Ovation TV Presents “On The Record With Mick Rock”, Sundays at 8 PM EST In August + West Coast Hip Hop Spotify Playlist!

As a lover of all things related to musicians and photographers, I was tickled to hear about the premiere of new series On The Record With Mick Rock. The Ovation TV program follows famed British rock & roll photographer Mick Rock, who is best known for shooting musical greats in the 1970’s, including the likes of David Bowie, Blondie, and the Sex Pistols.

In each episode, he follows a different musician in their hometown for a candid interview amongst the sites, people, and things that inspire them. The series premiere on Sunday, August 4th at 8 PM ET kicked off with Josh Groban in his native Los Angeles. The show runs through August 23rd, with remaining guests including Kings of Leon, Flaming Lips, and Patti LaBelle.

Mick Rock Speaking on his love for Snoop Dogg

Rock is still a quite sought-after musical photographer, Snoop Dogg being one of the artists he works with currently. Upon watching the video above, I was inspired to create a Spotify playlist of West Coast Hip Hop songs that I grew up listening to, including Snoop and his contemporaries. Check out my Spotify playlist below, featuring 90 minutes of gritty jams.

*Editor’s note: the playlist is completely uncensored, please play at your own discretion.*

spotify:user:andreakcastillo:playlist:1zeEImmR7okNKsz7PyVJKp
 

*This is a sponsored post

Saturday Sounds: The Internet “Special Affair”

My favorite musical peeps, The Internet set the internet ablaze when they dropped their new track “Special Affair”. The bass-laden, moody, late night caller track is super sensual, telling the story of taking the object of your desire at the bar/club home for the night. There are so many layers to the song, sonically, making it really sound like the darkness of the middle of the night.

“Special Affair” is the first single off of The Internet’s forthcoming sophomore album, Ego Death, which is to be released digitally on June 29th and physically on June 30th. Press play to get into the sensual vibes.

Feeling it? You can pre-order the album now on iTunes and Amazon here.

Concerts in NYC: Summerstage ’15, June Picks Feat. Rich Medina, Jungle, Gyptian& More!

June crept up on NYC with a blister of wind and drab rain, but not to fret, we are reminded that the summer season is upon us. How you may ask? With the full line-ups of various arts and cultural events that are FREE 99 in the city. Here is where I share with you one of my favorite lineups every summer, Summerstage concerts at the City Parks. Now in its 30th year, the programming for the season is one to be remembered.

Check out my picks for the month of June, which is also Black Music Month, below, and stay tuned for  upcoming months!

 

JUNE

Blue Note Jazz Festival: Meshell Ndegeocello / Roy Hargrove / Gabriel Garzón-Montano

June 6 @ 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm | SummerStage, Central Park | Free


Angelique Kidjo / Emmanuel Jal / Rich Medina

June 7 @ 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm SummerStage, Central Park | Free


Unlocking the Truth / Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls / Black Girls Rock / DJ Diamond Kuts

June 7 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm| Red Hook ParkFree


Duck Down 20-Year Anniversary BBQ with Boot Camp Clik & Friends, Kirk Knight & CJ Fly of Pro Era, Chelsea Reject & Statik Selektah

June 11 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm| Betsy Head Park | Free


Horace Brown / Jeff Redd / DJ Chuck Chillout / DJ Mell Starr

June 12 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm | Betsy Head Park | Free


Nuyorican Poets Cafe featuring Elaine Del Valle’s Brownsville Bred

June 13 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm Betsy Head Park | Free


Lyricist Lounge featuring Biz Markie and Masta Ace

June 17 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm | Herbert Von King Park | Free


The Big Quiet – A Meditation in Central Park

June 20 @ 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm | SummerStage, Central Park | Free


Jungle / Ibeyi / Sunni Colón

June 20 @ 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm| SummerStage, Central Park | Free


The Bullitts / DJ Spinna / Screening: They Die By Dawn

June 21 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm Herbert Von King Park | Free


Judy Torres / Tony Touch

June 24 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm | Crotona Park | Free


VP Records 35th Anniversary: Maxi Priest / Gyptian / Bunji Garlin & Fay Ann Lyons / Massive B

June 27 @ 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm SummerStage, Central Park | Free


Will you be heading out to the parks this month for these awesome shows? You will definitely catch us out at a few. Here’s to a June of great music! Stay tuned for our July picks. 🙂

 

Saturday Sounds: Kali Uchis “Rush” + Music Video

Kali Uchis, the Colombiana songstress & visionary by way of Virginia has been on my radar for some time now. I first came across her last year via Kitty Cash’s Love The Free Vol. 2 mixtape that featured her track “Real”. I was immediately fascinated by her smokey tone and songwriting, and had since been following her music via SoundCloud.

She dropped her Por Vida EP back in February, and it’s been in constant rotation on my iTunes. It contains nine undeniably groovy tracks, one of my favorites being “Rush”, produced by KAYTRANADA & BADBADNOTGOOD. The song has a funky 1970’s vibe, which I always appreciate in music. Listen below.

The music video, co-directed by Kali Uchis is set in the mid-1970’s with hot pants, platform shoes and cascading tresses to set the mood. The visual perfectly complements the lo-fi feeling of the track. Get into it below, and enjoy your Saturday!

Saturday Sounds: “Reflection” Towkio, Produced by Kaytranada

Hey girl/boy! So you had a long week, huh? I hear that. Work was pretty stressful and that one co-worker you can’t stand was all up in your grill, right? You need a break, and possibly a burst of energy. Well, I got that, in the form of music of course! In this edition of Saturday Sounds, I bring to you yet another track produced by my FAVORITE GUY, Kaytranada.

The song “Reflection” is by newcomer Towkio, who is apart of Chicago’s SAVEMONEY click, led by Vic Mensa. His voice is painfully expressive with a great melodic quality, which really trains your ears to listen to the lyrics; the storytelling behind the song. Press play to get into it.

Towkio’s .WAV Theory EP is available to stream and download now.

Free In NYC: Bryant Park Kicks Off FREE Summer Event Series Including Dance, Yoga, Film & Live Music!

Each summer, one of my favorite places in New York City, Bryant Park, holds  a comprehensive arts & culture event series. The season kicks off tonight with a waltz ball, in addition to dance, music, yoga, and the HBO Summer Film Series programming continuing throughout the course of the summer. I’ve included the FULL calendar of the series beneath the appropriate photo. All of these events are absolutely FREE, so feel free to bring a friend, family member, partner, or future lover. 🙂

Dance, Courtesy of Bryant Park Corporation

Dance lessons will be held from 6–7pm, followed by dancing to live music:

Opening Night Waltz Ball, Wednesday, May 6:

–  6–7pm: Dance lessons by Randy Dias and Alexandra Lyubchevskaya

–  7–8:30pm: Dancing and live music by Lester Lanin Orchestra, which has played for audiences around the world for 50 years—most notably at the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana

Cuban Salsa, Wednesday, May 13:

– 6–7pm: Dance lessons by Yesenia Selier and Hunter Houde

– 7–8:30pm: Dancing and live Cuban music by Gerardo Contino y Los Habaneros

Swing and Lindy Hop, Wednesday, May 20:

– 6–7pm: Dance lessons by Evita Arce and Michael Jagger

–  7–8:30pm: Dancing and live swing music by George Gee Swing

Orchestra

Samba e Mais, Wednesday, May 27:

– 6–7pm: Dance lessons by Marizete Browne and Daniele Andrade

– 7–8:30pm: Dancing and live music by Mistura Perfeita Band, which will play traditional and contemporary Brazilian samba and bossanova

Tango, Wednesday, June 3:

– 6–7pm: Dance lessons by Mariana Parma and Hernan Brizuela

– 7–8:30pm: Dancing and live music by The NY Tango Quartet, which will perform classics and improvisations

Bachata, Wednesday, June 10:

– 6–7pm: Dance lessons by Alejandro Bouza and Talia Castro-Pozo

– 7–8:30pm: Dancing and live music by Bachata Heightz, an original pioneer of urban bachata

West Coast Swing, Wednesday, June 17:

