Lucid Culture

JAZZ, CLASSICAL MUSIC AND THE ARTS IN NEW YORK CITY

New York City Live Music Calendar for March and April 2011

We have a new calendar for April and May 2011, and it’s here.  

A few things you should know about this calendar: 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. We go easy on the superlative adjectives here: every show included on this calendar is worth checking out, if the artist or band happen to play a style you enjoy. As always, weekly events first followed by the daily listings:

Sundays there’s a klezmer brunch at City Winery, show starts around 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.

Through May of 2011, the series of free organ concerts at 5:15 PM continues most every week (holidays excepted) at St. Thomas Church, 53rd St. and 5th Ave.

Sundays in March at 6 PM the Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra – not as much of an oxymoron as the immigrants from Minnesota would have you believe – at Brooklyn Bowl, free

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.

Sundays in March the Chico O’Farrill latin Jazz Orchestra at Birdland, sets 8/10:30 PM, $30 seats avail

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 Choi Fairbanks String Quartet play a wide repertoire of chamber music from Bach to Shostakovich starting at 7.

Mondays starting a little after 7 PM Howard Williams leads his Jazz Orchestra from the piano at the Garage, 99 7th Ave. S at Grove St. There are also big bands here most every Tuesday 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.

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 Tea Lounge in Park Slope at 9 PM trombonist/composer JC Sanford books big band jazz, an exciting, global mix of some of the edgiest large-ensemble sounds around. If you’re anybody in the world of big band jazz and you make it to New York, you end up playing here: what CBGB was to punk, this unlikely spot promises to be to the jazz world. No cover.

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 March 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 slinky but boisterous rhythm section, their mix of obscure classics and originals is one of the funnest, most danceable things you’ll witness this year.

Also Mondays in March 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, sexy original songs and is one of the most charismatic, intense live performers of our time. It’s a crazy dance party til past three in the morning. Paula Henderson from Burnt Sugar is the lead soloist on baritone sax, with Dave Smith from Smoota and the Fela pit band on trombone, with frequent special guests.

The second and fourth Tuesday of the month there are free organ concerts at half past noon at Central Synagogue, 652 Lexington Ave @ 55th St. curated by celebrated organ adventurer Gail Archer, a global mix of veteran and up-and-coming talent.

Tuesdays in March Balkan brass maniacs Slavic Soul Party  play Barbes at 9. Get here as soon as you can as they’re very popular.

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

Wednesdays in April (not March), 4-5 PM, all ages, at the Atrium at Lincoln Center a series of Afrocentric song/dance performances with Q&A afterward moderated by Meklit Hadero. Highlights: Chanda Rule and Somi on 4/6; amazing Ethiopian Afrobeat group Debo Band spinoff the And Lay Duo playing traditional Ethiopian tunes on 4/27.

Wednesdays at 9 PM Feral Foster’s Roots & Ruckus takes over the Jalopy, a reliably excellent weekly mix of oldtimey acts: blues, bluegrass, country and swing.

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

Thursdays and Fridays in March at Mehanata it’s Bulgarian sax powerhouse Yuri Yukanov and the Grand Masters of Gypsy Music, 10 PM, $10.

Fridays at 8:30 PM adventurous cellist/composer Valerie Kuehne books an intriguing avant garde/classical/unclassifiable “weekly experimental cabaret” at Cafe Orwell in Bushwick, 247 Varet St. (White/Bogart), L to Morgan Ave. It’s sort of a more outside version of Small Beast, a lot of cutting-edge performers working out new ideas in casual, unstuffy surroundings. Kuehne promises “never a dull moment.”

Fridays in March at 9 Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens play the Fat Cat.

3/2 creepy, cinematic, noir instrumentalists Mojo Mancini at the big room at the Rockwood ,7 PM $10.

3/2, 7:30 PM at Banjo Jim’s NYC Americana luminaries singing classic country and country rock duets led by songstress Karen Hudson. Special guest vocalists incl. Alan Lee Backer, Steve Antonakos, Sean Kershaw, Orville Davis, Shannon Brown, Drina Seay, Lindy Loo, Deb O’Nair, Mo Russell, Charlie Quill, Doug Moody, Kelli King, Glenn Spivack and David Michael Weis; songs by Emmylou Harris and Gram Parsons, Buck Owens, the Andrews Sisters, Linda Ronstadt, John Prine, Lucinda Williams and others.

3/2, 7:30 PM energetic oldtimey Americana act the Wiyos at Rock Shop in Gowanus, $10.

3/2-6, 7:30/9:30 PM lyrical pianist Fred Hersch – whose new solo live album is a joy – at the Jazz Standard. 3/2 with singer Kate McGarry ; 3/3 with guitarist Julian Lage; 3/4-5 Noah Preminger on tenor sax (fresh off the success of his new Palmetto release Before the Rain), Ralph Alessi on trumpet, John Hebert on bass, and Billy Drummond on drums; 3/6 in a duo show with Joshua Redman. Tickets are $30.

3/2, 9 PM Marc Ribot’s “Really The Blues” with most of the Jazz Passengers – Bill Ware, Brad Jones & EJ Rodriguez – at Rose Bar in Williamsburg.

3/2, 10 PM fiery, oldtimey chanteuse April Smith & the Great Picture Show at the Mercury, $10, early arrival advised, this deserves to sell out

3/3, 7ish smart lo-fi garage duo the Fools, the Debutante Hour’s reliably entertaining, clever Susan Hwang and fearless punk cabaret songwriter Sabrina Chap among others at Goodbye Blue Monday.

3/3, 8 PM Espers cellist Helena Espvall plays a solo set and then joins hypnotic, haunting Maine chamber-Americana duo Arborea for gorgeous rustic soundscapes at Littlefield.

3/3, 8 PM clever, torchy oldtimey songwriter Jolie Holland at City Winery, $20 seats avail.

3/3, 8 PM modern roots reggae with Giant Panda Guerrilla Dub Squad and Rebelution at Irving Plaza, $20 adv tix rec.

3/3 Springsteen violinist Sam Bardfeld’s Up Jumped the Devil – a tribute to jazz violinist Stuff Smith – at Barbes at 8 followed by Red Baraat’s funky Indian marching band madness at 10 for a $10 cover.

3/3, 9 PM charismatic Americana roots singer Cal Folger Day at Banjo Jim’s; she’s also at the National Underground upstairs at 7 on 3/11

3/3 Police cover band NY’s Finest at 9 followed by Tammy Faye Starlite’s hilarious Blondie tribute/spoof band the Pretty Babies at 10 at R Bar.

3/3, 9 PM rootsy Sweetheart of the Rodeo style country rock with Whisperado at Hank’s.

3/3 eclectic, danceable Brazilian maracatu and country sounds with Nation Beat at Rodeo Bar 10ish

3/3, 10:30 PM Whiting Tennis – the former Scholars frontman and arguably the finest practitioner of Pacific Northwest gothic rock – at Pete’s.

3/4, 6:30 PM Marc Cary’s Indigenous People plus Sameer Gupta’s Namaskar at le Poisson Rouge, $15. Cary is our favorite pianist right now – no disrespect to anybody else, but nobody else we know can switch from rivetingly intense majestic third-stream grandeur to playful, fun Rhodes funk grooves so effortlessly and intuitively as this guy. He’s doing both with probably both bands, the kind of workout that brings out his best. Gupta is his Focus Trio drummer and leads a hypnotic Bollywood flavored outfit.

3/4 the Snow’s wry, brilliantly lyrical frontman Pierre de Gaillande plays his own hilarious translations of French songwriting icon Georges Brassens’s songs at Drom, 7:30 PM, $10 gen adm.

3/4, 8 PM at Otto’s, a rare Friday surf music night put together by Unsteady Freddie: this one’s a real good one: the Octomen at 9, garage rockers Preston Wayne 4 at 10, then entertaining, intense Boston horror-surf rockers Beware The Dangers Of A Ghost Scorpion at 11; BTDOAGS are also at Spike Hill on 3/27.

3/4, 8 PM, deviously fun, low-register oldschool Cuban vamps and originals with Gato Loco – baritone guitar, sax, bass and tuba – at Barbes. They’re also at Bowery Poetry Club at 8 on 3/6.

3/4, 8 PM, the psychobilly Memphis Morticians at the smaller downstairs space at Webster Hall, $12 adv tix rec.

3/4-6, 8/10 PM the Larry Coryell “power trio” with Victor Bailey on bass and Lenny White on drums at Iridium, $30 cover. Iconic jazz guitarist from the 70s whose fusions associations transcend any involvement with the style (he got into Rachmaninoff in a big way back in the 80s), somebody you ought to see at least once

3/4-5, 8 PM at the Kitchen: “Inspired by her immigrant grandfather, a junk dealer in the Lower East Side who recycled scrap metal and other byproducts of the industrial age, Annie Gosfield will sample the sounds of metal, machines, and factories, and transform these raw materials into something new. Featuring two ensembles: the Annie Gosfield Ensemble, with Gosfield on sampling keyboard, Roger Kleier on electric guitar, and Ches Smith on drums and percussion; and Real Quiet with Felix Fan on cello, piano by Andrew Russo, and guest percussionist Alex Lipowski. Also pianist Stephen Gosling performs a selection of Gosfield solos.”

3/4, 8 PM pianist David Kalhous – who has an intuitive, laserlike feel for this sort of thing – plays the complete solo piano works of Leos Janacek at Bargemusic, $35/$30 srs/$15 stud.

3/4, 9ish swirling hypnotic tuneful postrock with cellist/composer Julia Kent at Littlefield, $8.

3/4, 9 PM: newschool and oldschool edginess: Raya Brass Band followed by The Scene Is Now at Matchless in Williamsburg

3/4, 9 PM hot Boston buzz band Mic Raygun, who mine a noirish, cinematic vein, at Tea Lounge in Park Slope.

3/4, 9 PM edgy British postpunk dance-rockers Deluka at 9 at the downstairs studio space at Webster Hall.

3/4, 9 PM the reliably cinematic Morricone Youth at Hank’s.

3/4, 9:30 PMat I-Beam Sean Moran’s “Small Elephant” – Mike McGinnis – clarinets; Reuben Radding – bass; Chris Dingman – vibraphone; Sean Moran – nylon string guitar; Harris Eisenstadt – drums.

3/4, 9:30 PM Americana siren Julia Haltigan at BAM Cafe.

3/4, 10 PM retro 60s latin soul sounds with the Brooklyn Boogaloo Blowout at 55 Bar.

3/5, 5 PM Elliott Sharp’s Orchestra Carbon play an open rehearsal of his Flexagons at Issue Project Room followed by a $35 ticketed show at 7 (it’s his birthday gig) featuring a marathon of solo and ensemble works for noiserock guitar.

3/5, 7 PM a cool dark Americana triplebill at Banjo Jim’s with Lorraine Leckie & Her Demons at 7, Carol Lipnik & Spookarama at 8 and fiddler Melody Allegra’s bluegrass jam at 9.

3/5, 8 PM richly arranged, sometimes rustic, sometimes cinematic Balkan noir band Kotorino at Barbes followed at 10 by Brooklyn’s own Banda Sinaloense de los Muertos; Kotorino are also at Sycamore Bar on 3/12 at 9.

3/5, 9 PM  luminary drummer Ben Perowsky’s MSO followed at 10 by cleverly lyrical, sultry, theatrical torch song satirists the Debutante Hour’s cd release show at Bowery Electric.

3/5, 8 PM utterly original cantorial riff-rockers Sway Machinery open for Malian psychedelic desert blues goddess Khaira Arby at the Bell House, 8 PM, $15 adv tix rec.

3/5, 8 PM, repeating on 3/6, 3 PM the Chelsea Symphony plays Sibelius’ lush, lyrical Fifth Symphony and other works at St. Paul’s Church, 315 W 22nd St.

3/5, 9 PM star ska trumpeter Kevin Batchelor and then eclectic Senegalese-American roots reggae band Meta & the Cornerstones at the 92YTribeca, $12 adv tix rec.

3/5 cowpunk with I’ll Be John Brown at Hank’s, 9 PM followed by the ferocious, psychedelic, dark paisley underground Newton Gang at 10 and the Judge Roy Bean Band at midnight or so. The Newton Gang are also upstairs at the National Underground on 3/29 at 9.

3/5, 9 PM ageless Irish acoustic punk band Box of Crayons at the new Freddy’s

3/5, 9 PM hypnotic carnatic vocal music of south India with Roopa Mahadadevan at Alwan for the Arts, $20/$15 stud/srs.

3/5 gypsy punk with Bad Buka (FKA Panonian Wave) at Mehanata, 10 PM

3/5, 10 PM Koony plays darkly intense, lyrical African Francophone roots reggae at Shrine.

3/5, 10 PM the satirical, fearlessly amusing Reformed Whores at Pete’s at 10.

3/5, 11 PM the Hate My Day Jobs at Lit doing their energetic fifth-generation Stooges thing.

3/6, 3 PM intense playful all-female klezmer supergroup Isle of Klezbos at the Queens Central Library, 89-11 Merrick Blvd, Jamaica Queens, F to 169th St, or E/J trains to Jamaica Center/Parsons-Archer; they’re also at the Westbeth Theatre on 3/9 at 8:30 for $15/$10 srs.

3/6, 6 PM gypsy jazz power trio Ameranouche at Puppets Jazz Bar

3/6, 6 and 9:30 PM cellist Zoe Keating and Ethel co-founder/violinist Todd Reynolds do their separate things with their instruments and every effects pedal ever manufactured, $15 adv tix rec.

3/6, 9 PM ageless, swirling, psychedelic punk pioneers Band of Outsiders at Lakeside. They beat Brian Jonestown Massacre to it by 20 years and still kick their ass.

3/6, 10 PM smartly lyrical retro theatrical rockers Balthrop Alabama at the big room at the Rockwood

3/6 Keeping Toward Sky: Tim Keiper, nguni and drums; Chris Dingman, vibraphone; Skye Steele, violin; Chris Tordini, bass play all kinds of crazy, captivating eclectic stuff at 10 PM at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10.

3/6, 11 PM lyrical noir songwriter Adam Masterson at the small room at the Rockwood; 3/9 he’s at Lakeside at 9.

3/7 the uncommonly imaginative Christine Jensen Jazz Orchestra at Dizzy’s Club 7:30/9:30 PM, $20.

3/7, 9 PM cutting-edge big band jazz with the Russ Flynn Large Ensemble at Tea Lounge in Park Slope.

3/7 Dina Rudeen – whose long-awaited, forthcoming retro soul/rock album is a strong contender for best of 2010 – at Small Beast at the Delancey, 11 PM.

3/8, 8/10:30 PM tuneful postbop jazz pianist George Cables – whose work with the Cookers this past year was nothing short of transcendent – plays a trio gig with James Genus and Jeff “Tain” Watts at the Blue Note, $15 seats avail

3/8, 8 PM Ice Cube – yeah, the guy from the Friday movies, doing his rap thing (back in the day he was one of the great ones) at B.B. King’s, $27 adv tix rec.

3/8, 9 PM Jen Shyu plays a rare solo set of her smart, socially aware, historically-imbued pan-Asian vocal jazz at Korzo.

3/8, 9:30 PM eclectic, captivating pianist Mika Pohjola with Steve Doyle on bass and Kyle Struve on drums at Miles Cafe, 9:30 PM, $20 cover includes a drink and “snacks” but sushi is extra.

3/8, 10 PM alto saxophonist David Binney leads a quartet with Jacob Sacks on piano, Thomas Morgan on bass and Dan Weiss on drums at 55 Bar. They’re back here on 3/22 as well.

3/8, guessing sometime around 11ish, Raekwon plays a cd release show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, $15 adv tix rec., for some reason this doesn’t appear to be sold out yet.

3/8-12, 11 PM bassist Jennifer Leitham leads a trio with Sherrie Maricle on drums and Tomoko Ohno (not to be confused with the former Red Sox pitcher) on piano at Dizzy’s Club, $10 tix avail.

3/8 garage-punk with Sister Anne (andtheir two bass players) followed by retro soul star Eli “Paperboy” Reed at the Knitting Factory, 11 PM, $15, all ages.

3/9 Mos Def at the Blue Note is sold out – just so you know.

3/9 adventurous string quartet Brooklyn Rider with Iranian spike fiddle virtuoso/composer Kayhan Kalhor playing a Philip Glass premiere and more at Alice Tully Hall, 7:30 PM, $20.

3/9, 7:30 PM cello-driven world music band Deoro plays the big room at the Rockwood.

3/9, 9ish one of the great wits in rock, Marcellus Hall plays the cd release show for his career-best new one at Bowery Electric.

3/9, 9 PM at the Jalopy: Lunas Atlas – “beautiful and ancient songs of the Sephardic diaspora, sung in Ladino, Turkish and Greek. It features Chris Rael on sitar, 12-string guitar, Portugese lute and voice, Rima Fand on violin and voice, Bulgarian chanteuse Vlada Tomova, reed man extraordinaire Greg Squared and flamenco percussion star Nacho Arimany” – followed by Raya Brass Band.

3/9, 9ish cleverly theatrical, lyrical, satirical all-girl trio the Debutante Hour at Culturefix on Clinton St.

3/9, 10ish tongue-in-cheek, period-perfect early 50s style country from Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. at Rodeo Bar.

3/9, 10 PM bassist Chris Tordini leads a quartet with the always fascinating Kris Davis on piano plus Jeremy Viner, tenor sax, clarinet; Jim Black, drums at the Cornelia St. Cafe, $10.

3/10, Maksim Shtrykov and Alina Kiryayeva, clarinet and piano, program TBA, 1 PM at Trinity Church, free.

3/10-13 saloon jazz piano legend Mose Allison at the Jazz Standard, 7:30/9:30 PM, $30. Without this guy, Tom Waits wouldn’t exist, maybe not Dr. John either. Now in his 80s, he’s absolutely undiminished.

3/10, 8 PM fiery psychedelic rock/honkytonk band the Newton Gang at Banjo Jim’s

3/10 NYC indie/janglerock legends Scout 8 PM at the small room at the Rockwood.

3/10, 8 PM The Escape Artist, a haunting Caravaggio-themed theatrical piece by legendary singer John Kelly with music by Carol Lipnik at the Park Ave. Armory on the upper east, $25, reception to follow concert. They’re also doing this at PS 122 from 4/15 through 4/22.

3/10 Stephan Said’s Magic Orchestra, 8 PM at Drom, $10 – fiery, socially aware rock, hip-hop, Balkan and reggae tunes.

3/10, 8:30 PM the most unpredictably amusing guy in country music, the Jack Grace Band at Hill Country

3/10 Burnt Sugar play Bowie at the Atrium at Lincoln Center, 8:30 PM.

3/10 saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock plays the cd release for her new one Anti-House with Mary Halvorson , guitar; John Hébert , bass; Tom Rainey , drums, 8:30 PM at the Cornelia St. Cafe, $10

3/10, 9 PM two of the funniest and most period-perfect songwriters in oldtimey Americana, Al Duvall and Robin Aigner at Rest Au Rant, 30-01 35th Ave., Long Island City.

3/10 noir rockabilly/blues showman Reid Paley at Rodeo Bar 10ish “laughing in the face of life’s unrelenting ugliness.”

3/10, 10 PM reggae and ska with the Hard Times and then Royal City Riot at 11 at Otto’s.

3/10, 10 PM oldschool Colombian cumbia band Cumbiagra at Barbes.

3/10-11 at Smalls, 10 PM Seamus Blake – tenor sax; Lage Lund – guitar; Dave Kikoski – piano; Matt Clohesy – bass; Bill Stewart – drums.

3/10, 11ish smart, tuneful powerpop with the Brooklyn What spinoff John-Severin & the Quiet 1s at Union Hall.

3/11, 6 PM at Alwan for the Arts, free and open to the public, “a conversation moderated by Amy Goodman between Ahdaf Soueif and her son Omar Robert Hamilton, both of whom were in Tahrir Square, Cairo, participating throughout, filming and disseminating information, and have since been writing about it all, but have never had the opportunity between themselves for a reflective encounter.”

3/11, 7:30 PM oldtime hokum blues and hillbilly music with the Second Fiddles at Hill Country.

3/11, 7:30 PM tuneful, energetic, original postbop saxophonist Benny Sharoni leads a quartet at Miles Cafe, $20 cover includes a drink and “snacks”

3/11, 7:30 PM avant garde multi-reed legend JD Parran plays Menon Dwarka; the solo version of You Have a Right To Remain Silent by Anthony Davis; “…vikings, unless…” by Douglas Anderson at Greenwich House Music School, 46 Barrow St. between Bedford St. & 7th Ave. S, $15

3/11-12, 8 PM the long-awaited debut of The Songs of Buelah Rowley, by the brilliantly eclectic Mary Lee Kortes at the Cell Theatre, 338 W. 23rd St. (8th and 9th Aves.): “A song cycle with narration and projections based on the biography of Beulah Rowley, a regionally-known depression-era singer and songwriter from the Midwest,” $20 adv tix rec.

3/11, 8 PM a cool punk-oriented quadruple bill at Ace of Clubs starting at 8 with Box of Crayons, goth-punks Eleventh Hour (whose new album is called Coney Island Death March), the entertaining Hymen Holocaust and Irish band Paranoid Visions, who do a pretty good DKs facsimile.

3/11, 8 PM latin string quartet Sweet Plantain and equally cutting-edge, considerably more brooding Argentinian pianist/composer Fernando Otero at the 92YTribeca, $12 adv tix highly rec

3/11, 8 PM improvisational Afrobeat vibes with the Budos Band at the Bell House, $15.

3/11, 8 PM edgy trumpeter Nate Wooley plays his improvisational suite The Seven Storey Mountain at Issue Project Room.

3/11 a characteristically eclectic night at Barbes: reedman Petr Cancura leads a septet at 8 followed at 10 by Dominican folk music chanteuse Irka Mateo.

3/11, 8 PM whispery/sultry, original retro jazz/Americana chanteuse Brooke Campbell at the cafe at the 92YTribeca, free.

3/11, 8:30 PM at I-Beam, violinist Tom Swafford brings a huge, interesting band: Sally Wall, oboe; Mike McGinnis, clarinet; Jen Baker, trombone; Nathan Koci, accordion; Cory Bracken, log drum; Leanne Darling, viola; Brian Sanders, cello; Reuben Radding, bass

3/11 noir rocker Nicole Atkins at Maxwell’s at 8:30 PM, $16 adv tix rec; note that there is separate admission ($15) for the Blasters show at 11.

3/11 Bogs Visionary Orchestra’s Jose Delhart plays terse, pensive Americana nocturnes followed by the wry yet haunting Elisa Flynn, whose upcoming album features songs about William Tecumseh Sherman, the 1893 Chicago Exposition, and the Donner Party (yup, that’s me, she says) at Sugar Lounge, 147 Columbia St., Red Hook, 9 PM

3/11, 9 PM powerpop/oldschool R&B with the Brilliant Mistakes at the small room at the Rockwood.

3/11, 9 PM ageless reggae-rock band Faith at BAM Cafe.

3/11, 9 PM virtuoso oldschool country guitar duo the Plunk Bros. at Freddy’s.

3/11, 9/10:30 PM pianist Ben Waltzer with the JD Allen trio rhythm section, Gregg August on bass and Rudy Royston on drums at the Cornelia St. Cafe, $15

3/11-12 Wess Anderson, Charles McPherson and others play music from Charlie Parker’s Bird with Strings at Rose Theatre at Lincoln Center, $30 tix avail.

3/11, 10 PM Zion Judah plays roots reggae at Shrine.

3/11, 10 PM a good dark Americana/Nashville gothic doublebill with Fist of Kindness followed at 11 by Maynard & the Musties at Desmond’s

3/12, 1 PM a free concert at Bargemusic, early arrival advised, most likely piano music.

3/12, 6:30 PM Turn Down the Sun play pretty good Dead Kennedys style punk at Ace of Clubs.

3/12, 7 PM charismatic blue-eyed soul siren Meg Braun and intense, smart multi-instrumentalist Americana songwriter Carolann Solebello (ex-Red Molly) at Caffe Vivaldi

3/12, 7:30 PM psychedelic Middle Eastern/Balkan/Asian jamband Tribecastan at Joe’s Pub, $15 adv tix rec.

3/12 a killer ska/rocksteady triplebill with the Hard Times on more of a reggae tip, then the oldschool Bluebeats and the latin-flavored King Django at Shrine, 8 PM

3/12, 8 PM lush, clever, quirky art-rockers the Universal Thump – in the midst of a brilliant new album – at Barbes.

3/12, 8 PM Poor Baby Bree presents Historic Songs of the Lower East Side at Bowery Poetry Club with an all-star oldtimey ragtime band featuring Karen Waltuch of the Roulette Sisters on viola.

3/12 intense, surprising, lyrical pianist Kris Davis leads a trio with Tony Malaby, saxophone; Eivind Opsvik, bass; Tom Rainey, drums, 9/10:30 PM at the Cornelia St. Cafe, $15.

3/12, 9 PM an all-star evening of hypnotic, haunting sufi music at Alwan for the Arts with Taoufiq Ben Amor – vocals, oud and percussion; Ramzi El-Edlibi – percussion; and Zafer Tawil – violin, pud and percussion; George Ziadeh – oud and vocals , $20/$15 stud.srs.

3/12, 9ish garage rock fun with faux-French band les Sans Culottes and then another reunion show by 80s/90s legends Johnny Chan & the New Dynasty 6 at Bowery Electric.

3/12 Magges – the Greek Gogol Bordello – at Mehanata, 10:30 PM – free before 10

3/12, 10:30 PM LES punk/surf/rockabilly guitar legend Simon & the Bar Sinisters at Lakeside.

3/12 “Brooklyn’s #1 regressive rock act,” stoner metal parodists Mighty High at Trash, midnight.

3/13, 3 PM organist Gail Archer plays Liszt at West End Collegiate Church, West End Ave. at 77th St..

3/13 a killer doublebill at 55 Bar starting at 6 with noir guitarist Jim Campilongo leading an jam quartet followed by tenor saxophonist Noah Preminger with guitarist Ben Monder, bassist John Hebert and drummer Matt Wilson at 9:30

3/13, 7 PM, hot modern klezmer with the Klez Dispensers at Drom, $10.

3/13 a cool duo show with Dan Tepfer on piano plus Becca Stevens on vocals and charango, 8:30 PM at the Cornelia St. Cafe, $10

3/13, 9 PM a wild cerebral exuberant intense psychedelic doublebill at Joe’s Pub with the incomparable Rachelle Garniez opening for Electric Junkyard Gamelan. The former topped our best albums list in 2007; the latter played arguably the best concert we saw all year long in 2010.

3/13, 11 PM the Hsu-Nami play Taiwanese art-rock/metal instrumentals with electrified er-hu violin at Arlene’s – this band is unbelievably intense and a lot of fun.

3/13, midnight, multi-instrumentalist Thad Debrock plays the small room at the Rockwood. He’s played brilliantly on so many Americana and singer-songwriter albums it’s not funny; it’ll be interesting to hear him do his own stuff.

3/14 the Italian Surf Academy feat. Marco Cappelli – guitar; Luca Lo Bianco, bass and Francesco Cusa, drums at 7:30ish at Barbes playing 1960s style spaghetti western and Italian surf music (!?!) followed at 9:30 by another devious surfy band, Chicha Libre. They’re also at Shrine at 6 (six) PM on 3/15.

3/14, 9 PM Godspeed You Black Emperor at Terminal 5, $25 all ages. 3/15-16, 8 PM they’re at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple, $TBA, this may sell out, no word on adv tix.

3/14, 9 PM the eclectic Javier Arrau Jazz Orchestra at Tea Lounge in Park Slope.

3/15, 7 PM Musette Explosion play darkly smoldering oldtime Belgian barroom music at Barbes followed at 9 by Slavic Soul Party.

3/15, 7:30 PM at le Poisson Rouge: the Jasper String Quartet, Sospiro Winds, violinist Miranda Cuckson, pianists Jacob Greenberg and Aaron Wunsch, cellist Julia Bruskin, and hornist Angela Cordell Bilger play György Ligeti: Music for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, $15 adv tix rec.

3/15 pianist Jeremy Denk with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center plays Dvorak: Slavonic Dances (with pianist Wu Han), String Sextet and Piano Quintet in A plus works by Smetana at Alice Tully Hall, 7:30 PM, $25 tix avail.

3/15, 8 PM Cadillac Moon Ensemble plays works by Shawn Allison , Angélica Negrón, David Claman, Amy Beth Kirsten, Andre Brégégère, Ed RosenBerg III, and Anna Mikhailova at St. Peter’s Church, at 631 Lexington Ave. off 54th St., $10 sugg don.

3/15, 9 PM Iviorien roots reggae star Tiken Jah Fakoly at SOB’s, $25 adv tix rec.

3/16, 7 PM a deliciously fun if completely bizarre doublebill: banjo virtuoso Jayme Stone, who’s recently moved from desert blues to Bach, opens for the increasingly sepulchral, mesmerizing retro latin harmony band Las Rubias del Norte at le Poisson Rouge, $15.

3/16, 7 PM at Alwan for the Arts, free and open to the public, a lecture by Stuart Schaar (Prof. Emeritus, Brooklyn College/Rabat, Morocco and editor of the Grove Press Middle East and Islamic World Reader) on the topic of Generational Change and the Future of Hope in the Arab World.

3/16, 7:30 PM Shara Worden and Ymusic play a Worden world premiere plus pieces from Sarah Kirkland Snider’s hypnotic antiwar suite Penelope at Merkin Concert Hall, $25 tix highly rec. I’ll also be simulcast live on q2.

3/16, 8 PM Ethel violinist/composer Todd Reynolds plays the cd release show for his lively, entertaining, strikingly accessible new cd Outerborough at Issue Project Room, $20 cover includes a copy of the double cd – good value!

3/16 the Solid Set play garage rock at Lakeside, 9 PM.

3/16 janglerocker Sam Sherwin – who’s mining a tuneful, soulful Wallflowers vibe these days – at the Parkside, 9 PM.

3/16, 9:30 PM the JD Allen Trio with Gregg August on bass and Rudy Royston on drums at Zinc Bar, 9:30 PM. This will sell out, get there at least a half-hour early: the most explosively interesting trio in jazz right now warp tenor player Allen’s wickedly melodic, intense compositions into some crazy and unexpected shapes

3/16, 9:30 PM Joris Teepe – bass; Don Braden – tenor sax; Alex Norris – trumpet, Jon Davis – piano; Gerry Gibbs – drums, at Smalls.

3/16 dark gypsy rock bandleader/bassist Yula Beeri and her band at the big room at the Rockwood 10 PM.

3/17 lyrical jazz pianist Deanna Witkowski at Trinity Church, 1 PM, free.

3/17, 7 PM the Lia Fail Pipe Band open for Black 47 playing their annual St. Paddy’s Day show at B.B. King’s, $25 adv tix rec. Black 47 actually draw a much cooler crowd than you’d expect at one of these St. Paddy’s Days shows.

3/17, 8 PM Iranian oud virtuoso Negar Booban plays a celebration of the Nowruz, the Persian New Year/equinox festival at Alwan for the Arts, $20/$15stud/srs. Her debut here two years ago sold out quickly, advance tix rec

3/17, fun and funky stuff starting at 8 PM with Sex Mob followed by Tuarata tenor saxophonist Skerik’s punk jazz trio the Dead Kenny G’s at Brooklyn Bowl, $5.

3/17, 9 PM brilliantly lyrical, sly, torchy oldtimey songwriter/siren Kelli Rae Powell with “soulful songwriting monster” Yolanda Batts at Bar 4 in Park Slope

3/18, 7 PM pianist Simone Dinnerstein PS 142, 100 Attorney St. (Rivington/Delancey), $15, program TBA, possibly Bach from her ridiculously popular new cd.

