On Valentine’s Day, Syracuse-based hip-hop band Sophistafunk released Real Vibration, their newest collection of material, featuring seven high-quality cuts as well as their seven corresponding instrumentals. The trio, made up of keyboardist/bassist Adam Gold, drummer Emanuel Washington, and MC Jack Brown, have made a name for themselves in a live music scene that appreciates–though often doesn’t heavily feature–hip-hop by taking an eclectic approach to their music. Explains Brown, “Our style blends funk, soul, and jam music with East Coast hip-hop flows, which are known for wordplay, rhyme schemes, and lyricism. The music is about similar themes as Bob Marley, Stevie Wonder, Talib Kweli, and Rage Against the Machine, among others, and hopefully it inpires more people to get down with the message of peace and unity.”The group has kept busy over the past few years touring with funk and jam bands like The Motet, Orgone, EOTO and Dumpstaphunk, among others, helping cement themselves as a sort of “hip-hop band for the jam fan.” As Brown explains, “You know, back in the day on the northeast scene, you always had hip hop artists collaborating with the jam bands and funky musicians of the era. I think it’s because the positive, conscious message of underground hip hop has always resonated with the psychedelic music community. For example, there were groups like Granola Funk Express that spawned on the festival circuit and carried the torch for both movements. [Adam Gold] was a teenager going to the Wetlands in NYC around this time. Through the years over there you’d have The Roots playing downstairs, or Soulive, and so many others laying the foundation for what we now consider ‘jam,’ ‘live EDM,’ and ‘neo-soul’. Remember, the so-called ‘genres’ that people buy on the internet are not born independently. This was all happening at the same time, often in the same rooms, on the live music scene, which was – and still is – a living, breathing organism.”Real Vibration perfectly embodies Brown’s assessment of Sophistafunk’s unique sound, featuring seven tracks worth of blunt-ride beats and Internet-age paranoia and resistance. Funky protest track “Translucent” offers itself as a “musical solution to mass pollution,” with Brown delivering biting bars that evoke the style of heady underground MCs like Atmosphere‘s Slug. “This Life” sees Brown shine some light on the outfit’s musical DNA–part funk and jam, part beats and bars–as he proclaims “I love live music” over a 90s-style back beat.The socially conscious “No More War” dips into the chaotic paranoia of our social media society, as sparse funk interspersed with digital fills mirrors the chaos of today’s world, before well-placed horns bolster the song’s “we gotta love each other” refrain.“Make Em Clap” continues on the album’s conscious themes, as Brown proclaims, “I’m not a rapper, I’m an activist”–though lines like “esoteric eloquence/Still I stay relevant” show that there’s room for him to be a bit of both.“Duke of Errl” tells the saga of “dabs,” sampling sound bytes of TV news PSA’s warning parents about the perils of marijuana concentrates. Toking-up is far from an unusual topic in hip-hop, but few artists have hit the relatively new wax trend head-on like Sophistafunk does on this track. They approach the topic with equal parts enjoyment for its pros and restrained caution for its cons, with extra pep added by layered horn fills courtesy of Andy Frasco & The U.N.‘s Ernie Chang. Brown even earns extra “heady points” shouting out The Lot (“You can find me on Shakedown Street”).The album rounds out with title track “Real Vibration,” a slow jam laden with enthrallingly spacey synths. It serves as an appropriate coda for the LP: laid-back vibes, mindful rhymes, and THC-infused good times. Take a dab and press play. This is one session you definitely want to get down on.
Crystal Palace boss Neil Warnock admits the club must make “two or three” signings in January to boost their chances of Barclays Premier League survival. Palace have won just once in nine games ahead of a crucial Christmas period that includes matches against Manchester City, Southampton and fellow strugglers QPR. Only two points currently separate the Eagles from the bottom three and Warnock believes it will be essential to strengthen the squad when the transfer window opens. “We’ve got to bring players in,” said Warnock, whose side host Stoke on Saturday. “Without knocking our players, they’ve got to be better than we’ve already got and it takes quite a lot of money to do that. “We’ve got some good players so it’s just trying to add two or three players to the squad that we’ve got to give us that bit more in depth. “The substitutes’ bench hasn’t had a lot of players on it for me to change a game so that’s something for the second half of the season, where we can look to influence the game by the substitutes.” Palace have struggled for goals in recent games, scoring just once in their last three league outings. Yannick Bolasie and Wilfried Zaha both impressed during a goalless draw at Tottenham last weekend but the Eagles lack enough cutting edge in the final third to snatch victory. “I think we’ve known all along that we haven’t got that clinical striker,” Warnock said. “I think we’ve scored quite a few goals over the season but they just seem to be in spurts. When we score, we score three. “We’ve got to start putting lesser chances away that would have earned us quite a lot more points.” Defensive midfielder Mile Jedinak is the club’s top scorer in the league this term with five goals, three of which came from the penalty spot. Marouane Chamakh, Dwight Gayle and Fraizer Campbell have all struggled for form while experienced frontman Andrew Johnson has been sidelined with injuries. Damien Delaney could return to the Eagles starting line-up on Saturday. The defender was on the bench for the goalless draw against Tottenham last weekend but is now considered fully fit, having recovered from a calf injury. Midfielder Jason Puncheon will be assessed after missing training on Thursday through illness while Joe Ledley (hip) and Adrian Mariappa (knee) are both ruled out. Stoke manager Mark Hughes will be hoping for more magic from Bojan Krkic as his side attempt to make it back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time this season. The former Barcelona man struggled initially after signing for the Potters in the summer but, since coming back into the team at the end of October, he has got better and better. It was Bojan who stood out as the most influential player on the pitch as Stoke stunned Arsenal last weekend, scoring the second goal in a 3-2 victory. This weekend the Potters head to Palace, and manager Hughes said of Bojan: “Arguably he’s been our best performer since he’s come back in. “He’s worked hard, he’s listened, understood what’s required and when he came back in I knew he was ready. I can’t claim to have known he would perform so well but certainly there was a good chance. “He wasn’t affecting games in the manner we would have liked initially, but that was to be expected. We can’t get too carried away because there is still a lot more to come from him, and that is exciting. “He didn’t come in here in the summer wanting a 12 month contract – he made a big commitment to us, just as we made one to him too. He needed that stability (of a four-year deal) to be effective in the Premier League and for us. “It’s still early days. He’s