourists to get their collective (drunken) Irish on. Naturally there's lots of Irish music everywhere, including a free show at The Chapel Royal in Dublin Castle with new Irish music vocalist Pauline Scanlon, backed by Notify  who is part of the current wave of Irish singers keeping the Gaelic (Irish) traditional music alive by infusing slightly new arrangements on traditional airs with some electronic instrumentation backing alongside trad instruments.

Pauline Scanlon is one of the Irish female vocalists showcased in this Amoeblog along with a cross-section of others from over the past few decades up to the present. This list is both subjective (based on my own personal favorites) as well as culling the opinions of a few music fans here who include Paul Deacy (owner of Galway record/book/candle shop Bell Book & Candle), longtime Irish music collector and ambassador Tall Paul Lowe, and RTE 2XM radio DJ/broadcaster Eric "DJ Laz-E" Moore.   

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