Entries tagged with: Beyonce
Bey & Tay
Beyonce was seen just kind of chillin with Jay-Z at Monday night's Nets game at Barclays Center (where Taylor Swift is not playing) (that was a heads up for Stereogum). Maybe she was thinking about how she is the highest paid woman in music this year according to a new Forbes list which also includes Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, and Taylor Swift, who just made headlines for pulling all her music off Spotify (to make more money?), and who Kendrick Lamar covered, sort of:
It's not just you: Over the last five years, there's been a seismic shift in the way we engage with music. We tweet, tumbl, stream, and share our favorite songs; we scour dead links and navigate obtrusive pop-ups for the newest mixtapes; we watch our music videos on Youtube and Vevo. We watched the explosion of EDM, the birth of drill, the rise and fall of chillwave. We debated how to pronounce FKA twigs, whether the album was dead, and where Bobby Shmurda's hat went. We met Kendrick Lamar, Frank Ocean, Grimes, Jessie Ware, Disclosure, Miguel, and Charli XCX. We saw LCD Soundsystem break up, Neutral Milk Hotel reunite, and My Bloody Valentine release a new album--a shooting star if there ever was one. [Pitchfork]By the end of this year it will be halfway through the current decade, and to mark that, Pitchfork is posting lists of the best tracks, albums, and videos of the decade so far, this week. Today, they put out their list of the top 200 tracks. Like most of Pitchfork's 'top tracks' lists, it ranges from big names to underdogs in indie, electronic, hip hop and more, plus a few huge radio-pop songs sprinkled in. Can you guess what made #1?
Check out the full list HERE and browse the top 20, below...
by Wyatt Marshall
Ebola is back, bedbugs are on the N Train, and now one more thing to worry about: being bitten at a concert. Last Friday, at Lollapalooza, Ben Lenet, 29, was allegedly the victim of a biting attack that occurred during Arctic Monkeys' day one closing set. You can see a graphic photo of the chomp over at the Chicago Sun Times, who reported the incident. Lenet described the incident on Reddit in an effort to try to identify his attacker. Here's what Lenet wrote:
Me and two other friends are enjoying the show and have even made some friends around us. The mood of the crowd is really happy and a nice departure from the normal drunken debauchery. Suddenly, I turn around and some guy none of us have ever seen or spoken to, without warning, body slams my friend and begins using his hands to choke him. My other friend begins hitting the assailant in the face. I come from the other side and place my right arm on his right arm and my left arm on his right shoulder, trying to pull him off. The attacker then turns his head and clamps his teeth into my arm for a good 5 seconds. He's not nipping at me. He's trying to bite through my arm. At this point, all three of us are hitting him, trying to get him off me...As Lenet told the Chicago Sun Times, "I don't know of a UFC fighter who could've taken that punishment and just walked away." Lenet, who has attended Lollapalooza for the past six years, also told the Sun Times that he does not think he will return next year. As the bite broke the skin, he could have been exposed to HIV or a form of Hepatitis, and was put on a number of drugs and an antibiotic as a precaution. Bloodwork tests came up negative, but he will have to return for additional tests to confirm he was not infected.
...Finally he lets go and lunges at the feet of the original bodyslammed-friend, trying to bite him too. He is then kicked pretty squarely in the face.
The attacker has now taken 10-15 blows to the head and been punted in the face. He gets up and walks away. Not stumbling. Not woozy. He just fucking walked away in a straight line. CPD would later tell me they only see assailants like that who are on PCP or bath salts.
A day later, on Saturday (8/2), Roberto Alcaraz-Garnica, 25, was accused of biting off the tip of another man's finger at a Beyonce-Jay Z concert at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. The alleged incident occurred after Alcaraz-Garnica groped the victim's girlfriend (allegedly). When the victim confronted Alcaraz-Garnica, a fight ensued. In the course of the fight, Alcaraz-Garnica allegedly bit off the tip of the victim's finger. He has since pleaded not guilty.
Finally, in non-concert-but-still-biting news, CNN senior international correspondent Arwa Damon allegedly bit two medical workers at the US Embassy in Baghdad on July 19. Damon was reportedly intoxicated during the incident, and bit the EMTs on their forearms as they tried to treat her. The incident is being investigated by the State Department, and the EMTs filed a $2 million lawsuit against Damon and CNN yesterday. In an email apology from Damon to US embassy staff obtained by the New York Post's Page Six, Damon wrote, "I had not had proper food all day and clearly miscalculated how my body would handle the alcohol consumed ... Needless to say, I am utterly mortified and take full responsibility for my actions, which are inexcusable."
