Blockhead in New York This Week; RJD2 Next Month


With successful solo albums of production work and creating beats for Eastern Conference & Def Jux emcees, Blockhead newrjand RJD2 both return to New York City for solo shows.  Blockhead, who several months ago released his fourth album plays Mercury Lounge Friday (02.05.10).  Tickets are $12; 21.

RJD2 has a new album of his own .  Two weeks ago RJ released his fourth studio album as well The Colossus (pictured right) via his own record label.  He returns to New York for a night at Highline Ballroom on 03.07.10.  Break Science and Happy Chichester open the show.  Tickets are on-sale now for $17.

Paying Tribute To ‘Ultimate Breaks and Beats’


Remember when being a DJ meant having more than a MacBook and an actual record rollection?  When DJs carried vinyl and were digging through crates to find that rare gem?  The Ultimate Breaks and Beats collection was a must have for any serious DJ in the pre-Serato era.  The 25 ubbtourvolume compilation featured the essential drum and break beats from prominent artists.  With the first UBB release in 1966 the collection continued through the 80’s on Street Beat records.

To pay homage to the releases Big Daddy Entertainment is presenting the ‘Ultimate Breaks and Beats DJ Tour Launch Party’ at B.B. King Blues Club on 02.24.10.  Helping pay tribute to UBB is an insane lineup of top DJs and producers.  Confirmed guests for the night include DJ Dummy, Teve Dee, Kenny Dope, Breakbeat Lou, all members of Da Beatminerz (DJ Evil DeeMr. Walt, & Bazarro), J Flawless, DJ Wiz, Boogie Blind, Incrediboi, DJ Mocha, Eddie B Swift, Maseo of De La Soul, Lord Finesse, DJ Scratch, DJ Spinna, Grandwizard Theodore, & Spinderella of Salt-n-Pepa.  Tickets are just $20 in advance to see a loaded lineup all on one bill.

Rare Form Presents Donuts Are Forever 4


Rare Form’s annual ‘Donuts Are Forever’ benefit event has become a incredibly successful fundraiser to remember the late J donuts4Dilla and raise money for The J Dilla Foundation.  After three years of special guests and hosts for the event with lines around the corner to get in, they move ‘Donuts Are Forever 4′ this year to The Bell House on 02.06.10.  This year’s benefit is headlined by a DJ set from ?uestlove along with DJs Brainchild and Parler.  The night is hosted by long time Dilla collaborator and fellow Detroit native Guilty Simpson.  Doors open at 10:00 PM with a $5 minimum donation at the door; early arrival is suggested based on the turnout from the last few years.

Gilles Peterson Back in NYC For 2 Nights


Gilles Peterson, the legendary French born and London based Radio 1 DJ returns to New York City this week for his first gilleslittlefieldshow since 2008.  On Friday, 01.29.10 Peterson first plays in Brooklyn at Littlefield for an evening presented by Giant Step.  Tickets are $15 in advance, 21+.  Three days later he brings the party to Manhattan for a night with the legendary François K for Deep Space at Cielo on 02.01.10.  These are two rare nights to see the acclaimed tastemaker in an intimate environment.  His last NY appearances were at the much larger Summer Stage for the free Giant Step concert in Central Park.

OPEN Over, Fridays Are Now re-OPEN-ed @ Santos


Last December Rich Medina exited the OPEN weekly at Santos Party House leaving just Q-Tip and Va$htie.  The January reopenedcalendar at Santos was also empty leaving speculation that The Abstract was wrapping it up as well.  With both Tip and Medina now gone, Santos has reconstructed a new lineup for ‘re-OPEN-ed,’ the new Friday party at the club.  Just Blaze and DJ Soul take over the upstairs while Max Glazer of Federation Sound, Gravy, and Micro Don “provide the vibes in the basement.”  Cover is $5 in advance with an RSVP (see flyer for details) or $10 cover at the door.

You can still catch Rich Medina at his other weekly and monthly residencies.  The first ever OPEN party was at Santos Party House on 08.01.08 with Q-Tip and Rich Medina…see photos here.

The New York Stimulus Package


stimulusnycPhilly native Freeway is set to release his next album The Stimulus Package on 02.16.10.  The album is entirely produced by Jake One.  Jake One took his name from well respected to well known producer after his ‘08 Rhymesayers release which made it to most critic’s top 10 lists for the year.  To support the new project Freeway & Jake One deliver a short run of dates with ‘The New York Stimulus Package,’ coming to New York on album release day (02.16) at Highline Ballroom.  Tickets are $13, show starts at 9:00 PM.

Mind + Body + Soul: A Concert Event To Raise Awareness For Diabetes


On Wednesday, 01.20.10 The Heavy Sound present Mind + Body + Soul: A Concert Event To Raise Awareness For mbs2Diabetes.  Not only is this concert free but boasts an incredible lineup of incredibly influential players in the hiphop.  The awareness event which takes place at Knitting Factory Brooklyn is hosted by Michael Rapaport, Okayplayer, and Phife Dawg.  Rapaport has spent the last two years working on a documentary about A Tribe Called Quest being produced by Nas.

Mind + Body + Soul also features live performances from Ghostface, Jay Electronica, Consequence, and Talib Kweli along with special surprise guests.  Not too bad for an event that is free with an RSVP (see flyer for details).   Only thing that could make this night better would be Phife reuniting onstage with long time Tribe collaborator Consequence (hey, would be great footage for the documentary).  I’d also settle for Rapaport aka White Mike grabbing the mic and performing ‘How To Rob An Actor.’  Doors open at 8:00 PM and its safe to say you’ll want to get to this one early.

Reflection Eternal Performing This Week


After several sold out shows in Manhattan this year, Talib Kweli & Hi-Tek take the stage again at Highline Ballroom on 01.22.10 for a performance as Reflection Eternal.  The all ages show starts at 11:30 PM with tickets for only $10.

Gil Scott-Heron Releasing a New Album & Show Tonight


Gil Scott-Heron has performed every Sunday on MLK Jr. Weekend at S.O.B.’s for the last few years.  The annual tradition gshmlk10continues again tonight (01.17.10) when he returns for another show.

“The tradition continues with SOBs’ annual Martin Luther King Jr Day celebration, with one of the people responsible for the United States’ adoption of the national holiday. Gil Scott-Heron celebrates MLK Day on Sunday, January 17th.”

Something Gil Scott-Heron doesn’t do annually is release a new album.  As a matter of fact it has been thirteen years to be exact.  Next month,  Heron will be releasing a brand new recording I’m New Here through XL Records.  The record is produced entirely by Richard Russell who also owns the indie U.K. label.  Heron will perform his classic and new material at his S.O.B.’s show tonight.  Tickets are still available for $25 at the door.

Sunday Cookin’ with Questlove Tonight


?uestwaajNo work tomorrow?  Party tonight (01.17.10) for MLK Jr. Weekend with a DJ set from ?uestlove at the Sunday Cookin’ party presented by MeanRed.  Waajeed of Platinum Pied Pipers joins ?uest for the night which was now moved to Southpaw.  Cover is $12; doors at 10:00 PM, 21+.

Wu-Tang Announces ‘Return of the Wu & Friends’


There’s been no shortage of shows involving Wu-Tang members but the first announced release of 2010 will be a special returnofwuone.  Last year gave us long awaited albums like OB4CL2 and another one from Red & Meth but on 02.16.10 Gold Dust Records will release Return of the Wu & Friends compiled by DJ Mathematics, the longtime Wu producer.

“Since their debut album, 1993’s Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), Wu-Tang has become synonymous with gritty, direct lyrics and beats that draw from classic soul, horn-blasted funk, cinematic curios, and dirty guitar licks (among many others.) With each successive album, the group solidifies their hold on hip-hop, watching over the years as rappers, trends and ephemeral styles come and go and become musical footnotes in the game.
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Spinna & Rich Medina’s Annual MLK Jr. Tribute


mlkflyerFor six years now DJs Rich Medina and DJ Spinna have been honoring the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. on MLK Jr. Day.  The 6th Annual celebration of music and freedom with Medina & Spinna takes place again this year at Cielo presented by Giant Step.  Limited advance tickets are available for $15.

The OnSmash Invasion @ Highline Ballroom


onsmashLast September Styles P & DJ Green Lantern announced their new collaboration as The Green Ghost Project.  Although the rapper/producer combo the two created drive the album, guest producers and emcees including The Alchemist, The L.O.X., and Junior Reed all appear on the album.  On 02.01.10 Highline Ballroom presents the OnSmash Invasion, the official album release party for Green Ghost Project with Styles P & DJ Green Lantern.  The night also features Sean Price and special guests.  The actual album hits stores the next day.  Tickets are $15 in advance and is an all ages show.

A Tribute To Roy Ayers


Revive Da Live/Revive Music Group have been known to pay tribute to influential musicians.  In 2009 they regularly organized events at 92Y Tribeca recognizing hiphop legends like Q-Tip, DJ Premier, and ?uestlove.  For 2010 they’ll take it back a few decades, paying homageroyayerstribute to a jazz great, Roy Ayers.  On 04.24.10 they present ‘A Tribute to Roy Ayers’ at Aaron Davis Hall at The Harlem Stage with Pete Rock and Robert Glasper’s “The Experiment.”  Full details below:

“Revive Music Group’s tribute to the legendary jazz musician Roy Ayers features an amazing lineup of music pioneers including legendary hip hop producer Pete Rock, jazz trailblazer Robert Glasper’s The Experiment and special guests. Honored Guest Roy Ayers will be there to bask in the glory.  For this very unique event, the featured artists will collaborate in tribute to the extraordinary career of vibraphonist Roy Ayers and his influence and contributions to contemporary urban music.

Featured artist, Pete Rock, has produced many hip hop milestones from Ayers’ source material, inspiration and influence. Revive Music Group is focused on revealing the roots of music culture by uniting two legends, two genre’s of music, two generations and examining the foundations of emerging and established artists.

To bridge the gap, blue note recording artist Robert Glasper & The Experiment featuring Chris Dave on Drums, Derrick Hodge on Bass & Casey Benjamin on Alto/Vocoder will perform sequences between Roy Ayers selections transition them into Pete Rock productions that were created from his musical influence. The live reinterpretations and interpolations of both works serve as the conduit to understanding the harmonic relationship between the past and present.”

Tickets to the event are $25 and on-sale now; tribute begins at 7:30 PM.

A Sheen Bros Residency Begins & Other Nights @ APT


The Sheen Bros have been making noise for a minute now with funk heads hooked on their Scumbag Funk mixtapes.  Cosmo Baker and 4th Pyramid combine forces to form Sheen Bros and start 2010 off with their new ‘Sheenic Route’ residency together at APT.  The bros sheenbrosflyerbring their grooves on the first Thursday of every month with their first night on 01.07.10.  Scumbag Funk Volume 2 recently was released for free download.

Besides introducing the Sheen Bros residency, January at APT also welcomes in some new DJs and brings back many of their regulars.  This month their calendar is looking as good as it ever has with everyone from Premo to Eli Escobar to Ticklah on the decks. Upcoming nights include:

  • •01.06.10: Little Ricky’s Rib Shack with Rich Medina (every Wednesday night)
  • •01.08.10: Special Delivery with DJ Eleven and DJ mOma
  • •01.11.10: Prince Paul’s Monday Night Ill Out
  • •01.12.10: Some Like It Hot with DJs Bigga Mention, Ticklah, and Hahn Solo
  • •01.15.10: Eli Escobar
  • •01.18.10: Like They Use To Say with DJ Premier and DJ Eclipse
  • •01.25.10: Vinyl Is Forever with Bobbito Garcia

APT’s complete calendar is posted on their website.  View photos and a recap from Peanut Butter Wolf’s party at APT in 2007.

BRC 25th Anniversary Celebration Featuring the Music of Curtis Mayfield


To celebrate 25 years of supporting recording and performance opportunities for black musicians, the Black Rock Coalition will host a weekend of free shows at Brooklyn Academy of curtiscoverMusic as part of the ‘BAMcafé Live’ series.  The Black Rock Coalition will pay tribute to one of the most talented and influential activist, Curtis Mayfield.

“In conjunction with BAM’s celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Black Rock Coalition performs inspirational songs by the great Curtis Mayfield, whose music chronicles the highs and lows of African American experience, including the revolutionary spirit of the Civil Rights Movement.”

On 01.15.10 & 01.16.10 they’ll perform at 9:00 PM.  Bar opens at 8:00 PM.  Check BAM’s event listing & website for more info.

Timbaland Presents Shock Value II Tour


Shock Value II, Timbaland’s follow up album to his multiplication ‘07 release finally came out this month after getting push backed several weeks.  The record features beats from one of shockvalue2hiphop’s most sucessful producers, many in new styles not seen in his past work.  Besides tracks with rappers like Drake and ‘Symphony’ which features Masta Ace, Craig G, Kool G Rap and Big Daddy Kane, the album also lets Timbaland explore his pop-production side.  Some unexpected guests collaborate with him including Miley Cyrus, Esthero, and Katy Perry.

Timbaland has also confirmed a three week ‘Shock Value II Tour’ in major markets.  Kicking off in his hometown Virginia next month the tour stops in New York City on 01.20.10 at Irving Plaza.  As of right now Timbaland is the only confirmed artist on the bill but you’d have to think at least some artists from the album are going to be joining him on the tour to make this work.  Tickets are on-sale for $37.50; 16+.

Mos Def Show Rescheduled


Last week’s scheduled Mos Def show at Highline Ballroom was postponed due to the snow although some believed it was canceled as a result of $45 tickets on a Sunday night.  For now, it’s looking like the weather was the culprit as Highline has announced the make up date of 01.17.10.  Tickets from the original show will be honored and those $45 tickets are still available online.

Mos also performs a week later with MF Doom at Nokia Theatre

The Bell House Rock ‘N’ Soul 2010 NYE Party


If the upcoming Daptone related events don’t meet your soul cravings, head on over to The Bell House for New Years Eve when they host their ‘Rock ‘N’ Soul 2010 New Years Eve bellhousenyeParty.’  Two exciting bands, Obits and Eli Paperboy Reed & The True Loves coheadline the night.

Join us at the Bell House on New Year’s Eve for a legendary ROCK and SOUL blowout! Subway Soul Club’s DJs will be spinning until the wee hours as well as special performances from OBITS and SPECIAL GUESTS. FREE can of Sofia Blanc de Blanc champagne with admission. Food vendors! Party favors! Door prizes! Let’s get it on.

The night gets started at 8:00 PM with advance tickets for $30.   Last year’s NYE event sold out so it’s best to grab them in advance.

P.U.T.S. New Album & Tour


putscarriedawayPeople Under the Stairs kick off a short eight date tour next month to promote their latest album.  Carried Away, the group’s seventh studio album hit stores in October and starting in January they run down the east coast kicking off in Boston.  On 01.23.10 they stop in New York for one night at Bowery Ballroom.  Hiphop newcomer Kenan Bell opens the show, the indie-emo-rapper who is also opening up for RJD2 on his 2010 tour as well.  Tickets are on-sale for $15, show is 18+.

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