Lucid Culture


NYC Live Music Calendar for April-May 2010 Plus Other Events

Hey, this isn’t the latest, most updated NYC Live Music Calendar here. Click here for the latest one.

If you don’t recognize the place where a particular act is playing, check our venues page. If you didn’t see anything that tickled you this time around, you can always check back later since we constantly get news about new shows and post them here.  

 A few things you should know: acts are listed here in order of appearance, NOT headliner first and supporting acts after; showtimes listed here are actual set times, not the time doors open. If a listing here says something like ”9 PM-ish,” chances are it’ll run late. Cover charges are those listed on bands’ and venues’ sites: always best to click on the band link provided or go to the venues page for confirmation since we get much of this info weeks in advance. As always, weekly events first followed by the daily listings:

4/16-5/2 at LaMama, 74A East Fourth Street Thur-Sat 8PM + Sun matinee 2:30; $18; Box Office (212) 475-7710: “Yara Arts Group will summon ancient epics and rituals from Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan for “Scythian Stones,” an original, experimental World Music Theatre piece with choreography, which will presented by La MaMa from April 16 to May 2. The piece, created by Virlana Tkacz, features famed Ukrainian singer Nina Matvienko, her daughter Tonia and artists from Kyrgyzstan. “Scythian Stones” constructs parallel journeys for two young women, from village life and nomadic tradition into the city. Their separate journeys become epic descents into the Great Below—the modern global desert where songs, skills and languages vanish, leaving behind only mute markers like the Scythian Stones found today throughout the grasslands of Ukraine and Central Asia. The production, staged by Virlana Tkacz and Watoku Ueno, will feature Ukrainian and Kyrgyz traditional music, as well as modern music, design and movement. Interweaving performances in Ukrainian, Kyrgyz and English, “Scythian Stones” remains completely accessible to American audiences.”

Sundays there’s a klezmer brunch at City Winery, show starts round 11:30 AM – 2 PM, $10 cover, no minimum, lots of good bands.

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 2009-10 series of organ concerts at St. Thomas Church continues most every Sunday (holidays excepted) at 5:15 sharp, featuring an allstar cast of performers. Concerts continue through the end of May 2010.

Sundays in April, 8:30 PM the Baby Soda Jazz Band play hot oldtimey swing stuff at Pete’s

Stephane Wrembel plays Sundays at Barbes at 9. He’s something of an institution here, plan on arriving EARLY, 45 minutes early isn’t too soon since the whole bar gets packed fast. 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.

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.

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 Fat Cat the Heun Choi String Quartet play a wide repertoire of chamber music from Bach to Shostakovich starting at 7

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 and worth it.

Mondays at the Delancey on the main floor, 8:30 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 plays a solo set on piano around 10 PM, reason enough to put this on your calendar. May artists include haunting Balkan/Appalachian singers AE, cellist Emily Hope Price, the hypnotically psychedelic Electric Junkyard Gamelan with all their homemade instruments, and don’t forget what may be the single best concert in NYC in all of 2010, the Big Beast on May 21 at the Orensanz Center starting at 6 PM with Black Sea Hotel, Botanica, the cd release show for Little Annie and Paul Wallfisch’s new one Genderful, Bee and Flower and more.

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 what 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).

Mondays at the Vanguard the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra – composer Jim McNeely’s reliably good big band vehicle – plays 9/11 PM, $30 per set plus drink minimum.

Also Mondays in April the Barbes house band, Chicha Libre plays there starting around 9:30. They’ve singlehandedly resurrected an amazing subgenre, chicha, which was popular in the Peruvian Amazon in the late 60s and early 70s. With electric accordion, cuatro, surf guitar and a boisterous rhythm section, their mix of obscure classics and originals is one of the funnest, most danceable things you’ll witness this year. Perhaps not so strangely, they sound a lot like Finnish surf rockers Laika and the Cosmonauts in their most imaginative moments.

Also Mondays in April Rev. Vince Anderson and his band play Union Pool in Williamsburg, two sets starting around 11 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 most charismatic, intense live performers of our time. Paula Henderson from Burnt Sugar is the lead soloist on baritone sax.

The second and fourth Tuesday of the month there are free organ recitals at half past noon at Central Synagogue, Lexington Ave. at 55th., an exciting list of first-class performers in a sonically gorgeous space, a great way to spend your lunch break if you work in the neighborhood.

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.

Tuesdays in April the Dred Scott Trio play astonishingly smart, dark piano jazz at the Rockwood at midnight.

Every Thursday the Michael Arenella Quartet play 1920s hot jazz 8-11 PM at Nios, 130 W 46th St.

Thursdays in April Tall Tall Trees play Pete’s, 9 PM. Sort of a steampunk Americana jamband – a little bluegrass, a little blues and a great sense of humor. Always a lot of fun.

Fridays 4/16, 4/23 and 4/30 Chicago expat blues guitarist Irving Louis Lattin plays Lucille’s, 8 PM

Every Friday in April at 8:30 PM at the Fat Cat Naomi Shelton & the Gospel Queens bring an authentic here-and-now Brooklyn church vibe, no slick theatrics, just soul.

Fridays there’s live Mediterranean music – Greek- Arabic, Turkish Armenian, Israeli fusion with Mike Stoupakis, Christos Zavolas, Sofia on on vocals, Elias Sarkar-oud/vocals, Kostas Konstantinou – drums,  plus bellydancers at Lafayette Grill & Bar, 54 Franklin St., downtown,$20 cover, 10ish, free after 1 AM.

4/1-21 free noontime concerts with chamber music of J.S. Bach at half past noon at Philosophy Hall, Columbia University (on the east edge of campus, north of 116th St./College Walk and east of Low Library and Buell Hall). Seating is limited; early arrival is strongly recommended.  Pianist Benjamin Hochman 4/12-14; cellist Alisa Weilerstein 4/19-21.

4/1 Tris McCall’s indie supergroup  Overlord at Bruar Falls 8 PM

4/1 Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk and Rebirth Brass Band at Highline Ballroom, 8ish, 4/2 they’re at Sullivan Hall

4/1 Brazilian tropicalia/garage rockers Garotas Suecas at the Knitting Factory, 11 PM, $8. They’re at Cake Shop on 4/2.

4/1 the Snow’s Pierre de Gaillande’s fascinating Georges Brassens cover band Bad Reputation at Barbes 8 PM

4/1-4 at the Jazz Standard pianist Danilo Perez and band play Dizzy Gillespie with the amazing Amir ElSaffar on trumpet, 7:30/9:30 adv. res. rec.

4/1, 9 PM mesmerizing Bay area Middle Eastern group Qadim Ensemble feat. Gari Hegedus on oud and saz, Faisal Zedan on percussion, Rachel Valfer Sills on lead vocals and oud, and Eliyahu Sills on ney, bansuri and oud at Zebulon. They’re also at Lafayette Bar and Grill on 4/2 at 8, at Sufi Books, 245 W Broadway on 4/3 at 8 (get there early if you’re going) and at Nublu on 4/4 at 9.

4/1 innovative, fiery newschool bluegrass band Frankenpine at Lakeside 9:15ish

4/1 Oh Liza Jane play original bluegrass and Americana at the Cornelia St. Cafe, 8:30 PM.

4/2 lush, slinky, haunting Egyptian film music revivalists Zikrayat at the Brooklyn Museum, 5 PM showtime, free, line up for tix 4:30 if you’re smart

4/2 brilliantly lyrical Americana rockers Mary Lee’s Corvette at Lakeside 7 PMish.

4/2 Mississippi hill country blues night at Banjo Jim’s with Garry Burnside at 8, Pork Chop Willie at 9, Kent Burnside at 10.

4/2, 9:30 PM Sistermonk plays gypsy funk, Arabic trance and more, free at the bar at Symphony Space

4/2 oldtimey hokum blues with the Second Fiddles at Two Boots Brooklyn 10 PM

4/2 fun, danceable bugalu revivalists Spanglish Fly at Camaradas El Barrio, 1st Ave/, 115th St., 10 PM. They’re also playing the cd release show for their new one at Rose Bar on 4/23.

4/2 retro country hellraiser Jack Grace at Barbes 10 PM

4/2, 11 PM funkmeisters Turkuaz at Spike Hill.

4/3 dark garage rock with Lorraine Leckie & Her Demons at Banjo Jim’s 7 PM.

4/3 ferocious blues guitar virtuoso Bobby Radcliff 7 PM at Terra Blues.

4/3 rustic, oldtimey Brazilian band Orquestra Contemporânea de Olinda 8:30 PM at SOB’s $8 w/rsvp to

4/3 powerpop guitar genius Pete Galub at 8 and then jangly retro psychedelic rockers Love Camp 7 at 9:30 at the Parkside.

4/3, 9 PM, moody, groove-driven downtempo/shoegaze rockers El Jezel at Bowery Poetry Club

4/3, 10 PM blazing Indian marching brass band Red Baraat – who play a lot of different songs in that style – at Barbes

4/3 powerful, propulsive, mulstylistic rock en Espanol group New Madrid at Crash Mansion, 10 PM.

4/3, 8 PM haunting Turkish classical and new compositions with Erkan Ogur & Ismail H. Demircioglu at the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College, $35 adv tix avail.

4/3 charming, harmony-driven steampunk veterans the Moonlighters at Two Boots Brooklyn, 10 PM

4/4 at Highline Ballroom at noon a joyous New Orleans Easter soul/funk brass band brunch with Brother Joscephus & the Love Revival Revolution Orchestra.

4/4, 8 PM the NYCity Slickers play bluegrass at Rodeo Bar, 8 PM (note early showtime). They’re also here on 4/18 at 8 as well.

4/4 scary noir vibraphone jazz with Tom Beckham’s Slice: Tom Beckham – vibraphone; Nate Radley – guitar; Matt Pavolka – bass; Diego Voglino – drums, 9:30 PM at Rose Bar in Williamsburg.

4/5 art-rock composer Julia Frodahl of Edison Woods, Brooklyn’s pioneering, haunting Balkan a-cappella quartet Black Sea Hotel, Botanica master of menace Paul Wallfsich and noir psychedelic rocker Martin Bisi at Small Beast at the Delancey, 9 PM.

4/5 fiery gypsy punks the Stumblebum Brass Band at the Mercury, 10 PM, $8 

4/6, 7:30 PM Kathy Halvorson’s adventurous reed trio the Threeds with oboeist Katie Scheele and Mark Snyder “are experimenting with arrangements of rock stuff — some by others, some by us, including yours truly, the Doors, Stevie Wonder, Radiohead, David Bowie, etc.”- at Affair on 8th, a new Irish pub on W. 8th St, between 5th and 6th Aves.

4/6 the Whispering Tree plays Pete’s, 9 PM. Noir-ish folk and blues inflected rock songs, strong lyrics and unaffectly smart vocals from their frontwoman.

4/6 at Rose Bar, 9 PM, free, ex-James Brown bassist Fred Thomas leads a group with guitarist Gabe Kaplan (Naomi Shelton & The Gospel Queens), and drummer Mathias Kunzli (Ljova and the Kontraband, Tall Tall Trees) plus featuring guest singers, and the horns from Ikebe Shakedown on JB classics.

