Daily Archives: April 12, 2017

Hear Kamasi Washington's Expansive, Winding 'Truth' From New EP

Jazz voyager Kamasi Washington released an expansive, winding new song “Truth.” The 14-minute track is the sixth and final movement from his upcoming EP, Harmony of Difference, due out this summer via Young Turks.

“Truth” unfurls with breezy piano chords, soulful electric guitar counter-melodies, wordless choral chants and washes of the bandleader’s smoldering saxophone. In his short film accompanying the track, director A.G. Rojas weaves together disparate shots, including a man engulfed in a stream, a young boy washing his face and men wrestling on a lawn surrounded by rose petals.

Harmony of Difference premiered in March, alongside a film by Rojas that also included artwork by Washington’s sister Amani Washington as part of the Biennial at New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art.

Throughout the EP, Washington explores the musical technique of counterpoint, which the avant-garde jazz player defines as “the art of balancing similarity and difference to create harmony between separate melodies.”

Washington, also known for his sax contributions to albums by Flying Lotus (2014’s You’re Dead!) Kendrick Lamar (the following year’s To Pimp a Butterfly), released his official debut LP, triple-record set The Epic, in 2015.

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"An Unforgettable Evening" With Jennifer Holliday To Benefit Alzheimer's Greater Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES, April 12, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Theater and music lovers alike are eagerly awaiting Alzheimer’s Greater Los Angeles (ALZGLA) 5th annual An Unforgettable Evening on May 7.  The event will feature an intimate performance by Broadway Legend, Jennifer Holliday.  Best known as the o…


Alt-J Announce North American Fall Tour to Support 'Relaxer'

British indie rockers Alt-J have scheduled a batch of North American dates this autumn in support of their upcoming LP Relaxer.

The band previously plotted a handful of summer dates – including stops at New York’s Panorama Festival and San Francisco’s Outside Lands – and after a European jaunt, Alt-J will return to North America for 19 more newly announced show shows.

The new leg kicks off October 9th at Portland, Oregon’s Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall and wraps November 17th at Houston’s White Oak Music Hall. Fans who pre-order Relaxer will get the first opportunity to access tickets starting April 16th. Check out the Alt-J webstore for more ticket information.

Relaxer, Alt-J’s third album, is due out June 2nd. The group has unveiled the LP’s first two singles, “3WW” and “In Cold Blood.”

Alt-J Tour Dates

July 27 – Baltimore, MD @ Merriweather Post Pavilion
July 28 – Boston, MA @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion
July 29 – New York, NY @ Panorama Festival
August 1 – Cleveland, OH @ Jacob’s Pavilion
August 4 – St. Charles, IA @ Hinterland
August 7 – Morrison, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre
August 9 – Los Angeles, CA @ Shrine Auditorium
August 11-13 – San Francisco, CA @ Outside Lands Festival
October 9 – Portland, OR @ Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
October 12 – Seattle, WA @ WAMU Theater
October 13 – Vancouver, BC @ Thunderbird Sports Center
October 15 – Edmonton, AB @ Winspear Centre
October 17 – Calgary, AB @ Big Four Building
October 20 – Minneapolis, MN @ Roy Wilkins Auditorium
October 21 – Indianapolis, IN @ Murat at the Old National Centre
October 23 – Milwaukee, WI @ Riverside Theater
October 24 – Grand Rapids, MI @ 20 Monroe Live
October 25 – Columbus, OH @ Express Live!
October 27 – Toronto, ON @ Massey Hall
November 3 – Raleigh, NC @ Raleigh Memorial Auditorium
November 4 – Asheville, NC @ ExploreAsheville.com Arena
November 6 – Nashville, TN @ Nashville Municipal Auditorium
November 7 – Atlanta, GA @ Coca-Cola Roxy Theater
November 10 – Miami, FL @ The Fillmore at Jackie Gleason
November 14 – Dallas, TX @ Pavilion at Music Factory
November 15 – Austin, TX @ ACL Live at The Moody Theater
November 17 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall 

