Lucid Culture


New York City Live Music Calendar April-May 2009 Plus Special Events

Hey, this isn’t the latest calendar! Here’s the latest May-June calendar with all kinds of free stuff…

As usual, weekly events first, followed by the daily calendar. 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…check out the weekly shows too, lots of good stuff going on! Apologies for the crazy spacing and fonts – Microsoft Word and WordPress are both having hissy fits.


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). Free drink with your entree.


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 in April 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. 


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.


Mondays at the Jazz Standard it’s all Mingus, whether with the Mingus Orchestra, Big Band or Mingus Dynasty: you know the material and the players are all first rate. Sets 7:30/9:30 PM, $25 (does that include tax? The club was doing that for awhile). 


Also 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 Mondays the free reggae show that used to be held at Rehab has gravitated to SOB’s, 9ish, free w/rsvp to, 21 and over.


In April the Barbes house band, Chicha Libre will be on tour with Dengue Fever. But they will be playing at Barbes on 4/6 and 4/13 at around 10, and a Rocks Off cruise around Manhattan on May 15.


Also Mondays in April (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.


Also Mondays in April Kotorino plays darkly rustic, sometimes atmospheric gypsy-flavored stuff at Pete’s Candy Store, 10:30


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.


Sophisticated, jazz-inflected Americana chanteuse Julia Haltigan and her excellent band the Hooligans play 11th St. Bar every Tuesday in April 9:30 PM except for Apr 21 when she’s at Union Hall. Or you can catch her at Rodeo Bar at 10:30 PM on 4/22.


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 in April and May, 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. He’ll be off on UK tour in June.


Also virtually every Wednesday at Drom (check the club calendar to make sure) 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 on the main floor, 9 PMish Botanica frontman and master of menace Paul Wallfisch presents the edgiest weekly music series in town, playfully called Small Beast, an international mix of some of the most intelligent (and frequently darkest) performers passing through town. It’s free and there’s always some kind of drink special or freebee. If you wish Tonic was still open, Wallfisch is keeping the flame alive. He typically opens the night solo on piano, reason enough to put this on your calendar. April artists include Carol Lipnik, Larkin Grimm, Steve Wynn, Kerry Kennedy, Sally Norvell, Alice Texas, and Vera Beren.


Weds Apr 1 semi-legendary alt-bluegrass guys the Gourds (who did the bluegrass cover of Gin & Juice), at Mercury Lounge, $15 gen adm


Also Weds Apr 1 Gail Archer plays another recital in her continuing series Mendelssohn in the Romantic Century at Temple Emanu-El 5th Ave (65-66), 7:30 PM.


Also Weds Apr 1 in case you haven’t seen the flyers at every abandoned luxury housing site/future crackhouse, the Brian Jonestown Massacre plays at 10ish at Terminal 5, $24 adv tix at the Mercury.


Thurs Apr 2 Duo Firenze, composed of violinists Brooke Quiggins and Elizabeth Young at Trinity Church, 1 PM, free.


Also Thurs Apr 2, 8 PM, Karla Bonoff plays BB King’s, adv tix $25. A long time ago there were two raven-haired top 40 sirens. One was Mexican-American, didn’t write her own songs, had a beautiful wounded voice and was named Linda Ronstadt. Another was Jewish, wrote her own songs, played piano, had a beautiful wounded voice and hasn’t disowned her past as Ronstadt has. That siren is Karla Bonoff. If beautiful women of a certain age appeal to you, this is where you will find them.

Also Thurs Apr 2 the Quavers followed by Rachelle Garniez at Barbes, 8 PM. The former call themselves “porch techno” but are as far from computerized as you can possibly get: the only techno in their music is the hypnotic loops that come back again and again as they build big sweeping anthems before your eyes. The headliner is the greatest songwriter of our time. And also probably the best singer, and one of the most dynamic live performers around. And plays accordion, keys, guitar and writes dark, lyrical songs in pretty much every style except for indie rock.

Also Thurs Apr 2 haunting, hypnotic Egyptian film music revivalists Zikrayat at Public Assembly, 7 PM $15 with special guest artists percussionist Faisal Zedan and chanteuse Mariyah.

Also Thurs Apr 2, 8 PM Bang on a Can Allstars with special guests Lee Ranaldo and Alvin Lucier at Merkin Concert Hall playing Lok Yin Tang: Distorted Indulgence; Kate Moore: Ridgeway; Fred Frith: Snakes & Ladders; Alvin Lucier: Canon; Lee Ranaldo: How Deep Are Rivers? (A Map is a Good Piece of Paper), lots of world premieres and NYC premieres. 

Also Thurs Apr 2 at the Delancey it’s Small Beast night with Botanica frontman/keyboard master of menace Paul Wallfisch followed by another equally haunting presence, noir cabaret chanteuse Carol Lipnik with her spine-tingling four-octave voice, show starts at 9ish.

Also Thurs Apr 2 biting, edgy female-fronted jazz-pop band the Secret History at the Bell House, 8ish. This era’s answer to Everything but the Girl…or the American Autour de Lucie?

Fri Apr 3 – speaking of great songwriters – Mary Lee’s Corvette plays a rare duo acoustic show (frontwoman/chanteuse Mary Lee Kortes and husband Eric “Roscoe” Ambel on lead guitar) at the Postcrypt Coffeehouse located in the basement of St. Paul’s Chapel, Columbia University, 1160 Amsterdam Ave. at 116th St., 9 PM, free.

Also Fri Apr 3 Daniel Kahn & the Painted Bird play radical klezmer punk at Barbes, 10 PM 

Fri-Sun Apr 3-5 it’s Mudfest AKA Beefstock, a weekend of music and recreation in the Catskills, Valley View Road, Big Indian NY, a great chance to watch and socialize with some of NYC’s most exciting underground musical artists artists in a completely intoxicated, carefree, typically rain-sodden environment.  On the bill – jam rockers Plastic Beef; chanteuses Erica Smith & the 45 Cent Dreams (the full 99 weren’t available), Rebecca Turner and Paula Carino, the carnivalesque Tom Warnick, politically charged folk artists Gillen and Turk, psychedelic 80s throwbacks Liza & the WonderWheels, the Larch, Baby Daddy, Livia Hoffman, the John Sharples Band, many more, watch this page for updates.

Also Fri Apr 3-5 4/3-5 aggressive, adventurous pianist/composer Dan Tepfer performs with smooth jazz saxist Lee Konitz April 3 – 5 at Village Vanguard and then on April 7 with his trio at the Jazz Standard. This is a guy who approaches Giant Steps and the Goldberg Variations with equal aplomb and panache.

Also Fri Apr 3 NYC’s most romantic band, timeless Hawaiian/swing/jazz retrophiliacs the Moonlighters at Shrine, 8 PM.

Also Fri Apr 3 happy, upbeat ska/reggae with the Brown Rice Family at Zebulon, 9 PM.

Also Fri Apr 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.

Also Fri Apr 3 soaring country chanteuse Alana Amram & some of her twangy bandmates the Rough Gems at Banjo Jim’s, 11 PM.

Also Fri Apr 3, 11 PM dark, anthemic rockers Ninth House  – equal parts Joy Division and Johnny Cash, at the absolute peak of their ten-year career – play Berlin in Astoria, 37-27 32nd St., Astoria, N/W to 39th Ave., or V/R to 36th St., $8. 

Also Fri Apr 3 Jennifer O’Connor plays Cake Shop, 11 PM with the reliably fiery, eerie Chris Brokaw on lead guitar. Not an everyday thing that you see two players this captivating sharing a stage. Now add terse, dark, pensive lyrics and a literally chilling vocal range. Makes us wish we hadn’t gone out of town.      

Sat Apr 4 expat Cuban guitarist/crooner Alex Cuba opening for Colombia’s most popular rock export, the fiery, female-fronted Aterciopelados at Highline Ballroom, 8 PM, adv tix $20.

Also Sat Apr 4 fiery Balkan blasters Raya Brass Band, Brooklyn’s own haunting, feisty, innovative Bulgarian female vocal quartet Black Sea Hotel and Fishtank Ensemble – whose ferociously virtuosic acoustic gypsy music with Japanese instruments is completely unique – at the Ukrainian National Home, 140 2nd Ave, 8 PM, $15

Also Sat Apr 4, 8 PM Gamelan Dharma Swara presents an evening of traditional and experimental shadow theater, “Wayang Kali,” a collaborative and experimental work for music and shadow puppets at Consulate of the Republic of Indonesia (5 E. 68th St.), $15/$10 stud/srs. Moving through the silence without motion, waiting for you?

Also Sat Apr 4 snarling, smart NYC underground rock eminence grise Willie Nile – whose new cd is reportedly sensational – playing a rare trio show with Brad Albetta on upright bass and Frankie Lee on drums, opening for his usual backing band the Prisoners of Second Ave. at Bowery Ballroom, 8:30 PM. 

Also Sat Apr 4 fiery Steve Earle-esque two-guitar highway rockers the Sloe Guns at the National Underground, 9 PM.

Also Sat Apr 4 funny, virtuosic surf, rockabilly and punk with Simon & the Bar Sinisters at Lakeside, 10:15 ish.

Also Sat Apr 4 El Jezel plays Bowery Poetry Club, 10:30 PM. Moody, atmospheric but groove-driven shoegaze rock with a 80s edge, guitar and keys and guy/girl vocals.

Also Sat Apr 4 tersely lyrical, tuneful powerpop siren Patti Rothberg at Ace of Clubs, midnight 
Sun Apr 5, 3 (three) PM one of the world’s great violists, Ljova joins a wonderful chamber group of Edward Arron, Soheil Nasseri, Harumi Rhodes and Sharon Roffman for a performance of Brahms and Dvorak piano quintets at Bargemusic.  Also Sun Apr 5, 7 (seven) PM all seventeen women with accordions who make up the charming, devious, psychedelic Main Squeeze Orchestra at Highline Ballroom, adv tix $12 recommended.


