Protégé Judith Hill Reveals Details About Prince’s Emergency Illinois Landing

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Judith Hill (via The Current)

Just six days before Prince died from an accidental opioid overdose, the musician’s protégé Judith Hill was aboard that infamous April 15 flight from Orlando, which ended in an emergency Illinois landing. She’s now detailed the fateful experience in an exclusive New York Times interview, recalling some of her final, painful memories with the late “Purple Rain” icon.

Sitting together on the plane, the two were sharing dinner before Prince suddenly fell unconscious. “His eyes fixed,” she told the NYT, before passing out completely. “I thought he was gone,” she admitted, revealing they didn’t have anything on the plane to help him back to consciousness. By the time they’d landed, however, Prince had woken up and received a shot of Narcan in an emergency ambulance. He was “very cooperative that whole night,” Hill said.

While under medical treatment in Moline, Illinois, Hill said it was the first time she’d ever seen Prince look vulnerable. He was reflecting on his unconscious experience in the hospital bed, saying he had to “fight for his life” in order to “get back into his body.” He remembered hearing distance demands urging him to “follow the voices,” calling the entire situation “the hardest thing he’d ever done.”

Hill, who was slated to be a back-up vocalist on Michael Jackson’s This is It tour and appeared on the 2013 season of The Voice, was Prince’s longtime friend and frequent collaborator. “There was a very intense relationship,” she told the NYT about her connection with Prince. “He told me that he loved me and that he would always be there for me.”

Read the full New York Times article, here.

Art Troupe WIFE Brings Spellbinding Performance To LA’s Hammer Museum

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Step inside the world of WIFE and witness a mystical phenomena. Born of three Los Angeles-based dancers, (Jasmine Albuquerque, Kristen Leahy, and Nina McNeely), she is known as A Trinity of Illusory Performance Makers.

WIFE creates an all senses engaged theatrical experience. If you have seen her live you know it’s a full body—and out of body—experience. Through projected body-mapping animations, sculpture, light, self-crafted music, costumes and choreography, WIFE makes the imaginary a reality. Although, when you’re in her performance presence it feels more like a fleeting moment of surreality—an electric alternate reality you want to stay suspended in.


 

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On Wednesday, June 22, WIFE (represented by Maavven) brings her latest creation, Enter The Cave, to Hammer Museum in LA. Loosely based on Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, Enter the Cave is a story of transformation and transcendence told through illusion. The performance is meant to rearrange our notions of reality, space, and time.

The free performance begins in the Hammer Museum Courtyard at 7:30PM PST and can be live streamed, here.

BlackBook Premiere: Haux Performs ‘Caves’ in a 200-Year-Old Train Tunnel

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Simple and sparse, yet drenched in ethereal emotion, Woodson Black—performing under the moniker Haux—creates music that reflects his stunning film photography. The Berkshires-bred artist first quietly broke into music with his five-track project, The Bluest Sage EP, and followed that success with a lineup of singles: the vibey electro-folk “Homegrown,” the Othell-assisted “Caves” and, most recently, the calming melodic “Seaside.”

Ahead of his forthcoming debut All We’ve Known EP, due out July 8, the 24-year-old singer/songwriter/producer has revisited “Caves,” performing a stripped-down, acoustic rendition in the very space that inspired the song’s lyrics.

“I’ve always wondered where gut comes from—the gut that tells you when to run, when to hide, or when to just stand still,” Haux said. “After writing this song I realized that most of the time you’ll never know, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t trust it. The 200-year-old train tunnel that inspired the lyrics and album art felt like a fitting backdrop for the adventure back into the caves.”

Watch the BlackBook premiere, below:


BlackBook Premiere: The Mynabirds Runs Into the Night With ‘Believer’ (Watch)

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Photography: Jessica Ewald

Laura Burhenn of The Mynabirds understands the world from an intimate perspective, having driven across the United States twice, toured South Africa solo and explored all over Europe, building enough courage to genuinely channel William Faulkner and “lose sight of the shore.” Her third full-length studio album Lovers Know is a result of this global mindset, recorded over a year internationally, from Los Angeles to New Zealand.

In the music video for “Believer,” a track lifted off Lovers Know, Burhenn runs into the night, dodging a creepy clan dressed in all white with matching tattoos, as they collectively point toward her—wide-eyed—and follow the singer throughout the city streets.

“‘Believer’ is a song about completely losing any shred of faith you have left, in yourself most of all,” Burhenn said. “When I was talking to Michael, the director, about that, he came up with this brilliant twist to make the video a horror-tinged love song to my new neighborhood and the friends who’ve stood by my side through it all. Sometimes you’ve got to run through the darkest night to get to the dawn.”

Visually, there are subtle nods to the Dodgers, David Lynch and Michael Jackson’s iconic “Thriller” video, which the singer said was shot close to her house. She’s recruited a cast of familiar faces, including her own dog, Charlie, whom she drove across the country with on multiple occasions. Further cameos include Pierre de Reeder (Rilo Kiley), Stef Drootin (the Good Life and Big Harp), Chris Senseney (Big Harp), Jake Bellows (Neva Dinova) and Morgan Nagler (Whispertown).

Watch the BlackBook premiere of The Mynabirds’ “Believer,” below, off Lovers Know, out now.



The Mynabirds Tour Dates

6/7 – San Francisco, CA at The Chapel
6/8 – Big Sur, CA at Henry Miller Library
6/11 – Sonoma, CA at Huichica Festival

HAIM Covers a Prince Classic, Debuts New Material at California Tour Kick-Off

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Photo via Instagram

After announcing their return to music in late March, sister trio HAIM kicked off their summer tour Tuesday night in Santa Ana, California at The Observatory. With it came fresh, new material and a spot-on cover of Prince’s 1984 classic, “I Would Die 4 U.” Though sonically HAIM’s version didn’t stray too far from the original, the group closed with some in-synch, tongue-in-cheek choreography, which, of course, made the crowd go wild—us, too.

