Entries tagged with: Common

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by Andrew Sacher

Illmind & Joell Ortiz
Joell Ortiz

Plenty of great hip hop shows in NYC are getting announced all the time. We don't get a chance to write about all of them, so here's a roundup of some recently-announced stuff coming up:

Joell Ortiz and Illmind celebrated their very good new collaborative album Human in NYC a few weeks ago, and they'll play another show here on August 26 at Santos Party House. Tickets are on sale now.

Among other things, A$ton Matthews makes an appearance on one of the year's best debut albums, Vince Staples' Summertime '06. He'll play NYC on August 19 at Santos Party House with Sha Hef. Tickets are on sale now.

Legendary MC Rakim played a free NYC show earlier this week, and he'll play again this month on August 19 at BB King's with Mr. Cheeks and Dres. This one's not free, and tickets are on sale now.

Common is taking part in the "Legacy of Hope Concert In Support of The Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital" which happens August 26 at Barclays Center (tickets). He also plays the afterparty at Good Room. The lineup for both also includes Robin Thicke, Jonathan Butler and Miri Ben-Ari.

Long-running Southern rap group Nappy Roots are still at it and released 40Akerz Project earlier this year. They play NYC on November 3 at SOB's with CyHi The Prynce, 40 Akerz and special guests. Tickets are on sale.

Wale plays Webster Hall on September 23. Tickets are on sale.

New York vets Non Phixion broke up in 2006, but now they're reunited and celebrating their 20th anniversary on Saturday (8/15) at Highline Ballroom (tickets).

Former Das Racist member Heems will continue to support his new solo album Eat, Pray, Thug on August 25 at Baby's All Right with Sandunes and Big Baby Gandhi. Tickets are on sale.

Indie rap fans may also want to know about Busdriver, Elucid, Tanya Morgan and Jesucifer at that same venue, Baby's All RIght on September 19. Tickets are on sale.

We recently talked about experimental rapper Abdu Ali ahead of his set at last week's Impose Fest, and he has more NYC shows coming up too. He'll open for Lower Dens when their tour hits Bowery Ballroom on September 28 (tickets). But sooner than that, he'll play his own show at Baby's All Right on August 18 with Leverage Models, ZGRT and Stash Marina. Tickets for Baby's are on sale.

Underground Brooklyn staple Jean Grae plays another hometown show on August 22 at Union Hall with Heben Nigatu & Tracy Clayton and Donwill. Tickets are available.

YouTube rap sensations Turquoise Jeep return to NYC on November 18 at the Marlin Room at Webster Hall. Tickets go on sale today (8/14) at noon.

Cypress Hill play their annual Halloween-time NYC show on October 30 at Best Buy Theater. This year's is also with Immortal Technique. Tickets go on sale today at noon.

Other previously-discussed hip hop shows coming up in NYC include the Sean Price memorial show, Raekwon's Purple Tape show, Blackalicious with Kool Keith, A$AP Rocky / Tyler the Creator / Danny Brown / Vince Staples, Chance the Rapper, Mick Jenkins, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Young Thug with RL Grime, Fool's Gold Day Off, Billboard Hot 100 Fest, Murs / Red Pill, The Underachievers, Afropunk, and more.

Georgia Anne Muldrow

In other news, she doesn't have any shows announced yet but Georgia Anne Muldrow released her first rap album this year, A Thoughiverse Unmarred, on Mello Music Group. She's usually making R&B/soul, but it turns out she's just as good at making a straight rap record. The album features frequent collaborator and husband Dudley Perkins (aka Declaime) who also put out his own album this year, Southside Story, which Georgia features on. Both are recommended and can be streamed in full below.

Continue reading "Joell Ortiz, Aston Matthews, Rakim, Common, Heems, Cypress Hill & more NYC rap shows +++ new Georgia Anne Muldrow"


The Floetry reunion came to the Pageant Friday night for a sold-out show with Marsha Ambrosius (the singer) and Natalie Stewart (the poet).

The women didn't address why they broke up or why they've been gone so long, only that "we're here for you," which seemed good enough for the fans.

...Whatever happened to kill the group's vibe a decade ago, the magic was still there as the harmonious duo brilliantly played off of each other's strengths (while mostly not standing side by side).

Floetry's main formula -- Ambrosius either singing behind Stewart's poems delivered in a raplike cadence or Stewart providing spoken breaks to Ambrosius' often impressive wailing -- was intact.

"If you know these songs, you need to sing along," Stewart said early on as Floetry and the four-piece band delivered on "Big Ben," "Ms. Stress," "Headache" and "Mr. Messed Up." [STL Today]

British neo-soul/hip hop duo Floetry broke up after their 2005 sophomore album, Flo'Ology, and Marsha Ambrosius and Natalie Stewart (aka The Floacist) embarked on separate solo careers. Earlier this year, they finally got back together and have been on a reunion tour that sounds like it's going over pretty well (that's a review of the St. Louis stop above).

