NYC Live Music Calendar Nov 2-25/07
We’ve updated this through Nov 25 so you can plan ahead (especially you three who will be in town over Thanksgiving!). And if you don’t recognize the place where your favorite band is playing, click on Venues, to your right under Categories for subway directions, the club’s website and random info.
Fri Nov 2 Spanking Charlene plays Lakeside, 11 PM. Slightly Stonesy, Heartbreakers-ish, Max’s Kansas City style punk band – the punk is more the attitude and the funny lyrics than the music. And the singer is amazing – Charlene McPherson can belt and wail with anybody.
Fri Nov 2 legendary 60s garage band the Sonics – whose legend vastly surpasses their recorded output, which was mostly covers and a few C-list instrumentals like the Witch – play Warsaw as part of the Cavestomp garage rock fest. Tix $35 in advance, available at Earwax on Bedford Ave., Other Music and the Warsaw box office. Your best bargain if you’re into this kind of thing is the $90 three-day pass which also gets you the Strawberry Alarm Clock (which was a bunch of jazz guys playing psychedelia – I have their album which includes faux-hippie drivel like Rainy Day Mushroom Pillow) on Saturday night and the Fleshtones and the Sonics again on Sunday. No idea how many if any of these bands’ original members (the Fleshtones happily excluded) are playing. Or still alive.
Also Fri Nov 2, 8 PM it’s the Kalman Balogh Gypsy Cimbalom Band, with 2 other Hungarian gypsy bands at Symphony Space – tix not available online but at WMI box office 49 W. 27th Street between 6th Avenue and Broadway, 9th floor, Suite 930., Monday – Thursday 10am – 6pm Friday 10am –1pm. A cimbalom looks like the inside of a piano, it’s termed a zither for reasons I cannot fathom (it’s played with mallets rather than strummed) but it actually sounds like somebody playing a harpsichord with an icepick. Could be a great show.
Also Fri Nov 2 (actually half past midnight in the wee hours of Sat Nov 3), the catchy, politically charged, psychedelic, vocally spectacular Liza & the WonderWheels celebrate their return from their most recent UK tour at Freddy’s in Brooklyn.
Sat Nov 3, 7:30 PM Monlighters frontwoman Bliss Blood’s superb, authentic acoustic delta blues band Delta Dreambox plays the main branch of the Brooklyn Public Library, 1 Grand Army Plaza, 2 train to G.A.P, two sets and worth it, $10
Also Sat Nov 3 amazing Dick Dale-inspired Connecticut surf band 9th Wave fronted by guitarist Mike “Staccato” Rosado plays Hank’s, time TBA, guessing around 9?
Also Sat Nov 3 Hem plays the Highline Ballroom, 8 PM. They do one thing and do it very well: pretty, downtempo, major-key, Sunday afternoon Americana and their singer is excellent.
Also Sat Nov 3 the Roulette Sisters do their annual Halloween spectacular with 4 gorgeous voices, 2 guitars, a viola and washboard at Barbes, 10 PM: does that mean they’re giving biscuits and gravy away?
Also Sat Nov 3 the original gypsy punks Gogol Bordello play Terminal 5 way over on the west side on 56th St., 11ish, tix available at the Mercury box office
Also Sat Nov 3 old school ska stalwarts the Bluebeats play 2 sets starting around 8:30 PM at Magnetic Field. If ska can be quiet, introspective, downtempo and jazzy, then that’s what they play, and they’re very good.
Sun Nov 4 if you could see David Gilmour play Muddy Waters, would you go? How about Rachmaninoff conducting Tschaikovsky, or Ella singing Cole Porter? Well, you can’t. Not live, anyway. But you can see amazing accordionist Will Holshouser, with his fifty-yard stare, playing the songs of Argentinian tango genius Astor Piazolla with Elisa Higby’s band at Rose Bar in Williamsburg, 8:30 PM. Wow.
By the way, Sunday seems to have turned into residency day in New York. Django Reinhardt disciple Stephane Wrembel plays wildly percussive gypsy jazz at Barbes, 9 PM, get there EARLY if you’re going. If you like classical, the 5:15 PM free organ recitals at St. Thomas Church in midtown have been spectacularly good lately. Jazzcats will love guitar monster Matt Munisteri and ace trumpeter Jon Kellso’s weekly thing at the Ear Inn way west on Spring St. that starts around 7. And country types should check out the free barbecue at Hank’s in Brooklyn where Sean Kershaw & the New Jack Ramblers play around 9.
Mon Nov 5 former Backsliders frontman Chip Robinson does his growly, twangy stuff at Lakeside, 10 PM
Also Mon Nov 5 Peruvian-style psychedelic surf monsters Chicha Libre continue their residency at Barbes, 9:30 PM
Also Mon Nov 5 Rev. Vince Anderson continues his piano-bashing residency at Black Betty, 2 sets starting around 10:30 PM
Tues Nov 6, 9 PM it’s a Jack Grace family thing with his wife and bassist Daria’s charming oldtimey ukelele-driven Prewar Ponies opening for his extremely sick Van Halen cover band Van Hayride at Rodeo Bar.
Weds Nov 7 Ninth House, who are sort of a cross between Johnny Cash and Joy Division (accent on the Cash) play Luna, 8PM. With the violin and the keys, they’ve never sounded better, and considering how good this place sounds, it should be excellent.
Also Weds Nov 7 raucous, politically charged funk rockers Funkface play Midway, 11 PM
Thurs Nov 8 Al Stewart – who 40 years ago was one of Britain’s best acoustic rock guitarists, believe it or not – plays an acoustic duo show at the Cutting Room, 7:30 PM. No idea what he’s been up to since the 80s, but he’s got a great back catalog of songs.
Save my soul, river of darkness over me.
Fri Nov 9 Delta Dreambox plays Barbes, 8 PM opening for Balkan brass band Zagnut Orkestar
Also Fri and Sat Nov 9 and 10 The Flail – a bunch of A-list European jazz guys notable for their originals – record a live album at Small’s, 10 PM
Also Fri Nov 9 boisterous, improvisational Brooklyn bluegrass cats Citigrass play Rodeo Bar, 10:30 PM
Sat Nov 10, 8 PM the Dastan Ensemble plays Persian classical music at Symphony Space, tix available at the World Music Institute (click on Venues to your right and scroll down for detailed info). This pan-Asian, string-driven classical group rode to fame on their Silk Road albums and put on a lush, truly transcendent show.
Also Sat Nov 10 Laura Cantrell, who might still be New York’s best country singer a few years after she became the excellent Americana rock singer that she probably always was but never told anybody, plays the Mercury early, 8 PM. She’s been busy with the kid, hasn’t played a show in a long time, this will sell out, get your advance tix fast. She’s undiminished and can still give you chills.
Also Sat Nov 10 if you still can’t get enough of Delta Dreambox, they’re opening for the authentically retro but lately painfully precious Cangelosi Cards at Banjo Jim’s, 10 PM
Sun Nov 11 speaking of authentically retro, the Moonlighters play Rose Bar in Williamsburg at 8 PM
Also Sun Nov 11 charming harmony-driven Pan-American stylists Las Rubias del Norte play backed by the Parker String Quartet at Barbes, 9 PM. How they’re going to fit all those musicians in the back room is something of a mystery: get there very early because they’re take up half the room.
Mon Nov 12 British semi-sensations the Pipettes play the Gramercy Theatre, 10ish, adv tix available at the Irving Plaza box office. Their shtick is that they’re foul-mouthed cockney gangster girls doing early 60 style American girl-group music. No idea how well the music is live, but they probably put on a good show.
Also Mon Nov 12 Chicha Libre is back at Barbes, 9:30 PM. As is Rev. Vince Anderson at Black Betty an hour later. You can catch both acts if you bolt for Williamsburg (and the G train is running) at the end of Chicha Libre’s set.
Tues Nov 13 the versatile, excellent violinist-composer Jenny Scheinman plays one of her increasingly more frequent shows at Barbes, 7 PM
Also Tues Nov 13 the 2 Man Gentleman Band – just ukelele and washboard – play Rodeo Bar, 10:30 PM. Not sure how well you’ll be able to hear them in this room, but they totally nail the retro hokum stuff they do and they’re funny.
Thurs Nov 15 the Ventures play B.B. King’s, 8 PM adv tix avail $35 and worth it. Bob Bogle and Don Wilson are still at it after all these years. The Ventures rank with the Beatles, the Stones and the Clash as one of the most important rock bands ever. They didn’t invent surf music but they had more surf hits than anybody else and this configuration of the band still plays with virtuosity and twangy intensity.
Also Thurs Nov 15 charmingly smart, nonchalant, imagistic songwriter Kirsten Williams plays with the killer Andy Mattina on bass at Bar on A in the East Village, 9 PM
Fri Nov 16 at 9 PM Bliss Blood’s Delta Dreambox is at Banjo Jim’s
Also Fri Nov 16, Yo La Tengo plays the sonically much improved former Northsix space now known as the Music Hall of Williamsburg, 11ish, advance tix required and available M-F 5-7 PM at the Mercury Lounge box office. I don’t care how weird or soundtracky or pop Yo La have become since the turn of the century – they still have the potential to pull out the most amazing noise jam you’ve ever heard.
Sat Nov 17, legendary Howlin Wolf lead guitarist Hubert Sumlin plays 2 sets, 7 and 9 PM at Terra Blues on Bleecker. Sumlin was just as important to the Wolf’s sound as the Wolf himself. And he was Jimi Hendrix’ favorite guitarist. Caveat: he’s been sick, and he’s also been known to get hammered before shows to the point where he’s completely unable to play.
Also Sat Nov 17 Randi Russo and her band storm into Sidewalk, 10 PM. The band has never been darker or more haunting, Russo has never sung better or written better than she has lately. Her best songs remain the frequently macabre outsider anthems that are her stock in trade, but she’s incredibly diverse, ranging from garage to punk to minimalist, creepy Smog/Eels songwriting. When these guys and girl are at the top of their game, there’s no better live band in NYC, a reason to seek them out even at this dump.
Also Sat Nov 17 it’s Ellen & Jamie’s going-away party at Hank’s, all night, probably starts around 8. Jamie will probably play with at least one of his bands (I’m guessing punk rockers Brunch of the Living Dead) in what will essentially be a farewell show. Which is really too bad. Jamie was CBGB’s longtime soundman, a true professional and one of the real good guys in the NYC scene. As a booking agent, his wife Ellen with her good taste, imagination and warmhearted spirit always created a vital scene wherever she went, this place included. New York’s loss is someone else’s gain, bigtime.
Also Sat Nov 17 the Moonlighters bring their retro-ness to Barbes, 10 PM, you know the drill by now, early early early.
Also Sat Nov 17 Jeru the Damaja plays the Knit, 10ish. One of the few remaining A-list hip-hop lyricists from the early 90s who still performs regularly. He managed to straddle both the gangsta and conscious worlds without losing cred with either. Caveat: this being the Knit, and a hip-hop show, security may not have their happy faces on.
Sun Nov 18 the Greenwich Village Orchestra plays Rimsky-Korsakov’s Easter Overture, pieces by Bruch and a world premiere by Lam and Richard Strauss’ greatest work, the beautifully ambient Death and Transfiguration at 3 PM for only $15 at Washington Irving HS, Irving Place/16th St. This is arguably the best classical concert deal in New York, and the sound in the venue is actually fine. Impossible to imagine a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon recovering from whatever happened the night before.
Mon Nov 19 Shonen Knife play the Gramercy Theatre, time TBA, adv tix available at the Irving Plaza box office. Can you imagine, the Japanese B-52’s have actually been together over 20 years now and are probably still singing about boys and candy bars in their fractured English. Maybe they’ve even learned to play their instruments in the process: could have happened. And you know what, so many of those songs are such fun.
Also Mon Nov 19 Chicha Libre play their weirdly, intoxicatingly danceable Peruvian surf stuff at Barbes, 9:30 PM, and an hour later Rev. Vince Anderson does his even more intense groove-driven gospel show at Black Betty.
Fri Nov 23 Mr. Action & the Boss Guitars play authentically spirited surf classics and obscurities along with instrumental versions of 60s hits at Lakeside, 11 PM
Sat Nov 24 sprawling harmonica-driven, bacchanalian, intense pan-global improvisers Hazmat Modine open for the ultimate Far Asian psychedelic musical experience, throat singers Huun-huur-tu at Symphony Space, 8 PM, adv tix available at the World Music Institute (click on Venues to your right, under Categories, then scroll down to Symphony Space to find box office hours and directions.
Sun Nov 25 gypsy guitar genius Stephane Wrembel is back at his usual spot, Barbes at 9 PM