Amoeblog

Specializing In Lushly Packaged Quality Hip-Hop & Reggae Reissues, The Get On Down Label Readies for Record Store Day 2017

Posted by Billyjam, March 23, 2017 06:02pm | Post a Comment

Now in its tenth year, Record Store Day has grown exponentially into a widely celebrated day of anticipation for record collectors fiending for the exclusive releases associated with the annual retail shopping day that this year falls on April 22nd. [See the full list of 2017 Record Store Day releases]. Some labels are better than others when it comes to their choice of vinyl and CD releases and/or the packaging of said releases. And one of the consistently better labels is Get On Down, an imprint of Traffic  Entertainment, who never fail to impress with their choice of quality music and lush packaging / presentation of their RSD releases. In fact four years ago they won an Adapter Award when the Record Store Day organization chose the label for the Record Store Day Release of the Year 2013 award. That was for that year's GZA Liquid Swords reissue: the 4-LP “Chess Box” (also avail on 4 CD) that was a popular item at Amoeba's three stores that year.

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Tonight's 2017 DMC NYC Regional DJ Battle @ The Highline Ballroom Is A Reminder That The Annual DJ Battle Season is Well Underway

Posted by Billyjam, March 19, 2017 11:49am | Post a Comment


As the new year is less new and the weeks/months have quickly slipped by leaving us in the second half of March 2017, we are back into the annual DJ battle season. And tonight in New York City one of themost important turntable showdowns (and typically first of the Regional DMCs) takes place with the 2017
DMC NYC Regional DJ Battle. The battle winner tonight will in turn face off against the winners from all
the upcoming Regional USA DMC battle winners in the summer 2017 USA battle. That winner (last year it was DJ Traps - left) will go on to rep the US in the 2017 DMC World Championships held in London in approx six months from now. This year taking place at the new location of the Highline Ballroom in the Chelsea district of Manhattan the NYC DMC Regional will feature an impressive list of registered battle DJs: some of whom could be future stars.. This evening's 6pm to 11pm event features a nice balance of new and seasoned turntablists battling it out on the ones and twos (full list below) plus impressive showcase and party rockin' sets from DJ Shiftee and DJ Nelson. And who knows, maybe the event's always entertaining and multi-talented host Lord Finesse might do an impromptu DJ performance as the veteran hip-hopper has in the past.
At this evening's big event the list of registered battle DJs includes longtime competitor/two time
US DMC champ DJ Esquire out of  Brooklyn (see video below of him battling DJ Cleancut in 2012 US Finals), the 2009 DMC US Supremacy Champ DJ Supreme the Global Reset, the 2014 NYC DMC champ (see video below) and 2014 US runner up DJ Dwells,  the 2012 Roc Raida Gong DJ Battle Champ repping Maryland DJ As-One, and tireless regular competitor who's never afraid to push the envelope: John Swan out of Brooklyn NY. The other registered competitors for tonight include The Don Santos: (Brighton MA), Icecold Chet (Knockemstiff OH), Bobby Bangers (Boston MA), D Spliff (NY, NY),  DJ AJ (New Britain CT), Dj Xcalibur aka Mad Max (Harlem, NY), Ned Nice  (Brooklyn NY),  DJ Polarity (Bronx NY), DJ Hear No Evil (Mount Vernon NY), DJ Gremlinz (Shirley MA), DJ Flav (Springfield Gardens NY),  DJ Nick Diablo (Hillsdale NJ), DJ Stay High (Elmhurst, NY),  DJ C2 (Brooklyn NY), DJ Mika (Brooklyn NY),    Robbie Wilde (Union NJ), DJ Runrie (Brooklyn NY),  Finger Smith (Brooklyn NY), and New Jersey's Infa-J.

Saluting Rock And Roll Pioneer Chuck Berry [1926 - 2017]

Posted by Billyjam, March 18, 2017 11:16pm | Post a Comment

One of rock n roll music's pioneers/creators Chuck Berry died this afternoon at his Missouri home. The influential guitarist/writer/singer born Charles Edward Anderson Berry, who had been performing up until a couple of years ago, was 90 years of age. Earlier today his family posted via the Chuck Berry Facebook page that: "We are deeply saddened to announce that Chuck Berry - beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather - passed away at his home today at the age of 90. Though his health had deteriorated recently, he spent his last days at home surrounded by the love of his family and friends. The Berry family asks that you respect their privacy during this difficult time."  

Chuck Berry's death comes in advance of his recently announced first studio album in 38 years (Chuck to be released later this year) and just three weeks following the release of the wonderful tribute to the artist's legacy: Rock And Roll Music! The Songs Of Chuck Berry.  That recommended 24 track collection that was carefully compiled by Ace UK Records, features his most famous songs being covered over the years by such artists as Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, MC5, Marty Robbins and The Beach Boys. Including such classics as "Roll Over Beethoven," "Johnny B. Goode," "Maybellene," "Sweet Little Sixteen" and "Little Queenie" (to name but a few) it is not only a a virtual history lesson in rock n roll music but a testament to the vital role that Chuck Berry played in the powerful popular new musical movement of the second half of the 20th century. Most of Berry's biggest rock and roll hits can be found on such artist collections as Chuck Berry: The Complete Chess Singles A's & B's 1955-1961 and the vinyl/LP collection Chuck Berry: Rock n Roll Masterworks.

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Kalyn Heffernan & Wheelchair Sports Camp Intentionally Included Mexico & Canada On "Wall To Wall" Tour - Tonight @ 924 Gilman

Posted by Billyjam, March 17, 2017 10:11am | Post a Comment

Artist/activist and regular subject of the Amoebllog Kalyn Heffernan along with her hip-hop live group Weelchair Sports Camp are back out on tour this month as they do each year around this time, typically with at least one date at the South By Southwest conference and festival (SxSW). But this year the politically themed Denver CO group, who recently released their official debut album No Big Deal, are skipping SxSW in Austin for their 2017 version of their Spring North American tour.  Instead Heffernan said that the band is making a point of including dates in their current West Coast "Wall to Wall" tour in both Mexico and Canada: something inspired by the current political climate.

"Nothing can stop free flow of music," said Heffernan. "Ideas in the digital age or anytime the desires of the people overwhelm the oppressors.  That's why at this precarious  juncture Wheelchair Sports Camp had to return to Mexico and Canada: two countries that have welcomed their Denver sound with giant open arms!"

The current Wheelchair Sports Camp tour, in support of the late Ikey Owens produced album No Big Deal album on the Sage Francis founded Strange Famous Records, kicked off in Kansas City earlier this month and has already included stops in Iowa, New Mexico, Nevada, California (including Low End Theory), and Mexico. They play Vancouver Canada next week (March 21st at The Cobalt). Tonight (Friday March 17th) at 7pm the band play 924 Gilman in Berkeley CA (all ages show - more info) and tomorrow they play Shea's Tavern in Reno Nevada when they're expected to play the new album tracks "Mary Had A Little Band" and "Hard Out Here For A Gimp." See the accompanying music videos for both album tracks below and click here for full tour schedule.

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Artists From Muslim Nations Unite @ SxSW's "ContraBanned #MusicUnites" Showcase and "Musicians & the Travel Ban" Panel

Posted by Billyjam, March 15, 2017 10:54am | Post a Comment


SxSW is far more than a new music and film festival and party gathering in Austin TX each March. Rarher the annual music, film, and interactive media festival, that began back in 1987, has steadily grown to become a relevant cultural and political gathering. Among this year's hot cultural topics is the new documentary Stranger Fruit. containing previously unseen security footage of Michael Brown, that premiered at SxSW over the past opening weekend of the ten day festival. Since that SxSW screening the controversial documentary has been grabbing news headlines and reviving discussion on the August 2014 fatal shooting in Ferguson that sparked the Black Lives Matter movement.

Another hot button political topic at this year's SxSW is the ContraBanned #MusicUnites concert showcase and panel discussion, happening Friday March 17th. Self-described as "artists from the diaspora of the banned nations," ContraBanned is the collective of artists (including Emmanuel Jal pictured above/interviewed below) that came into being following the January 27th Executive Order issued by the new White House administration's banning entry into the U.S. for ninety days by citizens from seven majority Muslim countries as well as to banning entry to Syrian refugees indefinitely.  Even though that controversial Executive Order from six weeks ago, that singled out the nations of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, had been temporarily suspended plans for the SxSW showcase this Friday (March 17th) remained firmly in place. Similarly even after the March 6th updated Executive Order that removed Iraq from the list of nations affected plus exempted lawful permanent residents and green card holders.

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