Monthly Archives: February 2013


Bitter Barista is also a rapper

You may have hard of Bitter Barista.  This Seattle-based anonymous rage blog was the classic tale of an employee ranting about customers and management and working conditions.  What you may not have heard is that Matt Watson, the name behind the blog, was unmasked by a rival coffee blog (which is a ridiculous sentence to write) and subsequently fired.  More importantly, you may not have heard that he also raps under the name Spekulation.

Here’s a little bio snippet:

Spekulation is a Seattle-based emcee and producer who blends both live instrumentation and sampling to create boombap rap records that are exciting and spontaneous. On stage, he performs with DJ AbsoluteMadman, Nate Omdal and a 6-piece live band.

And he’s not bad.  Check out Remember below.


Amoeba Records sells digital rarities

Amoeba Music recently relaunched their online presence, but with a much more effective spin.  Beyond the traditional online sales and music downloads, they’ve begun to focus on curated “musical rarities”.

…possibly the most intriguing element of that site, and a direct reflection of Amoeba’s dig-deeper philosophy, is the so-called Vinyl Vaults section — thousands of rare and out-of-print LPs, 78s and 45s that flow through the company’s three outlets in any given week — now available for sale via download.

It’s a solid business plan because it brings great access to hard to find music.  It’s also fraught with some risk.  In certain cases, they do not have a deal with the artist to sell their music.  When they haven’t been able to get in touch with the artist, Amoeba says they are putting proceeds from the sale into an escrow account.  Essentially, they are putting the money aside to pay royalties to the artist (or copyright holder) whenever they find them.

Hopefully this pays off for them and inspires other stores to do the same (and hopefully they don’t get immediately sued by some disgruntled artist.)

via Music retail giant puts tunes online | Variety.



Beat By Dre: The Exclusive Inside Story of How Monster Lost the World

Beat By Dre: The Exclusive Inside Story of How Monster Lost the World.

This is a fascinating story about what Gizmodo is calling the worst deal in tech.   I never would have seen Monster as a company in that much over its head.

According to this story, Monster did the engineering, and Dre Interscope took the credit.  A cautionary tale and an interesting one, since people have strong feelings about both parties.


Awareness Music

RIP Donald Byrd

Donald Byrd, the hugely influential jazz and funk trumpeter, passed away on Monday. Innovative and transcendental, Byrd broke new ground in his exploration of the intersections between bebop, funk, soul and R&B. Byrd’s legacy is firmly entrenched both in the span of his critically-acclaimed discography and in his continued influence on hip-hop, his samples forming the basis for many of the genre’s best jams, including Black Moon’s “Buck ‘Em Down” and Nas’ “NY State of Mind” and Public Enemy’s “Fear of a Black Planet”. RIP.

Music Sample Sourcing

The Underachievers – The Mahdi

Some new music from a group called The Underachievers. If the song sounds familiar, it’s because it uses the same sample (Billy Cobham’s “Heather“) as Souls of Mischief’s classic “93 ’til Infinity“.