Also Sun Apr 5, 7 PM ex-Blow This Nightclub bandleader Dan Sallitt’s lyrically stinging 2-guitar band the Toneballs play Rocky Sullivan’s, 24 Van Dyke St., Red Hook, corner of Dwight – the B77 bus stops in front of the club, no cover. They promise a brand new Richard Thompson cover too.


Also Sun Apr 5 alternately haunting, plaintive and fiery Americana chanteuse Jan Bell with sensational violinist Rima Fand from Luminescent Orchestrii at the Jalopy Theatre, 8 PM.


Mon Apr 6, long-running late 60s oldtimey revivalists Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks (not all orig. members) at BB King’s, 8 PM gen adm $25

Also Mon Apr 6 noir piano jazz combo the Dred Scott Trio plays the Blue Note, $5 at the bar, $10 for a table, 8 and 10:30 PM.



Also Mon Apr 6, 11 PM fiery, fun somewhat psychedelic country/Americana rock band Any Day Parade play Death by Audio.


Tues Apr 7, early, 6 (six) PM at Zebulon Rothko Trio violinist Cliodhna Ryan plays Partita No.1 in B minor by J.S. Bach followed at 7:30 by the dark snarling guitar alchemy of the Ulrich Ziegler trio feat. Steve Ulrich from Big Lazy and Balkan Beat Box’s Itamar Zeigler.


Also Tues Apr 7 Metropolitan Klezmer’s 15th anniversary show, 7:30 PM at Drom, $10, where they prove themselves the most versatile and arguably most ferociously entertaining klezmer act around.


Also Tues Apr 7 at Barbes, 7 PM: “Tamevate Kapelye. Straight from the orchestra pit of the Folksbiene National Yiddish Theater (the longest running Yiddish theater in America) this klezmer quartet plays traditional melodies and songs from Eastern Europe, America, and beyond. With Dmitri ‘Zisl-Yeysef’ Slepovitch – clarinet; Louisa Strouse Boiman -violin; Taylor Bergren-Chrisman – bass and Joshua Camp – accordion/piano.”


Also Tues Apr 7 original, noirish 80s-inflected keyboardist/chanteuse Kristin Hoffmann at the Canal Room, $12, 8 PM. 


Also Tues Apr 7 Veveritse brass band (featuring members of Romashka, Hungry March Band, Zlatne Uste, The Woes, Ansambl Mastika, and Stagger Back Brass Band) opening for the amazing Asian/Gypsy group Fishtank Ensemble at the Jalopy, 9 PM.


Also Tues Apr 7 dark, snarling, LES glam noir rocker Sousalves at Corio, upstairs, 11 PM  


Weds Apr 8, 9 PM, dark, intense yet sometimes tongue-in-cheek rocker Elisa Flynn – who has a great new album out – plays at Sidewalk.   


Also Weds Apr 8 legendary Elvis Costello pianist Steve Nieve – the only keyboardist who deserves mention in the same sentence as Paul Wallfisch – is at City Winery, 9 PM, bar seating $30 (forget anything else).


Also Weds Apr 8 Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. at Rodeo Bar, 10:30 PM. One of the funniest and most original bands in town, period-perfect, 1953-style with their matching suits, oldtime stage patter, harmonies and often remarkably subtly amusing pre-rockabilly hillbilly songs.


Thurs Apr 9 fearless double entendre specialist/oldschool acoustic rocker Joe Pug is at BB King’s, 7 PM opening for long-running oldschool alt-country supergroup the Flatlanders.


Also Thurs Apr 9 Americana siren Hope DeBates and North 40 – one of the most sophisticated and unique voices in town, equally captivating at jazz and country, with a band to match – plays 55 Bar, early, 6 PM.


Also Thurs Apr 9 a string quartet plays Haydn and Dvorak at Pete’s Candy Store, 7:30 PM.


Also Thurs Apr 9, 9 PM Selim Sesler – the “Coltrane of the clarinet” –  & the NY Gypsy Allstars at Drom, free.


Also Thurs Apr 9 this week’s Small Beast extravaganza once again features Botanica’s Paul Wallfisch along with noir chanteuse Larkin Grimm  – one of the most extraordinarily intense, unique voices in any kind of music right now – at the Delancey, upstairs 9ish.


Also Thurs Apr 9 catchy, jangly, danceable rock en Espanol band Cordero plays Southpaw, 9:30 PM.


Also Thurs Apr 9 smart, literate, subtly amusing oldtimey siren/multi-instrumentalist Robin Aigner plays Freddy’s, 10 PM.


Fri Apr 10th at Glasslands an intriguing, cheap jazz show, only $5 starting at 7 with Planet Dream: Steve Swell (trombone), Rob Brown (alto sax), Daniel Levin (cello); 8PM – Sex Mob: Steven Bernstein (slide trumpet), Briggan Krauss (alto sax), TBA (bass), Kenny Wollesen (drums); 9PM – Glassband: Dave Sewelson (bari sax), Brad Farberman (guitar), Dee Pop (drums). Wow. Supposedly TBA is a great bass player.


Also Fri Apr 10, 7-9 PM the Open Music Circle at Tibet House, 22 West 15th Street, 7-9  PM, $10 req. donation. Acoustic musicians, vocalists, dancers are welcome; no musical or other agenda, no director. Each circle is an exploration, an adventure. Participants start in silence, someone begins, then participants listen to each other and play, vocalize or move accordingly, ending with silence; musicians respond to dancers and dancers to musicians. Now and then there are exercises to build skills. Also on Apr 12 from 8 PM sharp to 10 PM at the New York Insight Meditation Center, 28 West 27th Street, 10th fl., take the elevator up at 8 PM. Marianne Giosa will be facilitating


Also Fri Apr 10 fiery mandolinist/Americana chanteuse Elena Skye’s birthday bash at Banjo Jim’s starting at 7:30 with another soaring singer, Drina Seay with Fred Cash Jr., then Charlene and Mo of Spanking Charlene at 9, Skye’s own Demolition String Band at 10 followed by Live Band Kuntry Karaoke with a free shot of Jack for all karaoke singers. Click for the list of available songs.


Also Fri Apr 10, 8 PM Overlord plays the Bell House, the show is NOT sold out like the club says, email for tix info. They’re better than the New Pornographers plus they have the formidable Kerry Kennedy in the band. Sonic Youth/Oasis ripoffs the Wrens, who occasionally score one or two, are on later in case you’re not worried about getting home.


Also Fri Apr 10 killer bassist Gregg August (from JD Allen’s powerful trio) leads his own ten-piece Large Ensemble at the Jazz Gallery, sets at 9 and 10:30 PM, $15. The theme explores race relations through compositions inspired by (and ostensibly sometimes including) poetry; a ton of great talent on this bill including JD Allen on tenor, Sam Newsome on soprano sax, Jaleel Shaw on alto and others.  


Also Fri Apr 10, 10 PM las Rubias del Norte play Barbes. Slipping further and further into dark minor keys, the two womens’ voices induce deeper and deeper chills as the band saunters through pretty much every south-of-the-border style you could ever want.


Also Fri Apr 10, 10 PM fiery, funny Irish punks Box of Crayons at the Parkside.


Also Fri Apr 10 unusually tasteful, terse and surprisingly dark blues and oldtime R&B with BBQ Bob & the Spareribs at Rodeo Bar, 10:30 PM.


Also Fri Apr 10 NYC’s most wild, intense, improvisationally-inclined bluegrass band Thy Burden at Connolly’s, 11 PM.


Also Fri Apr 10, midnight the Brooklyn What and legendary Dead Milkmen frontman Joe Jack Talcum reunite once again at Fontana’s. The band have put out the best rock record of the year so far, The Brooklyn What for Borough President, a fearless, funny, brutally honest and impressively multistylistic tour de force, and they played the best rock show any of the Lucid Culture crew witnessed last year. This could be a specially good night. 


Sat Apr 11, 1 (one) PM, a free concert at Bargemusic, performer/performers and program TBA but the last one was excellent! Get there no later than half past noon!


Also Sat Apr 11, sets at 3 and 8 PM, legendary acoustic blues guitarist and former Jefferson Airplane axeman Jorma Kaukonen at City Winery, bar seating $25.


Also Sat Apr 11, early, 6 PM,  the comedic, virtuosic Erin & Her Cello at the Rockwood.


Also Sat Apr 11 a killer blues-ish doublebill with the minor-key flavored Hazmat Modine followed by Chicago style lead player/crooner Johnny Allen at Terra Blues, 7:15 PM.


Also Sat Apr 11, 7:30 PM at le Poisson Rouge it’s African night with the guitar-fueled Extra Golden, soulful 70s roots reggae throwbacks Meta & The Cornerstones, and the film ‘African Booty Scratcher’, $15 gen. adm.


Also Sat Apr 11 bluesy, soulful frontman Vic Ruggiero of the Slackers plays a rare solo acoustic show at the recently reopened Knitting Factory, 8:30 PM, $10.


Also Sat Apr 11, 10ish ex-Raunch Hand Michael Chandler’s insanely catchy, rocking, utterly inimitable organ-and-guitar-driven gospel/garage rockers the Lost Crusaders play Don Pedro’s.


Also Sat Apr 11 sprawling, politically aware reggae-jazz hellraisers the Superpowers at Zebulon, 10 PM.


Also Sat Apr 11 all-purpose Greek party band Magges, with Chuck Metaxas’ fiery guitar, electric bouzouki and Susan Mitchell doing her inimitable intense gypsy viola thing at Mehanata, 10 PM,  free before 10:30 PM, show up early for ouzo!


Also Sat Apr 11 at Shrine, 10 PM ska jazz sax legend David Hillyard & the Rocksteady 7.


