As 2013 nears its end, we continue our tradition of yearly staff picks summing up our favorite music from the 12 months past. This year is very special as we've extended our list makers to include Giant Step fam outside of the staff itself; many thanks to Maiya Norton, Nai Palm (Hiatus Kaiyote), Natasha Diggs, Rich Medina, and DJ Spinna for contributing their takes!
Little Dragon and one of our new favorites, SZA took down the house last night at Music Hall of Williamsburg and we were there to capture it. Little Dragon even performed a new song off their upcoming album, and let us tell you - the new album is shaping up very nicely!
We couldn't have been prouder to produce such a spectacular event for the NYC leg of the ABSOLUT X experience where art, cocktails, and music come together. RSVPs reached record highs and a line wrapped around the block hours before the event.
Upon entering, guests were greeted by futuristic ladies with trays of masks marked with a bold "X." Party goers glady donned the silver and black masks while several folks stunted with elaborate masks of their own.
The space was brilliant; Bright spotlights drenched the room and Sanford Biggers' striking art - including a colossal hula girl and a cloud installation on the ceiling - created a breathtaking display.
Master mixologist Naren Young was constantly surrounded by a large huddle of people eagerly awaiting his concoctions, which he also happened to make and distribute with impressive speed and ease. Our personal favorite drink included an Açaí berry puree (genius).
Stationed atop a grand balcony of his own, Questlove had the party going with nostalgic hits and new bangers alike from jump. And once Santigold hit the stage, the energy only compounded. Complete with three wardrobes for both her and her dazzling backup dancers, Santi put on a performance that made you pay attention. And of course her backup dancers weren't going to leave home without an array of rad props like umbrellas, ropes, and a large mammal. Yes.
Roseland Ballroom was undoubtedly the place to be last night. Thank you to all that came and helped make it the night it was! For those that missed out, watch the photo slideshow below!
Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Luke James has quickly gained popularity amongst the curatorial elite, including Beyoncé, who chose the New Orleans native to appear in her "Run the World" video and has also selected the rising star as the only opener for her current Mrs. Carter tour.
Having penned songs for a slew of A-list artists, Luke has also had the fortune of working with some great producers, including Salaam Remi and Danja.
Last month, we were able to catch Luke at the Spotlight Live music industry showcase and were blown away by the power of his performance. He had a notable, palpable impact on the crowd that left audience members yelping and cheering throughout. Watch "I.O.U." above and after the jump catch the "Make Love To Me" video as well as a photo slideshow of all performances that night.
The night of Tuesday, May 7th was one of musical splendor. The evening hosted the first of two high-demand New York shows at Terminal 5 for the future soul master that is James Blake. The UK crooner brought out a crowd that is unheard of at such shows, a mass of actual cool people. You had your hipsters clad in dark framed glasses and five-panel hats, college bros that are venturing out to new musical territories, tastemakers, and couples that danced to a rhythm that no one else heard. This group was mature and well attuned to Blake's galaxy-surfing sound.
His set began a minute early, at 8:59 PM to be exact, with an attention-grabbing introduction of “Unluck”. The stage was clad in blue-green light adding a dreamlike quality to Blake's at-times haunting vocals. Positioned to the right of center-stage, Blake's performance was not focused on his ego, but that of meticulous live-sampling and eclectic sound.