The creative landscape is changing. Technologies like Pro Tools, the iPod, and peer-to-peer networks have become mainstream in the digital age, creating a wild frontier of sorts in music. Independent artists can reach mass audiences once forbidden to them. These technologies are fostering the rise of “semiotic democracy”—where more and more people are no longer passive consumers of mass media, but active participants in creating culture. Cops vs Lawyers, Issue 3

الاثنين، حزيران ٢٧، ٢٠٠٥

Cops vs Lawyers: RIAA vs Semiotic Democracy

{ border: solid 2px #000000; } Image by Granger Davis

The Supreme Court ruled against filesharing technologies like Grokster and Limewire today, in a case that was brought before it by groups like the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). They successfully argued that such peer-to-peer networks are solely designed to get around copyright law. However, if you are a musician hustling to reach an audience, you know that filesharing is also a great way to get around the music industry and distribute your product worldwide. In issue three, SHOUT ran the following article leading up to the high court's decision...

By Mike Conway

The creative landscape is changing. Technologies like Pro Tools, the iPod, and peer-to-peer networks have become mainstream in the digital age, creating a wild frontier of sorts in music. Rather than struggling to break into radio, musicians can find a mass audience without a major record deal. These technologies are fostering the rise of “semiotic democracy”—where more and more people are no longer passive consumers of mass media, but active participants in creating culture.

The music industry is part of a waning guard, and it fears it will be eclipsed by this new landscape. But the industry refuses to simply take a bow, or even roll with these changes. Instead, it has released the hounds of law onto the backbone of semiotic democracy: the internet...


الأربعاء، حزيران ٢٢، ٢٠٠٥

Peanut Butter Wolf

By Jesse Ducker

People might still think Peanut Butter Wolf is a strange nom-de-plume, but the producer/DJ/label owner has an undeniable wealth of knowledge of hip-hop and almost all forms of music. So it makes sense that he gets worldwide respect for his skills behind the boards, turntables, and the office desk.

The San Jose native has been into hip-hop from the start, and in the late 1990s, after years of doing acclaimed production work, left the samplers and the drum machines behind to focus on the business side of things. Close to a decade ago, he founded Stones Throw Records, which he runs with his potna, Egon. PB Wolf also regularly represents the label. He often tours with Stones Throw acts or by himself, journeying around the world and doing DJ sets.


السبت، حزيران ١٨، ٢٠٠٥

Lunar Heights Rockin It (CLICK HERE)

الأربعاء، حزيران ١٥، ٢٠٠٥

The Gift of Gab and Lateef the Truthspeaker (Issue One)

pic by Bayeté Ross-Smith.
story by Mike Conway

Quannum Emcees The Gift of Gab and Lateef the Truthspeaker are not in the same “band”, they’re part of something much bigger...

Hip-hop is rarely the story of individuals. It’s more often the chronicle of crews. These tight social units come together over time, become family and sometimes emerge as dynasties. Over thirty years and counting and who knows what’s next for hip-hop?

One crew that will give you a good idea is the folks from Quannum collective. They have been hip-hop for well over a decade. And in 2004 Quannum has emerged with guns blazing as both a crew and a recording label LLC.


الأربعاء، حزيران ٠٨، ٢٠٠٥


DJ Platurn
So This is De La Heaven
(Future Primitive)

This one’s been out for a while, but there’s some albums you play over and over like they’re new. I’ve rocked So this is De La Heaven so much that the CD has grooves in it. DJ Platurn’s recipe is simple: combine classic De La Soul jams with some extended play of vinyl sampled by the Plugs, sprinkle with slick turntablism and POW! You get a unique perspective into one of raps most influential groups.
Not just a tribute album to De La Soul, De La Heaven is also a meditation on the music that influenced them. Platurn moves seamlessly from tracks by Maceo Parker, Michael Jackson, and Funkadelic to nostalgic De La Soul raps with walk-ons by Q-Tip & Mos Def. That flow makes it just right in any situation: whether you’re deep in thought, running around, or undressing with your favorite so-and-so. -Conway
Sample Tracks:
Piano Sample
Sunshine High

JBo & JJEq are the Nightcrawlers
(ILC Music)

Catacombs is an honest expression by emcees JBO and JJEQ of profound life experiences matched with gritty, relentless beats. They succeed with a rough vocal quality similar to that of Xzibit and a story-telling style with distinctly underground tones reminiscent of Atmosphere. Crime, poverty and addiction thrive in the tunnels of the Catacombs. This is the home of JBO and JJEQ who describe the qualities that help them navigate these shady passageways—determination, focus, drive, experience and a tight grip on reality. This is an underground production all the way, so if you don’t catch them hustlin’ the CD outside a show, check it out at their site. -J.Tanner
Sample Tracks:
Open Road

DJ Sake1
Soul Deluxxe Vol.3
((((Local 1200)))

Soul Deluxxe Vol. 3 by Sake One is a mixtape that draws you onto the dancefloor and gives you no option but to move. Your hips will move easily as Goapele’s silky vocals roll off of her tongue in the 9th Wonder remix of “Catch 22”. This velvety blend of jazz, soul, funk and reggae inspires both emotionally and intellectually. Lumumba’s meditative track “Sing With the Birds” contrasts the modern malfunctions of society to the seamless existence of a bird. Sake One demands effort from the listener, but not without dropping some humor in, as on “No More Dating DJs”. San Francisco’s founder of the (((Local 1200))) Sound System handpicked these tracks to land both stirring introspection and a body-rockin party on listeners. Clearly, Sake didn’t miss with Soul Deluxxe 3. -J.Tanner
Sample Tracks:

Various Artists
Bay Area Funk Vol.1

Bay Area Funk is your guide to the Bay’s consistent tradition of gettin’ down. As with hip-hop today, funk clung like summer fog here in the 1960s and ‘70s. Before there was Sly, Santana or Graham Central, there was Marvin Holmes, Johnny Talbot, and Eugene Blacknell. These cats pioneered their own brand of funk that heavily influenced their more-famous counterparts (sound familiar?). They fused blues and latin sounds with down-south funk, and were part of a whole scene of like-minded groups.
DJ Riddm, who put together this collection, says “the mission of this compilation was to get these artists the respect and exposure they deserve.” A must-have for funkologists and those truly down with the Bay. -Conway
Sample Tracks:
Rodger Collins: "Foxy Girls in Oakland"
Little Denise: "Check Me Out"
Pi-R-Square" "Fantasy"

الخميس، حزيران ٠٢، ٢٠٠٥

Michael Franti Tours Iraq

franti&soldiers, originally uploaded by smallaxe.

As told to Charlie Russo by Michael Franti

Shortly after interviewing him for our first issue, Michael Franti embarked on a trip to the Middle East to get a first hand street-level view of the war in Iraq. Traveling with a small team of filmmakers, Franti played music for Iraqi citizens and U.S. soldiers alike, creating a short documentary along the way chronicling his interactions with those involved in the current conflict.
The resulting film is titled Habibi, a word meaning “sweetheart” in Arabic, and doubling as the name of a song that Franti composed during his travels. Although the film’s completion date is set for the end of the year, Franti took some time to speak with us about his travels and reflect on his time in the war zone...

I had grown tired of hearing about this war through generals and politicians who never take the time to talk about the human cost of the war, and I wanted to talk with the poets and the writers and the taxi drivers and the hear about their experiences.It was really intense. From the moment you get there you feel the adrenalin and the stress of people that are living in fear and basically never feel safe at any time during the day.... and you quickly become one of those people...

Click here for the entire story

الأربعاء، حزيران ٠١، ٢٠٠٥

Mac Dre's Memorial Mural

Destruction gives way to creativity once again...
Langton & Harrison, SF

Zion I

By Folklore

Smoking herb certainly alleviates the burden of transcribing a lengthy interview, but it does nothing for writing witty opening lines. Good music gets us through these moments, and Bay Area denizens Zion I–producer Amp Live and emcee Zion–have returned to offer your ears some inspiration in the form of True & Livin’, their third full-length effort.

More significantly, it’s the first album released exclusively through their own label, Live Up, submerging their deep water slang further into both financial and record pools. Amp says, “We were able to work with a couple of people from the first label and put a together a tight infrastructure, so this album, True & Livin’, came off our own label. This is a big project.”


Beni B

By Jesse Ducker

Beni B came to the Bay Area with plans of getting a degree at UC Berkeley. He ended up creating ABB Records, a label that has helped spur the rise of the new independent hip-hop sound through the late 1990s and into the 21st Century.

Beni B, a Los Angeles native, moved to the Bay Area in 1983, just as hip-hop was heating up on the West Coast. “This is a time when Too Short was pioneering with his brand of street marketing,” Beni B said. “At the time, no one had an inkling that it would grow to what it’s become. It was just a way of life: get out there and hustle your tapes. We never had that whole entertainment industry here. So when artists put their music out, they just used a different approach..."