4/6, 8 PM pianist/songwriter Lee Feldman shows off his remarkably good classical chops playing Bach, Chopin and Feldman (that’s Lee, not Morton) at the Third St. Music School Settlement, free.

4/6-10, 8:30/11 PM the Pharaoh Sanders Quartet at Birdland, $30 tix available.

4/7, 3:30 PM Paolo Bordignon plays the 1830 Appleton organ at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, free w/museum adm, concert is on the balcony in the musical instruments section in the back

4/7 at Joe’s Pub Twang Twang Shock-a-Boom – the famously obscure, less-cynical, more-danceable Texas counterpart to the Violent Femmes – play as part of their 20-year reunion tou, time TBA

4/7, 6:30 PM kick-ass avant garde songwriting and playing with Missy Mazzoli & Victoire and Arp & Anthony Moore (former collaborator with Pink Floyd’s Rick Wright) at le Poisson Rouge $15

4/7 the world premiere of Robert Sirota’s Assimilations played by the Washington Square Contemporary Music Society: “Assimilations, written for violin, clarinet, cello and piano, is an exploration of Robert Sirota’s [emotionally charged, sometimes uneasy] relationship with his Jewish heritage and identity.” Also on the bill: Richard Festinger: Concerto for Piano and Nine Instruments (NY Premiere); Fabio Grasso: Blumentraum (NY Premiere); Louis Karchin: Chamber Symphony (World Premiere); Laurie San Martin: Two Pieces for Piano and Percussion (World Premiere) at 8 PM at Merkin Concert Hall, adv tix $20/$15 srs/$8 stud. rec.

4/7 a rare live show by edgy, occasionally noir acoustic songwriter Dina Regine at 68 Jay St. Bar, 8 PM  followed by “the ladies of M Shanghai String Band”

4/7, 9ish best kick-ass rock doublebill of the month, the girls and then the guys: Beluga and Des Roar at Glasslands.

4/7 Left on Red – edgy, politically aware harmony driven acoustic duo at Fontana’s, 10 PM

4/8, 7 PM the Komeda Project feat. pianist Andrzej Winnicki and saxophonist Krzysztof Medyna, along with trumpeter Russ Johnson, bassist Drew Gress, and drummer Rudy Royston doing works by the haunting, doomed Polish jazz composer at the Polish and Slavic Center, 177 Kent St. (NOT Kent Ave), Greenpoint, G to Greenpoint Ave.

4/7 Venezuelan guitar and cuatro genius Aquiles Baez at Barbes 8 PM.

4/7, 8 PM at the Canal Room a rare live gig by Mojo Mancini, the allstar crew of A-list sidemen Rick DePofi (reeds), Conrad Korsch (bass), John Leventhal (Rosanne Cash band – guitar), Brian Mitchell (Bob Dylan band – keyboards, vocals), and Shawn Pelton (percussion) with a special guest, the imcomparable and mysterious Rachelle Garniez.

4/8 funny metal band Psychostick on the Rocks Off Concert Cruise, leaving from 23rd St. and the FDR, boarding at 7 PM prompt, tix $20 highly rec. at the Highline Ballroom box ofc.

4/8, 7 PM, all ages show at Bushwick Music Studios, 55 Waterbury St. in Brooklyn, L train to Montrose, ska/punk with Nix 86, Hey Stranger and Curious Volume

4/8, 7:30 PM at Banjo Jim’s a good female-fronted Americana doublebill with Drina & the Deep Blue Sea (with Steve Antonakos on guitar) followed by the rockabilly of Lil Mo & the Monicats at 8:30

4/8 psychedelic, dark Norwegian shoegaze rockers Serena Maneesh 8PMish at le Poisson Rouge $12.

4/8 energetic cowpunks I’ll Be John Brown at Spike Hill 8 PM

4/8, 8 PM at Symphony Space the New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra plays Sibelius’ Symphony No. 3., Elgar’s “Enigma Variations” and violinist Jessica Lee as soloist in Vaughan Williams’ “The Lark Ascending,” $18/$10 children.

4/8, 9 PM Raya Brass Band at Radegast Hall in Williamsburg – loud enough to drown out the douchebags

4/8 oldtimey Americana with the Weal and Woe at Barbes 8 PM followed by the scorching “new Balkan uproar” of Ansambl Mastika at 10.

4/9, 8 PM fiery new wave/soul/psychedelic rockers the Disclaimers at Spike Hill.

4/9-12 the Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio at Iridium, $30 ($35 Sat), sets 8/10 PM

4/9 Luminescent Orchestrii violin powerhouse Rima Fand plus special guests 8 PM at Barbes followed by nuevo bugalu dancefloor sensation Spanglish Fly at 10

4/9 Turkish rock/new music stars chanteuse Sertab Erener and all-purpose guitar genius Demir Demirkan at Hiro Ballroom

4/9, 7:30 PM at Carnegie Hall – Orchestra Underground performing “Louis & the Young Americans,”Jeffrey Milarsky conducting: Louis Andriessen – Symphony for Open Strings (New York City Premiere); Missy Mazzoli: These Worlds in Us (World Premiere, new orchestration); Michael Fiday: HST: In Memoriam Hunter S. Thompson (World Premiere, ACO Commission); John Korsrud: New Work (World Premiere, ACO Commission). This is a big deal in NYC music history, the concert will sell out, if you consider yourself a fan of new music you really ought to catch the show.

4/9, 8 PM at Galapagos big buzz jazz orchestra Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society

4/9, 9 PM George Clinton & the P-Funk Allstars at BB King’s, 9 PM, $37.50 adv tix absolutely necessary.

4/9 deliriously danceable latin bugalu revivalists Spanglish Fly at Barbes, 10 PM. They’re also playing the cd release show for their killer new one at Rose Bar on 4/23.

4/9 at midnight ageless faux French garage rockers les Sans Culottes at Otto’s

4/9, half past midnight (actually the wee hours of 4/10) funk powerhouse Turkuaz at Bowery Poetry Club

4/10 at Hank’s Brooklyn’s #1 regressive rock act, Spinal Tap style metal spoof Mighty High at 10:30

4/10, 6 PM members of fiery, intense art-rockers Norden Bombsight play an ambient jam at the closing party for Daphane Park’s current art installation at Honey Space Gallery, 148 11th Ave. (btw. 21st & 22nd) in Chelsea.

4/10 at Bowery Electric, 7 PM “the first ever Flugente combo show” – intense lyricist/frontman Jerry Adler with Jeremiah Lockwood on guitar (Sway Machinery, Balkan Beat Box) and Yuval Lion on drums (formerly of The Blam, currently of Pink Noise).

4/10, 7 PM haunting acoustic Nashville gothic and original chain gang songs with Bobtown at Banjo Jim’s.

4/10 Das Vibenbass play pretty self-explanatory, hypnotic jazz/groove stuff at Arlene’s, 7 PM

4/10 charming harmony-driven steampunk vets the Moonlighters at 7:30 PM at the Indian Road Cafe, 600 West 218th St. in Inwood, 1 train to 215th St., walk up 10th Ave. and go left on 218th St. all the way to the end, it’s around the corner.

4/10 hot oldtime 20s swing jazz with Brian Carpenter’s Ghost Train Orchestra at Barbes 8 PM followed by the equally rustic, even hotter delta blues/hillbilly/swing quartet the Roulette Sisters – back together again, it seems – at 10.

4/10 Mississippi hill country blues guitar monster Will Scott at 68 Jay St. Bar 9 PM

4/10, 9 PM the Windsor Terrors – gotta love that name – at Tea Lounge in Park Slope; Jim Kiernan (bass, vocals), Kenee Lee (keyboards, vocals), John O’Dea (guitar, vocals), Gregg Masiello (percussion, vocals).

4/10, 10 PM ska jazz sax legend Dave Hillyard & the Rocksteady 7 at Two Boots Brooklyn.

4/10 rockabilly/punk/surf NYC LES legend Simon & the Bar Sinisters at Lakeside 10:15ish.

4/11, 11 AM Issue Project Room’s debut show at their new digs at 110 Livingston St. in Brooklyn Heights, broadcast live on Q2, free: “a rare performance of Morton Feldman’s String Quartet No. 2 in its entirety  for a pre-renovation, inaugural Open House event. Performed by Ne(x)tworks, the six hour-long ‘contemporary masterpiece’ will be free to the public, commemorating Issue’s first concert in their future Downtown Brooklyn home.  String Quartet No. 2 has been performed in its entirety only a few times, the first being in 1999 by the FLUX Quartet at Cooper Union.”

4/11 Ahreum Han plays a free classical organ recital St. Thomas Church, 53rd and 5th Ave., 5:15 PM. Of all the young organists we’ve seen over the last couple of years, Han’s blend of sensational chops and fearless emotional intensity set her apart from the others. Come see what the buzz is all about.

4/11 NYC’s very own hypnotic Indonesian community gamelan orchestra Gamelan Dharma Swara, 7 PM at Joe’s Pub.

4/11, 8:30 PM at the Cornelia St. Café, the Noah Preminger Group feat. Nir Felder, guitar;  John Hébert, bass;  Rudy Royston, drums

4/11, 9:30 PM soulful nouveau Americana – Wilco meets Van Morrison – with the Smooth Maria at Pete’s

4/11 late 80s British indie innovators the Wedding Present at Bowery Ballroom 10 PM, $15 adv tix rec.

4/12, 7:30ish Vancouver klezmer-punk accordionist Geoff Berner at Barbes.

4/12, 8:30 PM clever Americana songwriting with Homeboy Steve Antonakos at Banjo Jim’s

4/12, 9 PM avant composer/cellist Valerie Kuehne plus Botanica keyboardist/frontman Paul Wallfisch at Small Beast at the Delancey, 9 PM.

4/12, 9:30 PM klezmer bassist Jim Guttmann, best known as the anchor in the Klezmer Conservatory Band plays the cd release show for his new one with a big fiery band at Joe’s Pub, $15.

4/13, 7 PM excellent acoustic guitarist Rob Moose’s Bach Reformed at Barbes followed at 9 by Slavic Soul Party.

4/13 legendary punk accordion chanteuse Phoebe Legere at Iridium, sets 8/10 PM, $25

4/13 captivating, haunting, imaginative chamber-pop/folk/avant siren Larkin Grimm at Sidewalk 9 PM

4/13, 9:30ish a reggae triplebill at Bowery Electric with Hard Times, the Equilibrians and Wolf & Leopard, cheap, $5

4/13, 10:30 PM art-rockers the Red Sparowes – whose haunting, hypnotic, apocalyptic previous album was one of the best of the previous decade – at the Mercury, $12 adv tix. absolutely required, this will sell out.

4/13, 11 PM NYC garage rock legends Johnny Chan & the New Dynasty 6 play Arlene’s

4/14, 6:30 PM percussionist Glen Velez and vocalist Lori Cotler open for new-music cello star Maya Beiser, joined here by oud virtuoso Bassam Saba plus Velez and Matt Kilmer of the Mast on percussion, playing Kayhan Kalhor, Djivan Gasparian, Led Zep and more at le Poisson Rouge.

