Amoeblog

Remembering Experimental Music Artist and Amoeba Music Family Member: Jim Kaiser

Posted by Billyjam, January 11, 2017 11:55pm | Post a Comment

Recently a dark cloud has been hanging over Amoeba Music Berkeley since the sad news of the passing of longtime Amoeba family member Jim Kaiser who died last week at age 46. Experimental music fanatic, talented  and ever creative experimental music artist, and universally beloved guy Jim, who moved west to the Bay two decades ago, had worked at Amoeba Berkeley since 1997. In the years since he made quite an impression on those he met. "He was an incredibly special human being. [That's] why so so so many of us are in mourning," said Gregory Scharpen who performed with Jim in Thomas Carnacki, one of a few local experimental ensembles Jim had been a member of. Among those who worked alongside him at the Telegraph Ave. record store was Amoeba Music co-owner Marc Weinstein who today recalled how, "Jim was at once an uncompromising artist and a sweetheart of the highest order; everybody loved him. As a buyer at the front counter for over 15 years, he got to know a huge percentage of our customers. And as our experimental music buyer and expert, he was an unparalleled resource for people interested in unusual sounds. We will all miss him greatly."

Former Amoeba Berkeley employee Sam Lefebvre wrote an insightful and touching tribute to Jim in the current East Bay Express. Under the heading Jim Kaiser: Eccentric Champion Of Incredibly Strange Music Dies At 46 the article, which you can read here, noted how Jim's various experimental instruments included playing a bicycle wheel ("lithely bowed contact-mic'd bicycle spokes to absorbing effect") and how he had released limited edition solo recordings such as Blood Has Taste and Swept Through & Nullified on mini CD format via the Oakland Petit Mal label. In the comments of that EBX piece Steve Cain, an old friend of the artist's from his Kansas City days, wrote how: "He was the guy at the record store that could get me anything I wanted. Always a kind soul, almost always had a smile, even when things were rough. …He was a unique soul, one the world will miss." Below and above are a series of photos of Jim, courtesy of Amoeba's Lori Katz, taken in the store and at a bunch of different Amoeba events over the years with various co-workers and friends. Rest in peace Jim Kaiser.
 

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Legendary West Coast Rap Producer DJ Crazy Toones (WC and the Maad Circle) Dead at Age 45 Following Heart Attack

Posted by Billyjam, January 9, 2017 07:54pm | Post a Comment

Legendary West Coast producer / DJ Crazy Toones passed away earlier today from a heart attack as confirmed by several sources including Ice Cube. The artist born Lamar Dupré Calhoun, who was the brother and collaborator of WC (WC and the Maad Circle and Westside Connection) came to national fame initially via his membership of WC and the Maad Circle (along with Coolio, Chilly Chill, Big Gee, Sir Jinx, and his sibling WC). Crazy Toones had additionally worked with such other key 90's West Coast hip-hop figures as Kurupt, Mack 10, Daz Dillinger, Coolio, MC Ren, and Xzibit. But the DJ/turntablist and producer was perhaps most associated with both WC and  Ice Cube and Cube's Lench Mob Records whom he and his brother worked extensively with. Further the talented turntablist was Ice Cube's tour DJ in recent years.

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Rhino Announces Details of Soundtrack for Jim Jarmusch's Acclaimed Iggy & The Stooges Documentary "Gimme Danger"

Posted by Billyjam, January 5, 2017 04:30pm | Post a Comment

Four different Stooges studio outtakes including one of "Lost In The Future," the David Bowie mix of Iggy and the Stooges'."Gimme Danger," plus tracks from Iggy Pop's pre-Stooges bands The Iguanas and the Prime Movers Blues Band are among the tracks included on the upcoming soundtrack for Jim Jarmusch's Iggy/Stooges documentary  Gimme Danger.  Announced today by Rhino Custom, who recently released the colored vinyl version of The Stooges (left) for Black Friday/RSD, the new soundtrack will be released first on CD and then in LP format.  The CD version of the soundtrack will arrive in Amoeba on February 24th with the LP vinyl version following it on April 7. Scroll all the way down to see tracking of each format. The shorter slightly truncated LP version features Stooges songs and has a selection of tracks previously only available on CD or digital formats, such as the aforementioned "Lost In The Future" studio outtake. 