"[DJ Alan Freed's son] Lance Freed said he believed his father's exhibit is being downsized and moved to another area of the [Rock and Roll Hall of Fame] museum, but [Executive Director Greg] Harris said it is not being changed beyond removal of the gold urn. Harris suggested that Freed's son might feel better about the move after he visits the museum Monday morning...Read the Hall of Fame's official statement in a blog post they put up today.
...Harris defended the ouster of Freed's ashes coming at the same time that Beyonce's leotards are welcomed into the hall of fame. "Rock and roll isn't just about yesterday," he said. "It continues to evolve, and we continue to embrace it and refine our operations."" [CNN]
The performance configurations switch seamlessly, with Jay disappearing through a trap door in the floor to make way for Beyoncé and her troupe of eight dancers. And they often support each other in ways we haven't heard before - not just when Beyoncé takes over the Justin Timberlake part of "Holy Grail" or the Mr. Hudson part in "Young Forever," but the way "If I Were a Boy" took on some of the heavy metal elements of "99 Problems" or the way "Love on Top" moved into The Jackson 5's "I Want You Back" to better segue into Jay's "Izzo." [Newsday]Beyonce and Jay Z brought their 'On the Run' tour to the NYC-area for two nights at MetLife Stadium this weekend (Friday, 7/11 and Saturday, 7/12). Their 46-song setlist included favorites from all over their careers like "No Church in the Wild," "Crazy In Love," "Flawless," "Hard Knock Life," "Tom Ford," "Countdown," "Izzo," "Single Ladies" and so many more. As the review above mentions, Beyonce took over Justin Timberlake's part in "Holy Grail" only a day after JT played that song himself in NYC. Check out a couple videos from night 1, along with the full setlist, below. Stay tuned for more footage from the tour in their upcoming HBO special.
Earlier in the day on Saturday, Jay Z made another appearance in NYC when another Jay, Jay Electronica (who's signed to Jay Z's label), brought him out during his set at Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival. They played "Young Gifted & Black", "We Made It", "Shiny Suit Theory", and "P.S.A. (Public Service Announcement)." Videos of that (via MissInfo) below.
by Andrew Sacher
Ab-Soul in Williamsburg Park in 2013 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
There's never a lack of great hip hop shows going on in NYC. Here's a roundup of a few of the good ones coming up, plus a handful of new tracks and videos from artists who will be here soon...
NYC rapper Smoke DZA recently made a video for "Hearses" which features Black Hippy's Ab-Soul and appeared on DZA's recent Dream.Zone.Achieve album. Check that out below. Ab-Soul, who put out his own new album recently, will be here this weekend for the 4Knots afterparty at Webster Hall on Saturday (7/12). Tickets for that show are still available.
Ab-Soul's TDE labelmate SZA, who dropped the track "Moodring" earlier this week, is now back with a Jill Scott collaboration, "Divinity," produced by Channel Orange contributor Om'Mas Keith. Jill's powerhouse soul mixed with SZA's airy indie/R&B tendencies works out really well, as you can hear below. SZA plays the AfroPunk-curated RBSS show at Rough Trade this month with Cakes Da Killa and more ($3 with RSVP). And both Cakes and SZA are playing the free AfroPunk Festival in August with D'Angelo, Body Count, Trash Talk and more.
This weekend is also the Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival which includes a show on Saturday (7/12) at 50 Kent with Raekwon, Jay Electronica, CJ Fly, Cyhi The Prynce and more (tickets). Rae just rapped over a remix of Teena Marie's "Ohh La La" yesterday (7/10) for his #TBT series, and you can stream that below. CyHi also just put out a remix of "Good Night" off this year's Hystori: Black History Project mixtape. He brings Scotty ATL, Marian Mereba and Andrew "GC" Fennell along for the remix, which is streaming below.
Speaking of rap shows at 50 Kent, that's where Fool's Gold Day Off happens this year (Labor Day, 9/1) with Danny Brown, French Montana, The LOX and more (tix on sale 7/15). French Montana just put out a new single, "R&B Bitches" featuring Fabolous and Wale which is an unsubtle ode to the female R&B singers they dreamt of sleeping with (Mary J Blige, Miley Cyrus, Ashanti, Kelly Rowland, and Rihanna to name a few). You can stream that one below.
