Entries tagged with: Mary J Blige

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FADER

The FADER always has some year-end coverage, but for the past 15 years they didn't publish a ranked year-end list. This year however, they ranked their 116 favorite songs of 2014 (find out why) and it's a diverse list that manages to sing the praises of iLoveMakonnen, Tinashe, Alex G, Florida Georgia Line, Enrique Iglesias, Bleachers, Ricky Eat Acid, YG, Toni Braxton & Babyface, Nothing, Grimes, Parquet Courts, Run the Jewels and Grouper all in the same damn list.

Read more about each choice here and check out the full list below...

Continue reading "The FADER list their favorite tracks of 2014"

NPR

NPR have posted their Top 50 Albums of 2014, and like it usually is, it's one of the more diverse year-end lists we've seen so far. There's a lot of the indie that shows up on many of these lists (The War On Drugs, St. Vincent, Spoon, Perfume Genius, Angel Olsen, etc), the hip hop (Run the Jewels, Freddie Gibbs & Madlib, YG, Isaiah Rashad, etc), the big-name pop (Taylor Swift, Mary J. Blige, Miranda Lambert), the metal (Pallbearer) and plenty of others, as well as classical, jazz, world music, a Latin funk band with an album's worth of Black Sabbath covers, and still more.

Check out their full list in alphabetical order below...

Continue reading "NPR's Top 50 Albums of 2014"

Grammy

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)"

Mary J. Blige at FADER Fort at CMJ 2014 (more by Bao Nguyen)
MJB

As discussed, Mary J. Blige is releasing her new album The London Sessions next week (12/2) via Capitol and it includes collaborations with British artists such as Disclosure, Sam Smith and more. Leading up to its release, Mary's been putting out short "behind the music" videos with clips of her in the studio and talking about the recording process. She's calling the campaign 20/20, as the album was recorded in just 20 days. The newest video in the series premieres in this post and has Mary talking about her Disclosure collaboration "Follow," as well as footage of her and Disclosure working on the track. Watch that below.

Other videos in the series have premiered on Spin, Vibe, Idolator, Death and Taxes, and Celebuzz. Keep up with the growing 20/20 series here.

Watch the new video with Mary and Disclosure below...

Continue reading "Watch Mary J. Blige & Disclosure in the studio working on "Follow" from her upcoming LP (video premiere)"

photos by Bao Nguyen

iLoveMakonnen / Cam'ron
ILoveMakonnen
Cam'ron

FADER Fort returned during CMJ this year and wrapped up on Saturday (10/25) with a lineup surprise-headlined by Mary J. Blige. That day also featured sets from rapper iLoveMakonnen, whose Drake-assisted hit "Tuesday" is basically everywhere (and luckily he wasn't attacked this time), wannabe pop star Ryn Weaver, ambient pop musician Foxes In Fiction, veteran rapper Cam'ron who's been having a pretty good year thanks to his A-Trak collaborations, Will Smith's children Willow and Jaden Smith who played with alt-R&B singer SZA, rapper Sir Michael Rocks and UK singer George Maple.

More pictures from that day below...

Continue reading "FADER Fort Saturday in pics: iLoveMakonnen, Cam'ron, Foxes In Fiction, Jaden & Willow Smith, SZA, George Maple, more"

photos by Bao Nguyen

Mary J. Blige

Like South by Southwest, CMJ can start the campaign for a new pop product. On an album due in December, the R&B singer Mary J. Blige has been reinventing her music in sessions with London producers of electronic dance music like Disclosure. In an unannounced miniset at the Fader Fort Presented by Converse, singing to recorded tracks, Ms. Blige proved her voice could be just as forthright over a club-music beat as with an R&B band. (She remarked that she hadn't performed without instruments since 1992.) [NY Times]
FADER Fort at CMJ was full of surprises like Dev Hynes on Thursday and Mary J. Blige on Saturday (10/25). A video of her debuting "My Loving" from her upcoming album, The London Sessions, is below. Pictures of her set are in this post.

The London Sessions, due November 24 in the UK and December 2 in the US via Capitol Records, has the veteran R&B singer going in a more electronic direction and it features production and co-writing from Disclosure, Sam Smith, Emeli Sande, Naughty Boy and others. The Disclosure contribution follows Mary teaming up with the duo for a new version of their song "F For You" which they've performed live together more than once. "Right Now," which was produced by Disclosure and co-written by them and Sam Smith, recently got the video treatment and that can be watched below.

More pictures from FADER Fort, and both videos, below...

Continue reading "Mary J. Blige surprised FADER Fort, debuted a new song (pics), made a video for her Disclosure/Sam Smith collab"

photos by Tim Griffin

Disclosure @ Stubb's - 1/31/14
Disclosure @ Stubb's - 1/31/2014

UK dance duo Disclosure recently brought their North American tour to NYC for a 3-night run at Terminal 5, and since then they played Fallon, released a song with Bishop Nehru, made a video for their version of "F For You" with Mary J. Blige (below), and continued on tour, hitting other cities like Austin this past Friday (1/31) at Stubb's. That show, like the rest of the tour, was opened by Chicago rapper Vic Mensa and LA producer Samo Sound Boy, and pictures of all three artists are in this post.

As discussed, later this month Vic Mensa heads to Europe with Danny Brown, but not before headlining a NYC show on February 18 at SOB's with Nitty Scott (tickets).

Disclosure also recently announced "WILD LIFE" shows for select US cities, which each include eclectic support coming from Joey Bada$$, Kaytranada, Claude Vonstroke, Bishop Nehru, and others. Other WILD LIFE shows TBA, but for now check out the details for Chicago and Berkley, CA. Their next NYC show is Governors Ball.

Updated dates are listed, with more pictures from Austin and the Mary J Blige video, below...

Continue reading "Disclosure on tour, played Austin w/ Vic Mensa & Samo Sound Boy, announce WILD LIFE shows (pics, video, updated dates)"

photos by Amanda Hatfield; words by Leo Maymind

Disclosure w/ Sam Smith @ T5 1/17/2013
Disclosure
Disclosure

The UK brotherly duo Disclosure completed a sold-out, three night run at Terminal 5 this weekend, proving that, despite the fact that their critically-acclaimed debut album Settle clearly mines very British influences, their potential to grow here seems unlimited. Pictures from night 1 (Friday, 1/17) are in this post.

I attended Saturday night's show (1/18). Two young hip-hop artists, Bishop Nehru and Vic Mensa (along with Samo Sound Boy), opened the show, each utilizing just a DJ and their own energy to work the crowd. Nehru in particular was delightfully charismatic, reaching across the venue's security pit to touch the hands of fans throughout his set. While many of his songs relied on fairly generic, mid-tempo beats that could easily slide into a range of commercial playlists, his drawl-heavy lyrics were often entrancing and quick-witted. Mensa's set began shortly after Nehru finished, and he brought out a few hype-men who seemed both thrilled and anxious to be on stage in front of 3,000 people. Despite mentioning his hometown of Chicago several times, Mensa gave lots of endearing shout-outs to New York before ending his set rather abruptly and hightailing it off the stage.

Disclosure's dual tables full of gear and elaborate light setup came to life with a bright screen flashing their now-iconic face logo as the brothers unassumingly took the stage following a short break. The set began with a deep, ambient swell before launching into "F For You," which found Howard adding his own voice under a submerged and pitch-shifted vocal line. Both Howard and Guy sporadically supplemented their booming tracks with live keyboard playing and minimal yet tasteful percussion accents, but it's hard to overstate the importance of the band's elaborate, strobe-heavy light show. Despite the fact that Disclosure is now playing to festival-size crowds, neither brother seemed to be terribly confident on stage, and more, um, un-Settle-ing was the lack of interaction between Howard and Guy, as they rarely spoke or looked at each other.

While many of the songs didn't differ greatly from the recorded versions, Guy did trigger many of their signature vocal samples in new rhythms and arrangements. The set relied on a few tight, seamless transitions, making especially nice use of noise swells from a Korg Monotribe. "When a Fire Starts to Burn" got hands in the air, as did "You and Me." Despite lacking in spontaneity and interaction, much of the crowd was simply thrilled at the opportunity to witness Disclosure's undeniably well-written songs being pumped through Terminal 5's massive, bass-heavy sound system and it was clear that the duo's popularity is still on the rise.

All three nights, Sam Smith joined the band for the encore to sing on single "Latch" and they'll do it again tonight (1/20) on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Sam will be back in NYC when his solo tour hits March 24 at Webster Hall and tickets for that show are still available.

More special guests: at Sunday's show (1/19) Mary J. Blige came out to provide vocals on "F for You" and video of that is below. Surprisingly, though Disclosure collaborators London Grammar were in town for their own shows right beforehand, they didn't perform with them.

In other news, Pitchfork reports that the Lawrence brothers spent some time in the studio with Q-Tip while here, so keep an eye out for that collaboration. Meanwhile, check out more pictures from Disclosure's first Terminal 5 show below...

Continue reading "Disclosure played 3 nights at T5 w/ Sam Smith, Mary J Blige, playing 'Fallon' tonight, working w/ Q-Tip (pics, video)"

The Rolling Stones, Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY - 12/8/2012
Rolling STones

Next up: The Stones play MSG as part of the big Hurricane Sandy Benefit, and then two shows at Prudential Center in NJ.

Mick Jagger w/ Mary J. Blige in London last month
Jagger and Blige

When The Rolling Stones played their two London shows in November, they were joined by a number of guests including Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Mick Taylor, Bill Wyman, Florence Welch, and Mary J. Blige. And now they've revealed that Blige will also join them at their Brooklyn show at Barclays Center this Saturday (12/8), along with upcoming blues riffer Gary Clark Jr., who takes after a similar lineage (Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, etc) as the Stones and probably owes a bit of his sound to them as well. Tickets for that show are still available.

The Stones also play two nights at The Prudential Center (12/13 and 12/15), the latter of which will stream live. Tickets for both of those shows are still available too.

A video of Mary J Blige doing "Gimme Shelter" with the Stones in London is HERE and more videos and the setlists from those shows are below.

Continue reading "Gary Clark Jr & Mary J Blige to join the Rolling Stones in Brooklyn ++ videos & setlists from their London shows"

Obama hugs Bruce Springsteen (pre-election night)
Obama and The Boss

A selection of tweets reacting to Obama's big win last night....

":)" - Grizzly Bear

"YES" - Amanda Palmer

"yeah!!!!" - Laurel Halo

"FUCK YES" - HEALTH

"fuck yeah." - Colin Meloy

"FUCK YEAH AMERICA!!! #OBAMA" - King Tuff

continued below...

Continue reading "Artists react to Obama's win"

D'Angelo at Essence Music Fest - 7/6/12 (via Warryn Campbell)
D'Angelo

R&B great D'Angelo, who has been virtually absent from the music scene since the release of his towering 2000 LP, Voodoo, has been making a pretty remarkable comeback this year. His much-delayed new album (working title James River) may finally be seeing a release this year. GQ did a long profile on him, in which it's mentioned that a September release is possible but nothing definite. Questlove spoke to Pitchfork about the album at the end of last year, and here's what he said about the singer's plans for 2012:

He goes to Europe in January. The album is pretty much 97% done. He's just finishing his lyrics now. He needs somebody to smack him and take the record away from him because it's pretty much finished. But I know he must turn this record in like three days before Christmas and that his first show is in Europe, and that he's going to do a whole bunch. They even named it the Occupy Music Tour, so I know they're serious about it.

For all intents and purposes, this album is the black version of [The Beach Boys'] Smile-- at best, it will go down in the Smile/There's a Riot Goin' On/Miles Davis' On the Corner category. That's what I'm hoping for. There's stuff on there I was amazed at, like new music patches [keyboard sounds] I've never heard before. I'd ask him, "What kind of keyboard is that?" I thought it was some old vintage thing. But he builds his own patches.

As mentioned in the above quote, D'Angelo did in fact tour Europe this past January. He played his first US show in 12 years with a surprise performance at Bonnaroo Day 4 (6/10) as a guest during Questlove's set. A video of that is below. D'Angelo's first scheduled US performance since his absence from the stage went down this past weekend (7/6) at New Orleans' Essence Music Fest. A video from that is below too.

After Essence, he made his way over to the Netherlands for North Sea Jazz Festival, which Janelle Monae was also at, and was tweeting about his set. She wrote "D'Angelo Left us . Came back and STILL sounded better,played better than these fools," and "As a d'Angelo fan.didn't come expecting anything cept growth, energy, dynamic voice, funk, soul, musicianship! Inspiration! got that & more."

As mentioned, D'Angelo will be in Philly for Jay-Z's Made In America Festival (9/1 - 9/2), and now he's announced a tour with Mary J. Blige and Melanie Fiona leading up to that festival, which includes two NYC area dates: August 18 at Jones Beach Theater and August 23 at PNC Bank Arts Center. TIckets for those shows are on sale now. Only three other dates on the tour have been announced at the moment, but Rolling Stone reports that it will be a 20-date tour.

A list of all currently known dates and videos below...

Continue reading "D'Angelo touring w/ Mary J. Blige before Made In America Fest, playing Jones Beach & PNC Bank Arts Center (dates)"

photos by Andrew St. Clair

Raekwon shows potential groupies his current relationship status
Wu-Tang Clan

What kind of oldies concert draws a huge audience in its 20s? Rock the Bells, the daylong hip-hop festival that came to Governors Island on Saturday. This year's Rock the Bells borrowed an idea from the indie-rock festival All Tomorrow's Parties, booking groups to perform watershed albums in their entirety.

Two headliners, Snoop Dogg and Wu-Tang Clan, largely complied with the assignment. Snoop Dogg brought along most of the guests from his 1993 album, "Doggystyle," made back when he was Snoop Doggy Dogg. The others - A Tribe Called Quest, KRS-One, Rakim and Slick Rick - went "veering off," as Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest put it, to play additional hits (which no one minded) or to plug more recent projects.

And then there was the wild card: Lauryn Hill, the singer and rapper formerly of the Fugees, appearing half an hour late. She hasn't released a studio album since "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" in 1998, and she has recorded and toured only sporadically since then while raising five children. "I miss you," she told the crowd repeatedly. Partway through the set she pulled guests out of the V.I.P. section and onstage: Mary J. Blige, Alicia Keys, Jay-Z, Beyoncé, John Legend. They missed her too.
-[New York Times]

A second set from the NYC edition of Rock The Bells (first is HERE), continue below...

Continue reading "Rock the Bells @ Governors Island - pics (part 2) (Wu-Tang, Street Sweeper Social Club, Yelawolf, Slick Rick & more) "

Bumbershoot

Memorial Day Weekend officially opened the summer, and for those in the Pacific Northwest it also brought Sasquatch Music Festival (pictures from all three days are coming soon). Now the lineup for its Labor Day cousin, Bumbershoot 2010, has been announced. That fest, happening at Seattle, WA's Seattle Center September 4th-6th, will include headliners Bob Dylan, Mary J. Blige, Weezer, Hole, Rise Against, Neko Case, The Decemberists, J. Cole and "one more very special guest to be announced soon."

Tickets (including non-Mainstage 'economy' passes) are on sale now. The rest of the lineup (by day) for the seven-stage festival is posted below...

Continue reading "Bumbershoot 2010 lineup (Bob Dylan... Hole... Mary J Blige)"

Lilith Fair

Lilith Fair, which has been dormant since 1999, will reform this year for a North American tour this summer. Exact dates and venues are forthcoming, but the ongoing list of confirmed acts is impressive (though they won't all play every city). The lineup currently includes Beth Orton, Cat Power, Emmylou Harris, Erykah Badu, the Gossip, Grace Potter and The Nocturnals, Heart, Indigo Girls, Janelle Monae, Ke$ha, La Roux, Lights, Loretta Lynn, Mary J. Blige, Metric, Miranda Lambert, Norah Jones, Rosie Thomas, Sarah McLachlan, Serena Ryder, Sheryl Crow, Tara MacLean, Tegan and Sara.

New York City is one of the tour's confirmed stops. The rest of those and the fest's so-far lineup are below...

Continue reading "Lilith Fair 2010 (Cat Power, Norah Jones, Tegan & Sara, Janelle Monae, Metric, Grace Potter, Gossip, Erykah Badu, Beth Orton, Sia, many more)"

AC/DC @ The Izod Center (more by Ryan Muir)
AC DC

If anyone had any doubt that touring is where the money is in the music business, a quick look at the top Moneymakers for 2008 should hammer the point home.

Regardless of genre, retail sales or radio play, each of the 20 acts on Billboard's Moneymakers list toured in 2008. (Taylor Swift mostly opened for Brad Paisley but doesn't get credit for that revenue). For almost all of them, touring generated the most revenue. And in a year when recorded-music sales declined yet again, many earned more at the box office than ever before. [Billboard]

I hope Kanye West can handle being below The Jonas Brothers (and Lil Wayne). The whole list below...

Continue reading "the list of musicians who made the most money in 2008"

An Evening with Jay-Z, January 19, 2009 8PM (kepkanation)
Jay Z

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- With George W. Bush all packed up and out of the White House, and Barack Obama ready to move in, hip-hop has never felt more patriotic. And the huge theme for Obama's inauguration weekend has been Young Jeezy's "My President." On Monday night, in the town nicknamed "Chocolate City," Jay-Z drove his audience wild with his new verse for the song's remix.

The show at the Warner Theatre was billed as the "Concert on the Eve of Change," but the crowd welcomed a very familiar Hov game-plan: knock 'em with his own hits and those of his big-name guests.

After "Brooklyn Go Hard," Jay informed D.C. that he was ready for a long night." [MTV]

Beyoncé, Mary J. Blige, and Young Jeezy were among the guests who joined Jay at the Warner Theater last night. Jay was Young Jeezy's guest at a show in the same town one night earlier. Earlier on Sunday was the biggest Obama-related concert of all in front of Abraham Lincoln. Mary J. Blige and Beyonce also performed at that.

The Beastie Boys also played a show in the same town on Monday night.

Jim Jones recently turned himself in to the NYPD after he fought with a friend of Jay-Z.

A snippet of video from the Jay-Z show below...

Continue reading "Jay-Z helped welcome Obama last night @ Warner Theater"

Jay Z
Jay Z

On a stage outside a North Philadelphia theater where some of the greatest R&B artists once performed, Jay-Z and other members of the hip-hop elite exhorted 10,000 young people yesterday to become part of history by voting for Sen. Barack Obama.

A throng of energized young people, many of them Temple University students, gathered in front of the historic Uptown Theater on Broad Street about 1 p.m. to hear rappers Jay-Z and Sean "Diddy" Combs and singer Mary J. Blige urge them to cast ballots for the senator from Illinois.

"I need y'all to be really, really quiet for this. I need you to really understand what I'm telling you," Jay-Z said. "Rosa Parks sat so Martin Luther King could walk. Martin Luther King walked so Obama could run. Obama's running so we all can fly." [Philadelphia Inquirer]

Beyonce and Russell Simmons were at yesterday's event too. More pictures at Barack Obama's Flickr account.

In semi-related news, Jay-Z's successor at Def Jam commited suicide over the weekend.

Phish and Jay ZPhish and Jay Z

The 7th Annual Jammy Awards are happening tonight (May 7) at the The WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden (jam bands + grammys = jammys), and some people seem to think Phish are going to reunite and play since they're being honored at the shindig. Even more interesting should be the scene outside the venue as Phish fans make their way to the theater while Jay-Z and Mary J Blige fans find their way into the much larger venue in the same building.

And with all of that going on under one roof, I guess anything could happen.....

Continue reading "Phish & Jay-Z will meet again (sort of/maybe) @ MSG tonight"

Tickets for the three previously-sold-out Jay-Z/Mary J Blige shows at MSG will be back on sale Saturday at 10am.

Jay Z and Kanye West

One (sold out), two (sold out), three... Jay Z & Mary J Blige - May 2nd @ MSG, tickets ($199.75, $129.75, $99.75 & $69.75) on sale March 7th at 10 am.

Kanye West is still only playing one.

"An in depth look at the very disturbing truth behind some of mainstream music's most 'popular' celebrities and their occult practices" below....

Continue reading "Jay-Z & Mary J, a 3rd NYC show at MSG, Kanye, the occult"

Jay-Z and Lebron James

The Ace of Spades was free-flowing as Jay-Z, Lebron James, and Jason Kidd packed the VIP section of New Orleans hot-spot Generation Hall Saturday night for a star-studded party. The night started off with an exclusive dinner where A-Listers like Gabrielle Union, Beyonce, Brandon Jacobs and Mark Cuban all attended. [Complex]
Tickets ($199.75, $129.75, $99.75 & $69.75) go on sale this Friday February 29th for a May 6th Jay-Z & Mary J Blige show at MSG at NYC. Check the presale page too. They might on sale there sooner. All dates below....

Continue reading "Jay-Z & Mary J Blige add NYC show, Tour, presale"

Jay Z and Mary J Blige

Mary J. Blige and JAY-Z announced today that they will embark on a historic 25-date North American co-headlining tour. The "Mary J. Blige & JAY-Z: Heart of the City" tour marks the first time in more than 15 years that an African American male/female bill of this stature have co-headlined a national concert tour.
Stops include Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, NY and the Izod Center in NJ. Tickets ($175.75, $99.75, $79.75 & 59.75) go on sale Saturday at noon. "Citi cardmembers will also have access to purchase presale tickets through Citi's Private Pass® Program, available to all Citi cardmembers at www.privatepass.citi.com beginning Wednesday, Feb. 13th at 10AM." More dates below....

Continue reading "Jay-Z & Mary J Blige - initial 2008 Tour Dates"

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