Amoeblog

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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Hip-Hop Cut-And-Paste Pioneer Steinski Evaluates Trump's "Soundbite Treasure" Of "Syphilitic Dementia" Sample Ready Quotes

Posted by Billyjam, March 12, 2017 06:05pm | Post a Comment

Hip-hop cut-and-paste master / pioneering producer Steinski has channeled his political feelings (both negative and positive) into powerful productions dating back three decades to his "Motorcade Sped On" audio music documentary on the Kennedy assassination. Recorded under the artist name Steinski & Mass Media and appearing on a 1987 NME magazine free 7" EP that track is among the artist's finest works that appeared on the 2008 Illegal Art released retrospective Steinski: What Does It All Mean: 1983 - 2006 Retrospective. The artist was interviewed by the Amoeblog back at the time on the topic of that release as well as his other work. During the Bush Sr. and Jr. and Obama administrations Steinski produced a handful of underground politically themed tracks and over the years he's sampled the voices of many presidential figures.. But since the election win of Donald J. Trump he's been noticeably busier than ever crafting some amazing songs that sample the "fearless leader" including the last month's "Orange Is The New President (Fearless Leader Is Watching)" and the December 2016 / pre-inauguration release of "Trump Inaugural Address Leaked By Russian Hackers" that contained many of Trump's best quotes including the infamous "grab em by the...." quote. Audio postings to SoundCloud of both tracks can be heard below.

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Pioneering Experimental Turntablist Jazz Trio Livehuman Celebrate "scratchBop" With March 16th Amoeba San Francisco In-Store

Posted by Billyjam, March 11, 2017 02:28pm | Post a Comment
Livehuman celebrate "scratchBop" with Amoeba SF in-store Thursday March 16th @ 6pm

San Francisco progressive jazz trio Livehuman have been together now for two full decades. In that time the turntablist/bass/percussion experimental ensemble, comprised of DJ Quest, Andrew
Kushin, and Albert Mathias, have performed countless concerts both locally and internationally including at the prestigious Montreux Jazz Festival and released a string of critically acclaimed albums. But it is only now with the recent release of their 2017 album scratchBop that these hard-working musical perfectionists feel that they've finally found their proverbial groove. They will celebrate the new album with an Amoeba San Francisco in-store Thursday March 16 at  6pm.
"Livehuman was born of an inspiration I had listening to Miles Davis' doo-bop record," percussionist Albert Mathias told the Amoeblog this week. Added the artist who cites among his other "jazz heroes"
as Charles Mingus, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Sun Ra, and The Art Ensemble of Chicago, "That was a long time ago and for me scratchBop is what I dreamt might be possible….though I didn't realize it would take most of my adult life to achieve it." This insight by the gifted percussionist should not come as a total surprise to longtime fans of the band, familiar with such past album releases as Monostereosis: The New Victrola Method or Elefish Jellyphant, since scratchBop displays somewhat of a new musical chapter for the trio. Or as bassist Andrew Kushin calls it, "an uncovering" of sorts following years of tirelessly playing together and honing a distinct innovative jazz style. 

Jidenna Truly Is "The Chief" As Demonstrated On The Hip-Hop/Soul Artist's Recommended 14-Track Debut Album on Wondaland Records

Posted by Billyjam, March 9, 2017 03:03pm | Post a Comment

Future megastar Jidenna truly is the chief as readily demonstrated on his all killer / no filler 14 song debut album The Chief (Wondaland / Epic) that arrived into Amoeba Music in the past few weeks. Although filed under "soul" the endlessly talented and charismatic artist born Jidenna Theodore Mobisson is equally hip-hop, and more including hints of roots reggae and strong traces of African highlife. In fact, if you only recently discovered the 31 year old NYC based singer/rapper/producer via his just published "Bambi" music video (see below), with the song's distinctive, soothingly hypnotic highlife harmonies that drive the song, you could be forgiven for thinking that he is a Nigerian highlife music crossover artist. Turns out that the Wisconsin born teacher turned professional musician, who has spent parts of his adult life living in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Brooklyn, and the Bay Area where he attended Stanford, is of Nigerian descent and grew up listening to both Nigerian and American soul and hip-hop music.

Top Ten Songs About Cycling

Posted by Billyjam, March 1, 2017 05:17pm | Post a Comment

This is a list of the top ten songs about cycling: mostly ones on the joys of cycling as either a mode of transportation or a healthy pastime. It is not to be confused with a top ten list of songs geared to cycle to. Such a list would thematically be more abstract, to even include non-vocal/instrumental tracks, and with a focus on the BPM (beats per minute) to accompany a cardio cycling workout song playlist: IE a spinning music top ten list. In contrast this list could apply to any cyclist from the casual fixie (fixed wheel, one gear) bike rider who rides just to the corner store and back, all the way up to the 2020 mile long Tour de France participant. Like any top ten it's a subjective music list that not everyone will agree with.  Hence the comments section below and the honorary mention list included in this Amoeblog. In some cases the songs chosen were based on the appeal of their accompanying videos (or lack of a video)

Number one has to go to Kraftwerk's timeless 1983 single "Tour de France." It's a song that can be filed under rock, electronic, electro-pop, and hip-hop. Featured in the 1984 movie Breakin' the song is a staple of hip-hop: having been both sampled by hip-hop producers and utilized by a generation of breakers to do their b-boy moves to. "Tour de France" is a true celebration of cycling: recorded with electronics mixed with samples of various bicycle sounds by the German "krautrock" artists who reportedly were avid competitive cyclists. A single, released in numerous different mixes, and years later followed by a full length album of the same title Tour de France was, of course, so named after the famed annual three-week French bike race that dates back to 1903. Taking that same bicycle race title but flipping it on its ear with the song lyrics "Sharing my aggression is what I do, every day I'm riding the 'Tour de Fuck You'" is the Sons of Science's hilarious  "Motherfucking Bike" with an equally inspired accompanying video. Anyone who cycles round a city like San Francisco on the regular cannot but love this song (#2) and all its accurate observations.

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