Nas, Coldplay and Jay-Z Play New York
Wednesday, December 26
Queens rapper Action Bronson (Arian Asllani) started out as a chef (he still hosts his own online cooking show - "Action in the Kitchen") but now cooks up rhymes as an MC. Asked about his similarity in rapping style to Wu-Tang legend Ghostface Killah, he responded, "Yeah, he's one of the best rappers alive, so if I sound similar to the best rapper alive then that is fine. To me there is no comparison; he is a legend and I am a newcomer. If I would try and emulate with anyone it would be Kool G Rap, he is the person I look up to the most. I am not upset but at the end of the day I am my own person and no one can take that away from me." At Brooklyn Bowl.
Thursday, December 27
These days Biz Markie is probably better known amongst the pre-school set - he is a regular on the popular kids TV show "Yo Gabba Gabba" but in the 80's, New York native Biz (Marcel Hall), created playful, melodic hip hop while maintaining his street cool. His biggest hits arrived in 1989 with the track "Just A Friend" and the album "The Biz Never Sleeps". During the 90's Biz guested on some of the Beastie Boys' finest albums "Check Your Head" (1992), "Ill Communication" (1994) and "Hello Nasty" (1998). In 1996, he appeared on the Red Hot Organization's compilation album, "America is Dying Slowly", alongside Wu-Tang Clan and Coolio. The release, designed to raise awareness of the AIDS epidemic among African-American men, was heralded as a masterpiece by hip-hop magazine The Source. At Brooklyn Bowl.
Friday, December 28
As leaders of the neo-hippie jam band movement, Phish have often been described as the heirs to Grateful Dead's freaky throne. Although the band has received little radio play or mainstream exposure, Phish has developed a large and dedicated following by word of mouth. Formed at the University of Vermont in 1983, the band's four members performed together for more than 20 years before breaking up in 2004. They reunited 2009 for "Phish in Hampton," a series of concerts played in the Hampton Coliseum in Virginia, and have since resumed performing regularly. In June 2012, Phish headlined Bonnaroo 2012 with Radiohead. According to American Songwriter, the set included covers of The Velvet Underground's "Rock and Roll" and Kenny Rogers's "The Gambler." Rogers, who had performed earlier in the day, joined the band on stage for that song. At Madison Square Garden, also Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
Saturday, December 29
They Might Be Giants formed in 1982 and for many years have been based in Brooklyn. Eccentric, melodic, with a groundbreaking DIY ethic and a wide range of influences, They Might Be Giants have enjoyed periods of commercial success - their 1990 major label debut "Flood" earned platinum certification, propelled by the whimsical and super-catchy singles "Birdhouse In Your Soul" and "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)." In 2002 they released their first children's album "No!", describing the release as their first album "for the entire family." There have been three more kids albums since then; "Here Come the ABCs" (2005), "Here Come the 123s" (2008) and "Here Comes Science" 2009. Their 1999 album "Long Tall Weekend" was the first full-length online-only album ever to be released by any major artist. The band recently previewed the track "Call You Mom" from their forthcoming "Nanobots" album, due in March 2013. "While it will be released early in the year, I think it is safe to say there is more bass clarinet on this album than any other rock album of 2013," band member John Flansburgh told Rolling Stone recently. At the Music Hall of Williamsburg, also Sunday and Monday.
Sunday, December 30
Two techno dancefloor fillers; Dutch producer Afrojack (Nick Van de Wall) and mashup mix tape master Diplo will electrify Pier 94 Sunday night. Diplo (Thomas Wesley Pentz) grew up in Miami, but it was while studying in Philadelphia at Temple University that he started putting on the DJ party night "Hollertronix" and releasing the mix tapes that cemented his reputation as a true musical innovator. His mixes often fuse 80's pop, electronica, Dirty South hiphop and Miami bass music, and in 2004 was largely responsible for popularizing M.I.A outside the UK.
Monday, December 31: NEW YEAR'S EVE
Rap and rock royalty come together to ring in the new year at Barclays Center. Coldplay's Chris Martin and Jay-Z collaborated on the track "Beach Chair" in 2006, and celebrated New Year's together in 2011 at the Cosmopolitan hotel in Las Vegas, so it's not a total surprise that Martin's band Coldplay and Jay-Z have decided to join forces. Coldplay are on their world tour for their most recent album "Mylo Xyloto" and have just released their second live album/DVD, "Live 2012".
RJD2, Chrome Sparks and the "slow-motion funk" of NY producer Com Truise (Seth Haley) at Gramercy Theatre.
Nas at Radio City Music Hall.
Amanda Palmer at Terminal 5.
Armin van Buuren at Pier 36, 299 South St, New York.
The Harlem Renaissance Orchestra at Jazz At Lincoln Center.
Blonde Redhead at Irving Plaza.
Holy Ghost at Brooklyn Bowl.
Tuesday, January 1
?uestlove is hosting an annual holiday party at S.O.B.'s tonight. Along for the ride is guest DJ Herbert Holler.