NYC Live Events Calendar 12/16-31/07
We’ll post the early January stuff in a few days once we get some chores out of the way. Coming up in 2008: 1/12 Danny and Dusty at Bowery Ballroom, 1/18 Melomane at Union Hall, 1/26 Nanuchka and Guignol at Luna, 1/27 Randi Russo nobody knows where, watch this space for details and updates.
Mon Dec 10 if it’s Monday that means Chicha Libre is at Barbes at 10 PM and Rev. Vince Anderson is at Black Betty, 10:30 PM. Shows repeat Dec 17; dunno about the 24th. Chicha Libre also plays Barbes on New Year’s Eve for $20 which is actually a good deal.
Tues Dec 11, a rare early show by the finest practitioner of potent, lyrically charged New York noir rock, LJ Murphy and his band (now featuring System Noise’s phenomenal lead guitarist as well as the bass player from Erica Smith’s band) at the Knitting Factory, 8 PM.
Also Tues Dec 11 through 16 subtle jazz guitar semi-legend Jim Hall plays with his trio at theVillage Vanguard, sets at 9 and 11. It’s cheaper during the week though the shows should be just as good as on the weekend
Thurs Dec 13 jazz bassist Tim Luntzel celebrates the release of his new cd at the Rockwood, 8 PM. He’s played with everybody and that’s because he’s got a great sense of melody. Here’s your chance to hear him do his stuff in this great-sounding room.
Also Thurs Dec 13 the sprawling, oldtimey, somewhat psychedelic M Shanghai String Band opens for the best old-timey band on the planet, the Moonlighters, who’ve just returned triumphantly from their European tour. The show is Union Pool starting around 9ish.
Also Thurs Dec 13 in their only 2007 US performance, the wildly psychedelic Microscopic Septet, with their four sax players are at Sweet Rhythm, 88 7th Ave. S, 2 sets 8 and 10 PM playing stuff they’ll record the next day. Want a taste of the new album? Go to the show.
Also Thurs Dec 13 and Fri Dec 14 one of the Wu-Tang Clan’s most consistently good lyricists, GZA, plays the Knit at 11 PM. Watch your back: security might be bashing heads, and who knows how good the guy is live (Wu members’ solo shows tend to be ganja-fueled trainwrecks).
Fri Dec 14 the Ralph Alessi Quartet plays the Jazz Gallery, 9 PM. Trumpet is his axe: adventurous, versatile, tasteful, he keeps it pretty chill most of the time so when he takes off, look out. Expect a lot of jamming tonight.
Also Fri Dec 14 former Millerite Redeemers frontman Joe Maynard’s more rocking, equally funny new country band Maynard & the Musties plays Lakeside, 11 PM. Rumor has it that Drew Glackin from Jack Grace’s band might be sitting in on pedal steel, which would be reason alone to go to this show.
Also Fri Dec 14 Ian Hunter plays the well-renovated former Northsix space now called the Music Hall of Williamsburg at 9 PM, $25 tix available at the Mercury box office. This probably won’t sell out since it’s Williamsburg and nobody here knows who he is. In case he’s not your generation, back in the 70s he fronted a lousy British proto-metal band called Mott the Hoople. After that he did a series of surprisingly good, rocking songwriter albums. Both John Cale and Mick Jones of the Clash saw enough from him to produce him; the late Mick Ronson played incredible lead guitar for him for years. Worth seeing what he’s up to lately.
Sat Dec 15, starting at 8 PM at Banjo Jim’s it’s an anniversary party of sorts for the club, if you’ve played there and want to do a few songs, email Lisa at the club, there’s free food, PBR and Abita for musicians.
Also Sat Dec 15 Sputnik, with their classic powerpop stylings and sultry vocals from frontwoman Genie Morrow play Parkside, 10 PM.
Also Sat Dec 15 superb blues singer/guitarist Johnny Allen plays Terra Blues, 10 PM. When he hits that volume pedal and starts to solo, look out. His stuff is usually pretty hard-edged, and he doesn’t waste notes. He does a killer cover of the Albert Collins classic I’m Not Drunk (I’m Just Drinking).
Sun Dec 16 a beer-fueled afternoon fundraiser for Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn at Freddy’s, starts at 3:30 PM (and no Brooklyn Lager because that’s the beer that Ratso Ratner wants to sell at that stupid arena. So til DDDB and Freddy’s win their lawsuits against the Jersey developers who claim eminent domain for personal gain, don’t drink Brooklyn. Please. Freddy’s has plenty of stuff that will get you equally blotto for cheaper). Give generously if you can, pass the hubcap please.
Also Dec 16 there’s a holiday benefit at Maxwell’s starting early at 6:30 PM with short sets by the rockabillying Nissen Bros., the aforementioned powerpop geniuses Sputnik and former Waitresses guitarist Chris Butler.
Also Sun Dec 16 the Greenwich Village Orchestra plays a kid-friendly but very smart program including Saint-Saens’ witty multi-part Carnival of the Animals at Washington Irving High School on Irving Place, just north of Irving Plaza, across the street, 3 PM sharp, $15 and worth every cent.
Also Sun Dec 16 the amazing Rasputina play Union Pool, doors 6 PM. They’re headlining. There are 2 opening bands so get there, get in, hopefully they’ll stamp your hand, let you go home, come back for the show at around 9 and see the totally unique, haunting, two-cellos-and-a-drummer art-rock band whose show last Halloween at the old Northsix was typically brilliant.
Mon Dec 17 Elisa Flynn plays a birthday show of sorts at Union Hall, 9:30 PM sharp. Unaffected indie rocker with a casual vocal delivery, a fondness for minor keys and also a sense of humor.
Tues Dec 18 the excellent, stylistically diverse violinist Jenny Scheinman returns to Barbes, 7 PM.
Also Tues Dec 18 Finnish expats Kaiku play the Cornelia St. Cafe, 8 PM. The missing link between the Cocteau Twins and JPP: ambient, hypnotic and sometimes haunting, with the two women singing ethereal harmonies over the accordion. Lyrics in Finnish and Spanish for the tangos. Delicious stuff if you’re in the mood.
Weds Dec 19 it’s Sousalves’ somewhat twisted, every-three-months-or-so gathering called Songwriters from Hell at the Parkside, 9 PM. Incendiary indie rocker Sousalves AKA Paul Alves always manages to put together a mostly LES lineup that’s as diverse as it is smart and frequently strange and he’s no slouch himself.
Also Weds Dec 19 hip-hop legends Public Enemy – whose largely unheralded recent work has been more focused and as scorchingly political as their old 80s and 90s hits – play Irving Plaza at 9ish, adv tix $33 at the box office open noon-6 M-F and worth it.
Thurs Dec 20, 6 PM sharp, world-renowned organist John Scott plays Olivier Messiaen’s The Birth of Christ in its entirety at St. Thomas Church. Early arrival very strongly advised. Scott is a deservedly a star and this is his home base, so parishioners will be out in full force. The suite he’s playing is full of goosebump-inducing crescendos, the best thing Messiaen ever wrote other than the legendary L’Apparition de l’Eglise Eternelle.
Also Thurs Dec 20 Matt Munisteri plays some kind of guitar show – he can do pretty much anything well – at Barbes, 10 PM.
Fri Dec 21 noir chanteuse Little Annie Bandez has her opening reception featuring new paintings and also photos by Alice O’Malley at The Rapture Cafe & Books, 200 Avenue A (between 12 & 13 Streets), 7ish. The show runs through 1/20. Nice work, Annie. You’ve got a big show the following night at Joe’s Pub with Paul Wallfisch from art-rockers Botanica on piano and what are you doing the night before? Partying. Can you believe it? Incidentally, her brightly psychedelic, surreal but very spiritual artwork is something you ought to see and might actually be able to afford.
Also Fri Dec 21 ex-Rasputina cello player Serena Jost plays Banjo Jim’s, 8 PM. She also plays guitar and piano and will undoubtedly do both here. She covers a vast range of styles, from ornate chamber rock to pop to country and does all of them effortlessly well.
Also Fri Dec 21 and 22 popular goth/folk Pete’s Candy Store-style duo O’Death play the Mercury midnight, adv tix absolutely necessary and available now, get ‘em if you’re going
Also Fri Dec 21 pan-American retro harmony band Las Rubias del Norte (the Northern Blondes) play Barbes, 10 PM. Charming and romantic with a vibe similar to the Moonlighters in their quietest moments.
Sat Dec 22 Rachelle Garniez plays the cd release for her long-awaited new album Melusine Years at Joe’s Pub, 9:30 PM, advance tix absolutely required, this will sell out and for good reason: her most recent one Luckyday remains one of the four or five best albums of the zeros to date. The “Coalmine Canary,” noir chanteuse Little Annie plays afterward with separate admission at 11:30 PM which is a crime because the segue between the acts would be terrific.
Also Sat Dec 22 Nanuchka plays the Rockwood, of all places, at 11. If you can’t get in to hear their very rousing female-fronted gypsy rock, they pipe the music from the main room over the PA at the adjacent bar. A good segue if you’re walking east after Rachelle’s show and not done with the night yet.
Sun Dec 23 Matty Charles, who held a residency at Pete’s doing his casually smart country stuff for a long time and comes back from time to time and is back tonight at 8:30 PM.
Also Sun Dec 23 long-running, horn-driven third-generation ska legends the Slackers play Bowery Ballroom, 9 PM. If you’re too young to have seen the Specials the first time around, or the second, and aren’t sure if there’ll be a third (there probably will), these guys will hit the spot. And they don’t limit themselves to ska, with blues, soul and rock in the mix as well. And a furious, fearless anti-Bush stance.
Thurs Dec 27 klezmer-rockers Golem play Bowery Ballroom, 9 PM. The textures between the killer violin and trombone are delicious. The delirious danceable vibe is equal to what you get at a Gogol Bordello show. Sexy dance songs in Yiddish. Perfect for the space, which used to be an old Jewish vaudeville theatre.
Also Thurs Dec 27 dark, semi-acoustic, semi-goth rockers Mad Juana play Midway at 11 PM.
Fri Dec 28 John Brown’s Body – the world’s best white roots reggae band, absolute masters of trance-inducing dub – play Maxwell’s, 10 PM. They’re also playing Southpaw the previous night, although the sound here will be light-years better.
Also Fri Dec 28 New York’s best blues band, the barrelhouse piano-driven Delta Dreambox play Barbes 10 PM. A rare performance by another one of Bliss Blood’s incredible bands, don’t miss this if you’re around.
Sat Dec 29 and 30 at 9 and 10:30 PM, the Roy Hargrove Organ Quintet is at the Jazz Gallery. Hargrove plays well against an organ. And he knows it. When he and his trumpet aren’t doing the big band thing they do this and it serves him well.
Also Sat Dec 29 Rob Curto’s Forro for All plays Barbes, 10 PM. Forro is Brazilian jungle guitar-and-accordion music. It has a haunting, gypsyish feel and it’s danceable as hell. And it’s our latest fixation. Might just see you there.
New Year’s Eve, several choices, all but one of them second-generation bands doing old styles their own inimitable way. Your best bet is Lakeside where Tammy Faye Starlite’s incomparably funny Stones cover band the Mike Hunt Band (as in, have you seen Mike Hunt) starts around 10:30 (early by Lakeside standards, and they’ll go late too). Suggest you get there by 8 – or, hell, get there for happy hour and be completely loaded by the time the band goes on, you’ll laugh harder.
Otherwise – legendary Irish expats Black 47 are playing Connolly’s at Times Square around 10 for a measly (relatively speaking) $20. Advance tix absolutely necessary, available at the restaurant. They’re great live, although this is the last neighborhood you’d want to be in on a night like this unless you’re planning on leaving sometime after sunrise.
Also New Years’s Eve legendary Brooklyn second-generation garage punks the Fleshtones play the Magnetic Field, relatively cheap ($20) and in a tourist-free neighborhood.
Also New Year’s Eve the best music you’ll hear anywhere tonight is at Barbes where second-generation Peruvian surf/psychedelic instrumentalists Chicha Libre – the Barbes house band – play at around 10, also for a fairly cheap $20 cover.
And if you want to go all out New Year’s Eve, the absolutely brilliant cabaret stylist Kristine Zbornik, with panstylistically amazing Bobby Peaco on piano play the Metropolitan Room on 22nd St., 10:30 PM, $75 but but but it’s OPEN BAR and a free shot of cheap champagne at midnight. Right now she only has a couple of songs ready so you know by the day of the show everything will be fresh and everybody’s energy level will be through the roof.
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