only had five or six games at the level he needs to be but he’s playing with a smile on his face, his team-mates understand what he can give them and he helps as well with his work ethic – and he’s a good kid.” The heated atmosphere at the Britannia Stadium certainly helped Stoke against Arsenal, but Hughes knows the boot will be on the other foot at Selhurst Park. He said: “It’s a great atmosphere down there. I always found that as a player and it’s not changed since I have been in management. “The last couple of years it seems to have gone up a notch, just as that happened here when this club won promotion. “We get the benefit of it at the Brit and I think that should be encouraged, it’s a great atmosphere to be involved in. They will look to use it to their advantage on Saturday, but we will go down there and enjoy it, and hopefully pick up the result we believe we are capable of.” Hughes looks set to be without defender Marc Muniesa, who tweaked his hamstring against Arsenal, but Jonathan Walters is available despite an ongoing knee problem. Press Association
The Lakers and the Clippers. LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard. Anthony Davis and Paul George. Did you expect anybody else to headline the NBA’s return to play after more than four months of hiatus amid the COVID-19 pandemic?Naturally, the second game of the NBA’s 2019-20 season restart in Orlando will be presented on a national TV channel, and it will feature two of the league’s top title contenders. It works well considering Thursday night basketball has become synonymous with the NBA on TNT. Also in line with the norm in terms of TNT’s traditional NBA game presentation is that Lakers vs. Clippers on Thursday night is part of a doubleheader, with Pelicans vs. Jazz scheduled to play out before the Los Angeles game and its start time of 9 p.m. ET.Thursday’s pair of matchups marks the first NBA games since the league suspended its season March 11 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of 22 teams were invited to resume the season at the Walt Disney World resort in Orlando, and each will play eight seeding games before the playoffs are scheduled to start in the same location in mid-August.Below is how to watch Thursday night’s Lakers-Clippers game, the second in the NBA’s return from its coronavirus delay.NBA POWER RANKINGS:What ‘Toy Story’ can tell us about every team in Disney bubbleWhat channel is Lakers vs. Clippers on?Date: Thursday, July 30TV channel: TNTLive stream: Watch TNT | NBA League PassThe TV channel for tonight’s Lakers-Jazz game is a natural fit for the resumption of the 2019-20 NBA season, as TNT is the league’s home for Thursday night doubleheaders. TNT also will show Pelicans vs. Jazz earlier in the evening.TNT is available on all cable providers in the United States, as well as satellite providers DirecTV (channel 245), Dish Network (channel 138) and Orby TV (channel 101).Play-by-play announcer Kevin Harlan and analyst Reggie Miller will call Thursday night’s Lakers-Clippers game for TNT.What time does Lakers vs. Clippers start?Date: Thursday, July 30Start time: 9 p.m. ETThe start time for Thursday night’s Lakers-Clippers game is a little earlier than your typical Game 2 of a TNT doubleheader. The league likely wanted to start the Lakers-Clippers game as early as possible both for viewership reasons and because it’s being played on the East Coast.The 9 p.m. ET start time for the Lakers-Clippers game means it will tip off at 6 p.m. Los Angeles time.Lakers vs. Clippers live streamAnybody who has a cable or satellite subscription can access live TNT programming via the Watch TNT app on his or her mobile device. That should be the preferred viewing method for anybody who has such a subscription but is not able to get in front of a TV.For those who don’t have a cable or satellite subscription, there are four major OTT TV streaming options that carry TNT — Sling, Hulu, YouTubeTV and AT&T Now. Of the four, Hulu and YouTubeTV offer free trial options.Below are links to each. SlingHulu (free trial)YouTubeTV (free trial)AT&T NowLakers vs. Clippers — as well as all NBA seeding games played in Orlando — also will be available to steam via NBA League Pass at a reduced price ($28.99) since there are so few games left in the season. However, games on NBA League Pass are blacked out in local markets.NBA schedule 2020The full 2020 NBA regular-season schedule, including tip-off times and TV channels, is listed below by date.Times and TV channels for the final two days of seeding games have not yet been revealed.July 30GameTime (ET)National TVJazz vs. Pelicans6:30 p.m.TNTClippers vs. Lakers9 p.m.TNTJuly 31GameTime (ET)National TVMagic vs. Nets2:30 p.m.—Grizzlies vs. Trail Blazers4 p.m.NBA TVSuns vs. Wizards4 p.m.—Celtics vs. Bucks6:30 p.m.ESPNKings vs. Spurs8 p.m.—Rockets vs. Mavericks9 p.m.ESPNAug. 1 GameTime (ET)National TVHeat vs. Nuggets1 p.m.ESPNJazz vs. Thunder3:30 p.m.ESPNPelicans vs. Clippers6 p.m.ESPN76ers vs. Pacers7 p.m.—Lakers vs. Raptors8:30 p.m.ESPNAug. 2GameTime (ET)National TVWizards vs. Nets2 p.m.—Trail Blazers vs. Celtics3:30 p.m.ABCSpurs vs. Grizzlies4 p.m.—Kings vs. Magic6 p.m.NBA TVBucks vs. Rockets8:30 p.m.ABCMavericks vs. Suns9 p.m.—Aug. 3GameTime (ET)National TVRaptors vs. Heat1:30 p.m.NBA TVNuggets vs. Thunder4 p.m.NBA TVPacers vs. Wizards4 p.m.—Grizzlies vs. Pelicans6:30 p.m.ESPNSpurs vs. 76ers8 p.m.—Lakers vs. Jazz9 p.m.ESPNAug. 4GameTime (ET)National TVNets vs. Bucks1:30 p.m.NBA TVMavericks vs. Kings2:30 p.m.—Suns vs. Clippers4 p.m.NBA TVMagic vs. Pacers6 p.m.—Celtics vs. Heat6:30 p.m.TNTRockets vs. Trail Blazers9 p.m.TNTAug. 5GameTime (ET)National TVGrizzlies vs. Jazz2:30 p.m.—76ers vs. Wizards4 p.m.NBA TVNuggets vs. Spurs4 p.m.—Thunder vs. Lakers6:30 p.m.ESPNRaptors vs. Magic8 p.m.—Nets vs. Celtics9 p.m.ESPNAug. 6GameTime (ET)National TVPelicans vs. Kings1:30 p.m.NBA TVHeat vs. Bucks4 p.m.TNTPacers vs. Suns4 p.m.—Clippers vs. Mavericks6:30 p.m.TNTTrail Blazers vs. Nuggets8 p.m.—Lakers vs. Rockets9 p.m.TNTAug. 7GameTime (ET)National TVJazz vs. Spurs1 p.m.—Thunder vs. Grizzlies4 p.m.NBA TVKings vs. Nets5 p.m.—Magic vs. 76ers6:30 p.m.TNTWizards vs. Pelicans8 p.m.—Celtics vs. Raptors9 p.m.TNTAug. 8GameTime (ET)National TVClippers vs. Trail Blazers1 p.m.TNTJazz vs. Nuggets3:30 p.m.TNTLakers vs. Pacers6 p.m.TNTSuns vs. Heat7:30 p.m.—Bucks vs. Mavericks8:30 p.m.ESPNAug. 9GameTime (ET)National TVWizards vs. Thunder12:30 p.m.—Grizzlies vs. Raptors2 p.m.—Spurs vs. Pelicans3 p.m.ABCMagic vs. Celtics5 p.m.—76ers vs. Trail Blazers6:30 p.m.NBA TVRockets vs. Kings8 p.m.—Nets vs. Clippers9 p.m.NBA TVAug. 10GameTime (ET)National TVThunder vs. Suns2:30 p.m.—Mavericks vs. Jazz3 p.m.NBA TVRaptors vs. Bucks6:30 p.m.ESPNPacers vs. Heat8 p.m.—Nuggets vs. Lakers9 p.m.TNTAug. 11GameTime (ET)National TVNets vs. Magic1 p.m.—Rockets vs. Spurs2 p.m.NBA TVSuns vs. 76ers4:30 p.m.—Trail Blazers vs. Mavericks5 p.m.—Celtics vs. Grizzlies6:30 p.m.TNTPelicans vs. Kings9 p.m.TNTBucks vs. Wizards9 p.m.—Aug. 12GameTime (ET)National TVPacers vs. Rockets4 p.m.NBA TVRaptors vs. 76ers6:30 p.m.ESPNHeat vs. Thunder8 p.m.—Clippers vs. Nuggets9 p.m.ESPNAug. 13GameTime (ET) National TVWizards vs. CelticsTBDTBDTrail Blazers vs. NetsTBDTBDKings vs. LakersTBDTBDBucks vs. GrizzliesTBDTBDPelicans vs. MagicTBDTBDMavericks vs. SunsTBDTBDSpurs vs. JazzTBDTBDAug. 14GameTime (ET) National TV76ers vs. RocketsTBDTBDHeat vs. PacersTBDTBDThunder vs. ClippersTBDTBDNuggets vs. RaptorsTBDTBD