Frank Ocean has released "Blonde," his second album in as many days, turning the enigmatic R&B crooner's comeback into both a test of endurance and an ambitious reworking of the album release. After weeks of rumors, the singer on Saturday released "Blonde," the official follow-up to his heralded, Grammy-winning 2012 major-label debut, "Channel Orange." The 17-track LP is available exclusively to Apple Music streaming subscribers, with one exception: Copies of the work accompanied a free print publication titled "Boys Don't Cry" at pop-up shops in cities including New York, Chicago, London and Los Angeles (on Fairfax Avenue). Dozens of pop music heavyweights are credited on the album including Andre 3000, Beyoncé, James Blake, Jamie XX, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Malay, Om'Mas Keith, Tyler the Creator, Rick Rubin and Pharrell Williams. David Bowie, Elliott Smith and the Beatles are also credited as contributors, though it is unclear if Ocean is crediting samples or if he got his hands on unreleased recordings.
When Frank Ocean fan Cornelius Wells heard news of a surprise, promotional pop-up shop opened by the R&B singer on Saturday afternoon, Wells was in the midst of driving to the Inland Empire to drop off a friend. Wells saw that Ocean, who hadn't released a new record since the Grammy-winning album "Channel Orange" in 2012, had posted on his website an address in West Hollywood, along with others in London, Chicago and New York. Could it mean that the enigmatic artist was at long last releasing a much anticipated new album? "We made a U-turn immediately," said Wells, standing outside that address near the intersection of Fairfax and Melrose avenues, which normally houses the Centerfold International Newsstand. His friend, Nicholas Lores, was supposed to be at a family function but peer pressure won out.
Google has made minimal forays into real-world retail shops thus far. There's a good reason for that: the company has long been more focused on software than hardware. That's slowly changing over time, but Google went all-in on its own hardware brand when it announced the new Pixel smartphones, Google Home, Daydream VR headset and Google WiFi router earlier this month. For most consumers, buying hardware sight-unseen is still a tough proposition, so Google is finally making it easier for consumers to check out all its new gadgets -- in New York City, at least. The company's pop-up retail location opened its doors this morning, and while it wasn't exactly an iPhone-level stampede, there were a couple dozen people waiting to get in when it opened.
After years spent building custom MinifarmBox cedar-raised beds and planters for gardeners who are inspired to grow their own food, Conor Fitzpatrick wanted to do something extra for the community. "I wanted to create a hub that allowed people to get more connected with the earth," he said, "a place to learn, grow and get new ideas for living more sustainably." On March 5, Fitzpatrick opened Fig Earth Supply, a weekends-only nursery pop-up that offers organic edible seedlings, soil and fertilizer, pots and planters and Japanese tools. Washington, the nursery sells seedlings that are grown from open pollinated seeds and are propagated by biodynamic gardener Loretta Allison of Spade and Seeds, a Los Angeles-based urban farm. On a recent visit, Fitzpatrick had an interesting assortment of vegetables, culinary and medicinal herbs, including indigo Blue Berries tomatoes, Ligurian basil -- what he likes to call "the Italian connoisseur's basil" -- new Zealand spinach, Persian cucumbers and Mexican sour Gherkin cucumbers.
Straight in from Yeezy Season 4 -- and delayed due to the Roosevelt Island extravaganza -- Kendall and Kylie Jenner strutted into Samsung 837 in the Meatpacking District on Wednesday night to celebrate their new Kendall Kylie Collection and first pop-up shop. In tow, of course, was their posse of friends, and a new shade of hair for miss Kylie. The Samsung 837 space turned into an interactive tech hub for the see-now-buy-now fall collection. The Jenner girls are no doubt at the center of all things social media, and the event came kitted out fittingly: the evening included a themed Snapchat filter, a Samsung 360 photo booth and a showcased room filled with every Instagram produced by the sisters -- an exhaustive array of selfies if there ever was one. As guests piled in, they were encouraged to personalize their purchases by airbrusher Malcolm Stuart and monogram artist Logan Real.