Amoeblog

2010 Instore Favorites by Kaitlin

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 23, 2010 09:27am | Post a Comment

2010 In-store Favorites:

This year in San Francisco, Amoeba Music was host to 48 live music performances! Here are some of my favorite photos that I edited for Amoeba.com's "In-store photos" section. While I did not take all of these images, I had the pleasure of editing them and they are some of the most fun photos I've edited this year.

TsuShiMaMiRe

This Japanese female rock trio was loud and got the crowd into it.


Die Antwoord

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Talib Kweli on Gutter Rainbows, Kanye, Prisoner of Conscious, Obama's Raw Deal, Illegal Downloading, Black Star Sequel + More

Posted by Billyjam, December 22, 2010 07:55pm | Post a Comment

I have long been a fan of Talib Kweli's -- his music (both his solo work & collaborations with Mos Def, Hi-Tek, and Madlib) and his consistent & refreshingly uplifting & positive outlook. His unwavering commitment to thought-provoking, conscious, non misogynist hip-hop in an era when that approach to the genre doesn't generally fit the criteria for lucrative success is admirable. Talib Kweli is a truly unique artist and as a high-profile hip-hop act he is an anomaly in that he safely walks that line between mainstream (including his work with Kanye West -- an artist that once opened for him) and independent hip-hop; he is well known above the radar while still maintaining the respect of the ever discerning underground hip-hop world. So when I had an opportunity to attend a listening party in New York last night for Kweli's January 2011 release, Gutter Rainbows, and to also sit down and talk with him a bit for the Amoeblog, I jumped at the chance.

Of course, Talib Kweli is no stranger to Amoeba Music. Not only has his music long been a favorite of staffers and customers alike, but he has also had some very well received Amoeba instores, including at Amoeba San Francisco along with Hi-Tek back in May of this year just as the duo (aka Reflection Eternal) was dropping the highly recommended (but generally slept on) Revolutions Per Minute. And back in August 2007 in support of his last solo album Ear Drum, he had an instore that was streamed live. Kweli put on one of the best ever live sets I've seen at Amoeba Hollywood -- as witnessed in the video below. Last year at SXSW in Austin, TX, when he was performing a showcase with Hi-Tek, Amoeblogger Smiles Davis sat down with the artist to ask him ten questions about hip-hop and his take on the genre.
  
Talib Kweli live @ Amoeba Hollywood, August 2007

Last night (December 21st) was the listening party at the bar Snap on West 14th Street in Manhattan for Gutter Rainbows (Javotti Media/3D), which will be a digital only release. The night was unlike most listening parties in that it was a more intimate event and also was technically a semi-performance for Kweli, who mingled throughout the night with fans and media folk. He Talib Kweli + Hi Tekspent the entire preview playing time of his new album, which drops January 25th, up in the DJ booth rapping along on the mic to many of the new release's 14 songs, and introducing each track, big upping its producer and giving some background history. He also fielded questions from the invited partiers (many longtime friends from Brooklyn) who packed the club and gave an update on what he's been up to.

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Nas + Damien Marley, Sage Francis, Reflection Eternal Play Amoeba, New Andre Nickatina Skatedecks, Amoeba Hollywood Top Five, + More: Amoeba Music Weekly Hip-Hop Round Up: 05:21:10

Posted by Billyjam, May 21, 2010 08:22am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Hollywood Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 05:21:10

Sage Francis
1) Sage Francis Li(F)e (Strange Famous Records)

2) B.o.B. presents The Adventures Of Bobby Ray (Rebel Rock/Grand Hustle/Atlantic)

3) Madlib Madlib Medicine Show #4: 420 Chalice All-Stars (Stones Throw)

4) Roc Marciano Marcberg (Fat Beats)

5) Black Eyed Peas
The E.N.D. (Interscope)

Amoeba Hollywood's hip-hop chart features the new album from Sage Francis Li(F)e on the artist's own Strange Famous label in the number one position. The record is also doing extremely well at both the San Francisco and the Berkeley Amoeba stores. Peep last week's Amoeba Music Hip-Hop Weekly Round Up for more background info on this recommended new release from the alternative rap act, as well as upcoming California dates/venues on the ongoing Sage Francis tour, which reportedly is selling advance tickets at a rapid rate. All the other chart entries this week at the SoCal Amoeba, including B.o.B. presents The Adventures Of Bobby Ray, Madlib's Madlib Medicine Show #4: 420 Chalice All-Stars (Stones Throw), and Long Island, NY emcee Roc Marciano's Marcberg on Fat Beats, have also been best sellers lately at Amoeba Berkeley and San Francisco. Meantime, the Black Eyed Peas' The E.N.D. (Interscope), which is coming up on the one year anniversary of its release date in a few weeks, is like the Energizer bunny. It just keeps on going and going and selling and selling -- thanks in great part to the group touring and the hook-laden hit singles it keeps spinning off.

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Ten Questions For Talib Kweli

Posted by Smiles Davis, March 27, 2009 01:10am | Post a Comment

Talib Kweli can easily be crowned as one of Brooklyn’s finest mc’s. For years the industry veteran has championed positive portrayals of urban society through his eternally omniscient lyrics. After the critical and commercial success on Black Star, Kweli, alongside “Ms. Fat Booty” himself, Mos Def, forced record labels to pay closer attention to underground Hip-Hop. Before the Internet, an underground artist struggled immensely without the help of perpetual touring. Needless to say, the crowned emcee puts on a concert better than blueberry pancakes and mimosas on a breezy Sunday morning. He takes “hip-hop live” to a whole new level. Check out this EXCLUSIVE footage of Talib and long time collaborator Hi-Tek putting it down last week in Austin, TX at SXSW to a live band and a packed house.

 
                                                   (video courtesy of Paul Stewart of Next-Thing)

I caught up with Talib and asked him ten simple questions. We chopped it up about the upcoming Reflection Eternal: Train of Thought II album -- one of the most anticipated albums of '09 -- Blacksmith artist Jean Grae, Strong Arm Steady, his collaboration with R&B singer Res, and the possibility of a Black Star Reunion.

What makes a good emcee?

TK: A good mc understands that the crowd is king. His job is to move them.

How did you discover the mic?

TK: I love poetry, and hip-hop is a way to be a cool poet. I get a rush expressing feeling we all have that only I have words for, ever since I was 10 years old.

In this day and age with “Internet Sensations” how does an emcee with longevity (like yourself)  reinvent himself to keep up with the steadily evolving music machine?

TK: The key to staying relevant is embracing change, embracing the new. When someone comes with a new way to get into this business, I don't hate. I take notes.

If there are two sides to every coin, has the Internet hurt game?

TK: The Internet may have hurt the music business, but it has helped musicians.

Being signed to a major label doesn’t have the same ring it used to. Do you think there is a possibility for rectification?

TK: Being signed to a major is not as fresh as it used to be because the majors have no idea what they are doing and they are all equal. It is about what you bring to the table at this point. Record deals are nothing more than glorified loans at this point.

I read an interview a few years back in Vibe Magazine, where Shanel Odum asked the question, “Do you feel any pressure or limitations with being labeled a conscious hip hop artist or righteous rapper?” Your answer was no. Do you still have the same sentiment?

TK: I am not limited by the way I rap and my subject matter. If anything, it has opened doors for me other mc’s will never see.

How did you link up with one of my personal favorites R&B singer Res?

TK: Res used to be managed by my manager Corey Smyth and now she is one of my best friends. She has been on all my albums, and now we are in a group with Graph Nobel called Idle Warship.

For those that don’t know, who is Jean Grae?

TK: Jean Grae is one of the best MCs you’ve ever heard, period. For more info go to www.yearoftheblacksmith.com.

I’m hyped to hear you’re back in the studio with producer Hi-Tek; when does the album Reflection Eternal: Train of Thought II drop and what can we expect?

TK: The Reflection Eternal album drops this summer, and it is very exciting, better than the first.

Should we stop asking about the possibility of a Black Star reunion?


TK: Black Star will happen when the time is right. For now, I'm focused on the Reflection album. Pay attention to Strong Arm Steady. Their new episode of Blacksmith TV is up at www.yearoftheblacksmith.com.

For more Talib Kweli, check out this performance & interview video from his in-store at Amoeba Hollywood on 8/20/2007:


'Till next time...chew the corners off.