Amoeblog

Dax Pierson & Suki O'Kane To Join KALX's DJ Carnacki In Advance of Their Performances @ 2017 SF Electronic Music Festival [Sept. 8 -10]

Posted by Billyjam, August 29, 2017 04:20pm | Post a Comment
Multitalented musician/producer and extended Amoeba family member Dax Pierson will be among the performers at the upcoming 2017 San Francisco Electronic Music Festival. Other Festival performers scheduled include musician and mixed media artist Suki O'Kane. In advance of their respective sets at the 18 year old West Coast music festival, that’s taking place from September 8th thru 9th at La Brava, both artists (pictured left) will be stopping by KALX radio 90.7FM in Berkeley at 9:30pm tonight (8/29) for an interview with DJ Carnacki. A longtime ambassador of local left-field, envelope-pushing artists, as well as a revered underground experimental fellow East Bay musician himself, DJ Carnacki aptly describes Suki O'Kane as “a classically trained mallet percussionist, composer and instigator working with artists from a wide array of of music, movement, expanded cinema and public art genres.”

Meanwhile Dax Pierson, who worked at Amoeba Berkeley for many years, is  best known for his central role in pioneering experimental hip-hop collective/record label Anticon. As a key member of the two-decade strong  collective he is known for his membership and/or contributions to such Anticon acts as Odd Nosdam, Themselves (producer Jel and emcee Doseone), 13 & God (Themselves + The Notwist from Germany), and Subtle (the sextet also featuring Dose and Jel along with Jordan Dalrymple, Alexander Kort and (another Amoeba family member) Marty Dowers. The latter two groups were co-founded by Pierson. His other many artist collaborations include recording for albums by such artists as Beck, Bart Davenport, and Alias & Tarsier.

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billy woods, Who Plays Amoeba Berkeley Today @ 2pm, Typifies Current Wave of Underexposed High Caliber Hip-Hop

Posted by Billyjam, June 24, 2017 08:40am | Post a Comment

I've said it before but it bears repeating, especially in the case of underground Brooklyn, NY based hip-hop artist billy woods who plays Amoeba Berkeley at 2pm today in support of his brand new album Known Unknowns. Far too frequently the most amazingly talented hip-hop artists of today are the ones we hear the least about. Which is why so many longtime fans of the genre are constantly heard moaning about how "hip-hop sucks these days with nothing but auto-tuned mumble rappers cranking out lyrically shallow, hook driven rap that's presented as hip-hop and is just crap rap. Not like in my day." Wrong! But correct if you only go on the stuff that you hear on the commercial radio, or that makes the Grammys, or that pops up on your (sponsored) social media feeds. Just dig a little deeper and in 2017 you'll discover more quality hip-hop been made than in any previous time in the development of the Bronx born street art. These under the radar producers and emcees and DJs, who are content to craft quality music and not concerned with chasing commercial acceptance, truly transcend that unfair (but understandable) stereotype of modern day rap all being crap.

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Oakland's Ghost Ship Fire: List of Fund Drives & Bay Area Benefit Concerts

Posted by Billyjam, December 6, 2016 06:11pm | Post a Comment
The Ghost Ship

As everywhere across the Bay Area and beyond, we here at Amoeba Music are still reeling in shock from the news of the devastating, deadly Ghost Ship inferno. At this time our solemn thoughts are with the victims and their families and friends. Located in East Oakland's Fruitvale district the warehouse was described as a home, studio, venue, and safe space for local artists, filmmakers, painters, musicians, dancers, and their families. The tragedy at the space occurred late last Friday night, during the beginning stages of an all night electronic dance party that was a show for 100% Silk, the dance music imprint of the Not Not Fun record label. One of the record label's artists Cherushii (33-year-old San Franciscan Chelsea Dolan who was also a KALX Berkeley DJ) was among the victims of the fatal blaze. Tragically she was just one of four volunteers at the UC Berkeley radio station killed in the fire. The others were Griffin Madden (aka DJ Laura), Vanessa Plotkin, and Jennifer Morris.