Also Sat Apr 11 Kelli Rae Powell – transcendently captivating, frequently hilarious, sometimes chilling oldtimey songwriter/chanteuse at the Jalopy Theatre, 11 PM. The sly, historically aware and equally good Al Duvall opens the night at 9.


Also Sat Apr 11, 11ish at le Poisson Rouge (separate admission from the earlier reggae show), the always deliriously fun NY Gypsy Festival featuring the NY Gypsy All-Stars with special guest Selim Sesler (the “Coltrane of the clarinet”), Romashka’s wild Balkan/Russian funk and dance music and Frank London, legendary trumpeter of the klezmer underground.


Also Sat Apr 11 Love Trio feat. Ilhan Ersahin, Jesse Murphy, Kenny Wollesen plays 11ish at Nublu.

Also Sat Apr 11 Demolition String Band play amped-up country and bluegrass in the spirit of X with guy/girl harmonies and ferocious, virtuoso guitar and mandolin at Rodeo Bar, 10:30 PM.

Sun Apr 12 virtuoso noir surf/western swing/jazz guitarist Jim Campilongo with his trio at 55 Bar, early,  6 PM.


Also Sun Apr 12 fiery, fun ska rockers Across the Aisle at Trash, 9 PM  


Also Sun Apr 12 politically charged 90s British lo-fi rockers Comet Gain at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, 9:30 PM adv tix $13 at the Mercury. 


Mon-Tues Apr 13-14 the inimitable and indomitable Neko Case at the Nokia Theatre, adv tix $30.


Also Mon Apr 13 multistylistic guitar genius Homeboy Steve Antonakos – from Love Camp 7, Ellen Foley’s band, Magges and countless others – plays his own stuff at Banjo Jim’s, 7:30 PM.


Also Mon Apr 13, 8 PM multistylistic, latin jazz-inclined chanteuse Marta Topferova at Barbes.


Also Mon Apr 13, 8 PM alt-bluegrass hellraisers the Duhks at Highline Ballroom, 8 PM, adv tix $15.


Tues Apr 14 noted recitalist Eric Plutz at the Casavant Freres organ at Central Synagogue, half past noon.


Also Tues Apr 14 multistylistic violinist/chanteuse Jenny Scheinman at Barbes, 7 PM. She’s back here on 4/28. The night continues at 8 with AE (Aurelia Lucy Shrenker and Eva Salina Primack), a world music vocal duo equally skilled at vintage Americana and Balkan sounds, the fascinating and danceable Balkan/Mexican group El Haru-Kuroi, Balkan singer Dorian Wood & hellraising LA Balkan band  Petrojvic Blasting Company at Barbes. The show repeats the following nigh 4/15 at Trophy Bar in South Wburg at 8ish.


Also Tues Apr 14 a Darfur benefit at B.B. King’s with Immortal Technique and other hip-hop acts, show starts around 8, $20 all ages, adv tix at the box office.


Also Tues Apr 14 Also Tues Apr 14 rockabilly/Americana siren Monica Passin hosts a Loretta Lynn tribute night feat. Laura Cantrell, Amy Allison, Elena Skye and Boo Reiners from Demolition String Band at Banjo Jim’s, 8:30 PM, $10 cover    


Tues Apr 14 – Apr 19 sets at 9/11, $30/$35 on the weekend plus $10 min. innovative, playful percussionist Paul Motian and Octet + 1 at the Village Vanguard: Steve Cardenas-gtr, Tim Miller-gtr,Chris Cheek-sax, Bill McHenry-sax, Matt Maneri-vln, Thomas Morgan-b, Jerome Harris-b, Jacob Sacks-p.


Also Tues Apr 14, 9 PM at Rose Bar – Drive By Leslie  feat. keyboardist Adam Klipple, Keith Carlock, Chris Tarry and guitar genius Marvin Sewell.


Also Tues Apr 14 Balthrop Alabama – who have two new ep’s out, including a morbid one which is a solid contender for best of the year – play Southpaw, 9:30 PM, $8


Weds Apr 15-19, 7:30/9:30 PM latin jazz chanteuse Claudia Acuna and her Quintet are at Dizzy’s Club playing cd release shows for her new one En Este Momento.


Also Weds Apr 15 legendary, politically-charged Parisian-Algerian rocker Rachid Taha with his band at le Poisson Rouge $25, time TBA. Last time in town he was completely loaded and unusually vitriolic, even by his standards. Sober or not, he remains a compelling performer.


Thurs Apr 16, 1 PM at Trinity Church, rustic string band Blue Moose & the Unbuttoned Zippers playing Scandinavian and original tunes.


Also Thurs Apr 16, 7 PM Tammy Faye Starlite at Joe’s Pub, $15: “Tammy Faye Starlite, country chanteuse-cum-evangelist, brings her sweet gospel chansons to the stage of Joe’s Pub in order to pray for our country in these dark, black, negroid times and implores the Lower 48, in the words of the estimable Carter Family, to “hold fast to the right.”


Also Thurs Apr 16 at Barbes. 8 PM: “Deborah Karpel, the sultry voice of Isle of Klezbos and Metropolitan Klezmer. She will be singing material from her new cd, La Promessa, a geo-classical assortment of folk, theatrical and popular songs sung in several languages. With a killer band including Rachelle Garniez, accordion, piano, claviola; Stephanie Griffin, viola and Debra Kreisberg, clarinet.” Followed at 10 by charming, romantic, innuendo-driven French chanson revivalists les Chauds Lapins.


Also Thurs Apr 16, 8 PM funk/ groove jazz improvisers Ambient Assault open for noir rockers Darren Gaines & the Key Party (whose new cd is excellent) at the Gershwin Hotel, 7 East 27th St. btwn 5th and Mad, $10 all ages, free wine (21 plus)


Also Thurs Apr 16 it’s the weekly Small Beast extravaganza with Botanica keyboardist Paul Wallfisch, REM sideman Ken Stringfellow, brilliant southwestern gothic rocker Kerry Kennedy and noir cabaret chanteuse Sally Norvell at the Delancey, 9 PM.


Also Thurs Apr 16 the fiery Raya Brass Band – featuring members of just about every other excellent Balkan brass band in town – at Mehanata, 9 PM, $10


Also Thurs Apr 16 the growling, twangy, Steve Earle-esque ex-Backslider Chip Robinson with the Roscoe Trio at Lakeside, 10ish.


Also Thurs Apr 16 a fiery, psychedelic jazzy funk triplebill with Flearoy, Captain Coconut and Shwizz starting at 10 and going late at Bowery Poetry Club.  


Fri Apr 17 the first annual New Music Bake Sale, 7 PM – midnight (doors at 6:30), performances by So Percussion, Lisa Moore & Martin Bresnick, Lukas Ligeti, Newspeak, ACME, JACK Quartet, Dither, Loadbang Ensemble, & Ensemble de Sade at First Presbyterian Church 124 Henry Street, Brooklyn Heights, $15 admission at the door includes 2 drink tickets & re-entry, not bad for all this stuff.


Also Fri Apr 17, 7 PM subtly torchy retro 50s jazz chanteuse Sarah DeLeo at Bello Sguardo Jazz Room, 410 Amsterdam Avenue (between 79th and 80th Streets), NYC. Sets at 7 and 8:30 p.m. Lerner & Loewe to a darkly swinging White Stripes cover. “The art of the empire at its apex?” You decide. Show free with dinner res. or drinks.


Also Fri Apr 17, 7 PM virtuoso pianist Karine Poghosyan – whose recital this past weekend at Bargemusic was a revelation – performs a trio performance on with Bela Horvath, violin and John Popham, cello at the Yamaha Piano Salon, 689 Fifth Avenue (at 54th Street).


Also Fri Apr 17 soaring, romantic oldtimey classics and originals with Daria Grace & the Pre-War Ponies followed by the smartly understated, politically aware Americana duo Kill Henry Sugar at Barbes, 8 PM.


Also Fri Apr 17, 8 PM at Symphony Space:  masters of Hawaiian slack key guitar & hula Keola & Moana Beamer, $28/18 studs.


Also Fri Apr 17, 9 PM charmingly authentic retro 60s white soul siren Lisa Burns followed eventually by what’s left of the Shirts – Annie or no Annie? Dunno – at Rocky Sullivan’s in Red Hook, B61 bus to the end of the line, 34 Van Dyke Street (at Dwight).


Also Fri Apr 17 punk/metal thrashers Vagina Panther at Trash, 10 PM.


Also Fri Apr 17 virtuoso delta blues guitarist/all-purpose literate Americana songwriter Lenny Molotov plays Pete’s, 10 PM.


Also Fri Apr 17 fiery, riff-rocking garage band 18 at Port 41, 10ish.


Also Fri Apr 17 Mr. Action & the Boss Guitars play twangy, purist, traditional surf classics and obscurities at Lakeside, 11 PM.


 Also Fri Apr 17 Gato Loco (the large band version with horns) at Tea Lounge in Park Slope, 11ish


Sat Apr 18, 7 PM Amir Vahab & Soroosh Ensemble play classical Persian music at Drom with saz, tambour, oud and percussion, $10 gen adm, early arrival very highly recommended.


Also Sat Apr 18, 7 PM pianist Xiayin Wang performs evening of classical piano works by Chopin, Liszt, Scriabin, Hayden, Wanghua Chu and Peixun Chen at the Queens Theatre in the Park, tix $25, $15 stud/$23 srs.


Also Sat Apr 18, 8ish the completely original, impeccably tuneful groove-jazz Hypnotic Brass Ensemble plays Santos Party House, 18+, gen. adm. $10  


Also Sat Apr 18 at Kenny’s Castaways guitarist/soundman extraordinaire Freddie Katz presents a night of cool diverse oldschool punk-inspired stuff including  the 413’s featuring longtime Joe Jackson/Graham Parker bass powerhouse Graham Maby, accordionist/chanteuse Marni Rice & Le Garage Cabaret, Vera Beren’s self-explanatory and very potent Gothic Chamber Blues Ensemble, the Johnny Black Band playing punk covers and Buddy Bowzer from the original NY Dolls?!? Dunno who’s playing first, (probably the older guys) but it’s all worth checking out.  