– 6–7pm: Dance lessons by Marlon Mills and Chrissy Bridgeman

– 7–8:30pm: Dancing and live music by Rakiem Walker Project, a seven-piece band featuring soul, funk, R&B, gospel and blues

Latin Dancing Festival, Wednesday, June 24:

– 5–6:30pm: Latin jazz dance lessons by Sekou McMiller and a live performance by Grammy award-wining bassist John Benitez

– 6:30–7:15pm: Mambo dance lessons by Frank Muhel and Ericka Fignole

– 7:15–8:15pm: Dancing and live music by 50’s and 60’s era mambo band, Palladium All Stars

– 8:15–9pm: Salsa dance lessons by Talia Castro-Pozo and a special guest

– 9–10pm: Dancing and live music by salsa dura band Avenida B

ADMISSION: Free
WHERE: Fountain Terrace at Bryant Park, which is between 40th and 42nd Streets on the Sixth Avenue side of the park.

Yoga, Courtesy of Bryant Park Corporation

  • Bryant Park Yoga, starting on Tuesday, May 19 at 10am: This flagship series— presented by Athleta with support from Yoga Journal and Flavorpill—will be returning for its 12th season. (Tuesdays at 10am and Thursdays at 6pm through September 24.)

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Saturday Sounds: Sango & SPZRKT – “HowDoYouLoveMe” (esta remix Ft. Towkio)

The week has ended and it is time to relax, regroup, and unwind for the weekend. For this edition of Saturday Sounds, we have a groovy, lo-fi jam by some heavyweights at the West-Coast based label/collective Soulection.

Here we have the “HowDoYouLove” me remix, a track by Sango and SPZRKT, remixed by Esta, featuring additional vocals by SaveMoney from Chicago’s Towkio. Yes, I know that was a mouthful, but the sonic synergy of these gentleman creates a sexy/dance jam in the best way possible. Press play below to get into it. This track and others are featured on Esta’s new “etc.” EP, available now for download on Bandcamp.

Event Re-Cap: The 2015 Brooklyn Artist’s Ball & Dance Party at Brooklyn Museum; The Sights & Sounds and What I Wore!

Artists Ball Dinner in the Beaux Arts Court (Liz Ligon for the Brooklyn Museum)

On the evening of Wednesday, April 15th, Brooklyn’s art community came together for one of the largest fundraising gala celebrations of the year, the Brooklyn Artist’s Ball. Held at the artistic mecca of Brooklyn Museum, the event’s initiative is to host installations by local Brooklyn artists via table ornamentations and auctions, honor various trailblazers in the art world, and raise funds for the museum.

 

Takashi Murakami, Arnold Lehman, Jeanine Basquiat, Lisane Basquiat and Kiki Smith (photo by Elena Oliva)

This year was particularly special as it honored retiring museum director Arnold Lehman, artists Takashi Murakami and Kiki Smith, along with representatives from the Jean-Michel Basquiat Foundation, Lisane and Jeanine Basquiat, sisters of the late-great artist.

Notable guests were treated to specially created installations by artists including OLEK, Swoon, Pioneer Works, FAILE, Catron & Outlaw, Duke Riley, SITU Studio and Fernando Mastrangelo, as seen in the photo up top.

 

Takashi Murakami & Amirah Kassem (Photo by Liz Ligon for Brooklyn Museum)

After the ceremony and dinner, guests were treated to a dance party in the museum lobby, with a fun Takashi Murakami-inspired gumball installation by Amirah Kassem of Flour Shop.

 

Catchdubs at the Dance Party (Liz Ligon for the Brooklyn Museum)

Sounds of the evening were specially curated by Brooklyn’s own, Fool’s Gold Records. Co-founder Nick Catchdubs spun groovy tracks throughout the evening, whilst sharing the stage with Fool’s Gold label newcomers.

 

Leaf performing at the Dance Party (Liz Ligon for the Brooklyn Museum)

It was really awesome to see some of my new favorite acts perform in the museum, including Leaf, Shash’U (who played enough Kaytranada and Kendrick to keep me dancing in near 5 inch heels), and Bosco. The dancers were ON POINT, the vibe was a mix of vogue, funk, and hip hop, and I was all for it!

