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Pauline Oliveros, Deep Listening Pioneer [1932 - 2016]

Posted by Billyjam, November 27, 2016 03:20pm | Post a Comment


Music lost another important figure in 2016 with the passing of experimental composer and "deep listening" pioneer Pauline Oliveros, who died Thursday (November 24th) at age 84.  Filled under such categories as classical, avant-garde, electronic, and experimental Oliveros was an artist, author, educator and humanitarian with strong ties to the Bay Area. She may not have been a household name like some of the other musical greats we've lost this year such as Bowie, Prince or Leonard Cohen. Nonetheless Pauline Oliveros' contributions to music history were no less significant: most notably her development of deep listening, the theory she summarized as "listening in every possible way to everything possible to hear no matter what one is doing."

With a career spanning six decades, Oliveros' diverse body of work included musical compositions themed on such subjects as African history of the 17th century. An author and prolific writer who penned papers on various aspects of musical theory, Oliveros was also a teacher at institutes including Oakland's Mills College. Beyond being a pioneer within music Oliveros was also an early ambassador for equality of women in the male dominated field of music. Decades before "women's music" became a thing and long before the mainstream would take notice of just how unbalanced the ratio of women to men was in every field of music from classical to pop, Oliveros was loudly advocating for gender equality in music on behalf of both composers and performers. 
 
Born in Houston, Texas where her introduction to music came by learning to play the accordion, the geographical locale that Oliveros is perhaps most associated with is the San Francisco Bay Area. Back in  the early sixies, along with such fellow forward thinking experimental composers as Terry Riley and Steve Reich, Oliveros was part of the nonprofit, cultural, educational entity the San Francisco Tape Music Center (SFTMC) that was founded by composers Morton Subotnick and Ramon Sender. Founded in 1962 the SFTMC was an outgrowth of the  San Francisco Conservatory electronic studio established a year earlier. It was founded by the improv group Sonics that Oliveros was a part of.
For an accurate example of the work of the SFTMC pick up Music From The Tudorfest San Fancisco Tape Music Center 1964 that features David Tudor John Cage, Toshi Ichiyanagi, as well as Pauline Oliveros.  In the latter 1960's the SFTMC would receive a grant to join the Mills Center for Contemporary Music with Oliveros as director. As time moved on Oliveras work morphed into studies and practices of rhythms and flow patterns of the human breath. But the school of thought she dubbed "deep listening" that would influence many generations of musicians will be her greatest legacy.

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Hip-Hop Rap Up: Record Store Day 2016 Mix: Run-D.M.C., Jungle Brothers, A Tribe Called Quest, Vinnie Paz, Geto Boys, Sugarhill Gang

Posted by Billyjam, November 25, 2016 02:51pm | Post a Comment

Welcome to the 2016 Record Store Day Black Friday (Nov. 25th). Besides all the exclusives for this annual crate digger holiday (see PDF list and head to your local store now) there's a ton more, regular non RSD hip-hop releases to chose from. As seen in the Top Five below, these include the number one album this past week everywhere including the Billboard chart and at Amoeba Music. That of course is the universally popular return / farewell album from A Tribe Called Quest: their sixth album We Got It From Here, Thank You for Your Service (Epic Records). Not just an excellent ATCQ album that scores top points by being simultaneously true to their roots and new and original sounding, but is also the perfect salute and farewell to revered member Phife Dawg who passed away earlier this year.

Note many if any of these highlighted RSD Nov 25 releases do not sell on the day they will be avail online as of 5am, tomorrow morning: Saturday Nov. 26th. There's a lot of vinyl of different genres as outlined in the recent overview 14 Vinyl Releases To Look For On Black Friday Amoeblog. That noted the limited run Erykah Badu album But You Cain't Use My Phone. 12" LP clear vinyl RSD exclusive, with 1,500 copies pressed. Even better is the Jungle Brothers RSD vinyl pressing of Done By The Forces of Nature album. Then there is the special 12" colored vinyl reissue of Run-D.M.C.'s  "Christmas In Hollis" which has the distinction of being one of those rarities: an original Christmas / holiday song that was a hit and went on to become a classic/standard, now three decades later. Many first got it as a single or track on the classic 1987 Christmas various artists compilation A Very Special Christmas album with the iconic Keith Haring cover art. It also appeared on Profile Records out-of-print hip-hop holiday compilation, Christmas Rap. 29 years later and it's still a tight track thank to co-production of Rick Rubin and that killer sample of Clarence Carter's funky 1968 single "Back Door Santa."

Sharon Jones of The Dap-Kings Dead At Age 60, Following Battle With Pancreatic Cancer

Posted by Billyjam, November 18, 2016 06:55pm | Post a Comment

As if this past week (not to mention the rest of 2016) had not brought us enough tragic news of the passing of so many musical greats (Leon Russell, Leonard Cohen, Mose Allison, & Norton RecordsBilly Miller) now news arrives that 60 year old,  soul singer Sharon Jones died today. As reported a short time ago on her Facebook page: "We are deeply saddened to announce Sharon Jones passed away today after a heroic battle against pancreatic cancer. She was surrounded by her loved ones, including the Dap-Kings. Thank you for your prayers and thoughts during this difficult time" read the Facebook status update that suggested in lieu of flowers, for folks to make donations to such organizations as
Cure Pancreatic Cancer - The Lustgarten Foundation, James Brown Family Foundation, and Little Kids Rock. So far no memorial plans have been made for the widely loved Brooklyn artist.

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Neil Young, Equipto, Chill E.B., A Tribe Called Red, & Kalyn Heffernan Among Protesters of Controversial Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL)

Posted by Billyjam, November 18, 2016 04:35am | Post a Comment

With the increasingly frequent number of organized protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline (#NoDAPL) taking place across the nation, the number of outspoken protesters adopting the cause and taking it to the streets, online, and/or to North Dakota has similarly multiplied. Among this steadily swelling number of protesters, that culminated earlier this week with a national day of action at 300 different protests across the US, many are musicians. Hailing from varied genres and generations these include such artists as Neil Young, A Tribe Called Red, Equipto, Joan Baez, Trevor Hall, Michael Franti, Chill E.B., Buffy Saint Marie, Wheelchair Sports Camp, Indigo Girls, Dregs One, The Zotigh Singers, Raye Zaragoza, Jackson Browne, and DJ Troubleman. These are musicians who've either protested and or recorded protest music against the controversial pipeline. One high profile protester who could be added to this musician's list, considering that three decades ago he recorded a protest folk album, is Vermont senator Bernie Sanders who made a surprise appearance and speech in Washington DC during this week's (Nov 15th) national day of action.

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Hip-Hop Rap Up: Top 5 Charts, Music Videos, A Tribe Called Quest, KRS-One, 2Pac, Dinco D, DuBBle-OO, Baby Bash, Lex The Hex Master

Posted by Billyjam, November 15, 2016 07:23pm | Post a Comment
Top 5 New Hip-Hop Albums (New CDs + Vinyl Reissues)


1: Baby Bash  Don't Panic It's Organic (Bashtown Records)

2: Lex The Hex Master Contact (Majik Ninja)

3: DuBBle-OO Next Level (Space Age Entertainment)  

4: 2Pac 2Pacalypse Now 2LP (Interscope Records)

5: The Roots Illadelph Halflife 2LP (Geffen)

 
                [NOTE: Amoeba SHIPS FREE anywhere  in USA]



Top Five Upcoming Nov 18th Hip-Hop [Pre-Order] Releases


1: A Tribe Called Quest We Got It From Here, Thank You for Your Service (Epic Records)

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