Japanese Rock Star Yoshiki Makes His Classical Debut at Carnegie Hall

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Known primarily as the founder and drummer of Japan’s hardest heavy metal act, X Japan, Yoshiki also has a softer side. The multi-instrumentalist composer will be making his Carnegie Hall debut this Thursday and Friday accompanied by the Tokyo Philharmonic.  Yoshiki will be performing pieces from his recent album, Yoshiki Classical, which features collaborations with legendary Beatles producer Sir George Martin, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tokyo City Philharmonic Orchestra, and Quartet San Francisco.

Along with original compositions, Yoshiki will also perform well-known classics, using his heavy metal background as inspiration for his work. As a leading voice in the Japanese metal world, Yoshiki Classical at Carnegie Hall, will solidify the composer’s place in the American classical canon, as he transcends genre in what is sure to be a groundbreaking performance.

Yoshiki Classical at Carnegie Hall runs from January 12 to the 13, at the Perelman Hall in New York. Buy tickets, here.

BlackBook Wishes You a 2017 Filled With Happiness and Prosperity

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As a sometimes shocking (the loss of David Bowie, Prince, et al) and often contentious 2016 comes to a close, we would like to extend to everyone our hopes for a 2017 that is filled with kindness, enlightenment and positive inspiration.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

The BlackBook Staff

Music App Treble Launches New Track from Taylor Bennett

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Can an an app help make your record happen? The new music networking app Treble actually made it possible for Chicago rapper Taylor Bennett to assemble the area musicians needed to record his new track “New York Nights, by assisting in bringing together creative like minds. A short video shows how it all came together.

The younger brother of Chance the Rapper, Bennett will be headlining for the first time at Chicago Metro on December 23. “New York Nights” is the first track from what will be the release of his new EP in early 2017.

 

The Trump Scorecard: Lies, Facts & The Mediascape

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Image by Gage Skidmore 

Report Claims Putin Was Personally Involved in Election Hacks

The sense of retro, Cold War intrigue deepens, on the news that Vladimir Putin himself may have been involved in the purported hacks on the US Presidential election. Indeed, an NBC News report cites US intelligence officials as having “a high level of confidence” in this new revelation. Michael McFaul, US Ambassador to Russia from 2012 to 2014, points to a Putin “vendetta against Hillary Clinton…because of what she said about [Russia’s] parliamentary elections of 2011.” The implication now is that the intelligence is veritably incontrovertible.

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Disappointed in the docile media? Take heart, Vice has just sued the FBI to disclose info about Trump, Clinton and Breitbart. Go Vice.

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It Turns Out the President and First Lady Will Actually Live in the White House. Considering that 100,000 New Yorkers signed a petition demanding that Melania leave, one guesses she’ll find D.C. slightly more hospitable.

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It’s No Holiday For Trump Tower Businesses, according to CNBC. “For November, we’re down 30 percent.” Surely they thought Trump was pro-business.

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Trump Cabinet Watch: ABC News has compiled the definitive list. Americans asked for change – does “no previous experience” count?

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Conflict of Interest for Trump’s Secretary of State Pick?

Trump’s choice of Alex Tillerson for the role of Secretary of State would seem only to deepen the Russian intrigue. As ExxonMobil CEO, he has had strong ties to the Kremlin, so alarms have sounded about conflict of interest. And Jennifer Wang reported in Forbes that the sanctions following Russia’s 2014 invasion of Crimea likely cost the company about a billion dollars – so big money is at stake.

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Trump is getting push back from Republicans: John McCain, Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham are all less than thrilled about Tillerson’s nomination, especially his ties to Russia.

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Trump Conflict of Interest Watch: Newsweek reports on the tangled web of possible conflicts of interest involving Trump’s own businesses.

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Why should the Russians have all the fun? Rachel Maddow delves into Turkey’s arrest of a Trump business partner, seemingly to gain leverage with the new administration.

