New Stevie Wonder Special Tonight featuring India.Arie

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Tonight at 8pm, PBS presents Stevie Wonder in Performance at the White House, with hosts President and Michelle Obama. The event, featuring performances by various artists, is a celebration for Stevie Wonder’s receipt of The Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. They’ll have live performances by India.Arie, Tony Bennet, Diana Krall, Mary Mary, Will.i.am, Martina McBride, Esperanza Spalding and more – including Stevie himself!

Giant Step’s Resident 40: Lykke Li, Alaska In Winter and Friends We Love Festival

By Mawuse Ziegbe

So many rising stars sell out shows, sing along to a DAT, bask in their blogosphere buzz and call it a day. But congregates, believe wholly and fully in the hype of
Lykke Li. Rapturous Lykke Li followers enveloped Webster Hall and homegirl brought it. Her album Youth Novels is all feathery textures, pillowy vocals and naked emotion. And while she opened with the ethereal “Melodies & Desires,” she spent the rest of the show busting up the stage with rollicking versions of her dreamy break-up jams. Swathed in black layers she rocked “Dance, Dance, Dance,” banging on her drummer’s cymbals and shaking up the folky number with freewheeling spunk. The crowd drooled when she went into “I’m Good I’m Gone.” The band gave “Little Bit” a downtempo, acoustic revamp that heightened the vulnerability of the original version. During the encore she slipped in a cover of A Tribe Called Quest’s “Can I Kick It” and finished with “Breaking It Up.” For a Swedish pop star, she was mad hip hop. It was kinda like Lil’ Kim Presents Lykke Li. Amazing.

Alaska in Winter is also doing some fun stuff performance-wise. A slight fellow with a penchant for suits and fur hats, the project’s Brandon Bethancourt tinkered with an assortment of homemade key-tars (like, guitars duct-taped to keyboards), ukuleles and synths at Williamsburg’s Monkeytown. The show had all the makings of crappy experimental theater (one guy, too many instruments, a tolerant, touchy-feely audience). But unlike crappy experimental theater it came across as a meticulously planned performance experience. Bethancourt projected video of himself playing each instrument individually on Monkeytown’s four screens. He dressed in layers and disrobed throughout the set to match his virtual doppelgangers. So say before he goes into his pulsing, New Wave jam “Berlin,” he’ll take off his brown slacks to reveal some crisp white skinny pants that match the four celluloid Bethancourts strumming banjoes, slamming key-tars and wearing horsey masks. Ok, my description sounds like I huff glue but I pinky swear it’s a totally great show.

I had a ridiculous time at the Friends We Love Festival. It was all beautiful Brooklyn folk who only come to the city for gritty yet fabulous parties such as this one. DJs like the legendary Bobbito and DJ Moni spun the chunes and Platinum Pied Pipers’ Wajeed made an appearance. And there was the requisite indoor street art and that everybody was too drunk to really notice. The party also had the rowdiest entrance sitchy I’ve ever encountered. You go to the door and there’s a sign saying the party’s moved across the street. Fine. You get to that address and there’s another sign saying it moved around the corner. Um, ok. The next entrance says it’s on the other side of the building. Just when I’m about to give up thinking the party’s in Narnia, I find the entrance. And the elevator isn’t working. Joy. Five flights later, I get to the party. Sarah White and DJ Don Cuco hit the stage and I bop to their snappy number “I Wanna Be With You.” Hopefully this bit of blog buzz doesn’t make them switch to DATs. I think more rising stars need to slam key-tars and channel Lil Kim.

Mardi Gras Special – Free Hot 8 Brass

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Tuesday 24th February 2009 is Mardi Gras, and to celebrate, we’ve got an exclusive cut from Hot 8 Brass Band to give away absolutely FREE. Appropriately entitled “Steamin’ Blues”, this track is only available for one week. To celebrate our new partnership hit the link and head to the Tru Thoughts site to download this amazing joint from New Orleans’ finest, and get into the Mardi Gras spirit.

Download Here

Tru Thoughts

Duffy Sweeps the Brits

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Last night, UK singer Duffy swept the British music awards ceremony, taking home 3 awards! She won for best British Breakthrough Act and best British Female Solo Artist, and her album Rockferry won for best British Album.

This time last year she was playing small clubs in London but last night emerged as one of the world’s ­leading acts following international record sales topping 5m. “I used to watch the Brits at home with my sisters every year,” Duffy said. “It is so symbolic of British music it has got to be the most surreal thing I’ve done so far.”
-[The Guardian]