 

ME! Dressed in Maison Kitsuné

I felt really cool to be at the dance party for the second year in a row, and was sure to bring my A-game fashion-wise as I absolutely hated my look last year, LOL. I had the pleasure of wearing the beautiful Pearly Bali dress by Maison Kitsuné and I felt like a million bucks! The full skirt and modest neckline are totally up my alley and perfect for dancing!

Many thanks to the lovely ladies at Allen/Cooper for having me. Here’s to more celebrations in art and culture!

Saturday Sounds: Sade – “Nothing Can Come Between Us” (Pomo Edit)

The weekend is here, and that means it’s time to jam out with some Saturday Sounds! If you have been keeping tabs on my musical tastes, you would have noticed that I live in the world where sexy jams, high-energy reggae, and gangsta rap collide. Today’s track, a remix by producer/DJ Pomo, resides in the sexy jam region.

I was introduced to this Sade remix by one of my new Twitter friends @DanDrage, who included a Pomo track in a playlist that I realized I was listening to for months. It was one of those tracks hidden in a Kaytranada DJ mix, but I just was unaware of the artist name or song, but now I know! In my research, I also learned that these two Canadian boys share management. Small world indeed.

Get into the track below, sure to make you wiggle a little, and cool out!

Event: Brooklyn Artists Ball Dance Party 4/15 at Brooklyn Museum, With Music Curated by Fools Gold!

Ayo Brooklyn! It’s that time of year again, time for the Brooklyn Artists Ball Dance Party line-up! I had the pleasure of attending for the first time last year, jamming to the sounds of LE1F and Brenmar in Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Pavilion at the Brooklyn Museum. This year is sure to please with a super-awesome musical line-up curated by none of other than Brooklyn-based label Fool’s Gold (cue air horn).

Here’s what you can expect:

– Music by Fool’s Gold signees Leaf, BOSCO, Shash’U, & Nick Catchdubs (one of my FAVE dis, btw)

– Dessert by Flour Shop, AKA the folks that make that amazing 6-layer rainbow cake

– Virtual reality by Pioneer Works

– Installation from Situ Studio and Robert Moy of Brooklyn Balloon Company

– OPEN BAR (important, yes?)

Individual tickets are $100, $75 for members and may be purchased here. All proceeds will help fund future programming at the Brooklyn Museum. Will you meet me on the dance floor?

Audio Files: Step Up Your Sound Game With The Latest Headphones & Speakers From House of Marley!

In my world, there are certain constants; my food must be super tasty, my clothes must fit just right, and the sound in my headphones must be FULL. In the realm of audio, I’m always testing out different devices and brands to find what works best for me, and I’ve found some gems in the product offerings from House of Marley.

The personal audio offspring of the Bob Marley legacy, House of Marley has a full line of headphones for all budgets, wireless speakers & docks for personal use, home audio, watches, and a line of bags! Products are eco-friendly, using sustainable materials like bamboo, recycled wood, and fabric elements, packaged in recycled paper.

I’ve rounded up four of my favorites to peak the interest of musical connoisseurs at all levels. Read on!

Liberate HLBT Bluetooth Over-Ear Headphones, $199.99

The Liberate headphones are a super sturdy over-ear model for the audiophile that really wants to be hit by the music (like that Bob Marley reference, huh?). As this set is Bluetooth capable, you can feel the bass without the wires. A treat indeed.

Smile Jamaica In-Ear Headphones, $19.99

For the audiophile that wants balanced sound in a considerably lighter in-air model for a smaller budget, I suggest the Smile Jamaica set. I received this set at Axis show not long ago and I love the red, gold, and green fabric covered cord with mic, so you can take your calls between jams. I was really impressed with the sound quality for the price!

Get Together Bluetooth Audio System, $199.99

For those who want a wireless speaker system that can blend in seamlessly with their wooden furniture, the Get Together system is perfect! With its combo of USB ports and 3.5mm input, you can connect hundreds of devices to listen to your heart’s content.