Meanwhile the CD version of the soundtrack will include 14 songs that focus on the group's first three studio albums: The Stooges, Fun House  (also on LP vinyl), and  Iggy and The Stooges' Raw Power  (also on vinyl): featuring Iggy Pop, Ron and Scott Asheton, Dave Alexander, and James Williamson.  As noted in the previously published Amoeblog theatrical preview of Gimme Danger, which will be released on-demand and in various formats beginning at the end of this month, Iggy was instrumental in Jarmusch making the film when he told the director nine years ago, "I wish someone would make a good movie about the Stooges, and I wish it was you." Read Amoeblog on film and view trailer below plus soundtrack track listing for CD and LP versions.
Gimme Danger directed by Jim Jarmusch trailer 2016


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Schumer & Pelosi Revamp Alice Cooper's "Make America Sick Again" Slogan

Posted by Billyjam, January 4, 2017 04:28pm | Post a Comment

Earlier today when Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi unveiled their "Make America Sick Again" slogan, aimed at the anticipated actions of the GOP, they inadvertently revamped Alice Cooper's similarly worded, albeit tongue in cheek, slogan from the veteran rocker's most recent presidential run. That fun run from last year culminated in Cooper's performance of "Elected" on Jimmy Kimmel Live! a week before the 2016 election. See video below of that fun rockin' performance, which mocked the Trump/Clinton presidential race and was part of Cooper's months long joke run for US president (as well as UK Prime Minister) with a tagline of "A Troubled Man for Troubled Times" on a platform of "no platform" except for that promise to "Make America Sick Again." However Alice Cooper's faux 2016 presidential campaign did feature a 10 point "manifesto." Included in those ten points were such election promises as no more pencils, no more books, getting Brian Johnson back in AC/DC, adding the face of Motorhead's Lemmy to Mount Rushmore, putting Groucho Marx on the $50 bill, and a ban on taking selfies, except on a designated National Selfie Day.

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With "2016 Rap Up" Contemporary Culture Observer Skillz Surmises Highs & Lows of The "Bummer" Year That Was

Posted by Billyjam, January 1, 2017 11:59am | Post a Comment

"This past year was a bummer," is how  Skillz, (aka Mad Skillz) kicks off his just published annual year in review rap: "2016 Rap Up" (audio of song below).  From that opener through its closing line about "2016 you can go, and I'm glad you're gone Felt like a long bad dream" this contemporary culture observer accurately surmises the highs and lows of 2016 while simultaneously channeling how many of us feel at this year's end. Hear the full audio below, uploaded yesterday to SoundCloud, of the artist's latest year-in-review rhyme: something that began accidentally 14 years ago. "It was originally a freestyle for the end of a mixtape that I did in '02 over all Neptunes beats," he told the Amoeblog in an interview last year, adding how "It just grew legs of its own." By now his annual "Rap Ups," that are typically recorded and uploaded in the final two days of December have become anticipated rhyme recaps of the year. 

Skillz' two-decade career dates back to his killer 1996 debut From Where??? on Big Beat f
eaturing production from The Large Professor and Jay Dee (aka J Dilla).  But so popular are Skillz' annual "Rap Up" reviews, they tend to overshadow his other work. They're funny, short, and cater to a short-attention span generation. As Skillz shared in his Amoeblog interview the formula for his annual rap recap is simple:  "Get to it, give 'em the facts, make it humorous, make 'em think, make 'em reminisce, and get out!"  For the backtrack to his newest production Skillz utilizes Young M.A’s ’ “Summer Story (instrumental).” 

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