Oakland's Beer Revolution, located at 435 3rd Street @ Broadway down by Jack London Square, is all about beer, boasting a mind boggling choice of over 500 different brews, mostly bottled but also on tap.
But Beer Revolution, which is owned and operated by the lifelong punk rock husband & wife team of Fraggle (born Mark Martone) and Rebecca Boyles, is also all about celebrating music -- namely punk rock with an emphasis on 80's punk (especially West Coast punk), all of which acts as the perfect soundtrack to this one-of-a-kind beer tasting emporium.
"Music is very important to us and it's been a predominant part of both my husband's and my life forever, really," Rebecca told me. "I've been very much involved in the punk rock scene for pretty much my whole life and so has Fraggle. It's a part of our lives so we made it a part of our business too." Fraggle, whose passionate punk past includes putting in years as one of the crew of volunteers at 924 Gilman Street Project, confided to me, "It was at an MDC show that myself and Rebecca met."
Not surprisingly then, the legendary Austin, TX formed / SF based punk band MDC (Millions of Dead Cops) is a regular on the Beer Revolution's playlist. Other artists that you'll likely hear being blasted from the in-house sound system include Minor Threat, Fear, 7 Seconds, Operation Ivy (Fraggle was once roommates with the band's Tim Armstrong), GBH, Stiff Little Fingers, The Adolescents, D.I., Social Distortion, and La Plebe (one of the newer punk acts that Fraggle is into).
Amoeba Music San Francisco Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 11:05:10
1) Celph Titled & Buckwild
Nineteen Ninety Now (No Sleep Recordings)
2) Madlib Medicine Show No.10-Black Soul (Stones Throw)
3) N*E*R*D Nothing (Star Trak)
4) Jneiro Jarel Fauna (Kindred Spirits)
5) Pitbull Armando (Mr. 305 Inc.)
Lots of new releases on this latest chart, care of Luis at the San Francisco Amoeba store, including in the number one slot Celph Titled & Buckwild's Nineteen Ninety Now on No Sleep Recordings. It finds the perfect pairing of the famed D.I.T.C. DJ & producer Buckwild with the Florida emcee Celph Titled (of the Demigodz and Army of the Pharaohs fame) and the results are most impressive. Killer production plus lots of tasty cutting and scratching (care of Mista Sinista of X-Ecutioners) perfectly compliment Celph Titled and the other emcees (many fellow D.I.T.C. folks) that guest throughout the 16 track CD, including Sadat X, Grand Puba, AG, Diamond D, Treach (Naughty By Nature), R.A. The Rugged Man, Apathy, Chino XL, and Vinnie Paz of Jedi Mind Tricks. Lyrically, Celph bears it all and tells it like it is (and was), even addressing his bygone beef with Cage from a decade ago.
In the latter half of the 1960s, thanks to the then-new technology of powerful amplifiers, rock and roll witnessed the emergence of the power rock trio. Its blues based "hard rock" music would pave the way for heavy metal, progressive (prog) rock, and other later strains of heavier rock. Sans keyboards, rhythm guitar or other instrumentation, and simply utilizing the basic guitar, bass, and drums (plus feedback), the power rock trio formula was born. Cream (comprised of Jack Bruce, Eric Clapton, & Ginger Baker) and The Jimi Hendrix Experience were among the early pioneers & ambassadors of this highly influential form of rock, and their combined influence was far reaching. Below are these two trios and several other late 60's into early 70's power rock trios spanning the formative half-decade from 1968 to 1973.
Included are video clips of Cream doing their classic "Sunshine Of Your Love" from 1968 and The Jimi Hendrix Experience (with Noel Redding on bass & Mitch Mitchell on drums) doing "VooDoo Child (Slight Return)" live on the Lulu Show on BBC TV in 1969. From 1968 is renowned San Francisco band Blue Cheer with their classic interpretation of Eddie Cochran's "Summertime Blues" from a decade earlier. The band, who typically were on the more psychedelic hard rock end but are more hard blues rock leaning here, featured vocalist and bassist Dickie Peterson, guitarist Leigh Stephens and drummer Paul Whaley. "Summertime Blues" was recorded for their 1968 debut album Vincebus Eruptum.
Today marks the anniversary of a sad occasion for Bay Area rap fans. On this date, November 1st, back in 2004, Vallejo rapper Mac Dre was shot and killed in Kansas City, Missouri after a car pulled alongside the van he was in and fired several shots, killing the rapper born Andre Hicks on the spot.
Mac Dre had performed at a concert in Kansas City that weekend and was on his way out of town on Highway 71 when the car pulled up alongside the vehicle in which Mac Dre was a passenger and opened fire. The driver of the van crossed over into the southbound lanes of the highway before crashing into a ravine. By the time medical help arrived on the scene Mac Dre was dead from a single bullet wound.
If he were alive today, Mac Dre would be 40 years of age and, no doubt, the traditionally prolific artist would have recorded and released at least a dozen albums and Treal TV DVDs over the last six years. In honor of Mac Dre, below are a few videos by the artist including two from the 1990s, from his pre-Thizz stage and before he spearheaded the Bay Area's hyphy movement. You're missed, Mac Dre.
Mac Dre "California Livin'" (1992)
Mac Dre "Rapper Gone Bad" (1999)
Mac Dre "Thizzle Dance" (2002)
Amoeba Music San Francisco Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 10:29:10
1) Lyrics Born As U Were (Decon)
2) Von Pea Pea's Gotta Have It (Interdependent Media)
3) Skillz The World Needs More (Big Kids Music)
4) 2Mex My Fanbase Will Destroy You (Strange Famous Records)
5) Cunninlynguists Presents: Kno-Death is Silent (A Piece of Strange Music)
Lyrics Born's newest studio album, As U Were on Decon, arrived at Amoeba Music on Tuesday (Oct 26) and within three days shot to number one on this week's hip-hop chart for the San Francisco store. With a diverse and accessible sound that ranges from old school disco beats ("Coulda Woulda Shoulda") & old school electro (think Bambaataa) to post-hyphy Bay rap ("Black Bots"), alternative grooves and more, the album features guest spots from Lyrics Born's long time Solesides/Quannum rhyme buddies The Gift of Gab from Blackalicious and Lateef (who joins him on both "I Wanna B W/U" & "Pushed Aside / Pulled Apart"). Other contributors include Sam Sparro, Trackademics, and Francis and the Lights. The low points on the 15 track As U Were CD are the three unnecessary & not-funny skits, while the high points include the sharp critical commentary on prescription drugs, "Pillz (feat. The Gift of Gab)" and the mad raw & fast breakbeat driven "Oh, Baby!" To coincide with the new album, Lyrics Born's Auto Reverse tour is currently underway along with fellow Decon artists Rakaa and Chali 2na. There is one week left of the tour that stops in Victor, ID tonight at Knotty Pine and finishes next Friday (11/05) at Dante's in Portland, OR. Meanwhile, to peep pics of Lyrics Born doing an instore at Amoeba San Francisco back in '03 click here.