Positive Vibration On-Ear Headphones, $69.99

So you’re not quite an in-ear headphone person, nor an over-ear? On-ears are the happy medium giving you the sound quality of an over-ear with less of the bulk. The Positive Vibration set is streamlined and easy to adjust, and offered in tons of cool color combinations.

These are my favorites of the moment, but there is soooo much more to see on the full website. Head on over to HouseOfMarley.com to see their full product line.

Saturday Sounds: Lexdray City Series – Volume 45 – Welcome to Minneapolis – Mixed by Erin Millington

SoundCloud continues to be one of my favorite musical destinations as it, without fail, introduces me to new artists or mixes on the daily. A few months back a Lexdray City Series mix had showed up in my suggested list, and wasn’t I happy to hear jams on jams! At that point, I had no idea what Lexdray was, but since have done my research.

They are a travel goods company whose specialty is super tough yet beautiful, limited pieces with a unisex sensibility. Their “City Series” began in 2013, in which they ask DJs from around the world to create a mix based on one of their favorite cities.

Here I have the latest installment, Volume 25, “Welcome to Minneapolis” mixed by Erin Millington, a DJ/hairstylist residing in  Austin, TX. Check out her cool grooves below!

Saturday Sounds: Sango Boiler Room NYC x MoMA PS1 Live Set

Earlier this month one of my fave artists right now, Sango, performed an extra-special Boiler Room set at MoMA PS 1 in Queens. As it was the same evening of the PARTYNEXTDOOR show, I could not attend, but thankfully the internet looks out in audio & visual form.

I would say this mix is great season-transition music as spring is now upon us. There’s a lot of Drake action happening here, along with late ’90s vibes, and high-energy House tracks. In short, a perfect Saturday afternoon playlist to have you grooving into the nighttime.

TRACKLIST

  • 01.Beats 4 Da Streets (Intro) – Aaliyah 
  • 02.Baile Somebody – Sango 
  • 03.Muse – Jordan Evans 
  • 04.Roller (New Look) – Mr. Carmack 
  • 05.Something Rare – Bengfang 
  • 06.Where We From – Gravez 
  • 07.Um Pente é Um Pente – MC K9 
  • 08. Me dê Amor (Rare Version) – Sango 
  • 09.TownBiz – Sango 
  • 10.Pra Nós – Sango 
  • 11.Let’s Get Married – PARTYNEXTDOOR 
  • 12.Untitled – Sango 
  • 13. Vegeta – Sango 
  • 14.Flex – Vestige 
  • 15. You Owe Me (Missy Intro) – Sango 
  • 16.New Love – Sango 
  • 17.Winter Tan – Wizard 
  • 18.Company (Ft. Travis Scott) (Sango Remix) – Drake 
  • 19.Charge (Mr. Carmack Remix) – Kaaris 
  • 20.Know Yourself – Drake 
  • 21.Hunnid Grand (Instrumental) – Marvel Alexander 
  • 22.Nujabes Juke – Sango 
  • 23.Deep Inside ‘06 – DJ Rashad 
  • 24.Starttt – Rustie 
  • 25.Rich Without Money – Waldo 
  • 26.I Don’t Mind (The Vibe Mix) – Immature 
  • 27.Maluco – Sango 
  • 28. Drive Me Crazy (Ft. Vic Mensa) – Kaytranada 
  • 29. BB Don’t Cry (It’s Gon Be Ok) – Sango 
  • 30.uss Know (Ft. Travis Scott) – PARTYNEXTDOOR 
  • 31.Untitled – Sango 
  • 32. Maximum Booty Style (Ticklish Reboot) – Sango Live Edit – Tom & Jerry 
  • 33.Used To The Melody – SPZRKT & Sango 
  • 34.Soon Enough – SPZRKT & Sango 
  • 35.JMK (Live Intro) – SPZRKT & Sango

And if you want to feel like you were there to experience it IRL, peep the video below.

Saturday Sounds: JSMN & MeLo-X Present “Electric Punanny Mixtape Vol. 5”

As a preview to their set tonight at the Brooklyn Museum, my favorite DJ duo, JSMN & MeLo-X have unveiled the fifth edition of their incredibly popular Electric Punanny mixtape. The tape includes a massive mix of fifty tracks spanning the genres of dancehall, soca, grime, and R&B. Stream below, along with full track listing.

TRACKLIST:

1. Zoelah – “Wine Up On Me” (Murlo Remix)

2. P-Money & Gappy Ranks – “Baddest” (Ape Drums Mash Up)

3. Dinamarca ft. Gnucci – “A.M.A.B.”

4. Chudney J – “Bounce”

5. Gage – “Throat”

6. Kalado – “Bad Inna Bed” (Schlachthofbronx Edit)

7. I Octane – “Elastic”

8. Gaza Slim – “Boom Body”

9. Mavado – “Born Fi Dis”

10. Alkaline – “Inna Yuh Belly”

11. Vybz Kartel – “Jamaica Land We Love”

12. Rayonne Hype – “Deya”

13. Gully Bop – “Pu**y Specialist”

14. Vbyz Kartel – “Pretty Position”

15. Busy Signal – “Gyal Yuh Good”

16. Reekado Banks ft. Tiwa Savage – “Turn It Up”

17. Kantana – “Mi Waah Si Di Girls Dem”

18. Popcaan – “Wine and Stop”

19. Mr. Vegas – “Pop One”

20. Vybz Kartel – “Early Morning”

21. Ape Drums – “Bookshelf”

22. Gully Bop – “Roun Here”

23. Vybrant Faya – “Mampi”

24. Nicki Minaj ft. Chi Ching Ching – “Hot Gyal” (Electric Punanny Remix)

25. Popcaan – “Love Yuh Bad”

26. Alkaline – “Young People Time Now”

27. RDX – “Turn It Around”

28. Shatta Wale ft. Davido – “Wine Ya Waist”

29. Realist & Kerry John – “Love Liquor”

30. Porgie & Murda – “Benup”

31. Darnella – “Out On De Road”

32. Benjai ft. H2O Phlo – “Phenominal”

33. Kerwin Du Bois – “No Apology”

34. Kcee ft. Wizkid – “Pullover”

35. Spilulu ft. Super Tonton & Mike – “Tombosha Bantu”

36. Jah Banks & Julio Bashmore – “Battle for Middle You” (BK Bashment Remix)

37. Maleek Berry – “Carnival”

38. Santana D Puppet – “Bounce On It”

39. Sekon Sta – “Bruk Down”

40. Olatunji – “Riddim In We Vein”

41. Skinny Banton – “Soak It Good”

42. Mr. One Hundred – “Headgone ft. Machel Montano”

43. Mr. One Hundred – “Axis Jab Jab ft. Bunji Garlin”

44. Meridian Dan – “German Whip” (Schlachthofbronx Edit)

45. Skepta ft. JME – “That’s Not Me”

46. Wildfire! – “Bondage Version”

47. Karima – “Bantu Juke”

48. Camille Safiya – “Beautiful Mindfuk”

49. Sevana Siren – “Bit Too Shy”

50. Kali Uchis – “Know What I Want”

If you live in NYC, be sure to check them out tonight at the Brooklyn Museum as part of First Saturdays. They go on at 9 PM. Come dance with me!

 

*Photo courtesy of Electric Punanny

Tour Announcement: Azealia Banks Announces North American Spring 2015 Tour

 photo unnamed-10_zpsmd4biitw.jpg

Credit: Nikko LaMere
Azealia Banks, the often misunderstood musical wild child from the 212 is taking the show on the road in North America this spring. The rapper/singer will be touring in support of her debut album, Broke With Expensive Taste, which is now available in physical copy in-store. She kicks things off at Coachella and ends in Boston. Peep the dates below.
NORTH AMERICAN TOUR DATES
04/10 – Coachella Festival – Indio, CA
04/16 – Club Nokia – Los Angeles, CA
04/17- Coachella Festival – Indio, CA
05/11 – Irving Plaza – New York, NY – TICKETS
05/15 – Concord Music Hall – Chicago, IL – TICKETS
05/19 – Paradise Club – Boston, MA – TICKETS
Interested in attending one of the shows? For tickets, go to www.azealiabanks.com