Neo-Expressionist Movement

It seems to me throughout history there are more than a few of the greats that die young. Jimmy Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse, & Janis Joplin, just to name a few. They touched so many people with their music. Artists have a way of doing that.

Jean-Michel Basquiat was very intelligent; by age four he was reading & already started to show his gift for art. Born in Brooklyn, New York, by age 11 he could fluently speak, read, & write fluently in Spanish, French, & English. Even though Jean-Michele excelled in schooling he dropped out by the 10th grade. His father disowned him, so he made money selling t-shirts & homemade post cards.
By 1976 Jean-Michel was expressing his artistic side through graffiti in the Lower Manhattan area. He called himself SAMO. He would inscribe messages on the wall like; “SAMO as an end to bogus pseudo-intellectual. My mouth, therefore an error. Plush safe.. He think.” or “SAMO as an end to mind wash religion, nowhere politics and bogus philosophy.” He ended his SAMO project in 1979, with the epitaph "SAMO IS DEAD.”

From 1979 to 1980 Jean-Michele was still living the dream as an artist. He was in the band Gray, a regular on public-access television, & starred in Glen O'Brien's independent film Downtown 81, originally titled New York Beat. Thru Glen he met the infamous Andy Warhol, who helped catapult BAsquiat into pop culture. Throughout 1980 Basquiat participated in several art exhibitions. In late 1981, he joined the Annina Nosei Gallery in SoHo. The art world became very interested in him & his part in the Neo-expressionist movement.

By 1986 Basquiat left the Annina Nosei gallery, to show his art in the famous Mary Boone Gallery in SoHo. The world was his oyster, he was also featured on the cover of the New York Times, the article was called "New Art, New Money: The Marketing of an American Artist". In Febuary of 1987 Andy Warhol died. Basquiat had become close with Warhol; this is when his heroin addiction and depression started to completely consume him. Basquiat passed away on August 12, 1988. Even in death his work & life continues to inspire artists & viewers around the world.

Hidden Treasures of a Soulful Songster

{On December 5th, “Lioness: Hidden Treasures,” the third album from Amy Winehouse, will be released through Island Records.

Statement from Amy Winehouse’s website:

The 12 track collection features previously unreleased tracks, alternate versions of existing classics as well as a couple of brand new Amy compositions, and has been compiled by long-time musical partners Salaam Remi and Mark Ronson in close association with Amy’s family, management and record label Island Records. “Lioness : Hidden Treasures” proves a fitting tribute to the artist, the talent and the woman and serves as a reminder of Amy’s extraordinary powers as a songwriter, a singer and an interpreter of classics.} LIFE.TUMBLR.COM
Click the down arrow on the right to get your free remix of Love is a losing game. RIP a beautifully troubled soul.
Amy Winehouse - Love Is A Losing Game (Lucian X & NAPT Redub) by NAPT

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Dirty Bombs

"In light of recent rumors and heightened fears around nuclear weapons — from rumblings of rogue nations seeking arsenals to the specter of terrorists acquiring “dirty bombs” — LIFE.com recalls the horrors visited upon Hiroshima and Nagasaki when the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on those cities during WWII.  Approximately 80,000 people were killed outright in Hiroshima; 60,000 more died of injury and radiation by the end of the year. Pictured: A victim of the 1945 atomic attack on the city of Hiroshima displays his burn scars two years later." ~ TUMBLR

GREEN Expertise

Phoebe Washburn is an amazing example of a fly-a-holic. This Poughkeepsie born New York native now resides in New York City. Washburn is known for her massive art installations made of garbage, trash, cardboard; scrap wood, and, more recently, organic matter such as sod or plants. Go Washburn for keeping it green! She creates these out the box installations with the help of her assistants due to the massive size & labor her structures demand. Washburn is currently represented by the Zach Feuer Gallery in New York.
"My sculptures depend a lot on the spaces where they are shown because they often are anchored into the wall but chance is definitely more of a factor in the final product than is any predetermined design. I just let the structures evolve by repeating the same action again and again. The process has a slightly neurotic element in that it involves adding little behavior habits. As silly as it sounds, I often feel as if my assistants and I are beavers building a dam. The shapes are less about form than they are about the activity involved in amassing and assembling the forms." ~ WIKIPEDIA

ISAM

I remember the days when we partied in the desert. The memories, lasers, lights, & dust encasing your lungs. Over 10 years later DJs have upped their performances by mixing audio with stimulating visuals. Amon Tobin, of Ninja Tune Records, is just one of these DJs. He calls his “visual circus” ISAM (Invented Sounds Applied to Music). ISAM is an HD, 3-D mapping system with the same name as his album.
{The show features a shape-shifting DJ booth/art installation. Washes of color, shapes and video images stream over the structure, triggered by Tobin in a storyboard mapped to the music in real time.}
“Comparisons could be made to Deadmau5 and Daft Punk, who make electronic music and surround themselves with technology as they perform,” says Tobin. “But unlike that, ISAM doesn’t focus on making people dance. It’s not a DJ set where you’re raving; it’s a much more cinematic experience, and is more closely guided by a narrative, how the visuals and music work together.”} SUNTIMES
Check out this article for more info SPINNER

Knowledge Is Power

All you fly-a-holics out there, you know I love my hip hop brain candy. I encourage all of you to know your history because everything started from somewhere. I read an article recently about 5 books that will increase your understanding of our culture. They recognize the four elements; rapping, DJing, MCing, & breaking, even the 5th element knowledge.  In my experience knowledge, has only been referred to from the real heads. The original generation such as Tony Tone of Cold Krush brothers, Afrika Bambaataa, Ace Rock, etc. These are all individuals that lived through the birth of hip hop. I feel blessed to have conversed & spent time with many originals. Below is a list of informative books compiled by OC WEEKLY . Visit the SITE to get the full reviews.
1. Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation by Jeff Chang
2. Close to the Edge: In Search of the Global Hip Hop Generation by Sujatha Fernandes
3. Book of Rhymes: The Poetics of Hip Hop by Adam Bradley
4. The Real Hip Hop: Battling for Knowledge, Power and Respect in the LA Underground by Marcyliena Morgan
5. Chicano Rap: Gender and Violence In the Postindustrial Barrio by Pancho McFarland

BASEWARE

BEATPORT  is an online music store specializing in electronic dance music and culture.”
Beatport recently announced the creation of Baseware(TM). Baseware is {a new digital music distribution company focused on emerging artists, producers and labels. Baseware(TM) expands the opportunities and simplifies the process of packaging, distributing, and selling music through Beatport, iTunes, Spotify, Rdio, Stompy, mobile and tablet applications and other retail platforms. Having sold more than 77 million downloads and distributed upwards of $100 million back to independent labels and artists since its launch in 2004, Beatport expects that Baseware(TM) will expand its contribution to and support of Electronic Dance Music.} ~ For more info visit this SITE. I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE WHERE THIS GOES!


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Remembering an Underground Landmark

The Belmont Tunnel aka Toluca Substation and yard is located @ 1304 West 2nd Street, Los Angeles, CA. To graffiti heads all over the greater Los Angeles area the tunnel is a classic landmark, & is also recognized by writers all over the world.
The Belmont Tunnel actually has a deeper history than what most hip hop heads know. It was created in the 1924 due to the traffic that congested the streets of downtown. The California Railroad Commission paid Pacific Electric $1.25 million to construct a subway system that would bypass downtown all together. By December 1, 1925 the Belmont Tunnel was open to the public. The tunnel was a successful operation through the 1920s & 30s.
By 1955 the construction of a widespread freeway system throughout southern California forced the Toluca Substation to close. {The tracks were removed & the site was abandoned. The only physical alteration to the site came about in 1967, when a portion of the tunnel between Flower and Figueroa Streets in downtown was filled in to accommodate the foundation of the Bonaventure Hotel.} 
Over the next 35 years the tunnel was nearly forgotten by city officials. However it attracted graffiti writers & bums. It even served as grounds for several raves in the 90s.
{In 2002, West Los Angeles-based Meta Housing Corporation purchased the property and announced plans to construct a 276-unit apartment complex on the former Toluca yard. Belmont Station Apartments was completed in late 2008. The entrance to the tunnel has been sealed and painted with a mural of a Red Car, which glows in the dark, by artist Tait Roelofs.[3] The substation remains next to the tunnel entrance at the back of the property, behind the new construction, and has been cleaned of the graffiti which adorned it for many decades.} WIKIPEDIA
Images courtesy of  GOOGLE IMAGES.