There’s a new, more updated calendar for March and April here…
As usual, weekly events first, followed by the daily calendar (check the weekly stuff first: tons of good residencies going on this month!) Because we get some of this info weeks in advance, it’s always good to check with the club (see our venues page) to make sure the show you’re interested in seeing is still happening…
Sundays from half past noon to 3:30 PM, bluegrass cats Freshly Baked (f.k.a. Graveyard Shift), featuring excellent, incisive fiddle player Diane Stockwell play Nolita House (upstairs over Botanica at 47 E Houston).
The 2008-09 series of organ concerts at St. Thomas Church continues most every Sunday (holidays excepted) at 5:15 sharp, featuring a whole slew of world-renowned performers. Concerts continue through May 17.
Every Sunday the Ear-Regulars, led by trumpeter Jon Kellso and (frequently) guitarist Matt Munisteri play NYC’s only weekly hot jazz session starting around 8 PM at the Ear Inn on Spring St. Hard to believe, in the city that springboarded the careers of thousands of jazz legends, but true. This is by far the best value in town for marquee-caliber jazz: for the price of a drink and a tip for the band, you can see world-famous players (and brilliant obscure ones) you’d usually have to drop $100 for at some big-ticket room. The material is mostly old-time stuff from the 30s and 40s, but the players (especially Kellso and Munisteri, who have a chemistry that goes back several years) push it into some deliciously unexpected places.
Sundays Sasha Dobson plays Pete’s at 8:30 PM. Warm, casual, tropicalia-inflected jazz-pop. Imagine Norah Jones but mature and battlescarred with both a bossa nova and Americana fixation.
Sundays March 1, 8 and 15 Stephane Wrembel plays Barbes, 9 PM. The guitarist has few if any equals as an interpreter of Django Reinhardt, but it’s where he takes the gypsy jazz influence in his own remarkably original, psychedelic writing – and what he brings to the Django stuff – that makes all the difference. One of the most interesting players in any style of music, anywhere in the world. He also plays Fridays at Bar Tabac on Smith St. in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn at 8. See this guy now before he’s as popular as Dave Matthews.
Mondays in March Mingus at the Jazz Standard with either the Mingus Big Band, Mingus Orchestra or Mingus Dynasty, tix $25 (are they still “plus tax?”), shows at 7:30 and 9:30 PM
Every Sunday, hip-hop MC Big Zoo hosts the long-running End of the Weak rap showcase at the Pyramid, 9 PM, admission $5 before 10, $7 afterward. This is one of the best places to discover some of the hottest under-the-radar hip-hop talent, both short cameos as well as longer sets from both newcomers and established vets.
Monday nights Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks, a boisterous horn-driven 11-piece 1920s/early 30’s band play Sofia’s Restaurant, downstairs at the Edison Hotel, 221 West 46th Street between Broadway & 8th Ave., 3 sets from 8 to 11, surprisingly cheap $15 cover plus $15 minimum considering whaat you’re getting. Even before the Flying Neutrinos or the Moonlighters, multi-instrumentalist Giordano was pioneering the oldtimey sound in New York; his long-running residency at the old Cajun on lower 8th Ave. is legendary. He also gets a ton of film work (Giordano wrote the satirical number that Willie Nelson famously sang in Wag the Dog).
Also virtually every Monday (check the club calendar) the Barbes house band, Chicha Libre plays there starting around 9:45. Chicha Libre are the sole American practitioners of chicha, a style popular in the Peruvian Amazon ghettos in the 70s and currently experiencing a renaissance thanks to these guys. With electric accordion, cuatro, surf guitar and a boisterous rhythm section, their hypnotic, reverb-drenched mix of obscure psychedelic surf/cumbia/rock classics and originals is one of the funnest, most danceable things you’ll witness this year. Lately they’ve been expanding their repertoire to include not only their often hilarious, hypnotic originals but also covers of period pieces as well as chichafied rock songs. If you get lucky they’ll play their amped-up version of the Clash classic Guns of Brixton.
Also Mondays in March (and pretty much every month, when he’s not on tour), Rev. Vince Anderson and his band play Black Betty in Williamsburg, two sets starting around 10:30 PM. The Rev. is one of the great keyboardists around, equally thrilling on organ or electric piano, an expert at Billy Preston style funk, honkytonk, gospel and blues. He writes very funny, very politically astute, frequently salacious original gospel songs and is one of the great live performers of our time. Moist Paula from Moisturizer is the lead soloist on baritone sax.
Tuesdays the boisterous and very popular brass-heavy gypsy jazz band Slavic Soul Party plays Barbes at 9. Get here as soon as you can as the opening act is usually popular as well.
Every Wednesday, Michael Arenella & the Dreamland Dance Band play sly yet boisterous oldtimey hot jazz during a brunch set at the Clover Club, 210 Smith St. (Butler/Baltic) in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, 7:30 -10:30 PM
Every Wednesday, Will Scott and drummer Wylie Wirth play mesmerizing, hypnotic, completely authentic Mississippi hill country blues along with Scott’s own melodic, tuneful blues originals at 68 Jay St. Bar in Dumbo, starting around 8:30 PM. Junior Kimbrough, R.L. Burnside and Asie Payton are sadly gone but Scott continues their tradition of music that is as danceable as it is trance-inducing, and does his influences justice.
Also Wednesdays starting 2/18 the John McNeil Group featuring Noah Preminger has a residency at Puppet’s Jazz Bar, 481 Fifth Avenue, Park Slope, Brooklyn through March 25. Joining trumpeter/composers McNeil and Preminger are drummer Jochen Rueckert and bassist Mike McGuirk. Three sets from 9 – 1 AM along with an intermission piano player each week, cover is $6.
Also every Wednesday at Drom it’s Cuban night with a new, hot dance band every week, 9:30 PM – 2 AM, just $12 at the door
Every Thursday at the Delancey, 8:30ish on the main floor Botanica frontman and master of menace Paul Wallfisch (or one of his cohorts when Botanica is on tour) is booking a series he wryly calls Small Beast, which has quickly become the best weekly music series in town, a comfortable place for the cognoscenti who miss the old days at Tonic around the corner featuring some of NYC’s edgiest bands. Plus frequent free or cheap drink specials.
Fridays in February at 10 PM at Pete’s: jazz-pop electric piano/bass/drums trio Mattison. Frontwoman Kate Mattison has a laid-back, clever melodicism not unlike Greta Gertler, and a high, pretty voice to match.
Fridays starting January 30 through Feb 27, 10:30 PM sensational oud player Mavrothi Kontanis performs with bouzouki specialist Antonis Tsimounis, Giorgos Kolias and fellow oudist Sotiris Tsourekis for a late night of wildly beautiful, authentic Rebetika, Entehna, and Smyrneika sounds at the wonderfully named ELO restaurant, 12-14 31st Avenue, Astoria
Sun Feb 1, 11 AM – yawn – 2 sets to wake you up fast by scorchingly fun klezmer encyclopedists Metropolitan Klezmer at City Winery, $10 pp, food extra but no minimum, kids under 13 free!, (this means you can bring ten kids? not bad).
Also Sun Feb 1 the Moonlighters and Coconami (a marvelous and sometimes very funny Japanese ukelele duo) at Joe’s Pub, 7 PM; the two bands are also at Barbes on 2/6 with Coconami opening the night at 8 PM.
Also Sun Feb 1, 7:30 PM and continuing Feb 2 and 3 organ virtuoso Felix Hell (means “light: in German; he’s one of the most impressive young lions in organ performance) plays Mendelssohn organ works commemorating the 200th anniversary of the composer’s birth in the intimate space at the Church of the Transfiguration, 1 W 29th St, $20 gen adm, $14 stud/srs, 3 concerts for $40
Also Sun Feb 1, 9 PM sultry oldtimey songwriter/chanteuse Mamie Minch – equally adept at delta blues, ragtime and antique pop songwriting – is at Spikehill.
Mon Feb 2, 9ish with OPEN BAR 9-10 the Rose Bar anniversary party with devious latin jazz pianist Jason Lindner’s Now Vs Now
Tues Feb 3 Joe Pug at Joe’s Pub, 7 PM. Joe Pug at Joe’s Pub. Say that five times fast. He’s a fiery, wickedly literate, politically fueled songwriter out of Chicago and he absolutely kicks ass. He’s also very funny. Someday he will be very well known. Now’s your chance to stay ahead of the curve and see him now before it’s vastly more expensive to do so.
