Showing posts with label music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label music. Show all posts
Dance Music Legend Frankie Knuckles dies at 59

Frankie Knuckles, a legend in the world of dance music and one of the inventors of house music, a steady, beat-driven style played in nightclubs all over the world, died unexpectedly at his Chicago home on Monday. He was 59.

By the mid-1990s, house music was so mainstream that one of his songs was played in a commercial for Lipton Iced Tea. 

Knuckles, born Francis Nicholls in the Bronx, started in the dance music underground and his signature sets were not about explosive non-stop energy. He structured them, he once said, like stories with internal logic and a certain moody momentum.
Beyonce' Makes History. Again.

Let's get this out of the way, right at the top: Beyoncé's Beyoncé album is extremely good. I won't lie and say that I'm a massive   fan, but this blows the Lady Gaga album, and every Madonna album from the last ten years out of the water. There is no filler. This is the album equivalent of a big, healthy meal and a bowl of ice cream after a long hike.

It's really good. It's stupidly good. It's positively shocking that an album this good wasn't leaked before its release. It's mindblowing that an album this good wasn't announced before midnight last night. It's almost comedic. 

Beyoncé is singular in that she's probably the only artist who can completely eschew the hype machine, the teasing, the
Music Matters:  Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Unsigned artist Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are the first music acts in over 50 years to top the Billboard charts with their two first singles.  Their debut studio album --the Heist (2012)-- is not just platinum, but six times platinum fueled mostly by the hit "Thrift Shop" and "Can't Hold Us".

But it was the fourth single by this Seattle-based duo (from Heist) "Same Love" that caught my attention.  The song was recorded in support of Washington (state) Referendum 74, which upon approval, legalized same-sex marriage.  The song rose to number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and reached number 1 in both New Zealand and Australia.
Kanye West's "Yeezus" is Raw and Jolting

Yeezus is Kanye West's sixth solo, and perhaps, his darkest album. His most twisted, and his most intense. As the man himself said in a recent interview with the Times, "When you get something that has the name Kanye West on it, it’s supposed to be pushing the furthest possibilities." The sound may be stripped-down, but the man is clearly not holding anything back. 

He's still obsessed with talking up his sexual prowess, his taste in expensive cars, and, of course, himself — this album is conspicuously devoid of the rapper's previous lyrical obsession with designers and style. In fact, it's the least fashion-obsessed record of his career.
Frank Ocean Can Fly

The NY Times recently profiled R&B singer Grammy Award winner Frank Ocean.  The wide-ranging interview touched on a variety of topics and provided a glimpse into the singer/songwriters personality.  We especially loved the opening paragraph: 
Frank Ocean did not want to ride in my rented Ford Fusion; that much was clear. After I parked the car, he met me outside his modernist apartment building in Los Angeles and led me to the garage where he rents three parking spots for three different BMWs. He was dressed casually — gray hoodie, jeans, high-top Vans with red laces, baseball cap — and he jumped lightly from the curb to the parking blocks as we walked toward his late-model blue BMW M3. Ocean no longer had driving privileges as a result of some recent violations, on top of which he was cited for marijuana possession a few weeks earlier. “You can drive,” he said, though I could tell that it was killing him.
You can read the rest of the article over at NY Times here.
Libratone Zipp Wireless Speakers

Wireless speakers seem all the rage now a-days, but I bet you’ve never seen one this pretty in all the colours of the rainbow. Not only do these look good but it boasts booming sound with ribbon-based tweeters, digital signal processing and digital amplification. You can even stream to several Libratone Zipp Speakers ($399)  in different rooms over wifi. Being lightweight, you can take them with you with the attachable leather strap.
Frank Ocean Drops New Song "Wiseman"

Frank Ocean surprises fans with a new track released via his Tumblr. Seemingly titled “Wiseman” (as revealed by a screen shot of the lyrics also posted on the artist’s Tumblr), the song outlines some of Ocean’s characteristic existential themes such as the true definition of a “strong man.” The caption for the song reads, “Django was ill without it,” which alludes to the track’s initial purpose as a part of the new Quentin Tarantino film Django Unchained. Sonically speaking, the song is driven by a reverb-heavy guitar, underlined by moments of heavy bass. In true Frank Ocean form, the track is brought to a conclusion through a gentle piano finale and solo bass portion that ends the track mid-sentence.  

You can hear the song here.
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The iconic Grace Jones returns to the stage performing "Slave To The Rhythm" at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Concert in London.   She performed while hoola-hooping!  

The charismatic 64 year-old singer put everyone in a spin as she swung her hips for the full four minute duration of her song in some of the most memorable moments from the night’s special tribute gig.

Usher performs "Scream" on SNL

One month before his new album, Looking 4 Myself, hits shelves, Usher's promotional wagon kicked into high gear  when the entertainer provided America with a set of contrasting performances during this weekend's "Saturday Night Live" episode. 

Rocking simple black jeans, a jacket and tee, and a faux hawk, Ursh looked vibrant and energetic as he performed his brand-new single "Scream." Unlike previous expertly choreographed numbers for his dance tunes, the sunglass-donning singer showed off minimal, but nonetheless slick, moves, while his band and two backup singers filled his Studio 8 back stage.

In his second set the singer showed off his his sensual and smooth side making his falsetto voice the forefront of the number.  He cleared the stage of his background singers to perform his chart topping hit Climax.
Lazerwood Beats Headphone Skin

If the bright colors of Beats' Studio headphones aren't your style and you've grown tired of waiting for a release date — and price — for the stylish Executive model, give this Lazerwood Beats Headphone Skin ($35) a try. Crafted from real wood, the sticker adds a cherry or walnut finish to the outside of the headphones, and can be removed without killing the original paint job. Much classier than just covering them in diamonds — and a helluva lot cheaper, too.
Headphones That Look As Good As They Sound

Fanny Wang has introduced its Custom Colors option for its premium headphone line. Whether you want to look good at the gym, on a plane or in the coffee shop, Fanny Wang is letting you personalize your unique style via its interactive website.

Music fans will be able to choose from an array of colors for seven different parts of the Fanny Wang headphone: outside band, inside band, center disc, sound chambers, accent strip, ear muffs and cord. With more than 1 million possible color combinations, it is easy to “amplify your sound” while rocking something that reflects your personal style.
Bo' Diddley Diddley Dee, RIP the Overweight Lover

Heavy D, or Dwight Arrington Myers, was a rapper from a time when horns weren't used ironically musically, when the idea of a hip-hop ballad was new and taken ever so seriously, just as sunglasses inside. Choreographed dancing and rapping were practices not entirely opposed; they were celebrated. For that time, and until he passed away one week ago today, Heavy D was a man who owned what he was — 
Jay-Z + Kanye a Marriage Made In Hip-Hop Heaven

In this age of the regional hit, the no-budget viral video, the Twitter star.  It seems the center of the hip-hop world has been weakening, and the genre readjusting to life built from the bottom up. 

Against this back drop, along come a marriage made in hip-hop heaven ---Jay-Z and Kanye West.  These are two old-fashioned icons, the last of a dying breedThere are younger stars who have their sort of dominance on their mind — Lil Wayne and Drake primarily — but the landscape they have to navigate doesn’t favor the lengthy reigns of old, especially when the entrenched powers refuse to cede any ground.
Janet Jackson to Kickoff US Tour On March 7th

Janet Jackson is bringing her Number Ones, Up Close and Personal tour to the U.S. and Canada this spring. 

The trek kicks off March 4 in Houston, Texas and wraps with a pair of shows April 22-23 in Las Vegas.

The setlist will be culled exclusively from the hits that grace Jackson's 2009 compilation, "Number Ones."

"These concerts will be different from anything I have ever done. I will be as up close and personal as possible," Jackson said in a statement. "These concerts are not about special effects. This is a love affair between me and those of you who have supported me and my work for all these years. I'll be singing and dancing from my heart. The music will all be songs that you've made number ones for me. Let's go!
Jackson will be playing smaller, more intimate venues.  Check out the full list here .

Keeping Faith!

Despite recent troubles with the law Faith Evans is back on track with her sixth studio album --Something About Faith-- set to be released on October 5, 2010.  The first single "Gone Already" is getting considerable air play.

Her longevity and perseverance in the music industry is a true testament that anything is possible if you just keep the faith!


American R&B/soul singer, songwriter, and producer Kem Owens, professionally known as Kem, dealt with homelessness, addiction, and isolation from his family. He was caught shoplifting beer from 7-11.

He did not overcome these issues until he turned to spirituality and music. "My career didn't take off until I connected with my spirituality," he said. "That's why I take time on stage and on the album to administer spirituality to people. That's one of the things that I am most proud of."

This video promoting his new album "Intimacy" represents all that style is all about ---good vibes, fashion, and people.
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