New Film and TV Placements

Trailers for the "The Ugly Truth" feature two songs by the High Decibels

Trailers for the "The Ugly Truth" feature two songs by the High Decibels

The High Decibels’ “That Dude” was featured on a recent episode of HBO’s “Entourage”.  The High Decibels debut album has been on a licensing tear recently, with three placements in major film trailers (“Prophesy”, “That Dude”) and the ABC series “The Unusuals” (“Miss Cindy”).


High Decibels in Superbowl Ad


Smack in the middle of the 2009 Superbowl’s high drama 4th quarter, 100 million viewers were treated to a blast of the High Decibels’ “That Dude” Check out the commercial here:

“Sphere of Summer” (Bud Light Lime)


High Decibels #6 on CMJ Hip Hop

In advance of its release next week, the High Decibels’ debut album has reached a chart position of #6 on the CMJ Hip Hop chart!


High Decibels Review: “The Second Coming of Schoolyard Funk”

New, awesome reviews of the upcoming High Decibels album:

Okayplayer “The High Decibels” “I was caught unawares by their simple-but-striking visual style, care-free but conscious true-school-isms and rootsy Blues-Rock riffs.  I couldn’t help but admire the way they simultaneously practice ’90s Rap revivalism while paying tribute to proto-Rock Rhythm & Blues and the Rock & Roll and Soul revues of yesteryear.

SF Weekly “Miss Cindy”: “This awesome track ‘Miss Cindy’ is straight up early days of Beck … everything from country rock to hip-hop to Zeppelin blues and hard funk.”

Pensatos “Miss Cindy”: “Gliding from hip-hop and rock to blues with frightening ease is the second coming of schoolyard funk in the form of Oakland trio HIgh Decibels”


Duke going to National Slam Poetry Finals


Red Duke

Duke is slammin'

Duke Johnson, lead MC of the HIgh Decibels, will be going to the Slam Poetry National finals in Madison, Wisconsin, August 5-9.  Better known as Dre in his poetry circles, he had consistently been at the top of the San Francisco rankings all year, but had to prove his mettle at the San Francisco finals in order to go to the nationals.  He did.


from the bookshelves

I was sort of excited to see a small wave of what seem to be hip-hop theory books hitting the shelves, but the reviews coming in have sort of changed my mind… The first one that caught my attention was All About The Beat: Why Hip-Hop Can’t Save Black America by John McWhorter.  

The LA Times gave this snippet:

Finally McWhorter asserts that “being art, especially popular art, hip-hop is automatically disqualified from being meaningfully political.” If this were true, the specifics of McWhorter’s musings would be irrelevant — even to him. Why write a book detailing the case against a particular form if you believe no art can be political? Why not do something else with your afternoon?

They end with a zinger:

For McWhorter, hip-hop may be all about the beat, but only because he isn’t listening. 

The Boston Globe gives a rundown of All About The Beat next to Party Crashing: How the Hip-Hop Generation Declared Political Independence by Keli Goff, revealing the latter to be more about the political affiliations of hip-hop lovers than the politics present in the music.  The Globe points out the point that both books are missing:

What does it say about the political impact of the hip-hop generation that the Democratic nominee is not only African-American but evidently fluent in hip-hop culture, and able to craft a message that speaks to the politically disaffected young people for whom hip-hop is the air they breathe? No more than rock ‘n’ roll, hip-hop will never revolutionize politics, but its ethos – of skepticism, of brash outspokenness, of unconscious diversity – will begin to seep into the mainstream of political discourse.

Most of the reviews tear huge holes in these books, from being so outdated that they are irrelevant to not quite bringing the game their titles promise (although another big promotion of the term “Hip Hop generation” from author Goff gets big props from The Globe).  I’m not running to Borders anytime soon, except maybe to pick up this.


High Decibels rock Dolores Park

You just don’t get that many nights like this in San Francisco.  72 degrees and clear skies at 7 pm.   That’s how it was last Thursday for a High Decibels concert in Dolores park, to kick off the weekly DP movie night.  A great event and a memorable concert in front of 600 people.