Tues Feb 3 Emma Tringali and The Walk Ins at Stain Bar, 766 Grand Street, Williamsburg, L to Grand St., 8 PM. Two guitars and drums; distinctive voice, thoughtful lyrics and a fearlessness that’s so often missing from the singer-songwriter scene. She’s also at Arlene’s at 8 at 2/11
Also Tues Feb 3 Spiros Soukis – a guitarist who puts a neat Greek spin on his late 60s style British blues – at Lucille’s, 8 PM
Also Tues Feb 3, 10 PM Community Gun play Spikehill. Dark bluesy Tom Waits influenced rock, but with louder guitars and more of a rock feel, sometimes edging toward country. This is the real deal, not a wannabe act. Good stuff.
Weds Feb 4 Paolo Bordignon plays Pachelbel, Vierne and Mendelssohn on the antique 1830 Appleton organ in the musical instruments section at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 3:30 PM, free w/museum adm.
Weds Feb 4 at the Cornelia St. Cafe, 8:30 PM Ensemble Elektra playing haunting, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean-inflected jazz: Elektra Kurtis, violin; Curtis Stewart , violin; Lefteris Bournias, clarinet; Brad Jones, bass; Kahlil Kwame Bell, drums
Thurs Feb 5 the Sospiro Winds play Stravinsky, Villa-Lobos, Francaix, and others at Trinity Church, 1 PM
Also Thurs Feb 5 lush, atmospheric rockers the Quavers – who build songs live out of loops, a real feat to watch – play Barbes at 8 followed at 10 by hilarious, charismatic keyboardist and multistylistic songwriter/chanteuse Rachelle Garniez, whose most recent album Melusine Years was our pick for best of 2007.
Also Thurs Feb 5 haunting, atmospheric, rustic, violin-driven Skye Steele Quintet plays with the equally haunting, louder and faster Middle Eastern/balkan group Anistar at le Poisson Rouge, 7:30 PM, $15
Also Thurs Feb 5 Botanica keyboardist/frontman Paul Wallfisch doing his always gripping, unpredictably brilliant solo thing plus guitarist Lynn Wright’s noir rockers And the Wiremen and Pete Simonelli from glam/noir rock band the Enablers at the Delancey, 8:30ish, free
Also Thurs Feb 5 through 27, 8 PM (see below for dates) John Patrick Shanley’s Danny And the Deep Blue Sea – “ a violent dance between 2 people who could end up loving each other” – starring Eddy Lee Priest and Tammy Lang Hartel (aka Tammy Faye Starlite), directed by Adam LeGrant at the Blackbird Theatre, 347 W. 36th St., 13th floor, tix $20; dates are 2/5, 2/6, 2/12,2/13, 2/19, 2/20, 2/26, 2/27
Also Thurs Feb 5 fiery female-fronted garage/punk rockers Sister Anne – who have two bass players, for extra bottom – at the Mercury, 11 PM
Also Fri Feb 6 the lush, beautiful, haunting, harmony-driven pan-latin rockers las Rubias del Norte – who also do a killer latin cover of the theme from the Mozart Requiem – at Joe’s Pub, 8 PM, $15. Also playing at midnight: the scorching, jazzy NY Gypsy Allstars for $10
Also Fri Feb 6 the Cannabis Cup reggae band – who bring a 80s/90s dancehall feel to their mix of mostly classic roots reggae covers – play their annual Bob Marley bday show at B.B. King’s, 7:30 PM, adv tix $22 at the box office.
Also Fri Feb 6 Beluga at Union Pool, 9 PM – all-female lo fi garage/punk/funk/dance band with a big buzz going lately – check out what everybody’s talking about. The songs up on their myspace sound really cool.
Fri Feb 6 second-wave ska with Bad Manners and the English Beat at Irving Plaza, 9ish, adv tix $26 at the box office
Also Fri Feb 6 the Paul Carlon Octet play Drom, 9 PM. The melodies tend toward the latin side; the arrangements, toward Ellington. The tunes are always front and center and the playing is purist and way fun. One of the funnest jazz acts in town right now.
Also Fri Feb 6 at Spikehill, 1o PM theDisclaimers, brilliantly sprawling, jangle/soul/new wave guitar-and-keyboard-and-violin rockers.
Also Fri Feb 6 the Dirt Floor Review play raucous, pedal-to-the-metal honkytonk at Two Boots Brooklyn, 10 PM.
Also Fri Feb 6 Simon & the Bar Sinisters playing surf, rockabilly and some punk probably at Lakeside, 10:15ish
Also Fri Feb 6, midnight-ish Katie Elevitch and her band at Banjo Jim’s. The noir siren is one of the most powerful, riveting singers around, the missing link between Patti Smith, Siouxsie and Nina Simone, with an equally good band behind her and a new cd that ranked high on our top 50 cd’s of 2008 list.
Sat Feb 7 Balkan jazz guitar genius Stephane Wrembel plays Django plus smart, sometimes Middle Eastern tinged originals at Spikehill, 7 PM. Later at 10 PM for $5 the club has Kentucky Nightmare, who claim to be Bloomington, IN’s third-best band. They’ve got the usual off-key, monotone, preteen indie vocals but some cool, even psychedelic songs.
Also Sat Feb 7 a killer blues doublebill at Terra Blues starting at 7 with fiery, multistylistic Bobby Radcliff and then oldschool Chicago style Johnny Allen at 10 PM
Also Sat Feb 7 stylistically diverse, tasteful, ubiquitous guitarist Homeboy Steve Antonakos plays Banjo Jim’s, 7 PM
Also Sat Feb 7 one of the most intense, fiery bands in NYC, retro garage punks the Mess Around play Trash, 9 PM. Show up early and drink for free for an hour so when they hit the stage you’ll be in the right frame of mind.
Also Sat Feb 7 Robin Aigner, one of the smartest and most unpredictable songwriters (and also one of the most riveting singers) in oldtimey music is at Freddy’s 9 PM
Also Sat Feb 7 at Otto’s starting at 9 it’s the monthly Unsteady Freddie surf rock extravaganza with good, oldschool covers by the Clams, Bongo Surf at 10, gorgeously jangly original stuff from the Supertones at 11,and then more classics with the North Shore Troubadours at midnight
Also Sat Feb 7 and also Feb 21 Irish-American rockers Black 47 play Connolly’s, 9 PM. Their latest cd Iraq was our pick for best album of 2008: fiery, catchy, counterintuitive and sympathetic everywhere it needs to be (and sparingly unsympathetic everywhere it needs to be as well).
Sat Feb 7 interestingly panstylistic Balkan-tinged instrumentalists Port o’ Monkeys play Orchard House Cafe at 58th and 1st, shows at 7 PM and 8:30 PM, sugg. don. $15 ($10 stud/srs). Reservations recommended: 212-371-1170
Also Sat Feb 7 rousing, amusing Irish-American acoustic punk rockers Box of Crayons play the Parkside, 11 PM
Also Sat Feb 7 the always excellent oldtimey country crew M Shanghai String Band play their home base, M Shanghai Den, 129 Havemeyer St. (between Grand & S 1st St.) in Williamsburg, free, 9 PM ish.
Also Sat Feb 7 Brad Vickers & His Vestapolitans play swinging, retro blues and R&B at Two Boots Brooklyn, free, 10 PM.
Also Sat Feb 7 all-purpose Greek party band Magges – with their lush ballads, wild dance numbers, ouzo and allstar gypsy violinist Susan Mitchell – are at Mehanata, 10 PM, free before 10:30.
Sun Feb 8, 3 PM at Bargemusic the debut performance of the Neos String Quartet featuring: Beethoven – String Quartet No. 7 in F Major, Op. 59, No. 1; Mendelssohn – String Quartet No. 2 in a minor, Op. 13; Schumann String Quartet in A Major, Op. 41, No. 3
Also Sun Feb 8 oldschool 60s style country hellraiser Jack Grace and his killer country band are back at Lakeside, 10 PM
Mon Feb 9 at St. Paul’s Chapel, 1 (one) PM, free, Dmitri Atapine, cello; Hyeyeon Park, piano, performing works by Beethoven, Ligeti, Dvorak, Popper and others
Also Mon Feb 9, 8 PM innovative oud virtuoso Dhafer Youssef – who blends atmospheric western sounds into his fiery Middle Eastern stylings – plays with his band at Highline Ballroom, gen adm tix $25
Tues Feb 10, 2 (two) PM at Merkin Concert Hall the Io String Quartet playing Schubert/Quartettsatz in C minor, D. 703;Webern/Six Bagatelles, Op. 9; Beethoven/Quartet in F minor, Op. 95 “Serioso”; Grido (“Scream,” String Quartet No. 3, 2001) by Lachenmann $15, studs. half price
Also Tues Feb 10 multistylistic, frequently haunting violinist/composer Jenny Scheinman – a frequent Bill Frisell collaborator – plays Barbes at 7 followed eventually at 9 by wild Balkan brass band Slavic Soul Party
Also Tues Feb 10 7 PM Myles Turney plays Arlene’s. Not only is this guy a terrific acoustic delta blues guitarist, he also brings a hypnotically tasteful blues sensibility to classic oldtimey country and stuff like Hank Williams.