4/14, 7 PM a killer country night at Rodeo Bar with Bill Kirchen  – the guy who basically invented alt-country – followed at 10:30 by the equally funny Susquehanna Industrial Tool and Die Co.

4/14, 7:30 PM Nancianne Parrella plays an organ recital feat. works of Bach, DeBlasio, Dvorak, Stanford and Tournier with Jorge Ávila, violin; Victoria Drake, harp; and Arthur Fiacco, cello. at the Church of Saint Ignatius Loyola, Park Avenue @ 84th St., $20/$15 stud/srs.

4/14, LES funk legends Defunkt at Drom 9 PM – all original members

4/14 the multistylistic reggae/afropop Refugee All Stars of Sierra Leone, 9ish at Highline Ballroom.

4/14 aggressively tuneful, 90s British style rockers the Royal Chains at Spike Hill 11 PM

4/15 Lila Downs at Casita Maria Center for Arts Education, 928 Simpson Street, Bronx, NY, price TBA; 4/17-18 she’s at City Winery, $25 tix avail.

4/15 our pals over at Feast of Music have put together a slam-dunk of a quadruple bill at Littlefield at 7:30 with violinist Tom Swafford, ambient duo Itsnotyouitsme (violinist Caleb Burhans and guitarist Grey McMurray), frequently creepy avant keyboardist John Kameel Farah and then Tom Tom Club soundalikes Saadi. Ridiculously cheap at $7.

4/15, 8 PM at the Stone 25 O’Clock Band: the 25-year reunion – Dave Sewelson (saxes) David Hofstra (bass, tuba) Steve Moses (drums) Robin Holcomb (piano) followed by Sex Mob at 10.

4/15, 8 PM at Otto’s ex-Gotham 4 guitarist Bryan Wade’s new band Wrongwrongwrong: “We have combined a Queens of the Stone Age CD, a Police cassette, and a Thelonious Monk record to create a flat-out oddrock of punk, funk, jazz, and free sound cut with a big dose of off-kilter chords and melodies.”

4/15 fiery, original female-fronted rockabilly/surf trio Catspaw at Santos Party House 7 (seven, note new time) PM.

4/15 Brazilian-American reggae/tropicalia juggernaut Dende & Hahahaes at the Atrium at Lincoln Center, 61 W 62nd St., 8:30 PM, free

4/15 stoner hiphop legends Cypress Hill, um, where? Oh yeah, at SOB’s 9 PM $25.

4/15 the Heavy Beat (the Pietasters’ slower, rootsier side project) play roots reggae at Shrine at 9 followed eventually at 11ish by S.S. King’s Iviorian reggae

4/15 the ferocious, lyrically potent Oxygen Ponies at the Soho Playhouse Downstairs 9:30 PM. They’re also at the Bell House on 4/21 at 8.

4/16, 6 (six) PM the adventurous Becca Stevens Band (she sings in Bjorkestra) at 55 Bar – guitar, charango, uke, accordion, banjo, piano, bass, percussion.

4/16, 7:30 PM cellist/vocalist Jody Redhage and Fire in July at First Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn Heights, 124 Henry St., 2/3 to Clark St., A/C to High St. or 4/5 to Borough Hall, $10 sugg. don.

4/16, 8 PM at Symphony Space the auspicious second episode of CONTACT! the NY Phil’s avant ensemble extravaganza has Alan Gilbert conducting world premieres by composers Sean Sheperd, Nico Muhly, and Matthias Pintscher, adv tix $28 highly rec., this will sell out. The program repeats at 7 PM on 4/17.

4/16, 8 PM jazz chanteuse Jamie Leonhart, then at 9 multistylistic, funky bandleader Shayna Zaid & the Catch at the Rockwood followed eventually at 11 by retro Americana siren Julia Haltigan, then the all-purpose country Madison Square Gardeners at midnight and then jazz guitarist Nir Felder at 1 AM. Wow, what a lineup.

4/16 noir cabaret legend Little Annie and Botanica keyboard monster Paul Wallfisch at Littlefield, 8 PM

4/16, 8 PM, repeating 4/18 at 6 PM Eleanor Bindman plays Chopin, Schumann and Liszt at the Old Stone House in Park Slope,  tix $20/$10 srs/stud

4/16, 9 PM powerpop siren Patti Rothberg and her band at Arlene’s

4/16 Jon Spencer Blues Explosion at the Brooklyn Bowl is SOLD OUT.

4/16 the Budos Band at Southpaw 9ish $10 – should be good because they don’t have vocals.

4/16 Molly White of beguiling dark gypsy-ish rockers Kotorino has a cool project, B Is for Baroness that puts an edgy spin on torch songs from around the world; they’re at Pete’s at 9 followed at 10 by steampunk guitar god/songwriter Lenny Molotov at Pete’s and then Alex Battles of the Whisky Rebellion.

4/16, 10:30 PM the Jack Grace Band – arguably the funniest act in town, with a killer new album out, Drinking Songs for Lovers- at Rodeo Bar.

4/16, 10:30 PM deviously funny acoustic  Americana jammers Tall Tall Trees at the Postcrypt

4/16 surf classics and obscurities with the Boss Guitars at Lakeside 11 PM.

4/16 the fun, theatrical, oldtimey noir Not Waving But Drowning plus the reliably ferocious, equally fun Raya Brass Band at (wild guess) 10:30ish at the Red Lotus Room, 893 Bergen St. (Classon and Franklin), Bed-Stuy, C to Franklin Ave., $10

4/16 the Hard Times play roots reggae at Shrine 11 PM

4/17, 7 PM desert blueswoman Rokia Traore at Highline Ballroom, gen adm tix $28.

4/17,7ish at the Workmens Circle the Michael Winograd Klezmer Trio: clarinetist Michael Winograd, accordionist Patrick Farrell and bassist/singer Benjy Fox-Rosen.

4/17, 9 PM expat Middle Eastern supergroup Tarab – Tareq Abboushi (buzuq); Taoufiq Ben Amor (vocals, oud and percussion); Ramzi El-Edlibi (percussion and dance); Zafer Tawil (violin, oud and ercussion) at Alwan for the Arts, $15, early arrival advised.

4/17 rambunctious, cutting-edge bluegrass behemoth Frankenpine at Banjo Jim’s 9 PM ; Sean Kershaw & the Terrible Two at midnight

4/17, 10 PM las Rubias del Norte – whom we’ve been calling the “female Chicha Libre” since their new album is so amazing – at Barbes

4/17, 10 PM Chicago-style guitar powerhouse Johnny Allen at Terra Blues.

4/17, 11ish scorching, Radio Birdman-style garage punk with the Mess Around at Don Pedro’s

4/17 NYC’s fun, playful version of X – Spanking Charlene at Lakeside 11 PM

4/17, cello rockers Snazz Mammoth play Teneleven, 11PMish as part of one of those powdered wig theme parties – dress as Marie Antoinette or Dr. Guillot and get in half-price for five bucks, otherwise it’s $10

4/17, midnight, cowpunk with the Nightmare River Band at Spike Hill – note that there is a $7 cover

4/18 the Christian Jello Biafra, Reverend Billy & The Life After Shopping Gospel Choir, 1 PM at Highline Ballroom.

4/18, 5 PM the NY Scandia Symphony roll out their string quartet at Our Savior of Atonement, 189th St. and Bennett Ave. in the Bronx for an intriguing bill of Grieg, Frank Foerster, Zack Patten, C.E.F. Weyse, Langgaard and Nielsen. Admission is free.

4/18 ACME and Eric Huebner play Louis Andriessen at le Poisson Rouge with a pre-concert talk by the composer!! at 6, $15

4/18, 7 PM fado superstar Ana Moura at Symphony Space, tix $32/$18 stud.

4/18, 8 PM Karine Poghosyan plays the Shostakovich Piano Concerto No. 2 in F, Op. 102 with the Jubilee Symphony at Christ and St. Stephen Church, 120 W 69th St. (Bwy/Columbus).

4/18 imaginative Greek-American electric blues with Spiros Soukis at Lucille’s 8 PM. He’s also here on 4/25.

4/18 Ninth House’s ominous baritone frontman Mark Sinnis plays the cd release show for his third solo album of acoustic Nashville gothic songs, The Night’s Last Tomorrow at the Slipper Room, 10 PM.

4/18 10:30 PM haunting Middle Eastern jazz trumpet intensity with the Amir ElSaffar/Hafez Modirzadeh Quartet cd release show for their new one, Radif Suite at le Poisson Rouge, $15

4/18 rustic oldtimey harmony-driven Americana with Oh Liza Jane at Pete’s 10:30 PM.

4/19 Ben Ratliff – the torchy noir singer/guitarist, not the NY Times critic – at Banjo Jim’s, 7:30 PM

4/19, 7:30ish Zoltan Lantos & Tanya Kalmanovitch play Balkan, gypsy and Indian-influenced violin/viola duos at Barbes followed by the incomparable Chicha Libre at 9:45ish

4/19 fiery, literate rocker Matt Keating at the Rockwood, 8 PM.

4/19 the virtuosically funny Erin and Her Cello, haunting indie rock siren Elisa Flynn and Botanica frontman/pianist Paul Wallfisch at Small Beast at the Delancey, 9 PM.

4/19 an excellent country/roots/oldtimey doublebill with the reliably charming Daria Grace & the Prewar Ponies followed by the more haunting Americana of Jan Bell at Union Hall, 9ish, free

4/20 violin mastermind Jenny Scheinman 7 PM at Barbes followed at 9 by Slavic Soul Party

4/20-24 bass legend Dave Holland and his Quintet at Birdland, sets 8:30/11 PM, $30 tix available.

4/20-21 second-wave ska legends the Specials at Terminal 5, $30 adv tix.

4/20 Apr 20 Neil Innes Of Monty Python and his legendary Beatles parody band the Rutles at B.B.King’s, 8:30ish, $20 adv tix. absolutely necessary, this will sell out.

4/20 smart, tuneful steampunk/Americana/blues songwriter Andrew Vladeck at the Rockwood 9 PM.

4/20, 10 PM Pierre de Gaillande, mastermind behind the Snow and Bad Reputation at Pete’s.

4/21 Nashville bluegrass legend Greg Garing 7 PM at the Knitting Factory, free

4/21, 7ish a summit of sorts with three of the best songwriters on the planet, the April Blossoms (Mary Lee Kortes of Mary Lee’s Corvette with torchy, Britfolk/jazz siren Amanda Thorpe and ex-Rasputina cello multistylist Serena Jost) at Lakeside.

4/21 Orchestre de Chambre MiniatureClare & the Reasons’ Olivier Manchon’s new-music group play the cd release show for their new one at Barbes, 8 PM.

4/21 and 4/23-24 the timeless, more-potent-than-ever Ian Hunter at City Winery 10 PM $30 tix available.

4/21, 7:30 PM organ adventurer Gail Archer plays selections from her new Bach cd at St. Paul’s Chapel (117th St & Amsterdam, 1 train to 116th St.). It’s her home turf – her previous concert back in March was exhilarating.