Also Sat Apr 18 virtuoso noir surf/western swing/jazz guitarist Jim Campilongo and oldtimey barrelhouse blues rockers the 4th St. Nite Owls at Barbes, 8 PM.


Also Sat Apr 18, 8 PM Elisa Flynn at the Roots Cafe, 5th Ave. bet. 18th & 19th St. in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with her hellraising bluegrass homies the Shithouse Lilies.


Also Sat Apr 18, 9 PM, free at BAM Cafe – tuneful, politically conscious bass-rich funk with Shelley Nicole’s blaKbüshe.


Also Sat Apr 18 impressively multistylistic ska/reggae/dub rockers King Django at Two Boots Brooklyn, 9ish.


Also Sat Apr 18 sophisticated, entertaining urban country with Miller’s Farm – the crew who wrote that funny, spot-on song about the L train – at Hill Country, 10 PM.  


Also Sat Apr 18 roots reggae revivalists Meta & the Cornerstones at Zebulon, 10:30 PM.


Also Sat Apr 18 Spanking Charlene – NYC’s answer to X – at Lakeside, 11 PM 


Also Sat Apr 18 Brooklyn’s own adventurous, innovative, absolutely haunting all-female Bulgarian vocal quartet Black Sea Hotel’s cd release show at the Bell House is CANCELLED. Watch this space for upcoming shows.


Also Sat Apr 18 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. See if he can play in a different kind of big league.


Sun Apr 19 and also Apr 26 sophisticated Americana chanteuse Hope DeBates & North Forty at Wildwood BBQ, 1-5 PM, 225 Park Ave S (18/19).


Also Sun Apr 19, Willie Nile plays a duo acoustic show with Frankie Lee at Ray’s Place, Staten Island, $20, afternoon concert, very intimate setting, email Ray for more details.


Also Sun Apr 19, 7 PM saxophonist/clarinetist/composer Steve Elson will be performing music from the new CD Mott & Broome with Pete Smith – guitar; Scott Latzky – drums; Yasushi Nakamura – bass; Jennifer Griffith – vocals and special guests. at the Dixon Place Theater, 161 Chrystie Street between Rivington and Delancey, $15/stud/seniors $10.


Also Sun Apr 19 funk band Shwizz plays drummer Greg Evans’ senior recital at Manhattan School of Music, 8 PM, 120 Claremont Ave. 10027 free. They do a cool, horn-driven cover of Have a Cigar by Floyd. They’re also at Bowery Poetry Club in the wee hours of 4/17.  


Also Sun Apr 19 sprawling ska-gypsy-punk rockers World Inferno at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, 8:30 PM, gen adm $20.


Also Sun Apr 19 the fiery, haunting Raya Brass Band – featuring members of just about every good Balkan brass band in a ten mile radius – at Union Pool, 9ish


Mon Apr 20 pianist Hye-Yeon Park and her quartet the Atria Ensemble at St Paul’s Chapel downtown, 1 PM.


Also Mon Apr 20 the Famous Accordion Orchestra f.k.a. the Accordion Angels at Barbes, 7 PMish.


Also Mon Apr 20 the countryfied Van Halen cover band from hell, Van Hayride at Rodeo Bar, 10:30 PM.


Tues Apr 21 Sivan Magen plays classical harp music, Bach to the moderns, at Merkin Concert Hall, 2 (two) PM, inexpensive, $15.


Tues Apr 21 Nicholas Howard plays Drom, 6 PM, early – real oldschool gospel-fueled soul singer with a light, understated touch. John Legend only wishes he was Nicholas Howard. If you come home late at night and blast Sam Cooke, or Howard Tate, or Smokey, this guy will soothe your ache. Somebody get this guy on tour with Eli “Paperboy” Reed.  


Also Tues Apr 21 QQQ – two composing couples playing rustic, innovative, multuistylistic violin-driven instrumentals – at Barbes, 7 PM.


Also Tues Apr 21, 7:30 PM by far the best night that Union Hall has ever had (and probably will ever have) starting with smart, soaring Americana chanteuse Julia Haltigan & The Hooligans, the utterly unique, amusing and socially conscious, oldtimey Americana/hiphop stylings of Tim Fite, rousing oldtimey band the Woes playing the cd release show for their new one and then the scorching Balkan Veveritse Brass Band, $10.


Tues Apr 21 a very cool reggae show at Sullivan Hall with Three Legged Fox, Emergency Service’s reggae/hiphop  and Soldiers of Jah Army at Sullivan Hall, 9 PM.


Also Tues Apr 21 Das 3 (of German vibraphone jazz innovators Das Vibenbass) at Rose Bar, 9ish.


Weds Apr 22, a panel discussion on the future of the art world at 7 PM sharp at Katie Murphy Auditorium, FIT (27th St. betw 7/8th Ave.) with Paul Morris, co-founder of the Armory Show, Lowell Pettit, art advisor, Walter Robinson, critic and editor of Artnet, Yvonne Garcia, director of development of the Bronx Museum, and Florence Lynch, curator and director of Florence Lynch Gallery. “Following years of wild expansion and commercial vitality, the last six months in the art world – as in all business sectors – have seen rocky auction and art fair sales, abrupt gallery closures and publicly expressed dealer woe. The panel, moderated by FIT adjunct faculty member, independent art consultant and co-founder of NADA, Sheri Pasquarella, will attempt to assess where things stand and what the long-term picture might look like.”


Also Weds Apr 22 at Sullivan Hall-  a ska show, absurdly cheap at $10 starting around 8 with the Bluebeats featuring Michael Drance (founding member of the Scofflaws), Across The Aisle, ska punks On Display, and oldschool-style rocksteady guys the Forthrights.


Also Weds Apr 22 fiery, tuneful, guitar-driven female-fronted power trio Devi at Shrine, 9 PM with tropicalia siren Patrizia Ferrara.  


Also Weds Apr 22 haunting, ethereal, atmospheric minimalist chamber rock ensemble Edison Woods and noir cabaret chanteuse/personality Little Annie with her brilliant collaborator, Botanica keyboardist Paul Wallfisch at Joe’s Pub, 9:30 PM.


Also Weds Apr 22 lead guitarist to the stars Pete Galub is at Lakeside, 10 PM doing a very cool show with special guest Jason Victor of Steve Wynn and the Miracle 3, another ferociously potent player.


Also Weds Apr 22 catchy, upbeat ranchero rock with Cordero at Mercury Lounge, $10, 10:30 PM.


Also Weds Apr 22 artsy, atmospheric, soulful singer-songwriter Jessi Robertson at the Rockwood, 11 PM.   


Thurs Apr 23 QNG (Quartet New Generation, innovative German flute quartet) at Trinity Church, 1 PM.


Also Thurs Apr 23, 7 PM the New Collisions play Arlene’s. Absolutely killer new wave throwbacks from Boston with chirpy, infectious, defiant vocals from frontwoman Sarah Guild, sly 80s synth, fiery guitar and some of the best tunes you’ll hear this year. Their show last month at Public Assembly really opened some eyes.


Also Thurs Apr 23 politically conscious 60s soul legend the Mighty Hannibal AKA James Shaw plays with the infectious, harmony-driven Sweet Divines at Joe’s Pub, 7 PM $12 adv tix very highly recommended.    


Also Thurs Apr 23 it’s Small Beast time again with Paul Wallfisch followed by the incomparably tuneful, purist songsmithing duo McGinty & White and the growlingly haunting guitar stylings of the Ulrich/Ziegler Duo at the Delancey, 9 PM  


Also Thurs Apr 23 classic-style roots and dub reggae with Soldiers of Jah Army and John Brown’s Body at Maxwell’s, 9ish, $15


Fri Apr 24 “the world’s most popular African band,” hypnotic Tuareg desert rockers Tinariwen – who have a killer new live DVD out – at le Poisson Rouge, 7:30 PM, $25 and worth it, this will sell out fast, adv tix available at the club box office


Also Fri Apr 24 eardrum-smashing Radio Birdman soundalikes the Mess Around – equally adept at chromatically-charged originals and oldschool R&B-inflected madness – at Otto’s, 8 PM


Also Fri Apr 24 scorching, powerful, frequently very funny, no-BS all-female rockers Beluga play the Loving Cup Cafe in Williamsburg in the back gallery space at 8 PM.


Also Fri Apr 24 the David Binney Big Band at the Jazz Gallery, sets at 9/10:30.


Also Fri Apr 24 oldtimey hokum blues/hillbilly revivalists the Wiyos – whose recent show at Joe’s Pub absolutely slayed – play the 92YTribeca, 9:30 PM, $12.


Also Fri Apr 24 big, highly regarded Brooklyn country band Yarn – who have a horn section, which actually works sensationally well – play Hill Country, 10 PM.

Also Fri Apr 24 the French Exit show at Fontana’s is CANCELLED. Watch this space for this smartly lyrical, haunting band’s next gig.

Also Fri Apr 24, 8 PM at Bargemusic: the Goldberg Variations arranged for string trio played by Jonathan Crow, Violin; Douglas McNabney, Viola; Matthew Haimovitz, Cello, tix expensive, $35, early arrival advised.


Also Fri Apr 24 Special Patrol Group at Arlene’s, 9 PM. Clever, allusive lyrics; catchy tunes; tricky time changes; a frontwoman who’s working her way into more and more of the songs because her Sonya Madan-esque voice is so good. Another one of the best bands in town.


Also Fri Apr 24 darkly swaying, sometimes quirky shoegaze rockers El Jezel at Trash, 9 PM.   


Also Fri Apr 24 all-female janglerock en Espanol group Pistolera at Joe’s Pub, 10 PM, $12 adv tix w/flyer – where do you get one?