Also Tues Feb 10, 10 PM at Bowery Poetry Club 17-piece big band Sound Assembly play the release show for their debut CD Edge of the Mind out today on Beauport Jazz
Weds Feb 11, 7:30 PM boisterous Japanese gypsy rockers Kagero at Caffe Vivaldi.
Also Weds Feb 11 artsy dramatic noir keyboardist/chanteuse Lorrie Doriza at Ace of Clubs 7:30 PM. Very intense, highly recommended.
Also Weds Feb 11 Emma Tringali & the Walk Ins at Arlene’s at 8 followed at 9 by Alec Berlin doing smartly tuneful, sometimes very funny pop/rock, a lot of tunes that sound like something youv’e heard before and liked because it was good.
Also Weds Feb 11, soaring jazz/pop siren Elaine Romanelli and her band at 8 PM at Suite Bar & Lounge, 992 Amsterdam at 109th, free, the pretext for the show is a “date the band” contest – whoever brings the most peeps to the show wins?!? She’s also there on 2/25, same time, presumably with whoever won the “date Elaine”contest, see her while she’s single.
Also Weds Feb 11 the Royal Chains play the Delancey,8 PM a cut above the usual Interpol wannabes with their fiery, roaring Britrock-influenced tunes and angry energy. They’re also at Ace of Clubs on 2/27 at 10.
Also Weds Feb 11 at Black Betty, midnightish Rev. Vince Anderson trombonist (playing electric tonight !) Dave Smith’s The Perfect Man
Thurs Feb 12 legendary Irish singer/songwriter and peace activist Tommy Sands and his band at Trinity Church, 1 (one) PM, free.
Also Thurs Feb 12 the Plunk Bros. – that’s Bob Jones and Boo Reiners from Demolition String Band – playing cool oldtime country/bluegrass virtuoso guitar picking stuff at Barbes, 8 PM.
Also Thurs Feb 12 this week’s Small Beast extravaganza features the reliably unpredictable, menacing Botanica keyboard mastermind Paul Wallfisch, the Snow’s Pierre de Gaillande’s funny English-language Georges Brassens cover project and Barmaljova featuring brilliantly multistylistic violist Ljova (from the Kontraband) and his hellraiser chanteuse wife Inna Barmash (from Romashka) at the Delancey 8:30ish, free
Also Thurs Feb 12 sweeping, Radiohead-influenced epic grandeur with the potently socially aware My Pet Dragon at Public Assembly, 9 PM, $7
Also Thurs Feb 12 the New Collisions at Arlene’s, 9 PM. Fiery female-fronted powerpop/new wave revivalists from Boston. Frontwoman Sarah Guild, “a 21st century Deborah Harry meets Poly Styrene” has the same kind of big powerful pipes as Martha Davis of the Motels but with more of a funny, quirky edge: if what’s on their myspace is any indication, they kick ass live. You can dance to this.
Also Thurs Feb 12 cool, laid-back, sometimes psychedelic soul/jazz instrumentalists Soul Cycle plays Sputnik in Ft. Greene, 9 PM.
Also Thurs Feb 12 Carolyn Sills & the Poor Man’s Roses play Patsy Cline classics at Rodeo Bar, 10:30 PM
Also Thurs Feb 12, rousing klezmer-rock party band Golem at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, 10ish, adv tix $10 at the Mercury
Fri Feb 13 Moonlighters frontwoman Bliss Blood’s sensationally good barrelhouse piano blues band Delta Dreambox at Two Boots Brooklyn, 10 PM.
Also Fri Feb 13 the fiery Vlad Tomova’s Balkan Tales at Shrine, 10 PM
Also Fri Feb 13 if you’d rather stay downtown, the self-explanatory Grand Masters of Gypsy Music are at Mehanata, 10 PM
Fri Feb 13-14 Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings – you know them, right? Today’s greatest soul singer and her great band – at the Nokia Theatre, time TBA, adv tix expensive, $35 at the club box ofc.
Also Fri Feb 13 brilliantly lyrical, high-energy banjoist/songwriter Curtis Eller followed by the cd release show by the rustic, always entertaining oldtimey 2 Man Gentlemen Band at the Jalopy Theatre, festivities start at 9 PM
Also Fri Feb 13 Pinataland – who last year put out a marvelously lush, gorgeous album of songs about weird Americana – at Barbes, 10 PM
Also Fri Feb 13 Bulgarian vocal music with Vlad Tomova’s Balkan Tales at Shrine, 9 PM
Also Fri Feb 13 the Last Town Chorus with Megan Hickey’s smart, rustic vocals and equally incisive steel guitar, plays Pete’s, 9 PM
Also Fri Feb 13 Ani Cordero’s wickedly smart, gorgeously jangly, danceable rock en Espanol quartet Cordero at Rose Bar, 10 PM.
Also Fri Feb 13 Rev. Vince Anderson takes a turn at the electric piano at 55 Bar, 10:30 PM, most likely for some low-key, soulful blues
Also Fri Feb 13 Cornmeal, tuneful psychedelic acoustic jam band – wow, a jam band who areactually GOOD! at the Gramercy Theate, midnight, adv tix $12 adv at the Irving Plaza box office
Sat Feb 14 a marvelously counterintuitive Valentines Day show at Southpaw with the reliably excellent, wickedly catchy female-fronted Mascott at 7 PM followed by fearless songwriter Jennifer O’Connor, $10.
Also Sat Feb 14 Snow frontman Pierre de Gaillande’s English language Georges Brassens project Gorgeous George at Barbes, 8 PM. An iconic French songwriter from the 40s and 50s, Brassens is enjoying a revival for his witty, sometimes refreshingly dirty songwriting
Also Sat Feb 14. 8 PM Orchestra Otmani of Fes in their North American debut, playing Andalusian classical music at Merkin Concert Hall, adv tix $35 at the box ofc highly recommended.
Also Sat Feb 14 multistylistic guitarslinging oldtimey siren Mamie Minch at 68 Jay St. Bar, 9 PM.
Also Sat Feb 14 fiery, danceable, gorgeously unpredictable ska/rock en Espanol juggernaut Escarioka at Aji Bar Lounge, 10 PM
Also Sat Feb 14 ecstatically fun, multistylistic Greek hellraisers Magges – who play everything from ballads to haunting Smyrniki to the original Misirlou – are at Mehanata, 10 PM
Also Sat Feb 14 beautifully jangly, sometimes hypnotic, often southwestern gothic Americana rockers Tandy at Lakeside, 11 PM. Lately they’ve had Roscoe Ambel on lead guitar which is always a treat.
Also Sat Feb 14, 11 PM anthemic rock en Espanol band Contramano play Fontana’s.
Also Sat Feb 14 haunting, atmospheric violinist Skye Steele and his Quartet are at Tea Lounge in Park Slope, late, this probably means 11ish.
Sun Feb 15 latin jazz sax player/ chanteuse Layla Angulo plays the cd release party for her new one Mientras at Drom, 9 PM $10 gen adm. Peruvian and Cuban beats, good band, some killer, remarkably subtle original songs
Also Sun Feb 15 dark, haunting lyrical rock siren Randi Russo plays a beautifully stripped-down acoustic show at Pete’s at 9:30 PM – new material expected, all of it good! Smartly bossa-inflected chanteuse/guitarist Sasha Dobson opens the night with her regular Sunday night show at 8:30.
Also Mon Feb 16 intense, lyrically brilliant banjo player/songwriter Curtis Eller plays Union Hall, free, time TBA – 9 maybe? Worth a stop by if you’re in the hood.
Also Mon Feb 16 delicously low-frequency oldtime Cuban revivalists Gato Loco – with baritone guitar, bass, tuba and baritone sax – at Barbes, 9:30 PM subbing for Chicha Libre.
Also Mon Feb 16 hilarious country Van Halen cover band Van Hayride at Rodeo Bar, 10:30 PM
Tues Feb 17 at Barbes, 9 PM the Zlatne Uste Brass Band. They started the Balkan brass revival pretty much singlehandedly, here’s your chance to hear them in a room ridiculously too small for them.
Weds Feb 18 at 7:30 PM, free at St. Paul’s Chapel, Columbia University, organist Gail Archer plays the second in her series of concerts titled Mendelssohn in the Romantic Century featuring works by both Felix and his equally talented composer sister Fanny Mendelsohn, among others.
Also Weds Feb 18 Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mtn. Boys – you know, Mr. Bluegrass, or, more accurately, Dr. Bluegrass – at B.B. King’s, 8 PM, adv tix $30 at the box ofc
Also Weds Feb 18, 8ish ethereal, harmony-driven Dinosaur Feathers, oldtimey songwriter par excellence Matt Singer and intriguingly thoughtful, smartly arranged chamber-rock outfit Pearl & the Beard play Union Hall. Anybody remember Goats in Trees? They’re like them but with balls.
Thurs Feb 19 at Trinity Church, 1 (one) PM, free: Quartet San Francisco doing innovative string quartet arrangements of Dave Brubeck, Paul McCartney, Astor Piazzolla and more.
Also Thurs Feb 19 at the Delancey, this week’s Small Beast extravaganza starts around 8:30 PM and features noir cabaret personality Little Annie & Paul Wallfisch, self-described “assassin girl” and author Cintra Wilson (A Massive Swelling: Celebrity Re-Examined As A Grotesque, Crippling Disease) and Other Cultural Revelations doing some typically spot-on, funny, politically enlightening new work in progress…
Also Thurs Feb 19 the haunting, atmospheric, lushly orchestrated Edison Woods with their beautiful harmonies at Galapagos, time TBA. With two shows coming up in New York and since times are tough, they’re running a New Depression Era Special – if you buy a ticket or a pair of tickets to our April show at JOE’S PUB on 4/5 sometime before Wednesday, they’ll comp you a ticket or a pair of tickets for the Galapagos show, email Violet your confirmation number(s) for Joe’s Pub by Wednesday Feb 18th at 6 PM
Also Thurs Feb 19, 9 PM the Brown Rice Family plays Arlene’s. The best (and perhaps only) Filipino reggae band sounds nothing like that awful flavorless glutinous stuff: instead, they play fast, poppy reggae bordering on ska and have a ukelele in the band.
Also Thurs Feb 19 the Doc Marshalls – equally good at Texas honkytonk and New Orleans cajun – at Hill Country, 9 PM. They’re back on the 27th, same time.
Also Thurs Feb 19 legendary indie/Americana/garage rockers the Silos play Lakeside, 10 PM, most likely with the excellent Rod Hohl on bass and Roscoe Ambel on lead guitar.
Also Thurs Feb 19 brilliant jazz/Americana guitarist Matt Munisteri plays Barbes, 10 PM. Although his approach is totally different from Bill Frisell (Munisteri is a whole lot more frenetic, if just as subtle in his own way), Frisell fans should check him out.
Also Thurs Feb 19 renowned pianist/composer Sumi Tonooka and her trio – bassist Rufus Reid and drummer Jonathan Blake at Bargemusic, 8 PM, tix expensive, $35 ($30/srs; $20/stud)
Also Thurs Feb 19, 8 PM legendary producer/noir rocker Martin Bisi – whose latest cd is absolutely killer, and funnier than you would think – plays Death by Audio with his old 80s pal Bill Laswell sitting in.
Fri Feb 20 at Red Star the smartly tuneful, female-fronted, Elvis Costello-esque Delusions of Grand Street at 9 and then eventually the fiery, fun, charismatic multistylistic punk rockers the Brooklyn What – this generation’s closest relative to the Clash, at least in spirit – at 11.
Also Fri Feb 20 fiery Iranian-American rocker Haale plays Joe’s Pub, 10 PM, $15. With her overtone-laden, dark electric guitar, cello and percussion, she’s both one of the most haunting and intense performers in town.
Also Thurs Feb 20, midnight-ish (check the band’s site for updates) dark, snarling noir/glam rockers the Bellmer Dolls play Vanishing Point in Bushwick, ostensibly opening for the pointless ARE Weapons.
Fri Feb 20, 7:30 PM at the Third Street Music School Settlement, 7:30pm, free, the Damocles Trio feat. Sibylle Johner, cello; Airi Yoshioka, violin’ Adam Kent, piano playing Beethoven, Haydn, Mozart
Also Fri Feb 20 New Orleans Meters founders the Neville Bros. and then the Night Tripper, Dr. John – without whom Tom Waits would not exist, and whose new cd The City That Time Forgot is reputedly his best ever – at Terminal 5, 8ish, adv tix expensive, $35 at the Mercury.
Also Fri Feb 20 Jerry Teel & the Big City Stompers – who’ve gone back to their eerie, noir garage/glam roots – play Mercury Lounge, 8 PM open for noir country types and frequent Neko Case collaborators the Sadies, adv tix $12.
Also Fri Feb 20 Prima Ballerina (Tammy Faye Starlite’s characteristically hilarious all-girl New York Dolls cover band) at Lakeside, 11 PM
Sat Feb 21, 8 PM & Sun Feb 22, 3 PM “The first family of gypsy flamenco,” Los Farruco play the New York City Center, W. 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues, cheapest tix are $35.
Also Sat Feb 21, 7 PM the Providence String Quartet, featuring a guest appearance by the haunting Russian/Balkan/classical vocal/viola duo Barmaljova (Inna Barmash from Romashka and Ljova from the Kontraband) performing music by Ravel, Shostakovich, and Ljova at the Great Room, 138 South Oxford St. betw. Atlantic Avenue and Fulton), Brooklyn Heights, sugg don.$15
Also Sat Feb 21 Hazmat Modine plays Terra Blues, 7 PM. The dueling blues harps have been replaced by dueling blues guitars, but they still have Pam Fleming’s soaring trumpet, Wade Schuman’s devious harp and wildman vocals and those equally devious, rustically psychedelic minor-key Balkan-inflected oldtimey blues tunes.
Also Sat Feb 21 a killer bill with two of the best and funniest lyrical rockers in town with the casually alluring, jangly Paula Carino and her band at the Parkside at 7 PM followed eventually by the absolutely hilarious, darkly inscrutable Tom Warnick & World’s Fair at 9
Also Sat Feb 21, 8 PM Orchestra of Tangier playing traditional and new Andalusian music including a world premiere at Merkin Concert Hall, adv tix expensive, $35 highly recommended at the box office.
Also Sat Feb 21 at 8pm at le Poisson Rouge. a New Orleans style celebration with New Orleans funk powerhouse Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Crescent City funk/roots rockers and multi-instrumentalists Eric Lindell and Anders Osborne – with a late-night Mardi Gras jam featuring special guests, adv tix $25 at the box ofc
Also Sat Feb 21 popular Boston band Oneside at Ace of Clubs, 10 PM Americana is their thing – oldtimey country/ragtime meets Wilco
Also Sat Feb 21 Spanking Charlene – NYC’s answer to X – at Lakeside, 11 PM
Also Sun Feb 22, 9 PM at Alice Tully Hall Music of the Sephardic Diaspora – viola da gambist Jordi Savall plus early music ensemble Hesperion XXI plus Driss el Maloumi on oud, Dimitri Pswonis on santur and moresca and David Mayoral on percussion, adv tix $25 at the Lincoln Center box office.
Mon Feb 23 at Barbes starting at 7 PM: legendary Montreal gypsy jazz guitarist Denis Chang, followed by a jam session and then the marvelously named Cumbiagra playing classic 50s/60s Colombian stylings.
Also Mon Feb 23 Jack Grace band bassist and ex-Moonlighter Daria Grace and the Pre-War Ponies doing their sometimes boisterous, sometimes absolutely charming oldtimey romantic stuff at Rodeo Bar, 10:30 PM
Weds Feb 25 sensational, dark, counterintuitive jazz trio (piano/trumpet/drums) White Rocket play Barbes, 7 PM. Don’t let the fact they’re Irish scare you off: this band’s new self-titled cd is amazing.
Also Weds Feb 25 promising female-fronted new wave/powerpop throwbacks The Cruelest Act at Ace of Clubs, 8 PM.
Also Weds Feb 25 smartly tongue-in-cheek soul siren Stephanie White & the NJ Philth Harmonic at Maxwell’s, 9 PM. From the intelligence and wit of this band, you’d never know that White once had some kind of American Idol connection (too smart for the show and got booted early, no doubt).
Also Weds Feb 25 smartly jangly Boston rockers Aloud play their own stuff plus Stones covers at Otto’s, 10 PM
Also Weds Feb 25 haunting, noir rockers the French Exit – whose show last September was one of the 20 best we saw all year – play Cake Shop at 10ish.