Danny Brown also plays NYC sooner at Peter Rosenberg's birthday party on July 23 at Best Buy Theater with Schoolboy Q and Action Bronson (tickets). Schoolboy Q also plays NYC with The Weeknd and Jhene Aiko on September 19 at Barclays Center. Tickets for that show went on sale earlier today.
Juicy J at Irving Plaza in 2013 (more by Samantha Marble)
The Weeknd's pal Drake will also be in NYC when his tour with Lil Wayne hits Queens' Forest Hills Tennis Stadium on August 19 (tickets). Wayne and Drake's collaborative song "Believe Me" was just revamped by Juicy J who released a version with his own verses that you can stream below. This comes a day after Juicy did the same to Drake's song "0 to 100," which you can also stream below. Juicy's tour hits NYC on July 22 at Terminal 5. Tickets for that show are still available.
Back to this weekend, the Jay Z / Beyonce tour rolls through the NYC-area for shows at MetLife Stadium tonight (7/11) and Saturday (7/12). Tickets for those shows are still available. Jay also plays Global Citizen Fest. Beyonce and Jay Z will also be filming part of their tour for an HBO special, as Billboard reports.
For something much smaller, local rap group Ratking play another hometown show on August 4 at SOB's. Tickets are on sale now.
For something more old school at SOB's, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony member Krayzie Bone will celebrate the release of his new album, Chasing The Devil, there on July 22. Tickets are on sale.
For something even more old school, Biz Markie celebrates the 25th anniversary of "Just A Friend" with a live performance and DJ set on September 12 at BB King's. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
Sooner at BB King's, you can catch Fat Joe with Smoove Ski, La Luv and Famous on July 18. Tickets are on sale.
Internet-famous rap group Turquoise Jeep return to NYC on September 18 at Brooklyn Bowl with Oxymorrons and SABA. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
And while we're not sure who will show up, The Soul Rebels play Brooklyn Bowl on August 15 with special guests and a Google search shows Joey Bada$$ was initially announced. Even if it's no longer him, they've collaborated with other rappers including Slick Rick, members of Mobb Depp, The Lox and more, so it should be interesting. Tickets are on sale.
All streams and videos below...
Kanye West at Bonnaroo (photo by Brian Mansfield)
Though the big "news" seems to be Kim Kardashian's see through top (thanks Kanye for making Bonnaroo a place the Kardashians know about), our favorite Kanye related news was Frank Ocean's setlist. As CoS reports, Odd Future's R&B singer didn't end up playing any new songs, but he did play a number of hits from Channel Orange and Nostalgia, Ultra ("Thinkin Bout You," "Novacane," "Pyramids," etc) and his verses on Beyonce's "Superpower" and Kanye's "New Slaves." Speaking of, Kanye once again omitted Beyonce's husband from lyrics, possibly for not appearing at the ceremony where he recently became a husband (to the Bonnaroo newsmaker with the sheer top).
Kanye's controversial return to Bonnaroo wasn't delayed by hours this time, and included a ton of hits ("Black Skinhead," "Mercy," "Can't Tell Me Nothin'," "Power," "Jesus Walks," etc etc etc), but just on time for his New Year's resolution to be up (he promised to stop ranting for at least six months, apparently he meant that very literally), the set included plenty of rants. He referenced the 2008 controversy, yelled out "Where the press at? Fuck the press!," and compared himself to Shakespeare, Walt Disney, Genghis Kahn, John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix and still plenty more. Not everyone in the crowd took well to the ranting. Entertainment Weekly points out:
His outburst was met with violent boos and what looked like a mass exodus. Festival-goers headed away from the stage and began filling up U.K. dance duo Disclosure's tent early, punctuating their wait with eruptions of surprisingly well-organized chants of "F-k Kanye!"A video from Kanye's set, his setlist and Frank Ocean's setlist, below...
The NYC-area stop of the Jay Z / Beyonce tour -- July 11 at MetLife Stadium -- just went on sale this morning. You can still get tickets but Jay and Bey already added a second date happening a day later (7/12) at the same venue. Tickets for the newly-added show go on sale Saturday (6/7) at 10 AM with Beyonce/VIP Package/Chase presales starting Thursday (6/5) at 10 AM and Facebook/Live Nation/Ticketmaster/Venue presales starting Friday (6/6) at 10 AM.
Updated tour dates are listed below...
Tickets for that show now just went on VIP Package/Chase Cardmember presales today (6/2) at 10 AM. Facebook, Live Nation, Ticketmaster, and Venue presales begin Tuesday (6/3) at 10 AM, and the general on-sale begins Wednesday (6/4) at 10 AM.
Solange @ Webster Hall this past weekend (more by Dana [distortion] Yavin)
By now you've surely seen the leaked video of Solange berating, then getting physical, with Jay Z in an elevator (Beyonce was there too), at NYC's The Standard Hotel as they were leaving an afterparty for the Met Gala on May 5. While there has been no shortage of speculation as to what the tiff was over, the three have issued a joint statement to the AP saying everything's hunky-dory now:
As a result of the public release of the elevator security footage from Monday, May 5th, there has been a great deal of speculation about what triggered the unfortunate incident. But the most important thing is that our family has worked through it. Jay and Solange each assume their share of responsibility for what has occurred. They both acknowledge their role in this private matter that has played out in the public. They both have apologized to each other and we have moved forward as a united family.Well, glad that is settled. In related news, The Daily Show aired a PSA starring Debbie Harry, warning folks about "the scourge of private elevator violence that affects everyone from the very famous to the incredibly famous." Debbie and her band Blondie just happened to be on the show to play live and plug their new album, Blondie 4(0) Ever. You can watch the PSA segment and their live performance of "Sugar on the Side" and a web-only rendition of classic "One Way or Another," below...
The reports of Solange being intoxicated or displaying erratic behavior throughout that evening are simply false. At the end of the day families have problems and we're no different. We love each other and above all we are family. We've put this behind us and hope everyone else will do the same.
Warpaint in Austin in April (more by Tim Griffin)
In a recent interview with Q, Theresa Wayman of Warpaint said some pretty negative things about Beyonce and Rihanna...
"She [Rihanna] has an insane voice, she could've done something so much more stuble and artful," suggests the Warpaint's Theresa Wayman, who also was dismayed by Beyonce's recent adoption of twerking.Since then, she has taken to Facebook to apologize and explain. Theresa's note begins:
"It just gets worse," she adds. "Every song on Beyonce's last album has her basically looking like a slut and she does not need to do that. She's gorgeous and so fucking talented. And they all take it as women's liberation!"
First and foremost, I want to apologize with regards to the Q article. There were many long conversations behind that statement and it's heartbreaking and painful to see it presented in such a hyperbolic and crude manner. We LOVE and ADORE Beyonce and Rihanna, genuinely, and that's what makes this all the more difficult.Read the full letter below.
A journalist came on our bus and casually asked us what we thought about women in music and we responded as fans and consumers and not as card carrying feminists. Not as anybody with power or influence either. We're not trying to start a war, no fucking way. We would be crushed like little lady flies.
That tour hits the NYC-area at MetLife Stadium where Rihanna also plays on her tour with Eminem.
Warpaint headlines a free Celebrate Brooklyn show in Prospect Park on June 26.
Read Theresa's full letter, plus a couple videos, below...
Beyonce at Made In America 2013 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
The Jay Z and Beyonce tour went on Chase presale yesterday (4/29) and got some fans pretty worked up at the prices. Another presale for most cities on the tour begins today (4/30) at 10 AM, and you don't need a Chase card for this one but do you need the password (anyone know it?). Ticket links for all dates except the NYC-area show happening on 7/11 at MetLife Stadium are at Beyonce's site. On-sale time still TBA for the MetLife Stadium show.
Looks like it will be another good year for Jay and Beyonce. Billboard reports that Bey's last tour recently "ended its yearlong run with overall revenue totaling $212 million from more than 1.8 million sold tickets at 126 concerts."
We recently mentioned that Jay Z and Beyonce were planning to tour together this year, and now those dates have been announced. The tour hits the NYC-area on July 11 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. Tickets for that show (and all tour dates) go on sale Friday (5/2). There will be presales starting Tuesday (4/29) at 8 AM for Beyonce fan club members and 10 AM for Chase cardholders. Another presale begins Wednesday (4/30) at 10 AM, and details for that one will be available soon via Jay's Facebook and Bey's Facebook. All dates are listed below.
Jay Z's Made In America Festival also happens in Philly and LA this year.
All Bey/Jay dates are listed, with the video for "Drunk In Love," below...
