Entries tagged with: Thundercat

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photo: P-Funk at The Paramount in July (more by Greg Cristman)

The legendary George Clinton & Parliament-Funkadelic are about to begin a new tour this Friday (10/2), with dates extending through early December. The tour includes a NYC show on November 24 at BB King's (tickets) and it will also be nearby for a NJ show on December 5 at Starland Ballroom with Garden State Line, Midnight Mosaic and Underground Logic (tickets). All dates are listed below.

As you may know, George Clinton contributed to the debut single by WOKE, the new supergroup started by Flying Lotus, Thundercat and Shabazz Palaces. FlyLo recently talked to Pitchfork about George's involvement:

Pitchfork: Does that mean you don't have any plans to release an album?
FL: There's nothing set in stone. We have a bunch of ideas. There's about like nine songs kind of floating around. There's more stuff with George [Clinton], too. We've done a lot of recording over this year. I want to make sure that all the stuff that we do is in the same room together. I'm not trying to do e-mail shit; I really want it to be organic and a true collaboration.

Pitchfork: How did you involve George Clinton in the project?
FL: George--he kind of naturally started floating around too, man. He and I had been in touch earlier this year, and he joined me at Glastonbury. When he comes out to Los Angeles, he comes to the studio and we lay out some ideas. He happened to be around when we were working on the song, so it was perfect that it worked out that way. George is amazing. He's so sharp and he's got so many ideas still. It's such a crazy thing witnessing him and his process.

Flying Lotus also recently released a trailer for the short film FUCKKKYOUUU, which he scored and Eddie Alcazar directed. The film premiered earlier this year at Sundance's NEXT Fest. You can watch that trailer below.

Continue reading "Parliament-Funkadelic touring; Flying Lotus talks George Clinton collaboration, releases 'FUCKKKYOUUU' trailer"

by Andrew Sacher

Flying Lotus WOKE

Flying Lotus is no stranger to Shabazz Palaces and of course no stranger to frequent collaborator Thundercat, but it's exciting to learn that all three artists have teamed up for a supergroup of sorts called WOKE. All of them are known to push genres boundaries, and their first song features another boundary-pusher who surely influenced all three of them (and who FlyLo and Thundercat collaborated with on "Wesley's Theory" off the new Kendrick Lamar album), George Clinton. The song, called "The Lavishments Of Light Looking," is as awesome as you'd expect it to be. Listen below and download it for free from Adult Swim.

Continue reading "Flying Lotus, Thundercat & Shabazz Palaces team up as WOKE, release song featuring George Clinton (listen)"

photo: Chance the Rapper at Pitchfork 2015 (more by James Richards IV)
Chance the Rapper

The FADER and vitaminwater have been doing their series of #uncapped shows for five years now, and they're celebrating that anniversary with a week of shows in NYC. It goes from September 29 to October 3 and they've got some pretty cool stuff lined up: Fetty Wap (whose debut album is here) is playing with former child-star JoJo (you remember) who's currently trying to reinvent herself by working with Drake's producer. They've got a couple fresh faces of R&B playing, including Alessia Cara and Kehlani, the latter of which is playing with bass wiz Thundercat. There's also pop duo Matt and Kim, new father Chance the Rapper (who also has two Terminal 5 shows coming up) who's playing with Will Smith's daughter/SZA collaborator Willow Smith, and more.

RSVP is open (no venues announced yet). Full lineup below...

Continue reading "FADER + vitaminwater hosting a week of NYC shows (Chance the Rapper, Fetty Wap, Alessia Cara, Kehlani, JoJo & more)"

Kamasi Washington @ Blue Note (photo by Ryan Fitch)
Kamasi Washington

For his New York debut as a bandleader, Washington brought along some of the friends. "I met Terrace when I was 13," Washington told the crowd when introducing Terrace Martin, alto saxophonist and heavyweight hip-hop producer for the likes of Snoop Dogg, "and he was bad way back then." Martin brought the bandleader on board for Kendrick Lamar's similarly epic album To Pimp A Butterfly, where he worked alongside fellow hometown hero bassist Stephen "Thundercat" Bruner - who also joined the band at the Blue Note.

Opening with Askim, the band laid down grooves so deep they threatened to run through the stage. "The rhythm is thick up in here," Washington said, alluding to the two drum sets and two bassists (one upright, one electric) onstage who seamlessly took the song through everything from a retro-sounding shuffle, to a modified reggae beat, to one that was almost samba-like. The crowd were moving in their seats, naturally.

...aesthetically the sound was a hearty mix of soul jazz and contemporary composition, the group's welcoming attitude was a tribute to jazz's occasionally messy, brash and party-ready beginnings. A wah-wah pedal for a bowed upright bass solo? An onstage drum-off? It all fits with Washington at the helm. [The Guardian]

Jazz musician Kamasi Washington just wrapped up a two-night, four-show stand at the Blue Note in NYC on his ongoing tour. He had a massive band, including frequent collaborator Thundercat, as The Guardian's review quoted above points out. You can read the rest of that here and check out more some pictures below.

We recently mentioned his tour would have him back in NYC for CMJ show on October 15 at BRIC House (tickets), and he since added another NYC show. This one's at Le Poisson Rouge (10/16) the following day. Tickets are on sale now. Updated dates are listed below.

Continue reading "Kamasi Washington played two nights at the Blue Note (with Thundercat & more), adds another NYC date"


The lineup for Brooklyn's 2015 Afropunk Festival was already pretty great, and now it got even better. Death Grips, Gary Clark Jr., Kelela, Jessie Boykins III, SZA, Candiria and more were added to the festival, which already included Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Kelis, Danny Brown, Suicidal Tendencies, Kele, Thundercat and more.

This year also marks the first Afropunk Fancy Dress Ball, hosted by Grace Jones, Cakes Da Killa and MikeQ, proceeds from which will go toward the Afropunk Global Initiative. The party goes down August 21 at Commodore Barry Park, just ahead of the festival, which happens August 22-23 in the same park. Tickets for the ball are on sale now, and festival passes are still available.

Afropunk also continues to branch out. They did an Afropunk Paris festival this past May, and will do so again in June 2016, and they're also putting on the inaugural Afropunk Atlanta on October 3 & 4 in the city's Central Park. The lineup for that includes D'Angelo and the Vanguard, Flying Lotus, Santigold, Death Grips, Tyler the Creator, Public Enemy and more. Tickets go on sale Wednesday (7/8).

Speaking of Death Grips, they play NYC twice this week (supposedly, at least).

Full Afropunk Atlanta lineup and updated Brooklyn lineup, below...

Continue reading "Afropunk adds Death Grips, Gary Clark Jr, Kelela, Candiria and more to NYC lineup, announces Atlanta festival"

photo: Thundercat in Philly in 2014 (more by Ryan Muir)

Thundercat (aka Stephen Bruner) will follow 2013's Apocalypse with a new mini-album, The Beyond / Where the Giants Roam. Flying Lotus co-produced half of it and is releasing it on his Brainfeeder label this Monday (6/22). One of those tracks with FlyLo is the first single, the funky "Them Changes," which features jazz musician Kamasi Washington whose own new album Thundercat contributed to. The album also features contributions from Herbie Hancock and Miguel Atwood-Ferguson. Artwork, tracklist, and a stream of the first single, below.

Thundercat has a few dates coming up as well, including Brooklyn's Afropunk Festival, which happens August 22-23 in Commodore Barry Park with Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Kelis, Danny Brown, Suicidal Tenencies, Kele, and more. Tickets are still available.

All of his dates are listed below...

Continue reading "Thundercat releasing a new mini-album on Monday, shares first single ft. Kamasi Washington & Flying Lotus (listen)"


The annual Afropunk Festival returns to NYC in 2015 from August 22-23 in Brooklyn's Commodore Barry Park. The lineup includes Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Kelis, Danny Brown, Suicidal Tendencies, Kele, Thundercat, Cakes Da Killa, Goldlink, Raury, Petite Noir, Curtis Harding, Kaytranada and more. Full lineup below. The fest is also throwing the first annual Afropunk Fancy Dress Ball the day before the fest (8/21) in Commodore Barry Park to raise funds for their Afropunk Global Initiative. Grace Jones, Cakes Da Killa and MikeQ with Special Guest will perform at that.

The fest used to be free, but this year you have to buy a ticket to get in. And they're also introducing a more affordable earned ticket program, which "will work closely with partners to provide low barrier volunteer activities and projects for youth to complete in exchange for a ticket to the festival. The volunteer program will create awareness for organizations in need, provide access to an engaged pool of valuable resources and help deliver a sustainable impact to communities. Sample projects include landscaping (beautification, painting), packing supplies (meal prep, serving) and advocacy via social promotion." Tickets go on sale Wednesday (6/3).

UPDATE: As a commenter points out, you can get tickets on presale now using the password = 2015.

There's also a TBA Afropunk Fest in Atlanta's Central Park happening this year on October 3 and 4.

Full Afropunk Brooklyn lineup below...

Continue reading "Afropunk 2015 Brooklyn lineup (Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Kelis, Danny Brown, Suicidal Tendencies, more)"

Kamasi Washington

Jazz saxophonist/composer Kamasi Washington has been at it for over a decade -- early works include Young Jazz Giants, his quartet with Stephen Bruner aka Thundercat and others, who released a self-titled album in 2004 -- but he's been in the spotlight recently thanks to his contributions to Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp A Butterfly and his debut album as a bandleader, The Epic, which came out earlier this month on Flying Lotus' label Brainfeeder. (Thundercat appears on this too.) Pitchfork gave the album Best New Music and wrote:

It's something of a gobsmacking paradox to discover what a hip-hop-free zone The Epic is, and how enamored of jazz's past it turns out to be. This triple-album set is an extravagant love letter to (among other things): soul jazz, John Coltrane (various periods), and 1970s fusion leaders like Miles Davis and Weather Report. The Epic's Disc 1 opener, "Change of the Guard", might as well be titled "We Love All Kinds of 'Trane". Its ringing opening piano chords sound almost entirely lifted from the playbook of McCoy Tyner, the pianist in Coltrane's so-called "Classic Quartet." (That's the group responsible for A Love Supreme.) The opening theme in the saxes is something that could only have been written after "Impressions". And the harmonious writing for Washington's string section recalls posthumous Coltrane releases like Infinity--tracks from which featured orchestral overdubs supervised by Alice Coltrane (who is, as you may have read, Flying Lotus's aunt).
He performed the album live at the Regent Theater in LA the day before it came out, and tonight (5/27) at 9 PM EST, NPR will broadcast it for all to hear. HIs band at that show included Thundercat once again, arranger Miguel Atwood-Ferguson leading the orchestra and choir, and many more (LA Times has a good review). His only two upcoming dates at the moment are in LA and DC, but let's hope he makes it to NYC soon too.

Stream a track from the album and browse his tour schedule below...

Continue reading "Kamasi Washington released 'The Epic' on Brainfeeder; NPR streaming its release show tonight (ft. Thundercat & more)"


Earlier this month, Kendrick Lamar took us by surprise when he revealed that his highly-anticipated followup to good kid, m.A.A.d city would be out in less than three weeks (3/23), but it turns out he's surprised us once again: It's out now!

The album's called To Pimp A Butterfly and it features contributions from George Clinton, Thundercat, Snoop Dogg, Ronald Isley, Bilal, James Fauntleroy, Rapsody and Anna Wise, with production from Flying Lotus, Pharrell Williams, Boi-1da and more. "Hood Politics" samples Sufjan Stevens' "All For Myself" and "How Much A Dollar Cost" appears to be sampling Radiohead's "Pyramid Song." That's the artwork above.

Download yours on iTunes, and stream it via Spotify below...

Continue reading "Kendrick Lamar's new album 'To Pimp A Butterfly' is out NOW"

photos by Tim Griffin


Austin's Fun Fun Fun Fest wrapped up this past weekend with a variety of killer music across punk, metal, hip hop, indie, electronic and plenty of the in-between, plus comedy, wrestling, BMX competitions and more. The lineup spanned legends like Judas Priest, Gorilla Biscuits and Nas through great newer artists like Angel Olsen, Deafheaven and Courtney Barnett. We've already written plenty about it -- check out our reviews of day 1, day 2 and day 3 -- as well as posted pictures of Judas Priest, Gorilla Biscuits and Mineral.

Now we've got pics of the whole three days on BV Austin. Check out day 1 HERE, day 2 HERE and day 3 HERE.

photos by Greg Cristman

Flying Lotus / Thundercat @ T5 - 10/15/14
Flying Lotus
Flying Lotus

Flying Lotus brought his tour in support of his jazzy new LP You're Dead to Terminal 5 last night (10/15) for his first of two NYC shows here this week. It was packed, the visuals were stunning, the sound was extremely loud, and you could feel the bass physically shaking you. Anybody in the front last night must still be vibrating and have ringing ears.

FlyLo's tourmate/collaborator Thundercat opened with his maniacal bass playing and sweet vocals. There was also a surprise opening set from comedian Hannibal Buress (who will help celebrate Knitting Factory's 5th year in Brooklyn soon), and DJ Peabody kept the crowd warmed up between sets. Pictures of the whole show are in this post.

FlyLo and Thundercat hit MHOW tonight (10/16), which is sold out. Will they have another surprise guest tonight?

More pictures from T5 below...

Continue reading "Flying Lotus played Terminal 5 w/ Thundercat and Hannibal Buress (pics), playing MHOW tonight"


Flying Lotus has a previously discussed tour with his collaborator/bass wizard Thundercat coming up which includes a NYC show happening October 15 at Terminal 5. Tickets for that show are still available, and they've also now added a second NYC show happening a day later at the much smaller Music Hall of Williamsburg (10/16). Tickets for that show (same link) go on sale Friday (9/26) at noon. We're also giving away a pair to the T5 show. Details on how to enter to win, with the list of updated tour dates and a song from FlyLo's upcoming LP, below...

Continue reading "Flying Lotus & Thundercat add MHOW to tour (updated dates ++ win tix to Terminal 5!)"


Electronic mastermind Flying Lotus has announced that he'll release his fifth full length album, You're Dead!, which follows 2012's Until the Quiet Comes, on October 7 via Warp. No music from that yet but stay tuned.

FlyLo's also announced a tour with his pal/collaborator Thundercat which brings him back to NYC's Terminal 5 on October 15. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (7/25) at noon with a Ticketmaster presale starting Wednesday (7/23) at 10 AM and an AmEx presale starting Wed at noon.

All dates are listed below...

Continue reading "Flying Lotus announces new album, 'You're Dead!' & tour with Thundercat (dates)"

Jack White at Bonnaroo 2014 (photo by Brian Mansfield)
Jack White

Bonnaroo went down over this past weekend with sets from Ice Cube, Kanye West, Sam Smith and so much more.

As always, legacy acts enjoyed a good showing at the festival. Elton John played the entire first side of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, gave a tribute to the late Casey Kasem, and brought out Ben Folds for a guest spot. Ben had also appeared a day earlier with The Flaming Lips during their set to cover Usher's "Love In This Club" (video below), a set which included Wayne Coyne playfully throwing some shade at Kanye's set from earlier in the festival, asking the crowd "Where's the press?"

Lionel Richie played a set that included everything from his time in the Commodores ("Brick House") to "All Night Long" to his Diana Ross collaboration "Endless Love." More legends graced the Bonnaroo stages when Chaka Khan made a surprise appearance during the Derek Trucks-led SuperJam on Friday and covered Led Zeppelin and Stevie Wonder. Also in that jam were blues legend Taj Mahal, Anthony Hamilton and once again, Ben Folds. Led Zeppelin member John Paul Jones himself appeared at the festival to sit in with bluesman Seasick Steve, which he has done before with Jack White.

Jack White, who we also just caught at Governors Ball, didn't play with John Paul Jones this time, but he did play his own set which included a cover of Zeppelin's "The Lemon Song." It also included calling Rolling Stone a "tabloid," ranting about Johnny Depp and Albert Einstein (watch out Kanye!), and otherwise him rocking out to cuts from his solo albums, Raconteurs, White Stripes, The Dead Weather, and a cover of Dick Dale's "Misirlou." Video and setlist from Jack's set, below.

Damon Albarn w/ De La Soul at Bonnaroo 2014 (photo by 97X)

Skrillex led a SuperJam too which involved Janelle MonĂ¡e, A$AP Ferg, Warpaint, Doors guitarist Robby Krieger, Mystikal, Damian Marley, and Thundercat, among others. The set was closed by none other than Ms. Lauryn Hill, who played "Killing Me Softly" a la Fugees, Bob Marley's "Jamming" (though not with Damian) and more. More old school big guns came out during Damon Albarn's set, which was split between Gorillaz, Blur, The Good the Bad & the Queen and solo material. De La Soul joined him for "Feel Good Inc." and Del The Funkee Homosapien for "Clint Eastwood", Setlist and videos are below, and check out pictures and more from his recent Irving Plaza show.

Elsewhere, Omar Souleyman, who couldn't make it to Northside Festival experienced no travel issues and played a set on Thursday night. James Blake also played and told Billboard while he was there that his new album is halfway done and will include collaborations with Kanye West, Justin Vernon and more. Arctic Monkeys, who were covered twice during the festival (by Sam Smith and MS MR), played their own set too and to a HUGE crowd, heavy on the AM stuff but with a little bit of their other four albums mixed in. What didn't happen, unfortunately, was the set by Broad City's stars that were supposed to perform in the Comedy Theatre but canceled their set.

Of course the huge festival had tons of other highlights too. Did you go? What were yours?

Videos and a few setlists from the fest, below...

Continue reading "Bonnaroo 2014 happened w/ Damon Albarn + Del & De La, Chaka Khan, Jack White, Zeppelin/Doors members, more"


The 2014 lineup of Austin festival Fun Fun Fun Fest, happening NOV 7 . 8 & 9 at Auditorium Shores, is here. In the poster above and listed below....

Like FYF Fest, they've got a Blood Brothers reunion show.

This is also Austin's show on the growing Failure reunion tour.

Ditto for emo vets Mineral

So much more greatness listed below....

Continue reading "Fun Fun Fun Fest 2014 lineup! (Judas Priest, Nas, Death Cab, Neutralk Milk Hotel, King Diamond, Failure & much more)"

FYF Fest

The annual two-day FYF Fest is returning to LA from August 23-24 this year, and the lineup was just announced. It includes The Strokes, Phoenix, the reunited Blood Brothers who haven't played sine 2007 (!), Slowdive, Slint, Flying Lotus, Grimes, Blood Orange, Darkside, Jamie xx, Haim, Little Dragon, Future Islands, Death Grips (we know FYF is a festival they actually play), Ty Segall, Deafheaven, La Dispute, Joyce Manor, Against Me!, Built to Spill, Murder City Devils, The Bronx, Angel Olsen, Four Tet, Earl Sweatshirt, Joanna Gruesome and many more.

Tickets go on sale May 22 at noon PDT. Full lineup below...

Continue reading "FYF Fest 2014 lineup announced (Strokes, Blood Brothers, Phoenix, Slint, Slowdive, Death Grips, Grimes & many more!)"


The 2014 edition of Portland's MusicFestNW happens August 16 & 17 at the city's Waterfront Park. This year's line-up has been revealed and includes Spoon, Fucked Up, Future Islands, Haim, Phantogram, The Antlers, Girl Talk, tUnE-yArDs, EMA and more. No word on tickets yet but check out the two-day lineup below.

Continue reading " MusicFestNW 2014 lineup announced (Spoon, Future Islands, Phantogram, Haim, Run the Jewels, Fucked Up & more)"

photos by Ryan Muir

Thundercat at RBSS in Philly

Bass wizard Stephen Bruner, better known as Thundercat, just made a video for his songs "Evangelion" and "We'll Die," both of which appear on his 2013 LP, Apocalypse. The video was directed by B+, who designed the artwork for Apocalypse, and it can be watched (via Myspace) below.

As discussed, Thundercat plays the next Red Bull Sound Select NYC show which happens on February 19 at Le Poisson Rouge, curated by Giant Step. That show is with Tondrae Kemp, and since we last spoke, ASTR was added as well. Like most RBSS shows, admission is $3 with RSVP and $10 without. He also plays this month's RBSS show in San Francisco. Updated dates are listed, along with the flyer for the LPR show below.

Thundercat's no stranger to Red Bull shows. He took part in last year's Red Bull Music Academy in NYC, and is now being featured in What Difference Does It Make?, RBMA's documentary on the series. As mentioned, the film premieres worldwide on February 17, and you can catch a screening in NYC at Sunshine Cinema at 8 PM with Chairman Mao and others.

Thundercat also played the Little Giant Media-curated Red Bull Sound Select show in Philly this past November with Ebony Joi, STS and Son Little. We've got a belated set of pictures from that show in this post. You can check out more of those, along with the new video, LPR flyer, and list of tour dates, below...

Continue reading "Thundercat made a new video; ASTR added to his NYC Red Bull Sound Select show +++ belated pics from his Philly one"


The next NYC installment of the Red Bull Sound Select Series happens on February 19 at Le Poisson Rouge with bass wizard Thundercat headlining, curated by Giant Step. The only opener announced at the moment is Tondrae and more are TBA. Like most RBSS shows, admission is $3 with RSVP and $10 without.

It appears to be Thundercat's only upcoming show besides a few festival appearances, all of which are listed, along with a video, below...

Continue reading "Thundercat playing the next RBSS show in NYC + more dates"


It's looking like official Festival Lineup Announcement Day with Shaky Knees Fest, Hangout Fest, and Governors Ball giving us their rosters (not to mention Firefly and Coachella in the past week), and now here's another one: Georgia's CounterPoint Festival. It goes down from April 25-27 in Kingston Downs and features Outkast, Janelle Monae, Schoolboy Q, Run the Jewels, Chance the Rapper, Thundercat, Rustie, Sleigh Bells, Matt & Kim, Major Lazer, XXYYXX, J. Cole, Tourist, A-Trak, Flosstradamus, Phantogram, Tycho, YACHT and more.

Tickets are on sale now. Full lineup and flyer below...

Continue reading "Counterpoint Festival 2014 lineup & tix (Outkast, Schoolboy Q, Janelle Monae, Run the Jewels, Chance the Rapper & more)"

TPOBPAH at Summerstage in 2012 (more by Chris La Putt)

NYC indie pop band The Pains of Being Pure at Heart have been relatively quiet lately, but it's looking like that's about to change. Frontman Kip Berman has been instagramming guitar pedals lately, which hopefully means they're back in the studio, and Pains have also announced what will be their first hometown show in a while, happening on March 28 at Rough Trade NYC. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (1/17) at noon.

The band's only other currently announced date is New Orleans festival BUKU Music + Art Project, which happens from March 21-22 and also includes The Flaming Lips, Chromeo, Explosions in the Sky, Tyler the Creator, Pusha T, Schoolboy Q, Baauer b2b RL Grime, Danny Brown, Phantogram, Skream, Wavves, Big Freedia, Thundercat, Cashmere Cat, Blood Diamonds and more. Tickets for that festival are on sale now.

There's also been some changes to Pains' lineup. Keyboardist Peggy Wang recently announced that she left the band in order to focus on her job as a writer at Buzzfeed.

TPOBPAH recently released a belated video for "Belong" off their 2011 LP of the same name, which you can watch below...

Continue reading "The Pains of Being Pure at Heart playing Rough Trade NYC after BUKU Fest (lineup)"


Pitchfork just posted their Honorable Mention Albums of 2013, which they say is "not #51 through #70 in our albums poll, but rather, records we thought were exceptional this year and deserved to be highlighted regardless of where they wound up." It includes a number of albums that did get Best New Music throughout the year (like the Burial EP that got a 9.0 last week), a certain inescapable young New Zealand pop star (who just announced two Roseland Ballroom shows), some metal representation, a couple indie legends, and the raw noise punk demo of Perfect Pussy, who also made Pitchfork's Top 100 Tracks.

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

Continue reading "Some Albums That Didn't Make Pitchfork's Top 50 of 2013"

by Andrew Sacher


Pitchfork just posted their Top 100 Tracks of 2013. It's got what some people might call the worst song ever, the song with the most talked-about rap verse of the year, some surprises, and some of the year's most undeniable songs. Their #1 pick is certainly one of those undeniable songs, whether or not you're a fan of the artist who made it. What do you think of their list? Did your favorite song make it? Any glaring omissions?

Check out the full top 100 below...

Continue reading "Pitchfork's Top 100 Tracks of 2013"

by Andrew Marinaccio

Thundercat @ MHOW - 11/25/13 (via Austin Stillwell)

Stephen Bruner, more famously known by his superbassist alter-ego Thundercat (or as a onetime member of Suicidal Tendencies), keeps down to earth even when his music's whizzing past the stratosphere. Like his space-bound cohort Flying Lotus, Bruner's astral funk recalls the cosmic freedom of Sun Ra and the proggy busywork of any given tune from Sonic the Hedgehog, the latter's DNA equally ingrained in his music and lyrics. Bruner will be the first to admit as much. Walking on stage at Music Hall of Williamsburg Monday night (11/25) in a wide-brimmed suede hat, tasseled red scarf, and necklace adorned with three large discs emblazoned with the Thundercats cartoon logo, he looked like himself: nerdy hobbyist and spiritual guru. He proceeded to reveal both those sides of himself with unrelenting passion and fretwork.

From his airy rendition of George Duke's "For Love I Come" to the glitched-out funk shuffle of "Daylight," Bruner and his band (including drummer Ronald Bruner Jr., also a former Suicidal Tendencies member, who matched his brother's virtuosity at every turn) bounced between worlds and off his infinitely elastic basslines, morphing album cuts into mile-a-minute jams that changed before one could pin them as mere noodling. While "Heartbreaks + Setbacks" and the retro-futuristic cool of "Tron Song" erupted into soulful arpeggiated infernos, songs like "Evangelion" and FlyLo collaboration "DMT Song" kept the set cool and meditative. Amid all the burbling bass runs and freewheeling synthetic jazz, there were plenty of slower hooks for the audience to sing along with, proving Bruner has found plenty of fellow stargazers to groove with him through his solo career.

Even with the death of Austin Peralta marking Thundercat's latest work - Bruner made shout-outs to his departed bandmate and friend in the quieter spaces of his set - his music and presence remain committedly light-hearted and magnanimous. His spirit was undeniable on closer "Oh Shit It's X," the impossibly bass-laden disco blazer where Bruner, in his glowing falsetto, recounts the dance floor antics of a high clubber. Naturally, the crowd honored his request to sing the song's central realization: "Oh shit. I'm fucked up."

While Thundercat was in NYC he also recorded a WNYC Soundcheck Session. His tour wrapped up in DC the next day, but he's got a couple one-offs left before the year ends, which are listed, along with a stream of that session, below...

Continue reading "Thundercat was funky (but cool) at Music Hall of Williamsburg"

photos by Amanda Hatfield; words by Bill Pearis

YT//ST / Foxxtrott @ Arlene's Grocery 10/29/2013
CMJ M for Montreal - Arlene's Grocery
CMJ M for Montreal - Arlene's Grocery

The 2013 M for Montreal happens at various clubs across its namesake city from November 20 - 23. Like last year, in addition to it's industry conference/showcase side earlier in the week, the Friday and Saturday shows are part of M Fest which like a smaller scale CMJ or Pop Montreal with over 75 bands playing over those two days. This year's bands include Mac DeMarco, Born Ruffians, The Dears' Murray Lightburn, Thundercat, Thus:Owls, Laura Mvula, Young Galaxy, Pat Jordache, A Wilhelm Scream, Grand Analog, High Dials, Damien Robitaille, The Damn Truth, Kandle and more.

After partnering with the M folks at CMJ, SXSW and other festivals, BrooklynVegan will be co-presenting (with CMJ) our first show at the actual M for Montreal with We Are Wolves, Duchess Says (who've played M/BV shows at CMJ and SXSW) and Solids (who we've written about) at Cabaret Underworld on November 22. This will be the first time in ages that We Are Wolves and Duchess Says shared a bill together in Montreal. Tickets are on sale now, and the poster for that show is below.

You can check out the full M for Montreal line-up below and tickets for some of the other shows are on sale too. We'll be there the whole week so look for coverage then.

Some of the artists playing this year's fest were down for CMJ a couple weeks ago, playing the official M for Montreal showcase which happened at Arlene's Grocery on October 18. Our photographer was there for Yamantaka // Sonic Titan (who played our party earlier in the day), and A K U A, plus Kandle (who played last year's M) and Foxtrott (who we've written about), both of whom will play M for Montreal. Pictures from their sets are in this post. Later in the night there were sets from Pat Jordache and related soft rock project CAMP, and others.

Full list of M for Montreal 2013 peformers, the flyer for the BV presented show, and more pics from the M4M CMJ showcase, below...

Continue reading "M For Montreal did CMJ (pics), announces 2013 Montreal fest lineup (BV presented show included)"