Jose James Gives an Endlessly Brilliant Performance at Highline Ballroom

 

Last night, Jose James packed a full shoulder to shoulder crowd at the Highline Ballroom in NYC for his No Beginning No End album release show. An eager and attentive crowd would go from standing still in awe to happily grooving, switching in intervals throughout the performance – Jose surely knows how to captivate.

The first half of the show was naturally focused on the new album and material, with Jose gliding across stage and outpouring the euphoria of the moment he felt through that gorgeous voice of his. Then, with a tender and somber Amp Fiddler cover that many assumed would be the final encore, Jose transitioned in a whole second half of the show.

“Park Bench People” was his segue into his older catalog, a song he performed with a proud nostalgic fervor and familiarity as the crowd lit up in cheers with similar sentiments. Jose also sprinkled much of his performance with charming human turntable interludes, “scratching” and “mixing” the song with just his voice. The ante got upped towards the end of the show where he invited Taylor McFerrin to join in on the human turntablism with his impeccable beatbox – the pair were visibly in another land as they vibed back and forth.

Jose also took the time to announce to the audience that him and his wife are expecting a baby girl. The glowing father to be then dedicated a song to his two ladies. It was a beautiful night all around.

Purchase No Beginning No End on iTunes | Amazon

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Photo: NYE 2013 on Moment.me

 

Moment.me is an awesome photo aggregation site that pulls together trending photo posts to the internet. In a nutshell, they tag their service as “the easiest way to see all pics, videos and tweets, from everyone at an event, in one shared album.” How fancy!

In honor of the new year festivities, Moment.me has shared with us their special NYE 2013 page so folks can join in on all the most happening events around the globe! Check out the embed above to get a little taste of what’s happening already or follow this link to the Moment.me NYE 2013 page.

Official Site

New Track: Gary Clark Jr. – “Numb”

 

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This guy is so damn cool. First time we saw him was at SXSW 2012 when he buzzed about with his eleventy-billion showcases, murderating stage after stage. Hailed by the press as the second coming of Jimi Hendrix after wowing crowds for the last couple years going hard on the festival circuit, Gary Clark Jr. is that dude.

The newest single from his upcoming album, Blak and Blu comes in the form of a distorted, gritty wonderland called “Numb” and carries a vocal style reminding us a but of Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys fame. No going wrong with that, either.

The first single, “Ain’t Messin ‘Round,” was released in September and has a crispier, poppier, high energy vibe. The man boasts variety – go ‘head, boo.

Look for Blak and Blu on October 22, and the meantime take a peek at Gary’s fashion spread in the August/September issue of Vibe, which happens to be shot by our editor, Seher Sikandar. Pretty rad!

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Purchase “Numb” on iTunes

Pre-Order Blak and Blu on iTunes

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Photo: Stevie Wonder at Outside Lands 2012

 

Giant Step contributor Emmanuel Blackwell shares some words on his Outside Lands experience, including photos from performances by Stevie Wonder and Santigold.

As cliché as it sounds, it has been a little over 72 hours and it still hasn’t quite set in that I was roughly 20 feet from the stage watching an American icon perform the songs that have helped mold the musical fabric of generations past, present and future.

Being at San Francisco’s Outside Lands is like being a kid in a candy store—for three whole days. There’s food, art, booze, and more distinguised musicians than you literally can even attempt to watch perform. On the final day of the prolific festival just a few of the names scheduled to hit the stage included: Franz Ferdinand, Skrillex, fun., City and Colour, Regina Spektor, Jack White, Santigold and the aforementioned living-legend Stevie Wonder to close out the show.

With thousands of people filling acres of The City’s historical Golden Gate Park with their ears and eyes wide open, Stevie delivered, dare I say, a Wonder-ful performance that left no attendee disappointed.

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Emmanuel Blackwell is a San Francisco native and photographer who documents music, street scenes, and the fine art of every day life. Find his work at emmanuelblackwell.com.

SXSW 2012 Photo Wrap Up + Top Fives

 

Photos by Seher Sikandar and Ashleigh Reddy.

Bare legs and beautiful people, music blasting from every doorway, epic parties with blow up rafts for crowd surfing, and more good eats than you can count on your fingers and toes, South by Southwest (SXSW) is the epitome of camp for adults. Above, take a little peek into our time at SXSW with this photo slideshow from some of our favorite shows!

We’ll leave you with a couple fun top 5 lists of our SXSW highlights – our top 5 performances and our top 5 places to eat!

Top 5 Performances

Alice Smith – The woman can sing her behind off, first of all. Every time we’ve seen her perform it’s all heart and soul – you watch her feel the spirit and are compelled to be moved by it right alongside her. Just epic. She also sang a few new cuts off of her upcoming album that will be coming out this year – and yes, they are amazing.

Michael Kiwanuka – Another magnificent voice. As we walked up the stairs to the church Michael was performing in, we couldn’t help but find ourselves in disbelief yet again at the voice emanating from the stairway and the walls – we had to be in a time warp, right? Was that voice really coming of this humble young man in 2012? Once we entered the room of jam packed pews, we became witnesses to our seeming fantasy becoming reality. Simply beautiful.

THEESatisfaction – So much flavor and heaps of attitude, these ladies are entertainers. With lyrics about bisexuality and racial identity, they also aren’t afraid to push the envelope and talk about things that actually matter. The melodic, often dense, dark, throbbing sound enraptures you like you never knew how you were without it before.

Erykah Badu – Anyone that’s seen a few Badu shows knows that no one show is ever the same. The lady can fill up a stadium with charm enough to make you think she was your homegirl talking just to you. In her home state, Erykah does not play – at all. The energy was the livest of live and we took it all in.

Rick Ross – Rawse at the Fader Fort. What else is there really left to say? Call and responses reduced to grunts and a hysterical crowd of hipster fans = everything you’ll ever need in life.

Read about our top 5 places to eat after the jump