Entries tagged with: Kanye West

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by Bill Pearis

#1 LP of 2013 according to 'The Quietus'
IMAGE

Online UK music mag The Quietus started five years ago and quickly became (I think) one of the best sources for music writing on the web, giving a home to many former NME, Select and Q writers who are still seeking new music but are not so interested in the flavor of the month. The Quietus are not staffed by contrarians, nor sheep. To wit: the site just published its Top 100 LPs list of 2013 and topping it is Glynnaestra, the third album from UK duo Grumbling Fur which came out via Thrill Jockey back in August. From The Quietus' write-up:

Grumbling Fur make me want to take drugs. And I don't mean drugs like a few puffs on a spliff before bedtime or on a lazy Saturday afternoon, or a cheeky dabble at a rave to keep the energy flowing - I mean proper, don't-eat-for-18-hours-beforehand, make-sure-you've-got-a-couple-of-good-people-around-you, psychically prepared voyaging, preferably on a warm and sunny but slightly overcast afternoon in a field somewhere in the West Country, or in a friend's house cluttered to the rafters with fascinating and peculiar objects.
The Quietus' Top 10 also includes some records you might have heard (David Bowie, Nick Cave, Foals, Factory Floor) but probably some others you haven't. And if you haven't heard Glynnaestra (I hadn't) you can stream it in full below.

You can check out The Quietus' entire Best LPs of 2013 list in this post, and they also made a Spotify playlist to accompany it. Their list, along with the Grumbling Fur album stream, is below..

Continue reading "UK online mag The Quietus list their Top 100 LPs of 2013"

by Andrew Sacher

Grimes at ACL 2013 (more by Tim Griffin)
Grimes

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...

Continue reading "Grimes lists her favorite songs of all time (includes Mariah Carey, Beyonce, Paramore, Burial, Butthole Surfers & more)"

Flatbush Zombies at North Coast 2013 (more by James Richards IV)
Flatbush Zombies

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

Flatbush Zombies, Bodega Bamz @ Irving Plaza
This is is a great double bill for the NYC weird-rap scene, headlined by maniacal druggy trio Flatbush Zombies and opened by A$AP collaborator Bodega Bamz.

Ida Maria @ Mercury Lounge
Norwegian singer-songwriter Ida Maria, once known for her wildcard electric performances, returns for her first NYC shows in some time. Will "Oh My God" still have the same punch?

Jagwar Ma, Fascinator @ Bowery Ballroom
With a debut album that owes more than a little to the early-'90s Madchester rave scene, Jagwar Ma will be twistin' your mellon (man) with sunshine vibes to spare. Sold out.

Mellowhigh @ Gramercy Theatre
Another bunch of odd rappers, but this time from the opposite coast, MellowHIgh is the trio of Odd Future members Hodgy Beats, Domo Genesis, and Left Brain.

John Grant @ Rough Trade
John Grant's Pale Green Ghosts is Rough Trade Shops' #1 album of 2013 so this show at their new NYC store has potential to be special. Though you can really say that about any John Grant show. Tonight's show is free with purchase of his new LP.

Twin Sister, Leapling, Ava Luna, Celestial Shore, Zula, Empress Of (DJ set) @ Silent Barn
This is a "farewell party" for Big Snow Buffalo Lodge, which shut its doors in July without a proper sendoff. Tonight it gets one...at Silent Barn.

Luke Temple, Chris Bear, MEMs (5), Eliot Krimsky @ Union Pool
This is the first week of Luke Temple's "improvisational" December residency. Expect the unexpected. Also, expect Chris from Grizzly Bear to be a part of tonight.

Elton John @ Madison Square Garden
With close to fifty years of pop/rock songwriting and a new album out this year that at least Rolling Stone likes, Elton John takes over MSG for what will surely be a night of hits.

Golem, The Unemployed Fortune Tellers, Minnie Tonka @ Glasslands
The Festival of Lights celebrations continue with the annual Hanukkah show from klezmer punk band Golem.

Ask Me Another @ The Bell House
John Hodgman, Lizz Winstead, and Al Jacobs will feature in this "rambunctious hour that blends brainteasers and local pub trivia night with comedy and music." Sold out.

Benji B, Juan Atkins, J. Rocc, Jay Daniel @ The Panther Room
You may know Benji B as the man behind the orchestral rearrangements of Flying Lotus, TNGHT, Kanye West, Drake, Jeremih, and others that surfaced earlier this year. Not sure what he'll be stirring up tonight, but it will surely be a special night, as it's the NYC installment of his London party Deviation. Also on the bill is Detroit techno vet Juan Atkins, Stones Throw associate J.Rocc and Detroit newcomer Jay Daniel. Tickets for tonight's party are still available. Check out Benji B's orchestral video below.

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 Tuesday? (Flatbush Zombies, Jagwar Ma, Ida Maria, Twin Sister, Luke Temple, Benji B's Deviation & more)"

Vampire Weekend @ Roseland in April (more by Robert Altman)
Vampy Weeks

The Monday after Thanksgiving Weekend is looking to be Official Year-End List Day, as we've already got SPIN, and Paste, (plus ones from UK mags  Q and Mojo) and now here's the one from elder rock statesman Rolling Stone, who have Vampire Weekend's Modern Vampires of the City in the top spot, with Kanye West's Yeezus at #2. RS' Top 10 also makes room for John Fogerty, Paul McCartney, Lorde and more. Haim are at #31 for those keeping score. You can check out their entire Top 50 LPs of 2013 list (which includes a couple EPs) below...

Continue reading "Rolling Stone lists Top 50 LPs of 2013"

Phosphorescent at Rough Trade NYC (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Phosphorescent

We just got Q, Mojo and SPIN, and now we get another year-end music list for 2013 from Paste. The #1 slot went to Phosphorescent for their album Muchacho. Check out the full list below...

Continue reading "Paste Magazine's Top 50 LPs of 2013 (Phosphorescent is #1)"

by Andrew Sacher

SPIN

It's the first work week of December and the year-end music lists for 2013 keep piling in. We just saw album lists from Q and Mojo, and now we get a list from a US publication, SPIN. There's not too many surprises on this one. Like last year, it shares its #1 with the highest Pitchfork-rated album of the year, and in general it features many of the albums we expect to see on these kinds of lists, including a lot of the year's big-name comebacks like My Bloody Valentine, Justin Timberlake, Daft Punk, Queens of The Stone Age, Boards of Canada and Nine Inch Nails, plus big breakouts like Haim and Disclosure. There are a few interesting omissions though, like Savages.

Check out their full list below...

Continue reading "SPIN's top 50 albums of 2013"

by Andrew Sacher

Kanye @ MSG - 11/24/13 (via BrooklynVegan Instagram)
Kanye

Kanye West just wrapped the 4-night NYC runYeezus tour at MSG last night (11/24) with legendary rap group A Tribe Called Quest opening, and billing it as their "final" show. The run also included another show with Tribe last Wednesday (11/20) at Barclays Center and two with Kendrick Lamar -- 11/19 at Barclays and Saturday (11/23) at MSG.

It was Kanye's second live appearance(s) in NYC this year, after having headlined Governors Ball back in June. His GovBall set was an incredibly elaborate affair, with a massive light show and intense on-screen footage that was more about the overall audio/visual experience than it was "a concert." And last night's MSG show was a similar experience, but a totally different delivery. Instead of video clips, Kanye was backed by a giant 3-dimensional pyramid, a "sky" screen above it, and a silent group of "dancers" who looked more like a cult-ish or religious group than dancers. The setlist was super heavy on Yeezus early on, playing most of the older hits towards the end, but it was those dark, abrasive moments of the new album mixed with the ominous stage show that really made it an unforgettable experience. That, and of course, Kanye's nightly rant, which this time was about how "nobody says anything bad about Lenny Kravitz," how terrible the fashion industry is, and about not letting your ego get to your head too much.

During A Tribe Called Quest's set, like he did at Barclays Center, Busta Rhymes came out during "Scenario" which got him and Tribe a standing ovation. Busta and ATCQ's Q-Tip have a collaborative mixtape, The Abstract & The Dragon, coming out on December 12, and they just made a video for its single "Thank You," which features Kanye, in addition to Lil Wayne. A$AP Ferg, A$AP Nast, and Tristan Wilds make cameos in the video, but aren't on the song. Check it out below.

And in more related news, James Franco and Seth Rogen decided to make their own version of Kanye's "Bound 2" video, which you can watch, along with a couple videos from MSG (including a "rant" video) and Kanye's setlist, below...

Continue reading "Kanye West played 2 shows @ MSG & 2 @ Barclays Center, appears on new Busta Rhymes/Q-Tip track (videos & setlist)"

A Tribe Called Quest at Barclays Center - 11/20/13 (via)
Tribe

Kanye West's tour currently has him in the midst of his 4-night NYC run, which included stops at Barclays Center with Kendrick Lamar on Tuesday (11/19) and A Tribe Called Quest last night (11/20). The run resumes at MSG on Saturday (11/23) with Kendrick and MSG on Sunday (11/24) with Tribe.

For A Tribe Called Quest, these opening slots are being billed as the legendary group's "final" shows. Regarding their set last night, which had an absolutely killer setlist, OkayPlayer writes:

I feel silly saying they played classics. I mean... "Sucka N*gga," "Find A Way" (Dilla dilla, beats beats) and "Bonita Applebum"... I don't think there is such a thing as a non-classic Tribe tune! For "Bonita," a full bodied Stephanie Santiago painted head to toe in red, black, and green stripes ala the iconic Low End Theory artwork, mesmerized the crowd as she walked to the center of the arena holding a cut-out apple with "38-24-37″ written on the reverse side.
A picture of the full setlist (also via Okayplayer) and a video of them performing "Scenario" with Busta Rhymes last night, below.

Tickets for both Kanye shows at MSG are still available.

Video and setlist below...

Continue reading "A Tribe Called Quest played their first of two "final" shows with Kanye West (setlist & video)"

Kanye West in Sweden in 2011 (more)
Kanye

Kanye West just premiered the video for "Bound 2," the final track on Yeezus, during his appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. The video features (a topless) Kim Kardashian and was directed by Nick Knight. You can watch it, along with his Ellen interview, below.

UPDATE: The uncensored version of the video is out now, and you can watch that below. NSFW obviously.

Kanye also just responded to president Barack Obama calling him a "jackass" during a 2009 Hot 107.9 interview. Via The Guardian:

On the "jackass" comment, Kanye admitted that "that's how the world felt," but that Obama shouldn't have responded negatively. "I don't care if somebody the President or not. I care about thoughts, and how you helpin' people, and what you bring to the world. My music brings joy to people. What I create brings joy to people, and I'm about people. Me, I'm not about me. I'm about, 'I got an idea that people gonna like.'"
Yeezy's tour begins its four-night run in NYC tonight (11/19) at Barclays Center. It also hits Barclays on Wednesday (11/20) and then MSG on Saturday (11/23) and Sunday (11/24). Tonight's and Saturday's shows are being opened by Kendrick Lamar, and Wednesday's and Sunday's shows will be the "final" shows for legendary group A Tribe Called Quest. Tickets for all four nights are still available.

In between those shows, you might run into him at a local Wendy's.

Ye also just spoke on Bret Eason Ellis' new podcast, which you can listen to here. New videos and updated list of tour dates below...

Continue reading "Kanye West begins 4-night NYC run, debuted "Bound 2" video (w/ topless Kim Kardashian) on 'Ellen,' responded to Obama calling him a "jackass""

by Andrew Sacher

Angel Haze at Lollapalooza 2013 (more by James Richards IV)
Angel Haze

Rapper Angel Haze has still not announced a release date for her much-anticipated debut LP, Dirty Gold, but last month she kicked off her #30Gold series, a month-long series of covers and freestyles over other songs to precede the album. The newest #30Gold installment is the cover of young British pop breakout John Newman's "Love Me Again." You can stream it below, along with covers/freestyles of Lana Del Rey, Miley Cyrus, Macklemore, A$AP Ferg, Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Jay Z, and Kanye West.

In her "Same Love" (Macklemore) freestyle, Angel Haze addresses her sexuality, rapping:

At age thirteen, my mom knew I wasn't straight
She didn't understand, but she had so much to say
She sat me on the couch, looked me straight in my face
And said you'll burn in hell or probably die of AIDS
It's funny now, but at thirteen it was pain
To be almost sure of who you are and have it ripped away
And I'm sorry if it's too real for some of you to fathom
But hate for who you love is not exactly what you'd imagine
And I guess it was disastrous
Because everything that happened afterwards was just madness
Locked away for two years to keep me on the inside
Because she'd rather see a part of me die than me thrive
And it's tougher when it's something you can't deny
And ignorance teaches us it's something you decide
You're driven by your choices, an optical illusion
Here's to understanding it's not always confusion
Read the rest of the lyrics below. Following that song's release, she did an interview with Fusion TV, saying that if she to label herself (though she'd prefer not to) it'd be "pansexual." "To identify as pansexual to me means to just want love and to want a connection with anyone you can find it with," she said.

That freestyle isn't the only genuinely moving thing Angel Haze has done in recent memory. Last week, she posted a video of herself reading a poem she wrote titled "You Broke My Heart." You can watch that below, and to say the least, you'll feel her pain.

Later this month, Angel Haze will be appearing live in New York (you know, the city she runs) at Webster Hall on November 21 for a Girls Night Out party. Tickets for that show are on sale now.

Streams, poem video, and "Same Love" lyrics below...

Continue reading "Angel Haze continuing covers/freestyle series, addresses her sexuality, playing Webster Hall (streams & poetry video)"

A Tribe Called Quest
Tribe

As you may have heard, Kanye West's tour was plagued with some equipment damages which caused certain shows to be cancelled, but Kanye's since fully updated his tour schedule, and is set to pick things up again on 11/16 in Philly. As long as everything goes right this time, this means his NYC shows -- 11/19 & 20 at Barclays Center and 11/23 & 24 at MSG -- will happen according to plan. As discussed, the 11/19 & 11/23 shows are being opened by Kendrick Lamar, and the 11/20 & 11/24 shows are being opened by A Tribe Called Quest. Tickets for all four NYC shows are still available. Updated dates are listed below.

For ATCQ, these will be the legendary group's "final" shows. Tribe member Q-Tip tweeted, "In August, ATCQ did our last show FOR Cali. It's only right we do our FINAL 2 joints where we started...NYC."

For Kendrick Lamar, these shows will be his second trip to NYC this month. He was just here for Power 105.1 Powerhouse at Barclays Center, where he brought out Lil Kim.

Updated dates are listed below...

Continue reading "A Tribe Called Quest's 'final' two shows going on as planned; Kanye West reschedules other dates"

Tribe

As discussed, Kanye West is going on his first solo headlining tour in five years, and as you may know, Kendrick Lamar is set to open most of it, but no openers were ever announced for the four NYC shows. Now it's finally been announced that Kendrick opens two of them, and the other two are being opened by... legendary Queens crew A Tribe Called Quest! The schedule for NYC looks like this:

November 19 - Barclays Center w/ Kendrick Lamar
November 20 - Barclays Center w/ A Tribe Called Quest
November 23 - Madison Square Garden w/ Kendrick Lamar
November 24 - Madison Square Garden w/ A Tribe Called Quest
Tickets for all four shows are still available.

A Tribe Called Quest's Ali Shaheed Muhammad DJs the RSVPed-out NPR CMJ showcase that Pusha T (whose new album Kanye produced) plays.

Kendrick Lamar (who's on that Pusha T album) joins his Black Hippy mate Schoolboy Q and others for Power 105.1's Powerhouse at Barclays Center on November 2 (tickets).

Meanwhile, Schoolboy Q plays a CMJ show this week at Webster Hall on Wednesday (10/16) with Casey Veggies, three A$AP Mob members, Bishop Nehru, The Bots and more (tickets).

Updated Kanye dates are listed below...

Continue reading "A Tribe Called Quest and Kendrick Lamar opening for Kanye West in NYC (separately)"

by Andrew Sacher

Pusha T
Pusha T

Pusha T spent most of the '00s as one half of respected hip hop duo Clipse, and more recently he's struck out on his own, releasing multiple mixtapes, and becoming a frequent Kanye collaborator. This week (10/8), he finally put out his first official solo album, My Name Is My Name, which was produced almost entirely (and executive produced) by Kanye West. You can hear hints of Yeezus in the production, but while 'Ye used his own record to see how far he could push the boundaries of hip hop, for this one he keeps his beautiful dark twisted fantasies within the classicist realm of the genre. 2 Chainz and Big Sean, who are becoming the dynamic duo of goofy guest verses, show up to lighten the mood on "Who I Am," The-Dream gives Pusha a dose of PBR&B (sorry) on "40 Acres," and Kendrick Lamar appears in characteristic game-murdering mode on what may be the album's best track, "Nosetalgia." You can watch the video for "Nostetalgia" (via NPR), along with a full stream of the album (via Myspace), below.

Pusha T is about to go on a UK tour with collaborators Chase & Status, but before that he'll play a couple US dates, including NPR's CMJ showcase, which happens on October 16 at Le Poisson Rouge. The rest of the lineup is stacked, including Syrian pop star Omar Souleyman (who has a new Four Tet-produced album on the way), NYC pop duo Cults (who have other shows too), and a DJ set from A Tribe Called Quest's Ali Shaheed Muhammad (who also DJed last year's NPR CMJ showcase). The show is free with RSVP, which opens today (10/10). Check @NPRHipHop and @NPRMusic for updates. If you can't make it, you can also watch the live stream on NPR Music.

All Pusha T dates are listed, along with the video and LP stream, below...

Continue reading "Pusha T released 'My Name Is My Name,' touring, playing NPR CMJ showcase w/ Omar Souleyman & Cults (dates, LP stream)"

by Andrew Sacher

DOWNLOAD: Arca - &&&&& (MP3)

Arca at Le Poisson Rouge in March (more by PSquared)
Arca

It's been a pretty incredible year for Brooklyn-via-Venezuela producer Arca. It wasn't that long ago that he was playing around the forward thinking UNO scene with CFCF, SFV Acid, Mykki Blanco (whose career has also seriously escalated), and others. Now, he's taken on the role as co-producer for hot, rising, Young Turks-signed UK singer FKA twigs, and contributed to the dark, twisted production of Kanye West's Yeezus (along with another once-underground producer, Evian Christ).

Arca's next NYC show is the just-announced Pitchfork's FORMS and MoMA PS1-presented show in the VW Performance Dome at MoMA PS1 on October 6 from 4-7 PM (not the first time he's played MoMA PS1). The show is part of the venue's Sunday Sessions, and is with London director Jesse Kanda (who also directed FKA twigs' "Water Me" video). They'll be premiering a film that interprets a section of Arca's recent &&&&&, a mix that goes through Yeezus-style darkness, uplifting wordless vocals, clamoring percussion, and more in its 25+ minutes.

The MoMA PS1 show "will feature abstract renditions of Arca's music with a vocal ensemble led by Abby Fischer accompanied by lights and a set designed by video/art collective Thunderhorse." Tickets are on sale now.

Earlier this year, Arca opened for Atoms for Peace at Le Poisson Rouge. Atoms for Peace play the much larger Barclays Center tonight (9/27).

Arca's &&&&& can be downloaded above, and streamed, along with FKA twigs' "Water Me" video and Kanye's "I'm In It" (prod. Arca, Evian Christ, etc), below...

Continue reading "Arca released '&&&&&,' interpreting it w/ Jesse Kanda at Pitchfork-presented MoMA PS1 show (mixtape download)"

Kanye West at Governors Ball 2013 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Kanye

Tickets for the NYC stops on Kanye West's tour at Barclays Center (11/19) and Madison Square Garden (11/23) went on sale this morning, and Kanye immediately added second dates for each venue (Barclays on 11/20, MSG on 11/24). Tickets for all four are on sale now.

Kendrick Lamar opens most of the tour, but hasn't been announced for the NYC shows (neither has anyone else). Updated dates are listed below...

Continue reading "Kanye West expands tour, adds 2nd shows at Barclays Center and Madison Square Garden (updated dates)"

Kanye, Charlie Wilson, The Roots & a choir on 'Fallon'
Kanye

Kanye West recently announced a tour with Kendrick Lamar, and following that announcement he appeared on Late NIght with Jimmy Fallon to perform the closing track on Yeezus, "Bound 2." Kanye performed with backing from Fallon's house band The Roots, a choir doing the "bound to fall in love" vocal and Charlie Wilson joining him to sing his hook on the song. Check out the video of that performance below.

As discussed, Kanye's tour hits NYC on November 19 at Barclays Center and November 23 at Madison Square Garden. Tickets for both shows go on AEG/Venue/Radio/TM/Twitter/AmEx presales Thursday (9/12) at 10 AM (password: "YEEZUS"). General on-sale begins Friday (9/13) at 9 AM.

Kendrick, who we just caught at Williamsburg Park, hasn't been announced for the NYC shows (neither has anyone else).

Fallon video, and the list of all 'Yeezus' tour dates, below...

Continue reading "Kanye performed "Bound 2" on 'Fallon' w/ Charlie Wilson, The Roots & a choir +++ presale info for MSG & Barclays shows"

Kanye Kendrick

Kanye West has made recent festival appearances like NYC's Governors Ball and has gone on a collaborative tour with Jay Z, but the man behind two of rap's most acclaimed albums of the current decade hasn't actually gone on a solo headlining tour in five years. That will change this year though, as he's just announced North American dates spanning from October through December. Stacking the deck even more, another very exciting figure in today's rap world, Kendrick Lamar (who also played Governors Ball), will be opening.

The tour hits NYC for arena shows on November 19 at Barclays Center and November 23 at Madison Square Garden. Tickets for those shows go on sale Friday, September 13. All dates are listed below.

Kendrick isn't actually currently listed on either of the two NYC shows, but he will be in NYC to play Williamsburg Park on September 10 with Ab-Soul, Jay Rock, and Bishop Nehru. Tickets for that show are still available.

Other related upcoming Barclays Center shows include Drake, Justin Timberlake, and Beyonce.

Jay Z just announced a tour too, including two nights at Barclays Center.

Meanwhile, there's a bunch of other great upcoming hip hop shows happening in NYC.

All Kanye dates are listed, along with the video for "Black Skinhead," below...

Continue reading "Kanye West announces tour with Kendrick Lamar (MSG and Barclays Center included) (dates)"

Grimes and 2 Chainz
Grimes and 2 Chainz

Taylor Swift realizing *NSYNC appeared on stage
Taylor Swift

From many points in Brooklyn, one could look up and see the lit up blimp in the air hovering over the Barclays Center yesterday (8/25). It was where the overhead shots were being filmed during the pre-show which included the big crowds outside around the Brooklyn streets that MTV got closed down to create the red carpet for the VMAs....

A red carpet, set up on Dean Street near Flatbush Avenue, was completely invisible to many non-ticketed fans and the general public who were mainly cordoned in a pen at the Best Buy on Atlantic Avenue between Fort Greene Place and Sixth Avenue.

Another penned area, at Sixth Avenue and Bergen Street, gave a small group of fans a distant peek at the carpet, but it was still a full city block away.

"Obviously they can't let everyone in for security reasons, but we can't see anything at all," said Donna Hall, 28, who came from Queens. "I've been out here with my friends since 3 p.m. and we've been trying to find the best vantage point possible, but we settled here because at least we could see a glimpse of the red carpet. [DNA Info]

Meanwhile, during the ceremony, we got performances from Kanye West (playing "Blood on the Leaves," not "Black Skinhead"), Justin Timberlake (on-stage *NSYNC reunion included), Drake, Kendrick Lamar (joining Robin Thicke, who, um, palled around with Miley Cyrus on stage), Lady Gaga (playing her new EDM-inspired single), and more.

Daft Punk didn't perform, but they did walk the red carpet and sit in the audience in their masks which they also wore to present 'Best Female Music Video' with Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers. They also debuted part of the video for "Lose Yourself to Dance."

Vampire Weekend, who are headlining the Barclays Center in September, presented an award to One Direction.

Jay-Z and Beyonce were strangely nowhere to be found.

Eminem also pulled a Jay Z and announced his new album, MMLP2 (the sequel to 2000's Marshall Mathers LP), in a commercial that aired during the VMAs. The album was executive produced by Dr. Dre and Rick Rubin, and it's due out November 5. Meanwhile, the single, "Berserk," will drop this Tuesday (8/27).

And before it all began, Grimes co-hosted the Red Carpet Report. Who wore it better, Grimes or 2 Chainz?

If you watched, what did you think? Should Miley Cyrus stop being so trashy? Should Robin Thicke stop being so creepy? Should Kanye stop being so serious? Does Justin Timberlake have really long arms? Does anyone really care that *NSYNC showed up (for a minute and a half)? If you didn't watch, or need a refresher, some videos from the night are below...

Continue reading "VMAS happened at Barclays Center: Kanye, Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, *NSYNC & more performed, Eminem announced an LP, Vampire Weekend met One Direction, & more (videos)"

by Andrew Sacher

Drake at Made In America 2012 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Drake

As you may know, Drake has been dropping a handful of tracks ahead of the release of his new album, Nothing Was the Same (due out 9/17), though it's never been exactly clear which of these will actually end up on the album. His newest, "Hold On We're Going Home," sounds like Drake going Marvin going MJ, and it's sounding pretty dope this morning. Check out a radio rip, along with a stream of his other recent single, "All Me" (feat. 2 Chainz and Big Sean), below.

Drake's previously discussed tour with Miguel and Future hits the NYC-area on 10/26 at XL Center, 10/27 at Prudential Center, and 10/28 at Barclays Center. Tickets for those shows are still available.

Drake just played his annual OVO Fest last night (8/5), and the insane show included Kanye, The Weeknd, J Cole, Miguel, TLC, A$AP Rocky, Big Sean and more coming out to join him and perform their own songs. The setlist and new song streams below...

Continue reading "Drake played OVO w/ guests (setlist), releases new song"

Kanye West at Governors Ball 2013 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Kanye West

As previously mentioned, this year, MTV's Video Music Awards will be taking place in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center on August 25. It was just announced that Kanye West will appearing at this year's VMAs to perform "Black Skinhead" off his recently released Yeezus. Lady Gaga will be performing as well, debuting her new single, "Applause" off her upcoming ARTPOP album, due out November 11. Admission to the VMAs is free, but do you need tickets. You can currently get free Pit tickets, though the other ticket options are all TBA. There's a Ticketmaster page for the event too, but no on-sale date is listed at the moment.

Nominees for this year's VMAs include Kendrick Lamar, Drake, A$AP Rocky, J. Cole, Beyonce, Miguel, Janelle Monae, Erykah Badu, The Weeknd, Justin Timberlake, Snoop Lion, Mumford & Sons, Vampire Weekend, Alt-J, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Flying Lotus, and more. Full list below.

Also, watch the video for "Black Skinhead," which uses similar elements to the visual that accompanies Kanye's live performances of the song, below...

Continue reading "free tickets available for VMAs happening at Brooklyn's Barclays Center; Kanye West and Lady Gaga to perform"

Tame Impala at Terminal 5 in February (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Tame Impala

We know these kinds of listicles get published all the time, and that everyone will always find ways to argue them, but this one is kind of interesting. Rolling Stone published their '50 Greatest Live Acts Right Now' list, where they asked a panel of writers, industry figures, and artists, "who rules the road in 2013?" It's got much of the stuff you'd think Rolling Stone would have on this kind of list (like insisting The Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen are still better live than basically anyone else in 2013), but there's still some surprises, like the inclusion of Tame Impala amongst mainly rock/pop stars.

If you wanna see if you agree with Rolling Stone's assertions, you can catch some of the artists who made their list in NYC soon, like Tame Impala, Fiona Apple, Pearl Jam, Nine Inch Nails, and more.

Check out the full list below...

Continue reading "Rolling Stone names the "50 Greatest Live Acts Right Now""

by Andrew Sacher

Travis Scott

Rapper/producer Travis Scott (who was an XXL Freshman this year) has been seeing his career elevated lately thanks to his production contributions on Kanye West's Yeezus and the work he did on Jay-Z's Yeezus-like "Crown" from his new album, Magna Carta Holy Grail. He's got his own free mixtape out, Owl Pharaoh (which dropped about a month before Yeezus), and while it's still not entirely convincing that that he's got it as a rapper, you can definitely hear some Yeezus blueprints taking shape on the mixtape. Kanye himself supposedly helped out a bit, and 'Ye collaborator Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) contributes his vocals to the track "Naked."

Travis Scott was in NYC back in May when his tour with Casey Veggies hit Brooklyn Bowl. The two rappers will continue touring together later this month in the West/Southwest, but before that, Travis returns to NYC for a 'Hot 97 Who's Next' show on Tuesday (7/16) at SOB's with Trips N Slim, Apollo The Great, and Coley Bernays. Peter Rosenberg and Shani Kulture will be hosting and DJ Juanyto is providing music. Tickets for that show are on sale now.

All dates are listed, along with a stream of Owl Pharaoh and some of his Kanye/Jay-Z collaborations, below...

Continue reading "Kanye/Jay-Z collaborator Travis Scott touring, playing SOBs"

by Andrew Sacher

Yeezus

We're still waiting til Tuesday (6/18) for one of the most anticipated albums of the year -- Kanye West's Yeezus -- to drop, but something tells us it may have surfaced on the internet a little early. Assuming what going around is the final version of the album, it's pretty consistent with Kanye's mini-rant at Governors Ball about not caring about the radio anymore; this is some of his most anti-commercial music yet. Rather than the lush string/horn arrangements he used on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, the melodic R&B-style beats of 808s and Heartbreaks or the borderline-electropop of Graduation, on Yeezus Kanye is all about dark, distorted synth maximalism. On "On Sight" those synths were reportedly worked on with Daft Punk, he's got a TNGHT track on "Blood on the Leaves," and that's Evian Christ on "I'm In It."

He's pretty dark, lyrically, too and dominates most of the vocals on the record. Ye's been known to get heavy on the guest spots, but they're pretty low-key here. Not that they're coming from low-key people of course. The full version of "New Slaves" features Frank Ocean crooning at the end, a track called "Hold My Liquor" transitions from a Justin Vernon (of Bon Iver) hook into a Chief Keef hook, and rumor has it that "God" appears on "I Am a God." I guess he really is talking back.

Kanye also brought in outside producer/Def Jam founder Rick Rubin (who just discussed the album at length) to help him out.

What may very well be the official tracklist for the album is below. Check that out and let us know your thoughts on Yeezus.

Continue reading "is Kanye West's 'Yeezus' finally here? (includes Justin Vernon, Frank Ocean, Daft Punk, Chief Keef, TNGHT & more)"

You may have noticed these MSG show posters popping up around NYC....

Dr Dre

Let's face it. Kanye West would never let anyone bill him 5th on a poster, but regardless, even with the typos, this concert bill popping up around NYC that claims Jay-Z, Dr. Dre, Pharrell Williams, Frank Ocean, Kanye West, Eminem, A$AP Rocky and Andre 3000 are playing Madison Square Garden on a "Thuesday" is sure to get more than a few people excited about a show that is not actually happening.

Who would do such a thing??? Well, the likely culprit is artist Andre Saraiva who allegedly pulled a similar stunt with Daft Punk, Phoenix, Air & more in Paris. A fake Beach Boys, Phoenix, Beastie Boys (really?), The Faint & Tame Impala poster has also been seen in LA.

Thanks Nick Masi for the photo!

photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin

Yeezus / Bloc Party / fans chillin' in a kiddie pool
Governors Ball
Governors Ball
Governors Ball

Governors Ball concluded on Sunday (6/9). We've already posted one set of pictures from that day, in addition to pictures of The xx, Deerhunter, and Portugal. The Man. We also posted videos, the setlist, and talked a bit about Kanye West's set. Now we've got pictures of Yeezus, in addition to Bloc Party, Beirut, Foals, Freddie Gibbs, and more in this post.

If you haven't been keeping up with our Governors Ball coverage, pictures of day 1 are HERE and HERE, and pictures of day 2 are HERE and HERE. More day 3 pictures below...

Continue reading "Governors Ball day 3 in pics (part 2): Kanye West, Bloc Party, Beirut, Foals, Freddie Gibbs & more"