During the set, HAIM teased their forthcoming sophomore album with two never-before-heard songs—one called, “Give Me Just a Little of Your Love,” and the other titled, “Nothing’s Wrong.” Both have already garnered comparisons to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, as well as ’80s Fleetwood Mac, which doesn’t sound too alien in comparison to their summer-pop breakout LP Days Are Gone.

BlackBook Premiere: Listen to French Artist Cocovan’s Glam-Pop ‘Chic (Someone To Love)’

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Following the release of her lead single, “Mirage Of Us,” rising French artist Cocovan shares today the second teaser for her forthcoming four-track effort, The Club EP. “Chic (Someone To Love)” is yet another nostalgic, ’80s-inspired cut, maintaining as much glistening theatrics as on Cocovan’s breakout song (her lyric video features the singer repeatedly zipping up and down her leopard-print dress).

Born in Paris to an Iranian father and French mother, Cocovan’s lived in-between Europe and America throughout her life, inevitably imbuing her music with a global perspective. She cites a range of eras as core influences, from ’80s new wave to ’70s disco, all pooling together into a genre Cocovan’s comfortably labeled, “glam pop.” Though she self-released her debut EP Data Image back in June 2012, a recent break from social media to reflect and evolve helped Cocovan develop her new sound.

“‘Chic (Someone To Love)’ is a positive, optimistic love song,” the singer said. “It’s about letting go of dysfunctional past relationships and being confident that one day you will find that special someone you’ve been waiting to meet your whole life. I wanted to bring back the innocence and optimism of ’80s pop songs, inspired by the work of early Madonna or Cyndi Lauper.”

Listen to the BlackBook premiere of Cocovan’s “Chic (Someone To Love),” below:


Eurovision Song Winner Pulls a Beyoncé, Sets Off ‘Culture War’

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The colossal annual Eurovision Song Contest apparently has long had a ban on overtly political lyrics. The hardly-easy-to-enforce edict was challenged this past Tuesday, when Armenian singer Iveta Mukuchyan brandished a Nagorno-Karabakh flag, in protest of Armenia’s occupation of the Azerbaijani region. It set tongues wagging.

But last night’s final in Stockholm may have genuinely served to escalate the ongoing troubles between Ukraine and Russia, with Ukrainian singer Jamala taking the top prize for her song “1944.” It contains the not-so-subtle lyrical pleas, “You think you are gods / But everyone dies / Don’t swallow my soul / Our souls” and “We could build a future / Where people are free / To live and love.”

Before her victory, Jamala had told The Guardian that if she did indeed win, “It will mean that modern European people are not indifferent, and are ready to hear about the pain of other people and to sympathize.” It was a clear reference to the 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea, and the continuing violent struggle that has followed. Russian officials responded to Jamala’s victory with immediate scorn, calling for her disqualification based on breaking the ban on political lyrical statements.

This comes hot on the heels of Beyoncé’s controversial Super Bowl halftime show in February, which itself set off something of a socio-political firestorm in America. As could be expected, both sides of the ideological divide conveniently interpreted her performance to the specific promotion of their own agendas.

Considering Eurovision 2016 had a worldwide viewing audience of 200,000,000, Russia, surely, can be expected to not just shrink quietly away from this fight.

 

Early Unreleased Amy Winehouse Images to be Published in Crowdfunded Photography Book

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Photo via Kickstarter

“The first time I met Amy Winehouse was the day I shot her album cover Frank,” explains photographer Charles Moriarty, reminiscing how the two captured her debut LP’s artwork on Princeton Street after picking up white wine together in London. After years of coping with the Black to Black singer’s death in 2011, 34-year-old Moriarty’s ready to share unreleased photos from that distant, special day.

With the help of a Kickstarter, Moriarty’s raised sufficient funds to publish Before FRANK, a photography book which will feature between 50 to 60 never-before-seen images from when he captured Winehouse, then 19, in London and New York. With one week remaining in its fundraising lifespan, Before FRANK has already exceeded its original $21,249 goal.

Before FRANK will include an exclusive forward from Oscar-winning AMY director Asif Kapadia, and will be designed by Dutch designer Sybren Kuiper, who famously designed Viviane Sassens’ Flamboya. 

“I think the majority of people globally are only familiar with her second album, and the person she was toward the end of her life,” Moriarty told the Daily News. “I want to change that. I’d like people to have a fuller picture, to see the girl I knew.”

James Blake, Bon Iver Share Stunning ‘I Need A Forest Fire’ Video (Watch)

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After building buzz for his new album The Colour in Anything with a pop-up flock of Quentin Blake-illustrated billboards, James Blake released the 17-track, melancholic beast on May 6. For his third full-length studio LP, Blake recruited the legendary Rick Rubin to co-produce seven tracks, with additional support from Frank Ocean, Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and Connan Mockasin.

The result is chilly and textural, metallic and complex—a familiar sound from the London native that, perhaps, sounds strongest on the Vernon-assisted album opener, “I Need a Forest Fire.”

While the track alone inevitably tugs on heartstrings, as Blake songs typically do, the accompany video brings it to a more stylized, sophisticated place. Directed by Matt Clark in collaboration with Chris Davenport, the visual treatment is simple, featuring a lineup of beautifully lit art pieces, from Renaissance statues to pendulums. Watch, below: