- Album Review: Wax Poetic, ON A RIDE [downtempo/trip hop]
- Chris Brown signee Sevyn Streeter covers Aaliyah’s “Come Over”
- HOUSTON: Celebrate the 10th Annual Texas Black Expo Juneteenth Summer Celebration with Mint Condition & Doug E. Fresh
- New Music: Chrisette Michele – “Love Won’t Leave Me Out”
- Thursday’s Pop: Karmin – “Acapella”
- You Should Know: Danish Electro-Soul Duo Quadron
- Emeli Sandé Performs “Next to Me” on VH1′s Morning Buzz
- New Video: Goapele – “Undertow”
- New Video: India.Arie – “Cocoa Butter”
- New Video: Grace Potter and the Nocturnals – “The Lion The Beast The Beat”
Upcoming Album Releases
Jun 18 - Arika Kane, THE REMIX ALBUM
Jun 18 - J.Cole, BORN SINNER
Jun 18 - Kelly Rowland, TALK A GOOD GAME
Jun 18 - Mac Miller, WATCHING MOVIES WITH THE SOUND OFF
Jun 25 - Atlantic Connection, LOVE ARCHITECT REMIXED
Jun 25 - Femi Kuti, NO PLACE FOR MY DREAM
Jun 25 - India.Arie - SONGVERSATION
Jul 2 - Pretty Lights, A COLOR MAP OF THE SUN
Jul 9 - Ciara, CIARA
Jul 9 - Thundercat, APOCALYPSE
Jul 16 - Candice Glover, MUSIC SPEAKS
Jul 23 - Gogol Bordello, PURA VIDA CONSPIRACY
Jul 29 - AlunaGeorge, BODY MUSIC
Jul 30 - Kendra Morris, MOCKINGBIRD
Aug 20 - Raheem DeVaughn, A PLACE CALLED LOVELAND
Aug 27 - Amel Larrieux, ICE CREAM EVERYDAY
Featuring vocals from R&B group BLACKstreet, “The City Is Mine” was the third single released from Jay-Z’s second LP In My Lifetime, V.1. Teddy Riley produced the track, using a sample of “You Gonna Make Me Love Somebody Else” by R&B trio The Jones Girl, as well as the melody from “You Belong to The City” by rock singer Glenn Fry (of The Eagles).
Though mastering the worlds of pop, soul, funk, R&B and rock music, Prince has always been an enigma. From overtly sexual lyrics in the 80′s and 90′s to pop-up concerts and a more toned down image in the new millennium, the producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has influenced artists and musicians alike in his near 35-year career.
Now author and pop culture critic Touré takes on the music legend in new tome, I Would Die 4 U: Why Prince Became an Icon (Atria, $14.00), out March 19.
Drawing upon “in-depth interviews with Prince’s band members, former girlfriends, musicologists, and even Bible scholars to deconstruct the artist’s life and work,” Touré weaves a tale of deep analysis and cultural perspective that has many ringing its praise.
“I’m a Prince scholar and this is the ultimate Prince book.” — Questlove
“Based on his Du Bois Lectures at Harvard, Touré has written a thoughtful and compelling book that is both a full and sensitive explication of the genius of Prince’s music, as well as his exemplary role as an seminal figure in contemporary American culture. It is must reading for any student of popular culture. – Henry Louis Gates
I, for one, cannot wait to read I Would Die 4 U.
That being said, if you are in Brooklyn, there will be a book signing as well as a dance party held on Friday, March 29 from 7 PM to 9 PM at Greenlight Bookstore (686 Fulton St.) in Ft. Greene, Brooklyn. Touré will sign copies of I Would Die 4 U and a guest DJ will spin popular Prince tunes. Below is a short bio of the author.
Touré is a co-host of MSNBC’s The Cycle and his writings have appeared in Rolling Stones, The New York Times Magazine, The Village Voice and Time.com. He is the author of four books: Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness? (2011), Never Drank the Kool-Aid (2006), Soul City (2004) and The Portable Promised Land (2003). He lives in Ft. Greene, Brooklyn.
On Thursday, February 7th, Madame Tussauds New York unveiled their newest wax figures — four to be exact, of iconic singer Whitney Houston, representing the artist “in four different points of her life.” It’s the first time in the museum’s 200-year history that figures have been created for one subject.
“Each of the wax figures [pictured above] will be featured in a unique pose and costume, recreating a significant moment of Houston’s incredible career,” as stated on Madame Tussauds website.
In attendance at the ceremony on yesterday was Houston’s mom Cissy, her sister-in-law and former manager, Pat Houston as well as Whitney’s brother Gary. The wax replicas will become permanent exhibits at all Madame Tussauds U.S. attractions, including Washington, D.C., L.A. and Las Vegas.
Though Whitney’s daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown wasn’t there, the budding actress did take to Twitter to say: ”I would truly like 2 Thank @MadameTussauds not only 1•But 4 wax sculptures4my mother(:••very grateful&TrulyThankyou!•• They’re phenomenal•xO”
February 11th marks the one-year anniversary of Whitney Houston’s passing.
[via USA Today]
Collette is a Columbia, SC-raised, Harlem, NY-based singer-songwriter bringing positive vibes with her sophomore release Juneteenth Revolution. Taking its inspiration from the African-American tradition that commemorates the ending of slavery in the United States, Collette’s Juneteenth is a celebration of freedom as well. In her own words, it’s a “freedom to live, love, go, give, and find real happiness.”
Continuing to spread a message of hope to the masses, the hip-hop and soul artist recently chatted with Unclouded By Ambition, where she spoke about being free, the revolution still not being televised, the recording process of Juneteenth, in addition to standing out as an indie artist in NYC. Check out the full interview below the video.
Collette’s “Material Star (Juneteenth Remix)” video featuring Akil Dasan.
Juneteenth Revolution has an easy-breezy kind of flow. There’s a sense of happiness throughout it. Was that intentional? And why is freedom so important to you today?
Thank you! Yes, the happiness is very intentional. I think that freedom to pursue happiness is the most basic and important freedom we have. It’s important to me because when I look around at art, politics, the economy, and all of the major issues of the day, they’re all basically struggles for freedom. Social media has brought about an unprecedented transparency, and people are realizing for the first time that they should be free to live and express themselves however they choose. It’s hard, even dangerous in some places, but it’s what we’re all born with and we deserve it.
Is the Revolution being televised now?
Nope, not just yet. But it’s being tweeted, texted, Facebook posted, streamed and podcasted every day. J Television is still very mainstream and almost solely-commercially driven, and the Revolution isn’t sexy enough. Plus, television and other traditional media are all about making the most money, for the least effort. Creativity is not a premium – cookie cutter is ideal. The Revolution I dream of is all about individual ingenuity, and that means time, effort, evolution and no easy shortcuts. The powers that be ain’t ready for that!
This is your second LP. Do you feel any sort of pressure?
I don’t feel any pressure, and that’s the beauty of being an independent artist. The only thing I feel is a great sense of privilege that I’ve figured out a way to share my voice with the world, and a desire to keep on doing that.
How did the recording process differ from Experience Collette to Juneteenth Revolution?
Juneteenth Revolution was a smoother process because I now have a production/engineering collaborator named Terry “20” Poindexter who is based in Memphis, Tennessee. So even as I received tracks from other producers, and produced tracks myself, I was able to get his help with refining them and achieving that consistency that makes an album great. Experience Collette was much more of a solo effort in terms of pulling it all together, which is fine, but I really enjoy having a close and trusted ear to help me refine my ideas.
To me, independent music is honest music. From the heart. How do you keep yourself grounded in an industry that changes so much?
I really draw on my true opinions, experiences, lessons learned and even outrages to formulate my musical material. I also think that having grounded myself in classic, timeless material like Stevie Wonder, Bill Withers, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Oleta Adams, Anita Baker, and others, helps my ears withstand the temptations of various musical fads. Or at least, I like to think so.
As a former Brooklynite myself, and knowing what I know about the indie music scene in NYC; the oversaturation, the competition, how do you make yourself standout?
I just bring my own little Southern soul flavor, and hope that it speaks to people. I take any and every piece of advice into consideration, but at the end of the day I define myself, my style and my sound, and I believe that it’s like a thumbprint – no one else has it.
I also make sure that I take time to foster my relationship with fans by talking to them on social media and releasing behind-the-scenes type material. I think that’s a great way to continue to stand out.
Last question: “Be Careful” is my joint! “Be careful with your mind/be careful with your time … be careful who you let in.“ Dope beat with a message to boot. What was the inspiration behind the lyrics?
Thank you! My mom’s various pieces of advice over the years definitely inspired that song. She always warned me, “You can’t walk away from everybody,” as a way of saying that I should be careful about people I chose to let into my life. So I took that idea and made it a little colorful for the song.
I think that negative relationships have ‘enslaved’ a lot of people today – I say enslaved because when you’re not able to speak freely, move about, pursue your interests, build your wealth, and all because of a partner or friend who is negatively affecting your progress, you’re being robbed of your freedom! How can you pursue happiness? So I feel like people – especially young girls – should really treasure their time, their minds and their bodies, and be very selective about who they allow to partake. That goes for boys and men, too! Everyone deserves to be treated like pure gold.
Collette’s Juneteenth Revolution is available now on iTunes.
I Love Vinyl is a monthly all-vinyl DJ dance party held at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City on the 4th Saturday of every month, with a Brooklyn version (I Love Vinyl: On the B-Side) at Littelfield in Gowanus on the 2nd Saturday of the month.
Though I’m not a DJ in the traditional sense –you know, massive crates of vinyl at the crib, rocking clubs and parties several nights a week, but I do know the essence of vinyl collecting or crate digging. I have a collection I’ve been seriously honing for well over a decade now. Though I bought my first piece at age 13 (read: 1988). Nonetheless, peep this short clip “I Love Vinyl: What Love Will Make You Do” of the DJs of I Love Vinyl (Scribe, Ge-Ology, Kon + Amir, OP!, The Twilight Tone, Jon Oliver) to get in on all the love that goes on behind all the wax collecting.
Three films to watch…if you’re lucky: 2 Days in New York, Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry & Searching for Sugarman
I’m a huge movie fan, so upon browsing film sites such as Indiewire’s Shadow and Act, Sundance and Tribeca, I once again came across three films I’ve been wanting to see for a few months now. Some are still in limited theatrical release, while others are now available on iTunes, as well as video-on-demand. So if you’re lucky enough to catch them, like I will soon, definitely do.
From the trailer alone, “2 Days in New York” seems as hilarious as its predecessor “2 Days in Paris”. This time around, Marion (writer/director Julie Delpy) is living a decent life in New York City with her boyfriend and their two kids from previous relationships, when her father, sister and her sister’s boyfriend makes a visit. Chris Rock plays her boyfriend, Mingus. Being described as “a riotous comedy of cultural errors”.
Released by Magnolia Pictures. Opens in New York on August 10th but is now available On Demand.
Documentarian Alison Klayman captures controversial Chinese artist and political activist Ai Weiwei in the new film “Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry”. Known in the fine arts circles for a number of years, Ai’s art, photography and experimental documentaries criticizes the Chinese government in many and often humorous ways, which frequently puts him behind bars.
Presented by Sundance Selects. Now playing in limited-release in New York, San Francisco, Maryland and D.C; opens in L.A., Chicago and Houston on Friday, August 3rd. For other theatre openings, check here.
In “Searching for Sugar Man,” first-time documentarian Malik Bendjelloul’s sets out to find 1970′s singer-songwriter Sixto Rodriguez. Virtually unknown in the U.S., somehow Rodriguez became a major star in South Africa, bringing him the title of “South African Elvis”.
Released by Sony Pictures Classics. Playing in select theatres in New York and Los Angeles; opens this Friday, August 3rd, in Chicago, San Francisco and Austin; with further openings in Houston, Dallas and Philadelphia on August 10th. More theatres here.
May 23, Slum Village, 8pm, $20
May 24, Nikka Costa, Highline Ballroom, 8pm, $18-$20
May 25, Lalah Hathaway, Highline Ballroom, 8pm, $30-$35
Jun 4, BAM150 Documentary Screening, Brooklyn Academy of Music, 8:30pm, FREE
Jun 4, The Foreign Exchange (Phonte & Nicolay), Music Hall of Williamsburg, 9pm, $25
Jun 5, Celebrate Brooklyn! Opening Night Concert w. Jimmy Cliff, Prospect Park, Brooklyn, 8:15pm, FREE and open to the public
Jun 7 – Aug 9, 2012 R&B Festival at Metro Tech feat. Larry Graham & Graham Central Station (Jun 7); Ky-mani Marley (Jun 21); Metro Tech Commons, Brooklyn, Thursdays at 12pm, FREE
Jun 7, Eat, Drink & Be Literary w. Sapphire, BAM, 6:30pm, $50
Jun 8, Erotic City (Tribute to Prince), Brooklyn Bowl, 11:59pm, $8-$10
Jun 9, An Evening w. Anthony Bourdain, BAM, 7:30pm, $52.50
Jun 9, The Pimps of Joytime, Bowery Ballroom, 8:30pm, $16-$18
Jun 10, Céu, Highline Ballroom, 8pm, $25-$30
Jun 13, Michael Kiwanuka, Highline Ballroom, 8pm, $15
Jun 14, Eat, Drink & Be Literary w. Edwidge Danticat, BAM, 6:30pm, $50
Jun 14 – Kool Keith, Brooklyn Bowl, 8pm, $10-$12
Jun 14, Langhorne Slim, Bowery Ballroom, 9pm, $15
Jun 14, Yasiin Bey (formerly Mos Def), Apollo Theatre, 9pm, $45-$145
Jun 17 – Dam-Funk, Brooklyn Bowl, 8pm, $10
Jun 17, Ziggy Marley, Irving Plaza, 7pm, $35
Jun 23, Nobody Beats The Drum w. Cubic Zirconia, 11:59pm, $5-$10
Jun 28, Meshell Ndegeocello, Highline Ballroom, 9pm, $25-$30
Jun 28, Scarface, SOBs, 9pm, $35
Jul 3, WFUV Presents: Norah Jones, Summerstage, Central Park, 7pm, $49.50
Jul 5, 2012 R&B Festival at Metro Tech feat. Van Hunt, Metro Tech Commons, Brooklyn, Thursdays at 12pm, FREE
Jul 25, Allen Stone, Bowery Ballroom, 9pm, $17-$20
Jul 26, Kindred The Family Soul, BB King’s, 8pm, $27-$32
Aug 10, Jon B & Jagged Edge, BB King’s, 8pm, $26-$30
Aug 22, WFUV Presents: Al Green w. Charles Bradley, Beacon Theatre, 8pm, $50-$135
Aug 24, Will Downing, BB King’s, 8pm, $50-$53
Aug 25, Raheem DeVaughn, BB King’s, 8pm, $32-$35
|Photo credit: TribecaFilm.com|
The 2012 Tribeca Film Festival begins next month on April 18th and runs through the 29th in New York City. And with 34 films, 22 narratives and 12 documentaries (19 of which will be world premieres), there should be at least a handful of good films for the most eclectic movie watcher. This year I’m aiming to see five; last year I only had time to catch two as well as two filmmaker talks: the avant-garde documentary The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye, which is a deeply moving story about the relationship between performance artist Genesis P-Orridge and his soul mate Lady Jaye; and the seductive drama Last Night starring Keira Knightley, Sam Worthington (Avatar), and Eva Mendes.
The filmmaker talks, which were held at the Apple Soho store, included one with Michael Rapaport, the director of the documentary Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest and the other was with Stephen Mitchell, who documented American rockers Kings of Leon in Talihina Sky: The Story of Kings of Leon.
Nonetheless, I know I’m being super-ambitious this year with trying to see five films but there are so many good features I have to go all in. So we’ll see how this plays out. But here’s a list of the 2012 Tribeca films that caught my eye:
- 2 Days in New York – a seemingly sweet follow-up to Julie Deply’s 2007 comedy 2 Days in Paris. Now Chris Rock is in the role of Marion’s boyfriend.
- BAM150 – a behind-the-scenes look at one of the nation’s oldest performance arts centers, the Brooklyn Academy of Music in Ft. Greene, Brooklyn.
- Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey – rock documentary of a YouTube star who is now fronting the rock band Journey.
- The Russian Winter - documentary that follows Brooklyn-bred musician and former prison inmate John Forte as he embarks on a 2008 tour across Russia, once again doing the music he loves.
- Searching for Sugar Man – documentary about obsessed fans in search of a 70′s rock icon…that no one has ever really heard of.
On Friday, March 11, 2011, the Great East Japan Earthquake with a 9.0 magnitude hit the coastal region of Sendai, Japan, “causing devastation along a 700km stretch of coastland on the north east of Japan’s Honshu Island.” With waves coming in at 133 ft., and landing six miles inland, it is one of Japan’s worst recorded natural disasters, according the Japanese Red Cross Society.
On the corner of Mott and Kenmare in Nolita sits L’asso (which means “The Ace” in Italian), a charming pizzeria with wooden walls, a pleasant staff and a deep-dish pie that just may rival its Chicago counterpart. Recently I had the chance to chat with Daniel Riviera, the head chef behind this neighborhood spot, discussing what exactly deep dish pizza is; buffalo mozzarella, San Marzano tomatoes and more.
Tell us about L’asso?
L’asso is a family-like environment, everybody’s very comfortable working here, everybody gets along; the kitchen and the front of the house. And overall we have the best service and the best special ingredients. But we keep it simple, nothing complicated; which is pretty much my motto, as well as the culinary industry and the restaurant industry. You know we just really want to aim for the best, but we don’t go too crazy. For example, we carry buffalo mozzarella here…
What’s that, buffalo mozzarella?
It’s pretty much from Italy and was always made from buffalo’s milk as opposed to whole milk. Not until the United States, and how it was imported, started changing it to whole milk. But the buffalo mozzarella itself we carry is from the direct region. So we have it imported. It’s very expensive but we use it on our Margherita D.O.C., which is our best selling pizza here. It contains buffalo mozzarella, San Marzano tomato sauce, oregano, basil, and extra virgin olive oil.
What does D.O.C. stand for?
You ever read the back of a wine bottle?? Well in order for wine or champagne to be classified as wine or champagne, it has to come from that region of France; so it’s the same thing for pizza. The D.O.C. pizza should never be made by any machine or equipment; the dough has to be handmade. It should not be stretched out more than 12 inches. It has to use San Marzano tomatoes, San Marzano tomato sauce. Also it has to be made with buffalo mozzarella. So it’s pretty much the stamp of approval from Italy that you are making a true Italian D.O.C.-style pizza. It’s the standard everywhere you go and we were essentially one of the first restaurants to do that.
Where did the idea to launch a Chicago-style deep dish in New York come from?
It was in the works for about three months. We talked about it, researched it…but we don’t want to call it Chicago style; we want to say its New York City deep dish. We want to be the first place in New York City to offer it. Chicago has their own version; we want to be the best that has it in New York City. In Chicago we can’t compete on their level and we don’t want to compete. We just want to provide the best and be one of the few restaurants that carry it. And here at L’asso we use the best ingredients.
Like the pizza I have for you in the oven right now is layered with shredded mozzarella, peppers, onions and San Marzano tomato sauce.
I’m looking forward! But what’s the difference between deep dish and other kinds of pizza?
Apart from our deep dish, a deep dish is not made in a brick oven, it’s made in a conventional oven. The only downside of any deep dish no matter where you go, there’s a slight wait time for it. It takes about 35 minutes to bake. So we do recommend that when customers come to order a deep dish that they have a salad or an appetizer, so that by the time the pizza comes out… its well-worth the wait.
And then as opposed to a regular pizza, a conventional oven maxes out at 500 degrees when we’re cooking a deep dish; as opposed to a brick oven, 900 degrees and those pizzas’s cook in about 5 minutes. So you really want the deep dish to cook through because there are so many layers. Our deep dish pizzas are about 8 inches in diameters and 2 inches deep. So I mean 2 inches deep is a lot of layers to melt and cook through. They definitely need lot more time at a slower temperature.
What’s so special about L’asso, why should everybody come here for deep dish?
We’re the only people doing it [deep dish] and we’re doing it the best. I really want to carry nothing but the best ingredients, provide the best food and best service. I’m very passionate about choosing the proper ingredients, from tomatoes to basil; if it’s not good I send it back. I’m not going to sit there and say I’ll work with it because I’m not. I want to provide the best. And the best thing about having higher quality ingredients is you have to do less to it.
Do you guys use mostly organic ingredients?
Our chicken is hormone and anti-biotic free. With the exception of greens, we don’t carry organic fruit but we do carry higher quality ingredients. Even our steak on the menu is USDA-prime, New York strip. I mean for a pizzeria, I still carry a really expensive set of meat. We’re not just pizza, we’re also pasta, we make homemade ravioli here and it’s filled with potatoes, zucchini and a walnut pesto sauce.
Last question, how’d you come to L’asso? What’s your background?
L’asso came along when I was working in a restaurant in New Jersey. I’d finished culinary school a year before…and a friend told me about this restaurant in New York and said “I know you can do it, you’re good at what you do”…I made a phone call to the owner and in one day I had my job.
Original interview posted December 28, 2010 at shortandsweetNYC.com.
- ND McCray
Being that actor Alan Cumming randomly appeared in my dream a week prior to his New York performance at Joe’s Pub on January 11th, I felt it my DUTY to see the Scotsman live and direct.
And, what a night it was! Read the show review at shortandsweetNYC.