Made In America 2013 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Jay Z has announced the return of his Budweiser Made In America Festival to Philly's Ben Franklin Parkway, but this year will be different because the fest also goes down in LA simultaneously. The LA portion will happen in Grand Park, and both festivals run from August 30-31 (Labor Day weekend). Lineups are still TBA but early bird 2-day passes are on sale for Philly and LA now.
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin
Pharrell / Future Islands / Ty Segall / mean girls
Watching Ty Segall at the Outdoor Theatre to kick off my Saturday drove home a 2014 Coachella reality: the relative lack of noisy, guitar-driven bands. While the bill is loaded with synthy, electronic-leaning indie types, traditional rock acts are few and far between this year. As if to illustrate the point, late in his gloriously loud and raucous set, Segall covered "Mötörhead" by Mötörhead, one of a handful of truly heavy bands at the fest.Coachella 2014 recently wrapped up its first of two weekends. You already saw pictures of day 1, and we've got a set of day 2 pics in this post, including shots of Pet Shop Boys, Pharrell, Queens of the Stone Age, Pixies, Fatboy Slim, Lorde, Future Islands, Warpaint, Julian Casablancas, Ty Segall, Graveyard, Foxygen, Laura Mvula and more.
...I arrived 20 minutes early Saturday night [for the Pixies], just in case, but while the Mojave eventually filled and then some, things never got ugly. As for the set itself, I doubt I'll ever adjust to seeing Black Francis, Joey Santiago and David Lovering on a stage without Kim Deal, but the new-look Pixies produced a quality set nonetheless, bashing out extra-ferocious versions of "Gouge Away," "Nimrod's Son," "Crackity Jones" and more. [Las Vegas Weekly]
Of course there's too much to catch everything, but many other great artists played the second day too, including Solange whose sister Beyonce came on stage to dance with her (video below), Nas whose frenemy Jay Z joined him for "Dead Presidents II" and "Where I'm From" and Diddy (I mean Puff Daddy) joined him for "Hate Me Now" (full set video below), indie legends The Dismemberment Plan, post-rock vets Mogwai, plus sets from MGMT, Washed Out, Bombay Bicycle Club, Holy Ghost and many more.
One of the big talks of the day was Pharrell (and his hat), who brought out loads of guests who reminded the crowd that Pharrell wasn't a nobody before "Happy," "Get Lucky" and "Blurred Lines" (all three of which he played). He produced or co-produced huge hits for Snoop Dogg ("Drop It Like It's Hot"), Gwen Stefani ("Hollaback Girl"), Busta Rhymes ("Pass the Courvoisier") and Nelly ("Hot in Herre"), all of who joined him for said songs. A few videos from his set below.
French artist David Redon has taken on a new project, "Ads Libitum," where he takes vintage American ads and posters, but applies themes of modern pop culture (mostly music), as Animal New York points out. The project included takes on Kanye West (above), Nirvana, Outkast, Daft Punk, Drake, Beyonce, Jay Z, Breaking Bad, The Beach Boys and more.
This comes not longer after we saw rappers painted as royalty portraits.
Check out all of them here and more below...
The 2014 Blue Note Jazz Festival runs the entire month of June at various venues around NYC. Now in its fourth year, the fest includes a wide range of music, not just strictly jazz.
Notable Shows this year include:
Aretha Franklin at Radio City Music Hall on June 15 & 16 (tickets)There's also Andre Previn & Christian McBride, Diane Schuur, Michael McDonald, Ramsey Lewis & Philip Bailey, Ginger Baker and lots more. Full schedule and ticket info can be found here. here.
Los Lobos at Highline Ballroom on June 6 (tickets)
Sergio Mendes at BB King Blues Club on June 7 (tickets)
Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 with Rich Medina at Highline Ballroom on June 10 (tickets)
Sly & Robbie with Taxi Gang & Bitty McLean at BB King Blues Club on June 29 (tickets)
Bobby McFerrin & Questlove in "musical dialogue" at Town Hall on June 13 (not on sale yet)
Reggie Watts at Town Hall on June 18 (not on sale yet)
In related news, Aretha Franklin recently revealed in an interview with Rolling Stone that she plans to bring on Outkast's Andre 3000 as a producer for her new album which will feature covers of her favorite female singers, like Donna Summer, Barbra Streisand, and possibly Beyonce.
Beyonce and Blue's gold sippy cup
Beyonce, whose critically acclaimed self-titled album is still finding its way into the news constantly (like 'Yoncé's "Drunk in Love" performance at the Grammys), with tons of people praising her, criticizing her, or writing thinkpieces on whether or not we should be praising or criticizing her. Now, if you're a college student in NJ who wants to dive even further into the world of Beyonce, you're in luck. Fox News reports that the Department of Women's and Gender Studies at Rutgers University now offers a course called "Politicizing Beyonce." According to professor Kevin Allred, he's using Beyonce's career "as a way to explore American race, gender and sexual politics."
If you missed it, watch Beyonce's Grammys performance below...
Daft Punk, Pharrell, Nile Rodgers; Beyonce w/ Close Captions on (via @BrooklynVegan)
Daft Punk just cleaned up at the 56th Grammy Awards winning five awards (everything they were nominated for) including Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for "Get Lucky," plus Album of the Year and Best Dance/Electronica Album (beating Disclosure), plus Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical.
Daft Punk's much-hyped live performance with Pharrell (whose hat has joined twitter), Nile Rodgers and Stevie Wonder didn't have the French duo doing that much themselves but the "Get Lucky" performance worked in Chic's "Le Freak," "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" and Wonder's "Another Star." Steven Tyler, who later joined an equally le freaky looking Smokey Robinson on stage to give Daft Punk one of their awards, was dancing up a storm.
Lorde, who performed early in the telecast, won Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance (beating Justin Timberlake and others) for "Royals."
Vampire Weekend's Modern Vampires of the City won Best Alternative Album, beating out records by The National, Nine Inch Nails, Neko Case, and Tame Impala.
Other winners: Led Zeppelin won for Best Rock Album (wait whaaa?) for Celebration Day (beating Bowie, Neil Young, QOTSA and Black Sabbath); Black Sabbath's "God is Dead?" won Best Metal Performance and the band also introduced Ringo Starr's performance, with Ozzy saying something along these lines.
Another win that definitely reminded us it's 2014 came when Paul McCartney took Best Rock Song for "Cut Me Some Slack," his collaboration with Dave Grohl. The song is from Grohl's Sound City documentary, which also won for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media.
Paul performed with Ringo Starr (who also performed on his own), and also won for Best Boxed or Limited Edition Package for "Wings Over America (Deluxe Edition)." Grohl performed with Queens of the Stone Age, Nine Inch Nails, and Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham during the closing performance... which was cut short on TV. We definitely weren't happy about that, and neither was Trent Reznor.
Gary Clark Jr (who performed with Keith Urban) won Best Traditional R&B Performance for "Please Come Home"; and Knitting Factory Records was nominated twice in the Best World Music Album category and won for Gipsy Kings.
Meanwhile, it was also the Year of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, having won Best New Artist (beating James Blake, Kendrick and others), Best Rap Performance (beating Kendrick, Jay Z and others), Best Rap Song (beating Kanye, Jay Z and others), and Best Rap Album (beating Kendrick, Kanye, Eminem and Jay Z). Their live performance of "Same Love" featured Madonna and 33 couples of gay, straight and of mixed ethnic backgrounds getting married, as officiated by Queen Latifah.
Rap awards Macklemore didn't win: Best Rap/Sung Collaboration which went to Jay Z & Justin Timberlake's "Holy Grail." Justin Timberlake (who also won Best R&B Song for "Pusher Love Girl") wasn't there to accept the award, but Jay Z gave a speech that included him saying, "I wanna tell Blue Ivy, look, daddy has a gold sippy cup for you!" Jay also kicked off the performances for the evening with his wife Beyonce, who played "Drunk In Love" (see screenshot from that performance above).
Kendrick Lamar didn't have much luck winning (neither did Kanye which should hopefully make for a good rant soon), but he did well performing live despite being paired with Imagine Dragons.
Performances also included a collaboration from country legends Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Kris Kristofferson (and Blake Shelton) doing a medley of hits.
The commercials were filled with music as well. One very notable example of that was the Pepsi Grammys Halftime commercial which had athletes playing the music and acting like Daft Punk, Kanye, Miley Cyrus and more. Sonos also debuted a commercial featuring a clip of Karen O covering Bob Marley, which we premiered the full song of earlier in the day.
Winners list can be found here. Video of Beyonce/Jay Z, Kendrick Lamar, Paul/Ringo, Metallica/Lang Lang, Nine Inch Nails/Queens of the Stone Age/Dave Grohl/Lindsey Buckingham, and Daft Punk performances below...
QOTSA at Barclays Center in 2013 (more by PSquared)
Announced performers for the upcoming Grammy Awards ceremony already included Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Metallica, Daft Punk (with Stevie Wonder, Pharrell and Nile Rodgers), Kendrick Lamar, and more, and since we last spoke there's been even more additions. Billboard recently reported that Beyonce and Jay Z will perform, and SPIN is now saying that the closing performance will feature a collaboration between Nine Inch Nails, Queens of The Stone Age, Dave Grohl, and Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham, all of whom appeared in Dave Grohl's Sound City film.
The ceremony takes place Sunday (1/26) in LA and airs on CBS at 8 PM EST.
by Bill Pearis
The Village Voice's annual Pazz & Jop critics poll was published this week, surveying a whole mess of music writers and tallying up the vote. As with anything where it's a collective list, the winners won't be surprising to anyone who's perused 2013 Best Of lists. Kanye West, Vampire Weekend and Daft Punk top the LPs list; Daft Punk, Haim and Kanye have the top three singles. The late deadline for voting did, however, allow for the inclusion of Beyoncé's self-titled LP, which came in at #4.
You can check out the Top 20 LPs and Tracks in this post and peruse the whole lists at the Village Voice. You can also check out individual ballots and read essays on Kanye, Miley, R Kelly, the emo revival, and others, not to mention loads of pithy blurbs and pie charts.
Pazz & Jop Top 20 LP & Singles lists below..
Beyonce riding the Cyclone
Beyonce took the internet by storm last week when she released her self-titled fifth album out of nowhere, and it's still dominating much of the online music discussion. SPIN gave it a 9/10 and named it a Spin Essential, and in Stereogum's Premature Evaluation, they said "there's some chance that Beyoncé's new self-titled album is the best album that anyone has released in 2013." Sales aren't too bad either. It broke an iTunes record, selling over 800,000 copies worldwide in three days and is expected to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard albums chart. Don't look for it at Target though.
As you may know, Yoncé released the album with a video for every track, and she's since made some of those videos available online to watch. The video for "XO" sees her hanging around Coney Island, riding the Cyclone and the Wonder Wheel, and enjoying other parts of the neighborhood. You can watch that video, along with the one for "Drunk in Love" which has Bey and Jay Z on a beach, below.
In other Coney Island news, Borough President Marty Markowitz's mission to turn the vacant Childs Restaurant into a 'seaside amphitheater' music venue to host concerts like his Seaside Summer series, is moving forward The Brooklyn Paper reported that on December 4, a major public oversight board voted unanimously to go forward with Markowitz's plan. He still has his opponents though:
But critics have long complained that sinking $50 million of taxpayers' money into transforming the 90-year-old building into a for-profit, upscale eatery and music venue is a severe misallocation of funds. They have pointed out that the neighborhood still suffers from sporadic heat and power outages, and is home to shuttered storefronts a year after Hurricane Sandy, plus the issue of sewers that flood during heavy rains.The Council voted on the project yesterday (12/16), and we think it's all good news for fans of the theater, but stay tuned. Meanwhile, Marty Markowitz is leaving his job as as Borough President after 12 years due to term limits.
Others have raised fears that the 40 planned yearly concerts will afflict nearby residential blocks with ear-splitting noise and nightmarish traffic congestion. Some have said that they would accept the new venue only with a community benefits agreement -- a legal contract guaranteeing that the development would hire exclusively Coney Islanders at a living wage.
In more related news, the documentary on Zipper, the ride that was on West 12th Street in Coney Island, is available on iTunes. It screened at Nitehawk not long ago (10/30), and a review at Indiewire reads:
The Zipper itself is a twisting, thrashing carnival ride, one of the last remaining parts of the former Coney Island, left standing for months as the territory surrounding the ride was bulldozed, in an attempt to reach new lows in gentrification. To the locals, it is a landmark; to the suits, it's a relic.You can watch the trailer below.
For those out-of-towners, Coney Island was one of the very last vestiges of weird in the post-Giuliani-era New York City. Parades, attractions, and rides suited both those happy families eager to soak in the beach and the local weirdos, madmen and trend-setters that made the Brooklyn location a safe haven from the increasingly-hostile corporate landscape of Manhattan. That all changed when the imposingly-named Thor Equities made an aggressive purchase of the land, a transaction not made in good faith.
And in even more related news, Coney Island got its first YMCA, which opened yesterday (12/16) at Surf Ave and 29th St. You can take a look inside the new 44,000-square-foot facility in the video on News 12 Brooklyn. A big day for Coney Island with the new Beyonce video coming out AND a YMCA!
Beyonce and 'Zipper' videos below...
by Andrew Sacher
If you've been on the internet at all today, you probably know that the event of the day is that Beyonce released a self-titled album with no singles and no announcements on iTunes around midnight. By now you've most likely already heard it or intentionally haven't listened to it, and I think as much as anyone else that we shouldn't review this thing immediately (and we can save it for our Best of 2014 lists, right?). That being said, it's also been fun to spend the day discussing the album, so let's discuss.
The album's only guest spots come from deservedly big names Jay Z ("Drunk in Love") Frank Ocean ("Superpower") and Drake ("Mine"), plus a moving feminist speech from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on "Flawless" (a reworking of "Bow Down"), and her daughter Blue Ivy on the album's final track, "Blue." There's also co-writing/production credits from Miguel, Caroline Polachek (of Chairlift), Pharrell, Justin Timberlake, Timbaland, Sia, Drake producer Noah "40" Shebib and others. That cast isn't too surprising (except maybe Caroline Polachek), but it's a nice reminder if you needed it that certain big name artists are consistently working with the artists that complement them best, rather than just piling on other big name guests.
As I write this I'm on my fifth listen, and the album itself is sounding pretty impressive so far. Her last album, 4, was maybe the first Beyonce album to truly contain no filler, but even most of that album got overshadowed by standout singles like "Countdown" and "Love on Top." At the moment, it's not sounding like there's a track on Beyonce that could be a standout single, which is maybe why, like the similarly album-oriented Yeezus, they chose to release it without any preceding singles. (You also won't be able to purchase individual tracks on iTunes until December 20.) Like Yeezus, and The 20/20 Experience, Beyonce is instead a new album from a megastar that uses her status to unveil a full-length collection of forward-thinking music to the mainstream, the underground, and well, just about everybody. The future-R&B that guests Frank Ocean and Drake make on their own albums is the style most prevalent here, and mixing that with one of the most undeniably great voices in today's pop music makes Beyonce a hell of a listen.
You also may have heard that Beyonce is calling the album a "visual album," and it was released with 17 videos for the 14 tracks (a few bonus videos included). You can watch a playlist of 30-second clips of each video, along with the tracklist, below...
Jay Z at Yankee Stadium in July (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Psychologists have said it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. On the 22nd day, you've found the way.What would Grimes think? They began yesterday (12/3) -- good luck to both of them, and happy birthday Brooklyn vegan Jay!
On December 3rd, one day before my 44th birthday I will embark on a 22 Days challenge to go completely vegan, or as I prefer to call it, plant-based!! This all began a few months back when a good friend and vegan challenged me to embrace a "plant-based breakfast" everyday. It was surprisingly easier on me than I thought...
Why now? There's something spiritual to me about it being my 44th birthday and the serendipity behind the number of days in this challenge; 22 (2+2=4) coupled with the fact that the challenge ends on Christmas day...It just feels right!
So you can call it a spiritual and physical cleanse. I will post my progress... Any professional vegans out there that have any great food spots please help out! Please ha. I don't know what happens after Christmas. A semi-vegan, a full plant-based diet? Or just a spiritual and physical challenge? We'll see...
Best of luck and health!
P.S. B is also joining me.
by Andrew Sacher
Grimes at ACL 2013 (more by Tim Griffin)
Whether it's to criticize her or praise her, it's hard to deny that people like talking about Grimes' musical opinions. Her top 10 albums of 2012 list included the most pop (Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber) AND the least pop (Swans), and she totally meant it too. She's defended Beyonce, Mariah Carey, and pop music in general, and denied accusations of trolling when her Boiler Room set included Taylor Swift, Maria Carey, Ramones, Skrillex, and others.
Grimes has now published a list to her tumblr of her favorite songs of all time. It continues her trend of pulling from pop and experimental music with songs from Burial, Mariah Carey, Joanna Newsom, Beyonce, Mazzy Star, Skrillex, Animal Collective, Butthole Surfers, Paramore and more. It's not only newer stuff though, she's also got Patsy Cline, Prince, and Enya, among others.
Check out her whole list (subject to change), via Exclaim, below...