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Trump agitated against US-China policy again on Fox News Sunday, wondering aloud, “why we have to be bound by a ‘one China’ policy unless we make a deal with China having to do with other things, including trade.” China wasn’t happy.

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“We’re going to start saying Merry Christmas again.”

Fox News has been on the front lines of the purported “War on Christmas” for years now, despite a lack of evidence that such a war actually exists. They reported on the 10th of Trump’s speech declaring, “We’re going to start saying Merry Christmas again.” It seems like not much to make a fuss about, but alarmists could draw a line to his anti-Muslim rhetoric during the campaign…as the idea that Christmas is under threat has long been couched in Islamic fears. Simply put, American values are multicultural, which is why we started saying Happy Holidays vs Merry Christmas to begin with – to be inclusive, right?

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Trump Inauguration Watch: TheWrap reported that two leading talent bookers were apparently offered ambassadorships “if they could deliver marquee names.” The bookers spoke on condition of anonymity, but one was quoted as saying,“Never in a million years have I heard something so crazy.”  In a related story, John Legend told the BBC that he is “not surprised at all” that no notable pop stars have signed on to play Trump’s inauguration. “Creative people tend to reject bigotry and hate,” he explained. Notably, Elton John was rumored to be signed on for the festivities – but his publicist issued a definitive statement refuting said rumor:”Incorrect. He will NOT be performing.” There’s always Kid Rock to fall back on – which would at least be fittingly uncool.

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Kanye West Visits Trump

Another seemingly innocuous incident. But Trump’s refusal to take the standard daily intelligence briefing is only magnified by his willingness to spend time on such frivolous photo ops. CNN’s “Who Tweeted It” draws amusing, but surely also worrying comparisons between their rhetoric. We may yet discover that Kanye was offered a cabinet position.

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President Obama appeared on The Daily Show, and warned Trump about skipping daily intelligence briefings: “If you’re not getting their perspective, their detailed perspective, you’re flying blind.”

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It’s No Holiday For Trump Tower Businesses, according to CNBC. “For November, we’re down 30 percent.” Surely they thought Trump was pro-business.

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Surely in a retort to a Change.org petition that has gathered more than 4.8 million signatures, the RNC apparently has a plan to keep the Electoral College from any mutinous attempts to swing their votes over to Hillary. It’s also seemingly a furtive plot, as an exclusive AOL story is short on actual details.

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Not every designer is refusing to dress Melania. Although the issue has seemingly been swept aside, since The Cut reported that Tommy Hilfiger and Diane von Furstenberg might be willing. Marc Jacobs and Tom Ford will not – though the latter admits, “even had Hillary won, she shouldn’t be wearing my clothes. They’re too expensive.”

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Trump Boycott Watch: Wired reckons that the alt-right’s boycott of the new Star Wars Rogue One flick is an attempt to ” cast themselves as the oppressed rather than the would-be oppressors.” It’s not hard to imagine this as the first salvo in an all out war between the Trump camp and Hollywood. Expect Office Christmas Party to be assailed as an attack on capitalism.

A Decade Later Andre Agassi Returns to the Court

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On Tuesday evening, Agassi stunned fans at the U.S. Open, not with his forehand, but with his entourage of 150 clones, dressed in that beloved retro garb, complete with identical shaggy mullets. The Agassi’s roamed the streets of New York all day before the games began at Arthur Ashe Stadium. The spectacle marked the start of a partnership between the beloved tennis star and Lavazza, the Italian coffeemakers who also know a thing or two about changing the game – founder Luigi Lavazza invented espresso 120 years ago.

As Lavazza’s spokesman, Agassi won’t be returning to the sport that made him a household name, but rather giving the next generation the tools they need to succeed. One dollar from every coffee sold at the U.S. Open will be donated to the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education. Funds will go towards helping students pay tuition as well the “Summer of a Lifetime” program at Agassi’s own Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy in Nevada. The program prepares students for the challenges they’ll face in college.

In many ways, Lavazza and Agassi is a perfect pair. Both are synonymous with their field, both raised the bar in a way that has yet to be surpassed and both deliver a jolt of energy. This is a (game, set and) match we can get behind. Learn more about this game changing partnership by watching the video below.

Björk Releases Stunning Live Album for ‘Vulnicura’

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When you’re an artist as visual as Björk, live shows are essential for rounding out the narratives presented through studio-recorded lyrics and melodies.  Today, the singer has released a full live LP via One Little Indian, featuring tracks performed on tour for her eighth studio album, Vulnicura. 

The album includes 13 total songs, all mixed by Arca and Chris Elms, who both collaborated with Björk on her latest stunning full-length. She opens with the heart-wrenching single, “Stonemilker,” and closes with, “Mouth Mantra,” loading the full experience with new versions of Björk classics, like “Come To Me” and “Undo.”

Purchase the physical CD online, or splurge on the Vulnicura Live box set, which comes with a paper mask inspired by James Merry’s original design.

 

Crystal Castles Announces First Album Without Alice Glass, Shares ‘Char’

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Following the release of last week’s spastic drop, “Concrete,” Crystal Castles has announced the arrival of their new album without Alice Glass, AMNESTY (I), slated for official release August 18. Glass’ vocal replacement, who made an appearance in the “Concrete” video, touts a very similar attitude, making the transition all the more unusual. In “Char,” the band’s latest buzz single, she sings in her whispery upper register above droning, hypnotic production—an effect that feels a bit tired at this point. Listen, below:



AMNESTY (I) Tracklist:

1. “Femen”
2. “Fleece”
3. “Char”
4. “Enth”
5. “Sadist”
6. “Teach Her How to Hunt”
7. “Chloroform”
8. “Frail”
9. “Concrete”
10. “Ornament”
11. “Kept”
12. “Their Kindness Is Charade”

Celebs Gather for Coach’s Summer Party on the High Line

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Images by Billy Farrell

Lured by the gorgeous weather and good cause, an a-list crowd gathered for Coach and Friends of the High Line‘s sixth annual bash to raise funds for NYC’s beloved “park in the sky.” Chaired by Julia Capalino, Serena Marron and William Marron, the glittering crowd included Riley Keough, Sophie Auster, Parker Posey, Lottie Moss, Harry Brant, Famke Janssen, Lynn Yaeger, Amy Sacco, Hailey Clauson and BlackBook’s own Hunter Hill.

This year’s theme was “backyard picnic,” with guests nibbling on lobster rolls by Bite and playing vintage-inspired games. The interactive photo both was a particular hit.

Julian Herrera, Hailey Clauson

Lynn Yaeger

Lynn Yaeger

 

BlackBook Fashion: ‘SERIAL1’

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Photographer: Simone Lorusso
Stylist: Pippi Kong
Models: Tim Haije & Dennis Van Schuppen (D’Management), Costin (Brave Model) & Artemii (Nologo Model Management
Grooming: Lisa Lionello & Sara Zenga

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Left | Shirt: Balenciaga, Jacket Obvious Basic | Right | (Left) Coat: Jil Sander, Jacket: Hosio, Pants: Obvious Basic (Middle) Coat: Jil Sander, Shirt: Obvious Basic, Pants: Sun 68 (Right) Outside Jacket: Mauro Grifoni, Inside Jacket: Versace, Pants: Sun 68, All Shoes: Versace

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Shirt: Obvious Basic, Jacket: Hosio

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Left | Jacket: Versace, Shirt: Obvious Basic | Right | Outside Jacket: Mauro Grifoni, Inside Jacket: Obvious Basic

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Shirt: Obvious Basic, Jacket: Hosio

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Left | (Left) Coat: Jil Sander, Jacket: Hosio, Pants: Obvious Basic (Middle) Coat: Jil Sander, Shirt: Obvious Basic, Pants: Sun 68 (Right) Outside Jacket: Mauro Grifoni, Inside Jacket: Versace, Pants: Sun 68, All Shoes: Versace | Right | Jacket: Jil Sander, Trousers: Sun 68, Shoes: Versace