The tour hits NYC on July 19 & 20 at BB King's, the former of which will be opened by Janine & the Mixtape. The day before that, they'll be right outside of NYC opening for R. Kelly at Newark's Prudential Center (7/18). Tickets for all three of those shows are available. All dates are listed below.

In related news, Floacist collaborator and fellow Roots/Robert Glasper/Bilal/etc collaborator Musiq Soulchild is also touring this year, and playing two nights at that same NYC venue. Musiq hits BB King's on October 21 & 22. Tickets for those shows are on sale now.

Musiq also teams up with Common, Slum VIllage and more for the 10th annual DC Loves Dilla tribute/fundraiser in honor of the late J Dilla which happens in DC this Friday (7/10) (tickets). The next day, Common headlines the Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival.

All of Musiq's dates and Floetry's dates are listed, with some videos, below...

Continue reading "Floetry reunited, playing 3 NYC-area shows on tour (one with R. Kelly); Musiq Soulchild touring too (dates)"

Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival

The 2015 Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival takes place this week, Wednesday (7/8) through Saturday (7/11), and new updates were recently announced. The annual Brooklyn Bodega-presented festival begins with a "conference on Hip-Hop, Technology and criminal justice reform" on Wednesday, followed by a screening of 1994's Fresh on Thursday. Friday has a tour of Brooklyn bars and restaurants, courtesy of Brooklyn Brewery, and the JUICE Hip-Hop Exhibition at Littlefield with a dance-off, various showcases, and galleries.

Then as always, the main event is the big concert happening Saturday at 50 Kent. As mentioned, Common is headlining this year. Since we last spoke, they added Queensbridge legends Mobb Deep, plus Lion Babe, Freeway, Charles Hamilton, Skyzoo, DJ Rob Swift, Mista Sinista, Pitchblak Brass Band, John Robinson & PVD, DJ Parler, Uncle Ralph McDaniels, Torae, Chelsea Reject, Slim Dollars, Tripset, Waffle NYC, Money & Violence and more. Tickets are still available, and you can also try to win a pair.

Lion Babe, who appear on the upcoming Disclosure album, are also playing Afropunk Fest and an Afropunk-presented Lincoln Center Out of Doors show. You can watch the video for their Pharrell-produced single "Wonder Woman" below.

Full schedule for the festival, also below...

Continue reading "Mobb Deep, Freeway, Skyzoo, Lion Babe & more added to Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival (which begins this week)"

A Banks

Earlier this year rappers RZA (who is starring in a porn star biopic) and Azealia Banks (who is naked in a recent issue of Playboy) both appeared in a BrooklynVegan post about pornography. Together again, now we find out that RZA and Azealia are working on a different movie, together. Azealia's publicist says:

Today Azealia Banks confirmed that she will be starring in a new Lionsgate/Codeblack Films motion picture film titled "Coco."

Directed by Wu Tang Clan's RZA from a screenplay by Nicole Jefferson Asher, "Coco" will be produced by Paul Hall and has already starting filming in the U.S.

"I'm extremely excited and vigorously inspired to be working with Azealia Banks in my new directorial installment," director Rza continues "producer Paul Hall and I have assembled a cool and eclectic cast to surround Azealia. Our story, which is set in today's contemporary youth culture, will bring a new voice to cinema that needs to be heard."

Banks will play a fiery 20-something female rapper named Coco. Set in Brooklyn, the film documents her struggles in pursuing a career in hip-hop, while also attempting to fulfill her parent's expectations of finishing college. Having returned to school, Coco soon discovers the vivid world and ultimate power of the spoken word, where she finds her one true voice and an unlikely love in the classroom.

According to IMDB, the movie is called "Spoken Word", but maybe that is wrong. Deadline adds that "she stars with Common, Jill Scott, Lucien Laviscount, Lorraine Toussaint and Hana Mae Lee. It has a script from Nicole Jefferson Asher and will be produced by Paul Hall. "

Azealia Banks played a show at Irving Plaza earlier this month, and before that Coachella (where the above photo by Samantha Saturday is from). Check out a video from the NYC show with her international tour dates listed, below.

Jill Scott is touring soon too, and Common is headlining Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival.

Continue reading "Azealia Banks to star in RZA-directed movie "Coco" with Common & Jill Scott"


Brooklyn Bodega's annual Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival returns to various BK venues from July 8-11 this year. The 2015 headliner is long-running Chicago great Common, who plays 'The Big Show' on Saturday, 7/11 at 50 Kent. Full lineup for that show and more details TBA.

Tickets for the fest are on sale now. All currently announced events, below.

Common was initially rumored in a Medium.com article to be playing one of Samsung's SXSW shows, though that hasn't been confirmed, and a newer Mashable article on the shows that came out today only mentions that Iggy Azalea, A$AP Rocky and Hot Chip are headlining the shows. They play March 18, 19, and 20, respectively, at a TBA location.

Continue reading "Common headlining 2015 Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival; Iggy Azalea, A$AP Rocky & Hot Chip playing Samsung SXSW"

La Colombe photos by P Squared Photography

barista Win Butler serving up his new Haitian coffee blend
Win Butler

Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler had a busy weekend in NYC. His eventful three days began on Friday when he played the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game at MSG. His team, The West, beat The East (which Common and others were on) 59-51. Win had eight points and 12 boards. You can watch a video of him doing a layup, below.

He was wearing his Kanye West-designed Nike Red Octobers (not to be confused with Kanye's new Adidas Yeezy 750 Boost shoe that he debuted last week). Win's brother/bandmate Will tweeted "Kanye, you have to fix this #MVP thing. They have to respect the artistry" after Kevin Hart (who returns to MSG in July) got MVP.

Win Butler of Arcade Fire DJing as DJ Windows 98

A photo posted by Scott Taylor (@wonderboymusic) on

After the game, Win headed to Bowery Ballroom where he was one of several DJs at the Rock On Foundation benefit, as DJ Windows 98. The Hold Steady headlined. Other DJs included members of Vampire Weekend, Das Racist and Caveman. That's him at Bowery pictured above.

Then Saturday afternoon Win headed to La Colombe cafe in Hudson Square where he acted as a barista, serving his new blend of RaRa Haitian Coffee that he created in partnership with La Colombe. The blend was partially to benefit Haiti, with proceeds going to Partners In Health and Haiti Coffee Academy. We stopped by the cafe to see barista Win in action, and while we were there he jumped on a table to give a speech about how the coffee is for a good cause. He then gave out sample cups to the crowd, took pictures with fans, and signed stuff. Some pictures of that are in this post.

That night, he was back under his DJ Windows 98 guise to get a late-night party at Baby's All Right going. Anyone catch that? UPDATE: Win now uploaded a mashup of Kanye West's "Jesus Walks" and Beck's "Loser" which (according to a commenter below) he played back to back at Baby's. Listen below.

Finally, on Sunday Win headed to SNL's 40th anniversary to introduce Miley Cyrus. Some people were not happy about this decision. Here are some tweets:

More pictures of Win's weekend, including shots of him as a barista, a basketball player and a DJ, below...

Continue reading "Win Butler came to NYC to play the NBA celebrity game, DJ twice, serve coffee, introduce Miley on 'SNL 40' (pics, video)"

photo: Win at Pop Montreal's 2012 Pop Vs. Jock game (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
Win for the win

Win Butler is returning to Madison Square Garden next week (2/13) -- not with Arcade Fire, but to play basketball on the Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game. He'll join Common, Kevin Hart, Nick Cannon, Michael Rapaport, Anthony Anderson and other stars of stage and screen. Win is becoming almost as known for his court skills as his musicianship. Almost. The two All-Star Celebrity teams will be coached by Spike Lee & New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony, and ESPN Radio's Mike Golic & Mike Greenberg. It's sold out but you can watch it live on ESPN on Friday, February 13 at 7 PM.

That is part of the NBA's All-Star Weekend that includes the All-Star Saturday Night at Barclays on February 14 and the actual NBA All-Star Game on February 15.

Sprite, one of the All-Star sponsors, is also throwing a private Drake and Nas concert on February 13 at Irving Plaza, as Gawker detailed a few days ago. Sprite's Slam Dunk Contest, part of the Barclays 2/14 event, happens right after the Taco Bell Skills Test and the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest, if you were wondering.

That same weekend, Win DJs NYC twice as DJ Windows 98. His first gig is The Hold Steady's Bowery Ballroom show on February 13 (which seems impossible since the game is that night, unless he DJs really late), and then he does it again at Baby's All Right on Valentine's Day.

Win's brother, Will, will be in NYC next month, touring for his solo debut.

Paul McKanye Rihanna

You probably know by now that Kanye West and Paul McCartney have teamed up not only once but twice this year, most recently for the Rihanna collaboration, "FourFiveSeconds" (also featuring Ty Dolla $ign and Dirty Projectors frontman Dave Longstreth). They've now given that song a video, directed by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, and you can check it out below.

It's also been announced that Paul, Kanye and Rihanna will all perform together at the Grammy Awards Ceremony this Sunday. Other performers include Madonna, AC/DC, John Legend & Common, Lady Gaga & Tony Bennett, Gwen Stefani & Adam Levine, Pharrell, Usher, maybe Beyonce and definitely not Taylor Swift.

Kanye and Paul will also be on SNL 40 the following Sunday. "FourFiveSeconds" video below...

Continue reading "Paul McCartney, Kanye West & Rihanna share video, playing the Grammys (like Madonna, AC/DC & more)"


The 87th Annual Academy Award nominations are out and Alejandro G. Iñárritu's flashy Birdman leads the charge with nine nominations, followed by WWII drama The Imitation Game (8), Clint Eastwood's American Sniper (7) and Richard Linklater's Boyhood (6). Whiplash, the intense drama about a young jazz drummer who falls under the tutelage of a demanding teacher, got five nominations.

The Best Song category includes "I'm Not Gonna Miss You" from documentary Glen Campbell...I'll Be Me; "Everything is Awesome" (performed by The Lonely Island and Tegan & Sara) from The LEGO Movie (which got snubbed in the Best Animated Film category); music industry comedy Begin Again's "Lost Stars" which was co-written by Greg Kurstin (The Bird & the Bee) and former child actress Danielle Brisebois; "Grateful" (written by vet Diane Warren) from Beyond the Lights; and "Glory" from Selma (performed by John Legend and Common) which won the Golden Globe for Best Song last weekend. The Best Score nominees include onetime 4AD and Fatcat signee Jóhann Jóhannsson's work on The Imitation Game which won the Golden Globe.

Find out who wins February 22 when Neil Patrick Harris hosts the 87th Annual Academy Awards, live on ABC. Full list of 2015 Oscar nominations are below...

Continue reading "2015 Oscar nominations announced"


It's awards season and this morning the 2015 The Golden Globes nominations were released and there are a few familiar names in the two music categories:

Lana Del Rey: "Big Eyes" (Big Eyes)
John Legend, Common: "Glory" (Selma)
Patti Smith, Lenny Kaye: "Mercy Is" (Noah)
Greg Kurstin, Sia Furler, Will Gluck: "Opportunity" (Annie)
Lorde: "Yellow Flicker Beat" (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1)
And Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, working again with David Fincher this time for Gone Girl, is among the nominees in the Best Original Score category:
Alexandre Desplat: The Imitation Game
Jóhann Jóhannsson: The Theory of Everything
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross: Gone Girl
Antonio Sanchez: Birdman
Hans Zimmer: Interstellar
Among the non-music nominees, Iñárritu's Birdman led with seven nominations, and HBO's True Detective and FX's Fargo (both in the mini-series category) led in television with four and five nominations, respectively. The enigmatic Hollywood Foreign Press Association will hand out the Golden Globes to winners on January 11 at the televised ceremony hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.

Stream all five Golden Globe nominees for Best Original Song Motion Picture and check out the full list of 2015 nominations, below...

Continue reading "Patti Smith, Trent Reznor, Lana Del Rey, Lorde & more nominated for 2015 Golden Globe Awards"

by Andrew Sacher


Royce da 5'9", who maybe you recently heard with a bunch of other Detroit rappers on Eminem's "Detroit vs Everybody," teamed up with legendary producer DJ Premier for a collaborative project called PRhyme and the duo released their self-titled album this week. Royce and Premo are on their A games, and impressive guests including Killer Mike, Schoolboy Q, Common, Jay Electronica and Ab Soul join them for this tightly packed 9-track album. The production is terrifically dark, and Royce's rhymes are aggressive from start to finish. Whine rap this is not. Listen to the whole album over at NPR and check out two videos from it below.

PRhyme is supporting the album on a tour in 2015 that hits NYC on February 22 at Highline Ballroom. Tickets for that show go on sale at noon today (12/10).

All dates are listed, with those videos, below...

Continue reading "Royce da 5'9" & DJ Premier released an album as PRhyme ft. Killer Mike, Schoolboy Q, Common & others, announce tour"


This year, the 2015 Grammy nominations are being revealed gradually on CBS This Morning. A few categories have already been announced, with a lot more on the way, and we'll have to wait for tonight's A Very Grammy Christmas special to find out the Album of the Year nominees. Arcade Fire, St. Vincent, Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, Beck, Black Keys, Ryan Adams, Jack White, Beyonce (now the most Grammy-nominated woman), Pharrell, Schoolboy Q, Drake, Eminem, Disclosure, Duke Dumont, Basement Jaxx, James Franco, Aphex Twin, Little Dragon, Royksopp & Robyn, Arctic Monkeys, Mastodon, Motorhead, Alt-J, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Sam Smith, Haim, Sia, Coldplay, Robert Glasper, Sharon Jones, Jhene Aiko, Tom Petty, U2 and more have already been announced. Stay tuned for more announcements and check out the list so far, below.

UPDATE: Full list of nominations (except Album of the Year) now up at GRAMMY.com. Several of the categories are also listed below.

UPDATE 2: Album of the Year nominees announced. See below.

The awards ceremony happens February 8, 2015.

Continue reading "2015 Grammy Awards nominations (Arcade Fire, St. Vincent, Kendrick Lamar, Kanye, Jack White, Beck, Disclosure, James Franco, Aphex Twin, Little Dragon & more)"


Veteran rapper Common, who put out the new album Nobody's Smiling earlier this year and recently brought out Jay Electronica and Vince Staples in Chicago for the remix of the new LP's track "Kingdom" (which is out now and can be streamed below), will be teaming up with Jay Electronica once again for a US tour later this year. That tour brings the two rappers to NYC on December 9 at Irving Plaza. Tickets for that show are currently on Citi, Live Nation and Ticketmaster presales (password: greatseats) and the general on-sale begins Friday (10/10) at 10 AM.

This month, Common is touring Australia with Maxwell. Vince Staples will on tour with Joey Bada$$ soon. All Common's dates are listed, with the "Kingdom" remix stream, below...

Continue reading "Common touring with Jay Electronica (dates)"

photos by P Squared Photography

De La Soul @ Irving Plaza 7/16/2014
De La Soul
De La Soul
De La Soul

De La Soul are celebrating their 25 years together this year, and Wednesday (7/16), Pos, Dave and Maseo threw a party at NYC's Irving Plaza. There were a few special guests -- Q-Tip came out for their classic track together, "Buddy," with Common as well, and Dres from Black Sheep made an appearance too. Opening the night were Dillon Cooper, and Billy Ray who is on Maseo's label. Pictures from the night are in this post.

As mentioned, Common is playing a free show on Monday (7/21) at The Gramercy Theatre which celebrates his new album Nobody's Smiling. Wristbands are available at the Gramercy starting at 10 AM.

More pics from De La Soul's Irving Plaza show below...

Continue reading "De La Soul celebrated 25 years at Irving Plaza with Q-Tip, Common and more (pics)"


NYC! Common is coming to the Gramercy Theatre on Monday, July 21st, for a FREE concert to celebrate the release of his 10th studio album, Nobody's Smiling!

We'll be handing out wristbands for free entry during the following times:

10AM EST on Friday July 18th

And again at 10AM EST on Monday July 21st.

Pick-Up Location: The Gramercy Theatre on 23rd Street & Park Avenue

Space is limited and wristbands are first come first served.

Can't make the show? Be sure to catch the live broadcast courtesy of Yahoo! & LiveNation starting at 9PM EST on https://screen.yahoo.com/live/event/common

Nobody Smiling is Common's tenth studio album, and features guest appearances from Lil Herb, Big Sean, Jhené Aiko, Snoh Aalegra, Dreezy, Elijah Blake, Vince Staples and Cocaine 80s.

Watch the video for "Kingdom: (ft. Vince Staples) and listen to "Diamonds" (ft. Big Sean), below...

Continue reading "Common playing free record release show (go get a wristband, or stream it from home)"


As promised, the official Game of Thrones hip-hop mixtape, Catch the Throne, was released this morning. Featuring such rappers as Big Boi, Bodega Bamz, Common, and Wale, the tracks were made from samples from the insanely popular HBO fantasy series. You can stream it below.

Continue reading "stream the 'Game of Thrones' rap mixtape, 'Catch the Throne'"

by Bill Pearis


HBO's fantasy megahit Game of Thrones will return for Season 4 on Sunday, April 6 and hype is ramping up...and expanding into new areas. On Friday (3/7) they're releasing an ice-and-fire-themed mixtape titled Catch the Throne, featuring Big Boi, Common, Wale, Bodega Bamz, and more. The mixtape features beats made out of music from the show, plus dialogue samples. Says Common in a promo video, "Game of Thrones centers around battles for power, and rap is definitely a battle for power." You can get a preview of the mixtape via that promo video below.

While the nature of the series doesn't allow for as much modern pop to be used in it as, say, True Detective, Game of Thrones does still work it in where applicable. Songs exist within the world of George RR Martin's novels that the show is based on, and The National and The Hold Steady have recorded versions of Westeros' two biggest hits, "The Rains of Castamere" and "The Bear and the Maiden Fair," respectively. And there have been cameos: Will Champion of Coldplay was in the "Red Wedding" band, and Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody was in S3 as well. Sigur Ros' Jónsi, Georg Hólm, and Orri Páll Dýrason will all cameo in S4.

Meanwhile, the new trailer for Season 4 (which is based on the second half of Martin's action-packed A Storm of Swords) uses The Everlove's cover of Siouxsie & the Banshees' "Cities and Dust" and you can watch that below as well...

Continue reading "official 'Game of Thrones' mixtape features Big Boi, Common, Wale, Bodega Bamz & more; new season starts in April"

by Andrew Sacher

Robert Glasper

Jazz/hip hop pianist Robert Glasper is set to release the followup to his excellent 2012 album, Black Radio with a sequel, Black Radio 2, on October 29 via Blue Note. Like its predecessor, the new album has an all-star cast of guests including Common, Marsha Ambrosius, Jill Scott, Brandy, Snoop Dogg, Lupe Fiasco, Emeli Sande, Norah Jones, Faith Evans, Bilal, Jean Grae, Macy Gray, and more. Its lead single is the track "Calls," which features the cooing neo-soul vocals of Jill Scott. That can be streamed, along with the album tracklist, below. That's the artwork above.

UPDATE: Robert released another single from the album, "I Stand Alone," which features Common and Patrick Stump. That can also be streamed (via Rolling Stone) below.

In celebration of the new album, Robert and two of its guests, Common and Marsha Ambrosius, will be doing some shows around the time of its release. One of those happens in NYC the day the record comes out at Best Buy Theater (10/29). Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (9/27) at noon.

Robert is also making some festival appearances ahead of the album's release, including Austin City Limits on October 5 and NJ's New Brunswick Jazz Festival on October 6. Tickets for the jazz festival are on sale now.

All dates are listed, along with the song stream, artwork and tracklist, below...

Continue reading "Robert Glasper releasing a new LP, playing shows w/ Common and Marsha Ambrosius (dates & streams)"

Violent Femmes at Coachella 2013 (more by Wei Shi)
Violent Femmes
Pere Ubu at LPR in 2010 (more by Ryan Muir)
Pere Ubu

Browse our full NYC show calendar for all of tonight's shows. Here are some highlights...

Pere Ubu, Gagarin @ Bowery Ballroom
Pere Ubu may have been forced to make a few adjustments to their lineup, but it's still a treat to catch these art punk legends while you still can. And their newest album, this year's Lady From Shanghai, ain't too shabby for a band over three decades into their career.

Spirit of Danger, Paper Fleet, The Planes, Casual Friday, @ Cake Shop
Brooklyn's Spirit of Danger have a sound that hearkens back to the heavy psychedelia and swagger rock that would retroactively be coined proto-punk or proto-metal. Tonight they headline a bill with three other local rock bands at Cake Shop.

Violent Femmes @ Central Park Rumsey Playfield
This legendary band is down one Violent Femme and up one Dresden Doll, so it might not be exactly the same band you could have seen in 1983 (or at this year's Coachella), but it's still a night of classic tunes played by two of the three guys who wrote/recorded them.

Cuntz, Pop. 1280, Black Black Black, Cyanide Tooth @ Death By Audio
Cuntz are over from Australia to bless the US with their rackety rock n' roll for the first time ever. Tonight's their first of two NYC shows this week, and if you're going, be sure to catch Brooklyn goths Pop. 1280 as well.

Houses, Jamaican Queens, Candide @ Glasslands
Two indie pop bands, Houses and Jamaican Queens, are on the road together and today they play their first of two NYC shows together at Glasslands. Mercury Lounge tomorrow.

Kishi Bashi, Elizabeth & The Catapult @ Irving Plaza
Montreal's pop violinist Kishi Bashi, still touring off last year's 151a, hits Irving Plaza tonight for a dose of his folky, baroque, very catchy music.

Marc Ribot, Matana Roberts, Cian Nugent @ Issue Project Room
Experimental guitarist Marc Ribot plays the ongoing IPR tenth anniversary tonight joined by avant-jazz saxist Matana Roberts and Irish folk guitarist Cian Nugent.

The Rosebuds, Dark Rooms @ Mercury Lounge
Did you know The Rosebuds covered Sade's Love Deluxe in its entirety? They did and you can stream it below. You can also go see them perform it live tonight. Tickets are still available.

Kastle, Sweater Beats, Druid Cloak, Jaw Jam, Lindsay Lowend @ Output
Kastle makes a kind of dancey future bass not too far removed from fast-rising producer XXYYXX, so if dancing and staying up late is your thing, you might wanna head to Ouput for their weekly INPUT party tonight.

Mike Servito, Honey Dijon, Nicolas Matar, Anthony Parasole, Wrecked @ The Panther Room
While that Kastle show is going down in Output's main room, The Bunker's Mike Servito does this other party in the venue's Panther Room.

The KDMS, Arthur's Landing, Darshan Jesrani, Metro Area, Artur8 (DJ Set) @ Le Poisson Rouge
Though Arthur Russell died in 1992 you can hear his dance-oriented songs recreated live via tribute act Arthur's Landing. Tonight's show also features UK/Polish duo The KDMS, Morgan Geist's Metro Area and more.

Hard Skin at Acheron, August 2012 (more by Fred Pessaro)
Hard Skin

Hard Skin, La Misma, Vanity @ Acheron
Featuring the profanely articulate talents of frontman Fat Bob (who is a longtime employee of London's Rough Trade record store), tongue-in-cheek UK oi band Hard Skin bring the party anthems. You don't wanna miss.

O'Brother, Native, Daylight @ Santos Party House
Fans of heavy rock might enjoy this whole show, but we're most excited to see Native, whose mix of post-hardcore and math rock is great on record, but begging to be seen in a live show environment.

Shovels and Rope, Shakey Graves @ Webster Hall
Country folk duo Shovels and Rope released their second album, O' Be Joyful, and continue to grow in popularity. Tonight they play with Shakey Graves, who should appeal to fans of The Tallest Man on Earth.

Twin Sister, DJ Soul @ Brooklyn Bowl
Tonight is a party for new FOX sitcom Brooklyn Nine Nine (starring Andy Samberg) and you can catch an early screening of the first episode which debuts next week. Then stick around for a performance from Twin Sister. It's free, you just need to RSVP (which is still open)

Taking Back Sunday, Bad Rabbits @ Starland Ballroom
Last year, Taking Back Sunday went on a tour performing Tell All Your Friends in its entirety, a record that left a pretty big impact on a whole generation of kids when it came out. If you missed your chance at seeing them play that record, or just need to see it again, you're in luck because they're doing TAYF again tonight at Starland Ballroom before heading to Chicago for Riot Fest.

Eve, Dyme-A-Duzin, Camille Safiya @ Gramercy Theatre
Eve is back in action this year, and tonight she plays Gramercy Theatre (rescheduled from August's cancelled Irving Plaza date). If you're going, it's worth getting there early to catch Dyme-A-Duzin (of Phony PPL).

Bob Odenkirk, David Cross, Brian Posehn @ The Town Hall
This Globochem-sponsored tour features Mr. Show alumnus Bob Odenkirk, David Cross and Brian Posehn and play two shows tonight. The 7:30 show is sold out but you can still get tickets to the 10:30. By the way, did you hear AMC is moving forward with Odenkirk's Saul Goodman show?

Remembering John Lennon w/ Bettye LaVette & Special Guests Bob Gruen, Jack Douglas and Dennis Elsas @ City Winery
Tonight is being billed as "an evening of memories and music with those who knew and worked with John Lennon," including singer Bettye LaVette, photographer Bob Gruen and Double Fantasy producer Jack Douglas.

Common, Yahzarah @ Galapagos Art Space
Conscious rap veteran Common plays The ALT Scholarship Foundation's annual summer fundraiser, which benefits the foundation's scholarship program. It's mostly sold out but the $75 option still has a few tickets available.

For all of tonight's shows, and tomorrow's, check out our full NYC show calendar.

For laughs, check out the NYC Comedy calendar too.


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Continue reading "What's going on Thursday? (Violent Femmes, Pere Ubu, The Rosebuds, Kastle, Native, Hard Skin, Bob David & Brian, more)"

A$AP Rocky & Joey Bada$$ in Austin in July (more by Tim Griffin)
ASAP Rocky

As mentioned a few times, Rock the Bells is returning to a few cities this year, including East Rutherford, NJ's Meadlowlands Racetrack from October 4-5. The two-day hip hop festival has just announced its final additions, including A$AP Rocky (and his A$AP Mob), Joey Bada$$ (and Pro Era), Trinidad Jame$, Logic, Stalley, Young Dirty Bastard, and Odd Future's The Internet.

They join previously announced names like Wu-Tang Clan, Black Hippy (Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, and Jay Rock), J. Cole, Big K.R.I.T., Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Juicy J, Tyler the Creator, Danny Brown, Rakim, Action Bronson, Flatbush Zombies, Pusha T, Earl Sweatshirt, Big Sean and more.

Rock the Bells have also announced the day-by-day lineups and put single day tickets on sale. 2-day passes are still available as well.

A$AP Rocky, Joey Bada$$, and Trinidad Jame$ just swung through the NYC-area when their tour with Wiz Khalifa hit PNC Bank Arts Center on 8/2 and Jones Beach last night (8/6).

Danny Brown and Action Bronson just announced a tour leading up to their Rock the Bells NJ appearances.

We also just mentioned that The Internet play NYC this month.

Full Rock the Bells NJ lineups, day-by-day, are listed below...

Continue reading "Rock the Bells finalizes NJ lineup (A$AP Rocky, Joey Bada$$ & more added); single day tickets on sale"

Big Sean at Rock the Bells 2010 (more by Andrew St. Clair)
Big Sean

Hip Hop festival Rock the Bells, which hits a few cities this year, has expanded its lineup once again. The NYC-area stop, which happens in East Rutherford, NJ at the Meadowlands Racetrack from October 4-5 will now also include Big Sean and Chief Keef. Other stops on the tour now include A-Trak (LA, DC) and Iamsu (LA, San Francisco).

They join previously announced names like Wu-Tang Clan, Black Hippy (Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, and Jay Rock), J. Cole, Big K.R.I.T., Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Juicy J, Tyler the Creator, Danny Brown, Rakim, Action Bronson, Flatbush Zombies, Pusha T, Earl Sweatshirt, and more. 2-day passes for the festival are still available.

Updated NJ lineup below...

Continue reading "Rock The Bells adds Big Sean and Chief Keef to NJ lineup"

photos by Sachyn Mital

Femi Kuti / Common @ Central Park Summerstage, 6/23/2013
Femi Kuti & The Positive Force @ Central Park Summerstage - 6/23/2013
Femi Kuti & The Positive Force @ Central Park Summerstage - 6/23/2013

Over the course of the nearly two hour performance, Kuti and his backing band The Positive Force engaged the capacity crowd with his political and jazzy music. The band included a brass ensemble and a trio of dancers, while Kuti himself swapped between keyboards and saxophone at times. The songs included tracks off the new album and some classics, with lyrics generally addressing corruption and oppression in Nigeria. These are hardly messages that comfortable New Yorkers can relate to, when their days are marred by the placement of Citibike racks or the once possible ban on soda sizes, but the diverse crowd moved along to the music. - [Popmatters]
Afrobeat superstar Femi Kuti performed at a free Summerstage show with his band Positive Force on June 23. Kuti fan Common watched much of the show from the sidelines and joined him for a freestyle rap at one point.

The hot, afternoon show show was opened Sinkane and DJ King Britt who we missed. Pictures from Kuti's Summerstage performance are in this post.

More below...

Continue reading "Common joined Femi Kuti at Central Park Summerstage (pics)"

Deltron 3030
Deltron 3030

As mentioned, hip hop festival Rock the Bells is returning in 2013 to a few different cities including East Rutherford, NJ at the Meadowlands Racetrack from October 4-5. In addition to previously announced names like Black Hippy (aka Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, and Jay Rock), Common, Juicy J, Danny Brown, Tyler the Creator, Wu-Tang Clan, Bone Thuz N Harmony, Earl Sweatshirt, Pusha T, Big K.R.I.T., Flatbush Zombies and more, the lineup has been expanded to include even more.

Joining the artists mentioned above will be the reunited Deltron 3030 (though they only play the LA and San Francisco stops), Big Daddy Kane, Action Bronson, J. Cole, Rapsody & 9th Wonder, Freddie Gibbs, Freeway, KRS-One, RIff Raff, Slick Rick & Doug E. Fresh, Sean P, Smoke DZA, Wale, YG, and weirdly enough, Girl Talk and Pretty Lights. 2-day passes for the festival are still available.

Updated lineup below...

Continue reading "Rock the Bells expands lineup (Deltron 3030, Action Bronson, J. Cole, Wale, Big Daddy Kane, Girl Talk, Pretty Lights & more)"

Schoolboy Q at Best Buy Theater - 5/21/13 (via Kellen Dengler)
Schoolboy Q

Thanks to TDE's recent success, Q found himself as the most established performer at the Freshman show. With no one to accompany him on stage, he fared better in the larger crowd as a solo artist, breezing through tracks from Habits & Contradictions and throwback collaborations with A$AP Rocky. At one point, he asked Kendrick Lamar to join him but laughed at the audience members who fell for his joke. Fittingly, he won the crowd back with his charisma by asking them the title of his upcoming album. "Oxymoron!" they screamed back. And this was done four times over. [XXL]
The 2013 XXL Freshman Class, including Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, Joey Bada$$, Action Bronson, Angel Haze, and more, all came to NYC for a show at Best Buy Theater last night (5/21). You can check out a video of Schoolboy Q playing "My Hatin' Joint" at the show, below.

As mentioned in yesterday's What's Going On? post, Action Bronson made a video for his Harry Fraud-produced song, "Strictly 4 My Jeeps." If you missed it, you can watch that video below. Riff Raff stars in the video, and as discussed, he plays a Scion A/V show in Brooklyn at Coco 66 tonight (5/22) with Stalley and Smoke DZA. Entrance to that show had to be gained through Scion's contest which has since ended.

Schoolboy Q and Ab-Soul are both members of the group Black Hippy (which also includes Kendrick Lamar and Jay Rock), and that whole group is playing the traveling Rock the Bells Festival which hits the NYC-area on October 4-5 at the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, NJ. Tickets for that festival are on sale now. The rest of the lineup includes Big K.R.I.T., Common, Danny Brown, Earl Sweatshirt, Tyler the Creator, Jhene Aiko, Juicy J, Rakim, Wu-Tang Clan, and many more.

Updated Rock the Bells lineup and videos below...

Continue reading "Schoolboy Q, Action Bronson (who has a new video) & more played the XXL Freshman show; Rock the Bells tix on sale"

Rock the Bells 2013

Happy 10th anniversary to Rock the Bells, who have announced their initial, rotating 2013 lineup featuring hosts Peter Rosenberg & MURS 3:16, as well as names like Bone Thugs N Harmony, Danny Brown, Black Hippy (who just played NYC), Common, E40 & Too Short, Earl Sweatshirt (ditto), Flatbush Zombies, Juicy J (who played a Fader show on Monday and Irving Plaza last night), Rakim, Wu-Tang Clan (who play Summer Jam soon), Tyler the Creator (who just announced an NYC show as part of Odd Future), Eazy E, Ol Dirty Bastard and more. Confused? Yes, I did just say Eazy E and Ol Dirty Bastard, both of which will be "virtual performances" as part of the travelling festival. AllHipHop reports:

Ol Dirty Bastard and Eazy-E's spirits will return to the stage at Rock The Bells this year, AllHipHop has learned.

The pair of Hip-Hop legends will have holograms performing this year at the 10-year anniversary of the rap festival.

Eazy-E will perform virtually with Bone Thugs-In-Harmony and ODB will rock with Wu Tang. Organizers said Eazy never blessed the Rock The Bells stage and ODB only did once.

Also, the "holograms" are approved by Eazy-E's wife Tomica Wright and Ol Dirty's mother, Cherry Jones.

Tupac's Coachella appearance inspired the new virtual performances at Rock The Bells, organizers admitted.

So far only four dates exist for Rock the Bells. They're all listed below. Two of them are on the East Coast and one is in the NYC area at Meadowlands Racetrack in Rutherford, NJ on October 4-5. Tickets go on presale Thursday (10/16) at noon, and regular sale on Saturday.

Initial lineup (at least 15 more artists TBA), dates and some video below.

Continue reading "Rock the Bells 2013 initial lineup (Wu-Tang, Earl Sweatshirt, Juicy J, Tyler the Creator... + hologram ODB & Eazy E)"