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Legendary Icon Céline Dion Adds More Show Dates, Including New Year's Eve, To Her Critically-Acclaimed Las Vegas Residency At The Colosseum at Caesars Palace

By Overwhelming Demand, Tickets for 37 new shows Sept. 19, 2017 – Jan. 20, 2018 go on sale Saturday, April 15 at noon PT
LAS VEGAS, April 12, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — As global music sensation Céline Dion prepares to take the stage tonight for another sold-out performance of her hit Las…


Nicki Minaj, Major Lazer Skewer Smartphone Obsession in 'Run Up' Video

EDM supergroup Major Lazer parodies how smartphone addiction highlights our worst selves in the video for “Run Up,” featuring Nicki Minaj and vocalist PartyNextDoor.

In the clip, PartyNextDoor arrives at a house filled with drinking and dancing partygoers, who document every second of the bash with selfies, videos and texting. After the directors add a clever pause for buffering, Minaj beams in her rapped verse via FaceTime. The directors of the video, French collective Paul, Luc & MartinPaul, explained the concept “was to laugh at ourselves and at the unconditional love we bear to our smartphones.”

Major Lazer are expected to release their fourth LP, Music Is the Weapon, later this year, though the electronic crew have yet to announce a date or track list. In recent months, the trio have issued collaborations with Justin Bieber and MØ (“Cold Water”), EDM duo Showtek (“Believer”) and dancehall group Bad Royale (“My Number”).

The group’s documentary Give Me Future, filmed at their historic 2016 concert in Havana, Cuba, premiered in January at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.

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LiveXLive Announces Appointment of Music Industry Veteran Jerry Gold as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

LiveXLive (PRNewsFoto/Loton, Corp.)BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., April 12, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Loton, Corp.’s (OTC: LIVX) subsidiary LiveXLive, the world’s first premium live music video streaming network, today announced the appointment of Jerry Gold, an experienced music industry veteran, as Executive Vice President and Chief…


Explore Chemical Brothers' VR Video 'Under Neon Lights' With St. Vincent

The Chemical Brothers have teamed with virtual reality company Within for an immersive new VR video based around the dance duo’s track “Under Neon Lights,” featuring St. Vincent.

The video, which can be experienced via both VR headset or two-dimensionally on a computer, tells a coming-of-age story of a girl as she floats through different stages of her life, from childhood to death, with the Chemical Brothers track providing a pulsing score for the adventure.

The user can navigate around the strange world either through headset or mouse; by clicking the mouse, the VR environment turns darker and more psychedelic.

“We’ve always been intrigued by different visual interpretations of our music, so we were excited to see what the Within team would come up with in VR,” the Chemical Brothers said in a statement. The group previously indulged in motion scanning technology for their mind-bending “C-h-e-m-i-c-a-l” video in 2016.

“Under Neon Lights,” co-written by St. Vincent, featured on the Chemical Brothers’ 2015 LP Born in the Echoes, which also boasted collaborations with Beck, Q-Tip and Cate Le Bon.

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Joey Bada$$ Talks Tackling Police Violence, Coming Into His Own on New LP

Joey Bada$$ was only a high school junior when “Survival Tactics,” the breakthrough single and centerpiece of his critically acclaimed 1999 mixtape, arrived in 2012. Looking back now, the Brooklyn-born hip-hop artist, 22, says he was “oblivious to a lot of things at the time.” Namely, that he could affect his listeners in such a profound way. “It was really weird for me,” he admits. “I had no idea on how much of an impact I had on the game, on people. I had no idea on how many people were listening and watching me. I was just taking it all in.” 

Born Jo-Vaughn Virginie Scott in East Flatbush, Bada$$ first attracted attention as an art-school-educated teenager with a vivid reverence for socially conscious Nineties hip-hop. But as the rapper tells Rolling Stone, the past few years have seen him embracing his ability to effect social change – or at least speak truth to power – in his music like never before.

To that end, Bada$$ sees his new album, All-Amerikkkan Bada$$ – its title a nod to Ice Cube’s iconic AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted and Capital Steez’s 2012 mixtape AmeriKKKan Corruption – as representative of “a whole shift in my personal thought.” The LP finds the rapper embracing his role as a highly visible artist with something to say about racism and injustice in contemporary America. “My greatest power is my voice,” he says. “So it starts with me bringing [these topics] into the conversation and putting it in the music.”

Bada$$ pinpoints the slew of unarmed black men who were victimized by police brutality in 2015, as well as an inspiring conversation with A Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip, as the genesis for his new album. “I felt really affected by it all because I’m just so close to it,” he says. “I’ve had encounters with police where I’ve been stopped and frisked or treated unfairly or misjudged and I could imagine those situations being something else.” Not surprisingly, Joey’s new music is direct and confrontational. On “Land of the Free,” a track constructed by the rapper and the album’s principal producer 1-900 in a single day, Bada$$ raps, “Sorry, America, but I will not be your solider/Obama just wasn’t enough, I just need some more closure/And Donald Trump is not equipped to take this country over/Let’s face facts ’cause we know what’s the real motives.”

“The vision is just so huge and universal that I need it to be felt,” Bada$$ says of All-Amerikkkan Bada$$ in a revealing conversation that touches on his evolution into a well-rounded artist, his acting career that includes a recurring role on FX’s Mr. Robot, and how he hopes to craft music that can “talk to everyone.”

When did you know you wanted to address police violence on your new album?
It started with this one song called “Babylon” that features Chronixx. I made that song after the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Maryland. I was just so fired up because that year in general, 2015, there was a lot of killings of unarmed black men by police officers. It was really being pushed in the news and the media. It started to make me feel like I was somewhat responsible to do something about it. There comes a point in a musician’s life, especially when the country is undergoing a lot of shit, where you start to feel like you need to speak up. It’s about flexing my freedom of speech as much as I can.

Ultimately I want my music to talk to everyone. From the microcosm of it you might pull “black struggle” out of it. But the macro is so much greater than that: It’s human struggle. It’s a universal concept. It’s universal music. Ultimately I want it to touch everyone. But yeah, it does speak for a certain demographic of people more than it does others. … But ultimately it’s for the world.

This album feels more mature and self-aware than your debut.
Honestly that was the whole other part of it. The first part of me making this music is everything I just told you, which is how I’ve been feeling the last couple years, feeling like I had to do something about the shit that’s been happening in order to influence change. But the whole other side of it has been really learning how to make music. Before, everything was just me rapping to beats and maybe a little post-production after. But this one was really me producing the beats with the producers one by one – musicians coming together and all contributing to the body of art. I’m glad that you took that from it. That was definitely a step that I made and something I really wanted people to notice with this album. That growth. Last album I felt like an established hip-hop artist but not an established musician. …

The reaction to it has been everything I wanted and more. I put my all into this project and I gave it a lot of thought, a lot of heart, passion. My soul went into this. Just to see it be received in a way that the listener appreciates what I’m doing and what I’m saying is very satisfying.

Some artists don’t feel free to speak their mind, but it seems like we’re starting to see more prominent figures like J Cole and Kendrick Lamar stepping up and doing so. Was there any caution on your part in opening up like that?
It’s weird. This industry, they want you to feel as if speaking out is the wrong thing to do. They make you feel as if once you start speaking out and shit you’re going to fuck your career up by getting involved with politics. But it’s the way you feel! I’m young. I’m part of the new generation. So we don’t really go by the old rules. It’s nothing for us to just do it our own way. So yeah, I do feel like more artists should speak up once they have the power because, again, on this album, I don’t feel like I’m just speaking for myself. There are so many people who feel the way that I feel about everything that I’m saying on this album, but they don’t have a voice that can be heard on this level. So I think it’s important for artists to speak for those people who listen to them who don’t have a voice.

Your career seemingly exploded overnight. That must have been a disorienting experience.
It wasn’t anything that I could have imagined that I would be dealing with at such a young age. And it’s funny because now being deep into the industry I see younger artists come in and they make the same mistakes that I made. Or I can just tell that they feel similar to the way that I felt. But it’s also different: When I came up it was right before Instagram was out and shit. So it was slightly harder for you to receive instant gratification than it is now. Younger artists, you can be on Instagram and shit and you can kinda gauge how much popularity you have. But when I first came out I didn’t really know how much people I was touching and affecting.

I was learning. I was a super-baby. And I’m still a baby. Well, maybe I’m a child now. I was an infant then.

You were a teenager and yet everyone viewed you as something of a hip-hop traditionalist and boom-bap revivalist. How do you feel about that label, looking back?
That led me to be put in this kind of box that I grew to dislike a lot. The whole Nineties boom-bap image that people was giving me. It was cool … don’t get me wrong. And I know it was part of my image and my sound. But I just started to feel like people were trying to force who I was. “Whoa! Y’all don’t even know what I’m capable of. Y’all don’t know how versatile I really am. This is not all I do!” I started getting really aggravated when people was stuffing me into that box. That’s what pushed me to grow as an artist even more. It pushed me to step outside my comfort zone even more. Because people was labeling me as one thing, and as an artist that’s never something that you want. I know it’s not me. I can do everything as far as versatility and making music. It was something I felt like I had to really break out of.

Tracks on the new album like “Rockabye Baby” and “Temptation” have some of the most refined production of your career.
That’s something that I really wanted to prove too. The whole world knows that I got bars and I can spit, but I wanted the whole world to know now I can make music and I can make hit records. I can make songs. I can make timeless classic records. No matter what I do I wanted the world to know that as well.

On a different note, you’ve recently been acting on Mr. Robot. How did that experience help expand the boundaries of your creativity?
It’s very important for me to stay creative. I stay creative in ways that people don’t even know. I design a lot of my own products with Adobe Illustrator. I used to sit on that shit for hours. I used to design my album artwork. I just like designing. I just like creating whether it’s music or clothes or ideas for other people. It’s very important for me to create. I’m hands-on with everything I do: I edit and direct my own videos. I am a creator. I must be creative. So it felt very imperative for me.

I enjoy wearing different hats. I enjoy taking on different roles. I’m also aware of being a jack-of-all-trades and a master at none. I make sure I stick to what is my bread and butter and I sharpen that the most before I get too crazy and am all over the place. But I enjoy taking part in multiple different types of extracurricular shit [laughs].

As successful as you’ve been, do you find yourself aiming for an even bigger mainstream breakthrough?
There definitely is that desire to get huge. The message was the most important thing to me on this album, but the sound … when you hear it, I wanted it to be felt and heard as if it’s just huge. As soon as it comes through the speakers I want you to feel like, “Wow! This is major!” I made all the music with the thought in mind that I was performing each song in front of 50,000 people. The music is perfectly tailored for a festival concert. I need thousands of people to feel it at a time.

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Watch Feist's Mirage-Like 'Pleasure' Video

Feist revealed the minimalist video for “Pleasure,” the first single and title track off the singer’s first new LP in six yearsPleasure, Feist’s first album since 2011’s Metals, is out April 28th.

The Canadian artist sings and dances to her new track in the low-key video, with her image constantly warping, swirling, stretching and splitting as if reflected through a funhouse mirror or a distant mirage.

“Our desire was to record that state without guile or go-to’s and to pin the songs down with conviction and our straight up human bodies,” Feist said of her new album in a statement

“I titled the album Pleasure like I was planting a seed or prophesizing some brightness. The experience of pleasure is mild or deep, sometimes temporal, sometimes a sort of low grade lasting, usually a motivator. If the way you look at things is how they look then my motivation is to look with a brighter eye.”

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Las Vegas Sands Launches the Sands Cares Accelerator Program with the Marty Hennessy Inspiring Children Foundation as its Inaugural Participant

LVS Logo (PRNewsFoto/Las Vegas Sands Corp.)LAS VEGAS, April 12, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE: LVS) today announced introduction of the Sands Cares Accelerator Program, a community partnership endeavor that entrenches deeper investment in growing nonprofit organizations that have the potential to more greatly…