The Red Bull Music Academy returns to New York City this May and features a variety of unique events that run through the whole month, including a "Conversation With D'Angelo," a block party held in honor of deceased DJ Larry Levan and a performance by Panda Bear and friends. The events will take place around the city between May 1st and May 31st.
On May 11th, numerous DJs will come together for Larry Levan's Street Party to celebrate the DJ, who came to prominence during New York's dance music salad days in the Eighties before his death in 1992. Francois K., Joey Lllanos, David Depino and more will play music on King Street in Manhattan in an effort to promote co-naming the street "Larry Levan Way."
Animal Collective member Panda Bear will be performing with "special guests" on May 18th at Brooklyn's Warsaw venue. As a solo artist, he has released several albums – his most recent was Tomboy, which ranked among Rolling Stone's 50 Best Albums of 2011 – but, other than a single festival appearance last year, he hasn't performed solo since 2011. Animal Collective associate Danny Perez will accompany him at the concert with special visuals.
The D'Angelo talk will take place at the Brooklyn Museum on May 21st. Although the R&B artist has not released a record since 2000's Voodoo, the reclusive singer had been more active in recent years, including a surprise covers set at Bonnaroo 2012. Red Bull describes his appearance as an "intimate public lecture session," which could mean practically anything for the unpredictable singer.
In total, the Red Bull Music Academy will comprise 15 genre-spanning events. David Byrne and members of Hot Chip and Bloc Party will perform a concert containing the music of Nigerian synth player William Onyeabor. Brooklyn's Masonic Temple will become the site of a smoky laser show by German composer Robert Henke, with experimental ambient artist the Haxan Cloak opening. Death-metal and grindcore legends Napalm Death will participate in an event called Hardcore Activity in Progress, which will feature progressive-minded artists ranging from rapper Gunplay to the noiseniks in Wolf Eyes. Visit the festival's website for the full details on these events.