4/22, 7:30 PM Lark Chamber Artists and pianist Jeremy Denk perform the world premiere of Paul Moravec’s Piano Quintet, also Jennifer Higdon’s Exaltation of Larks; Felix Mendelssohn’s Four Pieces for String Quartet, Op.81; and Robert Schumann’s Piano Quintet in E flat Major, Op. 44. at Merkin Concert Hall.

4/22 White Hinterland – sort of an icy cross between Goldfrapp and the Creatures – play Union Hall, 8 PM, $12

4/22, 8 PM Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks, who was steampunk before steampunk existed, back in the late 60s and is still going strong, at BB King’s, 8 PM, $25 adv tix. rec.

4/22 powerpop legend George Usher at Banjo Jim’s, 8 PM; be aware that a popular vocalist (can’t really call him a singer) from a lame 90s indie rock band will be playing at 7 so it may be crowded.

4/22 hypnotic and intense Chinese-American chanteuse/new music composer Jen Shyu at the Atrium at Lincoln Center, 8:30 PM, free.

4/22 Australian art-rock/psychedelic legends the Church acoustic at City Winery, 9 PM.

4/22, 9 PM Malagasy chanteuse/songwriter Razia Said plays songs from her stunningly haunting new cd Zebu Nation at SOB’s – her label, Cumbancha is donating a portion of the proceeds from all cd sales to plant trees in Madagascar, which is very cool considering that the album reflects how adversely her native land has been impacted by global warming – adv tix very highly rec.

4/22 rustic Americana night at Barbes with the Plunk Brothers at 8 followed at 10 by the Debutante Hour

4/22 a cheap funkfest at Sullivan Hall, 9ish feat. the NY Funk Exchange, Rubber Skunk and others, $10, no idea who’s playing when but it looks all pretty good.

4/23 a really good roots/Americana night at Banjo Jim’s starting with an acoustic set by Charlene and Mo from Spanking Charlene at 6 followed by terrific country singer Drina Seay with ubiquitous guitar god Steve Antonakos at 7, then eventually the string band powerhouse Silk City with Danny Weiss at 9. And then Michael Daves, another first-class roots player at 11.

4/23 at the Bar Next Door Jacam Manricks (alto saxophone w Aaron Goldberg on keys and Joe Martin on bass), 7 and 9 PM

4/23, 8 PM at Barbes the oldtimey Miss Tess and the Bon Ton Parade followed by Cumbiagra at 10.

4/23 the NY Ska Festival at B.B. King’s, 8 PM, all ages feat. Hub City Stompers, King Chango, Bigger Thomas, Kofre, Beat Brigade, Skarioca, Floor Kiss and the Skarroneros, $15 cheap adv tix absolutely necessary, this will sell out. Wow.

4/23 rustic oldtimey country duo the Manhattan Valley Ramblers at Freddy’s 10 PM

4/23 kick ass Americana rockers Tom Clark & the High Action Boys at Lakeside 11 PM

4/24, 1 PM a free concert at Bargemusic, probably piano music; there’s also a free one on 5/1 at 1 also.

4/24, 7 PM NYC noir rock rocker/lyricist/legend LJ Murphy at Banjo Jim’s

4/24 snarling, smart Graham Parker-esque post-new wave rocker Mike Rimbaud at the National Underground 7:30 PM

4/24, 8 PM the Neel Murgai Ensemble offer their fresh take on North Indian music, performing the world premiere of “Reorientation Suite” feat. Neel on sitar, Mat Maneri on viola, Sameer Gupta (Marc Kerry’s Focus Trio) on tabla and Greg Heffernan (Paradox Trio) on cello. $10 at the door at Brooklyn Conservatory Concert Hall, 58 7th Avenue, Park Slope, Q/B to 7th Ave, 2/3 to Grand Army Plaza.

4/24, 8 PM Valery Giergiev conducts the NY Phil at Avery Fisher Hall: Stravinsky: Symphony of Psalms, Firebird, $34 tix avail.

4/24, 8 PM klezmer/Balkan trumpeter Ben Holmes’ Trio at Barbes.

4/24 imaginative avant cellist Emily Hope Price (of Pearl and the Beard) at the Postcrypt, 9:30 PM.

4/24, 10 PM darkly charismatic, theatrical, sometimes hilarious keyboard rocker Tom Warnick and World’s Fair at the Diving Bell, 45-15 Queens Blvd. at 46th St., Sunnyside, Queens, 7 train to 46th St.

4/24 haunting, hypnotic Balkan/Americana vocal duo AE, 10 PM at the Jalopy followed at 11 by the considerably louder but no less haunting Veveritse Brass Band

4/24 theatrical Greek party music monsters Magges at Mehanata 10 PM free before 10:30.

4/24 southwestern gothic rock with Tom Shaner at Lakeside 11 PM.

4/25, 3 (three) PM at Bargemusic the Clavier Trio (Arkady Fomin: violin; Jesus Castro-Balbi: cello; David Korevaar, piano) play Auerbach – Postscriptum; Schoenberg – Verklarte Nacht; Rachmaninoff – Trio Elegiaque, tix $35/$30 srs./$15 stud.

4/25, 4 PM Leon Botstein and the American Symphony Orchestra play Beethoven’s Fourth Symphony at Symphony Space, $30, stud/srs. $20 They play the Fifth on 4/27 at 7.

4/25, 5 PM the innovative all-female Contrasts Quartet at the Lounge at Hudson View Gardens, 116 Pinehurst Ave. and 183rd St., $10

4/25 smart, lyrical, soul/rock songwriter Dina Dean 7 PM at Bobo, 181 W 10th St. at 7th Ave., $10.

4/25 Amy Allison plays 8:30 PM at Banjo Jim’s – doing the hilarious Ballad of Amy Winehouse live for the first time ever live! – as part of Monica Passin’s evening of country/roots chanteuses.

4/26, 7:30 PM, free, the Loki Ensemble – Abigail Fischer, mezzo-soprano; Noah Kaplan, tenor sax; Wes Matthews, piano; Christopher Otto, violin; Kevin McFarland, cello plus pianists Inna Faliks and Edward Neeman perform works by Arnold Schoenberg, improvisations on those pieces, and music by Loki resident composers Nathan Shields, Reinaldo Moya, and William Cooper. At Broadway United Church, 2504 Broadway at 93rd St., 1/2/3 to 96th St.

4/26, 7:30 PM the Chiara String Quartet premiere Ivan Moody’s Nocturne of Light with pianist Paul Barnes at Symphony Space, tix $20/$15 stud/srs

4/26 steampunk siren Daria Grace and the Pre-War Ponies at Rodeo Bar 10:30 PM

4/27-28 at the Jazz Standard the Sean Jones Group feat. Sean Jones – trumpet; Brian Hogans – alto saxophone; Orrin Evans – piano; Luques Curtis – bass John Davis – drums, sets 7:30/9:30 PM, $25 adv tix rec.

4/27 Senegalese roots reggae juggernaut Meta & the Cornerstones followed by duskcore guitar star Vieux Farka Toure at le Poisson Rouge,10:30ish, tix still available…

4/27, 8 PM powerpop guitar monster Pete Galub and the Annuals at Union Hall followed eventually at 10 by Franklin Bruno, Village Voice scribe and decent powerpop songwriter

4/27 playful hokum blues with the Second Fiddles at Rodeo Bar 10:30 PM.

4/28 the Sometime Boys – the brain trust of ferocious art-rockers System Noise – play acoustic blues/Americana tinged originals, 7 PM at the Delancey

4/28, 8 PM the Jessica Lurie Ensemble at Rose Bar in Williamsburg – Jessica Lurie – sax, accordion voice; Brandon Seabrook – banjo/guitar; Erik Deutsch – organ; Mathias Kunzli – drums/percussion

4/28, 8 PM at Symphony Space, the Christian McBride Quintet Plays Ellington $30 adv tix rec.

4/28 the Mikal Evans Band play powerpop at Spike Hill 10 PM.

4/28 banjo player/country chanteuse Hilary Hawke and her band at Rodeo Bar 10:30 PM.

4/29 Jazz at Lincoln Center Ellington Band Alumni play Duke’s greatest hits at the Atrium at Lincoln Center, 8:30 PM, free

4/29 powerhouse psychedelic powerpop trio Devi plus killer guest keyboardist Rob Clores at Sullivan Hall 9 PM

4/29, 9 PM edgy, smart, somewhat devious  jazz-inflected pianist/singer Elaine Romanelli at Shrine

4/29 intense, smart noir psychobilly and Americana with the Reid Paley Trio at Rodeo Bar 10:30 PM.

4/30 haunting rustic literate Americana duo the Whispering Tree play their cd release show at the American Folk Art Museum, 45 W 53rd (between 5th & 6th), 5:30 PM

4/30 intriguing, multistylistic latin/klezmer jazz pianist Carmen Staaf at Shrine, 7 PM. 

4/30, 7 PM Irish chamber pop star Pierce Turner at Joe’s Pub, $23 adv tix rec.

4/30, 8 PM Conspiracy of Beards – a 30-member male choir singing Leonard Cohen songs will be at Picasso Machinery, 45 Broadway at Wythe St., South Williamsburg, J/M to Marcy Ave. They’re also at Bowery Poetry Club on 5/1 at 9 PM and at the Highline on 5/2 for a 1:30 PM matinee, advance tix for that show highly recommended at the Highline box ofc.

4/30, 8 PM paradigm-shifting oud virtuoso/composer/bandleader Mavrothi Kontanis at Barbes.

4/30, 8:30 PM a blazing gypsy doublebill: oldschool brass monsters Zlatne Uste and the more fusion-oriented NY Gypsy All Stars at Hungarian House, 213 E 82nd St., $15, email for info

4/30 at the Mercury an interestingly psychedelic doublebill with the reggae/jazz/afrobeat Superpowers and Giant Panda Guerrilla Dub Squad, 10 PM, $12.

4/30 fiery electric bluegrass guitar and mandolin, cool Americana songs and maybe a twisted Madonna cover by Demolition String Band at Rodeo Bar 10:30 PM

4/30 conscious hip-hop with Queen Godis and DAM at Southpaw time TBA

4/30 Graham Parker & the Figgs at City Winery $25 standing room tix available.

5/1 haunting, hypnotic Middle Eastern golden age film music revivalists Zikrayat play the cd release for their long-awaited new cd Cinematic at Barbes with an allstar Middle Eastern lineup: Shusmo at 6, Zikrayat themselves at 7 and Falu at 8, the entire show simulcast on 91.1 FM WFMU.

5/1, 8 PM sitarist Shujaat Husain Khan (son and disciple of the late Ustad Vilayat Khan) at Symphony Space, tix $30/$18 stud.

5/1, 8 PM ethereal, minimalist, gorgeously moody Americana duo Arborea at Northeast Kingdom, 18 Wyckoff Ave. in Bushwick, L to Jefferson St.

5/1 El Pueblo play latin reggae/dub at Shrine, 9 PM; 5/28 they’re at Local 269

5/1 the Spinal Tap of brass bands, the Stagger Back Brass Band at Union Pool 9 PM

5/1-4 at the Vanguard the Bill Frisell Trio with Eyvind Kang and Rudy Royston; 5/11-16 his quartet with Kang, Hank Roberts and Jenny Scheinman.

5/1, 10ish an oldschool rooftop soul party with the One and Nines – a more Memphis version of what Sharon Jones is doing – at 51 Pacific Ave at Caven Point Ave, Jersey City: also “all night DJ’s will be spinning vinyl records of R&B, Soul, Reggae, Rock & Roll, Hip-Hop, Doo-Wop, and anything else that’s funky (no disco or house, sorry…..)”

5/1 NYC’s best blues band, Delta Dreambox at Two Boots Brooklyn 10 PM.

5/1 the ferocious, funny, charismatic, musically diverse anti-gentrification rockers – 2010’s version of the Clash – the Brooklyn What at Don Pedro’s, 11ish.

5/1 Chip Robinson, Kasey Anderson (who’s got an excellent new album out)and the Roscoe Trio have a twangfest at Lakeside 11 PM.

5/1 Top Shotta (ten-piece dub reggae band with horn section!) at Rose Bar in Williamsburg, midnight-ish.

5/2 ecstatic, cinematic, clever pan-Balkan string band Ljova and the Kontraband at the Museum of Natural History at the Silk Road exhibit at 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30pm. If you haven’t seen the exhibition yet, this is a great chance – and go see them too. They’re also here on 6/6 and 6/13

5/2, 3 PM a fascinating afternoon of new music put together by piano firebrand Kathy Supove including new work by Paula Matthusen; Rajas for John Cage by Rocco DiPietro, new compositions for toy piano and loops by Ranjit Bhatnagar; Gold Ocean by Ken Ueno/Du Yun; Neil Rolnick’s Numb and Mono plus post-concert discussion led by special guest moderator Cornelius Duffalo at the Flea Theatre, 41 White St. (Church/Bwy), free, early arrival highly advised.

5/2 John Doe & Exene Cervenka of X at City Winery 8 PM $22 tix. avail.

5/2 casually captivating, golden-voiced Americana-inspired chanteuse Robin Aigner plus a full band at the Jalopy 9 PM.

5/2 El Topo at Rose Bar in Williamsburg, 10ish “Acid-exotica septet from Brooklyn, NY. El Topo funnels influences ranging from Dirty Harry movies to Martin Denny, from classical Arabic music to Italian giallos. Combining the intensity of a psychedelic rock band with the jump-cut attitudes of film scores, El Topo conjures soundscapes for the dancer in your head.”

5/3 ferociously smart Americana siren Liz Tormes and her band play the Rockwood, 8 PM.

5/3, 9 PM latin guitar/cuatro god Aquiles Baez at Rose Bar in Williamsburg

5/4, 2 PM at Merkin Concert Hall the La Catrina Quartet play latin classical composers: Works by Emmanuel Arias y Luna, Joseph Haydn, Astor Piazzolla, Javier Alvarez, Felix Mendelssohn and Jose Pablo Moncayo, tix dirt cheap, $15.

5/4 jazz vibraphonist Mark Sherman at 55 Bar with Jim Ridl on piano, Tom Dicarlo on bass, Tim Horner on drums

5/5 at the Bell House the “Guactacular” guacamole contest/pigout/concert including free Tecate and Dos Equis 7-8 PM and a set by accordionist Alex Meixner, $12 adv tix available at the venue. Raffle, guacamole judging, general drunkenness and who knows what else.

5/5 celebrate Cinco de Mayo at Littlefield with NYC banda supergroup Banda Sinaloense de Los Muertos feat. Oscar Noriega & Chris Speed – clarinets; Jakob Garchick – Sousaphone; Jim Black & Vinnie Sperrazza – percussion; Patrick Farrell & Rachel Drehman ; Alto horn; Curtis Hasselbring & Brian Drye – trombones and many guest singers including Chicha Libre’s Olivier Conan, Jean Carla Rodea, Rana Santacruz and many more tba,  followed by the self-explanatory Cumbiagra. time TBA, tix cheap, only $10.

5/5 outlaw country throwback Hayes Carll followed by Dierks Bentley with his band the Travelin McCourys at Highline Ballroom, 8 PM, adv tix $25 highly rec.

5/5-6, 8 PM at Avery Fisher Hall Valery Giergiev conducts the NY Phil doing Stravinsky’s Petroushka, $31 tix avail.

5/5 indie/Americana legends the Silos at Lakeside 9:30ish.

5/5 retro country hellraisers the Jack Grace Band plays the cd release show for their new one, their best-ever Drinking Songs for Lovers at Rodeo Bar 10:30 PM

5/6, 6 PM the Joel Forrester Trio (Microscopic Septet pianist and Fresh Air theme composer) at Shrine, free

5/6 Pierre de Gaillande of the Snow’s amazing English-language Georges Brassens cover band Bad Reputation at Barbes 8 PM followed by the self-explanatory Cumbiagra at 10

5/6, 8 PM Monica Huggett, violin and Audrey Axinn, fortepiano play mostly early Romantics: Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Weber at the Abigail Adams Smith Museum Auditorium, 417 East 61st St., $25.

5/6 Ilamawana play hypnotic, dubwise, horn-driven roots reggae at Sullivan Hall 10 PM

5/6 Norden Bombsight – the missing link between Joy Division and Pink Floyd – at Matchless.

5/6 oldtimey chanteuse Miss Tess & the Bon Ton Parade at Rodeo Bar 10:30 PM

5/7 a rare Flugente trio show at Banjo Jim’s 8 PM – fearlessly intense frontman/lyricist Jerry Adler, guitar god Jeremiah Lockwood and Yuval Lion of Pink Noise on drums.

5/7, 9 PM for fans of the greatest rock band ever, “a tribute to the Church in celebration of Marty Willson-Piper’s birthday” at Luna Lounge-meister Rob Sacher’s latest venture, Satellite Lounge, 143 Havemeyer St., (S. 1st.& S. 2nd.), south Williamsburg, J/M to Marcy Ave. No idea if anybody is playing, but you know the songs are bound to be good.

5/7 latin accordionist Alex Meixner at Barbes 8 PM followed by the Jack Grace Band at 10

5/7, 8:30 PM former McCoy Tyner and Earth Wind & Fire tenor player Azar Lawrence’s Sextet plays a Tribute to Ali’s Alley: Azar Lawrence, tenor/soprano sax; Eddie Henderson, trumpet; Gerald Hayes, alto sax; Benito Gonzalez, piano; Ronnie Burrage, drums. At Tribeca Performing Arts Center at the BMCC, 199 Chambers St., tix $25/$15 stud/srs. Lawrence’s new album Mystic Journey was Rashied Ali’s final session.

5/7 haunting, genre-defying Syrian chanteuse Gaida and her great levantine band at BAM Cafe 9 PM

5/7 Americana guitarmeister Chris Erikson & the Wayward Puritans at Lakeside 9:30ish.

5/7 deliriously fun, danceable latin soul bugalu revivalists Spanglish Fly at Camaradas el Barrio, 2241 1st Ave at 116th St., 10 PM, $5

5/7 ominously funny bluespunk band the Five Points Band at Rodeo Bar 10:30 PM

5/7 golden age hip-hop legends EPMD at B.B. King’s, 11 PM – Erick and Parrish still making dollars after all these years.

5/8 stark, intense, fun violin-and-guitar-driven artsy indie band Bern & the Brights at Spike Hill, 8 PM.

5/8, 8 PM popular indie powerpop rockers Palomar, then the chick who used to drum for the Vivian Girls and then the Primitives (who were sort of the female Teenage Fanclub) in what might be their final US show ever, at the Bell House, adv tix $22.50 highly recommended

5/8 composer/trombonist Samuel Blaser – whose most recent album ranked high on our best-of list for 2009 – leads his Quartet at the Cornelia St. Cafe 8 PM with Todd Neufeld (guitar), Eivind Opsvik (bass), Billy Mintz (drums); they’ll also be at Zebulon on 5/9 at 9.

5/8, 8:30 PM Middle Eastern/groove/indescribable multistylistic world music orchestra Tribecastan invades Joe’s Pub feat. special guests trombonist Steve Turre, organist Al Kooper, Samantha Parton of the Be Good Tanyas, violinist Charlie Burnham, master percussionist Todd Isler.

5/8 la Sovietika get the crowd going tiki taka style at Shrine 9 PM followed eventually by the dub roots reggae of Konga I at midnight.

5/8, 10:30 PM haunting, ethereal, atmospheric art-rock ensemble Edison Woods at Joe’s Pub with a special cameo by noir cabaret legend Little Annie.

5/8 LES punk/surf/rockabilly legends Simon & the Bar Sinisters at Lakeside 10:30ish

5/8 at Glasslands Apollo Run, the Cheap Seats, Sonia’s Party and the
Rhodes – doors at 11, band play til 3 AM

5/9, 2VC – new music for 2 cellos and percussion feat. Jessie Reagen Mann and Gene Carr playing works by Derrik Jordan, Will Van Dyke, Jonathan Bell, Amanda Monaco, Ramon Tasat and Oded Lev-Ari “as well as some oldies but goodies” at 6th St. Synagogue, 325 E. Sixth Street (between 1st Ave. and 2nd Ave.) $15 adv tix, $8 stud/under 21.

5/9 at Banjo Jim’s a benefit for Sean Casey Animal Rescue (who knew that the former Red Sox first baseman was such an animal lover?) feat. Drina and the Deep Blue Sea, Liz Tormes, Alice Texas, Lorraine Leckie, Craig Chesler and others, $10 for a good cause.

5/9 10ish at Rose Bar in Williamsburg the reliably excellent, innovative Tim Kuhl Group feat. saxist Jon Irabagon and trombonist Josh Roseman, two guitars and more.

5/11 the Jack Grace Band followed by Luther Wright and the Wrongs at Rodeo Bar 9ish

5/12, 7:30 PM adventurous organist Gail Archer plays from her excellent new Bach cd at Central Synagogue.

5/12 adventurous multistylistic bluegrass band Frankenpine at Lakeside 9:15ish; they’re also here on 6/3 at 9.

5/13 the funnest band on the planet, surfy psychedelic cumbia rockers Chicha Libre on the Rocks Off Concert Cruise aboard the Half Moon, boarding at 7 at the FDR and 23rd St., adv tix $25 at the Highline box office highly rec.

5/13 country siren Drina Seay and Americana axemeister Steve Antonakos followed by crooner Sean Kershaw & the Terrible Two at 11th St. Bar, 8 PM. Antonakos plays solo at Banjo Jim’s the next day at 1 AM (actually, morning of 5/15).

5/13, 9/10:30 PM the Alan Ferber Nonet with strings at the Jazz Gallery $15/$10 for second set

5/14, 7:30 PM PM at Symphony Space Joydeep Ghosh plays classical and contemporary Indian compositions on the rare, ancient surshringar, sort of a bass sarod lute, tix $25/$18 stud.

5/14 jangly, anthemic Irish rockers the Saw Doctors at Irving Plaza, 9 PM, adv tix $35.

5/15, 8:30 PM string quartet Crucible (Cornelius Dufallo and Chris Otto, violins; John King, viola; and Alex Waterman, cello) will perform music from King’s new CD “10 Mysteries” at Roulette .

5/15 fiery, funny Americana punk band Spanking Charlene – whose frontwoman is one of the most powerful, compelling singers around – at Lakeside 11 PM

5/16, 4 (four) PM Larry Long plays Bach on the organ at the Church of the Epiphany, 1393 York Ave. and 74th St., $25.

5/16, 9:30 PM at Joe’s Pub Maria Raducanu, “one of the most original singers in Romania’s jazz history, together with her international trio feat. Krister Jonsson on guitar and bassist Chris Dahlgren play fado & Romanian traditional songs, cradle songs, Russian romances, jazz standards, Sephardic songs, tangos, bossa-nova,” $15 adv tix highly rec.

5/16, 11ish at Rose Bar in Williamsburg – Lucky Bastard: “An organic Brooklyn-blend of the Meters, Clapton, Ray Charles, and Steely Dan”

5/18 LES powerpop legend George Usher at Lakeside 9ish.

5/19, 7:30 PM organist Gail Archer plays selections from her upcoming Bach cd at Central Synagogue (123 E 55th St, Train E/V-Lex/55th St)

5/19 frequently funny Nashville gothic with Maynard & the Musties at Lakeside 9:30ish

5/20 an A-list songwriter summit: the soaring Americana-inflected Mary Lee Kortes of Mary Lee’s Corvette, 7 PM at Banjo Jim’s followed by the psychedelic tropicalia-inspired  Jenifer Jackson at 8.

5/20, 7:30 PM at Merkin Concert Hall an art-rock bill with Elizabeth and the Catapult (pianist Elizabeth Ziman and her band) plus sets by 101 Crustaceans’ singer/pianist Ed Pastorini and Gabriel Kahane, $25 adv tix avail.

5/20 clever, tuneful pianist/chanteuse Elaine Romanelli plays the cd release show for her new one The Real Deal at the Bitter End, 8 PM, $5

5/20 Devin the Dude plus the Coughee Bros. doing filthy Houston hip-hop at the Knittting Factory $15 adv tix highly rec.

5/21 Small Beast presents the Big Beast at the Orensanz Center, definitely the best bill of the year so far: noir cabaret legends Little Annie and Paul Wallfisch, haunting atmospheric art-rockers Bee & Flower; NYC’s best live band, the ferocious, gypsy-art-punk  Botanica ; noir atmospheric/gypsy instrumentalists Barbez, World Inferno keyboardist Franz Nicolay, and Brooklyn’s own haunting Balkan vocal choir Black Sea Hotel singing from the balcony!  Adv tix $20 available at the Delancey include open bar 6:30-7:30 PM.

5/21 twangy Steve Earle type stuff with the Mark McKay Band at Lakeside, 7 PM; the Boss Guitars play surf music at 11

5/21 Black Sheep and Naughty by Nature at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple, $28, early arrival advised

5/22 jazz trumpet icon Pam Fleming & Fearless Dreamer at Parlor Jazz, 119 Vanderbilt Ave (btw Myrtle & Park), Ft. Greene, Brooklyn, G or A/C to Clinton-Washington, $30, but includes open wine bar and snacks!

5/22, 8 PM, free, the American Composers Orchestra plays up-and-coming composers battling for a $15K commission at Miller Theatre, 116th and Broadway. Featured works by Matti Kovler, Hannah Lash, Eric Lindsay, Tamar Muskal, Ricardo Romaneiro, Christopher Stark, and Xi Wang. A working rehearsal on 5/21 at 10 AM is also free and open to the public.

5/22, 8 PM Sympho’s Tweetheart concert debuts at the Church for All Nations, 417 W 57th St. feat Singer-songwriter Jonathan Coulton, Haitian pop star Emeline Michel plus the SymphoNYC chamber orchestra. “The concert spans five centuries and multiple cultures, from commissioned and spontaneously created acoustic and electronic pieces to music by, among others, John Adams, Prokofiev, Bjork, Prince, Verdi, and Monteverdi.”

5/22 Hurricane Bells – Steve Schiltz of Longwave and Scout’s ethereal, jangly new band – at the Mercury 8 PM.

5/22 Senegalese roots reggae with the popular Meta & the Cornerstones 10PMish at Rose Bar in Williamsburg

5/22 rockabilly guitar goddess Rosie Flores at Rodeo Bar 10:30 PM

5/22 Tammy Faye Starlite’s hilarious Stones cover group the Mike Hunt Band at Lakeside 11 PM

5/23, 3 PM the Greenwich Village Orchestra plays a program they absolutely slay with: Brahms – Hungarian Dance No. 1; Brahms – Double Concerto; Rimsky-Korsakov – Scheherazade at Washington Irving HS Auditorium, cheap, just a $20 donation.

5/23 intoxicatingly hypnotic and danceable cumbia party stars Very Be Careful at the Highline adv tix highly rec.

5/23 rising Middle Eastern chanteuse Salma Habib with haunting, slinky golden-age Egyptian/Lebanese film music revivalists Zikrayat at Joe’s Pub, 9:30 PM.

5/23 Bjorkestra frontwoman Becca Stevens’ Band at 10ish followed at around 11 by up-and-coming trumpeter/jazz chanteuse Natalie John and her combo at Rose Bar in Williamsburg.

5/25 legendary LES psychedelic punks Band of Outsiders at Lakeside 9 PM.

5/25 virtuoso, fun hokum blues and oldtimey hillbilly songs with the Second Fiddles at Rodeo Bar 10:30 PM

5/26 haunting acoustic Nashville gothic band Bobtown at 68 Jay St Bar, 8 PM.

5/26 whoever’s left in the Yardbirds at B.B. King’s

5/27-28 Reverend Horton Heat at Highline Ballroom

5/27, 6:30 PM Face the Music (NYC schools supergroup of up-and-coming new music talent) play Nico Muhly’s Honest Music and How About Now followed at 7:30 PM by SIGNAL playing new Nico Muhly and Harrison Birtwhistle, at Merkin Concert Hall, $25 adv tix. avail.

5/28 Jello Biafra & the Guantanamo School of Medicine play the Rocks Off Concert Cruise aboard the Temptress boarding at 6:30 and leaving from 41st St. and the river, adv tix $30 at the Highline box office highly recommended, this will sell out

5/28 Tom Clark & the High Action Boys play their potently tuneful twangy Americana rock at Lakeside 11 PM

5/29, 10 PM indie guitar legend Thalia Zedek plus similarly legendary, recently reunited (and reinvigorated) LES noise/glampunk Chrome Cranks at the Knitting Factory $10 adv tix highly rec.

5/29 cool, funny garage punk with the Subway Surfers at Lakeside 11 PM.

5/30, half past noon-ish barrelhouse pianist Drew Nugent & The Midnight Society plus hot 20s jazz by Michael Arenella & His Dreamland Orchestra at Water Taxi Beach, 2 Borden Ave., Long Island City, $18 adv tix highly rec. if you live in the hood or can get there ahead of schedule.

5/30 funny alt-bluegrass band Cadillac Sky – who do a hillbilly cover of Video Killed the Radio Star – at Union Hall

5/30, 10ish low-register sonic heaven with the Moisturizer-esque Cuban groove of Gato Loco – baritone sax, bass, baritone guitar and tuba – at Rose Bar in Williamsburg

5/31 Alan Gilbert conducts the NY Philharmonic at 8 PM at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, 8 PM, free, get there early, program TBA.

5/31 politically charged latin/rock en Espanol powerhouse Among Criminals, MC5 co-founder Wayne Kramer and the Coup – the most relevant, lyrically state-of-the-art hip-hop group in the world – play the Rocks Off Concert Cruise aboard the Temptress, boarding at 6:30 PM at 41st St. and the river, adv tix $30 highly recommended at the Highline box office, this will sell out

The theme of this year’s Bard Music Festival upstate in Annandale is “Berg and His World,” Leon Botstein’s in-depth survey of music by Viennese modernist Alban Berg and his contemporaries, continuing for seven weeks starting in June. Too many concerts to list here: the entire schedule is here.

6/2 Toots & the Maytals at B.B. King’s – their new album Flip & Twist is available in special package with a “a joint-shaped USB drive loaded with Flip & Twist, a Toots Stash Box, the physical CD of the album, and a variety of other gifts.” Other gifts, hmmm…..

6/2, 9 PM soulful, pensive, artsy, distantly Wilco-ish Americana rockers the Smooth Maria at LIC Bar

6/2 catchy propulsive female-fronted powerpop with the Mikal Evans Band at Spike Hill, 10 PM.

6/3, 7 PM Inna Faliks plays Chopin, Schoenberg, Schumann, Beethoven and Pasternak at the Yamaha Piano Salon, $15.

6/3 a killer doublebill at Barbes starting at 8 with the rustic, gypsy-flavored, darkly atmospheric Kotorino followed by NYC’s best blues band, Bliss Blood’s Delta Dreambox at 10.

6/3, 8 PM a killer triplebill at Banjo Jim’s: Sabrina Chap, who “sounds exactly like a drunken fistfight between Scott Joplin and Phyllis Diller,” followed by sharply literate, often hilarious Americana charmer Robin Aigner at 9 and then the ferociously smart, energetically punkish, intensely charismatic banjo rocker Curtis Eller at 10.

6/3 sprawling, upbeat, imaginative bluegrass innovators Frankenpine at Lakeside 9 PM

6/3 fearless garage rocker Anna Anabolic and her band the Anabolics at Spike Hill, 9 PM.

6/3 imaginatively crosspollinating Brazilian/country/New Orleans band Nation Beat at Rodeo Bar, 10:30 PM.

6/4, 9 PM an A-list Middle Eastern supergroup – Souren Baronian – G-clarinet, saxophone, kaval, duduk, riq with Haig Manoukian – oud, Lee Baronian – darbukkeh, Mal Stein – drums, percussion, Sprocket Royer – double bass at Alwan for the Arts.

6/4, 10 PM the ever-increasingly more ghostly, more psychedelic oldschool latin ballad rockers las Rubias del Norte – whose new album is one of the year’s best – at Barbes

6/4 high-energy ska-flavoed Argentinian rock legends Los Autenticos Decadentes at B.B.King’s 11 PM

6/4 Wreckless Eric and Amy Rigby plus McGinty & White at Bowery Electric.

6/5, 7 PM dark garage songwriter Lorraine Leckie and Her Demons at Banjo Jim’s

6/5-9 The New York Art Ensemble moves its Ninth Annual Tribeca New Music Festival, a 4-concert series of cutting-edge new music to Merkin Concert Hall, shows each night at 8 PM. Performers include the New York Art Ensemble Monsters (pianists Geoffrey Burleson and Kathleen Supové, and violinist Mary Rowell), the JACK Quartet, Ted Hearne Band, Pamela Z and more, adv tix $20 per concert at the box ofc highly recommended.

6/8 first-class Irish folk instrumental/dance quartet New Time Ensemble (flute, guitar, fiddle and cello) play the Irish seisun at Dempsey’s, 8 PM; 6/10 they’re at the SoHo Gallery for Digital Art, 138 Sullivan St. at 8 PM, $15

6/8-13 Evelyn Evelyn AKA Amanda Palmer of the Dresden Dolls and Jason Webley do their conjoined-twin ukelele comedy/rock thing at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, time/price TBA

6/8 the Museum Mile Festival just gets shorter and shorter.This year the following museums are open for free 6-9 PM with Fifth Ave. turned into a pedestrian mall: El Museo del Barrio; The Museum of the City of New York; The Jewish Museum; Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution; National Academy Museum & School of Fine Arts; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; Neue Galerie New York; Goethe-Institut New York/German Cultural Center; and The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

6/9 the Easy Star All-Stars – the crazy reggae crew responsible for Radiodread, Dub Side of the Moon and the reggae version of Sgt. Pepper – at Hiro Ballroom, adv tix. available at the Highline.

6/11 the Budos Band play the Rocks Off Concert Cruise aboard the Temptress boarding at 6:30 and leaving from 41st St. and the river, adv tix $25 at the Highline box office highly recommended

6/12-13 the Undead Jazzfest at le Poisson Rouge, Kenny’s Castaways and Sullivan Hall: an unbelievable lineup of A-list, adventurous jazz groups for an unbeatable price. The two-day pass for $30 – roughly a third of what you’d spend at the Blue Note for a single act – is your best bet. Acts include the Alan Ferber Nonet, Ben Perowsky’s Moodswing Orchestra, Burnt Sugar The Arkestra Chamber, John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble, Matthew Shipp, Roswell Rudd & Lafayette Harris and many more, the complete list is here.

6/13 Franco-Algerian punk/rai-rock legend Rachid Taha at Highline Ballroom.

6/15, 7 PM a craftbrewing competition at Union Hall, free, open to the public 21+ with tasting of home and craft brews from top microbreweries. First prize: your recipe will be made into a kit marketed by Brooklyn Brew Shop and you get a day observing at Sixpoint Brewery; second prize is a $50 gift certificate to the shop. “Union Hall will then host two additional homebrewing competitions in August and October. June, August and October winners will compete in a holiday competition in December, which will determine who will get to brew their own winning recipe on Sixpoint’s pilot brewing system alongside the brewers. The resulting keg will then be transferred to Union Hall, where it will be served to all your friends and family during a private party.” Limited space remains for homebrewers who wish to enter their bootleg product, first come first served: email your name, your “brewer” name, and name of your beer. Brewers must provide at least 48 ounces of homebrew (4 bottles), more if you want the public to weigh in on how good/awful it is.

6/16 British vintage funk/soul revivalists the Heavy with Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings at Bowery Ballroom

6/18, 8 PM the Jazz Gallery Allstars: Claudia Acuña, Ambrose Akinmusire, Lage Lund, Gerald Clayton, Kendrick Scott, Ben Williams, Pedro Martinez, Miguel Zenón at Symphony Space $15.

6/19 the NY Brewfest goes 3:30 until 8 PM on Governors Island, tix $55 all you can drink micros and gourmet beer (300+ vendors!) plus free music plus water taxi to/from the island , tix available at Heartland Brewery locations

6/26 desert blues titans  Tinariwen at Central Park Summerstage

6/27 Wintersleep at Bowery Ballroom – happy and jangly with your stereotypical off-key indie vocals, but a real lyrical menace and imaginative guitar/keyboard textures. If you wish the Decemberists could write melodies, you’ll love Wintersleep.

7/1 the Cannabis Cup Band play “a special tribute to the classic revolutionary vinyl lp reggae anthems of the ‘60’s & ’70’s” on the Rocks Off Concert Cruise aboard the Temptress boarding at 6:30 and leaving from 41st St. and the river, first hundred tix are $20, after that adv tix $25, highly rec. at the Highline box office

7/8 Phosphorescent – sort of the teens version of gently rootsy early Wilco – plays Pier 54 at 14th St., gates at 6 for the diehards or fans of early 70s style El Lay dad-pop band Dawes.

7/14 reggae crooner Barrington Levy at BB King’s

8/12 the creepy, artsy, extraordinarily popular Deerhunter at Pier 54 at 14th St., gates at 6, show starts at 7 with the richkid eunuch rock of Real Estate which you will have to stand through in order to see the headliners.

8/24 classic-style roots reggae with Groundation on the Rocks Off Concert Cruise aboard the Jewel, boarding at 7 at the FDR and 23rd St., adv tix $30 at the Highline box office highly rec.


March 31, 2010 Posted by | concert, Live Events, Music, music, concert, New York City, NYC Live Music Calendar | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Concert Review: Tris McCall at Rockwood Music Hall, NYC 3/30/10

Tris McCall was psyched to be playing the Rockwood, not only because of the great sound but because performers at the Rockwood don’t have to go through a metal detector. That’s what musicians and audience alike have to do at the Hudson County (NJ) Courthouse, where he’s played several times. McCall wears his New Jersey affiliation proudly on his sleeve; like most every other artist from there, his feelings for his home state are mixed. “I’m going to play a lot of wordy songs,” he warned the audience, but he held them rapt. McCall is just as good solo on piano as he is with a band, maybe even better, since his lyrics have more of a chance to cut through. And they cut and slashed with a wit and a poignancy on par with the one artist McCall covered, Elvis Costello (he snuck in a casually brilliant cover of All the Rage toward the end of the set).

As much as New Jersey is notoriously weird, dark, haunted and corrupt, McCall invariably sympathizes with his downtrodden characters, none of whom ever seem to be able to get out – his songs have a Ray Davies-class populism. The Ballad of Frank Vinieri recounted the sad end of a would-be housing preservationist’s political career, brought down in a witch hunt by greedy developers. An earlier song, We Don’t Talk About Teddy was a hauntingly allusive look at a convict abandoned in the prison-industrial complex, told from the point of view of his hopelessly scarred parents. “Ten different channels of cop shows to choose from, I’m gonna lock it up!” the father finally rages – meaning the tv.

The centerpiece of the show was the centerpiece of McCall’s new album Let the Night Fall (best album we’ve reviewed this year so far, by the way), the epic First World, Third Rate, a casually harrowing narrative of depersonalized stripmall hell. But McCall ended it on a passionately upbeat note: the mallrat at the center of the song isn’t about to go down with everything around him. By contrast, a ballad giving a glorious shout-out to “Hudson County by the sea” was not nearly that optimistic, its protagonist having “bartered away” his life in his own darkness on the edge of town.

Not everything in the set was that bleak. Musically, McCall mixed it up from his usual big, dramatic block-chord arrangements with a sarcastic state-of-the-economy minor-key blues, the joyous sixties soul of Baltimore (sort of an alternative to the Randy Newman song) and a vividly jazzy number about a housing inspector. And the song he soundchecked with, a deadpan, vaudevillian tribute to (or parody of) the New Jersey Department of Public Works made it impossible not to smile. McCall’s next gig is at Bruar Falls on April 1 – no joke – with his indie powerpop supergroup of sorts, Overlord.

In a welcome return to New York, Irish songwriter Andy White followed with a boisterous, tuneful set featuring some lushly processed twelve-string guitar work and White’s characteristically smart social awareness, best exemplified by his global-warning cautionary tale Last Long Night on the Planet.

March 31, 2010 Posted by | concert, Live Events, Music, music, concert, New York City, review, Reviews, rock music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Concert Review: Mike Rimbaud and Serena Jost at the Delancey, NYC 3/29/10

“There’s Passover and there’s true spirituality,” Small Beast impresario and Botanica frontman Paul Wallfisch reassured the assembled multitudes at Monday’s episode of his weekly residency/salon/talentfest. Whatever your feelings about missing a big holiday might be, there was a lot of soul on this particular bill. It seems that Wallfisch’s early 90s pal Mike Rimbaud was ill-fated to be coming up right when Graham Parker and Elvis Costello were at the peak of their popularity. Twenty years later, just like those songwriting icons, Rimbaud remains an equally vital force. Throughout his 45-minute set, Rimbaud particularly evoked Parker with his catchy, soul-influenced tunes, sardonically aware, pun-laden, aphoristic lyrics and rakish delivery. “Stimulate me, baby,” he railed, sarcastically referencing Obama’s trickle-down economics while the percussionist behind him rattled a museum’s worth of bangable objects from around the globe. His guitar running through a dense fog of reverb, Rimbaud shuffled his way through a couple of catchy new wave soul numbers possibly titled Dirty Little Bomb and Pretty Green Baby, the latter a sendup of “fashion fascists.” Diva in a Dive Bar was pretty self-explanatory; Mother Was a Punk was bracing, to say the least: “She had a mouth like a peanut and an ass like a rattlesnake.” One Way Ticket to a Vicious Circle might well have been an allusion to his career on a major label. By now, Rimbaud’s guitar had gone just enough out of tune to add a menacing edge. The rest of the set ran from bitterly hostile – a chronicle about somebody who’s “famous in Japan” – to doggedly persistent – the most Parkeresque number of the night, I’ll Follow Your Sidewalks – to unabashedly romantic.

Serena Jost has gotten a lot of ink here, not only because she manages to find herself in a lot of good places, but because in a lot of ways she exemplifies what we stand for, the idea that great art can be perfectly accessible to a mass audience. She’s been playing a lot lately with Amanda Thorpe, whose torchy intensity is unrivalled, and this time Jost pulled out some of her own with an absolutely sultry cover of Doris Fisher’s Whispering Grass, talking her way through the last chorus: “It’s no secret anymore – whispering grass, don’t tell the trees ’cause the trees don’t need to know.” Jost usually approaches a song a lot more obliquely – mystery is her thing, and she works it – so this was a welcome change. Julian Maile’s potently allusive electric guitar gave the lyrics a chance to resonate, a mode he’d remain in for the evening.

Jost went back behind the curtain, metaphorically speaking, for most of the rest of the show. Although she did throw in a mean glissando down the piano keys at the end of a particularly upbeat version of her impossibly catchy, bouncy pop hit Vertical World. She played guitar on a couple of upbeat, equally catchy janglerock numbers, switching to cello for the more pensive ones, including several new tunes. A nocturne worked minimalistic triplet arpeggios against Maile’s otherworldly flange voicings; another took on a southwestern gothic feel (this woman can write anything). They encored with a stately, enigmatic chamber-pop track from Jost’s latest album Closer Than Far.

Wallfisch was next on the bill. It used to be that a solo show by this guy was a rare treat – now it’s a frequent one. And since one of the nearby uptown trains was scheduled to turn into a pumpkin at midnight, it was time to exit into the mist and look forward to next week’s episode. Paul Wallfisch plays pretty much weekly at around ten PM at Small Beast; Serena Jost plays Lakeside on April 21 at 7 PM in a trio show with Amanda Thorpe and Mary Lee Kortes.

March 31, 2010 Posted by | concert, Live Events, Music, music, concert, New York City, review, Reviews, rock music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Song of the Day 3/31/10

The best 666 songs of alltime countdown continues every day, all the way to #1. Tuesday’s song was #121:

The Geto Boys – City Under Siege

Over a haunting James Brown electric piano sample, Bushwick Bill, Scarface and Willie D insightfully and brutally analyze why the “war on drugs” is such a dismal failure – when you have one government agency fighting to keep them out while the other is not-so-secretly bringing them in, it’s a zero-sum equation. From their controversial Rick Rubin-produced self-titled 1990 album, a smart, funny companion piece to Jello Biafra’s Full Metal Jackoff.

And today’s is #120:

The Stooges – Gimme Danger

The studio take on Raw Power (click the link above) is great, but the best is the live version from the 1978 posthumous (at the time) Metallic KO album, Ron Asheton’s mournful, classically tinged bassline foreshadowing Joy Division, Iggy dropping his guard for once and delivering his most anguished vocal ever.Wonder where Ian Curtis got most of his ideas?

March 31, 2010 Posted by | lists, Lists - Best of 2008 etc., Music, music, concert, rock music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CD Review: Satoko Fujii Ma-Do – Desert Ship

Multistylistic Japanese composer/pianist Satoko Fujii has just released four radically dissimilar albums simultaneously this spring: one by her gypsy jazz quartet Gato Libre, another by her mammoth Orchestra Tokyo; a noisy improv date by her free jazz outfit First Meeting, and this characteristically fascinating, emotionally varied, richly melodic one by her pretty straight-up small combo Ma-Do. This particular unit happens to be three-quarters of Gato Libre, Fujii on her usual piano this time alongside husband and trumpeter Natsuki Tamura and bassist Norikatsu Koreyasu, plus drummer Akira Horikoshi. A normal music site would have lumped all these albums together into a single article: we’re taking the time to assess each on its own merits because it would take pages to do justice to them in one fell swoop.

The opening cut sets the tone right off the bat, variations on a catchy hook with the inevitable crazed improvisational freakout lurking somewhere down the line. In this case it’s circular permutations of a theme very evocative of the Doors’ Break on Through riff on the piano, Tamura flying overhead in a similarly catchy vein. Koreyasu eventually emerges from the pileup unscathed, somberly, by himself. This album’s title track also appears, far more lushly arranged, on Fujii’s Zakopane cd (just reviewed here) with her Orchestra Tokyo. This version is even more stripped down than it would seem, Tamura’s trumpet a lonely figure in the wilderness, bass coming in with a koto line, piano following in a similarly minimalistic vein. The best song on the album is Nile River, a poignantly swaying modal piano/trumpet theme with the bass scraping gashes in the fabric, wild and skronky, leading the way up.

The album’s fourth cut, Ripple Mark has Fujii running a simple chordal riff, adding menace by degrees as the bass prowls around on its own, Tamura making his entrance with the drums’ martial stomp. They segue into the sarcastically titled Sunset in the Desert, essentially just a big swinging drum solo with occasional squealing accents from trumpet and bass (and Fujii sneaking in to see what the boys have been breaking at the end). Pluto is an otherworldly series of piano cascades with pauses for bass and drums and occasional, brief deoxygenated accents by Tamura into yet another crazed breakdown. They take that idea to its logical and considerably amusing extreme on the perfectly titled While You Were Sleeping, Fujii tossing ever more uneasily as Tamura and Horikoshi jump, stomp and blare, refusing to stop the madness until she finally accedes and gets up. Capillaries has everybody in the band exchanging ever more boisterous trails of bubbles; the album ends with the airy, distant, icily wary epic Vapour Trail, Fujii at her most incisive and bracing, the rest of the band giving her a wide berth. What else is there to say? Another triumph for this extraordinary composer. It’s out now on Not Two Records.

March 29, 2010 Posted by | jazz, Music, music, concert, review, Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Song of the Day 3/29/10

The best 666 songs of alltime countdown continues every day, all the way to #1. Monday’s song is #122:

Procol Harum – The Dead Man’s Dream

It’s hard to imagine a much more macabre song than this: Chris Copping’s swirling funeral organ and Gary Brooker’s eerily incisive piano set the stage for a truly nightmare scenario. And a trick ending. “The lights went dark in the deathroom…” From the Home lp, 1970.

March 29, 2010 Posted by | lists, Lists - Best of 2008 etc., Music, music, concert, rock music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CD Review: Jim Guttmann – Bessarabian Breakdown

This album is really fun. Klezmer Conservatory Band bassist Jim Guttmann takes a bunch of klezmer and Balkan brass originals and has a great time rearranging them in a whole bunch of different styles, backed by an inspired, like-minded crew including trumpeter Frank London, guitarist Brandon Seabrook, pianist Art Bailey and eight more horns and reeds. Since the early days of the klezmer revival, guys like these have been putting a new spin on haunting, mournful old ideas: Guttmann’s are especially imaginative and playful. The melodies still resonate, but the good time the band is having is contagious – you can actually dance to a lot of this.

The boisterous version of the traditional Philadelphia Sher that kicks off the album has the horns punching hard up against Ted Casher’s soaring clarinet, a striking contrast with the blithely swinging piano trio version of the Johnny Mercer tune And the Angels Sing that they segue into. Guttmann supplies the energy in this one with a genially expansive solo. From there they take it to el Caribe with the slinky mambo Descarga Gitano and its lush, sensual horn chart, a London solo adding considerable cheer, Guttmann – who doesn’t waste a note on this whole album – bringing the sun down with one of his own before Seabrook’s electric guitar goes wild to kick off the night. Cuando El Rey Nimrod is rearranged tersely for just bass, acoustic guitar and percussion with echoes of a levantine oud instrumental, bass deftly carrying the melody over the judicious clatter and sway. Then they take the title track and turn it into a Jimmy McGriff style organ shuffle – and is that a Michael Jackson quote?

Sadegirer Chusidi (Take Off That Shmatte) motors along with Mimi Rabson’s violin on a casual, Balkan bounce. The albun winds up with a straight-up Balkan dance, a vertigo-inducing tangle of interlocking horns, and a stately, pensive solo bass version of Fim di Mekhtonim Aheym. There’s also a rousing suite of three violin-driven dances and another suite rustically enhanced with mandolin and accordion. And no disrespect to this crew’s inspired swing cover of Dark Eyes, but it’s impossible to top the Les Paul version.

March 29, 2010 Posted by | jazz, Music, music, concert, review, Reviews, world music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Concert Review: The Vivisectors at Otto’s, NYC 3/26/10

The Vivisectors play surf rock instrumental versions of traditional Russian prison songs that were banned by the Soviet regime. The band grimly calls them “gulag tunes.” This was their second US tour – hopefully there will be more of them. Mike Vivisector, the band’s hulking, bearded guitarist didn’t move around much but his fingers did, firing off twangy Ventures single-note runs, a little furious Dick Dale temolo picking and even some tersely psychedelic blues licks. His drummer cleverly added touches that an American surf band would probably never use, whether it be a fast hardcore 2/4 stomp on one of their go-go numbers or riding his hi-hat for a bizarre disco beat that worked like a charm and got several people in the crowd dancing. The sub bassist brought a jazz player’s touch and fluidity to the songs, making his one solo of the night count with a determined, foreboding series of descending riffs that made a launching pad for similarly understated guitar fireworks. The band loves their dark, menacing chromatic riffs, doing them surf-style along with a couple of rockabillyish numbers, two bouncy go-go tunes and a song that sounded like either Blue Oyster Cult covering Link Wray, or Link Wray attempting a boogie. That one featured a guest trumpeter with an equally good handle on gypsyish, chromatic melodies – and a blazing take of Hava Nagila for part of another. They sped up a couple of the straight-up surf tunes, one with the Hall of the Mountain King quote that ELO and the Who used to rock out on; the last song of the set featured an extended quote from Those Were the Days. It’s surprising that nobody’s used that for a surf song before – or maybe they have, in Russia, where there is a thriving surf scene (where is there NOT a thriving surf scene – the North Pole? You could ask the tireless Unsteady Freddie, who booked the band this time around. When there’s surf music in New York, he’s usually involved in one way or another). They did a slow version of Misirlou that was as original – in both senses of the word – as the one that Magges does; their version of Pipeline was amped with a casually ferocious tremolo-picked jam on the second verse. But their originals were the best. Some wouldn’t have been out of place in early Black Sabbath if they’d been slower, others fluctuating eerily between minor and major. The band let their US booking agent, Deb Noble of Blue Stingraye Productions, and her enthusiasm was contagious: hopefully the band will be back for another tour at some point.

March 28, 2010 Posted by | concert, Music, music, concert, New York City, review, rock music | 1 Comment

The New England Conservatory Jazz All Star Concert at B.B. King’s, NYC 3/27/10

The New England Conservatory is celebrating its jazz program’s fortieth year – if memory serves right, they were the first established conservatory in the United States to give jazz their official imprimatur, so it would only make sense that by now their alumni list would boast some of the world’s greatest players. Their faculty got to show off their chops (and welcome sense of humor) at the Jazz Standard on the 24th (reviewed here); this particular celebration was a counterintuitively eclectic bill that literally had something for everyone, a series of nonchronological flashbacks between present and various moments from the past, both in terms of the history of jazz as well as that of the conservatory. Ironically, the youngest act on the bill was also the most rustic. Lake Street Dive hark back to the early swing era, a style more vogue in the steampunk scene than mainstream jazz (which is also considerably ironic since their style would have fit in perfectly alongside hitmakers of that era). Rachael Price’s warmhearted, somewhat chirpy vocals blended in perfectly with bandleader/bassist Bridget Kearney’s charmingly aphoristic, period-perfect songs, Mike Olson’s balmy trumpet and Mike Calabrese’s deftly terse drums. Another recent alum, singer Sarah Jarosz (who also proved to be a fine mandolinist) benefited from Kearney and Calabrese’s supple rhythm on a similar original of hers. And Dominique Eade, whose own style runs closer to pop than anyone else on the bill, impressed with a torchy a-capella number.

The piano jazz of the early part of the evening was equally captivating. Jason Moran – who’d joined the faculty just minutes previously – served up an expansive, appropriately lyrical tribute to Jaki Byard, followed by Ran Blake’s purist takes of Abbey Lincoln and Gershwin and a rapturously melodic, hypnotically nocturnal improvisation by Matthew Shipp and guitarist Joe Morris.

And it sure would have been nice to have been able to stick around for Bernie Worrell, one of the NEC’s best-known alums – but we were needed elsewhere (a special shout-out to the young quartet – rhythm section, electric piano and guitar – who played tasteful fusion throughout the press party beforehand at the adjacent Lucille’s Bar).

March 28, 2010 Posted by | concert, jazz, Live Events, Music, music, concert, New York City, review, Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Song of the Day 3/28/10

The best 666 songs of alltime countdown continues every day, all the way to #1. Saturday’s song was #124:

Ninth House – The Company You Keep

Bitter, brooding, careening art-rock dirge that at first comes across as a revenge anthem – or just an attempt by the New York rockers to get as uber-goth as they can. Bernard SanJuan’s sepulchral reverb guitar arpeggios, as it slowly winds up, are intense. From The Eye That Refuses to Blink, 2006.

Sunday’s song is #123:

Elvis Costello – Crawling to the USA

Gleefully recorded in Australia a la Back in the USSR, this is one of his hardest-rocking songs, pretty much what you’d expect from the title. Originally issued on Taking Liberties in 1981. The rare live version in the link above has an even more ominous lyric.

March 28, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment