The Roots (Black Thought, Questlove, Kamal Gray, Frank "Knuckles" Walker, Captain Kirk Douglas, Damon "Tuba Gooding Jr." Bryson, James Poyser and Mark Kelley) on the red carpet for the 2016 BET Awards Arrivals held at at the Microsoft Theater - Los Angeles, California, United States - Monday 27th June 2016
With the passing of each decade, the music industry is constantly set alight by the most recent saviour of pop and Connor4Real is the latest major record label cash cow but behind every great talent there's a whole host of people working behind the scenes to create the finished Connor4Real package.
The Lego Movie may just be the best loser in history.
The Lego Movie may not have made it onto the nominees list, but it did make it into the Oscars ceremony and that’s good enough. What better way to revive a stuffy, vaguely morose awards ceremony. Tegan and Sara, plus a massive ensemble cast, took it upon themselves to inject some life back into the night, dominated by heavy social subjects.
Tegan and Sara gave an aptly awesome performance of Everything is Awesome on the Dolby Theater stage.
Better yet, they were joined by Andy Samberg’s comedy-music troupe The Lonely Island, plus Questlove on drums and what looked like Will Arnett in a Batman costume. It’s pretty much your dream Oscars ensemble, right? Or at least a pretty cool NBC alumni reunion.
The Red Bull Music Academy Festival has featured events across the city, including performances from David Byrne and lectures with D'Angelo, but it all culminates on Saturday 31st May, with the official closing party.
Firstly, we recognise that reporting on a mixture of New York parties, eclectic performances and signature lectures from prominent music movers and shakers could seem, well, immaterial. Let's face it, Gotham is one long eclectic party - but the Red Bull Music Academy Festival is different. The Academy itself, which took place in New York in 2013 and will visit Tokyo this fall, is a travelling series of music performances, club nights, lectures, workshops, art installations and more founded in 1998 - it doesn't look to create "stars" (despite notable participants including Aloe Blacc, Flying Lotus, Hudson Mohawke and Juan Son), instead it looks to bring together music makers from around the globe. Think of it as a mobile behemoth of culture, skills and sound.
The newly created 'RBMA Festival ' - now taking place annually in New York City - is a legacy to the critically acclaimed Red Bull Music Academy that took place in New York in 2013. It is a month-long blowout that brings together a diverse group of the world's most creative young musicians. Since May 1st, this year's programme has blanketed the boroughs with a selection of richly curated events - and you're invited to the ultimate wrap party. But more on that soon.
Frankie Knuckles is being remembered across the music industry today.
Tributes have been pouring in for Frankie Knuckles, the pioneer of house music who died on Monday night (March 31) aged 59. Knuckles relocated to Chicago from New York City in the 1970s, delighting audiences with his sprawling epic sets at his clubs The Warehouse and The Power Plant.
Frankie's close friend and associate David Morales tweeted: "I am devastated to write that my dear friend Frankie Knuckles has passed away today. Can't write anymore than this at the moment. I'm sorry."
Continue reading: The Best Tributes To House Music 'Father' Frankie Knuckles
DJ Peanut Butter Wolf set up independent LA label Stones Throw Records in 1996 and it has since released a string of critically acclaimed artists that have helped to shape the music industry. Current artists include the likes of 7 Days of Funk, Arabian Prince, The Stepkids and Madlib, while previous years have seen Mayer Hawthorne and Aloe Blacc as label artists. These artists may not be mainstream chart gold, but they have captured the imaginations of hip-hop, soul and R&B lovers everywhere since its inception.
Continue: Our Vinyl Weighs A Ton Trailer
Is 'A Band Called Death' the new Searching For Sugar Man?
'A Band Called Death,' the Audience Award Winner at this year's SXSW Festival, is set to hit movie theaters in the U.S. on June 8, 2013. The documentary follows the story of Detroit brothers Bobby and Dannis Hackney and their friend Dobbie Duncan who formed proto-punk band Death, despite Motown and Disco's dominance of the early seventies black music scene.
As you'd expect, nobody was willing to give the boys a chance and a record deal appeared a million miles away. In 1974, the group was approached by Columbia Records mogul Clive Davis, though he requested the band choose a more commercially relatable name - they refused. Death disbanded in 1977, as white punk bands The Ramones and the Sex Pistols began to stamp their authority on the genre. However, nearly 30 years later, Death's demo tape found its way out of hiding and was played to a new generation of fans who appreciated the inspirational sound of the world's first black punk band. Directed by Jeff Howlett and Mark Covino, the movie is already getting comparisons to Oscar winning movie Searching for Sugar Man. Questlove is a fan too, tweeting after a recent screening, "if "Sugarman" doc moved you....this will be your music doc of the year."
There must have been something in the air this year because we literally had too many celebrity weddings to choose from for this list (sorry Alec Baldwin, you can stop reading now, you got bumped), and it was a tough job whittling it down to 10. So, who DID make the grade in our run-down 2012’s best nuptials?
What was the highlight of actress Amber Tamblyn and actor David Cross’ wedding? Well, sadly, even Tamblyn’s stunning gown couldn’t upstage the antics of their unofficial photographer, Questlove. The happy snapper not only DJ’d at the wedding, but also decided to take a number of pics of the happy couple and stick them on his Instagram account. The Roots drummer revealed pretty much everything from the bride’s arrival, to the cutting of the cake, using the hashtag #weddinginthewoods. So, Amber and David – you just about made the grade, but you have your crazy DJ to thank for it.
Ok, so it wasn't quite neo-soul, but it did feature Questlove and The Roots as the backing band. Mariah Carey stopped by the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon this week and was roped into performing her classic Christmas hit, still considered by many to be the finest of all the famous festive song.
The Roots took to their kid-sized toy instruments, including xylophone, bongos, rattlers, wood blocks and drums, while a chorus of children chimed in on background vocals - of course, Mariah's powerful vocals give things a bit of authenticity. However, we reckon the highlight of the evening was Questlove's holiday sweater - a disastrously cream Christmas zip-down creation. Fallon started things off, singing the ditty's opening lines, "I don't want a lot for Christmas. There is just one thing I need," before taking to the drums, tambourine and kazoo and letting Mariah take over. Writing on her Twitter page later, the 42-year-old singer wrote: "Join the fun + sing along to my festive 'All I Want For Christmas Is You' collabo with @jimmyfallon & @theroots!!!" Fallon tweeted, "@mariahcarey + theroots + Classroom Instruments. So fun."
As is becoming tradition, Mariah has been doing the Christmassy promotional rounds this year, last week performing her famous track at the annual tree-lighting ceremony at New York's Rockefeller Center.
We all know Questlove, right? The drummer for The Roots, a high profile musician in his own right and Amber Tamblyn’s amateur wedding photographer? Well, you can all call him Professor Questlove now because he’s soon going to be teaching a ‘Classic Albums’ course at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts during the Spring semester.
Whilst Drake is celebrating receiving his high school diploma at the age of 25, the 41 year old hip-hop dude is taking things one step further in the education world. If Jason King (associate producer of recorded music and head of history and criticism at the institute) is to be believed, Questlove is “one of the smartest people in music, besides being a fantastic musician. We thought [this class] would speak to his strengths.” According to E! Online, the two-credit course focuses on the music and lyrics of some of the greatest albums in music history, as well as taking a look at the production and business aspects, as well as considering why some albums stand the test of time better than others.
Questlove won’t be flying solo with this new venture, though; he’ll be joined by Harry Weinger, the A&R executive from Universal Music Enterprises. The news has been welcomed by those associated with the academic institute. Jeff Rabhan, the chair of the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, tweeted to say “Word is that @questlove is coming to teach a course next semester @CliveDavisInst on Classic Albums!" to which Questlove replied saying “That's Professor ?uesto." You’ve been warned, students!
Amber Tamblyn's dress was the real star of the show as the American actress and poet tied the knot with comedian and actor David Cross at a wonderful looking ceremony at the weekend. There was no press photography there, but who needs them when you've got DJ and music producer Questlove around to go snap-happy for you. The 41 year-old couldn't seem to help himself and on his Instagram, among other photos, there are a couple of glorious pictures of Tamblyn looking resplendent in a bright yellow, non-traditional dress.
In a classy looking location - pictures show Tamblyn stepping out of a boat with a lake and a lush-looking wood behind it - the couple were wedded with others in attendance including recently married Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively (also snapped by the ever reliable Questlove), whilst E! Online reports that Tamblyn's other 'Sisterhood Of The Travelling Pants' co-stars America Ferrera and Alexis Bledel were also there, as was Amy Poehler, who recently split from her husband Will Arnett. American rock band Yo La Tengo provided the music.
Questlove really got pretty close up to the bride and groom, with one very intimate shot showing the moment when the pair of them cut the cake. With a man like him around, the paparazzi should be looking over their shoulders.
With the passing of each decade, the music industry is constantly set alight by the...