Five Things We Learned From the 1999 Source Awards

Categories: Hip-Hop

The Source
An Award Show So Important, it Had Its Own CD!
This month marks 15 years since The 1999 Source Awards were broadcast nationwide on UPN. While at first glance it may seem inconsequential to note the anniversary of yet another award show, these particular Source Awards were a landmark event for many reasons. Recorded at Los Angeles' Pantages Theater, the show marked the first time two major network television hours were devoted exclusively to hip-hop. From paying tribute to the pioneers to offering an accurate snapshot of the entire hip-hop nation, it's a surprisingly well done broadcast.

After revisiting a copy of the original broadcast (complete with commercials), here's 5 Things We Learned from the 1999 Source Awards.

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Resurrecting the Memory of Sinn Sisamouth, the Cambodian Elvis

It's hard to explain to Americans the importance of Sinn Sisamouth, the most prolific singer-songwriter in Cambodian history, who was killed sometime in 1975 by the brutal Khmer Rouge. His silky vocals and poetic verses spent more than 20 years wafting over the cities and countryside of Southeast Asia's oldest kingdom, touching people's emotions and heralding a vibrant Golden era of rock and psychedelic-infused music that is only now beginning to be rebuilt.

He's commonly referred to as the Cambodian Elvis, which explains his popularity level. It also sheds light on how, decades after his last recording was made, both young and old Cambodians can still cite and sing his works, often with tears in their eyes.

See also: Members of Legendary Bay Area Band Crucifix Flash Back With 1984

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Hey, Matt Iseman. How Well Do You Know Your Co-Hosts on American Ninja Warrior?

Categories: Q&As, TV, comedy

Matt Iseman (right): I think we celebrate the differences rather than actually point them out.
The stars of the hit TV show American Ninja Warrior are ultimately the competitors but there is a lot to be said about the hosts as well. Jenn Brown, Akbar Gbaja-Biamila, and Matt Iseman spout off play-by-play, do interviews, and have a repartee that makes them almost as entertaining as watching the ninjas run the course itself. I was lucky enough to snag an invite from Iseman to see the set while they were in Las Vegas (which starts airing September 1st on NBC) and while there, I met and talked to Jenn and Akbar as well. Full disclosure, I didn't know much about the show before I went there so I pretty much asked them all of the same questions about it. When compiling it all together, it sounded a little dry. Totally my fault. Because of that, we decided to cover our asses by flipping the script on stand-up comic and host extraordinaire Matt Iseman for a little friendly competition to see how his answers compare to his ANW co-hosts.

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The Best Concerts in OC This Weekend

Categories: this weekend

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William Thoren Photography
George Clinton at Long Beach Funk Fest--See Monday
Don't forget to check out our constantly updated OC Concert Calendar

Friday, August 29

Mariachi Divas CD Release Party
House of Blues Anaheim
Consider Southern California lucky to house an institution like the Mariachi Divas. This all-female mariachi band has won not one but two Grammys, and are the reigning mariachi group with the most Grammy nominations. They're also Disneyland's resident mariachi band--so what better place to celebrate their 15th anniversary and new album release than the House of Blues? Their impressive 10th album to date, 15 Aniversario showcases the band's flawless musicianship--the guitars, violins, horns and angelic vocals come together in superb harmony. Anchored by founding member Cindy Shea (who, as a child, was told playing trumpet was "too macho." Ha!), the Mariachi Divas play their record release concert tonight in Anaheim--prepare to fall in love. (Erin DeWitt)

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Ridiculous Kanye West-isms, In Illustrated Form

Categories: quotes

Jena Ardell
Kanye West and Paul McCartney are rumored to be collaborating, according to New York Post's Page Six. What's more surprising is one song's tentative title: "Piss On Your Grave."

"West's wife Kim Kardashian has been heard telling friends she was a little surprised they chose such a provocative name," reports

Hip-hop producer Statik Selektah recently revealed that part of the inspiration behind his new jazz-infused album, What Goes Around, was defying a criticism from West. "Kanye sat there and listened for like 10 seconds and he pressed stop," Selektah told MTV News. "and he was like: 'It's cool, but jazz is dead'." Selektah thought West's comment was "crazy" and moved forward with the project.

Here are more West-isms that have made the rapper an easy target for media jabs. Quotation above via

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The 10 Best Industrial Bands

Categories: Metal

Nine Inch Nails
Industrial music is such a vague, broad term. But in general, one might imagine a typical sound attached to it. Yet there are countless subgenres of Industrial, and the lines between these types of music are blurred with many bands incorporating multiple styles into the music.