Reportedly, the deadly fire broke out suddenly and rapidly spread throughout the below-code wooden structure, leaving few escape options for those trapped inside the fiery smoke-filled building. As of the time of posting this Amoeblog, the number reported dead stood at 36, mostly from smoke inhalation according to authorities. Many of the names have still to be officially identified, while many of the identified victims still have not been publicly announced out of respect for their families. Somewhat heartening  however was the announcement made earlier today by an Oakland Fire Dept. official that, even with 15% of the charred building remaining to be investigated, that they are hopeful and confident that the death toll figure will not rise much higher, if at all, above 36.

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Eclectic, Non-Commercial, Listener Supported, UC Berkeley Radio Station KALX 90.7FM Currently Holding Its Fall Fundraiser

Posted by Billyjam, October 19, 2016 05:32pm | Post a Comment
Casual radio listeners, conditioned to judging a station's format by whatever they hear upon first tuning in, sure must be dumbfounded if they ever stumble upon KALX at 90.7FM on their radio dial. Because at any given time you never know what kind of music you might hear on the eclectic, non-commercial, UC Berkeley listener sponsored radio station, currently holding their Fall Fundraiser.  For example in one freeform music hour over this past weekend the diverse music mix shifted through varying genres, decades and BPMs. Tracks off such new albums as De La Soul's recommended hip-hop release and the Anonymous Nobody...(also on LP) and LA rock-cellist Helen Money's (Alison Chesley) Become Zero on Thrill Jockey  got played alongside such previous era releases as the 2002 album Thought for Food (Tomlab) by "folktronic" duo The Books, and the early 1970's pop rock, doobie themed hit "One Toke Over the Line" by Brewer & Shipley. And it all flowed together perfectly thanks to the DJ on the air: Alisa, Queen of the Cowbell. It was the final hour of the always excellent and enlightening longtime KALX DJ's biweekly, Friday night, 9:30pm to midnight, slot that she alternates with Berkestir. Both are among the volunteer roster of gifted DJs on the East Bay radio station that has long championed eclecticism in its programming.

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Amoeblog Interview With Author Jeff Chang on his Timely New Book "We Gon' Be Alright: Notes On Race and Resegregation"

Posted by Billyjam, September 20, 2016 03:18pm | Post a Comment


The publication of provocative, powerful, prolific, pioneering hip-hop generation author/scholar Jeff Chang's latest book We Gon' Be Alright: Notes On Race and Resegregation is most timely. The book by the author of the award winning hip-hop history book Can't Stop, Won't Stop arrives at a time in America when race clearly matters, and when unfair and unlawful treatment by police against African Americans appears to way beyond out of control.  Just last week in the days since the book's publication (paperback & audiobook read by author) there were two more shocking shootings of black American males by police: 13 year old Tyre King in Columbus Ohio, and 40 year old unarmed Terrence Cruthcer in Tulsa,OK last Friday. The latter, whose police video footage was just released this week, is the most shocking and disturbing of the two because of the footage. In it you see an unarmed, complying black man stopped on freeway by a row of armed cops, been shot down dead in the street. The video footage at every angle includes even an aerial shot from the police chopper above in which one cop is recorded on the police radio for all others to hear just moments before the killing, in a glaring example of racial profiling, that the unarmed victim "looks like a bad dude."
 
Last week Chang began a hectic cross-country tour in support of his new publication. The book tour is a series of readings plus interviews and lively discussions at universities (including Princeton, Stanford, UC Berkeley, and University of Chicago) and varied literary venues across the country.  At many of these readings the widely respected author of  the acclaimed Can't Stop, Won't Stop is joined by a series of scholars, social observers, and fellow hop-hop generation journalists. Scroll down to see listing of book tour dates. "Linking #BlackLivesMatter to #OscarsSoWhite, Ferguson to Washington D.C., the Great Migration to resurgent nativism and exploring "the rise and fall of the idea of “diversity”, the roots of student protest, changing ideas about Asian Americanness, and the impact of a century of racial separation in housing" while arguing that "resegregation is the unexamined condition of our time, the undoing of which is key to moving the nation forward to racial justice and cultural equity" is the activist author's apt summary of his latest book.  This week the Amoeblog caught up with the author from on the road to ask him about his book, the book tour, the social ramifications of his books' subjects and the hip-hop music that best expresses outrage on these topics.

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