Entries tagged with: James Blake
by Andrew Sacher
photo: James Blake at Terminal 5 in 2013 (more by Jono Bernstein)
Still no word on that James Blake album, which reportedly will feature Kanye West and Justin Vernon, but James did appear on BBC Radio 1 last night where he chatted with Justin and then debuted a cover of Simon & Garfunkel's classic "The Sound of Silence." It's mostly James and his keyboard, and he gives the song the kind of sparse arrangements he had on his first album. As you may remember, it's not the first time he covered a classic folk song.
Listen to the whole BBC show here and stream the cover below...
One of the premier music festivals in the world, the 2015 edition of Primavera Sound is just underway in Barcelona, Spain. If you can't make it, they're streaming many of the fest's performances live via two video channels on their website and below. Today's sets (5/28) you can watch include James Blake, OMD, Spiritualized, The Thurston Moore Band, Mikal Cronin, Baxter Dury and more. The fest's streaming schedule is listed below.
Meanwhile, WFMU will be broadcasting performances live on Friday (5/29) and Saturday (5/30) from 3PM to midnight. WFMU's broadcast schedule, below...
photo: Sleater-Kinney at T5 in February (more by PSquared)
Sleater-Kinney, who first said they weren't playing festivals but then were announced for Primavera Sound, have now also been added to home stage festival Sasquatch!, taking place Memorial Day Weekend (5/22-25) at The Gorge. Other new additions include Angel Olsen, Hanni El Khatib (who plays NYC tonight), THEESatisfaction, Helms Alee, AlunaGeorge, Kaytranada, Goldlink and a few others.
Those additions join previously announced names such as Kendrick Lamar, Robert Plant, Modest Mouse, Lana Del Rey, Ryan Adams, The Decemberists, Tame Impala, St. Vincent and many more. Festival tickets are still available.
Updated lineup below...
photos by David Andrako
[Julia] Holter and the quartet also performed Alex Temple's song cycle "Behind the Wallpaper," which, Ms. Temple has said, includes Ms. Holter's music among its inspirations. The lyrics of the brief songs in "Behind the Wallpaper" sketch surreal transformations and spooky situations: a character who has been swallowing seawater and live fish, another wandering a house where the walls keep shifting. The songs were atmospheric with ambiguous tonality, drawing chuckles along with hushed curiosity. They quivered, hovered, paused and slipped in and out of ghostly waltzes before the last one, "Spires," resolved into the sweet major chords of an old movie score's happy ending, followed by the sound of rising waves -- a flood, perhaps, drowning all the strangeness. [NY Times]The 2015 Ecstatic Music Festival, which brings classical and pop/indie music together, continued on February 25 at NYC's Merkin Concert Hall with Julia Holter and Chicago string quartet The Spektral Quartet. The night began with Spektral on their own, including a piece inspired by Mos Def and re-arranging James Blake's "I Never Learnt To Share." Then they backed Julia Holter for her songs "Memory Drew Her Portrait" and "Marienbad," before performing Alex Temple's "Behind the Wallpaper" with her, which is detailed in the review quoted above.
You can listen to an archive of the whole show at WQXR. Listen to Spektral's James Blake re-arrangement and Julia Holter's "Marienbad" from the show, with more pictures, below...
Sasquatch! Music Festival will return to Quincy, WA on Memorial Day Weekend, May 22-25, at The Gorge. This year's lineup includes Kendrick Lamar, Robert Plant, Modest Mouse, Lana Del Rey, Ryan Adams, The Decemberists, Tame Impala, St. Vincent, Spoon, James Blake, Hot Chip, SBTRKT, Schoolboy Q, The New Pornographers, The War On Drugs, Little Dragon, Father John Misty, Run The Jewels, Jenny Lewis, Real Estate, Future Islands, Ab-Soul, Sharon Van Etten, Action Bronson, Perfume Genius, Rustie, Courtney Barnett, Strand of Oaks, Merchandise, Ex Hex, and more.
Tickets go on sale at 10 AM PST on Saturday (2/7). Full lineup below...
The 2015 Primavera Sound Festival goes down in Barcelona, Spain from May 28 - 30. We knew The Strokes and recently reunited shoegazers Ride were playing and now the line-up is being announced via the festival's mobile app, which is a not-so fun 8-bit game you have to play to reveal names. The whole lineup is in the poster above and includes The Replacements, James Blake, Sleater-Kinney (who apparently are playing festivals after all) Patti Smith performing Horses, Spiritualized, Interpol, Antony & the Johnsons, OMD, Mineral, Brand New, Panda Bear, Run the Jewels, Sleaford Mods, Julian Casablancas + The Voidz, The Black Keys, New Pornographers, Jose Gonzalez, Shabazz Palaces, Kevin Morby, Ought, Disappears, Pharmakon, Baxter Dury, Death From Above 1979, Spiritualized, tUnE-yArDs, Twin Shadow, Swans, Iceage, the Juan MacLean, Dan Deacon, Viet Cong, Sun Kil Moon, Antony, Hiss Golden Messenger, Fucked Up, Kelela, Ariel Pink, Voivod, Electric Wizard, Mikal Cronin, alt-J, Sunn O))), the Thurston Moore Band, Underworld (performing dubnobasswithmyheadman), Pallbearer, Tobias Jesso Jr., American Football, Jon Hopkins, DIIV, Caribou, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, My Brightest Diamond, HEALTH, Babes in Toyland, Thee Oh Sees, Single Mothers, Ex Hex, Shellac and Twerps. Full line-up is below.
We're officially in Music Festival Announcement Season, and the latest one is Atlanta's annual Shaky Knees Festival, happening May 8-10. This year includes The Strokes, The Avett Brothers, Wilco, Pixies, Social Distortion, Ryan Adams, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Tame Impala, Brand New, Mastodon, Neutral Milk Hotel (supposedly one of your last chances to see them for a while), Interpol, Flogging Molly, TV on the Radio, Manchester Orchestra, James Blake, Death from Above 1979, Dr. Dog, Spiritualized, Panda Bear, American Football, Clutch, Black Lips, The Mountain Goats, Best Coast, Real Estate, Wavves, Built to Spill, The Both, Mac DeMarco, Minus the Bear, Old 97's, FIDLAR, METZ, THe Bronx, Speedy Ortiz, Palma Violets, VIet Cong, Strand of Oaks and more. Tickets are on sale now.
Full initial lineup (even more TBA) below...
James Blake at Terminal 5 in 2013 (more by Jono Bernstein)
James Blake, who we just caught at Pitchfork Paris, will be coming to North America soon for a short tour with Airhead which hits NYC at the intimate Music Hall of Williamsburg on December 1. That show is unsurprisingly sold out, but James has since added DJ dates to his tour, including one in NYC at Output on December 3, two days after the MHOW show. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (11/7) at noon.
Updated dates are listed, with a stream of a new song he recently premiered on BBC, below...
by Johnny Zachman
Pitchfork Paris began yesterday (10/30) in the Grande Halle de la Villette, a slaughterhouse-turned-cultural center in the city's 19th arrondissement. The festival featured two stages at opposite ends of the venue, with acts performing in immediate succession on alternate sides of the room.
Montreal's four-piece art-punk band Ought kicked off the night, injecting the already sizable crowd with good energy off the bat. Lead singer Tim Beeler channeled David Byrne, David Bowie, and most especially Jonathan Richman in his performance - which was spoken almost as often as it was sung - and the band's combination of keyboardist Matt May on Nord Electro 3 and the rhythm section's tight, dynamic and often repetitive grooves made for a refreshing take on punk.
How To Dress Well performed next, also as a four-piece. "It's nice to be back in the barn" remarked singer and songwriter Tom Krell, before saying hello to his mentor Beck, who was watching the show via live stream. The band performed many of the highlights from this year's excellent album "What Is This Heart?" while a series of muted, abstract visuals were projected behind them. I was impressed by the band's ability to recreate the album's sounds in a live atmosphere. On stage, Krell performed with two microphones - one dry and the other soaked in full reverb - between which he would modulate throughout the show, sometimes mid-phrase. Krell was backed by a drummer and two multi-instrumentalists covering violin, maracas, guitar, vocals and keys. Krell gave props to Ought for their excellent performance and also expressed his excitement to see The War On Drugs later in the night, who are his current favorite band.
The Notwist brought a packed stage including two xylophone players to the party. Compared with other times I had seen the band, I was impressed by how quickly they moved away from their songs and into heavier psychedelic territory, executing multiple movements of noise-based chaos that each felt earned and not excessive. Markus Acher's relaxed voice contrasted nicely with the more dissonant, anticipatory mood of the music, and the festival's extensive lighting rigs played especially well into The Notwist's swirling experimental soundscapes.
The War on Drugs
The War On Drugs performed "Burning," "Eyes To The Wind," "An Ocean In Between The Waves," "Under The Pressure," "In Reverse" and "Red Eyes" to the most palpably energetic crowd of the night. The band was as tight as the last time I saw them (in June at Williamsburg Park), and I was happy to see so many young Frenchmen jumping up and down to Adam Granduciel's guitar solos and singing along to the "Woo!"s from the album. Even within the 45 minute format, the band still took their time with the instrumental sections, extending multiple guitar solos well beyond the album's length, including an exceptional version of "Red Eyes" to end the set.
Mogwai's performance began with remarkable force. The Glasgow natives played to the biggest crowd of the night, sending their dynamic waves of emotional post-rock slamming down on the audience's ears. The band played with excellent restraint: quiet instrumental passages were pursued for minutes at a time; louder peaks were continued well past their originally-perceived climax. I was surprised by how much louder Mogwai's set felt than everyone else's - not in amplitude but in thickness. The band had a confidence in them that flowed into their music, setting a dark, almost terrifying mood within the room.
Jon Hopkins carried the mood from dark to hypnotic, delivering his tastefully emotional electronic compositions along with projections whose concepts included an alternating series of solid colors and the "Collider" music video. Hopkins was very active within his setup - which added to the energy of the performance - and a constant stream of red lights flashed around the room to enhance the ambience. The crowd reacted well to Hopkins' cinematic soundscapes, with relatively subtle shifts in the music drawing various cheers.
James Blake closed the night with performances of "Retrograde," "The Wilhem Scream," "Limit To Your Love," and an arresting show-closing rendition of the entirely loop-based "Measurements." Blake's voice was in stellar form, modulating between multiple octaves and singing over his loops with remarkable ease. I'm always impressed by how much Blake adapts his sets to fit the mood of the room, and last night's late show was rightfully less song-based and more reliant on the ambient, with a healthy dose of songs (including one new one) mixed in.
It was an excellent first day for Pitchfork Paris. The sound was spot-on for all of the artists, and I especially enjoy festivals when only one artist performs at a given time so that there is no sound bleed between stages.
Belle & Sebastian, St. Vincent and more play today's portion of the festival, and we'll be back with coverage of that too. If you're not at the fest, stream it live HERE. Today's stream begins at 1:30 PM EST with Perfect Pussy.
A few more pictures from yesterday below...
Belle & Sebastian at Pitchfork Chicago 2013 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Pitchfork Paris begins this Thursday (10/30) and continues through Saturday (11/1), but if you won't be in Paris for it you can still stream many of its sets from the comfort of your own home. (Buy some croissants and it will be just like you were there!) You can watch sets from Belle and Sebastian, St. Vincent, Mogwai, Four Tet, Future Islands, tUnE-yArDs, Foxygen, the Notwist, Ought, Son Lux, Perfect Pussy, Jungle, D.D Dumbo, Kwamie Liv and possibly more TBA, in the video player below.
Stay tuned for Thursday, meanwhile check out the fest's schedule and a teaser video below...
James Blake at Terminal 5 in 2013 (more by Jono Bernstein)
James' tour with Airhead hits NYC for an intimate show at Music Hall of Williamsburg on December 1. That went on sale today and not surprisingly sold out instantly.
James Blake at Governors Ball 2014 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
James Blake has been revealing new music on BBC radio mixes recently, and now he's announced a short North American November/December tour which brings him back to the intimate (for him) Music Hall of Williamsburg on December 1, the same place he played his first US show in 2011. A new album hasn't been announced yet, but the last time he showed up at MHOW to play new material, an album announcement shortly followed. The whole tour is being opened by Airhead, aka the guitarist in James Blake's band. Tickets for MHOW go on sale Friday (10/17) at noon.
All dates are listed below...
by Andrew Sacher
Yesterday, Pitchfork posted their top 200 tracks of the decade so far, and today they've listed the top 100 albums to have come out between 2010-2014. There's some surprises on there. For example, I didn't expect to see Bon Iver's self-titled, their #1 album of 2011 and with a score of 9.5, rank as low as #27 on this list. I was also surprised to see Chief Keef make it but not, say, Shabazz Palaces or Schoolboy Q. And there's a few other glaring omissions: nothing by The National? Grizzly Bear? One thing that will surprise no one though, is their #1 pick.
You can check out the full list below...
"There was a certain amount of science to it. An entire week of work experience students left the office thinking that cutting-edge music journalism in 2014 mostly involves calculating which bands have been mentioned most in NME in the past two years, then hunting out references to the bands that influenced those acts online and finally adding up the number of times each influence came up. This gave us a rough list which our editorial team - heads swimming with all of the bands that Wolf Alice (or whoever) have raved on about over 4am ciders - then took to the pub, tore into shreds, fought and shouted about and finally reconstructed in the rundown of 100 you see in the mag today. The Beatles didn't make it. Sorry." [NME[NME went ahead and listed who they think the 100 most influential musicians and bands are (their latest cover story). Radiohead topped the list. Read the rest with justifications at NME, or just look at their full list below...
Jack White at Bonnaroo 2014 (photo by Brian Mansfield)
As always, legacy acts enjoyed a good showing at the festival. Elton John played the entire first side of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, gave a tribute to the late Casey Kasem, and brought out Ben Folds for a guest spot. Ben had also appeared a day earlier with The Flaming Lips during their set to cover Usher's "Love In This Club" (video below), a set which included Wayne Coyne playfully throwing some shade at Kanye's set from earlier in the festival, asking the crowd "Where's the press?"
Lionel Richie played a set that included everything from his time in the Commodores ("Brick House") to "All Night Long" to his Diana Ross collaboration "Endless Love." More legends graced the Bonnaroo stages when Chaka Khan made a surprise appearance during the Derek Trucks-led SuperJam on Friday and covered Led Zeppelin and Stevie Wonder. Also in that jam were blues legend Taj Mahal, Anthony Hamilton and once again, Ben Folds. Led Zeppelin member John Paul Jones himself appeared at the festival to sit in with bluesman Seasick Steve, which he has done before with Jack White.
Jack White, who we also just caught at Governors Ball, didn't play with John Paul Jones this time, but he did play his own set which included a cover of Zeppelin's "The Lemon Song." It also included calling Rolling Stone a "tabloid," ranting about Johnny Depp and Albert Einstein (watch out Kanye!), and otherwise him rocking out to cuts from his solo albums, Raconteurs, White Stripes, The Dead Weather, and a cover of Dick Dale's "Misirlou." Video and setlist from Jack's set, below.
Damon Albarn w/ De La Soul at Bonnaroo 2014 (photo by 97X)
Skrillex led a SuperJam too which involved Janelle Monáe, A$AP Ferg, Warpaint, Doors guitarist Robby Krieger, Mystikal, Damian Marley, and Thundercat, among others. The set was closed by none other than Ms. Lauryn Hill, who played "Killing Me Softly" a la Fugees, Bob Marley's "Jamming" (though not with Damian) and more. More old school big guns came out during Damon Albarn's set, which was split between Gorillaz, Blur, The Good the Bad & the Queen and solo material. De La Soul joined him for "Feel Good Inc." and Del The Funkee Homosapien for "Clint Eastwood", Setlist and videos are below, and check out pictures and more from his recent Irving Plaza show.
Elsewhere, Omar Souleyman, who couldn't make it to Northside Festival experienced no travel issues and played a set on Thursday night. James Blake also played and told Billboard while he was there that his new album is halfway done and will include collaborations with Kanye West, Justin Vernon and more. Arctic Monkeys, who were covered twice during the festival (by Sam Smith and MS MR), played their own set too and to a HUGE crowd, heavy on the AM stuff but with a little bit of their other four albums mixed in. What didn't happen, unfortunately, was the set by Broad City's stars that were supposed to perform in the Comedy Theatre but canceled their set.
Of course the huge festival had tons of other highlights too. Did you go? What were yours?
Videos and a few setlists from the fest, below...
Vampire Weekend / Interpol / James Blake / Pikachu
"New York cares." That's what the audience sang with Interpol's Paul Banks during the city indie anthem "NYC" as Governors Ball 2014 neared its close on Sunday. Throughout the weekend some of the city's finest bands had made a return to festival stages, secured headliner statuses and played the most memorable sets of the fest for home crowds. For Interpol, it has just announced a new album, played two excellent new tracks and Sunday's show at Governors Ball was the band's "First home show for us in a long time." A set heavy on the classics, Interpol played through "Obstacle 1," "Slow Hands," "Narc," "Evil" and "Stella Was a Driver and She Was Always Down." [Reverb]The 2014 Governors Ball music festival wrapped up yesterday (6/8) after two other days of music on NYC's Randall's Island. The third and final day had sets from Vampire Weekend, Interpol (who along with The Strokes and Jack White's set featuring White Stripes songs, brought us back over a decade), James Blake, The Kills, J. Cole, The Head and the Heart, Tyler the Creator, Earl Sweatshirt and more. Luckily, with today's rain and Thursday's, the weather held out for GovBall all weekend (unlike last year). Pictures of day 3 are in this post.
James Blake at Terminal 5 in 2013 (more by Jono Bernstein)
James Blake is coming over to the US in June for NYC's Governors Ball, Tennessee's Bonnaroo and other dates. Right before he plays GovBall, he'll DJ Brooklyn's Output on June 6 with Airhead, Dan Foat and Mr. Assister. No ticket info at the moment.
All dates are listed, with the Output show flyer, below...
England's Glastonbury Festival is pretty much the forefather to all crazy worldwide "20,000 people standing in a field" festivals we have today. The 2014 edition goes down June 27 - 29 in Pilton, UK and the lineup was just announced. It includes Arcade Fire, Jack White, Dolly Parton (!), Elbow, Disclosure, Bryan Ferry, Massive Attack, Pixies, M.I.A., Dexys Midnight Runners, Kasabian, Lily Allen and loads more. The festival's already sold-out. A few more acts -- including one more headliner -- is still to be announced but lineup as it stands is below...
Phoenix @ Barclays Center, 2013 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
As you may know, the 2014 Governors Ball happens at Randall's Island from June 6-8. Individual day line-ups have been announced with Outkast, Phoenix and TV on the Radio headlining Friday (6/6), Jack White, The Strokes and Skrillex headlining Saturday (6/7), and Vampire Weekend and Axwell ^ Ingrosso headining Sunday (6/8). You can check each day's full line-up (though set times are still TBA) below.
Additionally, individual day tickets go on sale this Friday (4/4) at noon, with a limited Citi cardmember presale beginning Wednesday (4/2) at 10 AM.
Daily Governors Ball 2014 lineups below...
Bonnaroo 2013 (more by Katherine Hansen)
As mentioned, Bonnaroo 2014 happens June 12 - 15 in Manchester, TN. The fest has already been dropping hints as to who's going to play this year (Kanye and Elton John seem likely as headliners) but will finally spill the beans tonight via a web show called "Blam!" which airs at 9 PM EST on Bonnaroo.com (or an Xbox app). (Maybe you watched last year's with Weird Al Yankovich and Portugal the Man.) This year's announcement special is hosted by SNL's Taran Killam and Broad City's Hannibal Buress, with a "superjam" between The Flaming Lips and Ben Folds.
There's also a pre-Blam! web event from 7 - 9 PM EST featuring live cover song performances from Tenacious D, Kings Of Leon, Phish, My Morning Jacket, and others.
Or you can just check back here: we'll have the full Bonnaroo 2014 line-up in this post once its announced.
UPDATE (9 PM): Lineup now being announced and includes Kanye West, Elton John, Vampire Weekend, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Arctic Monkeys, Phoenix, Mastodon, Frank Ocean, The Flaming Lips, Neutral Milk Hotel, Meshuggah, Damon Albarn, Disclosure, Broken Bells, James Blake, Lionel Ritchie, Jack White, Deafheaven, Janelle Monae, CHVRCHES, Darkside, Phosphorescent, Cloud Nothings, Danny Brown, Cut Copy, Typhoon, Sam Smith, Pusha T, Warpaint, Those Darlins, Cass McCombs, Lauryn Hill, Chromeo, Dr. Dog, The Bouncing Souls, Classixx, First Aid Kit, Fitz and the Tantrums, Chance the Rapper, Ice Cube, Caveman, Washed Out, Real Estate, Rudimental, Ty Segall, Polica, A$AP Ferg, Little Dragon, Omar Souleyman, Lucero, Goat, Okkervil River, Jonathan Wilson, Wiz Khalifa, The Avett Brothers and MANY more.
Tickets go on sale Saturday (2/22) at noon.
Full lineup (spoiler: no Outkast) below...
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..
Governors Ball 2013 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
We already knew that Outkast would be headlining this year's Governors Ball music festival, which goes down on NYC's Randall's Island from June 6-8, and now, one day after the lineup of Firefly Fest was announced, and a few days after we found out who was playing Coachella, the full lineup has been announced. It includes Jack White, Vampire Weekend, Phoenix, Interpol, TV on the Radio, Julian Casablancas, Disclosure, Spoon, Broken Bells, Damon Albarn, James Blake, Neko Case, The Kills, Grimes, Janelle Monae, Tyler the Creator, Washed Out, Earl Sweatshirt, Kurt Vile, Chance the Rapper, Deafheaven, Run the Jewels and many more.
UPDATE: The Strokes are playing too!
Tickets go on sale today (1/15) at 3 PM. Full lineup and flyer below...
by Andrew Sacher and Bill Pearis
We've done some year-end lists in the past at BrooklynVegan, though you might notice that we're not the most consistent with them. This is for a few reasons, one being that with the varying tastes of our current group of contributors, we could never in a million years agree on a top 10, let alone an Album of the Year. So in an attempt to get around that obstacle, this year two BV writers, Bill Pearis and Andrew Sacher, have made individual lists of the albums they loved most which we think each represent different parts of 2013 here at BrooklynVegan. They both made top 20s (and only had two albums in common), with commentary on the top 10, and you can check out both lists below...
British newspaper The Guardian just finished publishing its Best Albums of 2013 list, after having rolled it out over the past couple weeks. It's got a lot of the albums most likely to show up on British lists, like These New Puritans, John Grant, Hookworms, and Arctic Monkeys, but its #1 is more in common with the US publications. Find out what it is, along with their other 39 picks, below...
by Andrew Sacher
Pitchfork is back with its much-anticipated Top 50 Albums of 2013 list. The list has many of the albums you'd expect to see on Pitchfork's list, though there's still some surprises. If you thought M.I.A got snubbed, you'll be happy to see her here, and if you thought James Blake deserved the Best New Music he didn't get, you'll be happy to see how high he ranks. The biggest surprise to me is that Majical Cloudz makes the top 10, and for those keeping score, Yeezus is NOT #1. Can you guess what is?
Head here to see individual writers' lists, and head below to see Pitchfork's full Top 50 Albums of 2013 list...