Industrial music can be rock made with bass, drums and guitars. But mostly, the music is made with keyboards, electronic mechanical drum beats, experimental noise machines, and often avant-garde methods of incorporating samplers, distortion, synthesizers. The results usually produce cerebral, and raw, sometimes malevolent sounding beats. The scene can be related to punk, with some slightly different philosophies, style, attitudes, and lyrical subjects mixed in with their DIY approach. This is experimental,  sometimes dystopian, and unpredictable music that borrows heavily from DJ subculture, heavy metal music, the use of samplers, synthesizers and other machines to create what is commonly referred to as Industrial. It's also popular all over the globe, especially in places like Germany, Canada, and even North and South America. We now present our list of the 10 Best Industrial Bands.

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Stiff Little Fingers' Punk Rock Fire Still Burns

Categories: Punk as Fuck

Before 1980, punk rock was most associated with three bands of three distinct flavors. There were the Sex Pistols, whose loud, over-the-top shtick revolved around rebellion and vitriol; the Ramones, who trafficked in energetic, lovably dopey pop songs; and the Clash, who carried themselves with the sobriety of community activists, focusing on sociopolitical songwriting and a multi-hued sonic palette.

Feeling invigorated by punk's back-to-basics approach and the sense that he was there for music history, a young Jake Burns helped form Stiff Little Fingers, his own punk band, in 1977. Wanting to pattern SLF after one of that trio, Burns went with the third option, establishing an outfit whose explosiveness and smarts still shine today.

"When I heard the Clash, they were writing about things that actually meant something and doing it with an intelligence," the Chicago-based guitarist/vocalist, 56, says. "Obviously, I know there was an intelligence in what the other bands were doing, it was just they buried it under a cartoon image or some form of provoking hysteria. Seeing and hearing the intelligence of what the Clash did connected to me on a similar level to the Dylans and the Marleys of this world."

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Pure Fun Revives Its Cult Classic Skateboarding Zine in Long Beach

Categories: sk8ter boi

Mark Choiniere
Modern day Larry Ransom at Paul Revere Jr High, Santa Monica
Larry Ransom and his friend Eric Shugats started Pure Fun zine with nothing more than a typewriter, a pair of scissors and a shoebox full of photos of them and their high school friends skateboarding around suburban Lockport, New York. Twenty-four years later, Ransom is celebrating the 11th issue of the one-time teenage pet project on the other side of the country with a party and concert in another kind of skateboarding destination--Long Beach.

Pure Fun existed in its original incarnation for nine glorious months in the early 1990s, when Ransom and his friends spent the harsh East Coast winters dreaming of moving to California, where the skateboard scene was full of famous names and endless summers.

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The Simpkin Project Prove Their Staying Power in the OC Reggae Scene

Categories: Locals Only

Josue Rivas
By: David Garcia

It's easy to be desensitized to SoCal reggae these days. But there's no substitute for staying power when you see a local band such as the Simpkin Project, whose commitment to the genre is more than a decade long and goes much deeper than a love of Sublime and Sour Diesel.

Long before the recent reggae explosion in Southern California, Phil Simpkin spent his high school days playing in the band Big Cat. At the time, Simpkin had been quietly working on his own music and shared his experimentations with longtime schoolmate, Shawn Taylor. The result was the birth of the Simpkin Project in 2003. The original recordings for what would become the band's first album, Walk On Tall, were mixed and mastered in Taylor's Huntington Beach home studio--with no intention of releasing it to the public.

"It was an experiment, if you will," says organist/keyboardist Taylor, "a recording experiment burned onto blank CDs and given to people in our immediate circles that quickly became a cult favorite among friends."

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Metal Invictus Promoter Angie Gabriel Keeps the Metal Scene Fresh

Categories: Metal

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Photo provided by Adrian Mejia
(Photo from Left to right): Metal Invictus crew: Cesar Escobar, Angie Gabriel, Adrian Mejia, Jimmy Armenta)
Lingering cigarette smoke from the upstairs balcony fogs the midsize open floors packed with shaggy, sweat-stained concertgoers at the Airliner bar. Located off North Broadway in Lincoln Heights in Los Angeles, the club offers a dark, packed crevice of underground culture with a low cover charge and multiple music acts throughout the week.

On many weekends, the Airliner transforms into a communal hub for local metalheads. Backyard and basement bands from the greater Los Angeles and Orange County areas are given the opportunity to migrate to a proper stage and venue with the help of an events-promotion company called Metal Invictus.

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