Also Fri Apr 24 country/Americana chanteuse Alana Amram & the Rough Gems with their sprawling, lusciously jangly/twangy sound at Southpaw, 11 PM $10.


Sat Apr 25, 4-6 PM the Williamsburg Art and Historical Center, 135 Broadway on the south side hosts the opening for the second of their two group shows this year dedicated to women artists. Last year’s was astonishingly good.


Also Sat Apr 25, 8 PM Robert Sirota’s riveting, haunting 9/11 commemoration Triptych performed by the American String Quartet along with works by Henry Cowell and Walter Piston at Bargemusic, tix $35/ $20 stud/srs. The program repeats on Sun 4/26 at 3 PM.     


Sat Apr 25 noir chanteuse Marissa Nadler opens for Nashville gothic duo the Handsome Family at Highline Ballroom, 8 PM, gen adm. $15


Also Sat Apr 25 low-register retro Cuban band Gato Loco – with baritone guitar, baritone sax, bass and tuba – play classics and Moisturizer-ish originals at Barbes, 8 PM.  


Also Sat Apr 25 hilarious metal parody band Mighty High at Trash, 8 PM.


Also Sat Apr 25, 8 PM there’s a free Bach Society concert at St. Paul’s Chapel at Columbia, 116th and Broadway, no idea who/what’s on the bill but it sounds enticing and the sonics there are to die for.


Also Sat Apr 25 at Banjo Jim’s Jamie Lyn’s Honky Tonk Angels monthly festival of NYC’s hottest female country and Americana talent starts at 7 with country songstress Rachel Lee Walsh, the frequently hilarious bluegrass band the Havens at 8, the rousing Jamie Lyn & the Red Tail Hawk Band at 9, the quieter Kara Suzanne & The Gojo Hearts at 10, honey-voiced siren Drina Seay at 11 and at midnight Serena Jean & The Whisky Trippers.


Also Sat Apr 25, 8PMish at the recently reopened Knitting Factory, a killer triple bill with darkly danceable rock en Espanol monsters Escarioka, the gypsy punk-flavored Outernational (soon to go out on Warped Tour) and straight-up no BS punk Consumer Feedback, insanely cheap at $5.


Also Sat Apr 25 the Marvin Sewell Group play dark, fiery, tastefully virtuosic guitar-fueled blues at the Jalopy Theatre, 9 PM $15.


Also Sat Apr 25 International Generation play soulful, smart poliically conscious 70s style roots reggae at Shrine, 9 PM.


Also Sat Apr 25 smartly filthy, often hilarious punk rockers Custard Wally – with a strikingly multistylistic new album out – are at Don Pedro’s, 9 PM.  

Also Sat Apr 25, 9:30 PM at Joe’s Pub smart, tasteful Americana songwriter Matt Singer and then dark, noirish chamber rockers Pearl & the Beard’s cd release show, $14 adv tix very highly recommended, this may sell out. Followed by a separate show (try hiding somewhere, it may work) by classic style roots reggae artists Meta & the Cornerstones at 11:30 for $15.


Also Sat Apr 25, 10 PM the slinky, haunting acoustic duo the Gypsy Nomads at Coco 66, 66 Greenpoint Ave, $8.


Also Sat Apr 25 ferocious yet uber-tasteful Americana guitarist/rocker Tom Clark & the High Action Boys at Lakeside 11 PM.


Sun Apr 26 3 (three) PM, the free Americana Family Jamboree at Rodeo Bar which is basically Demolition String Band acoustic covering Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly, Stephen Foster, The Carter Family, Buck Owens, Bill Monroe, Stanley Brothers, Ola Belle Reed, and more featuring Dave Post on upright bass, Diane Stockwell on fiddle, Boo Reiners on acoustic guitar and banjo, birthday babe Elena Skye on acoustic guitar, mandolin and banjo.


Sun Apr 26 a benefit for the Jazz Gallery, sets at 8/10 PM, $85 or $50/members an especially interesting, potentially alchemical group: Roy Hargrove – trumpet; Lionel Loueke – guitar; Esperanza Spalding – bass; Jeff “Tain” Watts (whose new cd is reputedly smashingly good) on drums plus special guests. We don’t usually list shows that cost this much, but if you’re one of the dwindling few with this kind of ducats, this is a worthy way to spend them.


Mon Apr 27, 7 PM Janine Nichols (who produced the Leonard Cohen doc I’m Your Man, and sings in Flutterbox) – at Barbes followed by Frank London’s Brazilian Brass Band ?!?


Also Mon Apr 27 virtuoso pianist Karine Poghosyan plays a free solo show at 7 PM at Steinway Hall, 109 West 57th Street featuring works by Mozart, Chopin, de Falla, Sirota and Stravinsky.


Also Mon Apr 27 Alec Berlin plays Arlene’s, 8 PM. Tuneful, pleasantly consonant, Beatlesque songwriter with a sense of humor


Also Mon Apr 27, 8:30 PM at Cornelia St. Cafe it’s Ljova and the Kontraband. That’s one of the world’s foremost violists (and composers) Lev “Ljova” Zhurbin on viola and custom-made “famiola,” his wife, Romashka frontwoman Inna Barmash on vocals, the fiery Patrick Farrell on accordion, Mathias Kunzli on percussion, Mike Savino on bass and Sofia Rei Koutsovitis guesting on vocals. Multi-stylistic, classically-inspired, gypsy-fueled, jazz-oriented, haunting and cinematic string music. True pioneers and very intense live.


Also Mon Apr 27 ex-Moonlighter Daria Grace & the Prewar Ponies play similarly swoony, gorgeously romantic harmony-driven oldtimey songs at Rodeo Bar, 10:30 PM 


Tues Apr 28, 8 PM at Merkin Concert Hall – Lingua Appalachia: Mark O’Connor, Ida Kavafian, Paul Neubauer, Matt Haimowitz doing string quartets with a rustic country flavor, $25 adv tix very highly recommended.


Also Tues Apr 28, 9 PM, rousingly lyrical Pete’s Candy Store-style acoustic Americana rockers Salt & Samovar play Southpaw, $10.


Also Tues Apr 28 phantamagorical, carnivalesque chanteuse Carol Lipnik plays with her equally eerie virtuoso pianist Dred Scott at the Rockwood, 11 PM followed by a set by Scott and his excellent jazz trio.


Weds April 29 an excellent artsy rock doublebill with cellist/multi-instrumentalist Serena Jost and then pianist/guitarist Matt Kanelos playing full-band shows le Poisson Rouge, 7 PM.

Also Weds Apr 29-May 2, 8 PM a workshop of John Kelly: The Escape Artist – New music by chanteur/chanteuse John Kelly and the incomparable, phantasmagorical Carol Lipnik at MTG 10 Jay, 10 Jay Street, 9th Floor, Dumbo, $20. “He adds new music to his video/performance work-in-process, inspired by the bad-boy baroque painter Caravaggio, baroque music and the artist’s journey through Italy, examining the parallels between the unbridled creative urban artist of the 17th century and today.”

Weds April 29-May 2, 8:30/11 PM jazz chanteuse Karrin Allyson – seriously on the Brazilian tip for awhile now – at Birdland.


Also Weds April 29- intriguing, totally unique Japanese gypsy rockers Kagero play Caffe Vivaldi, 9 PM.


Also Weds April 29 somewhat dark, tuneful, smartly lyrical Billie Holiday soundalike Maya Caballero at Sidewalk, 10 PM.


Also Weds April 29 baritone sax and bass-driven groove rockers Moisturizer debut their brand new five-piece lineup at Black Betty, 10ish, last show for awhile since bassist Moist Gina is going off on Detroit Cobras tour!


Thurs Apr 30, 7 PM 87-year old band leader/percussionist Foreststorn “Chico” Hamilton premieres multi-genre works off of his latest album Twelve Tones of Love at Borders Bookstore @ the Time Warner Building, 10 Columbus Circle, free but early arrival strongly advised.

Also Thurs Apr 30 klezmerites the Shul Band followed by Belgian barroom gypsy jazz revivalists Musette Explosion at Barbes, 8 PM.


Also Thurs Apr 30 Evan Lurie plays Issue Project Room, 8 PM, $15, no idea who the ex-Lounge Lizard has on the bill with him but it could be a lot of fun.


Also Thurs Apr 30, 8:30 PM Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. play Otto’s, two sets. One of the funniest and most original bands in town, period-perfect, 1953-style with their matching suits, oldtime stage patter, harmonies and often remarkably subtly amusing pre-rockabilly hillbilly songs.


Also Thurs Apr 30 theatrical, uniquely entertaining spooky parody band Witches in Bikinis at Public Assembly in the back room, 9 PM.


Also Thurs Apr 30 it’s Small Beast time again – tonight’s show is an especially sensational one with Paul Wallfisch, Steve Wynn and Vera Beren’s Gothic Chamber Blues Ensemble at the Delancey, 9 PM.


Also Thurs Apr 30 gypsy jazz with Matt Darriau’s Paradox Trio at Nublu, 9 PM, $10.


Also Thurs Apr 30 Reid Paley plays Rodeo Bar, 10:30 PM. Finally, finally, the Rodeo has found someone who can silence the “happy hour douchebags,” as one of the great guitarists of our time calls them, that musicians despise so much. Paley is a force of nature: if you miss Lux Interior – or Screamin Jay – this guy will hit the spot, head on.

Hey, are you looking for May? Here’s the May calendar:

5/1-2 the latin-inflected Jason Lindner Big Band at the Jazz Gallery, sets 9/10:30.

5/1 fiery, upbeat canjun and honkytonk with the Doc Marshalls at Zebulon, 10:30 PM.


5/1 long-running Spinal Tap-style hair metal spoof rockers Satanicide at Mercury Lounge, midnight, $12.

Sat May 2 classical pianist Sophia Agranovich plays a free recital at Bargemusic, 1 PM, first come first served, early arrival (i.e. half past noon) advised.

5/2, 2-3:30 p.m. at Galapagos, a discussion/performance “combining sounds of popular music with those of the street and the bayous, jazz changed not only music, but other art forms which borrowed its phrasing, rhythm, structure and aesthetics. Jazz critic Gary Giddins joins forces with American poets Jayne Cortez and Bill Zavatsky to explore the birth and life of jazz and how it relates to the written word. With musical accompaniment by the Diane Moser Quintet; moderated by composer Carman Moore.” $10/$8 PEN members/students.

5/2 5-6 PM free mint juleps at the Bell House. That’s drinks, not a band.


5/2, 7 PM NYC’s own hypnotic Indonesian gamelan orchestra Gamelan Dharma Swara at Drom $10.


5/2 wild, crazy and dark retro garage stuff with King Khan & The Shrines/Mark Sultan at Maxwell’s $12 adv, also at the Music Hall of Williamsburg 5/1 PM for $3 extra, and at Santos Party House for $15 with “Georgiana Starlington” opening at 7


5/2 oldschool jazzy ska with Arusha at Shrine, 11 PM.


5/2 the dark Nashville gothic and ornate art-rock sound of Ninth House at Don Pedro’s, 11 PM.


5/2, 11 PM unbelievably tight, slightly jazzy funk band Baby Daddy at the Parkside


5/2 wild art-punk-noise rockers System Noise at Iridium, midnight, with the talented Michael Isaacs guesting on piano, $10 w/flyer (email noxes [at] to get one). By far the loudest band who will ever rock this timid joint!


5/3 oldtimey blues/ragtime siren Mamie Minch at Spikehill, 9 PM


5/4 rock and ska en Espanol with the fiery, gypsyish Escarioka at Mehanata, 9ish


5/4 noir songwriter/bandleader Kerry Kennedy at Zebulon, 9ish


5/5 gypsy dance and guitars with St. Petersburg, Russia’s Drago Ensemble at Drom, 8 PM.


5/5-10 at the Vanguard the Brad Mehldau Trio with Larry Grenadier onbass, Jeff Ballard on drums.


5/6 the hilarious and lushly psychedelic seventeen-piece all-female accordion combo Main Squeeze Orchestra at the Bell House, 8 PM


5/6 lyrical French tenor player Gael Horellou leads his quartet playing compositions from his new cd Pour la Terre at the Jazz Gallery, sets 9/10:30.


5/7 pianist Jeremy Denk plays the Goldberg Variations at Symphony Space, 8 PM adv tix $30


5/7 Botanica frontman Paul Wallfisch and And the Wiremen at Small Beast at the Delancey, 9 PM


5/8, early, 7 PM, the reliably tuneful, fun all-female retro garage rockers the Friggs followed by the Chrome Cranks reunion show – !!! – at Santos Party House, $15. The Chrome Cranks are also at Glasslands on 5/15. This is a big deal in NYC rock history, arguably the most ferocious of the noir, bluesy LES bands of the early 90s back together again with all the original members and reputedly as darkly snarling and intense as ever.


5/8 at Small’s 10:30 PM and midnight – Jay Collins and The Kings County Band. check out this lineup: Jay Collins – Tenor Sax , Dred Scott – Piano , Scott Sharrard – Guitar , Jeff Hanley – Bass , Diego Voglino – Drums , Moses Patrou – Percussion.


May 9 at 7:30pm in Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, the world premiere of Nina Dance by pioneering violist/composer Ljova Zhurbin. The program also features new vocal cycles by Paola Prestini, Matti Kovler, and David T. Little.  “Niña Dance”, features the Argentine jazz vocalist Sofia Rei Koutsovitis, and scored for a chamber ensemble comprised of trumpet, guitar, accordion, two percussionists, laptop, and Zhurbin performing on the 6-string “famiola”. It is a meditation on the disappearance of women & children in Juárez, Mexico, the poverty and drug-ridden border town, a tribute to victims of femicide throughout history


5/9 sharply literate, ferociously funny songwriter Joe Pug at the Bell House, $12, 7:30 PM. He’s also at Joe’s Pub at the same hour on 5/12.

Fri, May 8, 9 PM the McCarron Brothers cd Release Party at Nublu: guitarist Mark McCarron, saxophonist Paul Carlon, bassist Doug Largent and drummer Russ Meissner: “urban and rural American styles through the compositional talents of McCarron and Carlon, and through choice covers of great songwriters like Joni Mitchell, Wayne Shorter, and Radiohead.”

5/9 Saturday May 9th, 8 PM Paul Zunno (ex Wilson Pickett lead guitarist) plays acoustic blues at Roy Arias Theater Center, 300 West 43rd Street at 8th Ave, $10.


5/9, 10 PM Anguile & the High Steppers play hypnotic, smart, 1970’s style Francophone roots reggae at Shrine


5/9 second-wave garage and classic 1976-era pub rock with Eddie and The Hot Rods at Maxwell’s, time TBA, probably late, $12 adv.


5/12 Letizia Romiti of Turin Italy plays the organ at Central Synagogue, half past noon, free


5/12-17 at the Vanguard the Bill Frisell Trio with Tony Scherr on bass and Kenny Wollesen on drums. Just the basics, the loop pedal, a great room and you.


5/12 Federico Aubele playing swinging, reggae-inflected, electrified tangos and boleros from his new cd Amatoria at Joes Pub, 9:30 PM, $16 adv tix highly recommended.


5/13 at le Poisson Rouge 7:30 PM Lady Gag’s Haitian-American violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR) does his starkly atmospheric trip-hop instrumental thing, $15.


5/14 Vlada Tomova’s Balkan Tales at Trinity Church, 1 PM.


5/14 Paul Wallfisch, Mattison and Reid Paley at Small Beast at the Delancey, upstairs, 9 PM.


5/14 alt-country/Americana siren Jan Bell at Barbes, 8 PM.


5/14 the Howlin Thurstons play fiery surf music and Link Wray-influenced instrumentals at Lakeside, 10 PM.


5/15 Chicha Libre plays the Rocks Off Concert Cruise, leaving at 7 sharp from 23rd St. and the FDR, adv tix $20 absolutely necessary, this will sell out.  


5/15 This Spy Surfs play subtle, intriguing surf, spy and movie theme-style guitar instrumentals at 10 PM at Lucky Mojos, 514 51st Ave., Long Island City, Queens, 7 to Vernon-Jackson Aves.


5/15-16 the Yosvany Terry Big Band at the Jazz Gallery, sets 9/10:30.


5/15, 9 PM Buffalo play virtuosic grasscore and quieter acoustic Americana at Shrine


5/15-16 the English Beat at Maxwell’s, 10ish, $25.

5/15 roots reggae with International Generation at Coco 66, 10 PM.

Fri May 15, 10:30 PM at le Poisson Rouge – Slavic Soul Party and Scott Kettner’s Forro Brass Band, $15 adv tix very highly recommended.


5/15 Mr. Action & the Boss Guitars at Lakeside, 11 PM.


5/16 the Jack Grace Band at Joe’s Pub 7:30 PM $15.


5/16, 8 PM at the Stone: the ethereal, lushly atmospheric Metal Mountains feat. Helen Rush (vocals, guitar) Samara Lubelski (violin, bass) Pat Gubler (guitar), $5


5/16 the Secret History play artsy, European-style keyboard-driven female-fronted pop at the Bell House, 9 PM, $16.


Saturday, May 16th 8-10 PM noir rockers Darren Gaines & the Key Party at the Gershwin Hotel, 7 East 27th St. btwn 5th and Madison, $10 all ages, free wine (21 plus) with Paul Wallfisch of Botanica opening the show solo on piano.


5/16 roots reggae with John Brown’s Body at Southpaw 10ish $15 gen adm.

5/16 roaring, wailing Americana punk rockers Spanking Charlene at Lakeside, 11 PM.

5/17 Metropolitan Klezmer plays Jewish Museum Family Day, 2 sets starting half past noon, free w/museum adm. – $12, $10/srs./$7.50 stud., under 12 free.


5/17 noir-ish cabaret-tinged chanteuse Jeanne Marie Boes brings her powerful contralto and piano chops to LIC Bar in Long Island City where she’s playing the cd release for her new one, 7 PM.


5/17, 9 PM at Drom – Newpoli playing little-known southern Italian folk music, mainly from Campania and Puglia, integrating a wide variety of styles such as Tarantella-Pizzica, Tammuriata, etc., $10.


5/18 at Ace of Clubs, 8 PM, Out Of Print: An unauthorized evening with the “Cheney Family” as they read excerpts from Lynne Cheney’s fairly PG-rated lesbian pulp novel novel “Sisters,” $10


5/19 the Mike Hunt Band at Lakeside 11 PM.


5/19 twisted Southern garage rock with SCOTS and mile-a-minute surf rock with los Straitjackets at Bowery Ballroom, adv tix $18 at the Mercury box office


5/20 Gail Archer plays her continuing series Mendelssohn in the Romantic Century featuring organ pieces by Felix (and Fanny, if you’re lucky) along with their 19th century contemporaries at Central Synagogue, 7:30 PM.

5/20, 8 PM at Merkin Concert Hall, Elaine Comparone, harpsichord & the Queen’s Chamber Band play a program including Alan Broadbent’s Distant Music, Thomas Pasatieri’s Concerto for Harpsichord, Harold Farberman’s Three Pieces for the Queen’s Band, Christopher Lyndon-Gee’s Études Canoniques for 2 Violins, Cello & Harpsichord and David Shohl’s Two Poems for countertenor and instruments; as well as selections from J. S. Bach’s the Art of the Fugue, $25 adv tix highly recommended.


5/20 Cheetah Chrome at Maxwell’s time TBA $10 like the old days.

5/21 mesmerizing, hypnotic dub reggae with Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad and the Easy Star Allstars (including some psychedelic Beatges covers no doubt) at BB King’s, 8 PM.

5/22 saxist Jacam Manricks plays the cd release for his new one Labyrinth (featuring jazz quintet and 40-piece chamber orchestra, on the cd at least)  at Smalls, 9/10:30 PM sets, $20 includes a drink ticket


5/22 11 PM Roots Vibration play…can you guess?…at Shrine – roots legend Judah Eskender Tafari on vocals


5/23 scorching original punk-infused rockabilly and surf music with Simon & the Bar Sinisters at Lakeside 10:15ish


5/24, 9:30 PM Cape Verde chanteuse Maria de Barros at Joe’s Pub $20


5/26 multistylistic rock goddess Jenifer Jackson plays bossa, Beatlesque pop, haunting Nashville gothic and more at the Rockwood, 9 PM


5/28 the NY Scandia Symphony at Trinity Church, 1 PM, most likely playing American premieres of excellent, under-the-radar Scandinavian composers.


5/28 legendary rocksteady/roots reggae crooner Gregory Isaacs at B.B. King’s, 8 PM, $22.50 adv tix at the box ofc


5/28 the JD Allen Trio at Smalls 9:00 & 10:30 PM  with JD Allen – Tenor Sax , Gregg August – bass , Rudy Royston – drums. Simply one of the most exciting things happening in jazz right now. Their most recent cd I Am I Am is a haunting, thematic masterpiece.

5/28 Band of Outsiders – who were doing the drony neo-Velvets thing 20 years before Brian Jonestown Massacre – at Lakeside, 10 PM


5/29 at Galapagos, 8 PM the World Premiere of innovative keyboardist/composer Missy Mazzoli’s Song from the Uproar featuring NOW Ensemble and films by Stephen Taylor.


5/29 Libby York and her band at the Metropolitan Room, 10 PM, with understatedly compelling, uncluttered vocals reminiscent of Chris Connor or June Christy – or Bliss Blood for that matter. Res. recommended to 212-206-0440, $20


 5/29-31 John Ellis’ Dreamscapes at the Jazz Gallery, sets 9/10:30


5/29-31 X at Bowery Ballroom 9:30ish adv tix $27 at the Mercury


5/29 3 floors of ska, 8ish at the Knitting Factory, adv tix $17 with Mustard Plug, Eastern Standard Time, The Void, We Are the Union, Royal City Riot, Hub City Stompers, King Django, Brunt of It, Silver Dollar


5/29 Delusions of Grand St. at Trash 9 PM


5/30 at Merkin Concert Hall, 8:30 PM: Writing Jazz: the Lark Chamber Artists/Zephyros Winds/Anthony de Mare – genre-bending jazz/classical including the premiere of a commissioned work by David Rakowski.


Saturday, May 30, noon – the Three Orchestras Concert at St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery (10th Street & 2nd Avenue)


5/30 the Sweet Bitters cd release show Kenny’s Castaways 7 PM


6/4 Darren Gaines & The Key Party at Small Beast at the Delancey 10ish

6/6 Blue Oyster Cult  at B.B. King’s, shows at 7:30/10, adv tix $27.50

6/6, 8 PM at BAM Moroccan and Syrian sufi music with the Aissawa Ensemble and Al Taybah Ensemble, adv tix $20-35 very highly recommended.

6/9-10 Sherisse Rogers’ Uprising at the Jazz Gallery, sets 9/10:30

6/10 the Mummies 10 PM at Southpaw $15

Thurs June 11 & Fri June 12 at 7:30 PM at the Asia Society Wallace Auditorium, 725 Park Ave (at 70th St.) classical Iranian singer Parissa sings the words of the poet Rumi, accompanied by two instrumentalists on tar (traditional plucked lute) and daf (frame drum). Ethnomusicologists Stephen Blum and Ameneh Youssefzadeh provide a pre-performance lecture on both nights at 6. $35 adv tix ($25 stud/srs) highly recommended.

Later Thurs June 11 & Fri June 12 at 9:30 PM at the Asia Society Wallace Auditorium, 725 Park Ave (at 70th St.) Kamilya Jubran of Palestine singing modern poetry from Palestine, Iraq, and beyond, $35 adv tix ($25 stud/srs) highly recommended. 


6/12, 9:30 PM at BAM Cafe, free, noted oud rocker Brahim Fribgane,, with Kashmiri-born indie alternative rock band Zerobridge opening the show.






6/13 the Bluebeats at Shrine, 10 PM

6/13 Plastic Beef night at Freddy’s feat. Tom Warnick, the John Sharples Band, Liza Garelik and Ian Roure and Baby Daddy


6/20 Toussaint Liberator w/Buru Style at Shrine 10 PM


6/27 at Central Park Summerstage, free, 3 PM, Serdar Ilhan has really taken things to a new level, if you love Middle Eastern or world music don’t miss this one: Istanbulive: The Sounds & Colors of Turkey, Mazhar-Fuat-Özkan, Painted on Water featuring Sertab Erener & Demir Demirkan plus the NY Gypsy All-Stars with Hüsnü Senlendirici and special guests.


7/8 the Church at Irving Plaza


7/10 Those Darlins at Southpaw 10 PM $10


7/11 los Fabulosos Cadillacs at Central Park Summerstage, doors at 3, free


7/13-15 Aimee Mann at City Winery bar seating $30 time TBA


7/19 midnight-ish the Anti-Nowhere League at Europa $20 18+


7/19 at Central Park Summerstage, 3 PM doors, global roots reggae stars Alpha Blondy & The Solar System, Lee “Scratch” Perry & Dubblestandart Subatomic Sound System.




8/3, 7:30 PM, Toumani Diabate (Malian kora virtuoso) at Central Park Summerstage, free







March 31, 2009 Posted by | Live Events, Music, music, concert, New York City, NYC Live Music Calendar | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Top Ten Songs of the Week 3/30/09

We do this every Tuesday, in the spirit of Kasey Kasem. Each of the links here will take you to the individual song, a mix of stuff we’ve either stumbled upon or have playing in heavy rotation here in Lucid Culture-land. Some of these songs will end up on our Best Songs of 2009 list the last week of December, stay tuned…


1. Elisa Flynn – Timber

Big, towering, haunting yet blackly amusing anthem, first cut on her absolutely killer new cd Songs About Birds and Ghosts. She’s at Sidewalk on 4/8 at 9. This is the video.


2. La Sovietika – Aladino

Completely unique: “the Caribbean Dance Rock Sound,” as the band puts it, funk meets 1970s Fania meets soukous, like what Vampire Weekend might sound like if they could swing and had soul.  


3. Jah Roots – Spliff and My Lady

In case you didn’t already guess, this is reggae. Great tune, similar to Payday by Israel Vibration.


4. Jessie Kilguss – Gristmill

Menacing, brooding noir cabaret. She’s at Trash on 4/22


5. The Hsu-nami – Snake Skin Shuffle

Artsy metal instrumental like Iron Maiden with an erhu (Chinese fiddle)! They’re at the Passport to Taiwan Festival at Union Square on 5/24.


6. The Parkington Sisters – Let Go

Minimalist countrypolitan chamber pop with sweet harmonies – absolutely unique.  


7. Des Roar – Not Over for Me

Oldschool R&B song like the Pretty Things except with powerful modern amps.


8. The Moody Blues – Driftwood

Live version, early 80s vintage. In case you weren’t aware how good a guitarist Justin Hayward is.


9. No More Tears – Keep It Real

Hip-hop from the Dirty Jerz: “Keep it real girl, what do you want, I got liquor, I got blunts.” The least subtle pickup lines ever rapped. Beyond funny.


10. Cudzoo & the Faggettes – 14K Fetus

Completely sick faux oldtimey harmony from the self-styled “prettiest girls with the filthiest mouths.”

March 31, 2009 Posted by | lists, Lists - Best of 2008 etc., Music, music, concert | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Song of the Day 3/31/09

Every day, our top 666 songs of alltime countdown gets one step closer to #1. Tuesday’s song is #484:

Ward White – Hole in the Head


I need this job like a hole in the head

I need a hole in the head to keep this job

And I need a head for some reason that escapes me now

There’s no escaping you


Arguably the New York underground songwriter’s most lyrically pulverizing moment, a venomous swipe at corporate greed and selfcenteredness, more apt than ever in these early days of the depression. Beautiful, sparse melody too. From his brilliant 2006 cd Maybe But Probably Not, streaming at his site.

March 31, 2009 Posted by | lists, Lists - Best of 2008 etc., Music, music, concert | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Songs of the Last Couple of Days

Every day, our top 666 songs of alltime countdown gets one step closer to #1. Sunday’s song was #486:

The Saints – Brisbane

Lead guitarist Ed Kuepper’s finest moment in the band. This slowly burning epic is one of the great summer songs of alltime – it just radiates heat and defiance over listlessness. On an unexpectedly prophetic note, the song is subtitled “Security City” – little did the band know what was to come in the following decades. From the 1978 album Prehistoric Sounds.


Today’s is #485:

Rachelle Garniez – Quality Star

Arguably the noir-inclined, multistylistic New York chanteuse’s finest hour. It begins all starlit and atmospheric with eerie music-box piano, subtly building to an explosion on the chorus:


You say monsters like us don’t make good husbands and wives

But monsters

Lead such interesting lives

And I don’t know what you’re hoping the future might bring

But monsters

Make the best of everything


And the outro is pure redemption, pure revenge for anyone who’s ever been betrayed. From her classic 2003 cd Luckyday.

March 30, 2009 Posted by | lists, Lists - Best of 2008 etc., Music, music, concert | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Song of the Day 3/28/09

Every day, our top 666 songs of alltime countdown gets one step closer to #1. Saturday’s song is #487:

DollHouse – Anymore

With their haunting four-part harmonies and a killer songwriting team in frontwoman Lisa Lost and bassist Frankie Monroe, these noir rockers were arguably New York’s best band for a couple of years in the late 90s and early zeros before calling it quits for good in 2004. This is their finest moment, a heartwrenching requiem kicking off with a characteristically gorgeous, soaring Monroe bassline followed by Lost’s anguished, subdued vocals. The person eulogized here is actually a cat. From their classic 2000 cd Touch the Moon. The link above is to an audio stream of the song.

