Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Watch ?uestlove of The Roots Perform Special Tribute to J Dilla on Boiler Room TV

The super cool Boiler Room TV live sessions have featured some impressive artists like Scuba, Motor City Drum Ensemble and Bonobo, but it was this recent New York City takeover that boasted a special ?uestlove 60 minute tribute set to the late hip-hop legend, J Dilla that is perhaps the series' shining moment to date. Featuring The Roots recreating classic J Dilla productions, this exceptional live session is not to be of all it's been recorded so we can all enjoy it again and again!

Special Thanks: Boiler Room TV for making this happen, ?uestlove and The Roots for throwing it down proper for over 20 years, the exceptional debut album from Planas, the Colin Kaepernick era beginning in SF, Little Giants and rainy LA nights.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

JNEIRO JAREL - Part 1 of the Upperhands Biography Series

Every once and a while I am amazed that I slept on a talented artist for such a long time. 
Such memorable slept on artists in my life:
DJ Shadow - Endtroducing
The Pharcyde - LabcabinCalifornia
Burial - Street Halo
and now...
Jneiro Jarel.

 Jneiro Jarel - Timeless Mix CD Vol 1 
Heavily producing and composing real hip - hop since 2002, Jneiro Jarel has been quite an underground gem in an earth full of wack production.
Jneiro Jarel was born in Brooklyn, New York where he gained knowledge and connections to the hip hop scene, starting his own record label, Orienj Records, and gaining recognition for the release of 2 albums in 2004. "Timeless Vol 1 and Three Piece Puzzle" were his two works that best exemplify his attention to true hip hop.
Relying immensely on the idea that MPCs + Old jazz and soul samples = amazing hip hop, 
Jneiro Jarel has easily taken me back to the good old days. 
 In his first mix / album, "Timeless : Mic CD Vol.1", Jneiro embarks on a mission to keep it true to the forefathers like Jay Dee and The Roots, while introducing himself 
to the world and Upperhands as more than just a hip hop artist.
I don't say this often about music, but:
This album changed my life.
I have an affinity for finding an album and become mildly obsessed with them,
playing the album sometimes 2 or 3 times a day for a week.
Jneiro Jarel's 2004 Mix did this to me. 
Obsession song #1 : 

 Other notable obsession albums in my past:
The Pharcyde- "Labcabincalifornia"
DMX - "Its Dark and Hell is Hot"
Beastie Boys - "Paul's Boutique"
Jazz Liberatorz - "Clin D'Oiel"

Jneiro Jarel performing live with a little help from the AKAI MPC 32


Jneiro Jarel  - "Three Piece Puzzle"

Fast forward to 2007 and Jneiro Jarel decides that he is tired of one alias, so he starts a new moniker and beat style known as "Dr. Who Dat?" and "Shape of Broad Minds". Featured in some of the Adult Swim commercial pieces of 2006 to 2008, Jneiro Jarel made his way back into the fold 
with cutting edge hip hop beats that branched out into using the electronic sound and sampling style. 
The Dr. Who Dat? project is a strictly instrumental series, whereas the Shape of Broad Minds series features emcee's like Count Bass D, MF Doom and John Robinson rhyming over the smooth and intelligently composed Jneiro Jarel beats.

Dr. Who Dat? - "Beat Journey"


Jneiro Jarel sporting the Miles Davis style. Not just a Hip Hop producer/ Emcee


 Shape of Broad Minds "Craft of the Lost Art"

Let us fast forward now to how it all started for my fascination with the artist that is Jneiro Jarel.
About 3 months ago I was elated with the prospect of a new album from one of my favorite artists of all time: MF Doom.
MF Doom is by far one of the most noted hip hop artists of all time and has been hard at work putting amazing work together for the past 10 years. It is safe to say that whenever MF Doom releases an album or decides to work with some relatively unknown producer, it's going to be fire!
Enter JJ DOOM.
Pulling together all of Jneiro Jarel's past beat making accomplishments and artistry, 
the album "JJ Doom: Key To the Cuffs", is a testament to all hip hop heads and backpackers out there
that not only is MF Doom still strong in the game, but Jneiro Jarel has no plans on leaving hip hop.


JJ DOOM : "Key to the Kuffs"


Jneiro Jarel and "The Man in the Mask" MF DOOM on a rooftop in NYC


JJ DOOM, "Gov'Nor" video
Shot almost exclusively in an empty production warehouse, this video has brought music video making into a whole new frontier. Using a primitive split screen method, the director joins multiple shots and views together to create one seamless frame.
I really appreciate this video because it also gives us a deeper view into MF Doom.
For the first time, we the viewers and followers of Doom's career get a closer look at the man in the mask and even get a closer look at the design of his mask.
Now equipped with plastic eye pieces, Doom's mask resembles something I would have used in a 
metal sculpture class to cut metal, but in this case brings all of the mystique and creativity of Doom to the forefront. 

Thank you Jneiro Jarel for all that you have done to change my life and the way I listen to music.

Special Thanks to: Coffee, Jneiro Jarel, MF Doom's mask, rainy days in Los Angeles.

Friday, November 16, 2012

DIRTY JAZZ - "Dirty Jazz" is all I need to hear and I am there!

Upperhands' Friday night jump off album.
It's Los Angeles, November, 2012.
It's getting cold out. May have just felt some rain drops. 
Time to put on the hoodie, roll that scroodie and chill out to some beats.

compiled and mixed by QUESTION of MELLOW ORANGE

Like the title of this post states, "Dirty Jazz is all I need to hear and I am there".

To stream the album from their website, click below:

This mix is out there for free, but you'll never see that on this site unless the artist allows it.
I'm pretty sure you can find the mix for free if you google it though.

Special Thanks to: Phil Jackson drama, Second Terms for US Presidents, Giving new episodes of "The Office" a chance for the first time because I am crushed that Michael Scott isn't on the show anymore, Having the worst fantasy basketball team, Still using a dumb phone, space heaters, Tim Tebow single - handed ruining of the 2012 New York Jets.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

It's Video: Rick Reilly of ESPN Catches the Death Stare from Steve Young on Monday Night Football After Trying to Take Credit for Breaking Ben Roethlisberger Injury Story on Twitter

Wow, when I saw this, I thought it was the perfect representation of the massive egos that are currently running rampant at ESPN.

After the Monday Night Football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers, Ben Roethlisberger had hurt himself and overpaid writer/now talking head, Rick Reilly (seriously, what is this putz doing on MNF??) thought he was still off camera when you can see him tell Stu Scott 'to give him credit' for breaking the Roethlisberger injury story on Twitter. Only he wasn't the first to do so. My boy, former San Francisco 49ers Hall-of-Fame QB, Steve Young serves him up the quintessential death stare for his absurd actions.

The ensuing results are priceless which you simply must check out in this video:

Once again, ESPN continues to veer dangerously close to TMZ territory.

Special Thanks: Steve Young for doing what everyone watching was thinking, Rick Reilly for being a dick, ESPN for caring more about talking heads' sensationalism than actual sports journalism, The Weeknd Trilogy album re-release, Tron:Legacy score by Daft Punk and Lenny & Larry's Lemon cookies.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Music Mondays: Los Angeles Producers Poolside Make 'Seasons Change' SoundCloud Mix Available as Free Download

One of our favorite finds this summer was the Los Angeles production duo, Poolside. The band's sublime debut album, "Pacific Standard Time" was an essential soundtrack to summer. Now the duo have compiled the quintessential mix for the changing seasons, which they've lovingly made available to download via their SoundCloud page.

Featuring a slew of slow burning house music grooves that will seep into your subconscious, this hour long mix is definitely one you're going to want to jump on. Take a listen for yourself and then be sure to show them some love with a us, you'll be glad you did.

Special Thanks: 2 pt fantasy football wins, Lana Del Rey remixed by Photek, Skyfall sessions, SF Giants resigning Jeremy Affeldt, KDAY classics, cool art openings and winter in LA.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Music Mondays: Peter Kruder Puts Together Best Bits of Pink Floyd in New SoundCloud Mix

Mondays can be a drag...which makes finding some fresh music all the more important to keep one's sanity to start the week. Much to my delight I came across this incredible vintage mix from G-Stone Recording's Peter Kruder (one half of the groundbreaking downtempo duo Kruder & Dorfmeister), which finds the producer putting together his favorite bits from Pink Floyd.

The results are what you might expect....master selections, featuring plenty of fan favorites and obscure gems.

Kruder has kindly made the mix available for FREE DOWNLOAD on his SoundCloud page HERE

Special Thanks: G-Stone Recordings for releasing this gem to fans, Pumpkin Pancakes, J Dilla's masterpiece "Donuts," Throwback Jams on KDAY, Chilled Peanut Butter Cups

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Om Records Releases Original Mushroom Jazz Mixtapes from DJ Mark Farina

We grew up on the game-changing hip-hop sounds from progressive acts like A Tribe Called Quest, Gang Starr and De La Soul, who paired crisp beats with classic jazz/funk samples. Gangsta rap this was not.

The beats were so good you could listen to them without the vocals and still be captivated. So in 1992, Chicago-based DJ Mark Farina took it a step further by compiling the now legendary 'Mushroom Jazz' mixtapes. What started with an initial run of 50, quickly grew to 500. These tapes became so popular that in 1997, San Francisco based OM Records began issuing them as proper mix cds and 7 incredible volumes later the demand is still ravenous as evidenced by Farina starting up his infamous 'Mushroom Jazz' nights again. 

Unless you were one of the lucky ones who got a copy of the original mixtapes, the 7 cds were all you had....until now. Much love to Mark Farina for digitizing some of these original cassettes and now making them available for FREE download via his SoundCloud page.

Some of the incredible contributors to the series have included: Pete Rock, People Under the Stairs, Andy Caldwell, MIguel Migs, King Kooba, Colossus and Mark Farina himself.

Love proper hip-hop? Funk and Jazz? Then jump on these FREE DOWNLOADS of the original 'Mushroom Jazz' mixtapes from Mark Farina HERE

Special Thanks: The SF Giants 2nd World Series title in 3 years, Photek's new album, Kendrick Lamar debates, The Punisher, The Legend that was Terry Callier, Autumn in LA, Scuba's FACT mix, Miguel Migs at King King and Yesterday's New Quintet

Frank 151 Magazine, Chapter 49: 13th Wittnes. Photo lifestyle - Period!

 The newest issue of Frank 151 magazine features the best street photographers of today and celebrates the work of one 13th Witness. 
New York City resident and world traveller 13th Witness brings the camera into so many different worlds, it's impossible to believe he doesn't have access everywhere. 
Working with some of the most iconic artists in Hip Hop history, 13thWitness brings us a face to face view of the people we love. Q-Tip, Questlove, Ricky Powell, DJ Premier and Futura are just some of the names of people he has photographed with his very expensive digital Hasselblad. But as you dive deeper into his website, you notice that is far deeper than what you originally thought he was trying to bring to your eyes.
When viewing 13thWitness' website, do yourself a favor and turn down the lights, put your web browser on full screen, grab a beer and enjoy... You'll be there a while.
Visit 13th Witness's website HERE
Buy Frank151 Chapter 49 HERE
For this issue of Frank 151, they created 3 different versions of the cover display.
I've only been able to find the Subway version, but I will keep my eyes to the streets.
For my Los Angeles friends, you can find Frank 151 for free at sporadic times in Stussy  on La Brea, Undefeated  on La Brea or on Sunset in Silverlake, Supreme on Fairfax and sometimes at Known Gallery on Fairfax.

Here is a glimpse into his site.

Questlove and DJ Premier. "We need a proper soundcheck!"

Futura in the studio.

Night shots of various cities from around the world.

Ricky Powell, "the 4th Beastie Boy"


Special Thanks to: All of my family and friends on the East Coast that are safe and sound after Hurrican Sandy ravaged my hometown that I dearly miss and love!, Guys I went to High School with that advertise electrical generators on Facebook for $800.00 in the wake of Hurrican Sandy - When I posted this on his Wall - "Preying on the weak. #AmericanCapitalism" - He got pissed off - some people just don't get it, Staying home from work to be creative, Finding Frank 151 for free in your local shop, finding Vice Magazine for free in your local shop, Realizing you have only used 15% of your potential.... progress.