The Return of Giant Step’s Hudson Series

Giant Step’s biweekly DJ series at Hudson Hotel returns in 2009 on Monday, April 6th.

As New York City’s premier Monday night event for the last two years, the Hudson has consistently seen a curated roster of DJ legends and pioneering artists as wide-ranging as Louie Vega, Afrika Bambaataa, Jazzanova, Bobbito and Danny Krivit, playing styles from soulful house, Latin, hip hop, jazz, funk and more. Mark your calendars now for quality music and dancing at Hudson to come.

RSVP for the first Hudson on Monday, 4/6 here.

Giant Step’s Resident 41: Soulwax, Jesse Boykins III, Dr. Dre

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Posted by Mawuse Ziegbe

I’ve always said that getting involved with friends is a no-no but recently I thrust my hand in the fire – and got burnt the hell up. There were red flags from jump: Brooklyn-based artist/actor/ “creative entity” (whatever), vegan (which to an African woman means starvation) attractive, tight-pants-wearing Black man (so he’s already hooked up with half of Fort Greene). As friends, we would giggle at parties and talk shit about people. With that kind of spiritual connection how could we lose? Well, now I’m out of a partner in bitchiness and I’ve added a name to my “please God don’t let me run into this yokel” list.

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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.

Janelle Monáe @ Skybar At Mondrian 2/7

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In a spectacular display of performance perfection, Grammy nominee Janelle Monáe showed the crowd at Skybar at Mondrian in LA that she was more than worthy of the “Best Urban Performance” Grammy, regardless of the final outcome the following night.

Giant Step is pleased to have brought you Janelle for a one-off treat in Los Angeles. She certainly made it a night to remember, diving into the adjacent pool for a swim and climbing a tree for kicks! Check it out below:
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