Thundercat Drops "Drunk" Before Buku, While Benjamin Booker Bears Witness

Stephen “Thundercat” Bruner is one of the best bassists in the universe, but he is arguably better known as a goof than a god. His bromance with Eric Andre, his absurdist Adult Swim-style videos and the fact that he’s usually dressed like he’s on his way from a Renaissance fare to a cosplay convention only exacerbate the situation.

KING's Rule Comes to Tipitina's

The humble origins of rising R&B supergroup KING begin in Minnesota, where sisters Paris and Amber Strother were born into a family of musical talent. While the girls were growing up, their father and uncle held jam sessions in their childhood home, which Paris says was littered with her dad’s various instruments and vinyl records of family favorites including Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, and Bobby Brown. “My parents were both big music lovers,” Paris Strother says.

Fly Lo and Thom Come of Age, .Paak and Kendrick Soar Predictably in Austin

The sun rose hot over Zilker Park on Friday morning, ushering in Weekend Two of Austin City Limits, also known simply as ACL. The festivities started off at 11, with early risers filtering in to see alt-rock acts like Bear Hands and SUSTO, both of whom will play at Voodoo later this month. Both groups put on solid sets.

Jindenna, The Internet Win Essence Festival 2016

If you weren’t in the Superdome or the Convention Center this weekend, the story of Essence Festival was #closedforessence. A photo of a sign in Walk-Ons’ door that announced that the bar was closed for repairs started the meme as the timing, along with the history of bars and restaurants closing during the Essence Festival and Bayou Classic weekends, made the closure suspicious.

The Grammys and all Those Cellos

The Grammys are often dismissed as behind the times, and some of it is inescapable. All voting members vote in the marquee categories, so engineers, producers, liner note writers, album designers, members of the classical music wing, and everybody else who’s a member of NARAS gets a vote on Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Artist of the Year, and so on.

The Music That Made Me Happy in 2015

I got out of the year-end list business when I realized too much music came out that I didn’t hear for me to feel like my list had much authority. Time, temperament and mailing lists conspire to keep my listening from being broad enough to think that my Best Of choices might actually be among the best. Instead, I’ve reframed the question to talk about the music I’m happiest that I heard, the shows I’m happiest that I saw, and the books I’m happiest I read this year. To me, that’s what matters, and I made it by memory.

Kevin Hart, Kendrick Lamar Explore Blackness at Essence

[Updated] In a way, the Essence Festival is yet another measure of how different the experience is between white and black America. Thursday night, the festival sold out its three-year-old “Essence Now” night at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome with headliner Kevin Hart, who is only starting to find a white audience even though Hart’s 2011 “Laugh at My Pain” was one of the year’s top-selling comedy tours.

Kendrick Lamar Will Be Alright at Essence

Sunday night, Kendrick Lamar will close the Essence Music Festival in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. It’s a time slot that has been punishing in recent years as such party-friendly hitmakers as Earth, Wind & Fire and Lionel Ritchie struggled to hold audiences that had seen the artists they came for—often Charlie Wilson or Mary J. Blige—and had to go to work in the morning.

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