March 27, 2009 Posted by | lists, Lists - Best of 2008 etc., Music, music, concert | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Song of the Day 3/27/09

Every day, our top 666 songs of alltime countdown gets one step closer to #1. Friday’s song is # 488:

Elvis Costello – All the Rage

This furiously defiant, soul-inflected 6/8 kiss-off ballad is the centerpiece of Costello’s 1994 “comeback” cd with his old band the Attractions, Brutal Youth. Still a concert favorite, with one of his most revealing lyrics:
Don’t try to touch my heart

It’s darker than you think

And don’t try to read my mind

Because it’s full of disappearing ink

March 27, 2009 Posted by | lists, Lists - Best of 2008 etc., Music, music, concert | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Concert Review – Devi at Mercury Lounge, NYC 3/22/09

It’s hard to think of another band quite like Devi, blending the cleverness and intricacy of a good jam band with the catchiness of vintage powerpop, the awareness and relevance of punk and the occasional smirking metal flourish. The Hoboken, New Jersey power trio have been riding a wave of buzz in the wake of their popular new cd Get Free, and this show found them edging ever closer to the wild, psychedelic jam band inside them, threatening to break out of its shell at any second. As much as this was a song set, there were plenty of opportunities for everybody in the band to cut loose or play off each other and they used all of them. Fighting gamely through a seemingly endless parade of technical glitches, they’d brought a couple of special guests, adventurous keyboardist Rob Clores and also Carmen Sclafani, frontman of Grand Funk-style NJ 70s revivalists Wiser Time to sing harmonies. For significant portions of the show, neither were audible, which was too bad because when Clores was up enough in the mix to be heard, he was always adding something interesting, whether atmospheric washes of synth, ominous organ or tastefully funky Rhodes piano.


They opened with the catchy, upbeat rocker Another Day, then immediately launched into the concert favorite When It Comes Down. It’s a brooding, pensive number that practically screams out to be stretched out, and this time the group went out on a limb, frontwoman/guitarist Debra tossing out echoey waves of blues against Klores’ sheets of melody, finally bringing it down to just the rhythm section, all minimalist and mysterious before the guitar kicked in with a wild, psychedelic 70s feel. And then they were back off and running.


The group’s new bassist caught the vibe and channeled it perfectly, trading off the occasional lick with the guitar or leading the charge as the drums built to yet another crescendo. Not to be denied, the band ran through a particularly elegaic version of the slow, anthemic title track from the new cd, a charging version of the powerpop hit All That I Need and then a characteristically haunting version of the 9/11 remembrance Welcome to the Boneyard featuring a soaring, haunting lead vocal, the band taking it down to just drums and keys as the last verse came around.


Opening act NYC Smoke revealed a fondness for nonsequiturs as well as cheesy 80s albums by the Replacements and the Cure.

March 26, 2009 Posted by | Live Events, Music, music, concert, New York City, review, Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

CD Review: The Skye Steele Quintet – Late Bloomer

A strange, sometimes unearthly and utterly beautiful album by innovative violinist/composer Skye Steele and his superb backing unit, guitar, reeds and rhythm section. Like a lot of the current New York vanguard, Steele’s compositions blur the line between jazz, world music and classical. Call it Barbes music – cutting-edge New York listeners will get the reference. Much of it is atmospheric, often stark and rustic but imbued equally with a playful, surrealist wit. Clarinetist Harel Shachal (who also leads also the excellent Orientalist ensemble Anistar) kicks off the cd’s opening cut, a plaintive version of the old Scottish folk song Black Is the Color with a gentle, cool breeze, the rest of the band entering leisurely. Drummer Satoshi Takeishi adds the subtlest of shades with his cymbals beneath Steele’s rainy-afternoon washes. They follow that with the funky Monkey See, a hypnotic riff for Steele that serves as a chassis for Steele’s contrasting ambience.  Evelynn, a big ballad, builds to a powerful, whirling crescendo of strings. Shine begins stark and choppy before lighting up with a warm, soulful Shachal solo where Steele joins him and then they pass the baton back and forth; Echo Park continues in the same vein, but more upbeat.


The title of the bizarrely named Pepperoni Pizza is a simple rhythic reference: it shares the number of beats in the song’s opening riff, and it’s definitely a party til the middle section, guitar carrying the rhythm as it gets all quiet. And then everybody’s off and running again, popping funk bass and sheets of violin leading the charge. Similarly, Rubber Ducky riffs on a playground rhyme, hints at a syncopated Irish reel and then goes straight for the jugular before winding up with a bizarre singalong.


Freedom Impressionism is, appropriately enough, an inspired free improvisation riffing on Coltrane and one of the Satie Gymnopedies. The cover of Scarborough Fair takes the stately old tune on the thrill ride of its life, highlighted by a big foghorn Shachal solo.There’s also the circular Afropop-inflected Years Later with its wistful ending, the pensive The Fall and the cd’s fiery, late 70s Jean-Luc Ponty-esque concluding cut, Pretty Girls. Taken as a whole, the album makes for great late-night ipod listening. The group are very captivating, often haunting live. Skye Steele has LA, Mexico and London dates coming up, watch this space for NYC shows.

March 26, 2009 Posted by | Music, music, concert, review, Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Song of the Day 3/26/09

Every day, our top 666 songs of alltime countdown gets one step closer to #1. Thursday’s song is #489:

System Noise – Daydreaming

Our pick for best song of 2006, it began as an exercise in dynamics, the band exploring what might happen if they wrote a song that started quiet, got loud and then quiet again. This slow, towering, magnificently macabre anthem is the result, Sarah Mucho’s anguished yet brutally self-aware voice soaring over a maelstrom of guitars: “Loneliness is all I have tonight.” From a forthcoming cd; bootlegs abound, including the 2008 video above.

March 26, 2009 Posted by | lists, Lists - Best of 2008 etc., Music, music, concert | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Concert Review: Botanica at Joe’s Pub, NYC 3/21/09

Like Joy Division or Nina Simone, Botanica enjoy a cult appeal with a taste-defining sensibility, a still-necessary antithesis and antidote to so-called “hipster irony.” Passionately lyrical, as informed by classical and gypsy music as rock, internationalist in viewpoint, engaged in the world and intensely charismatic onstage, even conformists resist the urge to dismiss them if only because their mongrel hordes are everywhere. Saturday night, this proper and respectable venue hadn’t seen such wild, unleashed mayhem since the days of Gogol Bordello, as one concertgoer put it, maybe even since one particularly blistering set by a pre-crack Gil Scott-Heron in its earliest days way back in the 90s. Botanica were fresh off European tour and weren’t ready to wind down yet, the result being a 180 degree contrast with the placid and predictable if pretty stream of cliches strung together by the opening act. Botanica have a rep for intense live shows – anybody who’s seen their frontman Paul Wallfish do his solo thing at the weekly Small Beast show on Thursday evenings at the Delancey knows this – but Friday night’s sonic onslaught caught the crowd like a low-flying jetliner.


Guitarist John Andrews, in particular, got a workout – there hasn’t been as much savage tremolo-picking onstage anywhere in New York since Dick Dale last passed through. Playing through a dense, metallic wall of reverb, he wailed for minutes on end as the band methodically made their way through The Flag, the bitter, elegaic anthem to another America perhaps gone forever (“When I stand and face the flag/I see my country wrapped in rags”) from the classic 9/11-themed 2004 cd Botanica vs. the Truth Fish. Wallfisch was in typically menacing yet compelling form, whether anchoring the songs with brooding organ or eerily echoey Wurlitzer piano, brandishing his trusty bullhorn or taking one of several variously successful acrobatic excursions into the crowd. The new rhythm section of Jason Binnick (from Kerry Kennedy’s band) on bass and Dave Berger on drums is equal to any other unit this band ever had (Berger, in particular, lending a counterintuitively playful yet restrained touch to several of the more pounding, straightforward songs), and the violinist who’d been flown in from somewhere in Europe (Vienna, maybe?) was superb as well.


Someone Else Again, from their previous US release Berlin Hi-Fi, scurrried and swung nimbly. And Then Palermo, from the same album, was raised from wistfulness to unrestrained anguish, particularly when Andrews cut loose with a bloodcurdling, screaming, reverb-drenched solo on his Jazzmaster. In striking contrast, a more recent track, Who You Are, was all lush, exultant beauty with a particularly inspired vocal: “Imagine…perfection,” encouraged Wallfisch, responding to the technical glitches that had derailed the start of the show by a minute or two. As usual, Wallfisch used the stately, haunting lost-time masterpiece Eleganza and Wines as an excuse to teach the crowd 7/8 time, taking his message as far as he could along the railing separating bar area from tables and managing not to lose his balance.


“Five minutes, Paul,” the sound guy said, clearly audible over the club PA. So naturally the band played for another twenty. The highlight, perhaps predictably, was The Truth Fish, this time with its crazed, desperate gypsy outro careening at a ridiculous clip, the band nonetheless keeping up with the tempo until the end where Wallfisch intoned his complete disgust with those who, in the weeks and months after 9/11, would not extinguish those “Fires. No. One. Cares. To. Put. Out. Out. Out!” And they followed that with more gypsy wildness, the similarly politically-fueled How, Wallfisch holding the band back so all the lickety-split lyrics could resonate. “How many idiots on the head of a pin?” After the show, the crowd lined up to get copies of their new live cd americanundone, which’ll be available at later gigs as well. In the meantime, here’s a free download of one of the cd’s tracks, Billboard Jesus.

March 25, 2009 Posted by | Live Events, Music, music, concert, New York City, review, Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment