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Shabazz Palaces at Elsewhere (March 19, 2018)

By Will Oliver, April 13th 2018

All photos by Dave Scholten

Seattle hip-hop duo Shabazz Palaces kept plenty busy in 2017, releasing not one, but two albums with Quazarz: Born on a Gangster Star and Quazarz vs. The Jealous Machines (both released via Sub Pop).

On March 19 they stopped into Brooklyn for a performance at Elsewhere. Our photographer Dave Scholten was there to capture photos from their performance, as well as local opener Oyinda. Find all the photos posted in the gallery below.
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1_Tuneyards_Celebrate Brooklyn!

Celebrate Brooklyn! ended their 2015 free show series at Prospect Park in style, closing things out with a glorious performance from both tUnE-yArDs and Shabazz Palaces. At first glance a strange pairing, but both artists are makers of some of the most creative music around right now. They both find ways to defy genres, creating something uniquely ahead of its time. Their performance was a true celebration not just of Brooklyn, but for music as a whole.

Find photos from both their performances that summer night posted below.
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Adult Jazz – Springful (Shabazz Palaces Remix)

By Will Oliver, October 30th 2014 — with 1 comment

Adult Jazz

At first glance you may not see a connection between experimental rockers Adult Jazz and experimental hip-hop group Shabazz Palaces but you then realize that both of them are stretching the boundaries of their respected genres. So it makes sense in a way that they are working together, at least in the form of a remix.

Shabazz Palaces recently took Adult Jazz’s “Springful” and gave it a smokey late night feel, turning it inside out while also somehow letting its core stay intact.

Check out the remix below, via The Fader.
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Shabazz Palaces – They Come In Gold

By Will Oliver, May 13th 2014

Shabazz Palaces
On July 29 Seattle experimental rap group Shabazz Palaces will return with new album Lese Majesty via Sub Pop. It’s their first album since 2011’s well received Black Up.

Here’s the official word from the press release:

Lese Majesty features Shabazz Palaces members Palaceer Lazaro and Tendai Maraire alongside Black Constellation collaborators THEESatisfaction’s Catherine Harris-White, Erik Blood and Thadillac. The album was produced by Shabazz Palaces and mixed by Blood at Protect and Exalt Labs in Seattle, Washington.

The album features 18 trcks that will be spread out and divided into seven “suites.” You can actually see a physical diagram of the suites here.

They’ve shared the album’s first single, the immaculate and well versed “They Come In Gold.” Man, it’s all kinds of smooth and very much on that next level. In terms of forward thinking hip-hop, you’d be hard pressed to find much better than this.

Stream “They Come In Gold” below.
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Best Songs of 2014

By Will Oliver, February 20th 2015 — with 1 comment


(artwork by Dana Pacifico)

Apparently I got Chinese New Year confused with the end of 2014, as it took me until now to finally share my list of favorite songs from 2014. It’s late, but you better bet it’s a true indication of my favorite songs of 2014. These are the 100 songs that I played and enjoyed the most and are still playing on regular rotation. They came from the most established artists like Beck, as well as newcomers such as Alvvays, Leon Bridges and Flyte. It’s a bit all over the map stylistically, which is a good thing if you ask me.

I’ve posted the list of songs below from 100-1. I’ve turned the entire list into a spotify playlist (keep in mind some tracks weren’t on spotify so if that’s the case, just come back here and you can click the song it will take you to the tracks soundcloud/youtube page). Head to the bottom of the page for the spotify playlist, or just head here.

With that said, here are my favorite songs that were released in 2014, finally:
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Best Albums of 2014

By Will Oliver, February 12th 2015 — with 6 comments


(artwork by Dana Pacifico)

We are almost a month and a half into 2015, but I finally got around to publishing a full list of my favorites albums of 2014. There was a lot of great music released, so much so that I had to make a separate honorable mentions list of records that just missed the cut. Which makes the 50 records that did make it even more impressive.

If anything, these albums are more so my favorites of the year than “the best” as it’s all totally objective. But these were the albums that defined the 12 months of 2014, soundtracking endless drives into the cities, summer festivals, moments of solitude, as well as parties and celebrations of all kind. Looking back, it really was a pretty damn good year.

With that said, here are my 50 best albums of 2014:
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A few days before Thanksgiving, Julian Casablancas made his return to New York City with his latest group Julian Casablancas + The Voidz. They played Hammerstein Ballroom, in what was their first official New York show (the only previous ones were at Governors Ball and a secret show at Shea Stadium). They brought along Shabazz Palaces and Blood Orange, along for the ride, making it one of the more interesting bills of the year.
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Interview: Julian Casablancas

By Will Oliver, November 24th 2014 — with 3 comments


(photo taken at Governors Ball 2014)

Julian Casablancas is a man that needs no introduction. When he’s not fronting a little rock band known as The Strokes, he’s singing along with Daft Punk or doing his own solo work with his new band The Voidz.

He’s currently on tour with The Voidz in support of their debut album Tyranny. They’re dropping back into New York City tomorrow night for a homecoming show at The Hammerstein along with Shabazz Palaces and Blood Orange. (Tickets are on sale here)

I had the honor and privilege of chatting with Julian over the phone last Friday night, right before he performed with The Voidz in Toronto. We spoke about the new project, life on the road, what success means to him at this point in his career, as well as the goal of his label Cult Records.

Find our conversation posted below.
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[CMJ 2014]: Adult Jazz at Fader Fort (October 24, 2014)

By Will Oliver, November 7th 2014 — with 1 comment

1_Adult Jazz_Fader

Stop sleeping on Adult Jazz people. If you’re not spinning their fantastic debut album Gist Is on the regular, you’re missing on one of the finest treasures of 2014. The British art-rockers made their U.S. debut at CMJ, stopping in for a few select showcases. I was only able to catch them at their Fader Fort performance, but I’m just happy to have caught them at all.
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