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In Celebration of the Hard Rock Power Trio: 1968 - 1973

Posted by Billyjam, November 2, 2010 06:25pm | Post a Comment

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 Creamfrom 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.

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Mac Dre Anniversary

Posted by Billyjam, November 1, 2010 02:59pm | Post a Comment
Mac Dre
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)

Hip-Hop Rap Up 10:29:10: Lyrics Born, Von Pea, 2Mex, Skillz, Ninja Tune XX, C-Bo + Yukmouth, Casual, Souls of Mischief, Halloween, Geto Boys, DJ Apollo, Mochipet

Posted by Billyjam, October 29, 2010 04:13pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music San Francisco Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 10:29:10

Lyrics Born As U Were
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.

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Hollywood Amoebite Ervin Arana on B-Boying, Teaching, DJing, the Rock Steady Crew, and How Hip-Hop Can Save Your Life

Posted by Billyjam, October 27, 2010 05:05am | Post a Comment
Ervin Arana
If you are a shopper at Amoeba Hollywood you know that you can usually tell who works there by the round and bright Amoeba Music stickers they wear on their shirts. But beyond that, on the surface, it is hard to tell who each Amoebite really is or what exactly their music expertise might be. Much like the average Amoeba shopper, the folks that work here are equally knowledgeable & passionate about music, and more often than not involved directly in music in some way or another.

A prime example is diehard hip-hopper Ervin Arana, whose rich background includes holding down a weekly DJ residency at Root Down, was a member for many years in the Rock Steady Crew -- the legendary b-boying crew and hip hop group that was established in the Boogie Down Bronx back in seventies.

A full time b-boy or "full time music enthusiast!," as he describes himself on his blogspot, Ervin (who is sometimes known as Servin Ervin) has been working at the SoCal store for about a year. He spreads his time between the hip-hop and soul sections and can also be found at the registers. I recently caught up with the hip-hop fanatic to talk about music and hip-hop and how he got initially got involved in the Rock Steady Crew (RSC). Originally a b-boy, he got noticed by members of the RSC about eight years ago, he told me, and they invited him to join the much respected organization. As a member he has participated in numerous RSC events in "different cities throughout the world including Moscow, Mexico City, and London." Sometimes he has performed and other times he has acted as a judge for competitions, such as on one RSC trip to Japan he took. He has also DJ'ed at many different RSC events. But Ervin is happiest, he says, when he is sharing his knowledge with others. "What Rock Steady CrewI mostly like to do," he told me, "is to teach at workshops, b-boy workshops."

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Reggae Great Gregory Isaacs Dead at Age 59

Posted by Billyjam, October 25, 2010 02:50pm | Post a Comment
Gregory Isaacs "Night Nurse" (live @ Reggae Sunplash, 1983)

Reggae great Gregory Isaacs died earlier today, Monday, October 25th, in his London, England home following a year-long battle with lung cancer. The singer was only 59 years of age. A purveyor of roots Gregory Isaacsreggae and lovers rock, the Jamaican born artist will be best remembered for his song "Night Nurse" taken from the 1982 album of the same name that he recorded at Bob Marley's Tuff Gong studio. Above is a live version of the song by Isaacs with Roots Radics from 1983 at Reggae Sunsplash in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Isaacs, aka the "Cool Ruler" (also the name of the album he released in 1978), was born in 1951 in Kingston, Jamaica and began his reggae recording career while still in his teens. He made his recording debut in 1968 -- a duet with Winston Sinclair titled "Another Heartache." Soon after, he teamed up with two other vocalists in a short lived trio named The Concords. After that he went solo and in 1973 had a hit with the song "My Only Lover." In 1974 he scored a number one hit in Jamaica with the single "Love Is Overdue." This was followed by many other hits and by the end of the 1970s he had become one of the biggest reggae performers in the world, helped in great part by signing to the Virgin Records imprint Front Line Records, and appearing in the film Rockers.

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