3/17, 8 PM watch fortysomething moms dodge drunken amateurs in the Meatpacking District as they make their way to see Karla Bonoff at Highline Ballroom. $25 advance tix available in case you want to pick up a fortysomething mom.

3/17, 8:30 PM escape the drunken hordes with the Escher String Quartet playing Beethoven: Quartet in F minor, Op. 95, “Serioso” plus Mendelssohn: Quartet in D major, Op. 44, No. 1 at the Atrium at Lincoln Center, free, early arrival advised.

3/17, 10 PM yet another a chance to get away from the amateurs with Azizah & the Tribal Council playing roots reggae at Shrine

3/18, 7:30 PM the NYC debut of big band arrangements of Esquivel “compositions” by Mr. Ho’s Orchestrotica at le Poisson Rouge, $20 adv tix rec

3/18, 8 PM, repeating 3/19/11 at 9 PM at Symphony Space, legendary Lebanese expat oud icon/composer Marcel Khalife in the US premiere of his Concerto Al Andalus for oud and orchestra; Armenia’s most renowned kanun (zither) virtuoso, Karine Hovhannisyan, performing the concerto for kanun and orchestra by Khachatur Avetisyan; and clarinetist David Krakauer playing the NY premiere of the Klezmer Concerto by Ofer Ben-Amots for strings, harp, percussion and clarinet; plus the eclectic Orchestra Celebrate, conducted by Laurine Celeste Fox, $25 adv tix avail. at the World Music Institute box office and highly rec.

3/18, 8 PM Richard Thompson at NJPAC in Newark – $35 tix still available according to their website.

3/18, 8 PM eclectic vocalist Suzanne Langille and multi-instrumentalist Neel Murgai plus adventurous avant guitarist Chris Forsyth’s Paranoid Cat at Issue Project Room, $10.

3/18, 8 PM adventurous jazz guitarist Mary Halvorson leads a quintet at Barbes: Jon Irabagon (alto saxophone), Kirk Knuffke (cornet), Mary Halvorson (guitar), John Hébert (bass) & Ches Smith (drums), followed by Smokey Hormel’s Roundup playing western swing at 10.

3/18, 8 PM new music ensemble Detour at Galapagos, program TBA, $10.

3/18, 9 PM smart lyrical indie rocker Jennifer O’Connor opens for the Red House Painters’ Mark Kozelek at Bowery Ballroom, $25 gen adm.

3/18 bassist Carlo De Rosa leads a quartet with Mark Shim – saxophones, Vijay Iyer – piano, Justin Brown – drums to celebrate his new cd release, 9/10:30 PM, at the Jazz Gallery, $20

3/18, 9 PM charismatic Brazilian chanteuse Liliana Araujo – of Nation Beat – at BAM Cafe.

3/18, 9:30 PM sophisticated, counterintuitive Americana chanteuse Hope DeBates & North Forty at Caffe Vivaldi.

3/18, 10 PM a funk doublebill with Afroskull and Buzz Universe at Bowery Poetry Club, $10.

3/18 the Boss Guitars play surf classics and obscurities Lakeside, 11 PM.

3/19, 6 PM clarinetist Tom Piercy plays Piazzolla and other fascinating eclectic stuff at Caffe Vivaldi, supporting cast TBA.

3/19, 7 PM Ensemble Pi play a potent program of socially aware new music: George Crumb’s whale-song piece Vox Balaenae for Three Masked Players; Kristin Norderval’s Echo Systems (2011), composed in response to both the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the 1989 sinking of the Exxon Valdez tanker in Alaska; Pete Seeger’s classic song, Rainbow Race, in a new arrangement by Karl Kramer (2011); and Christopher Kaufman’s Hudson Valley (2010), capturing the world of the Hudson River Valley through music and film footage, including the dangers of natural gas drilling, at the great hall at Cooper Union, $15/$10 stud/srs

3/19, 7 PM latin jazz with the Gregorio Uribe Big Band at the Fat Cat.

3/19, 8 PM the high point of the month for rock music is at Trash with Thinktankok, the Highway Gimps (the missing link between My Bloody Valentine and Motorhead), the ferocious, anthemic, hilarious Brooklyn What, entertainingly ghoulish Space Ghost Cowboys and Fatty Acid around midnight. Oh yeah, open bar with PBRs and wells 8-9 PM with paid admission.

3/19, 8 PM wry lyrical janglemeister Jay Banerjee – creator of Hipster Demolition Night – is back with a wall-to-wall good evening of retro rock and soul starting with Zap & the Naturals, Toys in Trouble, Mighty Fine, Shakedown at the Majestic and his own band the Heartthrobs at midnight.

3/19, 8 PM irrepressible folk/Americana harmony trio Red Molly with Pat Wictor on guitar at the First Acoustics Coffeehouse in downtown Brooklyn, $30 adv tix rec.

3/19, 8 PM Sistermonk play Shrine – if you haven’t seen their gypsy funk thing at Grand Central (upstairs from the N/R platform) now’s your chance.

3/19, 8 PM retro jazz/bossa chanteuse Sasha Dobson – who excels at avoiding the schlock factor – at Barbes followed by the Baby Soda Jazz Band at 10 playing oldtime swing.

3/19, 8:30 PM sound sculptor Lesley Flanigan – whose creations using homemade speakers and feedback are absolutely hypnotic – plays a duet with Dither axeman James Moore at Roulette followed by string ensemble Till by Turning doing new compositions by Erica Dicker, Matt Marble, and Katherine Young.

3/19, 9 PM swirling hypnotic Radiohead-influenced art-rockers My Pet Dragon at Cake Shop; they’re also at the Mercury at 11:30 on 4/1, no joke

3/19, 9 PM Forever Her Nightmare play tuneful female-fronted punk/metal at Ace of Clubs, $10.

3/19, 10:30 PM big oldtime Americana outfit M Shanghai String Band at the Jalopy.

3/19 fearlessly funny, oldschool East Village style punk/Americana rockers Spanking Charlene play Lakeside,  11 PM.

3/20, 7 PM La Camerata Washington Heights plays “sacred and profane” music by Grandjany, Bach, Saint-Saens, Satie, Debussy, Villa-lobos and Beethoven at Culturefix on Clinton St., 8 PM

3/20, 7 PM the Four Bags – who blend jazz, classical and the Beatles with deadpan wit – at Barbes followed at 9 by Stephane Wrembel.

3/20, 8:15 smart, original 2/3 female rockabilly/surf trio Catspaw at Otto’s

3/20, 8:30 PM guitarist Scott DuBois leads a quartet featuring; Jon Irabagon, tenor, soprano sax; Thomas Morgan, bass; Kresten Osgood, drums at the Cornelia St. Cafe, $10.

3/20 Uncle Leon & the Alibis at Rodeo Bar 10ish: “Roller Derby saved his soul as he rode the Beer Train, hating his job whilst noticing that baby’s got back.”

3/21 new music ensemble Lunatics at Large debuts their Sanctuary Project featuring works by Andre Bregegere, Mohammed Fairouz, Raphael Fusco, Laura Koplewitz, Alex Shapiro at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall

3/21, 8 PM sharp, cumbia stars Chico Trujillo at Barbes – their only Brooklyn appearance this year – followed at 9:30ish by Chicha Libre. Chico Trujillo are at SOB’s on 3/22 at 11ish for $12 in advance if you can’t make it to Barbes.

3/21, 9 PM third-stream big band jazz with with Joseph C. Phillips and Numinous at Tea Lounge in Park Slope.

3/21 Israeli Jam/Buzzcocks ripoff Electra at Bruar Falls.

3/22 the Gowanus Reggae and Ska Society a.k.a. GRASS plays the cd release show for their new one GRASS on Fire (a jazzy instrumental remake of the Wailers’ Catch a Fire) at the Apple Store, 103 Prince St., 7 PM, free

3/22 trumpeter Steven Bernstein’s genre-defying Millennial Territory Orchestra, 7:30/9:30 PM at the Jazz Standard, $20.

3/22, 8 PM Japanese salsa stars Sonodaband play a benefit for Japanese meltdown survivors at SOB’s, $12 adv tix very highly rec., followed at 10 by  Spanglish Fly with their sultry retro 60s latin soul vibe for $10 (separate admission).

3/22-27 trumpet luminary Dave Douglas & Brass Ecstasy at the Vanguard, sets 9/11 PM.

3/23, 7 PM, free, this year’s edition of avant piano titan Kathy Supove’s Music with a View festival is underway at the Flea Theatre (41 White St. between Church/Bwy). On the bill tonight: Preston Stahly, Emily Manzo and bagpiper Matthew Welch, Paul Crowley, Kevin Bourisquot and his large musical/theatrical/dancing troupe and Aled Roberts.

3/23, 8 PM powerpop guitar genius/songwriter Pete Galub at LIC Bar.

3/23-24, 8 PM Mariachi El Bronx open for dark gypsyish rockers Devotchka at Highline Ballroom, $26.50 adv tix rec.

3/23, 7:30 PM, new music ensemble Le Train Bleu plays their debut performance of Stravinsky’s Histoire du Soldat at Galapagos, $20/$10 stud.

3/23, 7:30 PM Pedro Diaz, oboe; Milan Milisavljevic, viola; Anna Stoytcheva, piano play Schumann, Brahms, Saint-Saens and Loeffler at the Bulgarian Consulate, 121 E 62nd. St., free.

3/23-24 eclectic retro Mexican bandleader Lila Downs at City Winery, 8 PM, $35 seats avail.

3/23, 9 PM Richard Ashcroft, late of the Verve at Bowery Ballroom, $25 gen adm. Go see the show, help save him from having to do car commercials for a living!

3/24 from Turkey to Tuva and all points in between, a Nevruz (Persian new year) celebration at the UN General Assembly Hall (bring ID and remember you have to go through a metal detector), 6 PM; 3/26 it’s at Town Hall at 8 PM, free admission to each w/rsvp to www.serdarilhan.com

3/24 dark, fiery bluegrass innovators Frankenpine plays the cd release show for their phenomenal new album upstairs at the National Underground, 8 PM.

3/24, 8 PM the Talea Ensemble play new works by Evan Ziporyn, Rand Steiger, Fred Lerdahl, David Fulmer, Elizabeth Hoffman, and Aaron Cassidy: “a highlight on the program will be a world premiere by Rand Steiger entitled A Menacing Plume (2011) which is a musical response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.” At Merkin Concert Hall, $20.

3/24 Pauline Kim-Harris (S.E.M Ensemble) and Christine Kim (principal cellist, Metro Chamber Orchestra) with Dan Joseph on hammered dulcimer play Xenakis, Ravel and others at Culturefix on Clinton St., 8 PM.

3/24 Palestinian-Canadian pianist and composer John Kameel Farah plays Middle Eastern-flavored electroacoustic works at Alwan for the Arts, 8 PM, $15 gen adm.

3/24 amusing toy piano specialist Phyllis Chen at Barbes at 8 followed by Nation Beat bandleader/drummer Scott Kettner’s Forro Brass Band at 10.

3/24 making their US debut, Australian/Korean jazz group Daorum offer a new spin on traditional Korean pansori art-song at the Atrium at Lincoln Center, 8:30 PM, early arrival highly advised.

3/24, 9/10:30 PM powerful, intense Middle Eastern jazz improvisation with Hafez Modirzadeh on saxes and Amir ElSaffar on trumpet at the Jazz Gallery, $15 first set, $10 for the second.

3/24, 9 PM Mike Baggetta – guitar; Jason Rigby – saxophones;Eivind Opsvik – bass; George Schuller – drums at Tea Lounge in Park Slope.

3/24 oldschool soul revivalists the One and Nines – like a more Memphis equivalent of Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings – at Maxwell’s, 9:30 PM

3/24, 9:30 PM the cd release show for alto saxophonist Mike DiRubbo’s excellent new Chronos album with Brian Charette on organ and Darrell Green on drums at Smalls.

3/25, 7 PM, free, this year’s edition of avant piano titan Kathy Supove’s Music with a View festival continues at the Flea Theatre (41 White St. between Church/Bwy) with Robert Rowe, Martha Mooke, Agatha Kasprzyk and Vision Fugitive (Audio/Video Collective from NYU) and Coppice (Noé Cuellar and Joseph Kramer)

3/25, 7 PM New York’s most diverse, engagingly virtuosic klezmer hellraisers Metropolitan Klezmer at Cooper Union as part of a commemoration of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire (where’s Rasputina, who did a song about it?)

3/25, 7:15 PM, Americana hellraiser/singer Carolyn Mark at Hill Country. Is she gonna let the hordes of yuppies bellow at each other through her set? Doubtful. Could be great fun even without the music.

3/25, 7:30 PM powerful, eclectic singer Mellissa Hughes (of Newspeak) and pianist Timo Andres play songs about “death, sexuality, and Craigslist, by Jacob Cooper, Corey Dargel (a song utilizing condemned convicts’ last words), Ted Hearne, Gabriel Kahane, Matt Marks, and Eric Shanfield”  followed by Victoire keyboadist Lorna Krier and her bandmate Eleonore Oppenheim plus Peter Pearson and Derek Muro (of Love Like Deloreans) along with Stephen Greisgraber of Redhooker on guitar at First Presbyterian Church (Brooklyn Heights), 124 Henry St, 2/3 to Clark St.; A/C to High St.; R/4/5 to Borough Hall, $10.

3/25, 8 PM the O’Farrill Brothers Band – Livio Almeida – saxophones; Adam Kromelow – piano; Adam O’Farril – trumpet and Zach O’Farrill – drums – play latin jazz at Barbes followed at 10 by the ageless Jug Addicts.

3/25 the Brilliant Coroners play Monk (fans will get the joke) at Fontana’s, 8 PM.

3/25, 8:15 PM Box Five play quirky female-fronted chamber pop followed by hypnotic marimba/cello duo Goli at Caffe Vivaldi.

3/25, 8:30 PM an amazing duo doublebill at I-Beam: the Charlie Evans/Neil Shah duo (bari sax and piano) and the Charlie Rauh/Sam Kulik Duo (guitar/trombone).

3/25, 9 PM hypnotic, intense gypsy-tinged Balkan instrumental rock band Barbez – who were sort of the prototype for Ansambl Mastika – at BAM Cafe “debuting new material from a forthcoming recording for John Zorn’s Tzadik label of radical reinterpretations of ancient melodies from Roman-Jewish community, the oldest Jewish community in Europe. The group will also present new works from a forthcoming album concerning the wars in the Middle East since 9/11.”

3/25, 9 PM charming, sultry French chanson revivalists les Chauds Lapins play the cd release show for their long awaited second album Amourettes at the 92YTribeca, $12.

3/25, 9 PM bassist Michael Feinberg plays the cd release show for his brash, smart new one at Smalls with saxophonist Noah Preminger, pianist Julian Shore, guitarist Alex Wintz, and drummer Daniel Platzman.

3/25, 9/10:30 PM alto sax hellraiser Jon Irabagon leads a trio with John Hebert on bass and Mike Pride on drums at the Cornelia St. Cafe, $15.

3/25-26, 9:30 PM oldtime country harmonies with Those Darlins and then Austin retro funk/soul star Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears – who puts all these new jack wannabes to shame – at Bowery Ballroom, $16 adv tix rec.

3/25, 11 PM 90s style melodic  Britrock with the Royal Chains at Spike Hill, $7.

3/26, 3 PM at ABC No Rio hardcore with Loto Ball, Boston’s Furiosity, Belgian band Baby Fire and Brooklyn band Wojcik.

3/26, 3 PM, free, this year’s edition of avant piano titan Kathy Supove’s Music with a View festival continues at the Flea Theatre (41 White St. between Church/Bwy) with a demo by Dafna Naphtali & “musical robots” Lemur Bots followed at 7 PM by performances by Dafna Naphtali & Lemur Bots, Ted Hearne & Philip White and Jonathan Chen.

3/26, 6:30 PM violinist Erik Sato, violist Naomi Rooks, pianist Ruth Alperson, clarinetist Daniel Spitzer , cellist Michael Finckel play Beethoven, Schickele and Dvorak at the lounge at Hudson View Gardens, 116 Pinehurst Ave. and 183rd St., $10.

3/26 oud genius Mavrothi Kontanis’ amazing band Maeandros – featuring saxophone powerhouse Lefteris Bournias – at Barbes at 8 followed at 10 by retro latin soul band Spanglish Fly.

3/26 Connecticut surf rock monsters Commercial Interruption at 8 followed eventually at 10 by the Tarantinos NYC at Coco 66, free

3/26, 8 PM this month’s Brooklyn County Fair at the Jalopy features a reliably good C&W lineup with Ramblin’ Andy & the See Ya Laters, Spuyten Duyvil, Citizens Band Radio, Sam Otis Hill and Co. and at midnight the ferocious Newton Gang, $10.

3/26, 8 PM Roosevelt Dime play tongue-in-cheek oldtimey Americana originals followed eventually at 11 by funk/soul powerhouse Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds at Pete’s.

3/26, 8 PM, a mind-warping all ages metal show with Disma, Mutant Supremacy and death metal legends Nunslaughter (first NYC show in 10 years) at the Acheron in Bushwick.

3/26, 8 PM Juan de Marcos’ Afro-Cuban All Stars at the NY Society for Ethical Culture, 2 W 64th St., $45 seats avail (super expensive, but they’re mostly Buena Vista Social Club type legends).

3/26 the John Sharples Band- who play all covers by brilliant obscure rock songwriters at 9 at the Parkside followed at 10 by charismatic keyboardist/noir songwriter Tom Warnick & the World’s Fair.

3/26, 9 PM 80s style goth-pop pianist/chanteuse Kristin Hoffmann at Caffe Vivaldi.

3/26 lush, jangly Americana band Alana Amram & the Rough Gems at Matchless, time TBA. They’re also at the Gutter bowling alley in Williamsburg on 4/1 at 11ish.

3/26, 9:30 PM renowned sufi/Middle Eastern multi-instrumentalist/singer Amir Vahab plus a screening of Like A Phoenix From The Ashes documentary film focusing on Iran in the 1960s and 70s; part of this year’s Persian Arts Festival.

3/26 legendary East Coast Balkan brass juggernaut Zlatne Uste at Drom, 10:30 PM, $10 adv tix rec.

3/26 midnight-ish Exit Clov plays captivating psychedelic pop in the vein of the Zombies at the big room at the Rockwood.

3/27, 3 PM, free, Dither guitarist James Moore and Cornelius Duffalo co-host an “open salon” featuring literally dozens of emerging cutting-edge composers (too many to list here) to wrap up this year’s edition of avant piano titan Kathy Supove’s Music with a View festival at the Flea Theatre (41 White St. between Church/Bwy)

3/27 John Zorn’s benefit for Japan at the Miller Theatre with Sonic Youth et al. is sold out. There are others coming up at benefits at the Abrons Arts Center on April 8 with Norah Jones, Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth), Ikue Mori, John Zorn, Vinicius Cantuaria, Masada String Trio, among others., and the Japan Society on April 9

3/27, 7 PM Pierre de Gaillande sings George Brassens at Barbes followed at 9 by Stephane Wrembel.

3/27, 7:30 PM the Jack Quartet plays György Ligeti, Steve Lehman, and Horatiu Radulescu at le Poisson Rouge, $15.

3/27 the Felice Bros. show at Maxwell’s is sold out but there are still $20 tix avail. for the 3/28 show.

3/28, 7 PM the pretty amazing Kamikaze Ground Crew – Gina Leishman, saxophones, bass clarinet, accordion, vocals; Doug Wieselman, clarinets, saxophones, guitar; Steven Bernstein, trumpet and slide trumpet; Marcus Rojas, tuba; Peter Apfelbaum, tenor saxophone, Art Baron, trombone, Kenny Wollesen, drums – at Barbes followed at 9:30ish by Chicha Libre

3/28, 7 PM the titanic Bobby Sanabria Big Band at the Museum of the City of NY, $5 cover

3/28 the Jasper Quartet at Advent Church, 93rd and Broadway, 7:30 PM, free.

3/28 the JC Sanford Orchestra at Tea Lounge in Park Slope, 9 PM. Their trombonist leader – who books the Monday night series here – and his adventurous crew absolutely slayed last time they played here.

3/28, 9 PM wry Americana multistylist guitarist/songwriter Steve Antonakos plays a solo show at Banjo Jim’s; he’s also at Local 269 at 7 on 3/31.

3/28 charming oldtime 20s swing jazz with Daria Grace and the Pre-War Ponies at Rodeo Bar, 10ish.

3/29, 8 PM, free at the Bell House (not a joke): “Due to a legal settlement that we’re not allowed to discuss TV Party is giving back with some community service. For one night only we’ll be providing drug awareness education to keep you from making terrible life choices! Join TV Party for a special showing of 90’s drug awareness episodes. We’ll see Zack Morris, Steve Urkel, Stephanie Tanner, Carlton Banks [besides Urkel, WTF are these people?!?], and more try to overcome the temptation of drugs while still looking cool. Including Just Say No & TV commercials from 90’s TV past! Test your drug use prevention knowledge with the D.A.R.E challenge! Winner gets a free D.A.R.E. t-shirt! Take away your dry mouth with drinks! No peer pressure… but seriously, have a drink. Prizes including tickets to upcoming Bell House shows & more!”

3/29, 8 PM art-metal Mars Volta spinoff Zechs Marquise play Highline Ballroom, followed by one of the guys from the MV, $20 adv tix onsale now.

3/29, 9:30 PM Bosnian singer Natasa Mirkovic and hurdy-gurdy virtuoso Matthias Loibner putting a new spin on traditional Balkan stuff at Joe’s Pub, $15.

3/30, 2 PM Suzanne Vega performs songs from her forthcoming play Carson McCullers Talks About Love at the Green Space. Also on the bill and talking with WNYC host John Schaefer: the Mountain Goats. Adv tix $20 very highly rec., events here always sell out.

3/30, 8 PM a killer gypsy punk triplebill at the downstairs studio space at Webster Hall with Bad Buka, Slavic Soul Party and Kultur Shock, $10 adv tix rec.

3/30, 8 PM a John Zorn Masada Marathon including just about every good rock, jazz and classical artist who’s ever played the Stone doing selections from the Book of Angels at the NY City Opera, $12 adv tix. very highly rec., this will sell out.

3/30, 9 PM all-female Canadian punk-pop trio Hunter Valentine at Bowery Electric, $12

3/30 austere, smart chamber-pop band Pearl & the Beard at Rock Shop in Gowanus, 10 PM, $10; 4/1 at 9:30 PM (no joke) they’re at the Knitting Factory for $10 in advance.

3/31, 7 PM pianist Anna Levy plays classic Bulgarian art-songs by Pancho Vladigerov, Ditimar Nenov, Veselin Stoyanov, Ivan Spassov, Vasil Kazandzhiev, Georgi Anaourdov and Mikhail Goleminov at the Bulgarian Consulate, 121 E 62nd St., free

3/31, 7 PM noir/garage chanteuse Peg Simone at Bowery Poetry Club.

3/31, 7:30 PM the Vinca String Quartet play Mozart, Janácek, Bartók and Beethoven at WMP Concert Hall, $25

3/31, 8 PM smartly multistylistic retro keyboardist/singer and Jack White collaborator Rachelle Garniez (whose most recent album we named best of the year) at Barbes.

3/31 a good night for voices: fearlessly lyrical pop/rock siren Elaine Romanelli at Banjo Jim’s 8 PM followed by country chanteuse Drina & the Deep Blue Sea at 9 and then Boo and Elena from Demolition String Band at 10.

3/31, 8 PM world-renowned Amsterdam-based jazz troublemakers Instant Composers Pool (ICP) Orchestra with the legendary Misha Mengelberg on piano at le Poisson Rouge, adv tix $15 highly rec.

3/31, 8 PM the Chiara String Quartet’s latest Creator/Curator concert features Lutoslawski’s String Quartet (with improvisations) and Daniel Ott’s String Quartet No. 2 at Galapagos, $10 adv tix rec.

3/31, 8 PM Irish art-rock crooner Pierce Turner at Paddy Reilly’s, $15.

3/31, 8 PM pianist Jenny Lin plays ten of György Ligeti’s Études pour piano (1985-2001), as well as his Continuum for Harpsichord (1968), and Musica ricercata (1951-3) Greenwich House Music School, 46 Barrow St. between Bedford St. & 7th Ave. S, $15.

3/31, 8:30 PM the ferocious Balkan/Middle Eastern psychedelic jams and amped-up, haunting old folk songs of Ansambl Mastika at the Atrium at Lincoln Center, 8:30 PM, early arrival very highly advised.

3/31-4/2, 8 PM Wynton Marsalis leads a quintet at Rose Theatre at Jazz at Lincoln Center, $30 seats avail., reserve now if you’re going.

3/31, 9 PM amazingly period-perfect retro 60s Bakersfield country band the Dixons at Union Pool $TBA.

3/31, 10 PM Jane says she’s only going to be at Pete’s Candy Store: Oh Liza Jane play bluegrass and retro Americana followed by the infectious, all-female oldtimey Calamity Janes at 11.

3/31, 10:15ish chamber rock band Build plays the cd release show for their new one at Joe’s Pub $12. Note that the 9:30 PM opening act is nauseatingly self-indulgent.

3/31 retro soul/noir chanteuse Shendandoah & the Night at the Rockwood, midnight.

4/1 clever garage rock duo the Fools at 5 PM (no joke – makes sense, right?) at Goodbye Blue Monday.

4/1, 6 PM (no joke) country night with the Melody Allegra Band, Alex Battles & the Whisky Rebellion and Serena Jean and her band at Spike Hill, $6.

4/1 lyrical jazz piano titan Fred Hersch solo, 7 PM at the Rubin Museum of Art in Chelsea, $18 adv tix highly rec.

4/1, 7:30 PM Piedmont fingerstyle blues guitar virtuoso Mary Flower at the Good Coffeehouse, 53 Prospect Park W, $15

4/1, 8:30ish (no joke), Her Vanished Grace (playing the cd release show for their new one) and Religious to Damn do a goth-tinged doublebill at Union Hall, $8.

4/1 for real, ghoulabilly and noir retro rock with the Dead Sextons at Europa in Greenpoint, 8ish, $10

4/1, 9 PM (seriously) Charles Bradley & the Menahan Street Band and Lee Fields & the Expressions at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, $17 adv tix at the Mercury rec.

4/1, 9 PM an amazing purist rock triplebill, no joke – wickedly catchy, jangly Rickenbacker guitar rockers Jay Banerjee & the Heartthrobs, garage-rock purists the Above and then garage legends the Fleshtones at Maxwell’s.

4/1, 9 PM, no joke, tuneful yet noisy new jazz with Kretzmer/Syversen/Niggenkemper/Peskoff at 1012 Willoughby in Brooklyn, sugg don.; they’re at Local 269 on 4/4/ at 9 for $10

4/1 haunting, twangy southwestern gothic band And the Wiremen play the Bell House at 9ish opening for the Waco Bros., $12 adv tic rec.

4/1, 9 PM Providence doom/metal duo The Body followed by a rare rare NYC appearance by Australian metal blunderbuss Whitehorse at the Acheron in Greenpoint – maybe your only chance to see them, don’t miss it if metal is your thing.

4/1 no joke – Brooklyn’s funnest band, Chicha Libre plays a rare Friday show at their home base, Barbes, at 10 before heading off on South American tour.

4/1, no joke, the New Cookers – not the Billy Hart/George Cables crew but guys inspired by the original Freddie Hubbard album – at BAM Cafe, 10 PM

4/1, 10 PM (no joke) goth legend Peter Murphy plays Highline Ballroom, adv tix $35 rec.

4/1, 11 PM (no joke – when this guy’s involved you know he means business) the snarling retro Americana noir sounds of the Reid Paley Trio at Cafe Orwell in Bushwick

4/1, 11 PM roots rock powerhouse Tom Clark & the High Action Boys play Lakeside 11 PM – not a joke.

4/1, no joke, intense Greek traditional party band Magges – sort of the Greek Gogol Bordello -at Lafayette Grill & Bar downtown, 11 PM

4/1 midnight (no joke) lush, atmospheric, socially aware Radiohead-influenced rockers My Pet Dragon at the Mercury, $10 adv tix at the box office highly rec.

4/1 (no joke) the Fleshtones at Maxwell’s.

4/1-2 the Prisoners of 2nd Ave. – who do a decent oldschool NY Dolls facsimile – at Bowery Electric. And they want $20 for it. No joke.

4/1, 2 PM Broadway Musicals of 1864 at the Town Hall featuring such popular songs as “Let’s Round Up Some Irishmen,” “I Need Some Mercury (Because Down Below Is Killing Me),” “We Won’t Call It Slavery Anymore” and the John Wilkes Booth version of “Dixie.”

4/1, 3 PM the New York Stock Exchange presents a concert to celebrate the successful prevention of the Fukushima nuclear explosions – as we all know by now, there was no meltdown, nor any emission of deadly plutonium or uranium isotopes – with vintage Elvis footage accompanied by a live band at the World Financial Center.

4/1, 6 PM brand-new social networking site narciss.us presents Shallow Is What We Aim For, We Are Pampered Children, Poser Dumb and My Eyelashes Are Longer Than Yours at Glasslands; celebrity dj Fella Tio spins blo-fi between sets.

4/1, 6 PM Steve Brotherdale’s Joy Division plays the Warsaw ep cover to cover followed by Melvin Seals’ Jerry Garcia Band at B.B. King’s.

4/1, 7 PM How to Stuff Your Trousers: A Panel Discussion with the Pros at Galapagos. What works best? A roll of quarters? A veggie hot dog? String cheese? Six of the best in the business, including Tom Jones, Engelbert Humperdinck, David Lee Roth, Keith Urban and our favorite perennial mayoral candidate, Murray Hill share the secrets of their craft.

4/1, 7 PM It’s Inarticulate Night at the Bell House. Ever wonder…um…why you can’t….um…talk to…you know…um…people? Now’s your chance to meet a whole club full of others just like you who will spend the whole night staring at their shoes or trying to figure something coherent enough to say to get the bartender to bring them a beer. $15 cover includes a year’s subscription to New York Magazine.

4/1, 4 PM Taurus & Libra present Payday: The Traveling Party. Ever wonder what it’s like to have to get up and go to work all week long instead of sleeping til 5 PM and living off mommy’s credit card? Join your group leaders Emily and Faden as they take you on an “ironical” voyage around New York. You’ll see the inside of a real check cashing place, meet a real-life bill collector, dodge undercover cops as you drink cheap beer from a paper bag outside a bodega, use real scissors to cut grocery coupons from the newspaper and go on a dollar-store crawl for cheap toilet paper without GPS or an iphone app. Authentic working-class attire is a must: trucker hat, overalls, 1970s sneakers for the guys; moth-eaten polyester, uneven bangs, torn corduroys for the girls.

4/1, 8 PM at Crash Mansion, it’s Eurethra, the world’s #1 Eurythmics cover band. Relive the golden days of the day-glo decade that you fetishize even if you never experienced it with unforgettable hits like Aqua, Plus Something Else and The First Cut! If you get tired of the band, women can join the free wet t-shirt contest in the men’s room.

4/1, 8:30 PM it’s a John Zorn-a-thon at the Stone with John Zorn’s Are You Itchy?, John Zorn’s Don’t Sit on That Chair, John Zorn’s Call the Exterminator, John Zorn’s Call the Exterminator Again and finally John Zorn’s Sidewalk Sale.

4/1, 10 PM the Central Park Conservancy presents a special VIP concert with Kenny G for Platinum Circle members in the new private Great Meadow in Central Park. Enjoy the new golf driving range (please be aware that frisbee is no longer allowed). The line to the brand-new Shake Shack starts at the Battery. Helicopter shuttles to the Hamptons will be running all evening from where the zoo used to be.

4/1 the New York Times exclusive interview with Justin Bieber, conducted by Bono at the Bloomberg Society at 5th Ave. and 42nd St. Get the scoop on both performers’ opposition to abortion, and after struggling to down his first Guinness, hear Justin confess how he thinks that Ryan Secrest is cute.

4/1 it’s the battle of the kiddie bands at Southpaw. This year’s first round pits tiny terror two-year-old William Slomowitz-Park and his avant garde percussion troupe The Isaagnys against the Borough Park death-metal of Siobhan Satmarowitz’ Mitzvah Tank. Meanwhile, the snotty punk-pop of Park Slope’s Germ Bombs pairs off against Turtle Bay newcomer Asanitansamarama Patel and Dowry Large Extra. And Williamsburg contender Yeast DuPont’s laptop project Trite Is goes up against Long Island City’s The Overprotected. All proceeds to benefit the Crusade Against Suicide, in memory of last year’s winner, Hayes Bessemer of the Kaplan Klass Killers (KKK).

4/1, 10 PM Flavorpill and Khloe Kardashian present the first annual Buttcrack Awards at Public Assembly. Do your pants hang low? Do they wobble to and fro especially when you bend over? First prize winner gets a year’s subscription to New York Magazine.

4/1, 11 PM the drummer from the Strokes is dj’ing at a “celebrity party” on the roof of the empty “luxury” condo building behind the Mercury Lounge that nobody wants to move into, free admission with condo tour and $50 credit check.

4/1 Whitney Houston plays the Recoup Lounge way over by the projects, 11:30 ish – she might be running a little late for this one – with the guy you see hanging out in Tompkins Square Park with the broken Casio.

4/1 it’s the first annual Foursquare New York City Marathon, brought to you by the new green BP Oil. You get 26 hours to do as many Foursquare checkins as you can. See who can become the new mayor of the Prada store: in the door, out the door, in the door, out the door! Breakfast, lunch AND dinner at Fette Sau! Bring a sleeping bag to Freeman’s!

4/1, 7-10 PM the NY School of Autotune celebrates with a recital at Arlene Grocery followed by the Body Shots Olympics sponsored by MTV.

4/2, 6 PM pianist Aysegul Durakoglu plays the cd release show for her new one featuring works by Chopin and Debussy at Drom, $10 adv tix rec.

4/2, 7 PM Marc Ribot and a hall of fame of downtown jazz peeps play noir soundtrack stuff including new arrangements of Henry Mancini (Touch of Evil), Andre Previn (Scene of the Crime), Roy Budd (Get Carter) and also Lounge Lizards, Rootless Cosmopolitans, and new noir by the guitarist himself at the Tishman Auditorium at the New School, 66 W 12th St., free.

4/2, 7 PM Nashville/Toronto gothic rock with Lorraine Leckie & Her Demons at Banjo Jim’s.

4/2, 7:30/9:30/midnight Jared Gold plays the cd release to his groovy new B3 organ jazz album at the Bar Next Door with his trio.

4/2, 8 PM rustic, haunting, sprawling Balkan/jazz/Americana band Kotorino at Barbes

4/2, 8:30 PM a triplebill put together by Brooklyn Jazz starting with the Rob Garcia 4: Noah Preminger – tenor sax, Jacob Sacks – piano, Joe Martin – bass, Rob Garcia – drums followed at 9:45 by the Anne Mette Iversen Quartet: John Ellis – sax; Danny Grissett – piano; Anne Mette Iversen – bass; Mark Ferber – drums and then at 11 the Adam Kolker Trio plus woodwinds: Adam Kolker – reeds; Jeremy Stratton – bass; Billy Mintz – drums plus a wind section, all this for $15 at the Cornelia St. Cafe.

4/2, 9 PM a classic Syrian music extravaganza celebrating centuries of music in the city of Aleppo featuring a historical lecture by Mohamed A. Alsiadi at Alwan for the Arts followed by a show by a 10-piece allstar Syrian/Middle Eastern orchestra, $20/$15 stud/srs.

4/2, 9 PM haunting Appalachian/Balkan vocal duo AE followed at 10:30 PM by bluesman Blind Boy Paxton at the Jalopy.

4/2 new wave literate rock legend Graham Parker at City Winery, 9 PM, $25 seats avail.

4/2, 9:30 PM Mr. Ho’s Orchestrotica Quartet playing Esquivel at Caffe Vivaldi

4/2, 10 PM snarling Syd Barrett/Stooges style garage rock with Obits at the Bell House, $13 adv tix rec.

4/2, 10 PM Sonny Rollins band trombone vet Clifton Anderson at BAM Cafe.

4/2, 10 PM anthemic 80s-tinged keyboard-driven art-rock band Overlord at Fontana’s

4/2 jangly, lyrical southwestern gothic rocker Tom Shaner plays Lakeside, 11 PM.

4/3, 1 and 3 PM the Baltimore Consort play eclectic 16th century Spanish compositions at the Cloisters, $35 gen adm.

4/3, 2 (two) PM the Parker String Quartet – who for what it’s worth just won a Grammy – free at Flushing Town Hall.

4/3, 3 PM the Greenwich Village Orchestra plays Ives – Variations on America; “American Songbook Selections,” and Howard Hanson’s sweeping, cinematic Symphony No. 2 at Washington Irving HS Auditorium, $20 sugg don. reception to follow.

4/3, 6 PM: Nico Soffiato on guitar, Nick Vedeen on alto sax, Giacomo Merege on bass and Zach Mangan on drums at Downtown Music Gallery.

4/3, 7 PM delightfully irreverent “unconventional oboe trio” the Threeds play Caffe Vivaldi joined by Eleanor Dubinsky who follows at 8 PM, playing new arrangements of Bjork, Mingus, the Doors, Carmichael and Dubinsky as well

4/3, 7 PM Stephanie Rooker & the Search Engine play wickedly smart, socially aware, psychedelic funk and downtempo grooves at the little room at the Rockwood.

4/3 tuneful British/Canadian janglepop band Early Winters (Carina Round’s latest project) at Public Assembly, time/$ TBA.

4/3 glammy, punkish, entertainingly funny Justice of the Unicorns at Bruar Falls at 8 followed at 9 PM rustic lyrical psychedelic Portland songwriter Shelley Short at Bruar Falls

4/3 popular Ethiopian-American chanteuse Meklit Hadero at the Skirball Center, 8 PM, $20.

4/3, 10 PM tuneful, sly, literate Americana band the Sometime Boys – the acoustic side project of ferocious art-rockers System Noise – at Banjo Jim’s

4/4 Colombian chanteuse Lucia Pulido at 7:30 followed by low-register oldschool Cuban band Gato Loco at 9:30 at Barbes. Gato Loco are also here on 4/18 at 10.

4/4, 7 PM the Ebene Quartet performs the Debussy String Quartet and arrangements of pieces by Miles Davis and Astor Piazzolla, plus “Misirlou,” at the Greene Space, $20.

4/4, 7:30 PM paint-peeling noiserock intensity with the Sediment Club at Bowery Electric, $10.

4/4, 7:30 PM new music ensemble Sequitur plays Robert Sirota’s A Sinner’s Diary; the NY premiere of Victoria Bond’s Frescoes and Ash; the world premiere of Catullus Dreams by David Glaser; the NY premiere of Mix Tape by Armando Bayolo; and the world premiere of Noemi by Daniel Godfrey. at Symphony Space, $20 adv tix rec.

4/4, 8/10:30 PM veteran Chicago blues guitarist Joe Louis Walker at the Blue Note, $10 “bar seating” avail.

4/4, 8:30 PM the Becca Stevens Band’s cd release show at the big room at the Rockwood.

4/5, noon, Members of the Chamber Music Society Lincoln Center play Brahms’ Piano Quartet in G minor at the Greene Space, free.

4/5, 7 PM members of Ensemble ACJW perform Ravel’s Sonata for Violin and Cello, as well as David Bruce’s octet Steampunk at the Greene Space, $20.

4/5, 8 PM Third World at Highline Ballroom $30 adv tix onsale now – don’t know how much, or how many original members, they have left (they were old when they started the band in the early 70s) – ostensibly they have a new album out. 196 Degrees in the Shade?

4/5, 8:30 PM adventurous mostly-female klezmer hellfaisers Isle of Klezbos at the Sixth St. Synagogue, 325 East 6th St (betw First & Second Aves), $15 includes a drink (in temple – yay!)

4/5, 9 PM Dina Rudeen plays the cd release for her brilliant new one at the little room at the Rockwood; dark psychedelic jazz pianist/composer Dred Scott plays at midnight with his trio.

4/5, 9 PM noisy distantly Balkan tinged guitar/trumpet madness with Ben Syversen’s Cracked Vessel at Local 269

4/5, 10 PM UK indie rock pioneers Wire at the Music Hall of Williamsburg; 4/6 they’re at Bowery Ballroom, $20 adv tix rec.

4/5, 11 PM lush atmospheric cinematic art-rockers the Quavers at Cake Shop

4/6, 8 PM Alison Leyton-Brown’s oldtime piano blues gand House of Stride at Barbes followed at 10 by the provocative, gorgeously harmony-driven oldtimey Roulette Sisters.

4/6, 7 PM string quartet Ethel play Julia Wolfe’s Early That Summer; Dohee Lee’s HonBiBaekSan; Jacob TV’s Syracuse Blues; Pamela Z’s ETHEL Dreams of Temporal Disturbances; Huang Ruo’s The Flag Project (excerpt) and Anna Clyne’s Roulette at the Greene Space, $20

4/6, 9:30 PM an amazing chromatically-charged, minor-key doublebill with haunting Appalachian/Balkan vocal duo AE and multistylistic Russian/tango/cinematic string band Ljova and the Kontraband at Joe’s Pub, $15.

4/7, noon, new music trio Janus play Debussy, Treuting, and Negron at the Greene Space, free.

4/7, 8 PM the Jack Quartet play Tetras by Iannis Xenaxis and Death Valley Junction by Missy Mazzoli, as well as Ari Streisfeld’s arrangements of pieces by haunted Renaissance composer Gesualdo.at the Greene Space, $20.

4/7, 8 PM Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes plays a darkly pensive, thematic program of two Beethoven Sonatas, No. 21, “Waldstein,” and No. 32, Op. 111, bookended by Brahms (Four Ballades, Op. 10) and Schoenberg (Sechs kleine Klavierstucke, Op. 19) at Carnegie Hall

4/7 Rebirth Brass Band at the Brooklyn Bowl; 4/10 they’re at Maxwell’s

4/7, 10 PM chanteuse Marta Topferova – who never met a latin style she couldn’t make her own, and make it compelling – at Barbes.

4/7, eclectic Brazilian/country/New Orleans band Nation Beat at Rodeo Bar 10ish

4/8, noon, free, the Escher Sting Quartet performs Zemlinsky and Brahms at the Greene Space.

4/8, 3 PM organ adventurer Gail Archer wraps up her latest tour through a composer’s repertoire with an all Liszt concert at the Church of the Heavenly Rest, 5th Ave. at 90th St., 6 train to 86th St., free.

4/8, 7 PM at the Greene Space – let’s cross our fingers and hope they’re ok – the Tokyo String Quartet performs on its “Paganini Quartet” of matched Stradivarius instruments Haydn’s String Quartet in F major Op. 77 No. 2, the fourth movement of Bartók’s String Quartet No. 4, and Beethoven’s “Grosse Fugue” Op. 133. at the Greene Space, $20.

4/8, 7:30 PM adventurous new compositions with the Janus Trio and Mantra Percussion at First Presbyterian Church (Brooklyn Heights), 124 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY, 2/3 to Clark St.; A/C to High St.; R/4/5 to Borough Hall.

4/8, 8 PM torchy catchy compelling soul/trip-hop band Mattison in the back room at the Gutter bowling alley in Williamsburg.

4/8-9, 8 PM NYU performers play NYU composers at the Black Box Theatre, 82 Washington Square East adv tix free but required for the show.

4/8, 9 PM PinkBrown feat. Cracked Vessel guitar arsonist Xander Naylor with Max Jaffe on drums and Johan Andersson on saxophones at 1012 Willoughby.

4/8, 9 PM long-running garage rockers the Greenhornes at the Bell House.

4/8, 9 PM a hall of fame cast of West Coast Middle Eastern musicians led by percussionist Souhail Kaspar play music of Umm Kulthum, Mohamed Abdel Wahab, Farid al-Atrash and Abdel Halim Hafez at Alwan for the Arts, $20/$15 stud/srs.

4/8, 9ish cleverly eerie new music improvisers Dollshot at Galapagos, $10.

4/8, 9 PM it’s the Lakeside 15 year anniversary party – amazing how such a friendly, unpretentious place could survive under siege from yuppies and tourists for so long. And whoever’s behind the bar by 9 is bound to be cool. We may be there.

4/8, 9/10:30 PM south Asian and Middle Eastern new jazz sounds with Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Gamak feat. Dave Fiuczynski on guitar at the Cornelia St. Cafe, $15

4/8, 9:30 PM eclectic acoustic Americana roots/zydeco/country band Blue Sky Mission Club at Hill Country

4/8, 10 PM the Black Angels at Bowery Ballroom; 4/9 they’re at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, $20 adv tix. at the Mercury highly rec., this will sell out.

4/8, 10 PM second wave garage rock vets the Greenhornes at the Bell House, $15

4/9, 8 PM up-and-coming southwestern gothic star Kerry Kennedy – part noir femme fatale, part fiery bandleader – at Union Hall, $12 adv tix highly rec.

4/9 a killer triplebill at the Postcrypt Coffeehouse – back uptown again after a brief stay in the East Village – with Alyson Greenfield at 8:30, Carol Lipnik at 9:30 and Lorraine Leckie at 10:30.

4/9, 8:30 PM hypnotic Mississippi hill country blues guitarist Will Scott at 68 Jay St. Bar.

4/9, 8:30/11 PM Jamaican jazz piano titan Monty Alexander at Birdland, $30 seats avail.

4/9, 9 PM a killer doublebill at Bowery Electric with ferociously lyrical songwriters, Linda Draper and Matt Keating.

4/10, 6 (six) PM Sara Lewis – simmering jazzy chanteuse who veers between dark cabaret-based piano songs and Beatlesque pop – at Caffe Vivaldi.

4/10, 6 PM Ras Moshe & the Music Now Ensemble feat. Kyoko Jitamura and Shayna Dulberger and Andrew Drury, followed at 7 by Belgian duo Olivier Stalon on bass and Pablo Masis on trumpet at Downtown Music Gallery

4/10, 7 PM cellist Sebastian Baversteam plays a solo show at Barbes followed at 9 by Stephane Wrembel.

4/10 hilarious, diverse satirical cowpunk rockers Uncle Leon & the Alibis at Rodeo Bar 10ish

4/11, 7 PM Gina Leishman, vox, baritone ukulele; Charlie Burnham, violin; Matt Munisteri, guitar and Brad Jones, bass at Barbes followed at 9:30ish by Chicha Libre.

4/11, 8ish adventurous new music string quartet Ethel play two world premieres including Dohee Lee’s HonBiBaekSan (The Ritual of White Mountain) and Hafez Modirzadeh’s A Hot Time in the Ol’ Town; as well as performances of Terry Riley’s Sunrise of the Planetary Dream Collector, and Pamela Z’s ETHEL Dreams of Temporal Disturbances at le Poisson Rouge, $20

4/11 oldtime Americana with the Builders & the Butchers at the Mercury, 10 PM, $10.

4/11 fiery charismatic art-rock/goth-punk siren Vera Beren books the night at Small Beast at the Delancey, including a set with her band at 10ish

4/12 catchy tuneful brilliantly melodic jazz from Terry Dame’s Monkey on a Rail in just their third concert since the early zeros, at Barbes at 7 followed by Slavic Soul Party at 9.

4/12 bassist Lauren Falls leads a quintet with Seamus Blake, tenor sax; Mike Moreno, guitar; Can Olgun, piano; Trevor Falls, drums, 8:30 PM at the Cornelia St. Cafe, $10.

4/12-17, 8/10:30 PM the Crusaders – who reputedly have returned to their roots as a late 60s style funk/groove band – at the Blue Note, $30 “seats” avail ($35 on the weekend)

4/13, 7:30 PM The Orchestra of the S.E.M. Ensemble with Ostravská Banda conducted by Petr Kotik play John Cage: Concert for Piano and Orchestra with Joseph Kubera, piano; Carolyn Chen – Wilder Shores of Love (world premiere); György Ligeti – Concerto for Piano and Orchestra with Daan Vandewalle, piano; Alex Mincek – Pendulum #7 for saxophone and ensemble (world premiere) at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, $15 tix avail.

4/13, 10ish indie classical composer Emily Wells – whose latest stuff has the playful, accessible feel of Todd Reynolds’ recent work – at Glasslands, $10 adv tix onsale now.

4/14 retro soul/noir chanteuse Shendandoah & the Night at Spike Hill

4/14, 7:30 PM pyrotechnic violinist Gil Morgenstern’s reliably fascinating, thematic Reflections Series concludes its 2010-2011 season with a program titled Transfigured Nights with pianist Donald Berman and cellist Ole Akahoshi including Arnold Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht and Shostakovich’s Trio in E Minor, at WMP Concert Hall, $25.

4/14, 8 PM Shelby Lynne at City Winery, $30 seats avail.

4/14, 8 PM provocative, smart Palestinian-American world music songwriter Stephan Said at Drom, $10 adv tix rec

4/15-22 two of the most exhilarating singers on the planet, John Kelly and Carol Lipnik perform their suite The Escape Artist, which “traces the experience of a performer who has a catastrophic trapeze accident. While stranded on a gurney with a broken neck in a hospital emergency room, he escapes and finds refuge in the images that flood his mind: the sinners and saints, prostitutes and gods that populate Caravaggio’s paintings.” With music by Lipnik and Kelly plus selections by Monteverdi and John Barry, at PS 122, 8 PM, $25/15 stud/srs.

4/15, 8 PM Niger’s desert blues legends Etran Finatawa – who played one of the 20 best shows we saw last year – at Symphony Space, $35.

4/15, 8 PM a cool reggae triplebill at the smaller studio space downstairs at Webster Hall with Echo Movement, Maui Waui and the Green (whose blend of vintage Hawaiian and roots reggae is totally original), $10 adv tix rec.

4/15, 9 PM Joe Pug at Rock Shop in Gowanus, $10; 4/16 he’s at the Mercury at 11:30 PM for $2 more.

4/15, 10 PM wild jazzy gypsy rock/jaz with Jay Vilnai’s Vampire Suit at Barbes

4/15, 11 PM O’Death at the Knitting Factory – this will probably sell out – $10 adv tix rec.

4/16-17, 5-7 PM free at Issue Project Room, some ideas close to our hearts: “Yolande Harris’s installation Tropical Storm, developed in a residency with Alvin Lucier at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida, is a shot of a Florida storm, with the sound of rainfall as the only audio. In The Pink Noise of Pleasure Yachts in Turquoise Sea, Harris explores the place of sound in the underwater animals, and the effects of the sound of recreational boating on the smallest sea creatures.”

4/16, 7 PM Eleventh Dream Day opens for the recently reunited Come at the Bell House adv tix $20 rec.

4/16, 7:30 PM, repeating 4 PM on 4/17, Lisa Bielawa’s Synopses: Synopsis #2: In the Eye of the Beholder for percussion performed by Aaron Trant, Synopsis #4: I’m Not That Kind of Lawyer for solo double bass performed by Doug Balliet, Synopsis #6: Why Did You Lie to Me? for solo cello performed by Eric Jacobsen, Synopsis #9: I Don’t Even Play the Bassoon for solo viola performed by Miranda Sielaff, and Synopsis #10: I Know This Room So Well for solo English horn will be performed live, with new choreography by Catherine Gallant at NY City Center, 130 West 56th St., $15 tix avail.

4/16, 8 PM Central Asian troupe Turku play ancient Silk Road repertoire at Drom, $10 adv tix highly rec., this will sell out

4/16 psychedelic roots reggae monsters Dub Is a Weapon play their cd release show at Sullivan Hall, 9ish, $10 adv tix rec.

4/16, 11ish Bogs Visionary Orchestra at Goodbye Blue Monday; they’re also here late on 4/27.

4/16, midnight ecstatically fun Afrobeat band Elikeh plays Joe’s Pub, $14.

4/17, 1 and 3 PM all-male choral sextet Lionheart sing Thomas Tallis’s “masterful and heart-wrenching settings of the Lamentations of Jeremiah, performed in alternation with their traditional Latin chant responsories—as they might have been heard in the chapel of Elizabeth I” at the Cloisters, $35 gen adm.

4/17, 4 PM hilarious retro Weimar bandleader/crooner Max Raabe & Palast Orchester at NJPAC in Newark, $21 tix avail.

4/17, 6 PM reedman Daniel Carter with bassist Pascal Niggenkemper at Downtown Music Gallery.

4/17, 9 PM  dark lyrical rock siren/guitar goddess Randi Russo plays the cd release show for her career-best new one Fragile Animal at the Mercury, followed by another equally fiery, lyrical band the Oxygen Ponies.

4/17, 9 PM pianist Bobby Avey leads a quartet with Miguel Zenon, alto saxophone; Thomson Kneeland, bass; Jordan Perlson, drums at the Cornelia St. Cafe, $10.

4/18-19 powerful jazz vibraphonist Mark Sherman and his Quintet with Jim Ridl, Dean Johnson, Tim Horner and special guest Randy Brecker at the Kitano, $25 plus $15 min at tables

4/18, 8 PM the irresistible Pipettes – snarling cockney girls playing oldschool Motown and soul – at Rock Shop in Gowanus; 4/20 they’re at the Mercury at 7:30 PM, $15.

4/19 Moroccan-American chanteuse Malika Zarra plays the cd release show for her new one Berber Taxi with her band at the Jazz Standard, sets 7:30/9:30 PM

4/19-24 and 4/26-5/1 Bill Frisell plays the Vanguard: first with Eyvind Kang on violin and Rudy Royston on drums, then with Ron Miles on trumpet, Tony Scherr on bass and Kenny Wollesen on drums.

4/20, 10 PM psychedelic dub reggae with John Brown’s Body followed by the Easy Star All-Stars at Highline Ballroom, $20 adv tix highly rec. Note that some loser from a reality tv show – who’s decided to switch from corporate rock to reggae – opens the show at 9.

4/21, three excellent, separate-admission shows at Joe’s Pub. 7 PM Pharaoh’s Daughter is $15; Spottiswoode’s cd release show at 9 is $15; Afrobeat band Emefe’s show at 11:30 is $TBA.

4/21-22, 7ish Mogwai at Webster Hall, adv tix $28.50 rec.

4/21, 7:30 PM adventurous new music ensemble Lunatics at Large play five brand-new commissioned works by Ryan Fusco, Andre Bregegere, Laura Koplewitz, Alex Shapiro and Mohammed Fairouz as part of their Sanctuary Project at WMP Concert Hall, $25

4/21, 8 PM in “Scuttling around in the shallows, Jane Winderen continues her investigation into the sound of shrimp, exploring how the smallest creatures of the ocean use sound for communication, orientation, and feeding. Hydrophones—originally a military development—are repurposed, inadvertently producing unexpected qualities not informed by their original design. Winderen uses these hydrophones to create immersive sonic environments, something far from the original intention of these surveillance devices.” At Issue Project Room, $12

4/21, 8:30 PM Susie Ibarra’s Electric Kulintang – sort of the Filipino counterpart to Electric Junkyard Gamelan – at the Atrium at Lincoln Center, 8:30 PM, early arrival highly advised

4/21, 8:30 PM oldtimey Americana with Margaret Glaspy, Miss Tess & the Bon Ton Parade and the Woes at Southpaw, $10 adv tix rec.

4/22 sprawling acoustic Americana with Jones St. Station at le Poisson Rouge, 7:30 PM, $10 adv tix rec.

4/22, 8 PM pianist Jenny Q Chai and Iktus Percussion Quartet play the world premiere of Five Pieces by Nils Vigeland, as well as works by Gérard Grisey, Lukas Ligeti, Vivian Fung, and two world premieres from emerging composers Inhyun Kim and Dillon Kondor downstairs in the Thalia Theatre at Symphony Space, $15/$10 stud.

4/22, 9 PM gypsy chanteuse Sanda Weigl’s cd release show for her intense, excellent new one Gypsy in a Tree at the 92YTribeca, $15 adv tix highly rec.

4/22, 9 PM oldschool plena and bomba sounds with Quimbombo at BAM Cafe.

4/22, 11 PM Hayes Carll at Bowery Ballroom $15 adv tix rec.

4/23, 1 PM a free concert at Bargemusic, early arrival advised, most likely piano music; there’s another on 5/7.

4/23, 1 and 3 PM, early music ensemble Pomerium sings works by Lassus, Monteverdi, Gesualdo, and Byrd at the Cloisters, $35 gen adm.

4/23, 8:30 PM ferocious noisy punk/glam rockers the K-Holes at Glasslands adv tix $10 rec.

4/25 charismatic intense somewhat scary cellist/vocalist Audrey Chen plays Roulette, 8:30 PM. One of the crew here insists that her set – “music” might not be an accurate word for it – at Issue Project Room last year was the best show of 2010. Your life will not be complete until you’ve survived an hour or so of her sonic assault.

4/26, 8 PM Balkan Beat Box at Webster Hall, $20 gen adm.

4/27, 7 PM Mr. Wau Wa – Gina Leishman, vox, accordion, pump organ; Rinde Eckert, vox, accordion, pump organ; Doug Wieselman, clarinet, sax, guitar; Marcus Rojas, tuba and Kenny Wollesen, drums – plays Bertold Brech at Barbes followed at 9:30ish by Chicha Libre.

4/27, 7:30 PM pianist Alexandra Joan – whose remarkable emotional intelligence and fearlessness set her apart from the millions of cookie-cutter classical pianists out there – plays an all-French program of Fauré, Ravel, Enescu and Fairouz at WMP Concert Hall

4/27 haunting, hypnotic Middle Eastern sounds with Duo Jalal feat. violist Kathryn Lockwood plus percussionist Yousif Sheronick David Krakauer and Glen Velez at Drom, 8 PM, $12 adv tix rec

4/28 the Newton Gang play their cd release show for their long-awaited new one at Southpaw, 9 PM followed by Gangstagrass at 11, $10 adv tix highly rec, all ticketholders get a copy of the new album.

4/29, 7:30 PM a high-energy gypsy rock doublebill with Watcha Clan and Rupa & the April Fishes at le Poisson Rouge, $15.

4/29 surfy latin garage rock with the Cuban Cowboys at BAM Cafe, 9 PM.

4/30 latin jazz by the O’Farrill Family Band at BAM Cafe, 9 PM.

5/3-4, 8 PM Bruce Cockburn & Jenny Scheinman at City Winery, $35 seats avail.

5/6, 9 PM the 2 Man Gentlemen Band and the Infamous Stringdusters at Bowery Ballroom $15 gen adm.

5/7 haunting original bluegrass/Americana band Frankenpine at the Brooklyn Museum

5/8 Rev. Horton Heat at Highline Ballroom.

5/9-12 the Mata Festival at le Poisson Rouge feat. ACME, Metropolis Ensemble, Florent Ghys, L’Arsenale, Cantori New York, Dither Electric Guitar Quartet, Ryan Carter, Christopher Mayo, and Angélica Negrón

5/9, 8/10:30 PM Matt Guitar Murphy at the Blue Note, $10 seats avail. Octogenarian Chicago blues guitar legend who suffered a stroke onstage a few years ago and finished the song before he decided to take a break. If he’s even a fraction of his old self he’s worth seeing.

5/10 Monty Python/Bonzo Dog Band’s Neil Innes at Highline Ballroom

5/14, 11 AM Wall to Wall Sonidos at Symphony Space, free, Arturo O’Farrill’s Sacred Concert for his Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra based on settings of Jewish, Islamic, Gospel, and Afro-Cuban texts; a work for shakuhachi and string quartet [Colorado Quartet] from Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez; a world premiere of Roberto Sierra’s Cuarteto para cuerdas no. 2 [La Catrina Quartet]; Tania León [Harlem Quartet]; new works by Fernando Otero (with dancers); and performances by Continuum, Damocles Trio, Poulenc Trio, Ray Vega, Gabriel Alegria, and many others.

5/19, 7:30 PM the Trinity Choir sings music of Elena Ruehr at Trinity Church.

5/19, 9:30 PM Karen Hudson with her band at Lakeside playing songs from her forthcoming Late Bloomer cd.

5/26, 10:30 PM gypsy punks the West Philadelphia Orchestra followed by haunting, hypnotic, psychedelic Turkish band Raquy & the Cavemen at Drom, $12 adv tix rec.

6/4 the Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma at NJPAC in Newark, $25 seats avail.

6/19 this year’s free Punk Island festival at Governors Island happens two days in advance of Make Music NY as the yuppies are shitting their pants at the thought of loud, nonconformist music being played anywhere near their “luxury” apartments. Free ferries leave on the half hour from the old Staten Island Ferry terminal; here’s a public facebook page about it.

March 2, 2011 Posted by | avant garde music, blues music, classical music, concert, country music, experimental music, folk music, funk music, gospel music, gypsy music, irish music, jazz, latin music, Live Events, middle eastern music, Music, music, concert, New York City, NYC Live Music Calendar, rap music, reggae music, rock music, ska music, soul music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The 1000 Best Albums of All Time 600-699

For albums #900-1000, and an explanation of what this is all about (other than just plain fun), click here.

Albums #800-899 continue here.

Albums #700-799 continue here.

Albums #500-599 continue here.

Albums#400-499 continue here.

699. Paula Carino – Open on Sunday

Our pick for best album of 2010, it’s a cool, sometimes icy, sometimes velvety beautiful janglerock masterpiece, with some of the most clever lyrics of any rock record in recent years. Carino markets herself as part of the indie camp when she’s actually more of a missing link between vintage Chrissie Hynde and Richard Thompson, a deviously witty, wry observer who never fails to find some gallows humor in tough situations. This is a brooding yet occasionally hilarious concept album of sorts about dissolving relationships and what they leave in their wake. It’s got her best song, the poignantly metaphorical countrypolitan ballad Lucky in Love; the wry rockabilly-tinged Saying Grace Before the Movie; the wickedly catchy, minor-key rocker The Great Depression; and the gently swaying, rueful With the Bathwater – “It’s been raining since that day I threw your Nick Drake tapes away” – while The Road to Hell perfectly captures the exasperation that came before. There’s also the Rod Serling-esque Robots Helping Robots, the even more sinister The Others, and the irresistibly funny, rhythmically tricky Rough Guide with its faux-latin guitar. It hasn’t made it to the sharelockers but the whole thing is streaming at myspace (be careful, you have to reload the page after each song or else you’ll be assaulted by a loud audio ad), and it’s also up at cdbaby.

698. Django Reinhardt – Swing de Paris

We’re going to make another exception to our “no box sets” rule for another guy who was making records back in the day when albums were bound up like books. This massive 4-cd set spans from the 30s through the early 50s, about a third of the tracks with his longtime collaborator, jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli, some with brass, some without. What can we say about Django that hasn’t already been said? Guitar genius whose style was shaped – literally – when the surgeons put his fret hand back together again after a car accident; inventor of gypsy jazz; someone whose impact arguably ranks with Hendrix, at least as far as the guitar is concerned, maybe more (would Gogol Bordello exist if not for Django? Maybe not). This isn’t as exhaustive as you’d think (no Swing 36, for example), although it does have Swing 39 and Swing 48, along with Tiger Rag, Blue Drag, Djangology, Improvisation No.2, Nuages, Nagasaki and Nuit de St.-Germain. When Django wasn’t composing – which was seemingly all the time – he was covering the hits of the day: After You’ve Gone, Limehouse Blues, Japanese Sandman and Viper’s Dream are some of the high points among these biting, bristling gems. Here’s a random torrent courtesy of beyondmidnight.

697. The Asylum Street Spankers – What? And Give Up Show Business?

For the better part of 15 years, the Asylum Street Spankers were arguably the funniest band on the planet, a raucous acoustic Americana counterpart to the Dead Kennedys. Fearlessly political, they took on the Bush regime with a ferocious sarcasm matched by few other bands (their best being their last big hit, the Iraq War satire Stick Magnetic Ribbons on Your SUV). This 2008 double cd is sort of a greatest-hits collection, recorded in front of a packed house at New York’s Barrow Street Theatre. Frontwoman Christina Marrs and percussionist/singer Wammo banter back and forth over sizzling violin, guitar and manolin, through a mix of originals and classic blues and gospel tunes. The best of these is My Baby in the CIA, a hilarious, spot-on critique of corporate-sponsored American anti-democracy moves over the years. There’s also the equally spot-on Winning the War on Drugs, an equally funny update on Black Flag’s TV Party, the Medley of Burnt-Out Songs, the amazing, intricately arranged My Favorite Records, and Marrs’ Hawaiian-flavored homage to marijuana, Pakalolo Baby. They also intersperse several skits between songs, the funniest being the Gig from Hell, which every musician will relate to. Mystifyingly hard to find as a torrent; the Spankers (who’ve recently disbanded, reputedly for the last time) still have it at their site.

696. The Ventures – Live in Japan ’65

The holy grail of surf music. What Never Mind the Bollocks is to punk, what Kind of Blue is to classic jazz, this album is to instrumental rock. The Ventures weren’t the first surf band, but they were the most successful, at least during their 60s heyday. This has virtually all of the best versions of their best songs, recorded in front of a hilariously polite audience in a country where they’re still more popular than the Beatles. It’s got kick-ass rockers like Penetration and Diamond Head; darker, eerie stuff like a skittish Besame Mucho Twist, Pipeline and the irresistible yet wary medley of Walk Don’t Run, Lullaby of the Leaves and Perfidia; Beatlesque jangle including When You Walk in the Room and the Fab Four’s I Feel Fine; sci-fi themes like Telstar, Out of Limits and a pummeling Journey to the Stars; and the crashing encore of Duke Ellington’s Caravan, with the late Mel Taylor’s long, iconic drum solo. The cd reissue is poorly mastered and on the tinny side, but the original mono vinyl album is strictly a collector’s item. Here’s a random torrent via dreamexpress.

695. The Fania All-Stars – Live at Yankee Stadium Vol. 2

Conceived as a branding mechanism for the label, the Fania All-Stars were supposed to be the greatest salsa band of their era – a goal that wasn’t all that hard to achieve because virtually everybody in the band was a bandleader. The lineup reads like a latin music hall of fame: Larry Harlow, Justo Betancourt, Yomo Toro, Johnny Pacheco, Ray Baretto, Willie Colon, Hector Lavoe and literally dozens of others. From 1967 to the early 80s, they put out one ecstatic, danceable album after another, which makes this a particularly hard choice. The four-cd box set Ponte Duro: The Fania All-Stars Story was awfully tempting, but since this group was first and foremost a live orchestra, that’s where they did their best work. This scorching 1976 set, most of it actually recorded in Puerto Rico (the sound mix was better than most of the stuff from the actual session in the Bronx), captures them at the peak of their brass-heavy power. These are long, psychedelic jams: Hermandad Fania, which gets things cooking right off the bat; the eleven-minute Celia Cruz epic Bemba Colora; Ismael Quintana’s first big, soulful hit, Mi Debilidad; as well as Echate Pa ‘lla and the fourteen-minute stomp Congo Bongo. Here’s a random torrent via sogoodmusic.

694. Portishead – Roseland NYC Live

To say that when this album came out in 1998, it was the last thing anybody expected from Portishead is an understatement. This is the only good album the band ever made – it sounds nothing like anything they recorded before or afterward. Recorded with an orchestra and a (mostly) live band at New York’s Roseland Ballroom, it’s more like the Cure with strings and a girl singer. Together, the live percussion, orchestra, moody synth and guitar combine for a tense 80s goth vibe that offsets the occasional doofy electronic blip or the annoying turntable scratching. It’s a mix of downtempo trip-hop grooves like Humming, Cowboys and Only You along with the orchestrated wah soul of All Mine, the mood pieces MysteronsOver and Half Day Closing, the fan favorite Glory Box and epic closers Roads and Strangers: slow, slinky stuff, sort of the equivalent of Isaac Hayes for white kids. Reputedly the band has since disowned this. Here’s a random torrent.

693. Paul Whiteman – Greatest Hits 1920-27

The jazz snobs are gonna kill us for this one. Ninety years after the fact, Paul Whiteman is still paying for the hubris of calling himself the King of Jazz in an era when Jelly Roll Morton was hot and Duke Ellington was coming up. Almost a century later, it doesn’t even seem that anybody wants to download his stuff. Which is too bad. His shtick was lushly ecstatic, lavish orchestrations of the hits of the day. In the 1920s, there were thousands of hot jazz bands working regional circuits all over the country – in fact, outside of the US as well – but nobody with the juice that Whiteman had, nor as much access to the new phenomenon of radio. Whatever you think of his arrangements, you can’t fault his taste: he was the first to have a hit with Rhapsody in Blue. This popular 1950s vinyl reissue – still kicking around used record stores – collects a lot but not all of the big hits, extending as far as 1932 (the album title actually gets it wrong). Can you argue with Paul Robeson doing Old Man River? Bix Beiderbecke on cornet on Ramona? The irresistibly towering grandeur that the band gives catchy pop songs like Japanese Sandman, Whiteman’s signature song Whispering, or My Blue Heaven? There’s also cinematic stuff like Valencia, Birth of the Blues and Song of India as well as comedic but still charming material including the cartoonish I’ll Build a Stairway to Paradise and the Three O’Clock in the Morning Waltz among the almost two dozen tracks here. A rigorous search of the sharelockers didn’t turn up anything – if we find something more interesting than an anthology, we’ll put it up here.

692. Patricia Vonne – Guitars and Castanets

Patricia Vonne is yet another great American songwriter who’s huge in Europe and lesser known here in the US (other than in her native state of Texas). With her signature full-throated wail, the Mexican-American rock siren has stood up for American Indian rights, immigrant rights and Amnesty International campaigns for the women who’ve disappeared in Juarez, Mexico. This 2005 album, her third full-length release, is characteristically diverse, with songs in both English and Spanish, a richly arranged, guitar-driven mix of rock anthems, ranchera ballads and Tex-Mex shuffles. Everything she’s ever released is excellent; we picked this one since it has her best song, the unselfconsciously wrenching, intense escape narrative Blood on the Tracks (a hubristic title, but Vonne has the muscle to back it up). Joe’s Gone Ridin’ is a tribute to Joe Ely; the clanging backbeat anthem Texas Burning was a big CMT video hit. The festive title track and Fiesta Sangria, along with the mournfully gripping norteno ballad Traeme Paz show off her grasp of traditional Mexican sounds; the anthemic Long Season sounds a lot like the BoDeans with a girl singer. There are also two stunningly catchy, deliciously layered guitar rockers, Lonesome Rider and Rebel Bride that sound like the Church transplanted to Austin. This one doesn’t seem to have made it to the sharelockers yet, but it’s still available at Vonne’s site.

691. Chet Baker – The Best of Chet Baker Sings

Here’s something for the ladies. This is a guy whose vision never wavered: the warm, soulful, direct clarity of his trumpet matched his voice and made this one of the great bedroom albums. Pretty impressive, considering how wasted he was most of the time. Nobody ever did a jazz ballad better than this guy. This 1989 reissue includes everything on the iconic original 1952 Chet Baker Sings plus almost another album’s worth of mid-50s material with Russ Freeman on piano, Bob Whitlock on bass and the great Chico Hamilton on drums. It’s got all the hits: Let’s Get Lost; The Thrill Is Gone; Time After Time; I Get Along Without You Very Well (Except Sometimes) and Just Friends. Among the later singles are That Old Feeling and It’s Always You (and yeah, it’s got My Funny Valentine too, but that song is so overrated). The jazz world hated this when it first came out: everybody thought this was a sellout. A couple of other Baker albums also worth seeking out are his Together album with Paul Desmond from the 70s, and his live Chet Baker in Tokyo album from 1987, just a year before his death. Here’s a random torrent.

690. Ice Cube – Death Certificate

Hmm…how do we follow the subtle urbanity of Chet Baker? With this cruelly obscene 1991 golden-age hip-hop classic. Ice Cube may be best known as the goofy guy from the Friday movies, but he was one of the world’s most formidable lyricists before Hollywood came calling and he gave it up. Time after time, Ice Cube gets it. Whatever was happening that year, he nails it. Black girl killed by bodega owner who thought she was stealing memorialized in Black Korea. Young black guys turning to crime since corporate America won’t hire them? A Bird in the Hand. Cops who’d rather watch a guy bleed to death in the hospital than solve a crime? Alive on Arrival. One of the best anti-Bush I numbers, I Wanna Kill Sam, lots of hilarious comedy stuff like Givin’ Up the Nappy Dug Out, Look Who’s Burnin’ and the high school reminiscence Doing Dumb Shit along with the vicious dis No Vaseline, aimed at his old NWA bandmates since he felt they’d sold out. Here’s a random torrent.

689. Shonen Knife – Brand New Knife

Shonen Knife don’t sing about choco bars or ripping the heads off Barbie dolls on this one. To be counterintuitive, we picked one of their most accessible albums, where Naoko’s guitar is multitracked and beefed up and Atsuko’s drumming is still skittish but better than anything she’d done before. By 1997, the lo-fi Japanese all-girl punk band had become an institution with a devoted cult following who didn’t care whether they’d ever actually get proficient on their instruments. In the meantime, that’s exactly what they did: for anyone who wants to claim them as kitsch relics of the 80s or 90s, eat shit and die. The classic here is the Black Sabbath parody (or homage – it could be both) Buddha’s Face. A close second is Fruits and Vegetables, a topic close to our hearts. There’s also the irresistibly catchy Wonder Wine (the Japanese version of Night Train?); the surreal E.S.P.; the amusement park tale Loop-Di-Loop; the ridiculously catchy but completely inscrutable Explosion and One Week. Here’s a random torrent.

688. Albert Collins, Robert Cray and Johnny Copeland – Showdown

A blues guitar summit from 1985. Collins was one of the most intense, exhilarating musicians ever, icy fire blasting from his custom-made amp for the “cool” sound that made him famous. Although better known as a singer than guitarist, Copeland gave 100% here and Cray proves that he belongs onstage with any other great blues player. The songs are cool too: as you might expect from a Collins album, it’s a Texas vibe with only a couple of standards and those get reinvented: an edgy, low-down Bring Your Fine Self Home and Black Cat Bone, modeled on Hop Wilson’s lapsteel version. From the first track, T-Bone Shuffle, they’re wailing; Cray picks his spots and fires off one smartly chosen volley after another on She’s Into Something and the airy, psychedelic The Dream. As you’d expect, the Texas shuffles are also in full effect: Lion’s Den and the instrumental Albert’s Alley are as adrenalizing as you’d expect. And on the long volcanic outro to the closer, Blackjack, surprisingly it’s Copeland who really takes the energy up. Many, many notes, none of them wasted. Here’s a random torrent via mississippimoan.

687. Merle Travis – Guitar Rags and a Too Fast Past

A titan of Americana roots music, Merle Travis was one of the great country guitarists whose signature picking style has influenced most C&W players ever since. As imaginative at western swing as he was at bluegrass, he was a star from the mid-40s when he was doing anti-Nazi comedy songs under an assumed name, to the 60s. This massive 5-cd set, first issued on vinyl in the mid-70s in Europe, contains 145 tracks in all and includes most of his iconic songs: the bitter coal miners’ antems Sixteen Tons and Dark as a Dungeon, along with more lighthearted stuff from folk songs like John Henry and Nine Pound Hammer, to Hoagy Carmichael’s Lazy River, Bob Wills’ Steel Guitar Rag, and novelty numbers like Divorce Me C.O.D. CD #5 is mostly a waste, but the whole thing still has more than ten dozen cool songs. Essential stuff for guitar players and country music fans. Here’s a random torrent via lokaldensayo. Also worth checking out: Travis’s recently unearthed 1966 concert up at Wolfgang’s Vault.

686. Ice-T – The Iceberg: Freedom of Speech…Just Watch What You Say

Before Ice-T was the leader of a metal band, or a character actor specializing in cop roles, he antagonized them with his lyrics – which were usually brilliant. This 1989 album by the self-styled “inventor of the crime rhyme” is the highlight of his rap career. It opens with a long, Orwellian Jello Biafra spoken-word piece over a Black Sabbath sample. The rest of the album mixes the verbal gymnastics of the title track and Hit the Deck with crime rhymes like the ominous drive-by scenario Peel Their Caps Back and the rapidfire, desperate Hunted Child, the hilarious The Girl Tried to Kill Me and the ferocious, antagonistic, politically spot-on This One’s for Me. The only dud here is an interminable party rap with one forgettable cameo after another. Here’s a random torrent via fromthaold2thanew.

685. Anita O’Day – The Lady Is a Tramp

Originally titled Anita O’Day Sings Jazz when it was first released in 1952, her debut album is sassy and fearless. With a carefree rasp as she went up the scale, she sang like she was bulletproof, which is probably how she felt since she was so wasted most of the time in those days. Some singers wrestle with their vulnerability, but Anita O’Day (pig latin for “I need dough,” appropriate for a junkie) swung her voice like a sharp little axe. Backed by a boisterous, inspired quartet, she rips through a bunch of mostly upbeat, bluesy numbers and ends up reinventing half of them. Rock n Roll Blues? Remember, this was before Chuck Berry. Love For Sale is sardonic to the extreme; she rocks out Lullaby of the Leaves, turns Lover Come Back to Me from sadness to cynicism, does an absolutely conspiratorial version of Speak Low and then flips the script and gives the novelty song No Soap, No Hope Blues some genuine poignancy. Pagan Love Song, however, is just what it ought to sound like. And maybe because of the title, finding a working set of files for this album is like looking for a needle in a haystack. In lieu of the needle (ha ha) we give you a marvelous Anita mixtape via planetbarberella.

684. Blur – The Great Escape

This is a ruthless, brutally sarcastic 1997 art-rock concept album that mocks the shallowness and vapidity of Tony Blair/Bill Clinton era yuppies – it was a similar kind of greed, after all, that built those Japanese reactors. Damon Albarn wastes no time getting going with Stereotypes, followed by the even harsher Country House, the sardonic Best Days and brutal Charmless Man. The blandness of yuppie status-grubbing gets excoriated in Fade Away, Mr. Robinson’s Quango and He Thought of Cars; the deathlike boredom in Ernold Same and It Could Be You; the fascism in Top Man and ultimately, death, personified in the lush, towering, epic The Universal. Blur made catchier albums – Modern Life Is Rubbish and Parklife are both full of killer tunes – but both of them also include a bunch of duds.  Here’s a random torrent.

683. Death – For the Whole World to See

Signed to Arista Records in 1975 but dropped when they refused to change their name, this Detroit trio are remembered for being the first black punk band. That’s a bit of a stretch, but David, Bobby and Dennis Hackney took the raw power of the Stooges to new and unexpected places with this brief but intense proto-punk album, never officially released until 24 years later. Rock N Roll Victim foreshadows the Damned; Keep on Knocking is a delicious, shuffling rocker with some sweet Ron Asheton-style lead guitar from guitarist David Hackney, who sadly didn’t live to see this reissue see the light of day. You’re a Prisoner wouldn’t have been out of place on Fun House; Freaking Out, true to its title, is scorching, fast riff-metal. The best songs here are the most original ones; the psychedelic mini-site Let the World Turn and the ferocious, epic antiwar anthem Politicians in My Eyes. The rhythm section would continue later in the excellent roots reggae outfit Lambsbread. Recently reunited with a new guitarist, there’s supposedly more unreleased stuff due out at some point. Here’s a random torrent.

682. Muddy Waters – Muddy Mississippi Waters Live

With this icon, the question is not which Muddy Waters albums belong here, but which ones don’t. Basically, everything this guy put out between the Alan Lomax recordings from the late 30s until the 1956 Blues and Brass album is worth owning. After that, everything up to the grossly overrated Fathers and Sons album. After that, the pickings get slim among the studio albums, although he was still an unstoppable live act. This 2003 reissue of a 1979 release mostly recorded in the early 70s features Muddy at his matter-of-fact, sly, occasionally harrowing peak of his powers as both a singer and slide guitarist, includes a second disc recorded in Indiana in the early 80s. Johnny Winter handles a lot of the solos and doesn’t embarrass himself; Luther “Guitar Jr.” Johnson takes a stinging solo on what may be the best-ever version of Baby Please Don’t Go. There’s also the slow, growling She’s Nineteen Years Old, Nine Below Zero and Deep Down in Florida along with a casually potent version of Streamline Woman and the requisite Mannish Boy. The second disc isn’t quite up to the level of the first, but it’s mostly the same band including the ageless Pinetop Perkins on piano. Here’s a random torrent via dimosblues.

681. Pink Floyd – The Final Cut

 Where armageddon right now looks like a water table saturated with plutonium, Roger Waters – and pretty much everyone else in 1983 – saw the world ending in a deluge of atom bombs. Part murderous response to the fascism of Thatcher and Reagan, part continuation of The Wall to its logical extreme, this was once rated one of the ten most depressing albums of all time by a fashion magazine – reason alone to make it worth owning. The raging hiss of vignettes like The Post War Dream, One of the Few and Get Your Hands Off My Filthy Desert put everything in historical context. It’s hard to imagine a more poignant requiem for lost time than Your Possible Pasts, nor a more plaintive war widow-to-be’s lament than Southhampton Dock. The Hero’s Return is beyond sarcastic; The Gunner’s Dream floats cruelly down to end in a fatal plane crash. And The Fletcher Memorial Home is a musical death warrant for some of the era’s evillest despots, among them Thatcher, Brezhnev and Begin. The gorgeously quiet, completely apt piano ballad Paranoid Eyes and the sweeping, epic grandeur of the title track complete the picture along with the sludgy metal anthem Not Now John (a big FM radio hit) and the rhythmically tricky, pensive end-of-the-world tableau Two Suns in the Sunset. Antiwar songs have seldom been more powerful. Here’s a random torrent.

680. The Mar-Keys and Booker T. & the MGs – Back to Back

The ultimate soul groove band in the ultimate setting: live, onstage. This brief, barely thirty-minute 1967 album has organist Booker T. Jones, guitarist Steve Cropper, bassist Donald “Duck” Dunn and the guy who might have been the greatest drummer of the rock era, Al Jackson, taking their sly, slinky two-minute instrumental hits to new levels. It’s got Red Beans and Rice, an especially amped Tic-Tac-Toe, a funked-up Hip Hug-Her and contrasts them with a considerably more lush version of Rufus Thomas’ Philly Dog. Even Green Onions, as cheesy as that tune is, has an impossibly fat groove. Side two is the Mar-Keys (that’s Booker T. & the MG’s with a horn section) taking the energy up with Grab This Thing, Last Night and a cover of Gimme Some Lovin that blows away the original, along with the early Booker T. hits Booker-Loo and Outrage. Here’s a random torrent via kingcakecrypt.

679. Echobelly – On

Ferocious, fearless, sultry UK punk-pop from 1993. One of the most stunningly powerful voices in recent decades, Echobelly frontwoman Sonya Aurora Madan belts and wails over the roar and crunch of Glen Johansson and Debbie Smith’s guitars, through a mix of mostly upbeat, catchy songs lit up by the occasional George Harrisonesque lead line. Defiantly alluring, Madan romps through the irresistibly catchy, scorching Car Fiction, the similarly stomping King of the Kerb – a cynical tale of a pimp and his hookers – the unstoppable optimism of Great Things, the dismissive Go Away, the feminist-stoked Natural Animal and Pantyhose and Roses, and the sarcastic but swoony Something Hot in a Cold Country. Four Letter Word nicks an idea from the Sonic Youth playbook; the absolute classic here is the slowly simmering, psychedelic nocturne Dark Therapy, which winds up with an unreal crescendo delivered by steel guitarist BJ Cole, in what might be his best-ever cameo. There’s also the distantly X-influenced Nobody Like You and In the Year as well as the morbidly quiet, mostly acoustic closing cut. The band’s 1991 debut is also worth a spin. Here’s a random torrent.

678. Jeff “Tain” Watts – Watts

Most political and social commentary in jazz has been limited to musical portrayals of various type of pain and suffering. Inspired by the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles and the malfeasance of the Bush regime, here’s a rare one that doesn’t limit itself to just the tunes. The iconic, powerhouse drummer and sometime bandleader is joined on this 2009 release, his most recent, by Branford Marsalis on saxes, Terence Blanchard on trumpet and another powerhouse, Christian McBride on bass. It’s a diverse mix of New Orleans second line tunes, funk and bracing improvisation, all imbued with Watts’ signature sense of humor, frequently vicious and satirical. Katrina James, a hurricane reminiscence, is cynical to the extreme; Wry Koln, with its tongue-in-cheek latin groove, isn’t the slightest bit teutonic. There’s also the bitter, intense Dancing 4 Chicken, the playful Monk homage Dingle-Dangle and the eerie atmospherics of M’Buzai. The centerpiece is a brutally funny evisceration of George W. Bush’s legacy, The Devil’s Ring Tone: The Movie – which includes a conversation between the devil and Bush’s attorney, and is reprised as a stand-alone instrumental at the end. This one doesn’t seem to have made it to the sharelockers yet, but most of it is streaming at myspace, and it’s still available from cdbaby.

677. Les Chauds Lapins – Parlez-Moi D’amour

One of the alltime great boudoir albums, and you don’t have to speak French to appreciate it (although that helps). This is the irresistibly charming 2007 debut by a group that began as a side project of two Americans, Roulette Sisters guitarist/chanteuse Meg Reichardt and former Ordinaires bandleader/multi-instrumentalist Kurt Hoffman. In the passing years, the band took on a life of its own, with a great new album Amourettes just out and a cd release show tomorrow at 10 at the 92YTribeca for all you New Yorkers. At the time they released this, Les Chauds Lapins (French slang for “hot to trot”) specialized in mining the witty wordplay and lushly jazzy arrangments of now-obscure French pop hits from the 1930s and 40s (the band has since broadened their palate a bit). This one’s got the coy Il M’a Vue Nue (He Saw Me Naked), the unselfconsciously romantic J’ai Dansé Avec L’Amour (I Danced with Love); the surreal Swing Troubadour; the sad shipwreck lament La Barque D’Yves (Yves’ Boat), the dreamy title track (whose original version was included in the soundtrack to the film Casablanca) and the not-quite-so-dreamy Parlez-Moi D’autre Chose (Let’s Talk About Something Else) among the thirteen sweepingly nocturnal tunes here. This one doesn’t seem to have made it to the sharelockers yet, but it’s still available (also on vinyl!) from the band’s site.

676. Barbara Brousal – Pose While It Pops

One of the great voices of the last fifteen years or so, Barbara Brousal can pull more emotion out of a thoughtfully bent note than most people can with a whole album. A professional musician from Boston via Brooklyn, her background is Americana, and that’s one element among many in this diverse and intensely lyrical 2000 album, her second. The real classic here is the opening track The Human Arrow, a bitter and brilliantly metaphorical portrayal of love as a circus act. The slow, angst-driven country ballad Take These Tears wouldn’t be out of place on a Dolly Parton album from the late 60s; the carefree sway of Soap and Water contrasts with the stiletto dismissiveness of the lyric. Charm Bracelet and Picture Booth are offhandedly brooding without being maudlin; there’s also the irresistibly catchy, lyrical Throwing Bones, the hypnotic chamber-pop of Lay Down Your Soul and the long, intensely crescendoing Breathing Down Your Neck. Brousal’s excellent band here includes David Poe and Kevin Salem on guitars, John Abbey on bass and Jane Scarpantoni on cello. Awfully hard to find in hard copy form but still available from the usual download merchants, and myspace has several of her tracks streaming. If you like this one you might also enjoy her 2002 collection Almost Perfect, a collection of demos that frequently reaches the heights this one does.

675. The Jentsch Group Large – The Brooklyn Suite

Hope it’s ok with you if we stay in Brooklyn for a second album in a row. A fiery, David Gilmouresque guitarist and composer, Chris Jentsch’s largescale works (this is his second, released eight years after his lush 1999 Miami Suite) are towering, majestic and sometimes absolutely creepy, blending elements of jazz, classical, rock and even reggae. This bustling, bracing, nocturnal suite for sixteen-piece big band essentially works variations on a wickedly menacing four-bar theme, first introduced with deadpan ominousness by a tenor sax and then eventually picked up with slasher intensity by the guitar and then the whole band. Altogether, the suite is one of the greatest pieces of noir music ever written. Solos from the horns and reeds are interspersed between movements, along with hypnotic, ambient passages that foreshadow the fireworks ahead. Tacked on afterwards here are a long, blazing samba-jazz tune and a playful reggae instrumental titled Our Daily Dread. A rigorous search didn’t turn up any torrents, but much of it is still streaming at Jentsch’s site, and it’s still available there. If you like this you may also enjoy Jentsch’s even more lush, psychedelic and frequently creepy Cycles Suite from 2009.

674. Moisturizer – Moisturizer Takes Mars

The shortest album on this list, it clocks in at around nine minutes. Is this even an album? If you count ep’s, why not? And since it’s the only physical product one of the world’s most entertaining, exciting, danceable bands ever put out, it’ll have to do. For about ten years, there was no funner group in New York than this all-female instrumental trio. Blending their low-register sounds into an intoxicating, hip-shaking groove, baritone sax player Moist Paula, bassist Moist Gina and drummer Moist Tomoyo literally never wrote a bad song. And they had dozens more than just the three on this 2004 release: the title track, Cash Incentive and Selfish: Not a Dirty Word. When they started right before the turn of the century, they were basically a surf band with sax instead of guitar; when they wrapped it up in 2009, they’d become one of New York’s best bands, blending funk, punk, trip-hop, soul and go-go music into a uniquely moist sound. Since then, Paula has gone on to recognition as a composer of cinematic soundscapes and plays with innumerable projects including ambient big band Burnt Sugar. Gina went on to play with the Detroit Cobras, World Inferno and continues to be sought out as a touring pro; Tomoyo left the band in 2004 and was replaced by a guy, Moist Yoshio. Tomoyo is Japanese and we hope she’s ok. This one was a very limited edition, but there’s a bunch of tracks up at the band’s myspace and all are worth owning.

673. Radio Birdman – The Ring of Truth

Hope it’s ok with you if we go with two ep’s in a row. If this 1988 release was a bootleg, as some say (all but one track were subsequently issued “officially,” for what it’s worth), the sound quality is amazing. Recorded at Dave Edmunds’ studio in Rockfield, Wales just prior to the band’s initial breakup ten years previously, this captures the Australian garage punks at the peak of their fret-burning, frequently macabre power. Just four songs here, all of them winners, each a good example of the band’s ability to tackle a surprisingly diverse number of styles, considering what a loud, ferocious group they were. If I Wanted You is a creepily pulsing, low-key guitar/organ tune; Dark Surprise is an example of their Stooges-inspired riff-rock style, and the surprisingly mellow Didn’t Tell the Man (a 1979 hit for the Hitmen) features one of the most wrenchingly beautiful rock organ solos ever, courtesy of Pip Hoyle. The centerpiece here is Death by the Gun, a country murder ballad done Detroit style, lead player Deniz Tek’s lightning rampages blasting over Warwick Gilbert’s insanely catchy, punchy bassline (done decently thirty years later by the Horehounds). Here’s a random torrent via thewickedthing.

672. The Dog Show – “Hello, Yes”

Ferociously literate oldschool R&B flavored mod punk rock from this Lower East Side New York supergroup, 2004. Everything the Dog Show – who were sort of New York’s answer to the Jam – put out is worth hearing, if you can find it, including their debut, simply titled “demo,” along with several delicious limited edition ep’s. Frontman Jerome O’Brien and Keith Moon-influenced southpaw drummer Josh Belknap played important roles in legendary kitchen-sink rockers Douce Gimlet; Belknap and melodic bassist Andrew Plonsky were also LJ Murphy’s rhythm section around the time this came out. And explosive lead guitarist Dave Popeck fronted his own “heavy pop” trio, Twin Turbine. O’Brien’s songwriting here runs the gamut from the unrestrained rage of Hold Me Down, the sarcasm of Every Baby Boy, the gorgeous oldschool East Village memoir Halcyon Days – which just sounds better with every passing year – and the tongue-in-cheek, shuffling Everything That You Said. Diamonds and Broken Glass is a snarling, practically epic, bluesy kiss-off; White Continental offers a blistering, early 70s Stonesy let’s-get-out-of-here theme. Too obscure to make it to the sharelockers yet, the whole album is still streaming at myspace.

671. Tom Warnick & the World’s Fair – May I See Some ID

This 2006 album by the Raymond Chandler of indie rock, as he’s been called, is generally regarded as his best – although everything the wry, cleverly lyrical, noir-tinged songwriter’s ever done is worth a spin. This one is most notable for the classic 40 People, a vicious swipe at greedy club owners and promoters told from the disheartened point of view of an obscure rocker trying to get a better slot than eleven on a Monday night. It’s also got the Orbisonesque janglerock of Whose Heart Are You Gonna Break Now; the spaghetti western sway of The Wild Bunch; the offhand menace of A Little Space, and the surreal shuffle of the title track, lit up by one of lead guitarist Ross Bonadonna’s trademark, incisive solos. There’s also the obvious but irresistible The Sky Is In Love With You; the eerie, off-kilter gothic stomp One of Us and the potently sarcastic Kissing Stand. It hasn’t made it to the sharelockers yet, but most of it is still streaming at myspace, and it’s up at the usual merchants and cdbaby.

670. Ali Jihad Racy – Ancient Egypt

One of the world’s most extraordinary Middle Eastern musicians, Dr. Racy is a multi-instrumentalist equally skilled on the buzuq (similar to the bouzouki), ney flute, rabab lute and violin, among other instruments. This 1993 suite, based on selections from the Book of the Dead, is both homage to and an attempt to recreate the sounds of the age of the pharaohs. It follows a trajectory from the stark ney piece, The Lamentations of Isis, to the lush, rich jangle and clank of the buzuq and rabab in The Land Of The Blessed. Hymn to Osiris is balmy and otherwordly; The Boat of a Million Years, a ghostly, haunting tone poem, is the centerpiece. Racy follows that with the quiet, dreamy The Holy Lotus (the drug of choice among many around the region in those days) and the self-explanatory Funeral Processsion, which actually isn’t as dark as you might expect. After that, the gloom lifts with Hymn for the Sunrise and The Triumph of the Deceased, ending on an optimistic note. Here’s a random torrent via Like a Raging Bull.

669. Chet Atkins and Les Paul –  Chester and Lester

This was an off-the-cuff jam session done in Nashville with a rhythm section in 1976, jazzy country legend and (occasionally) countryish jazz legend having a great time. Both of these guys were oldschool – there’s no explosive distorted passages or Hendrix-style noise here, but both of them are fast – lickety-split runs and staccato, sometimes Django-ish rhythm all over the place. For what it’s worth, it won a Grammy, not bad for a bunch of standards, even as fairly radically reworked as these are. It’s Been a Long, Long Time goes by in a short, short time. The Moonglow/Picnic medley does not. Caravan is a cross between Ellington and the Ventures; It Had to Be You gives them a rare breather here. There’s also an expansive version of Avalon (the jazz-pop hit, not the Roxy Music classic) as well as brisk, purist, somewhat bluesy versions of Deed I Do and Lover Come Back to Me, among the ten tracks here. It was reissued with some outtakes  in 1998 as a twofer along with the follow-up disc, the duo album Guitar Monsters from the following year. Here’s a random torrent.

668. Mascott – Art Project

Here’s one that’s short and sweet. One of the most irresistibly tuneful bands of recent years, Mascott is the project of indie pop mavens Kendall Jane Meade (formerly of Juicy) and Margaret White. In December of 2008, we called this gem “pure concentrated sunshine,” and two years later that holds true. Meade’s warm, matter-of-fact vocals are a perfect match for the catchy mix of acoustic and electric guitar textures underneath, sometimes dreamy, sometimes jaunty. The video for Fourth of July, set in a now-vanished Coney Island milieu, perfectly captures the feeling of the song; the chimingly gorgeous Opposite is a high-water mark in indie pop craftsmanship. There’s also the brief, bustling Dream Another Day, the charming, harmony-driven Nite Owl, the surprisingly brooding breakup ballad Letting Go of the Sun and a campfire singalong of Wildwood Flower. Tragically obscure, even good old Captain Crawl didn’t turn up any torrents, although many of the songs are still streaming at the band’s myspace, and tracks are up at all the usual online merchants.

667. Jefferson Airplane – After Bathing at Baxter’s

The bass player owns this album. Jack Casady’s growling, spiraling climbs, slinking funky rhythm and burning chords defined the Airplane at peak altitude, 1968. Add to that Paul Kantner’s stinging rhythm, Jorma Kaukonen’s crazed, jagged twelve-string leads, Spencer Dryden’s jazz-influenced drumming and Grace Slick’s presence (on the wane at this point) and you have a psychedelic rock classic. Kaukonen’s anxious ballad The Last Wall of the Castle, Slick’s darkly hypnotic James Joyce homage, Rejoyce and Kantner’s ferociously incisive Young Girl Sunday Blues are all great cuts. So is Two Heads, pulsing along on Casady’s bass chords. Watch Her Ride and Wild Tyme are slamming upbeat numbers; The Ballad of You & Me & Pooneil a big crowd-pleaser and Won’t You Try/Saturday Afternoon a reversion to the folk-rock of Surrealistic Pillow. There’s also the woozy instrumental Spare Chaynge, which sounds like Jorma and Jack jamming out after way too much ganja, forgetting that the tape was rolling. It was the last good studio album the band would make. Here’s a random torrent.

666. The Brooklyn What – The Brooklyn What for Borough President

“If this is the only album the band ever does, at worst it’ll be a cult classic,” we said here in 2009, choosing it as best album of the year. Happily, the band is not only still together but still recording, with a ferocious series of singles coming out. What the Clash were to the UK in the late 70s/early 80s, the Brooklyn What are to New York thirty years later: fearless, funny, good at everything they do, eclectic beyond belief and armed with a social conscience. Where the Clash wanted global revolution, Brooklyn’s finest band at the moment would settle for an end to the gentrification that’s destroyed so much of the city over the last ten years. The acknowledged classic here is I Don’t Wanna Go to Williamsburg, a hilarious anti-trendoid rant that namechecks every silly indie fad and fashion circa 2004. No Chords echoes the anti-trendoid sentiment with a quite, satirical savagery; The In-Crowd mocks them again, much more loudly. The most intense point, musically is frontman Jamie Frey’s Planet’s So Lonely, a haunting, 6/8 blues with some screaming, intense lead guitar from Evan O’Donnell. There’s also the soul/punk We Are the Only Ones, an anthem for a new generation; the late Billy Cohen’s snarling, surreal Soviet Guns and Sunbeam Sunscream; the brooding For the Best; the Ramones-y She Gives Me Spasms, and a fiery tribute to Guided by Voices. Impossible to find at the sharelockers, but it’s still up at cdbaby and all the usual download merchants.

665. The Psychedelic Furs – Book of Days

Over the years, countless bands, from A Flock of Seagulls to the Editors, have tried to imitate Joy Division. All have failed, pathetically. Stylewise, it was probably only a matter of time before the Furs took their sarcasm to its logical, bleak extreme: this 1989 album remains the only one to ever reach the same extremes of existential angst that Ian Curtis evoked so well. It gets off to a false start with the pretty 6/8 ballad Shine before the title track, a chilling, atmospheric dirge that offers absolutely no escape. The shuffling acoustic requiem Torch maintains the funereal atmosphere, which lifts on side two, if only a little, with the manic depressive stomp of Shake This House. “This day is not my life,” frontman Richard Butler insists. There’s also the Jesus & Mary Chain-esque Should God Forget; the mystifying but catchy riff-rocker Mother-Son; the swirling Wedding, and Parade, evocative of the band’s early years; the sarcastic Entertain Me, and the noisy, thrashing, death-obsessed I Don’t Mine that drives the final nail in the coffin. Listen to this with the lights out. Here’s a random torrent.

664. Serena Jost – Closer Than Far

If we survive this year, you’ll see a lot more like this one on this list: not a single substandard song among the eleven tracks here, and for us, that’s what defines a great album. Alternately lush and austere, often mysterious yet richly tuneful, the former Rasputina multi-instrumentalist’s 2008 solo debut is a deliciously eclectic mix of chamber pop, early 70s-style art-rock, and Americana with unexpected, playful detours into funk and even surf music. It opens with a plaintive, gorgeous version of Iris DeMent’s Our Town, followed by the somewhat stark Halfway There and then the ridiculously catchy, cleverly lyrical pop gem Vertical World. Julian Maile’s twangy Ventures guitar lights up the mini-suite I Wait, followed by the shapeshifting Almost Nothing and Reasons and Lies. Jump (not the Van Halen song) contrasts a brooding melody with a tongue-in-cheek disco beat. The most classically-influenced number here is In Time; the album closes with the poignant yet hopeful Stowaway. A search of the sharelockers didn’t turn up anything, but the whole thing is streaming at myspace, and it’s still up at cdbaby.

663. The Disposable Heroes of Hip-Hoprisy – Hypocrisy Is the Greatest Luxury

Michael Franti’s second entry here (Spearhead’s Chocolate Super Highway is at #768) is his prophetic, low-key, smoldering 1992 hip-hop project that he toured as an opening act for U2. The most famous – and obvious – track here is Television, the Drug of a Nation, an update on a 1989 tune by his old funk-punk band the Beatnigs. Another big crowd-pleaser is his remake of the Dead Kennedys’ California Uber Alles, with its vicious dis of Reaganite governor Pete Wilson. Famous and Dandy (Like Amos & Andy) mocks the culture of celebrity; Everyday Life Has Become a Health Risk and Financial Leprosy are self-explanatory, like mini Michael Moore movies. There’s also the Salman Rushdie shout-out Satanic Reverses, the brooding, brutal Gulf War I narrative Winter of the Long Hot Summer, the bitter anti-racist Socio Genetic Experiment, the sardonic Music and Politics and Water Pistol Man, later reprised as a Spearhead song. Here’s a random torrent via musictraveler.

662. The Luniz – Lunitik Muzik

Oakland hip-hop duo Yukmouth and Numskull, the “Highest Niggaz in the Industry” as they called themselves on their 1997 sophomore album, were a couple of West Coast guys with East Coast flow. Redman was paying attention, and collaborated with them on the rapidfire classic Hypnotize. The rest of this crazily ganja-fueled lyric session spins between assaultive, gleeful gangsta stuff, comedy rap and weedhead rhymes. In My Nature features early Dirty South pioneers Eightball and MJG; My Baby Mamma, Jus Mee & U, and the sarcastic $ad Millionaire have the same surreal sense of humor. Killaz on the Payroll, Mobb Shit and the Tupac-influenced Why Do Thugzz Die work the dirty side; Phillies and the impossibly funny 20 Bluntz a Day – featuring the whole 2 Live Crew – represent for the smokers. A high point in the history of west coast rap. Here’s a random torrent.

661. The Dave Brubeck Quartet – The Last Time We Saw Paris

This is the last live recording the classic original group made, with Paul Desmond on alto, Gene Wright on bass and the late, great Joe Morello on drums, so, Joe, wherever you are, this one’s for you. What an amazing, and surprising, and unexpectedly wild improvisational album: as much as Brubeck’s greatest strength has been as a composer, what they do with a bunch of generically pretty standards here is a clinic in the kind of fun you can have deconstructing and then reconstructing a tune. Brubeck may have wanted to stay home and compose and spend more time with the wife and kids at this point in his career, but if this 1967 tour was anything like what’s on this album, the group definitely went out on a high note. They rip through These Foolish Things; the bossa-tinged Forty Days alternates between austerity and unselfconscious beauty. One Moment Worth Years is the most judiciously expansive number here; they elevate La Paloma Azul far above its generic Mexican folk-pop origins, follow it with maybe the best-ever version of the absurdly memorable Three to Get Ready and close the set with a barely recognizable, all-stops-out version of Gone with the Wind. Long out of print and never officially issued digitally,you’ll either have to spend some time going through the jazz bins at your local used vinyl place (that’s what we did) or try your luck with deeply buried google pages.

660. The Dream Syndicate – The Days of Wine and Roses

One of the most influential albums of all time, it’s hard to imagine much of indie rock – Yo La Tengo and innumerable noise-rock bands – or for that matter, much of dreampop and shoegaze, without this deliriously fun 1981 masterpiece. That the first full-length album that Steve Wynn would appear on would become so iconic, and would age so well, attests to his brilliance from day one. Here he builds the foundation for the cataclysmic guitar duelling, savagely direct, literate lyricism and potent tunesmithing that has defined his career, through his most recent success with the Baseball Project (despite going over to the dark side by rooting for the Evil Empire, Wynn remains one of the most articulate baseball writers on the planet). And for a noisy album, this one’s amazingly diverse: distorted janglerock with Tell Me When It’s Over; insanely catchy riff-rock with Definitely Clean and That’s What You Always Say; the blistering post-Velvets shuffle Then She Remembers; the gleefully allusive When You Smile; the vivid manic depression and insane crescendo of the title track; the creepy Until Lately; bassist Kendra Smith’s quietly deadpan, spot-on Too Little, Too Late, and lead guitarist Karl Precoda’s volcanic, macabre Halloween. Other songwriters have sold more albums; Wynn’s career, meticulously documented via youtube and archive.org, attests to his status as one of the best-loved rockers ever. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. Here’s a random torrent.

659. Dexter Gordon – Our Man in Paris

To steal a phrase out of the JD Allen fakebook, this is jukebox jazz, low-key, nocturnal and irresistible, for wee-hours glass-clinking and whatever hopefully comes afterward. The famous tenor saxophonist doesn’t waste notes, he doesn’t overdo it, and in fact there are places where you’ll probably wish he’d trade that casual staccato pulse for a long wail. But this isn’t about wailing, it’s about setting a mood, and that’s what he does from start to finish, backed very tersely by pianist Bud Powell, drummer Kenny Clarke, and French bassist Pierre Michelot. The opening seven minutes of Scrapple From the Apple sets the tone, contrasting mightily with the stern, Sixteen Tons-style version of Willow Weep for Me. The best cuts here are the gorgeous, reverb-assisted Stairway to the Stars, and Like Someone in Love, an outtake that didn’t make it onto the original 1963 album, driven by Powell’s potently Romantic ripples and crashes. There’s also the jaunty Broadway, a solid version of A Night in Tunisia and a breezy postbop cover of Gershwin’s Our Love Is Here to Stay. Here’s random torrent via the excellent latin jazz blog bosquesonoro.

658. The Congos – Heart of the Congos

Considered to be dub producer genius Lee “Scratch” Perry’s finest hour, this 1977 roots reggae classic was reissued as a double cd in 1993 along with a handful of rare, consistently excellent, absolutely psychedelic dub versions of original album tracks. The harmony trio’s lead singer Cedric Myton’s falsetto soars over the oldschool backing unit, including Boris Gardiner on bass and Ernie Ranglin on guitar, as Perry moves one instrument and then another through the mix, twisting and turning them inside out, sometimes breaking it down to just the drums or the bass, everything drenched in reverb. The songs run the gamut: from the remake of the old mento song Fisherman (complete with a basso profundo shout-out to a local herb dealer); the hypnotic chant Congoman; the gospel-influenced Open Up the Gate, Sodom and Gomorrow and Can’t Come In; the sufferahs’ anthems La La Bam Bam (Jamaican patwa for “clusterfuck”) and Children Crying; and the Rasta anthems Ark of the Covenant, Solid Foundation and At the Feast. Here’s a random torrent.

657. Erroll Garner – Contrasts

A virtuoso jazz pianist with an inimitable style, Garner’s signature sound mixed classical flourishes into a highly ornamented, relaxed attack. With what looked like an effortless command, he’d play a song fairly straight through while expanding on the melody, rather than using it as a template for bebop. He’s best remembered for the iconic Misty, which is here, along with a dozen other tracks from this 1954 trio session with Wyatt Ruther on bass and Eugene Heard on drums, reissued in 1998. The big showstopper is the jaunty, bluesy 7-11 Jump (which is what the song clocks in at). There’s also a darkly Tschaikovskian Sweet and Lovely, a conspiratorial Exactly Like You, a fairly radical reinterpretation of You Are My Sunshine, an expansive Part Time Blues and a refreshingly bluesy, un-Broadwayish There’s a Small Hotel along with upbeat versions of Rosalie and Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me along with a luxuriant take on In a Mellow Tone. Highly recommend wee-hours listening. Here’s a random torrent.

656. Yomo Toro – Música Para El Mundo Entero

A surprisingly low-key but gorgeous and characteristically eclectic studio album from the Puerto Rican Jimi Hendrix, 1982. Playing his cuatro with his signature lush, jangly, watery tone, it almost sounds as if he’s using a twelve-string guitar. His most potent performances have always been live – he’s one of the fastest fret-burners on the planet – but other than his innumerable performances as a sideman with big orchestras, concert recordings by this guy are very hard to find. Stylistically, this one’s all over the map. It opens with the title track, a blazing salsa tune; after that, he offers a joyous, playful guided tour of the entire history of Puerto Rican music in six minutes and forty-seven seconds. The two best tracks here are lush ballads, Virgencita and Alma Llanera. There’s also the jazzy Le Vi Por Primera Vez; the catchy bolero La Cuesta De Josefina; the bouncy dance hit Popurri Sentimental and a salsa gospel tune. Even a Billy Joel cover – which the band manages to elevated a level above pure stench – can’t ruin this. The whole thing is streaming at deezer; here’s a random torrent via bosquesonoro.

655. Kelly Hogan – Because It Feels Good

Hogan got her start in the obscure but smartly adventurous indie band the Jody Grind. She was a good singer then; by 2001, when she released this cruelly underrated gem, she’d become one of the most hauntingly compelling voices in any style of music. And as much as she can haunt, she can also be very funny. Backed by a killer twangy Americana band, she’s a David Lynch girl on the lush tremolo-guitar soul ballad I’ll Go to My Grave Loving You. She’s more of a Russell Banks character on the countrypolitan kiss-off to a white trash guy, No Bobby Don’t. The misty, creepy Speedfreak Lullaby reminds of Mazzy Star; Please Don’t Leave Me Lonely has a vintage 60s Dionne Warwick feel. The best of the bunch is the Nashville gothic (You Don’t Know) The First Thing About Blue. There’s also the echoey, sparse ballad Stay (an original, not the oldies radio hit); a spare, poignant version of Randy Newman’s Living Without You, and a Smog cover done as Castles Made of Sand-style Hendrix. Why an album so good would be so hard to find is a mystery: other than at Hogan’s myspace, which has some of the tracks, it simply doesn’t exist online. And if you stream the songs there, be careful, you have to reload the page AND clear your browser after every play or else you’ll be assaulted by a loud audio ad.

654. The Crippled Pilgrims – Under Water

By the time this lo-fi 1985 janglerock masterpiece came out, the band had broken up. One of the best of the first wave of indie rock outfits, the Crippled Pilgrims’ signature sound built from the snaky, intertwining, sometimes psychedelic guitars of lead player Scott Wingo and frontman Jay Moglia, with snarling, melodic bass from Mitch Parker, formerly of Government Issue. Pensive, sometimes sardonic but richly tuneful, they sound a little like the Meat Puppets but with better vocals and songwriting. The gorgeous centerpiece is Oblivious and Numb with its neat bent-note hook. What You Lost and Down Here are straight-up four-on-the-floor guitar pop; the sarcastic So Clean is as directly lyrical as they ever got. Dissolving twists and turns with some noiserock passages; the album winds up with the epic, crescendoing Calculating with its eerie major-on-minor bassline. Reissued in the late 90s by Parasol along with the band’s only other album, their 1983 debut ep, the whole thing is streaming at myspace (but be careful, you have to reload the page AND clear your browser after each song to avoid being blasted by a loud audio ad). Here’s a random torrent via digitalvinyl.

653. McCoy Tyner – Sahara

Conventional wisdom is that this 1972 album is the renowned John Coltrane Quartet pianist’s best solo effort, and it’s hard to argue with that: it’s adrenaline in a bottle. The most powerful left hand in jazz is in full effect here, along with a bunch of mighty melodies to match it, alongside Sonny Fortune on alto sax and flutes, Calvin Hill on bass and reeds and Alphonse Mouzon on drums. Ebony Queen might capsulize Tyner’s intense, chordal style better than anything he ever did, followed by the blistering, beautiful, rippling solo piece A Prayer For My Family, the Asian-flavored Valley of Life, with Tyner on koto, and the lickety-split Rebirth. Side two is the epic, cinematic, 23-minute title rack, simply one of the greatest pieces of jazz ever written, with its suspenseful flute/percussion intro, rampaging cascades and Fortune’s darkly acidic lines. That one’s up on youtube in three segments, here, here and here. Here’s a random torrent.

652. American Ambulance – Streets of NYC

Along with the Hangdogs, American Ambulance were the best Americana roots rock band on the planet from the late 90s – when Wilco went to La La land – through the early zeros. They literally never made a bad album, from their 2001 debut though this final gem from four years later. This is a defiant concept album about growing up in the 70s. It’s an allusive, whiskey-fueled 48 hours of fun despite it all, frontman Pete Cenedella’s snarling vocals set the stage with the Stonesy Down in the Basement and Won’t Be Home Tonight, lead guitarist Scott Aldrich firing off searing riffs that draw as deeply on the Yardbirds and Kinks as much as Johnny Cash. The hopeful Here Comes the Day and expansive Shimmering Rain set the stage for the tongue-in-cheek Don’t You Like Rock N Roll and First One of a One-Too-Many Night, a big concert favorite. The night peaks with the surreal Your Name Little Girl and the foreboding Bad Moon Over Brooklyn. The classic here is Ain’t Life Good, a cruelly beautiful hungover Sunday morning scenario lit up with Erica Smith’s wounded, beautiful harmonies. Cenedella hints at a bitter future with Leave This City, but that’s a false alarm. Too obscure to find at the sharelockers but still available at the band’s site, and much of this is streaming there.

651. Mahalia Jackson – Come to Jesus

Mahalia Jackson predated the album era, our excuse to give you this fine four-cd box set of perhaps the greatest woman to ever sing gospel. There’s one glaring absence here: Swing Low Sweet Chariot, otherwise this is as good an approximation of her career as there is. Some songs are solo vocal with piano; some with organ; some with a choir; some with all of the above, dating from the 30s through the 70s. It’s a mix of spirituals and 20th century gospel. Much of this foreshadows soul music and even funk. Highlights: Gonna Move On Up a Little Higher; Just Over the Hill; Go Tell It on the Mountain; How I Got Over; City Called Heaven; His Eye Is on the Sparrow; In the Upper Room; On My Way to Canaan; Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen; and a titanic version of Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho. Here’s a random torrent via one of our favorite blogs, africangospelchurch.

650. Link Wray – Rumble! The Best of Link Wray

One of the guidelines we’ve been following here is no greatest hits albums unless the artist dates from the pre-album era. Link Wray claimed to have invented rock music, since he was playing his primeval, stomping instrumental blend of country and R&B in the late 1940s. We think that argument’s as good as any. This 1993 compilation mixes stuff from the late 50s through the mid-60s, many of the songs iconic in surf music circles. For lo-fi menace, nothing beats The Rumble, from 1958; Jack the Ripper, from 1961; the twisted Heartbreak Hotel theme Big City After Dark; Switchblade, with its tortuous slow pickslide intro; and The Shadow Knows, which is sort of his Harlem Nocturne. On the slightly lighter side, this one also has Run Chicken Run, Rawhide, the galloping Deuces Wild and Ace of Spaces. The Cramps, or for that matter Hasil Adkins, would never have existed without this guy. Here’s a random torrent.

649. Serge Gainsbourg – Aux Armes Etcaetera

Here’s a counterintuitive pick: the poete maudit of French hippie rock rapping in his Gauloise rasp over a deadpan groove supplied by Bob Marley’s band circa 1979. The lyrics only make sense if you understand uncouth 70s French slang, but the imperturbable bounce of the band is irresistible. The famous one here is the title cut, Gainsbourg doing the Marseillaise in a faux dancehall style. Lola Rastaquouere is a French pun (“rastaquouere” ironically means “vagabond,” with an immigrant connotation); Relax Baby Be Cool is fake R&B done almost ska style. Hostility gets out of hand with Brigade Des Stups, the bitter account of a stoner harrassed by the cops, as well as on Des Laids Des Laids (Ugly, Ugly) and Vieille Canaille (Old Bitch). Les Locataires (The Tenants) and Pas Long Feu (Real Soon) are more subtle. The cd reissue comes with an additional disc of outtakes and dub versions: all together, a twisted, weird idea that worked out better than anyone probably could have imagined. Here’s a random torrent.

648. The Gun Club – The Las Vegas Story

The late Jeffrey Lee Pierce’s fondness for the blues, garage rock and doomed sensibility meshed best on this impressively eclectic 1984 album. It’s hard to imagine much of the 90s glam/punk resurgence, from Jon Spencer to the Chrome Cranks – or for that matter, Nick Cave – without this. Abetted by the Cramps’ Kid Congo Powers, they scurry through the ominous Walking with the Beast and get eerie and hypnotic with The Stranger In Our Town. The Blasters’ Dave Alvin contributes a searing solo on the wickedly catchy Eternally Is Here. Side 2 begins with a murky solo piano miniature followed by a plaintive, torchy version of Gershwin’s My Man’s Gone Now, followed by the stomping Bad America, Moonlight Motel (a throwback to the swampy garage punk of the band’s first two albums) and the big anthem Give Up the Sun. The only miss here is a Blondie ripoff so blatant it’s funny. True to the doom and gloom of his lyrics, Pierce drank and drugged himself to death in 1996 at 37. Here’s a random torrent courtesy of c60lownoise.

647. Fairouz – The Olympia Concert

When the iconic Middle Eastern chanteuse played this show at the Olympia in Paris in 1979, her beloved Lebanon was under siege. You don’t need to speak Arabic to feel the pain and longing in the her stoic, carefully modulated voice: she’s sort of the Linda Thompson of the Arab world. Here she’s backed by a full orchestra plus a rock rhythm section and a brilliant oboeist who gets a lot of solos and makes the most of them. The acknowledged classic here is the sweeping, majestic epic Sheherezade, resplendent with oud, choir and orchestra. There’s also plenty of unselfconscious longing in another epic, Ya Aukht Zeinab, A Song for Paris, the bittersweet Ya Hawa Beirut (For Love of Beirut) and the slowly unfolding European-flavored ballad Rudani Ila Biladi (It’s a Pleasure). Habbaytak Bessayf (I Loved You in the Summer) is typical of the Rahbani Brothers’ songwriting (she married one of them): brooding Northern European Romanticism with Middle Eastern tonalities. The spooky, flute-driven nocturne Ya Markab’ Al Rih is rustic and cinematic; Bhibbak Ya Lebnan (I Love You Lebanon) could break your heart. It captures a moment like few songs can. The rest of the fourteen tracks here range from Arabic disco to carnivalesque pop to slow, sweeping ballads. Bootlegged to death throughout the Arab world (visit your local Arab music store if you have one; it’s probably there in one form or another), impossible to find in English. Many of the tracks are streaming at this Vietnamese site.

646. Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen – Live from Deep in the Heart of Texas

Did Commander Cody invent alt-country? Maybe. Pianist and stoner Americana maven George Frayne – who’s still going strong, with a different band behind him – is sort of the missing link between Dan Hicks and Little Feat. On this sprawling but tight live set from 1974, the eclectic showman and his three-guitar band blaze through a mix of western swing, roots rock, blues, and a snarling electric take on oldtime country. Lead guitarist Bill Kirchen, then in his early 20s, had already earned iconic status with his sizzling licks, and gets to air them out on his signature song, Too Much Fun. There’s also the C&W dance tunes Armadillo Stomp and Git It; the Chuck Berry style shuffle I’m Coming Home; the barrelhouse blues number Oh Momma Momma; a romp through Riot in Cell Block #9; a hippie update on the old cowboy song Sunset on the Stage; and a couple of sad ballads, Crying Time and “one of the world’s saddest songs,” as the Commander put it, Down to Seeds and Stems Again Blues. The only thing missing here is the most obvious one, Lost in the Ozone. Here’s a random torrent via chocoreve.

645. Flatt & Scruggs – 20 Greatest Hits

Bluegrass guitar legend Lester Flatt first joined forces with iconic, paradigm-shifting banjo virtuoso Earl Scruggs – who influenced pretty much every banjo player to come after him – in the Foggy Mountain Boys in 1946. There’s such a glut of their stuff floating around that we suggest this out-of-print collection (if you can find it) as a solid representation of their fast fingers at work. The one that everybody knows is Foggy Mountain Breakdown; other standards here include Sunny Side of the Mountain and Rollin’ in My Sweet Baby’s Arms. Yonder Stands Little Maggie is actually an English folk song; Salty Dog Blues is a dirty song, while country gospel is represented by Preachin’ Prayin’ Singin’. There’s also a drinking song – Drink That Mash And Talk That Trash – sad ballads – We’ll Meet Again Sweetheart and Farewell Blues – the chain gang song Doin’ My Time, the wry I’m Gonna Sleep with One Eye Open, the nostalgic My Cabin in Caroline, a couple of instrumentals, a blistering bluegrass version of Dill Pickle Rag and a pointless Carter Family cover. Mysteriously hard to find in the usual places: as an alternative, check out two delicious discs worth of 1950s radio recordings with the Foggy Mountain Boys via scratchyattic.

644. Taraf de Haidouks – Band of Gypsies

Active in their native Romania since the 90s, this exhilarating 2001 album by the scorching acoustic gypsy band makes Gogol Bordello seem tame by comparison. It’s as otherworldly and ecstatic as you could possibly want. Brief, blistering violin dances – Dance of the Firemen, Sorry Only My Sorrow, A Storm Crosses the Danube in the Company of a Raven and Caricura Dances intermingle with the lickety-split fiddling of The Return of the Magic Horses, the tricky, Macedonian-flavored A Gypsy Had a House and Absinth I Drink You, Absinth I Eat You, which is much further from blissful than you would expect. Green Leaf, Clover Leaf sets a buffoonish duet to a gorgeous tune, followed by the stark lament Little Buds, Bride in a Red Dress – which sounds like a syncopated version of the Exorcist theme – and the closing showstopper, Back to Clejani, whose lead instrument sounds like a broken tuba. The entire album is streaming at grooveshark; here’s a random torrent.

643. Los Saicos – Wild Teen Punk from Peru 1965

Los Saicos invented punk rock. In 1964. In Peru, off all places. Los Saicos (pronounced “los psychos”) had the raw, screaming vocals, amusingly antagonistic lyrics and sledgehammer guitars going a dozen years before the Ramones or the Clash (who most likely never knew they existed – sometimes great inventions happen in different places at different times). In their brief mid-60s heyday they never released an album or for that matter anything outside Peru. This reissue compilation collects pretty much their whole repertoire. Their big hit, still a cult favorite today, is Salvaje (The Savage); the surprisingly quiet, doo-wop tinged Ana was also a hit. There’s also the stomping, eerie surf punk of Come On; Lonely Star, which sounds like fast noir Orbison pop; the Peruvian ghoul janglerock of Cemeterio and El Entierro de Los Gatos (The Cats’ Burial); the brooding, hypnotic Fugitivo de Alcatraz; Te Amo, a sneering love song parody; Demolicion, a punked-out Twist; and the macabre R&B of the aptly titled Intensamente. Here’s a random torrent via Psychedelic Obscurities.

642. Ennio Morricone – The Platinum Collection

Everybody’s favorite Morricone is The Good, The Bad and the Ugly soundtrack, right? After all, it’s where the Italian film music maestro created his prototypical spaghetti western sound. Give him credit for basically inventing southwestern gothic all by himself, but he’s actually much more diverse than that. This exhaustive four-disc retrospective showcases his eclecticism, with tracks from the 50s through the late 80s. Many of these themes are probably better known today than the B movies in which they appeared (The Ballad of Hank McCain, for instance). From guitar tunes to sweeping, lushly orchestrated overtures, wrenching angst to balmy contentment, Morricone evokes it all, usually in five minutes or less – much less, sometimes. The sixty tracks here include the dark proto-Bacharach La Donna Della Domenica; the brooding Sicilian Clan; the cartoonish My Name Is Nobody; the sweepingly beautiful Deborah’s Theme from the pretty awful Once Upon a Time in America; the totally noir Dimenticare Palermo; the plaintive accordion waltz from The Tragedy of a Ridiculous Man; the iconic Fistful of Dollars, and of course tracks from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly including the title theme and the climactic cemetery scene. Here’s a random torrent via sharingisliberty.

641. The Stanley Bros. – All Time Greatest Hits

We’re gonna sneak another greatest-hits package in here because it’s representative, not necessarily because it’s any better than any other collection by these bluegrass legends – and their stuff has been packaged and repackaged a million times. Ralph and Carter Stanleys’ high lonesome voices, banjo and guitar, along with some topnotch 1940s and 50s Nashville players, rip through eleven songs, many of which have become standards. The real stunner here is Rank Strangers, one of the most vivid depictions of alienation ever set to music – its quietly resolute, suicidal atmosphere will give you chills. The one everybody here knows is Man of Constant Sorrow; the rest of the gothic Americana includes Oh Death and White Dove. There’s also the prisoner’s lament Stone Walls and Steel Bars; the wry, amusing Don’t Cheat in Our Home Town; the English dance Little Maggie; the lickety-split Little Birdie, and for country gospel fans, there’s Beautiful Star of Bethlehem. Mysteriously, this one isn’t very easy to find, so in lieu of this particular item you might want to check out something just as interesting, the complete Rich-R-Tone 78s collection, which is decent although the journey from 78 to digital was somewhat less than successful.

640. King Crimson – Red

King Crimson have played an awful lot of styles over their off-and-on forty-year existence – mellotron-driven symphonic rock, crazed acidic jazzy stuff, nerdy staccato new wave, ambient soundscapes. This 1974 album finds guitarist Robert Fripp at his loudest and most metal-oriented, with bassist John Wetton amazingly terse and tuneful. Side one runs through the tricky time signatures and offhandedly ominous tones of the title track, Fallen Angel, the menacing One More Red Nightmare and violin-driven Providence. The sidelong suite Starless rips a riff from Olivier Messiaen’s Concerto for the End of Time and takes it to its logical, murderous conclusion in over fifteen minutes of increasingly brutal, slowly stalking, crescendoing intensity, including the best (and longest) one-note solo ever played on any instrument (that’s Fripp shrieking and firing off sparks over Wetton’s slowly ascending, growling bass). Here’s a random torrent.

639. Champagne Francis – I Start to Daydream

Other than an extremely limited-edition acoustic ep, this 2006 album represents the entirety of this blissfully tuneful, catchy Brooklyn janglerock/powerpop trio’s recorded output. Imagine the Lemonheads if they’d stayed in college and majored in something interesting, and you have an idea what it sounds like. Frontman/guitarist Brian Silverman has a wit to match his supersonic chops, from the hilarious faux Steve Vai tapping solo on the album’s most surreally catchy number, Waterskis, to the crushingly deadpan anti-trendoid satire Our Parents Had Money. Burned to the Ground captures a drunken late-night party more vividly and captivatingly than that scenario would let you believe; the rest of the album slips in and out of focus artfully and entertainingly, from the opening track, Old Vampires, through the riff-rocking Done So Secretly and the inscrutably High Comedy and Walter. Too obscure to find at the sharelockers, but all the tracks are still streaming at the band’s site, and it’s still available from cdbaby.

638. Linton Kwesi Johnson – More Time

Conventional wisdom is that the great Jamaican-British dub poet’s incendiary work from the late 70s and early 80s is his best. To be counterintuitive, we’re going with this 1998 album, whose subject matter has a more diverse, international focus than the community-based broadsides that springboarded his career fronting a band. With bass genius Dennis Bovell and the Dub Band behind him, Johnson stoically intones his way through a couple of of elegies – Reggae Fi Bernard, Reggae Fi May Ayim – and reflections on the impact of art on politics, with the tongue-in-cheek If I Was a Top Notch Poet and Poems of Shape and Motion. The aphoristically explosive title track ponders what society would be like if leisure and family time were accorded as much status as material possessions; the even more explosive License Fi Kill namechecks pretty much everybody in John Major’s cabinet as complicit in the murder of innocent black people in British police custody. The album wraps up with the eerily prophetic New World Order. Here’s a random torrent.

637. The Art Ensemble of Chicago with Fontella Bass

This is as outside as we’re going to get here. At the risk of alienating some of you, we give you this sprawling 1970 theatrical acid jazz tour de force by these legendary improvisers. Burnt Sugar would be impossible to imagine without them. As much as this is free jazz per se, the reality is that this was an extraordinarily tight band that practiced sometimes as much as twelve hours a day, meaning that many of the motifs you hear here were minutely finessed in rehearsal. Here the classic late 60s/early 70s lineup of Lester Bowie on trumpet, Joseph Jarman and Roscoe Mitchell on reeds, Malachi Favors on bass and Don Moye on drums is joined by Fontella Bass who contributes both vocals and piano. Two long, sidelong suites: How Strange/Ole Jed on side one, Mitchell’s Horn Web on side two, which is more of an outright jam and features some characteristically tasty interplay between the saxes. Don’t hold it against these guys that they’re one of the grand total of two – two – jazz acts included on the best-albums list at that awful Chicago indie rock site run by those gay dudes. Here’s a random torrent via African Gospel Church.

636. The Jesus & Mary Chain – Darklands

Angst-ridden atheist post-Velvets powerpop from 1986. It’s the only really solid album the band ever did, a template they tried to fit into many times afterward without nearly as much success. Much as the idea of putting an album by a rock band propelled by a drum machine on this list is pretty abhorrent, it’s hard to argue with the catchy death-obsessed title track, or the stark, gorgeously bitter defiance of Deep One Perfect Morning, the strongest song here. There’s also the hook-driven, overcast goth-pop of Happy When It Rains and April Skies; the brisk, stomping Down on Me; the Stoogoid garage-punk of Fall; the poppiest number here, Cherry Came Too and a couple of impressively successful attempts at ethereal grandeur, Nine Million Rainy Days and About You. Here’s a random torrent.

635. Mr. Airplane Man – Moanin’

Boston duo Mr. Airplane Man started out in the late 90s as a two-woman Howlin Wolf cover band. By 2002, when they put out this one, they were one of the best garage rock bands on the planet. Guitarist Margaret Garrett and Tara McManus – who often played a Casio while drumming – beat the White Stripes to the guitar-and-drums thing by a couple of years, and were many leagues above them. Lo-fi but richly tuneful and often haunting as hell, the album opens with the punk blues Like That, the hypnotic title track and the gorgeous 60s garage-pop of Not Living At All. The shuffling Highway 61 blues Somebody’s Baby, the stomping riff-rock of Drive Me Out and the popular Jesus on the Mainline follow that. Then they do the dark, scurrying Uptight and a tensely suspenseful version of the Wolf’s Commit a Crime. The three classics here are noir rock masterpieces: the brooding Very Bad Feeling, the wickedly catchy Sun Sinking Low and the fiery, chromatic Podunk Holler, ending with the slow, meandering W*Nderin’. The whole album is streaming at deezer; here’s a random torrent via Oh Robot.

634. The Cramps – Songs the Lord Taught Us

 The Cramps took Link Wray, Hasil Adkins and the darkest side of surf music to its logical punk extreme. Produced by Alex Chilton – who gave Kid Congo Powers a wall of feedback here that might never be topped – the late Lux Interior, guitarist Poison Ivy and drummer Nick Knox primitively stomp their way through a bunch of menacing originals – TV Set and Garbageman being the best of them – as well as completely over-the-top covers of Strychnine and The Fever, done the opposite of Peggy Lee with no bass. The fun continues with I Was a Teenage Werewolf, Lux panting like Norman Bates on steroids; What’s Behind the Mask is like that too. There’s also the ghoulabilly of Sunglasses After Dark, Mystery Plane and Zombie Dance among the thirteen tracks here. The Memphis Morticians and a million other goulabilly bands would be pretty much unthinkable without these guys. RIP, Lux. Here’s a random torrent.

633. Webb Pierce – King of the Honky-Tonk: The Original Decca Masters 1952-59

Webb Pierce was the prototype for Elvis. He wore Nudie suits, always had great musicians in his band, pulled a lot of girls, was no stranger to intoxication and was one also one of the best country singers of his era. Why was Elvis more popular? Because he was tamer than this guy. Pierce lived hard, was a lot more versatile as a singer, with a high lonesome, wounded wail, and also wrote some of his own stuff. This album collects most if not all of his best and most popular stuff from the peak of his career. Pierce’s signature song is There Stands the Glass – “it’s my first one today.” His other hits range from heartbreak songs – Wondering and It’s Been So Long – to cheating songs – Broken Engagement and Back Street Affair – to more retro stuff like a killer cover of Jimmie Rodgers’ In the Jailhouse Now, his first big hit Slowly and the defiant Tupelo County Jail. Here’s a random torrent via Western Swing.

632. Gil Scott-Heron – From South Africa to South Carolina

Choosing one of the great revolutionary jazz poet and his Fender Rhodes colleague Brian Jackson’s politically-fueled psychedelic funk/jazz albums over another is a judgment call; for better or worse, we’re going with this 1975 release, the second with their legendary Midnight Band. It’s got Johannesburg, the first rock song to call attention to the horrors of apartheid, and the chilling cautionary tale South Carolina, about nuclear waste being dumped on unsuspecting rural communities. A Toast to the People is an optimistic shout-out to freedom fighters around the world; it’s also got the warm, captivating Summer of ’42, Essex and Fell Together, the hypnotic Beginnings and the unexpectedly summery Lovely Day. It doesn’t have the casually terrifying We Almost Lost Detroit, which at this point in history may be the most important song ever recorded, a cautionary tale which cruelly came true when Fukushima blew. Here’s a random torrent courtesy of Flabbergasted Vibes.

631. Steely Dan – Katy Lied

Let’s stay in 1975 for two in a row, shall we? This is self-mythologizing, deviously literate jazz-funk from Donald Fagen, Walter Becker and a cast of studio pros. Great band, but practically every one of their albums has a real clunker to go along with the good stuff, so that’s why we picked this one.There’s only a couple of super standouts here – Any World That I’m Welcome To, where Fagen lets down his guard and bares his fangs at the morons he grew up with, and the absolutely macabre Black Friday – but it’s solid all the way through. Bad Sneakers is a spot-on period piece, a couple of losers “with a transistor radio and a whole lot of money to spend” making their way up Sixth Avenue past Radio City. Daddy Don’t Live in That New York City No More works an oldschool blues vernacular better than any of the band’s contemporaries could, while Chain Lightning goes in a slow, funkier direction. Rose Darling and Everyone’s Gone to the Movies offer a leering, cynical look at romance, the surreal Dr. Wu was a pseudo-hit, and Your Gold Teeth II and the closing track, Throw Back the Little Ones reach for a distant, offhand menace. Here’s a random torrent via Walrussongs.

630. Sonic’s Rendezvous Band – Sweet Nothing

Back in the 70s, while the southern midwest had bands like the fictitious Stillwater (the sadly spot-on stoners from the movie Almost Famous), Detroit had hard, intense, uncompromising bands like these guys. Tragically, the bandleader didn’t live to see this album or its successors, and during the band’s lifetime, Sonic’s Rendezvous band (named after its leader, Fred “Sonic” Smith of the MC5) released only one vinyl single. This 1998 collection was the first in a series of reissues that culminated in a six-cd box set for you completists who have to have every outtake with Smith messing around on the saxophone. From the aptly titled first track, Dangerous, it’s careening riff-rock with a surreal, bluesy menace: it’s hard to imagine a lot of garage-punks bands like Radio Birdman without them. There’s some resemblance to the Stooges, but this stuff is heavier, slower and more soul-oriented, especially with the influence of Detroit legend Scott Morgan. The one track that sort of made it into the public eye is City Slang, one of the catchiest rock songs ever written: it blows the Ramones to shreds. There’s also the swaying, potent Getting There Is Half the Fun, the stalking, eight-minute title track; the warped boogie Asteroid B-612; the hammering Song L; the cynical Love and Learn and a careening cover of the Stones’ Heart of Stone. Here’s a random torrent via digitalmeltdown.

629. Absinthe – A Good Day to Die

Sam Llanas may be known as the soulful baritone co-founder of Milwaukee roots rock legends the BoDeans, but this 1999 album by his other project Absinthe – with the Violent Femmes’ Guy Hoffman on drums and Jim Eanelli, formerly of the Shivvers, on guitar – is the best thing he’s ever done. Inspired by the suicide of Llanas’ older brother, this anguished, death-obsessed, semi-acoustic rock record follows the Bukowskiesque trail of a life in a long downward spiral so harrowing that when it ends with Time for Us, a surprisingly warm, comforting ballad that his main band would pick up later, the mood still resonates. This guy just never had a chance. Bully on the Corner gets the foreshadowing going on early (although the narrator looks back and basically forgives him: his life must have been hell too). Defeat, with its mantra-like chorus, is just crushing; the title track is all the more haunting for its dignified treatment of the suicide. They follow that with the wistful, pretty Spanish Waltz, the unconvincing It Don’t Bother Me and then the two absolute masterpieces here, the down-and-out scenario Still Alone and the wrenching, Orbisonesque Messed Up Likes of Us. There’s nowhere to go from there but the bitter Dying in My Dreams, the denial of What I Don’t Feel and the paint-peeling noise-rock of A Little Bit of Hell, Eanelli’s great shining moment here. Surprisingly obscure, there don’t seem to be any streams of this anywhere, but it’s still up at the BoDeans’ site; here’s a random torrent.

628. Astor Piazzolla – Hommage a Liege

In putting this list together, we’ve tried to limit the number of albums per artist to one or two. Which with Astor Piazzolla is just plain absurd: there must be at least a dozen, maybe several dozen of his recordings that belong among the 1000 best albums ever made. Did the iconic Argentinian composer, bandleader, bandoneon player and inventor of tango nuevo put out one that stands over the rest? Frankly, no – they’re pretty much all good. We picked this dark, richly lush 1985 live album because A) Piazzolla plays on it and B) even though it doesn’t have any of his signature songs, like Libertango, it represents him well. Backed by two guitarists plus the Liege Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leo Brouwer, this is Piazzolla the classical composer rather than Piazzolla the pop tunesmith (he was both, and preferred to think of himself as the former). It’s two suites: first the epic triptych Concerto para Bandoneon y Guitarra (Intro, Milonga and Tango), then the four-part Histoire du Tango (does anybody besides us think it’s funny that the concerto is Spanish but the history is French?). This one is a musical portrait of how the style developed (with major contributions by the composer himself), from the whorehouse in 1900, to the Cafe 1930, Nightclub 160 and Aujourd’hui (Today). If Piazzolla is new to you, get to know him via Piazzolla Radio streaming 24/7. Here’s a random torrent via musicaparalacabeza.

627. Bernard Herrmann – The Film Scores: Los Angeles Philharmonic/Esa-Pekka Salonen

This 2005 reissue of an early 90s recording covers many if not all of the great film composer’s greatest moments, most of them from Hitchcock movies. It’s also maddeningly hard to find. At least it’s nice to see the guy who was arguably Hollywood’s foremost composer getting the full symphony orchestra treatment. The first track is the opening theme from The Man Who Knew Too Much, followed by most of the string quartet stuff from Psycho, notably the creepy intro, rainstorm scene, mommy getting offed and of course the shower scene. There’s also the stormy intro from Marnie, the even more ominously blustery North by Northwest theme, a ton of stuff from Fahrenheit 451, from the intro to the closing overture and the most noir moments from the Taxi Driver soundtrack. The one piece that really ought to be here but isn’t is the “concerto macabre” from Hangover Square, arguably Herrmann’s finest ten minutes – but the movie is obscure and the snobs probably felt it wasn’t well-known enough. A rigorous search didn’t turn up any torrents for this album, but you can download the Taxi Driver soundtrack, as well as the Marnie, Fahrenheit 451, NXNW, Torn Curtain and Vertigo soundtracks via The Cheerful Earfull.

626. Ran Blake & Jeanne Lee – The Newest Sound Around

Pianist Blake and singer Lee were just out of Bard College when they recorded this in 1961. Her recorded debut, fifty years later, remains the definitive noir jazz album. Mostly just piano and vocals, it’s shattering and intense, Lee’s quietly otherworldly, understated alto matching Blake’s often gleefully macabre cascades for a chemistry that has seldom existed anywhere between a singer and instrumentalist. They’re off with a menacing flourish and a couple of icy blood droplets as Blake launches into Laura, Lee deadpan and chilling against the relentless suspense. The chill factor goes up a notch higher on the spacious, doomed Where Flamingos Fly and the quietly anguished vocalese of Vanguard. Love Isn’t Everything also understates its case, potently, and Lee’s a-cappella version of Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child is heartbreaking. Yet not everything here is sad: there’s also the cynically funny Season in the Sun, the distantly gospel-tinged Church on Russel St. and a luridly sexy cover of Willie Dixon’s Evil. Forty-nine years later, Blake would recreate this mood with another another extraordinary singer, Sara Serpa, on their collaboration Camera Obscura. Here’s a random torrent.

625. The Act – Too Late at 20

Before Nick Laird-Clowes had the easy-listening radio hit Life in a Northern Town with his chamber-pop band the Dream Academy, he fronted this ferocious, sharply literate, Elvis Costello-influenced two-guitar new wave rock band with David Gilmour’s kid brother Mark playing lead. Their lone 1981 album is a masterpiece of catchy tunes, snarling guitar and restless lyricism. “I belong to the ones that got away,” he sings on the album’s best track, the resolute escape anthem Long Island Sound – but by the end, it’s hard to tell whether he’s singing “I belong” or “I’m alone.” That moment is characteristic here. Zero Unidentified is about as exhilarating as a three-minute song can get: it won’t take no for an answer. Get It While You’re Young has an uneasy undercurrent beneath the ecstatic two-guitar powerpop intensity, while The Art of Deception salutes the cheaters amongst us, Clash-style. There’s also the sizzling, upbeat Sure Fire; the reggae-tinged, cynical Protection and Skip the Beat; and the surprisingly tender Touch and Go. Only one dud amongst all this fun. Issued on the same label that would put out Richard & Linda Thompson’s Shoot out the Lights only a few months later, it’s been out of print for decades. Here’s a random torrent via Powerpop Criminals.

624. Roy Ayers – Coffy: The Original Soundtrack

Conventional wisdom is that the classic blaxploitation soundtrack is Curtis Mayfield’s score for Superfly. Great album, no doubt, but have you ever heard this one? Ayers had already made a name for himself in jazz before the movie came out in 1973, but here he really gets to be eclectic and also funny as hell. Mid-70s stoner funk jams with electric piano, wah guitar, vibes and strings don’t get any more fun than these. As you can expect from the movie, some of these are a little over the top: Coffy Is the Color (Pam Grier’s theme), as well as the themes for the evil Pricilla and King George. Then there’s Aragon to the rescue; the irresistible Coffy Sauna scene; the elegaic King’s Last Ride; self-explanatory Brawling Broads; the brooding Bernard Herrmann-esque Escape; the hard yet sultry funk of Exotic Dance; the LOL boudoir scene Making Love and the pensive electric harpsichord piece Vittroni’s Theme. The movie is a hoot too. Here’s a random torrent.

623. Ferlin Husky – Greatest Hits

Although his career reached into the 80s, country singer Ferlin Husky’s best years were the 50s and early 60s and for that reason, we’re breaking our “no greatest hits” rule since those songs predated the album era. Husky’s persona was more vulnerable, maybe Orbisonesque, than his contemporaries and for that reason he had a huge cult following, especially among women. The big early 50s hit was Gone, which set the stage for Dear John Letter, his duet with Jean Shepard. The longing in Once and Every Step of the Way is visceral; for fans of country standards, there’s Wings of a Dove and Heavenly Sunshine. Just for You shows him still at the top of his game in 1968; I Feel Better All Over was resurrected thirty years later by Knoxville Girls. This 70s reissue is also awfully hard to find outside of church sales and junk shops; instead, you can check out his 1967 I Could Sing All Night album via Some Local Loser.

622. Public Image Ltd. – The Flowers of Romance

Just when it seemed that PiL couldn’t push the envelope any further, they came out with this bitter, astringent album that’s arguably even more cutting-edge than Second Edition. The melodies may seem Middle Eastern, but it’s actually inspired by the ancient Celtic music that John Lydon had been listening to around 1981. It’s also Martyn Atkins’ great shining moment: he fills the spaces between these eerie, ghostly, skeletal tunes and Lydon’s ominously wailing monotone with some of the most memorable rock drumming in decades. The intensity never lets up, from the claustrophobic, terrorized Four Enclosed Walls, Track 8 and Phenagen; the ridiculously catchy, anthemic yet completely avant-garde title track; the creepy, singsongey Under the House; the hypnotic instrumental Hymie’s Him; the snarling Banging the Door, antifascist anthem Go Back and elegaic Francis Massacre (about an IRA activist sentenced to life in Mountjoy Prison). This was also the group’s last adventure in experimental music: from there, they’d go through a funk phase, a generic stadium rock phase and end in the early 90s with something of a return to their punk roots. Here’s a random torrent.

621. Abdel Halim Hafez – Ala Aal El Shoaa On: Greatest Hits

The iconic Egyptian film music crooner is best known for his anguished, improvisational epics – throughout his almost thirty-year career, from the 50s to the late 70s, he never sang a song the same way twice. The pain in his voice may have had something to do with the fact that he was plagued by a chronic skin condition that eventually killed him at age 47. The fifteen tracks here range from something beyond epic – about 38 minutes of Zay El Hawa (Feels like Love) – to the remarkably brief, five-minute Al Toba. Most of these are iconic in the Arab world, including the Mohammed Abdel Wahab standard Ahwak (I Love You), Sawah (The Wanderer), Gana El Hawa (Love Came to Us), Ouloulu, and the title track, all set to lush, haunting orchestral arrangements. Like so many of his contemporaries, his recordings have been bootlegged to death; we’re suggesting this one because it represents his career well, and actually exists in digital form (many don’t). Here’s a random torrent.

620. Abbey Lincoln and Max Roach – We Insist! Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite

In 1960, folksingers weren’t the only ones doing socially conscious music: plenty of jazz people were doing it too. This fiery civil rights-era suite is as inspiring and relevant today as it was when it came out that year. The chanteuse and her brilliant, innovative drummer husband are joined by an inspired, eclectic band including Coleman Hawkins on sax and African percussionist Babatunde Olatunji. They open with the insistent minor gospel-flavored Driva’man, follow with the irrepressible indomitable Freedom Day and then the album’s epic centerpiece, Triptych: Prayer/Protest/Peace. It’s possible they inspired a young Gil Scott-Heron with the early anti-apartheid broadside Tears for Johannesburg. There’s also the hypnotic, percussion-driven All Africa. Here’s a random torrent.

619. Richard Cheese – Lounge Against the Machine

What Weird Al was to the 80s, Richard Cheese was around the turn of the century – and he’s still going strong, making fun of the suckiest songs you’ve ever heard. And he’s more than just a one-trick pony – his parodies make fun of lounge music just as much as they skewer the lamest corporate rock songs of the last 20 years. Caveat: if you weren’t tortured by a younger sibling (or, even worse, an older sibling) with bad taste in music back in the 90s, you may not know a lot of these songs. Ironically, the most popular track on Cheese’s 2000 debut is the best one, the Dead Kennedys’ Holiday in Cambodia, which when you think about it is even more punk than the original. Creep, by Radiohead, another good song, is also better – and creepier – than the original. Otherwise, the satire is brutal: with his cover of Guerrilla Radio, the lounge lizard exposes Rage Against the Machine for the limousine liberals they were. He gets gleefully cruel with the fratboy standards Closer (“I wanna fuck you like an animal”) by Nine Inch Nails, the Prodigy’s Smack My Bitch Up and the ultimate frathouse atrocity, the Beastie Boys’ Fight For Your Right to Party. Anybody remember Papa Roach? They get turned into noir cabaret here. And Fatboy Slim – remember him? – gets subjected to more of a spoof of lounge music than of whatever he was (if you missed him, you don’t want to know). Here’s a random torrent.

618. Blind Blake – Ragtime Guitar’s Foremost Fingerpicker

The album title doesn’t do justice to this kick-ass guitarist who pushed the envelope and mixed blues, country, ragtime and early swing into a catchy, tuneful, inimitably original style. This album collects many of his best 78 RPM singles from 1926 through his last dates in 1932. A lot of the British blues guys from the 1960s took a stab at Diddie Wa Diddie, but the original still beats all of them; the one that Albert King, Jimmy Reed and a lot of their contemporaries picked up was Early Morning Blues (which actually isn’t on this album). The rest of this is as ghetto as ghetto gets: songs about raising hell, going on the lam, police brutality, an execution, illegal gambling, domestic violence, drugs, unfaithful girlfriends, and lots and lots of sex among the 23 tracks. Their rustic charm and defiant energy still resonates eighty years later. Here’s a random torrent.

617. The New Race – The First to Pay

Think about this for a second: in 1988, the late great Ron Asheton was so broke that he had to sell the master tapes for this album to a French record label, since no American one would put it out. Another shocker is that it’s been out of print pretty much since then. The New Race were a Detroit rock supergroup with the MC5′s Dennis Thompson on drums, Asheton and Radio Birdman’s Deniz Tek on guitars, plus Warwick Gilbert on bass and Rob Younger from that band on vocals. They did a single Australian tour that resulted in three live albums of raw, searing, primevally intense garage punk metal. It’s a mix of Birdman and Stooges songs plus three tunes the group came up with together: the metalloid space shuttle tribute Columbia, the surprisingly poppy Living World and the maniacally scurrying Haunted Road. Gilbert’s menacing bass chords take the doomed intensity of Love Kills to another level; likewise, the chromatically-charged Smith & Wesson Blues and All Alone in the End Zone are completely unhinged. They also do a very satisfying, amped-up cover of Destroy All Monsters’ November 22, 1963 along with the Stooges’ Loose and TV Eye. The whole album is streaming at grooveshark; here’s a random torrent via rogkentroll.

616. Mulatu Astatke – Ethiopiques Vol. 4: Ethio Jazz & Musique Instrumentale, 1969-74

The best-known Ethiopian jazz bandleader, Mulatu Astatke continues to be sought after as a collaborator by all sorts of western musicians. His career on this side of the globe may have been springboarded by his numerous contributions to the soundtrack to Jim Jarmusch’s film Broken Flowers, but he was well-known as the father of Ethiopian funk long before that – he’s every bit as much of an innovator, and a great dance tunesmith, as Fela Kuti was. This album collects most of the bittersweet, memorable themes from early in his career: the iconic Tezeta (Nostalgia), the longing of Metche Dershe (When Will I Get There), the love songs Munaye and Gubelye, the eerie, reggaeish Sabye and the rousing overture Dewel (The Bell) among the fourteen tracks here. Intricate, complex yet danceable, it’s a good introduction to a guy who needs none among African music fans. Here’s a random torrent via Totem Songs.

615. The Amazing Bud Powell Vol. 2

A 1951 recording reissued in 1955 and digitized in the 90s. We picked this one rather than the almost identical Vol. 1 because it doesn’t have that horrid Judy Garland song that everybody knows. Here the certifiably crazy pianist leads a quintet with Fats Navarro, Sonny Rollins, Tommy Potter and Roy Haynes, along with a handful of trio and solo performances. It’s got two takes of his signature song, Un Poco Loco, on one hand absolutely creepy, on the other a welcome example of Afro-Cuban music infiltrating the jazz world. There’s also the similiarly foreboding Dance of the Infidels, the wary nocturnal bustle of Monk’s 52nd St. Theme, the expansive, surprisingly gentle It Could Happen to You and the totally amazing Parisian Thoroughfare, which has echoes of Debussy. And also the popular Bouncing with Bud, Ornithology and A Night in Tunisia (this list must have at least a half a dozen versions of that song on various albums – is 50s jazz great or what?). Here’s a random torrent; if you really want Vol. 1, here’s a random torrent for that one.

614. Live Skull – Snuffer

The best New York band of the 80s wasn’t Sonic Youth. It was Live Skull. They shared a producer, Martin Bisi, whose ears for the most delicious sonics in a guitar’s high midrange did far more to refine both bands’ sound than he ever got credit for. As noisy as this band was, they also had an ear for hooks: noise-rock has never been more listenable. By the time they recorded this one, guitarists Tom Paine and Mark C., fretless bassist Marnie Greenholz and drummer Rich Hutchins had brought in future Come frontwoman Thalia Zedek, but on vocals rather than guitar. It’s a ferociously abrasive yet surprisingly catchy six-song suite of sorts, Zedek’s assaultive rants mostly buried beneath the volcanic swirl of the guitars and the pummeling rhythm section. By the time they get to Step, the first song of side two, they’ve hit a groove that winds up with furious majesty on the final cut, Straw. Like Sonic Youth, their lyrics are neither-here-nor-there; unlike that band, they had the good sense to bury them in the mix most of the time. Very influential in their time, it’s hard to imagine Yo La Tengo and many others without them. Here’s a random torrent via Rare Punk.

613. Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks – Original Recordings

Dan Hicks was literally a half-century ahead of his time. The title of his 1969 debut alludes to a much earlier era – the 1920s and 30s – whose music he updated, yet keeping a sultry roaring 20s feel courtesy of the harmonies of  Lickettes Sherri Snow and Christina Gancher. It’s all low-key acoustic stoner swing Americana with funny lyrics. The funniest – and most vicious – number here is Canned Music, in a way 50 years ahead of its time, as a parody of lite FM cliches. There’s the sardonic How Can I Miss You When You Won’t Go Away; the faux gypsy I Scare Myself (another one that was way ahead of the curve); the proto-Moonlighters shuffle Evening Breeze; the tongue-in-cheek boogie Waiting On the 103; the noir diptych Shorty Takes a Dive and Shorty Falls in Love; It’s Bad Grammar Baby (sort of his All Along the Watchtower); the sort of obvious Milk Shakin’ Mama, and after all this, they pull out all the stops for the Jukie’s Ball. They were steampunk 30 years before that term existed and remain one of the funnest, funniest retro swing bands ever recorded, Here’s a random torrent via Smalltown Pleasures.

612. Jackie McLean – Jackie’s Bag

Jackie McLean was an alto saxophonist with a bright, hard-hitting style. This 1960 album comprises two sessions: one with Donald Byrd on trumpet, Sonny Clark on piano, Paul Chambers on bass and Philly Joe Jones on drums, the other with Chambers plus the great, underrated Tina Brooks on tenor sax, Blue Mitchell on trumpet, Kenny Drew on piano and Art Taylor on drums. The title is a pun: at the time he recorded it, McLean was a heroin addict, and he wasn’t the only one in the band. Nevertheless, it’s a swinging record, steeped in the blues yet consistently surprising, with some great solos. There’s the vivid, scurrying Quadrangle; the blazing minor swing of Blues Inn; the genially optimistic Fidel (how little they knew then, huh?); the pensive but wickedly catchy Appointment in Ghana; the brisk, bright Ballad for a Doll; as well as Brooks’ blistering Isle of Java (another pun) and gritty, gospel-infused Street Singer. The cd reissue also includes the klezmer-tinged Melonae’s Dance and darkly smoldering Medina. Here’s a random torrent via toukoutou.

611. Sarah Vaughan – Sarah +2

To a generation of fans, Sarah Vaughan is divine; another camp (guess which one we’re in) thinks she could have done more with less. On this 1962 album she does exactly that, backed magically and tersely by Barney Kessel on guitar and Joe Comfort on bass. Kessel absolutely owns this album, reminding why he was was one of the most sought-after (and today, underrated) guitarists ever. No effects, no frills, no overplaying, just richly counterintuitive syncopation, surgical precision and a dynamic chordal attack, and Comfort’s even more minimalist bass is just as cool. The spacious arrangements mean that much of the time it’s Vaughan solo, or with the bass, or the guitar. The big hit here was The Very Thought of You. Just in Time starts out like Peggy Lee’s The Fever until the guitar finally comes in; When Sunny Gets Blue doesn’t have the intensity of Jeanne Lee’s version, but what does? All I Do Is Dream of You works surprisingly well with such a cosmopolitan arrangement, as does the stripped-down Ray Noble big band hit Goodnight Sweetheart. The early Ellington hit Just Squeeze Me nails the coyness of the theme. There’s also a wary reinterpretation of Bessie Smith’s Baby Won’t You Please Come Home and a dreamily surreal, bossa-tinged version of Key Largo. Here’s a random torrent.

610. The Delmore Bros. – Classic Cuts 1933-41

Alton and Rabon Delmore really weren’t brothers, but that didn’t stop them from pretending they were. A lot of that kind of stuff happened in country music back in the old days. This massive 4-cd box set spans from the fire-and-brimstone country gospel of No Drunkard Can Enter There and Goodbye Booze – did anybody ever take these songs the least bit seriously? – to blues like Nashville Blues and I’ve Got the Railroad Blues, standards like Lay Down My Old Guitar and Blue Hills of Virginia along with creepy southern gothic tales like The Dying Truck Driver. Rustic, provocative evidence that there was an awful lot of cross-pollination between black and white musicians in those days. This one hasn’t showed up in the usual places, so in its place you might be interested in these 1933-35 radio tracks via Did You Remember El Diablo Tuntun.

609. Jimmy Smith – Midnight Special

Conventional wisdom is that Back at the Chicken Shack is the great Hammond B3 jazz organist’s alltime classic (although pretty much everything the guy ever recorded is worth hearing). We picked this 1963 release A) to be perverse, B) because the tracks are a little better, and lesser-known, and C) because it’s everything BUT Smith’s signature shuffle grooves. Everything on both albums was recorded in a single day – to say that Smith and his band (Stanley Turrentine on tenor sax, Donald Bailey on drums and Kenny Burrell guesting on guitar on three tracks) were on top of their game is an understatement. Basie’s One O’Clock Jump gets a terse, biting blues treatment, alongside Bird’s Jumpin’ the Blues, while Why Was I Born? makes funk out of the Rodgers/Hammerstein showtune. Turrentine’s A Subtle One is a wickedly catchy song without words; the title track, a straight-up blues, swings with a jaunty, summery joy. Here’s a random torrent via Oufar Khan.

608. The Secret Museum of Mankind Vol. 7 – North Africa: Ethnic Music Classics: 1925-48

This seems to be the last in the wild and eclectic Secret Museum of Mankind series of reissues of old public domain 78s from all over the world. The first was old hillbilly music from the 20s; the other volumes include gospel, zydeco and stuff you’d otherwise only find in a museum – literally. This one’s the best, a collection of famous oud players, flute players, horn players, male and female singers, bellydancers, solo acts, small combos and big ensembles. The best-known names here are oldtime Moroccan oud star Raoul Journo and Algerian rai hitmaker Cheikh Hamada (who was doing trip-hop 70 years before it became a popular corporate pop rhythm), but the obscurities are just as fascinating. Here’s a random torrent via Major Bonobo.

607. Shostakovich: String Quartets 1-13 – The Borodin String Quartet

This 1967 recording with Valentin Berlinsky on cello, Rostislav Dubinsky and Nina Barshai on first and second violins and Rudolf Barshai on viola is considered the gold standard for the iconic composer’s complete quartets. It’s literally a journey from somewhat brash, to wounded and bitter, elegaic (the literally terrifying 11th is one of the most haunting pieces of music ever made) and quiet, almost mystical. Awfully hard to find in digital form: here’s a random torrent for #3, #7 and #8. Otherwise, here’s a torrent for the Emerson Quartet’s terrific box set of these pieces from 1999.

606. Eric Dolphy – Out to Lunch

This gorgeously melodic 1963 album – which transcends any attempt to categorize is as “postbop” or otherwise – features the great reed player along with with Bobby Hutcherson on vibes, Freddie Hubbard, Richard Davis and an 18-year-old Tony Williams absolutely astonishing on drums. Dolphy plays bass clarinet on the Monk homage Hat and Beard, later switching to flute on Gazzelloni; Something Sweet, Something Tender is lyrical and aptly titled. The title track is a cinematic mini-suite, surpassed here only by the surreal epic Straight Up and Down, ostensibly meant to illustrate a long walk home after closing down the bar. Here’s a random torrent via Holy Fucking Shit 40000.

605. The Strawbs – Grave New World

The Strawbs started out in the UK in the late 60s as the Strawberry Hill Gang, playing bluegrass; they backed Sandy Danny on her first full-length recording, not issued til decades later. By 1972, they were taking British folk and making towering, anthemic, psychedelic art-rock out of it, sort of like Jethro Tull without the gnomes and hobbits. This one’s all over the map: there are a couple of duds, but otherwise it’s a masterpiece, a loosely thematic collection of songs that ponder aging and death. Benedictus takes a 12-string Byrds theme and makes a hypnotic, circular anthem out of it; the title track, with its murderous, crashing mellotron intro, is one of the most vengeful songs ever written: “May you rot, in your grave new world!” There’s also the apprehensive, Procol Harum-ish Tomorrow; the artfully backward-masked Queen of Dreams; the psychedelic folk of Heavy Disguise and The Flower and the Young Man and the surprisingly quiet, resigned concluding track Journey’s End. After all these years, and a turn in a harder-rocking direction, frontman Dave Cousins continues to tour a more acoustic version of the band. Here’s a random torrent.

604. Farid Al-Atrache – 25 Ans Deja

What B.B. King or Richard Thompson are to the guitar, Farid Al-Atrache was to the oud, the ancient Middle Eastern four-string bass lute. B.B. is probably the better comparison: Al-Atrache had supersonic speed on the frets when he felt like cutting loose, but he was more about soul than flash. And he was a lot more than just a musician, with a long career as a star of screwball Egyptian musical comedies. The title of this late-90s compilation alludes to the years since his death. Most of this is lushly orchestrated levantine dance music, many of the tracks, like Adnaytani Bel Hagr and Ich Inta having become a part of the standard bellydance repertoire. There’s also the catchy, upbeat Hebbina Hebbina; the sweepingly majestic Baa Ayez Tensani; and the hits Zaman Ya Hob, Ana Wenta We Bass, Manheremch el Omr and Odta Ya Yom Mawlidi among the eighteen tracks here. Here’s a random torrent via ubdocleahq.

603. Graham Parker – Songs of No Consequence

For more than thirty years, Graham Parker has been making snarling, wickedly melodic lyrical rock albums: you could make the case that several of them belong on this list. We picked this vastly underrated 2007 release because it represents everything that’s good about him: his unapologetically savage, literate lyrics, his tunefulness and ability to perfectly match musicians to the songs. Here he’s backed mostly by powerpop cult heroes the Figgs. Right off the bat, Parker thumbs his nose at the media with the spot-on Vanity Press. She Swallows It is a typical Parker pun, less corrosive than perplexed; Suck N Blow is the opposite. The real stunner here is Chloroform, a murderous send-off to a record label exec on his slow, painful way down. There’s also the sardonic soul shuffle Bad Chardonnay, the surreal Dislocated Life, the self-explanatory Evil, the Elvis Costello-ish There’s Nothing on the Radio, the wry Did Everybody Just Get Old and the insanely catchy Local Boys, a tongue-in-cheek follow-up to his old 70s British hit Local Girls. Mysteriously impossible to find at the sharelockers, this is a rare album that’s actually worth owning as a hard copy: cdbaby still has it.

602. Knoxville Girls – In the Woodshed

Active from the late 90s through the early zeros, darkly swampy New York rockers Knoxville Girls inhabitated a stylized world of Jim Jarmusch noir Americana. With Dimestore Dance Band leader Jack Martin, former Cramp Kid Congo Powers and the Chrome Cranks’ Jerry Teel on guitars, Barry London on organ and original Sonic Youth drummer Bob Bert, they were the “the ultimate Lower East Side resume band” as one blog aptly billed them. As entertaining and occasionally menacing as their two studio albums are (In a Paper Suit, from 2004 is highly recommended), onstage they were an unstoppable beast. From 2000, this is their only live album, released only on vinyl and sold exclusively as tour merch. When Teel croons Warm and Tender Love, somehow it feels like just the opposite, a feeling that recurs on I Had a Dream and Charlie Feathers’ rockabilly standard Have You Ever. They take Ferlin Husky’s I Feel Better All Over to the next level, careen through the shuffling Armadillo Roadkill Blues, Kung Pow Chicken Scratch, the tongue-in-cheek One More Thing and the instrumental Sixty-Five Days Ago with an unhinged abandon that peaks in the sprawling, closing jam, Low Cut Apron/Sugar Fix. It doesn’t look like this has ever been digitized: try your local used vinyl joint. The band’s two studio albums are still available from In the Red.

601. Richard Strauss – Death and Transfiguration – The Berlin Philharmonic/Ivan Fischer

Strauss is best known these days as a composer of opera and lieder: his trademark is lavish arrangements, most of them possibly devised to conceal the fact that the music is not all that deep. This is his career highlight, a massive multi-part tone poem inspired by the Nietszche work. It has the potential to be stormy: it usually isn’t. What makes it work is the tension: it’s meant to portray a relatively incessant struggle for redemption. We picked this 2009 release because it works the dynamics more boisterously than other recordings: it’s not supposed to be all ambience and suspense, and when they reach a peak here, it packs a wallop. Here’s a random torrent.

600. T-Model Ford – Pee Wee Get My Gun

Primeval menace at its most raw and ramshackle, this 1997 live-in-the-studio recording is a fair approximation of what the Mississippi hill country blues legend is like onstage. A convicted murderer who let his reputation proceed him and seems to have a lot of fun letting people believe how bad he is, T-Model Ford was a nonmusician until his late 50s. His pounding, hypnotic style doesn’t indicate that he was listening to much of anything other than the careening one-chord juke-joint vamps popular in his neck of the woods. Where Junior Kimbrough was all about nuance, this is all about the adrenaline rush. By the time he made this, he was in his late 70s, with a bad hip that forced him to play sitting down. But it doesn’t hold him back, just him and his drummer Spam. Marilyn Manson is G-rated compared to this guy. It’s angry, assaultive stuff, kiss-off numbers like Cut You Loose; the defiant Nobody Gets Me Down; the T-Model Theme, a warped boogie; the completely unhinged I’m Insane and seven other tracks, most of them in the same key, otherworldly overtones flying from the muted strings of his cheap guitar. Still vital at almost ninety, he keeps playing and recording. The whole album is streaming at deezer; here’s a random torrent via I Hate the 90s.

March 1, 2011 Posted by | blues music, classical music, country music, folk music, funk music, jazz, middle eastern music, Music, music, concert, rap music, reggae music, rock music, ska music, soul music, world music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The 1000 Best Albums of All Time 600-699

NYC Live Music Calendar for February and March 2011

The latest calendar for March and April is here.

 A few things you should know about this calendar: 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:

Sundays there’s a klezmer brunch at City Winery, show starts around 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.

Through May of 2011, the series of free organ concerts at 5:15 PM continues most every week (holidays excepted) at St. Thomas Church, 53rd St. and 5th Ave.

Sundays in March the Chico O’Farrill latin Jazz Orchestra at Birdland, sets 8/10:30 PM, $30 seats avail

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 Choi Fairbanks String Quartet play a wide repertoire of chamber music from Bach to Shostakovich starting at 7.

Mondays starting a little after 7 PM Howard Williams leads his Jazz Orchestra from the piano at the Garage, 99 7th Ave. S at Grove St. There are also big bands here most every Tuesday 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.

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 Tea Lounge in Park Slope at 9 PM trombonist/composer JC Sanford books big band jazz, an exciting, global mix of some of the edgiest large-ensemble sounds around. If you’re anybody in the world of big band jazz and you make it to New York, you end up playing here: what CBGB was to punk, this unlikely spot promises to be to the jazz world. No cover.

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 March 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 slinky but boisterous rhythm section, their mix of obscure classics and originals is one of the funnest, most danceable things you’ll witness this year.

Also Mondays in March 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 songs and is one of the most charismatic, intense live performers of our time. It’s a crazy dance party til past three in the morning. Paula Henderson from Burnt Sugar is the lead soloist on baritone sax, with Dave Smith from Smoota and the Fela pit band on trombone, with frequent special guests.

The second and fourth Tuesday of the month there are free organ concerts at half past noon at Central Synagogue, 652 Lexington Ave @ 55th St. curated by celebrated organ adventurer Gail Archer, a global mix of veteran and up-and-coming talent.

Tuesdays in March Balkan brass maniacs Slavic Soul Party  play Barbes at 9. Get here as soon as you can as they’re very popular.

Tuesdays Julia Haltigan plays 11th St. Bar at 10 “for the rest of her life.” A nuanced, cleverly lyrical country/Americana chanteuse with a terrific band behind her and a growing catalog of first-class original songs. See her now before it costs you big bucks at the Beacon.

Tuesday nights at 10, Marc Ribot has taken on booking a weekly show at Watty & Meg, 248 Court St. in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn: two guitarists each week, each playing solo, then trading songs, ideas, conversations, possibly jamming, $15 cover includes a drink.

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

Wednesdays at 9 PM Feral Foster’s Roots & Ruckus takes over the Jalopy, a reliably excellent weekly mix of oldtimey acts: blues, bluegrass, country and swing.

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

Thursdays and Fridays in March at Mehanata it’s Bulgarian sax powerhouse Yuri Yukanov and the Grand Masters of Gypsy Music, 10 PM, $10.

Fridays at 8:30 PM adventurous cellist/composer Valerie Kuehne books an intriguing avant garde/classical/unclassifiable “weekly experimental cabaret” at Cafe Orwell in Bushwick, 247 Varet St. (White/Bogart), L to Morgan Ave. It’s sort of a more outside version of Small Beast, a lot of cutting-edge performers working out new ideas in casual, unstuffy surroundings. Kuehne promises “never a dull moment.”

Fridays in March at 9 Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens play the Fat Cat.

Saturdays in February slinky yet edgy tropicalia chanteuse Marianni plays Zinc Bar at 10 PM with her band

2/1 trombone free jazz legend Steve Swell with Perry Robinson on clarinet and Max Johnson on bass at 7 at Barbes, followed at 9 by Slavic Soul Party who also know a thing or two about good trombone.

2/1, 7 PM the Pride of the Subway Ceili Band at Banjo Jim’s followed at 9 by the NYCity Slickers playing classic and original bluegrass.

2/1, 8 PM, hypnotic, lush, atmospheric art-rockers the Quavers open for southwestern gothic legends Giant Sand at City Winery, $22 standing room tix avail.

2/1, 8 PM Caithlin DeMarrais plays the Mercury. One of the few truly spellbinding singers of our time – she was good in Rainer Maria and she’s pretty amazing now. And a haunting, pensive songwriter with a promising new album in the works.

2/1 midnight-ish lyrical star Talib Kweli at the Brooklyn Bowl, $10.

2/2, 7:30 PM the latest in edgy pianist Alexandra Joan’s Kaleidoscope series features her alongside fiery Balkan clarinetist Vasko Dukovski, Icelandic cellist Saeunn Thorsteinsdottir and violinist Erno Kallai performing Bartok: Contrasts for Piano, Violin and Clarinet: Brahms: Clarinet Trio, op. 114; Messiaen: Quartet for the End of Time at WMP Concert Hall, 31 E 28th St. $25/$15 stud. Most of this crew delivered one of last year’s best concerts together; this could be another one.

2/2, 8 PM an excellent Afrobeat doublebill with Ikebe Shakedown and Zongo Junction at Brooklyn Bowl, $5

2/2, 8:30 PM female-fronted Canadian rock with Toronto’s edgy danceable postpunk People You Know and ferocious powerpop/punkpop Hunter Valentine at the Knitting Factory, adv tix $8 rec., all ages.

2/2, 9 PM the Mercenaries at Lakeside – Altogether Steve and the rest of the crew are still kicking ass after all these years, sort of the NYC version of the Replacements.

2/3 a 90th Birthday Celebration for Egyptian composer Halim El-Dabh, 6 PM at Bruno Walter Auditorium at the NYPL for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center – performers include soprano Christine Moore, violinist Luis Casal, and pianists Ruzan Asatryan and Katie Reimer. Free, early arrival advised.

2/3-6, 7:30/9:30 PM tenor saxophonist and Miles Davis/Max Roach alum George Coleman leads an interesting quintet lineup including Larry Goldings on organ and Peter Bernstein on guitar at the Jazz Standard

2/3 subversive comedic musical duo Mel & El at Comix 353 W. 14th St, 7:30 PM, $10

2/3, 7:30 PM guest conductor George Steel leads the Trinity choir in a wonderful, often haunting program of 13th-16th century English renaissance choral works by Tallis, Sheppard and Parsons and others at Trinity Church, $20, early arrival rec.

2/3, 8 PM kick-ass new intelligent Brooklyn-bred rock with Mussels, the incomparably funny and assaultive Brooklyn What, the Proud Humans and Steer at Rock Shop in Gowanus, $8

2/3, 8 PM Pierre de Gaillande’s Bad Reputation doing their hysterically funny, vicious Georges Brassens songs in English, followed by the charming, sultry Les Chauds Lapins – who mine French chanson that predates Brassens by about 20 years- at Barbes. It was bound to happen.

2/3, 8 PM tuneful mathrock/metal band Stats, beautifully ugly/assaultive guitar jazz with the felicitously named Seabrook Power Plant and then Mantra Percussion playing Iannis Xenakis at Littlefield.

2/3, 8 PM edgy, snarky British postpunk/dance rockers Deluka at the Bell House, $15 gen adm.

2/3, 9 PM jaunty oldtimey swing and country with Miss Tess & the Bon Ton Parade at the Jalopy followed at 10 by gypsy jazz power trio Ameranouche.

2/3, 9:30 PM eclectic latin jazz bandoneon player Gregorio Uribe’s Big Band at Zinc Bar.

2/3, 10 PM eclectic cosmopolitan songwriter Tajna Tanovic at the downstairs cafe at Symphony Space, free

2/3, 10ish multistylistic, deliriously fun, danceable all-purpose Brazilian/country band Nation Beat at Rodeo Bar.

2/3, 11 PM psychedelic, fearlessly obscene French garage/surf rockers La Femme play Lit.

2/3, 11:30 PM the Hollows play their irrepressibly fun oldtimey bluegrass/hillbilly music at the Knitting Factory

2/3, 11:30 PM sharp literate tuneful downtempo Aimee Mann-ish rockers Elizabeth & the Catapult play the big room at the Rockwood.

2/4, 7 PM pianist Simone Dinnerstein hosts a program feat. cellist Wendy Sutter and violinist Maria Bachmann playing Kodaly’s Duo for Violin and Cello, plus a preview of a new duo written by Philip Glass at PS 142, 100 Attorney St. (Rivington/Delancey), $15 tix go to benefit the 4th/5th grade band program at the school. “The Neighborhood Classics series is designed for families, but is enjoyed by audience members of all types.”

2/4, 7:30 PM the MSM Philharmonia play Villa-Logos: Uirapuru (The Enchanted Bird); Francaix: Clarinet Concerto; Sibelius: Symphony No. 1 in E Minor, op.39 at Borden Auditorium at Borden Auditorium at Manhattan School of Music, $10/$5 stud/srs.

2/4, 7:30 PM the reliably comedic Erin & Her Cello at the big room at the Rockwood followed eventually at 10:30 by the brassy, funky Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds (who are back again the following night, same time, same room).

2/4, 8 PM cleverly lyrical, socially aware, inspiringly tuneful janglepop duo Left on Red take a break from busking for a show at Bar 82, just north of St. Mark’s on 2nd Ave.; 2/14 they’re at the NYC Transit Museum

2/4 Mr. Ho’s Orchestrotica, the “world’s only ensemble dedicated to the space-age big band music of Juan Garcia Esquivel,” 8 PM at Barbes followed at 10 by the martini cowboy himself, the Jack Grace Band.

2/4, 8ish, smart twangy literate Americana rock with Chip Robinson backed by the Roscoe Trio at Lakeside followed at 11 by the even higher-energy Tom Clark & the High Action Boys.

2/4, 9 PM jazz/third-stream chanteuse/composer Sara Serpa with a first-rate band: Andre Matos- guitar; Kris Davis- piano; Matt Brewer-bass; Tommy Crane- drums, at the Cornelia St. Cafe. Serpa is scary-good, one of the most original singers and writers in any style around these days: her latest album with noir jazz piano legend Ran Blake is transcendent.

2/4, 9 PM Nashville guitar/piano legend – Jerry Lee stomp and ferocious pickin -with Greg Garing at the Jalopy

2/4 the jangly, effervescent, irrepressible Mexican Go-Go’s – Pistolera – at Joe’s Pub, 9:30 PM, $15.

2/4, 10 PM Jennifer Choi (violin) Wendy Law (cello) Justin Hines (percussion) Rubin Kodheli (electric cello) “Classical Jam Trio and special guest Rubin Kodheli, featured performer and composer in the movie “Precious,” join forces in an evening of composed and improvised music including Osvaldo Golijov’s tango inspired cello solo, Ômaramor, Hines’ Samai’i Shira based on rhythms and melodies with Arabic influences, A.C.T. Amplified Cardbord Tube for solo percussion, Choi’s flamenco inspired Madrileño, and Kodheli’s Jungle and Nightengale” at the Stone, $10

2/4, 11 PM lush, atmospheric, socially aware, Radiohead-influenced rockers My Pet Dragon at the Bitter End.

2/4 garage rockers the Thigh Highs play midnightish at Hank’s

2/5, 7 PM an underworldly noir chanteuse doublebill with the Nashville gothic Lorraine Leckie and the Coney Island gothic Carol Lipnik at Banjo Jim’s – yum.

2/5, 7 PM fiery, funky Chicago-style electric blues guitarist Bobby Radcliff at Terra Blues

2/5 the year’s best doublebill so far: rustic, darkly intricate gypsy-inspired rockers Kotorino at 8 PM followed by ferocious pan-Balkan band Ansambl Mastika – whose new album is the best one we’ve heard so far this year – at Barbes.

2/5, 8 PM, free, pianist Chie Sato Roden and cellist Jody Redhage’s excellent chamber jazz ensemble Fire in July celebrate the release of their CD “Streetcar Journey,” featuring the music of beloved American film composer Alex North (1910-1991) and his magnificent, jazz-inflected score to the 1951 classic “A Streetcar Named Desire” at the Tenri Cultural Institute, 43A West 13th Street between 5th and 6th Aves.

2/5 starting at 8 the Truants, Bongo Surf, Mr.Neutron, Blue Wave Theory and the Tarantinos NYC at Unsteady Freddie’s surf music extravaganza at Otto’s.

2/5, 8 PM unusually tuneful mathrock with Stats at Cake Shop.

2/5, 8:30 PM edgy, funky songwriter Shayna Zaid & the Catch at the big room at the Rockwood

2/5, 9ish David First’s legendary late 70s noise-rock band the Notekillers – who were doing Sonic Youth stuff ten years before Sonic Youth – at Coco 66.

2/5 9 PM careening southwestern gothic/C&W band the Newton Gang at 68 Jay St. Bar

2/5 the Mighty Paradocs play their blend of hip-hop and punk at 9 followed by Rockers Galore playing dub reggae at Shrine at 10.

2/5, 9:30 PM sophisticated, torchy, eclectic Americana chanteuse Hope DeBates & North Forty at Caffe Vivaldi.

2/5 Taj Weekes & Adowa – who are about the best thing happening in roots reggae right now – at Joe’s Pub, 9:30 PM, $14

2/5, 10 PM crazed gypsy punks Bad Buka at Mehanata.

2/5, 90s Britrock style melodic powerpop with the Royal Chains, 10 PM at the Cameo Gallery

2/5, midnight the Jack Grace Band at the small room at the Rockwood.

2/6, 8 PM original and classic Cuban songs with low-register instruments: bass, baritone sax, baritone guitar, tuba, et al. with Gato Loco at Bowery Poetry Club.

2/6, 9 PM twisted Merle Haggard covers done free jazz style by Bryan & the Haggards at Rodeo Bar.

2/6, 10 PM fiery and sultry Roulette Sisters frontwoman/bluesmama Mamie Minch at the Jalopy

2/6, 11:30 AM or so cleverly virtuosic mostly female original klezmer band Isle of Klezbos at City Winery for brunch, $10, no minimum

2/6, 3 PM organist Gail Archer plays Liszt at the Church of St. John the Baptist, Lexington at 76th St.

2/6, 6:30 PM Matei Varga on piano playing Enescu, Janácek, Bartók, and Szymanowski at le Poisson Rouge, $15

2/7, 7 PM sultry oldtimey chanteuse Robin Aigner and her band at the small room at the Rockwood.

2/7, 8:30 PM Leif Arntzen’s TLAB: Leif Arntzen, trumpet; Ryan Blotnick, guitar; Michael Bates, bass; Miles Arntzen, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10

2/7 charismatic noir powerhouse Vera Beren takes a turn booking Small Beast: so far she’s the only one who’s consistently been able to evoke the intense 2008-09 transcendence of the weekly dark rock show. On the bill: 9 PM Hypnofolk, 10 PM Lone Vein, 11 PM Beren’s own astonishingly powerful Gothic Chamber Blues Ensemble and eclectic surf instrumentalists the Tarantinos NYC at midnight.

2/7, 9 PM edgy Japanese big band jazz with the Yaozeki Big Band at Tea Lounge in Park Slope

2/8, 7:30 PM at Barbes Petr Cancura’s Down Home: his “attempt to capture the nostalgia of classic b & W photography with music steeped in Americana,” with Skye Steele – violin; Petr Cancura – sax, clarinet, mandolin; Scott Kettner – drums, percussion; Garth Stevenson – bass and Jesse Lewis – guitar.

2/8-13 alto saxophonist Steve Wilson’s weeklong 50th birthday celebration at the Jazz Standard: 2/8 with guests Carla Cook and Karrin Allyson; 2/9 a quartet show with strings; 2/11 a quintet featuring Mulgrew Miller, Lewis Nash and Christian McBride; 2/12-13 Tain Watts takes over the drum chair.

2/8 rare solo sets from an especially choice bunch of edgy songwriters: indie pop goddess Kendall Jane Meade of Juicy and Mascott, 90s luminary Richard Balayut of Versus and terse, intense, guitarishly spot-on Jennifer O’Connor, 9 PM at Rock Shop in Gowanus, $10

2/8, 8 PM politically potent dancehall reggae star Anthony B at B.B. King’s, $20 adv tix rec.

2/8, 8:30 PM And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead’s cd release show at Littlefield, $12 adv tix highly rec., this will sell out.

2/8, 9 PM smartly lyrical retro soul/rock songwriter Dina RuDean at the small room at the Rockwood.

2/8, 9 PM alto saxophonist David Binney leads an inspired quartet with Jacob Sacks on keys, Thomas Morgan on bass and Dan Weiss on drums at 55 Bar

2/8, 9ish Adult Themes play Death by Audio. Distorted keys, fuzz bass, chick vocals, primitive garage rock meets noise but purposefully – cool stuff.

2/8 vintage R&B flavored powerpop powerhouse the Brilliant Mistakes at Rodeo Bar, 10ish.

2/8, 11 PM sprawling dark Americana band Bogs Visionary Orchestra at Goodbye Blue Monday – sort of the prototype for O’Death

2/9, 6 PM torchy sultry bluesy jazz chanteuse Natalie Galey leads a quartet at Caffe Vivaldi.

2/9, 8 PM dark guitar atmospherics with Spooky Ghost at the Stone, $10.

2/9 an impressively strong, cheap quadruple bill at Southpaw starting at 8:30 with pensive, jazz-tinged Canadian songwriter Chloe Charles, fiery gypsy punks Kagero, the ragtime dance-punk of Apocalypse Five and Dime and garage-soul rockers Billy Woodward & the Senders, $10

2/9, 9 PM noir singer Nicole Atkins & the Black Sea at Bowery Ballroom, $16 adv tix rec.

2/9 tropical punk madness at midnight-ish with Chicolina Sound Machine feat. Pedro Erazo of Gogol Bordello at Bowery Electric; even more amazing skaragga/metal cumbia rockers Escarioka open the show at around 9. CSM are also here on 2/23.

2/9, 10 PM tuneful up-and-coming jazz guitar star Ila Cantor shows off her pop songwriter side at the Cornelia St. Cafe, $10

2/9, 10ish tongue-in-cheek, period-perfect early 50s style country from Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. at Rodeo Bar.

2/9, 11 PM big psychedelic funk band Turkuaz at Cake Shop

2/10, rustic old hillbilly songs with the Weal and the Woe at 8 followed at 10 PM by retro country legend Greg Garing at Barbes.

2/10 Israeli roots reggae with Moshav Band at the Canal Room, 8 PM, $10 adv tix. rec.

2/10, 9 PM the Michael Winograd Klezmer Trio at the Jalopy followed at 10:30 by pyrotechnic Balkan brass band Veveritse.

2/10, 9 PM ten-piece, six-trumpet funk band the Chase Experiment at Spike Hill.

2/10 LES punk/surf/soul legend Simon and the Bar Sinisters, 10ish at Rodeo Bar; he’s at Lakeside at the same time on 2/12.

2/11 artist Robin Hoffman, whose vibrant illustrations have documented the equally vibrant oldtimey/Americana scene at the Jalopy, celebrates the release of her latest coffee-table book there at 6 PM.

2/11 Ethiopian-inspired big band jazz legends Either/Orchestra’s 25th Anniversary Concert, 6 PM at le Poisson Rouge, $20 adv tix very highly rec.

2/11, 7 PM witty, legendary Clash collaborator and Americana chanteuse Ellen Foley at Lakeside

2/11, 7 PM the Bantu Dub Project play dub reggae at Shrine

2/11, 7:30 PM pianist Edmund Arkus plays Brahms, Liszt and Haydn at the Third St. Music School Settlement, free

2/11, 8 PM House of Stride: Allison Leyton-Brown – piano; Russ Meissner – drums; Jim Whitney – upright bass and special guest Daria Grace at Barbes followed at 10 by Smokey Hormel’s Roundup doing their western swing thing.

2/11, 9 PM Changing Modes – the cleverly eclectic, sometimes new wave tinged female-fronted art-pop/punk band responsible for our choice of best song of 2010 – at Fontana’s.

2/11, 9:30 PM the Sometime Boys – a sometimes haunting, sometimes slinky and funky, sometimes rustically fun acoustic Americana spinoff of fiery art-rockers System Noise – at Branded Saloon, 603 Vanderbilt Ave. at Bergen, Ft. Greene, Brooklyn. Directions: 2/3/4 train to Bergen. Walk east on Bergen about 2 blocks to Vanderbilt. Or take the B/Q to 7th Ave/Brighton and walk north on Carlton 3 short blocks. Take a right on Bergen and walk one block to Vanderbilt

2/11 up-and-coming jazz vibraphonist Tyler Blanton and band at Miles Cafe, 9:30 PM $20 includes a drink and “snacks.”

2/11, 10 PM latin soul big band the Brooklyn Boogaloo Blowout at 55 Bar.

2/11, 10:30 PM cool improvs with Nasheet Waits’ Equality Band: Logan Richardson, alto sax; John Hebert, bass; Nasheet Waits, drums at the Cornelia St. Cafe, $10.

2/11, 10:30 PM big band bassist/composer Joris Teepe leads a quintet at the Fat Cat.

2/11 Belgian barroom accordion jazz revivalists Musette Explosion at City Winery, 11 PM, free w/rsvp before 2/8 to concierge@citywinery.com

2/11, 11 PM SOJA (formerly Soldiers of Jah Army) play roots reggae at Bowery Ballroom, $25 gen adm.

2/11, 11:30ish noir rock legend Martin Bisi with Brian Viglione of the Dresden Dolls on drums at Bruar Falls, early arrival advised.

2/11 ska-punk with the Rudie Crew at Otto’s at midnight.

2/11, midnight, wittily tuneful, original jazz trumpeter John McNeil and his Quartet at Puppets Jazz Bar

2/12, 1 PM a free concert at Bargemusic, program TBA, most likely piano music, early arrival advised.

2/12, 6:30 PM ecstatic oldschool New Orleans funk/soul with Brother Joscephus and The Love Revival Revolution Orchestra at le Poisson Rouge, $10 adv tix rec.

2/12, 8 PM, repeating 2/13, 3 PM the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony plays Tschaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1 with the fiery, virtuosic Karine Poghosyan on piano and Rachmaninoff: Symphony #2 at All Saints Church, 230 E 60th St. (2/3rd Aves)., adv. tix $20 rec.

2/12, 8 PM Bassam Saba and the 30-piece New York Arabic Orchestra at Symphony Space, $30/$20 stud/srs. Arguably the foremost Middle Eastern orchestra in North America, Saba also has an extraordinary new album out, Wonderful Land, a tribute to his native Lebanon. This will sell out, adv tix. absolutely required.

2/12, 8 PM global brass madness with Veveritse Brass Band followed at 10 by Red Baraat at Barbes.

2/12 a tasty ska doublebill with the Forthrights and the Pietasters at the Brooklyn Bowl, 8 PM.

2/12, 8:15 PM smart, socially aware Americana/acoustic psychedelic songwriter Allysen Callery at Caffe Vivaldi.

2/12, 8:30 PM Balkan-tinged jazz with the Ben Holmes Quartet feat. Ben Holmes (trumpet); Curtis Hasselbring (trombone); Geoff Kraly (bass); Vinnie Sperrazza (drums) at I-Beam.

2/12, 9 PM relentless, psychedelic Mississippi hill country style blues guitarist Will Scott – a worthy heir to the RL Burnside/Junior Kimbrough throne – at 68 Jay St. Bar.

2/12, 9 PM imaginative large country band Yarn – whose horn section makes perfect sense – at Sullivan Hall, $12.

2/12, 10 PM Kevin Batchelor’s Grand Concourse feat. members of Rocksteady 7, The Stingers & Westbound Train plays classic and original ska at Two Boots Brooklyn.

2/13, 3 PM the Greenwich Village Orchestra play an all-Brahms bill: Hungarian Dance No. 5; the Double Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra, and Symphony No. 2 at Washington Irving HS Auditorium, $20 sug don. They’ve done all these previously, and brilliantly.

2/13 Frances-Marie Uitti, cello and Lisa Bielawa, composer/vocalist playing and singing Xenakis, Luciano Berio, and improvised settings of sonnets by Christian Hawkey, 6:30 PM at le Poisson Rouge, $15.

2/13, 7 PM violinist Hye-Jin Kim at Barbes, program TBA, followed at 9:30ish by jazz manouche monster Stephane Wrembel.

2/13, 8:30 PM the massively hilarious all-female accordion ensemble Main Squeeze Orchestra play the cd release show for their new one at Drom.

2/13, 9 PM Virginia’s hottest original bluegrass band the Dixie Bee-Liners at the Jalopy.

2/13, 11 PM literate powerpop star Patti Rothberg plays the cd release for her somewhat controversial new one Overnite Sensation at Otto’s. Only in New York – most recently she’s playing some stadium with the B-52’s, but she’s doing her cd release at Otto’s late on a Sunday. Early arrival advised.

2/14, 6 PM classic tango with the Hector Del Curto Tango Orchestra at the World Financial Center, free

2/14, 9 PM big band jazz night with the Delphian Jazz Orchestra at Tea Lounge in Park Slope

2/14, 9ish a rare Rosie Flores solo acoustic show at Bowery Electric, $10 adv tix rec.

2/14 oldtimey swing with Daria Grace and the Pre-War Ponies – “the best Valentines band in New York City” – 10ish at Rodeo Bar.

2/14, 10 PM Ghanian-American hip-hop powerhouse Blitz the Ambassador and his wild Afrobeat band at the new cafe at the Apollo Theatre, $15 adv tix rec.

2/15, 7 PM jazz/Americana violin star Jenny Scheinman at Barbes followed at 9 by Slavic Soul Party

2/15-20 intense jazz vibraphonist Joe Locke w/Geoffrey Keezer, George Mraz, Clarence Penn & Kenny Washington on vocals, 7:30/9:30 PM at Dizzy’s Club, $30 tix avail.

2/15, 7:30/9:30 PM saxophonist Seamus Blake leads a quartet with David Kikoski – piano; Matt Penman – bass; Victor Lewis – drums at the Jazz Standard, $20

2/15 tango nuevo bandoneon genius Raul Jaurena leads a trio with Pablo Aslan on bass and Roger Davidson on piano at Caffe Vivaldi, 8:15 PM.

2/15 compelling, frequently creepy art-folk chanteuse Larkin Grimm at Union Pool, 11 PM

2/16, 6:30 PM innovative violinist/composer Ana Milosavljevic plays an eclectic bill with Kathleen Supové on piano feat. TAKE Dance Music by Aleksandra Vrebalov, Eve Beglarian, Svjetlana Bukvich-Nichols and Milosavljevic herself at le Poisson Rouge, $10 adv tix rec. She played most of this program last year at Lincoln Center and it was very hypnotic and interesting.

2/16, 7:30/9:30 PM saxophonist Noah Preminger leads the quartet who play on his absolutely brilliant, terse new ballads album Before the Rain: Frank Kimbrough at the piano, John Hebert on bass and Matt Wilson on drums at the Jazz Standard, $20 – could be one of those shows people will be talking about for a long time.

2/16, 7:30 PM opening night of the Tune-In Festival at the Park Ave. Armory, 643 Park Ave. features Sympho, New York Polyphony, and Charles Perry Sprawls playing Arvo Pärt’s epic Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten plus the otherworldly world premiere of ARCO co-composed by Paul Haas, Paul Fowler and Bora Yoon, $25

2/16, 7:30 PM Georgy Valtchev, violin; Amir Eldan, cello; Lora Tchekoratova, piano  play Beethoven: Sonata in A Major, op 69; Sonata in A Major, op. 47, “Kreutzer;” Piano Trio in B-flat Major, “Archduke” at the Bulgarian Consulate, 121 E 62nd. St., free.

2/16, 8 PM subtle, soulful jazz/rock/Americana wordsmith/tunesmith Dina RuDean at Bowery Electric

2/16, 8 PM psychedelic Australian art-rock legends the Church play three of their classic albums in their entirety: Untitled #23, Starfish and Priest = Aura at the Highline, tix are painfully expensive ($39.50) but are probably worth it. on 2/17 they’re at B.B. King’s

2/16-18, 8 PM flamenco jazz piano titan Chano Dominguez’ Flamenco Hoy music/dance spectacular at NY City Center, 55th St. (6/7 Aves.), $35 tix avail.

2/16, 8 PM sharply literate, understatedly intense soul/rock songwriter Dina Rudeen with her excellent band at Bowery Electric

2/16, 8:30 PM a potentially alchemical bill with Brandon Ross – guitar/banjo/vocal with Stomu Takeishi – acoustic bass guitar and JT Lewis – drums at Roulette, $15

2/16 scorching Nashville gothic/paisley underground rockers the Newton Gang at Lakeside at 9 PM.

2/16, 10 PM virtuosic cello metal with Stratuspheerius at Fat Baby.

2/16, 10ish Vagina Panther at Death by Audio – snarling, in-your-face, female-fronted riff-metal.

2/17, 7:30 PM violinist Gil Morgenstern’s latest Reflections Series concert – this time with pianist Jonathan Feldman – explores the influence of location and dislocation on creativity with music by Ernest Chausson, Erin Schulhoff, Bedrich Smetana, Frédéric Chopin and Leoš Janácek. At WMP Concert Hall, 31 East 28th St.

2/17, 7:30 PM night two of the Tune-In Festival at the Park Ave. Armory, 643 Park Ave. features diverse politically-inspired avant garde music: ferocious, fearless new music ensemble Newspeak doing Matt Marks: A Portrait of Glenn Beck (2009), Eighth Blackbird playing Rzewski’s Attica memoir Coming Together, plus an all-star crew playing Andriessen’s Worker’s Union, $30.

2/17 cleverly lyrical classic pop/janglerock goddess Patti Rothberg at the Parkside, 8:30 PM

2/17, 8:30/10:30 smart new alto sax compositions with Jacam Manricks – saxes, Matt Wilson – drums and Sam Yahael- organ at the Bar Next Door.

2/17 worldbeat siren Chiwoniso plays Zimbabwean mbira funk at the Atrium at Lincoln Center, 8:30 PM, free, early arrival advised.

2/17 all-purpose jazz/Americana stringed instrument virtuoso Matt Munisteri at Barbes, 10 PM.

2/17, 10 PM Ilamawana play original roots reggae at Shrine.

2/18, 7:30 PM NYC noir art-rock legends Elysian Fields at le Poisson Rouge, $15

2/18-20 the Mingus Big Band and then on 2/21 the Mingus Orchestra at the Jazz Standard, 7:30/9:30 PM, $25-30 tix rec.

2/18, 7:30 PM the MSM Philharmonia play Sejourne: Marimba Concerto; Rimsky-Korsakov: Capriccio Espagnol, op.34; Brahms: Symphony No. 2 in D Major, op. 73 at Borden Auditorium at Manhattan School of Music, $10/$5 stud/srs.

2/18, 8 PM devious intense, literate, charismatic ukelele siren/songwriter Kelli Rae Powell solo at Jimmy’s 43, 43 East 7th St, eet in the East Village

2/18 smart eclectic new jazz and funk with trumpet star Leron Thomas, Boston band Six Figures and saxophonist Logan Richardson at the 92YTribeca, 9 PM, $10 adv tix rec.

2/18 Scott Kettner’s Forro Brass Band at Barbes at 8 followed by hip-hop/soul/jazz crew Peoples Champs at 10 feat. members of Slavic Soul Party, Meta and the Cornerstones, Baye Kouyate, Jo Jo Kuo and His Afrobeat Collective, Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds, Afrodesia, Nation Beat.

2/18, 8:30 PM Dawn of Midi: Indian contrabassist Aakaash Israni, Pakistani percussionist Qasim Naqvi, and Moroccan pianist Amino Belyamani plus celebrated electric guitar quartet Dither playing new works including world premieres by Brent Miller, Adam Fong and Denise Gilson, and music by Lisa R. Coons from Dither’s 2010 album at Issue Project Room, $10.

2/18, 10 PM fiery noir guitar rocker Nathan Halpern and band – sort of the cross between Orbison and Pulp – at Sunny’s in Red Hook

2/18 sly western swing/country crooner Sean Kershaw and the New Jack Ramblers 10ish at Rodeo Bar.

2/19, 11 AM this year’s free marathon at Symphony Space is “young concert artists,” that is if you think under 50 is young. OK, by some standards it is. The complete schedule is here: the choicest hours seem to be the Bach hour at 11 AM and the Chopin hour (which you might think of arriving early for) at 3.

2/19, 8 PM at Trash the Brooklyn What’s monthly ass-kicking rock throwdown: big powerpop buzz band New Atlantic Youth, clever, percussively hypnotic indie duo Eleanor, Let Me Crazy, the Nuclears, the Brooklyn What and rock/ska en Espanol titans Escarioka, who are as good a pick as any for best live band in NYC. Wow.

2/19, 8 PM French early music choir le Poeme Harmonique sing a program titled Esperar, Sentir, Morir at Church of St. Mary the Virgin, 145 W 4th St., $35 tix avail.

2/19, 9 PM Middle Eastern multi-instrumentalist legend Ali Jihad Racy makes his debut at Alwan for the Arts, $25/$20 stud/srs. – this program focuses on the classical musical traditions of the Ottoman Sufi world featuring peformances on the buzuq and ney. Early arrival very highly advised, this will sell out.

2/19, 9 PM the Roulette Sisters – whose innuendo-steeped yet deep oldtime blues harmony album is a top contender for the year’s best – at the Jalopy.

2/19 and again on 2/26 deviously smart, edgy pianist/songwriter Lee Feldman plays the Path Cafe, 131 Christopher near Hudson, at 9 followed by singer-songwriter Daniel Hartnett who comes with some psych rock and Americana cred.

2/19, 10 PM legendary literate Irish punk/janglerockers Black 47 at Connolly’s

2/19, 11 PM NYC’s fun, funny, fiery counterpart to X, Spanking Charlene at Lakeside.

2/19, 11:30 PM snarling 90s indie rock trio Versus at the Mercury, $12

2/20 a rare solo appearance by legendary chanteuse Tracey Thorn of Everything but the Girl at Caffe Vivaldi, 8 PM.

2/20 multi-reed man Ben Kono’s cd release show with a choice band: Ben Kono, tenor sax, oboe, english horn, clarinets, flutes, compositions; Pete McCann, guitar; Henry Hey, piano; John Hollenbeck, drums, percussion; John Hebert, bass; Heather Laws, voice, French horn at the Cornelia St. Cafe, 8:30 PM, $10.

2/20, 9:30 PM agelessly assaultive faux-metal terrorists Gwar at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, $25 gen adm.

2/21, 4 PM now everybody wants to do their own Bang on a Can marathon – which is ok with us. The latest avant festival is at Symphony Space, it’s cheap ($10) and features an “85th birthday tribute to Gunther Schuller performed by Ensemble Pi, the US debut of Ireland’s Fidelio Trio performing works by Charles Wuorinen and Evan Ziporyn, new songs from Errollyn Wallen, visual musical collaboration as performances by Matt Sullivan on oboe with live electronics and by jazz pianist Gustavo Casenave are accompanied by live painting from artists Ken Cro-Ken and Vicky Barranguet. Also featured is the Cassatt Quartet joined by Ursula Oppens, and appearances by composers Joan Tower, Huang Ruo, Tania Leon, David Del Tredici, and Amir El Saffar, among others.”

2/21, 6:30 PM soaring, intense, original country rockers Her & Kings County at the Mercury, $10. They were good when they were playing Hank’s five years ago – touring nationally now, they’re even better.

2/21 the Enso Quartet at Advent Church, 93rd and Broadway, 7:30 PM, free.

2/21, 8:30/10:30 PM haunting and sometimes quirky vocalese fueled jazz with Sara Serpa – vocals; Andre Matos – guitar; Matt Brewer – bass at the Bar Next Door.

2/21 eclectic Balkan/Greek/Jewish powerhouse Klezwoods and intense Eastern European juggernaut Raya Brass Band at Coco 66, 9ish.

2/21, 9 PM the Mike Fahie Jazz Orchestra (led by the first trombonist in Darcy James Argue’s band) at Tea Lounge in Park Slope.

2/21, 9:30 PM a rare small club appearance by the JD Allen Trio (with Dezron Douglas on bass this time around, maybe working up some new tunes) at Smalls. Allen might be the most consistently interesting composer in jazz right now – if you’re free this could be a night to remember.

2/22, 6 PM in the Alice Tully Hall outer lobby International Contemporary Ensemble performing the world premiere of Nathan Davis’ Bells, free.

2/22, 8 PM southpaw guitarslinger Sam Sherwin – who’s doing the catchy Jakob Dylanesque janglerock/soul thing now – at Arlene’s

2/22-26 alto sax legend Dave Liebman with his famous 80s quartet including pianist Richie Beirach, bassist Ron McClure and drummer Billy Hart, 8:30/11 PM at Birdland, $30 tix avail.

2/23, 6 PM avant sounds from Allison Miller & Boom Tic Boom followed by Gutbucket playing the cd release for their new one at le Poisson Rouge, $12.

2/23, 8 PM the New York Chamber Virtuosi play Schubert (Piano Quintet in A Major, D. 667), Saint Saens, Rossini, Weber and more at a “soiree” at the Gershwin Hotel

2/23, 8 PM ferocious psychedelic country/psychedelic rockers the Newton Gang upstairs at the National Underground.

2/23, 8:30 PM soaring Americana with banjo player Hilary Hawke & the Flipsides at 68 Jay St. Bar.

2/23, 8:30 PM a benefit concert “for education and to celebrate the Egyptian Revolution, feat. Shadia Mansour, Lowkey, Logic, Narcycist, Marcel Cartier, Mazzi of S.O.U.L. Purpose, Lah Tere of Rebel Diaz, Likwuid, Jody McIntyre. Proceeds to benefit Egypt Relief: Resala, LEAP, and Existence is Resistance” at Galapagos, $20 adv tix rec.

2/23, 10 PM subtle, psychedelic, completely original roots reggae/dub/worldbeat band Kiwi play at Shrine.

2/24, 7:30 PM irrepressible, irresistible Americana harmony trio Red Molly at the big room at the Rockwood welcoming new member Molly Venter, $10.

2/24, 7:30 PM fearless, politically aware new music group Newspeak play the world premiere of Darcy James Argue’s The Sleep Room; Argue’s Secret Society big band plays works by Vijay Iyer and Newspeak’s David T. Little at Merkin Concert Hall, $25 tix rec.

2/24 Irish and American new music with the Fidelio Trio and Evan Ziporyn, 7:30 PM at Symphony Space, $15

2/24, 8 PM clever, entertaining toy piano aficionado Phyllis Chen at Barbes.

2/24, 8 PM a rare worthwhile concert at Irving Plaza – roots reggae nostalgia with 80s stars the Itals, the Skatalites (probably no original members) and crooner Barrington Levy, $32.50 adv tix rec. at the box office.

2/24, 8 PM a rare acoustic duo show by Americana roots rock maven Jon Sobel and smart roots-pop tunesmith Elisa Peimer at Uncle Bourbon’s, 691 Bay St., Staten Island

2/24, 8:30 PM African-flavored jazz with percussionist Kahil El’Zabar’s Ethnic Heritage Ensemble feat. Corey Wilkes and Ernest Dawkins at the Atrium at Lincoln Center, free, early arrival advised.

2/24 Pauline Oliveros performs Oracle Bones, a work corresponding to the Taoist Cardinal Directions, on accordion along with the spoken word of Ione and the koto of Miya Masaoka, 9 PM at Roulette, $15

2/24, 9 PM nobody but roots rock fanatics remembered who Wanda Jackson was until she made an album with Jack White and now all of a sudden all the trendoids are all over it. But anyway, she’s good – nice to see her get a $30 headline gig at Bowery Ballroom.

2/24, 9/10:30 PM brooding, intense Argentinian piano eclecticist Fernando Otero leads a sextet at the Jazz Gallery, first set $15, second one is $10, band includes Fernando Otero – piano, Nick Danielson – violin, Juan Pablo Jofre Romarion – bandoneon, Martin Moretto – guitar, Pablo Aslan – bass, David Silliman – drums.

2/25, 7:30 PM adventurous Hungarian world music ambassadors Czik Band at Symphony Space, $30 adv tix rec

2/25, 7:30 PM reliably adrenalizing alto saxophonist Jaleel Shaw leads a trio at the Bar Next Door.

2/25, 8 PM the wry, tongue-in-cheek instrumentalists Songs for Unusual Creatures at Barbes feat. Michael Hearst, Allyssa Lamb, Ben Holmes and Kristin Mueller (the same people who brought you Songs for Ice Cream Trucks).

2/25, 8 PM deviously funny, brilliantly tuneful songwriter Sharon Goldman in the round with the similar Americana-influenced Carolann Solebello and blue eyed soul siren Meg Braun at the Good Coffeehouse Music Series at the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture, 53 Prospect Park West, Park Slope, 2 train to Grand Army Plaza

2/25, 8 PM Boston garage rockers Jenny Dee & the Deelinquents open for third-wave surf superstars Los Straitjackets at the Bell House, 8 PM, $15.

2/25, 8 PM drummer Neal Smith leads a quintet with Eric Alexander, tenor saxophone, Mark Whitfield, guitar, Mulgrew Miller, piano, Neal Smith, drums, Nat Reeves, bass at the Miller Theatre at Columbia Univ., 116th and Broadway, $25/$15 stud.

2/25 a classic oldschool NYC avant lineup: Susie Ibarra, drums, percussion, composer; Bridget Kibbey, harp; Jennifer Choi, violin; Kathleen Supové, piano 8:30 PM at Roulette, $15

2/25 la Fleur Fatale play 9 PM at Union Hall – majestic tuneful hard-hitting psychedelic powerpop from Sweden.

2/25, 9/10:30 PM bassist Gregg August leads a quartet with Sam Newsome – soprano saxophone, Luis Perdomo – piano, Rudy Royston – drums at the Jazz Gallery

2/25, 10 PM the irrepressible clown prince of oldschool country music, the Jack Grace Band at Rodeo Bar.

2/25, 11 PM the hilarious, X-rated girlgroup parody band Cudzoo & the Fagettes at Arlene’s – kind of the ultimate Friday night madness that would have fit in perfectly in this neighborhood ten years ago when it was still cool.

2/25, 11 PM Cleveland surf rock legends Purple K’nif – with the Waitresses’ Chris Butler on drums – at Lakeside.

2/26, 7 PM up-and-coming Americana chanteuse/songwriter Sarah Jarosz at the little room at the Rockwood

2/26, 7 PM hypnotic cello/marimba duo Goli open for goth-tinged art-rock songwriter Kristin Hoffmann at Caffe Vivaldi

2/26 ageless, fearless chamber-goth cello band Rasputina at the Highline Ballroom, 8 PM, $15 adv tix rec. Voltaire – who’s most recently been ripping off Mark Sinnis’ Nashville gothic sound – opens at 7.

2/26, 7:30 PM dark French psychedelic pop with Revolver at the Mercury, $10.

2/26, 8 PM the Lewis Nash Quintet : Jeremy Pelt, trumpet; Jimmy Greene, saxophone; Renee Rosnes, piano; Lewis Nash, drums; Peter Washington, bass at the Miller Theatre at Columbia Univ., 116th and Broadway, $25/$15 stud

2/26, 8 PM deviously torchy, wickedly lyrical ukelele siren Kelli Rae Powell opens for  prolific, lyrically intense Americana songwriter Jessi Robertson, playing the cd release show for her impressive new one Small Town Girls at 10 PM at Bar 4.

2/26, 8 PM Tony Malaby’s Novela featuring Kris Davis conducting from the piano at I-Beam

2/26, 9 PM soulful powerhouse Lebanese singer Naji Youssef performs Melkite and Maronite hymns and chants at Alwan for the Arts, $20/$15 stud.

2/26, 9 PM the Dysfunctional Family Jazz Band at Rodeo Bar.

2/26, 10:30 PM 1960s New Orleans soul survivor Willie West makes his NYC debut at Southpaw, $10 adv tix rec.

2/26, 11 PM the world’s funniest bar bandleader Jesse Bates & His Flying Guitars feat. various members of the Fleshtones at Lakeside

2/26, 11 PM East Village Pharmacy play dub reggae and psychedelic latin grooves at Shrine

2/26 Bill Ware’s Vibes Quartet at midnight 9 PM at Puppets Jazz Bar

2/27, 7:30 PM, an avant evening with Tristan Perich with Loud Objects, Jakum Ciupinski and the Syzygy New Music Ensemble at Galapagos, $12

2/27, 9 PM darkly comedic, intense, politically aware singer/composer Ted Hearne – whose Katrina Ballads album made our Best of 2010 list – at Littlefield, $10.

2/27, 10ish Iraqi metal monsters Acrassicauda at Bowery Electric, $15.

2/28 The Noriko Ueda Jazz Orchestra 9 PM at Tea Lounge in Park Slope.

2/28, 10 PM Motorhead at the Nokia Theatre, adv tix $37.50 available

3/1 drummer John Hollenbeck’s epically good Large Ensemble at the Jazz Standard, sets 7:30/9:30 PM.

3/2 creepy, cinematic, noir instrumentalists Mojo Mancini at the big room at the Rockwood ,7 PM $10

3/2, 7:30 PM the Wiyos at Rock Shop in Gowanus, $10

3/3, 7ish smart lo-fi garage duo the Fools, the Debutante Hour’s reliably entertaining, clever Susan Hwang and fearless punk cabaret songwriter Sabrina Chap among others at Goodbye Blue Monday.

3/3, 8 PM modern roots reggae with Giant Panda Guerrilla Dub Squad and Rebelution at Irving Plaza, $20 adv tix rec.

3/3 Police cover band NY’s Finest at 9 followed by Tammy Faye Starlite’s hilarious Blondie tribute/spoof band the Pretty Babies at 10 at R Bar

3/3, 9 PM lushly rustic atmospheric Americana duo Arborea followed at 10 by lutenist Jozef Van Wissum at Littlefield, $10.

3/3, 10:30 PM Whiting Tennis – the former Scholars frontman and arguably the finest practitioner of Pacific Northwest gothic rock – at Pete’s.

3/4-5, 8 PM at the Kitchen: “Inspired by her immigrant grandfather, a junk dealer in the Lower East Side who recycled scrap metal and other byproducts of the industrial age, Annie Gosfield will sample the sounds of metal, machines, and factories, and transform these raw materials into something new. Featuring two ensembles: the Annie Gosfield Ensemble, with Gosfield on sampling keyboard, Roger Kleier on electric guitar, and Ches Smith on drums and percussion; and Real Quiet with Felix Fan on cello, piano by Andrew Russo, and guest percussionist Alex Lipowski. Also pianist Stephen Gosling performs a selection of Gosfield solos.”

3/4 entertaining, intense Boston horror-surf rockers Beware The Dangers Of A Ghost Scorpion at Otto’s; they’re at Spike Hill on 3/27

3/4, 10ish the New Collisions at Union Hall; 3/5 they’re at the little downstairs room at Webster Hall at 8 followed by Deluka at 9. Good doublebill!

3/4, 11 PM hypnotic, melodic cellist/composer Julia Kent at Littlefield, $8

3/5, 8 PM utterly original cantorial riff-rockers Sway Machinery open for Malian psychedelic desert blues goddess Khaira Arby at the Bell House, 8 PM, $15 adv tix rec.

3/5, 8 PM, repeating on 3/6, 3 PM the Chelsea Symphony plays Sibelius’ lush, lyrical Fifth Symphony and other works at St. Paul’s Church, 315 W 22nd St.

3/5 gypsy punk with Bad Buka (FKA Panonian Wave) at Mehanata, 10 PM

3/5, 10 PM Koony plays darkly intense, lyrical African Francophone roots reggae at Shrine.

3/5 hilariously satirical, lyrically-driven torch song parody band the Debutante Hour’s cd release show, 11 PM at Bowery Electric.

3/7 the uncommonly imaginative Christine Jensen Jazz Orchestra at Dizzy’s Club 7:30/9:30 PM, $20

3/8, 8 PM Ice Cube – yeah, the guy from the Friday movies, doing his rap thing (back in the day he was one of the great ones) at B.B. King’s, $27 adv tix rec.

3/8, guessing sometime around 11ish, Raekwon plays a cd release show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, $15 adv tix rec.

3/8-12, 11 PM bassist Jennifer Leitham leads a trio with Sherrie Maricle on drums and Tomoko Ohno (not to be confused with the former Red Sox pitcher) on piano at Dizzy’s Club, $10 tix avail.

3/8, 11 PM Eli Paperboy Reed at the Knitting Factory, $15, all ages

3/9 adventurous string quartet Brooklyn Rider with Iranian spike fiddle virtuoso/composer Kayhan Kalhor at Alice Tully Hall, 7:30 PM, $20.

3/9, 7:30 PM cello-driven world music band Deoro plays the big room at the Rockwood.

3/10 NYC indie/janglerock legends Scout 8 PM at the small room at the Rockwood

3/10 Stephan Said’s Magic Orchestra, 8 PM at Drom, $10 – fiery, socially aware rock, hip-hop, Balkan and reggae tunes

3/10 Burnt Sugar play Bowie at the Atrium at Lincoln Center, 8:30 PM.

3/10, 9 PM two of the funniest and most period-perfect songwriters in oldtimey Americana, Al Duvall and Robin Aigner at Rest Au Rant, 30-01 35th Ave., Long Island City.

3/11-12, 8 PM the long-awaited debut of The Songs of Buelah Rowley, by the brilliantly eclectic Mary Lee Kortes at the Cell Theatre, 338 W. 23rd St. (8th and 9th Aves.): “A song cycle with narration and projections based on the biography of Beulah Rowley, a regionally-known depression-era singer and songwriter from the Midwest,” $20 adv tix rec.

3/11, 8 PM the Budos Band at the Bell House, $15.

3/11, 9 PM powerpop/oldschool R&B with the Brilliant Mistakes at the small room at the Rockwood.

3/11-12 Wess Anderson, Charles McPherson and others play music from Charlie Parker’s Bird with Strings at Rose Theatre at Lincoln Center, $30 tix avail.

3/12, 7:30 PM psychedelic Middle Eastern/Balkan/Asian jamband Tribecastan at Joe’s Pub, $15 adv tix rec.

3/12, 8 PM lush, clever, quirky art-rockers the Universal Thump at Barbes.

3/13, 3 PM organist Gail Archer plays Liszt at West End Collegiate Church, West End Ave. at 77th St.

3/13, 7 PM, hot modern klezmer with the Klez Dispensers at Drom, $10.

3/13, 9 PM a wild cerebral exuberant intense psychedelic doublebill at Joe’s Pub with the incomparable Rachelle Garniez opening for Electric Junkyard Gamelan. The former topped our best albums list in 2007; the latter played arguably the best concert we saw all year long in 2010.

3/15-16, 9ish Godspeed You Black Emperor at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple, $TBA, this may sell out, no word on adv tix.

3/18, 7 PM pianist Simone Dinnerstein PS 142, 100 Attorney St. (Rivington/Delancey), $15, program TBA, possibly Bach from her ridiculously popular new cd.

3/18, 7:30 PM the NYC debut of big band arrangements of Esquivel “compositions” by Mr. Ho’s Orchestrotica at le Poisson Rouge, $20 adv tix rec

3/18, 8 PM, repeating 3/19/11 at 9 PM at Symphony Space, legendary Lebanese expat oud icon/composer Marcel Khalife in the US premiere of his Concerto Al Andalus for oud and orchestra; Armenia’s most renowned kanun (zither) virtuoso, Karine Hovhannisyan, performing the concerto for kanun and orchestra by Khachatur Avetisyan; and clarinetist David Krakauer playing the NY premiere of the Klezmer Concerto by Ofer Ben-Amots for strings, harp, percussion and clarinet; plus the eclectic Orchestra Celebrate, conducted by Laurine Celeste Fox, $25 adv tix avail. at the World Music Institute box office and highly rec.

3/18 Richard Thompson at NJPAC in Newark – $35 tix still available according to their website.

3/18, 8 PM new music ensemble Detour at Galapagos, program TBA, $10

3/19 irrepressible folk/Americana harmony trio Red Molly with Pat Wictor on guitar at the First Acoustics Coffeehouse in downtown Brooklyn, $30 adv tix rec.

3/21 Israeli Jam/Buzzcocks ripoff Electra at Bruar Falls

3/23-24 Lila Downs at City Winery

3/23, 7:30 PM, new music ensemble Le Train Bleu plays their debut performance of Stravinsky’s Histoire du Soldat at Galapagos, $20/$10 stud.

3/23, 7:30 PM Pedro Diaz, oboe; Milan Milisavljevic, viola; Anna Stoytcheva, piano play Schumann, Brahms, Saint-Saens and Loeffler at the Bulgarian Consulate, 121 E 62nd. St., free.

3/23 former Verve frontman Richard Ashcroft at Bowery Ballroom, 9ish

3/24, 8 PM the Talea Ensemble play new works by Evan Ziporyn, Rand Steiger, Fred Lerdahl, David Fulmer, Elizabeth Hoffman, and Aaron Cassidy: “a highlight on the program will be a world premiere by Rand Steiger entitled A Menacing Plume (2011) which is a musical response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.” At Merkin Concert Hall, $20

3/25,9 PM charming, sultry French chanson revivalists les Chauds Lapins play the cd release show for their long awaited second album Amourettes at the 92YTribeca, $12.

3/27, 6:30 PM the Jack Quartet plays György Ligeti, Steve Lehman, and Horatiu Radulescu at le Poisson Rouge, $15

3/28 the Jasper Quartet at Advent Church, 93rd and Broadway, 7:30 PM, free.

3/31, 8 PM the Chiara String Quartet’s latest Creator/Curator concert features Lutoslawski’s String Quartet (with improvisations) and Daniel Ott’s String Quartet No. 2

at Galapagos, $10 adv tix rec

4/2 Graham Parker at City Winery.

4/3, 2 (two) PM the Parker String Quartet free at Flushing Town Hall.

4/5, 9 PM Wire at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, $20 adv tix rec.

4/9, 8 PM up-and-coming southwestern gothic star Kerry Kennedy – part noir femme fatale, part fiery bandleader – at Union Hall, $12 adv tix highly rec.

4/9, 10 PM the Black Angels at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, $20 adv tix. on sale 2/4

February 1, 2011 Posted by | avant garde music, blues music, classical music, concert, country music, experimental music, folk music, funk music, gospel music, gypsy music, jazz, latin music, Live Events, middle eastern music, Music, music, concert, NYC Live Music Calendar, rap music, reggae music, rock music, ska music, soul music, world music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Album of the Day 1/26/11

Every day our 1000 best albums of all time countdown continues, all the way to #1. Wednesday’s album is #734:

The Scofflaws – Live Vol. 1

With jazz chops and punk attitude, Long Island, New York’s Scofflaws were one of the most entertaining of the third-wave ska bands of the 90s – and fifteen years later, still are. On this 1997 live set (conceived as the first of a series of live albums) frontmen Sammy Brooks – vocals and tenor sax – and Buford O’Sullivan – vox and trombone – work the crowd into a frenzy as the rest of the eight-piece band cooks behind them, through a mix of oldschool ska classics, boisterous originals and a characteristically amusing, pretty punked-out cover of These Boots Are Made for Walking. The instrumentals here are killer: alto saxophonist Paul Gebhardt’s Skagroovie sounds like a Skatalites classic; they rip through Tommy McCook’s Ska-La Parisian, Jackie Opel’s Til the End of Time and do a neat original arrangement of Gerry Mulligan’s Bernie’s Tune. The briskly shuffling Groovin’ Up is a launching pad for blistering solos around the horn, while the baritone sax-driven reggae-rap Nude Beach echoes the Boomtown Rats’ House on Fire. The surreal Paul Getty offers a raised middle finger to the boss – the outro singalong, “Work sucks!” is classic. There’s also the bouncy seduction anthem After the Lights, the comedic Back Door Open, the even funnier Ska-La-Carte, the horror movie sonics of Spider on My Bed and a homage to William Shatner, the “sexiest fucking skinhead in outer space.” Here’s a random torrent.

January 25, 2011 Posted by | lists, Music, music, concert, ska music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment