Entries tagged with: Mos Def

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photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin, words by BBG

Lauryn / Erykah
Lauryn Hill
Erykah Badu

Last year Rock the Bells, the touring hip-hop bonanza, picked up on the voguish festival concept in which an artist performs an old record from beginning to end. It went well, and this year's edition bought in twice as hard. On Saturday on Governors Island, amid other, more ordinary sets, 11 albums were performed in their entirety.

What a gorging! What an obligation! It seemed to weigh on the crowd. It meant that listeners weren't in the here and now, where they might be fratty or selfish or mean spirited. They were deep in the been and gone. They weren't just listening to hits, or to sustained works of art, but to their own pasts. The exercise cooled them out. Saturday's audience was truly racially mixed, with a heavy representation of the 30-to-45 age bracket, grown-up New Yorkers at their casual and courteous best. Many of them high, but still. -[New York Times]

Rock The Bells 2011 took Governors Island by storm on 9/3, and according to reports, ran smoothly and generally on time. There was a barrage of classic LPs (Nas's Illmatic, Mobb Deep's The Infamous, Lauryn Hill's Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu's Baduizm, Black Moon's Enta Da Stage, GZA's Liquid Swords, Cypress Hill's Black Sunday, and others), and performances from some of independent hip hop's great up-and-comers. Though it was clearly elders day, younger crews like Slaughterhouse, Big K.R.I.T., Fashawn, Blu & Exile, Freddie Gibbs, Roc Marciano and others also had the ability to shine on the Paid Dues stage (DOOM, an elder statesman via his days in KMD, was scheduled to play the Paid Dues stage but cancelled his appearance).

In true hip hop fashion, guests abounded. Nas capped the day off with a performance of Illmatic, and he didn't hide the men/women behind the curtain of his first LP; MC Serch, DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Large Professor (of Main Source), Akinyele, Fatal, AZ and many others who either blessed the LP or were instrumental in his come-up all made appearances (yes, they performed the Main Source classic "Live at the BBQ" featuring Nas's first recorded appearance). Pras of The Fugees joined Lauryn Hill for "Ready of Not", Big Noyd joined Mobb Deep for "Give Up the Goods (Just Step)" and other tracks, and Black Moon brought a full band.

More pictures from the whole day, below...

Continue reading "pics from Rock the Bells 2011 @ Governors Island (Nas, Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, Raekwon, Ghostface, Mobb Deep, more)"

members of Brooklyn Philharmonic at the Seaport in 2010 (more by Chris La Putt)
Brooklyn Philharmonic

The 2011-2012 season for The Brooklyn Philharmonic has been announced and you can browse the full schedule below or at that site, but we'll highlight a bit.

Mos Def is presenting works at the Season Preview Concert I on October 8 and the Season Preview Concert II on October 12. Mos Def's work will then also be presented as part of the Bed-Stuy Series on June 9, 2012. All three of events are free.

Works by Sufjan Stevens will be presented at The Downtown Brooklyn Series on March 23 and 24. Tickets for that series are $20. Tickets for the public can be acquired by calling the Brooklyn Phil Box Office at 646-397-2765.

Throughout the season works will also be presented from a range of artists including Beethoven, Bernstein, Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Duke Ellington, Brahms, Scott Joplin, Tchaikovsky, and others.

Brooklyn Philharmonic are celebrating Alan Pierson's debut conducting the orchestra in partnership with Mark Morris Dance Group on Thursday (7/28 aka TONIGHT) at Celebrate Brooklyn in Prospect Park. Admission is free and doors are at 8 PM.

Sufjan also has upcoming Prospect Park shows.

Full 2011-2012 Brooklyn Phil schedule below...

Continue reading "Brooklyn Philharmonic 2011-2012 season announced (Mos Def, works by Sufjan Stevens, Alan Pierson & much more)"

Mos Def performing with Gorlliaz (more by Bao Nguyen)
Mos Def

Mos Def will headline the free ($3 suggested donation) Fort Greene Festival in Brooklyn on June 25th. Hosted by Rosie Perez and Toure, other artists on the bill are Res, Sophia Urista, Game Rebellion, PaperDoll, Navegante, and Lifted Crew. "The full day program, from 12:00 noon to 10:00 pm, is a mixture of musical performances, food, and shopping. The official entrance to the festival will be at the corner of DeKalb Avenue and Washington Park in the Fort Greene section of Central Brooklyn. The official after-party for the festival will take place at Sanders Studios." Flyer and more info below.

Mos Def will link back up with his Black Star compatriot Talib Kweli to play all of their LP at Rock The Bells 2011 alongside full album sets by Mobb Deep, Souls of Mischief, Erykah Badu, and others. Tickets are still on sale for the show on Governors Island.

Mos Def the ACTOR is keeping busy too, as he recently signed on for an appearance on Showtime's "Dexter."

Fort Greene Fest details below...

Continue reading "Mos Def headlines Fort Greene Festival Saturday"

by BBG

Havoc of Mobb Deep @ the kick-off in LA (more by Graeme Flegenheimer)
Havoc

In addition to initially announced Rock The Bells lineup (Nas playing Illmatic? Mobb Deep on The Infamous detail? wow), the festival has made some interesting additions like Erykah Badu performing all of Baduism (on select dates), Common performing all of Be (on select dates), Killah Priest performing all of Heavy Mental, Slaughterhouse, and DOOM. More lineup details are below.

The NYC show on 9/3 at Governor's Island gets the Erykah Badu appearance, and tickets are on presale, password is "ILLMATIC". General sale begins Saturday, 6/11, at 10:00 AM.

LA and San Francisco are on sale now, and the only other date, Boston, still doesn't even have a venue announced yet.

DOOM of course is not to be confused with the crust band who just played MDF and Chaos in Tejas.

In other Hip Hop festival news, Brooklyn Hip Hop Fest's lineup has expanded too adding MOP (!), Torae, Random Axe (Sean Price + Black Milk + Guilty Simpson), eLZhi, Marley Marl, Roli Rho (5th Platoon), Grand Wizzard Theodore and Twilite Tone. Tickets are on sale for all Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival events, including an after-party at Southpaw on July 16th which proclaims to have "special guests invited including the entire BHF '11 lineup".

Full Rock The Bells details, alongside some videos, below...

Continue reading "Rock the Bells expands lineup, NYC tix on presale now"

photos by Graeme Flegenheimer

Cypress Hill @ House of Blues - Sunset Strip - 5/24/2011
Rock the Bells

RTB

The line-up for the ROCK THE BELLS 2011 FESTIVAL SERIES--presented by Boost Mobile in association with GUERILLA UNION and powered by BlackBerry--will feature an array of seminal and up-and-coming hip-hop artists on three stages. Headliners include Ms. Lauryn Hill, Nas,Erykah Baduand Cypress Hill. See the current line-up below and look for more performers to be announced soon.

This year's festival will head to four major North American markets. Kicking off in the Los Angeles-area on August 20 at the San Manuel Amphitheater, ROCK THE BELLS will then head to San Francisco on August 27 at Shoreline Amphitheatre. The festival moves to the east coast for a show in New York on September 3 at Governor's Island (co-promoted with Bowery Presents, Highline, Mad Dog Presents) before wrapping in [a TBA venue in] Boston on September 10.

ROCK THE BELLS featured a number of headliners performing their most influential albums in their entirety for the first time in the history of hip-hop entertainment last summer. The tradition continues this year with Ms. Lauryn Hill performing her landmark, multi-platinum selling, multi-GRAMMY winning album The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill and Nas performing his breakthrough debut album Illmatic with special guests AZ, Pete Rock and DJ Premier. Nas says about performing Illmatic this summer, "For years people have been asking me to do Illmatic in so many ways, from stage plays to movies to books, but the time wasn't right. Where music is going now, the time is right. This will be my biggest production and it only makes sense to do it on the best rap tour which also happens to be a brand I've built and am a partner in. Can't wait to kill it with my comrades AZ, Premo & Pete Rock!"

Full album sets can also be expected from: Cypress Hill performing their 1993 multi-platinum album Black Sunday, featuring modern rock radio mainstay "Insane In The Membrane"; Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star performing their 1998 self-titled debut album; Raekwon & Ghostface teaming up for critically acclaimed, platinum selling Only Built 4 Cuban Linx and more.

"I am excited that this year's Rock The Bells will continue its rich history and tradition by presenting the best and most ambitious festival programming in Hip Hop," says festival co-founder and Guerilla Union head Chang Weisberg. "The bar has been set high and this year's line-up will certainly stake its claim. With ten of the biggest records in the history of the genre and the freshest new talent bubbling from the underground, this summer's Rock The Bells is another dream come true."

ROCK THE BELLS will feature three main stages this year. The two returning stages are the ROCK THE BELLS STAGE and the PAID DUES STAGE, which will feature independent hip-hop acts that performed at the Paid Dues Festival this past April in San Bernardino and new artists-on-the-rise. Paid Dues Festival creator Murs says, "I am excited that I once again have the privilege of hosting the Paid Dues Stage. We will have the honor of showcasing some of the best talent in independent hip hop as part of the worlds largest and longest running hip hop festival... the Paid Dues stage is gonna be the one to watch this year."

The 36 CHAMBERS STAGE is a new addition to the festival and will primarily feature members of the Wu-Tang Clan as well as artists selected by stage curator and Wu-Tang Clan mainstay RZA. A fourth stage that will also be added to most markets is the GRINDTIME NOW STAGE, which will feature battle-style performances.
The Guerilla Union pre-sale for the ROCK THE BELLS 2011 FESTIVAL SERIES will go from June 3 at 10am PST - 10pm PST. The general on-sale starts on June 4.

The lineup was announced last night at a show at House of Blues in LA. Mobb Deep, Souls of Mischief and Cypress Hill all played and pictures to prove it are in this post. More of them below.

The full lineup is also below...

Continue reading "Rock the Bells 2011 dates & lineups announced, Mobb Deep & Souls of Mischief & Cypress Hills played the kickoff (pics)"

Tickets are on general sale for the show Aloe Blacc is playing at Highline Ballroom on June 3rd.

Tickets are also still on sale for the show Mos Def is playing at Highline Ballroom on March 25th too, but Mos added two more NYC shows, and they're back at the more intimate Blue Note on March 9th (early and late).

Mos Def back stage with Odd Future (more by Brook Bobbins)
Mos Def

National Black Writers Conference (NBWC) is a biennial symposium dedicated to an exploration of "emerging themes, trends and issues in black literature." The event is hosted by The Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York (CUNY). Bestselling author Walter Mosley has hailed the Conference as "the most significant gathering of black writers in the country." -[Wiki]
Mos Def will throw his support behind the National Black Writers Conference (much like he has Odd Future lately). He plays a benefit at Highline Ballroom on March 26th with Gary Bartz and more TBA. Tickets are now on sale.

Earlier this month Mos Def played 2 shows at Blue Note & All The Way Live was there...

"Mos Def performed along side Robert Glasper on keys and DJ Preservation on turntables, MPC, and live samples. The show was only announced only 4 days prior to the concert, but still managed to sell out quickly. During the set, Mos hopped on the keys for a sec to perform the unreleased The Kids Look Fresh, then made his way over to the drum kit, where he remained most of the evening, drumming while rapping and singing. His loose set featured some laid back, alternative renditions of his classics as well as many jams heavily influenced by J Dilla."
Live recordings from that set are also posted at ATWL. A video from one of the shows, and other videos, below...

Continue reading "Mos Def played the Blue Note, playing Highline Ballroom"

photos and video by Brook Bobbins, words by BBG

Odd Future
Odd Future

Before Tyler, The Creator lost his shoe and played Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Odd Future headlined at Santos on 2/15 to a sold out crowd of bouncy fans. The packed house saw the LA crew take their Gravediggaz/early Def Jux/Fondle 'Em sound to the stage, the show floor, on top of monitors, and behind wigs as they kicked out joints like "Yonkers" and "Sandwitches".

Check out the full set of pictures (below) from Santos of the band on-stage and off right next to a set of the crew backstage at Jimmy Fallon (?uestlove and Mos Def alert).

In addition, below you'll find some videos including an incredible one of Odd Future watching their Fallon performance played back to them for the first time

UPDATE: Powers from above have asked us to remove any pictures and videos taken inside Fallon's place. Sorry!. The rest is still below though...

Continue reading "Odd Future on stage at Santos, backstage, in the crowd, at Fallon, WATCHING Fallon & more (pics & video)"

Mos Def on stage w/ Gorillaz @ MSG (more by Bao Nguyen)
Mos Def

Blue Note added some last minute shows happening in just a couple of days. Mos Def plays on February 8th at 9:00PM and 11:30PM, and his friend Talib Kweli plays as part of Idle Warship with Res on February 9th at 9:00PM and 11:30PM. Tickets are on sale for each show - just click the links. Tickets are also still on sale for the show Idle Warship is playing at Music Hall of Williamsburg on February 10th with Dead Prez.

Waka Flocka Flame, who is on the April 30th lineup of this year's Bamboozle Festival, can also be found at House of Blues Atlantic City on February 25th (tickets) and B.B. King Blues Club and Grill in NYC on 3/23 (on sale Tuesday at 3PM).

photos by Bao Nguyen

Gorillaz

"If anyone tells you the Gorillaz show at MSG on Friday was anything less than incredible, they're lying to you. Some bands you wish to see in their earlier stages, but now is the time to see Gorillaz. They have never been better, and there's no guarantee they can top this. This is their prime time, and the brilliance of their collaborative musical geniuses was amplified in concert. Not only did we see Damon Albarn in flesh - a personal idol - but he was accompanied by the incredible artists that were featured on Plastic Beach: Mos Def, Lou Reed, Bobby Womack, De La Soul, Little Dragon, members of The Clash, etc. Co-creator of Gorillaz, visual man Jamie Hewlett also peeped out from backstage to say hello - to whom Damon planted a big ol' kiss. The entire show was almost too epic to be true... You know when all your favorite superheroes get together and form a league? That is what this was. And this 'league' leader, frontman Damon Albarn, was clearly having the time of his life. He was constantly dancing, jumping around, running around the stage, hugging people - never keeping still unless he was playing the piano. Reminded us of his good old Blur days, sigh. They played almost all of their latest album and included old time favorites like "Clint Eastwood" and "Feel Good Inc."" [morningafterpills]
After launching their tour in Boston, Gorillaz and N.E.R.D. played the giant NYC room that is Madison Square Garden on Friday night (10/8). As the quote above points out, there were many special guests in the house, some of whom are on the whole tour and some who just stopped by for the New York show (like Jay-Z though he was just there to watch).

More pictures, some videos and the full show setlist, below...

Continue reading "Gorillaz played MSG w/ N.E.R.D., Lou Reed, Mos Def & many other special guests (pics & setlist) "

"Don't worry, we didn't think it could get crazier either, but it did! Our brother Mos Def will be headlining the AP Fest on June 27th, playing alongside 24-7 Spyz, J*DaVeY, The Cool Kids, Martin Luther and many more at Commodore Barry Park in Brooklyn, NY.The June 26th line-up is just as crazy, feat. Bad Brains, P.O.S., Ninjasonik, God Forbid, Cipher, Game Rebellion and more."

DOOM? (NOW Toronto)
DOOM

Hoping to curb the melodrama, Toronto promoters REMG offered Mos fans who didn't enter the Kool Haus refunds and sent patrons a message that they'd be checking Dumile's identification to ensure that the real DOOM would take the stage. How fucked up does all of this sound? Wait, it gets slightly more awesome...

...DOOM was scheduled to go on at 10 p.m. after an excellent selection of classic and new hip-hop joints by DJ duo, the Mixtape Massacre. Somewhere around ten, a camo-decked organizer informed the crowd that DOOM was at the airport and on his way to the Kool Haus after clearing customs and that he'd be onstage in 45 minutes. The crowd booed and shuffled off into different corners of the room.

An hour passed, another "It's actually DOOM and he's on his way" announcement was made, while an inordinate number of young thugs passed out or seized up on the ground, high on drugs, drink, and at least some restlessness. As the stage was peppered with beer cans and debris from an increasingly hostile, all-ages crowd, the DJs cleared the way, while Raekwon's Only Built for Cuban Linx... Part II blasted through the sound system. This might have been fine if the ignorant soundman wasn't playing it through a partially plugged-in iPod, creating some kind screeching, noise experiment of a record that further infuriated fans, particularly after he realized his mistake and jarringly plugged it in properly. Jesus Christ.

Some time around 12:15 a.m., a fake DOOM barged onstage to the sound of Madvillain's "Accordion," laughing through what was presumably a joke. Middle fingers and boos soon turned to cheers as another DOOM -- the real DOOM? -- followed behind and completed the song. After bantering with the suddenly forgiving crowd and playing older chestnuts and newer songs, DOOM seemed to have the show in control. Then a half hour in, a curious tech issue occurred, DJ Superstar Dave Dar left the stage, DOOM soon followed and everything ground to a halt -- except for many members of the audience who left the show. [Exclaim]

Tonight's DOOM / Mos Def show scheduled to take place at Nokia Theatre in NYC was cancelled (maybe DOOM just knew it was going to snow).

MF Doom

"The MOS DEF / DOOM show scheduled for this Friday, February 26, 2010 has been cancelled. Refunds are available at point of purchase. We apologize for any inconveniences this may have caused."
That's the official cancellation notice of the Nokia Theatre DOOM show which was already cancelled once, and which may or may not have been DOOM anyway.

"Then, Doom's crew pulls up 15 people deep. Everybody comes out of the car except for Doom" - Harry Knuckles

Is or isn't it DOOM in Chicago (by Dakota Blue Harper via Stop Being Famous)
Doom

The three-date Mos Def/DOOM tour, coming to NYC's Nokia Theatre Times Square on Friday, February 26th, has already been rescheduled. With its new dates, the first show happened February 13th at Chicago's Congress Theater. Now it's being speculated that DOOM, as in the past, sent a stand-in to perform his super-short lip-synced headlining set. The venue and promoters have responded to the claim that it was a fake DOOM.

There are rumors floating around that this past Saturday's DOOM show was performed by a person who was not DOOM. The promoters of the show: React, Cold Grums, Silver Wrapper and the Congress Theater understand the rumors and are NOT ignoring the issue.

At the current time, React, Cold Grums, Silver Wrapper and the Congress Theater DO NOT have any proof that the person who performed was not Daniel Dumile, a.k.a. Doom. The show was legally contracted and paid for in full. The show was officially listed on Doom's website. React, Cold Grums and Silver Wrapper are all independent promoters who pour their lives into our shows.

Circumstances beyond the promoter's and venue's control prevented the artists from arriving on time, and the promoters elected to keep the venue open late so that the show could go on.

React, Cold Grums, Silver Wrapper and the Congress Theater are conducting an investigation with the Talent Agency, Management and Legal representatives for Doom. Because the show was legally contracted and paid for in full, any breach of contract could result in serious legal action. Doom's representatives are also preparing a statement.

Regardless of any of opinions, compelling proof of the matter is needed to take legal action on it. Until the investigation reaches conclusion, and proof is in hand, the promoters will not issue any refunds. At the current time, it is a rumor. This issue is being treated with the utmost respect and consideration.

React, Cold Grums, Silver Wrapper and the Congress Theater will release a statement clarifying the results in the near future. [Chicago Now]

What that means for the show this Friday is anybody's guess. Tickets are still on sale if you want to find out in person.

Promoter Harry Knuckles from Cold Grums, who was aware of DOOM's spotty record beforehand, describes the situation from his point of view, below. Mos Def (who may or may not have been drinking a Rolling Rock at Under 100) (via) did manage to put in what looks like a solid performance (including a masked cover of DOOM's "Accordian"). And on top of that, DOOM has added more European dates to his schedule for this March. The statement, videos and tour dates are below...

Continue reading "Did DOOM actually play in Chicago? Will he play NYC with Mos Def? Was Mos Def drinking a Rolling Rock @ Under 100?"

DOOM

The DOOM/Mos Def show that was to happen this Saturday (1/30) at Nokia Theatre Times Square has been rescheduled with the pair's two other dates. While abrupt, at least NYC got more notice than Toronto, whose show was tonight. As the Chicago venue writes, "a scheduling conflict resulting from miscommunication between artists' management would make it impossible for Mos Def to make any of his three MOSDOOM dates which include Toronto, New York and Chicago."

The new date for their NYC show at Nokia Theatre is Friday, February 26th. Tickets are on sale - tickets for the old date can be refunded or used for the new show.

This isn't the first time an MF DOOM show has been canceled (or just blown off entirely), though the official story seems to point the blame elsewhere. This is also not the first time (in the past month) that Mos Def rescheduled a NYC show, though he managed to make the impromptu Tribe Called Quest reunion at Knitting Factory on 1/20.

DOOM's Gazzillion Ear 12" came out earlier this month through Lex Records and featured remixes by Thom Yorke and Dave Sitek. A preview video for that and all tour dates (including DOOM in London this March) are below...

Continue reading "DOOM & Mos Def shows rescheduled ---- remix 12" out now "

words & photos by Benjamin Lozovsky

The Heavy Sound Presents Jay Electronica, Talib Kweli, and more (Diabetes Awareness Concert)

The old Knitting Factory used to be a bastion for independent hip hop in New York City. The new incarnation just took a big step at continuing that legacy, as it hosted one of the most historic hip hop concerts in recent memory.

On Wednesday night (1/20), An astounding array of legends and rising stars rocked the stage to honor everyone's favorite five-footer, Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest. The event, Mind Body Soul, was a benefit to raise awareness for diabetes (Phife just received a kidney transplant related to his trials with the disease). And while diabetes was often on the mind and tongues of the performers, the show was really more of a demonstration of the persisting camaraderie and mutual adoration within a genre too often beleaguered with battles and conflict.

After quick opening sets by Hook, Jasmine Solano, Scotch Davis, and Monica Rush, the venue went from a displaced chill to full on engagement as Talib Kweli lead off the roster of A-listers. Having just arrived at the venue and already sent out to perform, Kweli showed his undying humility and his utmost flexibility though microphone heroics on a short notice set. Greg Nice (of obscure but beloved group Nice and Smooth) then burst out with a virulent spirit, with the mohawked, larger-than-life OG launching himself straight into the audience to parlay with the youngsters up front.

Jeru Tha Damaja was glib and full of grimy charm; he laid down classic tracks and told stories from the tombs of Brooklyn Hip Hop lore. A soft-spoken Dres (from Black Sheep) smoothly enticed with new material to go with that little ditty about train derailment you might have heard.

Compared to the illustrious resumes of many performers preceding and following him, up-and-comer Jay Electronica might have felt a bit overwhelmed. But Jay's heartfelt thanks to his peers was the most touching moment of the night, and his outrageous performance - with help from Mos Def, Hi Tek, and Kweli (all of whom recently cancelled performances at Highline Ballroom) - resonated with the youthful segments of the crowd and proved his position as the brightest star on the hip hop horizon.

Jay might have been the showstopper if he wasn't followed by hip hop ambassador (and its greatest living performer) KRS-One. Accompanied by hype man BusyBee (of the original Zulu Nation crew), KRS got metaphysical with beyond-cerebral freestyles. But still being the most humble braggadocio around, he bumped out covers of Biggie and Tribe to continue the showing of utmost respect and brotherhood that categorized the night.

There were some awkward and antagonizing moments throughout: posse upon posse swelling to the width of the stage and getting shooed away numerous times by Heavy Sound (the presenter) organizers, strange interactions between host Michael Rapaport and house turntablist DJ D-Lyfe, not to mention an off-performance by a sheepish Mr. Cheeks (of The Lost Boyz).

But it wouldn't really be a memorable hip hop conglomeration if it wasn't just the slightest bit disorganized or sporadically contentious. Even without a single piece of original vinyl brandished throughout the laptop-swapping spree behind the DJ table, the event still felt like a storied Bronx block party or an impromptu Brooklyn corner concert or a Queens Native Tongue poetry slam.

As Consequence dragged Phife on stage, followed by Ali Shaheed Muhameed and then Q-Tip to perform the final set of the night as a united Quest, on display was a vivid demonstration of the greatest hope for the future of hip hop: its ability to nurture its own existence through such reciprocal love. It might take a village to raise a child, but on this night, it only took one Tribe to raise up hip hop.

Ghostface was on the bill, but didn't show. More pictures from the night below...

Continue reading "A Tribe Called Quest got together (w/ help from Talib Kweli, Mos Def, Hi-Tek & more) @ Knitting Factory in NYC - pics "

by Benjamin Lozovsky

Reunion

Former Blackstar bandmates and continuing collaborators Talib Kweli and Mos Def are keeping up the busy pace they each set in 2009 with even more tour dates and releases to come in the new year.

After performing a spattering of shows with long-time producer Hi-Tek as a reunited Reflection Eternal last year, the much beloved pair is coming back to the New York area with a late show at Highline Ballroom on Friday, January 22nd (tickets are on sale). This date comes in the support of The Re:Union Mixtape, the fantastic new free compilation of fresh and unreleased Reflection Eternal cuts (with some classic Kweli and Hi-Tek jams throw in as well) mixed, mastered, and co-produced by Statik Selektah. If the new tracks are any indication, Kweli and Hi-Tek are poised to make a splashing return to form on their upcoming full-length LP Revolutions Per Minute, which has a tentative release date of March 2010.

Before that gig, Talib has two more scheduled local appearances. The first is this Sunday, January 17th, when he'll perform at Pyramid for an End Of The Weak party with special guest Webbafied.

The second, and definitely more eye-popping event is Mind Body Soul: A Concert Event To Raise Awareness For Diabetes. Organized by Heavy Sound and taking place at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn on Wednesday, January 20th, the benefit concert will feature hosts Michael Rapaport, Okayplayer (perhaps ?uestlove), and Phife Dawg, and performances by Kweli, Ghostface Killah, Jay Electronica (whom Talib just collaborated with for killer Re:Union track 'Just Begun'), and Consequence. Tribe Called Quest member Phife, a long-time diabetic, was first diagnosed with the disease back in 1990, and is making his first appearance in the public spotlight after recently receiving a much needed kidney transplant. Other performers are promised as well (an earlier flyer for the event had Blakroc listed, although that has now vanished from the more updated version...let's hope they might be one of the special guests). Email RSVP@heavysounds.com to get in for free before 11:00pm.

Meanwhile, Mos Def will be back to perform tracks from his Grammy-nominated album The Ecstatic this Sunday, January 17th, at The Highline Ballroom. The show is a rescheduled appearance from December 20th of last year, which was canceled due to weather ($45 tickets). Later in the month, the Mighty Mos performs two more times. First it's at the Apollo Theater for IMAN Presents: Special Edition of Community Café, on Saturday, January 23rd. He'll be there along side Daily Show correspondent and comedian Aasif Mandvi as well as other guests ($20 tickets). Then you can catch Mos when he opens for DOOM at Nokia Theatre on January 30th ($40 tickets)

Event flyers below:

Continue reading "Reflection Eternal mixtape & a show (on sale) + Talib Kweli, Mos Def, Ghostface and even a Phife Dawg appearance too"

Raekwon @ Irving Plaza (SANCHO PANZAA)
Raekwon

Backed only by DJ Symphony on turntables and Raekwon's brother Don P on vocals, the set could have used the energy of the other rappers who invade the album. Raekwon's set ran to 90 minutes, but it felt here and gone. It included the appearance of a huge cake in the shape of a purple cassette -- the original "Cuban Linx" album, from 1995, is commonly called the Purple Tape -- and an assortment of friends and business associates, either texting or appearing to smoke weed onstage. Two notable things happened, neither musical.

The songs came fast, one after another, without stagecraft or pacing. The set went back to early tracks by his old collective, the Wu-Tang Clan, touched on "Cuban Linx" Part 1 and settled in for stretches of the new album, including the scabrous, seedy "Gihad" and the imagistic, violent "Surgical Gloves."

There weren't as many Wu-Tang Clan cameos as might have been expected, aside from Cappadonna, who rapped verses on "Ice Cream." But halfway through, another member of the extended Wu family appeared: Cherry Jones, the mother of the Wu-Tang rapper Ol' Dirty Bastard, who died in 2004. She and Raekwon hugged, without speaking, for nearly a minute. Raekwon praised Dirty and his mother and then performed "Ason Jones," a tribute to Dirty on the new CD, with some emotional difficulty, his movements creaky, as if he needed oil. (He stopped the song at one point, shaking his head in sorrow, swearing and then collecting himself.)

Near the end -- after the duo Capone-N-Noreaga briefly hijacked the set -- Busta Rhymes, a longtime Raekwon booster, came onstage to congratulate his friend. Busta Rhymes likes to talk. Ten minutes later he was still there, praising Raekwon's rhymes and metaphors. Raekwon slumped against the opposite wall, looking humble, grateful and worn out. [NY Times]

That review come from Raekwon's show at Irving Plaza on Wednesday (12/16)

Mos Def was supposed to play Highline Ballroom last night (12/20), but the show was cancelled due to the weather and rescheduled for January 17th. Tickets are on sale.

Speaking of Highline Ballroom, Clipse has been added an opener for for the previously-mentioned Jadakiss and Melanie Fiona show happening at the venue on Tuesday (12/22) ("Concert starts @ 10PM"). Tickets are on sale.

Also Tuesday (12/22), is a show at Southpaw in Brooklyn:

Masta Ace & Edo. G "A&E" Album Release Party
**SPECIAL SURPRISE GUEST!!** / Sadat X / Jean Grae / Doitall (Lords of the Underground) / Torae w/ DJ E. Holla / Sha Stimuli
doors 8PM DOORS / 9PM SHOW 21+ with ID
$12 advance / $15 day of show
Tickets are on sale.

Wednesday (12/23) is the previously mentioned (and again) Method Man / Ghostface / EPMD Hip Hop Legends show. Tickets are still on sale.

A video from Raekwon's show (including the CNN appearance) below...

Continue reading "Raekwon played Irving Plaza (video), Mos Def didn't play Highline (rescheduled) ++ Clipse & other upcoming shows"

Animal Collective @ ATP NY (more by Ryan Muir)
Animal Collective

So how the hell did Merriweather Post Pavilion-- an album closer in spirit to the sub-aquatic psychedelia of 2005's Feels and Panda Bear's 2007 solo Person Pitch than its predecessor-- wind up in the Billboard Top 20 and outsell both the Arctic Monkeys and Franz Ferdinand's most recent albums in North America? That mystery is ultimately the most wonderful thing about the album. Unlike so many indie-rock crossover artists before them, Animal Collective did not breach the mainstream by cleaning up their act, or adopting classic-rock conventions, or scoring a strategic soundtrack or iPod-commercial placement. And, above all, they did little to formalize their defining mercurial quality. [Pitchfork]
Pitchfork posted their Top 50 Albums of 2009.

Pitchfork also listed their Top 100 Tracks of 2009, and the Top Albums of the Decade.

Animal Collective is DJing the Museum of Natural History in January.

photos by Erez Avissar

The Cool Kids

"Damon "Dame" Dash co-founded Roc-a-Fella Records, helped launch the career of Jay-Z and discovered Kanye West. He's produced or executive-produced about a dozen films, including the well-received 2002 urban flick "Paid in Full" and the 2004 movie "The Woodsman," starring Kevin Bacon. And he started lucrative apparel lines like Rocawear and Rachel Roy, of which he is still part owner with his wife, the company's namesake.

But the 37-year-old Dash still says he gets snubbed by the music industry. Media reports last year about his alleged financial difficulties and legal problems probably didn't help. "My mistake was watching everyone else's careers and not watching mine,'' he says.

More important was his acrimonious split a few years ago with his old friend and business partner Jay-Z. "It was like, either you are on his side or on mine," he says. "And because of all that, there's resistance on every level with me and the shit just bugs me out." [Billboard]

New venue Under 100 (located in the basement of the Tribeca building where Damon Dash's office is located) is quickly becoming famous, after just two shows. The first, in November, featured sets by Sleigh Bells, Javelin & Knyfe Hyts 81 with help from Mos Def, Curren$y, and others. The second, just two nights ago (12/8), was rumored to include a performance by Blakroc (featuring Mos Def) who were on Letterman that same night. That didn't happen, but The Cool Kids, The London Souls, Curren$y (again), and some others did play. Mos Def and Damon Dash (again) were just hanging out. The third show is....

TONIGHT (12/10):

RSVP @ Lessartistsmorecondos@gmail.com
-- DARLINGS /// THESE ARE POWERS --
$ 7 bucks
09:00 pm Doors
09:30 pm DARLINGS
10:30 pm THESE ARE POWERS
More pictures from the last event, below...

Continue reading "The Cool Kids, London Souls, Curren$y & friends (but not Blakroc) played Under 100 (pics) ++ a show there tonight"

by BBG

Dan Auerbach, Jim Jones, Mos Def, Patrick Carney, and Damon Dash
Blackroc

Just in time for the holidays and to remind the hip hop listmakers that The Ecstatic was/is the truth, the two-time Grammy nominated Mos Def has scheduled a show on 12/20 at Highline Ballroom. Tickets, though not cheap, are on sale.

Mos Def was also recently announced as a contributor to the new Gorillaz record, along with a host of notables

The third Gorillaz album will feature one newly announced GPS voice, two iconic frontmen of the '60s and '70s, and more, lending to a contributing line-up as eclectic as the one heard on 2005's Demon Days.
The GPS voice, Snoop Dogg, plus Lou Reed of The Velvet Underground and Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees, will be heard alongside Mos Def, Bobby Womack, The Horrors and the Syrian National Symphony Orchestra in Plastic Beach, out 2010.
Mos Def is also part of another notable crew, Blakroc, a project featuring The Black Keys as a backing band for a crew of killer MCs!
The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney have wanted to make a hip-hop album since they were teenagers....
"All the blues music I liked was super simple and stripped down. All the hip-hop I liked was super simple and stripped down," says Auerbach. "We always heard that connection."
The Black Keys' first demo reflected their hip-hop tastes. It featured drum loops and samples, which their first record label later told them to scrap. Years later, following recent praise for their minimalist, bluesy jams, The Black Keys have finally recorded a hip-hop album. Their collaborative ensemble is called BlakRoc.
"What makes this special is the guys' sensibility of hip-hop," [Pharoahe Monch] says. "The drum loop-like timing and patterns make a groove that is easy to rhyme to and to write over."-[NPR]
The self-titled, Damon Dash-presented BlakRoc LP is out now and also features Q-Tip, ODB, RZA, Raekwon, and Jim Jones among others.

Raekwon
is on tour now and also has a NYC show coming up.

The Capo Jim Jones and Mos Def, along with the Black Keys, (BlakRoc) played Letterman last night (12/8) - the same night that Jawbox was burnin' Fallon to the ground. It was also rumored that the group might play a secret show at new venue Under 100 (in the basement of Damon Dash's building) later that night, but though Mos Def was there hanging out (again), he and the group didn't actually play (pictures from that event coming later).

Dig on the live Blakroc video from Letterman, the official video for the same song, as well as more videos from Mos, below...

Continue reading "Mos Def on new Gorillaz album, playing Highline, in Blakroc w/ Black Keys & Jim Jones (video from Letterman last night) "

QQ

The December issue of Q Magazine is an 'Artists Of The Century' special edition, covering all of the acts that the fine staff of the good ship Q feel are the most important of the century so far. As befitting a special edition of the UK best selling music monthly requires a special cover was commissioned world renowned photographer John Wright has spent over a year shooting 34 artists to fit on triple fold out cover.

The issue is packed to the gills with pieces written by Russell Brand on Noel Gallagher, Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis on Coldplay and Queens Of The Stone Age frontman Josh Homme on The Arctic Monkeys. In addition it also includes exclusive interviews and photos from the likes of Amy Winehouse, Dizzee Rascal, U2, Dave Grohl, Lily Allen, Rihanna, Sir Paul McCartney, Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, Brandon Flowers from The Killers, Elbow's Guy Garvey, Pink, Muse's Matt Bellamy, Murdoc from Gorillaz, The Kings Of Leon, Mark Ronson, Mika, Nick Cave, Robert Plant, Florence Welch, Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol and Tom Chaplin of Keane.

What do you get when you throw Pitchfork's favorite albums in a blender with NME's? Q's favorite albums of 2009 are (questionable & very UK-centric and) listed below..

Continue reading "Q Magazine's Top Albums of 2009 "

Dirty Projectors & Roots @ Bowery Ballroom (more)
Dirty roots

The collaboration continues. It all started when the Dirty Projectors appeared on Fallon and impressed the Roots who then showed up to play some songs with the band at Bowery Ballroom last week. Now, Amber and Haley (no Angel) from the Dirty Projectors helped the Roots (who were on a float with Fallon in the Thanksgiving Day Parade today) fill out the backing band for Mos Def (his song) and Talib Kweli on Fallon last night (11/25). Video below...

Continue reading "Dirty Projector girls played w/ Mos Def & Talib Kweli & The Roots on Fallon (video)"

Screaming Females @ Above the Auto Parts Store in October (more by Leia Jospe)
Screaming Females
Screaming Females

tonight in NYC
* Louis CK @ Caroline's
* Robin Williams @ Town Hall
* Bebel Gilberto @ Hiro Ballroom
* Pixies @ Hammerstein Ballroom (late show)
* Sherlock's Daughter, Marit Bergman @ Pianos
* Pixies, Rain Machine @ Hammerstein Ballroom
* Darcy James Argue's Secret Society @ Iridium
* Julian Plenti (Paul Banks), I'm In You @ Brooklyn Bowl
* Strangers Family Band, Lord Jeff, MV & EE @ Glasslands
* Sonic Youth, Jemina Pearl @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
* Gordon Voidwell, BILLLL$, Das Racist @ Public Assembly
* Meat Puppets, Earl Greyhound, Kirkwood Dellinger @ Bowery Ballroom
* Screaming Females, The So So Glos, Bad Blood Revival @ The Bell House
* Holmes, The Black Hollies, Bryan Scary & The Shredding Tears @ Maxwell's
* Nicole Atkins & The Sea, River City Extension, Atlantic Atlantic @ Stone Pony

Supervegan has a list of places to eat vegan Thanksgiving meals in NYC.

Sonic Youth, Meat Puppets, and Pixies (twice) all play tonight.

The Pixies performed on Fallon last night. Mos Def and Talib Kweli (not billed as Black Star) are performing on Jimmy Fallon tonight. Elvis Costello was on recently and played with the house band (aka The Roots). Video from that below.

Talib Kweli plays Southpaw on Saturday night.

Mos Def recently showed up and performed at a Knyfe Hyts / Javelin show.

The Roots recently performed with Dirty Projectors at Bowery Ballroom.

The Bell House hosts Screaming Females, The So So Glos and Bad Blood Revival. Screaming Females play Terminal 5 with Arctic Monkeys for two nights in December.

Julian Plenti (Paul Banks) and I'm In You play Brooklyn Bowl. Last night they appeared at Bowery Ballroom (and yes, they did cover the Pixies).

A new video from Polvo, "Right The Relation" off their new record, is posted below.

What else?

Continue reading "What's going on Wednesday? (Thanksgiving-eve) "