Also Weds Feb 25 10 PM Black Sea Hotel, Brooklyn’s own haunting all-female Balkan vocal quartet – with an amazing debut cd coming out – opens the new live music series at Trophy Bar, 351 Broadway between Keap and Rodney, South Williamsburg, 10 PM, just a couple of blocks from the Marcy Ave. subway stop.
Thurs Feb 26 at Trinity Church, 1 (one) PM, free: Trio Threed (two oboes and cor anglais) playing Beethoven and more.
Also Thurs Feb 26 a phenomenal Jamaican jazz bill titled In Search of the Lost Riddim with Cedric Brooks (saxophone), Ernest Ranglin (guitar), Orville Hammond (piano), Wayne Batchelor (string bass), Desmond Jones (drums), Cecil Sonny Bradshaw (trumpet & piano), Larry McDonald (conga), and Douglas Ewart (reeds & percussion). “Conversation” at 6, show at 7:30 PM at Harlem Stage, Aaron Davis Hall, W 135th St/Convent Ave, tix $15 and so worth it.
Also Thurs Feb 26, 10 PM at Barbes: Gaida, a riveting Syrian chanteuse who puts an improvisational spin on classics by greats like Um Kalthum, Hafez, etc.
Also Thurs Feb 26 a killer triple bill at Banjo Jim’s with smartly lyrical, somewhat tongue-in-cheek Americana rock duo Kill Henry Sugar, lushly beautiful weird Americana-obsessed art-rockers Pinataland and the fiery, Costello-with-a-banjo-esque Curtis Eller at Banjo Jim’s, 9 PM
Also Thurs Feb 26 at the Delancey 8:30 PM this week’s Small Beast show is being run by guest host Franz Nicolay, (World Inferno, The Hold Steady) subbing for AWOL Paul Wallfisch (on tour w/Botanica). Also on the bill: Gutbucket and noir cabaret monsters Guignol.
Also Fri Feb 27, 7 PM, early, hypnotic roots reggae dub masters Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad at the Gramercy Theatre, adv tix $15 at the Irving Plaza box ofc. Reggae-rock headliners Rebelution are also worth seeing.
Also Fri Feb 27 brilliant oud scholar/composer Mavrothi Kontanis and his fiery band play classic and original Greek Smyrniki and more at Barbes, 8 PM, followed by sultry, multistylistic oldtimey chanteuse/resonator guitarist Mamie Minch at 9.
Also Fri Feb 27, 8 PM at Bargemusic the Neolit Quartet plays Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time plus pieces by Tower and Harvey, tix expensive, $35, $30 srs/$20 stud.
Also Fri Feb 27 powerpop siren Patti Rothberg – who’s absolutely at the top of her tuneful game right now – at Teneleven, time TBA.
Also Fri Feb 27 Argentinian expat chanteuse Juana Molina at le Poisson Rouge, 8:30 PM adv tix $15 first US tour w/a full band
Also Fri Feb 27 Special Patrol Group play Arlene’s, 9 PM. A band that seems thisclose to absolute brilliance: counterintuitive, imaginative song structures, catchy tunes, smart lyrics, excellent musicianship and a (sometime) frontwoman with one of the most compelling voices in town.
Also Fri Feb 27, 10 PM, repeating on 2/28 at 9:30, Rachelle Garniez and her band at Joe’s Pub. We’ll throw our hat in the ring and credit her as this generation’s greatest songwriter, a master of every retro style ever invented, a playful and sometimes brutally intense lyricist, a riveting singer and also one of the funniest performers you’ll ever see. Artist of the decade, anyone?
Also Sat Feb. 28, 7:30 PM wildly boisterous, touneful viola-and-accordion-driven neoclassical/jazz/soundtrack group Ljova and the Kontraband collaborates with Austrian Lightpainter Eva Flatscher, as part of the International Arts Movement’s annual conference, at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center (the BMCC auditorium on Chambers west of Hudson) Eva Flatscher will be lightpainting live to the music; the band will improvise to the painting. The Jose Limon Dance Company performs during the second half of the show, adv tix $25 at the box office very highly recommended
Also Sat Feb 28, 8 PM and repeating Sun 3/1 at 3 PM at Bargemusic: Romances and Nuances – Tchaikovsky: Selection of Romances (arr. by E. Osadchy); Rachmaninoff – Selection of Romances (arr. by E. Osadchy); Britten Sonata in C Major for Cello and Piano, Op. 65; Shostakovich – Selections from Twenty-Four Preludes for Piano, Op. 34 (arr. by E. Osadchy); Piano Trio No. 2 in e minor, Op. 67; Mark Peskanov, Violin; Eugene Osadchy, Cello; Anastasia Markina, Piano.
Also Sat Feb 28 fiery, multistylistic blues guitar monster Bobby Radcliff – who evokes Stevie Ray in his best, late-period moments – at Lucille’s, 8 PM.
Also Sat Feb 28 amazingly authentic 60s style psychedelic throwbacks Love Camp 7 the at Parkside, 9:30 PM.
Also Sat Feb 28 a loft party in southern Ft. Greene, 10ish with the excellent Julia Haltigan & the Hooligans and then Luther Wright & the Wrongs, with cameo performances by Jack Grace and Sean Kershaw, includes good keg beer and booze,15 N Oxford St #2, Brooklyn, F to York St. and walk past the projects, or G to Classon Ave.
Also Sat Feb 28 the Somebodies at Spikehill, 10 PM. Uncommonly good, smart, 80s style janglerock with guitars, keys, a smoothly charismatic frontman in Pete Derba and probably half of the always excellent Disclaimers in the band.
Also Sat Feb 28 dark, intense rockers Ninth House – at the absolute peak of their long career right now, equally adept at Nashville gothic and an even darker, Joy Division-esque early 80s noir rock style – play Hank’s, 11 PM.
Also Sat Feb 28 Jesse Bates & His Flying Guitars featuring members of the Fleshtones play funny, in-your-face garage rock at Lakeside, 11 PM.
Sun Mar 1 Mostly Other People Do the Killing play brilliantly satirical improv jazz at at Zebulon, 9:30ish
Tues Mar 3 one of our favorite jazz guys, tersely smart guitarist Bill Frisell plays a rare duo show with violin at Barbes, 7 PM, get here EARLY i.e. 6 if you want to see this show. Is this cool or what? Slavic Soul Party follows with their wild, haunting Baltic brass band show at 9ish for $10.
Fri Mar 6, reception at 7:30, show at 8 sharp, free, Richard Garet performs Electrochroma, “a video/sound kinetic performance that consists of the manipulation of light in real time through various analog and digital processes that consequently translate the voltage signal produced by the light into sound.” At at Solar/Elga Wimmer PCC, 526 West 26th St. Peep the visuals, check out the sound, see if they converge or make any sense whatsoever.
Fri Mar 6 lush, romantic, poignantly funny French chanson revivalists les Chauds Lapins at 8 followed by Bill Carney’s long-running and reliably entertaining Jug Addicts at 9:30ish at Barbes.
Also Tues Mar 3, 10:30 PM Emilie Cardinaux plays Ace of Clubs. She mines the same ground as Norah Jones but with infinitely better songs and a similarly oldtime Americana jazz touch.
Also Tues Mar 3, 11 PM the Sweetback Sisters playing catchy original oldtimey 40s/50s style country songs with soaring harmonies at Pete’s 11 PM.
Weds Mar 4 a killer triplebill at Ace of Clubs starting at 8. Opening act Beboluz are self-styled practitioners of “musica bastarda,” which in their case means dark Maldita-inflected rock en Espanol, a little Manu Chao and hypnotic, groovy funk. If you like the idea of Vampire Weekend but hate the band, check out the 9 PM act, La Sovietika, who virtuosically and ass-shakingly blend funk, reggae, soukous and salsa with Spanish lyrics. Headliners Dr. Snagarelli & the Evil Sex Scientist play their somewhat bizarre but smart. imaginative and unmistakably original funk at 10.
Also Weds Mar 4 excellent oldschool country band the Dixons play the Bell House, 9ish, $10.
Thurs Mar 5, 7:30 PM Iraqi refugee oud virtuoso Rahim AlHaj at Symphony Space, adv tix $25 highly recommended.
Thurs Mar 5 the Quavers create slow, sweeping, atmospheric art-rock (as well as some catchy Americana-inflected songs) with loops at Barbes, 8 PM followed by bluegrass/klezmer legend Andy Statman at 10, separate admission, $10.
Also Thurs Mar 5, 7:30 PM, $10, Divahn frontwoman Galeet Dardashti at Santos Party House: a Persian Jewish Carnival of the Bible’s Elusive Women. from the press release: “Galeet Dardashti Gives Voice to the Unnamed and Unknown. The Queen of Sheba’s shaven legs. A witch’s bitter prophecy. The female superheroes who saved Moses. These stories make up The Naming, singer and composer Galeet Dardashti’s exploration of the little-known lives of the Bible’s phantom women. Of Persian Jewish descent, Dardashti unites the Persian classical music that made her grandfather an icon in Iran with her family’s deep connection to Jewish poetry and song.”
Also Thurs Mar 5-8 the Dr. Lonnie Smith Quartet playing delicious Hammond B3 organ jazz at the Jazz Standard, tix $25 or $30 Fri-Sat, sets 7:3-/9:30 PM
Also Thurs Mar 5 at the Delancey, 8:30 PM it’s the weekly Small Beast show with guest host Franz Nicolay of World Inferno (Paul Wallfisch will be on tour w/Botanica) plus brilliant, devious, subtle, classically inspired art-rock composer/chanteuse Serena Jost along with smart, fearless acoustic rocker Jennifer O’Connor.
Also Thurs Mar 5 another good triplebill at Ace of Clubs starting at 8 with the Jason Berman Group, self-styled “jazz musicians playing singer/songwriter music,” smartly and tastefully with a good female singer. Followed by Stratospheerius at 9 doing high-energy, late 70s style Jean Luc Ponty type jazz fusion with electric violin. Then at 10 there’s the equally interesting 5Mach5, their thoughtful, interesting, jazzy guitar and weird samples. Stratospheerius are also at Fat Baby on 3/25 at 10.
Also Thurs Mar 5, pan-latin guitar genius Aquiles Baez at the Jazz Gallery, $15, sets 9/10:30 PM
Also Thurs Mar 5, El Lay noir chanteuse Eleni Mandell – you know her, right? You don’t? You have been deprived. She’s at Joe’s Pub, 9:30 PM.
Also Thurs Mar 5, charismatic, tuneful, multistylistic and very funny punk rockers the Brooklyn What – the band who’ve occupied the #1 position on our weekly Top ten for weeks now – are at Don Pedro’s, 10ish.
Fri Mar 6, 10:15 PM Cudzoo & the Fagettes play funny, punked-out girl group pop at Don Hill’s. This is the band responsible for Oops I Fucked Your Brother.
Also Fri Mar 6 Patti Rothberg, powerpop siren at the absolute top of her game plays Arlene’s, 9 PM
Fri Mar 6 at Ace of Clubs: at 11 Indonesian expat metal band Suaka, blending a hypnotic gamelan-inflected style with crunchy guitars – don’t laugh, they’re good! – followed at midnight by the raging, tuneful, riff-oriented metal/punk group Same Four Walls.
Also Fri Mar 6 Katie Elevitch plays Banjo Jim’s, midnight. Impossible to think of a better midnight Friday night show – dark, unearthly, primeval intensity with one of the best albums of the decade recently completed.
Also Fri Mar 6 Dave Fiuczynski’s Kif plays the Blue Note, 1 AMish (actually the wee hours of 3/7), $10. About ten years ago this metalish, Middle Eastern tinged jazz guitarist was all the rage; worth seeing what he’s up to now.
Sat Mar 7, 4-6 PM it’s this year’s group show opening at the Williamsburg Art & Historical Center (WAH Center) 135 Broadway, J/M to Marcy Ave. This year’s theme: women artists, looks very promising.
Also Sat Mar 7, brilliantly mulstistylistic oldtimey blues/country/ragtime band the Wiyos are at Joe’s Pub, 7:30 PM, $15
Also Sat Mar 7, minor-key Balkan/reggae/gypsy/klezmer hellraisers Hazmat Modine do a doublebill with the similarly inclined Steven Bernstein’s Millennial Territory Orchestra – a murderer’s row of edgy jazz cats – at le Poisson Rouge, 7 PM
Also Sat Mar 7, 8 PM one of the greatest musicians of our era, oud and violin virtuoso Simon Shaheen plays songs from the golden age of Arab music at the Town Hall, $25 adv tix available at the box office or at the World Music Institute.
Also Sat Mar 7 at Barbes, 8 PM: the Ahn Trio, Juilliard-trained piano/violin/cello sister act who for a second were People Magazine’s token intellectuals (don’t hold it against them), specializing in new music with nods to jazz, minimalism and the avant garde (check out the absolutely beautiful Dies Irae on their myspace). Followed by Red Baraat Festival, an Indian marching band, at 10.
Also Sat Mar 7 Buzz Universe play their imaginative, catchy, latin-inflected jammed-out funk at Ace of Clubs, 10:30 PM
Sun Mar 8 the Klez Dispensers play klezmer brunch at City Winery, 2 sets starting at 11 AM (yawn) $10 adm. kids under 13 free!
Also Sun Mar 8, 2 (two) PM at Highline Ballroom Reverend Billy and the Life After Shopping Singers, gen adm $12
Also Sun Mar 8, 7 PM, AE (Aurelia Lucy Shrenker And Eva Salina Primack), world music vocal duo equally skilled at vintage Americana and Balkan sounds at Barbes opening for the reliably excellent, equally multistylistic Russian/soundtrack/classical/jazz ensemble Ljova & the Kontraband
Also Sun Mar 8, 9 PM-ish Jewdyssee which is basically noir-ish chanteuse Maya Saban’s downtempo Berlin groove/dance/downtempo project plays the Jewish Music Cafe, 401 9th St. in Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY F train to 7th Ave, $10
Mon Mar 9, 8 PM The Oriental Music Ensemble of the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music in Palestine feat. Suhail Khoury, nay (flute) and clarinet; Ahmad Al-Khatib, oud; Ibrahim Attari, qanoun; Yousef Hbeisch, percussion at Miller Theatre, Columbia University, 116th and Broadway, $25 and worth it.
Also Mon Mar 9 scathingly funny, fiery punk/garage rockers Des Roar – the guys (and girl) responsible for the classic Ted Bundy Was a Ladies Man – play a free show, 9 PM at Bowery Electric, 327 Bowery at 2nd St. in the old Remote Lounge space.
Tues Mar 10 and also 3/24 the incomparable Jenifer Jackson at Rockwood Music Hall, 8 PM with special guests. The expat NYC chanteuse effortlessly blends elements tropicalia, Beatlesque pop, classic 70s style soul and jazz and delivers them with a warm, sometimes hypnotic delivery that is sometimes pure solace and sometimes pure adrenaline. You should see her sometime.
Weds Mar 11 organist Gail Archer continues her sensational series Mendelssohn in the Romantic Century at 7:30 PM at Central Synagogue in midtown, free. If you saw her previous recital here in January, she’s doing a new one every time out, and the program has been as excellent as anticipated.
Also Weds Mar 11 haunting, slowly undulating but playful groove/trance/downtempo rockers El Jezel at Spikehill, 10 PM.
Also Weds Mar 11, 11 PM at Ace of Clubs Elextra blend rock en Espanol and dub with a mix of samples and live guitars: it’s eerie and weird and pretty loud and works way better than you might think.
3/12, 1 PM the NY Scandia Symphony at Trinity Church.
3/12 Serena Jost at Barbes 8 PM.
3/12 at 8 PM at Merkin Concert Hall – New Sounds Live hosted by WNYC’s John Schaefer – Notes On The War: The Piano Protests -ontinues the tradition of presenting music that reflects contemporary political realities. Pianist Sarah Cahill has commissioned a group of today’s leading composers to write a collection of pieces reacting to the war in Iraq. These composers, including Frederic Rzewski, Terry Riley, Meredith Monk, Yoko Ono, Pauline Oliveros, Peter Garland, Phil Kline, Jerome Kitzke and Kyle Gann, have responded with a group of short, pungent piano works that form a vivid response to the ongoing Iraqi crisis.
3/12/09 the Throwing Muses at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, time TBA, adv tix $20 at the Mercury, no idea if it’s Kristin and Tanya or one or the other or both…
3/12 Chris Erikson & the Wayward Puritans at Lakeside 10 PM
3/13 the cd release show for Balthrop Alabama’s two new eps at the 92YTribeca, time TBA
3/13 Beluga at Vanishing Point, time TBA.
3/13 the excellent reggae/rock/ska band 3 Legged Fox at Arlene’s, 11 PM.
3/13 jazz guitarist Chris Jentsch leads a big band feat. trumpeter Mike Kaupa playing compositions from Jentsch’s utterly uncategorizable, symphonically adventurous new cd the Cycles Suite at Tea Lounge, 10ish.
3/14, 7 PM at le Poisson Rouge Joe Hurley’s 10th Anniversary Celebration of the All-Star Irish Rock Revue, $20 adv tix at the box ofc., usually a good cast of characters (in both senses of the word), watch this space for details.
3/14 The New Familiars play their wild, improvisational, acoustic blend of grasscore and delta blues at Public Assembly, 9ish. Warning: this is “best moustache/beard night” so there may be a lumberjack-bearded trendoid contingent in the house drinking on their parents’ credit cards.
3/14 Greek party hellraisers Magges at Mehanata, 10 PM
3/15 mischievously virtuosic klezmer group Isle of Klezbos plays a brunch show at City Winery, 11AM – 2PM, two sets, $10, kids under 13 free! Brunch menu (no minimum order) with the usual stuff (wonder if they have wine for any of us hungover types)
3/15 7:30 PM in his Merkin Concert Hall debut, $15, a benefit for the America-Israel Cultural Foundation with Eliran Avni, piano playing Avner Dorman: Sonata No. 3, “Dance Suite”; For Jenny (World Premiere); Alexander Scriabin: Three Mazurkas from Op. 3; Béla Bartók: Sonata for Solo Piano; Igor Stravinsky: Three Movements from “Petrouchka”
3/15 Public Enemy at BB King’s, 8 PM adv tix $25
3/16, 7 PM at Barbes, 7 PM the Bob Jones/John Sholle Duo – Jones was Andy Statman’s guitarist in his legendary klezmer quartet and currently plays with Boo Reiners in the Plunk Brothers and with the Danny Kalb Trio; guitarist/luthier Shollewas a member of the David Grisman Quintet and has also released two solo albums on Rounder. Followed by the always excellent Chicha Libre at about a quarter to ten.
3/17 and 24 Robbie Fulks acoustic/Slavic Soul Party at Barbes 7 PM
3/17 Pierce Turner at Joe’s Pub $23
3/17 Black 47 at BB King’s, 7 PM $25 adv tix
3/19 a killer brass band night with the innovative, hip-hop-inspired, incredibly tunefully jazzy Hypnotic Brass Ensemble and then Harlem’s own McCullough Sons of Thunder at Aaron Davis Hall, Convent Ave/135th St., east side of the street, free, max 2 tix per person, rsvp to 212-281-9240 X 19 or X20, you must pick up your tix by 6:30 PM with ID that night in order to guarantee entry, all ages.
3/19 Matt Munisteri at Barbes 10 PM
3/20-21 Romashka at Hungarian House and then at Mehanata, showtimes TBA
3/20 Kill Henry Sugar at Barbes 10 PM.
3/20 the New Collisions at Public Assembly.
3/21 8 PM at Barbes: Jim Campilongo’s Superfine Band – Campilongo and Jon Graboff in the same band, wow!!! followed by Nation Beat’s multistylistic rustic psychedelic danceable madness at 10.
3/21, 8 PM at Merkin Concert Hall: Duo-logues: the Bugallo-Williams Piano Duo, Helena Bugallo and Amy Williams playing two classic works: Igor Stravinsky’s own four-hand arrangement of his orchestral masterpiece The Rite of Spring and Olivier Messiaen’s Visions de l’Amen, tix $25 and so worth it.
3/24 at 2 (two) PM at Merkin Concert Hall the Amstel Quartet, one of the world’s most renowned sax quartets, specialists in an amazingly diverse repertoire of new music. They’re also at Barbes at 10 on 3/26 at 10, preceded by brilliant oud composer/player Mavrothi Kontanis and his band playing an equally diverse mix of alternately haunting and rousing Greek music, originals and classic obscurities.
Friday, March 27, 7:30 PM, free at the Third Street Music School Settlement Angela Pistilli, piano, Music by Ravel; Anna Maria Baeza, clarinet, Joachim Woitun, cello – Music by Brahms
3/27 the Bronx Horns at SOB’s 8 PM, Latin Jazz feat. members of the the Tito Puente Latin Jazz Ensemble/Orchestra and Mongo Santamaria Latin Jazz Ensemble.
3/27 Band of Outsiders – who were doing the Brian Jonestown Massacre drony post-Velvets thing 20 years before them – at Lakeside 11 PM
3/28 Gutbucket Orchestra feat. keyboardist/chanteuse Greta Gertler at Monkeytown 8 PM $20 standing room only
3/28 Gato Loco/las Rubias del Norte at Barbes 8 PM
3/28, 8 PM Cecil Taylor at Merkin Concert Hall, tix only $25 and going fast
3/28 Juan de Marcos and the Afro-Cuban Allstars at Town Hall, 8 PM, $35 adv tix available at the box office.
3/30 9 PM Little Annie/Paul Walfisch at Santos Party House $8
4/2 8 PM Karla Bonoff at BB King’s adv tix $25
4/3 Our Vision at Ace of Clubs, 10 PM. Artsy, anthemic two-guitar janglerock band with lots of vocal harmonies and some great tunes. At the top of their game they sound a lot like legendary Australian art-rockers the Church
4/6 Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks (not all orig. members) at BB King’s 8 PM gen adm $25
4/8 Steve Nieve at City Winery 9 PM bar seating $30 (forget anything else)
4/9 Joe Pug at BB King’s opening for the Flatlanders.
4/13-14 Neko Case at the Nokia Theatre adv tix $30.
4/18/09 latin jazz guitarist (and Red Sox nemesis) Bernie Williams’ cd release show at the Nokia Theatre, adv tix $24.50 very highly recommended at the box office, this will sell out very fast
4/22 Edison Woods/Little Annie Joe’s Pub 8:30 PM
Also 5/21 (moved from 2/5) Sister Anne (solidly good, funny garage band with two bass players!), the Blackhearts (ostensibly minus Joan J.) and legendary Dead Boys guitarist Cheetah Chrome at Europa, 8ish, $12
Every day, our top 666 songs of alltime countdown gets one step closer to #1. Saturday’s is #543:
No Trend – Teen Love. Classic obscure no-wave punk epic from this one-hit wonder Washington, DC band. Listen close and you’ll realize that this isn’t just a very smartly rewritten version of the Shangri-la’s Leader of the Pack, it’s a parody of lifestyle capitalism, i.e. the various conformist personas packaged by corporations for high school kids to “choose” from. As funny now as it was when first released in 1982. Available at the usual mp3 sites; if you find the original twelve-inch 45 RPM ep, grab it, it’s rare. And don’t believe the blogosphere: this is NOT proto-emo. It’s black humor.
Gaucho are not a Steely Dan cover band, nor do they wear cowboy hats. According to the band’s website, their name derives from the Romanes equivalent for “gringo,” i.e. they may not have Roma blood but they have the sound down cold. Last night at Barbes the self-described gypsy jazz band out of San Francisco showed off the virtuosity and intensity that keeps them busy with constant gigs in their hometown. For this show, acoustic guitarist/bandleader Dave Ricketts was accompanied by the band’s regular accordionist Rob Reich, in addition to another acoustic guitarist and a sub bassist who got a real workout, expertly and briskly walking the changes.
Interplay defines this band. Athough the band frequently played solos around the horn (or at least between the two guitarists) on many of the songs, it was the intricacy of the melodies intertwining among all the instruments that was their most obviously compelling feature. In a mix of Django Reinhardt classics and other similar material, they breezed through a small handful of 6/8 musette instrumentals, bouncing, almost martial dance tunes including the classic Swing 42, and a handful of vocal numbers. Chanteuse Ariel Morgenstern (sp?), a friend of the band was called out of the crowd to deliver a lickety-split version of the oldtimey blues What Will the Neighbors Say, a strikingly authentic French song with a beautifully expansive solo from the second guitarist (and strikingly authentic French vocals), and an aptly dark, anthemic take of Brother Can You Spare a Dime.
Throughout the show, Ricketts worked every gypsy jazz trick in the book: fast climbs up the scale against a single reverberating string, big staccato blocks of chords and innumerable lightning-fast arpeggios, a style echoed by his cohort. Reich would deftly insinuate himself into the mix with a fluidly lyrical style, at one point deviously hammering on a trill until the rest of the band realized they’d better get out of the way, fast. The band has 3 cds out, including an intriguing live one. Bay Area listeners who don’t already know this band from their long-running weekly residency at Amnesia and elsewhere have a real treat waiting for them; New York fans reading this and wish they’d caught the Barbes show can still see them tonight (Fri Jan 30) at Drom at 10.
Sruti Ram sings, plays harmonium and percussion; Ishwari plays acoustic guitar and sings, the two taking turns with what were essentially lead vocals throughout their long, practically two-hour show. Sruti Ram & Ishwari’s new cd Fire of Devotion features a wide, assorted cast of musicians; at this show, the duo were augmented by two percussionists and the audience. Many seated in the spacious upstairs room knew the words (a lyric sheet handed out by school staff helped), clapping and singing along. What Sruti Ram & Ishwari play is a new spin on kirtan music, in this case ancient Hindu yoga chants set to catchy pop melodies. Like Christian gospel music or qawwali, kirtan (the word is Sanskrit for “repeat” and translates as “worship service”) is an integral, functional part of the service, in this case a yoga ceremony; unsurprisingly, this show was much a workshop in how to sing along to this stuff as it was a concert.
The songs were as catchy as they were hypnotic, going on for at least ten minutes at a clip, rising and falling, often using a verse/chorus pattern to establish the dynamics, the singers’ beautiful harmonies frequently aided by the audience. A couple of the melodies evoked rustic 70s British folk-rock in the vein of Fairport Convention. Another song took a happy, catchy garage rock chord progression, running it over and over again until it was practically trance-inducing. Yet another one, dedicated to an earth mother figure, had a strikingly dark, austere melody that would have been completely at home on a folk-rock record from the 60s. The overall effect ranged from rousing and inspired to inescapably soothing. Testament to the healing power of some types of music, at least one person (guess who) arrived with a barking lower back but left the performance pain-free. If the show is any indication, the new cd could be enjoyed not only by experienced yoga practitioners but also by anyone who likes pleasant, melodically attractive, late-night sleepy-time music. Sruti Ram & Ishwari are back at Jivamukti on 2/25; if the reaction of the audience at this show is any indication, you can expect an experience that could range from peaceful and relaxing to completely blissed-out, depending on your frame of mind.
Every day, our top 666 songs of alltime countdown gets one step closer to #1. Friday’s is #544:
Telephone – Telephomme
By far the best cut on the French rockers’ 1977 debut, it’s far closer to the Boomtown Rats than the amped-up second-rate Chuck Berry stuff on the rest of the album. The song’s theme (and the pun of its title) deal with the frustration about being unable to communicate. Louis Bertignac’s long, screaming guitar solo is amazing. Here’s a download…
Wednesday’s show by the genre-blending Chicago group the Megitza Quartet at Drom matched passionate intensity with innovation, roaring through an impressively varied series of arrangements incorporating elements of Balkan, Brazilian, tango and flamenco music. Frontwoman/bassist Malgorzata Babiarz used every bit of mystery she could summon from her dark contralto, with a subtlety that became all the more striking on the few occasions she reached back, turned up the volume and wailed. Acoustic guitarist Andreas Kapsalis showed off a fiery, lightning-fast, flamenco-inflected attack contrasting with accordionist Marek Lichota’s fluidly melodic runs while drummer Jamie Gallagher hung tastefully in the background, then rose to nail several split-second crescendos without a millisecond to spare.
They kicked off the set with a minor-key bossa nova number that morphed in a second into a rousing Balkan dance, Kapsalis pounding on the body of his guitar and delivering lickety-split yet surgically incisive flamenco fills. Their next song was a catchy dance tune that maintained the flamenco feel, like the Gipsy Kings for a more sophisticated (or more indigenous) audience. Babiarz then put down her bass as the band brought it down for a rather subdued, wistful take of the title track from their new cd Boleritza, building to one of the few dramatic vocal crescendos she took all night.
The most spectacular song of the night was a Kapsalis original, an open-tuned guitar instrumental titled Ethnic Cleansing. Chopping his chords furiously for a hypnotic, ringing effect, he built the song to a ferocious three-chord descending progression on the verse which was then interrupted by an equally hypnotic drum interlude. From there the band took it back for a long return trip through the verse and then that amazing chorus again. The crowd didn’t know what hit them.
Then Babiarz picked up her bass again for another dance number, vocalese swirling and blending with Lichota’s accordion. They breezed into a slinky, accordion-driven musette-inflected number that suddenly went doublespeed, and closed with a plaintive Polish folksong – “This comes from the mountains where I come from,” Babiarz told the audience – that started rustic and haunting before a seemingly endless series of permutations, rising and falling without warning, fueled by a catchy bass hook played on the guitar. The band is currently on tour: Chicago fans can look forward to a free show on Feb 27 at the Chicago Cultural Center.
Every day, our top 666 songs of alltime countdown gets one step closer to #1. Thursday’s is #545:
The Act – Get It While You’re Young
This catchy, warmly anthemic track from this fiery two-guitar British band’s lone, brilliant 1982 album Too Late At 20 still rings true more than 25 years later. Frontman Nick Laird-Clowes would go on to Zager and Evans Hall of Fame infamy a couple of years later with the Dream Academy and Life in a Northern Town. He makes movie music now, a considerable improvement. The album was never issued on cd; scour the dollar bins at your local vinyl emporium. The link above is a homemade mp3 download.
Oldtimey music doesn’t get much better than this. Along with the 4th St. Nite Owls, Mamie Minch and the Moonlighters, the Second Fiddles are equally good at rousing, pre-1930 blues, country and ragtime tunes, as they reminded at Rodeo Bar last night. With guitar, mandolin, upright bass, harmonica and piano, they bordered on psychedelic: although most of their songs feature solo turns from various members, the interplay between the instruments was so intricate that at times it was hard to keep track of who was playing what. Much of their first set featured guest resonator guitarist/vocalist Brian Kramer, who’s playing solo at Caffe Vivaldi tonight 1/28 and tomorrow 1/29 at 8 PM.
Their version of Sittin on Top of the World was laid-back and rustic in the style of the Mississippi Sheiks rather than any Chicago blues version. A similarly warm, upbeat, sparse number sounded like an early prototype of Sweet Little Angel, one that B.B. King might have heard and said to himself, hmmm…. They also ran through an upbeat bottleneck blues tune, a boogie, an Appalachian-inflected song that could have been a Tin Pan Alley ragtime hit, and a bouncy Big Bill Broonzy cover. Everybody in the band got a solo turn; the star of the night was the piano player, who kicked out some warmly crescendoing blues along with some tastefully minimalist honkytonk playing. To the club’s credit, the sound was terrific: you could hear everybody, something that can’t always be said for a band that relies on a lot of mics to amplify their acoustic instruments. They’re back at the Rodeo on 2/24 at 10:30ish.
“I write too many slow songs,” violinist Skye Steele said with a wry grin. Wrong. What this guy absolutely excels at is slow songs. Slow, thoughtful, meditative instrumentals, full of beautiful little intricacies, often absolutely mesmerizing: you can get completely lost in this stuff. Last night at Barbes Steele was backed by an excellent band featuring upright bass, electric guitar and reed player Harel Shachal alternating between clarinet and sax. Most of what Steele writes has a dark, plaintive, hypnotic edge: he goes for atmosphere over ostentation every time, and absolutely nails it. You could call what he writes jazz, although it also embodies elements of classical and Balkan music, with glimpses of rock and even Afro-pop peeking in and showing their faces from time to time.
The material they played early in the set had a bracing, big-sky Americana feel in the same vein as Jenny Scheinman’s collaborations with Bill Frisell. A little later in the set, on a far eerier number, Shachal’s clarinet went deep into the lower registers for an ominously fluttery Balkan feel. A handful of their songs were suites, one of them facing off fluid, swoopingly legato bass against the noisy duel of the violin and clarinet; another featured a languidly thoughtful yet tensely wary solo from the guitar. Steele was clearly throwing songs at these guys that at least one of them had never played before, but the group was game and rose to the occasion, taking the old Scottish folksong Black is the Color off into the Great Plains with a wintry, windswept ambience. On their last number, another suite, Steele wound up a tightly compelling passage by playing major over minor for a few bars, adding an especially macabre edge. Steele’s next performance is a quintet show on Feb 5 at le Poisson Rouge on a bill with with Shachal’s excellent, haunting Middle Eastern/Balkan group Anistar.
Every day, our top 666 songs of alltime countdown gets one step closer to #1. Wednesday’s is #546:
The Larval Organs – Joyless Now
The Larval Organs were arguably New York songwriter Daniel Bernstein AKA Cockroach’s best project to date, a ferociously lyrical punk/metal outfit that played around circa 2002-04 and put out one classic ep, Posthumous. This is one of their more melodic numbers with a characteristically brilliant, desperate lyric, “with a heartache the size of a great lake.” Unreleased and unavailable at the usual sites, although there are supposedly bootleg versions kicking around – if you find one, let us know!